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27 February 2013

by ceebs Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:45:11 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 01:21:14 PM EST
BBC News - Italy election: Europe jitters over result deadlock

European politicians and markets have reacted anxiously after Italy's general election produced a stalemate between centre-right and centre-left blocs.

France and Germany urged continued reform, while Spain described the result as a "jump to nowhere".

Italian markets fell sharply while others in Europe and around the world opened down.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Italy election: Bersani mulls 'dramatic' Italy deadlock

Italian centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani has described the impasse following his country's general election as "dramatic".

Stock markets and the euro have fallen amid concerns the deadlock could re-ignite the eurozone debt crisis.

But Mr Bersani, whose coalition won most seats in parliament, did not identify a preferred partner in government.

He said all political parties should take responsibility for the country.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:13:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy's centre-left reaches out to Beppe Grillo | World news | The Guardian
Pouring cold water on the idea floated by Silvio Berlusconi of a grand coalition with the right, he proposed a government committed to a radical overhaul of Italy's politics and institutions, outlining a five-point plan for sweeping reform.

Bersani made it clear that he considered his alliance to have been defeated in the election. "We have not won, even if we finished first," he said. He also acknowledged that the elections signified "a rejection of politics as it has been presented in recent years: [a rejection of] inefficient institutions and of politics that have appeared as morally non-credible."

The five points on which he was inviting a consensus were: reform of the institutions; reform of political parties; legislation on public and private morality, an apparent reference to measures to tackle corruption; the defence of those most exposed to the effects of the recession; and a commitment to a new European employment policy.

But, in a reference to the thorniest issue that is likely to lie between him and Grillo, Bersani made it clear he would not compromise on his party's policy towards the EU or the euro. Grillo has called for a referendum on membership of the single currency. But, said Bersani, "Italy out of the euro would run into disaster."



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 03:32:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the talk shows are full of serious peoples' heads exploding. priceless stuff.
 it's as if martians had landed, aghast meets incredulous...

beppes' house besieged by people begging for help paying their bills, and gleeful reporters filming away as no one answered. (in case he gets turned into padre pio lol). "hey, beppe, i persuaded 20 people in my family to vote for your guys!"

then he came out, talked to some visitors and gave an impromptu press conference during which he gently chided the journalists for not understanding how their questions were largely irrelevant, as they were framed in terms of a political era that was ancient history. .

he's tweaked the dragon's tail alright.

the Very Serious Talking Heads are intoning doom laden mantras how italy is in terrible danger now. how the spread is, well... spreading, (expect meteorites any minute!)

they can see the writing on the wall, spelling how their fat government subsidies for remaining faithful hack lapdogs will not be around long, if beppe has his way.

and italy will start the long crawl up from 127th in press freedom ranks... (citation needed)

beppe would definitely have the coglioni to stare down the ECB and threaten to unwind their pretty little game of pauperising the italian public for private 1% offshore profit if they don't change their dirge.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 07:22:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hope you are right and beppe plays a vital role in the new government, if there is one. As to the atmospherics, it is good that we never got 'smellavision'! The studios filled with noxious talking heads would be pretty odoriferous just now.

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 26th, 2013 at 11:28:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
someone on his blog said 'if beppe had won any more votes there would have been tanks in the street the next day.

it's a grim reflection of what italians have become used to, that people are wondering how come he hasn't been 'aldo moro'd'.

i think it snuck up on them because a. the 5*ers have no practice speaking in soundbytes, they just talk, when interviewed, (almost never).

beppe has soundbytes galore, and it makes a nice contrast seeing how being a pol in italy consists a lot of learning how to speak smooth Newspeak

the zen beauty of this is that they don't have to, all they have to do is follow their program, which is so common sensical on every pragmatic level.

another interesting factor is that they are absolutely not DFHs, their rallies are completely free from the usual overdose of silly exhibitionist.

they're so....... normal

just folks, you know?

i was in the usa the day nixon resigned, and here in italy during 'clean hands'.

this change feels similar in its tectonic vibrations.


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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 04:34:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lambert Strether 'gets' beppe. Worth a read, even if you skip over the first paragraph or so.

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 Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:53:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah that was a fun read, ta ARG!


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 04:36:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bersani made it clear that he considered his alliance to have been defeated in the election. "We have not won, even if we finished first," he said.

I love it when the paraphrasing re-frames what was said to mean something different...

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

by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 05:38:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is interesting how this election exposes the difference between the U.S. federal system and the E.U. independent countries system.

Over here, we have "independent" states--except for the monetary system--and there is really almost no interaction between states at all. The federal government controls a lot of things, but anything it doesn't is pretty squarely under the complete control of each individual state. If Texas or Florida or Alaska decides to have a screwed up election for governor or whatever, it doesn't affect the other states at all.

Over there, you've got "independent" countries--except for the monetary system--but the election in one of them has implications that spread throughout the entire continent.

by asdf on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 03:10:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Litvinenko inquest: Government trying to exclude MI6 details

Foreign Secretary William Hague is trying to exclude details of Alexander Litvinenko's links to MI6, a pre-inquest legal review has been told.

Mr Hague had identified a "risk of serious harm to the public" if certain material was disclosed, it heard.

The government is applying to keep some information secret at the forthcoming inquest into the Russian's death.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Litvinenko case: William Hague accused of dancing to Moscow's tune | World news | The Guardian

William Hague has been accused of putting Britain's trade interests with Moscow above justice after the foreign secretary sought to withhold evidence from the inquest into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

Ben Emmerson QC, the lawyer acting for Litvinenko's widow, Marina, said Hague and David Cameron were "dancing to the Russian tarantella" and seeking to "cover up" evidence that the Russian state was behind Litvinenko's polonium poisoning in 2006.

Earlier this month, Hague signed a broad public interest immunity (PII) certificate that would prevent secret government files from being revealed. On Tuesday, his lawyer argued the material, if released, would cause "a real risk of serious damage to the public interest". The government refuses to say what the material is.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:18:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oxford University accused of bias against ethnic minority applicants | Education | The Guardian

Oxford University has been accused of "institutional bias" against black and minority ethnic students after figures revealed that white applicants to some of the most competitive courses are up to twice as likely to get a place as others, even when they get the same A-level grades.

Figures for applications to the university in 2010 and 2011, obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that 25.7% of white applicants received an offer to attend the university, compared with 17.2% of students from ethnic minorities.

White applicants to medicine, one of the most prestigious courses, were twice as likely to get a place as minority ethnic candidates, even when they had the same triple A* grade A-level scores.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:18:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But of course, the interview process ensures that they preferentially select "people like us", ie white male anglo saxon protestant, preferably from a private school.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 03:51:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Same-sex marriage opponents put green fingers up to Paris mayor | World news | guardian.co.uk

Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, must be wishing he had never opened his mouth to criticise the damage protesters against same-sex marriage did to one of the city's most exclusive central parks.

When opponents of the government's bill to allow "marriage for all" gathered on the Champ-de-Mars, in the shadow of the Eiffel tower, on 13 January, the normally pristine lawns were destroyed by the trampling of an estimated 350,000 of pairs of feet.

Delanoë supports the proposed legislation, which would fulfil an election pledge from the Socialist president, François Hollande. The mayor complained that the demonstrators had caused damage to around 3,600 sq metres of grass, which would cost at least €100,000 (over £80,000) to repair. The grass was supposed to have been "resting" over winter.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a stupid intro for the article. The key point is this:

Same-sex marriage opponents put green fingers up to Paris mayor | World news | guardian.co.uk

After the interior ministry, which authorised the gathering, refused to pay up, Delanoë said he would be sending the bill to the organisers of the protest .

"Those are the rules," he insisted, saying it was "normal and legitimate" to ask for damages. He added that he had presented bills to the rock star Johnny Hallyday, in 2009, and SOS Racisme, in 2011, after fans and supporters caused similar damage.

However, the article focuses on the circumstance that the protesters organised a donation campaign that raised a total of about €900 in small sums but Paris won't see any net income out of it due to the administrative costs. Annoying paperwork and a hundred euros lost, vs. a bill about hundred thousand euros outstanding, and the reporter thinks Delanoë must be wishing he had never opened his mouth?... Sigh.

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

by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 05:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Vicky Pryce trial: judge arrested on suspicion of lying to police | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A barrister and judge was arrested on suspicion of lying to police over the speeding allegations story involving the ex-cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his former wife, Vicky Pryce, a court has heard.

Constance Briscoe, 55, a lawyer and part-time crown court recorder, had denied to police having any involvement with the Mail on Sunday over the leaking of the driving licence points-swapping story, the jury was told.

But the court heard that Pryce and her friend Briscoe were in contact with the newspaper when allegations that Pryce took Huhne's speeding points first became public in 2011.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Judge Constance Briscoe arrested for 'lying to police' about role in exposing Chris Huhne - Telegraph

Ms Briscoe, 55, regularly briefed journalists over several months about how Huhne, 58, had forced his former wife, Vicky Pryce, 60, to take his penalty points so he would not lose his driving licence, it is alleged.

The high-profile lawyer was interviewed by Kent Police last year over allegations that she lied in a witness statement when she said she had not spoken to the media about the episode.

A statement from a police officer read to the jury at Miss Pryce's retrial today set out the fact that Miss Briscoe was not being called as a prosecution witness because she could not be relied upon as a "witness of truth".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did newspaper trigger police raid on Pryce? · anyapalmer · Storify
On 21 June 2011 the police conducted a 7am raid on the home of Vicky Pryce, went straight to the second floor where her 18 year old son Peter was sleeping, woke him, and seized his mobile.  Here's a report in the Mail two weeks later:  


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brussels threatens to take governments to court to create single mobile market | Business | guardian.co.uk

The European commission has waded into battle on behalf of the region's beleaguered mobile companies, threatening to overrule national governments by taking them to court in order to enforce the creation of a single market for telecoms.

In a move which could erode the power of national watchdogs like the United Kingdom's Ofcom and centre decision making in Brussels, telecommunications commissioner Neelie Kroes promised to drive through one set of rules for the industry across Europe's 27 member states.

"Mobile needs a real single market," Kroes told the Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona. "We are going to start using our EU treaty powers to change the situation."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:26:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that we have voice, text and data, what's the benefit of G4?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 08:46:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU-US trade deal is 'unique opportunity' | World | DW.DE | 26.02.2013

US-EU plans to join forces via a free-trade agreement are taking on shape. During his Berlin visit, US Secretary of State John Kerry described the planned pact as a priority for President Barack Obama's second term.

Following on from Obama's State of the Union address, John Kerry has marked out the free-trade agreement as a key element in cementing transatlantic ties. "We think this is something that can lift the economy of Europe, strengthen our economy, create jobs for Americans, for Germans, for all Europeans and create one of the largest allied markets in the world," Kerry said on Tuesday in Berlin after talks with his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:35:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why does this give me a sick feeling?

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 Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:17:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel's difficult dialogue with Erdogan | Europe | DW.DE | 25.02.2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not bridge their differences on key topics but agreed to continue an open dialogue. Both leaders hailed strong economic ties.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support for reviving Turkey's EU accession process on Monday (25.02.2013), but urged Ankara to take steps towards normalizing relations with Cyprus.

"We want the process to advance, despite the fact that I am still skeptical about Turkey's full membership of the EU," Merkel said following talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She stressed that proceeding with the accession talks would depend on Ankara's Cyprus policy, and urged Turkey to open its ports and airports to traffic from Greek Cyprus.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:36:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the plan regarding the generations of Turkish/German guestworkers after Turkey joins? Do they all go "home" to Turkey via self-deportation? Do they all bring their family members over to Germany under Schengen rules? Do the Germans all move to retirement cottages in Turkey?
by asdf on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 03:16:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
their children are German, so maybe they will move back for retirement, but not otherwise.
by stevesim on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 03:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
their children are German

Are they?

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 06:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought not.
by asdf on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turks in Germany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Under previous German law, children born to foreigners in Germany were not entitled to German citizenship by birth. This was modified in 1991.[108] In 2000, legislation was passed which conferred German citizenship on the German-born children of foreigners (born after 1990), and the naturalisation process was made easier, although dual citizenship is only permitted to citizens of the EU and Switzerland and any other national possessing it (including citizens of Turkey) by virtue of birth must choose between the ages of 18 and 23 which citizenship she or he wishes to retain, and renounce their other passport.[109] If one parent is German, a dual citizen is not required to give up the German citizenship if they keep the other citizenship. These strict limits on dual citizenship are criticised by liberal parties in Germany and institutions which promote German-Turkish relations.


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 Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Welcome to the Grillo-Bersani puppet show. Guess who's the puppet? (27.02.2013)
Pier Luigi Bersani has ruled out a Grand Coalition, and wants to form a minority government with the support of Beppe Grillo; markets completely freak out, with spreads rising back to crisis levels; the recent speculation about the dangers of a strong euro have also ended abruptly; Lars Feld of the German Council of Economic Adviser says crisis will come back in a big way, as Italy will remain stuck in recession; the head of the German export association is contemplating a eurozone without Italy; in Rom, Bersani is preparing for a minority government, to be installed before Easter; one of the many complications in Italian politics is that the Italian parliament now needs to vote for a new Italian president as well; Bersani blames EU austerity policies for the outcome of the elections; Beppe Grillo says he will not enter into any coalitions, but will support legislation on a case-by-case basis; Silvio Berlusconi says he was open to a grand coalition with Bersani; Olli Rehn says no matter what the election outcome, Italy must continue consolidation; pollster SWG says we completely misjudged the extent of popular anger; Massimo Franco says the emergence of Grillo is good for Italian democracy, but will bring economic instability; Spain's bank restructuring fund finds Oliver Wyman stress test insufficient; the Spanish corruption scandal took another turn with the Partido Popolar and its former treasurer now suing each other; a Spanish newspaper has the story that cash donations correlated to only a few days with the dates at which companies received public contracts; tax fraud might be costing Spain's government 6% of GDP; more than 60% of Spain's employed youth have only temporary contracts; the latest spending cuts in Spain have a devastating impact on doctoral students and language teaching; Spain's Socialists are divided over Catalan independence; French unemployment is close to its 1997 historic record; the Greek government is scared by the troika's likely demand's for further dismissals of civil servants; fears a breakup of the coalition is possible; eight out of ten Greek creditors are behind with their loan repayments; the region of Castilla-La Mancha, meanwhile, has given Orwellian-style instruction to its housing department to not use the word 'eviction', but to say that 'non-payment will lead to all the effects foreseen by regulations' - the purpose being not to frighten people.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 04:05:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Post-Elections Day 1

La Repubblica reports that Italy will have a new government before Easter. Despite the deadlock between parties that created a hung Parliament, Bersani, whose coalition has a majority in the Lower House, is expected to make a proposal to the Italian president to form a new government. Giorgio Napolitano called for the first meetings to be convened on March 15, 20 days following the elections. The Lower House formation is expected by March 16, while the Senate by March 20. The first tasks of Parliament will be the election of the successor to Napolitano, on April 15.

Bersani yesterday ruled out a national unity government or post-electoral alliances, Il Corriere della Sera reports. He blamed political disaffection and austerity for the election result. Bersani, whose party had supported the policies of austerity, also said that the EU's austerity policies are not working, and that financial markets were too irrational (maybe, but not nearly as irrational as Italian politicians). In response to a question about Beppe Grillo, Bersani said he was ready to talk with the M5S over crucial issue for Italy, like a new electoral law.

Silvio Berlusconi ruled out another round of elections, Il Sole 24 Ore reports. The country should not return to the polls, even after a stalemate. He also did not rule out a alliance with Bersani. According to Berlusconi, a Grand Coalition is the only way to lead Italy.

Beppe Grillo, meanwhile, said yesterday that his party would assess legislative proposals on their individual merits and in accordance with its manifesto, as La Stampa reports. He said his Movimento 5 Stelle is not out to fight the world, but to change Italian and European politics. Grillo said the M5S will decide reform by reform, law by law. Grillo added that Italy, and the eurozone too, will face the M5S tsunami, now with Grillo's becing the single largest party in Italy. Grillo ruled any post-electoral alliance with established parties, and also ruled out backing a national unity government.

Sniping from Brussels, according to La Repubblica, Olli Rehn said President Giorgio Napolitano should find a rapid solution to might enable Italy to continue fiscal consolidation, and reforms.

(Why does Olli Rehn think he needs to comment on the Italian election outcome? Was that not a vote against austerity? Does he think it is wise to remind Italians that whatever they voted against will continue?)



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 04:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
financial markets were too irrational (maybe, but not nearly as irrational as Italian politicians)

Who says that? I don't think the irrationality level is all that far apart...

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

by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 05:24:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who says that? I don't think the irrationality level is all that far apart...
This is Bersani:
financial markets were too irrational
and this is Eurointelligence:
(maybe, but not nearly as irrational as Italian politicians)


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 06:45:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who wrote the Eurointelligence piece? Author(s) not leaving a byline (would be funny when leaving such comments), Martin Wolf, someone else?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:19:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's either Fabrizio Goria or Wolfgang Münchau.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grrrr, I still confuse Martin Wolf and Wolfgang Münchau. At any rate, Münchau's Grand Coalition advocacy quoted in your Il Gattopardo diary was surprising.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:31:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bersani said he was ready to talk with the M5S over crucial issue for Italy, like a new electoral law.

That's more forward-looking than I expected. Even if Italy will have a hung parliament when it comes to the budget, Bersani and Grillo should use their chance to effect constitutional changes free of Berlusconi's blocking (they should realise that they could achieve something major and lasting on this front even if there are new elections before 2014).

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

by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 05:28:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's funny to watch the international media trying to find a spin on the elections. First it was a Berlusconi miralce comeback (nevermind that he beat the two weeks old polls by only about one percentage point and the real major shift was Bersani and Monti losses vs. Grillo gains). Then it was gridlock due to inconclusive elections (nevermind that various possibilities for cooperation were discussed before the election already). Now that it seems all major players see ways to get on, what's next? Will they accept an "anti-austerity election" framing?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 05:34:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The German establish[ment] is shocked beyond belief

Not in the Casablanca way, but for real. The German crisis-exit narrative has been so unbelievably complacent - everyone pursuing austerity, then happiness forever - that these elections came as a total shock. Angela Merkel did not say anything (quite wisely, we think). Frankfurter Allgemeine quotes leading German economists and business representatives to devastating effect. Lars Feld, a member of the German Council of Economic Advisers, predicted that investors will withdraw money from Italy, which will result in a rise in risk spreads. The Italian economy will then not be able to get out of recession. And that raises, once again, question about Italy's debt sustainability. The eurozone crisis will have returned with full force. The head of Germany's export association is quoted as saying that Germany should now contemplate the possibility of what he euphemistically called "a modified eurozone".

(German exporters calling for a break-up of the eurozone is one degree more stupid than turkeys voting for Christmas. But we completely agree with Lars Feld on his description of the dynamics.)



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 04:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano calls of his meeting with SPD Chancellor candidate Steinbrück after the latter says "two clowns" have won the elections in Italy.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:27:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
gk already posted it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:33:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Swedish Pirate Party's answer to the Rights Alliance's demands « Piratpartiet presscenter

- It has been a few very hectic days, says Troberg. We have had an internal discussion about
the Right Alliance's threat against the party. The individuals that would be personal targets of the Rights Alliance's threats have discussed the matter with their families. This has, of course, been a tough emotional process for everyone involved. It is somewhat odd to realise that your political engagement can come at such a high cost in Sweden in the year 2013.

- I am therefore very happy that the anonymous heroes of The Pirate Bay very early on decided to help The Pirate Party out of the difficult situation.

The Hydra Bay

When the Internet access through The Pirate Party was threatened, The Pirate Bay chose to move on and get two completely new Internet connections, both provided by two sister parties of the Swedish Pirate Party: the newly formed Norwegian Pirate Party and the Catalonian Pirate Party. To celebrate the move, the site is sporting a brand new name for a day: "The Hydra Bay".

- It is wonderful to be able to pass on the baton to two sister parties. It is testament to the pirate movement's maturity and strength, says Troberg. We help each other and work with our sight set firmly on the future. Today, there are more than sixty different Pirate Parties all around the world. Every cut connection to The Pirate Bay will generate two new connections.

Though I had looked forward to a longer process, this was probably the smart move.

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 Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 06:11:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
" ... the more star systems slip through your fingers."

A pity they have to use Pirate Bay to make this very necessary point. Neither it nor its creators are the best role models.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:31:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
....who has been bothering M5S with indecent proposals instead of resigning. Grillo's blog:
Bersani è uno stalker politico. Da giorni sta importunando il M5S con proposte indecenti invece di dimettersi, come al suo posto farebbe chiunque altro. E' riuscito persino a perdere vincendo. Ha superato la buonanima di Waterloo Veltroni. Bersani ha passato gli ultimi mesi a formulare giudizi squisitamente politici, ricordiamoli:
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 08:38:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Napolitano cancels meeting with Steinbrück, after the latter says that the Italian election was won by two clowns. Spiegel:
Der italienische Staatspräsident Giorgio Napolitano hat ein Gespräch mit SPD-Kanzlerkandidat Peer Steinbrück kurzfristig abgesagt. Das Treffen war seit langem geplant und sollte im Berliner Hotel Adlon stattfinden.

Napolitano ist auf einer mehrtägigen Deutschlandreise. Die Absage des Gesprächs wurde von der italienischen Botschaft ohne Angabe von Gründen bestätigt. Auch Steinbrücks Sprecher Michael Donnermeyer bestätigte den Vorgang, er gab umstrittene Äußerungen des SPD-Politikers zum Wahlausgang in Italien an. Steinbrück habe für die Absage "aufgrund der innenpolitischen Situation in Italien Verständnis", so Donnermeyer.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 08:41:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeez what a loser.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 08:48:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We always knew he is one; the question is why the majority of the German electorate thought differently until a few months ago, and why the SPD leadership thought differently and believed that he won't destroy his own popularity and in general wo't do damage left and right...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:12:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he would just do damage right it wouldn't be so bad...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:17:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel, on the other hand, knows when to STFU.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 11:12:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who do the yapping for her.

Above the fray. It's good to be queen.

by redstar on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 11:17:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Steinbrück thought he was helping Bersani, just like Monti thought it made sense to say Merkel preferred that he win.

Clueless.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 11:24:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tsipras.

Cluelessness is a social democratic trait. Not a bug, but a feature.

by redstar on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 11:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on it and succeed in taking Italy out of the Euro, will bring the German banking system to its knees.

And do right for Italy in the process too.

We'll see who are the clowns then.

by redstar on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, after Bersani and Grillo started exchanging jabs over twitter, one might have to conclude it's three clowns.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 11:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Naked Capitalism: Germans and Eurocrats Throw Hissy Fits Over Italian Elections (Wednesday, February 27, 2013)
But the second [basic element of the situation] is that the Eurozone really does not have much leverage over Italy. On the surface, that isn't obvious, since Italy has €420 billion in financing scheduled for this year, so a rate spike would be painful and costly. But as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard pointed out in the Telegraph:
Yet Italy is big enough to bring down the eurozone if mishandled. It is also the one Club Med country with enough fundamental strengths to leave EMU and devalue, if it concludes that would be the least painful way to restore 35pc of lost competitiveness against Germany since the launch of the euro.

It has low private debt and €9 trillion of private wealth. Its total debt level is 265pc of GDP, lower than in France, Holland, the UK, the US or Japan.

Its budget is near primary balance, and so is its International Investment Position, in contrast to Spain and Portugal. It could in theory return to the lira without facing a funding crisis, and this may be the only way to avoid a crisis if the ECB withdraws support. Any attempt to force Italy to knuckle down risks backfiring disastrously for EMU creditors.

In other words, Italy could credibly exit. But right now, German and EU politicians are reacting badly to this wrenching change in their assumptions, that they held the cards and could impose their will on elected governments. They were confident that if the Bond Gods demanded sacrifices from the public, they'd be made, and pronto too.

Sadly, I don't read German, but one of my buddies who does says the reactions in the German media were unhinged. From what I can infer from the spillover into the English language media, they seem to be doing a combo of the denial and anger phases of the Kubler-Ross give stages of loss model at once. They honestly seem to think that Berlusconi can be hectored into line. And Grillo is simply derided. Funny how no one acknowledges that he was onto the Pharmalat fraud before even analysts picked it up. He's untested, but he's not the fool that the Eurocrats are telling themselves that he is. Underestimating your opposition increases the odds of failure of a countermeasure.

...

The European Commission was on the surface more reasonable, saying it heard the message of Italian concerns. But it effectively insisted that the beating must continue until morale improves, that Italy needed to reduce its "unsustainable" level of debt and finger-wagged at the dangers of populism. Notice how democratic processes are dismissed as mere "populism"? As if the Italian public does not have a right to self-determination? And notice also the refusal of the technocrats to take any responsibility. There's not an inkling of "Hey, the results in Italy are so bad, maybe we need to do a bit of course correction." No, all you read is bullying, dismissal, or faux sympathy combined with thinly-veiled threats.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:08:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the second paragraph of Yves's post:
I suspect the IMF would have gotten a more sympathetic hearing if it blamed the failure of austerity on space aliens rather than fundamental shortcomings.

Well, 'Mainstream Economics' does explain economic disruptions by invoking 'exogenous' events.


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 Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:00:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is the fault of space aliens for not allowing Earth as a whole to run a trade surplus.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:05:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 01:21:25 PM EST
Wall Street bonuses rise 8% for 2012 but industry warns of looming layoffs | Business | guardian.co.uk

Wall Street bonuses totalled $20bn in 2012 as the financial industry's profits tripled in a year, despite layoffs and dire predictions for the future.

As public outrage over high Wall Street pay subsides, the securities industry is increasing its payout, according to a report released on Tuesday by New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose office analyzes bonus data based on taxes paid to New York city and state.

DiNapoli said bonuses rose 8%, which is in line with most predictions of compensation consultants. The average cash bonus for a worker in the New York securities industry was about $121,900 last year, according to DiNapoli.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:26:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 
The average cash bonus for a worker in the New York securities industry was about $121,900 last year, according to DiNapoli.

It would be nice to know what was the median bonus for all employees.

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 26th, 2013 at 11:40:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Last year I heard about a company [citation needed] where two options were put to the vote amongst employees:
a) slight pay increase and no layoffs
b) higher pay increase for some, significant layoffs

B won by a wide margin.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 08:53:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Amongst employees? Which employees?

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 Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:36:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those who believed it would be someone else laid off were in a majority.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 01:07:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Facebook to Partner With Acxiom, Epsilon to Match Store Purchases With User Profiles | Digital - Advertising Age

Use a loyalty card for discounts at the drug store? The ads you see on Facebook could start looking familiar.

Facebook is testing out a new kind of ad targeting that will let brands market to users based on what they've bought in stores, according to execs briefed on their plans.

Facebook is partnering with data giants including Epsilon, Acxiom and Datalogix to allow brands to match data gathered through shopper loyalty program to individual Facebook profiles, much like it's done previously with marketers' customer data from their CRM databases. Datalogix, a company with a rich trove of loyalty-program data, gained notice last fall after Facebook partnered with the firm to decipher whether users exposed to ads on the social network ended up buying any of those products in stores.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Middle finger marble sculpture sparks row in Milan - Telegraph

The finger sculpture, which mocks a Nazi gesture, is part of a retrospective of Cattelan's works entitled Against Ideologies promoted by the city of Milan, which says it is the third-largest market for contemporary art after New York and London.

The installation has fuelled criticism among local politicians and intellectuals over the rights and wrongs of showing a provocative work in a public space, like the Bourse square.

Asked about the meaning of the work, Cattelan said his work was more an act of love than a comment on the financial world.

"It is mainly about imagination," he said.




"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 09:23:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 01:21:37 PM EST
BBC News - Egypt: Balloon crashes near Luxor killing 19 tourists

British, French, Hungarian, Hong Kong and Japanese nationals are among 19 tourists killed in a hot air balloon crash near the Egyptian city of Luxor.

The balloon was at 300m (1,000ft) when it caught fire and plunged into fields west of the ancient city.

At least two people, including the balloon's pilot, are reported to have jumped out of the balloon before it crashed.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:13:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mexico enacts massive education overhaul - Americas - Al Jazeera English

President Enrique Pena Nieto has signed into law Mexico's most sweeping education reforms in seven decades.

The law, passed on Monday, seeks to change a system in which teaching positions can be sold or inherited.

"Professional merit must be the only way to be hired, remain and advance as a teacher, director or supervisor," Pena Nieto said after signing the law, accompanied by members of his cabinet and opposition leaders.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:29:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inherited?
Seems like a move in the right direction.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 08:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Western powers hint at Iran sanctions relief - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Iranian negotiators have hinted that they are prepared to make a new offer to world powers in talks over its nuclear programme, after the United States proposed limited steps to ease crippling economic sanctions against Iran.

A Western official described the first day of meetings in Almaty, Kazakhstan as "useful," and said discussions will continue on Wednesday. This is the first round of negotiations in eight months between Iran and the so-called "P5+1" powers, meaning the members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

"We have prepared our own offer with several different versions," an Iranian source told the AFP news agency. "Which version we present depends on what the 5+1 put forward



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:29:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria opposition agrees to attend Rome summit - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

The umbrella group for Syrian opposition parties has said it has reversed a decision to boycott a conference in Rome being held to help drum up financial and political support for the opposition.

Walid al-Bunni, a spokesman for the Syrian National Coalition, said on Monday the move came after a phone call between the group's leader, Mouaz al-Khatib, and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry said: "I want our friends in the Syrian opposition council to know that we are not coming to Rome simply to talk. We are coming to Rome to make a decision on next steps."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:30:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scandal claims dominate Kenya poll debate - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Candidates running for the presidency in Kenya went head to head in a final televised debate before one of the most highly contested election in the nation's history.

Eight candidates, some of whom have been in public office for years, were on Monday taken to task to defend past actions and answer accusations of corruption in the run-up to the March 4 vote.

Al Jazeera's Mohamed Adow, reporting from Nairoibi, said that corruption was also a big issue in the debates.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:31:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 01:21:51 PM EST
BBC News - Fish discards ban 'may be diluted'

Europe's fisheries ministers may dilute plans for a total ban on the practice of discarding fish at sea, as they meet in Brussels.

An outright discards ban was widely welcomed when backed by the European Parliament last month, but it is being resisted by France, Spain and others.

Ministers will consider a compromise text, that a European Commission source described as "quite unacceptable".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:11:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dead tree paper here in Sweden says the Swedish governemnt will vote no to the compromise, supporting the EP.

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 Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 07:16:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Germany investigates organic egg 'fraud'

German authorities are investigating allegations of fraud over the mislabelling of eggs as organic.

The northern state of Lower Saxony has launched an investigation into allegations that 150 farms had mislabelled their eggs.

It is claimed that the hens live in conditions that do not conform to organic regulations.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We need a new version of "pics or it didn't happen."

How about "fines or it didn't happen" or "prison sentences or it didn't happen"?

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:34:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frozen burger sales plunge 43% after horsemeat scandal | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Sales of frozen burgers have plunged 43% and frozen ready meals have fallen 13% after the horsemeat scandal, although supermarkets worst-hit by the revelations have not lost customers, the latest data reveals.

The fall in burger sales was recorded during the four weeks to the end of 17 February, according to Kantar Worldpanel, which suggested the decline had affected shoppers' individual habits rather than where they shop.

Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "The issue has so far only affected the performance of individual markets rather than where consumers are choosing to shop.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:17:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many frozen ready meals are served up in works and school canteens, old folks' homes, and restaurants. I bet sales haven't gone down there.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:22:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "ingredients" loophole may not be closed in our lifetime.

(Compare "free-range" levels for "eggs sold as eggs" vs "eggs as ingredient".)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:36:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just saw on the telly that in Swedish high schools a vegetarian day a week is a growing trend (long time coming but fits the current story so it is featured now).

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 Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 02:17:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chinese scientists decipher moso bamboo genome - Xinhua | English.news.cn

Chinese scientists announced Monday that they have decoded the genome for moso bamboo in hopes of improving the breed and using the plant as an alternative to wood.

The results have been published in the online version of Nature Genetics, a science magazine, according to Jiang Zehui, leader of the research team responsible for decoding the genome.

The team started working on the genome in 2007 and have since figured out how the plant grows from a genetic standpoint.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OFT statement on Tesco dairy investigation appeal - The Office of Fair Trading

The OFT today announced that Tesco's appeal in relation to the OFT's 2011 Dairy Retail Price Initiatives decision has been brought to an end by Order of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) as agreed between the parties.

Tesco will pay a penalty of £6.5 million. The CAT upheld the OFT's findings that Tesco broke competition law three times by co-ordinating increases in the prices consumers paid for cheese in 2002.

The CAT also found that Tesco did not infringe the law in relation to a number of other findings of exchanges of future pricing information. 



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or about 2/3rds of a day's profit for Tesco UK.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:38:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But on top of the meat scandal and with Tesco's appeal to the British farming community, the timing is unfortunate

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:43:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 01:22:03 PM EST
BBC News - Russia meteor's origin tracked down

Astronomers have traced the origin of a meteor that injured about 1,000 people after breaking up over central Russia earlier this month.

Using amateur video footage, they were able to plot the meteor's trajectory through Earth's atmosphere and then reconstruct its orbit around the Sun.

As the space rock burned up over the city of Chelyabinsk, the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings.

The team, from Colombia, has published details on the Arxiv website.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:10:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TarenSK | DOJ admits Aaron's prosecution was political

The DOJ has told Congressional investigators that Aaron's prosecution was motivated by his political views on copyright.

I was going to start that last paragraph with "In a stunning turn of events," but I realized that would be inaccurate -- because it's really not that surprising. Many people speculated throughout the whole ordeal that this was a political prosecution, motivated by anything/everything from Aaron's effective campaigning against SOPA to his run-ins with the FBI over the PACER database. But Aaron actually didn't believe it was -- he thought it was overreach by some local prosecutors who didn't really understand the internet and just saw him as a high-profile scalp they could claim, facilitated by a criminal justice system and computer crime laws specifically designed to give prosecutors, however incompetent or malicious, all the wrong incentives and all the power they could ever want.

But this HuffPo article, and what I'm hearing from sources on the Hill, suggest that that's not true. That Ortiz and Heymann knew exactly what they were doing: Shutting up, and hopefully locking up, an extremely effective activist whose political views, including those on copyright, threatened the Powers That Be:



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:41:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peers compromise over press regulation | Media | guardian.co.uk

Peers have staged a partial climbdown in their clash with the government over the introduction of Leveson-style controls on the press.

Ministers suffered a massive defeat in the Lords earlier this month, when peers backed a low-cost arbitration service as recommended by Lord Justice Leveson.

But on Monday afternoon, they agreed to drop part of the amendment requiring newspapers editors to seek independent regulatory approval before running certain contentious stories which might involve invasion of privacy or libel.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:42:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@johnthelutheran
This is utterly brilliant: The benefits of "narrative reasoning" (as used by courts) over statistics: http://www.ft.com/cms/b22182d4-7f49-11e2-97f6-00144feabdc0.html ... (£/reg)


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 02:16:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: A story can be more useful than maths (by John Kay)
A court approaches the issue in a different way. You must tell a story about yourself and the bus. Legal reasoning uses a narrative rather than a probabilistic approach, and when the courts are faced with probabilistic reasoning the result is often a damaging muddle - as, for example, the flawed testimony of Sir Roy Meadow on child deaths that led courts to wrongfully convict grieving parents of murdering their children.

...

It is possible - common, even - to believe something is true without being confident in that belief. Or to be sure that, say, a housing bubble will burst without being able to attach a high probability to any specific event, such as "house prices will fall 20 per cent in the next year". A court is concerned to establish the degree of confidence in a narrative, not to measure a probability in a model.

Such narrative reasoning is the most effective means humans have developed of handling complex and ill-defined problems. A court can rarely establish a complete account of the probabilities of the events on which it is required to adjudicate. Similarly, an individual cannot know how career and relationships will evolve. A business must be steered into a future of unknown and unknowable dimensions.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 04:20:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 
 

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 01:22:19 PM EST
BBC News - Maradona appeals for Italy tax 'justice'

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has appealed to Italian authorities for "justice" in a long-running tax dispute.

Speaking in the Italian city of Naples, he even offered to discuss the issue with President Giorgio Napolitano.

The former Argentina and Napoli star was ordered to pay 37.2m euros (£32m; $48.6m) in unpaid taxes in 2005.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:12:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Italian photographer Willy Rizzo dies

Willy Rizzo, the Italian photographer renowned for his images of prominent celebrities, has died in Paris at the age of 84, his studio has announced.

Brigitte Bardot, Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe were among the many who posed for him in pictures for such magazines as Paris Match and Life.

Born in Naples in 1928, he covered the Nuremberg trials after World War II and the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
C. Everett Koop-Understanding AIDS: Former surgeon general became a hero to AIDS activists during his time in the Reagan administration.
C. Everett Koop, the Ronald Reagan-appointed surgeon general who would go on to become a hero to AIDS activists, died yesterday in New Hampshire at the age of 96. Koop, who was both a pediatric surgeon and evangelical Christian, will be remembered for a number of things--his high-profile crusade against smoking; his role as Life Alert spokesman--but the part of his legacy that will likely last the longest is his efforts to draw attention to the then-emerging AIDS epidemic. As the New York Times reminds us, AIDS had just been discovered in the United States when Koop was awaiting confirmation in 1981, but it would soon sweep the country with more than 100 cases reported in the weeks that followed


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2013 at 02:39:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile in Swedish schools:
Hur blir man matematisk?
How do you become mathematical?
Vi är redan matematiska och det vi gör är redan matematiskt. Det gäller bara att få syn på det.We are already mathematical and what we do is already mathematical. you just have to become aware of it.
För att överbrygga könsstereotypa gränser prövade pedagogen bland annat att tillsammans med barnen göra en "snowboarddans". Barnen kom fram till att det var en dans som inte kunde betraktas som vare sig "killig" eller "tjejig" och att snowboarddans nu var "det nya coola". Samtidigt hade de använt sig av matematiska beräkningar som form, vinklar, hastighet och rotationer.To bridge gender stereotype gaps, the teacher tried making up a snow board dance with the children. The children concluded that it was a dance that could not be considered "boy-ish" or "girl-ish" and that snow board dancing was the "new coool". At the same time they had used mathemathical calculations such as shape, angles, speed and rotations.
Jämställdhet och demokrati hänger ihop
Equality and democracy are linked
Alla skolans läromedel ska förses med särskilda klisterlappar där man kan markera hur könsmedveten boken är. Rött står för "könsblind, stereotyp", gul för "könsmedveten men påverkad av normer" och grönt för "inkluderande, genusmedveten".All school materials should be marked with special stickers by which you can indicate how gender aware the book is. Red means "gender blind, stereotype", yellow means "gender aware but affected by norms" and green means "inclusive, gender aware".

The last bit is included in materials used to train the next batch of teachers.

(Man alive, this translation extension is powerful stuff.)


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So that's where the term "Red States" comes from.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 09:43:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you not see already the Right in the US and UK working themselves into a frenzy for when the first suggestion of this occurs in one of their teaching colleges

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 10:26:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point was
a) that this is exactly the same as disclaimer stickers on books containing texts on evolution.
b) that it's being done in an environment where boys are already behind, but every conversation from government level down is on how it's the boys' own fault and extra resources are being spent on girls.
c) resources are spent on this while results are dropping across the board, rather than on core competencies.

It has nothing to do with what most of the world would call "equality" and everything to do with conformist politics.

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:48:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Top 5 Myths About Girls, Math and Science.

The days of sexist science teachers and Barbies chirping that "math class is tough!" are over, according to pop culture, but a government program aimed at bringing more women and girls into science, technology, engineering and math fields suggests otherwise.

This is subtle stuff:  

... women often perceive "Bs" as inadequate grades and drop out, while men with "Cs" will persist with the class.

Girls aren't bad at science, technology, engineering, and math.  They think they are bad at science, technology, engineering, and math.  Cutting through a whole bunch of crap ... one a person thinks they are bad at something, they don't spend the time needed to get good at it.

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

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:27:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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