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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 26 September

by Fran Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:13:06 PM EST

On this date in history:

1873 - Wacław Berent, a Polish novelist and translator in Art Nouveau, was born.(d. 1940)

More here and here


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by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:13:38 PM EST
German Finance Minister Blames US for Financial Crisis | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 25.09.2008
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck deemed the US banking crisis an "earthquake" that will cost the US its role as a superpower of the world financial system. He stressed that German banks can cope with losses.

"Wall Street and the world will never again be the way they were before the crisis," said Steinbrueck in a speech to the German parliament, the Bundestag, on Thursday, Sept. 25. Write-downs and write-offs of bad credit spawned by "a blind drive for double-digit profits" have so far totaled $550 billion and no end to the crisis is in sight, he added.

The world financial system will consequently become more "multi-polar," he predicted.

Steinbrueck told the Bundestag that the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers would be meeting in Washington next month to discuss how to tighten regulation of capital markets.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:15:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / World - US `will lose financial superpower status'

The US is poised to lose its role as a global financial "superpower" in the wake of the financial crisis, Peer Steinbrück, German finance minister, said on Thursday as he called for a regulatory crackdown on financial markets.

"The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multipolar" with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück told the German parliament.

"The world will never be the same again."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
was more interesting...


US `will lose financial superpower status'

The US is poised to lose its role as a global financial "superpower" in the wake of the financial crisis, Peer Steinbrück, German finance minister, said on Thursday as he called for a regulatory crackdown on financial markets.

"The US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system. This world will become multipolar" with the emergence of stronger, better capitalised centres in Asia and Europe, Mr Steinbrück told the German parliament.

(...)

"Crisis management alone will not rebuild the lost confidence," he said. "We must civilise financial markets, and not just through moral appeals against excess and speculation. Self-regulation is no longer sufficient."

The US belief in "laisser-faire capitalism; the notion that markets should be as free as possible from regulation; these arguments were wrong and dangerous," he said. "This largely under-regulated system is collapsing today."

The US had failed in its oversight of investment banks, Mr Steinbrück said, adding that the crisis was an indictment of the US two-tier banking system and its "weak, divided financial oversight."

He pointed the finger at Washington for failing to take seriously proposals Berlin had made as it chaired the Group of Eight industrial nations last year. These proposals, he said, "elicited mockery at best or were seen as a typical example of Germans' know-better attitude."

... except that the older link now sends us to the new, tamer article...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:39:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US to Lose Financial Superpower Status: Germany - Economy * Europe * News * Story - CNBC.com

Germany blamed the United States on Thursday for spawning the global financial crisis with a blind drive for higher profits and said it would now have to accept greater market regulation and a loss of its financial superpower status.

AP

In some of the toughest language since the crisis threw Wall Street banks into financial disarray earlier this month, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck told parliament the turmoil would leave "deep marks" on both sides of the Atlantic, but called it primarily an American problem.

"The world will never be as it was before the crisis," Steinbrueck, a deputy leader of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), told the Bundestag lower house.

"The United States will lose its superpower status in the world financial system. The world financial system will become more multi-polar," he said.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Debt-Averse Germans Unlikely to Attract Sub-Prime Trouble | Business | Deutsche Welle | 25.09.2008
Sub-prime mortgages are virtually unknown in Germany since home ownership rates are relatively low. Germans tend to be debt-averse and are required to put down more equity in financing a home purchase.

German politicians have criticized the US for failing to implement stringent controls on financial markets with many pointing out that the sub-prime mortgage crisis that felled Wall Street's venerable financial institutions week could not happen in Germany. They may have a point.

 

For one, experts say, the type of high risk lending practices that were exposed when the bubble burst in the US housing market a few years ago is more heavily regulated in Germany.

 

"The sub-prime market is virtually non-existent," said Elaine Kempson, director of the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU rules out US-style bailouts - EUobserver
"The situation we face here in Europe is less acute" than in the US, says the EU economy commissioner

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - There may be need for stricter financial monitoring worldwide, but in Europe in particular, US-style bank bailouts are not necessary at this stage, EU officials told MEPs on Wednesday (24 September).

Recent events in the financial sector are hurting the economy, as they are "of a magnitude that exceeds anything we have seen in our lifetime," EU economy commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.

However, referring to the recent decision by the US to buy $700 billion (€476 billion) of bad debt from banks and other financial institutions, he stressed that "the situation we face here in Europe is less acute and member states do not at this point consider that a US-style plan is needed."

"We are talking about a US plan, adapted for circumstances in the United States, where, it should be recalled, the crisis originated and where the financial sector has been most severely affected," the commissioner pointed out.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:17:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch Finance Expert: 'Europe Should Establish A Rescue Fund' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The credit crisis is not just an American problem. In Europe, too, banks could suddenly find themselves in trouble. Europe needs to find a way to handle this, argues ex-banker and finance professor Dolf van den Brink.

Dolf van den Brink is an experienced banker. He lived through the Latin American debt crisis, the currency crisis that hit the European Monetary Fund, the fall of the British pound in 1991, the Russian crisis of 1997 and the Asia flu in 1998. But he has never seen anything that compares with what is happening with the current financial markets crisis on Wall Street.

 "The last three weeks have been extraordinary," he says. "This is serious. We have been walking on the edge of a precipice."

Van den Brink, a former executive board member of Dutch multinational bank ABN Amro, is a professor of financial institutions at the University of Amsterdam. According to Van Brink, the European Union should establish a rescue fund for bad bank loans similar to the one being set up in the United States. This, he argues, would prevent big commercial banks in Europe from collapsing.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:28:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Azerbaijan diverts EU oil to Russia and Iran - EUobserver

Azerbaijan is sticking to plans to reduce oil exports to the EU and increase shipments to Russia and Iran, as the South Caucasus country - home to another Russia-influenced frozen conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh - seeks to spread risk.

In the immediate aftermath of the Georgian crisis Azerbaijan decided as a temporary move to reduce shipments through Europe's only direct import route from the energy-rich Caspian Sea - the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline - and to increase exports to Russia.

President Aliyev (r) is hedging his bets between the EU and Russia

But Elhar Nasirov, vice-president of Socar, the Azeri state oil company, told the Financial Times on Thursday (25 September) that Azerbaijan would continue exporting oil to Russia and Iran even though shipments through Georgia had resumed, because of the increased risks in the Caucasus.

"We don't want to insult anyone ... but it's not good to have all your eggs in one basket, especially when the basket is very fragile," he said. Separately, Elmar Mammedyarov, the foreign minister, told the FT: "We are trying to be friends with everybody, at the same time as acting in accordance with our national interests."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:18:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a stupid title.
And it's wrong.

BTC pipeline: 1mb/d
Baku-Supsa (Georgian Black Sea): 150,000b/d
Baku-Novorossisk: 150-200,000b/d capacity

Maybe Socar, the Azeri state-owned company, is sending its share of the ACG oil (10% or thereabouts) to Russia, but the others are unlikely to do so, and cannot in any case, or simplt capacity constraints.

And even if they did, since when is Azeri oil "EU oil"???

Wankers

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:43:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Latvian death penalty debate rumbles on - EUobserver

The head of the Latvian parliament's human rights committee has called for an EU-wide debate on reinstating the death penalty, as a new capital punishment debate has emerged in the country following the murder of a young girl.

"There is no death penalty in the EU but this is hypocrisy. Everyday unborn children are killed. Soldiers kill. The biggest religions in the world - Christianity, Judaism, Islam - allow the use of the death penalty in the case of certain crimes," Janis Smits told Polish daily Rzeczpospolita on Thursday (24 September).

Latvia - technically - can still execute people in war time

The MP - a Christian right-winger who in the past attracted Council of Europe criticism for taking part in anti-gay protests - is the latest in a line of high profile politicians to call for the reinstatement of capital punishment.

Earlier this month, Latvian justice minister Gaidis Berzins said on national radio that some crimes "require renewed debate on the suitability of not having capital punishment."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:19:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fuck off you barbarian twit. So there are a pile of primitive, brutal religions. Like we didn't know that.

<bangs head off wall>

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Path to power curbed for privileged pupils - Times Online

The finishing school of France's governing class is to lose its automatic access to top state jobs under a reform announced yesterday by the Government of President Sarkozy.

The measure is the first part of a move promised by Mr Sarkozy in his 2007 election campaign to end the near monopoly of the École Nationale d'Administration (ENA) over the levers of state power.

Mr Sarkozy, a longstanding foe of les énarques, as alumni of the small post-graduate college are known, has also pledged to shrink the institution and broaden its intake beyond the upper classes that dominate it.

"It is shocking that a competitive exam taken at the age of 25 can dictate your whole professional career," Mr Sarkozy said earlier this year.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's not "privileged pupils", it's "brightest" (at least according to a narrow definition of "bright", ie succeeding at the ENA exams).

And what's announced is the elimination of the ranking of students, wehreby they get to choose in which administrative body they will go (like happens in most government - or military - schools) - this is unlikely to change the prestige of the various corps, and the fact that some mechanism of selection will be used to allocate the few seats they have each year.

As to the reputation of enarques going south, well duh. Just like finance dominating industry has brought us the 2008 Crash, administrators replacing engineers has brought us the same...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Competitive exams at the age of 25 are still more fair than being born in the proper neighbourhood at the age of 0, which is Sarkozy's main credential...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 08:40:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polish Castration Plans for Pedophiles Angers Brussels | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 25.09.2008
Plans drawn up by the Polish Ministry of Health to treat pedophiles with compulsory chemical castration by administering pills that lessen the libido have shocked EU parliamentarians. But there is little they can do.

In mid-September, the government issued a statement confirming that "work by ministers of health and justice on a draft law on obligatory chemical castration for pedophiles was nearing completion."

According to Polish media reports, the ministry plans to make the treatment compulsory for repeat offenders. The pills would reduce or eliminate sex drive by suppressing the production of testosterone.

"Our idea doesn't yet have the form of a law," ministry spokesman Jakub Golab told the daily Polska. "We're currently consulting with sexologists ... We want to bring it into effect as soon as possible."

In as little as one year, convicted pedophiles would also be fitted with electronic collars if they have a court order against going near their victims, Polska reported. If the collars are found effective, the Ministry of Justice will decide if they should be given to all pedophiles.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:22:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'An Unsuitable Instrument' for Sex Offenders: EU Politicians Angered By Polish Chemical Castration Plan - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk wants to pass a law that would impose "chemical castration" on pedophiles. Politicians at the European Parliament in Brussels have raised their objections to the proposal, but there is little the EU can do to stop it.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk: "I want to introduce the toughest possible laws against criminals who rape children." At first it appeared to be just an overly emotional lapse in judgment on the part of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, but now it's official. The Polish government wants to pass a law that would force convicted pedophiles to be chemically castrated.

An incest case in the outskirts of the eastern Polish village of Grodzisk triggered the current debate. Police recently arrested a 45-year-old man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter for six years. His 21-year-old daughter claims she gave birth to two children sired by her father.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:23:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the fuck did we let these idiots into the EU again? Look, it's 1950, at not in a good way.

Now, how about some mandatory curing of homosexuals?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mind you, the ever charming evangelical christians in the DUP in the North have started pushing Creationism thanks to visits - and probably funding - from their US counterparts.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the fuck did we let these idiots into the EU again? Look, it's 1950, at not in a good way.

Ummh, aren't you Irish? Think of Ireland's policies circia a few years after joining the EU, hell, circa a couple decades after joining the EU. No divorce until about a decade ago, right?. Condoms first illegal, then at the end of the seventies sort of legal - by prescription only. And let's not even talk about abortion and gay rights. I'm also pretty sure there's been talk about chemical castration in France.

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, the constitutional ban on abortion was a master stroke pulled in the waning years of the Church's power. What would happen in the US if you had to get people to vote in favour of abortion in a referendum to make it legal, eh?

We don't need the idiot wing in the centre or east encouraging the idiots here, thanks very much.                        

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gay rights?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:49:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Illegal until the early nineties, right?

I'm just saying, it takes time to catch up. If we were to follow your view with respect to Poland, Ireland wouldn't have been let in until about a decade or so ago, and that's assuming that the ongoing economic depression that would have meant didn't lead to more support for reactionary socal policies rather than less. Give us time.

by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hold on, chemical castration isn't permanent. And it's not exactly two bricks either. and frankly if I was the parent of a child molested by one of these scumbags two bricks would be the least of their worries.

Now, speaking personally you may think there is some sort of equivalence in terms of society's views on homosexuality and paedophilia, but there is one difference that is unequivocal whatever your view of being gay. One is consensual and the other is not. And this isn't a power trip like rape, this is somebody who has a warped sexuality that cannot be changed. So how can society protect its children from these predators. And lets be clear these are predators, they trick, they blackmail, they kidnap and they kill.

Children !! They do this to children !!

Banging them up for a few years and then letting them out doesn't stop them. You can't lock them away for life, so what do you do ? Chemical castration can help in some cases, but by no means all.

I'll be honest. I don't know the answer. Sticking them on an island in the outer hebrides could work, but letting them walk the streets in eternal temptation scares the living shit out of me. These aren't people who might be tempted and we should restrain them in case, their arrest and punishment shows they can't control themselves and can never be trusted.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:11:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While this condition likely resulted from experiences in early childhood over which the only control they had was that of their reaction, if, amazingly, it occurred to a four to nine year old that they could react in anything but an automatic fashion, the fact remains that such sexual orientations are primal and highly resistant to change.  What is crooked cannot be made straight.

The alternatives are poor: 1- ignore the facts, provide "therapy" and hope for the best, (default solution in places;) 2- impose the death penalty and be done with it, (morally repugnant;) 3- impose lifetime imprisonment, (morally troubling and very expensive;)  4- attempt some other effective intervention, (e.g. chemical castration and electronic monitoring.)  The problem with 4 is that the chemical castration has to be ongoing and must be verified.  And even actual castration was not effective in suppressing sexuality amongst eunichs.  It just prevented pregnancy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:28:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These aren't people who might be tempted and we should restrain them in case, their arrest and punishment shows they can't control themselves and can never be trusted.

Isn't that the case for every criminal ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 08:44:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but with many acts of criminal behaviour, it is reformable. Although there are people such as sociopaths who we should control better.

Paedophiles seem unreformable, because their behaviour is wired into a sexual drive largely beyond reach, but their intent remains to rape children. So this isn't something an individual can protect themselves from, because we are talking about children who cannot protect themselves from such predation.

so, this is a unique type of crime from which society must organise an effective and ongoing defence.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 12:31:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the exact reasoning used by the "lock them up and throw away the key" proponents, and it is as faulty in this case as in the others.

Reprehensible Paedophilia - which is not the urge to rape children, but the acting upon that urge - is reformable. And for those upon which reform doesn't work, well, they'll quickly find themselves in jail for a very long time - like serial rapists, murderers, armed thieves, etc... Why a special treatment for the paedophiles ? Because of "think of the children" ? Please. I'm certain more lives are wasted in trauma because of car accidents than because of paedophiles "in the wild" (Not counting the paedophiles who act within the family, but who don't fit the predatory paedophile profile you are arguing about). Small children can't protect themselves from speeding cars either. Neither can I, btw.

The only result of the paedophilia scare is to make life much tougher on "minor" sexual offenders (exhibitionnists, the 19 yo kid with a 17 yo girlfriend...), who would have not "raped children".

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 12:44:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and those paedophilia scare (considering the actual, very low risk for a child to be raped by a predatory paedophile from outside the people close to him) are also very, very useful to implement a surveillance society with surveillance cameras, decreased defendants rights (shouted down by rallying to the absurd "victim's rights!"), and occupying the public opinion while more important matters are kept quite.

Hey, teaching young kids to be very distrustful of strangers is quite efficient in making sure solidarity and civilty become impossible.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 12:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there are two things to answer here.

1) We aren't talking about locking up and throwing away the key. I did say that I didn't know the answer but that the current situation was unsatisfactory because;-

ii) despite your glib assertion, padophila is not reformable. How do I know that ? The paedophiles themselves say so. It's not like giving up smoking or drugs, one day at a time I'm sober today type of thing. Sexuality happens at a lower drive and its compulsions are insidious and don't listen to reason.

No, I don't know what to do. But I really don't htink they should just be punished like it's shoplifting and then expected to go straight. It doesn't work like that.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 03:13:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll find plenty of drug addicts who say they can't stop, as you can find paedophiles saying so. You'll also find many homosexuals only having heterosexual relationships (the reverse is less likely in our current society), plenty of people who actually never have sex. How can they repress their sexuality ?

Some paedophiles really can't repress themselves, and those, as I said, end up in jail. Most only abuse children close to them - and once that is know, and punished, the opportunity disappears, and they don't act again. And of course, actually spending resources on rehabilitation and reform, rather than media catching "chemical castration" with words that please the politicians - and the public - might be much more efficient.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 06:00:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MEPs keen to break up telecoms giants - EUobserver

The European Parliament has supported breaking up giant telecom firms and helping people switch mobile phone firm in a three-pronged legal package designed to deliver lower prices and offer greater protection to consumers.

On Wednesday (23 September), the chamber voted by 597 voices in favour of a plan to separate the network operations from the services operations of the large, previously publicly-owned telecommunications firms.

The parliament has taken on telecoms incumbent firms, breaking apart network maintenance from retail sales of services

Under the measures, national regulators would have the ability to split the dominant firms into two businesses - one that physically takes care of the phone lines and the other that sells the services, such as telephone calls or broadband internet, which use those lines. Although the two businesses would be separate units, they would remain within the same overall company.

The aim to prevent the dominant operator from giving preferential access to the network to its own retail services, instead of sharing them equally amongst all retail telecoms providers.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:23:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I recommend deregulation, it works so well. Actually breaking up monopolies has worked so well to ensure that low prices are the rule for UK utilities.

Or actually that's cobblers. They're a cartel who fleece the consumer and all of this breaking stuff up is just a load of ideolgical nonsense from idiot neocons infesting european politics.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:15:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There were some side-issues over privacy and IP, which were resolved in a halfway satisfactory manner.

The Open Rights Group : Blog Archive » To do this weekend: ask your MEPs to vote for Telecom package amendments 133 and 138

Update (24/09/08): The votes are in. The bad news is that amendment 133 was rejected (watch this space for a link to a list of the MEPs who rejected it). But the good news is that amendment 138 was passed, with a last minute oral amendment. The European Parliament voted to adopt it in this form:

"applying the principle that no restriction may be imposed on the rights and freedoms of end-users, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, save when public security is threatened"

According to IP Integrity, this amendment to the Directive means that ISPs ability to impose restrictions on users' access to content will be limited.


The French government also tried to get some anti-piracy provisions in, but failed.

First reading, we'll have to see what the Council does now, and maybe some pressure will be called for on the second reading.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 06:07:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MEPs accuse anti-Treaty campaigner of US military backing - EUobserver
European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering, and Green group leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit have called for investigation of Irish anti-Lisbon Treaty group Libertas' funding, accusing Libertas leader Declan Ganley of links to the Pentagon. Ganley insists he loaned the group his own money.
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope they can prove that, because it would be nice to discredit that twerp.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:23:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austrian teens prepare for historic vote - International Herald Tribune

VIENNA, Austria: For her birthday, Nina Stanke gets 16 candles -- and one vote.

Austria makes history in the European Union on Sunday by becoming the first member of the 27-nation bloc to give 16-year-olds a voice in national elections. And Stanke, one of up to 200,000 eligible Austrian teenagers, isn't about to pass up this opportunity.

"Yes, I'm going to vote," Stanke, who turned 16 just this week, said on a recent afternoon as she chatted with friends outside her school in central Vienna.

Stanke has a slew of choices.

Following the collapse in July of the governing coalition between the center-left Social Democrats and the center-right People's Party, 10 parties have said they want to take a stab at ruling the Alpine republic. But only about half have a realistic chance of actually making it into parliament, where 183 seats are up for grabs.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Demonstrators in Berlin demand money for hospitals - International Herald Tribune

BERLIN: Some 135,000 health care workers from around Germany converged Thursday on Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, waving protest signs and banners demanding more government funds for hospitals and clinics.

Rudolf Koesters, president of the German Hospital Association, told the crowd that a third of German hospitals were in danger of going bankrupt amid rapid recent increases in energy costs, food prices and medical supplies.

"The German hospitals don't have the finances to cope with the surging costs in 2008 and 2009 without drastic help," Koesters told the crowd. Organizers had expected 70,000 people for the demonstration, but police said 135,000 showed up on a sunny fall day in the capital.

Beginning at three separate rally points, the protesters marched through the city, converging at the Brandenburg Gate for the demonstration under the motto "save the hospitals."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:34:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: Church accused over short selling
The Church of England was facing charges of hypocrisy yesterday over its leaders' attack on short selling and debt trading after hedge funds pointed out it uses some of the same practices when investing its own assets.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Church, said it was right to ban short selling, while John Sentamu, archbishop of York, called traders who cashed in on falling prices "bank robbers and asset strippers".

Hedge funds pointed to the willingness of the Church commissioners to lend foreign stock from their £5.5bn ($10.2bn) of investments - an essential support for short selling - and derided the pair for not understanding shorting.



A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:41:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The CoE lost huge bundles of cash from greedy and morally dubious trading in one of the other crashes of the last 20 years.

Just hypocrites really. Public piety, private greed. Talking about Jesus love, hating on teh gay.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:53:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: Metrovacesa struggles to sell HSBC skyscraper
Metrovacesa, the Spanish property company, is struggling to find a partial sale for the HSBC skyscraper in London's Canary Wharf, with just weeks to go before a loan used to buy the building expires.

Goldman Sachs, which is advising the Spanish company, had been sounding out investors to buy part or all of the building.

Metrovacesa acquired it last summer from HSBC at the peak of the property boom for £1.1bn, making it Britain's most expensive building.

HSBC are shrewd - they got £1.1bn of cash in exchange for an overpriced building for which they would pay rent instead...

Metrovacesa was dumb, they bought the building on a 1-yr revolving loan which they're now finding hard to roll over.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dumb dumb dumb

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:53:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Parliament votes for tougher emissions targets - International Herald Tribune

BRUSSELS: European Union lawmakers on Thursday proposed tougher-than-expected emissions targets for car manufacturers, dealing a blow to the German automobile industry.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had been at the forefront of political efforts to modify a plan, put forward by the European Commission, that would penalize makers of larger and heavier vehicles, like Daimler and Porsche. Such cars produce higher levels of emissions than smaller models.

Automobile manufacturers also have waged an intense lobbying effort to win more time to adapt to stricter emissions standards.

[...]

On Thursday, the Environment Committee of the European Parliament backed important elements of the original proposal drafted by commission. The vote infuriated the car industry, which accused the committee of jeopardizing European jobs and manufacturing.

[...]

The measures await approval from the full Parliament, which could vote in mid-November, and from EU governments, which have called for a decision by the end of the year. Even so, the result is a setback for the car industry, which now must redouble its efforts to win concessions it had sought in the final version of the legislation.

On Thursday, the committee voted in favor of sticking to proposals mandating that the average new car should emit an average of 130 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2012, compared with a current European average 158 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

This counts as the day's good news, I guess. Sorta.

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 Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:46:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:13:59 PM EST
BBC NEWS | Americas | Venezuela signs Chinese oil deal

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has signed a series of energy co-operation deals with China.

He said oil exports from Venezuela to China could rise threefold by 2012, to one million barrels a day.

Venezuela, one of the world's largest oil producers, is seeking new markets to reduce its dependency on exports to the United States.

Mr Chavez has now continued to Russia, for his third visit to Moscow within three months.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Queen's female envoy in Australia shunned by elite clubs - Times Online

Australia's new Governor General has been refused membership of some of the country's most exclusive clubs - because she is a woman.

Quentin Bryce, the newly installed Governor General of Australia has been shunned by the elite clubs despite their own tradition of offering honorary membership to those in high office.

Ms Bryce, who recently became Australia's first female Governor General in 107 years, should have expected automatic membership of clubs such as the grand Athenaeum Club in Melbourne, and The Australian Club in Sydney.

The problem is that these clubs are exclusively male establishments and although, as the Queen's representative in Australia Ms Bryce is undoubtedly establishment, she is not male.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:20:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
don't worry, try being male and wanting to learn bellydance. Bet there's hardly a class that'd let a bloke in down there.

So women can do it when they want and get very irate when you point out they're hypocrites.

And as a trans I can also say that there are women-only places to which feminists deny me access.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:34:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"try being male and wanting to learn bellydance"

I'm right now trying to want it, and I must admit to having some difficulties ;-)
Trying to want to see it does not seem to come with the same difficulties though.

This was your macho moment for the day, brought to all of you free of charge.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 02:02:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
((*macho)): [Cyrille's Macho Moment of the Day™ Technology]

Any suggestions on colour?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:12:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pink !! Hey, if you wanna be a bellydancer, it comes with the territory.

Gold is a neutral colour.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:56:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Er, actually, I don't.
Mouna seemed to do at some point (well, her father is Moroccan). As usual, it showed in her attending a grand total of one class.

OK, so maybe that does deserve a ((*macho))

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 05:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(That was a handy way to check that it was not really implemented. Relief uploaded ;-) )

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 05:10:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Miguel, you are a cheeky lad!
If you really implement a macro in my name, I guess I have to make it useful now ;-)

I just hope everyone here understands that it would be creative acting on my part.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 05:08:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Try this list

France is just below the page as I think she messed up the locator. Seems like there are a couple of teachers in France. btw, the reason teachers declare whether they teach males on that page is cos I badgered her.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 04:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The list isn't complete for Paris.

And there's that famous Suraya Hilal (at least, she regularly dances in Paris) who dances along her husband...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 08:49:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an opt-in list. you put yourself on it, so it wouldn't be complete. However it does solve Cyrille's issue of teachers who won't accept males. As I found, once you find one teacher who'll accept you, word gets around and others will grudgingly allow you in. It's getting through the door in the first place that's the problem.

I wouldn't go near Suraya Hilal. Her record in the UK is almost entirely destructive in terms of dance style. I wrote an essay on her which I should have somewhere if anybody's interested. the only thing to which I credit her is that she was always encouraging of male participation; it's a real shame that her disciples ignored this.

Shorter version : She's not a trained or apprenticed egyptian dance teacher, her background is entirely in contemporary dance (studied under Katherine Dunham at S Illinois U.). Came to the UK and became a teacher at a time when almost nobody knew how to dance properly here and dominated the scene till the mid 90s when, for various reasons, she famously wrote an open letter to the community saying "f... u) and swanned off to Italy. It took the dance community about 10 years to recover and escape the strait-jacket of her stifling ideas. Hilal remains a term of abuse here.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 10:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm now trying (day of trying indeed) to understand what in my not particularly subtle post could be construed as meaning I was looking for a teacher who accepted males.
You said "try being a male and wanting to" and I said I was trying to want and finding the wanting difficult.

OK, now I am starting to understand how that could be understood otherwise. But then it wouldn't have been very macho at all I guess.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 05:04:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aid groups: Tony Blair faces imminent failure in Middle East - Times Online

International efforts to advance the Middle East peace process are facing imminent failure under Tony Blair's leadership, aid groups operating in the region say in a report released today.

The report says that the international community Mr Blair represents suffers from a "vacuum of leadership" and has failed to curb the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank or tackle the worsening living conditions of Palestinians, despite pledges made at a US peace summit almost a year ago.

In a damning report, the Middle East Quartet, of which Mr Blair has been the representative for the past year, is accused of "losing its grip" on the peace process. Aid officials also said that its failings could have serious ramifications for implementing international law around the globe.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why "imminent"?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:53:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps "perpetual" or "perennial?"

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Life Factory: In India, Surrogacy Has Become a Global Business - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

They come from Europe, Asia and America. Couples unable to have their own children are finding a booming market for surrogate motherhood in India. But what happens when a baby is born that suddenly belongs to no one?

Manji has six mothers. She's a healthy baby girl, weighing in at three kilograms (6 lbs. 10 oz.), with dark, downy hair on her head. She was brought into the world by Caesarean section at 2:41 p.m. on July 25, 2008. She is a pretty baby, with a perfectly round face and slightly protruding ears.

Manji's first mother is a Japanese woman. Last fall, she and her husband traveled to India to make the arrangements for Manji at Kaival Hospital in Anand, a city in the state of Gujarat. Mothers two and three were waiting at the clinic, which specializes in the treatment of infertility. Manji's second mother donated her egg cell, the father gave his sperm and her third mother provided the use of her womb. On Nov. 22, 2007, Manji, now an embryo, was transferred into the body of an Indian woman, where she began to grow. But just one month before her birth, the people who had planned her procreation got divorced. Suddenly Manji was motherless.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Congressional negotiators reach agreement on $700 billion rescue package - International Herald Tribune

WASHINGTON: Congressional negotiators from both parties announced Thursday that they had reached general agreement on a $700 billion rescue effort for the U.S. financial system.

Emerging from a nearly three-hour meeting in the Capitol, Republicans and Democrats said they would continue working through the day to complete the legislative language and would begin final negotiations with the U.S. Treasury.

It was unclear if a final draft of the bill would be ready by 4 p.m. when congressional leaders were scheduled to meet at the White House with President George W. Bush and the two presidential candidates, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois.

On Wall Street, shares, which had opened higher, rose sharply on expectations of a rescue plan. The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 220 points, or 2 percent, at midafternoon.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:31:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No agreement on bankruptcy court rules at this point.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:58:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | South Asia | Pakistan fires on Nato aircraft

Pakistan says its troops fired warning shots at two Nato helicopters as they crossed the border from Afghanistan.

It is the first time the Pakistan army has admitted opening fire near US or Nato forces, as tension grows over cross border military action.

Nato said its aircraft were not in Pakistani airspace when shots were fired over Khost province.

The Pentagon said they were US helicopters and that Pakistan would have to explain what had happened.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't they have a nationality? Does that mean "American" (in which case, this is either an attempt tp hide that this is Americans in Pakistan, and/or to get other countries committed) or "non-American" (in which case, wtf are they doing out there)?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:57:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why should pakistan have to explain anything ? It's their territorial integrity that is being breached, I think it more incumbent on the US to explain what the heck it thinks it's doing. Shoot one down, let's see what happens then.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:40:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asia Needs Deal to Prevent Panic Selling of U.S. Debt, Yu Says | Bloomberg.com
Japan, China and other holders of U.S. government debt must quickly reach an agreement to prevent panic sales leading to a global financial collapse, said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the Chinese central bank. <...>

China's huge holdings of U.S. debt means it must bear a large proportion of the ``burden of sorting things out'' in the U.S., Yu said. China is not in a hurry to dump its U.S. holdings and communication between the two nations every ``couple of days'' is keeping Chinese leaders informed and helping to avoid a potential panic, he added.

``China is very worried about the safety of its assets,'' he said. ``If you want China to keep calm, you must ensure China that its assets are safe.'' <...>

The U.S. financial crisis had taught China a lesson and that was: ``Why are we piling up these IOUs if they may default?'' <...>

China should stop intervening in the foreign currency markets and thus allow rapid appreciation of the yuan, he said. While this would cause pain for exporters, China could ease the transition by using its strong fiscal position to aid those who lose their jobs. It also should stimulate domestic demand to offset lower income from overseas sales.



Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 09:27:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China space mission article hits Web before launch - Yahoo! News

A news story describing a successful launch of China's long-awaited space mission and including detailed dialogue between astronauts launched on the Internet Thursday, hours before the rocket had even left the ground.

The country's official news agency Xinhua posted the article on its Web site Thursday, and remained there for much of the day before it was taken down.

A staffer from the Xinhuanet.com Web site who answered the phone Thursday said the posting of the article was a "technical error" by a technician. The staffer refused to give his name as is common among Chinese officials.



Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 10:13:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it is always good to know how these things are going to turn out ahead of time, isn't it?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:37:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One can never be too careful.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thomas Jefferson had the answer to our current situation.....
by PIMPIN TURTLE

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

--Thomas Jefferson, 1802

But then issuance of currency has been notoriously abused by governments.  What are suggestions for a workable solution in a society with elected governments?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 11:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can have all transactions and contracts be amenable to trial by combat.  Not exactly equal, but a lot more equal than trial by money or trial by lawyer.
by Zwackus on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 06:02:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the age distribution of wealth, allowing individuals to retain "champions" would be a practical necessity.  And the term "fighting for your inheritance" would acquire new and very literal meanings!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 09:39:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JPMorgan Chase buys Washington Mutual

The nation's largest thrift is seized by federal regulators and immediately sold.

By E. Scott Reckard and Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
6:39 PM PDT, September 25, 2008
Washington Mutual Bank, the country's largest savings and loan, was seized late today by federal regulators and immediately sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co., the New York banking giant that has long coveted the thrift's California and Florida branches.

With assets of $307 billion and deposits of $188 billion, Washington Mutual is the largest bank to fail in U.S. history.

Washington Mutual depositors won't lose access to any of their money, even if it wasn't fully insured, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said.

"For all depositors and other customers of Washington Mutual Bank, this is simply a combination of two banks," FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair said. "For bank customers, it will be a seamless transition. There will be no interruption in services and bank customers should expect business as usual come Friday morning."

Watchout below!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 12:00:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The taming power of the small.  By refusing to lend the votes of most House Republicans to the Paulson-Dodd plan, they forced the Democrats either to back away or take ownership of the bailout.
The Insanity of the $700 Billion Giveaway

By MICHAEL HUDSON              September 25, 2008

The banksters' plan now is for icing on the cake - to take Mr. Paulson's $700 billion and run. It's not a "bailout of the financial system." It's as giveaway - to insiders, to sell out all their bad bets. Companies across the board will get rid of their bad mortgages, and also their bad car loans, furniture time payments, credit-card loans, student loans - all the debts that any competent actuary could have told them never could have been paid in the first place.

This is not what Treasury Secretary Paulson is acknowledging, and shame on him for it. Last Friday, Sept., he was joined by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke singing in unison an advertising jingle for America's new kleptocracy that rings so false that Congress and the American public must hear the off-notes. London's Financial Times, as well as a host of Europeans realize it. That is what has been driving the dollar's exchange rate this week. It seems easier for foreigners to recognize the threat to turn American democracy into a rapacious kleptocracy.

This change always is sudden, arranged under emergency conditions. Those with a 12-year memory will see George Bush as playing the role of Boris Yeltsin in Russia in 1996, paying off his campaign contributors by giving them all the economic surplus that the government could expropriate in the notorious "loans for shares" plan applauded and supported by Clinton Treasury Secretary (and current Obama advisor) Robert Rubin. (The moral: do we have a Putin in our near future to lock in the anti-democratic coup?)

-Skip-

As Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf noted on Wednesday, Sept. 24, the problem is that the face value of mortgage loans and a raft of other bad loans far exceeds current market prices or prices that are likely to be realized this year, next year or the year after that. They are packaged into what the financial press rightly calls "toxic." The bailout is not efficient, he writes, "because it can only deal with insolvency by buying bad assets at far above their true value, thereby guaranteeing big losses for taxpayers and providing an open-ended bail-out to the most irresponsible investors." "The simplest way to recapitalize institutions," He concludes, is "by forcing them to raise equity and halt dividends. If that did not work, there could be forced conversions of debt into equity. The attraction of debt-equity swaps is that they would create losses for creditors, which are essential for the long-run health of any financial system." This is the key: if debts cannot be paid, then creditors must take losses.

This is the key: if debts cannot be paid, then creditors must take losses.
The Democrats would do well to insist on discovery before bailout and to insist that no money be devoted to covering losses that cannot reasonably be expected to be recovered.  If that takes down Goldman and Morgan so be it.  After these losses have been recognized, insolvent banks could be recapitalized in exchange for preferred stock or warrants from the government.  We have to stop pretending that people can be protected from their folly.  The total worth of the Forbes 400, ($1.57 Trillion), might not be enough to cover all of the losses, and I doubt they are in a generous mood.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 01:03:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4810644.ece
CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers
Corporate India is in shock after a mob of workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who sacked them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 07:18:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:14:26 PM EST
BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | UN forecasts boom in 'green jobs'

The UN says millions of new jobs will be created worldwide over the next few decades by the development of alternative energy technologies.

More than a million people already work in biofuels, but a UN report says that could rise by 12 million by 2030.

It says "green jobs" depend on a shift of subsidies from oil and natural gas to wind, solar, and geothermal power.

New jobs could also include the expansion of recycling and making environmentally friendly vehicles.

The report, 'Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World', was commissioned and funded by the UN's Environment Programme (Unep).

It says the manufacture, installation and maintenance of solar panels should add 6.3 million jobs by 2030, while wind power should add more than two million jobs.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:20:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Orang-utans and lion latest victims of China milk scandal | World news | guardian.co.uk
Animals reared on tainted milk powder suffer from kidney stones as contamination reaches zoos and wildlife parks

China's zoo animals have become the latest victims of the contaminated milk scandal that has killed four infants and left more than 50,000 children ill.

Two baby orang-utans and a lion cub at Hangzhou safari park, near Shanghai, have developed kidney stones after being fed milk powder for more than a year.

Two young gorillas at the park are also showing early signs of kidney stones, according to local media reports.

The animals were sent for check-ups after their keepers became concerned about their health. They had been fed with milk powder made by Sanlu Group, which is at the heart of the contamination scandal.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU cars to use daytime headlights from 2011 - EUobserver

All cars in the EU will have to be equipped with headlights and rear-end lighting that shine in the daytime as of 7 February 2011, the European Commission said on Wednesday (24 September).

Trucks and buses will have to follow suit 18 months later, by August 2012.

The commission says its decision is based on the observation that "in countries which have already made daytime running lights (DRL) obligatory, the experience in the field of road safety is very positive."

Cars, buses and trucks sold in the EU will soon have to be fitted with daytime lights

Daytime lights automatically switch on as soon as the engine is started, and go off when it gets dark and the driver turns on the headlights. Scandinavian countries were among the first to introduce them.

According to commission vice president Guenter Verheugen - in charge of enterprise and industry policy: "the introduction of DRL for cars, trucks and buses makes them more visible, which will increase road safety."

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it doesn't make them more visible. In bright sunlight it actually makes vehicles less visible. Case in point, during the war aircraft hunting U-boats in the Atlantic had bright lights attached to them so that they blended in against the sky, a black silhouette was too visible. In bright sunlight cars with headlights on are hard to pick out from reflections.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In bright sunlight cars with headlights on are hard to pick out from reflections.

So this is safe in Scandinavia but not on the Mediterranean?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno, doesn't it get bright during the summer in Scandanavia too ? I guess it's less likely due to increased cloud cover but in sunshine I'd be reluctant to mandate headlights.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 06:04:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, but that is rubbish. It is much safer to drive with dipped headlights on at all times, year round - as the law in Finland stipulates, and as has been proved by many studies.

Most cars incorporate automatic switches so that headlights and ignition are connected.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 06:25:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Euro 2012 Decision Looms Amid Doubt | Sports | Deutsche Welle | 25.09.2008
European soccer's governing body is meeting to debate if the 2012 European Championships can really be held in Poland and Ukraine. Even co-host Poland has expressed doubts about its feasibility.

Europe's governing football body UEFA is facing a dilemma. Nobody is questioning that the Euro 2012 preparations in the Ukraine and Poland are in trouble, but the million dollar question is: What to do about it?

  

For the first time in the history of the organization, the right to host the showpiece of European football could be taken away or Germany could be used to find some sort of compromise. There are also those who are, even in the face of ever-growing evidence to the contrary, saying that everything will be fine.

  

The UEFA executive committee, which started its meeting in the five-star Grand Hotel in Bordeaux earlier on Thursday, is not only trying to save its own reputation, probably more importantly, it is trying to find a solution.

 

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:26:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now this is critical to the future of "Europe."
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Sep 26th, 2008 at 07:38:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Christopher Ketcham: The Economy of Dead Sperm

s a deal on the horizon as long as you sleep. I think of my friends in Utah, living on their own wits, mostly off the grid, in the bygone idea that American values are built not of government telling you how or where to build your house or sustenance or solitude. I think of my friends Kiley and John, who are as old as my grandfather and as young as America, eking out their existence as carpenters. They have built a home apart from the grid, high atop the desert, where the canyons answer their need with sun and rainwater in monsoon they collect off the roof. More power to them. Kiley and John will answer, in the end, to the sun, and to the water. They have gotten almost nothing from debt. Their product, their home, is the work of muscle, waiting, accident, honesty. Which makes them anti-American, in the current configuration. They believe in the dream: Why should they answer one penny of their tax-dollars to the greed-fuckering on Wall Street?

The bigger picture is this: There is no real economy beyond people llike Kiley and John. No real economy beyond the shaping of the bottom-line of the quotidian from one's hands. I think of my grandfather, whose machine shop made a thing that could be felt, palpated, held in the hand. The future of America is not in the degenerate United States where nothing of worth is offered. The future is our return to the machine shop of our forebears, to the light of the eyes of men who made things worth holding.



'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 Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Michael Hudson: The Dow Jones' Wonderfully Cheesy Addition
The Dow Jones Company announced on September 18 that as of this Monday, September 22, 2008 it will replace ailing A.I.G. in the Dow Industrial Average with Kraft Foods. The company makes processed industrial products such as Cheez'it, Cheez Whiz and Oscar Meyer wieners, but is best known for the Macaroni and Cheese that Sam Kraft introduced in the Depression year of 1937. When milk and dairy products were rationed during World War II, these packaged meals were all that was available.

...

How fitting a metaphor, not only the notorious Depression Diet, but the fact that the Kraft process is fake cheese. About as real as the default guarantees that A.I.G. "insured," Velveeta and similar so-called "cheese products" are made out of Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC). "The general definition of MPC is a blend of dry dairy ingredients from 42% to 90% casein (pure dairy protein) made by ultra filtering skim milk, retaining anything the size of a protein or larger (bacteria, somatic cell, etc.) and then drying that to form a powder," describes the Agribusiness Examiner. "Not manufactured in the U.S., MPC's are added to cheese vats - on the cheap yielding more end products with `savings' retained by the manufacturer."

The resulting products are not considered milk by the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) definitions. This fact legally obliges Kraft to spell many of its consumer items "Cheez" under the "truth in labeling" laws. The intention is for the children at whom most of Kraft's advertising is aimed will think that this is an affectionate diminutive for the company's cheesy chemicals, confusing it with real dairy cheese.



'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 Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:52:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH
by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:14:46 PM EST
Queen asks Parliament for millions of extra funding - Telegraph

Palace aides have said there is a £6.5 million black hole in the royal accounts and claim Parliament has a constitutional duty to ensure the Queen is financially secure.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport already gives the palace an annual grant of £15m a year, and ministers say that budgets are already stretched.

Royal aides claim the palaces will need £32m of refurbishment and maintenance in the next 10 years and the costs of maintaining the Royal Household are increasing.

The grant was set in the 1990s and has been frozen for a further three years.

The Civil List, an additional sum provided by Parliament to pay for the monarch's public functions, is fixed at £7.9m, but this year's palace accounts show that expenditure will reach £14.4m - an overspend of £6.5m.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:22:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Health | Hollywood 'paid fortune to smoke'

Tobacco firms paid huge amounts for endorsements from the stars of Hollywood's "Golden Age".

Industry documents released following anti-smoking lawsuits reveal the extent of the relationship between tobacco and movie studios.

One firm paid more than $3m in today's money in one year to stars.

Researchers writing in the Tobacco Control journal said "classic" films of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s still helped promote smoking today.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:24:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarah Brown meets Sarah Palin in New York at charity event - Telegraph
The Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown met Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, in New York on Wednesday night.

Mrs Brown was co-hosting a women-only dinner for the White Ribbon Alliance, a charity aimed at improving the health of mothers and babies around the world.

The event, which was also hosted by Queen Rania of Jordan and Wendi Deng, the wife of Rupert Murdoch, coincided with the UN General Assembly, and organisers called on called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and world leaders to renew their commitments to reducing maternal mortality rates.

Travelling with Mr Brown were Elle Macpherson, the supermodel and businesswoman, and the Duchess of York. They also attended last night's event.

Mr Brown arrived direct from Manchester after the end of Labour's conference. He will attend meetings at the United Nations but was reportedly snubbed by US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson when a request was made for a meeting.

by Fran on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:41:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Sep 25th, 2008 at 05:41:39 PM EST
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