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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 5 November

by Fran Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 04:01:08 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1942 – Birth of Pierangelo Bertoli, an Italian singer-songwriter and poet. Close to libertarian communist issues his works told mainly about environment, laïcité, antimilitarism and social issues regarding marginalized and rebellious people. (d. 2002)

More here and video

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En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:26:02 AM EST
Simon Mann puts Sir Mark Thatcher in the frame as he lands in Britain - Times Online

Scotland Yard counter terrorism officers were preparing to interview him after he said he would co-operate and hoped his alleged co-conspirators, including Sir Mark Thatcher, would be punished by the British legal system.

Mann, the son of an England cricket captain, was released early by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, after serving only 15 months of a 34-year jail sentence for conspiring to overthrow him.

His premature release may have been a reward for accepting his guilt and testifying that foreign governments and prominent businessmen, including Sir Mark Thatcher, were part of the plot to seize Equatorial Guinea's oil riches.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can dream of such a thing. Sadly I'm pretty sure we really can only dream that thatcher will get his just desserts.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 04:32:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CIA officers convicted for kidnapping cleric in Italy - Telegraph

The judge in Milan accepted that Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was seized from a street in Milan in 2003 by the CIA with the assistance of Italian military intelligence officers.

He was transferred to US bases in Italy and Germany and then moved to Egypt, where he claims to have been tortured. He was released after four years in prison without being charged.

Twenty-two of the Americans - all of them tried in absentia - were immediately sentenced to five years in prison at the end of the three-year trial.

See the stellar ET coverage of the Abu Omar case by de Gondi:
This is just a partial list.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 01:05:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll try to put up an article on this historical sentence asap.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 04:11:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Still is a major ruling set by a court getting opposition from within Italy and the US government. It sends out a powerful message.

Italian court finds CIA agents guilty of kidnapping

(The Guardian) - The judge ruled that neither the former head of Italy's military intelligence service (SISMI) Nicolo Pollari nor his deputy could be convicted because the evidence against them was subject to official secrecy restrictions. But two other Italian intelligence officials were each given three-year prison terms.

To build their case, the prosecutors ordered police to tap operatives' telephones and seize documents from intelligence service archives. Earlier this year, Italy's constitutional court dealt the prosecution a heavy blow when it ruled that much of the evidence it had gathered was protected by under Italy's official secrecy laws and could not therefore be used in court. Magi ruled that the trial should continue regardless.

In a reference to the two senior Italian intelligence officials, the lead prosecutor, Armando Spataro, told the court today that the defendants included those who "by kidnapping Abu Omar compromised, rather than safeguarded, national security".

The judge awarded him €1m (£900,000) and his wife €500,000 in damages.

Italian Court Rebukes CIA Rendition Practice

(HRW) - The verdicts today also stand in stark contrast to a disappointing decision issued on November 2 by a US federal appellate court in New York, which dismissed the suit brought by Canadian rendition victim Maher Arar. Arar was detained while in transit at John F. Kennedy airport in September 2002, then rendered by the CIA to Jordan and Syria, where he was brutally tortured for nearly a year.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Croitoru Cabinet was rejected. Who will Traian Basescu nominate? - Top News - HotNews.ro
The designated Prime Minister Lucian Croitoru was rejected after the voting in the Parliament, with 189 votes in favour and 250 against. In this context, The Boc Cabinet II remains as substitute. Romania's President Traian Basescu is expected to either designate another PM or to extend Boc Government's temporary mandate.

PSD leader Mircea Geoana declared that the opposition's proposal of naming Klaus Johannis as Prime Minister will be readdressed to the President.

(Precedents and context: Presidents vs. Parliaments: now playing in Romania)

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

by DoDo on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:18:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Băsescu, being a seasoned populist, knew how to spin another rejection of a candidate supported by parliamentary majority.

Romania's President: I can assure you I will designate a responsible PM, and not someone Iliescu and Voiculescu want - Top News - HotNews.ro

"I can assure you that we won't have the Govermant that Mr. lliescu or Mr. Voiculescu want for their desired privatisations. I can assure you I will designate a responsible Prime Minister, behind whom nothing I have mentioned earlier will take place." This is Romania's President first reaction at the Parliament's rejecting the Croitoru Cabinet.

  • "I respect mayor Johannis, but he is currently being fooled because I know very well what stood behind him: Iliescu, Hrebenciuc and Vanghelie's interests. Because I will not give them the satisfaction, once more, to have the Government they wish for, Vantu and Voiculescu's TV channels will start flooding with curses and attacks", Traian Basescu stated, quoted by Romanian press agency NewsIn.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian [UK]: Northern Ireland dissidents 'committed to launching mainland attacks'
Report by International Monitoring Commission warns dissident threat has reached six-year high

...

The paramilitary watchdog said most new recruits to the Real IRA, Continuity IRA and Oglaigh nah Eireann were "inexperienced young males" but warned that the involvement of former PIRA members "significantly added to the threat".

...

The group said the two main dissident republican groups, the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, were working more closely together than ever in their attempts to kill police officers and soldiers.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:25:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron baffles EU politicians with talk of new deal for Britain | World news | guardian.co.uk

European politicians have expressed relief after David Cameron withdrew the threat of a referendum on Britain's place in Europe, but some have said they are puzzled over his plans to renegotiate terms of membership.

Members of the European parliament said that in some cases Cameron appeared to be asking for opt-outs that already existed - in the charter of fundamental rights and criminal law.

In the case of employment law, they said there was almost no chance Britain's European partners would approve an opt-out as it would be seen as giving the UK an unfair advantage in attracting foreign investment.

"We have had 10 years of institutional debate and now is the time to talk about practical co-operation. We don't need another 10 years of institutional debate," said Elmar Brok, a German MEP and a senior member of the centre-right political alliance that the Conservatives have recently left.

Martin Schulz, the leader of the EU parliament's socialist grouping, said: "All member states including the UK have ratified the treaty. If Cameron is talking of renegotiating it has little to do with reality and much more to do with election campaigning."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it has little to do with reality and much more to do with election campaigning

Yup !! Speaking to the deranged wing of the tory party

ooops redundancy. Speaking to the deranged wing of the tory party

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France: 'Autistic Tories have castrated UK in Europe' | Politics | The Guardian

The Conservatives were accused by the French government tonight of "castrating" Britain's position within the EU by adopting an "autistic" approach that would take Britain off the radar.

Speaking to the Guardian, Pierre Lellouche, France's Europe minister, described as "pathetic" the Tories' EU plans announced today, warning they would not succeed "for a minute".

Giving vent to frustration across the EU, which has so far only been expressed in private, Lellouche - who said he was reflecting Nicolas Sarkozy's "sadness and regret" - accused William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, of a "bizarre autism" in their discussions.

He said: "They have one line and they just repeat one line. It is a very bizarre sense of autism."

Lellouche, one of the most Anglophile members of Sarkozy's government, made his remarkable intervention after David Cameron outlined a fresh Tory approach to the EU in the wake of the full ratification of the Lisbon treaty.

LOLZ!!!

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 Nov 5th, 2009 at 04:09:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an insult to autistic people.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 04:16:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe we should start a contest: "Name That Political Pathology". The winner gets to be head of the Conservative party for a week.

And the second-place winner gets to be head of the Conservative party for two weeks.

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 Nov 5th, 2009 at 05:07:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
re: "Name That Political Pathology"

I nominate this case, The Unstamped Letter in The Outbox (4 Nov 2009), for MSNBC broadcast premiere, 2010 season.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 10:51:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France: 'Autistic Tories have castrated UK in Europe' | Politics | The Guardian
"I have told William Hague: go away for two to three years, in your political economic situation you're going to be all by your self and you'll come back. Go ahead and do it. That is my message to them ... You want to be marginalised? Well, you go for it. But it's a waste of time for all of us," the French minister said.
Ouch.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 05:12:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like one of the first fruits of Lisbon is an increased willingness to tell the UK to fuck off.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 07:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy's crucifix case and UK's climate change decision: for God's sake leave religion out of this | Michael White | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Cheer up. The leaves may be coming off the trees, the nights are drawing in. But we are not alone in breeding idiots, as we sometimes tell each other in our egotistical way. Finland bred Soile Lautsi without British help.

Who she? No, not David Cameron's European policy adviser or even a board member at General Motors, whose overnight U-turn over the sale of Opel and Vauxhall demonstrates how a once-great car company can be ploughed into the ground in the ruins of Detroit.

So who is she? Lautsi is the Finnish-born mum, living in northern Italy, who has just won her eight-year battle to get crucifixes removed from classrooms in the school where her two children were then being taught, though by now they may be graduates.

Crucifixes? Italy? Where did Soile she think she was moving to live? Thailand? What will she campaign to ban next? Pizza, the mafia, bling, cheating at football? Little wonder that the papal knickers are in a twist this morning. Pope Benny is on the warpath.

All this kerfuffle is the result of a decision by the European court of human rights (ECHR). Unlike the Italian constitutional court, which told Lautsi she was wrong, the ECHR's seven-man panel has decided that state schools must "observe confessional neutrality".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:30:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Sarkozy warns Visegrad countries not to make a habit of pre-summit meetings

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy has taken a swipe at Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, who last week met ahead of the EU summit to talk through their positions on the topic of the day.

Speaking after a meeting of EU leaders last week, Mr Sarkozy said "if they have to meet regularly before each council, that could raise questions."

 "That is not the case yet," he added.

To date, the four countries have met twice at level of head of state and government in Brussels - before a March meeting of EU leaders and before last week's summit.

In the spring, they discussed - and disagreed upon - the economic crisis and how it should be handled, while last week they discussed the two hot issues of the summit, a last-minute Czech demand for an exemption from part of the Lisbon Treaty and climate change negotiations.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:32:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What an asshole. As if his pre-summit meeting with Merkel was not customary in Franco-German relations.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:40:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Diary!

(This is the Visegrad group we're talking about, isn't it?)

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:53:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What should I put into that diary beyond the lazy quote and this one-liner comment?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 04:09:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some history of the Visegrad group? Is it perceived as being effective by the various countries?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 04:23:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There isn't much to say on that, but I'll do it tomorrow.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean, if it is a no-business meeting, why does Sarkozy feel the need to criticize it?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe he likes to attract some level of attention.

(ET understatement of the day technology)

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 02:40:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / MEPs say incoming commissioners should be quizzed on economic crisis

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - MEPs attending a first meeting of the European Parliament's special committee on the financial and economic crisis on Wednesday (4 November) said the group's work should extend well beyond the financial sector.

And in a sign that the committee wants the new incoming EU executive to tackle the ongoing crisis seriously, several members suggested the parliament should quiz designate commissioners on the subject during parliamentary hearings.

 "The new college of commissioners must give an opinion on jobs," said French centre-right MEP Rachida Dati, until recently a minister under French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The oral hearings - which have seen candidates rejected in the past - could start as soon as 25 November.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
El AVE unirá en cuatro horas el Cantábrico y el Mediterráneo · ELPAÍS.comSpain's High Speed [AVE] trains will link in less than four hours the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean - ElPais.com
El Ministerio de Fomento tendrá en marcha a finales de este año todas las actuaciones y obras para articular el nuevo corredor ferroviario transversal que permitirá conectar por línea AVE de uso mixto (para pasajeros y mercancías) el Cantábrico y el Mediterráneo en un tiempo de viaje de unas cuatro horas, frente a las nueve que es preciso invertir actualmente. El corredor discurrirá a través de Teruel, Zaragoza y el eje del Ebro, y contará con dos conexiones con el País Vasco, una por Logroño y otra por Pamplona. También enlazará con Santander por Bilbao, según el estudio funcional del proyecto presentado hoy en Zaragoza por el ministro de Fomento, José Blanco.[Spain's] Ministry of Public Works will have running by the end of the year all the actions and works necessary to articulate the new transverse [to the radial lines emanating from Madrid, that is] railway corridor which will connect the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean by a mixed-use (passenger and freight) high-speed line taking 4 hours instead of the 9 it takes currently. The corridor is via Teruel, Zaragoza and the Ebro river axis, and will include two connections with the Basque Country, one via Logroño and one via Pamplona. It will also link Santander via Bilbao, according to a functional study of the project presented today in Zaragoza by the Minister José Blanco.
......
En la actualidad, el corredor está formado por tramos de diferentes líneas ferroviarias y de distintas características, que suman 740 kilómetros de longitud. Su articulación pasa así por la construcción de algunos trazados y la adaptación a AVE de otros ya existentes.Currently the corridor is made up of stretches of various railway lines and various [technical] characteristics, measuring 740km in total. Articulating [the corridor] requires the construction of some lines and the adaptation of existing ones to AVE [technology].
......
Para el ministro, los actuales "retos económicos" obligan a potenciar las comunicaciones terrestres, ya que el futuro modelo económico español se basará en la sostenibilidad ambiental, la competitividad económica y la cohesión social. "España es un referente en Alta Velocidad ferroviaria y el futuro corredor será una pieza clave para relanzar el transporte de mercancías por ferrocarril, al mejorar la unión de España con Europa y del Cantábrico con el Mediterráneo", ha afirmado.For the minister, the current "economic challenges" require strengthening land communication, as the future Spanish economic model will be based on environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness, and social cohesion. "Spain is a reference in high-speed rail and the future corridor will be a key piece to relaunch rail freight, by improving the linkage of Spain with Europe and the Bay of Biscay with the Mediterranean".

Over to DoDo :-)

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:51:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, to see what we are talking about, the map from the article:

I view this announcement as political spin. Lemme explain.

In Spain, high-speed rail is in a fortunate political situation that both of the two main parties compete in promising to build more/better. Ahead of the last change at the helm, the main attack line of the then opposition Socialists (PSOE) against the conservative government's massive programme was centralisation: all the lines ran out of Madrid. The PSOE being a champion of the regions, they called for transversal lines.

However, in the Zapatero era, until now, there has been exactly one project started that can be called transversal (Murcia-Almería) -- and several stalled projects. To make up for that, from last year, the government aimed to polish up some Aznar-era projects West of Zaragoza. And now with today's announcement, a whole bunch of older projects have been re-packaged as a new Cantábrico-Mediterráneo axis:

  1. Zaragoza-Teruel-Sagunto (the Southeastern half): the upgrade of the first half was started long ago, to function as a branch of the Madrid-Barcelona line. For the Aznar government, this upgrade was to be part of an ambitious project for freight trains: a normal-gauge corridor from the old Canfranc tunnel at the French border all the way down to the Mediterranean. Alas, France obstructed that by refusing to restore the line on their side.

  2. The Y to Logroño and Pamplona was also planned as a branch of Madrid-Barcelona in Aznar times. However, the original plans were extra lean (part of it would have been a dual-gauge section shared with the conventional line...), and extensions to Vitoria were promised without a date, so the Zapatero government has definitely improved the plans here.

  3. Miranda de Ebro-Vitoria-Bilbao/-San Sebastián is part of the main corridor from Madrid to the North (and eventually on to Paris) -- proposed already in the González era, first tendered in the Aznar era (violating some EU tendering conditions, so tenders had to be re-issued). The Basque Y from Vitoria is in construction.

There are two sections that are more or less new, but both are less ambitious than what was discussed over the past few years:

  • The Pamplona-San Sebastián loop. Rather than an addition, this ended up as a diversion of the end of the originally planned Pamplona-Vitoria line. Well, it's at least transversal.

  • Bilbao-Santander: at the start of the Zapatero era, the PSOE had tow top ideas as signature 'transversal' projects: a line all along the Northern coast, and a spur to Santander from somewhere to the West of Miranda. However, the first doesn't promise high passenger numbers, while the second would reqire another expensive mountain crossing. What remained of the two ideas was this single section.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:00:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you know, the press article plus your comments would make a perfect train diary. It will be easier to find later than as a Salon comment.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 06:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Done.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 02:31:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Slovenia and Croatia Sign Arbitration Agreement


PM Borut Pahor and his Croatian counterpart Jadranka Kosor signed in Stockholm on Wednesday an arbitration agreement which is expected to bring the overdue solution to the 18-year border dispute. On behalf of the Swedish EU presidency, the treaty was also signed by Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt, who acted as a witness.

Pahor and Kosor also signed a joint declaration pledging to send the document to their respective parliaments for ratification within two weeks and expressing belief that it will be ratified by December.

Reinfeldt congratulated Pahor and Kosor, saying the signing was a sign of political courage and was opening a new chapter in relations between the countries. He added that their leadership will be an inspiration for others in the region.

by paving on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Canadian Press: Idea of curfew for delinquents under 13 elicits mixed reactions from French politicians

PARIS -- A proposal floated by French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux to impose a nighttime curfew on juvenile delinquents under age 13 has sparked mixed reactions among lawmakers.

The head of the opposition Socialist Party has suggested the idea is unworkable - particularly given recent cuts to the police force.
...

The UMP and President Nicolas Sarkozy have long striven to be seen as taking a hard line on security matters.


The satirical TV show "Les Guignols" commented: "Claude Levi-Strauss died las week-end. France is less intelligent now."  Obviously.
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:42:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:28:35 AM EST
European Commission: Midday Express (4 November)
The European Commission is inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by the French energy company EDF which seek to address the Commission's concerns that EDF may be abusing its dominant position in France and therefore infringing Article 82 of the EC Treaty.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:37:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is about allowing upstarts to force EDF to hand them some of its cheap nuclear power at cost, in order to get some competition.

ie the upstarts are not competitive and need to be able to steal, by regulatory means, EDF's rent, created by smart State planning and investment.

Shame, shame.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 06:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome a Paris:
EDF's rent, created by smart State planning and investment
I suppose we should start a concerted push to convince the policymakers of Minsky's
[Neoclassical economics] means that, for those subsystems of the economy where conditions are apt, the market can be relied upon, particularly if the market is not relied upon for
  1. the overall stability of the economy
  2. the determination of the pace and even the direction of investment
  3. income distribution, and
  4. the determination of prices and outputs in those sectors that use large amounts of capital assets per unit of input or per worker


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 07:14:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Commission: Midday Express (4 November)
The European Commission has opened under EC Treaty state aid rules an in-depth investigation into support measures for the German savings bank Sparkasse KölnBonn and has invited Sparkasse KölnBonn to submit a restructuring plan.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:39:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This being a further consequence of a string of bad decisions, such as is all too common in our fair city.

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 Nov 5th, 2009 at 04:20:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Commission: Midday Express (4 November)
In September 2009 compared with September 2008, industrial producer prices dropped by 7.7% in the euro area and by 7.3% in the EU27. These figures come from Eurostat.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:41:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Commission: Midday Express
Between 2000 and 2008, EU27 trade in goods with India more than doubled in value: exports rose from 13.7 billion euro to 31.6 bn, while imports increased from 12.8 bn to 29.5 bn. ... the EU27 trade balance with India moved from a surplus of 0.8 bn in the first half of 2008 to a deficit of 0.2 bn in the same period of 2009. ... On the occasion of the 10th European Union - India summit, which will take place on 6 November in New Delhi, Eurostat issues data on trade and investments between India and the EU.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:44:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia weighs in on growing row over GM U-turn - Times Online

A spokesman for Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, said Magna, the Canadian car parts maker that was days away from buying GM's Vauxhall and Opel operations, and Sberbank, its Russian bid partner, planned to conduct a "deep legal analysis of the situation."

However, sources close to Magna said that, despite the months spent on the bid, which was in its advanced stages, the group was unlikely to take legal action as GM is one of its biggest customers.

Magna and Sberbank had been working since May on their plans to acquire a 55 per cent stake in GM's European business after the American car giant went bankrupt. But last night GM abandoned the planned sale in favour of a restructuring of the business.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:04:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See yesterday's salon.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:18:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / EU agencies prone to financial errors

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The EU's 36 regulatory agencies are prone to financial errors, as they are remote from Brussels and report only to their own managing board, audit officials said on Tuesday (3 November).

"[The number of] regulatory agencies is mushrooming. They are independent legal entities and it's up to give them discharge [sign off their accounts], just as you do with the European Commission," EU audit commissioner Siim Kallas told MEPs in the budgetary control committee.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:33:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why did blue-chip Goldman take a walk on subprime's wild side?  McClatchy

IRVINE, Calif. -- Goldman Sachs was one of the last Wall Street giants to enter the subprime lending world, but when it did, it quickly climbed into bed with profligate, highflying firms -- companies such as New Century Financial Corp.

In at least nine deals from 2002 to 2007, Goldman sold bonds backed by more than $5 billion of New Century's mortgages, one even after the California lender's underwriting criteria all but disintegrated and a cash squeeze paralyzed its operation. Goldman also marketed at least three secret offshore deals bearing New Century's name. Goldman has yet to explain why it risked its blue-chip reputation and financial health to buy and repackage at least $135 billion in loans mostly originated by companies that have since gone bust.

For $100 million in mortgages, New Century could command fees from Wall Street of $4 million to $11 million, ex-employees told McClatchy. The goal was to close loans fast, bundle them into pools and sell them to generate money for the next round. Inside the mortgage company, the former employees said, pressure was intense to increase the firm's share of an exploding market for mortgages that depended almost entirely on Wall Street's seemingly unlimited hunger for bigger, faster returns.

Michael Missal, a federal bankruptcy examiner who investigated New Century's operations after it sought Chapter 11 protection on April 2, 2007, reported last year that the firm's lax lending and accounting standards "created a ticking time bomb" as it pushed for ever-higher loan production.

The incentives for high-risk behavior reached all the way to Manhattan. Goldman and other investment banks could put $20 million in the till by taking a 1 percent fee for assembling, securitizing and selling a $2 billion pool of mostly triple-A rated bonds backed by subprime loans -- and that was just stage one. Goldman entities earned millions of dollars more by servicing many of the loans and arranging sophisticated interest-rate swaps to guard against inflation.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
Goldman Sachs was one of the last Wall Street giants to enter the subprime lending world, but when it did, it quickly climbed into bed with profligate, highflying firms -- companies such as New Century Financial Corp.
They make it sound like GS was a model of probity before the subprime bubble and was corrupted by it. The truth is probably more sinister :)

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 04:24:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They were so busy stealing money elsewhere...

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 10:05:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Fed's 'road map' to higher interest rates  LA Times   Tom Petruno

The Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday that it isn't planning to raise short-term interest rates soon. But the central bank also got more specific about the conditions that would spur it to lift its key rate from the current zero-to-0.25% range. Here's how the critical paragraph in the Fed's post-meeting statement reads:

    "The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25% and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period."

The bolded type is what was added to that paragraph since the Fed's last meeting on Sept. 23.

Fedbuild "In citing these three conditions, the Federal Reserve has provided a road map by which market participants can gauge with greater precision the evolution of monetary policy, in particular the exit strategy for the Fed's current stance," Tony Crescenzi, a bond market strategist at Pimco in Newport Beach, wrote in a note to clients.

"This will make the implementation of the Fed's exit strategy more a process than event," Crescenzi said. "It will also give the Fed an `out' because incoming data related to the three conditions mentioned will take on greater weight than the Fed's own words, allowing the Fed to simply rubberstamp the conclusions drawn by market participants regarding the incoming data."

The part of the post above seems like a press release for the Fed with chearleading by an analyst. But then it turns more critical:

Crescenzi noted that the Fed's statement specifically referred to longer-term inflation expectations as being "stable" at the moment.

But are they?

"It is intriguing that the Fed would label inflation expectations `stable' when the amount of inflation expectations embedded in 10-year inflation-protected Treasuries reached its highest point of the year -- 2.14%, indicating that 10-year inflation-protected Treasuries are priced for the consumer price index to increase at a 2.14% [annualized] rate over the next 10 years, Crescenzi said."

Gold, hitting record highs this week, also could be signaling rising inflation expectations. But gold's new bull run also could be pointing to something more visceral -- increased distrust of all paper currencies -- rather than heightened concern about inflation.




"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:28:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
J.P. Morgan Forfeits Millions in Settling Alabama Bribery Case

J. P. Morgan Securities will forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in fees on derivatives contracts that it sold an Alabama county, under a settlement announced Wednesday that could offer hope to other governments staggering under similar deals.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged in a lawsuit on Wednesday that J. P. Morgan had made unlawful payments to friends of Jefferson County's commissioners in a scheme to win lucrative business from the county to sell bonds and trade in derivatives.

The lawsuit also named two former J. P. Morgan employees. One of those men has already served a short prison term for manipulating similar bond deals in Philadelphia.

To settle the lawsuit, J. P. Morgan will drop its claims for $647 million in termination fees it had been trying to make Jefferson County pay on the derivatives. The settlement also calls for J. P. Morgan to pay a $25 million penalty to the commission and $50 million to the county.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:49:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:31:27 AM EST
European Commission: Midday Express (4 November)
The EU enlargement policy is a reflection of the Union's global role, said the Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn Tuesday 3. November when he addressed the French senate. "The global credibility of the EU rests on its capacity to shape its neighbourhood", Rehn said, "the 2004 enlargement, reuniting European countries after decades of division into blocks, is a sterling example of the pull of the EU's soft power".


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:47:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Slaughter raises Afghan fears of the enemy within - Asia, World - The Independent
Today's killings in Nad-e-Ali ,the joint highest death toll for British soldiers in the Afghan conflict, was carried out by one of Captain Laljan's men, probably with the help of others in the rank, raising fears in the ranks of the troops that they cannot turn their backs on the men who are supposed to be allies against the insurgents.

...

Four weeks ago a policeman in Wardak province opened fire on American soldiers out on patrol, killing two of them before fleeing. Last year, over a period of less than a month, Afghan police twice attacked US forces, killing two soldiers and wounding three others. Last week men in police uniforms forced their way into a guest house in Kabul and murdered five UN election workers. They were not members of the force, but had police issue radio transmitters and detailed information on the target of their attack, which, say investigators, could only have come from official sources.

It is in the Helmand frontline, in areas like Nad-e-Ali, that there is the most apprehension that police officers may switch sides - either due to intimidation or money or religious and ideological commitment.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:03:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also in yesterday's Salon
A major fissure opens up in Labour's support for the Afghan war with a call from the former Foreign Office minister Kim Howells for the phased withdrawal of British troops from Helmand.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:19:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Associated Press: Karzai opponent: Gov't 'cannot fight corruption'

The challenger in Afghanistan's recent presidential election said Wednesday that President Hamid Karzai has come to power illegally and will not be able to rein in corruption or serve as a reliable partner in the fight against the Taliban.

Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah spoke a day after five British soldiers were killed in a shooting in southern Helmand province. Afghan authorities said the attack was carried out by an Afghan policeman who opened fire on the British troops.

Abdullah said the Afghan government had squandered eight years of opportunity and the assistance of its Western allies by failing to stop corruption or create a government that responds to the needs of the Afghan people.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:22:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taliban claim responsibility for killing five British troops in Afghanistan | World news | guardian.co.uk

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a gun attack that killed five British soldiers and injured several others in Helmand province, the prime minister, Gordon Brown told the Commons today.

The soldiers - who were tonight named by the Ministry of Defence as Warrant Officer Darren Chant, Sergeant Matthew Telford, Guardsman James Major, Acting Corporal Steven Boote and Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith - were killed when an Afghan policeman opened fire at a checkpoint in the Nad-e'Ali district yesterday.

A manhunt has been launched to find the gunman, who apparently fired without warning, then fled. Another six UK servicemen and two Afghan National Police (ANP) officers were injured. Four of the soldiers were killed immediately and the fifth died of his wounds, said the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

The incident happened at around 3.15pm at a checkpoint on the edge of Shin Kalay, a collection of houses just 400 metres away from Nad-e-Ali district centre. The gunman was on the roof of the checkpoint when he opened fire.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Associated Press: Iranian police beat anti-government protesters

Iranian security forces beat anti-government protesters with batons Wednesday on the sidelines of state-sanctioned rallies to mark the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover, witnesses and state media reported.

The counter-demonstrations were the opposition's first major show of force on Tehran's streets since mid-September. They sought to display unity and resolve after relentless crackdowns on their protests following the disputed June presidential election.

Though the crowds were far smaller than during last summer's outrage, authorities were ready with the same sweeping measures: dispatching paramilitary units to key locations and disrupting mobile phones, text messaging and Internet access to frustrate protest organizers.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:07:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Associated Press: Steele: Election returns show 'transcendent' GOP
An ebullient Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele asserted Wednesday that GOP victories in governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia demonstrate "a transcendent party" on the move again. Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine said that nothing about the election returns amounted to a repudiation of President Barack Obama.
Is the use of the word "transcendent" a wink to the fundagelical base?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:21:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't believe the hype. The only instructive election yesterday was for a house seat in New York where the right-wingers (Palin's people) pushed out a moderate Republican and ended up losing a district that had voted Republican since the Civil War.
by paving on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:27:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, that was my call too. They're Palin around with fire and they're gonna get burnt methinks.

If I was disposed I could almost feel sorry for his predicament, rock and hard place doesn't begin to cover it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:32:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing has/will change in US politics until the health care issue is settled.  After that, one can draw conclusions based on a few outlier elections.  Nothing that has happened post-Obama election one year ago has indicated anything is different, despite propaganda attempts in the media.  This is obvious because nothing significant has happened in that time.  

Health care is significant to US politics.  The outcome of that debate should cause some waves.  In the meantime, hang tight if you'r'e interested because we're in the same holding pattern we've been in all year, politically and economically.

On the culture front things do appear to be shifting, finally.  Christmas spending numbers in the US should be a nice little wake-up call for anybody who believes this "recovery" bullshit they've been fed.

by paving on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 03:35:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Well, I will be damned. Why, I just oughta move to a cave, grow a beard, quit bathing and drink 2 l of anise each morning...

H.R.3962, "Affordable Health Care for America Act," introduced 29 Oct 2009

SEC. 310. HEALTH INSURANCE COOPERATIVES.

(a) Establishment- Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the [new-to-the-world,  US federal Health Insurance Exchange*] Commissioner, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall establish a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan program (in this section referred to as the `CO-OP program')

NB. diacritic prefixed CO-OP: resolution of trust fund naming convention in progress. Each state insurance commission will continue to license, or admit, a "co-op" insurer or brokerage eligible for FedVC investment: "(F) The cooperative is licensed to offer insurance in each State in which it offers insurance" to individuals or employer-sponsored groups. A state is prohibited from operating a "co-op," either exchange or insurance: "(D) The cooperative is not sponsored by a State government."

under which the Commissioner may make grants and loans for the establishment and initial operation of not-for-profit, member-run health insurance cooperatives (in this section individually referred to as a `cooperative') that provide insurance through the Health Insurance Exchange or a State-based Health Insurance Exchange under section 308. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a State to establish such a cooperative.

ahahahaha... immodest subordination to The Reid Compromise of 2010 wherein FedVC turfed downside risk ....bwahahahaha... of "public option" to states' governors and legislatures.

1) EXCLUSIVE TO THE EXCHANGE- The public health insurance option shall only be made available through the Health Insurance Exchange.

---
* SEC. 322. PREMIUMS AND FINANCING. (2) START-UP FUNDING "In order to provide for the establishment of the public health insurance option, there is hereby appropriated to the Secretary, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $2,000,000,000. In order to provide for initial claims reserves before the collection of premiums, there are hereby appropriated to the Secretary, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums as necessary to cover 90 days worth of claims reserves based on projected enrollment."

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

"SEC. 309. INTERSTATE HEALTH INSURANCE COMPACTS.
(g) Assistance to Compacting States-

(1) IN GENERAL- Beginning January 1, 2015, the Secretary shall make awards, from amounts appropriated under paragraph (5), to States in the amount specified in paragraph (2) for the uses described in paragraph (3).

(2) AMOUNT SPECIFIED-
(A) IN GENERAL- For each fiscal year, the Secretary shall determine the total amount that the Secretary will make available for grants under this subsection.
(B) STATE AMOUNT- For each State that is awarded a grant under paragraph (1), the amount of such grants shall be based on a formula established by the Secretary, not to exceed $1 million per State, under which States shall receive an award in the amount that is based on the following two components:..."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 07:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing has/will change in US politics ...

I've come up with an analogy.  Watching the US is like watching a basketball game.  One team is the super wealthy, the other is the rest of us.  The refs, i.e. the government, are suppose to keep the game fair by calling fouls but the super wealthy bribe the refs and have rigged the game.  And so the mighty empire which was the US is slowly going down the toilet.  The empire of China is slowly replacing us.  To quote many movies, "I got a baaad feeling about this."  My hope lies with Europe and South America.  Wonder when China will take over the Pentagon, assuming they haven't already.  And I wonder how Israel will fare in all of this.  I don't think China has great respect for the Jews, assuming they respect anyone but themselves.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 12:42:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Op-Ed Columnist - Hark! The Voters Speak! - NYTimes.com

There seems to be a semiconsensus across the land that the myriad decisions voters made around the country this week all added up to a terrible blow to the White House. If that's the way we're going to go, I don't think it's fair to dump all the blame on gubernatorial contests in New Jersey and Virginia.

Although there is no way to deny that New Jersey and Virginia were terrible, horrible, disastrous, cataclysmic blows to Obama's prestige. No wonder the White House said he was not watching the results come in. How could the man have gotten any sleep after he realized that his lukewarm support of an inept candidate whose most notable claim to fame was experience in hog castration was not enough to ensure a Democratic victory in Virginia?

New Jersey was even worse. The defeat of Gov. Jon Corzine made it clear that the young and minority voters who turned out for Obama will not necessarily show up at the polls in order to re-elect an uncharismatic former Wall Street big shot who failed to deliver on his most important campaign promises while serving as the public face of a state party that specializes in getting indicted.

They would not rally around Corzine even when the president asked them! Really, what good are coattails if they can't drag an unlovable guy from a deeply corrupt party into a second term?



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 Nov 5th, 2009 at 04:23:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Palestinians in statehood warning

Palestinians might have to abandon the goal of an independent state if Israel continues to expand Jewish settlements, the chief Palestinian negotiator said.

...

He said it might be time for Mr Abbas to "tell the truth" that a two-state solution "is no longer an option".

But Israel rejects a one-state solution as a demographic time-bomb that would make Jews a minority in the country.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:23:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Abbas says will not seek reelection: officials | International | Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday he will not seek reelection in a January ballot because of the lack of progress in peace talks with Israel, Palestinian officials said.

...

Abbas had called for the January election last month after failing to reach a unity deal with rival Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Abbas has rejected U.S. calls to resume peace negotiations with Israel, saying he was sticking by his demand that Israel first halt all settlement expansion under a 2003 U.S.-back peace road map.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 09:22:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN set to call for Gaza war investigations by Israel and Palestinians | World news | guardian.co.uk

The UN general assembly is expected to approve a resolution this week calling on Israel and the Palestinians to carry out independent investigations into serious allegations of war crimes committed during the Gaza conflict last January.

A debate on a highly critical UN report, written by the South African judge Richard Goldstone, begins today, with a vote on a resolution likely . Negotiations are continuing on the resolution and several European countries are trying to change the wording.

"We're listening to all comments, but the draft resolution as it stands, the thrust of it, is asking for investigation, and there is unanimity on that call," said Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian observer at the UN. "We'll take it from there."

A resolution from the general assembly would not be legally binding, but would be easier to reach than one before the security council, where it is likely to be opposed by the US and China.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:28:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ANALYSIS / Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza - Haaretz - Israel News
Yadlin's announcement should be seen as part of an attempt by the military to prepare the public for a new attack against the Strip. The General Staff is not remotely eager for another round, especially with the Goldstone report conclusions still haunting commanders of the previous operation when they travel abroad.

Hamas, for it's part, is in no hurry for a confrontation either. Gaza has not yet recovered from the devastation of Cast Lead, and the organization knows it would pay in heavy casualties if the conflict reignites.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 08:00:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there anything left to flatten in Gaza?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 04:25:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, American belief in Israel's good intentions.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 05:49:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess we do need another Gaza war, then.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 06:28:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, American belief in Israel's good intentions.

outside of some Jewish circles?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 12:51:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:32:29 AM EST
European Commission: Midday Express (4 November)
Commissioner Borg nominated for the Swedish Seafood Award for his work on sustainable fisheries


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:39:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Commission: Midday Express (4 November)
New EU-US Energy Council to boost transatlantic energy cooperation


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:40:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. Top of the headline feed is now "Antitrust: Commission market tests proposed commitments by EDF to increase competition in the French electricity retail market"

Thank you for bringing the Midday Express to our attention.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 06:01:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I quoted the EDF item elsewhere in the Salon.

The Midday Express for a given date is not updated, and the most recent one summarizes the press briefing given each midday in Brussels.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 06:21:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Brussels ups climate pressure at limp US summit

EU leaders upped the pressure on the US at what turned out to be a fairly colourless summit in Washington to show leadership in the battle against climate change.

In the US capital on Tuesday (3 November) for the first EU-US summit since the June European elections and the election of President Barack Obama a year ago to the day, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Swedish Prime Minister Frederick Reinfeldt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, and foreign policy chief Javier Solana pushed the White House to take greater action on global warming amid growing fears that an agreement at UN talks in Copenhagen in December will be unsuccessful.

"All of us agreed that it is imperative for us to redouble our efforts in the weeks between now and the Copenhagen meeting to assure that we create a framework for progress in dealing with potential ecological disaster," was the boilerplate message Mr Obama gave after meeting with his manifold European counterparts.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:34:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All of us agreed that it is imperative for us to redouble our efforts in the weeks between now and the Copenhagen meeting to assure that we create a framework for progress in dealing with potential ecological disaster
You've got to be kidding.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 04:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mount Kilimanjaro could soon be bald.  By Sid Perkins  Science News

World-renowned ice caps may disappear by the 2020s

The famed snows of Kilimanjaro may soon appear only in old tourist photos and a short story by Ernest Hemingway if current rates of melting persist, a new study suggests.

The warming climate of recent decades has caused high-altitude glaciers worldwide, and especially those in tropical areas, to shrink substantially (SN: 10/4/03, p. 215). Recent field studies conducted atop Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro show that ice loss is proceeding apace on the African peak: More than a quarter of the ice cover present in the year 2000 had disappeared by late 2007, says Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center in Columbus. He and his colleagues report their findings online November 2 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Data from aerial surveys supplement the team's field studies, which show that Kilimanjaro's melting has dramatically accelerated in recent decades, says Thompson. From 1912 to 1953, ice coverage declined by 1.1 percent per year. Between 1953 and 1989, the annual rate of ice loss jumped to 1.4 percent. From 1989 to the most recent survey in 2007, the ice-covered area dropped, on average, a whopping 2.4 percent per year, the researchers report.

Not only are the ice masses of Kilimanjaro receding farther up the peak, they're thinning considerably -- a trend detectable only by improved ground observations made in recent years. The thickest part of the peak's 50-meter-thick Northern Ice Field thinned by 1.9 meters between 2000 and 2007, Thompson says. During the same period, Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field -- which was approximately 21 meters thick in 2000 -- lost about 5.1 meters of ice thickness by 2007.

As Kilimanjaro's glaciers thin, retreat and break into smaller pieces, the dark rocks surrounding the remaining ice will absorb more sunlight and heat up, accelerating the melting trend, says Thompson. "These ice bodies are remnants of a former climate," he notes. At current rates of melting, permanent ice fields will disappear from Kilimanjaro by 2022, the researchers estimate.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 11:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:33:03 AM EST
European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop): New approaches to learning lead to fresh challenges in curriculum development (PDF)
New ideas on teaching and learning, as well as recent European policy developments on qualifications are affecting the way in which curricula are drawn. At the same time, changes in curriculum organisation are affecting teaching and learning patterns at all educational levels. This dynamic is to be the main topic of discussion at the Cedefop workshop on Curriculum innovation and reform: policies and practices, to be held in Thessaloniki on 9-10 November.

Learning is no longer being judged only by inputs - venue, duration etc. - but also by outcomes: what the learner knows and is able to do. But this seemingly simple conceptual change is difficult to implement. As the workshop will show, a new way of evaluating knowledge, skills and competence affects everything from assessment methods to teacher training to educational content.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:49:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the measurement of "learning" also distorts the process. Especially when the measurement has other purposes beyond checking learning has happened.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:35:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West | Transsexual Jesus sparks protests

About 300 protesters held a candlelit protest outside a Glasgow theatre over the staging of a play which portrays Jesus as a transsexual.

The protest was held outside the Tron Theatre, where Jesus, Queen of Heaven - in which Christ is a transsexual woman - is being staged.

It is part of the Glasgay! arts festival, a celebration of Scotland's gay, bi-sexual and transsexual culture.

Festival organisers said it had not intended to incite or offend anyone.

The Christian protesters gathered outside the theatre ahead of the opening night of the production on Tuesday.

Jesus, Queen of Heaven, which runs until Saturday, is written and performed by transsexual playwright Jo Clifford.

The demonstrators sang hymns and waved placards.

One read: "Jesus, King of Kings, Not Queen of Heaven."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 04:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These people need to watch Dogma, seriously...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 04:59:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
these people need lives... seriously

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:36:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Future Trends for Same-Sex Marriage Support? - Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
How will support for same-sex marriage change over time? One way to speculate is to break down current support across age groups, and that's what Justin and I have done, building off of our forthcoming paper.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 04:59:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Creationism, Minus a Young Earth, Emerges in the Islamic World   NYT

AMHERST, Mass. -- Creationism is growing in the Muslim world, from Turkey to Pakistan to Indonesia, international academics said last month as they gathered here to discuss the topic. But, they said, young-Earth creationists, who believe God created the universe, Earth and life just a few thousand years ago, are rare, if not nonexistent.

One reason is that although the Koran, the holy text of Islam, says the universe was created in six days, the next line adds that a day, in this instance, is metaphorical: "a thousand years of your reckoning." By contrast, some Christian creationists find in the Bible a strict chronology that requires a 6,000-year-old Earth and thus object not only to evolution but also to much of modern geology and cosmology, which say the Earth and the universe are billions of years old.

"Views of scientific evolution are clearly influenced by underlying religious beliefs," said Salman Hameed, who convened the two-day conference here at Hampshire College, where he is a professor of integrated science and humanities. "There is no young-Earth creationism."

But that does not mean that all of evolution fits Islam or that all Muslims happily accept the findings of modern biology. More and more seem to be joining the ranks of the so-called old-Earth creationists. They do not quarrel with astronomers and geologists, just biologists, insisting that life is the creation of God, not the happenstance consequence of random occurrences.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:40:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 09:34:53 AM EST
The Beatles go digital, sort of * The Register
The Beatles are releasing their whole back catalogue on a USB stick.

...

The USB stick, which comes in an apple shaped holder, will cost you £200 - substantially more than the CDs, which seems a bit unfair.

...

For audio wonks we should note that the contents will be provided in FLAC 44.1 Khz 24 bit and MP3 320 Kbps formats, fully compatible with PC and Mac.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:06:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dreams of Doom help gamers learn - life - 30 October 2009 - New Scientist
Sigmund Freud thought dreams were a window into our unfulfilled sexual desires. But the dreams of video game players suggest they have a more practical role: helping us to learn new skills.

"It really looks like if you're not dreaming about it, you're not getting better," says Robert Stickgold of Harvard Medical School, who carried out one of the video game studies.

The studies don't prove that dreaming about games makes players better. But they strongly suggest that dreaming and learning are intertwined.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 10:29:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone should tell cedefop, so they have yet another way to check is our children lerning.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 08:03:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Google Celebrate 20 Years of Wallace and Gromit as free Computer Game is Made Available | geeks.co.uk
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Wallace and Gromit, Google has adopted the eccentric inventor and his loyal pooch as the logo for the day.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:33:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[Murdoch Alert]

Sky News: Credit Crunch Calendar Is Surprise Hit (October 23, 2009)

The revelation that Britain is still in recession could be good news for a surprise bestseller which 'celebrates' the decay wrought by the downturn.

Each month of the Credit Crunch Calendar features a depressing image of economic decline, such as closed-down shops and vandalised factories.

The depiction of a derelict Woolworths - the old retail favourite which became a symbol of high street failure - adorns the front cover.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:36:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France's Chirac Burnishes Image With His Pen


PARIS -- In retirement, former French President Jacques Chirac has achieved something that eluded him while in office: popularity...

In his book, titled "Each Step Should Be a Goal," the 76-year-old Mr. Chirac retraces his career until his election to the presidency in 1995. He breaks his silence on his successor Nicolas Sarkozy, and weighs in on erstwhile rivals including former President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

In extracts published by the newspaper Le Figaro, and confirmed by the book's publisher, Mr. Chirac describes Mr. Sarkozy as "nervous" and "distinguished by his undeniable knack for communication."

by paving on Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 05:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's hilarious, him heading the popularity chart just when he is put on trial for corrruption.

What is the explanation, I ask our French-resident contingent.

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

by DoDo on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 04:57:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he looks good compared to Sarkozy...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 07:09:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
hilarious, ... heading the popularity chart just when he is put on trial for corrruption
And this is different from Berlusconi, how?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 07:15:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Media control, being incumbent with daily media presence?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 07:19:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And this is different from Sarkozy how?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 02:34:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarko won't be put on trial for at least three years, Chirac is.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 02:52:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Associated Press: Fla. baby missing for 5 days found alive under bed
Florida authorities have found a missing baby alive under her baby sitter's bed and say they're planning to charge the baby sitter, her husband and the child's mother.
[Drew's WHEEEEE™ Technology]

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 09:03:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When finally summing up the human species do I need to do more than cite this episode?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 at 12:55:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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