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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 8 April

by afew Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 04:10:17 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1820 – the Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos.

More here and here

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


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 09:10:45 AM EST
Britons' trust in leaders' economic policy hits low | Reuters

(Reuters) - Britons' trust in their leaders' ability to steer the country through current economic troubles has fallen to its lowest point since the government announced its spending review in October 2010, according to an opinion poll released on Friday.

Only 31 percent of those questioned expressed trust in Prime Minister David Cameron's management of the economy, and only 21 percent trusted that of Chancellor George Osborne - both record lows, the ComRes survey for ITV News showed.

Trust in Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems, the coalition partner, also hit a new low, of 15 percent.


Would you trust either of these men with an economic policy?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the goal is to enslave the population, sure.

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 Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 05:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nick clegg is at 15% ?? That high ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 07:45:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
amazed he's in double figures

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 09:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Serial killer fears grow in France after Paris deaths

Fears are growing that a serial killer may be operating in the French capital following four similar murders there since November.

The killings were all carried out in and around Paris, reportedly with the same gun. The latest was on Thursday.

A serial liar may also be on the loose. Watch out.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:43:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Bosnia-Hercegovina marks 20th anniversary of war

Ceremonies in Sarajevo are marking 20 years since the start of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, a conflict that saw the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

The conflict began in April 1992 as part of the break-up of Yugoslavia.

About 100,000 people were killed and nearly half the population forced from their homes in four years of fighting.

Red chairs have filled the street in Sarajevo where the conflict began - 11,541, one for each victim there.

People have been putting flowers on some of the chairs. A teddy bear, toys and schoolbooks were placed on the smaller ones that symbolise the hundreds of children killed during the four-year long siege by Serb forces.

Sarajevans were asked to stop what they were doing at 12:00 GMT for an hour to mark the start of the conflict.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:44:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A piece written by David Wilde and played by YoYo Ma to honor the cellist Vedran Smailović who played at funerals and in ruined buildings during the seige of Sarajevo.  

by ElaineinNM on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 04:52:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is all very sad...but did they mention tat victims were of all nationalities? My husband lost quite a few of his relatives...and e is a Serb...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 05:59:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's so hard to understand how friends could turn on each other over religion.  But it happened in the US when brothers fought on different sides of the civil war, over race and economics.  
by ElaineinNM on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 07:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not hard to understand, since religious ideas go to the heart of a person's approach to all the important questions of life.

And, in the case of Bosnia, it wasn't really about religion. It was classic tribal warfare. In this case religion, language, nationality and ethnicity all spit up along the same lines.

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 Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 08:31:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes it was not that much about religion in Bosnia. Religion was simply used for political reasons (easy to do this anywhere let alone in Balkans with its history). It was (as it always is) about POWER and money...and it was not JUST their battle (strings were pulled elsewhere on all sides). Sad thing about wars is that people die, they suffer tremendously and in the end politicians (all kinds involved nationally and internationally) just sit down and make a deal (sometimes/often even bad one for the people). For them people are just numbers...for those who lost their dear ones it's a different story.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 10:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oops, I meant a 4.  
by ElaineinNM on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 07:20:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can change (but not remove) a rating by simply re-applying the correct rating.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 03:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks
by ElaineinNM on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 10:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Parliament struggles to recruit English-language interpreters | EurActiv

Thirty years on, Margaret Thatcher's education policies have created a shortage of skills in the EU institutions, which are struggling to recruit English-language interpreters and translators. The UK's House of Lords has called on the government to address Britain's "monoglot culture" by re-instating compulsory language classes in schools.

"For years, we've been having great difficulty recruiting English people," said Miguel Angel Martinez, a Spanish deputy in charge of the European Parliament's multilingualism policy.

The EU Assembly was struggling to recruit native English speakers for its interpretation and translation services, he told EurActiv in an interview.

The issue has also been raised by the European Commission, which warned in 2009 that EU institutions were likely to face an acute shortage of English-language interpreters by 2015, when the current generation of officials retire.

Martinez said the skills shortage was "due to the fact that language teaching has been removed [from school curricula] during the days of Ms Thatcher because the British thought they would no longer need it."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:47:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember being told by a translator friend that the biggest problem was the number of foreigners who are so used to watching US/English TV with subtitles that they have native-level english as standard who were simply more adaptable. The British are almost never able to offer native level (translator definition) speaking of other languages.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 08:00:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Professional translators are practically always hired to translate towards their real native language. You don't acquire native level by watching TV.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 03:10:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / Resignation at EU drugs agency highlights ethics issues

BRUSSELS - A top scientist within the EU agency authorising new drugs resigned on Wednesday (4 April) after being fired from France's national regulator, itself embroiled in scandals over poisonous diabetes drugs and failing breast implants.

Eric Abadie, a French specialist in diabetes and heart-related diseases, had for the past five years been chaired a panel of experts giving scientific advice to the European Medicines Agency on authorising the sale of new drugs on the EU market.

"I am not aware of any criminal charges made against Dr Abadie," Martin Harvey, a spokesman for the London-based EU agency told this website, adding that his resignation was linked to the other job Abadie was holding as top scientific adviser of France's national medicines regulatory body.

... The French agency meanwhile has come under intense scrutiny for not having withdrawn authorisation for "Mediator", a diabetes drug - Abadie's field of expertise according to his CV - that was already banned in other countries and that is blamed for having killed at least 500 patients in France. Since December, the agency is also being accused of having given a green light to faulty breast implants filled with poisonous industrial silicone made by the now bankrupt French producer PIP.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:51:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - US sentence for arms dealer Bout 'political' - Russia

Moscow has condemned the US prison sentence for arms dealer Viktor Bout as "political" and says the case will be a priority in relations with Washington.

Bout was jailed for 25 years by a judge in New York for attempting to sell heavy arms to Colombian rebels intending to attack US pilots.

The ex-Soviet officer, who is suspected of dealing in arms since the 1990s, insists he is innocent of the charge.

Moscow may seek to have him transferred to Russia to serve his sentence.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:55:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Due West: Bout's Sentence Poses Dilemma for Moscow | Columnists | RIA Novosti

The hysteria surrounding Viktor Bout, a 45-year old Russian with a murky past, convicted by a U.S. court of conspiring to kill American citizens and sentenced to 25 years in jail,  surpasses everything the Russian government has ever done to defend one of its citizens abroad.

It's certainly on a par with the time Russia extracted two of its agents caught in Qatar after assassinating former Chechen separatist leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in 2004.

Emotions have rarely abated ever since Mr. Bout was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 in a sting operation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and then extradited to the U.S. in 2010 to stand trial.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:56:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Police launch new raids on suspected radical Islamists - FRANCE - FRANCE 24
In a second major raid in two weeks, French police arrested at least eight people early Wednesday in the southern city of Marseilles as well as Roubaix near the Belgian border, and in several other locations in southern France.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 03:34:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Les "islamistes" interpellés mercredi ont tous été relâchés The "Islamists" arrested Wednesday were all released
Les six dernières personnes encore en garde à vue après leur interpellation mercredi matin dans le cadre d'une opération visant des islamistes radicaux présumés ont été relâchées vendredi 6 avril sans être poursuivies par la justice dans l'immédiat. Sur les dix personnes arrêtées, quatre avaient déjà été remises en liberté jeudi soir.The last six people still in custody after their arrest Wednesday morning in an operation targeting suspected radical Islamists were released Friday, April 6 without no charges immediately. Of the ten people arrested, four had been released Thursday night.
La médiatisation mercredi de cette nouvelle opération policière avait été critiquée par des rivaux du président-candidat Nicolas Sarkozy. François Bayrou avait dénoncé une "mise en scène", François Hollande estimant que "nous aurions dû, pu, peut-être, faire davantage avant".The media coverage on Wednesday of this new police operation had been criticized by rivals of the president candidate Nicolas Sarkozy . Bayrou had denounced a "staging" , Francois Hollande saying that "perhaps we should, could, have done more before"
L'actuel locataire de la Place Beauvau, Claude Guéant, s'est défendu vendredi, assurant que "ce n'est pas le ministre de l'intérieur" qui prévient les médias et regrettant "que les interpellations se fassent sous le regard des caméras".The current tenant of Place Beauvau (Interior Ministry), Claude Guéant, defended himself Friday, ensuring that "it is not the Interior Minister" who tips off the media, and regretting "that arrests should be carried out filmed by TV cameras ".

Who Could Have Predicted?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 03:34:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds very much like UK police behaviour under Blunkett and Reid during the blair govt

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 08:01:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More like Sarko behaviour a couple of weeks from the presidential election...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 03:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 09:11:12 AM EST
Japan passes $1.1 trillion budget

Japan passed a 90.3 trillion yen ($1.1 trillion) budget on Thursday, with about half the spending expected to be financed by new bonds that will add to Japan's massive debt mountain.

Although the opposition-controlled upper house of parliament voted down the budget earlier in the day, it was still passed after a draft was approved last month in Japan's lower chamber.

"The budget bill was enacted, based on the constitution," a parliamentary official said.

Decisions by the powerful lower house have priority in case of conflict with the upper house and automatically become law 30 days after being sent to the upper chamber.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 11:59:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Housing secretary pushes mortgage write-downs | Reuters

(Reuters) - The Obama administration wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which finance the bulk of U.S. mortgages, to start reducing loan balances for troubled borrowers, but with safeguards to prevent them from purposely defaulting to obtain relief.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan laid out the case for a program with such checks and balances to convince the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the companies, to provide more mortgage aid.

"This isn't about force; this is about making the right decision for homeowners and for the taxpayers," Donovan said in an interview taped for C-SPAN's public affairs television that was set to air on Sunday.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:06:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis: Cautious Wal-Mart missing out on Russia's retail boom | Reuters

(Reuters) - Retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) has let caution thwart its ambitions in Russia, and will find profits harder to come by if it delays getting a foothold in the vast market catering to 140 million people.

Fearful of getting hamstrung by Russia's complicated and time-consuming bureaucracy, the world number one retailer has been outmaneuvered by its European peers - Auchan AUCH.UL and Metro (MEOG.DE) have become the third and fourth biggest food retailers in the $300 billion-plus market.

It has missed out on the 30 percent-plus sales growth currently enjoyed by Russian retailers - now likely to slow as companies start to realise that further growth will depend on expansion into Russia's less wealthy provinces.

Most shoppers in Russia's cities have embraced supermarkets and malls since the fall of Communism over 20 years ago, overcoming suspicions about freshness and quality.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Insight: Young Chinese workers seek end to eating bitterness | Reuters

(Reuters) - In the eight years since Zhang Shuxiang first left her village in the poor interior of central China, she worked in 20 factories before coming to the assembly line of a Foxconn plant making products for tech firms including Apple. She wants it to be her last.

The 26-year-old has worked in factories making products as varied as coffee makers, jewelry, Apple's LED screens and now computer motherboards. Each time, she quit, blaming low wages and unreasonable supervisors and joined yet another factory.

"Factory work is too tiring," she said when asked about life after Foxconn, which she plans to leave by June.

"Since last year, I've kept on telling myself I would never want to enter a factory ever again, but I'm still doing it in spite of myself."

She embodies the shifting expectations and opportunities of tens of millions of young Chinese workers from the countryside who have turned their country into a workshop of the world.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Her workday is about eight hours and she is given eight days off a month."

Hmmm.

by asdf on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 07:33:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The United States as #2 - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Washington, DC - Politicians in the United States must ritualistically assert that the US is and always will be the world's leading economic, military and political power. This chant may help win elections in a country where respectable people deny global warming and evolution, but it has nothing to do with the real world.

Those familiar with the data know that China is rapidly gaining on the US as the world's leading economic power. According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China's economy is currently about 80 per cent of the size of the US economy. It is projected to pass the US by 2016.

However, there is a considerable degree of uncertainty about these numbers. It is difficult to accurately compare the output of countries with very different economies. By many measures China is already well ahead of the US.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:22:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those familiar with the data know that China is rapidly gaining on the US as the world's leading economic power.

What does this mean, what is its significance, and why should I give a rat's ass? Will the Miss Universe Pageant be all Chinese? Will new movies have all Chinese actors? What?

Hey, if the Chinese show up at my doorstep with crisp $20 and $100 bills and want tutoring, bring 'em on. Their money spends the same as everyone else.

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 Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 05:54:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, new movies will have all Chinese actors.

And you should give a rat's ass because the Chinese have decided not to show up on your doorstep with crisp bills of any denomination or currency. Partially because they've already analyzed your usefullness, and partly because they don't give a rat's ass.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 07:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, they have shipped us tons and tons of disposable plastic junk (and electronics), and we have shipped them pieces of paper. Sounds like a fair trade to me...
by asdf on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 07:35:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Euro Set for Biggest Weekly Drop in 7 Months on Debt Woes - Bloomberg

The euro headed for the biggest weekly drop against the yen in seven months as Spain's rising borrowing costs fueled concern that the region is failing to contain its debt crisis.

The 17-nation currency traded at almost a three-week low versus the dollar before data next week that may show German exports fell and growth in French industrial production slowed, adding to evidence that the fiscal woes are hampering the region's economies. Demand for the greenback was supported as data indicating a recovery in the U.S. labor market damped speculation the Federal Reserve will add new stimulus. The yen gained against its peers as Asian stocks fell for a third day.

"We haven't seen any major improvements in the European debt situation," said Marito Ueda, senior managing director in Tokyo at FX Prime Corp. (8711), a currency-margin company. "After Greece, investors may be beginning to shift their focus onto countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy. I expect the euro will gradually sink as the region's economy deteriorates."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:29:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dollar Falls as Payrolls Trail Forecast, Adding Fed Bets - Bloomberg
The dollar fell against the yen and euro after U.S. employers added fewer jobs than forecast in March, reviving bets the Federal Reserve will increase stimulus, or quantitative easing, which may debase the currency.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:29:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...which may debase the currency.

You're a crappy currency ... nobody loves you, including your mother!

It needed to be said.

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 Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 05:57:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody loves it except those millions of people who make the $100 bill the international standard denomination for safekeeping of personal wealth and for illegal cash transfers.
by asdf on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 07:45:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Swiss Franc Showdown Looms as Jordan Defends SNB Ceiling - Bloomberg

Swiss National Bank (SNBN) interim Chairman Thomas Jordan is facing a showdown with investors as his currency policy endures the biggest credibility test to date.

Within minutes of the franc breaching the 1.20 ceiling versus the euro yesterday for the first time since the measure was introduced on Sept. 6, the central bank declared its determination to fight any further attacks. Jordan, 49, is now in a face-off with investors probing just how far he will go to enforce that threat.

"It's a wake-up call for the SNB," said Peter Rosenstreich, chief foreign-exchange strategist at Swissquote Bank SA in Geneva. "They've been very successful with their verbal intervention and this is a classic street fight between central banks and markets. Their credibility is going to be questioned and they'll have to respond in some way."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:31:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trading Their Way Out of Trouble - IPS ipsnews.net
KARACHI, Apr 6, 2012 (IPS) - Azhar Karimjee (52), an exporter based in Karachi, is eyeing the "huge market", comprised of the Indian middle class, for his Bermuda and cargo shorts and chino pants once trade links open between Pakistan and India.

Having done business in Europe since the 1980s, Karimjee considers Pakistan's decision to accord India the long awaited Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status by October 2012, to be a harbinger of prosperity.

"While India has a monopoly over ladies' garments (made of finer quality fabric) we have an edge over them in men's clothing, made of twill and canvas," Karimjee told IPS.

Although India granted Pakistan MFN status back in 1996, Pakistan hitherto only allowed India to trade some 2,000 items.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:42:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://thedepression.org.au/

Krugman and land rents

In case you've not caught up with it in the blogosphere, Steve Keen has just completed wiping the floor with Nobel Prize Laureate Paul Krugman. Keen has proved that banking and debt does indeed matter.

See it on Steve's blogsite, or you can see a video summary here.

For all his quotability, it's not the first time Krugman has been found wrong. He also exasperated Mason Gaffney:-

"Standard economists go with the flow and pass the results along as though they must be true, because they are official. Then we find in a standard textbook by Krugman and Wells of Princeton University that rent was only 1% of U.S. income in 2004. [Krugman, Paul, and Robin Wells, 2006, Economics, New York, Worth Publishers, p.283] Krugman seems to be pro-labor, why would he endorse such a mythical figure with its implication that labor must pay all the taxes - the Curse of Caesar added to the Curse of Adam? It seems to be because his source, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, says so. There is no examination of definitions or methods. "Mainstream" economists read mainly each other, while writing for the rest of the world. Like semi-conductors, their data flow only one way."

[Mason Gaffney, 2009, The hidden taxable capacity of land: enough and to spare, International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 36 Issue 4, pp.328 - 411]

.....

Is it too conspiratorial to suggest the neo-classical game is over once the true extent of publicly-generated land rent becomes known?

And that, as a consequence of not capturing this rent for public finance, it is the combination of income taxes and high land prices (i.e. the private capitalisation of land rent) that created the impossible debt which is crashing world economies?


by kjr63 on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 08:19:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it too conspiratorial to suggest the neo-classical game is over once the true extent of publicly-generated land rent becomes known?

Yes.

And that, as a consequence of not capturing this rent for public finance, it is the combination of income taxes and high land prices (i.e. the private capitalisation of land rent) that created the impossible debt which is crashing world economies?

No.

This has been another edition of "simple answers to simple questions.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Apr 9th, 2012 at 12:13:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 09:11:28 AM EST
Mali junta says power transfer 'within days' - Africa - Al Jazeera English

The leaders of Mali's coup and neighbouring countries have reached a deal under which the two-week-old military junta will hand over power in return for the end of trade and diplomatic sanctions.

Mali's military junta and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc announced the deal on Malian state television late on Friday.

Under the plan, signed by mediators and junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, the military government will hand over power to parliament speaker Diouncounda Traore who will be sworn in as interim president with a mission to organise elections.

Sanogo said the new prime minister and a national unity government will be put in place "in the next few days".

The deal also includes the lifting of sanctions clamped by ECOWAS on Mali and an amnesty for those involved in the coup.

The embargo included the closing of all borders of ECOWAS states with Mali except for humanitarian reasons, closing to Mali access to ECOWAS ports, and the freezing of Malian bank accounts.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria deaths increase despite UN deadline - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

At least 70 people have been killed in shelling and firefights between government troops and army defectors in Syria, according to reports.

The deaths on Saturday were reported from the cities of Homs, Hama and Aleppo by Syrian opposition groups and Al Jazeera sources.

The Local Co-ordination Committees activist network said on Saturday that at least 24 people were killed in the village of al-Latamneh in the suburbs of the city of Hama.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the al-Latamneh death toll at 27.

The group said most of those people were killed by shells fired as troops tried to storm al-Latamneh after clashes with defectors there over the past two days.

Farther to the south, at Qusayr in central Homs province, three civilians were killed, including a woman, a child and a defector from the police, said the UK-based activist group.

At least 77 people were killed across Syria on Thursday and 35 on Friday, most of them civilians, according to figures by the Syrian Observatory.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Syria fighting 'kills 100' ahead of ceasefire

At least 100 people have died on one of the bloodiest days in the Syrian uprising, according to unverified reports, days ahead of a ceasefire.

Clandestine monitors inside Syria say more than 30 died in Latamneh, a suburb of the city of Hama, as a result of government shelling.

Video said to be from Homs showed 13 victims of an apparent mass execution.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned the government not to use the impending truce as an "excuse for killing".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They'll have peace alright ... the peace of the graveyard, and Assy ain't goin' nowhere. Just watch. He's had it too good, too long.

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 Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 06:00:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 09:11:53 AM EST
Pesticides linked to honeybee decline - The Ecologist
The first study conducted in a natural environment has shown that systemic pesticides damage bees' ability to navigate

Common crop pesticides have been shown for the first time to seriously harm bees by damaging their renowned ability to navigate home.

The new research strongly links the pesticides to the serious decline in honey bee numbers in the US and UK - a drop of around 50 per cent in the last 25 years. The losses pose a threat to food supplies as bees pollinate a third of the food we eat such as tomatoes, beans, apples and strawberries.

Scientists found that bees consuming one pesticide suffered an 85 per cent loss in the number of queens their nests produced, while another study showed a doubling in "disappeared" bees - those that failed to return from food foraging trips. The significance of the new work, published Science, is that it is the first carried out in realistic, open-air conditions.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 11:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Processed red meat: The worst of two worlds | Grist

The meat industry has fallen on hard times. After a steady decline in meat consumption in past years, it took a couple of hard hits last month, with the breaking of the pink slime scandal, followed a week later by the publication of a Harvard study linking red meat to a higher mortality risk. If you're feeling a little less hungry for a burger these days, it's no wonder.

Pink slime aside, does red meat really deserve such a bad name? Or is it what's added to red meat that's to blame? The Harvard study was not the first to suggest that red meat is bad for us, but it was the first to differentiate unprocessed and processed red meat and identify a relatively greater risk involved when eating a processed product than, say, pure, unadulterated steak. What makes processed meat worse? The study authors surmise it's the additives and preservatives.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 11:54:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean, pink slime aside? I LOVE my pink slime. I bathe in it. I run naked down the street coated with the stuff. The neighbors give me weird looks but what the hell.

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 Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 06:03:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima leak may have flowed into Pacific: TEPCO

About 12 tonnes of radioactive water has leaked at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, with the facility's operator saying Thursday that some may have flowed into the Pacific Ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the leak was found early Thursday from a pipe attached to a temporary decontamination system, and the water had already gone through some of the cleansing process.

The water, once it has been used to cool the reactors, contains massive amounts of radioactive substances and is put into the water-processing facility so it can be recycled for use as a coolant.

"Our officials confirmed that cooling water leaked at a joint in the pipes," a TEPCO spokesman told AFP, adding that "it is possible that part of the water may have flowed outside the facility and poured into the ocean".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 11:59:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What the future of water means to business

Over the past decade, Ford Motor Co. has set out to reduce the amount of an important natural resource it uses in the production of its vehicles. What precious liquid has the automotive company set its sights on? The humble three-atom compound H2O.

"World Water Day is March 22," reads a company news release, "but every day is Water Day for Ford Motor Company."

The rising price of nature's other most valuable resource -- oil -- may dominate the headlines but Ford and other companies are quietly examining how water, regarded for decades as virtually free, may one day have a bigger affect on their bottom line.

PepsiCo Inc., a company that relies heavily on water for its products, draws a direct line between water efficiency and business growth.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exclusive - Safety check backlog at UK oil rigs | Reuters

(Reuters) - The North Sea's dwindling oil and gas reserves are pushing companies to tap unstable reservoirs at high pressure and extreme heat, while safety checks and maintenance are behind schedule, a North Sea rig auditor who works for the industry told Reuters.

French oil major Total is battling to stem a 12-day gas leak at its North Sea Elgin platform after a series of technical failures that industry sources say reflect wider lapses across Britain's offshore industry.

The auditor, an engineer and a union official said a range of measures designed to prevent a leak must have failed on Elgin, allowing gas to escape to the surface.

Total did not return requests for comment on issues raised by this report.

"There is a worrying backlog of maintenance on safety-critical equipment, including release valves, pipelines and sub-sea fail-safe devices," said the auditor, an oil industry professional with more than a decade's experience of safety systems and procedures.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:12:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 09:12:15 AM EST
Scientists find evidence that human ancestors used fire one million years ago

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 will be 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.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:03:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libertarians get medieval on women - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Brooklyn, NY - There's recently been an eruption in the United States over the question of birth control. The controversy was initially prompted by the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which mandates that employers provide insurance that covers birth control prescriptions. Earlier this year, right-wingers began to charge that that provision of the ACA threatens religious freedom - the freedom of employers, like universities and hospitals that are run by the Catholic Church, not to be compelled to pay for their employees' birth control. A compromise was quickly reached.

But that didn't stifle the controversy. It has continued to play a major role in the Republican primaries, and states like Arizona are now moving toward legislation that would not only exempt employers from having to provide birth control if they have religious or moral objections to it, but would also allow those employers to interrogate their employees about why they use birth control.

... This whole debate recently led Mike Konczal, a blogger at the Roosevelt Institute, back to Ludwig von Mises' classic 1922 text Socialism. Mises was a pioneering economist of the Austrian School, whose political writings have inspired multiple generations of libertarian activists in the US and elsewhere.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:21:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... would also allow those employers to interrogate their employees about why they use birth control.

Let's see, reasonable responses ...

Aaaaah, what the hell. It'd only get this comment yanked.

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 Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 06:08:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
World's Dictators More Scared of Tweets Than Opposing Armies - IPS ipsnews.net
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 6, 2012 (IPS) - In his keynote address to the Global Colloquium of University Presidents at New York's Columbia University last week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke of the growing power exercised by the world's younger generation in an age of high- speed technology and the information superhighway.

"To unleash the power of young people, we need to partner with them. This is what the United Nations is trying to do," he added, announcing his decision to appoint a U.N. Special Adviser on Youth.

"Some dictators in our world are more afraid of tweets than they are of opposing armies," he declared, pointing out the rising political clout of the younger generation.

The United States, which is holding the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of April, also has plans for the participation of youth in the U.N.'s most powerful political body.

At a press conference Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the United States wants to return to the theme of youth, and do it in a somewhat different way.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:40:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When the tweeters ARE the opposing army, then the fun starts.

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 Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 06:10:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regulate marijuana billboard grabs eyes near Mile High Stadium

A new billboard unveiled Thursday by the group just blocks away from Mile High Stadium in Denver shows a smiling woman with her arms folded, next to the text: "For many reasons, I prefer... marijuana over alcohol. Does that make me a bad person? RegulateMarijuana.org."

"That's what we want to talk to Coloradans right now," Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the campaign, told Raw Story on Friday. "We're trying to educate them about why it is that marijuana is safer than alcohol. If you look at every objective study comparing the safety of the two, you'll see that marijuana is clearly safer than alcohol."



You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 02:02:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Waiting for menthol flavored, low tar, filtered reefers. And the associated tax revenue...
by asdf on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 10:37:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Naah. Homegrew = homebrew. Same rules should apply.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 10:48:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LAT: More than 110,000 active-duty Army troops last year took antidepressants, sedatives and other prescription medications. Some see a link to aberrant behavior.

"We have never medicated our troops to the extent we are doing now.... And I don't believe the current increase in suicides and homicides in the military is a coincidence," said Bart Billings, a former military psychologist who hosts an annual conference on combat stress.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 02:30:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 09:12:35 AM EST
BBC Sport - Boat Race: Oxford & Cambridge interrupted by swimmer

A dramatic 158th Boat Race had to be halted midway through because of a swimmer in the River Thames, with Cambridge winning the restarted race.

The Oxford and Cambridge boats were side by side after 10 minutes and 30 seconds when the sight of a man in the river forced them to stop.

It was decided the two boats would return to the halfway point to restart.

Cambridge went on to win with ease after Oxford broke an oar in a clash moments after the resumption.

Oxford bow man Alex Woods collapsed in the boat after they crossed the line and was transferred to the race launch for medical treatment, before being taken to Charing Cross Hospital.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:53:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 02:12:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First link links not where you wanted.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Apr 8th, 2012 at 08:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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