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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch – 11 October

by Fran Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:05:16 AM EST

On this date in history:

1531 - Huldrych Zwingli is killed in battle with the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland

More here and here


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by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:05:51 AM EST
EU criticises Sweden over transparency move - EUobserver.com
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission has taken the first step of legal action against Sweden for having given public access to a confidential document - a move that could ultimately see Stockholm defending its traditional policy of transparency in EU courts.

Late last month the commission sent a formal letter to the Swedish authorities asking for explanation as to why environment group Greenpeace in 2005 got access to a document about a new type of genetically modified corn feed to be launched by Monsanto - the world's leading producer of biotech seeds.

The information had on Monsanto's request been classified as secret by the Dutch government where it had handed in its application.

The commission then contacted Sweden after the biotech firm had complained that the leak could have damaged the company.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:08:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i really hope sweden wins on that one...

monsanto, secrecy and the parrs-that-be-in-yurp....bad combo...

i bet these guys would love us to start putting corn syrup in everything like in the usa, which would do wonders for our diabetes/obesity challenge, already worst in england, where they eat the closest to the american 'model'.

'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:19:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Same here, if not it leaves us in the worst of all possible worlds, with multinationals able to pick and choose the secrecy regulation they wish to work under.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:22:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it were ranked as a country on the basis of its gross revenue, Monsanto would be 120th, ahead of Malta.

We're sleepwalking into a Cyberpunk dystopia, I tell you.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:27:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're sleepwalking into a Cyberpunk dystopia, I tell you.

that's the best and truest post you ever made, mig, and i think it should be your sig!

i do miss the 'mere' one.

so it's true about what they're up to in malta, then...

'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corporate confidentiality in deals with government is one thing that should be outlawed. If I'm expected to pay taxes to support any company directly or indirectly, then all deals should be publically available.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:35:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to explain Swedens arcane legislation on this topic:

In the 18th century there were two parties - the Hats and the Caps - fighting for control over government. They did not trust each other with power so to make sure neither side abuse governmental power all governmentally produced documents were made public, except those classified by proper authority for the proper reason and that list of reasons is pretty short, here it is:

Offentlighetsprincipen The principle of publicity
Vilka handlingar får hållas hemliga? Which documents can be kept secret
Allmänna handlingar får i vissa fall hållas hemliga, nämligen då de skyddar följande intressen:
  • rikets säkerhet eller dess förhållande till annan stat eller mellanfolklig organisation
  • rikets centrala finanspolitik, penningpolitik eller valutapolitik
  • myndigheters verksamhet för inspektion, kontroll eller annan tillsyn
  • intresset att förebygga eller beivra brott
  • det allmännas ekonomiska intresse
  • skyddet för enskilds personliga eller ekonomiska förhållanden
  • intresset att bevara djur- eller växtart
Public records can in some cases be kept secret, if they protect the following interests:
  • the security of the realm or its relation to other state or intragovernmental organisation
  • the centrala finance-, monetary- or currency-politics of the realm
  • governmental agencies inspection, control or other similar activities (to enforce laws and regulations)
  • the interest of preventing or investigating crimes
  • the economic interest of the public
  • the protection of the individuals personal or economic situation
  • the interest of keeping animal or plant species

Naturally exactly what is covered by which bulletpoint has been extensively tried in courts (as is often the case with really old laws). When Sweden entered the union a onesided resolution was issued from Sweden that Sweden will not back from traditional liberties. So this case might prove really interesting.

(And I like TribEXT, translate is a great function. Doubleplusgood to someone.)

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

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I posted this article (in full) in the open thread last night, only Jerome seemed to notice...

It illustrates my point that democracy in the Nordic countries generally is more open, transparent and accountable than in other European countries.  I hope that continues, but the pressure to conform is worrying.  

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 07:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope the other countries catch up.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:08:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Denmark under new pressure for EU treaty vote - EUobserver.com
The Danish discussion on whether to have a referendum on the new EU draft Treaty has taken another twist after the country's main opposition party changed course and called for a political discussion on the issue - instead of just a legal discussion as the government wants.

The opposition leader, social democrat Helle Thorning-Schmidt, wants Denmark to enter into a political discussion once the treaty text has been negotiated and not just wait for a legal assessment.

"I think it is important to spread out [the discussion] a bit and acknowledge that this is also a political assessment," she told Danish daily Politiken on Tuesday (9 October).

She also argues that even if there are no legal issues for Denmark in the reform treaty text there might be aspects which could have political consequences.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:09:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope someone at EU HQ gets a clue about this. The idea that it's going to be possible to sneak this past populations without them noticing is dead in the water now.

Worse, it has the makings of a PR disaster, and is playing right into the hands of the nationalist parties around the EU.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:07:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The treaty will fail, again.

And then the only way out will be a referendum on the principle of staying in the political Europe or butting out to the EEA.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:31:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bulgarian medics hope for further EU support - EUobserver.com
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Bulgarian medics freed from jail in Libya last July thanked EU institutions for their "united" efforts to secure their release, and said that they expected further support by the EU to help them reintegrate into society and "put [their] lives together".

The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor - who was later granted Bulgarian nationality - were sentenced to death in Libya in May 2004 following accusations of deliberately infecting more than 400 Libyan children with the HIV virus.

Having already been in prison since 1999, they were finally released on 24 July 2007.

The liberation, which was the fruit of months of international diplomatic efforts and negotiations, prompted euphoria in Bulgaria.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:12:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Putin snubs Sarkozy over stance on Iran - Times Online

Vladimir Putin brushed off efforts today by President Sarkozy of France to persuade Russia to be more co-operative in its dealings with the world. He notably stuck to his refusal to put more pressure on Iran over its nuclear plans.

Mr Sarkozy, on a two-day "tough-love" mission to Moscow, was visibly embarrassed when the Russian President failed to share in his upbeat account of the rapport that the pair had struck together at a private dinner at Mr Putin's home.

Talking in formal, deadpan tones in the white and blue splendour of The Catherine Hall in the Kremlin, Mr Putin said nothing to substantiate Mr Sarkozy's claim last night of a Russian change of heart over Iran. "We do not have information that Iran is trying to create a nuclear weapon," Mr Putin said. "We operate on the principle that Iran does not have those plans. But she share in the concerns of our partners."

Iran had already co-operated with the United Nations and Russia would continue to co-operate with the UN, Mr Putin said. The remarks amounted to a straight putdown for Mr Sarkozy, after he had indicated yesterday that the Russian leader was now amenable to joining the US-French push for more sanctions against Tehran.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:12:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Putin sees lack of evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons program - International Herald Tribune

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday after conferring with French President Nicolas Sarkozy that Iran must be encouraged to make its nuclear program fully transparent, but pointed at the lack of definitive proof that Tehran was seeking to build atomic weapons.

Sarkozy, who sought to crank up pressure on Iran, expressed hope that Putin's trip to Iran next week could help make Tehran more inclined to meet international demands.

"We are sharing our partners' concern about making all Iranian programs transparent," Putin said at a news conference after his Kremlin talks with Sarkozy which followed their dinner Tuesday at the Russian president's country residence.

Putin said Iran already had shown an increased readiness to make its nuclear program more transparent. "We agreed yesterday, and Mr. President confirmed it, that Iran is making certain steps toward the international community to achieve that," Putin said.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Putin said Iran already had shown an increased readiness to make its nuclear program more transparent. "We agreed yesterday, and Mr. President confirmed it, that Iran is making certain steps toward the international community to achieve that," Putin said.

It appears as if Sarkozy, after his usual self-aggrandizing stint of breaking protocol, is getting a face-slap from a real pro. I bet Putin could be a very excellent snarker should he decide to post on ET. Is there an invitation form that we can send him?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:42:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I now have a new goal in life.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 11:43:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I contend that Putin is by far the most entertaining world leader we've got and for this reason alone he should remain in charge of something.
by paving on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:24:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yep.  People think I'm a good writer, but it's only because I have no shortage excellent material.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:33:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly.

And the same is true for Sarko.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 12th, 2007 at 01:46:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Europe | Sarkozy hails talks with Putin
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he bridged differences with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, over the Iranian nuclear stand-off.

"Our positions moved much closer," he said after talks at Mr Putin's dacha near Moscow, but did not elaborate.

Russian officials made no public mention of progress. The two leaders are to hold more talks shortly.

Mr Sarkozy has been pushing for tougher sanctions against Iran but Russia has opposed the move.

Last week, Mr Sarkozy accused Moscow of "complicating" the world's problems.

He said that Russia "should understand that big countries have not only rights, but also responsibilities".

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:16:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Last week, Mr Sarkozy accused Moscow of "complicating" the world's problems.

He said that Russia "should understand that big countries have not only rights, but also responsibilities".

yup and when you're little you should stop strutting and yapping so much to compensate...

the arrogance of this psychodwarf (thanks beppe) is breathtaking.

i hope he gets slapped down repeatedly and often, and then again and again... then he'd maybe stop complicating the world's problems himself.

he has the oddest gait....watching him walking next to putin yesterday, he looked like he had a wide and very uncomfortable something up his keister...

nah, probably just a misaligned sacrum after the long flight...

'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:28:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he has the oddest gait....watching him walking next to putin yesterday, he looked like he had a wide and very uncomfortable something up his keister...

Ah, so he is a republican. Or maybe he's a  friend of Larry Craig. Was he ever an intern for Mark Foley. No wonder Cecilie is so dissatisfied.

Sorry, the british remain wedded to the single entendre.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 01:21:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't seen any reports that they went fishing though.

And yet...

I thought this bit from Kommersant was funny.

After visiting the presidential residence in Novo-Ogarevo, spending the night at the Hotel National and appearing before students at Bauman State Technical University, Sarkozy came to the Kremlin yesterday morning.

Sarkozy told the president of Russia that he "very, very long ago dreamed of going inside the Kremlin." "I think you'll understand me," he continued. "To wake up and see Red Square - it is a lot for me."

It was unclear where he had slept. You can't do that at the Hotel National, even though it is only a few minute's walk away.

lol...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 01:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it doesn't say he woke and saw red square right away, from his hotel window...

it was on his jog, silly!

you know the one where his bum sticks out and his hands flop around in a decidedly effete way...

wink wink...nudge nudge...know wot i mean vern?

'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:25:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
after the comment tonight on poemless' odds and ends, i'm wondering if he had not had enough practice on the 5cm high heels....

daaahling.... vlad, ripple those pecs again, please, your gas is my oxygen!

'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i saw him on telly saying that yesterday, and according to the translator at least, he interjected the word 'objective' before the word 'information'.

quite the diplomat...


'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 formal, deadpan tones ?

Is the Times discreetly trying to tell us that Putin is maybe not full of shit, and rather than we are?

(Of course, in that case, it's a sub-we, Sarkozy being the West only at the discretion of his anglo cousins)

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:05:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess the Anglo press only like Putin when he embarrasses the French with his formal, deadpan performances at joint press conferences. When it's Bush that is made to look like an idiot the tone is different.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:49:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I told ya.  They're on the bandwagon.  Of course, Sarkozy is an easy target too.  They can veil their pro-Putin agenda behind French-bashing. ;)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 11:40:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe Calls on World to Abolish Death Penalty | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 10.10.2007
As Europe marks its first day against the death penalty, officials pressed for more diplomatic efforts to abolish capital punishment. Outlawed in the EU, over 50 nations execute convicts for their crimes.

The Council of Europe voted in September by 46 to one to make Oct. 10 a European day against the death penalty, bringing it in line with other international efforts calling for the end to capital punishment on the same day.

 

EU officials at a conference Tuesday in Lisbon said they also wanted European countries to abolish capital punishment in all circumstances.

 

"Crime cannot be prevented or stopped with death, or with state vengeance, but with justice," said Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country currently holds the European Union presidency.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:17:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The Council of Europe voted in September by 46 to one

No surprise:


Predominantly Catholic Poland was the only country to oppose the decision, arguing any such event should also condemn abortion and euthanasia. Capital punishment during peacetime has been illegal in Poland since 2000.

Can we suspend their voting rights in the EU and shun them?


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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We'd be better off making them rich and making their young people stay at home or go back home.

Worked for Ireland: when the young, the smart and the cosmopolitan are all leaving for greener pastures things don't get better.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:23:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently most Eastern Europeans who are in Britain don't really like it here, but they're here because there are no jobs at home. Take, for instance, Slovaks. In some areas of Slovakia unemployment is very high, so they trek West. Now, at the same time, multinationals are moving their Car factories from the West to Slovakia (but not to the depressed regions, it appears). So here we have maybe a hundred thousand Slovaks in Britain who would rather be home if they could work there. But 100 thousand people can form a little self-sustaining economy. What prevents these people from going abck and make a living by providing goods and services to each other?

Why is the economic system so unable to allow people to work for themselves and their communities?

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:53:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is the economic system so unable to allow people to work for themselves and their communities?

why does it seem so often that economic systems actively work at foiling peoples' attempts to work for themselves and their communities?

....or live more ecologically, for that matter.

'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:28:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...why does it seem so often that economic systems actively work at foiling peoples' attempts to work for themselves and their communities?
....or live more ecologically, for that matter.

Yes; but the solution might be in the thousand ideas about sustainable and interacting cultures which Migeru's question provoked.

Why is the economic system so unable to allow people to work for themselves and their communities?

It would seem that the point made just before that line of Migeru's contradicts his question. There are many cases where a group of outsiders is able to sustain an economy amongst themselves. There must be studies done that take a glimpse of what it takes for a community to survive with other similar symbiotic communities.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Capital.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 07:15:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bingo.

The ownership of the means of production.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 07:18:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you saying that "capital" can't be subject to capital punishment?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:33:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the UK is no longer needed as Georges best friends because we're loosing out in the battle to disrupt Europe?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:59:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poland is certainly doing a better job.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:01:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I was thinking.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Europe - Spain faces takeover tax relief probe

Spain's biggest companies, which have been on an acquisition spree across Europe, may be obliged to pay back billions of euros in tax relief if the European Commission decides that Madrid's generous tax treatment of foreign acquisitions amounts to illegal state aid.

Neelie Kroes, European Union competition commissioner, on Wednesday said she was opening a formal investigation into Spain's tax scheme for foreign acquisitions after receiving numerous complaints from European companies that had been outbid by Spanish competitors.

Madrid allows companies to deduct the goodwill arising from foreign acquisitions against tax over a period of 20 years. These are considerable sums.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:21:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a very real issue, and it does provide Spanish companies with a significant ability to bid more -effectively at their taxpayers' expense, for other companies.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does "goodwill" mean in this context, exactly?

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:53:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably

Goodwill (accounting) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Goodwill is an accounting term used to reflect the portion of the market value of a business entity not directly attributable to its assets and liabilities; it normally arises only in case of an acquisition. It reflects the ability of the entity to make a higher profit than would be derived from selling the tangible assets. Goodwill is also known as an intangible asset.


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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:19:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More specifically in an acquistion transaction, the goodwill is the difference between (i) the official net value of the company you purchase, as shown by its balance sheet, and comes as such into your own balance sheet after the purcahse and (ii) the price you actually pay. The goodwill is what you need to put onto your balance sheet to keep it balanced - so it's a totally imaginary asset.

But if you can depreciate it, it creates actual accounting spending that you can use to lower your taxable income, and thus your taxes.

So effectively the Spanish taxpayers are contributing x% of the goodwill/excess price a Spanish company puts on the table when it buys another company (x being the tax rate applicable to the buyer).

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bribery, blackmail and Bond-style gadgets. What the FSB says Britain is up to in Russia | Russia | Guardian Unlimited
The head of Russia's FSB spy agency yesterday accused Britain and MI6 of leading a campaign to destabilise the country, and said that British agents were using old-fashioned techniques such as "bribery and blackmail" to recruit Russian citizens.

Nikolai Patrushev, director of the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, said foreign spies were trying to weaken and dismantle Russia ahead of elections for the Duma (parliament) in December and a presidential poll next year. He singled out Britain for special mention. In an interview with the mass-selling Argumenty I Fakty newspaper, Mr Patrushev said the British intelligence agency MI6 was not only recruiting spies but was also attempting to meddle directly in Russia's internal affairs.

He also claimed that British intelligence was supplying its Russian agents with new gadgets. They included a James Bond-like communications device hidden in a laptop charger, and sophisticated software that allowed agents to use their computers without leaving traces on the hard drive.

"MI6 is not only gathering intelligence in all areas but is also trying to influence the domestic political situation in our country, Mr Patrushev said. "Politicians thinking in cold war categories still retain influence in a number of western nations."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:26:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / World - Politics `not in way' of UK-Russo business

Business and political leaders insisted UK-Russian commercial relations had not been harmed by the dispute over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko - just as Russia's security chief was accusing British spies of trying to break up Russia.

The Russo-British Chamber of Commerce put on a display of harmony on Wednesday at its first Moscow investment forum since tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions in recent months. These were sparked by Russia's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the ex-KGB officer whom Britain wants to try for last year's poisoning of Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin.

It brought together British and Russian ministers, the UK ambassador to Moscow and his Russian counterpart in London, and heads of Shell and BP in Russia, whose large Russian investments have been embroiled in high-profile commercial disputes in the past year.

In a colonnaded conference hall near the Kremlin, the names Litvinenko and Lugovoi went largely unspoken as businessmen mingled over trays of chocolates from a Cadbury's factory in Russia. The UK is Russia's largest foreign investor.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, Business is Business!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:26:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politicians thinking in cold war categories still retain influence in a number of western nations.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh? Where's the irony? This is just a statement of fact.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:12:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the same is true for the govenment of a certain eastnern nation, hey! even the same government as the spokesman who just said it works for...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 10:32:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A sea change: the wind farm revolution - Independent Online Edition > Green Living
Giant turbines are rapidly becoming a feature of the landscape. And now a wave of applications is poised to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind power generation. But there's one hurdle in the way of this breakthrough for renewable energy: bureaucracy. Ian Herbert reports Published: 11 October 2007

For those who have grown accustomed to a windswept life on some of Britain's more exposed coastlines, the presence of the free, limitless energy supply in their midst is probably hard to appreciate. But the potential fuel bonanza provided by wind was underlined yesterday when the British Energy Association said that Britain could, within 12 months, overtake Denmark as the world leader in offshore wind power generation.

The UK's projected wind energy output was boosted this week by the approval of the London Array project in the Thames Estuary. It will generate more electricity than any offshore plant in the world and Britain is now well on its way to having well over half of the world's offshore wind power plants currently in construction.

Offshore projects, more appealing to those who believe land-based turbines are a blot on the landscape, are avoiding some of the local resistance from planners which have long bedevilled onshore schemes. With developers eyeing three main strategic sites in England - the Greater Wash, the Thames Estuary and north-west England - several projects are expected to come online in the next few years. The offshore projects currently planned, together with those already in operation, could supply a total of 20 gigawatts of clean electricity, amounting to 17 per cent of the UK's total electricity supply.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:33:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bureaucracy? Oh:

Plans for an electricity sub-station near Faversham proved unpopular and have created hold-ups during which the costs for the scheme have risen from the original estimate of £1.5bn to closer to £2bn.

[...]

The complex system of approving and installing offshore plants means that developers must wait two years for the Government to complete environmental impact assessments.

I dislike NIMBYism as much as the next unaffected person, but if "bureaucracy" means being forced to take neighbors' and environmental concerns seriously, then I say hooray for bureaucracy.

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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:33:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those neighbourhood and environmental concerns are usually well funded by the nuclear power lobby.

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 04:09:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hadn't read that. Could you put up a link?

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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 04:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2004/apr/25/energy.greenpolitics

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2005/may/25/energy.greenpolitics

There is a good chance that any campaign, against the sighting of a windfarm, is taking money and public relations advice for the nuclear power lobby.  

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying

by RogueTrooper on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:07:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It must be! This summer I drove down direction Avignon and I think it was aroung Montélimar, there were quite a few windmills on the hills. I like seeing them. But something else made me wonder, there were also a lot of huge pillons(?), some also on the hills, carrying the transmission cables - and they are ugly. Funny I can not remember discussion about people complaining about them and about them destroying the view. You can find them crossing the Alps in otherwise pristine areas - but still no complains, and they are really an eyesore in my opinion.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:35:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there were also a lot of huge pillons(?), some also on the hills, carrying the transmission cables - and they are ugly.
Whut?!? I love pylons, transmissions cables, transformer stations, etc, etc, etc! These are some of the best parts of electrical installations, and of the world in general! I'd much rather look at the sleek wonders of enormous metal pylons and lovely wires than some boring old country side whatever! And I love how they hum in slightly damp air. A low frequency, menacing sound. Nice!
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:43:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL!
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:54:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eye, beholder, beauty
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 09:00:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The eye is in the beholder of the beauty?

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 09:01:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are right - but your former comment created such a weird picture in my mind, I just had to laugh.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 09:07:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There were, and still are, in fact, very strenuous campaigns in France against high-tension power lines. On the part of environmentalists, landscape lovers, and NIMBYs.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:19:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The number of permits and authorisations you need to build a windfarm is pretty staggering.

No other industry is given so many hurdles, and so many ways for Nimbyism to act, often for the pettiest reasons and on the flimsiest grounds.

And offshore is yet another story, with nobody in the government bureaucracy really knowing who should deal with the industry, everybody wanting their say, and nobody taking decisions. Things have improved now, but it's been a mess.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:15:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
about 15 years ago I had a lift with a guy who was driving up to a site to do a survey for a new windfarm. He was telling me that  he'd just come from a public enquiry, where the local branch of Friends of the earth had been campaigning against another wind farm. Their argument was that it would spoil the view from the cafe at the top of Snowdon. This was going to scupper the whole plan. The public enquiry was going to accept this, and the only way this was for the people planning the windfarm to send someone to  the top of the mountain with a set of binoculars and measuring the size of another windfarm at a simlar distance during the enquirys lunch break. having done that they then Rang FoE's headquaters  to tell them that their local group was objecting to  wind turbines that even through binoculars were visibly smaller than a matchstick. and getting them to get their local branch to withdraw the complaint. otherwise the windfarm would not have been allowed.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:57:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People can be silly, sure. And they're predisposed to being change-averse.

But imagine what things would be like if project developers were not compelled to explain and justify their projects and weigh them against the preferences of local residents.

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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The café and the railway station on top of Snowdon?

LOL! Friends of the Earth were talking about eyesores in the same breath, and not cracking up laughing?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:24:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish MPs to vote on law rehabilitating Franco's victims | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
Flor Baena remembers her brother Humberto as an "honourable man, tall and slim". He was an idealistic young philosophy student who opposed the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, but his political beliefs were to cost him his life.

Franco's death was just weeks away when, on September 27 1975, Baena was hauled in front of a military court, accused of killing a policeman in Madrid. This was impossible, says his sister, because he was in Portugal, but the alibi was never presented at his hastily arranged trial. The case against him was flimsy, relying heavily on the witness statements of two women, one of whom later retracted her claims.

At the age of 24 Baena was killed by firing squad - one of the last five men to be executed under Franco. "He had his political ideas but he was never involved in violent attacks. They killed him simply because he was a republican," said his sister. She has fought for years to clear his name, going through the Spanish courts and up to the European court of human rights because she wants him to be remembered "not as a killer, but as someone who was killed".

Last year the Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, whose own grandfather was executed by Franco's forces, declared a "year of the recovery of historic memory".

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:35:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Giuseppe Bertola, voxEU: EMU and inequality: the facts

Empirical research shows that EMU improves economic performance, but is also associated with higher inequality and lower social spending. This casts doubt on the political sustainability of EMU without social-policy integration and much deeper financial market development.

. . . Piecing together the various pieces of circumstantial evidence . . . forms a view of post-EMU inequality and policy evolution that is intriguingly consistent with theoretical "race to the bottom" problems . . .

by TGeraghty on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:06:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not an indictment of EMU, this is an indictment of the macro-economic policies of the past few years, which were more about country by country neoliberalism than they were about European-level coordination.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:22:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is an indictment of the fact that the EU has created a common market and a monetary union without creating an economic and redistributive policy to go with it.

If it were not for national governments' explicit economic and redistribution policies, free trade and a common currency within countries would quickly lead to huge inequalities among a country's regions.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:55:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it were not for national governments' explicit economic and redistribution policies

And the European Structural and Cohesion Funds

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:25:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But remember the EU's budget is 1% of GDP while national government spending can be of the order of 30% or 40% or more. So the regional funds are several times smaller than the regional redistribution policies that national governments can bring to bear.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:41:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German Government Urges Court Not to Ban Online Searches | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 11.10.2007
The German government has argued in front of the nation's highest court that security services should be able to conduct online searches to fight terrorism. The court seemed skeptical.

The government argued on Wednesday, Oct. 10, that authorities should be able to plant "Trojan" spyware on suspects' computers, saying it was a vital tool in the fight against terrorism.

[...]

The hearing in front of the court is looking into the legality of such methods in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where domestic intelligence officials began using it 10 months ago. Several lawyers, a journalist and a former state interior minister have submitted official protests about the practice.

The Karlsruhe case could prove key in deciding if Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government can give authorities the right in the future to engage in Internet spying. Berlin is watching closely, with the conservative CDU/CSU faction wanting legal steps taken immediately to allow the technique. The Social Democrats have said they will wait for the court's decision, which will only be known in several months.



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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And now, back by popular demand (hey, I like it):

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket - get it here!


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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Secret police struggle rocks Russia - Independent Online Edition > Europe

One of Vladimir Putin's top law enforcement officials has for the first time claimed publicly that in-fighting within the Russian security services is threatening the stability of the country, as a power struggle deepens just months before the President is supposed to leave office.

The security services and the siloviki - hardliners with security service backgrounds - within the presidential administration wield vast power in the opaque system of government under Mr Putin. While analysts frequently offer guesses about murky power struggles within the Kremlin, it is extremely rare for such clashes to be made public from the inside.

In an open letter in the Kommersant newspaper on Monday, Viktor Cherkesov, the head of the Federal Drugs Control Service, warned that the security services were in danger of becoming embroiled in an "all- against-all" war for power and influence.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 11:37:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde: Drones for surveilling banlieues and demonstrations

"Nous ne sommes pas sur la ligne d'une surveillance de longue durée, de type militaire, assure Thierry Delville, chef des services de technologie de sécurité intérieure. C'est un outil supplémentaire pour les interventions de la police." ELSA servirait pour les grandes manifestations et rassemblements, mais aussi dans le cadre des violences urbaines telles qu'elles se sont déroulées en novembre 2005. Autres exemples de scénario d'emploi avancés par les spécialistes : la surveillance des abords d'une maison dans laquelle se seraient installés des terroristes ; le repérage des voitures brûlées ; ou bien un zoom sur un groupe de personnes, en marge d'une manifestation, pour repérer un porteur de cocktail Molotov. Le survol des zones urbaines étant soumis à autorisation, le drone ne devrait pas dépasser 150 mètres d'altitude, même si sa capacité peut atteindre 500 mètres. Avec une autonomie de 40 minutes, il peut balayer un rayon d'action de 2 kilomètres. Le type de caméra embarquée est variable, à infrarouge la nuit, à intensification de lumière dans la pénombre ou la grisaille...

And here is an article in English from September 19:

AFP via Expatica: French police to test surveillance drone

France's interior ministry said Tuesday it was to test an ultra-light surveillance drone that could one day be used to monitor riots and criminals gangs in the troubled suburbs of Paris.

Weighing 600 grammes, including a camera, the prototype drone -- named ELSA, the French acronym for light aerial surveillance craft -- measures one metre (three feet) across and has a flight autonomy of 30 minutes.

Thierry Delville, head of the ministry's security technology department, told a conference on drone and robot security technologies the prototype would be delivered in December.

In theory he said it could one day be used to monitor demonstrations, assist police during urban riots and gather intelligence, although such uses are legally impossible at present.



The key to culture is religion. Daniel Dennett @ TED (Feb 2006)
by marco on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 11:59:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, having been uncomfortably underneath drones that were surveilling an area in order to facilitate bombing it, this freaks me out.  I do not like these things being overhead.

Any use of surveillance drones for domestic purposes anywhere should be robustly objected to by the population of the given nation.  Robustly.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:31:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you get my e-mail about the Pitchforks 'R Us business plan?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having spent several nights with police surveilance helicopters flying unreasonably low being constantly circled over with spotlights blazing I nearly know how you feel.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:51:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be interesting to see if the law allows for destroying/capturing these drones.  Who owns the airspace  over your property? At what height?  Etc.

The most effective way to fight surveillance technology has always been cost.  In NYC, for example, locals took to destroying the cameras wherever they went up, making it way too expensive for the govt. to maintain.  Sure, private enterprise steps in but the point is made.

by paving on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:39:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Judging from past events they take it badly when you fire fireworks at them.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:43:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:06:14 AM EST
Only now, the full horror of Burmese junta's repression of monks emerges - Independent Online Edition > Asia

Monks confined in a room with their own excrement for days, people beaten just for being bystanders at a demonstration, a young woman too traumatised to speak, and screams in the night as Rangoon's residents hear their neighbours being taken away.

Harrowing accounts smuggled out of Burma reveal how a systematic campaign of physical punishment and psychological terror is being waged by the Burmese security forces as they take revenge on those suspected of involvement in last month's pro-democracy uprising.

The first-hand accounts describe a campaign hidden from view, but even more sinister and terrifying than the open crackdown in which the regime's soldiers turned their bullets and batons on unarmed demonstrators in the streets of Rangoon, killing at least 13. At least then, the world was watching.

The hidden crackdown is as methodical as it is brutal. First the monks were targeted, then the thousands of ordinary Burmese who joined the demonstrations, those who even applauded or watched, or those merely suspected of anti-government sympathies.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:10:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bush and Congress dispute Armenian 'genocide' status - Independent Online Edition > Americas

A Congressional committee last night defied George Bush, voting through a resolution describing the 1915 slaughter of Armenians as a genocide - a move the White House says would severely damage relations with Turkey, a vital ally in the Iraq war.

"This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings," the President told reporters, hours before the House Foreign Affairs Committee met to consider the measure. Instead, the majority-Democrat panel passed it by 27 votes to 21. Barring an abrupt about-face by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has long backed the resolution, it will now come to a vote by the full House. There, 226 members, more than a majority, have already signed up as co-sponsors.

In one sense, the showdown is a re-run of an argument that has periodically endangered ties between Washington and Ankara. But as joint letters to Ms Pelosi from all eight living former secretaries of state and three former defense secretaries testify, rarely have the diplomatic stakes been higher, and never have the prospects of passage been greater.

The confrontation between the White House and Congress comes at the worst possible moment, just as the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is close to authorising a major incursion into northern Iraq to strike Kurdish rebels, after 15 Turkish soldiers were killed in fighting in recent days.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:11:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what is the gambit here? Are the US threathening to shame Turkey over the armenian genocide (which btw - IIRC - the kurdish autonome region also participated in) unless it stands down on the Kurds in northern Iraq.

Or does the US in some twisted logic want Turkey to also invade Iraq and fight the Kurds, the US only real allies in the country?

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

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:46:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there was some good discussion about this yesterday in both the morning news and open thread.

I think it'd be nice if one or other of the participants were to roll up the discussion into a diary.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 01:44:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there was some good discussion about this yesterday in both the morning news and open thread.

I think it'd be nice if one or other of the participants were to roll up the discussion into a diary.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 01:44:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Discount War: ISAF Is Failing in Effort to Secure Afghanistan on the Cheap - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Germany's parliament votes this Friday on whether to extend Berlin's participation in the military mission in Afghanistan. The country is on the brink of disaster, but German politicians have chosen to ignore Afghanistan's real problems.

Italian Brigadier General Fausto Macor is the ideal star witness to make the situation in Afghanistan dramatically clear to German politicians. The wiry general from the northern Italian city of Turin has been in charge of the Regional Command West of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan since July. He and his men are deployed in what is considered the quietest and safest part of the country.

Macor and his men are barricaded into an area near the airport in Herat, an old trading city of 250,000 inhabitants that has long served as a gateway to nearby Iran. Heavily armed Albanian soldiers guard the entrance to the camp, which is protected against enemy fire by a 1-meter-thick wall of boulders.

On Tuesday of last week, the general met with Eckart von Klaeden, the foreign policy spokesman of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Von Klaeden had traveled to the city with the German ambassador to Afghanistan, Hans-Ulrich Seidt.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Asia Times Online :: South Asia news - From Washington to war in Waziristan
A dramatic sequence of events in Pakistan has grabbed global attention, but few have so far connected the dots between the hurried issuance of a National Reconciliation Ordinance on October 5 and the savage fighting that is currently raging in the North Waziristan tribal area.

The National Reconciliation Ordinance, issued by President-elect General Pervez Musharraf, grants immunity to current and former lawmakers who have been accused of corruption. It paves the way for a political settlement between Musharraf and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, which is expected to result in a civilian-based consensus government after parliamentary elections in about three months' time.

The ordinance was issued just 24 hours before Musharraf's reelection as president, yet only three days prior to the Musharraf-Bhutto deal, which is what the ordinance amounts to, Musharraf's representatives had declined to accept Bhutto's conditions.

And within 12 hours of Musharraf's reelection, he was commanding what has become the most bloody military operation against al-Qaeda and Taliban in North Waziristan.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New York Times: Safe Food for Japan

The Japanese health ministry says it and private laboratories now test samples from about 10 percent of all food shipments entering the country.

By contrast, the United States, which imports about a tenth of its food, tests less than 1 percent of shipments, according to the House report. <...>

The health ministry says Japan tested 203,001 samples of food last year and found 1,515 samples that violated standards. The largest number of violations, a third, came from China, which supplies about 15 percent of Japan's food imports.

While there have been calls in Washington for stepped-up testing, there is also notable interest in Japan's new system for screening Chinese producers. <...>

Under the system, a number of Chinese companies receive licenses from the government there allowing them to export to Japan on the condition that they maintain Japanese standards. Currently, 45 Chinese companies are licensed to produce spinach for sale in Japan. The Chinese producers must grow all their spinach on their own plots and not buy any from other producers. <...>

Japanese officials acknowledge that their system limits competition, allowing Chinese producers to charge the Japanese consumer higher prices. But they say that this profit incentive also keeps the Chinese companies adhering to Japanese standards -- lest they lose their licenses.



The key to culture is religion. Daniel Dennett @ TED (Feb 2006)
by marco on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:23:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Asia Times Online :: Middle East News - Ahmadinejad scores 'fair' in mid-term report
An objective mid-term report on the foreign policy performance of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is called for. According to Ahmadinejad, in his recent speech in New York, "compared to two years ago, Iran's position in the international arena has much strengthened".

On the whole, it is hard to dispute that statement, even though because of the fluid nuclear crisis and the threats of conflict and/or conflict spillover related to Iraq, it is difficult to muster more than a provisional conclusion that may need to be revised if Iran faces serious setbacks in the near future due to those crises.

For now, however, Ahmadinejad and his foreign policy team can take credit for strengthening Iran's position, both regionally and globally. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had precisely this in mind when he told the Iranian press that Ahmadinejad's recent New York visit was a "success" and Iran managed to introduce a "new perspective" on global issues, relying on "clear logic".

According to Mottaki, "Iran proposed the idea of a structural change of the United Nations and a front for peace solidarity, to expand the anti-war and peace movements at the level of heads of states, and that has been well received by many countries."
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:43:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Attack on U.S. base in Iraq kills two | U.S. | Reuters
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An "indirect fire" attack on a major U.S. military base in the Iraqi capital Baghdad overnight killed two coalition forces members and wounded 38 others, the U.S. military said on Thursday...

The number of casualties is the highest in months from an attack on Camp Victory, the U.S. military's sprawling headquarters near Baghdad airport.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:10:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jimmy Carter calls Cheney a disaster for U.S | U.S. | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday denounced Vice President Dick Cheney as a "disaster" for the country and a "militant" who has had an excessive influence in setting foreign policy.

Cheney has been on the wrong side of the debate on many issues, including an internal White House discussion over Syria in which the vice president is thought to be pushing a tough approach, Carter said.

"He's a militant who avoided any service of his own in the military and he has been most forceful in the last 10 years or more in fulfilling some of his more ancient commitments that the United States has a right to inject its power through military means in other parts of the world," Carter told the BBC World News America in an interview to air later on Wednesday.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:13:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EPA Joins Settlement of Lawsuit but Adds a Waiver - washingtonpost.com

Although the Environmental Protection Agency joined in a legal settlement this week to force the largest power-plant pollution cleanup in U.S. history, the Bush administration signaled in the agreement that it has no intention of taking enforcement actions against the utility for the same kind of Clean Air Act violations in the future.

The language of the settlement indicates that the administration has not wavered in its distaste for a Clinton-era policy of using the law to force power plants to upgrade their pollution controls whenever they significantly update or expand a plant. That marks a significant victory for the power industry, which has strenuously opposed the "New Source Review," saying that it penalizes them for efficiency improvements that ultimately benefit consumers and the environment.



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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:35:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Army Offers Big Cash To Keep Key Officers - washingtonpost.com

The Army is offering cash bonuses of up to $35,000 to retain young officers serving in key specialties -- including military intelligence, infantry and aviation -- in an unprecedented bid to forestall a critical shortage of officer ranks that have been hit hard by frequent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army officials said that lengthy and repeated war-zone tours -- the top reason younger officers leave the service -- plus the need for thousands of new officers as the Army moves forward with expansion plans have contributed to a projected shortfall of about 3,000 captains and majors for every year through 2013.



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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:38:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
looking at the Theoretical force structures that's enough officers to command 200,000 troops. It's like every officer at that level in Iraq, plus all of  their replacements are trying to quit.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:49:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A 6-hour Strike by Auto Workers Against Chrysler - New York Times

DETROIT, Oct. 10 -- A new expression is making the rounds here in the nation's automotive capital: "Hollywood strike," as in, "just for show."

That saying is likely to gain currency after the United Automobile Workers reached a tentative agreement Wednesday with Chrysler, only six hours after union leaders sent Chrysler's 45,000 workers to the picket lines.

Just last month, the U.A.W. struck General Motors and settled two days later, despite the union's declaring at the outset of the strike that the two sides were far apart on fundamental issues.

The brief walkouts appear to have emerged as a way for both union leaders and company managers, at a time of deep troubles in their industry, to prove to their constituents that they got the best deal they could under the circumstances, without the damage of an all-out war.



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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:40:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria Tells Journalists Israeli Raid Did Not Occur - New York Times
DEIR EZ ZOR, Syria, Oct. 9 -- Foreign journalists perused the rows of corn and the groves of date palms pregnant with low-hanging fruit here this week, while agents of Syria's ever present security services stood in the background, watching closely, almost nervously.

[...]

It was here at this research center in this sleepy Bedouin city in eastern Syria that an Israeli journalist reported that Israel had conducted an air raid in early September.

[...]

His claims have compelled the Syrian government, already anxious over the rising tensions with Israel and the United States, to try to vindicate itself after a recent flurry of news reports that it may have ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons.

President Bashar al-Assad, in a BBC interview, played down the Israeli raid, saying that Israeli jets took aim at empty military buildings, but he did not give a specific location. His statement differed from the initial Syrian claim that it had repulsed the air raid before an attack occurred.



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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:44:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The most suspicious feature of this whole story is the fact that Syria didn't complain at the UN over the airspace violation, let alone an actual bombing!

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:04:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But all the noise yet means something did happen, something that the Syrians don't want too publicized, and the israelis felt compelled to do (although the operation's risk was probably lower than for Iran, it's closer and the military gear is probably yet a notch older).

Also, the window was closing: Syria is about to receive massive upgrades from Russia, as part of the deal where the Russians will use (and defend by themselves) a Syrian port as a navy base in the mediterranean.

I can't help that feeling that everybody in the ME who doesn't already has WMD is working hard to get some, yet only Iran gets lambasted... Too much oil ? Old grudges ? SA is hardly more obedient to US oilcos, but now may be the White House knows that SA is set to decline soon and will just produce all out and ration its population to keep the royal family.

My guess: the US want to push IOR tech onto the only wells which don't have it yet, and that's Iran/Iraq, and the only way to do it is to spray VX gas over millions, and US is working hard for an excuse to do it.

Pierre

by Pierre on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:41:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IOR tech?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 07:07:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Improved Oil Recovery, Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). All techniques (nitrogen injection, CO2 injection, steam injection, horizontal wells, smart plug wells...) by which oil production can be sustained longer in a maturing oilfield. They're in use pretty much everywhere, except those countries that are under technology embargoes (Iraq before the war, although it doesn't help here, Iran now) or that don't want to let westerners have a high stake in their fields (Russia most significant).

It remains to be demonstrated by an independent source, that IOR/EOR really add to the fraction of oil that is pulled out of the ground eventually. But it does lift the peak production of a province (so it may mean you burn it all earlier, it's a locust thing).

Pierre

by Pierre on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 07:56:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Inspector Gregory: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"

Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

"The dog did nothing in the night time."

"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:52:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 04:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Financial Times: Bush attacked over death penalty case

The case discussed in Regional vs. National vs. International Law was heard in the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday:

President George W. Bush faced sharp criticism at the US Supreme Court on Wednesday for abusing his presidential powers in a case involving international law and the death penalty. <...>

But in Wednesday's case - which involved a Mexican death row inmate in Texas and a ruling of the International Court of Justice - the tables were turned: human rights groups were defending Mr Bush, and conservatives were attacking him.

The case before the court tests whether the president can order state courts in Texas to obey a ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague. <...>

One of Mr Bush's closest political allies, Ted Cruz, now the solicitor-general of Texas and arguing for Texas in the case, said the president's action "is an extraordinarily broad power to be exercised on the part of the executive".

Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the court's most conservative justices, said incredulously: "You're saying we don't need the Congress: the president can write a domestic law by writing a memo to his attorney- general!"

Critics are concerned that, if the president is allowed to prevail in this case, he could overturn any state law that conflicts with US foreign policy. But Mr Medellín's lawyer said the president had the power to issue the order under the constitution.

This case seemed totally clear-cut to me, given that the U.S. was unequivocally a signatory to the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations at the time the International Court of Justice made its ruling, and given that "all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land", and given that as President one of Bush's responsibilities is to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed".  But maybe since the U.S. withdrew from the protocol after the ruling, that gives the Texas lawyers an opening to argue the U.S. is no longer bound by the ICJ's ruling.  (Not that Cruz's or Scalia's overdramatic remarks make any sense even given such debatable wiggle room.)

Slick: Bush washes his hands and throws the whole mess to the judicial system to sort out.

Need to find out what Bruce Fein has to say about all this.

The key to culture is religion. Daniel Dennett @ TED (Feb 2006)

by marco on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:10:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:06:39 AM EST
Swedes Honor Chemist Gerhard Ertl: Germany Scoops a Second Nobel Prize - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

German scientist Gerhard Ertl won the Nobel Prize for chemistry Wednesday for work that explains processes such as the thinning of the ozone layer. The award came on a good day, too -- his 71st birthday.

German Gerhard Ertl speaks on the phone as he receives congratulations for winning the 2007 Nobel Prize in chemistry. A day after a German scientist was announced as co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for physics (more...), another German scientist was announced a Nobel laureate by the Swedish Academy. On Wednesday Gerhard Ertl was announced the winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry -- on his 71st birthday.

Gerhard Ertl, former director of the Fritz-Haber Institute at Berlin's prestigious Max Planck Institute, was recognized with the coveted award and its 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.54 million; €1.1 million) Wednesday for his work on chemical processes on solid surfaces.

In its award citation, the Swedish Academy of Sciences said: "His insights have provided the scientific basis of modern surface chemistry: his methodology is used in both academic research and the industrial development of chemical processes."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:20:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Red Card for Red Light: Brothel Sponsors Italian Soccer Team - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Some soccer teams have beer or computer companies as sponsors. But one Italian side has opted for support from a more creative source: It counts a local brothel among its sponsors.

Not a suitable soccer sponsor, apparently. The Italian fourth-division soccer team Trento Calcio 1921 has stepped into the reddish spotlight for having a sponsorship deal with an Austrian brothel.

The team, which is based in Trento in northern Italy, displayed the company Casa Bianca at the top of its list of sponsors, which also include local restaurants and an electrical goods retailer, on its official Web site. However visitors who clicked on Casa Bianca's innocuous white rose icon found themselves taken to a Web site for a brothel.

The Casa Bianca ("White House"), which has two establishments in Innsbruck and Hallein in Austria, describes itself as "the house of emotions," and a "sensuous place to get everything you want." Visitors to Casa Bianca pay €180 an hour for the services of the brothel's "beauties." Female escorts are displayed on the Web site by name, complete with explicit photos. The brothel reportedly paid the team €10,000 ($14,200) for the privilege of appearing on their site.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:24:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
15,000 wildebeest drown in river stampede - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Some 15,000 wildebeest have drowned in the Mara river during their annual migration between Tanzania and Kenya, shocking tourists and baffling conservationists, officials said.

The mass death of the animals was the first of its kind in recent memory, officials said, and struck during peak season at the globally renowned Maasai Mara Game Reserve, which attracts some 300,000 tourists each year.

The carcasses of wildebeest rotting since last week are being picked over by Maribu storks, vultures, crocodiles and other scavengers.

Some visitors clutch handkerchiefs to their faces to cope with the smell as they take pictures of the pile-up of corpses.

"It was a strong tide that swept them away," said Mara administrative official, Sarisa Nkadaru, adding that most wildebeest died when they were stepped on by others.

Some officials blame the destruction of the nearby Mau forest for changing weather patterns and affecting tide levels, and they called on the Government to curb the deforestation.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:40:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If anyone out there is still confused as I was about exactly what the subprime loan meltdown is all about, I found the following radio interview with extremely clarifying:

Fresh Air from WHYY: Morgenson Sheds Light on Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist Gretchen Morgenson talks about the subprime mortgage crisis and its effects on the markets and on the economy. Morgenson, an assistant business and financial editor for The New York Times, has covered the financial markets for The Times since 1998.


The key to culture is religion. Daniel Dennett @ TED (Feb 2006)
by marco on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:47:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rebuild or retreat: US debates evacuation of Gulf coastline | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
he United States is working on a multi-billion-dollar plan to depopulate vast swaths of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico in a move which it is hoped would help re-establish a natural barrier against the catastrophic flooding caused by the likes of Hurricane Katrina.

In the first sign that the federal government is favouring a retreat from the coast rather than rebuilding, the Army Corps of Engineers is to present to Congress a radical plan which includes rebuilding the wetlands that have been disappearing at an ever-accelerating rate in recent years.

The Corps, the engineers responsible for protecting the coastline, has been working on the plan since Katrina struck in August 2005. President George Bush promised after the floods to rebuild New Orleans and other Gulf communities.

But federal agencies and environmentalists have concluded that climate change has increased the threat of further devastation and continued rebuilding makes no sense. To be included in the overall plan is $40bn (£20bn) to be spent on the Mississippi coast. Part of this would be for a voluntary buyout of 17,000 houses in Mississippi, particularly in Bay St Louis, east of New Orleans. The corps is likely to extend the plan to New Orleans and Louisiana.



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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:47:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A [Murdoch Alert] special for Jerome ;-)

French monster EATS babies! | France | World Cup rugby | The Sun |HomePage|Sport|Rugby Union

LOCK up your children! This is the picture which proves just what England will be up against when they come face to face with France on Saturday!


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 04:26:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Harvard scientists predict the future of the past tense | Science Codex

Verbs evolve and homogenize at a rate inversely proportional to their prevalence in the English language, according to a formula developed by Harvard University mathematicians who've invoked evolutionary principles to study our language over the past 1,200 years, from "Beowulf" to "Canterbury Tales" to "Harry Potter."

Writing this week in the journal Nature, Erez Lieberman, Jean-Baptiste Michel, and colleagues in Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, led by Martin A. Nowak, conceive of linguistic development as an essentially evolutionary scheme: Just as genes and organisms undergo natural selection, words -- specifically, irregular verbs that do not take an "-ed" ending in the past tense -- are subject to powerful pressure to "regularize" as the language develops.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 04:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
irregular verbs that do not take an "-ed" ending in the past tense -- are subject to powerful pressure to "regularize" as the language develops.
This is because new learners, especially children, quickly pick up on the regular forms and tend to apply them to words they haven't used before. However, precisely because of
[words] evolve and homogenize at a rate inversely proportional to their prevalence in the ... language
which is not a new observation, irregular verbs stay irregular because they tend to be among the most common words in a language and so they are normally encountered by themselves often, which removes the need to apply the "regular" rule to guess the past form.

For instance, the verbs "to have" and especially "to be" are irregular in most languages.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:01:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The interesting aspect of this article being an attempt at measuring the speed at which irregular verbs regularize...

How 'holp' became 'helped' : Nature News

Lieberman wondered whether he could quantify the effect. He and his team looked at 177 verbs with varying frequencies of use that were irregular in Old English, and examined how many had been regularized into the `-ed' past tense by the eras of Middle and Modern English. They found that an irregular verb used 100 times less frequently is regularized 10 times as fast. For the more mathematically inclined, this can be expressed as: 'The half-life of irregular verbs is proportional to the square root of their frequency.'1


Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 07:03:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just eated my lunch, blewed a little you know what, and readed this article. You know,I misunderstanded this stuff all my life.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 09:09:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:40:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NobelPrize.org: Literature 2007
that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny


We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:25:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[Torygraph Alert] Al Gore's 'nine Inconvenient Untruths'

Al Gore's environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth contains nine key scientific errors, a High Court judge ruled yesterday.

The judge declined to ban the Academy Award-winning film from British schools, but ruled that it can only be shown with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination.

In the documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim, the former US vice president and environmental activist calls on people to fight global warming because "humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb".



We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:30:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did try once to address the suggested inaccuracies of the poster kids in AIC (melting of Kilimanjaro glaciers, the Sahel, Lake Chad, etc.) and have diaried on the insufficient evidence for a Conveyor shutdown or an increased hurricane intensity previously. What we see here is the backlash of the doom narrative - it has come to bite Gore's documentary.

I really fail to see why anyone (but certainly in Europe) would want to crank up the doom scenario. Sticking to the established facts paints a picture that's scary enough.

by Nomad on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 09:26:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Education | Gore climate film's 'nine errors'

The case was brought by school governor Stewart Dimmock, from Dover, a father of two, who is a member of the New Party.

His lawyers described the ruling as a "landmark victory".

Mr Dimmock said: "I am elated with today's result, but still disappointed that the film is able to be shown in schools.

"If it was not for the case brought by myself, our young people would still be being indoctrinated with this political spin."

oh yes? who are the New party then.

Committed to restoring vision, dedication and excitement to politics - The New Party

Committed to restoring vision, dedication and excitement to politics

Political leaders in Britain seem to be incapable of taking the difficult decisions that are needed to secure our future.  The New Party offers a view of what we really need if we are to have long-term prosperity, progress and security.

Perhaps the parties slogan should be "The progressive party for those people who think the labour party hasn't gone far enough to the right".

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:25:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotsman.com News - Latest News - UK - Lessing wins 2007 Nobel for literature

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Novelist Doris Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature on Thursday for a body of work that delved into human relations and inspired a generation of feminist writers.

The academy, which awards the coveted 10 million Swedish crown (755,000 pound) prize, called 87-year-old Lessing an "epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny".

Lessing, the oldest Nobel literature laureate since the prizes began in 1901, was the 34th woman Nobellist and the 11th female to take the literature award.

"Doris doesn't know yet, because she's popped to the shops," said a spokeswoman for Lessing's agent Jonathan Clowes.

Clowes added in a statement: "We are absolutely delighted and it's very well deserved."

Jane Friedman, chief executive of Lessing publisher HarperCollins, called the award a complete surprise.

"This is such wonderful news. This is absolutely extraordinary," she told Reuters at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 09:38:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:07:00 AM EST
Good morning and a nice day to you all!
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:47:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good morning, Fran.  See you tomorrow...

The key to culture is religion. Daniel Dennett @ TED (Feb 2006)
by marco on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 12:48:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hello Fran!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:25:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hallo In Wales! :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:31:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you rock fran!

hoping someone writes a macro to give a 4 to all fran's salon tidbits with one click.

'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:37:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll get right on it...
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:59:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Make sure your file search utility is set up to look in hidden files and folders. (I.e. (under XP) select to search 'all files and folders', then, under 'More advanced options', check the boxes 'Search system folders', 'search hidden files and folders' and 'search sub-folders') Then search for the file 'copyMenu.js'. Open this file with a program like Notepad. (Do not use word!! Very important!) Now, find in the file the function called 'ETload':
function ETload(){
In this function, right before the line:
window.onclick = ETclick;
insert the following:
var k;
if(window.content.document.title.match(/european salon de news, discussion et klatsch/i)){
    var ipts = window.content.document.getElementsByTagName('input');
    for(k=0;k<ipts.length;k++){
    if(ipts[k].value.toLowerCase()=="set"){
        var newinput = window.content.document.createElement('input');
        newinput.type='button';
        newinput.value="4's 4 Fran";
        newinput.setAttribute("onclick", "FoursForFran()");
        newinput.id = "fff";
        ipts[k].parentNode.appendChild(newinput);
        k=ipts.length;
        }
    }
}
And right before function ETload(){
insert
function FoursForFran(e){
    var sels = window.content.document.getElementsByTagName('select');
    var k;
    for(k=0;k<sels.length;k++){
        var as = sels[k].parentNode.parentNode.getElementsByTagName('a');
        if(as[0]&&as[0].innerHTML == "Fran"&&sels[k].selectedIndex!=5){
            sels[k].selectedIndex=5;
            window.onunload = UnloadET;
        }
    }
}

Good luck!

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 05:52:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any idea why in the recent coment, the ratings brackets come up empty as just (/)?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:05:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
brilliant, wish i could give you a five!


'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wont that also give the sections (europe, world, klatsch) 4:s and possibly rearrange them?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 07:12:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It will give the sections 4's, but it will give all of the sections 4's, and thus shouldn't rearrange them. If you want a "4 for all but sections" button, you have to modify the code yourself... (How to do it is left as an exercise for the user. Hint: find if there is a 'parent' link or not in the comment. )
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:15:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wont bother with that, I am just a bit unclear on how the system resorts post when scored. I have put my rating system on 'Hide' and almost never use it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:50:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am really amazed the things that can be done. Thanks also for the effort, it is a nice gesture of appreciation! :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:28:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks! :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:25:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As always, thanks for the report Fran.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:38:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
warning: not for prudes...

one of the funniest threads i saw on the web yet...

http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/7433.html

bracing start to the morning!

(probably not worksafe)

'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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He coulda been a star in the porn biz!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:46:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am so glad I wasn't drinking coffee when I read that.

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 Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 03:58:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
>

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 10:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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