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4 February 2013

by afew Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 03:46:51 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:10:50 PM EST
EU budget agreement not there yet: Hollande | Reuters

(Reuters) - President Francois Hollande said on Sunday France was keen to agree the European Union's 2014-2020 budget at a summit in Brussels next week, but there was still much work to be done.

The 27-nation bloc failed to agree on its 1 trillion euro ($1.37 trillion) budget at a meeting in November.

"We will do everything to find an agreement at the next summit, but conditions are not there yet," Hollande told reporters, flanked by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Hollande said there was still time to reach a deal before the summit starts on Thursday.

Monti said he hoped a deal could be found on the basis of a package that European governments discussed late last year.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 01:59:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain's opposition Socialists tell Rajoy to resign | Reuters

(Reuters) - Spain's opposition Socialist Party called for the resignation of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy over a corruption scandal on Sunday as a poll showed the lowest support on record for his centre-right People's Party (PP).

Media reports over the past two weeks alleged at least a dozen senior PP officials, including Rajoy, received payments from a slush fund operated by its former treasurer.

Rajoy denies wrongdoing, but the scandal has provoked fury among Spaniards already disenchanted by deep recession and high unemployment, as support for the two biggest parties slumps.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:03:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Secret payments scandal weighs on Spanish PM Rajoy | EurActiv

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Spain's ruling People's Party denied today (31 January) that the party passed payments from business donors secretly to the premier and other party leaders after a newspaper published what it said were unofficial party accounts.

El País published images of excerpts of almost two decades of handwritten accounts that it said were maintained by People's Party treasurers. El País said the accounts showed 11 years of payments to Rajoy of €25,200.

The accounts - which the newspaper said amounted to a parallel unofficial bookkeeping system - indicate donations from companies, mostly builders, and regular payments of thousands of euros to a number of party leaders.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone crisis: The euro's Lazarus moment | Presseurop (English)

"The euro crisis has receded, leaving quite a lot of egg on (mostly) Anglo-Saxon faces," begins Philip Stephens in the Financial Times, as news emerged that the embattled currency hit a new 14-month high against the dollar, raising hopes that region's downturn had eased. "Brits and Americans were in the vanguard of the gloomsters," he says, adding, that although the bloc still has serious economic challenges such as low growth, chronic unemployment and a pile of public debt, "In the event, reports of the demise of the single currency proved greatly exaggerated." Analysing where the doom-mongers went wrong, he says -

The obvious mistake was to underestimate the political will of the European leaders to keep the show on the road... Behind the austerity, the bailouts and the new funding mechanisms has lain serious determination. During one sticky episode last year, I heard a German official say how lucky it was Britain had stayed out of the euro. Had it joined, it would have run away at the first whiff of cordite.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romania reverses course on shale gas | EurActiv

In a widely expected U-turn, Romanian authorities yesterday (31 January) gave the American energy giant Chevron the certificates it needed to start exploring for shale gas in the eastern part of the country.

The Romanian authorities reversed their decision from last April to suspend Chevron from gas exploration activities.

The decision takes place nine months after protests in southeast Romania, in particular in the town of Vama Veche, where shale gas exploration is due to take place. 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:09:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlusconi offers big tax cuts in last great battle | Reuters

(Reuters) - Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi announced his "last great electoral and political battle" on Sunday with a sweeping promise to cut taxes and the cost of government if his centre right wins elections this month.

In a passionate and much anticipated speech to supporters in Milan, the city where he built his fortune, he said only his centre right could lift Italy out of the dark fog of recession and re-establish trust between government and citizens.

His political opponents were quick to deride him. Caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti said Berlusconi "has never kept any of his promises" and one centre-left parliamentarian called the speech "a laundry list of stupidities".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:09:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tax cuts, ponies, flying cars ... whatever it takes to get back into power. It's so dull being a nobody.

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 Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 04:28:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gotta love causality:
  • Cause: I vote for a particular candidate.
  • Effect: Good stuff happens.

"A thinking tyrant, it seemed to Vetinari, had a much harder job than a ruler raised to power by some idiot vote-yourself-rich system like democracy. At least he could tell the people he was their fault."
-Pratchett, Going Postal


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 05:51:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Liechtenstein voters elect new government - The Local
A loosely knit group of independent candidates, including a cross-dressing mechanic, surged Sunday to become Liechtenstein's third-largest party in general elections that dealt a heavy loss to the prime minister's party.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 08:14:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody in Liechtenstein cares. Their own newspaper doesn't seem to mention it: the main news item is a decrease in the number of asylum requests (74, down from 75 last year).
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 08:22:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Rajoy is fighting for his political survival (04.02.2013)
El Pais has reproduced the entire 14-page document, listing the transactions of a secret slush fund, engulfing Mariano Rajoy and his Partido Popolar; the web edition includes a searchable database online; the document reveals twice-yearly cash payments to members of the PP, including Rajoy, starting in 1997; on Saturday, Rajoy gave a televised statement denying all allegations; Rajoy today meets up with Angela Merkel to discuss the economic crisis (and the political crisis as well); internal PP audit finds only a few counter-entries, which suggests that the remaining money was paid out in cash; handwriting analysis suggests the document is real, but has been composed in one go, and is thus not a proper transaction ledger; the PP loses in the polls, but the PSOE does not benefit from the PP's falling approval ratings, now down 24% after 46% a year ago; Jens Weidmann says Spanish crisis will last another five years, but Spain should continue with austerity; a KPMG study says Spain's VAT rise was the steepest sales tax increase wordwide in 2012; Silvio Berlusconi makes an indecent offer to Italians, promising to return the full receipts of the unpopular IMU property tax; Mario Monti expresses outrage at the proposal, saying it would cause a massive budgetary hole; the transfer of a football star to Milan has helped Berlusconi's poll ratings, which continue to rise; Linkiesta accuses Berlusconi of lying to the Italian people; Eugenio Scalfari warns not to take a Bersani victory for granted, and says Beppe Grillo may still spring a surprise; the prosecutors' probe into Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena has been widened to include four other banks; Peer Steinbrück lists four conditions for the SPD's acceptance of a Cyprus aid package, including acceptance of a financial transaction tax, and the ending of the low corporate tax regime; a senior EU official is quoted as saying that without a deal on promissory notes the present coalition might break up; after Deutsche Bank, Crédit Agricole has become the next bank to make a multi-billion goodwill write-down; Greek seamen have decided to prolong their strike, in protest against unpaid wages, while the government considers the issue of a civil mobilisation order to force the sailors back to work; Golden Dawn stages its biggest rally in Athens yet; the Netherlands has nationalised its fourth largest bank;  Wolfgang Munchau, meanwhile, says French and German national legislation on own-account trading is a bad omen for the banking union.


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 4th, 2013 at 08:19:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The eurozone crisis is not finished | Wolfgang Münchau | FT
What does it tell us about a eurozone banking union if the member states are rushing to pass unilateral legislation on financial regulation?
[...]
The answer is that banking will remain a national activity in the eurozone for all economically relevant purposes.
[...]
a full separation of investment and retail banking would have saved the Italian taxpayer from the MPS scandal.
[...]
The problem is not only Spanish banks, but also German and French ones, which have been more skilful at hiding their losses.
[...]
The other priority should be to do what the Franco-German legislation purports to do, but on a grander scale: provide adequate insurance that banks do not bring down the economy and hold taxpayers at ransom.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:44:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bank customers to be able to transfer money between accounts within hours under sweeping plans to reform the industry | Independent
Bank customers will be able to transfer money between accounts within hours not days, George Osborne announced today, as he promised a banking "revolution in customer choice".
[...]
It will also be made much easier for bank customers to swap their accounts to another provider while new entrants will be encouraged to come into the market.

(Note to Independent editors: it's supposed to be a headline, not a summary of the article.)

What about international payments/transfers? My Swedish and Dutch banks have allowed me to to that online for years.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:27:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Same with my Italian one. I can even do this online.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:19:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:11:15 PM EST
IPS - Q&A: Raising Tariffs "Common Sense" Not Protectionism | Inter Press Service

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 30 2013 (IPS) - South Africa has denied that it is taking a protectionist stance to protect its own producers against foreign competition, but says it is justified in boosting tariffs where this is allowed under international trade agreements.

Trade and Industry Minister  Rob Davies spoke to IPS in Pretoria about the current trade landscape and the challenges the country will face in 2013.

He recently announced plans to increase tariffs where there is scope for this on chicken imported from Brazil and other countries, a move that was questioned by some South African trade experts, who had expected measures just against Brazil.

Excerpts of the interview follow.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - This Is What a Humane Economy Looks Like | Inter Press Service

MÁLAGA, Spain, Feb 2 2013 (IPS) - The severe crisis crippling Spain is also sparking some creative responses, such the Okonomía project, a teaching initiative that helps individuals and communities to understand the workings of the economy and make more informed decisions to manage their finances.

"Things have gotten so bad, with people out of work, losing their homes and watching their savings vanish, that something has to be done to economically empower people," said activist Raúl Contreras, one of the academics behind this initiative that in February will open its first school in Benimaclet, a multicultural neighbourhood in the southeastern city of Valencia.

Contreras - an economist who also heads the company Nittúa, which sponsors this project - spoke with IPS about the powerlessness and fear that is taking hold of many people who do not understand how the economy works and how it affects their lives, and are thus made vulnerable to manipulation.

"Doubts, ignorance and fear - in some cases spread intentionally - lead to mistakes, anxiety and difficult situations that could be avoided if people are better informed and equipped to make decisions or choices," Nittúa's website reads.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:15:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This may be good.  May not.

Is there a link to the syllabus handy?

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

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Argentina Is First Nation Censured by IMF for Economic Data - Bloomberg

Argentina became the first country to be censured by the International Monetary Fund for not providing accurate data on inflation and economic growth under a procedure that can end in expulsion.

The declaration of censure was adopted yesterday by the IMF's 24-member board, the Washington-based fund said in a statement. While it doesn't have immediate effects, the decision takes the country a step closer to sanctions that include being barred from access to IMF loans.

The IMF's executive board found that Argentina's progress in implementing so-called remedial measures "has not been sufficient," according to the statement.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:31:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kerfuffle about the Falklands in 3....2.....

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 04:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
Kerfuffle about the FalklandsLas Malvinas in 3....2.....

FTFY

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 05:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As Any Williams used to say to the cookie bear;-

Not now.
Not ever.
NEVER.

[Not while the democratic mandate of the people of the islands determine that they wish to remain a British dependency.]

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 02:12:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or whatever the native americans used to call it.

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 Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 04:47:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China Reports Record Capital-Financial Account Gap for 2012 - Bloomberg

China last year had the biggest deficit in its financial and capital account since records began in 1982 as the domestic and global economies slowed, spurring outflows of funds.

The $117.3 billion annual gap was the first since 1998 when investors deserted China during the Asian financial crisis and reversed a $221.1 billion surplus in 2011, according to data released on the State Administration of Foreign Exchange website yesterday. The excess in the current account, the broadest measure of trade, rose to $213.8 billion in 2012 from $201.7 billion the previous year.

The deficit may reflect reduced intervention by the central bank to control the exchange rate of the yuan, which strengthened 1 percent against the dollar in 2012, the least in three years. China's foreign-exchange reserves, the world's largest, rose the least since 2003 last year, as the economy expanded at the weakest pace since 1999.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:32:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:11:36 PM EST
Iran open to 'fair' nuclear talks with US - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Iran is ready for direct talks with the United States on its nuclear programme as long as Washington has "fair and real intentions," said Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

His comment came on Sunday, a day after US Vice President Joe Biden made the same offer to Tehran, with similar caveats, raising a glimmer of hope of progress in resolving the long-running standoff.

The United States, other Western powers and Israel believe Iran is working on a nuclear weapons programme, a charge the Islamic republic denies, claiming its programme is for civilian use.

Iran, which has been punished for its nuclear programme with tough US and EU sanctions, in January told the UN nuclear watchdog it will expand its uranium enrichment capacity.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said his country and its allies were "determined to prevent Iran from turning nuclear" and all agreed that "no option should be removed off the table."

"When we say we mean it, we expect others to mean it as well," the outgoing defence minister told the Munich Security Conference, warning of the threat of "nuclear terror" from Iran and its allies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 01:52:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why, please tell me, does Iran want to talk to the U.S.? I mean, if you don't want the U.S. to be the global policeman, then why keep insisting that we be the ones that have to work out these problems? Take your problems to the U.N., where at least the U.S. influence is moderated by a few others.

North Korea, also.

It is like if you walk up to the big bully and ask to get punched in the nose, that is somehow good (because it gets you attention?) even though you end up with a bloody nose.

by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:58:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
instigated by the US.

When the bully actually has you by the throat, it may be advantageous to try to negotiate.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:00:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe, except that the U.S. would in both of these cases like nothing better than for them to stop pestering us and go to the U.N.
by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:35:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what US you're talking about. Isolationist feelings within the US, or US foreign policy?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:16:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US, and its Israeli client (or is that the other way round?) is the one with the problem about Iran's energy policy, which policy includes an ambition of mastery of the complete nuclear fuel cycle (with an arguable option on weapons technology).

There's nothing the UN can do to fix the US's problem. If the US wanted to walk away, that would be fine with Iran.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:17:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I'm not going to defend the U.S. policy re either country, but in both cases there have been multiple attempts at multi-party talks.

Iran: China, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, and the U.S.
North Korea: Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, and the U.S.

It is not just the U.S. that has disagreements with these countries. And the U.S. does not dictate the policies of China, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, or Japan. (Well, maybe we do for the U.S.S. Britain.)

by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:35:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the case of Iran, it's the US which has imposed on the EU to impose economic sanctions on Iran. The case of Peugeot. Yes, there is a multilateral window-dressing operation. The role of Russia and China in the talks has largely been to stonewall, and acquiesce weakly when the US has accorded them under-the-table concessions on other dossiers.

And what would be the use of a UN resolution? Did you notice how Israel trembled in its boots after the latest UN condemnation of the colonies? Neither did I.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 03:28:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asdf:
Why, please tell me, does Iran want to talk to the U.S.?

Why has the US been making such a fuss about Iran for so long? Hasn't the US been leading international demands for an end to Iranian nuclear research, and threatening (and applying) sanctions?

So maybe the US should shoulder its responsibilities and discuss the question. That's probably the point Iran wants to make, and it seems fair to me.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:14:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, the U.S. has a big problem with Iran, and vice versa. I get that.

What I don't get is why Iran wants to talk directly to the U.S. Why not go to the U.N. and get some sanctions against American imperialism?

by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:37:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I imagine the point is they want to show that the US doesn't intend to discuss, only browbeat?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 01:05:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkish PM slams Israel over Syria attack - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Israel of waging "state terrorism" as he condemned the air
strike on Syria as an unacceptable violation of international law.

"Those who have been treating Israel like a spoilt child should expect anything from them, at any time," said Erdogan on Sunday.

"As I say time and again, Israel has a mentality of waging state terrorism. Right now, there is no telling what it might do and where it might do it," he told reporters.

Erdogan, a harsh critic of the Jewish state, was speaking after Israel's outgoing Defence Minister Ehud Barak implicitly confirmed that it had staged Wednesday's bombing raid which Damascus said targeted a military complex near the capital.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 01:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mali's soccer victory caps Timbuktu's post-Islamist rebirth | Reuters

(Reuters) - For months, Salaha Najim would discreetly put up a satellite dish banned by the Islamist rebels in dusty Timbuktu, close the shutters of his house and turn on the television to watch soccer with the sound turned down.

On Saturday, the windows were open wide again and the volume was unashamedly loud as Mali's national team, the Eagles, beat South Africa in a penalty shootout to reach the semifinals of the African Nations Cup.

Timbuktu's residents poured into the streets to chant and honk horns at the end of an extraordinary week that began with French troops ending the 10 months of harsh Islamic rebel rule and finished with football triumph and thousands cheering a visit by French President Francois Hollande

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 01:56:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France continues strikes in northern Mali - Africa - Al Jazeera English

French warplanes have pounded rebel camps in the far north of Mali, hours after French President Francois Hollande visited the West African country.

Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French army in Paris, said on Sunday the overnight raids targeted logistics bases and training camps used by the al Qaeda-linked rebels to the north of the desert town of Kidal.

"These were important air strikes," Burkhard said.

He said the bombing raids took place around the settlement of Tessalit, close to the Algerian border, one of the main gateways into the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains where the rebels are believed to be hiding after fleeing major towns.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 01:56:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - It's All About Israel | Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 2013 (IPS) - If former Defence Secretary-designate Sen. Chuck Hagel's lacklustre performance at his confirmation hearing Thursday heartened neo-conservatives and other hawks opposed to his nomination, those who argued that the Israel lobby has been exerting too great an influence on U.S. foreign policy were ecstatic.

Indeed, Stephen Walt, the Harvard international relations professor who co-authored the "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy", issued a special thanks to the Senate Armed Services Committee that held the hearing on his foreignpolicy.com blog Friday, suggesting that controversial 2007 book should sell like hotcakes after what he called "the Hagel circus".

"I want to thank the Emergency Committee for Israel, Sheldon Adelson, and the Senate Armed Services Committee for providing such a compelling vindication of our views," wrote Walt, who, among other things, has been accused of anti-Semitism for writing a book that criticised the allegedly excessive influence the Israel lobby wields over U.S. foreign policy and the public debate that surrounds it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:15:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ready to go into space | World news | guardian.co.uk

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is ready to be the first human sent into orbit by his nation's fledgling space programme, according to reports.

Iran declared last week that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive, which officials hailed as a major step towards their goal of sending humans into space.

So now they are going to launch Ahmadi into space and retrieve a monkey.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:15:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Something he should study first:
That's where the trouble comes in. From ISS, orbiting 220 miles above the surface of the Earth, the qibla (an Arabic word meaning the direction a Muslim should pray toward Mecca) changes from second to second. During some parts of the space station's orbit, the qibla can move nearly 180 degrees during the course of a single prayer. What's a devout Muslim to do?


"As a Muslim, I do hope to do my responsibilities," Shukor says. "I do hope to fast in space."


Malaysia's space agency, Angkasa, convened a conference of 150 Islamic scientists and scholars last year to wrestle with these and other questions. The resulting document (.doc), "A Guideline of Performing Ibadah (worship) at the International Space Station (ISS)", was approved by Malaysia's National Fatwa Council earlier this year. According to the report, determining the qibla should be "based on what is possible" for the astronaut, and can be prioritized this way: 1) the Ka'aba, 2) the projection of Ka'aba, 3) the Earth, 4) wherever.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:30:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in free fall, to impart the requisite spin to the devout Muslim cosmonaut at the beginning of the prayer, such that he maintains the correct orientation throughout.

Though he may have to glue the prayer mat to his knees.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:36:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's definitely a Jesus and Mo strip in this.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's gonna regret saying that. The North Koreans have rockets that are actually big enough to carry him.
by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:00:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:12:58 PM EST
Sabotage suspected at toppled wind turbine as second is brought down - Telegraph

An investigation into the collapse of the first turbine in Bradworthy, Devon, during a 50mph gale last weekend has revealed that bolts are missing from its base.

The turbine was initially thought to have been brought down by the wind, despite being designed to withstand winds of up to 116mph, but the new evidence could suggest a case of foul play, councillors said.

It came as a second, 60ft turbine was spotted "lying crumpled on the ground" just 18 miles away in Cornwall, on a farm owned by the family of a Lib Dem councillor.

Officials from Dulas, which installed the £250,000 turbine at East Ash Farm in Bradworthy in July 2010, and Health and Safety Executive representatives are investigating what caused it to collapse last weekend.

Local residents had campaigned fiercely against the installation of the Endurance Wind Power E-3120 50kW turbine, which was the first of its kind to be erected in the country, claiming it would spoil the landscape.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we've heard so much about?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 03:59:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the condition of rural road signs all over America, it is only a matter of time before bullet holes in turbines becomes a problem.
by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:03:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Mexico Solar Deal Details Point to Parity -- and Pain | Renewable Energy News Article

New Hampshire, USA -- Unusually public details about a newly signed solar project deal in New Mexico raise some interesting questions about the purchasing power of solar energy, how close it's getting to grid parity -- and just how much pressure is on upstream suppliers to fulfill that objective.

First Solar has acquired a 50-megawatt (MW) solar power project in New Mexico from the solar division of Element Power. The deal is billed as the state's largest solar project; it also, according to some unusually public information revealed in a regulatory filing, raises some interesting questions about the purchasing power of solar energy.

The Macho Springs Solar Project is on land leased from the New Mexico State Land Office in Deming (Luna County); it's expected to be completed in 2014. (Element Power also has a 50-MW wind project at Macho Springs, selling power to Tucson Electric Power.) Electricity will be purchased by El Paso Electric, which had sought more electric peaking resources for its current energy mix. In a statement, the companies said the project's PPA is still subject to regulatory approvals, which is expected to happen "in the first half of 2013."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:22:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The cost of not using renewable energy | Grist

A clever new study [PDF] from the World Future Council attempts to do something I haven't seen before: quantify the cost of not using renewables.

The idea is pretty simple. When we use finite fossil fuels to generate energy, rather than the inexhaustible, renewable alternatives, we make those fossil fuels unavailable for non-energetic uses (think petrochemicals) in the future. In other words, when we burn fossil fuels for energy, we are needlessly destroying valuable industrial capital stock.

... Here's the conclusion:

Protecting the use of increasingly valuable fossil raw materials for the future is possible by substituting these materials with renewables. Every day that this is delayed and fossil raw materials are consumed as one-time energy creates a future usage loss of between 8.8 and 9.3 billion US Dollars. Not just the current cost of various renewable energies, but also the costs of not using them need to be taken into account. [my emphasis]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:24:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tom Philpott | Mother Jones

To me, there are few more comforting sights on a farm or in a garden than a frog hopping about amid the crops. Frogs and other amphibians don't just look and sound cool--they also feast upon the insects that feast upon the plants we eat. These bug-scarfing creatures are a free source of what is known as biological pest control.

But modern industrial agriculture doesn't have much use for them. It leans on chemistry, not biology, to control pests--and in doing so, it's probably contributing to the catastrophic global decline of amphibians, a natural ally to farmers for millennia. The irony is stark: in industrial agriculture's zeal to wipe out pests, it is helping to wipe out those pests' natural predators. The latest evidence: a new study showing that exposure to common pesticides at levels used in farm fields can kill frogs rapidly.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global warming less extreme than feared?

Policymakers are attempting to contain global warming at less than 2C. New estimates from a Norwegian project on climate calculations indicate this target may be more attainable than many experts have feared.

Internationally renowned climate researcher Caroline Leck of Stockholm University has evaluated the Norwegian project and is enthusiastic.

"These results are truly sensational," says Dr Leck. "If confirmed by other studies, this could have far-reaching impacts on efforts to achieve the political targets for climate."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:31:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's all far more substantial than just this. The below has been doing the internet rounds for a few days, written by climate scientist James Annan. Read all of it:

James' Empty Blog: A sensitive matter

the additional decade of temperature data from 2000 onwards (even the AR4 estimates typically ignored the post-2000 years) can only work to reduce estimates of sensitivity, and that's before we even consider the reduction in estimates of negative aerosol forcing, and additional forcing from black carbon (the latter being very new, is not included in any calculations AIUI). It's increasingly difficult to reconcile a high climate sensitivity (say over 4C) with the observational evidence for the planetary energy balance over the industrial era

Plus an upsetting admission:


The paper I refer to as a "small private opinion poll" is of course the Zickfeld et al PNAS paper. The list of pollees in the Zickfeld paper are largely the self-same people responsible for the largely bogus analyses that I've criticised over recent years, and which even if they were valid then, are certainly outdated now. Interestingly, one of them stated quite openly in a meeting I attended a few years ago that he deliberately lied in these sort of elicitation exercises (i.e. exaggerating the probability of high sensitivity) in order to help motivate political action. Of course, there may be others who lie in the other direction, which is why it seems bizarre that the IPCC appeared to rely so heavily on this paper to justify their choice, rather than relying on published quantitative analyses of observational data. Since the IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported "this is what we think, because we asked our pals". It's essentially the Lindzen strategy in reverse: having firmly wedded themselves to their politically convenient long tail of high values, their response to new evidence is little more than sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "la la la I can't hear you".

More fodder that Climate Doom has been willfully propagated by scientists looking for political actions - a practice I've been scolding at for years. It's their own undoing if people won't believe the crying wolf scenarios any longer.

by Nomad on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 07:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep them denialists in the discussion, that's what's important.
by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:24:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And give 50/50 time to pro and con even when it's 99/1 amongst people who have studied the subject.

"Shape of planet: views differ."


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:34:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Soya protein can be replaced by rapeseed protein

Today, more than 500 million people are suffering from a lack of adequate protein in their diet. Each year, the number of human beings increases by 80 million, a figure which is equivalent to the present population of Germany. Thus, providing enough food, particularly sufficient protein for the increasing populace is a challenging task for societies all over the world. On a prospective basis, a progressively smaller proportion of human protein requirement can be provided by animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and milk.

"However, by feeding valuable plant protein to animals, almost two third of it is wasted as it is transformed into animal protein," Professor Dr Gerhard Jahreis, nutritionist at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), says.

Rapeseed oil with its high nutritional value due to significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids has gained a strong place in the human diet in recent years. Professor Jahreis comments: "Annually, 60 million tons of rapeseed are harvested worldwide, corresponding to about 15 million tons of rapeseed protein which is fed only to animals. We are taking a keen interest in making this important protein source available for human consumption."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neat.
Will this be without the phytoestrogens?


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 06:05:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv: Romania reverses course on shale gas

In a widely expected U-turn, Romanian authorities yesterday (31 January) gave the American energy giant Chevron the certificates it needed to start exploring for shale gas in the eastern part of the country.

The Romanian authorities reversed their decision from last April to suspend Chevron from gas exploration activities.

The decision takes place nine months after protests in southeast Romania, in particular in the town of Vama Veche, where shale gas exploration is due to take place.



Vencit omnia veritas.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 03:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Centrica withdraws from new UK nuclear projects | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Energy company Centrica has abandoned its plans for building new nuclear reactors in the UK, blaming rising costs and construction delays.

The move is a blow to the government's aspirations to build the most ambitious fleet of new reactors in Europe, and comes on the day MPs severely criticised the management of nuclear waste at Sellafield and Cumbria county council last week rejected proposals for a deep burial site to permanently dispose of the waste.

Centrica will forfeit its 20% option on four new nuclear plants planned by EDF in Somerset and Suffolk, writing down £200m in the process. EDF, owned by the French state, has been in talks with the state-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation, which may pick up Centrica's option.

Centrica's exit means no major UK company remains involved in plans for new nuclear reactors in the UK, but Centrica retains its 20% stake in eight existing nuclear power stations.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 07:24:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
great news...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 03:08:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:13:22 PM EST
Professional training 'in the wild' overrides laboratory decision preferences

Many simulation-based studies have been conducted, and theories developed, about the behaviors of financial market traders. New work by human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) researchers suggests that decision-making research on the behavior of traders conducted "in the wild" (i.e., real-world situations) can offer an alternative lens that extends laboratory insights and provokes new questions.

In their article in the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, "Understanding Preferences in Experience-Based Choice," authors Claire McAndrew (University College London) and Julie Gore (University of Surrey) examined the gap between the decision-making preferences of financial traders "in the wild" compared to laboratory experimentation where the probabilities of outcomes are known (prospect theory).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:33:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Four Steps Against Alzheimer's | DiscoverMagazine.com
Alzheimer's disease has repeatedly defeated predictions that effective treatments were right around the corner. By the time symptoms of dementia appear, it seems, damage to the brain is already substantial. But several 2012 advances improve the prospects for intervening before the point of no return.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:45:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Women of the revolution - TrustLaw
Two years after the Arab Spring, what do women think the changes in their country have done for them? We have recruited local filmmakers and journalists in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen to interview 25 women from all walks of life. Here's what they said

VIDEOS

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 04:05:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Murder of Landless Workers' Leader Recalls Brazil's Dictatorship | Inter Press Service
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 31 2013 (IPS) - The execution-style killing of a leader of the Landless Workers' Movement in a sugarcane plantation in the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, where bodies of opponents of the dictatorship were incinerated in the 1970s, recalls one of the most tragic chapters in this country's history.

In the book "Memórias de uma Guerra Suja" (Memoirs of a Dirty War), Cláudio Guerra, formerly an agent of the Departamento de Ordem Política e Social (DOPS), the 1964-1985 military regime's political police, tells how the bodies of 10 leftwing activists were burned, in order to leave no trace, in the oven of the Usina Cambahyba sugarcane plant in Campos dos Goytacazes, a municipality in the north of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Forty years later, the name of this agroindustrial complex of seven plantations with a total area of 3,500 hectares is again linked to the silencing of a bothersome voice, but this time under a full democracy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NRA's Wayne LaPierre Vs. Fox News' Chris Wallace - Business Insider
Fox News host Chris Wallace and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre got into a heated exchange on "Fox News Sunday" this morning, as Wallace challenged LaPierre on a controversial ad involving President Barack Obama's daughters.

Wallace played the clip of the ad, which called Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for sending his children to a school with armed protection while opposing it for other schools. (That ad has actually been proven false.)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 03:57:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The NRA knows who the enemies of freedom are:
"National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies"


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 06:15:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Met chief summoned to explain why police stole identities of dead children | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A senior police chief has been summoned to parliament to explain why police secretly authorised undercover officers to steal the identities of around 80 dead children.

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner in charge of counter-terrorism, will respond to the revelations at a parliamentary committee hearing on Tuesday.

An investigation by the Guardian has revealed that police infiltrating protest groups have for three decades adopted the identities of dead children, without informing or consulting their parents.

Two undercover officers have provided a detailed account of how they and others used the identities of dead children.

Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee has said he is "shocked" at the "gruesome" practice.

"The committee will hear from those who have been involved in undercover operations as well as their victims," he said. "I have asked the deputy assistant commissioner Cressida Dick to deal with the issues that have arisen."

The Guardian has established how police officers were equipped with fabricated identity records, such as driving licences and national insurance numbers, in the name of their chosen dead child. They also visited the family home of the dead child to familiarise themselves with the surroundings and conducted research into other family members.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 07:37:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There seems no depravity to which the British police do not willingly sink.

They have framed people, killed people, sold investigative secrets to journalists, framed politicians, spied on people and now impersonated the dead.

And apparently none of this deserves censure

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 02:27:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama must face the rise of the robots | Edward Luce | FT
The median income is almost 9 per cent lower today than when Mr Obama took office. It is unclear what he can do to prevent it from falling further, even if the US returns to a higher rate of economic growth.
[...]
At some point, policy makers will be forced to grapple with what is intuitively obvious - that sustained growth is inconsistent with declining middle class incomes. In their book, Brynjolfsson and McAfee cite a meeting between Henry Ford and Walter Reuther, the union leader. Pointing at his new robots, Mr Ford says, "How will you get union dues from them?" Mr Reuther replied: "How will you get them to buy your cars?"


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:52:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Current economic and financial systems cannot handle the continued implementation and factory deployment of robots and other forms of autonomic machinery.  I doubt we'll ever get to the point of the CEO of a company turning the assembly line on and walking out the door, never to return we are at the point where a typical assembly is reaching its Sell-By date.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:40:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:55:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I try to take a longer view of this, and having read all the Toynbee I could get my hands on, I think there is more to it than this. The affluent Romans famously left their godd for a long succesion of beliefs, perhaps (as Toynbee would strongly imply) bereft of meaning in their lives. They eventually arrived at christianism, the religion of their slaves. So, as an atheist, I don't particularly think associating my beliefs with affluence is particularly heartening.

As Jesus of Nazareth said all those years ago, the meek do inherit the earth.

Do good, the rest doesn't really matter.

by redstar on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:33:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Roman society was perhaps not the most equal (the second parameter).


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:37:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
West (tm) especially as it has incorporated the parts of the world it needs for labour and resources ( see Toynbee on internal and external proletariat)...
by redstar on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it's an interesting question what you define as a coherent "region" for the purpose of this kind of study.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:49:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by redstar on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:50:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mare "nostrum" indeed.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:56:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, after losing ground during the affluent period of the Empire, religion made a comeback, in the form of Christianity, during the decline.

We should expect to see a similar rise in religion in Europe as economic decline sets in.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:56:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
very Anglophone-world centric, thought that the next big thing would be african-american christianity (this is in the 1920's he's writing).

Toynbee is all about ideology and emancipation, in my view. Not sure he thought this meant religion, but it definitely wasn't neutral ideology, which for me, is what (real) atheism (of for some, agnosticism) is.

by redstar on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:25:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...it was more some of the the esoteric precursors to monotheism, like zoroastrianism (think Nietzsche's critiques, positive, compare to Gibbon's on the eventual adoption of Christianity...not so much) and also adopting gods of some of those who lives beyond "the wall". Not sure there were many atheists, at least avowed, back then. Not sure they knew or cared what that meant.
by redstar on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:34:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure, from a psychological point of view, that the ruling class merely paid lip service to the official Roman religion. That was all that was required. The masses were content, because their local gods were co-opted into the pantheon, assimilated with an existing deity; the middle class must surely have been onto the scam, from the period when the cult of living emperors became compulsory.

This is neither provable nor unprovable, of course. Just a plausible conjecture, which would fit with the thesis Sven quotes.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 03:34:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your religion will be told to you by the state, when we revert to the norm. This Enlightenment thing, where everybody is supposed to think things out by themselves, is totally over.
by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:27:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But keep your anger, use it, be polite about it most of the time, untim impolitesse is useful or harmless, and maybe together we'll be in a day where the needle moves in our direction...
by redstar on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:40:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Capitalism is the New Church.

All that stuff about god(s) is there to keep the proles distracted from their constant manipulation, exploitation, and abuse.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:45:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
keep your anger and contempt under wraps. Keep your job, raise your kids, stay modest, make more money if you can, and more children too, and make sure you transmit to them how we all deserve equal fruits from this earth.
by redstar on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:03:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cf Fnord, They Live.
Out of bubblegum yet?

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 12:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain in knots over infrastructure | Dieter Helm | FT

Big projects need clear plans and honesty about who pays, writes Dieter Helm
[...]
As HS2 shows, new infrastructure creates losers and almost always results in environmental damage. Yet if a project is worth doing, the gains must outweigh the losses. [...] requires paying for damage to property and making sure environmental damage is minimised and then offset. Winners should not only be able to compensate the losers, they should actually do so.
[...]
When it comes to finance, UK infrastructure is in a league of its own. The fundamental flaw lies in the fact that the Treasury has long been fixated on keeping the borrowing off government books so that the deficit does not look so bad.
[...]
It was this accounting concern that first drove privatisation. Customers would pay (eventually) for new projects and investors would be protected by the duty on regulators to ensure the privatised companies could finance their functions. There followed the public finance initiative and public-private partnerships.
[...]
The alternative - signing expensive investment agreements with pension funds and sovereign wealth funds - comes at a price politicians are reluctant to pay: telling the public the true cost it will bear.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 10:11:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Joe Nocera at NYT now has something called the Gun Report.
Just a brief summary of recent gun deaths/accidents/violence, apparently daily.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they'll get bored eventually. Nothing will change till you retrieve the guns already in the wild. And that will never happen.

An assault weapons ban is pointless, the ban was in place for columbine and now the eejits are stocked to the gills with mach 10s and ar-15s.

You need a ban on ownership and that's never gonna happen

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 02:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:13:44 PM EST
Vet office bans Swiss MP's vole paté feast - The Local

The canton of Jura's veterinary office vetoed a bid by a cantonal parliament to publicly serve vole paté to fellow MPs.

Jura MP Edgar Sauser wanted to serve up the mouse meat publicly on Wednesday as a protest against the lack of resources given to combat an invasion of the rodents on farms in the region.

But before the MPs could tuck in, the veterinary office said it was not allowed because the vole is not covered by the law on permitted food.

"The vole could maybe become an interesting source of revenue that would offset in part the damage it causes," Sauser is quoted as saying by local radio station RFJ on its website.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2013 at 03:50:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Switzerland (or perhaps only in the canton of Jura?), it appears that one is only permitted to eat foods authorised by "the law on permitted food"...

Perhaps certain foods are compulsory? "Eat your broccoli, good citizens, or pay a fine"...

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 05:18:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For guidance, refer to Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14.
by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:30:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll have a slice without so much vole in it.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 07:58:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not? As he says
"It's no more disgusting than frog's legs," the MP said.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 08:09:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know it's a cliché, but those really do taste like chicken.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:38:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some lark's vomit with that?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 08:10:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Our sales would plummet!

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:37:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll take mine in vole-au-vont style.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 09:58:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy stun France in Six Nations opener - RUGBY - FRANCE 24

Italy produced a stunning all-round performance to shock France 23-18 at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday and blast the Six Nations wide open.

More usually contenders for the competition's wooden spoon, Italy proved their victory over the French two seasons ago was no fluke as they defended well and took their chances against the 2011 World Cup runners-up.

Tries from captain Sergio Parisse and Martin Castrogiovanni, plus 10 points from man-of-the-match Luciano Orquera and three from substitute Kris Burton led them to victory, just their third ever over the French.

France were far from their best and despite tries from Louis Picamoles and Benjamin Fall and eight points from a rejuvenated Frederick Michalak, they were deservedly beaten by Jacques Brunel's effervescent side.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2013 at 02:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Former Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle shot dead at Texas gun range | World news | The Guardian

A former Navy Seal who went on to write a bestselling book chronicling his life as the US's most prolific marksman has been shot dead at a gun range in Texas.

Police said Sunday that the body of Chris Kyle was found by officers responding to an incident at the Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose the previous evening. Chad Littlefield, a 35-year-old friend of the war veteran and author, was also killed at the scene.

In a statement, Sergeant Lonny Haschel said Eddie Ray Routh, 25, of Lancaster, had been charged with two counts of murder in relation to the double shooting. The alleged gunman was found at his home just hours after the shooting, having earlier fled the gun range in a pick-up truck, it is claimed.

Haschel said the link between the men was not immediately clear. Routh was being held on Sunday at the Erath County jail on a combined $3m bond, authorities said.

Kyle was a veteran of four tours of Iraq whose shooting during battles in Ramadi and Fallujah earned him the nickname "al Shaitan" or "the Devil" among insurgents who put a bounty on his head.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 05:37:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He should have carried a gun.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 05:41:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's our NRA-style "thinking" in Colorado.

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_22501484/gun-nuts-and-us

by asdf on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
pure class.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 11:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Foul play suspected.

Richard III of England - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

More describes him as "little of stature, ill-featured of limbs, crook-backed ... hard-favoured of visage."[55] Vergil also says he was "deformed of body ... one shoulder higher than the right".[55] Both emphasise that Richard was devious and flattering, while planning the downfall of both his enemies and supposed friends. Richard's good qualities were his cleverness and bravery. All these characteristics are repeated by Shakespeare, who also adds to Richard's deformity to include a hunch, a limp and a withered arm.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 06:03:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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