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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 11 January

by In Wales Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:09:16 PM EST

A Daily Review Of International Online Media


  


Europe on this date in history:

1787 - Sir Frederick William Herschel, discovers Titania and Oberon, two moons of Uranus.

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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:45:20 PM EST
Merkel's challenger is his own worst enemy | Germany | DW.DE | 10.01.2013

Peer Steinbrück was supposed to be the man of the hour in the SPD's fight for the chancellorship in September. He has turned into something else entirely. Is it a political calculation or an act of self-destruction?

For 100 days now Peer Steinbrück has been the candidate of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) for the post of chancellor. And over those 100 days, his headlines have been going from bad to worse.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:50:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catholic Church abuse study stopped | Germany | DW.DE | 10.01.2013

It was supposed to provide a great deal of enlightenment on the Catholic Church's abuse scandal. But now, researchers and bishops are parting ways after a bitter disagreement over a report on the affair.

The goal was clear: the abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church to its core since the beginning of 2010, was supposed to be addressed seamlessly. The church leadership wanted to investigate the abuse cases in detail in which priests and others abused young people - going back as far as 1945. To carry out the study seriously and objectively, the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) brought in the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN). The scientists from Hanover were to be granted access to all personnel records of the past decade in all 27 dioceses.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Errors are part of the system | Germany | DW.DE | 10.01.2013

Many large construction projects in Germany have been delayed and end up costing much more than projected. Experts in the field say that these problems are built into the bidding and contracting system.

The construction of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg, the rebuilding of the Stuttgart train station and the botched installations of Berlin's new and as yet unopened airport are only the most prominent examples. Germany's major construction sites are often plagued by delays and excessive cost overruns, feeding the impression that Germans just can't get things right.

And indeed, it seems that, generally, something is out of kilter. This is perhaps best illustrated by the simple fact that there are now legions of experts who do nothing but analyze mistakes on major construction projects.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:51:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What exactly was wrong with the old Hamburg concert hall?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 03:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently with about 2000 seats it is too small to profitably lure "world stars" to Hamburg. The idea is to have two concert halls.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:57:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are you talking about? Real estate bubbles, white elephant or vanity development projects, unnecessary airports and infrastructure development disasters happen only in Spain.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:59:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, only in the south. Spain isn't alone there. And the border between the north and the south is on the northern bank of the River Elbe. And, you have probably guessed it by now, the Elbphilharmonie is not north of the river. It's on an island, in the south then. That's why.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 06:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The old concert hall didn't have 25 luxury apartments and a 5-star hotel, nor could it accommodate luxury yachts.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 07:05:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh. Feels like I'm listening to Composer of the Week (Händel, I think): "Arriving by boat ..."
Very much the way to avoid hoi polloi.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 07:30:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a time when large projects in Germany, like in USA & Britain, before it, were engineer led.

Nowadays we all live in The Dilbert Zone where everything is accountant and lawyer negotiated and engineers are only let loose on the project long past the point where obvious errors can be easily avoided.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 03:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beate Zschäpe keeps her silence | Germany | DW.DE | 10.01.2013

Lawyers for the woman alleged to have been closely involved in a far-right murder campaign say that she was not a member of the terrorist group. Prosecutors are pinning their hopes on evidence found in an exploded house.

Beate Zschäpe has been in investigative detention for 14 months. Ever since her arrest on November 8, 2011, she's refused to say anything about her alleged activity as a far-right terrorist.

Four days before her arrest, her alleged accomplices, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, committed suicide after they apparently saw no way of escaping the police, who were close behind them following a bank robbery.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asylum seekers occupy Viennese church | Europe | DW.DE | 10.01.2013

Political refugees in Vienna are starving themselves to protest against poor living conditions. The Austrian government wants the protest to end as soon as possible - but it seems there's no end in sight.

In the dark, neo-gothic Votive Church near Vienna's city center, weak winter sunlight filters through stained glass windows and illuminates the mattresses and blankets jammed into a corner. More than a dozen young men lie in the jumble of bedding.

"We got families," says one of the protesters. "We got situations that people just don't understand. We gotta make a change. We gotta make people understand."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:54:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three Kurdish female activists shot dead in Paris - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

Three Kurdish female activists -- including one of the founders of outlawed militant group the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) -- were found dead with gunshot wounds to the head inside a Kurdish institute in Paris early Thursday, in what France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls has called a "political assassination".

The bodies of the women were found shortly before 2am local time at a Kurdish information centre, located in the popular tenth district of the French capital near the bustling Gare du Nord train station.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:55:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US voices concern for UK's EU renegotiation plans - UNITED KINGDOM - FRANCE 24

The Obama administration has expressed concerns over plans by British Prime Minister David Cameron to renegotiate the UK's position within the European Union, with a senior official saying the US valued a "strong British voice" in Europe.

US Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Philip Gordon comments published Thursday come as Cameron is preparing a speech that will probably be given in the Netherlands in the coming weeks in which he is expected to commit to a referendum on his country's EU membership.

Although it is unlikely any such poll would give voters a straight "in or out" choice, Cameron is under pressure from a growing Eurosceptic wing of his Conservative party to give the option of a complete withdrawal.

Other members of his party, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, want Britain to negotiate a trade-only agreement with the EU.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:58:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany tells Cameron: don't blackmail the EU | World news | guardian.co.uk

One of Angela Merkel's closest allies has warned David Cameron not to try to blackmail the rest of Europe. The prime minister was also told a UK referendum was a high-risk option that might paralyse Europe and end in economic disaster for Britain.

The chair of Germany's European affairs committee, Gunther Krichbaum, is leading a high-powered delegation from the German Bundestag on a two-day visit to Britain.

He said: "There is certainly a risk that [a referendum] could paralyse efforts for a better Europe and deeper integration. Britain would risk being isolated. That cannot be in Britain's interests."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:06:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Dijsselbloem to replace Juncker as Eurogroup chief

BRUSSELS - Jeroen Dijsselbloem is poised to become the new chair of the Eurogroup, after outgoing chairman Jean-Claude Juncker gave tacit confirmation the Dutch finance minister would replace him.

Speaking on Wednesday (10 January) in the European Parliament's economic affairs committee in his final hearing with MEPs as chair of the 17-member group, Juncker commented: "I will speak to my successor in a Benelux language."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:02:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I will speak to my successor in a Benelux language."

French is also a Benelux language. (So is German, technically, but let's not go there.)

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

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:47:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Enlargement / EU launches new fund to help oppressed

Officially launched on Wednesday (9 January), the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) is a joint undertaking by the European Commission and a handful of member states and European deputies.

"The endowment comes at a very timely moment, as 2013 will be a crucial year for democratic transitions, in particular in the EU's neighbourhood," said the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:05:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Finally telling the truth - Juncker's shocking farewell statement to the European Parliament (11.01.2013)
The outgoing eurogroup president lets rip at his last appearance in front of the economic and monetary committee at the European Parliament; he criticises German dominance, the eurogroup's inability to think for itself, and the asymmetric adjustment policies; he said the eurozone had underestimated the effect on unemployment; and he criticised the outcome of the last European Council as disappointing; Cinco Dias called it a "furibund attack on Berlin"; in contrast to Jean-Claude Juncker, Mario Draghi declared the crisis to be over, and that financial markets had returned to normal; Draghi said full employment was not the ECB's policy goal; the ECB's governing council has kept interest rates unchanged; Fabrizio Saccomanni says it will take a long time until the crisis is over; Greek unemployment hits a new record, with youth unemployment now over 56%; provisional data show the annual Greek budget deficit in 2012 at 8.2%, slightly ahead of target; the latest Greek opinion polls show a resurgence of the governing New Democracy, which has emerged as the largest party, ahead of Syriza; the front-runner in the Cypriot elections says he is committed to implement the terms of the bailout, but he is not keen on privatisations; Angela Merkel said a deal on Cyprus would take more time; a senior member of her party added that the Bundestag will not approve a Cyprus deal unless the country implemented EU rules on transparency and money laundering; Moody's has cut Cyprus'credit rating by three notches; new data show a further contraction in credit to Italy's private sector in November;  a conservative US think tank records a rise in Italy's index of economic freedoms; the three leading candidates in the Italian elections have agreed to hold a televised debate February 8; Gillian Tett discusses Poszar's and McCulley assertion that he are on the verge of an end to independent central banking; Stephen King agrees with this these, saying that central banks' decisions have distributional consequences, and are thus more political; Gavyn Davies is more sceptical, saying that there is more evidence of monetary dominance than fiscal dominance; Christian Thimann, meanwhile, explains why a single supervisory mechanism will obviate the Target2 debate.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 04:27:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now he is talking, shortly before leaving office. And this time, no one accuses him of lying. Jean-Claude Juncker delivered a furious valedictory speech at the economic and monetary affairs committee of the European Parliament. This was picked up by the Spanish press in particular. Cinco Dias calls Juncker's intervention "a furibund attack on Berlin". The BBC has footage of the full 90-minute session. He said:

  • that he disagreed with the rhythm of adjustments "imposed on certain countries", and that the Eurogroup has not made political valuations of the adjustments which too often were just rubber-stamping recommendations by the Commission, ECB and IMF "whose democratic legitimacy is not clear".
  • that "the choice was made to make the adjustment fall on the weakest";
  • that certain countries who benefitted from capital flight out of Greece were not doing anything about it;
  • that the mistake has been made to "underestimate the drama of unemployment" and to "give the impression that Europe is only there to punish" and by not rewarding the "program countries" for following through with their adjustment plans;
  • that his successor would be well advised to "listen to all Eurozone members on an equal footing" even if it takes a long time to go through a meeting, or else "we'll see the results in 6 months if my successor doesn't";
  • that the ESM should have "some degree of retroactivity" and be able to "recapitalise banks" and not just address "new problems that may apply in the future";
  • that the results of the latest European Council were "disappointing", because "the original idea was to present a road map for the following decades";
  • in respect of economic policy coordination, that "we can't carry on with a system where the Frankfurt monetary arm is strong and the economic policy arm is feeble" and "those who refused [in 1997] are now the largest voices calling for this idea". And "we have to make sure that every time a government recommends a structural reform it is explained to the Eurogroup and that the ministers in charge explain the consequences and others say what the consequences of such reforms will be  on policy in their countries";
  • "there's a need for all member states to agree on a 'minimum social wage'", a need for "a basis of minimum social rights for workers", as "otherwise we're going to lose the support of the working classes". There's a need to "agree on the elements of solidarity", "principle and ways and means of bank resolution", and "a deposit guarantee scheme";
  • that the Green party in Luxembourg will vote against the Fiscal Treaty because "they are fed up with what they see as a German diktat";


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 04:29:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More than a few MEPs expressed a wish that Juncker should have been Commission President instead of Barroso, or that he'll choose to run for the position in 2014.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:30:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tPortal.hr: One person injured in explosion in west Zagreb (11.01.2013)
One person was injured in a strong explosion shortly after midnight in west Zagreb, police reported, adding that the explosion could be heard all the way in downtown,

...

This is the second explosion in two days in this part of the city after an explosive device went off on railway tracks near the Podsused railway station early Wednesday morning.

The person injured in today's explosion was taken to a hospital but their injuries are not life threatening.

There are suggestions that these bombings reflect people's undirected anger at the crushing economic crisis.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 04:32:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:45:36 PM EST
Toyota hit US production, sales records in 2012 - FRANCE 24

AFP - Japanese auto giant Toyota set new records for vehicle productions, sales and vehicle launches in the United States and said Thursday it has "strong momentum" going into 2013.

"Toyota achieved a number of important milestones in 2012," said Jim Lentz, head of Toyota Motor Sales USA.

"As we continue with the most aggressive product launch in our history, we're confident this momentum will continue in the year ahead."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:55:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GM, Peugeot seek sales of 2 mn cars a year in joint projects: source - FRANCE 24

AFP - General Motors and France's PSA Peugeot Citroen are targeting manufacturing more than 2 million cars per year under the joint projects they unveiled last month, a union source said Thursday.

The two auto giants announced last February that they would work together and last month they announced three specific projects.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:56:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moody's downgrades Cyprus by three notches - FRANCE 24
AFP - Moody's announced Thursday that it downgraded Cyprus's government bond rating by three notches from B3 to Caa3, a rating that is in the middle of Moody's non-investment grade status.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Eurozone on its way back to growth, Draghi says

BERLIN - European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi on Thursday (10 January) spoke of "positive contagion" in the eurozone economy, saying that the financial situation is improving and growth is set to return in the second half of the year.

In support of his sunny prognosis four years into the euro-crisis, he cited a set of indicators: cash flowing back to eurozone banks, Spanish bonds selling at low interest rates and reduced risks on the ECB's own balance sheet.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:01:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Ireland looks to 'successful' exit from bailout programme

BRUSSELS - Ireland is holding itself up as an example of hope for other ailing eurozone countries, saying it is on track to come out of its EU-International-Monetary-Fund (IMF) bailout programme later this year, but that it wants a debt deal first.

"I do believe that Ireland can send a message of hope to other countries as an example of what can be achieved," said Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Thursday (10 January).

Ireland was given a €67.5 billion loan in 2010 after its property bubble burst, causing the collapse of the banking system. In return, the government introduced several rounds of austerity measures, affecting healthcare, education, pensions, social and welfare spending.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know, I keep posting the same things:
The Irish Success Story | Krugman | NYT

Not sure if NYT are happy with direct linking, if so the above may go blank.
Real GNP peaks first Quarter 2008 and is indexed at 100. Ends at about 85 for 2011.
Using more recent Eurostat data we get maybe 86 for end of 2012. (This is GDP not GNP, but I'm not qualified to discuss the difference.)

Success!

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:32:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Real GNP peaks first Quarter 2008 and is indexed at 100. Ends at about 85 for 2011.

Essentially plateaus at the end of 2009.

Three years of doldrums.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:33:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And this is the year that government cutbacks are going into bone: huge cuts in police numbers, really hard reductions in welfare payments, schools having to cut things like heating since they've already cut everything non-essential (and no maintenance has been done for several years now). That sort of thing.

Again, the economy is trying to recover, the cuts are strangling it every year.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:58:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When politicians decide to let the economy recover, it will have been damaged beyond repair. And they will see that as validating their past policy ("see? we were living above our means")

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 06:00:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Something like 20% of GDP is "pharmaceuticals". (I have no idea what the next 18% "heterocyclic compounds" is. Anyone?)

Does this imply a fairly capital heavy, low labour production? I.e. great for the GDP, not much benefit for the country/population?

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 06:10:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. Import raw materials (or part processed materials?), process, export.  NIce tax deals, so on and so forth.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 06:55:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like Iceland. Blew up in a similar fashion at about the same time.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 09:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Germany wants EU budget summit in February

BERLIN - The German government is pressing for a second attempt to reach a deal on the EU multi-annual budget during the next EU summit scheduled for 7-8 February.

But EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy has not yet put it on the agenda of the meeting, participants in a briefing organised by the European Movement in Berlin were informed on Thursday (10 January).

One reason for the hesitation may be that Italian elections are due in February, with the fate of Prime Minister Mario Monti still unclear.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence: Finally telling the truth - Juncker's shocking farewell statement to the European Parliament (11.01.2013)
A debate about central bank independence

The Financial Times carried a number of comments on the future of independent central banking, some of which express scepticism that the pro-independents consensus will be maintained. Gillian Tett writes about Zoltan Pozsar and Paul McCulley, who have recently teamed up to link the presence of long-term debt cycles to a demise of independent central banking. Tett describes a two-axis plot by Poszar/McCulley with the extent of private and public sector leveraging and deleveraging respectively, producing four quadrants. Having moved from leveraging quadrant straight to the deleveraging quadrant in both private and public sector, "we need to embrace a mental flip", as Tett put it. In that quadrant, under a condition of a liquidity trap, it would be better for central banks to lose independence, and work under finance ministries instead, as the goal turns to a coordinated monetary and fiscal stimulation. Pozsar and McCulley also show that central banks have lost their independence before - right after the second world war at a time of financial repression.

Steven King reminds us that the independence of monetary policy was premised on the idea that a central bank should follow a simple goal - price stability - over which there was a broad consensus, and that it was then best left to technocrats to achieve that goal. The situation has changed.  He says the BoE was right to accept an overshoot of its inflation target, but ultimately this is not really a decision one should leave with non-elected technicians ( who might as well have decided to do the opposite). He concludes with the observation that deeper reason central banks cannot remain independent is because their policies create both winners and losers.

Gavyn Davies extends the discussion to the notion of "political and fiscal dominance", which is what is happening in Japan, where a new government is changing the leadership to ensure that the central bank operates to support a new fiscal regime. He also mentioned the use of the ECB balance sheet to finance cross-border financial support operations in the eurozone. But he is more sceptical about the notion that we are about to see regime change soon. He says the central banks have acted very much in accordance with the wishes of the politicians - see the OMT for example - and that a power grap is thus unlikely, except in Japan. Also, he appoints out that we are not really seeing any notion of fiscal dominance, of the Sargent and Wallace variety. With austerity everywhere, the opposite seems to be the case.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:25:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A 21st Century blueprint for taxing multinational companies

There is a clear, radical, and tried-and-tested alternative available: unitary tax
[...]
Instead of the current system where multinationals are taxed according to the legal forms that their tax advisers conjure up for them, unitary taxation would see TNCs being taxed according to the genuine economic substance of what they do and where they do it.
[...]
Tax experts have long known that this unitary approach makes more sense. It has long been applied in federal systems, notably in the United States: a pioneer was the State of California which was missing out on revenues thanks to Hollywood film studios siphoning profits through their use of Nevada incorporated affiliates.
[...]
The OECD has for decades stubbornly refused even to consider the viability of the approach, strongly influenced by lobbying,
[...]
Until now, tax authorities have not pushed for a unitary approach because they have felt that political will is lacking. So instead they take upon themselves the responsibility for deciding, on a case-by-case basis, how each large company gets taxed.

That political will is now within reach. The time has come to reform international tax for the modern era.

(My bold. TNCs = Transnational Corporations.)

Links to full report.

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:52:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Gas users call for limits on LNG exports

Large US natural gas users, including Dow Chemical, Alcoa, the aluminium company, and Nucor, the steelmaker, have formed an alliance to campaign for limits on the country's exports of liquefied natural gas.

The group, called America's Energy Advantage, says it plans to "educate policy makers on the potential risks to the US economy of unfettered natural gas exports".

Its members fear that US gas prices, which have plunged over the past five years as a result of the shale revolution, could be driven higher by demand from foreign buyers.




Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:53:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:45:50 PM EST
Hugo Chavez: Dictator or democrat? | Americas | DW.DE | 10.01.2013

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is nearly synonymous with Latin American socialism. As the firebrand leader struggles in hospital with cancer, experts debate his political achievements.

Chavez in Venezuela, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil and Cristina Kirchner in Argentina are among the Latin American political leaders who have been swept to office by left-wing voters.

But the Cuban exile politician Antonio Guedes warns about throwing the various left-wing political models into one pot.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:47:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tens of thousands turn out for inauguration without Chavez - VENEZUELA - FRANCE 24

Tens of thousands of flag-waving Venezuelans packed central Caracas Thursday in a fervent inauguration day rally for President Hugo Chavez, who was too sick in Cuba to make it himself.

Fighter jets streaked the length of this mountain valley as allies from around the region, showered praise on the cancer-stricken leader one after another and pledged their undying support.

"Long live Chavez!" shouted Vice President Nicolas Maduro. "Long live the people of Bolivar."

A sea of red shirts and flags, the color of Chavez's socialist movement, filled the avenue in front of the Miraflores presidential palace where participants were to take a symbolic oath for Chavez.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:58:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MercoPress: Opposition leader Enrique Capriles accepted Venezuela's high court sentence endorsing the postponement of President Hugo Chavez inauguration on Thursday and the ruling that the cancer-stricken leader and his administration remained in office, since "as president re-elect there is no interruption of performance of duties".
More HERE.

End Game Approaches for Towering Venezuelan Visionary and the Future of Washington Ties to Caracas: It would be a fallacy, however, to exclusively equate the ethos of Chavez with the values of the Bolivarian Revolution. Chavez has not been the only protagonist of the revolution, although he often has been the most visible and daring of them.  There has been a relationship of reciprocal determination between Chavez, the revolutionary leader, and the millions of people who took to the streets to rescue him when reactionary elements of the military attempted a right wing coup d` etat in 2002. To Chavez' credit, a majority has almost always been there to reaffirm his legitimacy at the ballot box. Without popular support there would be no revolution and, at best, Chavez could be rotting in jail.

Truthout: Chavez could survive the ketchup coup, the Exxon "presidency," even his taking back a piece of the windfall of oil company profits, but he dangerously tried the patience of America's least-forgiving billionaires: the Koch Brothers.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 09:05:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Afghanistan ready for a complete pullout? | Asia | DW.DE | 10.01.2013

For the first time, Washington has publicly announced the possibility that no US soldiers will remain in Afghanistan past 2014. German experts are skeptical that Afghan security will be able to cope without their help.

"We wouldn't rule out any option," US deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said on Tuesday, January 8, referring to a complete withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The statement, the first high-level public acknowledgement that the US is considering a complete pullout, comes at a time when Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Washington for talks on the future of Afghanistan.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:47:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ugandan peace anniversary | Africa | DW.DE | 10.01.2013

Almost unnoticed by the outside world, a long and brutal civil war in northwestern Uganda came to an end in 2002. While many were happy to see the end of the conflict, victims are still crying out for justice.

Yumbe is situated in the center of the West Nile region of Uganda.  Not many people know the northern district which borders South Sudan as the place where a peace agreement was signed. After almost two decades of civil war, Yumbe residents celebrated the tenth anniversary of the peace deal between the Ugandan National Rescue Front II (UNRFII) rebels and the Ugandan government.

Moses Akuma, a coordinator in charge of peace and conflict transformation at the West Nile Development Forum, told DW why the locals were so proud of their achievement.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US focus on Syria's chemical arms after Assad: Panetta - FRANCE 24
AFP - The United States is increasingly focused on how to secure Syria's chemical weapons if President Bashar al-Assad falls from power but is not considering sending ground troops, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:55:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kenyan ethnic strife overshadows upcoming vote - KENYA - FRANCE 24

From the banks of the Tana River, Osman Dube stares unseeing at Kenya's longest river as it makes its slow, liquid caramel course to the Indian Ocean, sustaining life - and fuelling violent death - along the way.

Days after the December clashes between rival ethnic groups in his native Kipao village killed 45 people, Dube says he still can't understand what led to the carnage.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:56:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One injured in shooting at California high school - USA - FRANCE 24

A student was shot Thursday in a high school in California and another student was in custody, a spokesman for the local sheriff's office said.

The victim was airlifted to hospital after the shooting in a science building at the Taft Union High School in Taft, north of Los Angeles, said the spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Department.

He backtracked on earlier reports of two victims. "A student was shot on campus. That student has been airlifted to a hospital .. We do have a suspect in custody who is also a student," spokesman Ray Pruitt told CNN.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:00:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pakistani soldier killed in latest Kashmir border unrest - INDIA-PAKISTAN - FRANCE 24

Pakistan said one of its soldiers was killed Thursday by "unprovoked" Indian firing across their tense border in Kashmir, the third deadly incident reported in five days in the disputed region.

The Pakistan military said the incident happened in the Battal area of the Himalayan region. An Indian army spokesman said it was Pakistan which opened fire and Indian soldiers retaliated.

"Pakistan Army soldier, Havildar Mohyuddin, embraced shahadat (martyrdom) due to unprovoked firing by Indian troops at Hotspring sector in Battal at 2:40 pm (0940 GMT) today," the Pakistani military said.

"Today, India troops resorted to unprovoked firing at a Pakistani post named Kundi," it added, giving no further details.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:00:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Honduras Culture and Politics: [Honduran President] Porfirio Lobo Sosa is in denial.  He told the press yesterday:
What Congress did is constitutional and is legal.
(...) Actually, Lobo Sosa will be hard pressed to find a lawyer (outside of Congress, that is) who is arguing anything except that Congress's actions in removing four Supreme Court justices were illegal and unconstitutional.

MercoPress, Argentina: The death by beating of a 12 year old indigenous Qom child in the north of Argentina had shocked public opinion following on another incident less than a month ago when a gendarme ran over an indigenous grandmother and a ten month old baby girl.

Colombia Reports: Colombia's largest left wing guerrilla group, FARC, will not extend a unilateral ceasefire which will end on January 20, reported Reuters Wednesday.

(Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff cut short her vacation on Tuesday to deal with a budding energy crisis that could wreck her efforts to restore vitality to Brazil's economy this year.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 09:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A short, powerful speed by the Chief of the Dene to stop a pipeline that sums up native worldview in fine, direct style.

Video Here

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 01:57:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:46:09 PM EST
Severn barrage opponents dismiss wildlife-friendly claims as 'guff' | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Angling, wildlife and heritage groups on Thursday attacked new proposals for a £34bn tidal barrage across the Severn estuary, with one telling MPs that environmental benefits touted by proponents of the barrage are "spin" and "guff".

But former Labour minister Peter Hain, who stepped down from the shadow cabinet last year to back the plans, told the energy and climate change committee that it would generate 5% of the UK's electricity - equivalent to around four nuclear power stations or thousands of wind turbines - create 50,000 jobs and protect the region from storm surge flooding.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This never quite goes away does it ? There are better schemes for extracting tidal energy from the Severn estuary, but sadly our politicians, driven by corporate greed for a big project, are blind to anything but the stupidest scheme with the most drawbacks.

Something to do with pols, bankers & lawyers designing something long before engineers get their hands on it. Again

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 04:00:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Almost half of the world's food thrown away, report finds | Environment | guardian.co.uk

As much as half of all the food produced in the world - equivalent to 2bn tonnes - ends up as waste every year, engineers warned in a report published on Thursday.

The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) blames the "staggering" new figures in its analysis on unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, along with "poor engineering and agricultural practices", inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities.

In the face of United Nations predictions that there could be about an extra 3 billion people to feed by the end of the century and growing pressure on the resources needed to produce food, including land, water and energy, the IMechE is calling for urgent action to tackle this waste.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:08:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yesterday this massive dust storm hit Onslow, Australia in the midst of a paralyzing heatwave and huge fires across the continent.



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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 12:44:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yuck.

I've been in dust storms.  Nothing this bad.  If I never do it's alright by me.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 01:02:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Fields and Markets, Guatemalans Feel Squeeze of Biofuel Demand - NYTimes.com

With its corn-based diet and proximity to the United States, Central America has long been vulnerable to economic riptides related to the United States' corn policy. Now that the United States is using 40 percent of its crop to make biofuel, it is not surprising that tortilla prices have doubled in Guatemala, which imports nearly half of its corn.

At the same time, Guatemala's lush land, owned by a handful of families, has proved ideal for producing raw materials for biofuels. Suchitepéquez Province, a major corn-producing region five years ago, is now carpeted with sugar cane and African palm. The field Mr. Alvarado used to rent for his personal corn crop now grows sugar cane for a company that exports bioethanol to Europe.

(h/t the stormy present)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 03:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:46:25 PM EST
French film world reels after editorial slamming stars - FRANCE - CINEMA - FRANCE 24

"The Artist" swept last year's Oscars, "The Intouchables" was an international box office smash, movie ticket sales at home are healthy, and leading ladies Marion Cotillard and Emmanuelle Riva (of "Rust and Bone" and "Amour", respectively) are racking up Best Actress honours abroad.

But instead of breaking out the champagne, France's film world is in the throes of bitter internal strife.

Seemingly endless rounds of debate and finger-pointing have been set off by an editorial, published in daily newspaper Le Monde on December 28, in which a prominent French producer accuses the country's movie stars of demanding unreasonably high salaries. The author, Vincent Maraval, co-founder of distribution company Wild Bunch, also calls into question France's longstanding practice of subsidising filmmakers.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:59:40 PM EST
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EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / EU and US joining forces on Internet child abuse

A recent joint investigation by authorities on both sides of the Atlantic led to the arrest of some 245 people.

"We rescued 121 children in the process of those arrests and investigations, which is obviously a significant number of people, sadly that is just a fraction of what we do in this area," John Morton, director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told EUobserver on Thursday (10 January).

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 05:46:41 PM EST
Apologies for the late arrival of the Salon.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 06:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 01:12:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz festival dies after skiing accident.

I was filming several weeks on European tour with Santana in 1971 - the same year as the infamous 'Smoke on the water' (Deep Purple) incident, when the Casino burnt down.

Claude was a funny energetic host who graciously put up with cocky Santana (the group - in all meanings, not Carlos, who was a sweetie). It was a lot of sweaty fun, though I remember very little of the actual concert thanks to my tour friendship with Coke Escovedo. I do remember Chepito greeting me in the morning with "I furk yer motha" - but he said that every day.

Sadly the tens of thousands of feet of 16mm I shot are still lying in storage somewhere in LA, unseen. An acrimonious fight between their then manager (who paid us for the movie) and the band who then threw him out, meant that ownership was disputed.

I doubt if Carlos would want the material out there now that he's found peace. Our brief in '71 was to have unrestricted access to everyone and everything for the entire tour. It would have been Spinal Tap with congas. But the also-infamous 1970 IOW festival footage disappeared for 25 years for the same reasons -  to be finally released on DVD. So who knows?


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 08:38:55 AM EST
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