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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 5-6 January

by DoDo Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:10:02 PM EST

A Daily Review Of International Online Media


 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on these dates in history:

1813 - monetary reform in Denmark commonly considered the first modern sovereign default

More here and here

1993 - death of Rudolf Nureyev (b. 1938), celebrated ballet dancer, one of the most prominent victims of AIDS

More here

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 EUROPE 



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:00:01 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Euro has weathered debt storm, Barroso says

In a speech given to Portuguese diplomats in Lisbon on Thursday (3 January), the former Portuguese leader said that "the perception of risk in the eurozone has disappeared."

He added: "Investors have understood that when European leaders commit themselves to doing everything to safeguard the integrity of the euro, they mean business."

His speech comes after Portugal earlier this week became the latest EU country to break ranks on economic policy.

Its president, Anibal Cavaco Silva in his New Year address condemned what he described as the "social injustice" of the country's bailout terms and promised a court enquiry on the subject.

For his part, Barroso acknowlegded that his native country is facing "a true ... social emergency."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:00:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron's insistence on EU budget cut counterproductive, says Irish MP | World news | guardian.co.uk

David Cameron's insistence on cutting the European Union budget will endanger any fiscal stimulus to save Europe's economy, the leader of Ireland's opposition has warned.

Micheál Martin, currently the most popular politician in the Republic, described the UK prime minister's demand for a 1% cut in EU spending as counterproductive.

Instead the EU should introduce an Obama-style fiscal stimulus plan across Europe to help end the eurozone crisis, said Martin, whose Fianna Fáil party has recovered in the opinion polls from its historical electoral drubbing in 2011.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:00:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ulster loyalists plan Dublin demonstration over union flag | World news | guardian.co.uk

Ulster loyalists are planning to demonstrate in Dublin over the decision to restrict the flying of the union flag 100 miles away in Belfast. The decision to protest in the Irish capital next weekend will raise fears of a repeat of the Love Ulster march in Dublin six years ago, which degenerated into a major riot in the city.

The loyalist victims' campaigner Willie Frazer has confirmed that he has informed the Garda Síochána that he and his followers will hold a peaceful protest in Dublin next Saturday. Frazer was one of the organisers of the Love Ulster demonstration, which marched to the Dáil but triggered rioting and disorder across central Dublin.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope the garda give them all a damn good kicking

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 02:46:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungarian top court shoots down voter registration | News | DW.DE | 04.01.2013
Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance had approved a new voting system in November to require the nation's voters to register before the 2014 elections. That plan, however, was shot down by the nation's top court.

"Mindful of the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, the Constitutional Court has established that for those with Hungarian residency the registration requirement represents an undue restriction on voting rights and is therefore unconstitutional," the court said.

This ruling applies only to domestic voters, however, and the court added that voter registration for Hungarians living overseas was justified.

Voter registration was to be a transparent US-inspired voter suppression measure, justified with virtually nonexistent voter fraud in a well-working system. Earlier, prime minister Orbán suggested that his party with its qualified majority in parliament could bypass Constitutional Court objection by implanting voter registration into the Constitution itself. However, Fidesz's parliamentary faction leader now swiped even that off the table, claiming there won't be voter registration by the 2014 elections.

What's noteworthy here is the emergence of disunity within the top echelons of ruling Fidesz. The party used to be in total control of a closely-knit cabal of about a dozen people who never showed disagreement in public. There have been reports of internal conflicts over the past few years, but I dismissed them as opposition wishful thinking giving too much credibility to rumours. However, since the start of Fidesz's democrature in 2010, a number of inner cabal members retired from party politics, and took up other top jobs during the totalitarian power grab over all institutions.

Now, (to me) unexpectedly, they started to obstruct Orbán's plans. In this case, two of them, the current (figurehead) President of the [abolished] Republic (who succeeded Hungary's zu Googleberg) and a member of the Constitutional Court played a key role. And the guy who announced that voter registration is off the table for now was at one time treated as Orbán's crown price, then was sidelined as a major, and only returned on the national stage earlier this year after one of Orbán's foot soldiers proved a failure even on Fidesz's warped terms.

Does this mean Fidesz is collapsing? If polls are to be believed, certainly not. Does this mean that at least democracy with checks and balances is saved? I don't know. I feel I am only doing (can only do) Kremlinology.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Macedonian opposition: EU ignores democratic backslide | EurActiv

Macedonia's leading opposition party has accused the European Union of overlooking threats to democracy in the country, as anti-government protests continued yesterday (3 January) for the 11th day.

Protests broke out in the capital Skopje on December 24, when opposition MPs tried to block the parliamentary debate on the 2013 budget and were expelled from the chamber.

After the incident, Branko Crvenkovski - leader of the largest opposition party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) - announced that his party would participate in local elections scheduled for March only if electoral rolls were revised. He also said the elections must be held according to the standards of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The opposition would also likely boycott the local elections unless they are carried out by an interim government, Serbia's B92 news site reported.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:04:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Government of Belarus using 'new tools' to silence dissent on internet, says Index on Censorship report - Europe - World - The Independent

Researchers at Index on Censorship have been investigating ways in which Europe's last dictatorship monitors web activity at a time when internet use in Belarus is rapidly expanding.

...the report's authors, who conducted a field trip to Belarus last month, warn that the growth of internet use has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in tools to monitor their activity.

Among the tools the researchers found in place were web filters on multiple government controlled WiFi networks, surveillance technology allowing the authorities to intercept all web traffic, the removal of secure access to particular websites including Facebook and the creation of fake versions of popular dissident websites such as Charter97.org.

...Researchers also highlighted concerns that western technology giants may have sold equipment or software to Belarus that could be used to stifle or monitor dissent.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:04:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Revealed: soldiers, nurses and teachers hit by benefit curbs | Society | The Observer

Half a million soldiers, nurses and teachers will have their income slashed under the coalition's benefits crackdown, according to a new report. The chancellor's sub-inflation rise in benefits and tax credits over the next three years will hit a whole range of the country's most trusted professionals.

Up to 40,000 soldiers, 300,000 nurses and 150,000 primary and nursery school teachers will lose cash, in some cases many hundreds of pounds, according to the Children's Society. The revelation appears to contradict the government's stated intention to target shirkers and scroungers, and will raise the temperature of the Commons debate and vote on the plan on Tuesday.

Who Could Have Predicted?

by Bernard on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:34:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:04:57 PM EST
Oldest Swiss bank to close in US tax evasion case - BANKING - FRANCE 24

Wegelin & Co, the oldest Swiss private bank, said on Thursday it would shut its doors permanently after more than 2 ½ centuries, following its guilty plea to charges of helping wealthy Americans evade taxes through secret accounts.

The plea, in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, marks the death knell for one of Switzerland's most storied banks, whose original European clients pre-date the American Revolution. It is also potentially a major turning point in a battle by U.S. authorities against Swiss bank secrecy.

A major question was left hanging by the plea: Has the bank turned over, or does it plan to disclose, names of American clients to U.S. authorities? That is a key demand in a broad U.S. investigation of tax evasion through Swiss banks.

"It is unclear whether the bank was required to turn over American client names who held secret Swiss bank accounts," said Jeffrey Neiman, a former federal prosecutor involved in other Swiss bank investigations who is now in private law practice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:05:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK bond yields briefly rise above France: don't panic, say analysts | Business | guardian.co.uk
For the first time in a couple of years, the yield on British 10-year gilts - the effective interest rate on government debt - overtook their French equivalent. Chancellor George Osborne will be relieved to hear they have since slipped back and normality has been restored.

But does this mean that France is a better bet, or at least as good a bet as the UK, in terms of paying back its debts? Analysts say no, and not only out of a sense of national pride. Credit default swaps (CDS) - which traders use to bet on a country's creditworthiness - barely moved on Friday morning, and told a very different story.

...According to the CDS market, the cost of insuring against the risk of a French default is currently double the cost for Britain. Mark Dowding, co-head of investment grade credit at hedge fund Bluebay Asset Management said: "From a pure credit risk standpoint, France is deemed to be about twice as risky as the UK."

He said that is generally the case because the UK can control its own currency. "If we were in a position where we were struggling to meet our bills, the government could print money." That means the UK is seen as less of a credit risk, but has a greater risk of surging inflation. "In the eurozone, because the Bank of France can't start printing euros if it gets into trouble and can't meet its bills, it is less of an inflation risk but more of a credit risk."

Tell me again why we still have CDS after the bubbles that burst at the start of the GFC?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We still have them because the elites consider them to be extremely profitable. And if all goes wrong, the government will bail them out.

In a sane world, we wouldn't have them, but we are a long, long way from one of those

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 02:53:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Voters 'brainwashed by Tory welfare myths', shows new poll - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

Polling commissioned by the Trades Union Congress suggests that a campaign by Tory ministers is turning voters against claimants - but only because the public is being fed "myths" about those who rely on benefits.

The criticism comes before a crunch Commons vote next Tuesday on the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, which will ensure that most benefits and tax credits will rise by only one per cent for the next three years. Labour, which will vote against the measure, tried today to answer Tory claims that it is "soft" on scroungers by announcing a "tough love" plan to force adults who have been out of work for more than two years to take up a government "job guarantee" or lose their benefits.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:05:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dislike the use of the word brainwashed, it's poor framing. It suggests that voters can't/won't use their discretion, a suggestion which will trigger resistance in those whose minds you need to change

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 02:55:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Entertainment retailer Virgin to declare insolvency - BUSINESS - FRANCE 24
French retailer Virgin, which operates 25 stores in France, is declaring insolvency, a company spokesman said Friday. Virgin has seen plummeting CD and DVD sales due to an increase in the digital transfer of music and films.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:05:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tocqueville classic becomes Chinese bestseller - CHINA - FRANCE 24

Alexis de Tocqueville, a 19th century French political writer, sociologist and historian is certainly a celebrated figure in France. His liberal-minded and analytical prose is perhaps even more widely read and studied in the US. But now, more than 150 years after his death, Tocqueville's words have found a new audience - China.

One may be hard-pressed to find a link between Tocqueville's "The Old Regime and the Revolution" ("L'ancien régime et la Révolution"), originally published in 1856, and modern-day China. But the book has become a sensation, rising to the top of bestseller lists and lighting up discussions on China's social networking website, Weibo.

The success of "L'ancien régime et la Révolution" has largely been attributed to leading members of China's Communist Party, who recommended it to their peers. In the book Tocqueville explores the idea that major revolutions, like the French Revolution, do not occur during times of poverty, but rather when disparities between classes have become great enough to divide society. In other words, when a small handful of people are extremely rich, and the vast majority of people are not.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:05:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Renowned French economist to join Obama's team - USA - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

France's Esther Duflo, a world renowned economist, has been nominated by US President Barack Obama to join a government body dedicated to advising the administration on global development policy.

Called the Global Development Council, the group was founded by Obama in 2010 to help shape US development efforts abroad.

While Duflo's nomination will likely be viewed with a sense of pride in France, it comes as Obama's leadership continues to be dogged by unflattering comparisons in the media to European-style socialism. Just Friday, the cover of financial news magazine The Economist depicted Obama wearing a beret, red neckerchief and a striped mariner shirt, under a headline that read "America turns European". The article criticised the country's recent fiscal-cliff deal as "lousy", saying its mismanagement bore striking similarities to the "mess in the euro zone".

by Bernard on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:19:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dreamliner Versus the A380: Boeing Soars Past Airbus in Deliveries - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Counting all of its models, Boeing delivered 537 aircraft to customers between January and the end of November, compared to only 516 at Airbus, meaning that the Chicago-based company surpassed its European rival for the first time since 2002. A decade ago, Airbus caught up with his rival and had secured the slot at the helm each year since. In 2011, for example, Airbus delivered 534 jets to customers, compared to Boeing's 477.

But now the American company has caught up -- with Boeing also appearing to pass up Airbus in the number of orders it booked in 2012. By Dec. 18, Boeing had recorded 1,115 orders compared to just 585 at Airbus through the end of November.

Aviation analyst Grossbongardt blames strategic errors at Airbus for the company's decline in orders. The European planemaker has concentrated in recent years largely on the A380 super jumbo jet. The company didn't receive a single order for the A380 at Farnsborough, though. Officials at Airbus believe problems with hairline cracks in the aircraft's wings are leading airlines to hold back on purchases. However, sales chief John Leahy has admitted that the market for large aircraft has also weakened.

by Bernard on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:57:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:06:11 PM EST
Wiesenthal List of Top Anti-Semites Triggers Debate in Germany - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Most of the entries on the 2012 list of top anti-Semites published by the Simon Wiesenthal Center just after Christmas are unsurprising. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood makes the list. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is there. European soccer fans, some of them notoriously racist, land at No. 4. A handful of right-wing extremist parties in Europe are also fingered.

Number nine on the list (PDF), however, has caused many in Germany to scratch their heads. It is Jakob Augstein, the editor of the weekly paper Der Freitag and a columnist for SPIEGEL ONLINE (whose editorials are occasionally translated for publication in English). His offense? The fact that he has been vociferously critical of Israeli policy.

"Gaza is a place out of the end of times," Augstein writes in one of the lines quoted by the Wiesenthal Center. "1.7 million people live there on 360 square kilometers. Israel incubates its own opponents there." Other lines chosen to illustrate the journalist's alleged anti-Semitism state that US presidents "must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups" and that "the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant." Augstein writes that "Jews also have their fundamentalists, the ultra-orthodox Hareidim," who are "cut from the same cloth as their Islamic fundamentalist opponents." And he calls "the US Republicans and the Israeli government" insane and unscrupulous.

...This time, the reaction has been different. While Augstein has plenty of detractors, much of the critique this week has so far been directed at the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center itself. And Augstein has found defenders on all sides of the political spectrum.

The LA-based Wiesenthal Center was always more into AIPAC-style defamation of critics of Israel than Wiesenthal-style hunts of actual Nazis.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sad to see the trashing of  great man's name.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:06:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Medien - Religion: Auch Zentralrat der Juden nimmt Augstein in Schutz - Newsticker - sueddeutsche.deMedia - religion: Central Council of Jews also defends Augstein
Berlin (dpa) - Viel Rückendeckung für Jakob Augstein: Auch der Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland nimmt den Verleger gegen Antisemitismus-Vorwürfe in Schutz. Das amerikanische Wiesenthal-Zentrum steht mit seiner Kritik weitgehend alleine da.Berlin (dpa)- Lots of support for Jakob Augstein: the Central Council of Jews in Germany is also defending the publisher against accusations of antisemitism. The American Wiesenthal Center is virtually alone in its criticism.
Der Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland hat sich vom Antisemitismus-Vorwurf gegen den Journalisten und Verleger Jakob Augstein distanziert. Das amerikanische Simon-Wiesenthal-Zentrum habe bei seiner Kritik an dem Herausgeber der linken Wochenzeitung «Freitag» offensichtlich nicht genügend recherchiert oder sich kundig gemacht, kritisierte Vizepräsident Salomon Korn am Freitag im Deutschlandradio Kultur. «Offensichtlich ist das Simon-Wiesenthal- Center ziemlich weit weg von der deutschen Wirklichkeit.»The Central Council of Jews in Germany has distanced itself from the antisemitism accusation against Jakob Augstein. In the radio program Deutschlandradio Kultur, Vice-President Salomon Korn the American Simon Wiesenthal Center had failed to adequately research or inform itself in its criticism of the publisher of the leftist weekly "Freitag". "The Simon Wiesenthal Center is obviously pretty out of touch with German reality."


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 06:40:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Central Council of Jews in Germany is charitable, of course: the Simon Wiesenthal Center did its research and did supply the quotes it based its judgement upon, but those quotes judge them rather than Augstein. What's interesting is that the pro-Israel push is going on within Germany, too. For example, there is this:

Israel gets bad rap in German textbooks | Culture | DW.DE | 04.01.2013

Little room is given for Israeli history in German textbooks and, when it is mentioned, the image presented of the Middle-Eastern state tends to be unbalanced. A new commission is calling for change.

"Unbalanced", they say... sounds like they want he-said-she-said balancing. I mean:

"Many facets of Israeli reality were airbrushed out, especially regarding aspects of civil society," Sadowski said. Textbook authors tend to present Palestinians as victims and Israelis as the perpetrators, he added.

No shit Sherlock!

One clear example of that can be found in "Geschichte Real 3," published by Cornelsen and currently used in high schools in North-Rhine Westphalia.

The very first image in the book depicts Israeli soldiers pointing weapons at unarmed people. The Israeli barricades were photographed from the ground up and look menacing.

Lemme guess, because they... ARE menancing?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 06:58:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hundreds of thousands of Fatah followers rally in Gaza - GAZA STRIP - FRANCE 24

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party on Friday held their first mass rally in Gaza since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007, according to a Fatah spokesman.

Hamas, in a sign of reconciliation with Fatah, permitted the rally to go ahead as the climax of a week of Gaza festivities celebrating the 48th anniversary of Fatah taking up arms against Israel.

...Demonstrators waved Palestinian and Fatah flags and carried pictures of Abbas, an AFP correspondent reported.

...The centrepiece of the event was a short speech by Abbas from his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah, beamed to the Gaza crowd on giant screens.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:06:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tensions flare between UAE and Muslim Brotherhood - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - EGYPT - FRANCE 24

On January 1, Emirati newspaper Al Khaleej reported that authorities in the Gulf state had arrested 10 members of an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood cell. "The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has conducted many courses and lectures for the members of the secret organisation regarding the election and the ways of changing regimes in Arab countries," the paper said.

The suspects are accused of holding "secret meetings" in the Emirates, recruiting "Egyptian expats in the UAE to join their ranks", and raising "large amounts of money which they sent illegally to the mother organisation in Egypt". The article also alleged that the suspects collected classified information regarding matters of UAE defence.

Two days later, the Egyptian Senate reacted by establishing a commission to investigate the matter, with the aim of working "towards the release of Egyptian doctors in the Emirates and investigate the circumstances of [their] arrest".

An Egyptian emissary on Wednesday was sent to Dubai to meet Emirati leaders and deliver a letter to the nation's president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:06:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pakistan schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai discharged from hospital | World news | guardian.co.uk
Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has been discharged from the Birmingham hospital where she was being treated.

The Queen Elizabeth hospital said she was well enough to be treated as an outpatient for the next few weeks. She was discharged on Thursday to continue her rehabilitation at her family's temporary home in the West Midlands.

...Malala is due to be to be readmitted in late January or early February to undergo cranial reconstructive surgery as part of her long-term recovery.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:07:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is being treated for "respiratory deficiency" after complications from a severe lung infection, his government said, pointing to a deepening crisis for the ailing 58-year-old president.
More Here and Here.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 05:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has agreed to meet with First Nation leaders next Friday. Chief Spence will be attending with other key tribal leaders, where they will attempt to make concrete progress. They already had a meeting last year which brought nothing.

However, Chief says she'll continue hunger strike

She wants to keep the pressure on, as the issues are so stark and complex.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:14:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The statement by Harper is full of meaningless platitudes or worse, for instance:
The Government and First Nations committed at the Gathering to maintaining the relationship through an ongoing dialogue that outlines clear goals and measures of progress and success.  While some progress has been made, there is more that must be done to improve outcomes for First Nations communities across Canada.
In any case, the fact is that Harper is attempting to present next week's meeting as a followup on last year's "Crown-First Nations" Summit and not as a result of the Idle No More movement or Chief Spence's hunger strike.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. And exactly why she's still on hunger strike.

They will continue to use divide and conquer, with some leaders wanting the gravy from mines, shales and tar sands... and other resources. Others knowing the waterways must be more protected.

And Idle No More is so young yet.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:48:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yesterday in Mohawk Country, singing traditional songs.




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

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:47:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Major Test for Israel Lobby As Obama Leans to Hagel for Pentagon | Inter Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan 5 2013 (IPS) - With President Barack Obama reportedly primed to nominate former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to head the Pentagon early next week, the powerful Israel lobby, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), faces a major dilemma.

If it mounts a vigorous campaign to fight Hagel's confirmation by the Senate, it could put at serious risk its relations with the president, who is about to be inaugurated for another four-year term.

Worse, if it loses such a campaign, the aura of near-invincibility that it has assiduously cultivated over the past 30 years - and which has translated into virtually unanimous votes on resolutions in both houses of Congress in support of Israeli policies from the Occupied West Bank to Iran - will suffer a serious blow.

Yet, if it acquiesces in Hagel's confirmation, it will result in the placement in a critical foreign policy post of a man who prides himself on his independence.

Hagel has expressed strong scepticism about - if not opposition to - war with Iran, and, despite a record of strong support for Israel's defence needs, has not hesitated to publicly criticise both the Israeli government and its supporters here for pursuing actions that have, in his view, harmed Washington's strategic interests in the Middle East.

by Bernard on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:46:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A democratic president nominates a conservative republican as secretary of defense and still the right-wingers are in an uproar. A mad world.
by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:53:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'Malala survived - that is a big defeat. Now they want to kill many Malalas' | World news | The Observer

"Things are changing, things have been happening that never happened in the past," said Rahimullah Yousafzai, a journalist based in Peshawar who has been covering the tribal area for decades. "Attacking mosques, funerals, graves and, of course, these teachers and health workers."

Yousafzai says Pakistan's militants have come to see anyone involved in charitable or development organisations as fair game: "They take it for granted that if you work for an NGO you are funded by the west, that you are trying to change local traditions and customs, you are doing something that is secular. They no longer expect to get any public support, so no effort is being made to win hearts and minds. That is beyond them. Now all they want is to intimidate and pre-empt an uprising against them."

by Bernard on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Now if you ask me, Malala shouldn't have insulted religious feelings.
by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:44:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:07:30 PM EST
Scientists link global warming to England's rainiest year on record | EurActiv

Senior climate scientists are linking global warming to the UK Met Office's announcement yesterday (3 January) that 2012 was England's rainiest year since records began.

The weather service's numbers showed that due to slightly more seasonal figures in Wales and Scotland, the UK as a whole experienced its second wettest summer recorded.

But four of the UK's Top Five wettest years have now occurred since 2000, a statistic in line with the expectations of climatologists who model the effects of a warming world.

"It is not just Britain but many other parts of northern Europe and north America that are getting wetter and there is a climate change component to it," Kevin Trenberth told EurActiv over a phone line from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:07:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Superconductors for efficient wind power plants: Researchers develop cooling system for novel generator
Wind power will make a major contribution to the energy turnaround. Efficient power generation by means of offshore power plants requires powerful, reliable generators that do not cause disproportionately high logistic efforts and do not require complex foundations. Using generators with superconductors, performance can be increased to 10 MW while at the same time reducing the units' weights and sizes. Besides, superconducting generators can be built with less than one hundredth of the quantity of rare earths required for manufacturing the currently most frequently used permanent magnet generator. Superconduction, hence, allows setting up of efficient, robust, and compact wind power plants at reduced building, operating, and maintenance costs.

It is the objective of the EU-supported project SUPRAPOWER (SUPerconducting, Reliable, lightweight, And more POWERful offshore wind turbine) to use the high potential of supraconduction for expansion of wind power. In the four-year project that has started now nine partners from industry and science cooperate under the coordination of Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Spain. Together, the partners develop a wind power plant with direct-drive superconducting generator. The innovative direct drive, in addition, reduces transport and maintenance costs and extends the service life of the turbine.

A nice idea, but the use of active cooling makes me doubt that it will make practical sense after maintenance costs factored in.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:08:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are all manner of highly advanced designs "floating" around the wind industry. But SUPRAPOWER is a long way from even proof of concept, much less technical and economic viability. There are designs which don't push the envelope so far which still have many years before they even reach serious testing phases, if they get that far in these conditions.

Given the technology specific for the hostile marine environment remains in its infancy, it would be far wiser to ensure the success of real next gen designs already far more advanced.

There are already designs in progress which use generators of a completely new style, which don't need to be kept at -250C.  This article attempts to justify a program keeping good money away from practical near term innovation.

PS. DoDo, all multi-megawatt turbines use active cooling. Just nowhere near this complex.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:44:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought Converteam were already working on a superconducting turbine prototype - weren't they going to do a superconducting hydro turbine first, somewhere in Germany - it should have been deployed by now. Hirschaid or something like that. And I think these are high temperature superconductors, so more like 100 Kelvin than 20 Kelvin. It seems like an intereting possibility; but I agree with you that it's not (yet)  where the best bet lies.
by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, my mistake - 30 Kelvin. And it is Hirschaid for the hydro demo. (the EU Hydrogenie project)
by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:19:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Minister Altmaier rejects atomic waste export report | News | DW.DE | 04.01.2013
Germany's environment minister has rejected a newspaper report suggesting the country was considering sending its nuclear waste to other countries.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung story came amid continued wrangling over where to store the waste within Germany, but Altmaier said the government was still looking for a home solution.

"That was the greatest nonsense that I have ever heard. There are absolutely no changes in German policies, and most certainly not with me as environment minister," Altmaier said when asked about the Süddeutsche's report on public radio.

"The radioactive waste produced in Germany will also be disposed of in Germany. We are in the process of cross-party talks to enable a nationwide search for a permanent storage facility for nuclear fuel rods."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas : Nature News & Comment

Scientists are once again reporting alarmingly high methane emissions from an oil and gas field, underscoring questions about the environmental benefits of the boom in natural-gas production that is transforming the US energy system.

The researchers, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, first sparked concern in February 2012 with a study1 suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere. If methane -- a potent greenhouse gas -- is leaking from fields across the country at similar rates, it could be offsetting much of the climate benefit of the ongoing shift from coal- to gas-fired plants for electricity generation.

Industry officials and some scientists contested the claim, but at an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, California, last month, the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage -- an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data -- which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:11:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What green credentials of natural gas?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 05:06:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, I was wondering that. Apparently people think that clean coal is coal with particle screens, so gas is green because it doesn't need 'em.

I have several FB friends who refuse to accept that gas is bad because of that

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:12:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Particulate matter! Acid rain! Global warming is a hoax!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:26:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cleaner-burning (than coal).

Don't you read the propaganda news?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:14:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To put this in perspective, methane is 25 times more potent than CO2.  So if 4% is leaking, that has the equivalent green house effect as leaking the entire volume as CO2, doubling the CO2 cost of natural gas.

It's possible that burning natural gas is worse than burning coal.

by njh on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 08:01:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Villagers Wail Against Nuclear Power | Inter Press Service

KUDANKULAM, India, Jan 6 2013 (IPS) - Mahalakshmi, a housewife married to a farmer, is afraid for her family's future. The fifty-two-year-old woman is also frustrated that Indian authorities have "betrayed" poor villagers.

A huge nuclear power plant under the control of the government-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is the source of her woes.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), situated 24 kilometres from the world famous tourist town of Kanyakumari on the southern tip of the Indian peninsula, is likely to be commissioned this month.

Speaking to IPS, Mahalakshmi and dozens of women in Kudankulam, a village in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, charged that the energy project would ruin their futures, homes and livelihoods.

by Bernard on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:44:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:08:39 PM EST
France to question Swiss gunman on Alps shootings - FRANCE - SWITZERLAND - FRANCE 24

French police investigating the murder of a British-Iraqi family in the Alps have asked to question a Swiss gunman who killed three women in his home village, Swiss police said Friday.

Police in the neighbouring French region of Haute-Savoie made the request to their colleagues in the Swiss canton of Valais, where on Wednesday the gunman went on a shooting spree, a police spokesman told AFP.

...Swiss media have quoted former friends of the Daillon shooter as saying he was obsessed with joining the military and that his personality had changed after he was rejected.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:08:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Contraceptive pill fears spark controversy in France - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

France's national health and drug safety agency, the ANSM, is exploring the possibility of restricting the use of certain types of contraceptive pills, amid growing public alarm over unwanted side-effects.

Controversy over more recent versions of the pill began in France in mid-December when Marion Larat, 25, filed a lawsuit against both the multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer and ANSM's general director after she suffered a debilitating stroke while taking the contraceptive pill Meliane.

While all oral contraceptives carry a warning about the risk of blood clots, a number of studies have found that more recent versions, such as Meliane, carry a higher risk than their predecessors. The European Medicines Agency has supported these findings, saying that the risk of forming an embolism is twice as high in women who use what are known as third and fourth-generation pills.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:08:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Church of England drops opposition to gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops - Home News - UK - The Independent

An announcement made from the Church's House of Bishops, said the CofE would allow gay clergy to become bishops providing they remain celibate.

Conservative evangelical Anglicans have said they would fiercely resist the development in the synod. Evangelicals have previously warned they could bring in bishops from overseas to avoid serving under a gay bishop.

Why not let them?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:09:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The CofE is totally batshit insane.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
begging for a sitcom. writes itself!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:59:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bring back All Gas and Gaiters

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French ISP Free updates its DSL modems with an ad blocker that's enabled by default | The Verge
French internet service provider Free has snuck a bit of a surprise into what would otherwise be a fairly standard firmare update for its DSL modems. In addition to a couple of bugfixes, update 1.1.9 for the Freebox Server modem adds a beta ad blocker to the settings menu, and most surprisingly, it is enabled by default once users reset their systems. Some French technology blogs note that the blocker doesn't seem to be particularly effective, but it does appear to be blocking Google AdWords and banner ads on some sites.

Why did Free roll out an opt-out ad block? War with Google. * RB

As the incident known as #Adgate rolled out yesterday afternoon, first noticed by PCInpact, it seemed that a new update to Internet Service Provider Free's Freebox, which provides fixed line internet, tv, and telephone services ("Triple Play") to households, had activated an opt-out ad block to all Freebox users.

As the story unfolded and various users and bloggers reported in, it began more & more to sound like Free was specifically targeting Google properties - Google Adsense (their in-site ad network), YouTube videos, and even Google Analytics, according to some. Obviously, this is a poorly thought out decision, and an even worse execution.

[snip]

Free v. Google - This is going to be huge

Xavier Niel's Free has been butting heads a lot with Google in the previous months, having starting a while back with their fixed line network; this past August, users began pointing out that YouTube videos loading particularly slow on smartphones on the Free Mobile network. Free confirmed the allegations, saying that if users were having trouble on YouTube, they should "just go to Dailymotion - it has the same videos usually."

Now in negotiations with Google over bringing the bandwidth for YouTube videos and other Google properties up to full speed, this move by Free was likely meant to give them something to negotiate with, holding Google's ad revenue hostage; however, Free likely miscalculated how quickly users would catch their "beta test," and now will have to answer to Fleur Pellerin, who tweeted her discontent, saying she would be discussing with the telecom operator, who she's seen a lot of recently.

  • This ad blocking feature is only implemented on the latest generation Freebox v6 (a.k.a. Freebox Revolution) ADSL gateway; older modems are not concerned (I have a v5).
  • Ad blocking can be enabled or disable via the user settings menu, however its default setting is "on"; some speculate this is no accident.
  • As for ad blocking software you can install (or not) on your PC, the modem firmware that was "pushed" on the Freebox v6 two days ago works by snooping (and "censoring") DNS requests to ad servers. I'm OK to eventually install a software that I can control and configure on my machine. I'm much less comfortable with my ISP taking the liberty (no pun intended) of fiddling with my IP packets without my explicit consent.
by Bernard on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:35:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:09:24 PM EST
`Shoot Swabians': Berlin berates its bourgeois invaders - Europe - World - The Independent
Their dialect is famous for being unintelligible to most Germans.

Stereotypically, they are hard workers, miserly, and fastidious doorstep polishers, and they have flooded the trendiest part of Berlin with yuppie residents since the fall of the city's infamous Wall over two decades ago.

The newcomers hail from a wealthy region in Germany's south-west called Swabia. But their presence in the capital has now provoked a furious outburst from one of the country's leading politicians, who has accused them of importing nauseating provincialism to metropolitan Berlin.

The broadside against Berlin's Swabian community has been delivered by German parliamentary vice president, Wolfgang Thierse, a 69-year-old east-Berliner who has lived in the city's now upmarket and Swabian-dominated Prenzlauer Berg district for over 40 years.

What a world, an undead zombie from planet Bunga-Bunga whose government ran racist campaigns against Gypsies suddenly makes more sense than two organisations with official anti-racism policies.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:09:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Duplicated below...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I deleted the dublicate, then noticed that the copy that remained contains my comment for the missing news... here it is:

Milan players right to walk off after racism, says Silvio Berlusconi | Football | The Guardian

Milan's president Silvio Berlusconi has said that he will back his players if they walk off the pitch in future in protest at racist abuse, including European matches, while Kevin-Prince Boateng has threatened to give up the game should he be targeted in the future.

The former prime minister said in a statement: "I called Kevin-Prince Boateng a little while ago and I congratulated him for his reaction against the disgraceful episode of racism that took place in the stadium of Pro Patria in Busto Arsizio.

"I am very happy by Milan's reaction and be assured that in all games where we experience episodes of this kind, Milan will leave the field."

That could put Milan at loggerheads with Fifa and Uefa, who have previously warned against players taking such action.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:29:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The last of the 1930s Jarrow Marchers, who led a protest march from the North East of England to Westminster, died yesterday.

Daily Mirror - Kevin Maguire - The Jarrow March is our REAL history, our battle with ruling class for justice

The death of the last man to walk a step on the Jarrow March severs a living link with our past.

But this glorious 1936 protest against mass unemployment must never be forgotten in British history.

Con Shiels - who has died aged 96 - was 20 when he joined 200 foot-weary demonstrators, including his father, Con Senior, for the final leg of the 300-mile walk for work from the depressed Tyneside town of Jarrow to the nation's capital.

His passing - following the death a decade ago of Cornelius Whalen who was the final survivor of those who trudged every inch of the way - leaves only a handful of elderly people who waved the group on its way and soon time will, sadly, claim these eyewitnesses too.

The Jarrow Crusade - to give the march the name carried on the banners - was, if we're honest, a heroic failure.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:48:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of good stuff about Labour history in the article

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 11:28:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 11:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From a few years ago?




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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 03:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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