Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:10:06 AM EST
The Breathing Taiga: Researchers Explore Siberia's Role in Climate Change - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

German researchers have constructed a massive tower deep in the Siberian wilderness where, under the watchful eyes of the Russian intelligence service, the scientists are measuring levels of environmental toxins and greenhouse gases. Their goal is to determine if the forests are helping to slow global warming or if they are heating up the planet even further.

From the top of the 300-meter steel tower, the surrounding countryside is a sea of green, stretching to the horizon in every direction. The uniform carpet of treetops is uninterrupted by roads or cities, with not even a single house in sight. The tower itself juts out of this vast carpet of green emptiness like a beacon. The red-and-white painted structure -- 120 tons of steel welded together, piece by piece -- is held in place by long wire cables.

Ernst-Detlef Schulze, 65, is panting by the time he sets foot on the triangular platform at the top. He takes a quick, vertigo-inducing look down at the ground, snaps his safety belt to a metal ring and complains about a pain he has been having in his right knee for the past few days.

But no orthopedist could stop Schulze from climbing up the tower's narrow ladder. The structure is the crowning achievement of his scientific career, and the culmination of 30 years of grueling work in a country where a Western academic like Schulze is viewed primarily as a potential spy.

by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:14:43 AM EST
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as the Siberian bogs thaw they are releasing a lot of methane which is much more harmful to the environment than CO2
by zoe on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 06:56:36 AM EST
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AP via Yahoo:  Would-be robber stays for wine, hugs

WASHINGTON - Police on Capitol Hill are baffled by an attempted robbery that began with a handgun put to the head of a 14-year-old girl and ended in a group hug.

It started around midnight on June 16 when a group of friends was finishing dinner on the patio of a District of Columbia home, authorities and witnesses said. That's when a hooded man slid through an open gate and pointed a handgun at the girl's head.

"Give me your money, or I'll start shooting," he said, the witnesses told The Washington Post.

Everyone froze, they said, but then one guest spoke up.

"We were just finishing dinner," Cristina Rowan, 43, told the man. "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?"

The intruder had a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said, "Damn, that's good wine."

The girl's father, Michael Rabdau, 51, told him to take the whole glass, and Rowan offered him the bottle. The would-be robber, with his hood down, took another sip and a bite of Camembert cheese and put the gun in his sweatpants.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:19:22 AM EST
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Well, that proves it. If more people would just drink French wine and eat French cheese, the world would be a better place. Can we arrange a shipment for the Whitehouse?
by det on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 07:13:47 AM EST
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That sounds like the way ET deals with trolls.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 07:36:52 AM EST
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Fuel spills and club closures mean the party's over in Ibiza - Independent Online Edition > Europe

For decades it has been the destination of choice for thrill-seeking British holiday-makers looking to enjoy its unique combination of hot, sunny days and even hotter nights of hedonistic clubbing. But this year, it seems, Ibiza's party is well and truly over.

In the past week, a tide of black fuel spewing from a sunken oil tanker has prompted the closure of three of the resort's most popular beaches

Spanish authorities said they had sealed the leak in the tanker Don Pedro, which sank after hitting a rocky islet on Wednesday, laden with 200 tonnes of fuel oil and gasoil. But yesterday workers were still shovelling up more than 25 tonnes of black oil that came ashore and environmentalists warned of another slick threatening the coast.

The disaster comes on top of the closure last month of three top dance clubs, Amnesia, Bora Bora and DC-10, following a crackdown on an alleged culture of drug-taking by police. The clubs can attract up to 7,000 revellers a night during high summer as the island becomes the world's clubbing capital.

In previous years the island's drug culture has shown signs of spinning out of control with shootouts between rival British drug trafficking gangs last summer injuring two British bystanders. Some 500,000 Britons visit Ibiza every year, partying till dawn by the thousand.

by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:32:05 AM EST
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Guardian: Found: the giant lion-eating chimps of the magic forest

Deep in the Congolese jungle is a band of apes that, according to local legend, kill lions, catch fish and even howl at the moon. Local hunters speak of massive creatures that seem to be some sort of hybrid between a chimp and a gorilla.

Their location at the centre of one of the bloodiest conflicts on the planet, the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has meant that the mystery apes have been little studied by western scientists. Reaching the region means negotiating the shifting fortunes of warring rebel factions, and the heart of the animals' range is deep in impenetrable forest.

But despite the difficulties, a handful of scientists have succeeded in studying the animals. Early speculation that the apes may be some yeti-like new species or a chimp/gorilla hybrid proved unfounded, but the truth has turned out to be in many ways even more fascinating. They are actually a population of super-sized chimps with a unique culture - and it seems, a taste for big cat flesh.

The most detailed and recent data comes from Cleve Hicks, at the University of Amsterdam, who has spent 18 months in the field watching the Bili apes - named after a local town - since 2004. His team's most striking find came after one of his trackers heard chimps calling for several days from the same spot.

When he investigated he came across a chimp feasting on the carcass of a leopard. Mr Hicks cannot be sure the animal was killed by the chimp, but the find lends credence to the apes' lion-eating reputation.

Forget man-eating badgers....

by lychee on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:35:43 AM EST
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Guardian: Highly Skilled Immigrants Can't Get Work

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - In Peru, Ines Gonzalez-Lehman directed a 14-person marketing team at a high-tech firm. After marrying an American and immigrating legally to the U.S., she found herself making copies and answering phones at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

The immigration reform bill that recently failed in the Senate would have increased the number of visas for highly educated workers. But there remain tens of thousands of skilled immigrants like Gonzalez-Lehman who are here and authorized to work, but stuck in jobs where their experience is wasted.

Learning how their industry works in the United States, finding out about openings, talking up their assets in a way that appeals to an American employer - those steps, simple to someone educated in the United States, can block the path between a newcomer and work she is well-trained to perform.

``This is clearly an under-leveraged talent pool,'' said John Bradley, director of human resources at the investment bank JP Morgan Chase & Co. ``We're in constant need of a supply of talent and this is a viable, well-trained source that we hadn't focused on in the past.''

by lychee on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:36:24 AM EST
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BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tests begin on Canaries telescope
Tests have begun on one of the world's largest optical telescopes, installed on a mountain in the Canary Islands.

Situated on a 2,400m-high (7,900ft) peak on the island of La Palma, the huge telescope consists of a mirror measuring 10.4m (34.1ft) in diameter.

The Spanish-led Great Canary Telescope (GTC) is extremely powerful and will be able to spot some of the faintest, most distant objects in the Universe.

The GTC team expect the telescope to be fully operational within 12 months.

Looking at the picture of the observatory, I must say this really a amazing feat. Many years ago we hiked up to that spot - it has an incredible view. But it is an deep ascend and the streets, at least at that time were very small.

by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 01:59:51 AM EST
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The observatory is one reason why there are no huge tourist centers and hotels allowed on La Palma. If I remember well it was first on Teneriffe, but with tourisme came smok and air pollution which hampered the view. So it was moved on to La Palma.
by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:02:05 AM EST
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good catch Fran.
by zoe on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 06:50:35 AM EST
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AP via Yahoo:  Fate of sacred bull before Welsh court

LONDON - Those caring for him at a Hindu monastery in Wales say he symbolizes the sanctity of all life and is an inspiration to temple-goers. Officials say he could have a contagious disease and should be put down.

Now the fate of Shambo the sacred bull is in the hands of Welsh justice.

The 6-year-old Friesian bull tested positive for bovine tuberculosis in April. Under British law, animals suspected of carrying the disease must be slaughtered. But Shambo's caretakers at Skanda Vale Hindu monastery near Carmarthen, in southwest Wales -- backed by worldwide supporters -- say Shambo is not sick and have been fighting to save him.

The temple brought its case before the Cardiff Civil Justice Center on Thursday, arguing that their religious rights were being violated. Judge Gary Hickinbottom said he would rule on Shambo's case on Monday.

"Both sides put across very strong arguments," said Sanjay Mistry, a spokesman for the Hindu Forum of Britain, one of the groups lobbying to save Shambo. "I think the judge acknowledged that he's got a difficult decision to make, and we're hopeful that he'll come (down) on our side."

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:19:31 AM EST
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This story has been in our local news nearly every day for the last month or so. It's amazing how it has escalated, Assembly Members have been involved, it's gone to court... incredible.

I'm probably missing something in my ignorance of Hinduism, but I don't know why it has to be this bull, can't they replace it?

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:00:26 AM EST
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But this bull is sacred!

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:03:17 AM EST
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What makes it scared? can't another bull be sacred? Aren't all cows sort of sacred anyway?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:22:35 AM EST
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Ah, typo... but a fairly apt one. Scared and sacred.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:23:28 AM EST
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I don't know what makes it sacred, but once it's sacred I suppose it's not right to kill it. And to revoke its sacred status in order to kill it is cheating.

Clearly, if the goverment comes and kills the bull, they'll get a new sacred one, but I wouldn't expect them to kill it or give it up voluntarily.

Ah, the wonders of multiculturalism.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:33:46 AM EST
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Nandi bull - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nandi/Nandhi (Sanskrit: नंदी), a hindu god, is the bull which Lord Shiva rides and the gate keeper of the Shiva according to Hindu mythology. An idol of Nandi facing the main shrine will be seen in every Siva temple . There are also a number of temples dedicated solely to Nandi.

Comments on: Shambo: temple cow on death row

Brothers and Sisters Om Namaha Shivaya It appears to me the dwellers in Skanda Vale seek your support. They are truly prepared to stand up for the tenets of Prem, Shanti and Ahimsa. They do not wish to seek conflict with the authorities but have had this calamity forced upon them by the authorities (and the divine mother in her divine leela). Make no mistake friends this a conflict on par with any of those in the Mahabharata, a pivotal moment in the history of Hinduism in the west. If the Judge finds against the community on Monday they are prepared to offer passive resistance in the form of conducting puja around the bull when the vets come. It is not the mere physical bull which is the problem but it's symbolic significance as a temple animal. Are you prepared to stand together with the skanda vale brothers and sisters. I am. I do not encourage mindless martyrdom, but with cool heads and hearts burning with devotion I implore you to journey and physically be there and show peaceful solidarity so that dharma may be upheld.

Ahimsa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ahimsa (Devanagari: अहिंसा; IAST ahiṃsā) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). It is an important part of Buddhism, Hinduism, and especially Jainism appearing within the Hindu scriptures called the Upanishads[1], the oldest of which date to about 800 BCE. The concept is detailed in the Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas, as well as Jain and Buddhist texts.

In its Eastern form the principle of ahimsa was significantly promoted in the West by Mahatma Gandhi, whose non-violent resistance movement, satyagraha, influenced various civil rights movements led by others, such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Ahimsa is part of the 5 principles called yama, which together with the 5 niyamas build sort of like th 10 commandments.

by Fran on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:27:29 AM EST
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I do quite admire the approach they have taken in trying to defend the symbolism of the bull. Thanks for the info, Fran.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:46:58 AM EST
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Forbidden City Starbucks closes

A Starbucks coffee shop operating on the historic site of Beijing's Forbidden City has closed down after huge protests.
Starbucks, which has nearly 200 outlets in China, opened the Forbidden City shop seven years ago and removed its brand sign two years ago to address cultural sensitivities.

But the shop continued to draw protests.

China state TV personality Rui Chenggang led the online campaign, saying the shop's presence "undermined the solemnity of the Forbidden City and trampled on Chinese culture".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:26:32 AM EST
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