Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
†EUROPE†



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:38:06 AM EST
Germany reopens several airports for some flights | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 18.04.2010
Germany's aviation authorities have temporarily opened several airports for some flights. Most of Europe's airspace however, remains shut down throughout Sunday.  

Stranded travellers around the world faced a fourth day of chaos Sunday as Europe's volcanic ash continued to ground flights. German airspace was set to remain closed until 8 p.m. local time (1800 UTC).

However, over the course of the afternoon, eastbound flights from Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, Erfurt and Leipzig were permitted to temporarily operate. Frankfurt airport has also been opened for some northbound flight.

European aviation agency Eurocontrol said civilian flights across the bulk of northern and central Europe were prevented from landing or taking off on Saturday and most of Sunday. More than three in four flights across the continent were halted as drifting volcanic ash continued to be spewed from its source in Iceland.

But Dutch and German test flights carried out on Saturday without apparent damage seemed to offer hope that Europe's travel lockdown may ease in the coming days.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:41:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UK airspace shut by Iceland volcano ash cloud could reopen tomorrow | World news | guardian.co.uk

UK airspace may reopen at 7am tomorrow morning, air traffic controllers said this afternoon amid rising hopes that some commercial flights could resume earlier than expected.

There had been fears that no-fly zones could remain in place across parts of Europe for much of the week because of the ash plume caused by the volcanic explosion in Iceland on Wednesday.

Over 20 countries have airspace restrictions, many banning all non-emergency flights but commercial operators, including British Airways, KLM and Air France, have carried out or plan test flights without passengers.

European transport ministers are planning a video conference tomorrow to discuss the results. Gordon Brown is to chair an emergency meeting of ministers at 5pm tonight to discuss the crisis.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:56:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huffpo has a good animation of the spread of the ash on the front page.

Sorry, don't know how to link to the animation directly.

Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

See Incredible Photos, Satellite Images Of Volcanic Cloud...
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 02:20:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm beginning to get annoyed that it's impossible to figure out (because they don't tell you, and if they do it's in obscure terms) whether the animation is a simulation or based on satellite data.

I suspect most of these are just showcasing various pieces of weather simulation software.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 02:49:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crucial presidential vote gets underway in North Cyprus | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 18.04.2010
Turkish Cypriots are heading to the polls in a presidential election on Sunday that could have a major impact on reuniting the island and Turkey's bid to join the European Union.  

The presidential vote pits Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu against incumbent leftist Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. 

Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), has said he favors a two-state confederation. However, he has also said he would not abandon the reunification talks being conducted by incumbent President Mehmet Ali Talat.

"I hope the process that follows this election brings an honourable solution that allows Turkish Cypriots to live in peace and security under Turkish guarantees," Eroglu said.

 

Some 164,000 people are eligibile to vote.

 

Peace talks on hold

 

Talat, leader of the left-leaning Republican Turkish Party (CTP), supports reunification of the island, which has been divided into the Greek-speaking south and ethnically Turkish north since 1974.

 

Opinion polls have tipped Eroglu to win.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:42:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poland bids farewell to Maria and Lech Kaczynski | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 18.04.2010
Thousands of people have gathered in Krakow for the state funeral of President Lech Kaczynski. Many world leaders were unable to attend because of flights grounded by Iceland's volcano. 

Thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral Mass and burial of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria on Sunday in Krakow.

  

Tens of thousands of people lined the streets with outstretched hands, some holding flowers and national flags, and many wiping tears from their eyes. Hundreds of thousands were watching the events broadcast live in Poland and around the world.

 

"The death of these outstanding representatives of our people is a great loss for us. People from all stations of life and various political views are lost," said acting president Bronislaw Komorowski, in eulogizing not just the Kacynzskis, but all those killed in the crash.

During the funeral mass, the couple's only child, Marta, sat with her uncle, head of the opposition Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in the first row. Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski were twin brothers. Some 700 Polish officials, foreign dignitaries and others sat behind them.

 



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:51:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polish-Russian Reconciliation Highlights President's Funeral - Bloomberg.com

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Poland bid farewell to President Lech Kaczynski and his wife in the country's ancient capital of Krakow as the leaders of the country's two historic enemies, Germany and Russia, prayed amid calls for reconciliation.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev lit a candle at the service for presidential couple, who died on April 10 when their plane crashed in Smolensk, Russia, on the way to a ceremony in Katyn forest honoring 22,000 Polish officers and officials killed in 1940 by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's secret police.

Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler were among 700 foreign guests, Polish government officials and family members gathered at the 14th-century St. Mary's Basilica on the medieval Market Square, where a Mass led by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and the former secretary to Pope John Paul II, opened to the strains of Mozart's Requiem.

"Seventy years ago Katyn divided two nations," Dziwisz said at the beginning of the Mass, addressing his words directly to the Russian president. "The tragedy eight days ago has released stores of good will in individuals and nations, and the sympathy and support we have received from our Russian brothers revives hope for reconciliation."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 12:12:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - UK major parties attack Liberal Democrats

Gordon Brown said on Sunday the Liberal Democrat policies needed to be "exposed," after opinion polls showed a surge in support for the third party following last week's historic prime ministerial debate.

Polls in Sunday's newspaper suggested a move from the postwar Labour-Tory dominance of British politics to a three party system, should the Lib Dems be able to sustain the significance rise in their support.

A BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday put the Lib Dems in front, on a 32 per cent share of the vote, ahead of the Conservatives on 31 per cent and Labour on 28 per cent. A ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday put the Tories on 31 per cent, only two points ahead of the Lib Dems on 29 per cent and Labour on 17 per cent. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times put the Lib Dems in third place but still significantly up, on 29 per cent, compared to Labour on 30 and the Tories on 33.

[...]

Mr Brown asserted that the Lib Dems "have got to be exposed ... I think they have made a mistake in their economic policy. Why do they want to cut child tax credits? I think that is unfair. Why do they want to cut child trust funds?"

The Conservatives attacked the Lib Dems over their pro-European stance. William Hague, shadow foreign secretary, claimed that Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, was prepared to "sign up for anything that has ever been on offer or proposed from the European Union."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:54:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nick Clegg defends Liberal Democrat stance on Europe - Telegraph
Nick Clegg has defended his party's pro-European stance after being accused of trying to take Britain into a "super-state".

The Liberal Democrat leader admitted the European Union was "flawed", claiming it spent 15 years drawing up a directive on the definition of chocolate.

He insisted Britain was stronger working with the 27-member bloc rather than "raising the drawbridge" and standing outside it.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 02:14:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Warning As Lib Dems Lead Poll Race|The Sun| 2010-04-10

A YouGov opinion poll for The Sun put support for Nick Clegg's party at a staggering 33 per cent.

It is the first time the former Liberals have been in the lead in a general election race for 104 years.

The Conservatives lag one point behind at 32 per cent, while Labour have tanked on just 26 per cent.

But in the same opinion poll, barely half those asked said they knew what Mr Clegg stood for.

And quizzed on the top ten plans put forward by his party, six of them were given a resounding thumbs down.

hey were Mr Clegg's proposals on an illegal immigrant amnesty, community service instead of jail for criminals, upping taxes to scrap tuition fees, giving more powers to Brussels, joining the Euro and halting nuclear power stations.

One of the plans - dumping the UK's Trident nuclear missiles - split the public down the middle. And only three got support - scrapping income tax on earnings of less than £10,000 a year, changing the voting system and limiting public sector pay rises. But those policies are also the Lib Dems' most controversial.

Clearly the orders from Murdoch central have gone out. The article is pretty much run of the mill party bashing but I am intrigued by the use of the word "controversial" at the end of the seventh paragraph. It seems a calculated way to end a paragraph listing the lib dem's popular policies.

Since reading this article I have been wondering if the  meaning of "controversial" has been shifted in the English language. Is the word "Controversial" now a euphanism for "something we do not like".

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying

by RogueTrooper on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 06:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Is the word "Controversial" now a euphemism for "something we do not like".

That's exactly it.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 08:28:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
where we is a group largely identified with Rupert Murdoch and ... well just Rupert basically.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 12:59:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nick Clegg's rise could lock Murdoch and the media elite out of UK politics|The Guardian|
David Yelland|2010-04-19


I doubt if Rupert Murdoch watched the election debate last week. His focus is very firmly on the United States, especially his resurgent Wall Street Journal. But if he did, there would have been one man totally unknown to him. One man utterly beyond the tentacles of any of his family, his editors or his advisers. That man is Nick Clegg.

Make no mistake, if the Liberal Democrats actually won the election - or held the balance of power - it would be the first time in decades that Murdoch was locked out of British politics. In so many ways, a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote against Murdoch and the media elite.

I can say this with some authority because in my five years editing the Sun I did not once meet a Lib Dem leader, even though I met Tony Blair, William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith on countless occasions. (Full disclosure: I have since met Nick Clegg.)

I remember in my first year asking if we staffed the Liberal Democrat conference. I was interested because as a student I'd been a founder member of the SDP. I was told we did not. We did not send a single reporter for fear of encouraging them.

So while we sent a team of five, plus assorted senior staff, to both the Tory and Labour conferences, we sent nobody to the Lib Dems. And while successive News International chiefs have held parties at both those conferences, they have never to my knowledge even attended a Lib Dem conference.



Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 07:52:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera English - Europe - Pope meets Maltese 'abuse victims'

Pope Benedict XVI has met alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests in Malta, as the Roman Catholic church moves to address a series of scandals that have emerged in recent months.

The pope promised the church would do "all in its power" to bring the guilty to justice and protect the young during the private meeting with eight Maltese in the Vatican's embassy on the Mediterranean island.

Benedict also "expressed his shame and sorrow over what victims and their families have suffered", a Vatican statement said.

Three priests have been accused of sexually abusing orphans on Malta in the 1980s and 1990s.

Lawrence Grech, an alleged abuse victim, spoke of the historic importance of his meeting with the Pope.

"I felt great and honoured, not even the president of Malta had the chance to meet privately with the pontiff," he told Al Jazeera.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 12:06:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't say sorry like the empty confessional they are; change the system and mean it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 01:00:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Four Soldiers Killed in Taliban Attack: Germany's Dangerous Afghanistan Strategy - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The Bundeswehr's new strategy in Afghanistan involves training Afghan soldiers, something that many assumed would be low risk. But Thursday's Taliban attack, which killed four Germans involved in a training operation, shows that the mission is still highly dangerous.

The bad news reached German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg just after he landed at a German supply base in Termez, Uzbekistan on Thursday. Four German soldiers had been killed and five others injured, two seriously. The attack on the German Bundeswehr soldiers had taken place almost simultaneously with Guttenberg's departure from Afghanistan, where he had made a surprise visit to German troops. Less than two weeks after three Germany soldiers were killed in an ambush on April 2, Germany is once again mourning its fallen.

Thursday's attack was the most serious to date for the German armed forces in northern Afghanistan. At around 2:30 p.m. local time, militants struck in the region of Baghlan, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the German base in Kunduz.

The Germans were traveling together with Swedish and Belgian soldiers as part of an Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT). Around 150 trainers and other soldiers were escorting about 1,000 Afghan soldiers from the Afghan National Army. They had been mentoring the local security forces in battle tactics during an ongoing operation against the Taliban code-named "Taohid II." The large-scale operation had been resumed Wednesday after a break of several days.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 01:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Afghan interpreters 'abandoned' by MoD after being wounded | Daily Telegraph
Afghan interpreters serving on the frontline with British troops have accused the Ministry of Defence of abandoning them when they are badly wounded and denying them the care they were promised.

One interpreter maimed in a bomb blast said he was denied essential plastic surgery because he was not British. Another said he was abandoned in a coma in an Afghan hospital, then left with medical bills.

Both said the MoD had promised them desk jobs when they recovered, but they remained unemployed.

Ten of their fellow interpreters in Helmand province resigned in protest at their treatment, they said.

The Ministry of Defence in London disputed their claims, but they were backed by two other interpreters interviewed by the Daily Telegraph.

Nato-led forces are reliant on civilian interpreters to translate conversations into Dari and Pashtu when they interact with local people or Afghan forces.

The Ministry of Defence employs 450 Afghans as interpreters. Fourteen have been killed and 27 wounded in the past four years.


by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 03:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Insurance ranking of European volcanos.
A major eruption of Italy's Mount Vesuvius could result in 8,000 fatalities, 13,000 serious injuries and total economic losses of more than $24 billion, according to a new study supported by the Willis Research Network (WRN) that puts Vesuvius at the top of the list of Europe's 10 most dangerous volcanoes.

The WRN, funded by Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, is an industry-leading public-private partnership between Willis and many of the top scientific research institutions in the world.

The WRN volcano risk ranking, which examines European volcanoes with potentially affected populations of greater than 10,000, was developed by researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Naples Federico II and Willis Re, Willis' reinsurance broking arm.

This study was released on April 15, which is a bit embarassing since
The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland that erupted yesterday was not on the list, but the Hekla volcano, Iceland's most active, was ranked as the ninth most dangerous volcano in Europe.
I guess they didn't consider the effect on air travel.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 06:57:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, they probably look first at casualties and then damage to real estate.
Full closure of the European airspace is rather unprecedented...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 08:29:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actuarial analysis is onle as good as your historical data. Last time Katla erupted the only aircraft in Europe were doing WWI dogfights.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 08:40:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the last time Vesuvius erupted seriously (as opposed to local erruptions up to 1944) was? The number of casulaties surely depends above all on the ability to predict it reliably shortly before it happens, and on the ability of the government to evacuate people.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 08:46:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The salient point is, casualty is certain. Proximity to the site determines number of fatalities and casualties, regardless of eruption type. Consider this: Pyroclastic surges can reach speeds of 1050 km/h.

There isn't a plan devised by man to evacuate every persons within that perimeter to safety.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 11:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, but I still have no idea how they came up with a figure of 8.000 deaths. An eruption on the scale of 2.000 BC might kill millions. And the ranking seems to take into account only the damag caused, and not the probability  of it happening - the latter is just as hard to estimate, but surely just as important for an insurance company.

The Italian papers have all been covering this report, perhaps with a feeling of being number 1 (not to mention 3 and 4 as well).

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 02:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough.

You want the formula. If I can find the formula of levelized cost of energy, you too can find the formula  for mortality "attributed to catastrophic event x" somewhere in the innerboobz.

Via con dios.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 01:45:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as the case may be.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 01:48:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series