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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 19 March

by Fran Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:08:15 PM EST

On this date in history:

1936 - Birth of Ursula Andress, a Golden Globe award-winning Swiss actress and a major sex symbol of the 1960s. She is best known for her roles as Bond girl Honey Ryder in Dr. No , and as Vesper Lynd in the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale.

More here and here

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by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:09:11 PM EST
Delors pessimistic about eurozone future - EUobserver

Former European Commission President Jacques Delors has expressed pessimism about the ability of the eurozone to survive the current economic crisis.

In an interview published in German economic monthly Capital, the French politician said" "I could well imagine that the pressure of the strong on the weak to carry out better policy or leave the monetary union increases."

Jaques Delors - worried about his political legacy

He said that while the 16-nation eurozone is not yet ripe enough for economic governance as the economic cultures among the single currency countries are too different, there must be more readiness to communicate.

"If the basic idea that there is a necessity for more prior consultation is not accepted, then I am pessimistic about the future of the euro," said Mr Delors.

He demanded that "federal" Germany, in particular, should accept a greater degree of co-operation.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:12:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whither the Economy?: Pessimism Abounds among Europe's Leaders - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Jean-Claude Juncker thinks economic growth won't return to Europe before 2011. Jacques Delors is worried about the euro's future. Some of the European Union's staunchest faithful are increasingly pessimistic these days.

Given the unending stream of bad economic news so far this year, it was a surprising bit of optimism. "The situation is extremely bad, but there are the first signs of light," said Wolgang Franz, the president of the Center for European Economic Research, on Tuesday. He went on to say that the economy has almost reached its low point and hinted that a turnaround isn't that far off.

How safe is the euro, really? European Union leaders, past and present, apparently didn't get the message. In an interview with the conservative German daily Die Welt, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said that he was afraid the economic crisis could create major social problems in the 27-member bloc.

"I am afraid that, following the financial and economic crises, we will before long see a social crisis, which will be characterized by mass unemployment and lower incomes for many," Juncker said.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:14:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Water scarcity stalking Europe north and south, says report - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Europe's use of water is unsustainable and is facing water scarcity and drought, the European Environment Agency has warned in a new report. The solution is no longer expanding supplies, the EEA argues, but cutting demand and the introduction of water pricing across all sectors.

Water stress is not just a southern phenomenon anymore

The EEA, the European Union's environment advisory body, says that it is no longer just southern European member states such as Spain and Italy that are experiencing water stress, but the phenomenon is growing in northern Europe as well.

"We are living beyond our means when it comes to water," said Jacqueline McGlade, the agency's director. " The short-term solution to water scarcity has been to extract ever greater amounts of water from our surface and groundwater assets. Overexploitation is not sustainable."

Adding to the threat to already stretched supplies, climate change will increase the severity and frequency of droughts in the future, exacerbating water stress, especially in the summer.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is access to clean water a basic human right?
By Yigal Schleifer, The Christian Science Monitor

With fresh water resources becoming scarcer worldwide due to population growth and climate change, a growing movement is working to make access to clean water a basic universal human right.

But it's a contentious issue, experts say. Especially difficult is how to safely mesh public-sector interests with public ownership of resources - and determine the legal and economic ramifications of enshrining the right to water by law...

Government officials and leaders of numerous nongovernmental organizations and companies working on the water issue are meeting this week in Istanbul as part of the World Water Forum, which takes place every three years in a bid to shape global water policy.

One of the thorniest issues governmental officials at the forum have struggled with has been this question of the right to water. A declaration to be signed by the ministers of some 120 countries attending the forum is expected to refer to access to water as a "basic need," rather than a right.

The United States - along with Canada, China, and several other nations - has so far refused to recognize the human right to water.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:18:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The United States - along with Canada, China, and several other nations - has so far refused to recognize the human right to water

Well, we will see how long this lasts - just wait until they start having water problems...aaand it shouldn't be too long now....

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 05:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would the powers-that-be please take a few basic biology/human nutrition courses.

The basic needs/Real Rights of a human.

  1. Oxygen, usually in the form of not-too-polluted air.

  2. WATER - yup, coming in at number TWO, WATER.

So, can we get rid of this "Life, liberty, and pursuit of loose women" crap and realize what "Life" requires.  And it doesn't include BREEDING.  That's what got us into most of out problems.

Oh, and take YOUR Pope and shove him.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 09:38:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Banking Secrecy: Germany's Wild West Tone Angers the Swiss - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

First he threatened them with the "whip them" like children, and then he compared them with Indians knuckling under to the financial cavalry. Peer Steinbrück has infuriated the Swiss with his tactless rhetoric, and a right-wing member of the Swiss parliament has even called for a boycott of German cars.

Until recently, the job of German ambassador to Switzerland was seen as one for diplomats nearing retirement. The Foreign Office had a tendency to prescribe a few quiet years in Bern to mark the end of a diplomatic career. Switzerland was even referred as the "Florida of diplomats." There isn't much going on there, but the scenery is beautiful, there is excellent skiing and one of the principal social activities is to attend receptions at other embassies.

Perhaps this is what Axel Berg, 57 years old and Germany's ambassador in Bern since last August, had in mind. But so far his job has been anything but cozy.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück: "The ugly German". For the second time in five months, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey summoned Berg on Tuesday to the Foreign Ministry to discuss, once again, the government's irritation over comments made by German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück. The moves highlight the extent to which relations between Switzerland and Germany have cooled in the controversy over tax evasion and banking secrecy. Such frosty diplomatic encounters between the two nations would have been unthinkable until recently. But ever since German politicians, with Steinbrück leading the way, have zeroed in on Switzerland's role as a haven for tax evasion, those once-cordial days are gone. Indeed, the daily tabloid Blick am Abend featured a photo on its Tuesday issue with Steinbrück and the headline "The Ugly German".

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:15:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I apologize in advance but, seriously,

Why does Switzerland even exist as an independent country?  Why hasn't it been invaded and absorbed?  Other than a place for tax evasion, what else does it produce?  What does the Swiss military look like?  I bet the US Girl Scouts could kick their ass. and then they'd have their own country!  I may be on to something!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 09:52:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are pretty wrong. Switzerland has a mandatory military service, is mountainous, and its people have a strong sense for independence. It has little natural resources and is willing to cooperate with the bad guys, which makes it unattractive to conquer.

There are quite a number of international corporations in Switzerland, e.g. Nestle and Roche.
Switzerland is not only a capital tax evasion country, but as well for labour income tax evasion, attracting fine educated people from all of Europe and the world, e.g. the ETH Zurich is recognised as one of the best research universities in Europe.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 10:15:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"... is willing to cooperate with the bad guys, ..."

Other than the tax evasion thing, does it go beyond that?

And I will start organizing my vast Girl Scout network.  Roving trios of girls, selling cookies door-to-door by day and doing What by night?  Switzerland needs to come down a peg.  :)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 10:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
when would have been the last occasion for an invasion? I guess 1938. Of course Swiss banks cooperated as well with the Nazis. So what reason would there have been for them to attack a neutral and cooperative country without natural resources?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 02:18:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU summit must tackle social problems, Barroso says - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has one day before an EU summit in Brussels called on member states to put a special emphasis on the "social consequences of the economic crisis."

It would be a "fundamental error" to think that the EU can focus on financial regulation and supervision and not pay due attention to the "social consequences of the economic crisis," he told journalists in Brussels on Wednesday (18 March).

EU leaders should "focus their minds on employment issues," said Mr Barroso

"Our public opinion would not understand, it would be unacceptable that EU leaders meet at the highest level and that they discuss the problems of the banks and not social problems. That they discuss the problems of the financial sector and not that of employment. That would be really unacceptable."

The remarks come ahead of an EU leaders' meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. The Czech EU presidency has also tabled special summit on social affairs in Prague on 7 May.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Values to form core of EU 'Eastern Partnership' - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Promotion of human rights and rule of law in former Soviet states is to form "the core" of the EU's new Eastern Partnership policy, according to a draft EU summit declaration seen by EUobserver.

"Shared values including democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights will be at its core, as well as the principles of market economy, sustainable development and good governance," the text says.

Minsk - riot police break up a peaceful protest in February

"The Eastern Partnership should provide the foundation for new Association Agreements between the EU and those partners who have made sufficient progress towards the principles and values set out [above]."

EU leaders are set to formally adopt the document, which was drafted by the Czech EU presidency, at a summit in Brussels on Thursday (19 March). The text could be changed at the last minute.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:17:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drawing up the Drawbridges: Europe Falls Out of Love with Labor Migration - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

With unemployment soaring, many European Union countries want the migrant workers they once attracted to go home as quickly as possible. They are sparing no expense or effort to encourage them to leave.

Chultem Choijusuren was watching television in Ulan Bator when he decided to climb aboard the globalization bandwagon. According to an ad he had seen, companies in the Czech Republic were paying young mechanics "€1,000 a month." Most people in the Mongolian steppes were already familiar with the small Eastern European country. After all, many young people from here had studied in Prague during the two countries' Socialist pasts.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:18:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a great article.

I'm researching for a paper I'm writing on the wildcat strikes in the UK at the beginning of the year. The more I read, the less favorable my opinion of the European Union.  Eventually, I'm going to get to get around to writing a diary up here.  This posted worker's directive is a mess, and with the ECJ rulings, it basically allows union-busting, because there is no effective organization of workers at the European level.

Sure there's the ETUC, but it's not really been competent to coordinate wage policies between (for example) Italian and British workers, so as to avoid driving down British wages.)

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 06:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gordon Brown offers to cut Britain's nuclear arsenal - Times Online

Britain stands ready to give up part of its nuclear arsenal as part of a multilateral deal involving all weapon-holding states, Gordon Brown said yesterday.

He promised to consider cutting the number of British operational warheads below the present 160 in a move to kick-start the next non-proliferation talks.

Britain will continue with its plans to modernise the Trident submarine fleet, according to officials. In future there will be three submarines, each with four missile tubes, in operation at any one time, with a fourth submarine in dock on standby.

President Medvedev of Russia appeared to stall hopes of a multilateral deal, though, when he ordered a major military rearmament yesterday, warning that Nato was still intent on expanding closer to Russia's borders and that his country faced the risk of "significant conflict".

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:19:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I praised Gordie for his initiative however belated it is. On Daily Mail site and got 146 negative marks (thumbs downs) from its readers. So I am left bewildered what exactly I said was not liked by common Britishers - whether it is praise for a failed politician or people are just jingoistic and do not want nuclear disarmament.
by FarEasterner on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 05:37:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you tested something about the readership of the Daily Mail... :-\
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 05:44:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Firestorm Continues Over Pope's Condom Remarks in Africa | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 18.03.2009
Controversy over the pope's comments about condom use continued to swell across Europe and the US. The pontiff said using condoms could aggravate the problem of AIDS in Africa. 

The Vatican on Wednesday, March 18, defended Pope Benedict XVI's comments regarding the use of condoms as a means to prevent the spread of AIDS. The move came in the face of a storm of angry criticism from AIDS activists, doctors and politicians.


On Tuesday, the pontiff made his first visit to Africa, a continent ravaged by the AIDS virus. On the plane ride, he told reporters that rather than contributing to disease prevention, condoms "aggravate the problem."


The solution lies in a "spiritual and human awakening" and "friendship for those who suffer," said Benedict, who is the leading religious figure for the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.


by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:24:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As an American I see a lot to praise/admire/hope for Europe but your Pope isn't one of those THINGS.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 09:56:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A race is on in Sochi before 2014 Games - International Herald Tribune

MOSCOW: The season's most sensational Russian political sideshow is gearing up in the southern city of Sochi, where a series of national figures are bidding to become mayor leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

In one corner is the attention-starved opposition leader, Boris Y. Nemtsov, who has promised that if elected he will be "a black sheep in the vertical axis of power." Opposite him, in all likelihood, will be an ultranationalist parliamentary deputy, Andrei K. Lugovoi, who is wanted by the British authorities on suspicion of killing a dissident by poisoning him with a radioactive isotope.

The most recent entry is the cheeky Moscow-based tycoon Aleksandr Y. Lebedev, who has called the Sochi Olympics, one of Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin's pet projects, an "idiotic" expenditure of state money. The parade of celebrities has become so pronounced that a prima ballerina and a men's figure skater are also rumored to be running.

The post itself is a prize, of course. The new mayor, whose term will be five years, will have some control over $12.5 billion in government money for the Games and access to an international spotlight. But losing has its own benefits, as the race could also provide a bully pulpit for political outsiders eager to tap into antigovernment sentiment. And, at a moment of uncertainty for the federal government, it could test Moscow's willingness to allow dissent in public life.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. and NATO allies facing hard questions - International Herald Tribune

BERLIN: At NATO's 60th anniversary summit meeting next month, the stage is set for celebrations and self-congratulations. But President Barack Obama may have to face some very uncomfortable questions about the alliance's future.

The meeting, at least on paper, is a cause for pride. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, established by the United States in 1949 to defend Western Europe from the military might of the Soviet Union, will celebrate its 60th anniversary. That is no small feat for a trans-Atlantic alliance, especially since the end of the Cold War in 1991, as its relevance has repeatedly been called into question.

The Obama administration is threatening to sideline NATO in Afghanistan, the alliance's most important theater of operations. Faced with a deteriorating military and political situation, particularly in the south, Mr. Obama has decided to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan. If the Europeans do not match this new commitment -- and there is no sign that they will -- the U.S. military will quietly push NATO out of decision-making there.

The scene for a U.S. takeover of operations is already set. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, or I.S.A.F., and Operation Enduring Freedom, the special U.S anti-insurgency mission, are both led by American generals. NATO says the two missions are separate. In reality, the United States is in charge of both and can push out the Europeans at any time.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:27:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Angry French workers set to strike | France 24
French public and private workers take to the streets on Thursday to protest government economic policies and rising job cuts. According to the latest French poll, more than 70 percent of the population supports Thursday's strikes.

Paris - Angry French workers take to the streets on Thursday, to protest government economic policies and surging job losses.

Labour unions called for strike action to protest ongoing restructuring and job cuts in the public and private sectors across the country.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France Is Angry alert
by paving on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 07:37:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
David Cameron warns of 'dirty election campaign'
By Andrew Porter, The Telegraph

David Cameron is to warn his party on Thursday that the next election is far from won and predicts a dirty campaign in which Labour will resort to distorting the Tory "masterplan" in a desperate bid to hang onto power.

Despite consistent healthy leads in the polls the Conservative leader tells his supporters and MPs that it is not enough to "sit back" and be propelled into Downing Street by simply allowing Labour to lose the election.

He said there was "revulsion" at what Labour has done to the country and he needs a positive "mandate for change" in order to start addressing the country's problems.

[Torygraph Alert]

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:22:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would it be right to distrust someone with a "masterplan" just because they have one?

Sounds like he's just let slip he's a Bond villain.

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 Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like an Angora cat or sharks?
by Magnifico on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:30:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well all three and it's pretty conclusive.

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 Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:37:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Willie Horton: Cameron on Crime.

I'm not seeing it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 06:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If your Tory Party is the equivalent of our Repubs (wealthy/elite) and your Labour is our Dems, how does putting the wealthy/elite in power help anything, other than the wealthy/elite?  Where is your Progressive Party?  And where is ours, for that matter?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 10:09:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:09:32 PM EST
Romanian president's daughter runs as independent - EUobserver
The daughter of Romanian President Traian Basescu, Elena, will run as an independent for the European elections, after having quit the center-right PDL party on Wednesday. The bid of the 28-year old top model known for her linguistic gaffes sparked much controversy in and outside the party.
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Talking about the EU « Behind the Scenes

Try as I might, I just can't picture it. At least not in the way I imagine the organisers intended it. I am talking about the video booths (36 of them) that are to appear in each member state in the run-up to the June European elections. The good citizens of Europe are invited to pop inside and record a message on the EU and/or its policies.

While most of the EP's campaign launch on Tuesday made sense to me, this had the kiss of Brussels on it. Thought up by people working in Brussels for people already living and breathing the EU.

Does Europe inspire people enough either way to get into one of these `choice boxes' (a large, room-size, multi-media box as the blurb says) and say something about it? Constructive or otherwise. I am not sure it does.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did the EP go web crazy? « Public Affairs 2.0
Did the EP go web crazy?

March 17, 2009<!-- mstantongeddes-->

It certainly looks like they did to Public Affairs 2.0, and we like it.

The "Choice Box", which we gave you a sneak peak of in the previous post, is actually a interactive, multi-media studio which will travel around Europe, allowing people to record videos to send to MEPs and EuroparlTV.

This is just one part of the online component of the European Parliament Secretariat-General's European Elections 09 Communication Campaign, launched this morning.

The campaign has a unified message: Choice. They aim to show that citizens should be engaged because they have `to choose'. The EP was also at pains to point out that this campaign is institutional and non-partisan; the campaign does not support policies, positions, parties or people. Just the elections.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:21:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pole or Italian to head the European Parliament?

The Pole Jerzy Buzek (pictured left, photo: Thierry Monasse) and Italian Mario Mauro will fight it out to be the EPP candidate to head the European Parliament.

Buzek is a former Polish prime minister (1997-2001) and MEP since 2004. His name has been floated for over a year now. Only a few weeks ago it seemed he would be the obvious choice of the Christian Democrats (EPP), the largest political group in the Parliament. Two reasons for this: 1. he is a heavyweight politician and well respected parlamentarian; 2. there will be several big jobs to be handed out in the EU soon and most seem to agree at least one has to go to the new member states, which are approaching 5 years in the EU.

The Italians obviously see things differently. They have proposed their own candidate, Mario Mauro, who is now deputy president of the European Parliament and close to prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. They also have some valid arguments: they have been in the EU forever, and have not had a president since 1979. Also, they are not fielding candidates for any of the other big posts, whereas the Poles would like to see their minister of foreign affairs Radosław Sikorski become the next secretary general of NATO.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:23:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heads or tails the Vatican wins on both.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 07:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The President of the European Parliament carries out the role of speaker in parliament and represents it externally. The president and vice presidents are elected by MEPs in a secret ballot every two and a half years.

Conference of Presidents
The President, the Chairmen of Political groups, along with independent representatives without voting rights, form the Conference of Presidents. It organizes all work of the Parliament and parliamentary bodies. The Conference can be questioned by any MEP.

Conference decisions are by consensus or a weighted vote based on the number of MEPs in a political group. It meets fortnightly, in camera. But minutes are distributed to all members.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 08:02:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com | Brussels Blog | Fiendish Declan Ganley prepares to spoil another EU party

Short of giving him a pair of horns and a forked tail, it's hard to see how you could make the people who run institutional Europe dislike Declan Ganley more than they do now. Ganley is the British-born, multimillionaire Irish businessman who spoiled the European Union's party last June by spearheading a successful campaign to persuade Irish voters to reject the EU's Lisbon treaty. The Irish vote threw the EU into a state of organisational confusion from which it has not recovered to this day.

Now Libertas, Ganley's political movement, is putting up local candidates across the EU for next June's European Parliament elections. Ganley himself will stand for the constituency of Ireland North West. It is clear that Libertas will run a highly populist campaign - in one recent statement, it attacked a European Parliament decision to "go ahead with building a €9m gym and pool in Brussels which only MEPs and parliament staff can access... The move to go ahead with it while families across the EU are facing financial hardship shows a complete lack of respect for the people of Europe."

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:25:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:10:03 PM EST
Anger as Shell reduces renewables investment - Times Online

Royal Dutch Shell provoked a furious backlash from campaigners yesterday when it announced plans to scale back its renewable energy business and focus purely on oil, gas and biofuels.

Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive, said that Shell, the world's second-largest non-state-controlled oil company, was planning to drop all new investment in wind, solar and hydrogen energy.

"I don't expect them to grow much at Shell from here, due to portfolio fit and the returns outlook compared to other opportunities," he said, speaking at the Anglo-Dutch group's annual strategy briefing.

He said that instead Shell would focus its remaining renewable energy investments on biofuels, where it is conducting research into "second generation" fuels, so far with little commercial success.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:11:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shell dumps wind, solar and hydro power in favour of biofuels
By Tim Webb, guardian.co.uk

Shell will no longer invest in renewable technologies such as wind, solar and hydro power because they are not economic, the Anglo-Dutch oil company said today. It plans to invest more in biofuels which environmental groups blame for driving up food prices and deforestation.

Executives at its annual strategy presentation said Shell, already the world's largest buyer and blender of crop-based biofuels, would also invest an unspecified amount in developing a new generat­ion of biofuels which do not use food-based crops and are less harmful to the environment.

The company said it would concentrate on developing other cleaner ways of using fossil fuels, such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. It hoped to use CCS to reduce emissions from Shell's controversial and energy-intensive oil sands projects in northern Canada.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:59:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel, Sarkozy Reaffirm Stance on Overhauling Financial System | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 18.03.2009
Germany and France are at the forefront of an initiative urging G20 nations to come up with concrete measures for revamping the global financial system at their upcoming summit in London.  

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have said the G20 meeting of rich and emerging nations needs to produce "concrete results for reinforcing international financial regulation" and an action plan aimed at strengthening the role of global financial institutions.

"The top priority is the putting in place of a new global financial architecture," the two leaders wrote in their joint letter to the Czech EU presidency on Tuesday, March 17.

Merkel and Sarkozy said the EU should propose the registration, regulation and supervision of all hedge funds and other private investment firms that could pose a systematic risk.

Leaders attending the April 2 G20 summit are to debate reforms to the international financial system in light of the global economic crisis.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia backs EU in pre-G20 stimulus debate - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Russia is siding with the European Union ahead of the April G20 summit in London in opposing new stimulus measures and instead putting the focus on regulatory reform. But Moscow has warned against IMF meddling in the social affairs of its neighbours in eastern Europe.

On Tuesday (17 March), Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's economic advisor and negotiator or "sherpa" in diplomatic discussions leading into the London summit met with the head of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's cabinet in Brussels to discuss his country's perspective on the financial crisis.

The Kremlin has issued proposals for getting the gears of the global economy moving again

Mr Dvorkovich told reporters afterward that Moscow was on the same wavelength as the EU on its perspective on additional stimulus, saying: "It is important to avoid easy comparisons in terms of who did this and that. It is too simplistic when every country has its own specific situations and compare the amount of money raised."

"The most important thing is to implement what has already been announced rather than deliver new commitments and new promises."

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB, IMF See Signs of Recovery in 2010 as Interest Rates Drop | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 18.03.2009
The European Central Bank and the IMF said they expected the current recession would give way to an economic recovery next year. A cut in interest rates and liquidity guarantees should spur growth. 

The global financial crisis should give way to an economic recovery starting next year according to the European Central Bank's head Jean-Claude Trichet. He predicted a "moderate" recovery in 2010.


"The year 2009 will be very, very difficult," he told French radio station Europe 1. "At the same time, there is a general consensus between all public and private institutions that 2010 may be the year of moderate recovery in growth."


Earlier this month, the central bank slashed euro zone prime lending rate to a record low of 1.5 percent to stimulate spending. Trichet said he had not decided whether the current benchmark would be cut further. Analysts and traders told Reuters news agency that they expected the ECB to reduce rates to 1 percent or less by the middle of this year.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Supervisory Board and Executive Board propose dividend of 70 eurocents per share - {Travel Daily News}
The Lufthansa Group increased its offer and sales during the past business year. The Group was able to almost reproduce its previous year's result by posting operating profit of around 1.35 billion euros. The Group profit was posted at 599 million euros; Last year's figure had been 1.66 billion euros, however, it had also included 585 million euros of profit from extraordinary items. "This represents an outstanding result and its quality is underlined by the fact that it has been achieved during a time of global economic crisis. It reflects the quality of our company. A company in which a strong team, strong products and a strong balance were decisive in ensuring success. We intend to maintain our lead in the far more challenging environment of 2009. Our financial and operational flexibility will allow us to benefit from the opportunities that come our way during the crisis", commented Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber, speaking at the presentation of the annual result for 2008. In view of the very good result and taking into consideration the current challenging economic situation, the Supervisory Board and Executive Board will be proposing a dividend of 70 eurocent per share at the annual general meeting.
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fed to Buy $1 Trillion in Securities to Aid Economy
By Edmund Andrews, New York Times

Saying that the recession continues to deepen, the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the mortgage market and longer-term Treasury securities in order to revive the economy...

The Fed said it would purchase an additional $750 billion worth of government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities, on top of the $500 billion that it is currently in the process of buying. In addition, the Fed said it would buy up to $300 billion worth of longer-term Treasury securities over the next six months. That would tend to push down longer-term interest rates on loans of all types.

All of the Fed's measures would come in addition to what has already been an unprecedented expansion of lending by the Fed. Since last September, the central bank has roughly doubled the size of its balance sheet to nearly $2 trillion from $900 billion -- even before Wednesday's action -- mainly because of its efforts to rescue credit markets.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:28:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dollar starts falling. Is it overreaction of markets or simply misjudged expectations?
by FarEasterner on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 05:40:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe inflation...all those billions has to show sometimes somewhere...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 07:23:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Home - Closed - British International Motor Show

Following a thorough consultation with the UK motor industry, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2010 British International Motor Show.

SMMT, with the support of the UK motor industry, remains committed to showcasing the achievements and products of the automotive sector. However, the economic downturn and the unprecedented challenges facing the industry both in the UK and around the world, have made it impossible for exhibitors to commit to a 2010 event.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 08:08:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:10:25 PM EST
Guest Post by Lawrence Wilkerson: Some Truths About Guantanamo Bay - The Washington Note

There are several dimensions to the debate over the U.S. prison facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that the media have largely missed and, thus, of which the American people are almost completely unaware. For that matter, few within the government who were not directly involved are aware either.

The first of these is the utter incompetence of the battlefield vetting in Afghanistan during the early stages of the U.S. operations there. Simply stated, no meaningful attempt at discrimination was made in-country by competent officials, civilian or military, as to who we were transporting to Cuba for detention and interrogation.

This was a factor of having too few troops in the combat zone, of the troops and civilians who were there having too few people trained and skilled in such vetting, and of the incredible pressure coming down from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others to "just get the bastards to the interrogators".

It did not help that poor U.S. policies such as bounty-hunting, a weak understanding of cultural tendencies, and an utter disregard for the fundamentals of jurisprudence prevailed as well (no blame in the latter realm should accrue to combat soldiers as this it not their bailiwick anyway).

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:11:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Big Question: What is going on in Madagascar, and can the African island republic survive? - Africa, World - The Independent
After three months of violent unrest, an opposition leader on the vast Indian Ocean island of Madagascar has set himself up in the President's offices in the capital Antananarivo, declaring himself de facto boss. The elected President, Marc Ravalomanana, is holed up at his palace on the outskirts of the city, guarded by a poorly-armed crowd of loyalists. After insisting for days that he would not resign and would fight "to the death" if necessary, he appeared to signal yesterday that he had quit. His departure would hand power to a military board, only a day after the army stormed his city offices in a show of support for his political rival.
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Insurers Must Disclose Climate-Change Exposure - WSJ.com

Insurance companies must start disclosing how climate change is likely to affect their businesses, state insurance regulators decided Tuesday.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners voted to require insurers to submit annual "climate-risk" reports, an unusually aggressive stance on the environmental issue from industry regulators.

The officials acted after concluding that climate change threatens insurers in two ways. It increases the risk of extreme weather events such as floods and wildfires, which would boost claims. And it is prompting governments to cap industrial carbon emissions that contribute to global warming -- a move threatens the profits of companies such as coal-fired utilities in which insurers commonly invest.

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 Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:44:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Holder Urged to Probe Allegations of Torture
ACLU Seeks Answers About Detainees
By Peter Finn, Washington Post

The ACLU called on Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. yesterday to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate allegations of torture at CIA secret prisons, following the leak last weekend of a secret report by the International Committee of the Red Cross...

Although Holder described waterboarding as torture during his confirmation hearings, the Obama administration has shown little willingness to support an investigation of interrogation techniques undertaken while George W. Bush was president...

"Allegations of crimes is not a discretionary matter," said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the ACLU. Romero argued that Holder must act to meet the obligations of his office.

The civil liberties groups also said time is running out for any criminal investigation into the interrogation of the first major terrorism suspect captured after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, a Saudi-born Palestinian better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Zubaida.
by Magnifico on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:10:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Music as torture/Music as weapon
I'm struck, for instance, by the fact that "no touch torture" using music to dissolve others' subjectivities has been imposed on persons picked up in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Indonesia, Iraq, Mauritania, Pakistan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, including British and Canadian citizens. Thus, the performative scene in which music is the medium of  ubiquitous, irresistible power that touches without touching has been imposed on representatives of the entire Muslim world. Music, then, is not only a component of "no touch torture" but also a component of the US' symbolic claim to global sovereignty-but in a way that is almost the polar opposite of the Louis Armstrong "good will ambassador" tours of the 1950s.[24] .   At the same time, however, the US has given the detainees thus treated over to its own soldiers as scapegoats, toward whom their choice of music linked to working-class masculinities  can channel their rage at the economic and political forces that make them-like their captives-human beings that the state allows to be killed with impunity. Moreover, because  media representations on the one hand and the technologies of  "new media" on the other allow the scene to be widely imagined and responded to at home, the US has, perhaps inadvertently, given the same detainees over to a certain swath of the homefront, where they can be scapegoats for a different kind of rage. Believing they cannot be killed with impunity, the homefront bloggers at littlegreen footballs and freerepublic do more than express their rage at the feminized position they occupy as non-warriors in an increasingly warrior-worshipping public culture. They create (and occupy) as homophobic, racist and misogynist the subject position of virtuous, justified torture-a subject position identified with, and occupied by, the global national security state that has, in its most recently passed law on the treatment of detainees, declared itself exempt from international law. All the while, the scene-at least as one can currently know it-allows certain kinds of repertoire to stand for the violence of "Western", "infidel" conquest, leaving repertoire that is more likely to be valued by elites both innocent and intact.

'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 Mar 19th, 2009 at 09:35:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not like the use of sound and noise in sleep deprivation torture is a new Idea. French police were using the same techniques in Vietnam in the 1930's and sleep deprivation as a method dates back to Hippolytus de Marsilliis who was born in 1451 and introduced the technique of sleep deprivation to the Inquisition (However they rejected it as it was unreliable and tended to give the person questioned vivid hallucinations, so no reliable information could be aquired) Protestant courts tended to use the technique however to interrogate witches after parliaments banned the ducking of women.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 09:59:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US may change Cuba policy?

Bipartisan Senate group take aim at Cuba embargo provisions

Obama ran on rethinking Cuba policy, and won Florida. The Cuban-American community is itself split between the geezers still clinging to a generations-long failed embargo policy, and the younger crowd eager for change. Respected foreign policy experts are eager for a more rational Cuba policy, including Republicans like Dick Lugar. And farm state legislators from both parties are eager to open up a new market for their farmers' goods.

In other words, the embargo is not long for the world, with proponents dwindling in size and relegated mostly to the minority. Hence, Menendez's last stand, protesting a technical change in the definition of "cash-based sales" of medical and agricultural goods to Cuba that the Bush Administration had implemented to effectively block such sales to the island. Menendez dropped his efforts to hold up the Omnibus after he was promised that the Bush-era definition would remain.

The day the US ends its ridiculous embargo is the day the Cold War officially ends.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 12:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great~! I'll get the band practicing "All Hail The New Cold War".

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 07:56:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Gaza deaths dog Israeli military

Reports have surfaced in the Israeli media suggesting that Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under what may have been lax rules of engagement during the Gaza offensive.

Quoting those who fought, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Thursday that soldiers had also ransacked and destroyed civilian property.

The soldiers' testimony, made at a course at Oranim Academic College in Tivon, runs counter to the Israeli army's claims that troops observed a high level of moral behaviour during the operation.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 07:43:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:10:49 PM EST
BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | 'Armed' chimps go wild for honey

Cameras have revealed how "armed" chimpanzees raid beehives to gorge on sweet honey.

Scientists in the Republic of Congo found that the wild primates crafted large clubs from branches to pound the nests until they broke open.

The team said some chimps would also use a "toolkit" of different wooden implements in a bid to access the honey and satisfy their sweet tooth.

The study is published in the International Journal of Primatology.

Crickette Sanz, from the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said: "The nutritional returns don't seem to be that great.

"But their excitement when they've succeeded is incredible, you can see how much they are enjoying tasting the honey."

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
World's largest parrot pulled back from the brink - Australasia, World - The Independent

Scientists in New Zealand have rescued the world's largest parrot from the brink of extinction. The population of the flightless kakapo has surpassed 100 birds for the first time in decades.

The milestone was reached this month after six chicks hatched on Codfish Island, one of two predator-free islands where kakapo numbers are being restored. There are now 105 birds, more than twice the number in 1999.

The ground-nesting kakapo, which weighs up to 9lb, was once widespread in the forests of New Zealand. But Maoris hunted it for its meat and bright green plumage, and European settlers brought cats, dogs, rats and ferrets into a formerly predator-free environment. A docile bird, the kakapo was prone to freeze on the spot when frightened.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:25:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"A docile bird, the kakapo was prone to freeze on the spot when frightened"

Our desire as a species to preserve this animal's existence is impressive.

by paving on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 07:41:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The possums are even dumber.

They like to go and stretch out on the nice warm tarmac of the quiet NZ roads of an evening....

Possum roulette.....

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 07:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

[rolls eyes]

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 08:31:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

West Antarctic ice sheet could melt - again

New study suggests a 5C local rise in ocean temperatures could be enough to trigger a collapse of the giant West Antarctic ice sheet

By David Adam, guardian.co.uk

The giant West Antarctic ice sheet has melted several times in the past, and will do so again if temperatures continue to rise, new research shows.

Such a change would raise sea levels by some five metres around the world, but scientists have struggled to predict when it might happen. The new study suggests a 5C local rise in ocean temperatures could be enough to trigger a collapse.

David Pollard of Pennsylvania State University, and Robert DeConto of the University of Massachusetts used a computer model to simulate the behaviour of the ice sheet over the past five million years.

They focused on a period called the Pliocene, some five to three million years ago, when temperatures were similar to those expected in the coming centuries. The scientists found that the West Antarctic ice sheet melted and reformed several times. Each switch took just a few thousand years...

Glaciologists call such an event a collapse, but Pollard said it would not be rapid, and would take thousands of years to unfold: "We had a bit of a debate whether to use the word collapse in the paper. It's not something like an avalanche."

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 04:16:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Express wins the race to the bottom « Why, That's Delightful!
The Dunblane Massacre was an atrocity almost beyond imagining. A man named Thomas Hamilton walked into a school in a small Scottish town in March 1996, and shot dead sixteen children and one teacher. It was not what we've since come to think of as a `normal' school shooting as it was a primary school, and all the children were aged between five and six years of age.

That basic human reaction, that powerful urge to protect those children, has always been something I presumed was shared by most other human beings. But a lady named Paula Murray has disabused me of that particular whimsy.

Paula is the journalist who thought it was well past time that the survivors of the Dunblane massacre were given a tabloid punching. To that end, she befriended a group of them on Facebook and collated their photographs and comments. Clearly aware of the legal guidelines in place to protect those under eighteen against invasion of privacy (and the specific instructions that the Press Complaints Commission issued regarding the Dunblane children), she waited until they hit eighteen. Then she wrote this.

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 Mar 18th, 2009 at 06:23:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frances Moore Lappé: The City That Ended Hunger

"I knew we had so much hunger in the world," Adriana said. "But what is so upsetting, what I didn't know when I started this, is it's so easy. It's so easy to end it."

Adriana's words have stayed with me. They will forever. They hold perhaps Belo's greatest lesson: that it is easy to end hunger if we are willing to break free of limiting frames and to see with new eyes-if we trust our hard-wired fellow feeling and act, no longer as mere voters or protesters, for or against government, but as problem-solving partners with government accountable to us.

inspiring article.

'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 Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 07:29:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fish Consumption Guidelines Not Environmentally Sustainable
Recommendations to increase fish consumption because of health benefits may not be environmentally sustainable and more research is needed to clarify the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, write Dr. David Jenkins of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and coauthors in an analysis in CMAJ http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg633.pdf.

Health agencies and the medical community around the world recommend the consumption of fish for health benefits and people in developed countries have been urged to increase their consumption of fatty fish 2 to 3 fold.

'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 Mar 19th, 2009 at 10:34:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Key To Happiness Could Be Gratitude

Gratitude, the emotion of thankfulness and joy in response to receiving a gift, is one of the essential ingredients for living a good life, Kashdan says. Kashdan's most recent paper, which was published online this week at the Journal of Personality, reveals that when it comes to achieving well-being, gender plays a role. He found that men are much less likely to feel and express gratitude than women.

"Previous studies on gratitude have suggested that there might be a difference in gender, and so we wanted to explore this further - and find out why. Even if it is a small effect, it could make a huge difference in the long run," says Kashdan.

In one study, Kashdan interviewed college-aged students and older adults, asking them to describe and evaluate a recent episode in which they received a gift. He found that women compared with men reported feeling less burden and obligation and greater levels of gratitude when presented with gifts. In addition, older men reported greater negative emotions when the gift giver was another man.

"The way that we get socialized as children affects what we do with our emotions as adults," says Kashdan. "Because men are generally taught to control and conceal their softer emotions, this may be limiting their well-being."

'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 Mar 19th, 2009 at 10:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Because men are generally taught to control and conceal their softer emotions, this may be limiting their well-being."

ya think?

not to mention everyone else's, and a suffering planet...

'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 Mar 19th, 2009 at 03:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some 'theatrical' experiences bring tears to my eyes. Alone with a DVD even more so. Am I a wimp? ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 03:59:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i hear ya...

the mere sight of a father being tender with a child makes me choke up.


'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 Mar 19th, 2009 at 08:45:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Researchers Discover Ways Of Integrating Treatment Of Traumatized Tibetan Refugee Monks
The Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR) at Boston Medical Center recently treated many of the large number of Tibetan refugee monks who fled violent religious persecution. These individuals arrived in Boston suffering from symptoms of traumatic stress, interfering with their meditative practice. The monks were diagnosed by their traditional healers as having srog-rLung, a life-wind imbalance. Recognizing that barriers exist between western and eastern medicine, the BCRHHR researched and implemented its own complementary therapy options to heal them. These findings appear online in the March issue of Mental Health, Religion and Culture.

According to Tibetan medicine, a srog-rLung disturbance has the potential to develop into a serious mental illness, leaving the victim at odds with the balance of the universe as well as jeopardizing his personal health. Symptoms of srog-rLung include uncontrollable crying, worrying, excessive mental, physical or verbal activity and an unhappy mind. Other conditions affecting the monk's health include anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

'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 Mar 19th, 2009 at 10:45:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Traditional Chinese Medicine Effectively Treats Eczema
New research where traditional Chinese medicine was found to safely and effectively treat patients with persistent atopic dermatitis - or eczema, as it's commonly known - could lead more physicians to prescribe complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat the allergic condition.

In the study presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York analyzed 14 patients with persistent atopic dermatitis who received traditional Chinese medicine at Ming Qi Natural Health Center in Manhattan between August 2006 and May 2008. The treatments consisted of Erka Shizheng Herbal Tea, a bath additive, creams and acupuncture.

'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 Mar 19th, 2009 at 12:49:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:11:08 PM EST
Is spring coming yet???

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 05:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you mean - is the snow melting in Finland, the answer is yes. There's a lot of dripping going on, and the squirrels have run clattering round the walls of this wooden house already.

I like squirrels. "Huh - did I leave the gas on? Oh no, I'm a squirrel"

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 05:58:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OH!! You want to hear a weird one? Lili's company has fired a bunch of people - by email!!!! (What a bunch of chickenshits!!). I'm not sure it is even legal, but it is sure as hell unethical...yuck!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 05:57:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if there's a minimum notice period by law then you're playing with fire using email.

and ethicly it falls far down into the scum levels.

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 Mar 18th, 2009 at 06:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In response to yesterday's post on faith and for your daily entertainment...


by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu Mar 19th, 2009 at 03:39:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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