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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch – 28 October

by Fran Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:37:13 AM EST

On this date in history:

1972 - The first Airbus A300 flies into the skies.

More here


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:38:12 AM EST
BBC:  Royal 'targeted by blackmailers'

Buckingham Palace has refused to discuss a report that a member of the Royal Family has been the subject of a blackmail attempt.

According to the Sunday Times, the case involves allegations of drugs and sex.

A Palace spokesperson would only say it was a police matter and Scotland Yard was investigating.

Police said two men, aged 30 and 40, appeared before City of Westminster magistrates on 13 September accused of blackmail and were remanded in custody.

They will next appear at the Old Bailey in December.

The Sunday Times says two men demanded £50,000 from a member of the Royal Family, threatening to go public with the allegations if their demand was not met.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:54:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
£50,000 is a joke?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:05:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such poverty of imagination. You'd get much more money flogging the tape to the News of the World.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:00:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With much less chance of being injured falling down the steps of the police station too.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:11:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
pretty daft to try and blackmail the Monarchy

I'd say the real story is the clear failure of education in britain...

by paving on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS : RIGHTS-EUROPE: 'Non-lethal Weapons' Tackle Protests Against Globalisation
PARIS, Oct 26 (IPS) - Several European governments are arming their police forces with a new range of "non-lethal weapons" to put down protests against globalisation, and among immigrants.

Governments in France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and several other countries have ordered such weapons, or are about to, even though human rights groups are warning that the supposed "non-lethality" of the guns is a myth, and that they actually can kill people.

The most widespread "non-lethal weapon" is the stun gun Taser, that discharges electric shocks. Technically that should only paralyse the person shot at, and cause intense pain.

But in a report released Sep. 27, the human rights groups Amnesty International (AI) affirms that the stun gun might have caused "more than 290 deaths of individuals in the USA and Canada struck by police Tasers" between June 2001 and Sep. 30 this year.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:23:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no suggestion that this is about preventing or damping down illegal behaviour, this is about curtailing the Right to Protest. So much for civil rights, Europe has seen the future and it is america. I return to a quote from Arthur Silber on what this is about

A study by the Denver Post in May 2004 found that the Denver Police Department commonly used Tasers to gain compliance, not to avoid other forms of violence. The Post additionally found that officers sometimes even shocked handcuffed suspects with the painful device.

The Portland, Oregon newspaper Willamette Week, has reported on Oregon police using Tasers on people for nonviolent offenses, such as littering, jaywalking, and failure to obey an officer.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:08:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're not quite there yet...

 I remember a friend in the military who did a sting in the CRS (the anti-riot units of gendarmerie), and he told me how they were scared to death of goinf agaisnt some categories of demonstrators - in particular farmers, who were better armed than them and had no restrictions on weapons' use. For some kinds of demonstrations in France, the injured will only be on the side of the police.

So they may want to get revenge against softer targets (such as naive students) - but are usually happy, actually, when the professional "service d'ordre" (internal forces - very good at their job, including weeding out provocateurs) of the unions help out the students and other amateur demonstrators to keep order.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:05:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he was in the gendarmerie, he was in the gendarmerie mobile, not the CRS who are part of the Police Nationale...

Also, I don't think the services d'ordres are professional (which would be barely legal), but are made of union militants who work in physical jobs. The CGT uses book industry workers, I think.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:18:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hewas a gendarme, so it must have been gendarmes mobiles, then.
By "professional", I only meant experienced and competent, sorry.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lib Dem candidates go head-to-head in leadership campaign - Independent Online Edition > UK Politics

At the start of the contest, Mr Clegg is enjoying a clear advantage with 28 nominations from MPs to Mr Huhne's 10, bolstering his status as favourite.

However, the environment spokesman did receive one major vote of support from an establishment figure this weekend as Lord Steel, the former Liberal leader, declared his support on the basis of his stance on the Trident nuclear deterrent. "I had not intended to declare support for either of the candidates since I have always taken the view that former leaders do not get involved," said Lord Steel. "However, Paddy Ashdown's support for Nick Clegg has blown my cover."

The contest will be decided by a ballot of the party's entire membership, although figures suggest a strong preference for Mr Clegg among his colleagues at Westminster.

Nevertheless, some Liberal Democrat activists said that they want more contenders because the two rivals for the top job are too similar. Both men are former MEPs who entered Parliament in 2005. Both went to Westminster school and Oxbridge, and both are former journalists married to foreign-born, high-flying wives, with multilingual children.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 05:07:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkish Leader Criticizes Europe Over Kurdish Militants | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 27.10.2007
As Turkey threatens military action against Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq, Prime Minister Erdogan slammed EU countries for not doing enough to tackle militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

In a televised speech at a symposium in Istanbul on Saturday, Oct 27, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized European countries for failing to arrest and extradite wanted Kurdish militants to Turkey.

Istanbul has regularly asked countries to do more against the PKK which is considered a terrorist organization both by the European Union and the US.

"Unfortunately no EU country has extradited members of the PKK to Turkey, despite labeling it as a terrorist organization," Erdogan said.

[...]

Erdogan did not mention any European nation by name. But he did refer to a recent row with Austria over its refusal to arrest a senior PKK member who then boarded a plane to northern Iraq, news agency AFP reported.

PKK treasurer Riza Altun emerged in Austria in July after fleeing France, where he was indicted in February for terrorist activities and barred from leaving the Paris region, the agency said.



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 Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:47:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LA Times:  Spain's church-state battle goes to class
The leftist government has introduced a civics curriculum that conservatives and Catholic officials see as an attack on faith.

The new course introduced in Spanish schoolrooms this fall seemed innocuous enough: civic lessons on the meaning of the constitution and the rights that every citizen of Spain can expect.

But the curriculum has become the latest battleground in a raging war between Spain's leftist government and the still-powerful Roman Catholic Church.

Church officials and conservative social activists are trying to have the mandatory courses scrapped, contending that the curriculum promotes ideas that go against church teachings. Among those is acceptance of homosexuals and, by implication, same-sex marriage, which the government legalized a couple of years ago.

"This is a frontal assault on the Catholic religion," said Sister Maria Rosa de la Cierva, a nun who is the church's liaison to the Education Ministry.

The framing of this article annoys me.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aaaaaarrrrgghhhh.  I'm related to that 'female', masochistic turd (and her sister), that live in the palacial world of the national bishops conference.  What a disgrace... to the family that invented the autogyro.

I disinherited her a long time ago.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:14:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm related to that 'female', masochistic turd (and her sister),

Yes, but you're closely related to half the right wing aristocracy of Spain. Ever considered becoming a mole ? You could fake right wing positions, using all your connections you coiuld become quite senior on their circles within 10 years. Then, once you have the access, you can wreck them from within....

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It may actually be my best career choice!, however, I need a good director-agent like you to plot the course...

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 09:35:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you are related to Juan de la Cierva?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:05:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oui.  He´s the original ´John Doe´.  (;

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 10:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Forget about wind farms and nuclear power stations. The answer to Britain's looming energy crisis could be cheap, plentiful and planet-friendly coal

So what can we agree upon? If we ignore the zealots who believe that either wind or nuclear could provide a full and permanent solution, then there is a consensus on two important points. No single technology offers a complete answer, so there will have to be diversity. And the mix will have to include conventional power stations. If we ignore the government and listen to the professionals, another truth emerges. As Dr Paul Golby, chief executive of the UK branch of the energy giant E.ON puts it, "It's five minutes to midnight and the clock is still ticking." If we don't agree a plan of action before the witching hour, then the 2015 energy gap will not be filled.

It's already too late for nuclear (though Golby insists it must have a role in the longer term), and it's beyond the scope of renewables to do the job on their own. If the lights are going to stay on, then the "substantial new investments" the government wants from UK companies will have to be made pretty damn quick. But no company is going to chance its millions unless it can be sure of a return - impossible without government assurances and, in the case of low-carbon technology, enforcement by law. Golby agrees that currently there is "no coherent energy policy that allows companies to invest".

[... and the silver buller is .... tadam ....]

For many others, the principal lunacy of the UK's position is not that it ignores the potential for clean energy from imported coal, but rather that it ignores the wealth under its own feet. Accounts vary. One expert tells me that 75% of the coal that ever existed in the UK still lies undisturbed - a buried mountain of pent-up energy that could fuel the country for centuries. Another says the likelier figure is 98%. Either way, it's a lot of coal. The problem, of course, is getting at it. If it was easily accessible, then the whole energy equation might look rather different. Coal would still be king, and CCS would be a no-brainer.

But there is a powerful body of opinion that says not only that much of it is accessible, but that it can be extracted with minimum environmental impact - ie, without open-cast mining - and with great benefit to national security and the carbon economy. The key to it is "underground coal gasification" (UCG), a technique devised by the Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay. The Coal Authority thumbnails it as "a method of converting unworked coal deep underground into a combustible gas", which, through CCS, contains no CO2. The result is "clean energy with minimal greenhouse emissions".

((Murdoch))

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:26:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gah... more CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) fantasy economics. The problem as yet remains not the costs of CCS, but that we haven't made it work on industrial scales.

Note: Not "haven't made it work at the right price" but "haven't made it work at all."

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. That cannot be repeated enough.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:50:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...more CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) fantasy economics.
...
Note: Not "haven't made it work at the right price" but "haven't made it work at all."

This is typical of the lack of imagination that you lefties exhibit, and is what keeps you in perennial 4th place.

GWB has Putin, Poland and the people of Praha wrapped around his finger with a 10 billion dollar defensive missile plan that has never proven to work either. So What? 10 billion dollars, even in the dollars devalued state, buys a lot of propaganda and election campaign contributions.

Anyone who has watched Lord of the Rings or any of the other docudramas like Narnia knows that a lot can be done underground. There is magic down there and it will take all the bad carbon real easily once things get started...just like getting the suction started when stealing gas from another car...it is hard in the beginning and a little messy. CCS will work real well. The elves might even find a way to make dark emeralds out of the gift we are giving them.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 12:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe 75% of the coal has never been extracted, but most of the economically viable coal has. Plus, when the govt closed down the industry in the 80s they inadvertantly ensured that the seams being worked at that time could not be re-started (the geology across a wide area becomes unstable).

So, unless there are virgin seams to be discovered this is just some ignorant economist (redundant phrase) talking out his backside.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or an industry lobbyist who, after blaming others for being self-interested (the usual Republican/corpocrats technique : "everybody's doing it, so we're just like the greens") comes up with its own silver bullet and, more importantly, offers a path of least resistance to politicians, with easy arguments: electricity is needed, we can provide it, and it will look like it's cheap.

This is the (unsustainable) status quo proponents speaking, nothing else.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:53:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do, however, love to read in a Murdoch paper that 75%-98% of British coal lies sleeping underground. Would we have read that when Thatcher was crippling unions and closing pits?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:26:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If only the world could be powered by irony - we'd all be heating our homes and running our cars off the planet-sized clouds of hot air produced by the right.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the saintly Margret was only saving us for when the oil ran out.

</swivel eyed right wing loony>

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 11:11:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the plan is to manufacture a highly combustible gas deep underground in a coal mine with restricted access in the event of a fire?

And someone thinks this is a great idea?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 12:23:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:38:29 AM EST
USA
  • WaPo - "On Sept. 6, 2006, President Bush announced that the CIA's overseas secret prisons had been temporarily emptied and 14 al-Qaeda leaders taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But since then, there has been no official accounting of what happened to about 30 other "ghost prisoners" who spent extended time in the custody of the CIA. Some have been secretly transferred to their home countries, where they remain in detention and out of public view, according to interviews in Pakistan and Europe with government officials, human rights groups and lawyers for the detainees. Others have disappeared without a trace and may or may not still be under CIA control."

  • Reuters - "Anti-war demonstrators marched in a dozen U.S. cities on Saturday to call for an immediate end to the war in Iraq and a cut-off of funding by Congress. The 'national day of action,' sponsored by the United for Peace and Justice coalition, attracted throngs of protesters in cities from Boston and New Orleans to Chicago and Los Angeles on the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Senate's vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq."

  • LA Times - "Firefighters took advantage of cooler weather, and even some light drizzle, today in the nearly weeklong battle against Southern California's wildfires, but officials cautioned that blazes near Lake Arrowhead, in eastern Orange County and in San Diego County remained major concerns."

  • Reuters - "Two homemade grenades exploded outside the Mexican Consulate in New York City early on Friday in an incident Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said was similar to an attack on the British Consulate in 2005."

  • NYT - The Christian conservative movement "shows signs of coming apart beneath its leaders... The extraordinary evangelical love affair with Bush has ended, for many, in heartbreak over the Iraq war and what they see as his meager domestic accomplishments. That disappointment, in turn, has sharpened latent divisions within the evangelical world -- over the evangelical alliance with the Republican Party, among approaches to ministry and theology, and between the generations."

  • SPACE - "Astronauts broke in a brand new room aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with some orbital fun Saturday as their ambitious construction mission goes well. With smiles on their faces, the astronauts of NASA's shuttle Discovery and the station's Expedition 16 crew performed some formation flying inside Harmony, the new 16-ton connecting node they christened earlier today as the hub for future international laboratories at the ISS."

  • Miami Herald - "In the first place, hysterical predictions to the contrary notwithstanding, it's exceedingly unlikely that English is in danger of losing its position of primacy. In the second place, people will sooner or later have to understand that while change is frightening, change is also life, especially in a nation as susceptible as this one to the forces of the free market." What's Spanish for 'heh'?

Europe
  • Observer - "Turkey sharpened its threat to invade northern Iraq yesterday when the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared its army ready to attack Kurdish rebels 'when needed', regardless of international opposition. With Turkey massing troops on the Iraqi border and preparing to invade and crush the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), Erdogan has been under intense pressure from America, Iraq and other countries to pull back from a move that could further destabilise the region."

  • Observer - "Human rights campaigners will press the Scottish government to agree on a policy not to transport terror suspects for torture through its airports. A dossier of evidence detailing the role of Scottish airports in so-called 'rendition' flights, compiled by human rights organisations, has been passed to the Crown Office for investigation. The report claims that British airports have been secretly used by the CIA to 'render' Islamist terror suspects to secret prisons in states where they could be tortured."

  • Independent - "Ministers are secretly easing the way for GM crops in Britain, while professing to be impartial on the technology, startling internal documents reveal. The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show that the Government colluded with a biotech company in setting conditions for testing GM potatoes, and gives tens of millions of pounds a year to boost research into modified crops and foods."

  • DW-World - "France is the latest EU country reluctant to use genetically-modified crops with President Sarkozy suspending their cultivation. The issue remains a subject of heated debate in the EU's largest agricultural producer... This week environmentalists were full of praise for French President Nicolas Sarkozy for saying no GMO crops would be planted in France until the government had received the results of an evaluation by a new authority on GMOs set to be launched later this year."

  • Telegraph - "Record numbers of Britons are flying abroad for medical treatment to escape NHS waiting lists and the rising threat of hospital superbugs... More than 70,000 Britons will have treatment abroad this year - a figure that is forecast to rise to almost 200,000 by the end of the decade."

  • NYT - "Kirill Formanchuk, like almost everyone who drives in Russia, was used to being pulled over by the police and cited for seemingly trumped up infractions. Yet instead of resigning himself to paying a bribe, he turned traffic stops into roadside tribunals, interrogating officers about their grasp of the law, recording the events and filing formal complaints about them." Then, when he went to a police station to register his car, he wound up in the "hospital with severe injuries from a beating... Motorists' groups have held demonstrations against the police in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg" in response.

  • Observer - "Tony Blair won his multi-million-pound [£5m] deal for his Downing Street memoir with a promise to provide warts-and-all details of his relationship with George Bush and the war in Iraq. But he is likely to tread more carefully on the battles with Gordon Brown that dogged his decade as Prime Minister."

  • Telegraph - "The mayor of Paris has launched one of his toughest battles to date: weaning French men off their penchant for urinating in public places... and Delanoë, who has made environmental improvements a priority for the city, has now set his sights on cleaning up the act of Parisians caught short in public."

Africa
  • Independent - "Little disturbs the tranquillity of the Tana Delta. As the deep orange sun sets above Kenya's largest wetlands hippos wallow in the shallows, crocodiles slide off the banks into the brown river, while terns and whistling teals circle above. It is one of Kenya's most important natural reserves and very soon it could all be gone. Plans have been drawn up to turn part of the delta into Kenya's largest sugar plantation - an 80,000 acre area that could produce 100,000 tons of sugar a year and bring 20,000 jobs to a region where most people do not have jobs. Conservationists are alarmed."

  • NYT - "The Sudanese government declared a unilateral cease-fire at the opening ceremony of peace talks on Darfur on Saturday, but because crucial rebel leaders were boycotting, it was not clear if the talks would be a breakthrough moment to end the world's worst humanitarian crisis or yet another lost opportunity."

Middle East
  • WaPo - "The State Department will order as many as 50 U.S. diplomats to take posts in Iraq next year because of expected shortfalls in filling openings there, the first such large-scale forced assignment since the Vietnam War. On Monday, 200 to 300 employees will be notified of their selection as 'prime candidates' for 50 open positions in Iraq, said Harry K. Thomas, director general of the Foreign Service."

  • WaPo - "Their line of tan Humvees and Bradley Fighting Vehicles creeps through another Baghdad afternoon... The remains of a car bomb serve as hideous public art. Sgt. Victor Alarcon's Humvee rolls into a vast pool of knee-high brown sewage water... Asked if the American endeavor here was worth their sacrifice -- 20 soldiers from the battalion have been killed in Baghdad -- Alarcon said no: 'I don't think this place is worth another soldier's life.'"

  • LA Times - "Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, who will soon conclude his 15-month term commanding the U.S. forces in northern provinces," "delivered blunt criticism Friday of the ministry that manages Iraqi police forces, accusing it of 'foot dragging' in hiring desperately needed officers because of sectarian bias."

  • Telegraph - "One of the most senior British commanders in Iraq has claimed that there is no point in fighting on in Basra, likening British troops in the city to 'Robocop' and admitting that innocent people were hurt as a result of their actions... Commanders [have] concluded that a military solution was no longer viable."

  • LA Times - "A bomb killed eight people and wounded 13 others early this morning near a stretch of restaurants just southeast of Baghdad where day laborers gather to find work and people prepare for the commute into the capital, police said. Two women and two Iraqi police officers were among the wounded."

  • LA Times - "President Hosni Mubarak faces discontent from many quarters, but perhaps the most intense criticism resonates from the banners and shaking fists of militant workers who have broken away from government-controlled unions and staged sporadic strikes across the nation. ¶ The Egyptian government frequently muffles free speech and political dissent, but these ragged and often disorganized picket lines present a widening crisis for a president viewed as detached from the working class and unable to lift wages and stem double-digit inflation."

  • BBC News - "A Yemeni man convicted of plotting and taking part in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 is to be freed from jail. Jamal al-Badawi will be kept under effective house arrest after pledging allegiance to Yemen's president."

Asia-Pacific
  • BBC News - "Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has held her first meeting with the senior military official appointed to liaise with her. She spent just over an hour with former general Aung Kyi, state media said."

  • Xinhua - "the systems of China's lunar probe Chang'e-1 are in good conditions with the high energy solar particle detector and the low energy ion detector functioning properly on Saturday, according to the moon probe team. The Chang'e-1, China's first moon orbiter, is currently moving on a 24-hour orbit with an apogee of 70,000 kilometers".

  • Xinhua - "The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) started a war game in central China's Henan Province on Saturday, to test its fighting capabilities under electromagnetic circumstances, according to Army sources."

  • SMH - "Prime Minister John Howard has dodged questions about whether he believes his Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull deliberately leaked information that he had recommended to cabinet that the government ratify the Kyoto Protocol... The coalition [government] has long refused to ratify Kyoto, while Labor has a policy of immediately joining in the United Nations deal."

  • SMH - "The bill for one of the most entertaining spectacles in NSW coastal history is in: the Pasha Bulker rescue cost the taxpayer almost $2million. The good news is that the ship's owner, Japanese company Fukujin Kisen, has guaranteed the total cost will be covered by its insurer."

  • NYT - "Determined to lead the discussion on climate change among developing nations, the Indonesian government spent much of the past week recruiting countries to join it in pressing richer nations to provide incentives to reduce carbon emissions. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a direct plea on Wednesday at the start of a two-day gathering of 40 environment ministers near this capital, a precursor to the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Bali in December."

South Asia
  • BBC News - "About 25,000 protesters are due to arrive in the Indian capital Delhi later on Sunday after marching 325km (202 miles) to demand land reform. The protesters, mostly low-caste tenant farmers and landless indigenous people, say they have been left behind by India's economic boom."

  • Times of India - "Meerut jail officials on a routine inspection of barracks number 17 and 18 uncovered a 40-foot long tunnel on Friday evening, built with engineering precision -- purely by chance... There were 140 inmates in the two barracks, who could all have easily escaped through this tunnel."

  • Observer - "Child workers, some as young as 10, have been found working in a textile factory in conditions close to slavery to produce clothes that appear destined for Gap Kids... Speaking to The Observer, the children described long hours of unwaged work, as well as threats and beatings. Gap said it was unaware that clothing intended for the Christmas market had been improperly subcontracted to a sweatshop using child labour."

  • WaPo - "Under extraordinarily tight security, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto returned to her ancestral home Saturday in her first major move since an assassination attempt against her last week claimed 140 lives. In a quick and tightly scripted visit, Bhutto paid respects at the tomb of her father, former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and waved to a crowd of thousands that had gathered to mark her homecoming after eight years of exile."

  • BBC News - "Militants in north-west Pakistan have beheaded six security officials and killed seven civilians in apparent reprisals for an army attack. The army attack on the stronghold of pro-Taleban militant Maulana Fazlullah on Thursday left at least 17 soldiers and a number of civilians dead. The bodies of the guards reportedly had notes saying they were American agents."

  • NYT - "Many former militia commanders and residents in northern Afghanistan have been hoarding illegal weapons in violation of the country's disarmament laws, giving the excuse that they face a spreading Taliban insurgency from the south that government forces alone are too frail to stop, Afghan and Western officials say."

Americas
  • LA Times - Sen. Manlio Fabio Beltrones, "a leading senator in Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, known by its Spanish acronym, PRI, ... called for an investigation into Tuesday's collision of a Pemex offshore oil platform and drilling rig, saying that [former Mexican President Vicente] Fox's wife 'appeared to be linked' to the company responsible for supplying lifeboats that sank in stormy seas after the accident, accounting for most of the [twenty-one] dead."

  • WaPo - "More than a third of the Bush administration's proposed counternarcotics aid package for Mexico would be spent on aerial surveillance and the rapid deployment of troops, according to a breakdown of the plan... Bush is proposing the purchase of eight transport helicopters and two surveillance planes." Military-Industrial Kickbacks!

  • Observer - "An army of Canadian tourists, shoppers and companies is invading America in a mini-boom caused by a surge in the Canadian dollar and a collapse in the US currency. They come to buy everything from second homes to the day's grocery shopping. Canadians are buying while everything in the US is cheap for them. It is a dramatic reversal in the love-hate relationship between the two countries."

  • CBC News - "Canada is poised to become an economic and political powerhouse in the world, former British prime minister Tony Blair said Friday. In a speech to an oil and gas industry crowd in Calgary, Blair forecast that Canada's energy reserves and, what he called its 'modern spirit,' make for a bright future."

  • WaPo - "If the latest polls are right, the only real suspense that remains in Sunday's election is whether Argentine first lady Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will receive enough votes to win the presidency outright or be forced into a runoff next month. The broadly held assumption of an inevitable victory for the 54-year-old wife of President Néstor Kirchner has resulted in an uncommonly low-key campaign."

  • Telegraph - "An estimated 30,000 people "disappeared" during this reign of terror, which ended in 1983. At the same time, hundreds of young children and babies... were ripped away from their families by the regime and placed for adoption, often with military families or sympathisers. Most have never been traced. But thanks to the establishment of a DNA bank and a publicity campaign that included a riveting storyline in a popular television soap opera, scores of children of the 'disappeared' have discovered their original identities and have been reunited with their true families."

  • WaPo - "On the surface, the Democratic Colombia political party couldn't be in a worse position on the eve of local elections... The party and four others whose leaders are either under arrest or under investigation for alleged links to the illegal groups are fielding 26,455 candidates in local elections Sunday... Though jailed, politicians including Álvaro Araujo, a former senator from a powerful political family, and Dieb Maloof, the head of Colombia Viva, are actively supporting candidacies nationwide".

By the numbers
  • Bush has 449 days left. 3,837 U.S. and 4,141 total coalition confirmed deaths in Iraq. Over $463,622,000,000 has been spent on the Iraq invasion and occupation. The U.S. federal debt is now over $9,064,891,000,000.
by Magnifico on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:50:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bhutto paid homage to her father's grave and was surrounded by armed commondos as though she is one of the Pakistan's warlords. Troubling times ahead for this South Asian country.

In India there is renewed speculation that India US nuclear deal is energetically revived by Americans. Having sat idle all these months of utter political incompetence of PM Manmohan Singh now Americans decided it's time to work hard bare handed. One newspaper Asian Age even wondered US ambassador David Mulford became so active in domestic politics. The strategy is two-fold - increasing pressure on the main opposition party BJP to get it on board and win the vote on the deal in Parliament and explore options to sow dissent in Communists ranks. On the first Mulford tried to impress on BJP leadership like LK Advani (who is still non-committal) importance of the deal, on second he is going to Kolkata with US Treasury secretary Henry Paulson to meet reformist West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and incite him to rise in revolt againt hardliner Prakash Karat.

The time will tell whether Americans will succeed where Indians with their serpentine maneuvres failed but I think whole deal is politically short-sighted for Congress (courtesy by PM Manmohan Singh who is too faithful to Washington consensus). Congress still thinks of themselves as natural ruling party and behaves arrogant. This deal will alienate possible allies in next general elections and Congress will likely be reduced to rags again. Given that Congress has no any ideology besides sticking to power it's not clear whether it will survive at all even already after 10 years. Dalit party BSP with clearly charismatic Mayawati (unlike Sonia Gandhi) who forged rainbow Dalit-Brahmin combination is waiting on the wings to replace Congress on national level.

by FarEasterner on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:28:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have any insights regarding the demonstrations?

From the BBC article Magnifico linked:

"Forty percent of Indians are now landless and 23% of them are in abject poverty," march organiser Puthan Vithal Rajgopal told AFP news agency.

"Such conditions have bred Maoist insurgency in 172 of India's 600 districts and farmers are killing themselves in 100 other districts. So we want to ask the government, where are the fruits of the reforms in these districts?"



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 01:26:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The tradition is one of the less picturesque sights met by many Britons travelling to France, the land of the pissoir.

The compulsory [Torygraph Alert] and, just as a general note: English language coverage of France is as snide, snotty and contemptuous on every single topic.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 05:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting that they don't comment on the rivers of urine running down most british town centres every friday night.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:20:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not urine it's bladder-warmed lager.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:28:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Ministers are secretly easing the way for GM crops in Britain, while professing to be impartial on the technology, startling internal documents reveal. The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show that the Government colluded with a biotech company in setting conditions for testing GM potatoes, and gives tens of millions of pounds a year to boost research into modified crops and foods."

the govt has never been neutral on GM, to suggest otherwise is a lie. They are entirely bought and paid for by the agro-industrial corporations.

Once upon a time, govt rna the country theoretically on behalf of the people, or at least they rarely made decisions that were blatantly against the interests of Britain and the interssts of the British people. Now they are paid by global corporates in order to force us into situations that are intended to do us harm.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:14:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
Once upon a time, govt rna the country theoretically on behalf of the people

Actually apart from twenty five or so years after WWII, this has never really been true.

What's different now is that they're not even pretending that HM Gov isn't a wholly-owned commercial and PR subsidiary of UK Plc.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:51:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Magnifico:
NYT - "Kirill Formanchuk, like almost everyone who drives in Russia, was used to being pulled over by the police and cited for seemingly trumped up infractions. Yet instead of resigning himself to paying a bribe, he turned traffic stops into roadside tribunals, interrogating officers about their grasp of the law, recording the events and filing formal complaints about them." Then, when he went to a police station to register his car, he wound up in the "hospital with severe injuries from a beating... Motorists' groups have held demonstrations against the police in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg" in response.

As terrible as this was for Formanchuk himself, on the bright side, the incident prompted an eruption of popular outrage and demonstrations:

... the resulting outcry in Yekaterinburg has caused an unexpected burst of civic activism across the country at a time when such sentiments appeared to have otherwise withered. <...>

Even the national television networks, which are under the Kremlin's control and tend to ignore news that reflects poorly on the government, have focused on what happened to Mr. Formanchuk on the night of Oct. 12 in an isolated jail cell. One channel called his treatment "outrageous." <...>

"Everyone understands that this can happen to them, too," Mr. Formanchuk, 24, said in an interview at a hospital in Yekaterinburg, where he is to remain for at least a month with brain and skull injuries. "Because in this country, we have a problem with the law."

Courageous, crazy, and/or clueless (about the consequences), guys like Formanchuk and Wu Lihong seem to be tapping a latent wellspring of grassroots activism in Russia and China which, at first sight, seems to have a better chance of producing constructive responses from the government than in the USA of the last several years.

I guess we still need to wait and see if there is a crackdown on police corruption in Russia as a result of this though.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:40:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... which, at first sight, seems to have a better chance of producing constructive responses from the government than in the USA of the last several years.

Izzy:

BBC:  Thousands in US anti-war protests

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in demonstrations against the war in Iraq in cities across the US.

Rallies took place in a dozen cities, with the biggest crowds gathering in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

They were timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of a vote by the US Senate to authorise the Iraq invasion.

Those taking part, who included relatives of servicemen fighting in Iraq, urged the US congress to cut off funding for the war.

The 'national day of action' was called by the United for Peace and Justice coalition.



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:48:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the west simply rendered street protest irrelevant. If they aren't portrayed as dangerous people who are threats to public civility, they are wide-eyed people representing minority views.

Not.Like.Us.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:23:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm, I certainly agree with that for the U.S.

But how about the street protests in France over the CPE bill?  Didn't the majority of French people sympathize with the demonstrators and didn't the bill eventually get withdrawn?

Maybe that was an exception?

But as far as the American anti-war movement goes, I'm stumped as to what how the public can put pressure on the government to listen to what it wants and respond accordingly.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:48:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Evidently the french authorities have never cared to learn the lessons now so well orchestrated in the UK & US.

I doubt I'd cross the road to join any demonstration against anything. Although I'd begun to despair about street protests and the way they were reported long before, the utter futility of the Stop the War protests when 2 million people were on the streets, a politically significant proportion of the population. Yet they were ignored and sidelined.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:25:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression is that the problem with the pre-Iraq peace protests is that they were a one time event. Why? Why did they only happen once, then suddenly all the governments did what they were going to do anyway?

I haven't thought this through, but I think that there is something about the drama of the US promising to uphold the will of the UN, and only go in with the direct approval of the UN...and then all the drama of China and Russia and France and Germany banding together and the embarrassment of the US spying on the ambassadors of Chile and others...and then the proven value of the big lie. Bush just did it anyway.

And by the time that they did, the US public had been so propagandized that over 80% of the sheople were for Bush's The War Against Terror (TWAT.) And no one else thought of any other thing to do. And nothing else caught on in the US, even now that people don't like Bush...but I notice in talking to friends over there, they still are afraid of Bush's TWAT. They wonder "What if...." when the subject of Iran comes up, just like they did with Saddam.

Fascinating. Why didn't masses of people rise up against Blair's part in the invasion? Well, it seemed like they got excellent doses of propaganda as well...at least that was my impression when I was up there during the run up.

And why didn't I or we or someone have the bright idea of causing some hurt on the american financial empire? A good boycott could have been started 5 years ago that could have made a difference...though I don't know what I actually buy that comes from the US. I suppose Esso gas might feed the empire. What else?

Anyway, somehow the villain wizards in Cheney's underground chambers somehow brewed a terrific apathy potion where we all blogged our anger away...and then did nothing else.


Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 01:55:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
siegestate:
we all blogged our anger away...and then did nothing else.

The 'powers' must be laughing in their chambers as  dissent harmlessly disappears into cyberspace.

 

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 02:49:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Child workers, some as young as 10, have been found working in a textile factory in conditions close to slavery to produce clothes that appear destined for Gap Kids... Speaking to The Observer, the children described long hours of unwaged work, as well as threats and beatings. Gap said it was unaware that clothing intended for the Christmas market had been improperly subcontracted to a sweatshop using child labour."

Given that we're not going to interfere in these countries economies to the extent that this doesn't happen, I think this issue needs a more creative solution than prohibition. This is not the west and these children will probably starve if they are economically inactive. Maybe a better wage and a requirement for supervised education that at least gives the kids a chance in the world.

throwing them out of work to salve our consciences would be a disaster for the very children we think we're helping.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:14:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In China I've heard that when factories are pressured to limit the number of working hours, the workers simply go to another factory after their shifts are over so that they can continue earning as much money as possible.

Not directly related to the child labor issue per se, but your point about the need for "creative solutions" to deal with the desperate economic plight of workers reminded me of this issue, and specifically how workers' desire to maximize their incomes is often what drives them to work so hard and accept conditions that we would consider completely unacceptable.

In the case of the kids, I think an obvious first step is enforcing laws against abuse and intimidation; actually, of course that would go for all workers.  And as far as limiting the number of hours worked, it could be optional: i.e. workers could work longer, but in no way should they feel compelled to work more than a certain limit number of hours per day or week, unless they want to purely of their own desire to make more money.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:32:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they were getting paid a living wage then they may not be trying to work themselves to the bone.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Minimum wage levels have been going up in China for the past 13 years at least.  Perhaps they should be set even higher faster, though balancing that without putting companies out of business is delicate.  However, what migrant workers get paid for work in the cities is significantly more than what they would make in their rural hometowns.

Also, if these two articles are to be believed, competition for labor has heated up to the point where companies are being forced to improve wages and working conditions to retain workers:

A labor shortage has pay soaring. That is sure to send ripples around the globe.

For years, Yongjin Group has earned a decent profit selling lamps and furniture to the likes of Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, and Pottery Barn. But lately the company has seen its margins shrink to 5% -- half what Yongjin made when it opened its factory in the steamy southern Chinese city of Dongguan 14 years ago. Why? Labor shortages are forcing the company to boost wages. Last year salaries surged 40%, to an average of $160 a month, and Yongjin still can't find enough workers. "This business needs a lot of labor," says President Sam Lin. "This is a very tough challenge."

BusinessWeek, "How Rising Wages Are Changing The Game In China"

This summer, Mary Gallagher, a Chinese labor specialist at the University of Michigan, visited five sportswear factories near Shanghai and Guangzhou. She found them all struggling to hire and retain workers. One had shut one of its two main production lines because it had nobody to sew shirts and other garments.

"Basically half the factory was shut down and one dormitory was empty," Ms. Gallagher said.

In interviews, factory executives across the country complained of being forced to give double-digit raises in order to find and keep young workers at all skill levels. Three or four years ago, said Zhong Yi, vice general manager of a leather-jacket manufacturer in Hangzhou in east-central China, 800 to 1,100 yuan a month ($105 to $145) "was a good salary."

"Now," he said, "1,500 is the bottom" ($198).

New York Times, "Wages Up in China as Young Workers Grow Scarce"



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 09:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But do you have an idea, bruno-ken, of how much low added-value (and therefore low-wage) production has been shifted out to new factories in rural areas, and particularly those of the Hmong in the southern mountains, in Vietnam, and in Laos?

(Not a rhetorical question! :))

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:35:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what percentage of labor that has been shifted to rural areas or to other other countries like Vietnam.

With regards to rural areas in China, according to the New York Times article I quoted (and linked to wrongly above):

Visiting villages from tropical Gaoyao in the southeastern corner of the country to dusty Houxinqiu in the northeast, it is striking how few young adults remain after so many have left for the cities. A recent government survey of 2,749 villages in 17 provinces and autonomous regions found that in 74 percent of villages, there were no workers fit to travel to distant cities, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

A separate report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences warned of coming labor shortages even in rural areas as soon as 2009.

Wages Up in China as Young Workers Grow Scarce

According to Asia Times,

According to official statistics, the total number of rural laborers is now about 500 million. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that at least 170 million laborers are needed to sustain the country's agricultural production and another unspecified, but considerable number is needed for other rural labor. Another 150 million are estimated to be working at township enterprises run by farmers themselves.

Various estimates put the number of rural migrants working in cities at between 80 million and 130 million. That means available surplus rural labor is between 20 million and 70 million. Not many indeed, considering the current labor shortage in economically developed regions such as the Pearl River Delta, where the annual shortage alone is estimated to be at least 2 million.

And things may become worse as the countryside absorbs more surplus labor under Beijing's policy to boost rural development and farmers' income.

The shortage will eventually trigger a demand for higher wages, possibly as soon as in three years, the CASS green paper says.

China's cheap labor pool running dry

i.e. "things may become worse" for employers and businesses, but better for workers.

With respect to Vietnam, here is a headline from 1995:

Unemployment Looms in Vietnam : The Baggage of Reform

Now, despite adding 1.3 million workes a year to the labor pool, Vietnam has cut its poverty rate from 51 percent in 1990 to 8 percent in 2006, and here is a headline from this August:

Labour market forecast to be hot at year's end

A survey of the HCM City Job Service Centre shows that the serious shortage of labour continues to occur at textile-garment, footwear, wood processing enterprises and in the tourism field.

According to Navigos' recent human resources report, the need for labour of 45/46 fields increased remarkably in the second quarter of 2007, focusing on jobs that require high skills and qualifications.

Recently, banks expanded their networks and as a result, their human resources increased by 57% in the second quarter, followed by accounting and financial institutions with 42%, waste treatment with more than 40%, real estate and translation, 39%.

Though the supply of labour rose in the second quarter the source of supply didn't catch up with the demand: the supply increased by 30% while the demand was up by 142% compared to the first quarter.

Labour shortage, thus, is forecast to not be solved in the remaining months of the year.

Is it unreasonable to expect that while labor costs are still cheaper in Vietnam than in China, just as in China, they will get higher -- and so will standards of living -- as more production is shifted there, as competition continues to grow for labor, and as wages go up to attract and keep workers?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:21:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just found an article that confirms there are serious problems among foreign direct investment companies in Vietnam:

According to the survey, which was conducted by the Worker and Trade Union Institute and the Vietnam Confederation of Labour in HCM City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces in the south, Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Bac Ninh, and Hai Duong in the north, only 16.6% of workers in FDI enterprises feel easy in their work and only 26.3% have good relations with their employers.

Some 44.4% of workers said that their salaries were low and insufficient for living. Some 15.4% complained that they often had to work overtime.

<...>

According to Nguyen Manh Thang, an expert from the Worker and Trade Union Institute, Government Decree 3 on minimum salary (VND710,000 and VND790,000 per month) is to prevent employers from paying salaries lower than these levels and the foundation for them to define official salaries and allowances, not be the real income of workers.

However, in many FDI enterprises, the real income of workers is the minimum salary set by the above decree. As a result, only one-third of workers participating in the survey said that their incomes were sufficient for living.

To have extra income, 42.5% of workers have to work overtime and it is 54.7% in textile-garment firms.

Around 6.5% of the workers have to work 10 hours per day on average, 18% from 8-10 hours and 52% eight hours per day. However, around 65% work six days per week and 25% seven days per week.

In Hanoi, more than 300 workers of Yangmin Enterprise, a motorbike component manufacturing company of Taiwan, recently went on strike because they had to work two more hours a day and work seven days per week.

Workers in FDI enterprises not satisfied

The article concludes:

Improving salaries, wage mechanisms and supervising the implementation of regulations on labour is a need at FDI enterprises.

The Worker and Trade Union Institute suggests that the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs compile collective labour agreements at sector, regional or industrial zone levels to make legal frameworks for enterprises.

The institute also proposes the amendment of laws on labour disputes and strikes. Many grassroots trade unions said that formalities on strikes were complicated so it was difficult to ensure a strike was legal or to distinguish what was temporary job quitting and what striking because the definition of a strike is temporary job quitting.

All mechanisms and policies related to the rights and the interests of workers must be legalised to facilitate negotiations between trade unions and employers.

So yes, while competition for labor is improving things in Vietnam overall, it is clearly still not sufficient on its own.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:35:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for these detailed replies, bruno-ken - I only just remembered my question and had to search for it to get back here!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 4th, 2007 at 01:00:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That reads awfully similar.

Oh yes, I read about it in a 19th century book. Apparently it was common then to work people to the bone. At that time, the workers dispensition to go work themselves to death somewhere else if they did not do it here was raised as an argument against shorter labor days. However the author of the book claimed it had much to do with the lack of possibilities elsewhere and that given a decent pay most people would actually like to get a good nights sleep every night.

The author chap had some general solution for the problems with changing society into something called "communism". (Oh the irony!)

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 01:35:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"An army of Canadian tourists, shoppers and companies is invading America in a mini-boom caused by a surge in the Canadian dollar and a collapse in the US currency. They come to buy everything from second homes to the day's grocery shopping. Canadians are buying while everything in the US is cheap for them. It is a dramatic reversal in the love-hate relationship between the two countries."

I was under the impression that the queues to cross the border were ridiculously long. Seems like they've sorted it out.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:17:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly the same for Norwegians who are taking advantage of:

(a) Norway's strong "petro-currency" Krone; and

(b) Sweden's relaxed - ie "free global movement of Capital" - approach to land ownership;

to hoover up Swedish properties, particularly those flogged off in rural areas by Swedes heading for the joys of suburbia...

The Norwegian "stewardship" approach to ownership and use of Norwegian land is one of the key points of difference with the EU's increasingly neo-liberal approach, and which lay behind Norway's rejections of EU membership.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:07:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When Sweden joined EU one fear was that the Germans would buy all nice summer cottages. Never mind that they could do so wheter or not Sweden was in the EU.

Now the norwegians buy it instead. C'est la vie.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 01:40:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I may be so bold and you would be so kind ...

What are the land prices in Sweden these days?  In rough figures.  I'm thinking of about 20 hectares with a residence around Väersborg on the Vänern.  

All I can find on the internet are prestige houses, a little pricey for my pocket.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 02:38:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really know much about land prices in general. Quick search yielded this object close to Vänersborg:

Fastigheten Stensult 2:11 ligger ca 2 mil norr om Vänersborg. Bostadshuset är rymligt och högt vackert beläget. Äldre bostadshus i gott skick, byggt i två plan utan källare. Ekonomibyggnader i ladugård, maskinhall/verkstad/magasin samt en vedbod/magasin med stenkällare. Fastigheten omfattar ca 57 ha varav ca 37 ha åkermark och ca 6 ha produktiv skogsmark. Gott om utrymme och med bra möjligheter för djurhållning. Totalt virkesförråd om ca 1 500 m3sk varav 360 m3sk är över 70 år.

Short translation. House, 57 ha land including forest. Suggested price 3 500 000 kr ~ 390 000 euros.

This page has some farms for sale. A farm is called "lantbruk" or "gård" in swedish. "Boarea" is the living space in square meters. "Rum" is number of rooms. Prices appear to vary greatly (Sweden is a big country, lots of different regions). It would appear most sellers assume only people able to read swedish are interested.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you very much for this.  If there is a way for me to reciprocate please do not hesitate to ask.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 01:23:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are very welcome. One of the great advantages of an international site is that information that is hard to get for one person can be very easy to get for another, especially when language poses barriers.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 10:25:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC:  Thousands in US anti-war protests

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in demonstrations against the war in Iraq in cities across the US.

Rallies took place in a dozen cities, with the biggest crowds gathering in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

They were timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of a vote by the US Senate to authorise the Iraq invasion.

Those taking part, who included relatives of servicemen fighting in Iraq, urged the US congress to cut off funding for the war.

The 'national day of action' was called by the United for Peace and Justice coalition.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:58:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC:  Pessimism grows over Darfur talks

Talks in Libya aimed at trying to end the four-year war in Sudan's Darfur region are entering a second day.

The talks began on Saturday with the Sudanese government announcing a unilateral ceasefire.

But with key rebel leaders boycotting the talks, pessimism is growing that they will have any lasting impact, says the BBC's Jonah Fisher at the talks.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said there were limits to what international intervention could achieve in Darfur.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:00:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS : POLITICS-US: Welcome to "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week"
During his speech, sponsored by the conservative student group Young America Foundation, Horowitz condemned the "oppression of women in Islam", and what he perceived as the endemic "genocidal Jew hatred" throughout the Middle East. He took aim at the "juvenile delinquents" -- GW university students -- who had satirised his efforts, said that Palestinians, through their actions, showed that they did not want a state of their own. Horowitz also alleged that the Muslim Students Association, which has chapters at universities across the nation, is a creation of the "Islamo-fascist jihad".

He called Lebanese Hezbollah a "Nazi party," and warned that Turkey was teetering on the edge of becoming an Islamo-fascist state. And he described Iran as the archetype of this phenomenon.

"There is an intellectual terror in this country, which you have all seen. The president [George W. Bush] is intimidated from using the term Islamo-fascism because it is supposed to be racist," he told an audience of students, a majority of whom applauded his words.

"Why the term fascism? The analytical reason is simple," he said. "Probably Islamo-Nazism is a more appropriate term."

Horowitz's conservative Freedom Centre (DHFC) designated last week as the first annual "Islamo-fascism Awareness Week" -- a time to refute "the two big lies of the political Left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that global warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This term fascism is liberally used here in India also but few people understand its import. Political leaders usually call opponents fascists, newspapers and magazines often depict some leaders (in caricatures) with fascist symbolics. Like Outlook where I have seen Bal Thakeray Maratha nationalist leader in Hitler suit and painting Hitler style square moustache looking into mirror (Thakeray before joining politics was cartoonist in one of Mumbai film studios).
About understanding - I remember when my teacher of Buddhist philosophy revealed his ignorance of who Hitler was when one Czech student asked him what we should do in debates with hitler admirers - we should fight them - he replied that any bitter disputes are non-Buddhist and better avoided. On next lesson after he was apparently enlightened by translator he retracted his statement but with some reservations. He said that ideally Buddhists behave in the way that no disputes arise. That was true for him and for India, Tibet etc at all but certainly is very difficult to get in the West.
I am working on article about Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh phenomenon - despite his leftist Marxist views he is acceptable hero for right-wing politicians and religious leaders. Why? Because in India it's considered wise to embrace all popular figures like Brahmins adopted Shakyamuni Buddha as reincarnation of Vishnu. That is not possible in the West where anti-Communists hate leftist icons like Castro or Che Guevara and Leftists hate in turn Ayn Rand and likes.
by FarEasterner on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:45:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About understanding - I remember when my teacher of Buddhist philosophy revealed his ignorance of who Hitler was when one Czech student asked him what we should do in debates with hitler admirers - we should fight them - he replied that any bitter disputes are non-Buddhist and better avoided. On next lesson after he was apparently enlightened by translator he retracted his statement but with some reservations. He said that ideally Buddhists behave in the way that no disputes arise.

I am not sure if I understood you correctly here, but your story reminded me of a dilemma that came up for me last year when I attended a screening of A Zen Life, a documentary on D.T. Suzuki, the famous Japanese popularizer of Zen Buddhism in the U.S.  In the film, there is a clip from an interview in a Boston Public Radio program series commemorating Dr. Albert Schweitzer, in which Suzuki is being asked about his views on violence and pacificism, and in his response, he says that "of course" sometimes "violence must be met with violence".

This shocked me, so I wrote to the film maker, Michael Goldberg (who I had spoken to briefly at the screening), to ask him about this, and he replied that for him it was "clear" that Suzuki was referring to genocide, and he wishes that Suzuki had said, "when all other recourses fail, violence must be met with violence," so that he would not be taken out of context, but he decided to keep the clip in the film anyway.

Still, the statement bothers me, because rationally speaking, for me, in practice violence can only breed violence.  (On the other hand, emotionally speaking, I often feel like a "liberal hawk" when I hear about the atrocities in Darfur and other contexts where the helpless are getting stomped all over by the strong and ruthless.)

I still don't know what Buddhism -- or Buddha himself -- would have to say about genocide and the proper way to respond to it.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:17:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These words of Buddha are taken out of context where he operated. Indians since time immemorial knew about just violence when Krishna urged Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita to take his sword and fight with usurpers.
That's call morale. Taoists and Chan, Indian buddhists are generally silent on this matter as morale is all what Indian Dharma and Chinese Confucianism are about. They endorsed them as evidently they never questioned them. What happened in Japan is curious as Chan buddhism was imported without morale environment and Japanese samurais were ready to justify their horrible profession (much worse than fowlers or fishermen) by their professed desire to die. Zen buddhists were of great help in perfecting this art. They were kamikaze in practical sense waiting for departure to hell.
But genocide is different from self-inflicting suicide, right? There is no any other way to respond to genocide as to fight for survival.
You can check Zen and Dark side of Tao for details though I often don't agree with its writer.
by FarEasterner on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:01:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you explain more what you mean by "morale"?  Is it another word for "morals"?

What do you think the Buddha's take on the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the slaughters in Rwanda and Darfur, would be?  What sort of action -- or non-action -- would he advocate?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:36:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Morale means moral state, or otherwise moral norms, morality.

Killing of sentient beings is immoral deed unless it was used in self-defence as just violence.

The question boils down to what morality is about in particular society. Buddhism cannot operate in moral vacuum and it is not an art. Modern Zen books take great pain to emphasise this morale aspects of their religion unlike their medieval predecessors.

On your second question I can simply say I am not Buddha to speculate what he would think and can tell only about myself.

by FarEasterner on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:57:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess I am still uncomfortable with the notion of "just violence" as systematized and condoned by religion or religious spokespersons.

Yudhisthira begins his war for "righteous reasons", and Krishna justifies the Kurukshetra War as Dharmayuddha.  And yet, at least according to Wikipedia,

by the end of the 18 days of fighting he and his relatives had broken every other rule of righteous war.

Also, one person's "just war" is another person's "illegal war", if not "crime against humanity".  Case in point:  Some of the most pious, sincerest self-identifying Christians I know are dead certain that the war in Iraq is a "just war".  And no doubt if the U.S. attacks Iran, they will consider that to be "just violence" as well.

Whose system of "morality" takes precedence?  And supposing that a common system of morality -- and common principles for ascertaining what counts as "just war" -- could even be agreed upon, whose judgement should be adhered to as to how that system should be interpreted and applied in real world situations (e.g. whether or not to "intervene" militarily in Afghanistan/Sudan/Kosovo/Iran/etc.)?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:03:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill in Portland Maine has a good response to this nonsense

>> Putting up the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week decorations.

>> Going to the mall and taking advantage of all the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week sales. (Although I hear the After Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week bargains are even better.)

>> Watching small children beat the crap out of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week piñatas, and admiring their technique as they beat the crap out of the Islamo-Fascist-shaped candy that falls out.

>> Catching people standing under the mistleislamofascistoe and giving them the traditional "kiss" with my brass knuckles.

>> The TV specials, like How the Grinch Stole Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week and The Walton's Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week Miracle. (Have fun in Gitmo, Baldwin sisters!)

>> Sitting on David Horowitz's lap and telling him all the things I'd like to find under the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week tree. (Sorry about my little accident Tuesday, Dave---don't forget to send me the dry-cleaning bill.)

>> Our local "lite rock" radio station won't be playing Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week carols---like "Grandma Got Run Over By An Islamofascist"---24 hours a day anymore.

>> Sending out Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week cards. This year's features President Bush and Vice President Cheney on the front. Inside it says: Our fascists can kick your fascists' asses! Season's Beatings!

>> I'll miss the awareness of Islamo-fascism that Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week brings. When it ends, no one will ever talk about it or try to scare us into submission on, say, Fox News or talk radio or print or blogs or in the White House press briefing room or the Pentagon. Speak up, you guys! If we don't fight Islamo-Fascists over there, they'll...do something or other. Can you explain it one more time?

>> But what I'll miss most is laughing at Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. Laughter protects the soul. Especially the soul that the Islamo-Fascists are trying to suck out of your body this very second with their invisible soul-sucking krazy straws.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:29:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IHT: Senior US Democratic lawmaker offends Dutch counterparts with historical remarks
Dutch lawmakers who visited the Guantanamo Bay military prison this week said they were offended by a testy exchange in Washington with a senior congressional Democrat.

The lawmakers said that Tom Lantos, chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, told them that "Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay."

Lantos, a Holocaust survivor who was born in Hungary, was responding to arguments that the United States should shut down the prison on a U.S. naval base in Cuba, the lawmakers said. Mariko Peters, a member of the Dutch Green Party, who began the exchange with Lantos, said she took notes during the exchange.


What an asshole.

By the way, don't read the piece while eating or drinking, if you're Dutch. You might spray your monitor when you read what Wilders says.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:58:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't need to be Dutch!

Senior US Democratic lawmaker offends Dutch counterparts with historical remarks - International Herald Tribune

"Let's not forget we are in a state of war -- not only the United States but also my country -- with Islamic terrorists," said the far right Freedom Party leader, Geert Wilders. "I think we could only learn from Guantanamo."

Presumably Tom Lantos is OK with that.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 05:19:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Nothing but total uncritical commmitment will do. Otherwise you're just not grateful enough for being liberated from the Nazis.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 05:51:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought that since the UK paid off its war debts last year to the US then we'd paid for our help and so no longer had to have uncritical comittment?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:22:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In terms of scores, I used to think that the US owed us one and settled it in WW2.

But really, this notion of the historical responsibility of countries is rather silly.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:41:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The lawmakers said that Tom Lantos, chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, told them that "Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay."

Dear Tom,
Come to europe and say that. Please. Get off your cushioned Beltway butt, get on a plane (if you dare), and come and look us in the eye and say that.

You are a smug arsehole who needs to explain why you think that behaving like a nazi is perfectly reasonable behaviour for the "last, best hope of civilisation".

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he came and said that, I'm sure some of our politicians would apologize profusely and blame that a unrepresentative leftist extremists...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:06:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting biog - progressive on most things, hawkish on war.

I wonder how much of today's AIPAC policy influence is still being driven by the holocaust survivor mindset, sixty years on.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't have to have a manichean worldview as a holocaust survivor.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:34:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't, but having met a number of survivors they've all been massively traumatised and frequently prone to outbreaks of right-ishness.

My point was really that Hitler's poisonous legacy lives on in unexpected ways, and that practical fascism always seems to be an equal-opportunities employer.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:56:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that Lantos is Chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee. It's clear what issue he thinks is most important. For all his progressivism, he might as well be a Blue Dog.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:44:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, he does come over here, and says a lot of things about local politics, in his native Hungary and around it. (And not seldom not without justification.) But unlike liberals here who admire him uncritically for speaking out against the local nationalists and anti-semites, I agree with you that Lantos is a smug arsehole who needs to explain why he thinks that behaving like a nazi is perfectly reasonable behaviour for the "last, best hope of civilisation".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 09:22:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Booman has a post up about this. Bit too forgiving towards Lantos, but otherwise interesting. It seems the wingnuttosphere is - predictably - salivating over Lantos' comments.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 11:38:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, I disagree with this

But the conservatives don't ask such questions. To them, America is supposed to intervene anytime, anywhere people are being oppressed. To them, this is what makes, and has made, our country great.

Since when have the wingnuts given a flying one about oppressed people ? They intervene for their own reasons which rarely have a humanitarian component, even if a tattered rag of one can be fabricated to pretend the whole corrupt exercise isn't just an exercise in international banditry.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 12:39:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some conservatives care about 'oppressed people', notably the neocons. Though they care more about democracy and free markets than human rights. Only some liberal interventionists see human rights as a reason for intervening.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 01:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:38:50 AM EST
Asia Times Online :: Asian news and current affairs - The tremors of economic calamity
So you think to yourself, "Hey! These clever Economist guys understand the enormity of what is happening and how the damned central banks of the world are creating the destructive beast of inflation by creating so much money and credit, especially the loathsome Federal Reserve of the United States! So this ought to be good!"

So imagine my dismay when I got to the idiotic essay titled, "Only human", which contains this absolute gem of abject ignorance; "the Great Inflation of the late 1970s gave way to an age of low, steady inflation thanks in large part to the skill with which central banks learnt to steer policy". Hahaha!

What this clueless little putz of a "journalist" doesn't understand is that the central banks are not a success, but are a gigantic failure, and they fooled everyone for a few years with their new calculations ("lying with statistics") of inflation in prices, mostly thanks to the nefarious machinations of the despicable Michael Boskin (who is a professor of economics at Stanford, which apparently has a "hire the amoral and evil" policy as some sort of weird "diversity" program), performed at the behest and assistance of the utterly loathsome Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, who is even more amoral and more evil.

Naturally, this brings up a delicious quote from Michael Barone, immortalized by Investmentrarities.com; "America's colleges and universities have become, and have been for some decades, the most closed-minded and intellectually dishonest institutions in our society."

To keep from getting into a "personality conflict" thing, I will merely point out that these new ways to calculate inflation in prices were specifically designed to eliminate evidence of price inflation from the official statistics of the government and the Federal Reserve, such as not calculating M3 money supply, because growth in the money supply IS the traditional freaking definition of inflation!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:12:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French muck: Is this the new penicillin? - Independent Online Edition > Health

Scientists have discovered a new and highly effective weapon against deadly superbugs like the MRSA sweeping through Britain's dirty hospital wards - green French muck.

The dramatic antibiotic success of agricur, a clay made from ancient volcanic ash found near the Massif Central, marks it out as a potential rival to penicillin, the wonder drug of the 20th century. In experiments, the clay killed up to 99 per cent of superbug colonies within 24 hours. Control samples of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) grew 45-fold in the same period.

The clay has a similar effect on other deadly bacteria tested, including salmonella, E. coli, and a flesh-eating disease called buruli, a relative of leprosy which disfigures children across central and western Africa. It has been classed as "an emerging public health threat" by the World Health Organization (WHO).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:48:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Green clay is quite widely known in France for use on the skin or to regulate intestinal flora, but rather looked down on by the medical establishment as a folk remedy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, nice to see that science is once more catching up with naturopathy. It is also a good source for minerals and to balance acidity.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:58:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i have used french clay for 25 years-, internally and externally, and it is amazing.

there used to be a pink clay available, but i guess they ran out...

the black clay of the dead sea in israel was the most subtractive i ever came across.

combined with aloe vera gel, it works especially well.

white clay is great for what talcum is used for, without toxic side effects.

i have a grey clay vein on my land and i think it helps with the quality and limpidity of the well water.

i heard that in the clay quarries of france, the workers would spread it on bread for lunch!!!

works great on insect bites as well, or to just freshen up the complexion...

yay clay!!!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 09:37:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, where does one looking for this green clay?

Health food stores perhaps?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:31:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yup, that's where i've always found it, in the usa and in italy.

it's cheap and goes a long way.

if you stir a teaspoon into a glass of water and let it sit overnight, you can drink the water after the clay has resettled, leaving the water clear, and it will up yer minerals...

a few tablespoons in a hot bath will help detox, and leave your skin feeling smooth and well nourished.

for those with dry skin, moisturise after washing it off, as clay definitely has a drying effect, easy to balance out afterwards.

it's the bees' knees for oily or greasy skin, and general cleansing.

the best for facials was the pink, as it was gentler, but the green works well too, it's faster, so needs less time.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 04:07:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In experiments, the clay killed up to 99 per cent of superbug colonies within 24 hours

It ain't the 99% that worry me, it's that one percent that likes it and wants more.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 07:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're so cynical, Helen ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 10:42:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the positive side, at least that 1% will be bursting with health and vitality.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 11:04:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Europe | Last Supper gets 16bn pixel boost
A 16 billion pixel image of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper has been posted on the internet, allowing art lovers close up details of the 15th Century work.

The image is 1,600 times stronger than those taken with a typical 10 million pixel digital camera.

Experts will be able to see segments as though just centimetres away and examine details otherwise unavailable.

The posting comes amid claims a new system aimed at protecting the piece from Milan's pollution is not working.

The work is displayed in the Italian city's Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

and here the link  to the picture.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 04:57:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stronger? Huh?

Is it going to leap out of your monitor and wrestle you to the ground?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:27:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Are Carbon Offsets a Cop-Out?

Fighting climate change may have become a crusade--but it's no sin to do the easiest thing first

In late medieval times, the Catholic church raised money by selling indulgences, certificates that offered believers absolution for their sins. Not a bad deal, when you think about it. Good works take time and effort. Giving alms is so much easier.

Many folks are convinced a similar scam is going on today. If emitting greenhouse gases is the new sin--and so it would seem, given the moralism that surrounds climate change--then carbon offsets are the new indulgences, the way to absolve sin without sacrifice. This analogy has occurred to several commentators independently, from right-wing loudmouth Rush Limbaugh to dark-green climate crusader George Monbiot. There must be something to it, right?

Perhaps. But not much. Offsets and indulgences differ in important respects. The tendency to conflate them reflects our peculiar thinking about the fight against global warming.

(...)

If it's quicker, easier, and cheaper to prevent a ton of emissions by purchasing an offset than by altering your lifestyle, why not buy the offset?

This incentive--to do what's quickest and easiest first--is not a bug, but a feature of virtually all policies intended to mitigate climate change. Carbon taxes, government-mandated carbon-trading markets (such as the EU market, or the regional initiative in the northeast United States), and voluntary offsets are designed to channel money toward the low-hanging fruit. As the cheap reductions are achieved, the price of carbon, and carbon offsets, will go up. That's the point of a market-based system.




In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 05:34:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Three First-ever Atomic Nuclei Created; New Super-heavy Aluminum Isotopes May Exist
ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2007) -- Researchers at Michigan State University's National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, NSCL, have created three never-before-observed isotopes of magnesium and aluminum. The results not only stake out new territory on the nuclear landscape, but also suggest that variants of everyday elements might exist that are heavier than current scientific models predict.

[...]

The neutron-limit, referred to as the neutron-dripline, is a basic property of matter. Yet remarkably, despite more than a half-century of inquiry, scientists know the dripline location only for the eight lightest elements, hydrogen to oxygen. So one very basic question -- what's the heaviest isotope of a given element that can exist" -- remains unanswered for all but eight of the hundred or so elements on the Periodic Table.

In an experiment that ran earlier this year at NSCL, researchers successfully created and detected three new super-heavy isotopes of magnesium and aluminum: magnesium-40, with 12 protons and 28 neutrons; aluminum-42, 13 protons and 29 neutrons; and aluminum-43, 13 protons and 30 neutrons. If the everyday version of aluminum were a 160-pound adult, aluminum-43 would be a muscular, 255-pound heavyweight.

"Evidence of particle stability for magnesium-40 obtained at NSCL is a major step in the field of rare isotope physics," said Hiro Sakurai, chief scientist at RIKEN in Japan, who was not involved in the research. The RIKEN research institute in Saitama, Japan, is home to the world's most powerful accelerator facility for creating radioisotope beams.



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 Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:37:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:39:11 AM EST
Salon rescue/ Sunday Brunch, folks!

Have a good day/night!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:44:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for doing this!  I got here late.  Hope your day goes well!

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 03:56:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Carlyle Hotel and the inside story of Blair's million-pound book deal - Independent Online Edition > UK Politics

he story of the most intense publishing negotiations of the year began to emerge yesterday, as details were disclosed of the deal-making and breaking that led to a reported £4.5m deal for Tony Blair's memoirs.

Talks began during the summer and the eventual winner was Random House, but the final agreement came nearly three months after a series of leading publishers met the former prime minister at the art deco-style Carlyle Hotel in New York, where suites cost up to $6,000 (£3,000) a night.

Sonny Mehta, chairman of the US arm of Random House, disclosed that he ran into the president of HarperCollins as he went into his hour-long meeting with Mr Blair. On his way out he spotted the president of Penguin USA waiting to meet the ex-premier.

There had been huge interest in the memoirs in the United States, and Mr Blair hired a prominent Washington lawyer, Robert Barnett, to handle the negotiations. Mr. Barnett previously represented Bill and Hillary Clinton when they sought publishers.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 05:00:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Carlyle Hotel

coinkydinky....

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 09:43:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Furry friends

Sunday smile

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 05:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill Maher has another good one

We are the largest and most powerful nation on the earth. The largest economy and the largest military. And we are made to act the fool by a few thousand cave dwellers who still put out their videos on VHS.

And that is the problem. Because of the incompetence that goes by the name George Bush we have become the most insecure superpower ever. We can't get anything right anymore. We can't take care of our own citizens after a hurricane, or plan for a war, or maintain our infrastructure, and our celebrity rehab facilities need some work.

As a species we are failing at survival trick number one. Prioritize the threats.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 05:58:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I had the slightest interest in homosexuals with powers, I´d be a republican

Great!

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 08:52:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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