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15 February 2013

by In Wales Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 03:56:18 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:15:46 PM EST
Wanka appointed German education minister in wake of Schavan plagiarism scandal | News | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

Johanna Wanka has been appointed as Germany's new education minister. She replaces Annette Schavan who stepped down after being stripped of her doctorate for plagiarism.

German President Joachim Gauck handed Wanka the education portfolio in a short ceremony attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel at his official residence in Berlin on Thursday.

Wanka, 61, is a mathematician from the eastern state of Saxony who has a broad background in education. Most recently, she worked as the federal government's education coordinator for the German states that are led by Chancellor Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:28:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the ironies of Schavan's situation is that she received her doctorate through a fast-track program that bypassed lower degrees.

So with the revocation of her doctorate, she has no professional or vocational qualification.

Which in Germany is the social equivalent of being a high school dropout.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:23:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Somebody explained the other day that doctorates are an important status symbol among the German right, leading to a high proportion of fakes.

Which makes a doctorate the modern equivalent, I suppose, of those fake dueling scars.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:45:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC they also translate into salary and promotion advantages. So it's more than just bragging rights.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:40:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fake? Don't people still get the real kind?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:37:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She has some honorary doctorates, doesn't she? Don't they count?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:34:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've often wondered what honorary doctorates mean beyond
a) you move in the right circles
b) you are famous, and a particular university wants some reflected secon-hand glory.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:44:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the EU beholden to lobbyists? | Europe | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

How much influence do interest groups have on EU legislation? Experts are divided, but the online platform LobbyPlag sees a lot. Sometimes, they say, MEPs even copy and paste directly from lobby proposals.

Drafting a new law for some 500 million EU citizens can be a rather daunting and complicated task. So, in order to do the job properly, it seems to make sense for parliamentarians to consult experts on the various options and proposals. Yet, those experts are not always as unbiased as they should be. When they provide advice with the interests of a certain company or organization in mind, then you' have what is known as lobbying.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:31:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / EU commission probed over 'revolving door' allegations

BRUSSELS - The EU ombudsman on Thursday (14 February) launched an inquiry into the alleged failure of the European Commission to prevent conflicts of interest.

The probe follows a complaint filed by a handful of pro-transparency groups in October 2012.

The NGO watchdogs say former commission staff is sometimes shuffled into powerful consultancy firms and then lobby on issues they had previously worked on while at the EU institution.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:04:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
The NGO watchdogs say

Weasel journalism of the "he said, she said" variety. For those who have the patience to read down the article, the NGOs don't just make allegations, they provide evidence:

EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / EU commission probed over 'revolving door' allegations

The watchdogs detailed examples where staff have either breached the rules or where the commission failed to properly inform the outgoing staff of their obligations.

Among the 10 names to be handed over to the ombudsman is Pablo Asbo.

Asbo worked in the commission's competition directorate for six years until he moved to a senior position at the Brussels-based Avisa Partners consultancy firm in March 2011.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 02:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 04:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Second link should be:

Amazon, eBay privacy lobbying sparks cut-and-paste crowdsourcing drive

The URL only worked when prefixed with http:// Strange, because the first link works without it...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 02:31:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How is this news? The same thing goes on in every single legislature and regulatory agency in the western world.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
at least it's recognised, if not regulated.

The Hill is a jungle, but everyone knows it. It's completely corrupt, but there are rules!

In the EU, either there are no rules, or they are carelessly flouted; and very few people are aware of the phenomenon. This should be pushed for all it's worth, to create some impetus for a well-defined, strict system, without the cosy unexamined relationships.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:32:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This should be pushed for all it's worth, to create some impetus for a well-defined, strict system, without the cosy unexamined relationships.

That would be great! It would at least show that such a system is possible.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:58:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does it have to be news for it to be reported?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:44:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of Russian parties may not mean democracy | Europe | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

Russia is inundated by a surge of new political parties. Observers doubt that the boom is a result of true liberalization in the Kremlin: more parties do not necessarily mean more democracy.

The procedure for registering political parties was simplified last year under President Dmitry Medvedev. That's led to a boom in the number of political parties in Russia.

According to a list published on the website of the Russian justice ministry, 195 political parties have submitted applications for state registration. The ministry notes that 58 have passed the first step in the application process and 34 have already been granted the right to participate in elections.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:33:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tempting PhDs lead politicians into plagiarism | Germany | DW.DE | 13.02.2013
A half-dozen German politicians have been accused of PhD plagiarism in the last two years. DW takes a look at why doctorate titles are in demand in Germany and why politicians and people are so keen to get hold of one.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:34:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suicide by self-immolation a rising trend in France - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

At noon on Wednesday, a 43-year-old man got off a bus near a state employment agency in the western city of Nantes. He stopped on a side street around 50 metres from the office, where he discarded his house keys, then doused himself with gasoline. French police waiting at the scene saw the burning man arrive at a sprint and that, despite efforts to put out the flames, it was too late.

The case of Djamal Chaab, whose application for jobless benefits had been rejected by the agency earlier in the week, has caused consternation in France. It is the latest in a growing list of job-related suicides to hit the country, which is struggling with low growth and record high unemployment.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy may `run for presidency in 2017' - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy may run for office again in 2017, a senior member of his centre-right UMP party hinted on Wednesday.

When asked if Sarkozy would present himself as candidate in 2017, former foreign minister Alain Juppé told France's Parliamentary Channel LCP, "I get the feeling that he will - even if it's not for me to answer that question in his place.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:08:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh good, I missed him so much. Can we get Berlu, Blair, and Dubya back too? What about Maggie Thatcher? Or is she busy crapping in her diapers?

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 Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:27:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just got a postcard from Berlu. It shows him at a desk next to a blonde (the local candidate?) with an arm around him and a puppy on the table. The message on the back is to vote for him and not for Merkel.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 11:10:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French medical body backs euthanasia in `exceptional' cases - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

France's medical ethics council said Thursday that euthanasia should be allowed in exceptional cases and when suffering patients make "persistent and lucid requests."

Invoking a "duty to humanity," the body said that euthanasia should be reserved for "exceptional cases" like putting an end to "prolonged suffering" or "unbearable" pain.

President Francois Hollande had referred a report on allowing assisted suicide to the council to examine the precise circumstances under which such steps could be authorised with a view to producing draft legislation by June.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you find yourself dying in unbearable pain, make sure you are lucid and persistent.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 07:31:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Immigrants too often taking advantage of UK public services, says Cameron | Politics | guardian.co.uk

The prime minister has accused some foreign nationals of taking advantage of British public services and said the government is looking for ways to make them pay for access.

David Cameron made his comments on a visit to Eastleigh, where Conservatives are trying to win the seat from the Liberal Democrats following the resignation of the former cabinet minister Chris Huhne.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:13:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Access to justice" - does that include libel suit tourism? Ah, only affect legal aid. Carry on.

"[...] I think that happens too often"
Want to back that up with facts and figures?

"[...] they should pay when they use the NHS."
No, if they are EU citizens and legal residents they are covered. Did you do the reading?

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:51:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess he's defining his agenda for that renegotiation of Britain's conditions of membership of the EU that he fantasises about.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 07:58:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
more demonisation of the poor.

What drives me bonkers is the extent to which the TV plays along with it; so many reality shows based on the idea of the poor behaving fecklessly

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:33:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Why is everybody so surprised by those GDP numbers? (15.02.2013)
Forecasters ended up with egg on their face as eurozone shrinks 0.6% during Q4, or 2.3% on annualised basis; as always, the forecasts are underestimating the scale of the downturn; France, as so often, showed a more robust economic performance than the rest of the eurozone; Italy was down 0.9, Spain 0.7% and Portugal 1.8%; German economists shrug off these data as a one-time shock; they are extremely optimistic about Germany, and extremely pessimistic on France; for 2012 as a whole, the French economy had no growth, and lost 70,000 jobs; the Wall Street Journal points out that the stabilisation of financial markets last year has yet to feed to the real economy; Italy is now in the longest recession for 20 years; Marco Sati gives ten reasons why Pier Luigi Bersani might still lose the Italian elections - including poor tactics towards his potential allies, and underestimating Berlusconi and Grillo; Silvio Berlusconi explains why it is ok pay bribes in international business; as the recession gets worse, Italians are starting to cut on health expenditures; Bersani's latest idea is the creation of super-ministry for growth; Italian police make the first arrest in the MPS case, of a former CFO; the European Commission signals that it could give extra time for deficit adjustment in exchange for a commitment to structural adjustment; Francois Hollande may propose a decoupling of pension increases from inflation; the Economist says it is possible that Hollande may turn into a French version of Gerhard Schroder; the Caritas says the crisis would produce a lost generation as youth unemployment reaches absurd levels; Spain's Frob scares Bankia shareholders with a warning that they will be significantly diluted in a few days; the former governor of the Bank of Spain said he wanted to fire Rodrigo Rato as head of Bankia but was stopped by the government; Sony Kapoor writes the European banking crisis response was a lot worse than the US response; a big scandal has broken out in Catalonia, amid evidence that the main parties in the region all spied on each other; the share of Spanish exports has risen from 27% to about a third during the crisis, and is set to rise further; S&P warns that further downgrades of south European countries are possible; the European Parliament, meanwhile, is considering a veto of the budget agreement - which would roll over existing spending.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:57:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These data must have come as no surprise whatsoever for anyone who has recently been doing the maths on fiscal multipliers. The fact that they shocked so many tells us that a large majority of analysts still fail to understand the underlying dynamic of this crisis. As austerity continues into 2013, expect more such "surprises".

The eurozone economy contracted 0.6% during Q4, or by 2.3% annualised. Germany contracted at that average, France at 0.3%. Italy 0.9%, Spain 0.7%, Greece 0.6%  and Portugal 1.8%. Note these are quarterly data. Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that the Germans are shrugging off these data as a one-time spill-over effect from the eurozone crisis. The article quotes analysts expecting a strong rebound in Q1. The expectations of German analysts of France are extremely negative. The article quotes one analyst who says the country was on a slippery slope to the next financial crisis.

The Wall Street Journal makes the point that the stabilisation of markets had not led to a stabilisation of business activity in the eurozone. The euro initially fell by 1% - presumably on the expectation that the data might bounce the ECB into a rate cut - but subsequently recovered most of the losses.

Latest figures from the French Statistics office showed France ending up with zero growth in 2012 with 70000 jobs destroyed.  The 3% deficit goal is now out of reach. The Commission yesterday signalled some openness (see news story below) though France would have to present a credible medium-term adjustment plan, with concrete figures for savings measures. Les Echos writes France is to launch a debate about the right balance between austerity and growth the moment the EU economy slows down more than expected.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:59:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
The fact that they shocked so many tells us that a large majority of analysts still fail to understand the underlying dynamic of this crisis.

Or that they are professional bullshitters.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:05:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or that the Euro crisis is actually a morality play.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:22:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The two are not mutually exclusive.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:35:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think a lot of people, including journalists and commentators, are genuinely puzzled and bewildered that austerity isn't working (I mean working as advertised, as opposed to working as intended).

It's perhaps my naive tendency to prefer explanations based on stupidity and incompetence to those based on conspiracy (mind, I'm talking about the chattering classes, not the ECB and consorts).

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:49:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's Münchau that's out of touch: actual economic principles have nothing to do with the narrative, and being surprised by quantitative economic data actually buttresses the narrative that the economy in incomprehensible and there's nothing we can do but throw virgins into volcanos and listen to the pious mutterings of priests as they spill the guts of small animals to justify their policy advice.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:02:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As you rightly pointed out in a past sig line, economics is politics by other means. An extension of the principle to "politics is morals by other means" looks reasonable to me. Lakoff says that political frames should always be based on moral options.

Our problem is with the strength of frames such as Makers and Takers (Strivers and Skivers, also, connected but not identical, Ants and Grasshoppers). The morality play revolves around those.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:18:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Our problem is with the strength of frames such as Makers and Takers

The problem is not with the frame, but with the Takers convincing everyone that the roles are reversed from what actually happens.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:59:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a frame that, deeply ensconced in our culture (strongly but not exclusively in the Germanic countries), sets off an "I'm a maker, you do what you can, he's a taker" reaction. In other words, self-righteousness makes people unconsciously become the allies of those who are in fact ripping them off.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 08:06:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the pious mutterings of priests as they spill the guts of small animals workers and poor people

FIFY.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 09:21:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that they shocked so many tells us that a large majority of analysts still fail to understand the underlying dynamic of this crisis.

The cargo

it still hasn't come.

Shakes one's faith.  It does.


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

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 11:40:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Les Echos writes France is to launch a debate about the right balance between austerity and growth the moment the EU economy slows down more than expected. "

Three years ago would seem to have been an appropriate time then.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:34:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Fiscal multipliers" are part of the Keynesiensian Heresy that "no one believes in."

Just because it's predicted most of the things that have happened since the crash doesn't mean it's right, apparently.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 07:00:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who are you going to believe? Hayek and von Mises or your lying eyes?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 07:25:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the Wall Street Journal points out that the stabilisation of financial markets last year has yet to feed to the real economy

Stabilisation? The sort of stabilisation that embalming fluid accomplishes with a corpse? Or, perhaps, like halting the spread of metastasized liver cancer even while the original cancer in the liver continues to destroy liver function - except that the metastasis continues. The financial markets don't need 'stabilisation'. They need reconstruction with strong, effective regulation.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 11:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't you get the memo? Markets will be deemed to be stable (regardless of what happens to them) until Merkel's reelection.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:17:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately I am not a member of the kleptocratic German  plutocracy.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:16:04 PM EST
German security staff strike at Düsseldorf, Hamburg airports | News | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

assengers travelling out of two international airports in Germany are facing delays after security personnel walked off the job. The strikes, which are to continue on Friday, are part of an ongoing wage dispute.

The staff who walked off the job in the early hours of Thursday are responsible for conducting security checks on passengers boarding outbound flights.

Passengers at both Düsseldorf and Hamburg airports faced long delays getting through security to reach their flights as few staff members were there to conduct the checks.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:29:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone logs third straight quarter in recession | Business | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

The latest figures from the European Union's statistics agency have revealed that the 17-member euro area is in a deepened recession. The final quarter of 2012 saw the bloc's economy contract more than expected.

The recession in the eurozone deepened sharply in the fourth quarter of last year, Eurostat figures showed on Thursday. The 17-member bloc's economy shrank by 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Analysts said the figures were worst than expected and not least a result of Europe's biggest economy now also being dragged into the crisis, with Germany logging a 0.6-percent contraction of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2012.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:29:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
American Airlines, US Airways announce merger plan | News | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

American Airlines and US Airways have announced their intention to merge to create the largest US airline. The deal still needs to be approved by US antitrust regulators and a bankruptcy court.

The two airlines officially announced the plan on Thursday in Dallas. This came just hours after the boards of American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp. and US Airways approved the deal.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:31:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Legal battle threatens cultural institution | Germany | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

Although a Frankfurt court has deferred a much-anticipated legal decision on the Suhrkamp publishing company, the question remains: How can such a cultural institution continue to survive in a changing market?

Suhrkamp Verlag, considered one of Europe's leading literary and academic publishers, is beset by conflict. Despite having published the likes of philosopher Jürgen Habermas and novelist Isabel Allende, it has been embroiled in a legal battle that is threatening to tear it apart.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain's unemployed find treasure in others' trash | Europe | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

For unemployed immigrants to Spain, there's one last-resort "job" that sometimes pays more than minimum wage. It's dumpster diving, and it's particularly lucrative for former construction workers.

On a Barcelona street, a well-dressed, middle-aged Spanish man averts his eyes from onlookers as he reaches his arm deep into a dumpster.

It's a scene that's become more common since the economic crisis hit Spain, plunging the country into Europe's deepest recession. According to Spain's National Institute of Statistics, unemployment currently stands at 26 percent.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a hint from this German source on why there is "austerity" in Spain.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:14:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Social Affairs / EU bailouts: misery for old people, children, single mothers

Austerity policies imposed in bailed-out countries like Greece and Portugal are taking a high toll on the poorest and most vulnerable in society, a study published on Thursday (14 February) by the Catholic charity Caritas says.

Based on its field work in shelters and social programmes in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland, Caritas noted that by cutting funding for the most deprived and by raising taxes for people on low income, the "cohesion of Europe and the very political legitimacy of the European Union are being put at risk."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:03:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Double taxation row as Brussels launches transactions tax proposal

BRUSSELS - The European Commission was under fire Thursday (14 February) over claims that its planned tax on financial transactions (FTT) would lead to double taxation.

Unveiling the plans for an FTT backed by 11 EU countries, Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said that it was a "fair, technically sound and legally robust tax."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:03:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / EU unlikely to punish France for budget lapse
BRUSSELS - France predicts it will fail to meet EU budgetary targets this year, but the European Commission is unlikely to take action.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:04:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / 2015 target date for EU-US trade deal

BRUSSELS - EU and US negotiators want to have a transatlantic trade and investment deal in place by 2015, but French politicians are wary of the pact.

Hours after US President Barack Obama unveiled plans for talks aimed at a bilateral pact worth up to €86 billion per year, EU trade commissioner Karel de Gucht told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday (13 February): "We'd like to complete this work in about two years from now."

De Gucht, who will lead the EU's negotiating team, noted that "more paramount than speed is achieving an ambitious deal," however.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:05:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lithuania Ukio Bankas Suspended on Failure to Meet Capital Rules

Lithuania Seeks Sale of Ukio Bankas Assets to Avert Failure Cost

Lithuania temporarily suspended the operations of Ukio Bankas AB, the Baltic nation's sixth-largest lender by assets, saying it engaged in risky behavior and no longer met capital-adequacy and liquidity requirements.

The central bank appointed a temporary administrator to assess and report within six days on the bank, which is controlled by Vladimir Romanov, the owner of Edinburgh soccer club Heart of Midlothian Plc, according to an e-mailed statement today from Vilnius, the capital.


by das monde on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 11:16:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boing Boing
Economic recovery in the US actually made 99% of Americans poorer, top 1% captured 121% of gains

Cory Doctorow

"Striking it Richer," a paper by Emmanuel Saez (an economist at UC Berkeley) looks at the way that the dividends of the slow US "economic recovery" have been distributed. Saez finds that 121% of the economic gains since 2009 have been captured by the richest 1% of Americans -- in other words, despite economic growth, the poorest 99% of Americans actually got poorer through the "recovery."

This confirms a pattern that Matt Stoller highlighted: that income inequality increased more under Obama than under Bush.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 09:25:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
121% of the economic gains since 2009 have been captured by the richest 1% of Americans

how do they work?

I'm not the greatest mathematician in the Universe.  But.  jeez

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

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 11:20:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And obviously not the greatest speler, either.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 11:21:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fridase have that effekt on the brane as any fule kno.

(Apologies for the part of the spelling I had to make up.)

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has anyone noticed that Number 6 is not only the Joyce James of Yurpeen  Tribsboon, but verdammt erudite, even cartoonly, on a regularity basis, over and above the norm recently, with minor exceptions, anyway?

Well, i have.

(Can any of the internetsky mavens find a photo of hir?)

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 02:02:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're very kind. (Perhaps I'll take that encouragement and get the writing pad out again. Been too long.)

No photos to find unless I've been sloppy. (Somewhere between Jason Statham and Philip Seymour Hoffman with Warren Farrel's beard, I guess.)


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 08:08:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Works like this:

"Getting Richer" Edmund Saez

2009-2011: Uneven recovery from the Great Recession

From 2009 to 2011, average real income per family grew modestly by1.7% (Table 1) but the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by11.2% while bottom 99% incomes shrunk by 0.4%. Hence, the top 1%captured 121% of the income gains in the first two years of the recovery.



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 Sat Feb 16th, 2013 at 03:01:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
income inequality increased more under Obama than under Bush.

Two notable features of depressions are that the money becomes more valuable, further enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor, and gains are consolidated through bankruptcies, where the wealthy lenders gain control of the assets of those to whom they had made loans. From the capitalists point of view this is just the natural order of things.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 11:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:16:17 PM EST
Teenager dies during Bahrain uprising anniversary protest | News | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

A Bahraini teenager has been killed during protests marking the second anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising. Demonstrators have called on the ruling Sunni royal family to concede some powers.

Opposition activists reported Thursday that a 16-year-old boy was shot dead during protests in the Shiite-populated village of Daih, outside Bahrain's capital, Manama.

The boy, identified as Ali Ahmed Ibrahim al-Jazeeri was "wounded by a shotgun that regime forces fired... and died in hospital," the main Shiite opposition bloc, Wefaq reported. It said dozens of people were injured during the confrontation which erupted when police fired shotguns and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:21:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Murder charges follow shooting at home of paralympic star Pistorius | News | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

South African police have charged a 26-year-old man with murder after a shooting at the home of paralympic star Oscar Pistorius. Local media said Pistorius, 26, had been arrested after his girlfriend was killed.

Pistorius's girlfriend, 30-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp, was shot four times by bullets fired from a gun owned by the paralympian, according to police spokeswoman Brigadier Denise Beukes quoted by the news agency AFP.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pope opts for the quiet life | News | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

The outgoing pope, Benedict XVI, says he intends to keep a low profile once he retires at the end of February. He has also hit out at the media for reducing Catholic Church reforms of the 1960s to a "power struggle."

Benedict told a packed audience at the Vatican on Thursday that he would live "hidden" from the spotlight, after he became the first pope in almost 600 years to retire.

"Even if I retire now, I will always remain close to all of you in my prayers, and you will be close to me even if I remain hidden to the world," said the 85-year-old.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:30:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unmasking Prisoner X: Beating the censors - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Revelations on the Prisoner X case by the ABC's Foreign Correspondent program precipitated an extraordinary week in Israeli politics.

Claims that suspected Australian Mossad operative Ben Zygier was secretly jailed before his death in prison have brought to a head years of resentment at the way Israel's security services use court gag orders to suppress sensitive information from the media.

Israeli intelligence services were aware that our Foreign Correspondent story was airing last Tuesday. The promo was going viral on social media, and airing on ABC TV in Australia. A press release had gone out the previous week, mentioning "Prisoner X".

by Bernard on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 04:56:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Back to the shire, then?

(Come on, no one's reading this any more, you've all gone to the TGIF thread.)

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:10:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pressure grows on EU to blacklist Hezbollah | World | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

Pressure is growing on the EU to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. A probe has concluded that the Shiite group was behind a 2012 bomb attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. But how would it affect Lebanon?

When Hezbollah comes under pressure, it bans its members from talking. "Bulgaria? No comment." Rana, the organization's press spokeswoman in Beirut, is friendly but determined. "I am sorry - really," she added.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN nuclear watchdog fails to reach deal with Iran - IRAN - FRANCE 24

U.N. inspectors returned on Thursday from talks in Tehran with no deal on access to Iran's nuclear sites and no date for new talks, failing to produce even a small signal of hope for wider big power diplomacy aimed at averting a war.

"Despite its many commitments to do so, Iran has not negotiated in good faith," said a Western diplomat accredited to the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna who was not at the talks. "It appears that we now have to ask ourselves if this is still the right tactic."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:09:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is undergoing "complex" alternative treatments more than two months after having cancer surgery in Cuba, his vice president said on Wednesday.

MercoPress: The International Monetary Fund, IMF, praised Venezuela for the recent devaluation of its currency saying it is a positive attempt to reduce macroeconomic misbalances but also called on the government of President Hugo Chavez to continue eliminating the exchange rate distortions.

Huffington Post: Telesur's outlook may be sympathetic to Cuba's socialist model, but it's still a relatively unfiltered news source, and many say the decision to carry it here is as groundbreaking as other recent reforms, such as legalizing more private businesses and allowing greater travel freedom. "It's a window onto the world. It's a different way of seeing things," said Marcos Guizaldivar, a 41-year-old restaurant worker in Havana who said he was fascinated by Telesur and had all but tuned out Cuban state TV. "It would be great if they had it on 24 hours a day."


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 07:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WATCH: Meteorite Crashes Over Russia | TIME.com

A flaming meteorite crashed to the earth on Friday, injuring hundreds and reportedly prompting fears of an alien invasion.

In scenes reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster, a series of explosions rocked the skies above the Ural Mountains and sparked panic in the three major cities of Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen.

lotsa vids.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:52:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as an example of meteoroid impact.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 06:58:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, not of the tree-felling magnitude:

WATCH: Meteorite Crashes Over Russia | TIME.com

The Russian Academy of Sciences estimates the meteorite weighed roughly 10 tons. In a statement Friday, the academy said the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 33,000 mph (54,000 kph) and shattered about 18-32 miles (30-50 kilometers) above ground.

Tunguska event - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

...The explosion, having the epicenter (60.886°N, 101.894°E), is believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5-10 kilometres (3-6 mi) above the Earth's surface. Different studies have yielded widely varying estimates of the object's size, on the order of 100 metres (330 ft).[4]...

...Estimates of the energy of the blast range from 5 to as high as 30 megatons of TNT (21-130 PJ),[7][8] with 10-15 megatons of TNT (42-63 PJ) the most likely[8]--roughly equal to the United States' Castle Bravo thermonuclear bomb tested on March 1, 1954; about 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan; and about two-fifths the power of the later Soviet Union's own Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated.[9]

Incidentally, a not much smaller asteroid, 2012 DA14, will have its closest pass by Earth in one hour (visible to small telescopes; I'll try to catch it).

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 01:29:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The weather didn't cooperate...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 07:36:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's prisoners from the Phantom Zone. We're up shit creek now, campers.

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 Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That reminds me I still haven't seen the Richard Donner cut.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:37:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:16:51 PM EST
European horsemeat scandal spreads with positive equine drug test | News | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

British authorities believe a horse medication may have entered the food chain in France. The growing horsemeat has caused supermarkets across Europe to pull food products from their shelves.

Britain's environment minister, David Heath, told the House of Commons on Thursday that the carcasses of eight horses from British abattoirs had tested positive for bute, or phenylbutazone.

"Three may have entered the food chain in France. The remaining five have not gone into the food chain," he said.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:27:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Social Affairs / EU horsemeat affair prompts DNA testing

BRUSSELS - The European Commission is urging member states to intensify DNA tests on meat products to see how much horsemeat there is in EU "beef."

"The tests will be on DNA in meat products in all member states," health commissioner Tonio Borg told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (13 February).

He said EU countries should intensify tests in an initial 30-day period starting in March as part of a bigger, three-month-long programme.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Horsemeat scandal deepens as minister says bute may be in food chain | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Eight horses slaughtered for food in the UK have tested positive for the veterinary painkiller phenylbutazone, known as bute, new tests from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed on Thursday.

The minister for food and agriculture, David Heath, told the Commons that 206 carcasses had been tested. Six of the carcasses that tested positive may have entered the food chain in France in the last few weeks, according to the FSA, and efforts were being made to recall them. Heath said the Findus lasagne found to contain horsemeat had tested negative for bute. The FSA confirmed that all tests on the food products analysed so far, including Tesco burgers, were negative.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:12:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Dutch newspaper revealed today that one of Amsterdam's most renowned steak-houses has been serving horse-steaks for at least ten years, while selling them as beef.

Who knows, this whole scandal might just popularize eating horse a bit. Servings of horse are taboo in most of the country.

by Nomad on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 05:18:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I find surprising is that none of the people going to a restaurant specifically to eat beef steak would notice the difference. Especially since steak freaks can be quite passionate about it.

Not being a beef freak, and never having eaten horse (as far as I know), I wouldn't know. I have found ostrich to be undistinguished, and indistinguishable from beef.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:39:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The capital's most famous restaurant reviewer, who works at the same newspaper, once had a steak in the steak-house, years ago. He rated the restaurant highly, but asked the owner privately why the he was serving horse steak instead. The owner denied it, and the reviewer left it at that. After all, it had been a great meal.

So he tasted the difference years ago - but peculiarly enough never investigated further and didn't write it in his review. Bit odd, as he's considered an authority on cooking and he's known to be fascinated by food fraud. But with the horse-meat all in the news, he tipped the newspaper.

I suspect that anyone without culinary lore in the Netherlands would be hopelessly fooled.

This story also shows cultural sensitivity, or hypocrisy even, of what meat we eat and what we don't. In the wake of Jonathan Safran Foer, my girlfriend has been arguing we should also be serving dog. I've very little to counter.

by Nomad on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:45:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The main reason I'm a vegetarian is because I don't trust the food industry.

It's difficult to fake a carrot.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 09:26:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty much all the meat I eat these days comes from a single well-identified supplier/farm. Beef, lamb, poultry. I'm picking up 5kg of veal tomorrow, that'll last a while.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 09:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno ...

Witchsmeller: [reading the Bible. Well, a bible.] "Neither shalt thou eat the fruit of the tree that is known as the Carrot Tree"
Baldrick: Carrots don't grow on trees!
Witchsmeller: Oh really? And how did you get to know so much about carrots, eh?
Witchsmeller: WITCH!

Essential for getting the right crunch in your mirepoix. Sorry, if I'm saying "mirepoix" I should be saying "mouth feel" instead of crunch.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not a meat freak, though I have eaten horse meat. I'd say it is darker, leaner, more tender than beef. But I knew what I was eating, and there's no science in that subjective judgement.

If I were served a steak in a restaurant and asked to say if it was beef or horse, I doubt I'd have much better than a fifty-fifty chance of getting it right.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:02:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless it was charred, you'd know.

You know how a stable smells? Subtract hay, urine, manure, sweat, keep just the essence of horse.
Now add that to beef.

No mistaking a steak.

If it were minced and seasoned? Not so easy.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 07:14:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Viande de cheval : le gouvernement accuse la société Spanghero Horse meat: the government accuses the Spanghero company
Spanghero, l'un des fournisseurs des produits estampillés "boeuf" contenant du cheval en France, est dans la ligne de mire du gouvernement après la publication des premiers éléments de l'enquête, jeudi 14 février. Le ministre de la consommation, Benoît Hamon, a assuré que la société "savait qu'elle étiquetait 'boeuf' de la viande chevaline". Spanghero s'est rendu coupable d'une "tromperie économique" et sera poursuivi, a-t-il ajouté, promettant "d'assainir la filière".Spanghero, one of the suppliers of products marked "beef" containing horse in France, is in the crosshairs of the government after the publication of the first elements of the investigation, Thursday, Feb. 14. The Minister of Consumption, Benoît Hamon, assured that the company "knew it was labelling horse meat as 'beef'." Spanghero is guilty of a "economic fraud" and will be prosecuted, he added, promising "to clean up the meat business"
Le gouvernement estime que  750 tonnes de viande ont été commercialisées sur plusieurs mois, le profit pour Spanghero s'élèverait à 550 000 euros. Fait notable, la viande a été acquise à un prix moindre que le cours du boeuf. "Spanghero ne pouvait pas méconnaître les prix du marché", a souligné Benoît Hamon.
The government estimates that 750 tonnes of meat were sold over several months, the profit for Spanghero would amount to 550,000 euros. Notably, the meat was purchased at a price less than the price of beef. "Spanghero could not be unaware of market prices," said Benoît Hamon .
Le ministre de l'agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, a ajouté que Spanghero se voit retirer immédiatement l'agrément sanitaire qui lui permet de traiter de la viande. La décision d'un retrait d'agrément définitif ou pas sera prise la semaine prochaine.The Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, added that Spanghero's sanitary certificate authorising it to handle meat has been withdrawn. The decision on final withdrawal or not will be taken next week.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:31:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's less than a euro a kilo of price difference between horse and cow. From such margins are empires built.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah. I somehow doubt they took the risk for so little.

What we are not being told is what type of carcase was handled. Horse meat sold through butcheries in France comes from selected heavy horses raised for meat. The retail price is generally higher than beef.

But the Romanian horse meat is much more probably from a variety of horses sold off now the prohibition of horse-drawn vehicles on the roads is being applied. The quality and meat yield of the carcases is likely to be low. And the price too.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 04:55:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that they took the risk for so little. They probably assumed there is no risk at all, not having thought of DNA testing.

Apparently the horsemeat was sold at €2 a kilo, indicating that it was replacing beef worth less than €3 a kilo. So the customer is almost certainly getting a better quality meat!

It seems the designated villain is this Dutch guy Fasen (his company is registered in Cyprus for tax optimisation purposes) and is recently out of jail for selling horsemeat labelled as Dutch halal beef. But he claims that what he sold to Spanghero was labelled as horsemeat :

Horsemeat scandal: Dutch meat trader could be central figure | UK news | The Guardian

The Romanians have loudly protested their innocence amid allegations that they supplied horsemeat as beef. Fasen, who bought the Romanian horsemeat and kept it at a cold storage company in Breda in the Netherlands before selling it on to Spanghero, said he would hand over all his information to the Cypriot authorities, who would then pass it on to the French. Dutch food inspectors went to the Breda warehouse on Wednesday.

"As for the Romanian supplies, they delivered 100%," Fasen told the Guardian. "When they deliver beef, they deliver beef. No problem. When they deliver horse, they deliver horse. There is never, ever horse invoiced as beef. I was 100% sure I was buying horse. We sold it to Spanghero in France as well as to clients in Belgium and Holland. It was all sold as horse. There is no issue."

He added: "Somebody made a mistake and it was definitely not us."

The two Romanian slaughterhouses at the centre of the scandal also insisted the horsemeat sent to Holland was properly labelled. Doly Com and Carmolimp confirmed they had sold the horsemeat to Draap. Iulian Cazacut, owner of Doly Com slaughterhouse, said his firm sold over 350 tonnes of horsemeat to the Cyprus company last year, at a price of €2 a kilo.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:06:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the French government investigation says the meat was clearly labelled horse when it went into Spanghero's packing plant.

If I get the supply chain right, the horse meat (carcase) was at €2/kg leaving the slaughterhouse. That's incredibly low. But so is €3/kg for cow carcase.

Horse or cow, it's crap meat.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:23:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, at €3 a kilo for beef, I guess we're talking gristly offcuts of culled dairy cows. Whereas the horsemeat (here I'm guessing completely) is probably complete cuts of culled workhorses.

The low price for the horsemeat is not only because of the flooded market, but because the legit market for horsemeat wants guarantees of quality.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ex-slaughterhouse, I think they're carcases not yet butchered.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:31:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.

The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm SHOCKED, I tell you, SHOCKED
by Bernard on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 04:50:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Carbon fat cats are killing the emissions trading mouse | Damian Carrington | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The idea of a cap-and-trade scheme is that the cap shrinks, requiring a progressive reduction in carbon emissions. Meanwhile the trade means that the cuts in emissions take place where they are cheapest, meaning the maximum benefit for the least cost.

That's the admirable theory. In practice, two factors have left the EU ETS in ruins, with a price - today about €4.50 - far below the €20 where it will even start to have an effect. The first is industrial-scale lobbying from the vested interests which has led to vast windfalls being handed to many companies in the energy-intensive sector (but not the energy sector itself). The second is the global recession, which has reduced the already-inflated demand that the companies projected.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:16:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exclusive: Foreign investors set to sue Spain over energy reform | Reuters

It is unclear how much claims might be worth, but international funds have more than 13 billion euros ($17 billion) of renewable energy assets in Spain and say that the government has reneged on the terms of their investment.

The Spanish Parliament approved a law on Thursday that cuts subsidies for alternative energy technologies, backtracking on its push for green power.

That measure, along with other recent laws including a tax on power generation that hit green energy investments especially hard, will virtually wipe out profits for photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind plants, sector lobbyists say.

by Katrin on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 04:49:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:17:09 PM EST
Europe's fastest computer unveiled | News | DW.DE | 14.02.2013
A research center in Juelich, Germany has unveiled "JuQueen." The supercomputer can calculate the same amount of information per second as more than 100,000 PCs running at the same time. Scientists are already using it to map the human brain.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:30:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JuQueen is an IBM Blue Gene supercomputer.  

As far as "modeling the human brain" ... well, er.  um.

I'll note there are two areas of the human brain: Brodmann's Area 10 and the inferior parietal lobule that are crucial to higher cognitive functioning and are among the least understood areas of the brain.  Even their efferent and afferent connections, projections, etc. are unknown to the detail necessary for Modeling.

However, unless one considers it ethical to rip people's heads open and implant electrodes, these kinds of simulations are the only way to go. Although it would be nice if they would give-up their obsession with naive reductionism and bring their science up to, say, 1991.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:03:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Claude Lanzmann receives life award at Berlinale | Culture | DW.DE | 14.02.2013
French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann receives the Berlin International Film Festival's highest award - the Honorary Golden Bear - on Thursday. The Frenchman gained international fame with his epic "Shoah."
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:36:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US couple battles Russian adoption ban | Globalization | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

Aaron and Jenny Moyer are loathe to let Russian lawmakers dash their hopes. The US couple had nearly completed the adoption of a Moscow orphan with Down syndrome when Russia banned it. Now they have one last chance.

Aaron and Jenny Moyer came to Moscow to fight for an orphan with Down syndrome. The couple from Gainesville, Florida, had seen their efforts to adopt four-year-old Vitaliy flummoxed by Russian politicians who pushed through an adoption ban for US citizens in the final weeks of December. That wasn't about to stop them.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:38:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indian scientists get closer to Dengue vaccine | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

Scientists at an international research centre in New Delhi are claiming progress in their search for a dengue vaccine. Thousands have fallen victim to the virus this year alone.

At a local hospital in the Indian capital, Hiralal Pandey, a daily wage laborer, is being treated for dengue. Aside from the muscle aches, pains and fever, Pandey has gone through a phase of blood transfusions to kick up his dipping platelet count because of the crippling fever.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:39:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zambia grapples with language challenge | Africa | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

Almost 50 years after independence from Britain, English is still Zambia's main official language. But the government has now promised an overhaul, giving more priority to local languages.

"The world is English" is a common saying in Zambia and many Zambian parents evidently believe the sooner their children learn to speak English the better.

Yet their country has a rich linguistic heritage and seven out of an estimated 70 local languages have official status: Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga, Kaonde, Luvale and Lunda.  

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:39:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Defying norms to celebrate Valentine's Day | Asia | DW.DE | 14.02.2013

Liberal Pakistanis celebrate Valentine's Day every year despite opposition from religious groups. But some analysts say that Valentine's Day is more about Western consumerism in Pakistan than a day of romance.

For religious groups in Pakistan, Valentine's Day is immoral and anti-Islam. These groups consider events such as Valentine's Day and the New Year to be a celebration of Western culture. For them, those who commemorate these events in Pakistan are infidels and should be punished.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:40:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Louvre Mona Lisa `a copy of earlier version' - ART - FRANCE 24

Tests on a painting touted as an earlier version of the world-famous Mona Lisa prove that it is an original work by Leonardo Da Vinci, a Zurich-based art foundation claimed this week.

New analyses included an examination of "sacred geometry" as well as carbon dating and pigmentation tests carried out after the so-called "Isleworth Mona Lisa" was unveiled in Switzerland in September 2012.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 02:11:37 PM EST
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Sacred Geometry?

And St. Euclid spake, saying unto them, "Thou shalt keep thy lines parallel, yea verily unto the end of time.  Neither shall thee ..

Oh to hell with it.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:09:49 PM EST
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BBC News - Chile judge orders exhumation of Pablo Neruda's remains

A judge in Chile has ordered the exhumation of the remains of the poet Pablo Neruda, as part of an inquest into his death in 1973.

The left-wing Nobel Prize winner died 12 days after a military coup replaced the socialist president Salvador Allende with General Augusto Pinochet.

The poet's family has always maintained that he died in a Santiago clinic of advanced prostate cancer, aged 69.

In 2011, Chile started investigating allegations that he may have been poisoned.

...The current investigation was brought about after Neruda's former driver, Manuel Araya Osorio, said that agents injected the poet with poison at the clinic on the orders of General Pinochet.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 03:40:31 AM EST
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Video: Chimpanzees have faster working memory than humans, according to study

Professor Matsuzawa suggested that chimps have developed this part of their memory because they live in the "here and now" whereas humans are thinking more about the past and planning for the future.

So*, is the good Professor guilty of anthropomorphism?

(*I use 'so' in a similar manner to that of Stewart Lee monologues (I think they call it stand-up these days), which is to provide a fractional pause after the 'so', as an invitation to the audience themselves to consider the bizarre ramifications of the statement, before the comic interlocuter offers his own explanation).

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:22:49 AM EST
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He's not guilty of anthropomorphism if he can present evidence that chimpanzees' brains only deal with the "here and now" (immediate stimuli vital to survival and reproduction).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 05:29:40 AM EST
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Unless he can present evidence in the form of what it feels like to be a chimpanzee, then he is guilty.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:36:46 PM EST
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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:17:44 PM EST
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:36:59 PM EST
BBC News - Prince to headline Montreux Jazz Festival

Rock star Prince will return to the Montreux Jazz Festival for three nights in July, organisers have announced.

The Purple Rain star will play three shows at the event, the first to be held since founder Claude Nobs died earlier this year.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 07:03:16 AM EST
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Gay couples cannot raise children, says Welsh secretary | Politics | guardian.co.uk
The Welsh secretary, David Jones, has come under fire after claiming in a TV interview that gay couples "clearly" could not provide a "warm and safe environment" to raise children.

In other news : White men cannot sing the blues.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 10:55:11 AM EST
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But they can enjoy and cause it. (The Onion, 2000)


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 11:16:31 AM EST
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8^þ

pffffffffffffffffffftttttttttttttttttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:14:19 PM EST
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