Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Top Stories
  • Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said "You do not want to give additional argument to new crazies who say, `Let's go and bomb Iran' ...I wake up every morning and see 100 Iraqis, innocent civilians, are dying." ElBaradei told the BBC that one could not "bomb knowledge." When asked who the "new crazies" were, he said: "Those who have extreme views and say the only solution is to impose our will by force."

  • The "taller, wider" flood barrier that replaced the ones that burst and flooded New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina have been rebuilt. However, they cannot handle a Katriana-sized storm.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi "is planning an announcement soon on an independent ethics commission that will help police members' conduct."

  • Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) is "the senator who placed the hold on the Open Government Act which would strengthen the federal Freedom of Information Act which citizens, including journalists, use to obtain documents from the government that shed light on its activities." I bet Kyl has even more secrets...

  • Environmentalists on both side of the Atlantic have denounced George W. Bush's announcement of emmission plan as 'a delaying tactic', "vague and insubstantial and unlikely to herald any real progress before he leaves office at the start of 2009".

    • "This is a classic spoiler... The G8 should be debating global mandatory emissions caps, not facilitating an ad hoc conference hastily proposed by Bush that's designed to kick this issue into the long grass until he leaves office," said Greenpeace's Robin Oakley.

    • "The White House is just trying to hide the fact that the president is completely isolated among the G8 leaders by calling vaguely for some agreement next year, right before he leaves office," said Philip Clapp, president of U.S. National Environmental Trust.

    Referencing himself in the third person, Bush best explained his plans to address global warming back in September 2002 and urged the U.N. to intervene:
    There's an old saying... that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again. You've got to understand the nature of the regime we're dealing with. This is a man who has delayed, denied, deceived the world.
    "It was a profound disappointment," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of Bush's plan to delay. "It rehashed stale ideas." "The president's goals are not aspirational, they're procrastinational," said Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), "the chairman of a House select committee on climate change who traveled with Pelosi this week on a global warming fact-finding tour to Europe."

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi's climate change fact-finding trip to Europe is to be carbon neutral by buying CO2 offsets from the Pacific Forest Trust. "Pelosi will be covering the carbon cost of the entire eight-member delegation out of her own pocket, rather than through campaign funds or her office allowance."
  • May was the third deadliest month for U.S. forces since the Iraq invasion and occupation began in 2003. "We're all tired of Iraqis dying, we're tired of Americans dying, and if we can reach out and conduct reconciliation and come across in a peaceful way, and move forward in Iraq, that is a much better way to do this," said Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of Multinational Corps-Iraq.

  • Scooter Libby's defense lawyers said that he "serve no time in prison for lying about the leak of a covert agent's identity, on the grounds that he is a selfless, apolitical public servant with an otherwise 'exemplary' record. Plus, they argued, he was just following orders and treason is okay if you're a Republican.

  • American Muslims are having a shortage of imams. "The the problem is exacerbated because few immigrant parents want their children to become imams." "Mosque leaders say the risk is that younger Muslims, already feeling under assault in the United States because of the faith's checkered reputation, might choose one of two extremes. They either drift away from the faith entirely if they cannot find answers, or leave the mosque for a more radical fringe."

  • Twelve MonkeysAndrew Speaker, the lawyer infected with the contagious and deadly drug-resistant XDR strain tuberculosis said, "hope they can forgive me and understand that I really believed I wasn't putting people at risk... People told me if I was anywhere else but Denver, I would die." (transcript)

  • Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) "voted for the supplemental war funding. At events back in Walz's district during the Memorial Day break, many of Walz's constituents agreed with his votes. Most House Democrats voted against the bill. But the majority of the chamber's 30 newly elected Democrats voted in favor of it."

  • "The Commerce Department revised downward an earlier estimate of gross domestic product growth from 1.3 percent to 0.6 percent, the slowest growth in more than four years."

  • The always-on-top-of-everything "Food and Drug Administration said, people should throw away toothpaste with labeling that says it was made in China. The FDA is concerned that these products may contain diethylene glycol." Chinese toxic toothpaste was found in Miami, Puerto Rico, and the Port of Los Angeles. Maybe if we had trade agreements that insisted that our trading partners had decent human rights and evironmental laws, then maybe we wouldn't be having these problems with all our Made In China goods? They're cheap for a reason.

  • After 14 years of serving at George W. Bush's pleasure, Dan Bartlett is quitting his job at the White House for a yet-to-be-found job in the private sector and to spend more time with his familyTM. "Bartlett's departure marks the first major turnover in Bush's senior staff since a major reshuffling a year ago to reinvigorate the administration and overcome low poll ratings."

  • An attorney for Lurita Doan, the head of the GSA, "said allegations that his client violated the Hatch Act should be rejected because they are based on 'tenuous inferences and careless leaps of logic.'" Right... the ol' 'ignorance of the law' non-excuse.

  • Not-gone-yet World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz collected a $400,000 bonus today. He also denied being behind the Iraq war. "I'm not an architect of anything," Wolfowitz said.

  • Tom Heffelfinger, former U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, was targeted for removal by the Bush administration because he "supported Native American voters' rights."

  • "A military panel in Kansas City, Mo., is holding a hearing on Monday to decide whether Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh's discharge status should be changed from honorable to "other than honorable" after he was photographed wearing fatigues, with military insignia removed, during a mock patrol with other veterans at a protest rally in April." The VFW is backing Kokesh. Gary Kurpius, the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said:

    Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same democratic right we're trying to instill in Iraq is not what we're all about... Someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus... We all know that people give up some individual rights when they join the military... But these Marines went to war, did their duty, and were honorably discharged from the active roles. I may disagree with their message, but I will always defend their right to say it.

  • In testimony that "was inconsistent in several areas", ex-con Herbert Atwell said that he knew José Padilla while attending a Florida mosque and he (Atwell) considered becoming a mujahedeen. Atwell said of Padilla: "He was very quiet. Very focused on Islam."

  • Abdul Rahman Maadha al-Amry "was being held in isolation in the maximum-security Camp Five section... According to US Southern Command... he was found dead in his cell on Wednesday afternoon 'unresponsive and not breathing'." He was also a "Saudi army veteran who trained with U.S. forces".

  • "Rupert Murdoch is turning into a green campaigner..." and "is making the whole of his worldwide operations carbon neutral and setting out to 'educate and engage' his readers and viewers about global warming. This was two weeks ago... anyone notice signs of eco-Murdoch? I didn't think so.

  • Lake Okeechobee, Florida was at record low of 8.94 feet and firefighers are "battling a blaze" that has "burned 39 square mile" "on part of the exposed lake bottom."

  • "The full genome of James D. Watson, who jointly discovered the structure of DNA in 1953, has been deciphered." "I am thrilled to see my genome," Watson said. His genome was a little taken aback too.

Cold War II
  • The Bush administration and their soul mates in Moscow are trying to resurrect the Cold War. The latest round is from David Kramer, "a top Russia expert at the State Department", who "describing the Kremlin as bullying its neighbors while silencing political opponents and suppressing individual rights at home."

    His speech comes a day after Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov "accused the United States of fomenting a dangerous new arms race and implicitly threatened to block any effort by the United States and Europe to win broader diplomatic recognition for Kosovo." Which came a day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "Russia seems to think and act in the zero-sum terms of another era." Adding that the Bush administration found it "difficult to understand" why Russia would be upset with their plan to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.

    Rice's perplexity came days after Russia announced the new RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile. "It can overcome any potential entire missile defense systems developed by foreign countries," said Russia's Colonel General Viktor Yesin. To which Russia's President Vladimir Putin had to say, "It wasn't us who initiated a new round of arms race."

Middle East
  • The Lebanese army recommenced attacks on Fatah Islam militants who have "barricaded themselves in residential neighborhoods of narrow, winding streets and apartment buildings" in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Triopli, a town in northern Lebanon. "At times 155mm shells exploded at a rate of 10 a minute, and smoke billowed from buildings inside as fires raged. At least 12 people in the camp, and two soldiers, were killed in the clashes, security officials said. They said 18 soldiers were wounded but could not say whether the 12 who died inside Nahr al-Bared were militants or civilians."

  • "Syria has reacted angrily to the UN's decision to set up a special international tribunal to try the killers of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, warning that it could worsen the already volatile situation in Lebanon." Syria's President Bashar al-Assad "made clear that he will not cooperate with the body."

  • Forced-labor was likely used by First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting, a construction firm hired by Bush's State Department, to build the new $592 million embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. But Howard Krongard, the State Department's inspector general, reported that complaints -- of crowded quarters, sub-standard food, little medical care, disease-ridden Tigris river drinking water, confiscated passports, and misleading job descriptions -- had no substance.

  • This week, more than 12 people were killed in Amariyah, Iraq from fighting "between Al Qaeda and the Islamic Army of Iraq in what appears to be the first sustained large-scale fighting inside Baghdad between Al Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent groups. It remained unclear whether the fighting was driven by differing ideologies and broad objections to Al Qaeda's tactics, or was merely a battle for control in Amariyah, a large district near Abu Ghraib prison, by two insurgent factions that not long ago were allies."

South Asia
  • Gen. Pervez Musharraf "has banned political meetings in Islamabad and restricted media coverage of the suspended chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The restrictions are part of a drive to curb the democracy movement swelling around the embattled judge, whose rallies have attracted hundreds of thousands of supporters."

  • Mukesh Ambani, India's wealthiest man, "is building a new home in the financial hub of Mumbai: a 60-storey palace" to house himself, "his mother, wife, three children and 600 full-time staff."

  • In Bangkok, Thailand, "a military-installed court... dissolved former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's political party, Thai Rak Thai, and banned more than 100 senior members from political activities for five years, solidifying the military's grip on power ahead of elections scheduled for December. The ruling increases the likelihood that the next government will be on friendly terms with the military, which ousted Mr. Thaksin in a bloodless coup last September."

  • "Cambodia is being systematically stripped of its natural assets by a small elite of politicians" -- a "small kleptocratic mafia" comprised of "relatives of its prime minister and businessmen working with the army," the Australian government's former official independent forestry watchdog, Global Witness said.

  • Since 1996, Australia's Prime Minister John Howard "has cowed his critics, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC, gagged scientists, silenced non-government organisations, neutered Canberra's mandarins, curtailed parliamentary scrutiny, censored the arts, banned books, criminalised protest and prosecuted whistleblowers."

  • "Chinese Vice-Premier Huang Ju, one of the most senior leaders in China, has died aged 68 in Beijing".

  • The Chinese government is concerned that ethanol production is "gobbling up" domestic corn harvest and " fueling politically dangerous increases in the price of food - particularly pork, a key staple." "China cannot sacrifice food security for energy: that seems to be the majority view in the government now," says Zhang Zhongjun, deputy head of the Beijing bureau of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Biofuels are not going to be the solution -- do you hear that Congress?

  • China's water supply could be cut off as Tibet's glaciers melt. "Chinese government research shows that global warming is melting the plateau at 7 percent annually. These glaciers account for 47 per cent of the total coverage in China. Water from the mountain region feeds the Yellow, Yangtze and other rivers that feed hundreds of millions of people across China and South Asia, said Li Yan of Greenpeace's Beijing office."

  • Xiang Xiang, a five-year-old male panda, "the only captive-bred giant panda to be released into the wild has been found dead, it emerged yesterday after a three-month cover-up by scientists running China's breeding programme." The panda was likely "killed in a fight with a wild panda."

  • "Japan has threatened to quit the International Whaling Commission after fierce opposition from anti-whaling nations forced it to scrap a proposal to allow four coastal villages to hunt the animals."

  • "The five-year trial of Théoneste Bagosora, the alleged mastermind of the Rwandan genocide, ended today with the 65-year-old former colonel insisting he was 'a victim of ignominious propaganda'." A verdict is expected later this year.

  • "Public-sector workers in South Africa have gone on indefinite strike with thousands holding marches through cities demanding a 12% pay rise. Police fired rubber bullets at striking health workers who were preventing patients entering a Cape Town hospital."

  • "Four US oil workers taken hostage in Nigeria's volatile Niger Delta have been freed after three weeks in captivity".

  • "Argentina has been rationing gas supplies as cold weather blamed for some 17 deaths continues to strain the country's energy system... On Monday, Argentina stopped exporting natural gas to neighbouring Chile but shipments have now been resumed."

  • "China has blamed Panamanian firms for passing off a Chinese industrial solvent for use in medicines, so causing dozens of deaths in Panama."

  • "Major rivers in British Columbia are rising rapidly, fed by the fast melting of a record snowpack, and officials are predicting flooding in some areas could start as soon as Sunday."

  • The Quebec National Assembly adopted "the first budget of Premier Jean Charest's minority government, ending a week-long game of political chicken that had threatened to send the province into an election no one seemed to want. The budget was adopted by a 46-44 vote, ensuring that Mr. Charest's government wouldn't be toppled."

  • Mexico's Supreme Court "ruled in an 8-1 vote that automatic renewal of broadcast concessions without competition would be unconstitutional, and said frequencies that come up for renewal must be opened up to public bidding."

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel Prize-winning author, returned to his birthplace, a "tiny Colombian backwater of Aracatacawith" for the first time in 25 years.

  • The Turkish army is amassing soldiers and tanks along its border with Iraq. "Many Turks believe a major incursion would help finish off the rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy in Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey since 1984."

  • France's President Nicolas Sarkozy "appears to be heading for an overwhelming victory in the French parliamentary elections this month... Sarkozy's centre-right party and its centrist allies could take as many as 430 of the 577 seats in the national assembly in the two-round election on 10 and 17 June."

  • Zdravko Tolimir, a Bosnian Serb army general, "accused of genocide in the 1992-95 Bosnian war has been arrested and was being transferred to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague."

  • "I want to make sure the Albania people understand that America knows that you exist and that you are making difficult choices to cement your free society," said George W. Bush of his upcoming trip to Albania. No one could have imagined Albanians actually existed. Thank you George.

  • Evangelical Christian groups are whipping up anti-gay neofascists in Eastern Europe. "Igors Maslakovs was among the anti-gay protesters... [His] views on homosexuality, he says, are Christian beliefs. He has particular affinity with the New Generation Church, an evangelical organisation... headed by Aleksey Ledyaev, a publicity-savvy pastor with close ties to the Christian right in America."

  • A new study from the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, has found that many more women are leaving economically moribund Eastern Germany. The result is a new, frustrated and largely male underclass. And many of them find succor in the neo-Nazi scene."

  • 100,000 demonstrators are expected to protest the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. To keep the world's leaders in their protective bubble, Germany constructed a $17-billion fence and "about 16,000 police, 1,100 soldiers, 9 Navy ships, and several AWAC planes will patrol the site in Germany's largest police operation since unification."

  • Rev. Janina Ainsworth, the woman who is responsible for more than 4,600 Church of England schools, "said intelligent design could form part of discussions in science lessons under the heading of history of science." Glad to see Britain isn't lagging far behind the States.

  • A herd of cows adopted Clovis, a young wild boar, in the Breton district of Lohuec, France. Hopefully Richard Crassin, the farmer, will keep Clovis far away from any Alabamians.

  • 40 years ago today the Beatle's released their 8th album: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

    <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/6oEeNM_TT3U"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/6oEeNM_TT3U" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>
    The Beatles and others talking about the making of Sgt. Pepper's.

  • And now for something completely different. La Scala, the world famous opera house in Milan, Italy, is set "to hand over creative control" to Terry Gilliam, the ex-Python and director. His opera debut is to be next July with "a staging of Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chénier, the tale of the poet guillotined during the French revolution."

By the numbers
by Magnifico on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 01:13:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crud. Sorry about the YouTube screw-up.
by Magnifico on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 01:14:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The <object> tag is disallowed for security reasons. There is a macro: [[youtube 6oEeNM_TT3U]] (with square brackets replaced by round brackets)

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 01:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 09:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Xiang Xiang, a five-year-old male panda, "the only captive-bred giant panda to be released into the wild has been found dead, it emerged yesterday after a three-month cover-up by scientists running China's breeding programme." The panda was likely "killed in a fight with a wild panda."

They were hiding information of his demise for a long time for forensic studies. They said he was treated once against rivals' bites and then was released again.

Now they are planning to release female Panda hoping she would attract wild males and possibly will change curriculum starting to teach Pandas how to kick and boxing.

Also I heard Chinese have been breeding tigers in captivity, such a folly.

by FarEasterner on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 03:07:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Mexico's Supreme Court "ruled in an 8-1 vote that automatic renewal of broadcast concessions without competition would be unconstitutional, and said frequencies that come up for renewal must be opened up to public bidding."

Did the white house announce plans to invade Mexico to restore freedom of the media?

by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Jun 2nd, 2007 at 03:39:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series