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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 5 April

by dvx Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 04:07:33 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Crime and punishment on this date in history:

1951 - Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death for performing espionage for the Soviet Union.

More here and here.

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


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

  • EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in finance and the economy.
  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - is about humanity, society, culture, history, information...
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - this is the place for stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

    There is just one favor I would like to ask you - please do NOT click on "Post a Comment", as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

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Display:
†EUROPE†



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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:25:51 PM EST
Nick Clegg demands rethink on secret justice plans | Law | The Guardian

The government is to scale back plans to create a new generation of secret courts after Nick Clegg wrote to cabinet colleagues to criticise the proposals as unacceptable in their present form.

As parliament's human rights committee condemned the courts as unnecessary and potentially damaging to public confidence, government sources confirmed that Clegg wrote to fellow ministers on the National Security Council to demand safeguards.

The deputy prime minister, who warned that he could not sign up to the plans unless changes were made, is confident that the justice secretary Kenneth Clarke will amend his plans.

Clegg told the Guardian there would be parliamentary "stress testing" of separate plans to extend the powers of the intelligence agencies to monitor the public's emails, telephone calls and social media communications. His intervention shows that the Lib Dems are adopting a more assertive approach on civil liberties. The Lib Dem leader wants civil liberties groups to be given the chance to challenge the government proposals on surveillance, which he supports, when draft clauses of a new parliamentary bill are published next month.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:39:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Watchdog criticises police over Mark Kennedy's undercover tapes | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Police have been criticised for their role in withholding crucial surveillance tape recordings made by undercover officer Mark Kennedy.

The tapes were kept from activists who were being prosecuted for planning to occupy one of Britain's largest power stations. The contents of the tapes would have cleared the activists.

In a report published on Wednesday, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said "there was a failing by the police officers and police staff members involved to disclose" the tapes appropriately.

The IPCC began investigating last year after the prosecution of six activists collapsed.

The IPCC said there were collective failings by relevant parties to ensure the tapes were properly disclosed to the activists' lawyers but "the actions of individual police officers and members of police staff did not amount to misconduct".



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:40:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Secret justice is an oxymoron.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 05:12:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The emphasis is on secret, the justice part is simply public relations because to cover up that it's really the introduction of political crime onto the statute books, something which didn't previously exist, which results in internment without trial

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 02:02:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which he supports...

Bad cop, good cop, as usual.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 04:58:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French police arrest 10 in fresh raids | News | DW.DE | 04.04.2012

Elite police in France have carried out a series of dawn raids on suspected Islamist militants in several cities, with a source close to the investigation saying at least 10 people had been arrested.

French police launched a string of early-morning raids in several cities, including Marseille, on Wednesday. A source close to the investigation said that 10 suspected Islamists had been arrested.

France's domestic intelligence service, the DCRI, led the operations, with support from two other elite units. The raids took place in several cities besides Marseille, including Pau and Valence in the south and the northeastern town of Roubaix.

These arrests follow 19 similar collars in a set of raids on March 30, with the heightened police activity following shortly after a string of shootings conducted by Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah, who ultimately died in a shootout with police on March 22.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:40:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Islam Terror Islam Vote Sarko Terror Islam Terror (to be continued...)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 02:29:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One cannot but note that there was no similar crackdown on racist organisations following the Norwegian Folkpartist/EDL supporter's shooting spree nine months ago.

But I'm sure that there are totally valid reasons for this difference, and it has nothing to do with the police being more tolerant of right-wing assassins than Islamist assassins.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 02:59:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Folkpartist Fremskrittspartist.

Too early in the morning for me to snark, apparently.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 03:37:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coup-related trial opens in Ankara | News | DW.DE | 04.04.2012

Three decades after a coup that traumatized Turkey the Ankara trial has has begun of two ex-generals whose regime was blamed for executions, disappearances and political repression. Their immunity was lifted last year.

Former Turkish chief of staff Kenan Evren, now 94, and former air force commander Tahsin Sahinkaya, now 87, are expected to be questioned from the Ankara courtroom via video link to hospital because of their frail health.

They face end-of-life jail terms on charges of crimes against the state stemming from the coup in September 1980. Their three years of military rule saw 50 people executed, half a million arrested, and Turkey's then political elite persecuted.

Evren and Sahinkaya are the only surviving members of the former junta that overthrew the government of Turkey's president at the time, Suleyman Demirel.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:40:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dead of night flights banned at Frankfurt | News | DW.DE | 04.04.2012

A dead-of-night ban on flights at Frankfurt's airport has been confirmed by Germany's top administrative court, validating neighbors' noise complaints while frustrating airlines, especially those airlifting freight.

Residents neighboring Frankfurt International Airport have welcomed confirmation of a ban on night-time flights by Germany's top administrative court, but the German aviation industry warns that the judgment will further trim Germany's trade competitiveness.

Appeal judges in Leipzig endorsed a provisional six-hour overnight ban on takeoffs and landings at Germany's largest hub set by a lower appeals court and told the regional state of Hesse, which has a 31 percent stake in the airport, that it must revise its previous overnight clearances for 17 night flights.

The court also told Hesse to review a further 113 flights late evening and early morning. It said that night flights were only permissible in cases of "exceptional need." The sheer presence of an airport was not sufficient.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:40:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Serbian President resigns, but will run for re-election | News | DW.DE | 04.04.2012

Boris Tadic has resigned as Serbian head of state, so that presidential elections can be held in tandem with planned parliamentary elections next month. State media reports that Tadic will run for the office again.

President Boris Tadic announced on Wednesday that he would resign his post, bringing presidential elections into line with Serbian parliamentary elections already scheduled for May 6. Tadic, whose mandate expires in 10 months, said he intends to run for re-election in the ballot.

"I decided to shorten my mandate to allow presidential elections to be held on May 6. I will be a candidate," state television channel RTS quoted Tadic as saying.

Tadic was set to formally submit his resignation to the parliamentary speaker in Belgrade on Thursday.

The Serbian president leads the ruling Democratic Party (DS), which has been losing ground to the opposition Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) in opinion polls. Election observers say Tadic's decision to run simultaneously for the presidency is an attempt to boost the DS party's fortunes in the parliamentary vote.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:41:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the real price of the London Olympics? | Jules Boykoff | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

The 2012 Olympics glimmer on London's horizon, but the Games are more than a smiley-faced sportstopia. The cost of hosting the Olympics has skyrocketed while private funders have evaporated, leaving the government holding the fiscal bag. Meanwhile, security officials have the green light to militarise the public sphere. The Games have become the pure-grade expression of celebration capitalism, the feelgood complement to Naomi Klein's "disaster capitalism".

Host cities routinely underestimate the costs and overstate the benefits of the Games. London is no exception. The city's bid proclaimed: "Every sector of the economy will benefit from the staging of the Olympic Games." Originally slated to cost about £2.4bn, Olympic costs jumped to £9.3bn by 2007. The National Audit Office noted that public-sector funding has almost tripled, while private-sector contributions dwindled to less than 2%. Recently, the House of Commons' public accounts committee revealed costs were "heading for around £11bn". Meanwhile, Olympics critic Julian Cheyne of Games Monitor calculates costs at £13bn. A Sky Sports investigation included public transport upgrade costs, catapulting the five-ring price tag to £24bn.

The public-pays-private-bails theme crystallised in the construction of the Olympic village. Originally envisaged as a £1bn centrepiece of London 2012's urban regeneration plan, the village was to be financed by Australian developer Lend Lease. (The deal reeked of cronyism - David Higgins, the chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority until February 2011, previously headed Lend Lease.) But the 2008 economic collapse and credit crunch led private capital to abandon the project, leaving it to the British government. In spring 2009, Olympics honchos admitted the village would be "fully nationalised" - that is, paid for by taxpayers.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 01:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have always argued that it was a waste of money and it is staggering to see the extent to which sports facilities in the rest of the UK have withered on the vine to divert funds to the olympics, making all claims of sporting legacy into the sickest of jokes.

But I cannot condemn the alleged £11 billion spent on improving London's transport infrastructure. That was desperately needed and has made notceable differences.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 02:10:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If £11bn was spent on transport - where did it go?

There are some obvious upgrade schemes happening - e.g. the Tottenham Court Rd rebuild, Crossrail, etc - but I don't think most of them will be ready in time for the Olympics.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 05:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Worth noting that the Daily Mail bandies that figure around with no detail or backup.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 07:01:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jubilee line re-signalling, re-build of circle line, particularly the Gloucester Road-Edgware Road section, the creation of the new East London Line, the extention of the docklands light railway in practically every direction, the northern line re-furb, the central line station programme.

I also think that the rebuild of KingsX and London Bridge station have received funding from the Olympics as well.

all of those are big tickets expenses and it all adds up

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 08:22:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of those were happening well before the Olympics announcement.

I was reading about plans for the East London Line a good few years before London won the bid.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 09:10:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Without the bid, you might still be reading about these plans....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 09:11:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
exactly

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 09:17:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poignant,cutting suicide note

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/54580

sidd

by sidd on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 04:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945"

Beautiful day, ain't it?

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 Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 08:15:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and most of all, the politicians know it, and fear it, too. Which is why the police attacks on demonstrators are so fierce.

And all to no avail, because austerity cannot work and the application of more of it simply compounds the problem

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 08:26:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beppe Grillo's Blog
Minchionne deals with petrol-fuelled cars, a sector that has been in decline for 12 years. Finished. Completely done for. He admits that. No problem. The car market is "horrible". More so for Fiat than for the other manufacturers. But that's a detail. Anyway his income remains extraordinary. He has succeeded in this task where there was failure on the part of the the Triple Trade Union of the 1970s. He's managed to make his salary a variable that is independent of the market. The causes for Fiat's losses are to be sought elsewhere, definitely not in the management, in fact "The problem of excess capacity has to be tackled at a European level. I trust that we will find a solution. We cannot continue to lose at the current levels: the system would not stand up." Minchionne however is standing up like no one else with a salary package and stock options. In March, Fiat lost 36.08% of sales in relation to the same month in 2011. Alfa lost 45.59%, almost half its production. The worst result in the last 32 years. Minchionne is reassuring "Fiat is not leaving Italy", but the country "has to change, abandoning a passive attitude in relation to the present." He's a decisionist in relation to labour reform that "has to be done. There's no alternative." He's a mentor for the new class of leaders in a conference at La Bocconi university (but who invited him, perhaps Rigor Montis to explain how Fiat will kick the bucket? And why did the students not boo him?) "Rights have to be protected but if we continue to live only by rights, we will die of rights." The rights of the workers, this is the problem. And especially for a Knights of Labour appointed by Napolitano. Minchionne, from Chieti in the region of Abruzzo, "vuò fà l'americano," {wants to be like an American}, but he was born in Italy and in the period 2004-2009 he received payment in shares valued at 255 million euro, that's about 38 million euro a year: 1,037 times the wage of one of his average workers. To make up for this, over a five year period, the share price of the Fiat Group has gone from 23 euro in July 2007 to the value at the start of April (after the spin off) of about 4.3 euro. With figures like these (collapse in share price and collapse in sales) any CEO would have been sacked instantly. Marchionne, what's your secret?


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 03:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 05:30:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Senator Umberto Bossi, the historical boss of the Lega Nord, has just resigned following hourly revelations of illegal use of party and state funds for the personal use of his immediate entourage. The on-going investigation into alleged criminal acts committed by the party treasurer Francesco Belsito precipitated events these past days.

The Lega Nord is known for its racist and secessionist ideology and its historical imposture of a legendary geographical entity called Padania. Because of its local power base in the North this relatively small party acted as kingmaker in national politics where it enjoyed over-representation in parliament and the media. Without Bossi Berlusconi would never had been able to form his winning coalitions.

With the present-day collapse of berlusconismo the Lega Nord has lost a great deal of local support among its electorate. Bossi's long-overdue resignation should allow the party to renew itself in time for the upcoming administrative elections. While prognosis spell a disaster for both the Lega Nord and Berlusconi's personal political entity in those elections, his resignation may help the party.

Good night and good riddance!

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 11:35:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who gets to fill the vacuum? The Fini brigade?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 11:38:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no vacuum worth filling. To use Bossi's own expression, he's a fart in outerspace. At present the Italian parliament is in disarray with an 80% disapproval rating of Italian politicians.

Bossi's personal political entity, now orphan, is one of the few opposition groups along with Di Pietro presently in Parliament. The national elections in 2013 may drastically redimension the party's representation in parliament.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 11:55:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
b-b-b-but.... Roma Ladri!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 12:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
can the lega survive without its charismatic fire-breather leader? are there any lega leaders who aren't batshit loony?

not that the other parties' leaders are anything to write home about, except di pietro.

bossi was really a piece of work... very nice to see less of his ugly mug on the teevee.

 

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 12:29:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bossi was a legendary imposture. He celebrated his graduation several times without ever graduating in medicine and asserted once to the venerable reporter, Giorgio Bocca, that he was the actual inventor of some sort of medical machine that had revolutionized the field. His idea, ya, got stolen... and then he discovered his knack for politics and brought his own peculiar talent as a lifelong bullshit artist to full maturity. With Berlusconi it was the marriage of like minds.

As for the Lega Nord, it has been in open revolt for well over a year with the inner critics such as ex-minister of the interior Roberto Maroni sternly silenced or outright censored in their media. Bossi's failing charisma brought about the cancellation of many rallies for fear of contestation.

The party has some young upstarts such as Verona's mayor Flavio Tosi who was almost kicked out of the party recently for insubordination. For the moment the party will be run by a troika until some sort of party electoral farse is slapped together.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 01:03:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks for the context. yes it was Tosi i have seen on a few talk shows, sounding semi-coherent and looking vaguely sincere.

are any of the lega's platforms reasonable at all?

other than 'we work harder and don't want to support the lazy south', what do they have to offer the electorate?

might bossi's exit enable them to be more effective, is it too early to tell?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 01:18:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
†ECONOMY & FINANCE†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:26:11 PM EST
Spanish bonds hit by poor auction - FT.com

Spanish borrowing costs rose sharply on Wednesday after a disappointing auction of the country's debt failed to reassure investors already nervous about plans for the deepest budget cuts in the post-Franco era.

The sale followed a series of measures to cut the country's deficit by €27.3bn this year, through a mix of raising the corporate tax rate, a public sector wage freeze and lopping 16.9 per cent off government spending.

However, rather than quell a recent rise in Spain's bond yields, the measures appear to have added to nervousness over the country's abililty to avoid recession while pushing through an austere fiscal programme.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:42:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB insists on unchanged interest rate | Business News | DW.DE | 04.04.2012

he European Central Bank decided to hold its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1.0 percent. The move aims to balance high inflation in the eurozone with a weak economic outlook.

The European Central Bank on Wednesday announced it would leave its lowest interest rate of 1.0 percent unchanged for the time being. The decision once again resisted German political pressure to shape an exit from its crisis-fighting mode.

The ECB looked set to continue its wait-and-see strategy for an unspecified time as the eurozone's recovery from its debt dilemma is increasingly shaky and worries about Spain's struggling economy won't disappear.

ECB President Mario Draghi spoke of the danger of economic stabilization faltering in the euro area while prices were not likely to fall below the two-percent inflation target.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:42:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JP Morgan Chase fined $20m for mishandling Lehman Brothers funds | Business | guardian.co.uk

JP Morgan Chase is to pay $20m to settle claims that it mishandled customer funds from Lehman Brothers, the bank whose collapse heralded the start of the financial crisis that began in 2008.

The fine is the first for a Wall Street firm related to the collapse of Lehman, the largest bankruptcy in US history. JP Morgan was a major lender to Lehman and has been under scrutiny since Lehman's dramatic collapse on 15 September 2008. Lehman's creditors have accused JP Morgan of siphoning off billions from the fallen bank in the days before it declared bankruptcy.

In other charges, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said JP Morgan "improperly" held onto funds belonging to Lehman's clients after the bank went bust.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:42:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds one of 'millage', one thousandths of assessed property valuation designated for specific purposes and collected through real estate taxes. A mill on the dollar, even were the valuation actual full market prices, is a negligible cost on activities that were clearly illegal and the profits from which have to be considered as pure windfalls. The pirate's cabal rolls on, celebrated in its obvious disguise as 'bankers'.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 10:10:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yahoo to lay off 2,000 workers - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Yahoo is laying off 2,000 employees as new chief executive Scott Thompson sweeps out jobs that do not fit into his plans for turning around the beleaguered internet company.

The cuts announced on Wednesday represent 14 per cent of the 14,100 workers employed by Yahoo, which is based in Sunnyvale, California.

The company estimated it will save about $375m annually after the layoffs are completed later this year.

"We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities. Our goal is to get back to our core purpose - putting our users and advertisers first - and we are moving aggressively to achieve that goal," Thompson said in a statement.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:51:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany Asked to Forgo $1.3 Billion Deutsche Telekom Payout - Bloomberg

Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) worker representatives are asking Germany's government to forgo at least part of its almost 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in annual dividends in exchange for a bigger stake in the former phone monopoly to help finance the cost of faster networks.

"Leave the money in the company and take a higher share," Lothar Schroeder, Deutsche Telekom (DTE)'s vice chairman and a board member of the Ver.di union, said in a phone interview yesterday. "If you do that for five years, Deutsche Telekom would make some progress in broadband and the government would have something to show for."

The proposal is part of a strategy devised by labor delegates on Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom's supervisory board, where they hold ten out of 20 seats. Schroeder says the push is needed as broadband deployment is too slow and patchy and he intends to discuss the plan with politicians. In any case, the government's stake should remain below 50 percent, he said.

Deutsche Telekom needs to invest billions of euros in upgrading networks in its home market, across Europe and in the U.S. even as phone revenue continues to slide. The company is maintaining pledges for shareholder remuneration while France Telecom SA (FTE) and Telefonica SA (TEF) have cut dividend targets.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oil Declines After U.S. Stockpiles Surge the Most Since 2 - Bloomberg

Oil tumbled after the Energy Department said U.S. stockpiles surged the most since 2008 as U.S. crude output climbed to the highest level in 12 years.

Futures fell to a six-week low as inventories rose 9.01 million barrels to 362.4 million last week, the most since June. Production gained 2.9 percent to 6.05 million barrels a day. Oil also decreased after the Federal Reserve signaled it may refrain from more monetary stimulus.

"U.S. inventories are obviously more than ample," said Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, which oversees $1.3 billion. "U.S. production keeps increasing. This proves that when prices rise high enough producers are going to find new ways to bring supply to market."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:56:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
paging Chris Cook, your ship has arrived

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 02:13:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oil Declines After U.S. Stockpiles Surge the Most Since 2 - Bloomberg
Brent oil for May settlement fell $2.52, or 2 percent, to end the session at $122.34 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

It might be a sign, but for the moment it's not a big ship...

And what's this about stocks?

Oil Declines After U.S. Stockpiles Surge the Most Since 2 - Bloomberg

The surge in U.S. oil production reflects a change in the way the department estimates output, said Barbara Mariner-Volpe, who is in charge of the oil and gas supply statistics. The weekly estimates rely on monthly production tallies that the department calculates using state reports and Interior Department data, she said.

In the past, the Energy Department revised its monthly figures once a year based on updated state and federal numbers, she said. In April, the department began incorporating that information on a monthly basis.

Stockpiles surge...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 02:25:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the past, the Energy Department revised its monthly figures once a year based on updated state and federal numbers...

See what happens when Radical Communist Socialists come to power? They even steal your shock absorbers!

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 10:16:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Observer: US says eurozone has enough money to save itself
US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday the eurozone has enough resources to save itself: "The leaders of Europe have decided they're going to do whatever it takes to make this work. And they can do it, I think they have the resources and the ability to do it."
Geithner to EU: no IMF money for you, bitches.

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 Apr 5th, 2012 at 04:22:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is specifically his response for Christine LeGrand'e call for more US funds to the IMF to help with Europe, made in Washington recently on the 50th anniversary of the announcement of The Marshall Plan. Perhaps he should send the BuBa a framed quote of Bernanke's "we have this technology known as the printing press" statement. Having it set in solid gold letters on black adamantine would be an appropriate touch. Every dog shall have his day.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 10:24:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what about Special Drawing Rights (SDR's)? aren't they a kind of currency? any limit on printing those?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 12:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SDRs from wiki:
Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged.[1] As they can only be exchanged for euros, Japanese yen, pounds sterling, or US dollars,[imf 1] SDRs may actually represent a potential claim on IMF member countries' nongold foreign exchange reserve assets, which are usually held in those currencies. While they may appear to have a far more important part to play, or, perhaps, an important future role, being the unit of account for the IMF has long been the main function of the SDR.

IMF use of SDRs must take account of consensus views, especially those of the USA, Japan, Germany, (for the EMU), and the UK. While in theory fiat money systems could be used to rather easily resolve current financial problems in practice we act more like we were still on a gold standard. It is rather like having a supercomputer but insisting that it only be used in emulation mode -- emulating an Apple II. In addition there would need to be a reasonable consensus on the appropriate way to use fiat money systems in order for such use to be possible. The current use is for the benefit of economic incumbents at the expense of all others. That, and economic theory that defines out of possibility all reasonable solutions,  is the crux of the problem.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 01:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL
What has this got to do with monetary policy? Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation.
Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke Before the National Economists Club, Washington, D.C. (November 21, 2002) Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here.

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 Apr 5th, 2012 at 01:49:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect Bernanke was sent to a re-education camp after becoming Fed Chairman. There he learned Will Rogers' maxim: "Truth is a precious thing. That is why it is used so sparingly."

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 08:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
†WORLD†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:26:29 PM EST
Israeli police evict illegal Hebron settlers - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Israeli forces have evicted a group of settlers from a disputed house in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, a day after they were ordered to leave the property, police said.

"Police have completed the evacuation of the house in Hebron," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Wednesday, indicating 15 people had been escorted off the premises, among them women and children.

No-one was injured in the operation which began shortly after 1:00pm (1000 GMT), and involved police, border police and troops, he said, adding that the eviction was the result of a "government decision".

Six families of Jewish settlers moved into the property a week ago, claiming they had legally purchased one floor of the building from its Palestinian owners.

But the Israeli defence ministry said they had not obtained the necessary military permits for the purchase and on Monday ordered them to leave the premises within 24 hours.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Officials killed in Somalia theatre blast - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Al-Shabab rebels have claimed responsibility for an explosion at Somalia's newly reopened national theatre in Mogadishu that killed at least four people, including two of the country's top sports officials.

Abdirahman Omar Osman, a senior adviser to the Somali prime minister, told Al Jazeera that at least four people were killed and dozens wounded in the blast on Wednesday.

"It was a surprise and shock to us that a suicide bomber could come near Abdiweli Mohamed Ali [the Somali prime minister] who was giving a speech for the relaunch of the national theatre," Osman said.

He added: "I am shocked and saddened by the attack, but luckily the prime minister was not harmed in the incident."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:50:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
India commissions nuclear-powered submarine - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

India has returned to the elite club of countries with a nuclear-powered submarine when by inducting a new
vessel leased from Russia.

AK Antony, the Indian defence minister, formally commissioned the INS Chakra II on Wednesday at its base in Visakhapatnam, a naval shipyard on the country's southeast coast in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

India is particularly keen to strengthen its maritime capabilities, given China's pursuit of a powerful "blue water" navy which Delhi sees as a threat to key shipping routes in the Indian Ocean and Indian energy assets in the South
China Sea.

"This will be a big boost for the Indian navy," Antony told reporters. "The INS Chakra will ensure security and sovereignty of the country," he said in televised remarks.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:50:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria violence rages despite peace pledge - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Syrian forces have attacked several opposition bastions despite a ceasefire pledge, according to activist reports, as Russia said the opposition would never defeat President Bashar al-Assad's army even if "armed to the teeth".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops began shelling several towns and villages early on Wednesday.

"From the Turkish border in the northeast to Daraa in the south, military operations are ongoing," Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based group, told the AFP news agency.

"Tanks are still shelling or storming towns and villages before going back to their bases."

The opposition group said 58 civilians and 18 soldiers were killed on Tuesday in assaults taking place even as Assad pledged to implement by April 10 a peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mali coup leader calls for transition talks - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Mali's coup leaders have called for a national meeting to discuss the country's transition back to civilian rule, as they seek a way out of a growing crisis that has brought debilitating sanctions on the country and further fuelled a Tuareg rebellion in the north.

Coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo told journalists on Tuesday that a national convention would begin on Thursday.

"Yes to the return to a constitutional order, but with a new Mali. Our Mali is sick in the depths of her being ... To this effect, we invite the entire political class and all the actors of society to come without exception to the national convention," he said.

Sanogo, who announced plans last week to restore Mali's constitution, had earlier pledged to call a convention to determine what sort of body should govern before new elections are held



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:51:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - '9/11 planners' to face US trials

The US has formally sent to trial five suspected al-Qaeda militants believed to have planned the 9/11 terror attacks.

The five Guantanamo Bay inmates, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be tried by a military commission.

They will face charges including terrorism, hijacking, conspiracy, murder and destruction of property.

They could face the death penalty if found guilty, the Pentagon confirmed.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:56:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Lashkar-e-Taiba founder decries 'ridiculous' US bounty

The founder of Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has described a $10m (£6.2m) bounty on his head - announced by the US on Tuesday - as "ridiculous and misguided".

Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, Hafiz Saeed said that he was neither a fugitive from American law nor a saboteur hiding in the mountains.

Mr Saeed travels widely in Pakistan from his base in the city of Lahore.

He now heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) group, widely seen as a LeT front.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:56:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC - Adam Curtis Blog

In many ways the story of Gertrude Bell and her family is also the story of the fall of the British Empire. Her grandfather had been a wealthy industrialist who had made his fortune in iron and steel. He then became a powerful Liberal party politician helping to create the global vision of Empire under Disraeli.

Gertrude was one of the generation who then struggled in the 1920s to keep that global vision alive in the face of economic crisis and political and public opposition in Britain - and failed.

Strangely it was Gertrude Bell's half-sister, Mary, who would show the way forward to the next stage of this global vision - a mystical vision of the world in which individuals around the globe were no longer dominated by political power - but instead united by a vague, spiritual force. It was the New Age philosophy  - and Yoga was going to play a central role in this new ideology.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 08:11:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†LIVING OFF THE PLANET†
†Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:26:55 PM EST
Mexican plan for Gulf deepwater wells sparks new worries | McClatchy

MEXICO CITY -- Two years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, Mexico's state oil company is about to test its hand at drilling at extraordinary depths in the Gulf of Mexico.

If all goes as planned, Petroleos de Mexico, known as Pemex, will deploy two state-of-the-art drilling platforms in May to an area just south of the maritime boundary with the United States. One rig will sink a well in 9,514 feet of water, while another will drill in 8,316 feet of water, then deeper into the substrata.

Pemex has no experience drilling at such depths. Mexico's oil regulator is sounding alarm bells, saying the huge state oil concern is unprepared for a serious deepwater accident or spill. Critics say the company has sharply cut corners on insurance, remiss over potential sky-high liability.

Mexico's plans come two years after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. On April 20, 2010, a semi-submersible rig that the British oil firm BP had contracted to drill a well known as Macondo exploded off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and spewing 4.9 million barrels of oil in the nearly three months it took engineers to stop the spill.

BP has said the tab for the spill -- including government fines, cleanup costs and compensation -- could climb to $42 billion for the company and its contractors.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:49:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
10,000 simulations show warming range of 1.4 to 3 degrees by 2050

ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2012) -- A project running almost 10,000 climate simulations on volunteers' home computers has found that a global warming of 3 degrees Celsius by 2050 is 'equally plausible' as a rise of 1.4 degrees.

The study, the first to run so many simulations using a complex atmosphere-ocean climate model, addresses some of the uncertainties that previous forecasts, using simpler models or only a few dozen simulations, may have over-looked.

Importantly, the forecast range is derived from models that accurately reproduce observed temperature changes over the last 50 years.

The results suggest that the world is very likely to cross the '2 degrees barrier' at some point this century if emissions continue unabated, and that those planning for the impacts of climate change need to consider the possibility of warming of up to 3 degrees (above the 1961-1990 average) by 2050 even on a mid-range emission scenario. This is a faster rate of warming than most other models predict.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 01:02:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amount of coldest Antarctic water near ocean floor decreasing for decades

ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2012) -- Scientists have found a large reduction in the amount of the coldest deep ocean water, called Antarctic Bottom Water, all around the Southern Ocean using data collected from 1980 to 2011. These findings, in a study now online, will likely stimulate new research on the causes of this change.

Two oceanographers from NOAA and the University of Washington find that Antarctic Bottom Water has been disappearing at an average rate of about eight million metric tons per second over the past few decades, equivalent to about fifty times the average flow of the Mississippi River or about a quarter of the flow of the Gulf Stream in the Florida Straits.

"Because of its high density, Antarctic Bottom Water fills most of the deep ocean basins around the world, but we found that the amount of this water has been decreasing at a surprisingly fast rate over the last few decades," said lead author Sarah Purkey, graduate student at the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash. "In every oceanographic survey repeated around the Southern Ocean since about the 1980s, Antarctic Bottom Water has been shrinking at a similar mean rate, giving us confidence that this surprisingly large contraction is robust."

Antarctic Bottom Water is formed in a few distinct locations around Antarctica, where seawater is cooled by the overlying air and made saltier by ice formation. The dense water then sinks to the sea floor and spreads northward, filling most of the deep ocean around the world as it slowly mixes with warmer waters above it.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 01:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How Coral Bleaching Could Lead to Famine: Scientific American

For Tim McClanahan, a zoologist studying fisheries, what happened in Kenya during the spring of 1998 was a wake-up call.

Between March and July of that year, a rare climatological double whammy sent ocean temperatures spiking 1 to 2 degrees Celsius above the normal range for spring and summer. An unusually intense El Niño weather pattern coincided with the warm phase of another cyclical area weather event.

This turned out to be a slow-motion disaster. Half the corals in the region bleached and died that year. Some had a 90 percent loss. "The bleaching and mortality event took about six months to fully unfold, but many of the reefs have not recovered even today -- 14 years after the event," said McClanahan, an employee of the Wildlife Conservation Society. He has spent more than 20 years working along Kenya's southeastern coast.

It took four years before scientists could definitively show dramatic declines in three commonly caught species of food fish. The lag and the devastating results got McClanahan thinking about climate change's potential to damage the economies of communities that traditionally rely on fish to eat and fish to sell.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 01:03:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Climate change in 2050: Where's the beef? | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

"What will a day in the life of a Californian be like in 40 years? If the state cuts greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 -- a target mandated by a state executive order -- a person could wake up in a net-zero energy home, commute to work in a battery-powered car, work in an office with smart windows and solar panels, then return home and plug in her car to a carbon-free grid."

That's the opening paragraph to a news release from the US Energy Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Welcome to the future, as envisioned by a study published last month in the journal Science by experts from the Berkeley Lab, the San Francisco-based energy consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Apparently the most forward-looking scenario that these scientists could come up with is one in which a "FutureCalGal" gets an office with windows (smart windows!) and commutes to work alone in her car (battery-powered!). Never mind all those hours she'll be stuck in traffic, what with California's population expected to grow by 46 percent between now and then. FutureCalGal wouldn't dream of telecommuting, living within walking distance of her office, riding a bicycle to work, or taking public transportation. And really, who could expect her to make that kind of sacrifice?

Forget Los Angeles, FutureCalGal -- along with the experts who invented her, virtually every American politician, and even many environmentalists -- lives in a true La La Land. That's the place where earnest citizens are busy erecting photovoltaic panels to run their big-screen TVs, insulating their McMansions, opting for the hybrid crew cab, and changing their light bulbs from incandescents to compact fluorescents. What they aren't changing -- or even talking about changing -- are their lifestyles. But the unthinkable might be the only thing that can save our planet from the uninhabitable.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 01:07:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dawn Stover channeling DeAnander?
by Nomad on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 03:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
anyone miss her writing, she's at http://www.daclarke.net/blog/ aka Facepalm Epoch these days, still penning mighty screeds while getting into the earthy good life. contadina digitale!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 04:27:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks for that, I'm glad to see someone agrees with my prediction about civilisation crash. I feel like Cassandra here

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 09:03:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 10:19:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France's onshore wind program setback as the highest administrative court recommended the tariff program be annulled. Windpower Monthly has the details. Another win for the organized opposition.

Vestas and Gamesa announced significant potential blade root problems on 1000s of turbines installed beginning in 1997. These were the world's major installations until the introduction of the multi-megawatt turbines gradually after the turn of the century.


V-47 at Lubbock TX wind museum

I've been through two generations of blade root problems already, this is now the third. Basically it means the science of modeling loads had flaws, and may still have.   Bloomberg has the details.

On a positive note, with so many thousands of turbines affected, it will likely mean a retrofit blade is designed using the advances made since the turbines were designed in the mid-90s. They could still have another decade of life in them, or more where repowering is not an option.

The V-47s and G-47s, with ratings of 660 kW, are installed worldwide.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 05:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The decree thing is no big deal. It is illustrative of the level of disinterest and incompetence on the part of the French government in all areas of renewable enregy; but they'll soon be gone.

At worst, it will delay a few projects by a few months.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 04:58:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No expert but i'm told at best, "it will delay a few projects by a few months."

We don't yet know the reactions, and who will make what political decisions. French onshore has already been through several variations of hoops which slow development.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 08:55:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Kos: My Take on Nuclear Power

Exelon's 'Nuclear Guy': No New Nukes

"Nuclear power is no longer an economically viable source of new energy in the United States, the freshly-retired CEO of Exelon, America's largest producer of nuclear power, said in Chicago Thursday.

And it won't become economically viable, he said, for the forseeable future.

"Let me state unequivocably (sic!, ed) that I've never met a nuclear plant I didn't like," said John Rowe, who retired 17 days ago as chairman and CEO of Exelon Corporation, which operates 22 nuclear power plants, more than any other utility in the United States.

"Having said that, let me also state unequivocably that new ones don't make any sense right now."



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 06:58:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†LIVING ON THE PLANET†
†Society, Culture, History, Information†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:27:11 PM EST
Second-hand clothing for developing countries - a blessing or a curse? | Globalization | DW.DE | 04.04.2012

Donating for charity - that's what most Germans think they're doing when they drop used clothing into a collection bin. But their donations are a lucrative business that even affects developing countries.

Bags of used jeans, t-shirts, dresses and shirts: Germans are generous when clearing out their closets to donate for charity.

Too generous, perhaps - charitable organisations in Germany meanwhile receive far more clothing than they can pass on to people in need. As a result, respected aid organisations like the Red Cross allow the use of their name and logo to collectors who have a purely commercial agenda.

The used clothes are sorted and then sold, depending on quality, as raw materials to be recycled or as second-hand merchandise. Collecting, sorting and transporting the clothing costs money so in principle, you can't object to its sale, according to Andreas Voget, manager of FairWertung, a federation of charitable and church-associated organisations advocating more transparency and responsibility in second-hand clothing drives.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:41:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
`Pink Slime' Foes Engage in Smear Campaign, Iowa's Branstad Says - Bloomberg
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Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said the campaign against the beef filler called "pink slime" by food activists is a "vicious smear" and called for a congressional probe after more than 200 Iowans lost their jobs.

Beef Products Inc., which treats the lean beef trimmings with ammonia hydroxide to kill pathogens, has suspended operations at three plants, including one in Iowa, because of consumer concerns about the product.

"There has been a vicious smear campaign run against it, and we think that this is wrong," Branstad, a 65-year-old Republican, said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "InBusiness with Margaret Brennan." "We think that the public is entitled to know the truth."

The shuttered plants are in Garden City, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; and Waterloo, Iowa (8061MF). The suspension at the plant in Waterloo affects 220 jobs, Branstad said today. He visited a plant in Nebraska with fellow Republican governors Rick Perry of Texas and Sam Brownback of Kansas, he said.

"All of the evidence is c



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:57:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
`Pink Slime' Foes in Smear Campaign, Iowa's Branstad Says - Bloomberg
McDonald's dropped the ingredient to be "consistent with our global beef-supply chain," according to a statement from the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company.

There's your clue : Only in America could this gunk be sold as food.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 04:52:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In most African countries they beg to differ.

This is a massive war of communication (yet again), between industries with a heavy financial interest and concerned environmentalist groups that tackle small outliers in their aim to fight bio-industry at large. Except that the discussion is playing heavily on citizen fears and industry mistrust, and very little on facts on the ground.

The use of ammonia and the existing unease on the industralisation of how we process our daily food seems to be the real topic.

Anyway, if it's decided processed meat scraps no longer go into food products, it'll probably end up in pet food.

by Nomad on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 05:15:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These kind of scraps always used to go into pet food. Why was a decision made to feed them to humans, when we are already overproducing and overconsuming meat? I can't see anything beyond increased profit margins made possible by the industrialisation of food production and the integration of consumption patterns into supermarket and fast-food chain habits.

In other words, this is not an outlier, but a symptom of a systemic problem.

As for Africans, it seems to me they would probably prefer sufficient quantities of the foodstuffs they traditionally produce and eat, rather than adulterated scraps that fall from the tables of the rich.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 05:46:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
As for Africans, it seems to me they would probably prefer sufficient quantities of the foodstuffs they traditionally produce and eat, rather than adulterated scraps that fall from the tables of the rich.

The 'gunk' - the scraps and intestines - are used in traditional African meals. The difference is that in traditional Africa don't add ammonia to get rid of the bacteria but just boil the stuff for a day, or two. What's more, in South Africa there are developing markets for 'gunk' products because also the growing middle class still eat traditional dishes. Better than reprocessing stuff as pet food or as fuel for the incinerators, seems to me. What the 'tables of the rich' have to do with that, beats me.

I can't see anything wrong with using every scrap of meat from a butchered animal into a food product, and I hardly believe that you'd feel different about this.

As I wrote the 'problem' is the common unease that we have in modern/western society with the ways invented to produce enough food for, say, a billion people on one day.

The controversy is nothing but a perfect clash by the society's wish to ostracize on an uncomfortable topic (daily mass-slaughter) and the unwillingness of the industry to come clean on topics, particularly on topics that makes people uncomfortable in the first place.

But getting worked up on banning edible products just because of ick-factors seems a fine way to me to get more cows slaughtered, not less.

by Nomad on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 08:59:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nomad:
What the 'tables of the rich' have to do with that, beats me.

You appeared to me to be suggesting Africans would gladly avail themselves of ammonia-treated scraps from America. What you now explain was far from clear in your first comment.

Nomad:

I can't see anything wrong with using every scrap of meat from a butchered animal into a food product, and I hardly believe that you'd feel different about this.

If it is in fact a traditional use, and not the industrial recycling of what used to go to animal feed, glue, etc. In which case Africans (some Africans at least) could be cited along with many others on the planet, not least (some) Europeans.

Nomad:

As I wrote the 'problem' is the common unease that we have in modern/western society with the ways invented to produce enough food for, say, a billion people on one day.

This meat-scraps thing has nothing to do with "feeding the world" (the usual excuse trotted out by the agro-food industry). It has everything to do with the search for higher added value and profit.

You seem to be saying that the "unease" you diagnose is somehow naive or wrong-headed. On the contrary, productivist agriculture and the food industry's marketing of poor-quality food are inadequate responses to the problem of feeding a rising population.  

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 10:02:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only in Africa...

You won't teach rural dwellers in France much about not wasting animal protein.

Personally I often buy offal, but I wouldn't voluntarily buy factory scraps which had been extensively reprocessed then sterilized.

People have a right to know what they are buying.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 10:10:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The major problem is that Americans typically don't know, and don't care to know, what goes into their food. If the "ground beef" in McDonald's henceforth contains only ground beef, as it does in the rest of the world, then that's good.

(Are you alleging that McDonald's sells the same substandard beef in Africa? I have no idea.)

Awareness and transparency are good things. The industry will fight both, as they always have.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 06:47:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See above.

Should answer your question on McDonald's and my take on awareness and transparency.

by Nomad on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 09:00:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eat yer sliiiiime and smiiile.

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 Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 07:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Science Integrity Effort Hits Troubled Water: Scientific American

When President Barack Obama announced a government-wide effort to protect federal science from political interference, the Department of the Interior (DOI) took an early lead. In 2011, it became the first agency to finalize a new policy on scientific integrity and it has hired ten scientific-integrity officers to work with staff in its various bureaus. But the DOI may also be the first to run into a problem with the way the policies are implemented, as one of those officers claims to have been fired for upholding the guidelines.

"I thought I was doing the job I was hired to do and was doing the right thing. I was stifled," says Paul Houser, a hydrologist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., who was appointed as scientific-integrity officer for the DOI's Bureau of Reclamation in April 2011. Houser was fired on February 10 and filed a complaint under the DOI's scientific-integrity policy two weeks later.

Houser alleges that he lost his job because he raised concerns with the DOI about the way it had represented the science behind a plan to remove four hydroelectric dams from a stretch of the Klamath River that straddles the California-Oregon border. DOI spokeswoman Kate Kelly declined to say why Houser had been fired. But watchdog groups say that Houser's complaint underscores the need for protections for those tasked with enforcing the new policies.

"There are things the president has to lead on and whistle-blower protection is one of them," says Francesca Grifo, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' scientific-integrity program in Washington, D.C.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 01:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Evidence that human ancestors used fire one million years ago

ScienceDaily (Apr. 2, 2012) -- An international team led by the University of Toronto and Hebrew University has identified the earliest known evidence of the use of fire by human ancestors. Microscopic traces of wood ash, alongside animal bones and stone tools, were found in a layer dated to one million years ago at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.

"The analysis pushes the timing for the human use of fire back by 300,000 years, suggesting that human ancestors as early as Homo erectus may have begun using fire as part of their way of life," said U of T anthropologist Michael Chazan, co-director of the project and director of U of T's Archaeology Centre.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on April 2.

Wonderwerk is a massive cave located near the edge of the Kalahari where earlier excavations by Peter Beaumont of the McGregor Museum in Kimberley, South Africa, had uncovered an extensive record of human occupation. A research project, co-directed by U of T's Chazan and Liora Kolska Horwitz of Hebrew University, has been doing detailed analysis of the material from Beaumont's excavation along with renewed field work on the Wonderwerk site.

Analysis of sediment by lead authors Francesco Berna and Paul Goldberg (pictured below right) of Boston University revealed ashed plant remains and burned bone fragments, both of which appear to have been burned locally rather than carried into the cave by wind or water. The researchers also found extensive evidence of surface discoloration that is typical of burning.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 01:02:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Homo erectus was a fantastically successful hominid species and not as dumb as some people like to think.  Brain size of the species is given as 850 - 1,100 cubic centimeters versus measurements of homo sapiens of 975 - 1,498 cubic centimeters.  To be sure, cortical folding is a much more important factor and gross measurements, such as cubic centimeters, are only indicative of mental ability.  However, comparing chimpanzee brain size (300 to 500 cc) and observable behavior it's easy to complex behavior, such as controlling fire, would be within their capability.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 11:56:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uteruses, how do they work? | Megan Carpentier | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
we American women find ourselves being told by legislators in Arizona - those benighted do-gooders behind the anti-Latino "show us your papers" law and the anti-Obama "show us your circumcision" - that, in fact, pregnancy will no longer begin at conception. Instead, we're told, we'll soon be legally considered pregnant in the state of Arizona as of the date of our last period, which, as that silly godless "science" tells us, is usually about two weeks before we ovulate.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 11:11:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†PEOPLE AND KLATSCH†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:35:41 PM EST
An artist of great courage from the same period as today's feature:



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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:39:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Rosenberg's son Abel (Meerapol), under the pen name of Lewis Allen, wrote the anti-lynching song "Strange Fruit," made famous of course by Billie Holiday.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 05:47:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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