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9-10 February 2013

by DoDo Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:43:39 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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EUROPE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:36:17 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Breakthrough at EU budget summit

BRUSSELS - After eighteen hours of talks EU leaders early Friday morning (8 February) agreed to a total EU budget of €960 billion for the next seven years, which is smaller than the current €1 trillion budget.

The farm budget is to be cut from the current €421bn to €373bn. Cohesion funds, the second largest part of the budget, is to be cut from the current €355bn to €325bn.

If the overall figures are finally agreed, it would be the first time the bloc has cut its budget in its 56-year history.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:36:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU budget hawks succeed in €960-billion cap | EurActiv
Sub-heading 1a ("Competitiveness for growth and jobs") appears to be one of the biggest victims of the changes. The total level of commitments is now put at €125.7 billion, down from €152.5 billion in the earlier proposal.

The `Connecting Europe Facility' (CFE) is slashed from €41.2 billion to €29.3 billion.

Sectors that have been affected include transport (from €26.9 billion to €23.2 billion) and energy (from €7.1 billion to €5.1 billion).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:20:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Denmark receives €134-million rebate in new budget | EurActiv
The Danes are set to get a yearly rebate of 1 billion Danish crowns (€134 million), the country's first, according to the newest EU budget proposal by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

...Other EU states with big net contributions such as Britain, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria already get rebates.

...Janusz Lewandorski, the EU Commissioner for financial programming and the budget, told the Danish newspaper Politiken in January that a Danish rebate would "open a Pandora's box" and create an avalanche of demands for rebates from member states.

"You're the second richest country in the EU so in my book you are not entitled to a rebate," Lewandorski said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:36:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / EU parliament chief fires warning shot at budget hawks
BRUSSELS - MEPs will hold a secret ballot on any budget deal reached at the EU summit, European Parliament President Martin Schultz warned on Thursday (7 February), in the latest sign that MEPs are prepared to hang tough in talks with governments.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:37:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Murdoch apologises to the Duchess of York - Crime - UK - The Independent
The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, actors Hugh Grant and Christopher Eccleston, and the Catholic parish priest of singer Charlotte Church, Father Richard Reardon, were among 17 phone-hacking victims offered public apologies in the High Court  today by News International.

The "sincere" contrition and undisclosed "substantial" damages for a total of 144 cases, means that 26 victims of the News of the World's illegal phone-hacking activities, have yet to settle with Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper division in the latest wave of claims.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:37:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Phone hacking: Sarah Ferguson and Hugh Grant among 144 to win damages | Media | guardian.co.uk
However, he said that 26 cases remained on the books including six new cases but that "we ... anticipate that the number will be greatly reduced in the next few weeks." He said seven of these "appeared to be definitely going to trial".

Snip to nearly the end of the  article

Phone hacking: Sarah Ferguson and Hugh Grant among 144 to win damages | Media | guardian.co.uk

News International is still facing 26 damages claims, which were listed in court as those taken by the former nanny Louise Woodward; boxer Chris Eubank; Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell; former police officer and Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames; her husband David Cook; and Jane Winter, who worked at a northern Irish charity, British Irish Rights Watch.

TV and entertainment PR Ian Johnson, who represents clients including Nesbitt, has also not settled his claim. Nor has Tara Palmer-Tompkinson; EastEnders actor Jessie Wallace; the executors of Goody's estate; Brian Harvey, the former boyfriend of Kerry Katona; and Tony Woodley, a union executive.

now the bottom paragraph just happens to be seven names... and they are interesting ones

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Open Democracy: Slovenia in turmoil (MARKO BUCIK, 4 February 2013)
Slovenia is currently sailing the roughest seas since it gained independence more than twenty years ago. The country that was once considered a wunderkind of democratic transition in Central and Eastern Europe, registering solid economic growth and political stability, joining the European Union (EU) and NATO in 2004, adopting the Euro in 2007, is now enmeshed in a political paralysis of significant proportion, with no clear end in sight.

Before the crisis hit Europe's economy, Slovenia had already confidently climbed the ladder and reached 91 percent of the average GDP per capita in the EU. Things were good. Unemployment was at historically lowest levels, just above 6 percent, prosperity was tangible. Shopping malls were full, real estate prices booming, the average car on the street was a solid German Volkswagen. A kind of Slovenian Dream was there, for everyone. Then reality hit.

Since 2008 almost 60 thousand people have lost their jobs, doubling the level of unemployment. 120 thousand in total are now out of work - in a tiny country of two million this is no small amount. Amid the EU-wide slump, Slovenia's economy has contracted disproportionally. The banking sector, still largely state owned, remains fragile and companies are going bust by the day. The construction sector, which previously provided much of the inflated growth, has been wiped out almost in its entirety. Public finances have deteriorated and more recently rumours about a possible Greece-like EU-IMF bailout have grown louder.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 05:57:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Open Democracy:
The country that was once considered a wunderkind of democratic transition in Central and Eastern Europe, registering solid economic growth and political stability, joining the European Union (EU) and NATO in 2004, then made the mistake of adopting the Euro in 2007, so it is now enmeshed in a political paralysis of significant proportion, with no clear end in sight.

Fixed it for them.

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 Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 05:19:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 05:26:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany Plans To Deploy Armed Drones in Combat Abroad - SPIEGEL ONLINE
A document obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE indicates the German government is preparing to procure armed drones for foreign combat. Opposition politicians are outraged by the development and note that the use of weapons-equipped unmanned aircraft is legally dubious and possibly unethical.

Bowing to pressure from the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, the federal government in Berlin is preparing to deploy armed, unmanned drones in foreign conflicts. In an answer to an official query made by the far-left Left Party, which has been obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, the German government wrote that its experience in foreign combat operations has made it clear that reconnaissance vehicles must be armed "in order to provide protection against sudden and serious changes in the situation."

OAS_RICH('Middle2'); As opposed to unarmed surveillance drones, these aircraft could attack known targets in a "quick, precise and scalable" way, the document stated. "In addition, the new features would confront opposing forces with a permanent and unpredictable threat that would limit their ability to act." It went on to say that the weapons boost safety and security through "credible deterrence," pointing to the "Predator" drones used by the United States as a possible model.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:11:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note: this article is two weeks old, first posted here.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 09:16:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Paris Summit Proves Europe Needs New Thinkers - SPIEGEL ONLINE
It was billed as a major summit of Europe's top intellectual icons, whose brilliance would light the path toward solving the Continent's crises. But, if anything, the recent powwow in Paris on the future of Europe only proved that it badly needs new thinkers.

For a long time, the Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris had the kind of ice-skating rink that used to be abundant in large European cities. With the men dressed in suits and ties and the women wearing dresses, bourgeois Parisians skated to their hearts' content, no matter how fragile the condition of the world outside might be. It wasn't until much later that the building on the Champs-Elysées was used as a theater, as it still is today. But on Monday, January 28, against the backdrop of the beautiful art nouveau architecture, a group of people took to the ice once again, if only figuratively.

OAS_RICH('Middle2'); The event was titled "Europe or Chaos?" and the program listed an entire exhibition of famous intellectuals. Top billing went to philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who appeared on the radio that morning beating the drum for himself and his friends, including Italian writer Umberto Eco and his Hungarian colleague György Konrád, Spanish journalist Juan Luis Cebrián and Bulgarian-French psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva, as well as the two German writers Peter Schneider and Hans Christoph Buch. On the radio program, Lévy said that they were all going to sound the alarm that evening and call for the rescue of Europe.

And that was exactly what happened.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:13:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If your list of "Europe's top intellectual icons" starts with "Bernard-Henri Lévy", you know Europe is in dire need of "New Thinkers".
by Bernard on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 03:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mitt Romney's backer to build huge £18bn 'EuroVegas' resort outside Madrid - Europe - World - The Independent
Bishops fear Sheldon Adelson's €22bn casino will lead poor Spaniards into gambling addiction

At a time when 26 per cent of Spaniards are unemployed, on paper it could hardly be better news: the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Madrid's government selected the large dormitory town of Alcorcón for what is set to become Europe's biggest casino resort.

Alcorcón's mayor, David Pérez, said that the €22bn (£18bn) project dubbed "EuroVegas" will turn his town - which has 15,000 jobless amongst its 170,000 inhabitants - into "an unprecedented nexus of employment just at the moment that it is most needed".

But EuroVegas has already created an unlikely alliance of opponents. Catholic bishops have warned of increased gambling addiction. Ecological associations have questioned the environment impact of the "strip", which will be roughly triangular in shape with sides three kilometres long and contain at least 12 hotels and six casinos.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:18:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes! The way out of a real state bubble burst is to build a bunch of casinos and hotels with relaxed labout and tax and tobacco regulations. Gambling and prostitution will make Madrid free!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 09:20:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The mayor needs to take a trip to Atlantic City before making any firm statements about how great the future will be...
by asdf on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 04:21:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian
Germany's education minister has resigned after being stripped of her doctorate because of plagiarism, in the second such case to hit Angela Merkel's government in two years.
Maybe Merkel should look for ministers without PhDs? It might be safer...
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 01:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But how would we tell them apart from worthless under-achievers? Your suggestion doesn't fit into current ideology.

The new minister has an eastern PhD, like Merkel herself. We surely can expect that commie universities were more careful than western ones, can't we? Oops.

by Katrin on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 01:35:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But even they don't seem to like it
The Romanian horsemeat used in French-supplied frozen "beef" products "appeared to be a fraud", France's consumer affairs minister has said, as the horsemeat scandal that erupted in Britain reverberated across the continent.

This weekend, France's biggest supermarket chains removed more of their own-label and Findus-branded processed dishes from their shelves. Carrefour, Casino, Auchan and Monoprix were among the store chains pulling a range of lasagne, moussaka, spaghetti bolognaise, cannelloni and cottage pie products on Sunday. Late last week, some Findus lasagne products tested in the UK were found to contain more than 60 per cent horsemeat.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:17:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's been years I haven't eaten horse meat: traditionally, it's been a cheaper alternative to beef. But consumption in France has steadily fallen over the years; some figures (per capita) given yesterday on TV: horse 2.5kg/year, beef 25kg/year, pork 32kg/year.

And anyway, the point is not whether French people "like it" or not: selling horse meat as "pure beef" is fraud and is liable to criminal prosecution (Sheesh, who these people think they are? Bankers?).

by Bernard on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:49:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áECONOMY & FINANCEá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:37:36 PM EST
Germany's trade surplus rises to second highest level since 1950 | Business | guardian.co.uk

Germany's trade surplus has risen to its second highest level in more than 60 years after an unexpected drop in imports in December.

Exports rose over 2012, pointing to the strength of Europe's largest economy. And in further signs of a global economic recovery, China's exports and imports surged in January while inflation eased.

German imports declined by 1.3% in December, defying expectations of a rise of 1.4%. But exports inched up 0.3% from November, driving the full-year trade surplus to €188bn (£160bn), the second highest since records began in 1950.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:37:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Funding doubts hound £18bn Madrid 'EuroVegas' casino resort plan - Europe - World - The Independent

At a time when 26 per cent of Spaniards are unemployed, on paper it could hardly be better news: the Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Madrid's government selected the large dormitory town of Alcorcón for what is set to become Europe's biggest casino resort.

Alcorcón's mayor, David Pérez, said that the €22bn (£18bn) project dubbed "EuroVegas" will turn his town - which has 15,000 jobless amongst its 170,000 inhabitants - into "an unprecedented nexus of employment just at the moment that it is most needed".

But EuroVegas has already created an unlikely alliance of opponents. Catholic bishops have warned of increased gambling addiction. Ecological associations have questioned the environment impact of the "strip", which will be roughly triangular in shape with sides three kilometres long and contain at least 12 hotels and six casinos.

Soon after the announcement, the EuroVegas No Campaign announced a protest in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square, saying in a statement: "What guarantees do such supposed jobs have? Beyond these baseless claims, it is to be expected that EuroVegas is only beneficial for a privileged minority and will provoke irreversible environmental damage in the region."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:37:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Estonia: Crowdfunding -- the future of banking - European Voice/ Presseurop (English)
With the global credit crunch slowing bank loans to a trickle, "peer-to-peer" lending is filling the void, providing much-needed small businesses finance and better returns for investors. Now, this revolution is providing a lifeline to a Baltic country's business sector.

I have started making loans to total strangers - scores of them. I am not mad, rich or philanthropic. The loans are tiny. The safeguards are good. So far, the borrowers are paying me back and I am turning a handy profit. Even nicer, I feel I am part of a revolution which could save Western capitalism. It is all happening in Estonia.

Banking is the economy's biggest weakness. It offers stingy, fee-ridden savings products and over-priced loans with nasty hidden costs. Intermediaries gain colossal profits, especially when they are greedy and reckless. When things go wrong, as they inevitably do, the taxpayer picks up the bill. Apart from that, it works fine.

So alternatives are welcome, such as `peer-to-peer' lenders, which put the cash-thirsty and the cash-rich in touch with each directly (they make their money by charging a fee for the service). Zopa, a British peer-to-peer outfit, has lent £260 million (€310m) since it started in 2005.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:27:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áWORLDá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:38:14 PM EST
Mali hit by 'first' suicide bombing since French-led mission against rebels | World news | guardian.co.uk

A suicide bomber has attacked a checkpoint in northern Mali, killing himself in the first known assault of its kind since the French military intervention against Islamist rebels.

A Malian military officer said the bomber struck on Friday near Gao, a Saharan city recently recaptured from the rebels.

The attacker approached on a motorbike and blew himself up at the Bourem checkpoint, lightly wounding a soldier, the officer told Reuters.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:38:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France `paid $17 million' ransom for Mali hostages - FRANCE - MALI - FRANCE 24
Paris paid a ransom in 2010 of some 17 million dollars to free four French hostages - who are still being held by al Qaeda-linked militants, probably in northern Mali, according to a former US ambassador to Mali.

"Two years ago, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) kidnapped a number of French citizens at a uranium mine in Niger," Vicki Huddleston, who was US ambassador to Mali from 2002 to 2005, told French news channel iTélé late on Thursday.

"To get them freed, France paid a 17-million-dollar ransom. Like all ransoms, it was paid indirectly, through the Malian government, which forwarded at least some of the funds to the Salafists [Islamists]."

Why now? Sour grapes for a Bush-era global warrior?

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

by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:38:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The article is all "Paris paid", "France paid": no allusion to the former president. Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, who gave the interview, is now retired, but if you're the suspicious type you might think that no statement from even a retired diplomat is truly accidental.

Relations between Sarkozy and Obama were frosty, the latter failing to recognize the "brilliance" of the former (whose ego just couldn't stand being snubbed). There seems to be little improvement with the Hollande administration: last December, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice misplaced her etiquette book and called French plans for military intervention in Mali 'crap'. Then at the onset of French troops deployment, Washington initially wanted to bill Paris for the use of its C17 heavy cargo planes, dropping the demand later.

Not sure exactly why, but the relations between the two countries are still sour, even when it comes to the "war on terror".

by Bernard on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 04:02:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My 19th century perspective says that even when colonial powers cooperate, they also compete. So the wars on terror/muslems would be such a situation.

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 Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 06:20:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Health workers killed during polio vaccinations - NIGERIA - FRANCE 24

Gunmen on motorbikes shot dead nine health workers who were administering polio vaccinations in two separate attacks in Nigeria's main northern city of Kano on Friday, police said.

No one claimed responsibility but Islamist militant group Boko Haram - a sect which has condemned the use of Western medicine - has been blamed for carrying out a spate of assaults on security forces in the city in recent weeks.

The shootings will hit efforts by global health organisations to clear Nigeria of polio - a virus that can cause irreversible paralysis within hours of infection.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
POLITICS - Despite US opposition, oil trade with Iraq is legal, PM Erdoğan says
Turkey will continue its oil trade with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan has said, while confirming the trade as legitimate.

Turkey is supporting its neighbor in its need to trade and buying petrol in return, he said during an interview with reporters on his way back from a mission to Eastern Europe yesterday...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama blocked US plan to arm Syrian rebels | World news | guardian.co.uk

Pentagon leaders have said they supported a recommendation from the US state department and CIA to arm Syrian rebels, but Barack Obama ultimately decided against it.

The Obama administration has limited its support to non-lethal aid for the rebels who, despite receiving weapons from countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are poorly armed compared with the army and loyalist militias of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

John McCain, a Republican senator who has championed greater US involvement, asked Pentagon leaders at a congressional hearing: "How many more have to die before you recommend military action?"



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good for Obama, and on foreign policy you won't hear that too often.

It's quite obvious that the Syrian rebels are increasingly moving into the taliban camp and arming them would be madness

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 10:35:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My suspicions about Lapid confirmed:
A man who deserves to be in a future coalition. He understands the limitations, he understands that he must be in the coalition. He is a lot more open-minded than the media suggests.
The speaker? Avigdor Lieberman. He also points out that the post of Foreign Minister is still reserved for him after his trial is over, and once more suggests that Finance Minister would be the ideal post for Lapid. But, as Uri Avnery has said
THE LOGICAL conclusion: you must choose the treasury.

God forbid!!!

I would not wish this fate on the worst of my enemies, and I feel no enmity towards the son of Tommy Lapid.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 01:39:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No definite coalition news yet, but Bennett seems to be the next who is overcoming potential obstacles: in his case the claim that Netanyahu's wife deoesn't want him in a coalition. So he has been appropriately grovelling in front of her, and possibly overcoming the veto.

Meanwhile, someone who knew Lapid 2 years ago, remembers him saying

Jerusalem? I'd give back the west of the city along with the east!
Now he's talking about Jersusalem as the enternal undivided capital and the symbolism of the Tower of David (actually, an Ottoman citadel, with mosque and minaret), but not a word on the people who actually live there who are mostly those he hates, Arabs and Haredim.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 02:13:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amish beard-cutting ringleader sentenced to 15 years in prison
The ringleader in a series of unusual hair- and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish religious followers in the US was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison.

Before his sentencing, Samuel Mullet Sr told the judge that he had been blamed for running a cult and was ready to take the punishment. The judge also sentenced 15 other members of the deeply traditional group to prison terms ranging from one to seven years.

Amish believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards once they marry. Cutting it would be offensive to the group.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 01:49:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I forgot the obligatory picture of the culprits

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 01:51:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing Karmic about his name Mullet.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 12:11:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:39:37 PM EST
8/2/2013: EU wind power grows in 2012 - but industry challenged in 2013 | EWEA
The EU wind energy sector installed 11.6 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in 2012, bringing the total wind power capacity to 105.6 GW, according to the 2012 annual statistics launched today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

The 11.6 GW installed in 2012 is higher than the 9.4 GW installed in 2011.

"The 2012 figures reflect orders made before the wave of political uncertainty that has swept across Europe since 2011, which is having a hugely negative impact on the wind energy sector", commented Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. "We expect this instability to be far more apparent in 2013 and 2014 installation levels."

Wind energy represented 26% of all new EU power capacity installed last year, and investments of between EUR 12.8 billion and EUR 17.2 billion. It is now meeting 7% of Europe's electricity demand - up from 6.3% at end 2011.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:39:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Large onshore windfarm approved for Lincolnshire | Business | The Guardian

Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary, has given the green light to a huge windfarm right next door to the constituency of his turbine-phobic colleague, John Hayes.

Up to 22 turbines are to be erected at Heckington Fen in Lincolnshire, just north of Hayes' constituency, making it the fourth largest onshore windfarm in the UK, according to developer, Ecotricity.

Davey, a Lib Dem MP who has always been supportive of renewable energy, has consistently been embarrassed by Hayes, the new energy minister and Conservative MP for South Holland, and a growing anti-wind power movement in some parts of the coalition.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:40:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Australian wind farms undercut fossil fuel power prices - 08 Feb 2013 - News from BusinessGreen

New research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has this week provided further evidence that renewable energy can increasingly compete on cost with fossil fuels, revealing that unsubsidised wind farms can undercut electricity sold by new coal or gas-fired power plants.

The analysis suggests electricity can be provided from wind farms at a cost of A$80/MWh, while the cost of power from new coal or gas plants, which is now subject to a carbon tax, stands at A$143/MWh and A$116/MWh respectively.

Significantly, even when the impact of the Australian carbon tax is stripped out wind power is still 14 per cent cheaper than new coal and 18 per cent cheaper than new gas.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:40:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlin Wants to End Moratorium on Fracking in Germany - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Germany's governing coalition wants to quickly put an end to a virtual moratorium on the controversial shale gas extraction method of fracking in the country, SPIEGEL has learned. Officials want to have plans finished before the federal election this autumn.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:40:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áLIVING ON THE PLANETá
áSociety, Culture, History, Informationá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:40:53 PM EST
Delacroix painting at Lens Louvre gallery defaced with permanent marker | Art and design | The Guardian

A woman has been arrested after defacing a painting by Eugène Delacroix at the Louvre satellite museum in Lens. The 28-year-old told police she had scrawled "AE911'' with an indelible marker on the painting, Liberty Leading the People, to draw attention to an organisation that appears to believe the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy.

On Friday, after an art expert was dispatched from Paris to examine the painting, completed in 1830 to celebrate the July 1830 revolution, a museum official said the work had been cleaned and had suffered no lasting damage.

The 30cm graffiti tag had been removed from the lower right of the canvas without damaging the work, the official said. "The painting remains intact. The inscription was superficial; it was on the surface of the varnish and hadn't reached the paint layer." The cleaning operation had lasted two hours and had been done with the painting still on the wall. The wing of the gallery, closed for the emergency restoration, was expected to reopen on Saturday.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:41:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here (NSFW in some quarters):

by Bernard on Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 04:11:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Violinist found dead after testifying against her abuser - Crime - UK - The Independent
The way the judicial system treats victims of sexual assault was once more under scrutiny last night after a professional violinist killed herself after she had given evidence at the trial of a choirmaster who abused her.

Frances Andrade, 48, was found dead at her Surrey home six days after she testified against Michael Brewer, 68, who sexually assaulted her while she was a teenage pupil at the internationally renowned Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.

...In a statement paying tribute to his mother, he said: "Like all people, she was not impervious. Being repeatedly called a `liar' and a `fantasist' about a horrific part of her life in front of a court challenged her personal integrity and was more than even she could bear."

...After being accused by Ms Blackwell of "indulging in the realms of fantasy" concerning allegations that Michael Brewer abused her in his camper van, forcing her to give him oral sex, Mrs Andrade said: "I really understand why so many cases have not come to court. You were not there."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German weapons case pits man against gun clubs | Germany | DW.DE | 08.02.2013

Does the "right to life" outweigh the right to shoot guns recreationally? Germany's constitutional court will soon decide. The case pits one man against Germany's gun clubs - and centuries of tradition.

Roman Grafe overlays a graphic onto a map of Germany, thereby demonstrating the magnitude of the gun problem. Every shooting since 1991 is labeled on the map with a cross. In total, more than 130 have died.

... German gun clubs were also tied to another tragedy. The father of the 17-year-old who returned to his former school in the city of Winnenden in southern Germany in March 2009 belonged to one. The teenager shot nine students and three female teachers. As he fled, he killed three others before taking his own life. The 17-year-old carried out the shooting spree with a weapon he stole from his father.

It was after that incident that Roman Grafe founded an initiative called "Keine Mordwaffen als Sportwaffen," or "No deadly weapons as recreational arms." Two-and-a-half years ago his organization filed suit in the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, criticizing German weapons laws and accusing them of encouraging shooting sprees. The legal possession of deadly weapons for the purpose of recreational shooting is an unacceptable risk to the public, the suit claims. Furthermore, the danger created by deadly recreational weapons is one that is ultimately uncontrollable, Roman Grafe argues.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:41:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Centuries? More likely since the mid 19th century so one-and-a-half perhaps. Shooting clubs were formed on a large scale across Europe as a step towards conscription armies. Conscription armies were seen as better in defending the country, as well as more democratic. One man - one gun - one vote as teh rallying cry sounded.

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 Sun Feb 10th, 2013 at 06:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scores missing after ferry sinks in Bangladesh - BANGLADESH - FRANCE 24

Scores of people were missing after a ferry carrying around 100 passengers sank following a collision on a river in Bangladesh Friday, the latest in a series of disasters blamed on lax safety standards.

The small vessel was ferrying passengers on the Meghna river, close to the town of Gazaria in the central Munshiganj district, at around 8:00 am (0200 GMT) when it collided with a barge laden with sand to be used for construction.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ON THIS DATE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:42:00 PM EST
9 February 1953 – birth of Northern Irish actor Ciarán Hinds


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:42:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
10 February 1763 – victor Great Britain and loser France and Spain sign the Treaty of Paris, one of the two peace agreements closing the Seven Years' War (aka World War 0)


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:42:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áPEOPLE AND KLATSCHá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:42:46 PM EST
Paolo Berlusconi: I was being affectionate towards Mario Balotelli | World news | guardian.co.uk

Silvio Berlusconi's brother has insisted he was being "affectionate" towards Mario Balotelli when he used a racial slur to describe the Italian footballer, condemning instead "stupid" media coverage for suggesting he had done something wrong.

Paolo Berlusconi, the younger brother of the former prime minister, who is running again in the country's election this month, sparked anger around the world this week when a film of him referring to Balotelli as a "negretto" - "little black boy" or "little Negro" - went viral.

"And now let's go and watch the little Negro of the family, the hothead," said Berlusconi, who, as well as being a businessman and owner of daily newspaper Il Giornale, is vice-president of AC Milan, his brother's football club.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:42:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't know he was still around.

German Crooner Heino Makes Comeback With Hard Rock Album - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Famous German crooner Heino, 74, makes an unlikely rock star, but his new album of cover versions of hard rock, punk and hip-hop hits is breaking sales records. The comeback is a PR stunt, however, and Heino remains faithful to Schlager -- a perplexingly enduring genre of folk music in Germany.

With his peroxide mane and pitch-black shades, Heino, 74, looks more like a James Bond villain than a crooner. But he has been a baritone legend of Germany's pop music scene for over half a century.

OAS_RICH('Middle2'); He could be described as a robotic German version of Johnny Cash. The equivalent in Britain might be Tom Jones, although it is hard to imagine Heino ever having been showered with women's panties on stage.

Heino, whose real name is Heinz Georg Kramm, is a doyen of the Schlager, an old-fashioned word meaning "hit," an often-maligned but enduring genre of poppy, folksy, sing-along, clap-along songs, usually about love, always in German, and rarely distinguishable from each other.

This is one of the songs he became famous for. Okay, this was a little introduction into some of the Germanic Culture. :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:00:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here the new album:

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:05:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry Dodo, I should know better, this was not ment as a respone to Berlusconi - but maybe they are not that far apart.

Will pay more attention next time.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:06:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'I was terrified': Jonny Hallyday reveals how he was seduced at 17 - by a 44-year-old Edith Piaf - News - Music - The Independent
Of all Edith Piaf's love affairs, the most daring and intriguing was the one that never happened. Johnny Hallyday, 69, the indestructible French rock star, revealed in a book published on Thursday that Piaf tried to seduce him when he was a 16- or 17-year-old pop sensation and she was a declining international star aged 44.

"I was sitting beside her and, in the middle of the meal, I felt her hand climbing up my thigh," Hallyday recalled in a book of interviews. "I hesitated. Then I left and ran away from there.  I ran away from Piaf. I was almost a virgin at the time. I couldn't see myself in bed with her. As far as I was concerned, she was an old woman."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 at 03:43:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anne Sinclair on Strauss-Kahn Scandal and Art Dealer Grandfather - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Prominent French journalist Anne Sinclair was most recently in the headlines because of her husband, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In a SPIEGEL interview, she discusses the scandal, her "magical" childhood in New York, and hobnobbing with the famous artists her grandfather represented.

Sinclair is the granddaughter of Paul Rosenberg (1881 to 1959), who earned a place in art history as a dealer, collector and discoverer. In 1940, the war forced Rosenberg and his Jewish family to flee Paris to the United States. The Nazis stole hundreds of paintings that Rosenberg was forced to leave behind. Sinclair, born in New York in 1948, was one of France's most popular TV journalists. She has been married to politician and former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn since 1991, but the couple separated last year. The German-language edition of her family history will be published on Feb. 12.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 06:51:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interview: Friedrich Moser: "There's a democratic deficit in the EU" | Presseurop (English)

he Brussels Business, broadcasted on Arte on 12 January, explores the shadowy universe of the powerful lobby groups at work behind the scenes of the European Union institutions, revealing their opaque and crucial influence on decisions that affect the daily lives of Europe's citizens.

The film's co-director Frederich Moser tells Presseurop how the idea of making a movie on such a touchy subject came to him, how he managed to persuade the lobbyists to take part, and his ideas on the EU and its future.

Presseurop - Why did you choose to make this movie about Brussels lobbyists?

Friedrich Moser - It's a long story: when I made my very first documetary, in 2001, it was about the variety of languages on Europe. Two months after finishing the film, I was contacted by the European Training Institute, which is very well known in Brussels, but no-one knows it outside. They invited me to join in for a crash course on understanding the European institutions for a weekend...for €1,750 plus VAT. And I thought that sum was very high and that there are organisations in Brussels who want to get into the pockets of the people who want to inform themselves.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 07:22:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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