Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

14 January

by afew Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 04:08:21 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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 - the public affairs of the European continent and the EU.
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - with a focus on the economic crisis.
  • WORLD - geopolitics, the affairs of nations and supranational entities.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - what we extract from the planet and the effect we have: environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - how humans live together: society, culture, history, science and technology, information...
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • 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.

Display:
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 12:22:32 PM EST
Protestors against gay marriage mass at Eiffel Tower | Reuters

(Reuters) - Several hundred thousand people massed at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Sunday to protest against President Francois Hollande's plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption by June.

Three columns of protesters, waving pink and blue flags showing a father, mother and two children, converged on the landmark from different meeting points in Paris. Many came after long train and bus rides from the provinces.

Hollande has pledged to push through the law with his Socialists' parliamentary majority but the opponents' campaign has dented public support and forced deputies to put off a plan to allow lesbian couples access to artificial insemination.

Champ de Mars park at the Eiffel Tower was packed, but turnout estimates varied widely. Organisers claimed 800,000 had protested, while police put the number at 340,000, high even in protest-prone France.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - "The Hands That Supply EU Imports" | Inter Press Service
LAHORE, Pakistan, Jan 4 2013 (IPS) - The European Union (EU) is Pakistan's largest trading partner, with overall trade between the two countries topping eight million euros in 2011.

Pakistan enjoyed a one billion-euro surplus that year and stands to gain even more from the EU's generous trade concessions, announced in the aftermath of the devastating floods that ravaged this South Asian country in 2010 and 2011.

Textiles, clothing and leather products make up the largest share of exports to the EU, which also imports surgical instruments and sports goods from Pakistan.

SLIDESHOW

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:36:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, in order to fully benefit from these concessions, Pakistan will have to enforce stricter labour standards and comply with the terms and conditions of several international conventions on human rights, governance and environmental safety to which it is a signatory.

I am certain that the EU will be at least as diligent at seeing these standards employed as is the USA in similar circumstances. We see the EU's concern through their actions in Greece, etc.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 12:33:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron says U.S. backs bid to alter EU membership | Reuters

(Reuters) - Britain on Friday sought to counter perceptions of discord with the United States over the European Union, saying U.S. President Barack Obama had told Prime Minister David Cameron that he supported his drive to renegotiate Britain's EU membership.

Relations between the two close allies came under the spotlight earlier this week after a senior U.S. official made a rare and forceful foray into what is an emotive domestic debate, saying Washington wanted Britain to stay in the EU - a position not shared by a majority of the British public as well as hardliners in Cameron's own ruling Conservative party.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:52:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austrian leader has hard time with Cameron | Reuters

(Reuters) - Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann says he has a "hard time" with Prime Minister David Cameron, who tends to give a different message at home than to fellow leaders in Europe.

The undiplomatic comments to newspaper Der Standard come amid a debate in Britain about the merits of its membership in the European Union as London becomes increasingly out of step with other EU members.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:52:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... Washington wanted Britain to stay in the EU - a position not shared by a majority of the British public as well as hardliners in Cameron's own ruling Conservative party.

Then stop being all Emo about it and get out.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 04:32:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not enough balls, which probably got particularly shriveled after a public reproof from Washington.

Besides, it's all part of the plan. Cameron still needs to present his 'Crossing the Rubicon' speech about the EU and Britain. It's speculated he will do so somewhere next week in The Hague. Elmo will continue for a long while.

But the longer he wails, and the more people get wound up about it, the stronger Cameron's negotiation position will be for bargaining a new, special relationship with the EU.

by Nomad on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 06:03:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently he wants something akin to Norway's status, while still being allowed to turn up for the photo at summits.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 09:04:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what do "The majority" want? 51st statehood? Reviving the Empire?

Slight Tea Party feel to it: "Let's turn the clock back and return to something that worked. Not sure exactly what."


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:12:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's Thatcher's gift to Britain.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:21:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What would British version of a Reagan style "morning in America" exceptionalism look like? Certainly not Blair's "Cool Brittannia"; no one was "on board" for that.

Feels like it would be more of a John Major or Gordon Brown deal: quietly competent in a land that worships the amateur and the "good enough".

"The rich man in his castle
The poor man at his gate"

Stable and predictable. (Don't make me quote Pratchett.)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:54:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Top Ukraine diplomat dispels 'myths' about relationship with EU: theparliament.com
Ukraine's ambassador to the EU Kostiantyn Yeliseiev has moved to dispel "myths" about his country's relationship with Brussels.

Yeliseiev focuses in particular on the prospects of a potentially lucrative association agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

... However, one of several "myths" he wished to dispel, he said, was that failure to sign the agreement would "indicate a crisis" in relations between the EU and Ukraine.

He said, "This myth constantly changes. For a long time there was an assumption that not signing the agreement at the EU-Ukraine summit in December 2011 was the failure of Kyiv in relations with Brussels.

"Then, throughout 2012, despite the incompleteness of technical procedures, there were assumptions that the EU did not want to sign the agreement.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:12:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Czech Republic: Who will be next in the Prague Castle? | Presseurop (English)

Havel, however reluctantly, soon accepted that he had lost because in the Czech government it is the cabinet that governs, not the president. Havel then withdrew behind well marked-off boundaries. From the perspective of building a constitutional tradition, however, that was a good thing. More importantly, though, was that Havel tried to bring the office of the president down to earth.

He was the first Czech head of state who wanted to break with the monarchist tradition. The best proof of that is the monumental documentary film Citizen Havel, in which he allowed its creators to capture moments of weakness and vanity, which people generally do not admit even to themselves, let alone to the public.

The disadvantage to his successor, Václav Klaus, was that, unlike Havel, Klaus had no such strong opponent, and no one tried very hard to confine Klaus within the boundaries laid down by the Constitution. He was the one to decide who would go and who would stay in government. He vetoed one law after another, attacked the independence of the judiciary, had a huge influence on Czech foreign policy, and took steps to encourage some governments to fall.

So, according to our history, the choice of the next president will determine if we are going to look for a man who will feel that he is above the system or be part of it. History has taught us that we should seek a person who will respect the separation of powers, will know his position in the constitutional system, and will not encourage the people to think that he will be a saviour or sacred autocrat of the political scene.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:16:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lack of evidence may prevent ex-President trial - The Local
Disgraced German ex-President Christian Wulff may not have to stand trial for corruption allegations which cost him his job last year, as prosecutors do not have sufficient evidence against him, a newspaper said on Sunday.

Prosecutors do not have enough evidence to bring Wulff to trial for the various corruption allegations which eventually forced him out of office last February, according to a report by the Bild am Sonntag tabloid.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:50:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German banks need more capital than Spanish ones according to OECD | Credit Writedowns

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) believes that eurozone banks still have much work to do to strengthen their capital. They warn that many of the entities currently are still below a capital ratio of 5% of total assets, a ratio the OECD believes ensures the strength of the financial system. To reach this threshold, banks in total need about 400 billion euros. The needs of Spanish banks are below the European average.

In the brief OECD report included in the economic review published on Thursday, it was said that Spanish banks would need the equivalent of 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) to get to that 5% capital ratio. On average, the financial systems of the euro zone members need 4.5% of GDP. The countries with the greatest needs to strengthen their banks are Greece (almost 8% of GDP), France (over 7%), Belgium (about 6%) and Germany (over 5%).

Citing El Pais.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 05:06:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a week Austria will hold a referendum about replacing compulsory military/ social service with professionals/ paid volunteers.
Listening to both sides arguments didn't make the decision easier.

Social democratic Defence Minister:

A professional army would be better because terrorism and cyber threats. It also won't cost more and be just as good if not better in case of natural catastrophes.

Conservative coalition partner:

It will cost more! ZOMG teh Debt!
The paid volunteers would mostly be unemployed. Who would trust the unemployed.

by generic on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 02:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The paid volunteers would mostly be unemployed. Who would trust the unemployed.

Oh, dear. We truly are back in the 1930s.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 04:34:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I might have paraphrased that more than a little. Nonetheless the contempt for the unemployed was palpable.
by generic on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 07:18:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, depends on what the stated goal is. Defending the country? Cutting cost?

The main argument for a conscript army tends to be that it's actually a larger segment of the people defending their own country.

A setup like the Foreign Legion allow the government to engage in military experiments abroad without domestic consequences: no one says "bring our boys home" because they aren't "our boys". More costly though.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:18:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The opposition inside the SPÖ (social democratic party of austria) is pro conscript army. They argue that the professional army is the first step to outside combat missions, abandoning neutrality, joining NATO.
by IM on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:51:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which would be a good argument if we didn't already have a professional army that is supposed to be able to join EU missions. With conscripts doing a lot of cleaning.

If I could vote against that I would.

by generic on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 07:07:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: This is really bad news: EU not planning to sever links between sovereigns and banks (14.01.2013)
European Commission proposes a bank resolution regime that would not achieve a separation of banking risks from sovereign risk; member states would either have to invest alongside the ESM, or reimburse the ESM for any losses; the OECD puts the undercapitalisation of the European banks at €400bn, despite the fact that banks are meeting the 9% Tier-1 capital ratio; OECD also says the Basel risk-weighted assets underestimate the true risk;  the most undercapitalised banks are in Germany and France (and Greece of course); French unions and business association reach a lacklustre agreement on labour market reform; agreement foresees some flexibility to reduce wage bills during downturns, but does little in the way to harmonise the labour contracts; two trade unions have refused to sign; the latest polls in Italy show further gains by Silvio Berlusconi, but not enough to deprive Pier Luigi Bersani of an election victory; Monti und his centrists make no headway; Massimo Bordingnon says the Berlusconi-Lega deal is a déjà vu from the 1990s; Italian house prices declined further during Q3; financial markets have become much more optimistic on Spain, with all the main indicators now back at the level of one year ago; small and medium sized companies, however, remain subject to a credit crunch; the Spanish treasury used last year's funding surplus to lengthen the maturity profile; global investors are unhappy about seniority of Spain's Regional Liquidity Fund; Catalan government prepares a declaration of sovereignty; Catalonia's economy minister says 2013 will see more cuts in public employees; the Greek parliament approved a long list of tax increases to meet its budget goals; two unknown assailants opened fire on New Democracy's headquarters early this morning;  Dimitris Kontogiannis wonders whether Greece is going to be another Japan (probably not so lucky!); Slovenia hits political crisis as the junior coalition partner asks the prime minister to resign; Stephen Fidler, meanwhile, draws uncanning parallels between the 1920s and today.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 04:13:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stephen Fidler makes an interesting comparison with the 19[20]s

Stephen Fidler has a fascinating report in the Wall Street Journal from an Oxford conference at the end of last year, in which various academics drew parallels between the current situation in the eurozone and the 1920s. He quotes historian Patricia Clavin pointing out that the 1920s had their own version of a troika-a League of Nations appointed commissioner general, who enforced fiscal discipline in Austria. The economist David Vines pointed out that the that the adjustment that took place during the period was as asymmetric as it is today, with all the burden on the part of the deficit countries, which prolonged the economic pain. Fidler concludes with Professor Clavin's observation that the crisis did not end until the late 1940s.

Greece faces series of politically motivated violent attacks

Two unknown assailants opened fire on New Democracy's headquarters early this morning, Kathimerini reports, no injuries have been reported. There had also been several incendiary attacks over the last few days, including attacks on the homes of five journalists and four political offices. Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, whose brother was among the victims, has clashed with opposition party SYRIZA over the past few days over accusations that the leftists are not doing enough to condemn politically related violence while SYRIZA accused the government of trying to create a "civil war-type climate".



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 04:15:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is really bad news: EU not planning to sever links between sovereigns and banks

The FT has the story this morning of a draft bank resolution regime, which would leave the burden of bank bailouts with member states. Member states would have to co-invest alongside with the ESM, or guarantee the ESM against losses. The FT says the plan raises doubt over EU leaders' promise to break the vicious cycle between failing banks and sovereigns. The two-page proposal was drafted by the European Commission, the paper writes, and is now up for discussion.

(This does not surprise at all. We have treated the June summit announcement as a pack of deliberately misleading announcements, especially this one. A genuine European-wide bank resolution scheme would have been a much more far-reaching policy than even a eurobond. It is no surprise that bank resolution remains a predominantly national task. And remember, this is the proposal by the European Commission. In the course of the discussions, these proposals tend to get watered down, not beefed up.)

OECD puts undercapitalisation of European banks at €400bn

On Friday, the OECD released a report on the capital needs of European banks, writes Europa Press. In it, the organization said that European banks remain undercapitalized to the tune of €400bn despite meeting the 9% Tier-1 capital ratio imposed by the Basel Committee. The OECD uses a simple leverage ratio as an indicator, and argued that Basel's "risk weighted assets" underestimates risks.

The Spanish press picked up on the fact that, according to the OECD report, the banking systems with the highest capital needs include those of Greece, France  and Germany, while those of Spain, Ireland, Italy and Portugal have capital needs below the Eurozone average.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 04:28:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The OECD uses a simple leverage ratio as an indicator, and argued that Basel's "risk weighted assets" underestimates risks.

My Spanish isn't what it could be, but I see a figure of 5%, which I interpret as an accounting leverage of 20 times.

Is that a "safe" level? Are there any studies?
(According to Wikipedia, Lehman Brothers was officially at 30, and really much higher.)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:33:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, a major issue is that it's pro-cyclical. To have the same requirement during the boom and the bust is not going to end well.
Of course, the banks understand that. So they will ask for the requirement being relaxed during the bust... but will use every last penny of risk during the boom. Thereby ensuring the bust.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 06:08:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Counter-cyclical capital buffers and all that...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 06:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Cyrille and Migeru for clarifying.
And curse you: Searching for "counter-cyclical capital buffers" lead me to another book I need to read.
(Summary: co-ops more stable and better for society than for-profit.)
Haven't even finished the %$@#$ Krugman yet ...

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 06:29:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
co-ops are indeed better.

But try even making that point in a business environment. It seems that the word "co-operative" alone is considered a joke.

Doesn't need a punchline, they fill the blank with their prejudice.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 04:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you are right that there are (one would say "at last") attempts to do that in Basel 3.

I am skeptical, though, of estimating the stage of the economic cycle with the ratio of loans to GDP, although of course I have not done any particular research in the field. Also, "up to 2.5%" hardly feels like a super safe buffer. I am also skeptical that Basel 3 rules will be genuinely in place any time soon.

But sure, it's better than a fixed ratio. And I realise that relative to you I am really a novice in those fields (I'd be more versed in how to implement them operationally I guess).

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 04:45:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Serbia: `Serbia softens its attitude to Kosovo' | Presseurop (English)
On January 12, the Serbian parliament approved a government resolution (by 175 votes to 19) that will provide the basis for future talks with Pristina. The text confirms that Belgrade will settle for substantial autonomy for Serbian areas in northern Kosovo, on condition that the international community waives its demand for the Serbian government to formally recognise the independent state in what was previously a Serbian province. Blic notes that formal recognition of the Republic of Kosovo would amount to the de facto abandonment of Serbian ambitions to divide or annex the country.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:59:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 12:22:59 PM EST
IPS - South Africa-Brazil Trade Partnership Hits Potholes | Inter Press Service

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 12 2013 (IPS) - As the five members of the BRICS group of emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - tighten ranks and seek to expand their global influence, the inevitable trade spats have begun.

A decision last month by South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to pursue a general tariff increase on chicken imports in response to concerns that Brazil is "dumping" the product could also hit Argentina, a leading trade expert here has warned.

Duane Newman, director of the Johannesburg-based Cova Advisory, explained that Argentina and Brazil, both of which export significant quantities of chicken to South Africa, are the main countries without free trade agreements with Pretoria to protect them from the planned tariff hike.

"There could be some unintended consequences from Minister Davies' decision not to target just Brazil with anti-dumping duties, but to raise the tariffs," explained Newman.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China Export Surge Spurs Data Skepticism at Goldman, UBS - Bloomberg

China's unexpected surge in exports last month renewed concern from analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS AG and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) that statistics from the nation can be unreliable.

The 14.1 percent jump from a year earlier was the biggest positive surprise since March 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The increase didn't match goods movements through ports and imports by trading partners according to UBS, while Goldman Sachs and Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. cited a divergence from overseas orders in a manufacturing index.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:33:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's Abe Says He'll Seek `Bold Leader' to Head Central Bank - Bloomberg

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks a "bold policy leader" as the next Bank of Japan (8301) governor as he aims to end deflation and drive a recovery from recession.

The choice of a successor to Masaaki Shirakawa, whose term ends in April, will be made after consultations with Yale Professor Emeritus Koichi Hamada and others, Abe said yesterday on public broadcaster NHK's "Sunday Debate" program.

The government and central bank need to agree on implementing a 2 percent inflation target to end deflation, Abe said. The prime minister last week announced a 10.3 trillion yen ($115 billion) spending package, which includes money to stimulate private investment to boost the economy.

"We want someone who can push through bold monetary policy," Abe said. "We are thinking hard about fiscal discipline as we form the next fiscal year's budget. Still, the economy isn't going to change unless we display a firm commitment to escape deflation at the same time."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:34:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Techcrunch: 10 Reasons Why 2013 Will Be The Year You Quit Your Job

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 04:43:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been posting this same stuff here for years.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 08:32:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quit might not be the operative verb here. The article starts off as though the intent is to convey just how tasty is the shit sandwich being served up by 'the global economy.' This would be fine were the world populated entirely by innovative geniuses. And everyone wants to think they are one. But, with the current regime, that is far from sufficient.

If only we could  ask Aaron Swartz... Perhaps it is that possession of innovative genius and a strong social conscience are not really mutually compatible and sometimes lead to tragedy. I don't know the extent to which Aaron Swartz understood how the current world governance regime works, but I suspect that he had a pretty good idea and deliberately challenged it. On the other hand those with genius, understanding and a lack of social conscience often seem to do quite well. This is likely due to such people having been able to define the 'fitness landscape', to use one of ATinNM's favorite terms.      

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 01:58:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are probably right.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 03:41:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 12:23:50 PM EST
BBC News - Israel evicts tent protesters at West Bank E1 settlement

Israeli police have evicted Palestinian and international activists from an area of the West Bank where Israel is planning fresh settlement building.

They had put up around 20 tents in the area called E1, between Jerusalem and the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim.

Israel's Supreme Court had ruled on Friday that the encampment could remain for six days.

Palestinians fear building in E1 would threaten the viability of a future Palestinian state.

They say construction in E1 will cut off East Jerusalem, claimed by Palestinians for their capital, from the rest of a putative state in the West Bank.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France bombs Islamist stronghold in north Mali | Reuters

(Reuters) - French fighter jets pounded an Islamist rebel stronghold deep in northern Mali on Sunday as Paris poured more troops into the capital Bamako, awaiting a West African force to dislodge al Qaeda-linked insurgents from the country's north.

The attack on Gao, the largest city in the desert region controlled by the Islamist alliance, marked a decisive intensification on the third day of French air raids, striking at the heart of the vast territory seized by rebels in April.

France is determined to end Islamist domination of north Mali, which many fear could act as a base for attacks on the West and for links with al Qaeda in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:28:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Making sense of Mali's armed groups - Features - Al Jazeera English

French planes have bombed targets in Mali in what they consider a fight against al-Qaeda-linked fighters. But the region is a cauldron of instability with a diverse blend of religious fighters, ethnic militas and secularists.

After spending weeks reporting from the country's restive north, Al Jazeera's May Ying Welsh reviews some of the different groups and what they want. 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:29:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because a "Bombs Away!" policy wrt failing states has been SO successful in the past!

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 04:39:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well his polls are flagging.
by generic on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 07:58:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many botched rescue commando missions in a row is that for France in Africa, now? 3?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 04:35:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - France Rafale jets target Gao in eastern Mali

The foreign minister made it clear that France was now targeting Islamist bases in the north and said Algeria, which shares a long border with Mali, had given permission for its air space to be used for bombing raids "without limit".

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said four Rafale fighter jets, flying from their base in France, had attacked and destroyed rebel training camps and logistics depots, which acted as back-up bases for terrorist groups.

The air attacks were continuing as part of an offensive to drive back Islamist militants who still control large swathes of northern Mali, he said earlier.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:31:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis - French early strike shakes up Mali intervention plan | Reuters

(Reuters) - France has rushed to help Mali block a push south by Islamist rebels from its desert north but a U.N.-backed intervention plan to dislodge al Qaeda and its allies faces a tough enemy and terrain and could still take months - if it succeeds at all.

The original timetable for the AFISMA intervention force of 3,300 West African troops with western logistical, financial and intelligence backing did not foresee deployment before September, to allow time for full preparation.

But this has now been accelerated by the rushed French response to a plea for help by Mali's government, after mobile columns of Islamist fighters last week threatened the central garrison towns of Mopti and Sevare, with its key airport.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egyptian court orders re-trial for Mubarak - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

An Egyptian court has accepted an appeal by ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his former interior minister, allowing him to be retried over the killings of protesters in the 2011 uprising.

"The court has ruled to accept the appeal filed by the defendants ... and orders a retrial," Judge Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman read out the ruling during Sunday's brief hearing.

No date has been set for the start of their retrial.

Mubarak and Habib el-Adly, the former interior minister, were sentenced to life in prison in June last year in a court ruling that held them responsible for the deaths of protesters killed by security forces trying to put down the uprising.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:44:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Noam Chomsky: The responsibility of privilege - Talk to Al Jazeera - Al Jazeera English
In this episode of Talk to Al Jazeera, Noam Chomsky sits down with Rosiland Jordan to talk about the two main tracks of his life: research and political activism.

... Discussing US politics, he attributes the growing popularity of the Tea Party movement, and the fanatical opposition to President Barack Obama in some quarters, to what he calls "pathological paranoia".

"It's something that exists in the country. It's a very frightened country, always has been," he says.

At the same time, Chomsky sees Obama himself as a man without a "moral centre".

"If you look at his policies I think that's what they reveal. I mean there's some nice rhetoric here and there but when you look at the actual policies ... the drone assassination campaign is a perfectly good example, I mean it's just a global assassination campaign."

VIDEO

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kurdish militants warn France after Paris killings - The Local

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said Friday it would hold France responsible if it does not quickly shed light on the slaying of three female Kurdish activists in Paris.

"The fact that the attack was carried out in France is a clear demonstration of France's responsibility," the People's Defence Forces (HPG), the military wing of the rebels, said in a statement published on its website.

"France has a responsibility to immediately shed light on the massacre," it said. "Or it will be held responsible for the murder of our comrades."

The warning came a day after three Kurdish women, one of them a

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:18:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkey's Erdogan demands Hollande explain meeting with militants - Europe - World - The Independent

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called on French President Francois Hollande to explain why he had met Kurdish militants with links to the PKK - viewed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and the United States - who were shot dead this week in Paris.

Hollande has said that one of the victims, three women with links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was known to him.

The execution-style killings in central Paris on Thursday have overshadowed a new initiative by Erdogan's government to launch a peace process to end the PKK's 28-year-old insurgency against Turkey.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Latin America and the Venezuelan Question Mark | Inter Press Service

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 12 2013 (IPS) - A lot of water has passed under the bridge in Latin America since Hugo Chávez first took office as president of Venezuela in 1999, with left-wing and centre-left governments coming to power and the emergence of paths toward integration that exclude the United States.

The regional identity that Chávez has been instrumental in building is now suffering the vicissitudes of uncertainty arising from the Venezuelan leader's serious illness. Chávez, re-elected Oct. 7 for the period 2013-2019, is in Cuba convalescing from his fourth surgery for a cancer diagnosed in June 2011.

The folkloric spectrum of the left in all its ideological shades is reflected in the region, from the Cuban model that adapted and survived, and has the support of Chávez, to newer manifestations like "Kirchnerism" in Argentina, "Lulaism" in Brazil, and the movements led by presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, and former guerrillas Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and José Mujica in Uruguay.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 12:24:17 PM EST
Exposing the 'hazardous' pollution of Beijing - Features - Al Jazeera English

Air pollution levels soared in a number of Chinese cities this weekend with air quality in the capital Beijing being described as hazardous. The city's authorities urged residents, especially the elderly, children and those suffering from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases to stay indoors.

On Saturday, the US embassy in Beijing, which monitors air quality from its rooftop and publishes pollution levels on a Twitter feed, described the pollution levels as "beyond index".

...

Two recent studies point to the health dangers and economic costs of air pollution in China. The first, in the Lancet medical journal found that air pollution, especially fine particulate matter such as soot, contributes to more than 3.2m premature deaths worldwide each year, with most of these deaths occurring in China and other Asian countries.

Another study, carried out by Greenpeace East Asia and Peking University's School of Public Health estimated that air pollution was the cause of 8,572 premature deaths in four major Chinese cities, and resulted in a total of $1.08bn in economic losses in 2012.

The Greenpeace study focused on the impact of fine particulate pollution known as PM2.5, which is considered the most dangerous, as the fine particulates lodge deep within the lungs and enter the bloodstream.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:49:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Air that you can slice before you inhale it.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 08:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Experts Fear Collapse of Global Civilisation | Inter Press Service
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Jan 11 2013 (IPS) - Experts on the health of our planet are terrified of the future. They can clearly see the coming collapse of global civilisation from an array of interconnected environmental problems.

"We're all scared," said Paul Ehrlich, president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.

"But we must tell the truth about what's happening and challenge people to do something to prevent it," Ehrlich told IPS.

Global collapse of human civilisation seems likely, write Ehrlich and his partner Anne Ehrlich in the prestigious science journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society.

This collapse will take the form of a "...gradual breakdown because famines, epidemics and resource shortages cause a disintegration of central control within nations, in concert with disruptions of trade and conflicts over increasingly scarce necessities", they write.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:30:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh boo hoo! Go hide under your bed.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 08:38:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US study warns of extreme heat, more severe storms

A government report warned Friday that the United States could face more frequent severe weather including heat waves and storms for decades to come as temperatures rise far beyond levels being planned for.

The draft Third National Climate Assessment, a scientific study legally mandated to advise US policymakers, made few bones that carbon emissions have been causing climate change -- a source of controversy among some lawmakers.

"Evidence for climate change abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans," the study said. "The sum total of this evidence tells an unambiguous story: The planet is warming."

The study, which was submitted for public and expert review and could be revised, said there was "strong evidence" that human activity had already roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat of the kind seen in Texas and Oklahoma in the summer of 2011.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:36:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tom Philpott | Mother Jones

Globally, 2012 will likely rank as one of the ten hottest in recorded history, The New York Times reports. If it does, "it will mean that the 10 warmest years on record all fell within the past 15 years, a measure of how much the planet has warmed." Here in the US, last year was far and away the hottest ever on record. In other words, climate change is no longer a theory or a model or an abstract worry involving future generations. It's happening, now--and if you want to see its likely effect on farming, look at the breadbasket state of Kansas, where the same prolonged drought that reduced corn and soy yields is now pinching the winter wheat crop, as I wrote a few days ago. On Wednesday, the UDSA declared much of the wheat belt a disaster area because of the drought's effect on the crop.

What would a farming system designed to meet the challenge of climate change look like? US policymakers have bought themselves time to consider that question.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:37:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"for decades to come," eh?
by asdf on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 01:03:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Monsanto earnings jump on corn seed, pesticide sales

Agricultural giant Monsanto Tuesday posted a large increase in quarterly earnings on strong results in corn seed sales in the US and Latin America and better sales of pesticides.

St Louis-based Monsanto said net income for the first quarter was $339 million, up from $126 million a year earlier.

The results were boosted by particularly strong sales of its corn seed products in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, the company said.

Farmers in Brazil and Argentina have upgraded to new Monsanto genetically modified products, the company said. Sales in this category rose more than 27 percent compared to the same period last year.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frontline Online: Who's planning to become the planet's greenest country? - The Ecologist
Whilst the UK government seems to blow hot then cold on wind power - with the Planning Minister Nick Boles now stating that wind farms should be situated at least 1.4 miles away from residential properties - a stipulation that is not so easy on such an overcrowded island and which is another reason for siting them offshore it seems the Uruguayan government may now become the world's leading wind energy producer, by 2015, as part of a wider scheme to produce 90% of its energy from renewables. In contrast, the UK produces just 11% of its energy from renewables.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:47:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 12:24:38 PM EST
BBC News - Six men arrested in new Indian 'bus rape'

Police in India have arrested six men after they allegedly gang-raped a woman on a bus, just weeks after a similar attack shocked the nation.

The latest assault is said to have taken place in the northern state of Punjab. The police are searching for a seventh suspected attacker.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:25:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gun groups predict assault weapon ban will fail in Congress | Reuters

(Reuters) - Gun rights groups on Sunday forecast that bids to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips would fail in Congress, as Vice President Joe Biden prepares this week to give President Barack Obama proposals to curb gun violence.

Even some congressional Democrats indicated that a bill to revive the U.S. assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 would have a difficult time winning passage in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Democratic-led Senate.

"An assault weapons stand-alone ban - on just guns alone ... in the political reality that we have today, will not go anywhere," Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, himself a gun owner, told the CNN program "State of the Union."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:30:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France's Iliad behind on mobile network deployment: paper | Reuters

(Reuters) - France's newest mobile operator Iliad has fallen behind schedule in building its mobile network, having installed 1,779 antennas by the end of 2012, short of its target of 2,500 antennas, Les Echos newspaper reported.

The report is likely to spark criticism from Iliad's larger rivals - France Telecom, Vivendi's SFR, and Bouygues - which have at times accused the newcomer of not investing enough to build its network.

The French government is studying the issue to determine whether Iliad, which has touched off a wave of layoffs and price cuts at larger competitors, is fulfilling the obligations laid out in its mobile license. It had asked France's ANFR, the agency responsible for tracking radio spectrum usage, to audit Iliad's network.

Iliad = Free

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 02:54:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - In Haiti, Aid Dollars Corroded Social Fabric | Inter Press Service

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan 11 2013 (Haiti Grassroots Watch) - A World Bank-funded community development project in Haiti appears to have inadvertantly harmed or even dissolved some of the grassroots organisations it was designed to strengthen.

As World Bank economists Ghazala Mansuri and Vijayendra Rao note in their work (See Sidebar 2, Criticism for CDD, and research here, here and here), the people and organisations that tend to benefit the most from "community driven development" or CDD projects in poor countries are those who already enjoy privilege and power at the local level.

"A few wealthy, and often politically connected, men - who are not necessarily more educated than other participants - tend to make decisions at community meetings," the researchers write in their June 2012 paper "Can Participation Be Induced?"

This phenomenon is known as "elite capture" and was listed as a risk in early PRODEP documents. While Haiti Grassroots Watch (HGW) could not conduct a complete survey of the Southeast department projects, anecdotal evidence and many interviews suggest ample "elite capture".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 03:29:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FDA Approves Bedaquiline for Resistant TB Treatment:

Bedaquiline, to be sold under the brand name Sirturo by Janssen Therapeutics, a division of Janssen Products LP, was approved under the FDA's accelerated approval program on the basis of phase 2 efficacy and safety data that used the surrogate study endpoint of sputum culture conversion rather than clinical cure.

Bedaquiline is the first new TB drug since the introduction of rifampin in 1970.

Don't know how I missed the announcement.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 02:02:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 12:25:07 PM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]