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6 February 2013

by ceebs Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 03:48:24 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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EUROPE


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 5th, 2013 at 01:47:35 PM EST
BBC News - Surrey woman left without care dies in hospital

A woman in her 80s left at home in Surrey without medication, food, or water for nine days after a care agency shut down has died in hospital.

Gloria Foster was admitted to Epsom Hospital nearly two weeks ago after being found at her home in Banstead.

Her home care provider, Carefirst24 in Sutton, south London, closed after a raid by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

Surrey County Council said Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board was investigating "this tragic event".



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 5th, 2013 at 01:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Care has been shunted off to private firms with no supervision. People in need have little or no recourse and no one to even contact if, as here, the "care provider" disappears.

No one is responsible.

Except New Labour and the Tory/LibDem coalition.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:07:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Privatisation.

The same thing will happen if services are handed over en masse to charities.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:10:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Gay marriage an important step forward, says PM

Same-sex marriage is "an important step forward" and will "make our society stronger", David Cameron has said.

The prime minister's intervention came shortly before MPs are due to vote on plans to legalise gay marriage in England and Wales.

A number of Conservative MPs have spoken out against the plans - one calling the idea "Orwellian".

But Mr Cameron said he backed marriage for all couples because it was right and it promoted commitment.



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 5th, 2013 at 02:00:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Twitter / BenPBradshaw: MPs vote overwhelmingly 400 ...
MPs vote overwhelmingly 400 to 175 to support #equalmarriage - interesting number will be how Tory vote split


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 5th, 2013 at 02:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Gay marriage: Party leaders welcome MPs' backing for bill
Voting lists show that 136 Conservatives - almost half of the party's MPs - opposed the bill.

This figure included two cabinet ministers - Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Welsh Secretary David Jones - eight junior ministers, and eight whips.

Of the remaining Conservative MPs, 127 were in favour, 35 did not vote, and five registered an abstention by voting both in favour and against.

In other countries, for a prime minister, not getting the majority of one's own party members can be grounds for resignation...

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

by DoDo on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 02:33:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Irish PM: Magdalene laundries product of harsh Ireland

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has apologised for the stigma and conditions suffered by women who were inmates of the Magdalene laundries.

Mr Kenny said the laundries had operated in a "harsh and uncompromising Ireland," but he stopped short of a formal apology from the government.

About 10,000 women passed through the laundries in the Irish Republic between 1922 and 1996, a report has revealed.

The laundries were Catholic-run workhouses that operated in Ireland.



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 5th, 2013 at 02:01:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Magdalene laundries » Butterflies and Wheels

The report on the Magdalene laundries in Ireland is out.

Between 1922 and 1996 around 10,000 women are known to have entered Magdalen laundries, working for no pay in what were lonely and frightening places.

Senator McAleese and his committee were asked to outline the extent of state involvement and knowledge of the women in these laundries.

In each of the five categories it examined, it found evidence of state involvement. Most notably, 26% of the women who entered the laundries were referred there by the state.

The authorities also inspected the laundries, funded them, and registered the departures and deaths of the women there.

But it found that there was a legal basis for the state's involvement as many of the women were referred by the courts as a condition of probation, or under supervision after enrolment in industrial schools.

Many but not all. That means that some were there without due process. That means they were unlawfully held prisoner - in an institution the state was partly involved with. It's incredibly sinister.



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 5th, 2013 at 02:11:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Magdalen laundries is a poster example of what can be expected when the state supports a 'faith based' charity to perform social work that it should be doing itself. Christan charity indeed! More like judgmental hazing.

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 6th, 2013 at 12:01:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Burgas attacks: EU's Ashton makes no mention of Hezbollah | EurActiv

In a statement, Ashton said that "reflection" and "serious assessment" were needed over the outcome of an investigation by Bulgarian authorities into the terrorist attack that destroyed a bus at the airport of Burgas on 18 July, killing five Israeli tourists.

Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov has today (5 February) linked the attack to Hezbollah, saying that two individuals with links to Lebanon's militant group were involved in the bomb attack.

"We have established that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah," Tsvetanov said. "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects." The two, he said, have lived in Lebanon between 2006 and 2010.

According to Tsvetanov, the pair held genuine passports from Australia and Canada, adding that Bulgaria had requested cooperation from the law enforcement authorities in those countries and Lebanon.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:52:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Hezbollah linked to Burgas bus bombing in Bulgaria

A bus bombing that killed five Israelis and a driver in Bulgaria was most likely the work of Lebanon's Hezbollah militants, Bulgarian officials say.

The attack, in the Black Sea resort of Burgas in July 2012, was carried out by a bomber who died at the scene.

A six-month probe uncovered "obvious links" to Lebanon and Hezbollah, prompting criticism from Israel's prime minister and a top US official



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 5th, 2013 at 03:37:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Greece orders seamen back to work on 6th day of strike

The Greek government has invoked emergency powers to order maritime workers back to work after a six-day strike cut traffic to the islands.

Merchant Marine Minister Costas Mousouroulis said everything had been done to meet strikers' demands and he accused them of "petty politics".

One trade union leader has reportedly said that strikers will tear up the order and continue their action.

Workers who defy the order face jail terms of three months to five years.



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 5th, 2013 at 03:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CEPS: More evidence that financial markets imposed excessive austerity in the eurozone (05 February 2013)
In this Commentary, Paul De Grauwe and Yuemei Ji provide evidence to suggest that movements in the spreads in the eurozone - i.e. the difference between national government bond rates and the German rate - between 2010 and the middle of 2012, when the ECB announced its OMT (outright monetary transactions) programme, were driven by market sentiment. Later as the fear and panic subsided, thanks largely to the announcement of the ECB, these spreads declined spectacularly. On this basis, the authors argue that the timing and the intensity of the austerity programmes in the periphery eurozone member states have been dictated too much by market sentiment instead of being the outcome of rational decision-making processes.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 04:22:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Did Rajoy's tax amnesty help those indicted in the party finance scandal? (06.02.2013)
The investigating judge in the party funding scandal in Spain has asked the finance ministry, whether 21 people indicted have benefitted from the government's tax amnesty; question arose after two of those indicted are using the tax amnesty to evade penalties; Spain's tax authorities say that a false declaration would invalidate a claim to the amnesty; El Pais has surrendered the documents it has obtained and published to the anti-corruption prosecutor, but said the identify of the source has not been compromised; the European Commission has tightened an anti money-laundering directive, extending the concept of political exposed persons to include EU-residents, which was not the case before; David Gardner draws a parallel with a party funding scandal in the 1990s, which was ultimately resolved at the ballot box; Fitch said Spanish banks have increased their loan loss provisions in 2012, but big risks remain for 2013; Pier Luigi Bersani calls for an alliance with Mario Monti, as Silvio Berlusconi's position in the polls strengthens; Monti responded that he, too, was open to an alliance with anyone who offered reforms; also said he was in favour of a gradual fall in taxes this year; the PdL accuses Monti of deliberately manipulating financial markets to improve his position; the latest SWG poll has the centre-left at 33.6%, the centre-right at 28.1%, Monti at 13.3%, with 60% still undecided; Bersani has gone to Berlin to say that is a true European; the IMF says Bank of Italy is not to blame for the Monte dei Paschi di Siena scandal; Italy's court of auditors say high taxes had contributed to the current problems, and said they must fall; temporary staff layoff in Italy reached an all-time high in January; Francois Hollande says he favours an activist exchange rate policy; Germany's economics minister Philip Rösler wants the exact opposite; Reuters Breakingviews makes the point that Hollande will not be the first French president to demand exchange rate management, nor will he be the last one; another plagiarism scandal has rocked Germany, as a university withdraws a PhD from Merkel's science minister; there is more bad news for the coalition as a controversial prestige infrastructure project is on the rocks; a desperate FDP wants to turn the threat of inflation into an election issue, coupled with a demand of a permanent seat of the Bundesbank in the ECB's governing council; Fitch has put the Dutch triple-A rating on a negative outlook; the Greek government has invoked a civil mobilization order against sailors on strike, forcing them to return to work; eurozone retail sales fall in December; purchasing managers index improves in January, but not in France; Paul De Grauwe and Yuemei Yi argue that eurozone austerity was market driven and not though out well; The Greek fascist Golden Dawn party, meanwhile, has set up a cell in Nuremberg of all places.


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 6th, 2013 at 03:55:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence:
The politics of the Rajoy scandal

David Gardner, in the FT, asks the real big question behind the Gurtel affair: what is the ultimate political impact? He starts by saying that this is part of a long lineage of party finance scandals, recalling a scam in the mid-1990s, when the then-ruling Socialists collected large corporate donations for fictitious consultancy. He says Mariano Rajoy's main line of defence that he will now publish his tax returns is pointless, since the whole point of covert payments is not to declare them. He says there are parallels between the 1990s and the present scandal, but the biggest difference is the political environment - the country is now in a depression. The old case took six years to resolve legally, and was ultimately resolved politically when voters threw out the Socialist government.



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 6th, 2013 at 04:03:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
David Gardner: Rajoy scandal threatens political rupture (February 5, 2013)
In the mid-'90s, a new generation of the centre-right PP was ready to take over from the tired and tarnished Socialists. Now, a PP back in power for barely a year risks implosion, but the Socialists, demoralised and divided regionally as well as ideologically, are in retreat.

If elections were to take place now, Spain could face Greek-style political fragmentation, with the two main parties reduced to something like the diminished size of Greece's conservative New Democracy and former prime minister George Papandreou's Pasok (which, like the PP, also had a recently won absolute majority).

Two decades ago Spaniards were enamoured of Europe. Now, amid the compound devastation wrought by the fiscal, banking and euro crises, the EU is "like a wicked stepmother", one Spanish analyst says.



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 6th, 2013 at 04:07:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The best democracy money can buy.

Still - at least this explains why the economic policies promoted across Europe are 'irrational.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:34:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone speaks about Rajoy, but what about Aznar? Could he have been unaffected?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:18:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are allegation that Aznar put the whole system in place. He has sued for defamation.

However, Aznar is relatively unimportant because he's not a sitting Prime Minister, of a Member of Parliament. He's, in fact, mostly associated with Bernie Ecclestone and Rupert Murdoch. He exudes greed.

He remains the honorary president of the PP, and chairs a thonk tink called FAES which is a reliable and regular source of policy drivel. But he's politically unimportant at this point.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 11:01:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's Aznar's spider-in-the-web think-tankery I had in mind. If that would hinder FAES from becoming another Timbro, taking Aznar down might have political importance.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 01:12:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romanians respond to Britain's anti-British campaign:

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 04:18:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, fond memories of the "Polish plumber" controversy, and the Polish tourist board's counter-attack.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 04:24:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not fair to Romanian women.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:09:35 AM 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 5th, 2013 at 01:48:26 PM EST
France's Hollande warns against major EU budget cuts | News | DW.DE | 05.02.2013

Speaking in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France's President Francois Hollande warned Tuesday that cuts to the EU's trillion-euro budget must not be allowed to undercut fragile growth.

His speech comes days before EU leaders negotiate the 2014-20 budget in Brussels after a failed summit in November.

"Yes, make cuts but weaken the economy, no," Hollande said, stressing that the new budget must also "support the most vulnerable, those most exposed to the crisis, the poorest."

When talks resume on Thursday, British Prime Minister David Cameron will lead a group of net contributors, including Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, in demanding the deep spending cuts, which dissolved talks in November.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What Hollande said :

"Yes, make cuts save money but weaken the economy, no,"

"Faire des économies oui, affaiblir l'économie non !"

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 04:05:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to which interpreter in Brussels the DW has listened to...
by Nomad on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 07:14:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beautiful. Makes me wish I could still speak French.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 07:21:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweden proves that private profit improves services and influences policy | Society | The Guardian

Is it a law of nature that financial crises must result in political gridlock? The answer is no. Swedish experience shows that unions can be constructive agents of change, even in times of severe economic turbulence.

Swedish school reform, which pioneered free schools run by parents, has had a profound influence on UK education policy, first on the Labour government and now on the coalition. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wants to find land for new free schools in London, and conservative modernisers press for even more radical measures. According to the press reports, a proposal to allow profit-making companies to run state schools is a "frontrunner for inclusion in the Tory manifesto" for the 2015 election.

That these proposals encounter resistance is no surprise to those of us who have tried - with success - to slim down and modernise the public sector by bringing in profit-making enterprises.

When Sweden embarked on the road to radical, liberal welfare reform in 1991, the left was firmly against it. Yet, as more and more people who deliver welfare services went from having a public sector to a private sector employer, attitudes started to shift.

...

* Karin Svanborg-Sjövall is project manager for welfare at Swedish thinktank Timbro and author of Private choice in the public sector: the new Swedish welfare model.

What's up with the evangelical zeal of neolib propagandists from Sweden? And why is it The Guardian who has to publish them?

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

by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Study Shows Germany Wasting Billions on Failed Family Policy - SPIEGEL ONLINE
A study commissioned by the German government has reached a damning verdict on the country's efforts to boost its low birth rate, saying billions of euros are being wasted on complex benefits and tax breaks that are largely ineffective and in some cases counterproductive.

Europe's largest economy spends some €200 billion ($270 billion) on promoting children and families per year -- that's almost two-thirds of the federal budget. But its birth rate, at 1.39 births per woman aged 15 to 49, remains among the lowest in Europe and compares with an Office of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average of 1.74.

...The German government ordered a detailed cost-benefit study of its family policies five years ago. The panel of experts led by Basel-based consultancy Prognos has completed a 66-page interim report that SPIEGEL has seen.

...The government had pledged to release the findings in the current parliamentary term. But officials no longer seem in a hurry and it might not be made public before the September general election. That may be because the study supports calls by the opposition center-left Social Democrats and Greens for a massive expansion in preschool facilities and all-day schools, as well as caps on tax benefits for married couples.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:51:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely. School hours and daycare availability are absolutely crucial, no doubt the strongest drivers of the fecundity rate in developed economies.

If it's a stark choice between having babies and having a salary, few women have a real choice.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 04:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The study, which was leaked by the ministry of finance, harps on something else though: the free health care of family members. The authors of the study can't see that families have more children because women can get free health care as long as the husband is insured. Well, that never was the intention of the law, but hey, who cares.

So Schäuble wants to scrap this provision. From then on many unemployed will lose health care insurance and will be forced to accept absolutely every job offer, no matter how it is paid.

by Katrin on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:03:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that's the necessary modernisation of the economy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:19:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Free schools work fine. For the middle class. If you can get on the waiting list at birth. And you don't care too much about how your results measure up internationally.

Wikipedia lists Timbro as "libertarian". Arguably they are to the right of the current right-of-centre government.

They key point in pharmacy, health care, etc. reforms has always been that someone should be able to make a profit.

In the comments, Kim Bergström makes several points better than I could:

Everyone reading this should be aware that it is a propaganda piece written by a far right wing think tank. It bears little or no resemblance to the Sweden I live in.

[...] I have not run across even one school run by parents. Instead, more and more schools are run by national corporations, which can achieve economics of scale a parent-run school couldn't even begin to dream about.

Private schools also cut corners by finding ingenious ways of not having to accept kids with special needs. They also more often than not dispense with such "extras" as school libraries and school nurses.
[...]
The total lack of control over who runs a school has led to constantly increasing measures of centralised state control over details of how schools are run, in an effort to curb the worst problems. Heck, even right-of-centre school minister wants to centralise control over the school sector.

So, the so called free school reform not only have led to lower scores by swedish kids, it has also led to less freedom for schools.
[...]
The same goes for the welfare sector. Private companies make windfalls "coaching" unemployed people in ever more creative (but completely unsuccessful) ways. There is not one week without some sad story about private caregivers failing to give, like, care.
[...]
Written by a think tank to the right of even the most rightwing of the political parties.
[...]

One commenter links to this report (two-three years ago). I'll just cherry pick from the conclusions:

1. The Swedish experiment (using for-profit private providers) has proved expensive and has not led to significant learning gains overall.
2. At the same time the Swedish reforms, albeit on a small scale, appear to have increased inequality, even in the context of this very egalitarian system.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:33:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some Pointers from the ET Past concerning Timbro:

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 06:11:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama pushes for government spending cuts delay - Xinhua | English.news.cn

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to delay massive government spending cuts in the near term, saying government budget policies will have effects on U.S. economic growth.

Drastic government spending cuts will cost jobs to be created and slow down the economic growth pace, Obama said at a White House press conference on Tuesday.

"We can't cut our way to prosperity," he told reporters.



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 5th, 2013 at 03:41:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"We can't cut our way to prosperity," he told reporters.

American exceptionalism, no doubt.

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 6th, 2013 at 12:18:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm pissing myself.

Ah, Euro-elite wisdom...

by redstar on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 01:07:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great sig line!

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 6th, 2013 at 04:37:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S&P faces gov't lawsuit on ratings before financial crisis - Xinhua | English.news.cn

The U.S. Department of Justice intends to file a civil lawsuit against the Standard & Poor' s Rating Services (S&P) on its rating in 2007 of certain U.S. collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), the company confirmed on Monday.

This is the first lawsuit against a credit rating agency over potential wrongdoings related to the sub-mortgage crisis enforced by the Department of Justice and it may be the start of future government's charges against rating agencies.

In a statement, the S&P said it has been informed by the department on the issue, adding that a lawsuit initiated by the Department of Justice would be "entirely without factual or legal merit."



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 5th, 2013 at 03:42:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters: Euro zone bond clause highlights rich nation default risk (December 28, 2012)
When 10 wealthy countries first demanded legal provisions making it easier to restructure government bonds in a crisis, they never thought this would apply to their own debt.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 06:29:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]



Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 06:56:09 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 5th, 2013 at 01:49:25 PM EST
Arkansas Guns In Church Bill Passes In House Of Representatives
The Arkansas House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday to allow concealed-carry permit holders to take their weapons into churches, and it is expected to be signed into law by the state's governor.

The Church Protection Act would allow individual places of worship to decide whether to allow concealed handguns and who could carry them. The Republican-controlled House passed the bill 85-8 with bipartisan support. The measure previously passed the Republican-controlled Senate 28-4.

Arkansas joins a handful of other states, including South Carolina, Wyoming and Louisiana, that allow guns in churches, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


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 5th, 2013 at 02:07:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama makes direct appeal to gun owners in effort to sideline NRA | World news | guardian.co.uk

President Barack Obama took his push for tighter gun controls on the road with a Monday visit to the midwest in which he appealed directly to gun owners to back "commonsense" measures.

As part of efforts to address America's "epidemic" of gun violence, Obama reiterated in Minneapolis his demand for a ban on assault weapons and on ammunition clips of more than 10 rounds.

He also sought to sideline the National Rifle Association (NRA) by saying that lobbyists in Washington did not speak for the majority of gun owners in their attempts to block universal background checks.

"The overwhelming majority of gun owners think it is a good idea. So if we've got lobbyists in Washington claiming to speak for gun owners saying something different, we need to go to the source and reach out to people directly," Obama said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FBI told to leave Iceland - Took a boy with them

Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks spokesperson, said last week that representatives from the FBI came to Iceland in August 2011. The Icelandic Minister of the Interior confirmed this the same day and said that when he became aware of the FBI in Iceland he cancelled all cooperation with the FBI and told the representatives to leave.

Mr. Hrafnsson said that the FBI came to Iceland to investigate Wikileaks. In an announcement from the Icelandic police it was stated that the FBI agents were here because of an imminent attack on the Ministry Offices in Iceland. The FBI agents interrogated one person regarding Wikileaks and the computer attacks. That person was interrogated at the US embassy in Iceland and then taken to Washington where he was interrogated for four more days. It was also mentioned in the announcement from the police that the person who was interrogated came willingly forward to the embassy.

The FBI agents interrogated the man, who is twenty years old, for five days after the Ministry of the Interior declined to cooperate with the FBI.



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 5th, 2013 at 03:16:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brussels conference focuses on Mali roadmap - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Delegations from the African Union, United Nations, European Union and the West African regional body ECOWAS, among others, have been meeting in Brussels to discuss Mali's future. 

The rapid progress of French-led military forces against al-Qaeda-linked rebels in the country's north has now put diplomatic focus on how to ensure lasting peace in the country.

Tuesday's talks focused on giving delegates an update on the military situation and humanitarian affairs, Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan reported from Brussels.



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 5th, 2013 at 03:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French hostages complicate Mali mission - MALI - FRANCE 24
French fighter jets bombed Islamist militant bases in northern Mali on Monday in a drive to disrupt supply routes and flush out combatants in hiding. Yet operations have been complicated by the fact that it is believed the retreating Islamists are holding seven French hostages who were originally kidnapped in Mali and Niger in 2011 and 2012.

The offensive came as France and the US called for African-led forces to swiftly take over military operations in Mali as French-led efforts to retake the north from Islamist control continued for a third week. Troops have made significant gains against militants since the campaign began on January 11, forcing them to retreat from major cities in the north like Timbuktu and Gao. They have also carried out major air strikes targeting logistics and training centres in Mali's northeastern mountains, which lie near the border with Algeria.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 04:24:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - France: Hundreds of Islamist militants killed in Mali

"Several hundred" Islamist militants have been killed since France launched an offensive in Mali last month, the French defence minister has said.

...The militants died in French airstrikes on vehicles carrying fighters and materials, or in ground fighting in the town of Konna at the start of the campaign and later in the town of Gao, Mr Le Drian said.

...French experts earlier suggested the Islamist alliance could probably muster about 3,000 fighters overall.

...Meanwhile, pro-autonomy Tuareg rebels in Mali said they had occupied the north-eastern town of Menaka, but their claim could not be verified.

Analysts say the rebels - who initially joined forces with the Islamist rebels in their fight for an independent state in northern Mali, but later fell out with them - are seeking to maximise their territorial claim on the region ahead of talks.

As with US airstrikes, the question is, how many of those "vehicles carrying fighters and materials" were actually civilian refugees (Tuaregs fleeing ethnic cleansing, for example).

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

by DoDo on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 02:30:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The documented cases of ethnic cleansing concerned the Malian army in the first couple of towns recaptured, in the first days of the French intervention. I haven't seen any information of any other incidents.

If there were civilians killed by air strikes as you suggest, we'll hear about it eventually.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 04:14:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's this tone of denial? No, the reports I saw weren't just about the Malian army, nor just the first few towns, nor just the first few days.

'We can't live without Arabs, Tuaregs': Timbuktu mayor

After the French and Malian troops moved into the city last Monday, hundreds of Timbuktu residents looted Arab-owned shops they said belonged to "terrorists" -- in some cases finding arms and military equipment, but also carting off TVs, food and furniture.

One man living in a former bank converted by the extremists into the headquarters of a "committee of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice" was dragged out by hysterical residents who tried to lynch him before Malian troops intervened and arrested him.

Rights groups have reported summary executions of Arabs and Tuaregs in other parts of northern Mali.

In a TV report I saw, the on-ground reporter estimated that about a third of the city fled.

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

by DoDo on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:42:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Rights groups have reported summary executions of Arabs and Tuaregs in other parts of northern Mali.

I think that is a reference to the early incidents eurogreen mentioned. Officially at least, the Malian army has since been instructed to cease all such acts. (Note that in the Timbuktu incident related, the Malian army prevented the lynching).

As for looting and inter-ethnic violence in Timbuktu, there is all the same a fair case for saying that the majority of the local population had been subjected to a violent and oppressive regime for some time, and such reactions are hardly surprising.

I'm more concerned by civil population on the run getting hit by air strikes, as you have suggested elsewhere. The French Defence Minister Le Drian said yesterday that France was engaged in constant warfare striking "terrorists" from the air. Clinical precision yet again, no doubt...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 02:48:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember reading reports that the jihadist leadership escaped from one side of Gao while French troops were entering from the other side. I wondered at the time why they were not taken out by helicopter or whatever; the answer, I suppose, is that they were shielded by a stream of ethnic refugees.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 04:04:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that in the Timbuktu incident related, the Malian army prevented the lynching

Yes, I quoted that part to contradict eurogreen's claim.

as you have suggested elsewhere

Not elsewhere but in this thread: eurogreen's original reply was just to that :-)

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

by DoDo on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 01:08:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ten sentenced over China 'black jails' - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

Ten people have been sentenced to prison for illegally detaining petitioners who had travelled to Beijing, to appeal to the government, state media reported, in a possible sign the government is trying to rein in abuses.

The group rounded up 11 petitioners from Henan province in April 2012, Xinhua news agency said, and illegally detained them in a courtyard in Beijing for several days.



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 5th, 2013 at 03:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Plate spinning" is the wrong image but the first thing I thought of.

More like a balancing act:
Too many protesters - put some in jail.
Too much protest about illegal jails - visibly put some officials in jail.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:45:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
John Brennan faces grilling over leaked drone memo as senators demand answers | World news | guardian.co.uk

John Brennan, Barack Obama's nominee for CIA director, will come under renewed pressure at his confirmation hearing on Thursday to justify the targeted killing of US citizens in drone strikes, following the leak of a secret summary of the White House rationale for one its most controversial policies.

Senators angered by the lack of transparency over the legal basis for targeting Americans are planning to demand more details from Brennan, currently the White House counter-terrorism chief and a key architect of Obama's drones policy.

The white paper leaked on Monday night, and dating from 2011, was shown to senators several weeks ago, but failed to allay their concerns. It was made public by NBC and justifies the killing of US citizens who are senior members of al-Qaida and pose an "imminent threat of violent attack" against America.



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 5th, 2013 at 03:46:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...so extra-judicial killing is a scandal when it hits own citizens?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 04:21:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really, sadly.

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 6th, 2013 at 12:29:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CIA rendition: more than a quarter of countries 'offered covert support' | World news | guardian.co.uk

A 213-page report compiled by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organisation, says that at least 54 countries co-operated with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe.

..."There is no doubt that high-ranking Bush administration officials bear responsibility for authorising human rights violations associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition, and the impunity that they have enjoyed to date remains a matter of significant concern," the report says.

"But responsibility for these violations does not end with the United States. Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 04:24:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Indian women pushed into hysterectomies
Thousands of Indian women are having their wombs removed in operations that campaigners say are unnecessary and only performed to make money for unscrupulous private doctors.
[...]
The doctors generally charge around $200 for the operation, which often means the families have to sell cattle and other assets to raise the money.
[...]
Once the removed uterus - and any biopsy tissue - has been destroyed, it becomes hard to prove that the operation wasn't justified.
[...]
The women often say the doctors frightened them into surgery by saying the uterus was cancerous. But in many cases, the diagnosis was made on the basis of a single ultrasound scan - which, according to independent doctors, cannot justify a decision to operate.
[...]
This follows the rapid expansion of small private clinics and hospitals, especially in remote rural areas that are poorly served by the government health system.
[...]
in some states, critics say the scheme appears to be encouraging unnecessary hysterectomies, as unethical private clinics exploit the vulnerable poor, using them as a means to tap into government funds.

(Right, that was my moment of blinding rage for today.)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 06:05:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For profit medical care at its finest.

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 6th, 2013 at 12:30:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that, having seen something fail, they pursue it nonetheless.

Monkey see, monkey do.

All in the service of capital.

by redstar on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 01:20:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It all follows pretty directly from allowing the wealthy to dominate campaign contributions. Instead of thinking of what the electorate wants and needs politicians must first think of what the contributors want, and that turns out to be quick profits without any accountability. Too few understand just how effectively this allows a wealthy few to control the entire society for their own benefit.

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 6th, 2013 at 04:26:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This seems to follow a decades-long Indian 'tradition' of schemes for involuntary sterilisation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:31:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More from the Orthodox front. You may have heard about the Scarfe cartoon showing Palestinians being crushed by the wall. The Sunday Times has apologized in case anyone thought it anti-Israeli or antisemitic, but they didn't apologize for a much more serious problem: Some of the Palestinans are women. Here's Hamodia's corrected version:

Meanwhile, a baby opened a drawer blocking the door to the room he (I hope...) was in, and the fire brigade had to be called to get into the room. The problem was that the drawer he opened contained women's shoes. Here is the corrected version and the original:

Both stories from Failed Messiah. By the way, the Israeli Knesset now has a record number of women. There may be job openings for Photoshop experts....

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 02:11:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. IKEA is in good (bad) company it seems.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Feb 7th, 2013 at 04:42:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No links; My information comes mostly from reading Ha'aretz in Hebrew (I've give up checking if the articles are free in English)

  • Lapid seems to have trapped himsefl in a Coalitiion of Likud Our Home, The Jewish Home and There is a Future. He's refused consdering the "left" or the "Zouabis". He als says he plans to be Prime Minister in 2 years. All iof this means that everybody else wants to destroy him and he's excluded possbile allies
  • Bennett (Jewish Home) has made occassional noises about how it might not be a disaster if they don't recruit the Orthodox. So while he's stiil aligned with Lapid, he might be looking for other options. One probelm: Foe some reason, Netanyahu's wife is alleged not to stand him.

  • Netanhayu has also been reaching out a bit to the "left", maybe to outmanouever Lapid.
  • So it's a real mess. Pretty much anything can happen (but wth Netyahu as PM).

    by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 02:30:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    it's the 10 year anniversary of Colon Bowel lying his ass off at the UN and leading The Empire to illegally invade Iraq. A piece from today's Democracy Now!

      http://www.democracynow.org/2013/2/6/decade_after_iraq_wmd_speech_at

    Hilarious, I tell you, hilarious!

    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 Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 02:33:54 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    A Tiny Revolution: Lie After Lie: What Colin Powell Knew Ten Years Ago Today and What He Said
    As much criticism as Powell has received for this--he calls it "painful" and something that will "always be a part of my record"--it hasn't been close to what's justified. Powell was much more than just horribly mistaken: he fabricated "evidence" and ignored repeated warnings that what he was saying was false.


    Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
    by generic on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 04:49:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I don't know why Colin Powell is so admired.  I have always thought of him as the biggest ass kicker I could imagine, and his career backs up this view.
    by stevesim on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 04:57:15 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 5th, 2013 at 01:50:10 PM EST
    In move towards trade talks, EU to lift ban on some US meats | EurActiv

    Brussels and Washington want to deepen a relationship that accounts for a third of global trade, and ending the EU import ban on live pigs and beef washed in lactic acid is meant to show the Europeans are serious about a deal.

    The ban will be lifted from 25 February, dropping European objections that were based on differing hygiene and husbandry methods in meat production. US farmers have long regarded these concerns as unscientific.

    The EU may also consider easing restrictions on imports of American animal fat, known as tallow, used in biofuels.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:53:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Cameron pushes energy efficiency as motor of green growth | EurActiv

    The UK must prioritise growth in "green industries" such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, David Cameron said on Monday. The remarks are likely to antagonise those Tory MPs who have campaigned for cuts to green energy subsidies and the watering down of climate targets.

    The prime minister has come under fire from environmentalists for a perceived lack of leadership on environmental issues, with the chief executive of WWF UK, David Nussbaum, warning in November "he seems to have lost his voice" and that his "continued silence would be a betrayal not just of election promises, but of the UK national interest." Last week, former US vice president Al Gore said he was "worried there are influences in his party that have backed him [Cameron] off [action on climate change]."

    But speaking at the low-profile launch of an energy efficiency programme on Monday, Cameron said that "to those who say we just can't afford to prioritise green energy right now, my view is we can't afford not to".

    He said the "green deal" loan scheme launched in January, which has attracted criticism for high interest rates and upfront fees, would cut carbon emissions and bills, and create jobs.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:53:53 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The 'green deal' replaces the previous free insulation and PV subsidies with that free-market favourite of thugs everywhere, the high interest loan.

    So not so green, and not much of a deal.

    Tying Cameron to green energy is a bad thing. He's not Mr Popular with anyone, including a good majority of his party. So he's not going to make it any easier for the UK to move to a green economy.

    by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:39:21 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Has triangulation ever worked from the right?
    Which voters is he targeting? Do they even exist?


    -----
    sapere aude
    by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:50:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    China was world's largest wind market in 2012 | Bloomberg New Energy Finance

    London and Hong Kong, 31 January 2013 -China was the world's largest wind market in 2012 in terms of annual installed capacity, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The country installed 15.9GW of onshore turbines, or more than one-third of all new capacity worldwide. 2012 was the fourth successive year China led the field since overtaking the US in 2009. The US, which had record installations of 13.2GW last year, still installed 14% fewer turbines than China.

    Wind energy has become China's third-largest energy source, behind coal and hydropower. China now has 61GW of cumulative grid-connected wind energy capacity - 5.3% of the country's total nameplate - and generates 2% of its total electricity . Wind's new place in China's power sector comes despite an 18% decline in annual installations, from 2011's record of 19.3GW, as many projects were delayed due to grid connection issues, leaving many companies in the supply chain suffering from late payments and subsidies.

    China's total new power generation additions from all sources last year exceeded 80GW, more than the entire power generation capacity of Australia or Mexico. The other main sources of new capacity were as follows: thermal 50.7GW, hydro 15.5GW, nuclear 0.7GW, and solar 1.2GW.

    During 2012, new financial investment in wind in China also fell 12% to $27.2bn, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data, although the falling cost of wind energy means that the same dollar amount of investment committed during 2012 will finance 10% more megawatts than had it been committed during 2011. New financial investment is a powerful leading indicator of construction activity, since it leads the completion of onshore wind farms by up to two years. However, Bloomberg New Energy Finance data shows that 15GW - a full 20% of China's wind capacity - remains unconnected to the grid.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:54:07 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    New Rail Traffic Data Reflects Big Shift Away From Coal | Climate Central

    The recent shift away from coal and toward natural gas to generate electricity in the U.S. has had major impacts across the country, from rapid economic growth and pollution concerns in rural Pennsylvania and Ohio to lost jobs in the coal-mining belt of Appalachia. So, too, has the record expansion in U.S. oil production from newly accessible deposits, such as the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. crude oil production increased by a record 780,000 barrels of oil per day in 2012.

    Now another ripple effect can be added to the list of energy market-related shifts, with data from freight railroad operators showing a major decline in the amount of coal transported by train in the U.S. in 2012, at the same time as oil shipments have dramatically increased. That is significant since most of the coal that is burned by U.S. power plants is shipped via rail, so the drop in coal transport clearly reflects the broader market trends. The trend may be concerning to freight rail operators, since according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), "no single commodity is more important to America's railroads than coal." Coal accounted for 43.3 percent of freight rail tonnage and 24.7 percent of rail gross revenue in 2011, AAR said on its 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 5th, 2013 at 03:05:27 PM 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 5th, 2013 at 01:50:35 PM EST
    FIFA reaffirms racism sanctions against Hungary and Bulgaria | Sports | DW.DE | 05.02.2013

    FIFA has rejected appeals from Hungary and Bulgaria to drop racism sanctions. The two countries have been fined and ordered to play their next two home matches behind closed doors.

    ...Both Hungary and Bulgaria must play their next qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on March 22 - against Romania and Malta respectively - without fans.

    The MLZS, who were also fined 40,000 Swiss francs (32,550 euros, $44,00), were punished for anti-Semitic chants by Hungary fans in a friendly at home to Israel on August 15 (pictured above).

    The BFU - fined 35,000 Swiss francs - were sanctioned after a group of supporters racially abused Denmark's Patrick Mtliga every time he touched the ball after entering the match during their October 12 World Cup qualifier in Sofia.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:54:32 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    More internet regulation won't make children safer online: EU official | EurActiv
    Many initiatives have been implemented to protect children online, including an industry-led coalition which includes the likes of BT, Facebook, Google, Microsoft or Vodafone.

    The coalition commits several technological and media companies to provide wider options for parental control and to strengthen age-appropriate privacy settings.

    This is the way forward rather than censorship, said Robert Madelin, director general the European Commission's DG Connect.

    "Censorship is an issue which today in our society creates frontiers and is controversial. We are not going to legislate much in this. In this sort of area, I'm absolutely convinced that legislation will do a lot of harm and no good," Madelin said at a panel discussion at the College of Europe on 31 January.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:54:44 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Mostly worried about self-appointed do-gooder organisations like the Internet Watch Foundation who are accountable to no one.


    -----
    sapere aude
    by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 05:57:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Danish critic of Islam attacked by gunman | World news | guardian.co.uk

    A gunman has tried to shoot a Danish writer and prominent critic of Islam, but the writer managed to fend off his assailant and was not injured in the attack.

    Police said Lars Hedegaard, who heads two groups that claim press freedom is under threat from Islam, was the target of the shooting. In a brief statement, they said a roughly 25-year-old gunman rang the doorbell at the writer's Copenhagen home and when he opened the door, the gunman fired a shot aimed at his head, but missed.

    "After a scuffle the attacker fled. We do not know whether the police have apprehended him," the Danish Free Press Society said.

    Hedegaard, 70, heads both the Free Press Society and the International Free Press Society. He was fined 5,000 kroner (£570) in 2011 for making a series of insulting and degrading statements about Muslims.

    ...Hedegaard has expressed support for a range of outspoken critics of Islam in Europe, including the Swedish artist Lars Vilks and Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:55:03 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    `Unprecedented' Holocaust tribute by French imams - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

    At a time of growing racism and fear of Islam in France, we are saying `no, it is possible for us all to live together'," said Hassen Chalghoumi, who is imam for Drancy and France's first leading Muslim figure to call for reconciliation between religions.

    "Today, we are demonstrating that Islam in France is not necessarily subject to foreign influence or interference," he added. "Most French Muslims aren't fanatics. We represent an Islam that values human life; that rejects fundamentalism, racism and barbarity."

    Chalghoumi, labelled France's "Imam for the Jews" by his detractors, is head of the Conference of Imams in France, an unofficial organisation that is not recognised by the state-created French Council of the Muslim Faith.

    He caused controversy in 2010 in supporting then-president Nicolas Sarkozy's law banning Islamic veils that cover the entire face.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:55:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    First Saudi female director grabs spotlight - CINEMA - FRANCE 24

    It may tell a modest tale, but when Haifaa al-Mansour's "Wadjda" hits French screens on February 6 (and arrives in the UK this spring and the US this summer), it will make history.

    The story of a schoolgirl in Riyadh who enters a Koranic singing competition in the hope of winning money to buy a bicycle, the film is billed as the first-ever Saudi big-screen feature; it was shot entirely in Saudi Arabia with a Saudi cast and crew, and - most notably, given that women's rights in the Middle Eastern nation are severely restricted - was written and directed by a Saudi woman.

    38-year-old Mansour, who studied film in Australia and today lives in Bahrain with her American diplomat husband, made a name for herself in her native country thanks to a few short movies and a documentary that garnered attention on the international festival circuit.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:55:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Why the princes in the tower are staying six feet under | Science | The Guardian

    It is one of the great mysteries of English history. Did Richard III, the last of the Plantagenets, really murder the princes in the Tower as his Tudor successors, including their greatest propagandist, William Shakespeare, always alleged?

    Previously confidential correspondence reveals that the Church of England, with backing from the Queen and ministers, has repeatedly refused requests to carry out similar forensic tests to those used to identify the remains of Richard III this week to see if the bones buried in Westminster Abbey are those of Richard's two nephews.



    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 5th, 2013 at 03:46:04 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Facebook: two thirds of users log off for weeks at a time | Technology | guardian.co.uk

    Two thirds of Facebook users have taken a voluntary break from the site for several weeks or more, citing reasons ranging from "excessive gossip or drama from their friends" to "concerns about privacy", according to new research.

    But much as its critics might like to think otherwise, the world's most popular social network is showing no signs of losing its audience. The most common reason stated for taking a break is that users are too busy, following by "just wasn't interested" and that it's a "waste of time".

    According to a new survey published by the US Pew Research Center, only 4% of Facebook users cited privacy issues, with just 1% saying they did not like to share their lives via Facebook. Only 2% said they preferred to communicate face to face.



    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 5th, 2013 at 03:47:08 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Boing Boing: Games Workshop trademark bullying goes thermonuclear: now they say you can't use "space marine" in science fiction (Wednesday, February 6)
    ... now that they've started publishing ebooks, Games Workshop has begun to assert a trademark on the generic, widely used, very old term "space marine" in connection with science fiction literature.

    ...

    I used to own a registered trademark. I understand the legal obligations of trademark holders to protect their IP. A Games Workshop trademark of the term "Adeptus Astartes" is completely understandable. But they've chosen instead to co-opt the legacy of science fiction writers who laid the groundwork for their success. Even more than I want to save Spots the Space Marine, I want someone to save all space marines for the genre I grew up reading. I want there to be a world where Heinlein and E.E. Smith's space marines can live alongside mine and everyone else's, and no one has the hubris to think that they can own a fundamental genre trope and deny it to everyone else.

    ...

    ...

    Games Workshop's strategy is to make "space marine" less generic by launching high profile, bullying attacks on everyone who uses it, so that there will come a day when people hearing the phrase immediately conclude that it must be related to Games Workshop, because everyone know what colossal dicks they are whenever anyone else uses the phrase



    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 6th, 2013 at 09:28:56 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Huh.
    Smith's Lensman series was the first thing I thought of. Hadn't read that particular Heinlein. (Don't recall if the film mentions the phrase.)
    Actually predates Smith by perhaps two years.

    They'd lose in a US court .. eventually. But normal people don't have the money or the lawyers.

    -----
    sapere aude

    by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 09:58:10 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The only real solution is to vastly broaden and strengthen the 'public domain' concept and bring the effective period of copyright laws back to no more than 20 years. In the USA copyright is still in effect for works produced since 1923, if properly maintained, and it is far more expensive to fight bogus claims than to make them. There should be treble damages for bogus claims and the damages should be payable to those bringing the suits.

    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 6th, 2013 at 12:46:16 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The actual trademark doesn't mention books:
    Games; playthings; miniatures and models, all for use in war games; skirmish games or role play games; kits of parts for constructing models; all included in Class 28.

    (The classes are very strange. Here's 16:
    "Publications; books; magazines; comics; journals; printed matter; stationery; posters; pens; pencils; rulers; greeting cards; playing cards; paint brushes; adhesives; artists' materials; instructional and teaching materials; parts and fittings for all the aforesaid goods.")

    Can we please have laws and lawyers that don't exist in the 1950s/1850s?


    -----
    sapere aude

    by Number 6 on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 10:37:26 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Have to protect their "Intellectual Property!"  Just like a company in India:

    A dizzying story that involves falsified medical research, plagiarism, and legal threats came to light via a DMCA takedown notice today. Retraction Watch, a site that followed (among many other issues) the implosion of a Duke cancer researcher's career, found all of its articles on the topic pulled by WordPress, its host. The reason? A small site based in India apparently copied all of the posts, claimed them as their own, then filed a DMCA takedown notice to get the originals pulled from their source. As of now, the originals are still missing as their actual owners seek to have them restored.


    Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
    by ATinNM on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 11:59:42 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 5th, 2013 at 01:51:07 PM EST
    At last, women of Paris can wear the trousers (legally) after 200-year-old law is declared null and void - Europe - World - The Independent

    Since 7 November 1800, it has been technically illegal for a woman to wear trousers in Paris without a police permit. Just over a century ago, exceptions were introduced for women riding horses or bicycles. Otherwise, the by-law remained in force. Any woman wearing slacks, a trouser suit or jeans could, in theory, be "arrested and taken to police headquarters".

    The ministry of women's rights has finally proclaimed that the edict - applicable in Paris, not the rest of France - is unconstitutional.

    ...The by-law appears to have been introduced because French revolutionary women started to take "liberty" too seriously and demand the right to perform men's jobs and wear men's clothes. The law was last applied in the 1930s when the French Olympic committee stripped the French athlete Violette Morris of her medals because she insisted on wearing trousers.



    *Lunatic*, n.
    One whose delusions are out of fashion.
    by DoDo on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 02:55:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Another silly law bites the dust. Shame.

    At least France seems to have a few more:

    Dumb Laws in France. Crazy France Laws. We have weird laws, strange laws, and just plain crazy laws!

    It is illegal to kiss on railways in France.
    by Nomad on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 07:23:00 AM EST
    [ Parent ]


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