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11 February 2013

by afew Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 04:12:29 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 01:41:40 AM EST
Cameron urges Scotland not to go it alone | Reuters

(Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron conceded on Sunday that Scotland had what it takes to be an independent nation, but said it currently enjoyed "the best of both worlds", imploring it not to break the United Kingdom apart.

Stepping up his government's campaign to hold Britain together ahead of an independence referendum expected next year, Cameron urged Scotland not to sever a union with England that dates back 306 years.

"Put simply: Britain works. Britain works well. Why break it?" he wrote in an article published in Scottish newspapers.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Put simply: Britain works. Britain works well.

For whom? For what tiny segment of society? Slavery works well ... for the few masters with the whips.

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 Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:51:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As the Irishman Bono said: "Sometimes you can't make it. Best you can do is to fake it. Sometimes you can't make it on your own."
by epochepoque on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 05:29:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, so a unified Europe is bad, but a unified UK is good?
by asdf on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 02:52:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Divide et impera.
Tories may not know much, but they know their Classics.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:56:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I use the automatic lookup feature in Safari, it gives me the German interpretation:

stifte Unfrieden unter denen, die du beherrschen willst! legendäres, sprichwörtlich gewordenes Prinzip der altrömischen Außenpolitik

I don't know why it suddenly thinks I can read anything other than English and pig Latin...

by asdf on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 11:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis - France runs into German wall on EU growth drive | Reuters

(Reuters) - French efforts to divert Europe from economic austerity have foundered twice in a week due to German resistance, underlining a growing policy divide that is hobbling the core partnership.

Berlin rejected President Francois Hollande's call on Tuesday to set a mid-term target for the euro, a move he hoped would bring the single currency down to a level that would make it easier for French industry to sell its goods abroad.

Three days later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined forces with Britain's David Cameron at a Brussels summit to push through the first ever cut in the 27-nation's budget, taking an axe to spending on infrastructure projects backed by Paris.

"Is it the budget I would have liked if it was just up to me? No. But the problem with Europe is that there are others involved," a resigned Hollande told reporters after all-night talks secured a deal on EU funding from 2014-2020.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"underlining a growing policy divide that is hobbling the core partnership."

For quite a while, the "core partnership" has been on the lines of the US/UK "special relationship". That is: France is welcome to be Germany's sexual slave.

If it behaves.


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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 02:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Partnership" is the "gay" of the 21st century.

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:42:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Parliament to use secret ballot in vote on EU budget | EurActiv

The European Parliament will vote by secret ballot on the EU's 2014-2020 budget, its centre-left President Martin Schulz and Joseph Daul, the leader of the centre-right European People's Party, said yesterday (7 February).

Schulz, speaking at a late-night news conference, confirmed Daul's earlier statement that the use of the special procedure was planned.

Under parliamentary procedures, one-fifth of MEPs can request the Parliament hold a secret ballot instead of have their votes recorded. The vote is expected within three months, as some 80 legislative acts accompanying the EU budget should be prepared in the meantime.

EurActiv understands that the unusual procedure is aimed at preventing national governments from bullying MEPs by threatening to expose their votes.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:31:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm. Not sure I like that rule.
Anyone in favour?
Anyone secretly in favour?


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A secret ballot to protect the MEPs from the Governments' bullying by revealing their votes??? What?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:04:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The way I understood that sentence:
a) If the votes are public, then the national government will know how MEPs have voted.
b) The public are too dumb to find out, even with a public vote.
c) The national government can tell the stupid public about the votes.
d) This will have adverse impact on the MEP in question.

(I've overused the word "public there. Now I know how Gygax felt about "level".)

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you replace some public with media, you get:

a) If the votes are public, then the national government will know how MEPs have voted.
b) The media is too dumb to find out, even with a public vote.
c) The national government can tell the stupid media about the votes.
d) This will have adverse impact on the MEP in question.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 08:51:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the EU parliament, left and right alike, will do their best to defend the EU's budget, insofar as they are free to operate within a European sphere and act in the best interests of Europe.

A public vote, followed by "naming and shaming", is all about defending narrow national interests at the expense of the common good. The EU Council already does that well enough.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 09:04:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you vote against the national interest narrowly considered, we will make sure your vote gets maximum publicity in the "home country".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 01:55:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Storm cloud emerges from EU cybersecurity strategy | EurActiv

The European Commission released its cybersecurity strategy yesterday (7 January) to address concerns and promote greater internet safety.

But the obligation put on EU member countries to report cyberattacks are "vague" and appear to do little to protect EU citizens' data stored outside the EU, Wim Nauwelaerts, a privacy and data security lawyer with Hunton & Williams firm, told EurActiv.

The EU-wide strategy aims at establishing cross-border cybersecurity rules and practices, and coordinated attack response. Companies and public bodies will also have to report significant attacks to the Commission, which took the unusual step of publishing a list of companies to which this may apply, including Google, the retailer Amazon, eBay and a number of telecoms and cloud service providers.

It also contains a legislative proposal obliging member states to designate a national competent authority for network information service, and set up a functioning computer emergency response team.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU budget loses billions from marine oil contraband | New Europe

In an article published in the monthly magazine "UNFOLLOW" I read that annual tax losses from smuggling marine oil in Greece, a country under EU/IMF/EIB supervision, is estimated at €500 million by the Customs Authorities, €1.5 billion by the ministry of finance, while the market estimates it at €3 billion (tax losses per year without counting penalties).

Allegedly, there are some 1,500 fuel tanks illegally storing smuggled oil in Greece, mostly located in Lavrion, 60km south of Athens.

This is the essence of the story and if one takes the ministry of finance's version, for the €1.5 billion tax evasion per year the corresponding VAT (at 23%) is €350 million. Considering the market estimates, the annual VAT losses (which concern both Greek and EU budgets) rise to €700 million per year.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:34:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU 'fears' Berlusconi's return to power: Monti -- European business, finance and EU political news from EUbusiness - EUbusiness.com

(ROME) - Italy's outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Sunday the European Union fears Silvio Berlusconi's return to power and his potential negative effect on the euro should his party win this month's election.

"Berlusconi has disappointed me, he's missed all his important meetings and has betrayed the liberal revolution," said Monti, who succeeded the billionaire tycoon as prime minister in November 2011.

"The EU fears his return because it has had enough of the lack of financial discipline and inability to make decisions that puts the eurozone in danger," Monti said on the Berlusconi-owned TgCom24 television channel.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
has betrayed the liberal revolution

uh-huh... that makes him a...(fill in blank)

2 old plutocrats muddying the electoral waters. hard to say whose policy is more dangerous, but no worries, maybe we can have a coalition, once they stop slagging each other off!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 05:16:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reach regulation has made the EU 'considerably safer', says report: theparliament.com
The commission's five year review into the Reach regulation has found that the use of chemicals in the EU has become "considerably safer".

The registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals regulation (Reach) came into force in 2007 and was hailed as a significant piece of environmental legislation by the former environment commissioner Stavros Dimas.

Part of the regulation requires the commission to review progress and publish a general report looking at its operation and whether it is meeting its main objectives.

The report, released on Tuesday, found that "Reach functions well and delivers on all objectives that at present can be assessed," although it did highlight some areas which need to be improved.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:40:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Novinite [BG]: Police Use Teargas against Massive Anti-Govt Rally in Slovenia (February 9, 2013)
Unrest in Slovenia is continuing for a fourth month on, with tens of thousands of protesters gathering in major cities, including capital Ljubljana, to request the resignation of PM Janez Jansa.

Late Friday evening, police used teargas to dispell a 20,000 strong crowd gathered around the Parliament in Ljubljana.

Protesters have requested Jansa's resignation, and have accused the government of widespread corruption, after it was revealed that the PM had failed to declare income worth more than EUR 200,000.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 05:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Tryweryn: 50 years since bombing of reservoir dam

It is 50 years since activists bombed a power transformer at one of the most controversial construction projects in modern Welsh history.

The Tryweryn reservoir saw the Meirionnydd village of Capel Celyn drowned to provide water for Liverpool.

Two activists were jailed after planting explosives at the site in February 1963.

On Saturday, more than 100 people gathered to mark the incident.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 05:48:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Scalfari warns about the rise of Berlusconi and Grillo (11.02.2013)
Eugenio Scalfari, one of Italy's most respected political commentators, says an election upset in Italy is possible; he said Silvio Berlusconi and Beppo Grillo are gaining support among people fed up with the policy of austerity; sees no chance of pre-election alliance between the two, but the possibility of a re-grouping of the right post-election; the polls push Pier Luigi Bersani into an alliance with Mario Monti as the right solidifies its poll ratings;  Silvio Berlusconi has his €50bn stimulus would lead to increase in economic growth by 0.5%; Ignazio Visco has called for more powers for the Bank of Italy to interfere with reckless banks and their managers; BoI confirms that only Monte dei Paschi has received special support from the BoI; Lucrezia Reichlin writes that the bailout for MPS only delays the inevitable nationalisation; the FT has the story that a bail-in of insured depositors is among one of three options by the eurogroup for Cyprus;  Annette Schavan, Merkel's science minister, resigns in a blow to the chancellor; an EU draft law wants to force banks to participate in Euribor panel; Spain's opposition leaders gave a strong anti-austerity message, and warns that euroscepticism is rising in Spain; an eleven-day garbage collection strike ends in Seville after workers accept a pay cut; Mariano Rajoy publishes his tax declaration in the attempt to persuade that he is clean; the strategy of the Spanish government is now to deflect from the scandal by pointing out that it pales in significance to what has been happening elsewhere; there were large demonstrations in Slovenia after it became known that the country's PM failed to declare income;  the Greek government offers people a laxer schedule to pay overdue taxes; Antonis Samaras got a relatively good deal out of the EU budget negotiations; government also proposes legislation to force union to cast members' ballots before calling a strike; Irish central bank governor criticises banks for failing to deal with mortgage crisis; Ireland's opposition Fianna Fail has staged a miraculous recovery in the opinion polls; Wolfgang Munchau welcomes the deal on Ireland's promissory notes, but says there should be no mistake that this is monetary financing; Le Monde says Mario Draghi has been a lot more effective in talking down the euro's exchange rate than Francois Hollande; the French president, meanwhile, declares that the trouble with the European Union is that other people are involved in decision-making.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:18:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The three options for Cyprus

This story is true, but somewhat hyped. The FT has seen the memo for today's eurozone group, which includes the bail-in of uninsured depositors in Cyprus as one of three options under consideration. The reason for this option is the reluctance by Germany to fund a bailout without inflicting losses on bondholders and depositors, but others are warning that such action might be risky, and might rekindle the eurozone crisis. The article only lists this as an option under consideration, not as something that is about to decided. If this option were triggered, the size of the bailout would fall from €16.7bn to only €5.5bn, and it would reduce the country's outstanding debt to a more sustainable level of 77%, compared with 140% under a full bailout. It would also shrink the Cypriot financial sector by one third. A more moderate version of this proposal is the bail-in of junior debt holders, but not depositors.

(The reason they list this as an option is the politics of Germany, with no majority for a Cyprus bailout in sight. But we consider this more of a fallback option, rather than the most likely outcome. The most likely option in our view is option two, a bail-in of unsecured bondholders, but not of depositors. That would be consistent the bailout agreement for the Spanish banks as well.)

Let me say that again:
reluctance by Germany to fund a bailout without inflicting losses on bondholders and depositors.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Time to start up the old money in the mattress system then?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:41:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm flabbergasted.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 05:21:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany is looking for an excuse to create and continue the crisis.

I think this has gone far beyond any reasonable expectation of irrational action based on some wrong-headed notion of fiscal prudence.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 05:58:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. MMT, THE EURO, AND THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: Interview with L. Randall Wray
Q: Is MMT necessarily linked to a certain macroeconomic policy or even a political ideology?

A: Narrowly speaking, no. I've written pieces on "MMT for Austrians". At one level, MMT describes how things actually work, with no ideology and no policy prescription. However, I do subscribe to the view that the goal cannot be to just understand the world. We try to understand it so that we can change it. Some Austrians do understand MMT and they are horrified; they want to go back to an imaginary past in which we used gold as money, and would use such a system to stop all progressive policy. I'm a progressive and I want to go forward, to use the monetary system to mitigate problems such as unemployment and poverty. I'm not shy about my political ideology and my use of MMT to further the agenda.

(My emphasis)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:16:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
Germany is looking for an excuse to create and continue the crisis.

they are using the euro-morality play to distract their own electorate from their own banks' malfeasance, in case the confidence fairy decides to take a long hike.

nothing like righteous indignation to unite an aggrieved populace...

merkel depends on fast footwork to keep reality at bay, but it's creeping ever closer even though all europe's 'leaders' are her bitches.

if the euro crashes, she wants to disclaim responsibility, dem lazy swarthies not being as industrious and obedient responsible.

without the benign radiance of the banks we are but dust in the wind...


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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 12:47:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ouch.
(Do Grecians and Spaniards have natural rhythm?)

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 04:58:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 05:01:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not quite understanding this, and for once it's not snark: Are they saying that those who have money in Cypriot banks will immediately lose some of it in the case of a bailout?
If so, how it it a 'rescue plan'?


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:58:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: Radical rescue proposed for Cyprus (February 10, 2013)
By "bailing in" uninsured bank depositors, it would also involve more foreign investors, especially from Russia, some of whom have used Cyprus as a tax haven in recent years. That would answer criticism from Berlin in particular, where politicians are calling for more drastic action to stop the island being used for money laundering and tax evasion.

Senior EU officials who have seen the document cautioned that imposing losses on bank depositors and a sovereign debt restructuring remain unlikely. Underlining the dissuasive language in the memo, they said that bailing in depositors was never considered in previous eurozone bailouts because of concern that it could lead to bank runs in other financially fragile countries.

...

Cyprus's bailout, while small compared to Ireland, Portugal and Greece, has proven unexpectedly difficult because its size relative to the country's gross domestic product would increase debt to levels considered unsustainable both by the International Monetary Fund and the German government.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 09:10:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is to burn the Russian depositors if possible? So what's the downside?

I've been idly wondering how/why the EU should rescue the oversized Cypriot banking sector which seems to function primarily as a laundry for shady Russians. At a minimum, a clean-up would seem to be necessary. Or is it taboo for some reason to mix this with a bail-out?

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 09:26:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So who is bailed out if the depositors are optional? The only thing saved is the central position of the financial aristocracy in the power structure.

I don't think the liberal democracy frame is still of much use here.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter

by generic on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 11:10:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Assuming there's a distinction between insured and uninsured depositors, this would appear to be an attempt to limit the size of the bailout. Also, if you burn everyone except insured depositors, and Cyprus still needs a bailout, this can only be because the size of the Cypriot banks' balance sheets is so large (about 8 times Cyprus' yearly GDP, apparently).

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 12:07:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfgang Munchau on monetary financing

In his FT column, Wolfgang Munchau hails the deal on Ireland's promissory note as a very important step in the resolution of the eurozone crisis, but says one should recognise that this is a form of monetary financing. He explains the structure of the deal, the conversation of short-term collateral for ELA lending against long-term bonds, and looks at some estimates for the reduction in net present value. That reduction is likely to be significant, due to inflation. It is not even clear that Ireland will be in a position to repay those loans when they fall due, in which case they might get defaulted on, a rescheduled again. This is monetary financing in all but name. But it is important to recognise that without the solution of the crisis will have break a whole string of taboo's, incluing on monetary financing. He concludes that it is far from clear whether this can be done politically on a sustained basis.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:34:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfgang Münchau: Ireland shows the way with its debt deal (February 10, 2013)
For the third stage, let's look at last week. The Irish parliament voted to liquidate the successor bank and with the acquiescence of the ECB, restructured the promissory note into a series of long-term bonds with maturities of between 25 and 40 years. The interest rates will be lower, but this is not the real issue, as the Irish economist Karl Whelan explained in what must be the best paper ever written on ELA and promissory notes.
(the last link is to the PDF of the paper)
This is monetary financing for all intents and purposes. The whole structure of this agreement is so convoluted that newspapers do not report all the relevant details. As always, convolution has a purpose. It renders legal what would otherwise not be, and it allows for obfuscation.

...

I am marginally encouraged by this, not so much because I believe that monetising is a good thing in principle, which I do not. What encourages me is that I can see this as one of several components of an ultimate solution of the eurozone crisis. Without some form of arbitrage between debtors and creditors, this would be hard to achieve.




I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 05:05:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering the opinion polling for the Italian general election, that PD has been in the lead since january 2012, that their coalition is was in a six point lead when polling stopped (Berlusconi in second place) and that italian election law guarantees a majority for the largest coalition I don't think an upset is likely. Or is there something I have missed?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian
Pope Benedict XVI is to resign, the Vatican has confirmed.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:12:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, yours wasn't up when I checked.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:14:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - LIVE: Pope Benedict XVI says he will resign, ANSA reports
Italian news agency ANSA reports Pope Benedict XVI is to resign

This is a link to live text with updates.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:13:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Benedict follows in the footsteps of the Queen of the Netherlands. Juan Carlos of Spain cannot be far behind...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:18:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has been asked from time to time when he plans to retire. It appears he does not, though Queen Sylvia is often regarded to be the brains in the royal couple, so she might retire him. ¨Crown princess Victoria is more popular anyways.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 08:32:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
more scandals to come at the Vatican.

i.e. there is bad shit coming, and this is what Benny is not strong enough for.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:59:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A talkback on La Repubblica suggests that this is a preventive measure in case the Germans check up on his dissertation....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:08:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Um - child abuse coverups? Dodgy financial dealings? Links to money laundering? Genocide in Africa through condom abstinence?

Short of organised drug pushing, firm evidence of satanic paedophile orgies, and the news that Benedict had sex with Britney Spears and Tony Blair at the same time, I'm finding it hard to imagine what could be worse.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:54:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New WW2 papers to be released?
by asdf on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 03:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe this DK diary from January 27th this year shows some of the reasons for his resignation.

Daily Kos: Implosion at the Vatican - One Can Only Hope

Two Vatican experts have used the word "implosion" to describe the current state of affairs at the Holy See: Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for The Tablet published in Britain, and Massimo Franco, a veteran political writer for Corriere della Sera, Italy's most prestigious daily newspaper, who said there are "conflicts within the Vatican `worthy of the epoch of the Borgias'.... There's a palpable sense of fin du régime in the Roman air, he says."

For the sake of their sexually-tortured victims; women and gays; all those past, present and future who will suffer hardship and shortened life spans from the alliance of Church and plutocracy; the poor, the sick and marginalized; we can only hope it comes sooner than later.

The following is an outline of the tensions and turmoil leading to these experts' prediction.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:48:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't buy it:
When the neoconservatives installed Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II, the US was the richest country in the world. The goal was to use the Catholic hierarchy to lead the Religious Right in securing Republican victories and, like a giant vacuum cleaner, the plutocrats would suck the wealth of the US into their own pockets.

At the time, John Paul II had little interest in the EU, "disliking the free hand it seems to give member states on abortion, euthanasia or meddling with human genetics, and what he judges to be its materialist foundations."  

But now, the EU is largest economy in the world. "States hand over sovereignty to markets...the market always dominates policy...and bankers took over Europe."

The plutocrats possibly set up the "eurocentric" Joseph Ratzinger as Wojtyla's successor to emulate their success in the US with financial hegemony in Europe. The Church could again use abortion and same-sex marriage to "sanctify" pro-business factions.

Yeah, right. And this all proves that the Rapture is afoot.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 08:30:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Simple test: who do they predict will be the next Pope, and why?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 08:32:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Read that as "NASA reports".

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Papillon (Papiillon) on Twitter
Papillon@Papiillon

RT @SophiaAram: Remarque, ca fait longtemps que Dieu a démissionné et on en fait pas tout un plat. #Pape #Démission

"Well, God resigned long ago, and nobody makes a fuss about that."

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 08:18:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Via the Courrier International, the original is from Izvestia.

The privileged position of the UK is pretty interesting... and I would be interested to hear an official explanation from Cameron. Likewise, Germany gets a good rate, despite the huge cost of the Nordstream pipe.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 10:51:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Gazprom actually sends any gas to the UK. I would suspect that this is done via swaps (ie GDF sends a LNG tanker meant for France to the UK, and gets Russian gas instead).

For most large European economies, the prices is mainly linked to the cost of transport (ie the further away, the more expensive). Nordstream is financed over many many years so has no reason to increase costs of gas.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 01:11:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 01:42:09 AM EST
Analysis: Accounting risk clouds big U.S. business bets in China | Reuters

(Reuters) - Tales of shady business practices abound in China - fake revenues, phony invoices, sham factories - but until recently, the problem seemed confined mostly to Chinese companies.

No longer.

Concern is growing about risks to U.S.-based multinationals in a country where American audit regulators are locked out by the Chinese government and bribery and fraud are routine.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:16:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU's Rehn wants closer currency coordination: report | Reuters

(Reuters) - The European Union's top monetary official wants closer coordination on currencies to avoid potentially damaging disruptions to world trade, he told an Austrian magazine.

The remarks by Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn come amid a standoff between France and Germany over whether a strengthening euro needs an official European response or whether markets should be left to set exchange rates.

Germany said this week the strong euro was not a concern and signaled opposition to a French proposal for a mid-term target rate, exposing policy divisions over mainland Europe's currency between its top two economies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:21:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation Measured in Goods - Bloomberg

China surpassed the U.S. to become the world's biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show.

U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China's customs administration reported last month that the country's trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion.

China's growing influence in global commerce threatens to disrupt regional trading blocs as it becomes the most important commercial partner for some countries. Germany may export twice as much to China by the end of the decade as it does to France, estimated Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s Jim O'Neill.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:45:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
" Germany may export twice as much to China by the end of the decade as it does to France, estimated Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s Jim O'Neill."

The way Merkel is behaving, it would be a wonder if France could import anything but the rejects by then.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 02:33:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 01:42:28 AM EST
French, Malian troops fight Islamist rebels inside Gao | Reuters

(Reuters) - French and Malian troops fought running gun battles with Islamist rebel guerrillas in the north Mali town of Gao on Sunday, in clashes that showed up big gaps in security in a zone recently recaptured by a French-led military offensive.

Gunfire resounded through the sandy streets and mud-brick houses of the ancient town on the Niger River, hours after French and Malian forces reinforced a checkpoint that had been attacked for the second time in two days by a suicide bomber.

French helicopter gunships clattered overhead.

"Islamists who have infiltrated the town are trying to attack our positions, but we're fighting back," a Malian army officer told Reuters by phone. Another Malian soldier said one group of rebel infiltrators had come in on motorbikes.

Civilians crouched for cover behind walls lining narrow dusty alleys as French and Malian troops, backed by armored vehicles, fired on the al Qaeda-allied insurgents who had slipped into the area of the central market and police station.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Second suicide attack foiled in northern Mali - Africa - Al Jazeera English

A suicide bombing at an army checkpoint in the northern Malian town of Gao has killed only the attacker, military officials say.

The attack late on Saturday came a day after a similar attack on the same checkpoint. No other people were wounded in the blast.

"It was a suicide bomber who blew himself up," said a soldier, who was at the checkpoint at the northern entrance to Gao, which French-led forces reclaimed from al-Qaeda-linked rebels on January 26.

A Malian government source told Reuters that soldiers fired at the attacker before he reached the the checkpoint, prompting him to detonate his explosives.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mali rebels launch guerrilla attack on Gao - Africa - Al Jazeera English

An armed rebel group, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO, has claimed responsibility for an attack on the city of Gao in northern Mali and a suicide bombing the day before.

Fighters armed with AK-47 automatic rifles sneaked into Gao on Sunday to launch a surprise attack on the Malian army in the most populous city in northern Mali, two weeks after French and Malian troops routed the al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

The attackers used canoes to cross the Niger River to penetrate Gao, according to French General Bernard Barera, who cited Malian officials.

The combat started at about 2:00pm local time (14:00 GMT) in Gao's commercial hub and the fighting was continuing as night fell.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:10:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Islamic extremists invade Gao | World news | guardian.co.uk

Black-robed Islamic extremists armed with AK-47 automatic rifles invaded Gao in wooden boats on Sunday to launch a surprise attack on the most populous city in northern Mali, two weeks after French and Malian troops ousted the jihadists.

Gunfire echoed for hours across the city of mud-walled buildings. The combat started at about 2pm in downtown Gao and the fighting was continuing as night fell. Later the sound of gunfire was replaced by that of French military helicopters overhead.

The attack in Gao shows the Islamic fighters, many well-armed and with combat experience, are determined and daring and it suggests it will take a protracted campaign by France and other nations to restore government control in this vast Saharan nation in northwest Africa .

The Islamic radicals fought against the Malian army throughout the afternoon and were seen roaming the narrow streets and on rooftops in the centre of Gao, which had a population of 90,000 before the conflict caused thousands to flee.

Families hid in their homes. One family handed plastic cups of water through the locked iron gate to others hiding on their patio. Piles of onions lay unattended where market women fled when the Islamists arrived. There were no signs of civilian casualties in the city.

The fighting appeared to centre near the police headquarters, where Malian soldiers with rocket-propelled grenades traded fire with the combatants, believed to be from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or Mujao. The only sound in the city was gunfire and the bleating of goats. Soldiers were positioned at every corner in the neighbourhood.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:11:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Explosion à Gao après une journée de combats Explosion in Gao after a day of fighting
L'armée française a bombardé dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi le commissariat de la ville de Gao, dans le nord-est du Mali, où se trouvaient des islamistes armés qui avaient affronté des soldats de l'armée malienne, ont indiqué des témoins. Plusieurs ont dit avoir vu "un hélicoptère" de l'armée française bombarder le bâtiment, totalement détruit. Un témoin a affirmé de son côté qu'un des islamistes qui se trouvait à l'intérieur du commissariat s'était également fait exploser.The French army bombarded the police station of the city of Gao in northeastern Mali during the night of Sunday to Monday, where there were armed Islamists who had clashed with soldiers in the army of Mali, witnesses said. Several said they had seen "a helicopter" of the French army bomb the building, which was completely destroyed. A witness said that one of the Islamists who were inside the police station had also blown himself up.
Par ailleurs, des combats ayant duré plusieurs heures dimanche se sont interrompus à la tombée de la nuit, les forces françaises et maliennes ayant a priori éliminé le groupe islamiste qui les harcelait dans le centre de Gao. Des sources françaises et maliennes ont toutefois confié leur crainte que des francs-tireurs restent présents dans la ville.Elsewhere, the fighting which had lasted several hours on Sunday was interrupted at nightfall, French and Malian forces having apparently eliminated the Islamist group that harassed them in the center of Gao. French and Malian sources, however, told them that they feared snipers were still present in the city.
Les échanges de tirs entre soldats maliens et islamistes avaient éclaté en début d'après-midi dimanche au coeur de Gao, près du commissariat central, qui était le siège de la police islamique quand les djihadistes occupaient la ville.Firing between Malian soldiers and Islamists erupted in early afternoon Sunday in the heart of Gao near the police station, which was the headquarters of the Islamic Police when the jihadists occupyied the town.
"Après des échanges de tirs nourris, l'armée française est intervenue", a-t-il ajouté, affirmant avoir vu un cadavre, "probablement un civil tué par une balle perdue". Une source de sécurité a évalué à "plusieurs dizaines" le nombre d'assaillants, et selon un officier de l'armée malienne, "beaucoup d'islamistes" auraient été tués lors de ces combats. "After exchange of gunfire, the French army intervened" , he added, saying have seen a corpse "probably a civilian killed by a stray bullet" . A security source has estimated at "several dozen" the number of attackers, according to an officer of the Malian army, "a lot of Islamists" were killed in the fighting.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:20:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tunisian president's party quits cabinet - Africa - Al Jazeera English

The secular party of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has withdrawn its three ministers from the country's government, saying that its demands for changes in the cabinet have not been met.

The decision on Sunday by Marzouki's Congress for the Republic Party deals a further blow to Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali's government, already weakened by last week's assassination of secular opposition leader Shokri Belaid.

"We have been saying for a week that if the foreign and justice ministers were not changed, we would withdraw from the government," Samir Ben Amor, a Congress for the Republic Party official, told Reuters news agency.

"This decision has nothing to do with the prime minister's decision to form a government of technocrats," he said, referring to Jebali's declared intention to name a non-partisan cabinet to run day-to-day affairs until elections can be held.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:11:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
L.A. Times
As the manhunt for the ex-cop wanted in the slayings of three people enters its sixth day, Dorner's firing has been the subject of debate both within and outside the LAPD. An online manifesto that police attributed to Dorner claims he was railroaded by the LAPD and unjustly fired. His allegations have resonated among the public and some LAPD employees who have criticized the department's disciplinary system, calling it capricious and retaliatory toward those who try to expose misconduct.

Seeking to address those concerns, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced this weekend that he was reopening the investigation into Dorner's disciplinary case. "It is important to me that we have a department that is seen as valuing fairness," Beck said.

The message seems to be that murdering police officers is the only way to get the LAPD to value fairness. Is that really what they have in mind?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 04:06:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 01:43:02 AM EST
US food industry battles against regulation - Al Jazeera Blogs

Why are Americans getting fatter, and who's to blame? It's a question members of the US Congress need to be asking. 

Like the war on tobacco decades ago, the US is now fighting a new battle on obesity. On one side are US public health officials advocating for their government to put in place better nutrition policies. But those efforts have met stiff resistance, in part because the $1 trillion US food and beverage industry is fighting regulation with a powerful weapon: its deep pockets. 

It's no secret the standard American diet is relatively inexpensive, convenient and satisfying. Whether it's highly marketed fast food or highly processed, packaged foods in the supermarket, what Americans eat has changed dramatically over decades.

And it shows. The US has the highest rate of obesity in the industrialised world. One-third of Americans over the age of 20 are obese, according to government figures. For children, this figure is 17 percent.

"It's really expensive to get healthy food in the United States," said a shopper at a mall in McLean, Virginia when asked why the number of obese Americans is rising. "Fast food is much too accessible." Another man explained, "The government can stop the advertising, can stop all the bad foods and yet they let it keep going, and then they complain about obesity."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Big Corn.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:13:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French retailers pull back products in horsemeat scandal | Reuters

(Reuters) - Six big French retailers said on Sunday they were recalling lasagne meals and other products suspected of being mis-labeled after the discovery of horsemeat in beef products.

The British unit of frozen foods group Findus began recalling its beef lasagne last week on advice from its French supplier, Comigel, and the French and British governments have since vowed to punish those found responsible for allowing horsemeat originating from Romania to be sold as beef.

French retailers' federation FCD said on Sunday that French supermarkets were also pulling several products supplied by Findus and Comigel on concerns that they were mislabeled. The supermarkets are Auchan, Casino, Carrefour, Cora, Monoprix and Picard

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EIB contributes € 450 million to Butendiek wind farm | New Europe

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is funding the Butendiek wind farm with € 450 million. Butendiek wind farm is one of the biggest offshore wind projects so far in the German part of the North Sea. It has 80 turbines with a total generating capacity of 288 MW and will cost a total of €1.4 billion.

As Wilhelm Molterer, EIB Vice-President stated: "It is due to the strong commitment shown by the various groups of investors that Butendiek is now able to get off the ground. And the EIB loan will make an important contribution to this. The financing of renewable energy, particularly offshore wind energy projects, is and will continue to be a key part of the EIB's work, as it is all about meeting Europe's ambitious environmental targets. Here, Butendiek will have a crucial part to play."

The Danish government export credit agency Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF), KfW and nine commercial banks will also be involved in financing the wind farm.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:35:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ambani Says U.S. Will Be Energy Independent in 5-7 Years - Bloomberg

Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., said that the U.S.'s development of shale oil and gas will make the country energy independent as early as 2018.

"For many decades, we have heard that the U.S. will be independent of foreign imports of energy," Ambani, whose company operates the largest oil refining complex in the world, said in an interview to be aired today on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" program. "Realistically, I can now tell you that it is my judgment this will happen in the next five to seven years,"

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:44:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sebastien Galy On Declining US Oil Imports - Business Insider

On Friday, the US trade deficit shrunk by far more than expected, in large part thanks to declining oil imports.

From CSMonitor.com:

The oil and gas picture is improving. The trade deficit for petroleum-based goods alone shrank from $326 billion in 2011 to about $291 billion last year. That's still a big deficit, but oil imports fell by about $24 billion. Meanwhile, petroleum-related exports rose by more than $10 billion. According to analysis of the data by IHS Global Insight, an international consulting group, oil imports in December hit their lowest level since December 1999.

The decreasing need for oil from abroad is basically a result of two secular trends.

One is that the US is producing more oil.

The other factor is that domestic driving is on a secular downturn.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:55:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Saving a Shrinking Lake | Inter Press Service

GULFE, Cameroon, Feb 9 2013 (IPS) - Approaching the Lake Chad basin from Gulfe, a small locality 45 kilometres from Cameroon's Far North Regional capital Maroua, the atmosphere of despair is palpable: dusty air, fierce and unrelenting winds, wilting plants and sand dunes suggest that this once lush area is undergoing a terrible change.

Nothing breaks the expanse of sparse vegetation but the occasional withered tree and some scorched shrubs.

Bordered by Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, Lake Chad once spanned 25,000 square kilometres but in the last half century it has shrunk by 90 percent, its total surface area now covering a mere 2,500 square kilometres.

As a result of feeble rainfall, the Chari and the Logone - the two main rivers that feed the lake - are bringing less and less water each year.

Herders, fisherfolk and farmers who have relied for generations on the rich soil of this basin are now struggling to survive, as the great lake dries up before their very eyes.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:50:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pacific Locked in 'La Nada' Limbo

Sea-surface height data from NASA's Jason-2 satellite show that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is still locked in what some call a neutral, or 'La Nada' state. This condition follows two years of strong, cool-water La Nina events.

A new image, based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Jan. 26, 2013, shows near-normal conditions (depicted in green) across the equatorial Pacific.

This latest image highlights the processes that occur on time scales of more than a year, but usually less than 10 years, such as El Nino and La Nina.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:58:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this a bad thing?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 06:00:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly. Because it changes nothing to how much heat there is in the system. But it might give help to deniers for a while longer.

Not that I'd be sanguine about what would happen if we got a really, really hot year.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:01:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, and when the cycle does finally recover, it's going to be pretty hot pretty suddenly. Look at the last few recoveries.
by asdf on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 03:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Increases in extreme rainfall linked to global warming

A worldwide review of global rainfall data led by the University of Adelaide has found that the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events is increasing across the globe as temperatures rise.

In the most comprehensive review of changes to extreme rainfall ever undertaken, researchers evaluated the association between extreme rainfall and atmospheric temperatures at more than 8000 weather gauging stations around the world.

Lead author Dr Seth Westra said, "The results are that rainfall extremes are increasing on average globally. They show that there is a 7% increase in extreme rainfall intensity for every degree increase in global atmospheric temperature.

"Assuming an increase in global average temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century, this could mean very substantial increases in rainfall intensity as a result of climate change."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 03:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hotter global temperatures -> warmer surface sea temperatures -> increase of atmospheric moisture -> more energy available to weather systems.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 12:15:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Renewables now cheaper than coal and gas in Australia : Renew Economy

A new analysis from research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance has concluded that electricity from unsubsidised renewable energy is already cheaper than electricity from new-build coal and gas-fired power stations in Australia.

The modeling from the BNEF team in Sydney found that new wind farms could supply electricity at a cost of $80/MWh -compared with $143/MWh for new build coal, and $116/MWh for new build gas-fired generation.

These figures include the cost of carbon emissions, but BNEF said even without a carbon price, wind energy remained 14 per cent cheaper than new coal and 18 per cent cheaper than new gas.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 07:29:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 01:43:27 AM EST
IPS - Marriage Made in Civil Heaven | Inter Press Service

BEIRUT, Feb 9 2013 (IPS) - One couple's modest marriage in Lebanon has catapulted them into media limelight and sparked a national debate pitting the Prime Minister against the President while eliciting stern condemnation from leading religious figures. Their union is both exceptional and controversial - it is the first civil marriage in the country.

In Lebanon social and political integration is realised through sectarian affiliation; it is within the legal institutions of the 18 different religious sects that marriages are traditionally authorised. "It is really a different feeling when you feel like a human being getting married to another human being based on human rights and not on sectarian rights," the groom, Nidal Darwish, tells IPS.

Darwish and his bride Kholoud Sukkariyeh tied the knot in a secret ceremony at her house with just her brother for a witness, and a notary to oversee the signing of the contract. But once their marriage entered the public domain it soon became a hot and controversial topic of discussion across the country. What may in many societies seem a trivial matter cuts deep into Lebanon's social, political and religious fabric.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:49:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Lebanon social and political integration is realised prevented through sectarian affiliation

This marriage is symbolic, and immensely so, and can be compared to same-sex wedding ceremonies performed in various countries before legalization.

IPS - Marriage Made in Civil Heaven | Inter Press Service

Sukkarieyh and Darwish, with the help of their lawyer friend Talal al-Husseini, found what they claim is a loophole in the law that legitimises civil marriage in Lebanon without the need to travel abroad. "The law in Lebanon from the time of the French mandate stipulates that if someone isn't part of a sect he can't be married by a sect, so the only place someone who doesn't belong to a sect can get married is under civil law," Husseini tells IPS.

This decree no: 60 from 1936 was originally intended for foreigners that marry Lebanese women because in 1936 all Lebanese belonged to a sect. However, in recent years Lebanese citizens have been allowed to strike out their sectarian affiliation from their identity papers. According to Husseini, this means the couple's marriage has to be registered under civil law.

As there is no Lebanese civil marriage law, he argues they can choose a foreign law, which in Sukkariyeh and Darwish's case is the French civil code.

This legal argument was rejected by Minister of Interior Marwan Charbel. The state refused to register the couple's marriage, and Charbel argued in an interview to local newspaper an-Nahar that Lebanon needs its own civil marriage law before such unions can be recognised.

So, their particular marriage is probably not legal. They could have saved trouble by getting married in Cyprus, which is what Lebanese from different sects generally do; but they're taking a stand. They have my love and respect for it.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 05:03:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Multiple civil marriages planned for Apr.13, the anniversary of the outbreak of the  civil war.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 02:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Exorcising the Ghosts of Brazil's Dictatorship | Inter Press Service

PORTO ALEGRE, Jan 31 2013 (IPS) - At 8 a.m. on Oct. 25, 1975, Brazilian journalist Vladimir Herzog voluntarily reported to the São Paulo headquarters of the government's intelligence agency and was never seen alive again.

The facilities he had been summoned to were just one of the detention and torture centres that were active during Brazil's last dictatorship.

Herzog was editor-in-chief of the news department at the São Paulo-based television network TV Cultura, and had been called in for questioning by the Information Operations Department of the Centre for Internal Defence Operations (DOI-CODI) for his alleged connections to the then-illegal Brazilian Communist Party (PCB).

He died under torture, but his death was made to look like a suicide by the military in an attempt to cover up the murder. A photograph released later showed Herzog hanging in his cell, but in a position that clearly revealed that the military's suicide version was a farce.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:53:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hoodoos - key to earthquakes?

In the absence of long-term instrumental data, fragile rock formations, called hoodoos, may be key to understanding seismic hazard risk. In this study, researchers consider two hoodoos in Red Rock Canyon region to put limits on expected intensity of ground motion from earthquakes along the Garlock fault.

Hoodoos can be found in desert regions and are highly susceptible to erosion that makes their age uncertain. Despite that uncertainty, existing unfractured hoodoos, tall spires of sedimentary rock, may help put limits on ground motion associated with recent events by understanding the minimal force necessary to break the shafts made primarily of relatively soft sandstone.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Carl Barks was right.

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:45:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finding the way to memory

Our ability to learn and form new memories is fully dependent on the brain's ability to be plastic - that is to change and adapt according to new experiences and environments. A new study from the Montreal Neurological Institute - The Neuro, McGill University, reveals that DCC, the receptor for a crucial protein in the nervous system known as netrin, plays a key role in regulating the plasticity of nerve cell connections in the brain. The absence of DCC leads to the type of memory loss experienced by Dr. Brenda Milner's famous subject HM.

Although HM's memory loss resulted from the removal of an entire brain structure, this study shows that just removing DCC causes the same type of memory deficit. The finding published in this week's issue of Cell Reports, extends Dr. Milner's seminal finding to another level, revealing a key part of the molecular basis for learning and memory.

Although both netrin and DCC are essential for normal development (in terms of guiding nerve cell growth) until now their function in the adult brain was not known. Dr. Tim Kennedy, lead researcher and neuroscientist at The Neuro, contributed to the discovery of netrins as a young post-doctoral fellow. This new study reveals the answer to the question that drove him to first start a lab.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 03:01:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 05:27:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 02:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Holy fleurking schnitt.
Wonder if that applies to companies like Nike as well.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:48:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a common structure in many different sectors of the media business.

a) Entry costs are very low to most of the media sectors.
b) Start-up owner-founders tend to cash in as soon as they can, and then start a new business with the latest technology/audience.
c) Established national and transnational media corporations often grow by making these acquisitions, just as MS and Apple et al buy up comms patents and know-how by buying smaller companies.

Red Bull has only been around a quarter century, and only been fully international for fifteen, with five billion cans sold last year. Coca-Cola Corp has taken rather longer to reach a similar position.

The central element in the marketing plan is 'advertorial' skills: i.e. paid (controlled) content disguised as independent content. Leaving aside the endless ways in which the interests of advertisers have long been woven into what appears to be editorially sanctioned content*

(many consumers still cling to the long-gone concept of an 'editor' somehow acting on their behalf)

But Red Bull's unique approach has been to produce niche media around events and sports that they sponsor (and big corps have ignored). And they also chose to stay very close, with money and support, to the young stars in these sports who also have had a powerful influence on fashion, music etc. You could even call these young stars 'loss leaders' - they cost a lot, but they bring in tens, hundreds, thousands of paying customers who believe they are supporting some kind of dare-devil anti-establishment brand. And best of all, their parents hate it.

The Red Bull phenomenon lies somewhere between marketing and cult.

(*I would guess that only for the last 3 - 5 years Red Bull has had a clear direction. Before that there was an enormous amount of luck in creating such an aggressive brand.)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 11:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry - I forgot the redefined functionality of the asterisk.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 11:19:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Native Advertising is the new buzz. It has largely evolved because you suckers don't click thru enough. Banner click-thrus were at 9% 12 years ago - now 0.2%.

Get clicking - or we'll be back to the origins of branding - body identification marking - i.e. if we can't make you read it, then we'll have to turn you into it.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 03:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I liked it better when there was no advertising and you actually paid for what you watched/listened to.

Oh, wait, that was never. Can still dream though.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 06:18:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Books, pretty much.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 07:20:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting de Beers flashbacks.

(That's one the Superfans never managed to work in, as far as I recall.)


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Feb 12th, 2013 at 05:22:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 01:43:50 AM EST
BBC News - Twins' DNA hinders France sexual assault investigation

Police who are investigating a series of sexual assaults in the southern French city of Marseille have arrested identical twin brothers.

The 24-year-old unemployed delivery drivers, named locally as Elwin and Yohan, were placed under investigation on Friday.

Officers say they are sure that one of the two men carried out the attacks, but that they do not know which.

Standard DNA tests are unable to differentiate between their DNA.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:27:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally an obvious answer to the idea that DNA is the silver bullet.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 07:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What Leicester needs is a Richard III theme park | David Mitchell | Comment is free | The Observer

Why isn't Leicester twinned with Abbottabad? Those places have got so much in common. Both face stern economic challenges. Both are desperate to attract investment and tourism. And both have been the resting place of the mutilated remains of a notorious villain - who, in both cases, some say has been misjudged.

There are differences of course: Leicester's dead guy, Richard III, belongs to a very different historical era from Osama bin Laden (who met his end in Abbottabad) - it was no less brutal but the distance of time has allowed it to become picturesque. And, perhaps consequently, Richard III is a little further along the path of reputational rehabilitation than Bin Laden. Also Richard III didn't actually die in Leicester but was carried there dead, while Osama bin Laden was removed from Abbottabad post-mortem, leaving no possibility of infra-car-park skeletal jackpots for the city's future mayors. But the main difference is in how the two towns are making use of their respective celebrity corpses.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 03:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 06:32:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The chain was where the CGI effort went.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 12:20:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Paddy Power has published the odds for presumed Papal candidates. Richard Dawkins is at 666/1."

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 12:18:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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