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18 February 2013

by afew Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 04:00:14 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 17th, 2013 at 02:18:59 PM EST
Germany wants Amazon working conditions probe - The Local

German Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen called Sunday for a thorough probe into allegations that foreign seasonal workers hired in Germany by US online retail giant Amazon were harassed and intimidated.

 Von der Leyen told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that any proof of wrongdoing could result in serious consequences for the temporary employment agency used by Amazon.

"There is a strong suspicion here which is why we need to lay all the facts on the table," she said. "If the investigation shows there is something to the accusations against the temporary placement agency then its licence is at risk."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:39:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pity the Elf Slaves of Online Shipping

[...] it helps to have a labor pool that is on demand, so it can order the exact number of humans it needs to fill that day's number of orders if the humans are working at top capacity. That way, workers can't unionize or be legally entitled to decent benefits. [...] Even if you meet the outlandish goals, don't necessarily expect to be rewarded by say, a real job. [...] mostly "temps"--even though some of them have been working in the same place for more than a year.

As I've said, I've not been able to bring myself to read the full version.

In what must be a rare slip a book order of mine included the picking instructions. Seems to have been unusually generous: find these half dozen books (alphabetically adjacent) in this ten-minute slot. I'll see if I can find that again.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 05:50:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kick-starting Europe's economy by investing in public transport | New Europe

In tough times when finance ministers across Europe are pulling the strings of the public purse ever tighter, public services are coming under increasing pressure.

In this context, reflection about how public funding can and should be allocated means that essential services such as pensions, healthcare and education are often prioritised. 

So where does this leave public transport? Let's not forget that in Europe, public transport operators provide 1.2 million direct jobs and the sector as a whole represents between 1 and 1.2% of EU GDP. It's also worth noting that every euro of value created from public transport is linked to a further value creation of €4 in the total economy. So, it's a sector that provides and will continue to provide, economic value as well as local green jobs that cannot be delocalised.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:53:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone crisis: Austerity plunges Europe into recession | Presseurop (English)

The latest statistics on the state of the eurozone economy indicate that, contrary to what political leaders have recently been saying, the crisis is far from over.

The European press blames the economic shrinkage on austerity policies that prevail in most single currency states, with some newspapers advocating a change of course.

"The eurozone has become a recession zone," remarks La Tribune, which wonders on its front page, if "Europe has been sickened by austerity." For the French business daily, the figures that were published on February 14 amount to a "Saint Valentine's Day massacre" --

"The latest quarterly report of a 0.6 per cent decline in the wealth of the eurozone is the biggest slump since 1995 -- in other words, since Eurostat began to keep statistics on the economic and monetary union."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:57:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerity plunges Europe into recession

Who Could Have Predicted?

(that one never grows old; sadly...)

by Bernard on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 06:30:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent round up. Not just "lefty" or "populist" papers either.

(I only have right to an opinion about the NRC - are the other "similar"?)

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 06:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The French ones are La Tribune (N° 2 business paper, now a weekly with daily content online), which is hardly lefty.

And Médiapart, Internet news site with own investigative journalism, which is definitely not righty.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 09:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Spanish paper is La Vanguardia, which has traditionally been a conservative newspaper of reference.

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 18th, 2013 at 09:10:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The cartoon from the article...

...would have been more apropos had it shown the rope from the anvil being tied to the ankle of the figure representing the eurozone economy.

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 Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 03:57:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moldova: `Political crisis in Chișinău neglected in Bucharest. Alliance for European Integration no longer exists' | Presseurop (English)

On February 14, Moldova's Liberal-Democratic Prime Minister, Vlad Filat, announced that he would quit the Alliance for European Integration (the coalition in power since 2009), deploring prevailing corruption and the politisation of high-profile state jobs.

However, according to the press, the real catalyst for the crisis was the fatal accident in the course of a hunting trip attended by several high ranking officials, which took place in December 2012, and particularly the role of the former attorney general, who is member of one of the parties in the ruling coalition.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:59:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DutchNews.nl - Dutch prime minister will give Europe speech 'at some point'

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte will give a speech outlining the Dutch vision of Europe to the European parliament, foreign minister Frans Timmermans told BNR radio on Friday.

Timmermans told the broadcaster earlier he would like the prime minister to give a speech, as French president François Hollande had done. Rutte later confirmed he would.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:05:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No debate please, we're Europeans | Porthes
I pointed out late last year that European Commission Vice President Olli Rehn has been predicting for at least two years that, thanks to the excellent policies recommended by the Commission and the European Central Bank, economic recovery in the crisis economies of the eurozone is imminent. [...]
Mr Rehn, in a letter to European Finance Ministers, copied to other international financial luminaries like Christine Lagarde, says:

    "I would like to make a few points about a debate which has not been helpful and which has risked to erode the confidence we have painstakingly built up over the last years in late night meetings.

In other words, stop talking about these studies, they make the confidence fairy sad.

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 06:13:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...the confidence we need to complete the desanguinisation of the test sheep.

shhh, you'll disturb the experiment!


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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 07:04:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alberto Nardelli -- One week to the Italian election

With one week to voting day, here's what I think could happen (and matters):

- the centre-left will win a majority in the lower house by about 5 points

- Monti will get less than 15% of votes 

- Grillo will get more than 15%

- The far-left seriously risks not hitting the 4% threshold required to enter parliament

- The centre-left is within touching distance of winning in Lombardy, and consequently having a majority in the senate too. Bersani's coalition is on course to win 145-168 seats (majority is 158) - the range depends on Veneto, Sicily and Lombardy races.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:05:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Second round in Cyprus elections could be uncomfortably close for the Aust[e]rians (18.02.2013)
The conservative Nicos Anastasiades wins the first round in Cyprus' election, and is now facing Socialist Stavros Malas in a run-off; Malas and the third-ranked candidate George Lillikas both oppose austerity, and together their share of the votes is larger than that of Anastasiades;  Lillikas even opposes a bailout, and has not yet decided whether to support Malas; Antonis Samaris plans a cabinet reshuffle in Greece, as he is frustrated with the progress made in several ministries, health, administrative reform, environment and justice; concerns are increasing against the Greek revenues are falling short of the target; more austerity is now likely; Romano Prodi has interfered in the Italian elections, and endorsed Pier Luigi Bersani as the right man to lead Italy; Wolfgang Munchau says if the polls are right, Italy might see a repeat of the 2006 Prodi administration, which had a narrow majority to start with and which collapsed two years later due to internal divisions; Silvio Berlusconi calls Beppe Grillo a threat to democracy; Grillo, meanwhile, is having a great campaign on the ground, while he completely ignores TV; the OECD says Italy needs more labour market reforms; Italian house prices are expected to fall again this year, after a hefty downturn in 2012; the French government is seeking €4bn to €5bn in additional spending cuts this year; the Spanish government is hoping to receive some leeway on its deficit reduction from the European Commission this week; The King of Spain is now personally getting drawn deeper into a nasty corruption scandal involving his son-in-law; the troika says Ireland's must not relax its fiscal policies as a result of the promissory note deal; the eurozone trade surplus in December was the largest ever recorded; Paul Krugman, meanwhile, attacks Olli Rehn for saying that all this stuff about multipliers was unhelpful because it undermined confidence.


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 18th, 2013 at 10:34:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone current account surplus is widening

With everybody is focusing on "currency wars", the biggest non-issue of our time, a real potential macro distortion to watch out is taking place is the eurozone's ever rising current account surplus. The Wall Street Journal reports on a fall in imports mentions this in passing. The latest Eurostat trade data show a fall in exports by 1.8% during December, and a fall of imports by 3%. The trade surplus was €12bn in December, seasonally adjusted, the highest monthly surplus ever recorded since the creation of the euro.

(On a very rough back of the envelope calculation, this constitutes a trade surplus of 1.5% of eurozone GDP. Here, for once, exchange rate movements and current account position seemed well aligned.)



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 18th, 2013 at 10:37:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Eurozone now has a current account surplus, like Germany.

This is evidence Everything Is Working.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:45:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note the current account surplus is achieved by imports dropping faster than exports, which are also dropping just like the Eurozone GDP.

The Eurozone is becoming leaner and meaner (∗), shedding all those uncompetitive people and excess fat around the waist.

(∗) leaner and meaner, literally as well as figuratively

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 18th, 2013 at 10:51:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
shedding all those uncompetitive people

Once they are defined out of the labor pool there is less 'official' downside to downsizing.

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 Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 04:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French government to decide on €4bn-€5bn additional savings

Jean Marc Ayrault and his cabinet will have to decide on €4bn-€5bn extra savings in the 2013 budget, Les Echos reports, to account for lower growth and additional expenditures of new measures. The prime minister's restructuring plan of funds for the period until June is expected to be ready by the end of this week, with a cabinet meeting scheduled on Wednesday. Some ministers already voiced their resistance to further expenditure cuts. In his editorial Guillaume Tabbard says that if the restructuring plan is based on performance indicators rather than cyclical measures, as recommended by the Court of Auditors, Hollande and Ayrault stand a good chance of breaking with the French traditional perception of evaluating ministers simply according to how much money they get allocated.



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 18th, 2013 at 11:05:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It puzzled me when I read it this morning. I'll read Tabbard's editorial.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 11:19:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What Tabbard is saying is that the government might try suppressing policies which are expensive and are judged ineffective, rather than just shaving a couple of percent off all expenditure. But this would be a break with French tradition : ministers are expected to defend their budgets ferociously and indiscriminately, and the size of ministerial budgets are influenced by the status of their ministers.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 11:23:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a hugely interesting editorial. Tabbard expects all ministers will protest that their ministry is vital and should be preserved from cuts (no doubt this will happen). He argues for analysis of the effectiveness of public policies (which sounds good except that I fear liberals bearing cost-benefit analysis).

Ayrault, ses ministres et la rigueur, Actualités Ayrault, his ministers and rigour
La tentation de l'exécutif est grande de s'en tenir à des choix conjoncturels plus que structurels : quelques économies sur les prestations familiales - au risque de peser sur la consommation des ménages ; l'étalement dans le temps de certains projets (couverture numérique, Grand Paris...) - au risque de freiner l'investissement. Au coup de rabot général, le gouvernement pourrait préférer une réelle évaluation des politiques publiques et avoir l'audace de supprimer celles qui sont inefficaces. C'est ce que suggère chaque année la Cour des comptes. Sous la contrainte, François Hollande et Jean-Marc Ayrault pourraient être les premiers à vaincre le syndrome français qui veut qu'un ministre ou qu'un élu mesure son importance et son influence à l'aune du montant des crédits qu'il obtient.The temptation is great for the executive to stick to more cyclical than structural choices: some savings on family allowances - at the risk of weighing on household consumption; spreading some projects over time (Internet coverage, Greater Paris...) - at the risk of curbing investment. Rather than planing spending down equally across ministries, the government might prefer a real evaluation of public policies and have the audacity to remove those that are ineffective. This is suggested every year by the Court of Auditors. Under duress, François Hollande and Jean-Marc Ayrault could be the first to defeat the French syndrome that defines the importance and influence of a Minister or an elected official by the yardstick of the amount of credits he receives.

The last point concerns rather petty precedence, finally of the kind "I'm above him in the hierarchy, why haven't I got a new carpet in my office?". It's doubtless French, (but only French?), and should be got rid of, OK.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 11:40:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is also linked to the yearly ritual of the annual Court of Auditors report that has traditionally pinpointed wasteful expenses by various state and local administrations as well as state owned companies such as EDF.

Since the Court is also supposed to offer "suggestions for improvement" along with its findings, it has been doing more and more so aver the years up to the point of being partial and pushing politically oriented messages - an accusation that chairman Didier Migaud has refuted yesterday on TV (he added something like: "Good news: we can cut expenses painlessly simply by reducing waste").

And yes, the annual report is used as fodder by the 'let's-cut-government' crowd, as evidence by the flurry of editorials and articles...

by Bernard on Tue Feb 19th, 2013 at 06:11:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:19:34 PM EST
George Osborne in pledge to help world's poor fight tax abuse | Politics | The Observer

The chancellor George Osborne has pledged to join forces with the developing world to crack down on multinationals avoiding tax in some of the world's poorest countries.

Fresh from the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Moscow, Osborne reveals in the Observer that the UK wants to rewrite the rules of the corporate game to help developing countries collect the tax that is due to them.

In remarks hailed by anti-poverty campaigners, he promises to drive forward a "new agenda of transparency" and to force oil, mining and gas giants to publish key financial data project-by-project wherever they operate.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:44:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
G20 backs EU states' call for action on offshore tax - The Local

The G20 group of the world's top economies expressed determination Saturday to crack down on companies who duck their full taxation responsibilities with elaborate schemes.

The call came after the finance ministers of France, Britain and Germany said it was time for coordinated action to halt the practice of shifting profits from a firm's home country to pay less tax under another jurisdiction.

Cash-strapped governments are seeking to use every means to inject new funds into their budgets and have run out of patience with big firms shifting profits to be registered in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.

They meant to add Luxembourg, of course.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:02:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's his angle?
I mean, it's obviously not the stated one.
Getting profit back to HQ, i.e. Britain/Europe?


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 05:51:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Smokescreen to hide the fact that Britain lets corporates off lightly?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 09:10:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Facebook Will Pay No Taxes, Get Huge Refund Instead

During the year it went public, Facebook made $1.1 billion in profits. But thanks to some nifty accounting, the company won't be paying any federal or state taxes on it -- instead, it will actually be receiving a federal tax refund of about $429 million.

Citizens for Tax Justice, a research group, predicted this would happen back when Facebook went public last year, and just released a breakdown of what Facebook pulled off in its 2012 annual report.

Essentially, because of a tax deductibility on executive stock options, options which Facebook gave out plenty over the past year, the deductible ended up actually equaling more than Facebook owed in taxes to the state and federal governments. So instead of paying anything to the government, the government will instead be paying Facebook a refund of almost half a billion dollars. The refund comes on taxes they had paid in 2010 and 2011.

Not only that, but Facebook is actually carrying "forward another $2.17 billion in additional tax-option tax breaks for use in future years." Basically, they would like to do this every year.

One of our most successful new companies is not paying a dime in taxes.

Yes, let's please cut Medicare. That's the thing that's broken.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:01:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After all Osborne's only incentive is to insure that they avoid paying taxes in the UK.

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 Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 04:20:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU, US agree to fast-track bank rules, bonus cap | EurActiv

The European Union and the United States agreed on Thursday (14 February) to implement the new global Basel III capital adequacy rules for banks as soon as possible, EU financial services chief Michel Barnier said after a meeting in Washington.

The Basel rules are the world's main regulatory response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis, aimed at preventing a repeat crisis where banks had to be bailed out by their governments.

But both the United States and the EU missed the January deadline for the start of a six-year phase-in of the new regime - the EU was not ready, and the United States in December announced a delay for further consultation.

Barnier said on Thursday he and Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo "agreed it was essential that effective implementation of the new regulatory framework should be done as soon as possible".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:49:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
G-20 Signals Support for Japan Stimulus Without Yen Talk - Bloomberg

Global finance chiefs signaled Japan has scope to keep stimulating its stagnant economy as long as policy makers cease publicly advocating a sliding yen.

The message was delivered at weekend talks of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 in Moscow. While they pledged not "to target our exchange rates for competitive purposes," Japan wasn't singled out for allowing the yen to drop and won backing for its push to beat deflation.

"There was no censure of the Japanese attitude, which was considered a policy to develop its economy and not to intentionally devalue," Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega told reporters after the meeting. South Korean Finance Minister Bahk Jae-Wan said "comments suggesting specific levels of foreign-exchange rates should be dealt with caution."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain's strength is its weakness | Anatole Kaletsky

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the weakest of them all? As G20 finance ministers warn of the threat of a "global currency war" at their meeting in Moscow this weekend, two odd features of this looming financial conflict tend to be overlooked.

The first is that every country's objective in this war is to "lose" by making its currency weaker. This is because a weak currency tends to support exports, employment and economic growth (if all other things are equal, which they never quite are). The second oddity is that the clear winner in this global currency war has not been Japan, Switzerland, China or any of the other usual suspects, but a country rarely accused of financial aggression: Britain.

Since the global financial crisis started in mid-2007, the pound sterling has been, by a wide margin, the weakest major currency. The Bank of England's trade-weighted sterling index fell by a record 30 percent in early 2009 and, despite a modest rebound in 2010-12, it remains 24 percent below its level of mid-2007. Japan, by contrast, has endured a rise in its trade-weighted exchange rate of 60 percent from July 2007 to late last year, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe committed his new government to a more competitive rate. Japan is therefore fully entitled to resent other countries' accusations of currency warfare, when it has in fact been a long-suffering pacifist, exposing its export companies to the full burden of other countries' post-crisis currency adjustments.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:26:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China Misses `Hard Landing' as Government Spends, Li Daokui Says - Bloomberg

China's economy averted a steep slowdown and is poised to grow "reasonably fast" as incomes in the most-populous nation rise, a former adviser to the country's central bank said.

Li Daokui, an economist at Tsinghua University who was an adviser to the People's Bank of China from 2010 to 2012, said in an interview with CNN that China's decision to speed up construction projects kept its rate of growth from slowing more than it did.

"A soft landing is there," Li said in an interview with CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" airing today, according to a transcript. "A hard landing has been already avoided. I've been talking about this for the past two years -- maybe two and a half years -- that is the growth rate will slow down a little bit and then pick up."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:25:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coppola Comment: Productivity, savings and financial crises (16 FEBRUARY 2013)
The ECB researchers' analysis amounts to a flawed re-engineering of Minsky's financial instability hypothesis (which they briefly mention at the beginning of the paper) and Goodwin's growth cycle model (which they don't mention at all). I've therefore added a link here to Steve Keen's paper on the same subject. He uses chaotic system dynamics rather than a DSGE model.


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 17th, 2013 at 09:17:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She could also include links to some of Keen's more current dynamic models. But even the old paper she references should explode the heads of 'Mainstream Economists' and DSGE modelers as it models wages and profits as,(gasp),functions of time.

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 Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 04:42:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone crisis live: MEPs blast EU budget | Business | guardian.co.uk

Mario Draghi touched on the issue of the euro's recent rally, saying:

The exchange rate is not a policy target, but is important for growth and price stability.

So the ECB is not engaging in any currency war, but has an eye on the issue....

Then it turns out...

Eurozone crisis live: MEPs blast EU budget | Business | guardian.co.uk

Euro knocked by Draghi

The euro weakened a little during Mario Draghi's testimony, down from $1.3359 to $1.3335.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:03:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:19:53 PM EST
Gunmen kidnap seven foreigners in north Nigeria | Reuters

(Reuters) - Gunmen kidnapped seven foreigners and killed a security guard when they stormed the compound of Lebanese construction company Setraco in northern Nigeria's Bauchi state early on Sunday, police said.

Those abducted were a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers, including two women, police and local government officials said.

This was the worst case of foreigners being kidnapped in the mostly-Muslim north of Africa's most populous country since an insurgency by Islamist militants intensified nearly two years ago.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Political Violence Grips Egypt From All Sides | Inter Press Service

CAIRO, Feb 17 2013 (IPS) - Since the second anniversary of the uprising that ended the Mubarak regime, Egypt has witnessed a spate of political violence. Egypt's opposition led by the high-profile National Salvation Front (NSF) blames President Mohamed Morsi for the bloodshed, but many blame the NSF and its leaders.

"The NSF's slowness in condemning recent violence has made it appear to the public as if it were condoning - even inciting - acts of violence and sabotage," Amr Hashim Rabie, senior analyst at the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies told IPS.

Egypt's non-Islamist opposition, he added, "may pay the price for this perception in upcoming parliamentary elections."

The second anniversary of Egypt's Jan. 25 Revolution and its aftermath have been accompanied by outbreaks of violence across the country. NSF-led rallies and marches have led to numerous clashes between anti-government protesters and police that have so far left more than 50 dead, including security personnel.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:11:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Bangladesh protests trigger changes to war crimes law

Bangladesh's parliament has amended a law which will allow the state to appeal against the life sentence of an Islamist party leader, after protesters called for his execution.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators in the capital, Dhaka, cheered the news.

The legal amendment also paves the way for the prosecution and potential ban of the Jamaat-e-Islami party.

Jamaat chief Abdul Kader Mullah was given life for his alleged role in crimes in the 1971 independence war.

The ruling sparked nearly two weeks of angry mass protests in Dhaka and other cities.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:16:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ecuador president appears set for third term - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Polling is under way in Ecuador where President Rafael Correa, an economist and the incumbent president, is highly favoured to win a third term in office.

Polls showed Correa leading his closest rival by more than 35 percentage points as voting commenced on Sunday. Correa's social and economic programs have made him a popular leader, with an approval rating of nearly 85 percent.

His leftist government has won broad backing from the lower classes as it leads Latin America in social spending.

Correa, 48, has brought uncharacteristic political stability to an oil-exporting nation of 14.6 million people that cycled through seven presidents in the decade before he first took office in 2007.

He won re-election in April 2009 after voters approved a constitutional rewrite that mandated a new ballot, and he would be legally barred from running again following a victory.

Victory for Correa would cheer the leftist ALBA bloc of Latin American and Caribbean nations at a time when the group's indisputable leader, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is struggling to recover from cancer.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Series of deadly blasts hit Iraqi capital - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

A series of car bombs has killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens of others in Shia Muslim areas of Baghdad, officials say.

The attacks on Sunday, the start of the local work week, mostly targeted outdoor markets. Officials said that all of the blasts were caused by parked car bombs.

The detonation of a parked car loaded with explosives in the sprawling Shia district of Sadr City heralded the start of the attacks late on Sunday morning. Two more parked cars later exploded elsewhere in the poor neighbourhood.

Other blasts erupted in the Baghdad neighbourhood of al-Amin, in an open-air market in Husseiniya, just northeast of the capital, and in the Kamaliya area in Baghdad's eastern suburbs. In all, eight car bombs and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had exploded by 2:00pm local time (11:00 GMT).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:19:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French, Malian troops secure rebel strongpoint near Gao | Reuters

(Reuters) - French and Malian troops secured the north Mali town of Bourem on Sunday, tightening their control over areas where Islamist insurgents have been launching guerrilla attacks to harass the French-led military operation.

"Bourem is a bastion of Islamists," said a military official from an African military contingent called AFISMA.

African troops in this contingent are being deployed behind the French forward lines in the five-week-old intervention by Paris in its former Sahel colony.

Located by the Niger River, Bourem is about 80 km (50 miles) north of Gao at a crossroads between Timbuktu to the west and Kidal to the north, both of which are now under French and Malian government control.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:20:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:20:23 PM EST
Do GMO Crops Really Have Higher Yields? | Mother Jones

According to the biotech industry, genetically modified (GM) crops are a boon to humanity because they allow farmers to "generate higher crop yields with fewer inputs," as the trade group Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) puts it on its web page.

Buoyed by such rhetoric, genetically modified seed giant Monsanto and its peers have managed to flood the corn, soybean, and cotton seed markets with two major traits: herbicide resistance and pesticide expression--giving plants the ability to, respectively, withstand regular lashings of particular herbicides and kill bugs with the toxic trait of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.

Turns out, though, that both assertions in BIO's statement are highly questionable. Washington State University researcher Charles Benbrook has demonstrated that the net effect of GMOs in the United States has been an increase in use of toxic chemical inputs. Benbrook found that while the Bt trait has indeed allowed farmers to spray dramatically lower levels of insecticides, that effect has been more than outweighed the gusher of herbicides uncorked by Monsanto's Roundup Ready technology, as weeds have rapidly adapted resistance to regular doses of Monsanto's Rounup herbicide.

And in a new paper (PDF) funded by the US Department of Agriculture, University of Wisconsin researchers have essentially negated the "more food" argument as well. The researchers looked at data from UW test plots that compared crop yields from various varieties of hybrid corn, some genetically modified and some not, between 1990 and 2010. While some GM varieties delivered small yield gains, others did not. Several even showed lower yields than non-GM counterparts. With the exception of one commonly used trait--a Bt type designed to kill the European corn borer--the authors conclude, "we were surprised not to find strongly positive transgenic yield effects." Both the glyphosate-tolerant (Roundup Ready) and the Bt trait for corn rootworm caused yields to drop.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:26:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bisphenol A may not be negatively affecting humans: studies

A total of 150 scientific studies have shown that bisphenol A (BPA), a controversial component of plastic bottles and canned food linings, may be used in quantities too small to negatively affect human health.

The analysis, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting here by toxicologist Justin Teeguarden of the Department of Energy, shows that BPA in the blood of the general population is many times lower than blood levels that consistently cause toxicity in animals.

The result suggests that animal studies might not reflect the human BPA experience appropriately, the study said.

"Looking at all the studies together reveals a remarkably consistent picture of human exposure to BPA with implications for how the risk of human exposure is interpreted," said Teeguarden. "At these exposure levels, exposure to BPA can't be compared to giving a baby the massive dose of estrogens found in a birth control pill, a comparison made by others."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:31:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The surprisingly low-tech solution to big cities' climate woes: Triple-pane windows | Grist

in a report released on Thursday, the nonprofit Urban Green Council makes the case that the country [America]'s largest population centers needn't rely on a federal breakthrough. Specifically, the 51-page report, titled "90 by 50," finds that New York City could slash its emissions by a whopping 90 percent by 2050 without any radical new technologies, without cutting back on creature comforts, and maybe even without breaking its budget.

That's a far more aggressive target than even the city's own relatively ambitious goal of reducing emissions by 30 percent by 2030. How is it possible? The strategy has plenty of familiar components -- electrifying the transit system, converting to renewable power sources. But it all hinges on one seemingly mundane yet surprisingly potent move: retrofitting almost every building in the city to keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer. In a nod to Rudy Giuliani, Bill Bratton, and James Q. Wilson, I'll call it the "triple-pane-windows theory" of greenhouse-gas reduction.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rapid changes in Arctic ecosystem during 2012 ice minimum

Huge quantities of algae are growing on the underside of sea ice in the Central Arctic: in 2012 the ice algae Melosira arctica was responsible for almost half the primary production in this area. When the ice melts, as was the case during the ice minimum in 2012, these algae sink rapidly to the bottom of the sea at a depth of several thousands of metres. Deep sea animals such as sea cucumbers and brittle stars feed on the algae, and bacteria metabolise what's left, consuming the oxygen in the sea bed.

This short-term reaction of the deep sea ecosystem to changes in sea ice cover and ocean productivity has now been published in the scientific journal Science by a multidisciplinary team of researchers around Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research.

Scientists and technicians from twelve nations travelled the Central Arctic on the research icebreaker Polarstern in the late summer of 2012. In and under the ice they used a large number of ultra-modern research devices and methods such as camera-guided sampling devices and an under-ice remotely operating vehicle (ROV).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:33:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"We were able to demonstrate for the first time that the warming and the associated physical changes in the Central Arctic cause fast reactions in the entire ecosystem down to the deep sea", summarises lead author Boetius.

The deep sea has so far been seen as a relatively inert system affected by global warming only with a considerable temporal delay. The fact that microbial decomposition processes fueled by the algal deposits can generate anoxic spots in the deep sea floor within one season alarms the researcher: "We do not know yet whether we have observed a one-time phenomenon or whether this high algal export will continue in the coming years." Current predictions by climate models assume that an ice-free summer could occur in the Arctic in the next decades.

Boetius and her team warn: "We still understand far too little about the function of the Arctic ecosystem and its biodiversity and productivity, to be able to estimate the consequences of the rapid sea-ice decline."


I have trouble seeing the upside of a checkerboard of anoxia on the deep ocean floor where previously there was a relatively plentiful supply of dissolved oxygen. I don't know if there is much scope for anaerobic metabolism, as it usually involves heat and/or metallic elementals. Absent anaerobic activity such areas would likely become dead zones, if only seasonally.  

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 Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 05:05:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agrichemical giant Syngenta faults EU bee plan

Swiss-based agrichemical giant Syngenta on Friday urged Brussels to withdraw plans to slap a two-year ban on so-called neonicotinoid pesticides, saying blaming them for bee deaths was wrongheaded.

Syngenta said that a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report on the risks posed to bees was "fundamentally flawed".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's do nothing for a bit longer. Maybe it will work this time.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 06:16:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your sympathies are misplaced. Bees are the TERRORISTS of the animal kingdom and their freedom hating ways have led to the complete destruction of the crop pollination industry.

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 18th, 2013 at 01:32:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fundamental flaw being the hit their bottom line has taken.

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 Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 05:08:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Horsemeat scandal linked to secret network of firms | UK news | The Observer

Draap, which is owned by a trust in the British Virgin Islands tax haven, insists the meat it sold into France was labelled as horse. Spanghero says the meat arrived labelled "beef". Jan Fasen, who runs Draap and has denied any wrongdoing, was convicted last year of selling South American horsemeat as German and Dutch beef.

In a development that sheds light on the mysterious networks operating in the European food chain, it has emerged that Draap's sole director is an anonymous corporate services company called Guardstand, set up in 1996 and based in Limassol.

A 2011 joint report by the International Peace Information Service and TransArms, an organisation which researches arms shipments, produced evidence that Guardstand also owned a share in a business called Ilex Ventures, a connection that links the company to the global arms trade and Viktor Bout.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is imagining an elaborate Mission: Impossible style scenario? Just me?

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 06:20:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a long term solution to various issues here: more people working as food safety inspectors and more people growing food.
Fixes a couple of food and employment issues simultaneously.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 06:45:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It does not help with corporate profits, so it's not a good solution...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:03:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fracking is the only way to achieve Obama climate change goals, says senior scientist | Environment | guardian.co.uk

America will only achieve the ambitious climate change goals outlined by President Barack Obama last week by encouraging wide-scale fracking for natural gas over the next few years. That is the advice of one of the nation's senior scientists, Professor William Press, a member of the president's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Fracking - known officially as hydraulic fracturing - involves pumping high-pressure water through underground rocks to release natural gas trapped deep underground. It is believed that there are vast reserves of these subterranean gas fields across the US.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:45:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Climate Rally Draws "Line in the Sand" on Canadian Pipeline | Inter Press Service

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Feb 16 2013 (IPS) - The largest climate rally in U.S. history is expected Sunday in Washington DC with the aim of pressuring President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Activists are calling Keystone "the line in the sand" regarding dangerous climate change, prompting the Sierra Club to suspend its 120-year ban on civil disobedience. The group's executive director, Michael Brune, was arrested in front of the White House during a small protest against Keystone on Wednesday.

"The Keystone XL pipeline is part of the carbon infrastructure that will take us to dangerous levels of climate change," said Simon Donner, a climate scientist at the University of British Columbia.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Brazilian Ethanol in the Slow Lane to Global Market | Inter Press Service

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 15 2013 (IPS) - Following a promising start, Brazil's dream of positioning ethanol in the global market on an equal standing with petroleum-based fuels is hindered by new and old challenges.

Brazil's goal of expanding ethanol sales across the world will only be attained when there are "more countries in a position to buy and supply," noted Eduardo Leão de Sousa, director of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Union (UNICA), an organisation that represents the country's top sugar and ethanol producers.

Brazil and the United States produce close to 85 percent of the world's ethanol, according to information from the International Energy Agency. Since it is produced almost exclusively for domestic consumption, international sales are still marginal.

De Sousa told IPS that the critical level of demand necessary to stimulate ethanol production is not something that emerges spontaneously and must be driven by public policies, such as regulations that require a certain volume of renewable fuel to be blended into petroleum-based transport fuels.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:13:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the new pink slimed horse meat.

Laser intended for Mars used to detect "honey laundering":

A laser tool funded by the European Space Agency to measure carbon on Mars has been reappropriated to detect fake honey.

...

According to a Food Safety News investigation, more than a third of honey consumed in the US has been smuggled from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. To make matters worse, some honey brokers create counterfeit honey using a small amount of real honey, bulked up with sugar, malt sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery (a type of unrefined sugar) and other additives--known as honey laundering. This honey is often mislabeled and sold on as legitimate, unadulterated honey in places such as Europe and the US.

Can we now put the "private companies won't defraud the public" meme to rest?

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

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 11:51:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't buy honey from supermarkets, because it invariably turns out to be of "mixed origin", meaning at best it's predominantly Chinese honey which is made by leaving buckets of sugar solution beside the hives.

Fortunately, locally produced honey is easy to buy, though expensive.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 12:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We bought our honey from a local producer until he got too old to maintain his apiary.  Since then we've been buying from up-scale grocery stores who have some concern about the goods they peddle.  

With this news I'm thinking we need to re-consider.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 12:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've learned to love the local organic farmer's markets 4x/week in my neighborhood alone, with serious levels of local produce and traceability.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 01:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I buy honey by the quart from a large copper container in the local health food store. The owner of the store says the honey comes from local beekeepers. I hope all of it does. There needs to be on demand testing for consumers for such things failing competent, honest governmental agencies doing the testing. But money seems to trump and corrupt everything. What a wonderful world.

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 Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 07:54:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the honey is liquid all year round it's been heated, which isn't a good thing.

We are fortunate enough to get our honey from a local beekeeper with organic certification.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 19th, 2013 at 01:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At what temperature should raw honey crystallize? (Before I put some of mine in the frige.) The house has only gotten below the mid '60sF at night during the prolonged power failure due to the ice storm a few years back. I could well imagine that some countries or jurisdictions might require honey to be heated to a certain temperature, as with milk. A quick google of 'processing of honey for sale in USA' only really turned up regulations from Georgia that require that the facility pretty much comply with requirements similar to those of a restaurant.

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 Tue Feb 19th, 2013 at 11:55:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:20:43 PM EST
'Too much meanness' in US political life: Panetta

Looking back at a long political career, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday lamented an increasingly bitter atmosphere in Washington, saying there was "too much meanness" on display.

His comments come amid a mounting budget crisis in a deeply divided Congress and after Republican lawmakers renewed threats to block the appointment of the man nominated to succeed Panetta at the Pentagon, former senator Chuck Hagel.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:36:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
meanness works (for narrow meanings of "work")

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:04:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Empty Promises Behind Haitian Govt's "Free School" Program | Inter Press Service

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Feb 17 2013 (Haiti Grassroots Watch) - Ever since his election in 2011, Haitian President Michel Martelly has touted his "free school" program as one of the government's major accomplishments. "A victory for students!" banners and posters boast.

The Program for Universal Free and Obligatory Education (Programme de scolarisation universelle gratuite et obligatoire - PSUGO) is a program that costs 43 million U.S. dollars per year and aims to send over one million young Haitians to school every year for five years.

A two-month investigation by Haiti Grassroots Watch (HGW) in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne, however, found more children in school but also discovered a long list of unkept promises, inadequate funding levels, late payments and even suspicions of corruption.

"In my opinion, the PSUGO is a failure!" exclaimed Jean Clauvin Joly, director of the Centre Culturel du Divin Roi, a private school in Croix-des-Bouquets about 15 kilometres north of the capital of Port-au-Prince. "Last year, we suffered under that program. One of the many terrible things was that we were paid late. Thanks to the delay, a lot of our teachers quit."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:14:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pope tells faithful to 'refocus on God' - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Pope Benedict XVI has called on the Catholic Church and its faithful to "renew" and "refocus on God by disowning pride and egoism" in his penultimate Angelus prayer before he steps down.

Thousands had gathered in St Peter's Square for Benedict XVI's first Sunday window blessing since his retirement announcement, and the second-to-last before he leaves the papacy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Q&A: "Only the Pope's Name Will Change" | Inter Press Service

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 15 2013 (IPS) - The only difference the resignation of Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic Church will make in Brazil will be the name changes needed on posters advertising his coming to this city in July for World Youth Day, jokes Frei Betto.

German prelate Joseph Ratzinger, who will retire on Feb. 28 after nearly eight years as Pope Benedict XVI, will have considerable influence on the election of his successor, said the Brazilian friar in an interview with IPS.

Carlos Alberto Libânio Christo, better known as Frei Betto, and other distinguished thinkers, priests and bishops who embrace liberation theology, a progressive form of Catholicism originated in Latin America in the 1960s, have been targeted by critics and were even censured by the outgoing Pope.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:22:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pope Immunity: Vatican Will Protect Benedict From Sexual Abuse Prosecution

(Reuters) - Pope Benedict's decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.

"His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn't have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else," said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"It is absolutely necessary" that he stays in the Vatican, said the source, adding that Benedict should have a "dignified existence" in his remaining years.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 03:19:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i wondered what happened to the original plan to retire with the nuns outside rome.

just another fake-out i guess


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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 05:14:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Vatican has better lawyers that God, I guess.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 06:22:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The nuns" were inside the Vatican, not outside Rome.

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 18th, 2013 at 06:29:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was my assumption when I read of the Vatica making ready a 'dowager' pope apartment on the grounds. Maybe Roger Cardinal Mahoney will stay to keep him company. It could avoid an awkward upcoming deposition. Perhaps the College of Cardinals will decide to crate a Cardinal Sanctuary at the Vatican.

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 Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 08:08:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 02:21:05 PM EST
England tie is our grand slam: France coach - The Local

French rugby coach Phillippe Saint-André has said that next weekend's game against Six Nations championship leaders England would be their grand slam match.

    document.write('');

    The 45-year-old - who was left bitterly disappointed after their opening two defeats to Italy in Rome and Wales last Saturday at the Stade de France - added his side needed to be confident and daring if they were to end England's hopes of the Grand Slam.

    England are on a run of three successive wins, a record defeat of the world champions the All Blacks last December and then beating Scotland and Ireland in a tight encounter last Sunday.

    France, however, could be facing their first wooden spoon since 1957.

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 03:01:17 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    No one is worried by this?

    Are you all English, or what?

    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:50:24 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It may never happen.

    A big meteor strike on the Stade de France?

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

    by eurogreen on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:58:13 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It's at Twickenham...
    by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 11:12:02 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I'll despair too then.

    It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
    by eurogreen on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 11:14:44 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    NY Times Comic Here if it's too small to read.

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

    by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 17th, 2013 at 04:58:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    this work by the Swiss artist Roman Signer entitled Wasserstiefel (1986).

    self-portrait? Wasser-stiefel?

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

    by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2013 at 07:12:08 AM EST


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