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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 22 April

by DoDo Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 04:06:21 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1912 - the Bolsheviks launch the first legal version of the daily Pravda in St. Petersburg

More here

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


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

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  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
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I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

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Actually, there is another favor I would like to ask you - please, enjoy yourself and have fun at this place!

Display:
 EUROPE 



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

by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:27:17 PM EST
Despondent Sarkozy faces his final reckoning - Europe - World - The Independent

Three out of five polls before the multi-candidate stage of the campaign officially ended at midnight last night showed the Socialist challenger, François Hollande, increasing his narrow first-round lead over the President. All polls showed him winning a crushing victory over Mr Sarkozy by up to 14 points in the two-candidate second round in two weeks' time.

President Sarkozy's campaign team accepts that he must top the first-round field tomorrow to make him appear a "winner" and gain the necessary momentum to overhaul Mr Hollande before 6 May. They insist that opinion pollsters are missing a "hidden" layer of Sarkozy supporters who dare not openly voice their choice. But this amounts to an admission that President Sarkozy has deeply alienated a broad section of the electorate in the past five years.

Mr Sarkozy has fought a passionate campaign but he has also zigzagged between hard-right and statesmanlike poses, and made baseless claims. The harder he has campaigned, the more he has reminded some voters of what they disliked in his presidency.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Sarkozy supporters who dare not openly voice their choice

I'm speechless too.

"Do not be afraid," as the great man has been saying dramatically to his supporters.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberal conspiracy - Paul Cotterill - The Daily Mail and support for French fascists

Even by the Daily Mail standards, the decision to publish an article fully in support of Marine Le Pen as President of France is pretty extraordinary, given the paper's support for fascism in the 1930s.

It is fairly clear that the author has had little recent contact with French politics, and the idea that France will be saved by withdrawal from the Euro and the defence of `national identity' is little more than a sign of pitiful immaturity on the part of the author. But it causes concern when it's passed through editorial hands at a mainstream paper.

What surprises me more is that relatively little attention has been paid by opponents of Marine Le Pen to what she really represents, and how recent acts continue to reflect this.
 



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 06:02:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is fairly clear that the author has had little recent contact with French politics, and the idea that France will be saved by withdrawal from the Euro and the defence of `national identity' is little more than a sign of pitiful immaturity on the part of the author.

Au contraire, it's The Fail pandering to its traditionally xenophobic base.

The author doesn't need to be familiar with French politics, because most of his readers won't be either.

The article is really just using the French election as a transparent excuse to make yet another point about the value of robust nationalistic narcissism, and the evils of the Euro. (Although unfortunately, that second point is much harder to argue against.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 06:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Despondent Sarkozy ...

Jump! Jump!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 06:39:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lib Dems ready to sabotage Coalition deal - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

Liberal Democrat MPs are prepared to sabotage a key plank of the Coalition agreement unless rebellious Conservative backbenchers back down and support a fully elected House of Lord's, the party's president suggested yesterday.

Tim Farron told The Independent that the Liberal Democrats would find it impossible to back Tory proposals to reduce the number of MPs is the House of Commons unless Conservative MPs backed his party's plan for a fully elected second chamber.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:27:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hahahahaha, the idea of any LibDem MP having a spine is laughable, let alone the idea of of 50 of them having them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:11:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conservative Home: Lord Lamont: A Lords elected by PR will give LibDems a huge, permanent, enhanced role in politics
The Liberal Democrats are understandably keen because in a bicameral system with proportional representation for the Lords, they would hold the balance of power possibly on a permanent basis.

...

The argument about "legitimacy" or "democracy" is somewhat overdone since the Lords has only limited powers. It does not make laws. That is the prerogative of the elected, democratic House.  The Lords revises, invites the Commons to think again, but if the Commons is determined its will prevails.  The Lords cannot vote on money bills, that is financial legislation.

It is difficult to see how the present, limited role of the Lords would be improved by an elected House composed of yet more professional politicians.  We have so many layers of elected representatives:  The European Parliament, Local Government, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Parliaments, Police Commissions, on top of the House of Commons.  Do we really need more elected politicians with their blue, red and yellow scarves, not to mention their expensive offices, secretaries and research assistants?



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 Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:46:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair aide among 46 new Murdoch hacking claims - Crime - UK - The Independent
A key Labour aide who worked for Tony Blair and David Blunkett had his messages intercepted while employed at the highest levels of government, according to papers filed yesterday against Rupert Murdoch's News International - one of 46 new claimants involved in a second tranche of phone-hacking lawsuits against the company. Matthew Doyle, who became Mr Blair's deputy director of communications in Downing Street and continued to work for the former prime minister until this year, joined the England and Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney, actor James Nesbitt and Sir John Major's former daughter-in-law, Emma Noble, in filing damages claims.

The latest salvo of cases also involves the first lawsuit related to allegations of illegal newsgathering against Times Newspapers, publisher of The Times and Sunday Times...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:27:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that was probably just to make sure Tony was obeying orders

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:11:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fears raised over 'inferior' Navy jets - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
Military planners have raised fears ministers may order inferior jets for the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier to save money.

Labour had originally intended to buy the jump jet version of the Joint Strike Fighter, but the coalition decided to go for the catapult-launched carrier version.

Since then the cost of fitting catapults have spiralled, leading to speculation that the government is set to revert to the original plan.

Ministry of Defence papers seen by the Daily Telegraph compare the two planes in a range of military scenarios, ranging from the Falklands to striking terrorist camps in Chad and a stabilising operation in Saudi Arabia.

The document apparently finds the carrier version proves more effective in most cases.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:28:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Since then the cost of fitting catapults have spiralled, leading to speculation that the government is set to revert to the original plan.

My initial reaction was WTF, since catapults are hardly rocket science these days.

However,

Converteam develops catapult launch system for UK carriers

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is investing in the development of an electromagnetic catapult system for the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in case procurement of the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) version of the Joint Strike Fighter is abandoned.

Power conversion specialist Converteam UK announced on 20 July that in 2009 it was awarded a GBP650,000 (USD1 million) follow-on contract to continue the design, development and demonstration of high-power electrical systems for its EMCAT (electro-magnetic catapult) system and that work on the contract was nearing completion.

The naval director at Converteam UK, Mark Dannatt, told Jane's on 22 July that a small-scale EMCAT system had been completed in 2007 to prove the operation of modern linear motor, energy stores and control systems. Since then, extensive testing of the system has been successfully undertaken, as well as further work at the request of the MoD to enable Converteam UK to scale the system up to a full-size catapult suitable for the RN's new aircraft carriers.

Just another example of military procurement...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 04:14:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aircraft designed to fight the Soviet Union being launched from a floating gin palace barely capable of waving a flag. Just like nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers are all about political egos.

Paying banker's bonuses directly from the Treasury would be a more honest use of the money

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:15:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch government austerity talks collapse | News | DW.DE | 21.04.2012

The Dutch government appeared close to collapse on Saturday after budget talks between the minority government parties and its opposition support collapsed.

The talks were aimed at cutting up to 16 billion euros ($21 billion) from the annual budget. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters he would hold a crisis meeting on Monday to assess the situation.

"Elections are the logical next step," Rutte said. He added that he wants to work with parliament to finalize austerity measures before the poll takes place.

The talks among Rutte's Liberal Party, his coalition partners the Christian Democrats and the anti-Islam Freedom Party headed by Geert Wilders started in March as the Dutch economy sank into recession. Forecasts showed the 2012 budget deficit would reach 4.6 percent of gross domestic product when the EU deficit ceiling is 3 percent.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 03:06:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great news! Quick elections would be good.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 04:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Prague demonstrators call for government's resignation | News | DW.DE | 21.04.2012

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Prague on Saturday calling for an end to austerity cuts, the resignation of the government and early parliamentary elections.

The demonstration was organized by unions and non-governmental groups who estimated the turnout at 120,000. This would make it the biggest street protest in 23 years, since the collapse of the communist government.

It comes at a critical time for the Czech Republic's centrist coalition government led by Prime Minister Petr Necas, who says the reforms are necessary to bring the budget deficit back below 3 percent of gross domestic product. He issued a statement Saturday saying he feels "a great responsibility for our country not to fall into a debt trap."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 03:06:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Andrew Rawnsley - The midterm elections are now crucial thanks to omnishambles

the midterms referred to are local council elections that do not have any impact of Parliament directly, but they speak to the state of the parties nationally and will affect party morale

Omnishambles. It is a great word to encapsulate the government's serial misjudgments and misadventures, from granny taxes and petrol panics to the boomeranging budget and Theresa May's lost day. So I am not surprised that Ed Miliband chucked it at David Cameron in the hope that it will lodge in the public mind as the definitive, damning description of the coalition. The word does not, though, help us all that much with the large, long-term question raised by the most torrid period for the coalition since its inception. Does this mark a significant turning point or is it merely a passing blip?
[....]
It is usually rash to read too much into midterm elections, but the outcome of these contests will nevertheless matter hugely to the national picture because of their impact on the morale and standing of the parties. As one of the prime minister's senior aides puts it: "They will set the weather from now until the party conference season." Convincing gains for Labour will give the opposition confidence-building momentum and open more space for Ed Miliband to act boldly. A better than expected performance by the coalition parties will conversely make it easier for them to draw a line under this miserable period for the government and turn the pressure back on the Labour leader. Which means that, even before a single vote has been counted, both sides are trying to shape how these elections are judged by the media and viewed by the public. For they know that it is not just the result that matters, it is how the result is interpreted.
[....]
Whether the omnishambles represents a lasting turning point in political fortunes will at least in part be determined by how the parties react to it. If these elections are seen as a disappointment for Labour, then the coalition will breathe a bit easier because Ed Miliband will face renewed doubts about whether he is a convincing candidate for prime minister. If these elections are seen as confirming that the coalition is in deep trouble, then the heat on them will intensify and with it the risk that the government will go into a self-consuming downward spiral. The night of 3 May will be a long one for all the party leaders. What you might call an omnisweat.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:58:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Associated Press: Investigation under way into Amsterdam train crash

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Investigators are probing the cause of a head-on collision between two packed passenger trains near a park in Amsterdam that left scores of people injured, many of them seriously.

Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan says 42 people were seriously injured in the crash Saturday evening between a double-decker intercity train and a commuter train.

Dozens more travelers escaped with minor injuries.

Dutch railway officials said Sunday that rail traffic around Amsterdam would be disrupted throughout the morning as the two damaged trains both remain on the tracks where they collided

by Bernard on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 07:14:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:32:21 PM EST
A Nordic revolution: The heroines of Reykjavik - Europe - World - The Independent
There's a great big, beautiful, black glass building on the shore in Reykjavik, on a spot where three years ago there was only empty space. I know because I was there three years ago, a time of despond in Iceland, a country ruined by testosterone-crazed bankers, the first to succumb to full-on recession, the one that fell hardest of all...

What happened in Iceland? What happened in three years to warrant the emergence - from the ashes of economic disaster - of a construction so extravagant? Women took over the country and fixed it, that's what happened...

But this time, having cleaned it, they stayed. The male prime minister was replaced by the country's first female one, Johanna Sigurdardottir (gay and married, two children from a failed earlier marriage - to a male), who remains in place today. Women are in the majority in her cabinet, by five to four. The male CEOs of the collapsed banks were kicked out, the banks were renamed and nationalised and women installed as the new CEOs. Ever larger numbers of women are becoming entrepreneurs or have started appearing on the management boards of private businesses and, to choose among numerous examples, the CEO of Iceland's biggest insurance firm is now a woman, and so is the Icelandic head of Rio Tinto Alcan, big in the country's powerful aluminium industry.

One key economic story in this long article is why culture minister Katrin Jakobsdottir decided to continue with the construction of that opera house when the billionaire building it went broke:

..."Partly because there were 600 people involved in the construction, partly because we had been talking about building a concert hall for our philharmonic orchestra for 40 years and we thought if we did not do it now we never would, but also it was because we judged that not to go ahead with it would prolong the crisis in people's minds." So she saw a value in terms of national morale that went beyond considerations of price? "Yes. Exactly. We were obliged to make high budget cuts all over the public sector yet we decided to get this done."...


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:32:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm glad somebody read that article. The first few paragraphs were too much "women rah rah rah" and not enough about what difference was actually made, so I thought it was just a puff piece and abandoned it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:18:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe Urged to Quell Crisis as IMF Wins $430 Bln Boost - Bloomberg

European governments were urged to be tougher and more agile in their efforts to end two years of debt turmoil as the International Monetary Fund won more than $430 billion to safeguard the world economy.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde's push for a doubling in lending power paid off despite complaints from emerging markets wanting more say in how the fund is run and calls from some richer nations for aid to be more tightly controlled.

That left finance chiefs from the Group of 20 stressing that Europe must now justify the show of solidarity by doing even more to restore fiscal health, help banks and spur economic growth. Failure to do so could make it harder for countries such as Spain to secure aid if they falter and imperil a global recovery the G-20 labeled modest and subject to downside risks.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 03:04:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Geithner Says Europe Must Be Creative, Aggressive in Crisis - Bloomberg

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the global economic recovery is fragile and Europe's effort to prevent the spread of its debt crisis depends on the willingness and ability of the region's leaders to act aggressively and creatively.

"The recovery remains fragile, with continued risks from the euro area and higher oil prices," Geithner said in a statement today in Washington to the International Monetary Fund's policy steering committee. The U.S. economy "continues to gather strength," he said.

"The success of the next phase of the crisis response will hinge on Europe's willingness and ability, together with the European Central Bank, to apply its tools and processes creatively, flexibly and aggressively to support countries as they implement reforms and stay ahead of markets," Geithner said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 03:05:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beppe Grillo's Blog
By now we are living in order to pay the interest on the public debt. It's a furnace in which bit by bit we are incinerating social services, new taxes, savings, homes, and rights. While we are fuelling this blazing bush we are getting poorer. The poorer we get, the more the debt increases and the more the interest on the debt increases. After six months of Monti's treatment, the public debt has grown and it's approaching 2,000 billion while employment figures have gone down and for this reason, inevitably, the tax revenue in 2012 will show a sharp drop. In 2013 we'll have to pay more than 100 billion euro in interest on the debt, that's about a quarter of the 420 billion paid in taxes each year. We are going into a spin like an aircraft that's plummeting in order to pay the interest accumulated by the PDL and the PDminusL during a calamitous twenty year period.
To whom are we paying the interest? Only 14.3% of the public debt is held by Italian families. Whereas 85.7% is held by banks, funds and insurance companies and other investors. 46.2% is abroad, mostly in French, German and English banks (). Banks are the new masters, not at all willing to give up their pound of flesh. For example, to reduce the interest payments or to stretch the time frame for paying back the capital. Italy does not have monetary sovereignty. It's not possible to devalue the lira and to thus have a realignment of the prices of bonds in our economy that is worth a lot less than it was when the bonds were issued. Devaluing the lira is equivalent to devaluing the bonds. Now that is no longer true. We have a noose round our neck that we cannot remove and that is getting ever tighter unless we restructure the value of the shares that are worth 20/30% less than their initial value. Without the loan of a thousand billion from the ECB to the banks at an interest rate of 1%, used to buy new shares at 5%, Italy would be in pre default.
There's no use in putting off the problem. To decrease the interest payments on the debt in the medium term and at the same time issuing new State bonds with low or medium return is "mission impossible". The blackmail is always the usual one. If we don't keep going with this route, we exit from the euro. But we have already left the euro. The euro no longer reflects the value of our economy, only 60% at the most. To exit from the euro must not be a taboo. Great Britain and Denmark are part of the EU and they have kept their currency. It can be done. We need to start discussing it. I's never too late to turn back from the smooth path leading to hell.
(
) source: Bankitalia

it's the very definition of a procrustean bed, trying to stretch countries like italy onto the rack of the ECB's projections.

and paying back compounded debts with a shrinking tax base, that's a sisyphean task.

seeing the youth unemployment one may reflect on chiron's eating his children out of fear they will treat him like he treated his own father...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 04:54:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Interesting slide between 19'20" and 20'00"

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 07:12:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The function or purpose of the economy ... there's where all his hot air goes bust. The current purpose of all economies is to enrich the very few in control and screw the rest. Start there, damn it! All the rest of this yakking is bullshit.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 07:04:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:32:49 PM EST
Bahrain protester found dead on eve of Grand Prix - BAHRAIN - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - A Bahraini man was found dead on Saturday after clashes with riot police in the village of Shakhoura, the opposition party Wefaq said, a day before Bahrain's Formula One Grand Prix race.

Violence has escalated in the run-up to the Grand Prix, a prestigious event cancelled in Bahrain last year due to political turmoil. State officials count on the running of this year's race to signal to the world a return to normalcy in the Gulf Arab state, a stance rejected by opposition protesters.

Wefaq named the dead demonstrator as Salah Abbas Habib, 37, and said his body was found on the roof of a building. Wefaq said Habib was part of a group who were beaten by police during clashes late on Friday night.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:33:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Critics blast 'surreal' Bahrain Grand Prix | World | DW.DE | 21.04.2012
"It's surreal that an international Grand Prix is taking place in a country where human rights abuses abound," Richard Sollom, who tracks Bahrain at Washington-based watchdog Physicians for Human Rights, told DW. "The people attending the race will never see it. The government has done a great job walling off the areas where there's tear gas being used."

..."The crackdown has become harsher because of F1, so in part we're blaming them for the injuries and arrests," Maryam al-Khawaja, head of the foreign relations office at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, told DW. "We received reports that young boys were arrested and tortured in prison, some as young as 17. So we're definitely putting it on the shoulders of Ecclestone and F1."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:33:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the grand prix is an assault on human rights... to breathe clean air.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 05:14:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Robert Fisk: This is politics not sport. If drivers can't see that, they are the pits - Robert Fisk - Commentators - The Independent
When the Foreign Office urges British motor racing fans to stay away from Bahrain, this ain't no sporting event, folks, it's a political one. The Bahraini authorities prove it by welcoming sports reporters but refusing visas to other correspondents who want to tell the world what's going on in this minority-run, Saudi-dominated kingdom.

But what do our lads tell us from the circuit, 25 miles from the Bahraini capital, Manama? Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are only in it for sport. Bahraini repression of its democratic majority? Nothing to do with us, governor. And Sebastian Vettel? "I think it's a lot of hype." Hype? HYPE? The Arab Awakening came to Bahrain a year ago, a majority Shia people demanding a democratically elected government - with a minority Sunni monarch still at its head, for heaven's sake, as generous an Arab Spring as you could find - and it's met with police gunfire, torture and death. And Master Vettel - is there anything left of the old cliché "moral compass"? - claims "it's a lot of hype". What a disgraceful man.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:33:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Racing drivers are notoriously clueless. I remember seeing an interview with Jensen Button where he admitted he'd never heard of the Spice girls. This was at the height of their fame.

They live in a petrol fume filled bubble and all else is exclued.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:23:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just one?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 07:05:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN authorizes beefed-up mission in Syria | News | DW.DE | 21.04.2012

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to increase the size of its monitoring mission in Syria to 300, demanding an immediate end to the escalating violence.

The UN mission has until now been limited to 30 observers, a number Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said is far too small to do its job of ensuring compliance with a cease-fire between government forces and rebels. Ban now has the authority to decide when to deploy the additional observers, which will be unarmed and will include both military and civilian experts.

"The deployment of the first 10 observers in Syria has not changed the murderous behavior of the regime," French UN ambassador Gerard Araud said, adding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had shown "contempt" toward the UN.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:33:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya ver.2

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 07:06:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
`Large-scale' Kabul terror plot foiled by Afghan police - AFGHANISTAN - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Afghan security forces have detained five insurgents in Kabul, with 10,000 kilograms (22,046 lbs) of explosives they intended to use in a massive attack on crowded areas in the capital, an Afghan intelligence spokesman said on Saturday.

"If this amount of explosives had been used, it could have caused large-scale bloodshed," National Directorate of Security spokesman Shafiqullah Tahiri told a news conference.

..."Three Pakistani terrorists and two of their Afghan collaborators who placed the explosives under bags of potatoes in truck were caught," said Tahiri.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:33:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More Secret Service resignations in Colombia prostitution scandal - USA - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - The U.S. Secret Service said on Friday that three more of its employees have resigned, bringing to six the number that have left the agency in connection with alleged misconduct involving prostitutes in Colombia last week before President Barack Obama's trip there.

The Secret Service also said that a 12th employee had been implicated in the ongoing investigation into a night of partying on April 11-12 that embarrassed the United States and overshadowed Obama's participation in the Summit of the Americas last weekend.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NYT: Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle.

MEXICO CITY -- In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company's largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 03:17:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you {/Capt Reneault}. I'm sure no other large corporations use such tactics to preserve and entrench market dominance.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:25:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are many different corporate ways of nobbling the entire production system: nobble the workforce (all), nobble the product suppliers (e.g. Ikea), nobble the customer (Finance industries), nobble the political environment (ditto), nobble resource suppliers ("mission accomplished"), nobble the legal system (megamedia), nobble the planet, etc.

It's all about fixing the bets.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 06:05:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Will Hutton - Argentina's oil grab is timely retort to rampaging capitalism

For too long, companies and the rich worldwide, egged on by American Republicans and British Tories, have shamelessly exploited the proposition that there is only one proper relationship between them and society: they do what they want on their own terms. And society must accept this because it is the sole route to "wealth generation". Capital exists above state and society.

Fernández's actions, however clumsy and unfair in their execution, are part of a growing worldwide reaction to the excesses that this proposition has brought. Repsol does not, and did not, have a God-given right to sell control in YPF to whomever it pleases while Argentina's interests can go hang. It exists in a symbiotic relationship with the society in which it trades. The right to trade and to own are privileges that come with reciprocal obligations as the Ownership Commission, which I chaired, argued earlier this year. They cannot exist in a vacuum because companies' actions have profound effects.

Moreover, companies, especially energy companies, need public agencies to help mitigate the risk of undertaking huge investments in a world where the future is unknowable. Across the globe, business and the rich insist on denying these elementary truths. Now they are reaping the whirlwind as a hostile reaction gathers pace worldwide. Capitalism's self-appointed custodians have become its worst enemies.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:33:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:34:12 PM EST
Mexico passes climate-change law : Nature News & Comment

The Mexican legislature passed one of the strongest national climate-change laws so far on 19 April. Mexico, which ranks 11th in the world for both the size of its economy and its level of carbon emissions, joins the United Kingdom in having legally binding emissions goals aimed at stemming the effects of climate change.

After three years of debate and revisions, the bill passed in Mexico's lower house with a vote of 128 for and 10 against, and was later passed unanimously by the Senate. The new law contains many sweeping provisions to mitigate climate change, including a mandate to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 30% below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 50% below 2000 levels by 2050.

Furthermore, it stipulates that 35% of the country's energy should come from renewable sources by 2024, and requires mandatory emissions reporting by the country's largest polluters. The act also establishes a commission to oversee implementation, and encourages development of a carbon-trading scheme. Although there was initial resistance from Mexico's steel and cement industries, the bill passed with bipartisan support.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:34:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eight native Mexicans shot dead defending forest

Eight members of an indigenous group that took on armed gangs and illegal loggers nearly a year ago have been shot dead in a confrontation in western Mexico, officials said.

The group of indigenous rangers were on their way to clear an area to prevent forest fires when they heard chainsaws and called for reinforcements to confront suspected illegal loggers, Michoacan state secretary Jesus Reyna said late Wednesday.

Eight of the rangers were killed in the subsequent shootout and one of their vehicles was torched, he said.

Last April around 17,000 members of the Purepecha community blocked access to the village of Cheran -- near famous sanctuaries for migrating Monarch butterflies -- accusing organized crime groups of shielding illegal logging

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:54:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coalition makes U-turn on nuclear energy subsidies | Environment | The Guardian

Ministers are planning to subsidise nuclear power through electricity bills - despite their promises not to, a secret document seen by the Guardian reveals.

The leaked document clearly lays out plans to use "contracts for difference" for nuclear energy, which would allow nuclear operators to reap higher prices for their energy than fossil fuel power stations.

The plans will further inflame rows over energy policy and cause a political furore for the Liberal Democrats, who fought the general election firmly opposing an expansion of nuclear power.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Embarrassing for the LibDems ?? ...boggle. If they're not past embarrassment by now. LibDem, thy name is capitulation

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:27:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How Chinese Panels Are Impacting the European Solar Market | Renewable Energy News Article

In recent years, the global price of PV modules has undergone a rapid and sustained period of decline. In light of scaled back policy in key markets and recent bankruptcy announcements, the questions remain: How exactly is Chinese PV module pricing affecting the European market? And how best should European governments and solar companies react?

The general consensus amongst many industry observers is that the ongoing decline in global PV module prices is largely driven by a combination of oversupply and growing production overcapacities, coupled with ongoing cost reduction as a result of technological progress and innovation.  According to some, there is no question that this trend has emerged as a direct result of the seemingly unstoppable rise of Chinese PV module manufacturers.

"Since the major part of the global production capacity is installed in China it is almost exclusively driven by them," says Günter Weinberger, CEO of German solar company Solar-Fabrik AG.

It is certainly undeniable that, in recent years, the Chinese solar industry has enjoyed some of the highest levels of investment in production capacity.  According to Matthias Fawer, Director of Asset Management Sustainability Research at Bank Sarasin, Chinese and Taiwanese solar companies increased production volume by 120 percent over the last four years.  In contrast German and Japanese companies grew production by only around 40 percent.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 03:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:34:43 PM EST
The Third Generation: Young Israel's New Love Affair with Germany - SPIEGEL ONLINE

On his first night in Germany, Tomer Heymann, an Israeli, sleeps with a German. He met him -- Andreas Josef Merk, blond and Catholic -- at Berghain, a Berlin club. Heymann -- film director, Jewish and gay -- at first takes him for a Swede. He thinks Germans must look different, perhaps more sinister perhaps, jagged or cruder.

The next morning, the camera is already rolling, and the Israeli asks the German: Are you proud to be a German? Have you ever spoken with your grandparents about the Holocaust? No, says the German, but it's very possible that they were Nazis. A long silence follows. It's the only time they broach the topic.

Shortly thereafter, the German travels to Tel Aviv with two suitcases and a one-way ticket. The two men celebrate Passover and Christmas together. The German demonstrates how to flip pancakes in the air; the Israeli shows him how to stand still on Holocaust Remembrance Day, with your arms pressed tightly against your body while you observe two minutes of silence. These and many other scenes eventually become a film: a 56-minute record of the new, unencumbered way in which many Israelis and Germans are now relating to each other.

"I Shot My Love" is a declaration of love -- that of an Israeli, whose grandparents fled Berlin in 1936, to a German dancer from Bavaria. The remarkable part: just how normal this love seems to be.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:34:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's remarkable is that there exist people who find this story remarkable.

Head, meet wall, again.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 03:04:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Missionary's New Position: Former Pastor Opens Sex Shop For Christians - SPIEGEL ONLINE
While lust might be considered a deadly sin by many Christians, one former Dutch pastor is on a crusade against lust "phobia." He has opened an online sex shop for Christians in the hope of improving their private lives and helping them to embrace sexuality.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:35:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amish group accused of hair-cutting hate crimes - Americas - World - The Independent

A feud over church discipline allegedly led to attacks in which beards and hair were sheared, considered deeply offensive in Amish culture...

The indictment includes charges of conspiracy, assault and evidence tampering in what prosecutors said were hate crimes motivated by religious differences. The latest indictment added new allegations that the suspects tried to hide or destroy evidence, including a bag of hair.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:35:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chimpanzee ground nests offer new insight into our ancestors descent from the trees

The first study into rarely documented ground-nest building by wild chimpanzees offers new clues about the ancient transition of early hominins from sleeping in trees to sleeping on the ground.

While most apes build nests in trees, this study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, focused on a group of wild West African chimpanzees that often shows ground-nesting behaviour.

An international team of primatologists from the University of Cambridge and Kyoto University, led by Dr Kathelijne Koops, studied the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) population in the Nimba Mountains in Guinea, West Africa.

All species of great ape build nests to sleep in each night. Construction of these shelters takes minutes as the apes bend, break and interweave branches into a circular frame, followed by tucking in smaller branches to form a sturdy but comfortable sleeping platform.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:52:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:35:30 PM EST
Crossing Borders: The Fairy Tale Rise of Boxing Star Abner Mares - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Mexican boxer Abner Mares came to the United States as the son of illegal immigrants and eventually fell in with Latino gangs. As a world champion boxer, he stands the chance of becoming a legend. But he doesn't believe in the American dream.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'My parties just saucy fun' says Berlusconi - Europe - World - The Independent

The 75-year-old is alleged to have paid for sex with the then 17-year-old belly dancer, Karima "Ruby" El Mahroug. He is also facing charges of abusing his office to cover up the act. He denies all the charges.

At yesterday's hearing, the mogul heard police officials relate how he had rung Milan police headquarters in May 2010 to secure the release of Ms El Mahroug after she was held on suspicion of theft. A senior official, Piero Ostuni, told the court that Mr Berlusconi suggested that Ms El Mahroug was the granddaughter of the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, and should be released into the safe hands of one of his associates. Prosecutors claim Mr Berlusconi was determined to get Ms El Mahroug away from the police before she spilled the beans on her involvement in the sex parties.

Despite the gravity of the charges, Mr Berlusconi appeared in combative and even nonchalant mood yesterday as he insisted that his Arcore parties were merely a bit of saucy fun. "Bunga bunga? It was just a burlesque competition," he told journalists during a break in proceedings.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
on hippie hill San Frandisco

(we do understand this is not the most newsworthy event of the day. However, we do wish someone would get Frau Merkel really ripped.)

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

by Crazy Horse on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:33:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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