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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch – 22 November

by Fran Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:39:45 PM EST

On this date in history:

1497 Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama rounds Cape of Good Hope

More here and here


Welcome to the new European Salon!

This will replace the former Breakfast Thread. Over time it looked like people show up in cycles, some for Breakfast, though less and less, many for Lunch and some stayed in to the Evening. Thus, a Salon that is open for discussions, exchange, and gossip and just plain socializing all day long, seems to be more appropriate.

The Salon has different rooms or sections for your enjoyment. If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.

WORLD - here you can add the links to topics concerning the rest of the World.

THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER - is the place for everything from environment to health to curiosa.

KLATSCH - if you like gossip, this is the place. But you can also use this place as an Open Thread until the one in the Evening opens.

SPECIAL FOCUS - will be up only for special events and topics, like elections or other stuff.

I hope you will find this place inspiring – of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries. :-)

There is just one favor I would like to ask you – please do NOT click on “Post a Comment”, as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

Actually, there is another favor I would like to ask you – please, enjoy yourself and have fun at this place!

This link goes directly to the Klatsch section and this one to the Special Focus: Lebanon

Display:
EUROPE
by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:40:45 PM EST
Spiegel Online: VW CUTS - Thousands of Jobs Endangered in Brussels

Tuesday was a bad day for Volkswagen employees in Brussels. The German company has suspended production of its compact "Golf" in the European capital and thousands of jobs could be eliminated.

German carmaker Volkswagen announced on Tuesday that it would cease production of its popular "Golf" line in Brussels. Citing what it claimed were cheaper production costs, the company said it would return all assembly of the vehicle in Western Europe to factories in the German cities of Mosel and Wolfsburg. A reorganization is also planned for the Brussels plant, which could put thousands of workers at risk of layoff.

However, the company said it planned to maintain its Brussels facility, which it said would be retooled for other work. In a statement, the company said it was "aware of its responsibility to its employees in Brussels and would draw up an acceptable compensation settlement with the people involved."

The company's management in Brussels said it would begin talks with employee representatives on Tuesday. "We will explore all the business alternatives possible to save as many jobs in Brussels as we can," the statement said. But it is clear that the days of Golf production in Brussels are over. At a company meeting, production chairman Reinhard Jung said that "plans that included Golf assembly in Brussels just didn't add up."


by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:58:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frankfurter Allgemeine: Eastward exodus


21. November 2006
In Brüssel geht die Angst um. Tausende Beschäftigte im Volkswagen-Werk proben den Ausstand, bangen um ihre Jobs, weil der Autokonzern einen Teil der Produktion auslagern will. In Brüssel, wo 5400 Menschen bislang noch den VW Golf bauen, könnten schon bald 4000 Stellen wegfallen. Im VW-Stammwerk Wolfsburg, wo die Belegschaft jahrelang nur vier Tage in der Woche gearbeitet hat, kann man sich dagegen auf zusätzliche Arbeit einstellen. [... Aber] das Problem der hohen Überkapazitäten ist damit noch nicht gelöst.
21. November 2006
Fear is on the march in Brussels. Thousands of workers in the Volkswagen plant are revolting out of fear for their jobs because the carmaker wants to transfer a part of its production. In Brussels, where 5400 persons currently assemble the VW Golf, 4000 jobs may soon be cut. In VW's main plant in Wolfsburg, where employees have been on a four-day work week for years, workers can look forward to the additional work. [... However], this still does not solve the problem of high excess capacity.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:21:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IHT: British Muslims on the move

MANCHESTER: When the head of Britain's secretive internal security service moves out from the shadowy world of counterterrorism to publicly warn of an impending threat, Britons take notice. Recently, the MI5 chief Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller said that more and more British Muslims are "moving from passive sympathy toward active terrorism through being radicalized ... Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers." MI5 has identified more than 200 terrorist networks in Britain. It is a growing threat, she said, that will "last a generation."

Britain is emerging as the country most vulnerable to Islamic extremism in Europe. The suicide bombings of the London transportation services last year were followed by the foiled plot to blow up America-bound aircraft over the Atlantic this past summer.

"My service needs to understand the motivations behind terrorism to succeed in countering it," she said. And part of the problem was a perception that British foreign policy was anti-Muslim, "in particular, Iraq and Afghanistan."

I came to this industrial city in the Midlands as a guest of the British foreign office to meet with British Muslims. Zahid Hussain, the director of an organization called Social Enterprise Development Initiative, said that Muslim youth were assaulted by television and Internet images of Muslims being mistreated in Chechnya, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, and also Kashmir, where one-third of British Muslims have roots. The Internet has opened up new worlds of agitation and radical chat rooms into which the young and impressionable can wander.


by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:05:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]

And part of the problem was a perception that British foreign policy was anti-Muslim, "in particular, Iraq and Afghanistan."

Well, now that the problem is identified, it ca neasily be solved, no?

(btw, Le Canard Enchainé says this week that the French military are now persuaded, via all their contacts with British counterparts, that the UK will exit Iraq in 2007)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 04:36:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian/Jenkins: Blair is wildly exaggerating the threat posed by terrorism

Craving a monstrous enemy, the prime minister has vastly overstated this supposed threat to world security  

What is it about a desert that drives men mad? On Monday morning the prime minister stood on the Afghan sand and said: "Here in this extraordinary piece of desert is where the fate of world security in the early 21st century is going to be decided."

Tony Blair was talking to soldiers he had sent to fight the toughest guerrillas on earth for control of southern Afghanistan. He told them: "Your defeat [of the Taliban] is not just on behalf of the people of Afghanistan but the people of Britain ... We have got to stay for as long as it takes."

The prime minister's brain has clearly lost touch with reality. Even under the Raj there was no conceivable way Britain could conquer and hold the arc of territory to which Blair was referring. It stretches from the Persian Gulf through Iranian Baluchistan and Afghanistan to Pakistan. No central government has come near to controlling this region, and its aversion to outside intervention is ageless and ruthless, currently fuelled by the world's voracious appetite for oil and opium. But it poses no threat to world security.

The sole basis for Blair's statement is Mullah Omar's hospitality to the fanatic, Osama bin Laden, at the end of the 1990s. As we now know, this was never popular (an Arab among Pashtuns); after 9/11, when the Taliban had collaborated with the west over opium, either Bin Laden would eventually have had to leave or the Tajiks would have taken revenge for his killing of their leader, Sheikh Massoud. Even the Pakistanis were on his tail. Either way, Talib Afghanistan was no more a "threat" after 9/11 than were the American flying schools at which the 9/11 perpetrators trained.

by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:24:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talib Afghanistan was no more a "threat" after 9/11 than were the American flying schools at which the 9/11 perpetrators trained.

This cuts to the core of it. As some of you know, I would have supported a war on Talibanistan if the aim would have been to replace it with something much more 'humane' with a realistic plan, but the terror argument is fishy (evewn if the UN bowed to it), and the Warlordistan Afghans got is not better.

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

by DoDo on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 02:45:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Increasingly I don't see the point of the occupationof Afghanistan, even though I believe we were completely justified in doing it.  We should've simply gone in, taken out bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and left.  "Hit the people who organized the attack on us, and then get the hell out."  Afghanistan was not, and is not, ready to be a modern society as we think of it, although it seems to be in infinitely better shape than Iraq.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 02:59:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should've simply gone in, taken out bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and left.

Here's the problem: it's not "simple". Also, it may have been possible to get him by means other than military.

it seems to be in infinitely better shape than Iraq.

Huh? Iraq was bombed back to the middle age, Afghanistan is more like Mad Max country. I'd say Afghanistan is in much worse shape, though it wasn't mainly the last US invasion that put it there. Also, I don't know what kind of society Afghans in general are ready for, I would agree that it's not a Western-style secularised liberal democracy, but Afghanistan's fate is not decided by popular vote but the strength of arms -- arms of an aggressive minority (or its foreign backers).

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

by DoDo on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:17:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Afghanistan was not, and is not, ready to be a modern society as we think of it, although it seems to be in infinitely better shape than Iraq.

Umm, but it was, and very recently. The soviet invasion threw over a very liberal monarchy. Women alive today in afghanistan attended kabul university in mini-skirts and without wearing the headscarf.

It was superpower politics that saw advantage in creating a tribal strife that led to the patriarchal rubbish we see now. As christina Lamb described in "The sewing circles of Herat", the taliban were a conglomeration of village idiots, fortune tellers and general vagabonds who suddenly found themselves inpower and imposed their ignorant foolishness at the end of a gun.

Just like practically everywhere else, this was a mess we made but if we really, really want to help, we''ll leave them the hell alone to fix it for themselves.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 09:41:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Soviet invasion overthrew the Republic established by Daoud's coup, which lasted 5 years, before the communist coup, and the soviet invasion only came later (and US support for the Muyahedeen came before, not after the US invasion).

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:02:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, didn't know about that bit. I lazily assumed that the king was overthrown by the socialists.

Still, doesn't alter my point that till the soviet invasion and backlash, afghanistan was becoming an open and liberal society.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:43:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if the US hadn't decided to build up the Muyahedeen, we might not be in our current predicament.
Brzezinski, known for his hardline policies on the Soviet Union, initiated a campaign supporting mujaheddin in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which were run by Pakistani security services with financial support from the CIA and Britain's MI6. This policy had the explicit aim of promoting radical Islamist and anti-Communist forces to overthrow the secular communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan government in Afghanistan, which had been destabilized by coup attempts against Hafizullah Amin, the power struggle within the Soviet-supported parcham faction of the PDPA and a subsequent Soviet military intervention.

...

January 18, 1998, Brzezinski was interviewed by the French newspaper, Nouvel Observateur on the topic of Afghanistan. He revealed that CIA support for the mujaheddin started before the Soviet invasion, and was indeed designed to prompt a Soviet invasion, leading them into a bloody conflict on par with America's experience in Vietnam. This was referred to as the "Afghan Trap." Brzezinski viewed the end of the Soviet empire as worth the cost of strengthening militant Islamic groups.

Chalk that one up to Jimmy Carter.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:50:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, given the understanding of the time, I'm not sure he was wrong in terms of superpower politics.

But it is a shame that they felt that the immiseration of a country was a worthwhile sacrifice for their cerebral geo-political chess games.

I wish I could enjoy the schaudenfreunde of watching the americans getting caught in the same bear-trap. But such laughs are cheap and sick, people still die so's Brzezinski's succesor's can continue their game.

A long, painful and lonely death on the lot of them

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 11:29:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a circle of Hell for Cold Warriors?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 11:30:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Englishmen really need to learn to not go out in the midday sun.
by det on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:00:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"Here in this extraordinary piece of desert is where the fate of world security in the early 21st century is going to be decided."

Mad is right. There is nothing of strategic value in that desert, but by publicly giving it one like this, in a clearly unwinnable fight, Blair sets the stage for a very real strategic defeat - or at least a weakening of the credibility (supposing that there was any left) that we had on international law, democracy and human rights.

What a waste, what a fucking waste.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 04:41:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But his ravings at least provide a context for Manningham-Buller's outburst. She is simply responding to political reality by hyping up the muslim threat. However all she will achieves is, like the boy who cried wolf, to undermine her own credibility. Spooks should stay in the dark.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 09:33:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotsman: Putin issues veiled warning to Poland on EU talks

LONDON (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said in a veiled warning to Poland and other East European nations on Wednesday they risked creating fresh divisions in Europe by treating Russia as an enemy instead of a strategic partner.

Poland has been blocking consensus in the EU on a mandate for talks with Russia on a new strategic partnership, due to be launched at a summit in Helsinki on Friday, saying Moscow must first end or promise to end a ban on Polish food imports.

On Tuesday, Poland said it would drop a threatened veto on the talks if the EU met conditions it had set out in a letter sent to the Finnish EU presidency. It gave no details.

In an article in the Financial Times, Putin wrote that some in Europe were trying to fit EU-Russian relations into "the obsolete model of 'friend or foe'", but there should be nothing to fear from growing interdependence between the two sides.

"Such stereotypes have little in common with reality, but their persistent influence on political thinking and practice runs the risk of creating fresh divisions in Europe," he said.

"The past must not be used to divide us, because we cannot rewrite history."

The Financial Times said although Putin did not mention Poland by name, he clearly had the country in his sights along with the seven other formerly communist countries that joined the European Union in 2004 and regarded Moscow with suspicion.

by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's good they don't say "veiled threat", but even "veiled warning" is an over-interpretation of Putin's words.

On the other hand, I observe again: for long a problem of Russian diplomacy (and to a lesser extent, French diplomacy) was to view global politics as something done by Big Guys while smaller countries are insignificant but uppidy, and then be surprised when another power (primarily the USA) that groomed and courted these dwarfs (or just their elites) benefits from trouble caused by them. That is, from pure great power politics considerations, it is beneficial to treat small countries above their weight. Putin is not really to blame for this, as he has to deal with well-developed hates while he seemed to realise and started diplomatic initiatives, but it is yet too little and too weak compared to the USA's, or even to punishing measures like against Georgia.

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

by DoDo on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:00:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I could not read this much from the original.

As you are saying, the subjects in European foreign arena are US and (to a much lesser degree) EU, as the only entities interested in playing the imperial game. So all the real problems of the nature you mention with small countries can be cleared through Washington and Brussels.

Russia had been clear lately that it is not interested in subsidizing ex-USSR countries and US or EU have to pick up the tab. In particular case of Poland, current Russian interest in this country is close to zero, and the case of irrational (what Russia gains?) one-sided demands by Poland is EU's internal issue.

If and when Russia is willing to play this game, that would be time to give small countries treatment above above their weight: ship weapons to insurgency in Iraq, spend few billion in LA, accelerate nuclear help to Iran, that kind of stuff. I doubt even then it will start with Poland.

by blackhawk on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 09:01:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Putin wrote that some in Europe were trying to fit EU-Russian relations into "the obsolete model of 'friend or foe'", but there should be nothing to fear from growing interdependence between the two sides.

"Such stereotypes have little in common with reality, but their persistent influence on political thinking and practice runs the risk of creating fresh divisions in Europe," he said.

"The past must not be used to divide us, because we cannot rewrite history."

He's absolutely right on this. Sure, he's been heavy handed in this, and one can discuss whether his policies to reconetralsie control of the oil industry is good for Russia, but the only people that lost anything in the West were oil companies, who lost opportunities (not any actual money). In terms of strategic interests, Russia has kept on exporting as much as it could, and it is the West thathas started treating Putin as a strategic adversary instead of a partner.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 04:45:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde: L'âge et l'origine, principales discriminations à l'embauche
Avoir 48-50 ans, porter un patronyme maghrébin, avoir un handicap, être une femme avec des enfants ou encore "souffrir" d'une apparence disgracieuse : telles sont, dans l'ordre, les principaux facteurs de discrimination à l'embauche révélés dans le "premier baromètre national" réalisé par la société d'intérim Adia avec Jean-François Amadieu, professeur à l'université Paris-I et directeur de l'Observatoire des discriminations. Rendue publique mardi 21 novembre, elle montre que la plupart des discriminations à l'embauche, à l'exception du handicap, se sont aggravées par rapport à une étude de 2004.

  To be 48-50 years old, to have a North African last name, to be handicapped, to be a woman with children, or to "suffer" from an unsightly appearance: such -- in that order -- are the principal types of employment discrimination revealed in the "first national barometer" carried out by the temporary work agency Adia with Jean-François Amadieu, professor at Paris I University and director of the Observatory of Discriminations. Made public on Tuesday November 21, the study shows that most kinds of employment discrimination, with the exception of that against the handicapped, have gotten worse in comparison to a study from 2004.

CADRE MAGHRÉBIN

Pour réaliser cette évaluation, 6 461 curriculum vitae ont été envoyés pendant un an en réponse à 1 340 offres d'emploi. Les résultats (convocations à un entretien d'embauche) obtenus par le candidat de "référence" (homme, 28-30 ans, "Français de souche" par son nom et son prénom, sans photographie) et des candidats susceptibles d'être discriminés ont été comparés.

THE NORTH AFRICAN PROFESSIONAL

To carry out this evaluation, 6461 CVs were sent over the course of a year in response to 1340 job offers. The results (invitations to a job interview) obtained by a "control" candidate (male, 28-30 years old, having a "stock French" last name and first name, without photo) and by candidates more likely to be discriminated against were compared.

Grand perdant, le "48-50 ans" est plus souvent écarté, quels que soient la catégorie sociale, le bassin d'emploi, la taille de l'entreprise ou le secteur d'activité : pour 100 convocations à un entretien d'embauche pour le candidat de référence, cette catégorie en reçoit trois fois moins (32), surtout s'il est cadre (14 réponses quand l'ouvrier âgé en reçoit 50). Le cadre d'origine maghrébine reçoit 17 réponses positives, l'ouvrier 47. Globalement, en raison de son origine, il n'a que 36 chances d'être convoqué quand le "Français de souche" en a 100.

The big loser is the "48-50" year old who is selected the least often, regardless of social group*, labor pool, company size, or work sector: among 100 invitations for job interviews that the control candidate received, this category received three times less (32), especially if he is a white-collar professional** (14 invitations, while older blue-collar workers get 50). The white-collar professional of North African origin gets 17 positive responses, his blue-collar counterpart 47. Generally, as a consequence of his ethnicity***, he only has 36 chances for a job interview, while the "stock French" candidate has 100.

Si la situation des personnes handicapées semble s'être un peu améliorée, elle reste nettement discriminante. Le taux de réponse positive les concernant est en moyenne de 54 %, mais monte à 82 % chez les cadres.

If the situation for handicapped people seems to have improved somewhat, they are clearly still being discriminated against. The rate of positive responses for them is about 54%, but goes up to 82% those who are white-collar professionals.

Une femme de 32 ans, mariée, avec trois enfants, ne reçoit que 63 convocations à un entretien. Enfin, un candidat "au visage disgracieux" n'est convoqué que dans 71 % des cas. Selon Adia, à l'issue des tests, dans 10 % des cas (605 sur 6 461 CV envoyés), le candidat aurait pu porter plainte pour discrimination. La société de travail temporaire en profite pour vanter son rôle d'intermédiaire censé permettre de "limiter" les discriminations.

A 32-year old woman, married, with three children, only receives 63 invitations for an interview. Lastly, a candidate with an "unsightly [unpleasant?] face" is invited in only 71% of the cases. According to Adia, based on the outcomes of these tests, the candidate could have sued for discrimination in 10% of the cases (605 of 6461 CVs sent) -- which the temporary work company makes the most of to hype its role as an intermediary that is supposedly able to "reduce" such discrimination.

* Originally thought catégorie sociale was "social class", but then in the context of the rest of the article, thought it might mean something like "ethnicity" (e.g. "Français de souche" vs. Maghréb). So left it as neutral "social group.

** For want of a better translation: I believe cadre also includes lawyers, doctors, bankers, consultants, IT professionals, etc.

*** Can I translate origine as "ethnicity" here?



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 02:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Really interesting article, although not surprising.  'Unsightly face' probably refers to facial disfigurements.  I know the word handicapped is used in the context of the article, but disability is a much better word to use.  Handicapped is one of my most loathed words of all time!

Thanks very much for the translation though.  The discrimination patterns are very similar in the UK too.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:05:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately the French is "handicapé" (borrowed from English) and there is no equivalent to "disabled" or "disability". They should invent one.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:24:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspected that was the case.  How annoying.  It's about time discourse invented a new term for it.  What is 'dis-able' in French?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 05:37:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I seem to recall from my days of riding paris metro that the word is "mutilé"
by dmun on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 06:55:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, but mutilé means someone who has lost a limb.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That seems to be equivalent to amputee.  No generic disability equivalent?  Hmmm. Can we make one up and start using it and hope it spreads?!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now explain to me why "disabled" sounds better that "handicapped".

Note: in Italian they also use handicap and handicappato. In Spanish there is the horrible disminuido (diminished!) as in disminuido fisico or disminuido mental (this one has shades of "retarded"), which is even in the constitution:

Section 49
The public authorities shall carry out a policy of preventive care, treatment, rehabilitation and integration of the physically, sensorially and mentally handicapped by giving them the specialized care they require, and affording them special protection for the enjoyment of the rights granted by this Part to all citizens.
Artículo 49
Los poderes públicos realizarán una política de previsión, tratamiento, rehabilitación e integración de los disminuidos físicos, sensoriales y psíquicos, a los que prestarán la atención especializada que requieran y los ampararán especialmente para el disfrute de los derechos que este Título otorga a todos los ciudadanos.
The more modern (and general) Spanish term is discapacitado, which is a closer match to "disabled". PM Zapatero has proposed to replaced "disminuido" with "discapacitado" in the Constitution (Spanish link).

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 11:08:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Handicapped is derived from the phrase 'cap in hand' eg amputee beggars in the street, that type of thing.  I have a disability, I don't go out begging in the streets because of that.  'Handicapped' reinforces those negative images of tragic, pitiful, dependant souls who need help.

Disabled means dis-abled as in prevented from having full ability to do something.  Obviously the context will change the meaning of the word. The medical model of disability says that a persons' impairment or loss of function disables them. The social model says that barriers within society disable a person and prevent them from taking full part and having equal access.

Words like disminuido are just as awful as handicapped because they place emphasis on a person as being subnormal, lacking, deviant, wrong or broken in some way.

I don't know any Spanish but discapacitado immediately reads to me as removal of capacity to do something ie loss of ability ie dis-ability...  It has fewer negative associations than some other words that are used.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 06:42:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catégorie sociale means socio-professional groups like workers, office staff, management, higher management, shopkeepers and crafts/tradespeople, etc.

Cadre is a manager (executive). Cadre supérieur is a higher manager, director, corporate officer. These categories don't include doctors, lawyers, etc, who are professions libérales.

Origine means ethnic origin (or national origin, or even regional origin). In this case clearly ethnic.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:37:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Financial Times: Fewer Turkish women wearing headscarf


Turkey's people are increasingly tolerant of the wearing of the Muslim headscarf, yet fewer women wear it than in 1999, according to a wide-ranging survey of social attitudes published on Tuesday.

As a debate rages in some European Union countries about banning the Muslim veil that conceals a woman's face, the finding that fewer Turkish women are wearing the more moderate headscarf is counter-intuitive. Many secular Turks believe it is more common now, after four years of a socially conservative government, than it used to be, even though the headscarf is banned in state buildings and universities.

(...)

The survey found that 60 per cent of women wear the headscarf, compared with 75 per cent seven years ago, while 36.5 per cent of women do not wear any head covering, compared with 27.3 per cent before.

The number of Turks who consider themselves "quite" or "very" religious also rose, but opposition to Sharia law increased sharply, to 76 per cent from 58 per cent a decade ago.

(...)

The study found only 5.7 per cent considered the headscarf issue to be the most pressing problem facing Turkey. More than two thirds of people said unemployment was the biggest problem.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 05:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Adherence to cultural signifiers seems to increase if a culture feels it is threatened, it's kinda like circling the wagons. Then it solidifies in the culture for a while and then recedes as the perception of threat fades.

So the dropping of this mere cultural identifier (nb it's not a religious requirement) probably signifies that turkey is becoming the confident secular multi-faith society Attaturk wanted.

Good. Now let's hope that one day the rest of the middle East feels similarly less threatend. We could help in that process by not threatening to invade it all the time, but hey, what do I know ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 09:52:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:41:15 PM EST
Yahoo: Unelected Mexican leftist claims office

MEXICO CITY - Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador swore himself in as Mexico's "legitimate" president Monday, launching a parallel government he hopes will prevent President-elect Felipe Calderon from governing.

The ceremony is the latest chapter in Lopez Obrador's unsuccessful battle for the presidency. He claims fraud and dirty campaign tactics were responsible for Calderon's narrow victory in the July 2 vote, and his parallel government could spend the next six years calling for street protests that have already dented the economy and prompted travel warnings from the U.S. Embassy.

Rosario Ibarra, a human rights activist and senator for Lopez Obrador's coalition, placed the presidential sash across his shoulders during Monday's ceremony. While the action lacks legal recognition, Lopez Obrador hopes to assume the moral leadership of millions of poor Mexicans.

"I pledge ... to serve loyally and patriotically as legitimate president of Mexico," Lopez Obrador said. "I pledge to protect the rights of Mexicans and to defend Mexico's sovereignty and patrimony, and ensure the happiness and welfare of the people."


by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:02:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean, after all, in the Mexican system it is one séximo and then you're finished!

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 01:28:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IHT: Bush to propose global partnership for five countries at NATO summit next week

WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush plans to propose at a NATO summit next week a partnership arrangement for five countries that would expand the reach of the Atlantic alliance to the Pacific Ocean. No invitations for full-fledged membership will be issued.

Japan, Australia, South Korea, Sweden and Finland will be invited at the Riga, Latvia, summit to expand training and meetings with the 26-country NATO alliance but not to join, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said Tuesday.

"These five countries -- at least the three Asian countries, I should say, Australia, Japan and South Korea -- do not seek NATO membership," Burns said. "But we seek a partnership with them so that we can train more intensively, from a military point of view, and grow closer to them because we are deployed with them."

"This will be a priority issue for the United States at this summit, and we believe NATO will agree to this program of global partnerships," Burns said at a State Department news conference.

Australia already is the biggest non-NATO contributor to the alliance-led force of about 20,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Six Arab countries are partners with NATO, as is Israel.


by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:04:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should change what NATO stands for, as "A" for Atlantic is clearly obsolete.

Maybe "Not American Troops Organisation"

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 04:46:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Time to talk about what NATO is for again.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 05:08:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 05:14:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The American Foreign Legion ??

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 09:55:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Haaretz: Study: 40 percent of settlements were built on Palestinian land

A new study conducted by left-wing group Peace Now has found that approximately 40 percent of settlements, including long-standing communities, are built on private Palestinian land and not on state-owned land.

In a press conference held in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the group presented a report asserting that out of a total area of 157,000 dunams used by West Bank settlements and industrial zones, 61,000 dunams (approximately 38 percent) are privately owned by Palestinians.

The report singles out the two largest settlements, both of which have city status. It says that 86.4 percent of Ma'ale Adumim is built on Palestinian land, and 35.1 percent of Ariel.

The group says that the data presented in the report "demonstrates that the property rights of many Palestinians have been systematically violated in the course of settlement building."

by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:07:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There I was thinking that state-owned land was owned on behalf of all the people.
by det on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:04:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're a commie.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:28:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Birds of a Feather Dept.:

NYT: An Ideologue for Hire Gets New Alliance

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 -- Senator Joseph I. Lieberman announced Tuesday that he had hired a new spokesman, which is not in itself that noteworthy, except that the said spokesman, Marshall Wittmann, is one of the great career vagabonds, ideological contortionists and political pontificators ever to inflict himself on a city full of them.

[...]

Mr. Wittmann, meanwhile, is a Trotskyite turned Zionist turned Reaganite turned bipartisan irritant turned pretty much everything in between -- including chief lobbyist for the Christian Coalition, the only Jew who has ever held that position.

"Jewish mothers do not raise their Jewish sons to work for the Christian Coalition," said Mr. Wittmann, offering one of many explanations for why that job was not an ideal fit.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:06:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, man, Wittman. Birds of a feather indeed.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:18:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER
by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:42:08 PM EST
Spiegel Online: WATER SHUT OFF IN AUSTRALIA - Wave of Suicides Follows Drought Down Under

Farmers in Australia are suffering their fifth year of continuous drought -- and the summer hasn't even started yet. Now, farms along the Murray River have been cut off, and the government is sending in therapists to help suicidal farmers.

It has been a miserable start to the summer in Australia. Yet another dry spring with lower-than-average rainfall promises another summer of failed crops, trickling rivers and farmers in despair.
And there is little Australia can do. On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile announced that even more parched regions in Australia will be eligible for government assistance, meaning that over 50 percent of the country's agricultural land has now been declared drought-stricken.

 Planning also continues for the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline, a $500 million project to build 9,000 kilometers of water pipe to replace the current open channels. The current water system loses up to 85 percent of the water in the system to seepage and evaporation. The new pipeline is to provide farms in Victoria, a state in south-eastern Australia, with water for irrigation.

But that project will take 10 years to complete and will only get started later this year. In the meantime, water levels in the Murray River, from which the pipeline is to draw its water, are extremely low.


by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But...but...John Howard says that there is no such things as global warming. So this is just normal, the rain's there, we just can't see it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 09:58:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yahoo: U.N. says 39.5 million people have HIV

GENEVA - The global HIV epidemic is growing, leaving an estimated 39.5 million people worldwide infected with the deadly virus, the

United Nations said Tuesday.

AIDS has claimed 2.9 million lives this year and another 4.3 million people became infected with HIV, according to the U.N.'s AIDS epidemic update report, published on Tuesday. Spread of the disease was most noticeable in East Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since the first case was reported in 1981, making it one of the most destructive illnesses in history.

"In a short quarter of a century AIDS has drastically changed our world," U.N. Secretary-General

Kofi Annan said at a staff meeting Monday in Geneva. "AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria make up the deadliest triad the world has known."

But he said improvement in treatment, more resources and higher political commitment over the past 10 years gave rise to optimism.


by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:03:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WaPo: Programs Help Reduce HIV Rates in Parts of Africa, Report Says

Seven African countries are experiencing a decline in the prevalence of HIV infection among young, urban adults, finally reaping the benefit of AIDS prevention and treatment, the United Nations said yesterday in its annual report on the global epidemic.

That good news was offset by troubling signs that the first African country to reverse the epidemic, Uganda, is experiencing a resurgence of infection, as is Thailand, another early success story.

Based on hundreds of national and regional surveys, the report stitches a patchwork of progress and setbacks: a successful national treatment program in Brazil and a new, aggressive response by the Chinese government, alongside a worsening HIV epidemic in the former Soviet bloc and a new outbreak among gay men in Europe.

But the pendulum swing underway in Uganda and Thailand appears to mark a new phase in the 25-year-old AIDS epidemic.

"It should not be a surprise that the countries first to show success will be the first to have a rebound and show problems," said Peter Piot, director of UNAIDS, the program run by the United Nations and the World Bank. "It is something that I am really very worried about."

He and other epidemiologists are trying to learn whether the resurgence of infection in the two nations is a demographic copy of the first wave of AIDS cases or represents the spread of infection to new groups. They are also trying to understand how big a part "prevention fatigue" may be playing in the trend.

"We really don't have an idea why it is happening," Piot said.

[...]

Prevalence of the disease in city dwellers 15 to 24, who make up a key demographic gauge of the epidemic's trajectory, has fallen by at least 25 percent in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya, Botswana, Burundi, Rwanda and Ivory Coast. In Zimbabwe, Kenya, Botswana and Tanzania, the rate fell a similar amount among rural people.

In Uganda, the national prevalence is 6.7 percent -- a steep decline from a decade ago, attributed to fewer sex partners, later "sexual debut" by teenagers, increased condom use and rising AIDS mortality through the 1990s. Now, however, AIDS prevalence is rising in some populations, such as rural men (up from 5.6 to 6.5 percent) and rural women (6.9 percent to 8.8 percent), according to recent surveys.

[...]

In Thailand, HIV infection used to be seen almost exclusively in prostitutes and their male clients. The spread of the virus was nearly halted by a national campaign for "100 percent condom use" in commercial sex transactions. Now, however, the epidemic is spreading to married women, who accounted for one-third of new infections last year. It is also becoming far more prevalent in male homosexuals -- up from 17 percent in Bangkok in 2003 to 28 percent in 2005.

In Western Europe, just over one-third of the new HIV infections last year occurred in "men who have sex with men," the term preferred by epidemiologists, because many men infected that way do not consider themselves to be homosexual. The Netherlands, Britain, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium reported steep increases in the number of infections in that population since 2000.

About 55 percent of new infections in Europe were acquired through opposite-sex intercourse, with three-quarters occurring in immigrants or migrants. The report noted the need to target prevention programs to them.

A major sign of progress is that since 2002, 2 million years of life have been gained by the use of antiviral drugs in low- and middle-income countries. In Africa, 790,000 years of life have been gained, most in the past two years.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:02:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grief, that's climbing towards 1% of the world's population. But don't worry folks, abstinence will save you.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:02:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Telegraph: Blair proposes network of 'Supernannies'

Tony Blair has unveiled plans to introduce nearly 80 "Supernannies" to help parents tame unruly children.

Up to £4 million is to be spent on creating a network of experts in a bid to tackle the roots of anti-social behaviour, according to the Prime Minister.

Under the measures, courts will also be encouraged to order compulsory lessons in a wider number of cases, while classes may also be given to parents whose children have engaged in anti-social behaviour rather than in crime.

Laying the ground for the publication of proposals to force more fathers and mothers to attend parenting classes, Mr Blair said that an "overwhelming majority" of people would welcome outside assistance.

"This should be no surprise given the huge popularity of all those television programmes in which experts help parents with their problem kids," he added.

"So I don't believe any government, particularly one determined to tackle anti-social behaviour, can ignore parents' cry for help."

He added: "The nanny state argument applied to this is just rubbish. No-one's talking about interfering in a normal family life.

by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:52:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading Blair is driving me up the wall. He's become a screaming lunatic marbles-lost self-caricature.

aaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!!!!!!

Afew Let Me Out Of Here! Technology ™
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 02:32:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great article related to this in the Independent today. Sorry behind subsription wall annoyingly, so selected quotes below (sorry for my crappy typing)

..a new publication makes matters more explicit. Examining research across the US and then replicating it across 18 OECD countries found an intimate link between the amount of welfare spending  and the level of imprisonment.

However (Britain bucks the trend) which has in recent years managed to increase welfare while simultaneously achieving new records for incarceration.

This may have many reasons, the distorting effect of Private Finance Initiatives and the cumbersome delivery of welfare that costs so much to impement. But this is all part of the idea that the poor are at fault for their own fecklessness and should not be rewarded for it. Though £37000 a year keeping people in prison looks extravagant compared to a few  quid to keep the wolf from the door

I think she misses the effect of generational tie-lag. Increasing welfare provision does not help the genenration now being imprisoned.

But basically what is being said is that problem children are less likely to be problems for families that are not under stress from poverty. Truly terrible children like we see in Supernanny are not the norm of those who end up in prison.

Mostly prisoners are those who cannot read and were abandoned due to lack of resources in years 1 to 5 of school. They develop a history of exclusion because of that lack. Throw resources at the young. And take the stress of poverty from their home life. then the next generation will benefit.

But Tony just wants another cheap headline, and the paper's fall for it as usual. Is there a budget allocated ? Ah, didn't think so.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:16:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seattle PI:  Teachers emphasize the Indians' side

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Teacher Bill Morgan walks into his third-grade class wearing a black Pilgrim hat made of construction paper and begins snatching up pencils, backpacks and glue sticks from his pupils. He tells them the items now belong to him because he "discovered" them. The reaction is exactly what Morgan expects: The kids get angry and want their things back.

Morgan is among elementary school teachers who have ditched the traditional Thanksgiving lesson, in which children dress up like Indians and Pilgrims and act out a romanticized version of their first meetings.

(...)Even American Indians are divided on how to approach a holiday that some believe symbolizes the start of a hostile takeover of their lands.

Chuck Narcho, a member of the Maricopa and Tohono O'odham tribes who works as a substitute teacher in Los Angeles, said younger children should not be burdened with all the gory details of American history.

(...)"If you are going to teach, you need to keep it positive," he said. "They can learn about the truths when they grow up. Caring, sharing and giving - that is what was originally intended."

(...)Becky Wyatt, a teacher at Kettering Elementary School in Long Beach, decided to alter the costumes for the annual Thanksgiving play a few years ago after local Indians spoke out against students wearing feathers, which are sacred in their culture. Now children wear simple headbands.

"We have many mixed cultures in Long Beach, so we try to be sensitive," Wyatt said. "What you teach little children is important."



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 01:03:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Global Gender Gap (World Economic Forum - the organizers of "Davos")


The Nordic countries, Sweden (1), Norway (2), Finland (3) and Iceland (4), top the latest Gender Gap Index. Germany (5), the Philippines (6), New Zealand (7), Denmark (8), the United Kingdom (9) and Ireland (10) complete the top 10 countries with the smallest "gender gap".

(...)

The Report measures the size of the gender gap in four critical areas of inequality between men and women:

  1. Economic participation and opportunity - outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
  2. Educational attainment - outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
  3. Political empowerment - outcomes on representation in decision-making structures
  4. Health and survival - outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio

France is 70 out of 115.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 04:51:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain is #11, but look at the specific rankings...
Countryoverall rankingEconomic ParticipationEducational attainmentPolitical empowermenthealth and survival
Spain118537571
France70881601
I call bullshit. These "scores" and indices are meaningless, and the four "component rankings" are also probably themselves reductions of a number of other categories.

Project for tonight: statistical analysis of the rankings to figure out how the global indes is calculated.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 05:00:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The educational and health rankings mean little, because the scores are very close in most Western (sic) countries - either a perfect equality (score 1.00) or very close (0.98 or so), thus a low ranking there means little.

On the other hand, the number of elected politicians seems to have a big weight, as has the wage ratio for equivalent jobs (where France has a really bad score, which surprises me a little). Same with "government provided childcare", where France does not too well, which is ironic as there is a lot of public support (via tax breaks) for private-provided childcare...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 05:10:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, how many ranks will France jump up if Royal gets elected?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 05:12:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SPECIAL FOCUS Lebanon
by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:43:34 PM EST
Guardian: Assassination triggers fresh crisis in Lebanon

Lebanon lurched closer to a fresh round of sectarian bloodletting yesterday with the assassination of its industry minister, Pierre Gemayel, a member of the country's most powerful Christian family and a leading opponent of Syrian influence.

The killing shook Lebanon's beleaguered government and sent tremors across the Middle East, further complicating attempts to find a regional solution to the Iraq war. The Bush administration, under pressure to negotiate with Syria and Iran, yesterday hinted at the responsibility of both countries' governments, accusing them of trying destabilise Lebanon.

Speaking at an air force base in Hawaii, the US president, George Bush, called for a full investigation and pledged US support for Lebanon's government leaders and their efforts "to defend their democracy against attempts by Syria, Iran and allies, to foment instability and violence in that important country".

In Beirut, Maronite Christian crowds tried to march on the residence of the president, Emile Lahoud, who they revile for his ties to Damascus.

Clashes also broke out between Christians and the police near the hospital where Mr Gemayel's body was taken after being shot in his car on a busy street. Outside the hospital, the dead man's father, the former president Amin Gemayel, appeared to stagger under the shock of the death of an heir who had widely expected to take over the mantle of the Phalange movement that his family helped found.

by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:56:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Robert Fisk: Civil war in Lebanon

Civil war - the words on all our lips yesterday. Pierre Gemayel's murder - in broad daylight, in a Christian suburb of Beirut, his car blocked mafia-style by another vehicle while his killer fired through the driver's window into the head of Lebanon's minister of industry - was a message for all of us who live in this tragic land.

For days, we had been debating whether it was time for another political murder to ratchet up the sectarian tensions now that the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora was about to fall. For days now, the political language of Lebanon had been incendiary, the threats and bullying of the political leaders ever more fearsome. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, the Shia Hizbollah leader, had been calling Siniora's cabinet illegitimate. "The government of Feltman," he was calling it - Jeffrey Feltman is the US ambassador to Lebanon - while the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt was claiming Iran was trying to take over.

Yesterday's assassination of Pierre Gemayel was a warning. It might have been Jumblatt, who has told me many times that he constantly awaits his own death, or it might have been Siniora himself, the little economist and friend of the also murdered former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

But no. Gemayel, son of ex-president Amin Gemayel and nephew of the murdered president-elect, Bashir Gemayel - murder tends to run in the family in Lebanon - was no charismatic figure, just a hard-working unmarried Christian Maronite minister whose unrewarding task had been to call émigré Lebanese home to rebuild their country after Israel's bloody bombardment.

by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:17:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the right link to Robert Fisk's article.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:56:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also this diary: Lebanon: the shooting of Gemayel by  eternalcityblues
by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:20:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AngryArab: UN

The UN Security Council today condemned the assassination of Pierre Gemayyel and considered it a "violation of Lebanon's sovereignty" (!?). The same Security Council did not condemn the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and did not consider it a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty.
by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:28:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the UNSC has concluded Israel is responsible for the Gemayel shooting?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 03:41:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most likely Syria.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:37:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well that just about sums it up really

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:20:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH
by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:46:22 PM EST
Sorry about yesterday! Monday evening my modem such gave up, just poof - without any warning, and as shops close here at 18.30 I was not able to get a replacement until yesterday. However, the great surprise was, I didn't have to pay anything for the replacement. :-)

A student who studies astrology told me that Mercury is retrograde currently, should be shifting soon, and thus cosing problems for all things technology and traveling. I wonder if she is right, first the modem, then my messages about the problem didn't seem to have gotten through to the other FP's and a few days ago someone crashed in my car from behind pushing me in a parked car. Thank the gods, nobody was hurt - though the car seems to need big fixing - amazing as to me it looks like minor scratches. But as I seem to be also lucky lately - the other guys insurance is paying.

So have a nice day all, oh and Mercury should be traveling direct again soon as I have been told and everything should be working fine again. :-D

by Fran on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Fran,

Good to see you back... despite Mercury in retrograde!

Glad only the car was hurt and not you!

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 11:55:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry to hear that, but glad you got it sorted out.  We missed you yesterday!

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:57:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Izzy - well, and because of that I missed your dumpling open thread.
by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Enjoy your Wednesday, Fran!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 04:07:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks - it was a good Wednesday! :-)
by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 02:50:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, will he start selling the Spagetti?

Reuters: Italy's Berlusconi says he won't be premier again

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who went on trial on Tuesday charged with fraud, was quoted as saying he would not lead Italy's government again if his centre-right coalition returned to power.

"We will certainly return to power but I can already tell you something. Whatever happens, I will not go back to Palazzo Chigi (the prime minister's office)," Berlusconi was quoted by Libero newspaper as telling a group of friends.

"I've already done my part. Enough for me," he said.

The comments were published on the day Italy's richest man faced trial in Milan charged with corporate fraud, seven months after voters ousted him from office.

by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 12:43:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The news was published by the yellow rag daily, Libero, whose vice-director is the well-known Renato "Betulla" Farina. Berlusconi denied that he had made the remarks at a dinner party hosted by AN deputy, Daniela Santanché.

Berlusconi's mouthpiece, Paolo Bonaiuti, attacked Libero, a newspaper well known for its pro-Berlusconi positions. Libero stands by its story and director Vittorio Feltri announced they intend to sue Bonaiuti for his insults.

Berlusconi also remarked that he sees Prodi as lasting a long time as no "killer" has come forth within his ranks. This follows a diatribe in which Minister Chiti accused Berlusconi on the Senate floor of attempting to buy four or five Senators. The right wing protested vehemently despite the fact that Berlusconi had actually publically vaunted just days before of "winning over" several senators.

There are two senators who have broken ranks- the Neapolitan sensationalist reporter turned senator, Sergio De Gregorio, whose ties to rightwing Philadelphia are not very limpid, and a wanker from Ferrara who militates in the Diliberto's far-left party. At present the two coalitions are on par in the Senate.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 01:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a euphemism for going to prison, like doing porridge is in england ?

Cos it should be, and so should he.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:22:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to ask afew - he was the one who brought up the Spagetti salesman. :-) Didn't know about the porrige.
by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 02:49:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't seen ElcoB around lately.  Anyone got any news?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 05:03:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Last time I remember him commenting, was on that Israel diary - were the hair flew. That was about two weeks ago - hope he didn't feel to hurt by the attacks.
by Fran on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 02:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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