Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 22 April

by Fran Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 03:17:48 PM EST

On this date in history:

1766 Ė Birth of Madame de StaŽl, a French-speaking Swiss author living in Paris and abroad. She influenced literary tastes in Europe at the turn of the 19th century. (d. 1817)

More here and here


Welcome to the European Salon!

This Salon is open for discussions, exchange, and gossip and just plain socializing all day long. So please enter!

The Salon has different rooms or sections for your enjoyment. If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.

 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS  - is for election news, especially the current European Parliament Elections.

ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in the world of finance and the economy.

WORLD - here you can add the links to topics concerning the rest of the World.

THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER - is the place for everything from environment to health to curiosa.

KLATSCH - if you like gossip, this is the place. But you can also use this place as an Open Thread until the one in the Evening opens.

SPECIAL FOCUS - will be up only for special events and topics, like elections or other stuff.

I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries. :-)

There is just one favor I would like to ask you - please do NOT click on "Post a Comment", as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

Actually, there is another favor I would like to ask you - please, enjoy yourself and have fun at this place!

Display:
EUROPE
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:11:21 AM EST
EurActiv.com - EU increasingly governed by the few, Belgian FM warns | EU - European Information on EU Treaty & Institutions
With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".

Speaking on Monday (20 April) at the opening of an annual diplomatic conference in Brussels, Karel de Gucht said Belgium would make full use of its presidency in the second half of 2010 to re-establish the EU institutional balance, which he said was in "danger".

"It is absolutely unacceptable that small groups of member states put in danger the normal institutional process," de Gucht said. "Belgium has the duty of trying as quickly as possible to re-establish the institutional balance."

De Gucht lashed at the recent summitry, organised in haste to respond to different challenges.

"The number of formal European Council meetings has been outnumbered recently by all kind of 'ad hoc' meetings, organised in haste and often with a deplorable timing," he said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:52:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, I cannot resist this.

With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".

Where is the EU Senate?

by asdf on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:20:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
won't help if the major decisions are continously made by the Council of national ministers, or the Commisision. Particularly when the council can so easily dismiss any proposition of Parliament. It's not the lack of another EU institution, it's the increasing encroachment of the Councils that needs to be brought to a halt.
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nomad:
It's not the lack of another EU institution, it's the increasing encroachment of the Councils that needs to be brought to a halt.
The encroachment is not by the Council but on the Council by prima donna prime ministers or presidents such as Sarkozy, Blair or Berlusconi. And it is a serious issue.

The EU Council is like the US Senate (before it was elected by Universal Suffrage), like the German Bundesrat, the Swiss Federal Council, the Presidency of the Former Yugoslavia, and a number of other similar institutions in Federal (US; DE), confederal (Switzerland) or quasi-federal (EU) organizations.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:41:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asdf:
Where is the EU Senate?
The Council of the EU.

What the Belgian Prime Minister is decrying is the recent fad of mini-summits. Brown (and Blair before him), Barroso, Sarkozy and Berlusconi love to meet in a small group to hash out EU-wide policy which then is rammed through the EU Council.

The small states could stage a revolt against this by refusing to go along, if they so wanted. After all, their approval in the Council is required.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".
So, does Belgium still support the new "EU Council President" role created by the Lisbon Treaty?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:43:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera English Moldova recount sees Communist win

A recount of legislative elections in Moldova, called after mass protests against the result, has confirmed the ruling Communist Party's landslide victory of April 5, the country's election commission says.

The results of the April 5 election gave the ruling party of Vladimir Voronin, the country's president, 60 out of 101 seats in parliament.

It fell just one short of the 61 needed for the party to fully control the selection of the next president.

Moldova's liberal opposition parties declared they would lodge an appeal against the recount in the country's highest court, claiming voting lists were swollen with 400,000 extra people who were either dead or living abroad.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Communist victory confirmed in Moldova poll recount | International | Reuters

CHISINAU (Reuters) - Moldova's ruling Communist party was again declared the winner on Tuesday in the ex-Soviet state's disputed parliamentary election, in a recount ordered after violent protests against the initial result.

Iurie Ciocan, Secretary of the Central Election Commission, said the results differed little from the original figures issued after the April 5 election, which gave the Communists just short of 50 percent of the vote.

"The difference between the recount and original count is not significant," Ciocan told reporters after a Commission meeting.

He read out figures showing the Communists far ahead with more than 760,000 votes of 1.556 million cast in the country wedged between Ukraine and European Union member Romania.

Ciocan gave no percentages of the vote for each party.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:59:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
voting lists were swollen with 400,000 extra people who were either dead or living abroad.
In Chicago, no doubt, where there is a long tradition of active voting from graveyards, although many other cities could contest for pride of place here.

In the southern US it was long a tradition to vote for recently departed relatives.  This was facilitated by the custom of allowing the head of the household to cast votes for family members who were registered but could make it to the polls--adult children still living at home and the elderly, in particular.  A sort of extended, informal absentee ballot.   After all, the reasoning went, we know how (s)he would have voted. An aunt who was born in 1903 in rural Oklahoma told me of her father coming home and telling her: "I voted today, and I voted for you too."  She responded: "How did I vote?" "Democrat" he said.  "Of course" she said.  This was during the '20s

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 12:48:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Landslide Lyndon (LBJ) in Texas; notorious for that stuff.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 08:46:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a joke in Israel that says that people whose last name is Cohen are not allowed to vote in Orthodox neighbourhoods in the middle of the day - that's when the dead people vote...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:42:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver:Turkish Cypriot vote result of disappointment with EU

The victory of nationalist hardliners in Sunday's parliamentary elections in northern Cyprus is due to disappointment at the EU's failure to end its isolation, Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat has said.

The European Union had promised to take measures to end the economic isolation of northern Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots in 2004 strongly backed a UN blueprint to end the island's division.

But its efforts have been stymied by Greek Cypriots, who rejected the UN plan shortly before Cyprus became a member of the EU.

Reacting to the vote, the European Commission said it did not believe the nationalists' win would throw re-unification talks with the Greek part of the island off course.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:48:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eubusiness.com: Iceland PM predicts euro adoption 'within four years'

Iceland's prime minister said Monday EU membership would be the government's top priority if it wins Saturday's general election, and predicted the country would adopt the euro within four years.

"It is important to apply for (EU) membership right away, so that people can see what we can get," Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir of the Social Democratic Party told daily Morgunbladid in its online edition.

"I predict that in four years we will have adopted the euro," she added.

"We will defend our resources, our fisheries and agricultural policy," she said just days before Iceland goes to the polls in a general election in which European Union membership is one of the main campaign issues.

by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global News Blog » Blog Archive » EU stumbles over UN racism conference | Blogs |

The Czech Republic issued a statement on Tuesday condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at a U.N. conference on racism in which he called Israel a "cruel and repressive racist regime".

The statement by the country holding the EU presidency was meant to underline the bloc's unity but highlighted divisions on the issue.

Although 22 member states said they would stay to the end of the Geneva conference, four others have not attended from the start and the Czech Republic has decided to play no further role in the meeting.

The failure of member states to agree on a joint position shows how hard it is for the bloc to reach agreement on a common foreign and security policy now that it comprises 27 countries.

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said the decision of some EU member states to boycott the Geneva conference was "no sign of strength in the EU at this time".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:56:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but I can't resist this, either.

The failure of member states to agree on a joint position shows how hard it is for the bloc to reach agreement on a common foreign and security policy now that it comprises 27 countries.

This is exactly the problem that led to the U.S.'s adoption of a federal system in her constitution, instead of continuing under the Articles of Confederation.

by asdf on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:28:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia threatens to pull out of NATO meeting | World | Deutsche Welle | 20.04.2009
Russia has threatened to cancel a May 7 meeting with senior NATO officials if the western military alliance goes ahead with planned exercises in Georgia.  

Russia, which has been at loggerheads with Georgia since a fighting a brief war in August, has repeatedly criticized any cooperation between NATO and the pro-Western Georgian government in Tbilisi.

"From Russia's point of view, and from Georgia's point of view, and from the viewpoint of world affairs, such war games carry a clearly provocative character," Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said.

However, Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, speaking at a press conference in Stockholm on Monday underlined his country's right as a sovereign state to host the exercises.

by Fran on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia invites Europe to join new energy charter - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Russia has floated plans for a new global treaty on trade in fossil and nuclear fuel in an attempt to consign to history an earlier pact, the 1991 Energy Charter Treaty.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev unveiled the project at a press conference with Finnish head of state Tarja Hallonen in Helsinki on Monday (20 April).

Mr Medvedev launched the new project in Helsinki on Monday

"Our task today is to maintain, or rather ensure for the future, the balance of producers of energy resources, transit states and consumers of energy resources," he said.

A detailed paper has been sent to G20 and G8 members as well as Russia's allies and neighbours. Talks at the EU level are to begin "as soon as possible."

by Fran on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:05:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Third postmortem to be carried out on Ian Tomlinson | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A third postmortem examination is to be carried out tomorrow on the body of Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper seller who died shortly after a police officer hit him from behind during the G20 protests on 1 April.

Lawyers representing a Metropolitan police officer who is being questioned in connection with the incident have appointed a third pathologist and requested that the City of London coroner allow the test to be conducted. The officer has been interviewed under caution on suspicion of manslaughter.

The coroner, Paul Major, has agreed to the third examination. It will be carried out in the presence of a fourth pathologist, who will serve as an observer for the police.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New G20 protest footage shows moment Ian Tomlinson's head hit the pavement | UK news | The Guardian

Footage has emerged showing the moment Ian Tomlinson's head hit the pavement after he was pushed over by a police officer at the G20 protests.

The video also revealed fresh details about events leading up to the alleged assault on Tomlinson. It appears to confirm ­witness testimony that the 47-year-old showed no resistance to advancing lines of police in the moments before he was hit and pushed to the ground.

The footage was shot by an anonymous bystander on Cornhill, near the Bank of England. It was handed over exclusively to the Guardian and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is ­conducting the criminal inquiry into ­Tomlinson's death.

The four-minute video was shot with a high-quality camera between 7.10pm and 7.30pm on 1 April. There are several moments in the footage that capture Tomlinson, a newspaper vendor who had been attempting to get home when he was pushed over, wandering around the crowd. At no point does he appear to confront police or protesters in an aggressive way, or ­provoke an altercation.

Last night the IPCC attempted to secure a court order to prevent the broadcast of a truncated ­version of the film that appeared ­momentarily on YouTube. The truncated version was copied by Channel 4 News, which planned to broadcast it, before it was removed from YouTube. But a judge refused to grant the injunction.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:20:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MosNews: Russian President expands blogging activities with LiveJournal debut

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will launch his own page on Russia's most popular blogging site, a Kremlin source has announced.  Medvedev's LiveJournal page goes online tomorrow morning.

The president is no newcomer to Internet 2.0 - the LiveJournal page is effectively an upgrade of his video blog (vlog) that appears on the official Kremlin website. LiveJournal offers users the ability to comment on each other's comments and engage in discussions among themselves, a spokesman for the presidential administration noted to Vesti.ru. That source claimed that the Russian president pays close attention to the comment he receives online. The presidential blog will now be seen by a larger audience, who will not have to register to leave comments.

That's right.  MosNews is back!


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:43:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:11:49 AM EST
EurActiv.com - Socialist-Liberal clash marks EU campaign start | EU - European Information on EU Elections 09
In an attempt to drum up public interest in the European elections, socialist and liberal parties launched scathing attacks on one another last week in a series of press releases and open letters published in the Belgian press.

As European liberal democrats gathered in Brussels to launch their election campaign on Wednesday (15 April), socialist leaders warned them to "tread carefully" when backing the extension of the EU's single market to sensitive sectors such as energy, postal services, railways and health care.

The warning came in a letter co-signed by Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and Dutch and French-speaking leaders of the Socialist Party in Belgium, Caroline Gennez (Flemish S.PA) and Elio di Rupo (Wallonian PS).

(For the Liberals' response, see DoDo's Despairing About Liberals.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See also this excellent post by Julien Frisch

European Parliament elections 2009 (83): PES and ELDR start campaign fight with exchange of open letters

European Parliament elections 2009 (83): PES and ELDR start campaign fight with exchange of open letters Yesterday, the Party of European Socialist (PES) wrote an open letter to the European Liberals and Democrats (ELDR). Today, ELDR has answered with another open letter.

This is the first substantial exchange of political arguments I am aware of on the European level in this campaign.

It is the first time we get into something that is worth debating. And because it's not about me (although I had my say on the issues yesterday), let me just present you parts of the letters (PES in italic, ELDR in blockquote) and make it a true exchange, without my comments interfering. I have erased some lines, to make it not too long, but don't hesitate to read the integral versions that are linked above!


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:01:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Swedish Pirate Party support soars after file-sharing verdict - EUobserver

Support for the Pirate Party, a political party running in the European elections, has soared in the wake of last week's conviction of the four Swedish founders of the file-sharing site.

Backing for the Swedish Pirate Party has now leapfrogged that of the domestic Green Party. While it may be a blip of anger after the verdict and opinions may change come election day, almost 50 percent of young men under 30 say they intend to vote for the new faction in the June 2009 elections to the European Parliament.

Hours after the sentence, membership swelled as well, from under 15,000 to around 20,000, making the party the fifth biggest in the country and easily the most popular amongst young people.

by Fran on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:07:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The campaign posters virtually compose themselves.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 12:51:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Study finds pirates 10 times more likely to buy music

Everybody knows that music sales have continued to fall in recent years, and that filesharing is usually blamed. We are made to imagine legions of internet criminals, their fingers on track-pads, downloading songs via BitTorrent and never paying for anything. One of the only bits of good news amid this doom and gloom is the steady rise in digital music sales. Millions of internet do-gooders, their fingers on track-pads, who pay for songs they like - purchasing them from Amazon or iTunes Music Store. And yet according to Professor Anne-Britt Gran's new research, these two groups may be the same.

The Norwegian study looked at almost 2,000 online music users, all over the age of 15. Researchers found that those who downloaded "free" music - whether from lawful or seedy sources - were also 10 times more likely to pay for music. This would make music pirates the industry's largest audience for digital sales.

Wisely, the study did not rely on music pirates' honesty. Researchers asked music buyers to prove that they had proof of purchase.

The music industry is full of protectionist dunderheads who do not understand the concepts of service, choice, creativity or, dare I say it - music!

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 05:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This should be a diary - it's too important to be a comment.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:05:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you've time - bring it on.
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:20:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:12:13 AM EST
VOA News - Captured Somali Pirate to Stand Trial in US
A young Somali man, the only survivor of a pirate attack on a U.S. cargo ship earlier this month, is appearing before a U.S. federal judge Tuesday to face charges.

Abdiweli Muse will be the first person tried in the U.S. for piracy in more than a century, even as his parents plea for leniency.

U.S. officials said Muse is 18 years old, but Abdilkadir Muse, the teenager's father, told VOA's Somali service his son is only 16 and came under the influence of gangs and money.

The pirate's mother has appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama to release her son.

Muse was in handcuffs and shackled but smiled as he arrived at a federal detention center in New York City Monday night.

Muse and three other pirates seized control of the Maersk Alabama on April 8 as the tanker was carrying emergency food aid for East Africa.

Muse was injured in a skirmish with the crew and was in the custody of the U.S. military while his accomplices took the ship's captain, Richard Phillips, hostage.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:29:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dropped 'ambiguous' Holocaust reference from UN speech | World news | guardian.co.uk

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, dropped a controversial phrase casting doubt on the Holocaust from an address to a United Nations conference on racism, according to UN officials and Farsi interpreters.

An official Iranian text of Ahmadinejad's address to the conference on Monday referred to "the ambiguous and dubious question of the Holocaust". However, when the president delivered the speech he omitted the phrase, referring more vaguely to "abuse of the Holocaust". He also dropped a segment about Zionist "penetration" of western society.

It is not clear why he deviated from the prepared text, but Ahmadinejad took the podium at the conference following a meeting with the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who had urged against the use of divisive language.

However, the speech as delivered still contained the claim that Israel had been created by western "military aggression" after the second world war, "by using the pretext of Jewish sufferings and by abusing the Holocaust". He described Israel as "a completely racist regime" and "those racist perpetrators of genocide". He also suggested the 2003 Iraq invasion was planned "by the Zionists and their allies in the then US administration in complicity with the arms manufacturing companies and the owners of wealth".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:37:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Middle East | UN 'regrets' Ahmadinejad speech

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "misused" an anti-racism conference at which he called Israel a racist state.

His speech sparked wide condemnation and a walkout by EU delegates.

Iran criticised Mr Ban's comments as "one-sided". Mr Ahmadinejad returned home on Tuesday to what was officially described as a "sensational" welcome.

The UN said Mr Ahmadinejad had dropped language from his speech describing the Holocaust as "ambiguous and dubious".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Full Text of President Ahmadinejad's Remarks at U.N. Conference on Racism | Foreign Policy Journal
This is a rush transcript of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks at the United Nations Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 20, 2009. Transcribed from the translation given in the U.N. webcast of the speech.
by Fran on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsch Welle: Israel compares Iran with Nazi Germany as racism conference limps on

Speaking at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in Auschwitz, Israel's deputy prime minister likened Iran to the Third Reich. His remarks came a day after Iran labeled Israel "a racist regime" at a UN conference in Geneva.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:43:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone walk out of that one? No? Shocking. IOKIFYAZ.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: Obama to invite Middle East heads

US officials say the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians will visit the White House in the next two months in a new push for Middle East peace.

Reports say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas would be invited by the first week of June.

There is no indication the Arab and Israeli leaders will have direct talks.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 03:14:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama condemns Ahmadinejad, but still wants talks | International | Reuters

By Laura MacInnis GENEVA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday condemned as "appalling and objectionable" a speech by Iran's president which denounced Israel as a racist state and prompted a walkout from a U.N. conference on racism.

Delegates at the troubled United Nations meeting, meanwhile, speedily adopted an anti-racism declaration the day after the dramatic protest by Western states at the comments by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad was the only head of state to address the Geneva conference, known as Durban II, which is being boycotted by about a dozen countries including the United States who fear it could be used to single out Israel for criticism.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:55:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
allAfrica.com: South Africa: Food Used as Election Weapon, Say Monitors (Page 1 of 1)

Cape Town -- South African civil society election monitors are expecting largely violence-free polls in the country's national elections, but say party activists have been using access to food and social grants as a political weapon.

The Election Monitoring Network - formed by leading non-governmental agencies and religious organizations - says in its final pre-election report that the run-up to Wednesday's election - "the most competitive election in South Africa's history" - has seen "much lower levels of political violence and intolerance than might have been expected."

However, the monitors are worried that the announcement of results could trigger conflict in KwaZulu-Natal and have called for security measures which were implemented to ensure peace at the polls should remain in place after voting day.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:42:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
South Africa's Zuma calls for big poll turnout | International | Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Jacob Zuma called for a huge turnout for South Africa's election on Wednesday to give his ruling African National Congress an overwhelming mandate in its toughest test since the end of apartheid.

Zuma is expected to become president after the ballot of 23 million South Africans, but the ANC risks losing the two-thirds majority in parliament it needs to change the constitution in the face of a new opposition party formed by ANC dissidents.

"We anticipate a massive turnout and we expect that the people of this country will once again give the ANC a huge and decisive mandate to work together with them to further improve their lives," he told a last news conference before the vote.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
allAfrica.com: Africa: The Second Scramble for Africa Starts (Page 1 of 1)

Berlin -- Sub-Saharan African countries have of late become the target of a new form of investment that is strongly reminiscent of colonialism: investors from both industrialised and emerging economies buy or lease large tracts of farm land across the continent, either to guarantee their own food provisions or simply as yet another business.

In doing so, investors even deal with warlords who claim property rights, as in Sudan.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and activists in Europe are denouncing this land grab in Egypt, Sudan, Cameroon, Senegal, Mozambique and elsewhere in Africa as a new form of colonialism.

Uwe Hoering, a German researcher on development policy for several European NGOs, including the news letter Weltwirtschaft und Entwicklung (World Economy and Development), called these investments "a new form of agrarian colonialism".

In an interview with IPS, Hoering said that the land grab in Africa became evident in 2008 as a consequence of the recent run to so-called bio fuels and the price inflation and scarcity of food.

Although the investments are also targeting fertile land in other areas of the world, sub-Saharan Africa appears to be these investors' main destination. The reasons are multiple.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:45:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sri Lankan troops move in on Tigers | International | Reuters

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan soldiers battled into the last redoubt of the rebel Tamil Tigers Tuesday as the exodus of people fleeing the war zone reached more than 62,000, the military said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned the situation was "nothing short of catastrophic" and urged both sides to prevent further mass casualties among civilians, saying hundreds had been killed in the past 48 hours.

The neutral agency did not assign blame to either side.

The operation gathered speed after the military's noon (0630 GMT) deadline for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to surrender passed without any word from the separatists, in what appears to be the final act in Asia's longest-running war.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:57:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Refugee tide threatens to overwhelm camps in Sri Lanka, says UN | World news | guardian.co.uk

Unicef said today it faced a "human avalanche" of destitute people in Sri Lanka as the country's military entered an established no-fire zone and freed 3,000 civilians trapped between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The UN children's agency has raised concerns that the overcrowded ­internment camps to which civilians have been taken would be unable to cope with the influx of tens of thousands of people fleeing the fighting. Sarah Crowe, of Unicef, said it was facing a "human avalanche" and described the situation as being "on a knife edge".

The Sri Lankan military said it had established new positions across the zone, penning the remaining Tamil Tiger fighters into a smaller area. The remaining rebels ignored a noon deadline to surrender.

The ministry of defence's website claimed that fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTEE) had fired on civilians attempting to cross out of the no-fire zone, while the rebels said 1,000 ­civilians died in a government raid on their territory which the military said freed thousands of noncombatants from the war zone. The military denied the accusation.

Neither report could be confirmed because independent reporters are banned from entering the area.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:06:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two Koreas hold rare talks amid nuclear threat | International | Reuters

PAJU, South Korea (Reuters) - Political rivals North and South Korea held rare, brief and acrimonious talks on Tuesday over a joint factory park as global powers tried to prevent Pyongyang from restarting its nuclear arms plant.

The talks, delayed for nearly 12 hours by a dispute over the venue and format, produced no breakthrough and increased friction over the Kaesong park, the last remaining major area of cooperation between the states technically still at war.

Regional powers' frustration with North Korea has been growing, and earlier this month it defied South Korea, Japan and the United States and launched a rocket in what was widely seen as a disguised long-range missile test.

The Kaesong park, where South Korean firms use cheap North Korean labor and land to make goods, was once hailed as a model of economic cooperation but is now the focus of mounting tension.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia warns U.S. stepping up shield plans: agency | International | Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Tuesday accused the United States of stepping up plans to install an anti-missile system in Europe, according to Interfax news agency.

The comments from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov mark a sharper tone from Moscow after a series of conciliatory comments on U.S. plans to deploy elements of the system in Central Europe.

Moscow said it had hoped the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama would revise plans initiated under former President George W. Bush to construct the system and welcomed calls initiated by the U.S. side to "reset" relations.

"The U.S. has not revised its plans. I do not think that this could happen. On the contrary, we can see that work in missile defense has intensified, including in the NATO format," Ryabkov was quoted by Interfax as saying.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:00:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Senior Bush figures could be prosecuted for torture, says Obama | World news | guardian.co.uk

Senior members of the Bush administration who approved the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation measures could face prosecution, President Obama disclosed today .

He said the use of torture reflected America "losing our moral bearings".

He said his attorney general, Eric Holder, was conducting an investigation and the decision rested with him. Obama last week ruled out prosecution of CIA agents who carried out the interrogation of suspected al-Qaida members at Guantánamo and secret prisons around the world.

But for the first time today he opened up the possibility that those in the administration who gave the go-ahead for the use of waterboarding could be prosecuted.

The revelation will enrage senior Bush administration figures such as the former vice-president Dick Cheney.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:03:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Inquiry Into Their Past Use - NYTimes.com

In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.

This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved -- not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees -- investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.

According to several former top officials involved in the discussions seven years ago, they did not know that the military training program, called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, had been created decades earlier to give American pilots and soldiers a sample of the torture methods used by Communists in the Korean War, methods that had wrung false confessions from Americans.

Even George J. Tenet, the C.I.A. director who insisted that the agency had thoroughly researched its proposal and pressed it on other officials, did not examine the history of the most shocking method, the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding.

The top officials he briefed did not learn that waterboarding had been prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II and was a well-documented favorite of despotic governments since the Spanish Inquisition; one waterboard used under Pol Pot was even on display at the genocide museum in Cambodia.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:20:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ECONOMY & FINANCE
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:12:38 AM EST
Geithner says hard to set prices on toxic assets | U.S. | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday said difficulty in setting a value on banks' toxic assets was a continuing hindrance to their ability to lend and borrow.

Testifying before the Congressional Oversight Panel that monitors the Treasury's efforts to bail out troubled banks, Geithner said toxic assets were "congesting" the U.S. financial system and hindering efforts to get credit flowing normally.

"Uncertainty about the value of legacy assets is constraining the ability of financial institutions to raise private capital," he said, adding that he hoped a public-private investment program will improve the ability to put a price on troubled mortgage and other assets.

Treasury is currently conducting stress tests on 19 of the largest U.S. banks and will make some of the results public next month. Geithner said the majority of banks have more capital than they need to be considered well capitalized.

"However, concerns about economic conditions -- combined with the destabilizing impact of distressed 'legacy assets' -- have created an environment under which uncertainty about the health of individual banks has sharply reduced lending across the financial system," he said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:22:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"However, concerns about economic conditions -- combined with the destabilizing impact of distressed 'legacy assets' -- have created an environment under which uncertainty about the health of individual banks has sharply reduced lending across the financial system," he said.
A "legacy" of fraud and criminality, combined with massive public denial by governmental authorities, will do that.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:12:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
difficulty in setting a value on banks' toxic assets

It's kinda cool who they're always in favor of letting the markets work unfettered, until they're not.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:17:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, now they have realised for themselve why the market won't touch the assets with a 10-foot pole.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:36:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I.M.F. Puts Bank Losses From Crisis at $4.1 Trillion - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON -- With the global economic downturn deepening and confidence in the financial system still elusive, the International Monetary Fund estimates that banks and other financial institutions face aggregate losses of $4.1 trillion in the value of their holdings as a result of the crisis.

 In its global financial stability report, released Tuesday, the fund estimated that financial institutions would have to write down an estimated $2.7 trillion in loans and securities originating in the United States from 2007 to 2010. That estimate is up from $2.2 trillion in the fund's report in January, and $1.4 trillion last October.

The financial crisis "is likely to be deep and long lasting," the report said, noting that global financial stability has deteriorated further since its October report, especially in emerging markets, particularly in Europe, where banks face more write-downs and may require fresh equity, even as businesses seek to refinance debt.

The authorities "have been proactive in responding to the crisis," the fund said, but "policies are being challenged by the scale of resources required."

The fund also cast doubt on recent market optimism, noting that in spite of "some improvements in short-term liquidity conditions and the opening of some term funding markets, other measures of instability have deteriorated to record or near-record levels."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:23:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
British economy falls into deflation for first time since 1960

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation fell to -0.4pc in March, indicating that prices paid by consumers last month were lower than a year ago - a trend not seen since March 1960.

The figure, published by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday, was roughly in line with economists' predictions of a fall to -0.5pc.

RPI inflation, which includes housing and mortgage costs, has been driven down by the the series of aggressive interest rate cuts from the Bank of England which have triggered lower variable rate mortgage repayments.


by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:39:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver: China outranks Germany in world car production

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - China has become the world's largest car manufacturer, surpassing EU champion Germany and the US, whose ailing industries are struggling for survival amid the economic crisis.

China became the largest car producer in 2008, with a world market share of 17.2 percent, outranking Germany with its 14.7 percent and the US (14.6%), the German association of car manufacturers VDMA revealed on Monday.

by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OMG!  The pigs!!  They've spouted wings!!!

HuffPo: Judge Richard Posner Questions His Free-Market Faith In "A Failure Of Capitalism"

One of the most prominent proponents of free-market capitalism is having second thoughts.
Judge Richard A. Posner, a federal appeals court judge who has been called the most cited legal scholar of all time, discussed his doubts and his analysis of the current financial crisis in a wide-ranging interview with the Huffington Post.

A longtime proponent of deregulation, the idea that business works best in a free market without burdensome government regulations, Posner began to change his mind when he realized the enormity of the crisis. This change of heart inspired him to write his upcoming book, "A Failure Of Capitalism."

Though still a believer in the virtues of capitalism, Posner now emphasizes the importance of government regulations; the need to strengthen the regulatory structure by directly funding authorities rather than the current fee-based model; the dangers of excessive executive compensation, and even expressed support for the idea of changing bankruptcy law to make it easier for homeowners who face foreclosure.

"I wouldn't have thought the economy was as vulnerable," he explains. "I wouldn't have thought that banking deregulation was dangerous."




"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:53:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: Why the `green shoots' of recovery could yet wither(Martin Wolf)
Spring has arrived and policymakers see "green shoots". Barack Obama's economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, says the "sense of freefall" in the US economy should end in a few months.
So, Summers says that we should reach terminal velocity in a few months and the market thinks this justifies a raly now?
The president himself spies "glimmers of hope". Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, said last week "recently we have seen tentative signs that the sharp decline in economic activity may be slowing, for example, in data on home sales, homebuilding and consumer spending, including sales of new motor vehicles".

Is the worst behind us? In a word, No. The rate of economic decline is decelerating. But it is too soon even to be sure of a turnround, let alone of a return to rapid growth. Yet more remote is elimination of excess capacity. Most remote of all is an end to deleveraging. Complacency is perilous. These are still early days.

As the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development noted in its recent Interim Economic Outlook, "the world economy is in the midst of its deepest and most synchronised recession in our lifetimes, caused by a global financial crisis and deepened by a collapse in world trade". In the OECD area as a whole, output is forecast to contract by 4.3 per cent this year and 0.1 per cent in 2010, with unemployment rising to 9.9 per cent of the labour force next year. By the end of 2010, the "output gap" - a measure of excess capacity - is forecast to be 8 per cent, twice as large as in the recession of the early 1980s.



Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:50:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"A world that doesn't learn from history is condemned to repeat it," said World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick. "While the recent G20 meeting focused on financial issues, we need to learn from the history of past crises, when governments squeezed for cash cut into social programmes with often devastating impacts on the poor."

As usual, Zoellick seems willing to pirate Santayana conveniently ignoring the source of his near-exact quote- right along with conveniently ignoring the source of this wide-spread trashing of the safety nets--

World Bank loan requirements and policy.

Can we anticipate the increased availability of loans from the world Bank to private firms who, in private-public partnerships(tm)might kindly wish to help reconstruct those same nets?
Frying pan into the fire?

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

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:15:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:13:04 AM EST
Nazi 'super cows' shipped to Devon farm

Their meat will not be reaching the Sunday lunch table any time soon and nobody would dare get close enough to try to milk them. But a herd of "super cows" descended from animals bred in Nazi Germany is making an impressive sight on a farm in the south-west of England.

The "Heck" cattle were designed by brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck in an attempt to recreate the extinct European wild ox, the aurochs, an important beast in German mythology.

Rather than allowing his Heck cattle to be hunted, as some of the Nazi leaders wanted to do, Gow will be offering photographers the chance to take pictures of the animals.

He also hopes to begin his own breeding programme because he believes the Heck cattle may one day have an important conservation role to play, taking the place of the aurochs in the cycle of life.

by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:46:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm guessing that "auroch" was the original of our word "ox."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:17:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian:  South Korea lights the way on carbon emissions

The secretary for future vision is considering how many South Koreans it takes to change a million lightbulbs. No joke.

Kim Sang-hyo, the president's extravagantly titled right-hand man, is trying to create more than 940,000 green jobs and improve his country's energy efficiency at the same time. Switching every bulb in every public building in South Korea to light-emitting diodes by the end of this year is one, very small, element in the master plan of what has been described as the greenest new deal on the planet.

by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 03:05:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pravda: Lenin's body left with no new luxury suit because of crisis

The body of Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Great October Revolution, will be left without a new suit this year due to the economic problems in Russia . Lenin's clothes have not been changed after two months of prophylactic measures, although there is a strong need to have the mummy displayed in new clothes, The Trud newspaper wrote.

Lenin has been wearing the army type jacket for 17 years as his mummified body was resting in the Mausoleum on Red Square . His clothes need to be changed once in three years. Most recent change of Lenin's suit took place in 2003.

The funding is hardly enough for embalming activities, specialists of Lenin's Tomb complain. "The state has not been assigning anything since 1992. We live at the expense of the Lenin's Tomb Fund. Then there is this crisis going on," an embalmer said.

Lenin's body is dressed in expensive custom-made suits made of Swiss lustrine - the fabric, which Vladimir Lenin preferred when he was alive. The suit has a modern cut, which is still popular nowadays in men's fashion. If specialists do not change the suit during the prophylactic works, they steam-clean and press it thoroughly: a slight speck of dirt can ruin the embalming effect.

Lenin's mummy has been exposed to biochemical treatment this year. It was placed in the bathtub filled with the solution of herbs that produce the embalming effect. "This is a unique technology. It will help the body keep up its shape for some 100 years," an embalmer said.




"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:49:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"This is a unique technology. It will help the body keep up its shape for some 100 years," an embalmer said.
So, another 15 to 20 years?  After that, I suppose they could freeze dry him and display his mummy.  (Do we know where his mummy is buried?)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:23:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Water wars by Jeffrey D. Sachs*
But future water stresses will be widespread, including both rich and poor countries. The US, for example, encouraged a population boom in its arid southwestern states in recent decades, despite water scarcity that climate change is likely to intensify. Australia, too, is grappling with serious droughts in the agricultural heartland of the Murray-Darling River basin. The Mediterranean Basin, including Southern Europe and North Africa is also likely to experience serious drying as a result of climate change.
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:48:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]

it's Doggerland!

'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 Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boing Boing
Writing in The Independent, John Clute, an eminent scholar and historian of science fiction, eulogizes JG Ballard. I ran into Clute over the Easter weekend and he mentioned that as the designated writer of science fiction obits for The Independent, he keeps a file of pre-written -- and oft-updated -- obits for older writers and writers in poor health. I was shocked at this -- it seemed a little gruesome -- but John said, "The last thing I want is for a good friend to pass while I'm travelling or busy and for me not to be able to write them the good, full and complete obituary they deserve." Here's the results -- an obit every bit as good as a titan like Ballard deserved.
The most complete unfolding of his later sense of things can probably be found in a quite astonishing book-length interview published by the magazine Research as the self-standing Research No 8/9 (1984) but he remained unfailingly eloquent until the end of his life, as the interviews assembled in Conversations (2005) attest. "At times", he said in 2004, "I look around the executive housing estates of the Thames Valley and feel that [a vicious and genuinely mindless neo-fascism] is already here, quietly waiting its day, and largely unknown to itself ... What is so disturbing about the 9/11 hijackers is that they had not spent the previous years squatting in the dust on some Afghan hillside ... These were highly educated engineers and architects who had spent years sitting around in shopping malls in Hamburg and London, drinking coffee and listening to the muzak."


'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 Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boing Boing
Writing in The Independent, John Clute, an eminent scholar and historian of science fiction, eulogizes JG Ballard. I ran into Clute over the Easter weekend and he mentioned that as the designated writer of science fiction obits for The Independent, he keeps a file of pre-written -- and oft-updated -- obits for older writers and writers in poor health. I was shocked at this -- it seemed a little gruesome -- but John said, "The last thing I want is for a good friend to pass while I'm travelling or busy and for me not to be able to write them the good, full and complete obituary they deserve." Here's the results -- an obit every bit as good as a titan like Ballard deserved.
The most complete unfolding of his later sense of things can probably be found in a quite astonishing book-length interview published by the magazine Research as the self-standing Research No 8/9 (1984) but he remained unfailingly eloquent until the end of his life, as the interviews assembled in Conversations (2005) attest. "At times", he said in 2004, "I look around the executive housing estates of the Thames Valley and feel that [a vicious and genuinely mindless neo-fascism] is already here, quietly waiting its day, and largely unknown to itself ... What is so disturbing about the 9/11 hijackers is that they had not spent the previous years squatting in the dust on some Afghan hillside ... These were highly educated engineers and architects who had spent years sitting around in shopping malls in Hamburg and London, drinking coffee and listening to the muzak."


'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 Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:30:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:13:36 AM EST
Telegraph: Musical unknown lined up for top song-writing award

A 35-year-old warehouse worker was today plucked from obscurity to compete with some of Britain's best-known bands for one of the nation's most prestigious music awards.

Hemming was recognised for the band's debut single, The Last Of The Melting Snow, which was released to widespread critical acclaim in December, but failed to make the Top 40.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:51:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry: Timesonline
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:25:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Hackers leave Gates with pie on his face

You don't get anywhere in business without making some enemies along the way, as Bill Gates found today when the portal of Microsoft news website MSN in New Zealand was attacked by hackers, who rerouted visitors to an image of the Microsoft founder with pie on his face.

The previous targets of 'Peace Crew', a loosely-affiliated group of hackers who claimed responsibility for the security breach, have included the BBC and NATO websites, with their motivations largely believed to be political. In the case of the MSN New Zealand website, they posted messages reading "STOP THE WAR ISRAEL".

The image was taken in 1998 when Gates was hit with a pie by French anarchist Paul Godin.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 01:58:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent:
The image was taken in 1998 when Gates was hit with a pie by French anarchist Paul Godin.
As much as we, French, would like to claim Mr Godin for ourselves, the truth is: Noël Godin (not Paul) actually hails from Belgium, a country where they sure know how to have a good laugh at the expense of Serious People (TM).
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did Miss California's stance on same-sex marriage cost her the Miss USA crown? | News | guardian.co.uk

It is being called the YouTube moment of the Miss USA contest, so here it is - Miss California's views on the subject of gay marriage.

Carrie Prejean's view that marriage "should be between a man and a woman" cost her the contest, according to the conservative Fox News. It described her as a "sweet Christian girl" who, before her answer, was the "clear frontrunner".

But the gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who asked Prejean about same-sex marriage in his role as a celebrity judge for the show, had another explanation.

He said her answer was the worst in pageant history and "Miss California lost because she's a dumb bitch".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:04:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's hard to pull off "sweet" and "hater" without instantly snapping the audience out of their rhinestones-induced daze and reminding everyone why IRL we didn't like people like you in high school.  In a contest for best facade, you have to at least pretend to be nice.  Everyone already knows you are probably mean.  Your goal here is to make them forget that.  It's a beauty pageant, not a funeral protest, FFS.

Also, it can't be lost on the people in charge of these things that gay men are part of the target audience for these things.  Work it girlfriend!  Oh, what you hate me now?!  Bitch!  

Epic fail.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:24:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps as a consolation prize she will get a job as an "assistant" to Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:32:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I think it's great Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be, between a man and a woman."

Doesn't exactly sound like a hater to me... Clueless, maybe, but that's not so unusual...

by asdf on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:39:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I researched, found and watched 2 DVD movies last night. Both dystopian, but interesting for different reasons.

The first was Jennifer Lynch's (daughter of David) 'Surveillance' (2008). Her last movie, 15 years earlier, was 'Boxing Helena'. It is a violent and disturbing movie about violence, and ultimately about violent sexuality. It was clearly a tight budget, but she got good performances and a clear visual framing of the interwoven stories.

The second was Harry Bean's 'Noise' (2007). It is described as a comedy drama. But Tim Robbins plays it mostly straight. Correctly in my opinion.

"Robbins plays a successful lawyer in Manhattan named David Owen who is bothered by all the noise in the city, and who resorts to vandalism to put a stop to it, adopting the identity of "The Rectifier." His acts of vandalism provoke the mayor of the city, played by William Hurt."

The last five minutes of the movie are a surprisingly open invitation to vigilantism against noise.

Both movies more or less disappeared until appearing on DVD shelves. But worth a look.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:57:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]