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17 January

by dvx Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 01:44:48 PM EST

Your daily dose of today's media


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 EUROPE 



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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 01:51:39 PM EST
Two die as helicopter crashes in central London | News | DW.DE | 16.01.2013

Two people died a helicopter crashed in central London after it clipped a large construction crane. Security officials say there is no indication of any terrorist involvement.

The helicopter crashed in the city's southwestern district of Wandsworth, close to Vauxhall train station, at about 8 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

London police confirmed that two people had died in the incident, with two others taken to hospital.

Witnesses said the helicopter first hit the crane and then crashed some 400 meters (1,300 feet) away.

"There was a massive explosion. People were shouting and screaming," on eyewitness told the BBC. Another said he had seen the aircraft burst into flames before hitting the ground.

Security officials at London's Counterterrorism Command said there was "nothing to suggest any terrorist link."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:07:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
David Cameron accused of allowing ministers to campaign for EU exit | Politics | guardian.co.uk

The prime minister has refused to confirm or deny claims that he has given cabinet colleagues freedom to campaign for Britain to exit the European Union in a future referendum.

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, used the weekly prime minister's questions to challenge David Cameron over reports that he would drop the usual requirement for "collective responsibility" around the cabinet table.

"When it comes to Europe it's the same old Tories: a divided party and a weak prime minister," said Miliband.

In reply, Cameron twice avoided answering the question, instead accusing Labour of avoiding the "issue" of Europe's changing powers and the UK's relationship with the EU. "If you want to take back powers from Europe you vote Conservative; if you want to give away powers to Europe you vote Labour," he said.

Just two days before the prime minister's much-awaited speech on plans to renegotiate the UK membership of Europe and put it to a referendum, probably in 2018, the subject dominated the half-hour session, accounting for all six of the Labour leader's questions.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:07:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany to send transport planes to Mali | News | DW.DE | 16.01.2013

Germany has said it is sending two transport planes to Mali to help shore up an initial battle against Islamist insurgents. French ground troops already in Mali were set to engage directly with the rebels Wednesday.

The German government on Wednesday pledged two Transall military transport planes to fly troops of the 15-nation west African grouping ECOWAS to the Malian capital Bamako.

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the two C-160 planes would depart once technical details had been resolved.

"Germany will provide logistical support based on the situation on the ground," de Maiziere told reporters at a hastily-called press conference in Berlin.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:07:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pussy Riot member's plea to defer prison term rejected - RUSSIA - FRANCE 24
A Russian court on Wednesday rejected Pussy Riot band member Maria Alyokhina's plea to defer her prison sentence until after her 5-year-old son reaches adolescence, despite fears the child will be irrevocably harmed by her absence. By News Wires (text)  

A Russian court has turned down the attempt by an imprisoned member of the Pussy Riot feminist punk band to defer serving her sentence until her pre-school son becomes a teenager.

Maria Alekhina on Wednesday asked the court to let her serve the rest of her two-year sentence after her 5-year-old son turns 14, arguing that separation from her child now will do irreparable psychological damage.

She was convicted last year along with two other band members of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for an anti-President Vladimir Putin stunt in Russia's main cathedral. One of the women had her sentence suspended on appeal.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Malu Dreyer takes the reins in Rhineland-Palatinate | News | DW.DE | 16.01.2013

Social Democrat Malu Dreyer is the new state premier in Rhineland-Palatinate. The 51-year-old officially took over from Kurt Beck, in office for more than 18 years, after unsurprisingly clearing a parliamentary vote.

Marie-Luise ("Malu") Dreyer won 60 of 100 valid votes in the regional parliament in Mainz on Wednesday - exactly the number of seats held by the ruling Social Democrat (SPD) and Green coalition - confirming that she would succeed Kurt Beck as the state premier of Rhineland-Palatinate.

She thus became the fourth female German state premier, along with Hannelore Kraft in North-Rhine Westphalia, Christine Lieberknecht in Thuringia and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in Saarland. Dreyer and Kraft are both Social Democrats, while Lieberknecht and Kramp-Karrenbauer are members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

The new state premier used her acceptance speech to urge cooperation with the Christian Democrat opposition in Rhineland-Palatinate.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lenin's embalmed corpse edges nearer the exit of his Red Square mausoleum | World news | guardian.co.uk

Just one in four Russians thinks the body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin should remain ensconced in its dark mausoleum on Red Square, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

The new findings have fuelled speculation that the Russian authorities may bury Lenin's body - a measure that remains highly politically charged 89 years after the Soviet leader's death.

The Levada Centre, an independent pollster, found that 25% of those polled believed Lenin should remain in his mausoleum - a record low since the organisation first began asking the question in 1997. Most of those polled - 34% - said Lenin should be buried in St Petersburg's Volkovsky cemetery, while 19% wanted to see him buried in the Kremlin walls, alongside other Soviet luminaries.

Lenin's body, displayed in a glass case inside a mausoleum just outside the Kremlin's walls, has become more of a tourist curio than the site of pilgrimage it was during Soviet times. Yet Russia's Communists, the country's second-biggest party after United Russia, as well as their mainly elderly supporters, have fiercely opposed any discussion of moving the body of a man they still revere.

Perhaps that's why Moscow has been awash in rumours that Lenin's body will be moved secretly. A great white tarpaulin went over the mausoleum last month, ostensibly for a four-month renovation to the structure's foundation and back wall. Officials were forced to deny the white bubble was designed to hide secret goings-on inside.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:37:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotland will not reapply to EU from outside: Salmond | EurActiv

Negotiations on Scotland's position in Europe will take place from within the EU after a referendum on independence next year, said First Minister Alex Salmond.

Following an expected positive outcome, talks between Scottish ministers and EU officials would take place before the transfer of sovereignty, in 2016, Salmond told BBC News on Wednesday (16 January).

"Scotland will still be a member of the UK so negotiations will take place by definition from within the European Union", he said.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has said that any newly formed state would have to reapply for membership from outside the EU.

But Salmond does not believe that will be the case for his country.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect Barroso has been lobbied strongly by Spain's government to take that position: a year ago the Commission was ambivalent about the issue.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:19:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: France may not accept Dijsselbloem as eurogroup chief (17.01.2013)
Pierre Moscovici says he does not accept the procedure to bulldoze the Dutch finance minister into the job of eurozone chairman; said France does not want to block him (just yet), but seeks written assurance from Dijsselbloem over a number of key points, such as banking union; Moscovici calls him sympathetic but not very experienced; France is now seeking an official procedure to seek out candidates for the job; eurogroup expressed surprise as they had hoped that this appointment had been sealed; Germany supports France in the rejection of the key recommendation of the Liikanen group - the separation of investment banking and commercial banking; Mario Monti declares the financial crisis to be over - it ended, and we are still here, he said; the bad loans ratio of Italian banks has risen last year; thanks to the recession, Italy has recorded a trade surplus for 2012; after the success of the 15 year bond, Italy now considers issuing a 30-year bond; Elisabetta Gualmini argues that the last thing Italy needs now are new elections, especially since the electoral law has not been reformed; Russia warns of another global currency war, criticising Japan's expansionary policies; Germany's economics ministers and Austria's central bank chief disagree with Jean-Claude Juncker's assessment of an overvalued euro; Philipp Rosler also rejects the call by Mariano Rajoy for a stimulus in the economies of the creditor countries; the European Parliament agrees tougher rules for rating agencies;  MEPs also pass a resolution calling for a pooling of sovereign debt through a debt redemption fund; Latin Americans are turning their back on Spain, where net immigration has become negative; Greek political parties are at odds over how to vote on Lagarde list investigation; Megan Greene says the inept handling of the Lagarde list has the potential to bring down the Greek government; the Irish central bank works on a compromise to secure a deal on promissory notes by March; the region of Salzburg found large undisclosed assets in a financial probe; Wolfgang Munchau criticises the SPD's policies on tax evasion; Paolo Manasse says the euro crisis has actually gotten a lot worse;  Ashoka Mody, meanwhile, expects the eurozone core to crack soon.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:01:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of juicy stuff in the FAQ.


III. THE NEW RULES: WHY THEY ARE NEEDED

7. Why was a reform of the CRA Regulation considered necessary?

Because there were, and still are, weaknesses in the existing EU rules on credit ratings that had been highlighted both by the financial crisis and the euro debt crisis:

* non-transparent sovereign ratings: Downgrading sovereign ratings has immediate consequences on the stability of financial markets but CRAs are insufficiently transparent about their reasons for attributing a particular rating to sovereign debt.[...]

* (absence of) liability of CRAs: CRAs issuing credit ratings in violation of the CRA Regulation are not always liable towards investors that suffered losses. National differences in civil liability regimes could result in credit rating agencies or issuers shopping around, choosing jurisdictions under which civil liability is less likely.



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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:32:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†ECONOMY & FINANCE†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 01:51:52 PM EST
German government cuts 2013 growth outlook | Business News | DW.DE | 16.01.2013

Germany's government has revised its 2013 economic outlook, expecting slower growth than predicted earlier, ahead of a strong rebound towards the end of 2013. It hopes faltering exports will be offset by domestic demand.

Germany's economy would likely grow by 0.4 percent this year, the government in Berlin said Wednesday, as it cut its original 2013 growth prediction of 1 percent by more than half.

A temporary weakness in the first few months would be overcome by a significant revival in the course of the remaining year, Economics Minister Philipp Rösler told journalists in Berlin.

Rösler also said he expected a return to stronger growth in 2014, when economic activity in Germany would accelerate to an annual rate of 1.6 percent.

On Tuesday, Germany's Federal Statistics Office released preliminary growth data for last year, showing that German gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by a feeble 0.7 percent in 2012, after notching up growth of 4.2 percent and 3.0 percent respectively in 2010 and 2011.

Here it comes...

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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European car sales sink to 17-year low | Business News | DW.DE | 16.01.2013

New car registrations in Europe went into free fall last year as the eurozone debt crisis drove the continent into recession. New figures for December 2012 suggest that Europe's car crisis hasn't hit rock bottom yet.

The number of new cars registered in Europe in 2012 dropped 8.2 percent to a total of 12.05 million vehicles, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association ACEA announced Wednesday.

ACEA said the figure was the lowest recorded since 1995. The decline - compared to the previous year - was the steepest since 1993, when annual sales contracted 16.9 percent, it added.

The carmakers' association blamed the eurozone debt crisis, which brought declining economic activity and rising unemployment to Europe, for the slump in consumer demand.

In December 2012, the free fall in new car registrations appeared to have accelerated as contraction in the car sector reached about 16.3 percent. As in the previous months, December's drop-off was most noteably in nations at the centre of the eurozone debt crisis.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:12:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Goldman Sachs pay and bonuses rise to £250,000 each | Business | guardian.co.uk

Goldman Sachs risked stoking the row over City pay on Wednesday by revealing its bankers were paid an average of $400,000 (£250,000) each last year, a rise of more than $30,000 a head on 2011.

Goldman's annual financial results show the bank has set aside $13bn to cover the salaries, bonuses and perks for the 32,400 it employs around the world. Details of the payroll come just a day after the bank was forced to back down from plans to defer bonuses until April so that its highly paid staff could avoid the 50% tax rate.

The size of the bill to pay staff is 6% higher than a year ago. However, the average individual payouts to staff are higher as the number of employees has fallen by 3%.

Staff will find out in the coming days what their bonuses for 2012 will be. Some of them will be expecting to receive millions of pounds .

Pressure from Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King - who said he found it "depressing" that highly paid staff might attempt to avoid the highest rate of income tax - forced Goldman to abandon plans to defer part-payment of bonuses from 2009, 2010 and 2011 which were due to be handed to staff this year. The top rate of income tax falls to 45% on 6 April, the start of the new tax year.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:12:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was having dinner with a Goldman Sachs employee (who is actually looking for a position elsewhere as he sees little future in his field internally) and asked him (as he is a quant, not a trader) whether the bonus culture that peaked at an average of $470k per employee extended beyond the traders and senior managers.

He started by explaining that such figures were from foregone times and it was no longer the case. Oh, I can see, indeed. Now it's merely $400k. They're fully reformed.

(Admittedly, I believe he's below that, I am aware of the difference between mean and median and it may be a highly skewed distribution. But still. It's not foregone times at all).

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 05:42:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Dividends Tumble to Four-Year Low as CEOs Hoard - Bloomberg

Companies in the euro area are poised to cut dividends to the lowest level in four years as chief executive officers stockpile cash to weather the region's sovereign-debt crisis.

Payouts to shareholders in the Euro Stoxx 50 Index (SX5E) will fall by 3.3 percent to a combined 115.48 euros a share this year, according to more than 500 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Reducing them by that much would cut the dividend yield to 4.3 percent from 6.3 percent in September 2011, even after cash on balance sheets climbed to the highest since 2008, the data show.

The forecasts suggest more companies will follow Royal KPN NV and Enel SpA in reducing payouts as the debt crisis pushes unemployment in Spain and Greece to more than 25 percent and China's economy cools.

The forecasts suggest more companies will follow Royal KPN NV and Enel SpA in reducing payouts as the debt crisis pushes unemployment in Spain and Greece to more than 25 percent and China's economy cools. Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

The forecasts suggest more companies will follow Royal KPN NV and Enel SpA (ENEL) in reducing payouts as the debt crisis pushes unemployment in Spain and Greece to more than 25 percent and China's economy cools. Analysts are cutting estimates amid a rally that has sent the Euro Stoxx 50 to a 17-month high as central-bank measures hold down bond yields.

"Within Europe, it's excess cash on balance sheets" that attracts investors, said Bank of America Corp.'s John Bilton, European investment strategist at Bank of America's Merrill Lynch unit in London. "The current levels of dividend yield are not sustainable."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:18:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia Says World Is Nearing Currency War as Europe Joins - Bloomberg

The world is on the brink of a fresh "currency war," Russia warned, as European policy makers joined Japan in bemoaning the economic cost of rising exchange rates.

"Japan is weakening the yen and other countries may follow," Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of Russia's central bank, said at a conference today in Moscow.

The alert from the country that chairs the Group of 20 came as Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker complained of a "dangerously high" euro and officials in Norway and Sweden expressed exchange-rate concern.

The push for weaker currencies is being driven by a need to find new sources of economic growth as monetary and fiscal policies run out of room. The risk is as each country tries to boost exports, it hurts the competitiveness of other economies and provokes retaliation.

Yesterday "will go down as the first day European policy makers fired a shot in the 2013 currency war," said Chris Turner, head of foreign-exchange strategy at ING Groep NV in London.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:18:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The push for weaker currencies is being driven by a need to find new sources of economic growth as monetary and fiscal policies run out of room.

Fiscal policies have not run out of room. They've barely been tried.

More conventional wisdom from a clueless, unimaginative and rudderless elite.

by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:02:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is axiomatic that whatever fiscal policy can do, monetary policy can do better. Therefore, if monetary policy has run out of steam, fiscal policy even more so.

That's the economic conventional wisdom.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, basic question time again. Have I got this right?
  • Fiscal: Done by government. Tax, government spending. (Don't know what 'transfer payments' are.)

  • Monetary: Done by central bank. Interest rates.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:46:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fiscal: adding that Yes, government spending, but also (and importantly) government investment in public goods.

Monetary:  not just target interest rates, but also money supply (reserve requirements of financial institutions, taking on various forms of debt, sovereign or no to the central bank's balance sheet, et c.)

by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:55:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fiscal: actual expenditure in actual economic activity, carried out by the sovereign money issuer.

Monetary: managing the prices of the (quasi)monetary assets the private sector used as a store of value.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:53:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(mostly) German ordoliberals atavistically maintain an almost shamanist money fetish, which hamstrings and renders pathetic the monetary policy.

There is no European response to the crisis, only reactions to shocks, mostly self-inflicted.

by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:48:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
German ordoliberals atavistically maintain an almost shamanist money fetish

Potential tagline? Need to rework the metre.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:03:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:05:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
try clicking your heels when you say it.

there's a shamanistic capture of a quintessential teutonistic love of lumpy sentences...

flow.... zeeero. a soundstutter perfect!you can hear the sphincter straining around the gnat.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 08:37:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps this phrase escaped from the libretto of a lost Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera on monetary policy.

I am the very model of a modern central banker, etc.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 09:21:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feels like a test sentence for text/language parsing. Fairly straighforward SVO.

Metre mostly OK. I can hear this being read by Shatner in a beret. (It helps if you prefix a "Spock!".)

If Yodafied I'd feel like keeping "atavistically" at the front.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Atavistically, an almost shamanistic money fetish German ordoliberals maintain"

Something like that?

(Yes, "shamanistic" is better than "shamanist")

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 06:07:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. (With an optional "Hmm!" at the start or ", hmm?" at the end.)


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 06:45:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
of course.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:00:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Based on a particular interpretation of the facts of the 1970s stagflation.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hyperinflation and the resolution thereof in the 1920s, and of course the events of the early 1930s in what was then Germany.
by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 09:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And intensive study of Goethe's Faust.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 10:17:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And failure to acknowledge that "the events of the early 1930s" were a direct result of Brüning's (and Laval's) harsh austerity policies...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des consťquences alors qu'ils en chťrissent les causes" Jacques-Bťnigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:19:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Moody's Cuts 2013 Higher Education Outlook to Negative - Bloomberg

Moody's Investors Service cut its 2013 outlook for all of U.S. higher education to negative, citing mounting pressure on revenue sources.

"Most universities will have to lower their cost structures to achieve long-term financial sustainability and fund future initiatives," Moody's said today in a report, led by analyst Eva Bogaty.

The ratings company previously had a stable rating for market-leading research institutions and a negative rating for other U.S. universities and colleges since 2009. The cost to attend college has increased faster than the rate of inflation over the past four decades, with some private institutions topping $60,000 a year.

Price sensitivity is having a greater impact on student demand because of a "prolonged period of depressed family income and household net worth," and because the number of high school graduates has been declining since the 2007-2008 academic year, Moody's said.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is a degree still value for money?

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:54:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†WORLD†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 01:52:06 PM EST
Obama Unveils Proposals for Toughening Laws on Guns - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON -- President Obama called upon Congress on Wednesday to toughen America's gun laws to confront mass shootings and everyday gun violence, betting that public opinion has shifted enough to support the broadest push for gun control in a generation.

At a White House event at noon, Mr. Obama announced plans to introduce legislation by next week that includes a ban on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks for gun purchases and new gun trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country.

He also promised to act without Congressional approval to increase the enforcement of existing gun laws and improve the flow of information among federal agencies to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who shouldn't have them.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:30:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.

Because ... your average gun nut is as reliable as a Secret Service agent?
Apples, they're the new oranges.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:26:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French troops begin ground combat in Mali - Africa - Al Jazeera English

rench troops have begun direct ground combat against fighters belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Dine group in Mali.

Quoting Sanda Ould Boumana, spokesman for Ansar al-Dine, Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reported from Bamako on Wednesday that the French forces had moved 400km north from the Malian capital and were shelling Diabaly, a town in central Mali.

She quoted Ould Boumana as saying that "the fighting is happening 2km from the centre of Diabaly, away from the civilians".

"Military sources in the Malian army have told Al Jazeera that French special forces are fighting in the town," she said.

Edouard Guillaud, France's military chief of staff, said the French ground operations in the West African country began overnight.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:33:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two killed after militants take western contractors hostage in Algeria raid | World news | guardian.co.uk

Islamist militants are reported to have killed two people, one of them a Briton, and taken a group of western contractors hostage in an attack on a gas field in south-eastern Algeria, apparently as a reprisal for France's military intervention in neighbouring Mali.

The Foreign Office confirmed that several British nationals had been caught up in the attack, on a gas field part-owned by BP near the town of Ain Amenas on the Algerian border with Libya.

BP confirmed the site had been "attacked and occupied by a group of unidentified armed people," and that some of its employees were believed to have been taken captive. Reports from the region said that six people had been wounded in the attack: including two foreigners, two police officers and two private security guards.

There were claims of responsibility by a group called Katibat Moulathamine, or the "Masked Brigade", and by another calling itself "Signers in Blood". It appeared possible they were both names for the same faction linked to a former al-Qaida leader called Mokhtar Belmokhtar.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:33:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is going in, it seems.
30 Algerian workers have escaped (see Guardian live).

The Tribune de Genève reports that 15 foreigners, including a French couple, have escaped.

Of course the French govt claims to be unable to confirm or deny that any French citizens were captured.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 06:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that the French government has been lying about the presence of French nationals. The site's catering firm claimed that all its captured employees were Algerians, whereas Le Monde reports that the (French) head of catering has been identified as among the hostages.

That's logical. They don't want to give away any leverage. The Algerians have to sort out the mess.

Interestingly, the primary demand of the aggressors is for the liberation of 100 (Algerian) AQIM activists, and a bunch of 4WD vehicles to get away in. The secondary demand of this splinter group of the Algerian AQIM is for the French to stop their assault on northern Mali, their new homeland, where they were just starting to get comfortable.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 06:40:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty predictable : they aren't the kid-gloves kind.

Looks like most of the foreign hostages got killed, and most of the locals got away. Apparently most of the kidnappers killed too, including the leader. Probably a small group of kidnappers and hostages left.

Nobody confirming anything, the only numbers seem to come from the terrorists themselves via the Mauritanian news agency.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 09:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al-Shabab sentences French agent to death - Africa - Al Jazeera English

The armed Islamist group al-Shabab has said it has decided to execute a French intelligence agent who has been held captive for three years and was the object of an unsuccessful rescue bid in Somalia on Saturday. 

The al-Qaeda-linked group released a statement on Tuesday saying it had "reached a unanimous decision to execute the French intelligence officer, Denis Allex". 

"With the rescue attempt, France has voluntarily signed Allex's death warrant," said al-Shabab. 

A senior al-Shabab official told the AFP news agency that Allex "has been sentenced and this judgement will not be changed". 

"As far as we are concerned this man should die," he added . 



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:33:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France, of course, says the man is already dead.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Action Against Hunger calls for free and direct access to vulnerable populations in Mali - Action Against Hunger

As conflict continues to escalate in northern Mali, Action Against Hunger has been forced to temporarily suspend its programmes in Gao and warns that clashes are causing a severe barrier to humanitarian aid, worsening the impact on vulnerable communities. 

 

Action Against Hunger continues to operate in the regions of Kita, Koulikoro and Bamako, as violence has already displaced 380,000 people (150,000 refugees and 230,000 displaced people).

 

Director of Operations for Action Against Hunger, Vincent Stehli, says: "This new phase of the conflict is adding to the fragility of the population. We fear the worst is yet to come in the spring - the period in-between harvests where food reserves will be exhausted. For now, we have been forced to suspend our projects in the region of Gao, as the hospital where we were treating malnourished children is closed."
 
From Bamako, the Country Director for Action Against Hunger in Mali, Franck Vanetelle, says: "While the attention of the media and the international community is towards the centre and north of the country, in the midst of conflict, we also need to remember that what is happening is dramatically worsening the situation in the rest of the country, where communities were already extremely fragile and isolated to begin with. Blocking roads from the centre of Mali is threatening food supplies for other regions."
 
"During the next few weeks we will focus on the flow of refugees and displaced persons. Our teams are already tracking population flows from north western Mali to Mauritania," says Helena Valencia, emergency team leader for Action Against Hunger.
 
Action Against Hunger is calling on all parties of the conflict to grant aid workers free and direct access to the most vulnerable populations.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 07:46:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deadly suicide blasts strike Iraq's north - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

At least 28 people have been killed and more than 200 others injured in attacks across Iraq, with at least two of them aimed at Kurdish targets in the country's north.

In Wednesday's deadliest attack, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Kirkuk, apparently targeting an office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

They struck in the centre of the ethnically mixed northern Iraqi city, located 240km north of Baghdad.

At least one blast appeared to target a compound housing local offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish regional president.

The two car bombs killed at least 26 people and wounded 190, Sadiq Omar Rasul, provincial health chief, said.

"Both explosions inflicted massive destruction," Brigadier-General Sarhad Qader of Kirkuk police said.

"Our forces are still trying to remove corpses from the rubble" of the first attack.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:33:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Venezuelan vice-president gives speech in place of Hugo Chávez | World news | The Guardian

The Venezuelan vice-president, Nicolás Maduro, has given a brief state-of-the-nation address in place of his ailing boss, Hugo Chávez, who has not been seen in public since going to Cuba for cancer surgery more than a month ago.

Maduro stood in for Chávez with a 10-minute speech to Congress in which he defended the president's decision to rule the Opec nation from a hospital bed in Havana despite opposition calls for him to step aside and name a temporary leader.

"We are following the constitution in an impeccable manner," Maduro, Chávez's heir apparent, told MPs, holding up a copy of the 1999 charter Chávez helped write.

The brevity of the speech, in sharp contrast to Chávez's nine-and-a-half-hour address last year, came as a surprise following Maduro's month-long effort to impersonate Chávez's bombastic charisma.

Maduro offered no new information about the president's cancer, which threatens to upend Chávez's self-styled socialist revolution and convulse the political order of a country that holds the world's biggest oil reserves.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:39:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
threatens to upend Chávez's self-styled socialist revolution and convulse the political order of a country that holds the world's biggest oil reserves.

... or not.

fair and balanced!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 08:40:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†LIVING OFF THE PLANET†
†Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 01:52:23 PM EST
Beijing's air pollution as seen from space | Plugged In, Scientific American Blog Network

On January 13, The New York Times reported that air pollution levels in Beijing, China were elevated to a point "beyond indexing". The readings help form the Air Quality Index (PDF), which is used to determine levels of harmful particulate matter, and topped out at 755 ppm at a monitoring station at the U.S. Embassy (on a scale of 500).

The folks at NASA have posted two satellite images that show what the entire Beijing region looks like with and without a shroud of smog:



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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily chart: Choked | The Economist
BEIJING is frequently shrouded in dense, yellowish smog so thick that the other side of the road is obscured. But the deadly smog that enveloped the city over the past weekend was so bad that air-quality readings from a monitor on the roof of the American Embassy said simply: "Beyond Index". The embassy uses the US Environmental Protection Agency's air-quality index (AQI), which measures PM 2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 microns across or less per cubic metre). Such particles are small enough to be inhaled and can damage lungs. The AQI range ends at 500; at one point a reading of 886 was recorded. A reading above 100 is deemed "unhealthy for sensitive groups" and anything above 400 is rated "hazardous" for all. 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 08:47:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's like Victorian London all over again. But not from coal fires, I'm assuming.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:28:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in large part.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 06:09:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where does all that cheap crap at WalMarts et al come from, and what's the power supply for those factories? No free lunch, folks.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:21:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortified by Global Warming, Deadly Fungus Poisons Corn Crops, Causes Cancer: Scientific American

Last year's drought increased the spread of a carcinogenic mold called aspergillus (Aspergillus flavus), a fungal pathogen that poisons cattle, kills pets and has infected the 2012 corn crop, rendering significant portions of the harvest unfit for consumption.

Whereas the deadly organism mainly affects countries like China and developing African nations, many U.S. states have experienced an increase in corn contamination since 2011. Farmers are likely to see more of the carcinogen as temperatures continue to rise and droughts become more frequent.

"It's really a climate variable issue," says Barbara Stinson, founding and senior partner of Meridian Institute, a public policy organization. "We're probably looking at an increase in aflatoxin as a result of that."

A. flavus releases toxic spores that can be fatal when ingested, prompting symptoms that include jaundice, liver cancer and internal bleeding. The poison is so deadly that in 1995 Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein confessed to weaponizing the mold spores for use in biological warfare. The high toxicity of the mold means crops with more than 20 parts per billion--the equivalent of about 100 kernels in a truckload of corn--can't cross state lines, says Ronnie Heiniger, professor of cropping systems at North Carolina State University.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:41:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where there's smoke or smog, there's climate change

Jan. 15, 2013 -- In addition to causing smoggy skies and chronic coughs, soot -- or black carbon -- turns out to be the number two contributor to global warming. It's second only to carbon dioxide, according to a four-year assessment by an international panel.

The new study concludes that black carbon, the soot particles in smoke and smog, contributes about twice as much to global warming as previously estimated, even by the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"We were surprised at its potential contribution to climate," said Sarah Doherty, a University of Washington atmospheric scientist and one of four coordinating lead authors. The silver lining may be that controlling these emissions can deliver more immediate climate benefits than trying to control carbon dioxide, she said.

The paper was made freely available online Jan. 15 in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Full paper here (big pfd!)

I've been darting around in the snow too much, but I'll briefly comment that it has the looks of a rather important finding. Finding a solution for the anthropogenic exhaust of soot is easier than finding a solution for the anthropogenic exhaust of carbon dioxide.

by Nomad on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 05:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This also seems to have bearing on the ongoing debate on geo-engineering (fantasy) projects to lessen the greenhouse effect with particulate aerosols.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:45:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
since the geo-eng buffs don't talk about carbon but SO2, which has an uncontroversial cooling effect.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:24:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This may tie in with the current controversy over the CO2 forcing, which some claim is overestimated.

My memory of the previous estimations is that that black carbon had important heating and cooling effects, and that there was controversy over which one predominated. I'll have to update myself.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:23:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's now and then a bit of buzz whether it's better to use several definitions for describing the amount of radiative forcing that atmospheric CO2 causes; the IPCC definition is quite narrow. But it's not too spectacular a debate AFAIK...

Would you mean the degree of additional warming caused by feedback and amplification effects as result of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, the figure for climate sensitivity? While scientists seem to enjoy huffing and puffing that the answer has been established by now, I'd say it's indeed a controversial and unsettled topic, one of immense relevance - there's a reason scientists call determining the figure the 'Holy Grail' of climate science.

For an update on black carbon, the JGR article has a good introduction:

Because black carbon absorbs much more
light than it reflects, it warms the atmosphere through its
interaction with sunlight. This warming effect contrasts
with the cooling effect of other particles that are
primarily scattering and, thus, reduce the amount of
energy kept in the Earth system. Radiative forcing (RF)
by atmospheric BC stops within weeks after emissions
cease because its atmospheric lifetime is short unlike the
long timescale associated with the removal of CO2 from
the atmosphere. Thus, sustained reductions in emissions
of BC and other short-lived climate warming agents,
especially methane and tropospheric ozone (O3), could
quickly decrease positive climate forcing and hence
climate warming. While such targeted reductions will
not avoid climate change, their value in a portfolio to
manage the trajectory of climate forcing is
acknowledged in the scientific community [e.g., Molina
et al., 2009; Ramanathan and Xu, 2010].
by Nomad on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 07:37:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Insecticide 'unacceptable' danger to bees, report finds | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The world's most widely used insecticide has for the first time been officially labelled an "unacceptable" danger to bees feeding on flowering crops. Environmental campaigners say the conclusion, by Europe's leading food safety authority, sounds the "death knell" for the insect nerve agent.

The chemical's manufacturer, Bayer, claimed the report, released on Wednesday, did not alter existing risk assessments and warned against "over-interpretation of the precautionary principle".

The report comes just months after the UK government dismissed a fast-growing body of evidence of harm to bees as insufficient to justify banning the chemicals.

Bees and other pollinators are critical to one-third of all food, but two major studies in March 2012, and others since, have implicated neonicotinoid pesticides in the decline in the insects, alongside habitat loss and disease. In April, the European commission demanded a re-examination of the risks posed by the chemicals, including Bayer's widely used imidacloprid and two others.

Scientists at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), together with experts from across Europe, concluded on Wednesday that for imidacloprid "only uses on crops not attractive to honeybees were considered acceptable" because of exposure through nectar and pollen. Such crops include oil seed rape, corn and sunflowers. EFSA was asked to consider the acute and chronic effects on bee larvae, bee behaviour and the colony as a whole, and the risks posed by sub-lethal doses. But it found a widespread lack of information in many areas and had stated previously that current "simplistic" regulations contained "major weaknesses".



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 03:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On second thought: IAEA re-categorizes the operational status for 47 of Japan's nuclear reactors | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
In an unprecedented move, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today retroactively re-categorized 47 Japanese nuclear reactors from "in operation" to "long-term shutdown" in its Power Reactor Information System. Thus, the global number of nuclear reactors listed as "in operation" drops from 437 to 390, a number not seen since Chernobyl-year 1986, when 391 operating units were on the list. Without a doubt, the step is a unique revision of world operational nuclear data -- not to mention a solid recognition of the industrial reality in Japan.

However, numerous questions remain. Though the agency officially defines its reactor-status categories, the actual specifics related to the handling of these categories remain unclear. Units can remain in the long-term shutdown category for many years, without any apparent limit. With today's change, Japan now has a total of 48 units listed under this category -- the Monju Nuclear Power Plant, a fast breeder reactor that has not been generating electricity since a sodium fire severely damaged the plant in 1995, was the only unit that the agency qualified for long-term shutdown before today's reshuffling.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:51:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mesures de soutien à la filière photovoltaïque | Net-iris 2013 Measures to support the photovoltaic industry

La production de l'énergie solaire sur le territoire français, actuellement de 500 mégawatts par an, devrait passer à 1.000 MW par an d'ici la fin de l'année 2013.

production of solar energy on the French territory, currently 500 megawatts per year, is expected to increase to 1,000 MW per year by the end of 2013.

Décidées dans le cadre de la Conférence environnementale, des 14 et 15 septembre 2012, et annoncées par le Gouvernement début octobre, diverses mesures de soutien à la filière photovoltaïque vont voir le jour afin de doubler la production d'énergie solaire par an.
Ces mesures, qui représentent des investissements de plus de 2 milliards d'euros, vont contribuer à la création et au maintien d'environ 10.000 emplois.
Elles porteront sur :
Decided in the context of the Environmental Conference, 14 and 15 September 2012, and announced by the Government in early October, various measures to support the photovoltaic industry will emerge to double production of solar energy per year.
These measures, which represent an investment of more than € 2 billion, will contribute to the creation and maintenance of about 10,000 jobs.
They focus on:
  • le soutien aux technologies françaises innovantes pour les grandes installations (supérieures à 250 kilowatts).
    Un appel d'offres concernant 400 mégawatts sera lancé. La moitié sera réservée à des projets innovants : concentration solaire ou concentration avec suivi du soleil et l'autre moitié sera affectée à des installations sur ombrières de parkings et sur bâtiments. Les projets devront être respectueux de l'environnement ;
  • la mise mise en place de nouveaux critères pour l'appel d'offres concernant les installations de taille moyenne (installations sur toiture d'une puissance comprise entre 100 et 250 kilowatts). L'appel d'offres, reconduit mais avec des conditions améliorées, porte sur 120 mégawatts sur un an ;
  • un meilleur tarif d'achat pour les petites installations (installations sur toitures allant jusqu'à 100 kilowatts). Il est prévu de passer de 200 à 400 mégawatts en termes d'installation, par an ;
  • la mise en place d'une bonification pouvant aller jusqu'à 10% pour les installations fabriquées en Europe. Ceci permettra de prendre en compte la différence des coûts tout en privilégiant le développement local.
  • support for innovative French technology for large installations (greater than 250 kilowatts).
    A tender for 400 megawatts will be launched. Half will be reserved for innovative projects: solar concentration or concentration with solar tracking and the other half will be allocated to installations on parking shade structures and buildings. Projects must be environmentally friendly;
  • establishing new criteria for the tender for the medium sized facilities (rooftop installations with a capacity between 100 and 250 kilowatts). The tender, but renewed with improved terms, covers 120 megawatts a year;
  • a better tariff for small installations (rooftop installations up to 100 kW). It is planned to increase the target from 200 to 400 megawatts installed per year;
  • the introduction of a bonus up to 10% for equipment manufactured in Europe. This will take into account the difference in costs while promoting local development.
Soulignons que le ministère de l'Ecologie s'engage à publier sur son site internet, dés le 1er février, la liste des entreprises de la filière photovoltaïque française.Note that the Department of Ecology undertakes to publish on its website, as soon as February 1st, the list of companies in the French photovoltaic sector.
Source : Ministère de l'EcologieSource: Ministry of Ecology


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:59:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well done francois!

ed miliband, listen up and get a clue!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 08:46:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and bersani and syriza and uncle tom cobley.

this is the transnational unifying factor in lefty politics, 40 years late but still a tried votegetter.

apollo project, marshal plan, green new deal. lower unemployment and cut your electric bills in one swwop.

duh yes we can!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 08:50:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that this would be a doubling of installed capacity... off a very low base. Not that hard to do.

Meanwhile, they are still struggling with removing the regulatory paralysis imposed on wind by Sarko. The new law is before parliament this week, but is only a part of the solution.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 09:23:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†LIVING ON THE PLANET†
†Society, Culture, History, Information†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 01:52:36 PM EST
Major step toward an Alzheimer's vaccine

Jan. 15, 2013 -- A team of researchers from Université Laval, CHU de Québec, and pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has discovered a way to stimulate the brain's natural defense mechanisms in people with Alzheimer's disease. This major breakthrough, details of which are presented January 15 in an early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), opens the door to the development of a treatment for Alzheimer's disease and a vaccine to prevent the illness.

One of the main characteristics of Alzheimer's disease is the production in the brain of a toxic molecule known as amyloid beta. Microglial cells, the nervous system's defenders, are unable to eliminate this substance, which forms deposits called senile plaques.

The team led by Dr. Serge Rivest, professor at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine and researcher at the CHU de Québec research center, identified a molecule that stimulates the activity of the brain's immune cells. The molecule, known as MPL (monophosphoryl lipid A), has been used extensively as a vaccine adjuvant by GSK for many years, and its safety is well established.

In mice with Alzheimer's symptoms, weekly injections of MPL over a twelve-week period eliminated up to 80% of senile plaques. In addition, tests measuring the mice's ability to learn new tasks showed significant improvement in cognitive function over the same period.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:42:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Monophosphoryl lipid A seems simple enough and safe enough that the pharma complex will have trouble patent-protecting it out of reach of the masses. So this potential elixir of mental youth would not be subject to the danger of its use being confined to the rich and powerful...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cool.
If I may be a cynic (just for a moment, unusual for me I know), does this mean there's no money in it?
I.e. no one will make this without government money?

Still, good news.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:37:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chimpanzees successfully play the Ultimatum Game: Apes' sense of fairness confirmed

Jan. 14, 2013 -- Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, are the first to show chimpanzees possess a sense of fairness that has previously been attributed as uniquely human. Working with colleagues from Georgia State University, the researchers played the Ultimatum Game with the chimpanzees to determine how sensitive the animals are to the reward distribution between two individuals if both need to agree on the outcome.>

The researchers say the findings, available in an early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) available this week, suggest a long evolutionary history of the human aversion to inequity as well as a shared preference for fair outcomes by the common ancestor of humans and apes.

According to first author Darby Proctor, PhD, "We used the Ultimatum Game because it is the gold standard to determine the human sense of fairness. In the game, one individual needs to propose a reward division to another individual and then have that individual accept the proposition before both can obtain the rewards. Humans typically offer generous portions, such as 50 percent of the reward, to their partners, and that's exactly what we recorded in our study with chimpanzees."

Co-author Frans de Waal, PhD, adds, "Until our study, the behavioral economics community assumed the Ultimatum Game could not be played with animals or that animals would choose only the most selfish option while playing. We've concluded that chimpanzees not only get very close to the human sense of fairness, but the animals may actually have exactly the same preferences as our own species." For purposes of direct comparison, the study was also conducted separately with human children.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's main airlines ground Dreamliner fleets - JAPAN - FRANCE 24
Two top Japanese airlines grounded their Boeing's 787 Dreamliner fleets for safety checks on Wednesday, after one was forced to make an emergency landing in the latest of a catalogue of safety and engineering failures plaguing the new jet. By Rochelle FERGUSON (video)
News Wires (text)  

Japan's two leading airlines grounded their fleets of Boeing 787s on Wednesday after one of the Dreamliner passenger jets made an emergency landing, heightening safety concerns over a plane many see as the future of commercial aviation.

All Nippon Airways Co said it was grounding all 17 of its 787s and Japan Airlines Co said it suspended all 787 flights scheduled for Wednesday. ANA said its planes could be back in the air as soon as Thursday once checks were completed. The two carriers operate around half of the 50 Dreamliners delivered by Boeing to date.

Wednesday's incident follows a series of mishaps for the new Dreamliner. The sophisticated plane, the world's first mainly carbon-composite airliner, has suffered fuel leaks, a battery fire, wiring problem, brake computer glitch and cracked cockpit window in recent days.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 02:45:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dengue is fastest-spreading tropical disease, WHO says - baltimoresun.com
GENEVA (Reuters) - Dengue is the world's fastest-spreading tropical disease and represents a "pandemic threat", infecting an estimated 50 million people across all continents, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes, the disease is occurring more widely due to increased movement of people and goods - including carrier objects such as bamboo plants and used tires - as well as floods linked to climate change, the United Nations agency said.

The viral disease, which affected only a handful of areas in the 1950s, is now present in more than 125 countries - significantly more than malaria, historically the most notorious mosquito-borne disease.

The most advanced vaccine against dengue is only 30 percent effective, trials last year showed.

"In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years," the WHO said in a statement.

Late last year, Europe's suffered its first sustained outbreak since the 1920s, with 2,000 people infected on the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 03:08:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Re:Re:Fw:Re: Workers Spend 650 Hours a Year on Email - Jordan Weissmann - The Atlantic

There's a good chance you spend more than a quarter of each week reading and answering those emails. 

That factlet comes courtesy of the McKinsey Global Institute, which broke down how so-called "interaction workers" spend their days. They describe these as people whose jobs require "complex interactions with other people, independent judgment, and access to information." I'm interpreting it as consultant speak for "office stiff." 

The upshot: we spend 13 hours a week, or 28 percent of our office time, on email. Assuming two weeks vacation, that multiplies out to 650 hours a year. 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 05:05:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Atlantic: A City Where All Teens Would Be Forced to Carry Loaded AR-15s
Just look at all the rules that relate to firearms:
  • Everyone 13 years and older "shall annually demonstrate proficiency with the rifle of his/her choice by hitting a man-sized steel target at 100 yards with open sights at the Citadel range."
  • They must also "annually demonstrate proficiency with a handgun of choice by hitting a man-sized steel target at 25 yards with open sights at the Citadel range."
  • "Every able-bodied Patriot of age within the Citadel will maintain one AR15 variant in 5.56mm NATO, at least 5 magazines and 1,000 rounds of ammunition." An individual mandate!
  • "Every child attending Citadel schools -- with parental discretion for maturity -- shall have as part of every semester's class curriculum basic marksmanship and firearms safety training leading to the proficiency test on the child's 13th birthday as a 'Coming of Age' rite of passage."
  • "All Patriots, who are of age and are not legally restricted from bearing firearms, shall agree to remain armed with a loaded sidearm whenever visiting the Citadel Town Center. Firearm shall be on-the-person and under the control of the Resident, not merely stored in a vehicle."

I am glad I live in a country where people who want to live under rules like this are free to buy between 2,000 and 3,000 acres of private land, enclose 640 of those acres behind walls and towers, and pursue their heavily fortified version of happiness. Along with the rules related to guns, there would be mandatory participation in a militia for defensive purposes, biannual town defense drills, and a mandate that every household "remain stocked with sufficient food, water, and other preparedness essentials to sustain ... every member of the household for one year."
So, if people age or become sick to the point of not being able to demostrate the required marksmanship, they will be banished from the Citadel?

Presumably, to the surounding farmland?

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:46:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See also Gawker: Glenn Beck vs. The Citadel: Who Announced Plans for a Libertarian Commune Better?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:49:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I make use of the US "gated community" phenomenon to enable a sort of clandestine semi-autonomous republic in the Bay Area.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 06:26:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†PEOPLE AND KLATSCH†


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 01:52:49 PM EST
1880 - Mack Sennett, Canadian film director (d. 1960)



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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 16th, 2013 at 01:59:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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