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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 1 June

by Fran Sun May 31st, 2009 at 02:39:27 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 

Europeans on this date in history:

1936 – Birth of Gerald Scarfe, an English cartoonist and illustrator. He worked as editorial cartoonist for The Sunday Times and illustrator for The New Yorker. His most famous work was for rock group Pink Floyd.

More here and here

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by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:16:36 AM EST
BBC NEWS | Europe | Nato Georgian exercise nears end

A month of Nato exercises in Georgia are coming to an end amid continuing Russian anger over the drills.

Russia, which fought a short war with Georgia last year, has condemned the exercises as "provocative".

The drills have been taking place close to South Ossetia, where Russian troops remain based following the war.

Within South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia recognised as independent by Russia, parliamentary elections are taking place on Sunday.

Officials in the South Ossetia were quick to suggest Nato's military exercises had ulterior motives.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: Disputed South Ossetia holds poll

Elections are taking place in South Ossetia, the disputed breakaway region of Georgia.

The polls are the first held since the territory declared independence from Georgia last August with Russian help.

Georgia regards the elections as illegal; it sees the territory as still part of Georgian sovereign territory.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:54:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
S. Ossetian election body declares parliamentary poll valid | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire

TSKHINVAL, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - The South Ossetian top election body declared Sunday's parliamentary elections in the former Georgian republic valid, with more than 50% of registered voters casting their ballots.

As of 2:00 p.m. Moscow time (10:00 a.m. GMT), 59.88% of registered voters had come to the polls, crossing the electoral threshold of 50% plus one vote, said Bella Pliyeva, chairwoman of the central election commission.

The elections are the first in South Ossetia since Russia recognized its independence, following a five-day war with Georgia who launched an attack to try and regain control over the region in August.

Four parties are taking part in the elections for the 34-seat parliament: the ruling Unity party, the Communist Party, the People's Party and the opposition Fatherland Party.

More than 70 observers from Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Abkhazia, Nagorny-Karabakh and Russia are monitoring Sunday's poll.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Officials in the South Ossetia were quick to suggest Nato's military exercises had ulterior motives.

I wonder what could have given them such an idea!

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:39:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais: South Ossetian police confiscate and destroy the laptop of El Pais´correspondent (31/05/2009)

Allegedly because of suspicions it might be concealing a bomb.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:55:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Divided Poland falls out over Solidarity

The stage is being prepared outside the famous Gdansk shipyards. The temporary terraces are nearly ready in the centre of Krakow and Kylie Minogue is on her way. Poland is getting ready to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the events that set the nation and much of eastern and central Europe on the road to freedom.

But Piotr Karwowoski, a recently retired trade union official and factory worker, will not be celebrating. When he travels the 100 miles across the green, flat plains to Warsaw from his home town of Swidnik next week, he will instead be heading to a three-day administrative meeting of his union's industrial wing.

Karwowoski played a key role in the years of struggle, strikes and demonstrations that finally culminated in "semi-free" elections on 4 June 1989. But the 65-year-old, despite his impeccable revolutionary credentials, is not in the mood for nostalgia.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:56:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A rather depressing read, but also nothing I haven't known before. A very minor critical note: it appears to me he is over-emphasizing the role of returning foreign workers, at least in this:

Satellite television and the internet are bringing change to far-flung rural areas, too, as is the new confidence and openness of those hundreds of thousands of Poles who travelled from small rural towns to work in the UK and Ireland and who are now returning home.

I don't think the liberal urban middle-class types lacked confidence and openness before either...

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

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:24:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Emissions fall for third year | Policies | Environment | Pollution | European Voice

Greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union are on a downward trend, according to official data published today. But pollution from transport, which accounts for one-fifth of all emissions, continues to grow.

Emissions across western EU countries (EU15) fell by 1.6% in 2007 compared to the previous year, as the economy grew by 2.7%, according to data from the European Environment Agency published today. This was the third consecutive year that emissions had fallen: they fell by 0.9% in 2005 and 0.6% in 2006.

Stavros Dimas, the European commissioner for environment, said the results showed that the EU has "managed to de-couple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions". He added it was a sign that "the pro-active climate policies and measures taken nationally and at EU-level since Kyoto are now starting to pay off."

But Dimas acknowledged that transport was a "problem that is threatening our efforts to reduce emissions around the world".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:58:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
looks like we'll get at least another 2 years of emissions decline, what with the crisis and all...

But I wonder how transport emissions are still going up, given that oil consumption has been going down? Or are plane emissions counted differently (to reflect the larger damage they cause).

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was oil consumption going down, for all of the EU, in 2007 already?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:25:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but note that the emissions reductions noted above are just for EU15.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU-15 includes Spain and Greece.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:08:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Oil consumtion has been roughly stagnant or declining in the big countries over the past 10 years or more.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:57:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting... stagnant in Germany and Spain, declining in Italy and France, increasing in the UK. But this is only data until 2006, IIRC the economic upswing came then.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:12:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU greenhouse gas emissions fall for third consecutive year - All press releases -- EEA
Selected highlights of the report
  • Seventeen EU Member States reduced GHG emissions in 2007. Among EU-15 States, all but Spain and Greece reduced emissions.
  • GHG emissions from international aviation and maritime transport, currently excluded in the national totals, have grown steadily since 1990, reaching 6 % of total EU emissions in 2007.
  • The report includes for the first time information on the use of data and emissions reported under the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) for the purposes of preparing national GHG inventories in the EU-15. Most Member States used the ETS data to improve and refine the estimation and reporting of CO2 emissions.
  • The report also contains, for the first time, key information about Member State emission allowances under the Kyoto Protocol.
Inventory data becomes more accessible for experts and the public

The European Environment Agency has updated the data in the greenhouse gas (GHG) data viewer, a web-based interface that simplifies access and analysis of the data in the GHG inventory report. The GHG data viewer can show emission trends for the main sectors and allows comparison of emissions between different countries and activities. In addition, the data viewer can produce graphics and key emission estimates.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:00:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France: Romanian and Polish workers treated as slaves with a 18 euro salary/month - Regional Europe - HotNews.ro
Several Romanian and Polish women were obliged to work in improper conditions in East France, AFP informs. Local authorities started an investigation on the working conditions of the women after a French labor union signaled the improper conditions they were imposed by the employer.

In a press release, the French CGT labor union denounced the inhuman conditions the women were obliged to work at a farm in Brumath, East France. According to the union, the women received a salary of several euro cents for each kg of collected strawberries or asparagus.

The women were housed in buildings that looked like caves according to the French union representatives and paid with 6 euro for ten days of work. French authorities confirmed the accusations of the union. Brumath mayor, Etienne Wolff declared that the employer, of German origin had several problems with authorities in the last years.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the workers were expelled for being undocumented immigrants. In a gesture of compromise, they were not sent to jail, but only given a fine...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:42:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain's procedures used to be that immigrants abused by their employers would be given papers especially if they reported violations of labour law to the authorities.

This was considered lenient by the rest of the EU so the practise has changed to making the employer pay for the cost of repatriating the illegal immigrants.

Which will only make it even harder to discover employment abuses because it will be in the interest of the illegal immigrants to cooperate with the abusing employer to keep the situation secret.

All hail Fortress Europe!

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:53:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this a snark, or what actually happened?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:28:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's snark, but who knows these days?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:59:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brown to launch MP code of conduct - Yahoo! News UK

Gordon Brown says there are "clear cases" of MPs who may have broken the law over expense claims but insisted that only "a few" MPs had abused the Westminster perks system. MPs' Expenses

The Prime Minister said he planned to introduce a binding "code of conduct" for MPs and warned other public institutions they would also face tougher scrutiny as part of a bid to clean up the system.

And he hinted that an independent review of the pay and perks system would call for a ban on controversial "golden handshake" pay-offs for MPs who stand down.

Speaking amid further embarrassing revelations of expense claims, including one Labour MP's bid to get back a £5 church donation from the taxpayer, the PM expressed his shock.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:22:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour Party Third In Poll Behind Conservatives And Liberal Democrats | Politics | Sky News
Labour has fallen behind both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in a poll for the first time in 22 years.

The results add more speculation to claims Labour will suffer heavy losses in next week's European elections.

A Sunday Telegraph / ICM poll shows 29% voting for the Tories, 20% for the Lib Dems and just 17% for Labour.

It comes as the paper published more revelations about parliamentary expenses - including a report that a Labour MP tried to claim back a £5 church donation.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:24:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ROTFLMAO !!! such pompous fatuous drivel. Not just from him, but matched porkie for porkie by that trivial opportunist Cameron.

Brown has no credibility when he talks of holding MPs to account yet excuses Hazel Blears because her tax evasion was *within the rules". How can you break rules that were so lax they amounted to a licence amounting almost to an obligation to print money for your own bank account ?

They avoid the only change that might result in a useful clear out of parliament, because they are afraid of change that might result in a useful clear out. Cosmetic change only : Get the lipstick, the pig needs re-touching.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 05:07:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Be fair - he also said that everyone accepted that what Blears had been doing was unacceptable.

Honestly - what more do you want?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:24:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He shold insist she stand down. It seems that back benchers get the book thrown at them, but ministers have another set of rules. Brown doesn't understand that "sorry" isn't enough, there must be sacrifice.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:26:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks TBG forgot a giant </SNARK> tag at the end...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:38:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Royal Mail: Private Equity Firm CVC Capital Partners In Bid For Royal Mail Share | Business | Sky News
Private equity group CVC Capital Partners has bid just under £2bn for a 30% stake in Royal Mail, according to a report.

The offer is below the Government's original target in its controversial plans to sell off part of the postal service.

But it is thought to be more than a rival bid from Dutch postal group TNT, the Sunday Telegraph has reported.

A bill paving the way for the part-privatisation of Royal Mail is expected to go before MPs in early June and the Government is facing a massive rebellion over the plans.

More than 100 Labour MPs are thought to be against the move, arguing that selling part of the group would breach a manifesto pledge.

CVC, which owns a large stake in the Belgian postal service, is understood to have tabled its offer ahead of a Government deadline several weeks ago.

It is thought to be the favoured bidder among decision-makers because its proposals include the injection of money to modernise the group's technology and infrastructure.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:27:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ekathimerini: Migrants take to Athens streets again

Hundreds of immigrants and leftist sympathizers took part in an anti-racism rally in central Athens yesterday, a week after a similar demonstration prompted by the alleged defacement of a miniature Quran by a policeman escalated into clashes with riot police.

Clusters of riot police had been stationed around the city center yesterday due to fears that the migrants would clash with some 250 far-rightists who staged their own demonstration a couple of blocks away near the Athens Cathedral in protest at the growing influx of immigrants into the capital. By late last night, there had been no reports of any clashes between the two groups.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlusconi continues his media onslaught to divert attention, depict himself as a victim, ride the moral high horse and smear his wife by interposed person. The revelation of 200 to 300 photos of attractive young ladies in his Neverland villa is being publicized as a violation of his privacy, something the elite are getting touchy about in recent times.

However, during the vicenda, it was discovered that Berlusconi allegedly uses State aircraft to commute guests to his Sardinian villa. A similar case led to the downfall of President Leone whose son used military aircrafts to take his squeezes to Monte Carlo weekends. Under Prodi, Mastella and Rutelli were nabbed using State aircraft to go see the F1 at Monza, and the Treasury General Speciale resigned after it was revealed he used military aircraft to ship fish and friends to a mountain resort for partying.

The Rome Procura has opened an investigation.

Perhaps the most squalid affair is the accusation that Veronica Lario, Berlusconi's estranged wife, has a longtime lover. According to the Berlusconi's daily rag, Libero, Veronica is sentimentally attached to her bodyguard, Alberto Orlandi. The revelation was made by Daniela Santanché, the outspoken co-owner of Briatore's discotheque il Billionario and former parliamentarian. She is now head of a fascist chic racist political party after breaking up with Allianza Nazionale, then La Destra.

According to Santanché, Silvio is a magnanimous saint who has supported his wife's fling for a long time and arranged a pact with her that each had a separate sentimental life. We are therefore asked to believe that poor Silvio seeks solace in teenagers because of his wife's lust for a bodyguard.

As of this morning, Alberto Orlandi has not released a statement but persons close to him refer that he is understandably outraged. Veronica Lario has not replied. Libero was the same daily that published nude photos of her shortly after she announced her divorce.

In the meantime in Sicily there is an outright political revolt against Berlusconi and his allies by the Autonomist Governor Lombardo. Palermo is totally submerged in garbage, causing a popular revolt. Naples, too, is once again submerged in trash.

Anonymous sources near the Council President insinuate that there is a Democrat conspiracy behind all this. In 1994 Berlusconi received a notice to appear before court during a G8 summit on international crime. Clinton was present. Today, there's an upcoming G8 summit and, lo, a Democrat is once again in power. Connect the dots. So, folks, if Italy is submerged in trash on all fronts, blame it on Obama. Not only is he suntanned and handsome, he's the ringleader of an international conspiracy to out Berlusconi. (Unfortunately, I'm not joking.)

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:25:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that this Alberto Orlandi is a socialist, too. Evil, evil, evil.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:47:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again diary-length... diary!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:30:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Editorial this morning:

Times || The Clown's Mask Slips

The most distasteful aspect of Silvio Berlusconi's behaviour is not that he is a chauvinist buffoon. Nor is it that he cavorts with women more than 50 years younger than himself, abusing his position to offer them jobs as models, personal assistants or even, absurdly, candidates for the European Parliament. What is most shocking is the utter contempt with which he treats the Italian public.

The ageing Lothario may find it amusing, or even perhaps daring, to act the playboy, boasting of his conquests, humiliating his wife and making comments that to many women are grotesquely inappropriate. He is not the first or the only one whose undignified behaviour is inappropriate to his office. But when legitimate questions are asked about relationships that touch on the scandalous and newspapers challenge him to explain associations that, at best, are puzzling, the clown's mask slips. He threatens those newspapers and televisions stations that he controls, invokes the law to protect his "privacy", issues evasive and contradictory statements and then melodramatically promises to resign if he is caught lying.

At press, the authors were not privy to the latest trash from Silvio's fascist chic lap dancer Daniela Santanché.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:58:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, whilst I don't doubt the Times sincerity, a recognition that the UK libel laws are the most restrictive in europe when it comes to fair comment  might be appreciated as a start to a campaign against them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:29:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The nameless author (this is an editorial) should get a virtual journalism gold medal for the title. Too many foreigners who know Bs antics take him for an unserious (and thus harmless) clown.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Americas | French plane lost over Atlantic
An Air France plane carrying at least 228 people from Brazil has disappeared from radar screens over the Atlantic.

Paris Charles de Gaulle airport said contact was lost with the flight from Rio de Janeiro at 0600 GMT. Brazil's air force confirmed the disappearance.

An airport official told AFP the Airbus 330 had been expected to arrive in Paris at 1110 local time (0910 GMT).

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:20:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:17:10 AM EST
EurActiv.com - German Turks to vote SPD in EU poll despite local row | EU - European Information on EU Elections 09
A few days ahead of the EU elections, Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens seem to be well positioned to attract the vote of the country's large ethnic Turkish electorate. But the recent resignation of two popular ethnic Turkish politicians may have an impact on how they vote in the German general elections in September, EurActiv Turkey reports.

On 4 May, SPD Berlin Deputy Secretary Canan Bayram  resigned from her post and left the party only to join the Greens a few days later, causing a public stir in the Turkish community.

Explaining her move, Bayram said the SPD was not pushing hard enough for policies which would ensure equal opportunities. "There are not enough women in top management and I was not taken seriously. Besides, the party does not pay enough attention to gender equality legislation," she said.

Before the storm had settled, another Berlin-based politician of Turkish descent quit the Greens to join the SPD. Bilkay Öney resigned from her party on 14 May and switched to SDP the next day.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ummm, with a symmetrical exhange of ethnic Turks between the Berlin Greens and SPD, why exactly would voters abandon one party in one direction?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:32:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Assume there is a single probability (per voter, independent of the party) that voters will follow a defecting leader. Then when there is a symmetric exchange the party with the largest number of voters loses and the party with the smaller following gains.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:35:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In this case, the voter group that is considered is ethnic Turks in Berlin -- and I am not sure the SPD exceeds the Greens that much there (if at all). Nanne?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:37:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greens have very good ties with the Turkish community in Berlin, that is for sure. Germany-wide, though, the Turks prefer the SPD (56% to 23% for the Greens).
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:35:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catholic Polish voter appeal - European Elections : europa, europe | euronews | video report

The high priests of Poland are urging the faithful to vote in the European parliamentary election for persons who "fully represent the point of view of the Catholic Church". No party is cited, but, logically, this tends to favour the conservative right. Total voter turnout is predicted to be as low as 13 percent, which would be a record.

A senior Civic Platform member, Danuta Hübner, whose party is leading in opinion surveys, says the electorate is hard to convince: "The challenge for us, for all the candidates is not only to make people vote for us, but to make people indeed just go to the polls. And here they don't feel that they can have impact on what European Union or European Parliament decides for them."

The ruling pro-EU Civic Platform has a 45 percent rating, the opposition Law and Justice conservatives 25 percent. Hubner notes that a lot of eurosceptics and anti-European MEPs have come from Poland, and hopes the people who chose them will vote differently in these elections.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The classic Central European Catholic-conservative vs. liberal matchup, going on for 150 years (at least).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:33:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe's desperate bid to bring out voters

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - European leaders on Sunday stepped up a desperate battle to persuade people to vote for the EU parliament this week, but the campaign has opened up new political divisions across the continent.

With polls indicating a record low turnout for the June 4-7 election, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint plea to voters, saying a strong parliament was essential to confront the economic crisis.

The two leaders said they want "a strong Europe that protects" its people and called for "all Europeans to vote" in the statement, published by the Journal du Dimanche newspaper in France and Die Welt am Sonntag in Germany.

A "strong Europe does not necessarily mean more powers for the European Union, even more European legislation or even more financial means," said Merkel and Sarkozy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:17:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Instead of pleas, why about not using the EU Council and the EPP to castrate the EP?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:35:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - Home
National Coalition Party Chairman, Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen, has told fellow party member and European Parliament candidate Kai Pöntinen to stop running an election advertisement that lends itself to accusations of racism.
      In the ad, which was placed on the front page of Helsingin Sanomat on Friday, Pöntinen calls for a "stop to welfare bum immigrants". Katainen said that the advertisement is to be dropped because it can be misconstrued.
"I didn't like the ad, because it gives the wrong impression of Pöntinen's thinking. I have asked Pöntinen to stop using the advertisement", Katainen said on the morning.
      Katainen emphasised that Finland will need more immigrants in the future, as the members of the postwar baby boom generation retire. However, he added that open and critical debate is also needed on the immigration question.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:28:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]

"I didn't like the ad, because it gives the wrong impression of Pöntinen's thinking."

Naah. Katainen doesn't like the ad because it gives the right impression of Pöntinen's thinking, obviously. Pöntinen's hoping to steal some votes from the Perussuomalaiset now that their so-called immigration critic Jussi Halla-aho is not running after all. He might just do that, but then at the same time Kokoomus would lose a whole bunch of votes from decent people.

You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--
by tzt (tzt) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 03:21:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I noticed that example of spinspeak. If Pöntinen is giving the wrong impression of his thinking there, then he's really giving the wrong impression, if you see what I mean.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 03:52:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: Europeans to elect parliament in lengthy, complex process

Like so much else in the European Union, going to the polls to choose an EU Parliament is a complicated compromise. Actually, EU law says that voting procedures for the European Parliament must be the same in all member countries. But that is still not the case, 30 years after the first directly elected parliament.

Each EU country continues to exercise its own voting procedures and has its own nominating process for choosing candidates. The only common aspect they share is proportional representation, which is mandatory in all member states.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: BNP leader 'uses black teenager's murder for votes'

The British National Party leader, Nick Griffin, was last night accused of "sickening" exploitation of the memory of a murdered black teenager, Anthony Walker, who was killed in a Liverpool park.

Mr Griffin was accused of besmirching Walker's memory to stoke up votes ahead of the European elections this week. In a broadcast posted on YouTube, he stands at the spot where the 18-year-old was murdered in July 2005, and says the killing has been labelled as racially motivated but that "this is not the case".

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:39:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having girls makes fathers more leftwing

According to new research, however, daughters have an even more profound effect on their daddies: fathers, say Professor Andrew Oswald, from Warwick University, and Dr Nattavudh Powdthavee, of York University, will shift their political allegiance for their daughters. Using research from the British Household Panel Survey, the two economists found that the more daughters there are in a household, the more likely their father is to vote Labour or Liberal Democrat.

In an unpublished article that has been submitted to an economics journal, the pair state: "This paper provides evidence that daughters make people more leftwing, while having sons, by contrast, makes them more rightwing." The academics go on to speculate that leftwing families become so through a predominance of females down successive generations, as anecdotally evidenced by Tony Booth and his many daughters, or the late John Smith and his three ....

The researchers have been accused of propagating gender stereotypes and of perpetuating the idea that women go in for softer politics than men. But their work mirrors recent findings by American researchers, who looked at the voting records of US congressmen before and after having children. In a joint paper, sociologist Rebecca Warner from Oregon State University and the economist Ebonya Washington from Yale University found that support for policies designed to address gender equity is greater among parents with daughters. The result, they say, is particularly strong for fathers.

by das monde on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:35:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The researchers have been accused of propagating gender stereotypes and of perpetuating the idea that women go in for softer politics than men.

"Softer"? What about "saner"?

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

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:39:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:17:43 AM EST
BBC NEWS | Business | GM bosses discuss bankruptcy plan

Senior executives at General Motors are meeting to discuss proceedings for a widely expected filing for bankruptcy protection.

They are likely to firm up the details of how to completely restructure what was once the world's largest car company, under judicial supervision.

GM's sales have been hit hard by the financial crisis and the firm has received $20bn (£12bn) in state aid.

President Barack Obama will give full details of the restructuring on Monday.

The Obama administration has given GM a 1 June deadline to submit a viable revival plan or file for bankruptcy.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by GM would rank as the third largest bankruptcy in US history following Lehman Brothers' collapse and the failure of telecoms giant WorldCom.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:18:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
General Motors files for bankruptcy protection

WASHINGTON - General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday as part of the Obama administration's plan to shrink the automaker to a sustainable size and give a majority ownership stake to the federal government.

GM's bankruptcy filing is the fourth-largest in U.S. history and the largest for an industrial company. The company said it has $172.81 billion in debt and $82.29 billion in assets.

As part of its restructuring, GM w ill permanently close nine more plants and idle three others to trim production and labor costs under bankruptcy protection.

Major shareholders: US Government: 60%; Canada: 12%; UAW: 17.5; Bondholders: 10%.

The US has it's first nationalized automaker.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...can we leave the Volkswagen Law alone already?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:45:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Telegraph: Bond vigilantes set for rebellion against the West's wasteful ways

Ordinarily, an economic slowdown of this magnitude would bolster bonds - especially the market for Western government debt, which investors traditionally view as a "safe haven". But, despite the vicious downturn, the price of long-term US government bonds has been falling since the start of 2009, pushing up yields.

The reason, as in the UK, is that the vast scale of the American government's indebtedness, has made investors less willing to fund US state spending by buying conventional (un-indexed) Treasury bonds.

Last week these fears came to a head, with the markets demanding a 3.75pc yield on 10-year Treasury notes, a six-month high and up from just 3.19pc the previous week. As a result, 30-year wholesale mortgage rates surged from below 4pc to 4.74pc - again, in a single week - piling the pressure on cash-strapped households, many of whom are living in fear of their jobs.
by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:25:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Timesonline:Gazumping is back as house prices rise and buyers fight over fewer properties

House prices rose by 1.2 per cent during April and May, according to Nationwide Building Society. It said that the increase was because of huge demand from buyers and a shortage of properties to choose from.

Estate agents have reported that good-quality homes are in such short supply that gazumping -- when a buyer makes a higher offer than one already accepted by the seller -- is making a comeback in some areas.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:56:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent:One upbeat housing survey is not a recovery

Our troubles are over - a house price survey from Nationwide has found that property prices have gone up by 1.2 per cent in a month, a rise in two of the last three months. Suddenly, the lender says, the annual rate of decline as improved dramatically from -15 per cent to -11.3 per cent, so that the average home is worth over £2,000 more than it was four weeks ago. The talk is now of having found the bottom of the housing slump.

Well, that wasn't too bad after all. Roll on a soaring market and economic prosperity. Where's that credit card application gone?

But hang on, one stat does not a recovery make, especially in this industry, and a totally different report created from totally different numbers due out tomorrow is expected to show no change at all. So why the wildly varying results?

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the south east of the UK still has a chronic shortage of housing, so prices will always be subject to pressure.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 05:11:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the crisis is over... move on...


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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:55:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver: EU plans to juggle regional aid rules for cash-strapped member states

EUOBSERVER/BRUSSELS - The European Commission is next week set juggle with EU regional aid rules allowing member states to claim full reimbursement for projects during 2009 and 2010, with plans to claim the money back later.

The reimbursement plans for projects aimed at boosting employment and regional development , as well as infrastructure projects, is likely to be capped at €14 billion on a 'first come, first served' basis

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 01:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK: Canary in the coalmine or light at the end of the tunnel? - Credit Writedowns
The solvency canard, which seems to underlie most of the phobia surrounding the UK's finance, is based on flawed reasoning. Credit or fiat money systems cannot be analyzed as if they were commodity money systems, and conventional economics still does not get that. In fact, assumption of a gold standard lurks behind many parts of contemporary mainstream economics, including the view that governments are somehow budget constrained, as illustrated by the commentary underlying the recent UK budget. Problems would only arise if a large portion of the UK's debt was foreign currency denominated, as was the case for the Asian NIEs in the 1997/98 financial crisis.

For all of the bloviating from the press on this issue, sterling actually closed the week up against the dollar post the budget and is now some 10% above its crisis lows, when the fashionable talk was all about "Reykjavik on the Thames". In a country with a currency that is not convertible upon demand into anything other than itself (no gold "backing", no fixed exchange rate), the government can never run out of money to spend, nor does it need to acquire money from the private sector in order to spend.

This does not mean the government doesn't face the risk of inflation, currency depreciation, or capital flight as a result of shifting private sector portfolio preferences, but the budget constraint on the government, the monopoly supplier of currency, may be different than we have been taught from classical economics, which is largely predicated on the notion of a now non-existent gold standard.

The UK Treasury cuts you a benefits cheque, your cheque account gets credited, and then some reserves get moved around on the Bank of England's balance sheet and on bank balance sheets to enable the central bank (in this case, the Bank of England) to hit its interest rate target. If anything, some inflation would probably be a good thing right now, given the prevailing high levels of private sector debt and the deflationary risk that PRIVATE debt represents because of the natural constraints against income and assets which operate in the absence of the ability to tax and create currency.

Which again brings us back to the government's fiscal spending: The more fiscal deficit spending is trained on building out infrastructure or encouraging new investment growth in leading industries (say by procuring solar panels for federal buildings to help that industry reach economies of scale and lower unit costs to be more competitive with oil based technologies, or say by getting government out of the way on stem cell research), the less we have to worry about a) a new growth model that replaces the UK/US consumer debt driven model, and b) nominal income or wealth being created with no real output or productive capital stock being created.

In this way, government as employer of last resort programs is preferable to more transfer programs to keep households limping along. In fact, an employed labor buffer stock is a more effective price anchor than today's unemployed buffer stock, because all studies show business prefer to hire people already working rather than the unemployed.

The notion of government as employer of last resort is a very interesting fiscal policy option that has been hinted at tentatively by the Labour government, but generally with great reluctance, because of the fear that it may result in a larger budget deficit. But the real key toward a substantial UK recovery (as is the case in the US) is not restrained fiscal activism, but substantially more government spending to offset the implosion of private sector demand.

Once the government honestly addresses the solvency issue of a government spending and borrowing in its own currency, there is nothing that could in theory prevent the UK Government from offering a job to anyone who applies, at a fixed rate of pay, and let the deficit float. This would result in full employment, by definition. It would also eliminate the need for such legislation as unemployment compensation and a minimum wage.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:43:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Debt is okay if it finances investment rather than consumption. Whoddathunk?

More interestingly, this article suggests that the public sector is in a better position to do investment than the private sector, a rather impolitic thing to say...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:58:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WRAPUP 1-GM trundles toward bankruptcy, but questions remain | Industries | Consumer Goods & Retail | Reuters
GM bondholders approve debt-for-equity exchange


Al Koch, a managing director at advisory firm AlixPartners LLP, will be appointed Chief Restructuring Officer at GM, a source familiar with the matter said.

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to outline GM's next steps on Monday as the federal government prepares to take a more than 70 percent stake in the company in exchange for $60 billion in financing. Nearly half of that money has already been extended this year in emergency aid.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 09:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the federal government prepares to take a more than 70 percent stake

Apparently, that federation gained 13 more states overnight... somebody tell Canada they have been invaded.

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

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:48:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Canadian State governments haven't decided yet whether they'll take debt of equity in the restructured company.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, the "more than 70 percent" they characterise as US federal consists of a 60% US and a 12% Canadian part.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:31:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:18:15 AM EST
Independent: In Pakistan, an exodus that is beyond biblical

The language was already biblical; now the scale of what is happening matches it. The exodus of people forced from their homes in Pakistan's Swat Valley and elsewhere in the country's north-west may be as high as 2.4 million, aid officials say. Around the world, only a handful of war-spoiled countries - Sudan, Iraq, Colombia - have larger numbers of internal refugees. The speed of the displacement at its height - up to 85,000 people a day - was matched only during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. This is now one of the biggest sudden refugee crises the world has ever seen.

Many refugees are being cared for by local people-some of whom face destitution as a result of their humbling generosity.

Among those facing possible destitution as a result of his kindness is Rizwan Ali, 59, who lives in a village in the Buner district - another of the areas from which the military has been involved in a major operation against militants. When he heard about the countless people from nearby villages being forced to flee, he sent a truck to collect them. Now he shares his home with 37 strangers.

Confronted with this massive influx, Mr Ali - not his real name - has already sold a portion of his land to meet the additional burden. He has watched as other villagers, taking people in, have been pushed to the brink of impoverishment. He says they now face having to ask their guests to leave - something he would be loathe to do.

"It would be easier to die than to ask displaced people to leave for the camps. It will be heartbreaking and will feel as though the earth has caved in on us," said Mr Ali

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:06:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Pakistan 'nearing Swat victory'

Pakistan's operation against Taliban rebels in the Swat valley region should be over in the next few days, the country's defence secretary has said.

Syed Athar Ali told a meeting of Asian nations in Singapore that only "5% to 10% of the job" remains.

But an army spokesman said it was not possible to predict when the military operation would be completed.

The Red Cross said it was "gravely concerned" by the humanitarian situation in Swat.

Meanwhile, 40 militants were killed in an attack on a Pakistani army base near the Afghan border, officials said.

Officials said four soldiers were also killed in an eight-hour gun battle at the camp in South Waziristan, a Taliban stronghold.

"Militants came in force and attacked a paramilitary camp and fighting lasted for eight hours," an intelligence official in the region told Reuters news agency.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:17:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Telegraph: Tiananmen remembered 20 years on

He woke up the next day in a Beijing hospital, both legs mangled and inoperable. But he was among the lucky ones - 11 fellow students were crushed to death in the tank attack on pro-democracy protestors retreating from Tiananmen Square in the early hours of June 4, 1989.

Nobody knows how many people were killed that night in the bloody crackdown by China's communist leaders, but most estimates put the massacre's death toll at around 3,000.
by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:10:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera: Israel 'loyalty law' rejected

An Israeli government committee has rejected a draft bill that would have required Israelis to take an oath of loyalty.

The legislation committee on Sunday scrapped the bill, which had been tabled by the Yisrael Beitenu party, led by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister.

Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera's Jerusalem correspondent, said the bill's rejection showed the government as a whole had not been behind the proposal.

"This committee within the Knesset [Israeli parliament] is responsible for examining draft laws that are being proposed, and they basically threw it out," she said.

"It was very clear that the Labor party, another important member of the coalition, wasn't having anything to do with this bill."

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | World | Africa | UN team meets Chad child soldiers

The UN is working to release more than 80 child soldiers taken prisoner by the Chad army during fighting with rebels.

The children were seized from the rebel Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) group, the UN children's fund (Unicef) says.

The UFR mounted a failed attack in the east of Chad early in May which led to troops capturing many prisoners.

On Wednesday, Unicef staff finally began interviewing the children to establish their age and identity. Some are believed to be as young as 13.

It is hoped they will all be released to a demobilisation centre in N'Djamena as soon as possible.

The issue has highlighted by the British actor Ralph Fiennes, who has just concluded a visit to Chad as a Unicef goodwill ambassador.

More than 200 prisoners were taken at the battle of Am Dam in May, where the UFR rebels suffered a big defeat which forced them to retreat completely.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:17:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
allAfrica.com: Burundi: Top UN Official Appeals for Help in Reintegrating Former Child Soldiers

The Secretary-General's Special Representative on children and armed conflict has called for urgent support of hundreds of former child soldiers recently released from a demobilization centre in Burundi and reunited with their families.

The last 340 former child soldiers, formerly associated with the Forces Nationales pour la Liberation (FNL) rebel militia, who have left the Gitega Demobilization Centre, must receive long-term care to ensure a lasting reintegration into their communities, Radhika Coomaraswamy said in a press release issued yesterday.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Results Are In: Americans Are Now More Closely Aligned With Progressive Ideas Than at Any Time in Memory | Politics | AlterNet

On issue after substantive issue, significant majorities of Americans favor progressive solutions to the nation's problems and reject the right's worldview. That's true whether the issue at hand is taxes, war and peace, the role of government in the economy, health care, and on and on.  

Yet the idea that America is a "center-right" nation persists; Republican and conservative activists repeat the assertion ad nauseum -- as it's in their interest to do -- and most of the political press corps swallows it whole.

The idea is like a zombie -- you can bludgeon it, burn it or get Dick Cheney to shoot it in the face, but it keeps coming -- it will not die.

The persistence of the center-right narrative, even in the face of piles of evidence suggesting it's little more than a myth, has very real consequences on our political discourse.


This week, a new report released by the Campaign for America's Future and the media watchdog group MediaMatters attempts to finally bury the idea that the U.S. leans rightward. It takes a comprehensive look at the political landscape in which we live and a look forward at America's shifting demographic profile -- all of which reveal a citizenry that is anything but center-right and will only continue to trend in a more progressive direction, leaving modern conservatism increasingly isolated in its ideas.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:19:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
which is, of course, why the trad med feature republicans as much as they did during the Bush regime. The "liberal media" are starkly revealed as part of the republican propaganda machine.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 05:14:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
COLOMBIA: Moving Towards a Paramilitary State?
Analysis by Javier Darío Restrepo

BOGOTA, May 29 (IPS) - Visibly indignant, former Colombian president César Gaviria (1990-1994) denounced this week what he called an "appalling" article in a draft political reform law currently under debate in Congress.

He was referring to "article four, which allows paramilitary chiefs to run for popularly elected posts, to enter into contracts with the state, and to become public employees. They are trying to turn what was knocked down by the Constitutional Court and the Justice and Peace Law into something that is consecrated by the constitution," said Gaviria, the head of the opposition Liberal Party.

Although article four ended up being removed from the draft political reform law, partly due to the public outcry, the controversy to which it gave rise revived the uneasy sensation that the construction of a paramilitary state in Colombia has been moving forward, step by step.

The article in question was not the first time that Colombia's far-right paramilitary groups have figured in a privileged position in initiatives put forward by the Colombian government.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:47:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do they mean "moving toward?"
by paving on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 07:43:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Taguba Denies Telegraph 'Rape Photos' Story  From HufPo

White House reporters received an unusual email on Saturday, with a subject line stating, "Important Please Read: From White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs."

In the email body, Gibbs wrote:

    A number of you have asked about or reported on a recent article in the Telegraph that inaccurately described photos which are the subject of an ongoing lawsuit. Both the Department of Defense and the White House have said the article was wrong, and now the individual who was purported to be the source of the article has said it's inaccurate. Given that this false report has been repeated around the world, and given the impact these negative reports have on our troops, I felt it was important for you to see this correction.

Gibbs included the full text of a story by Salon.com's Mark Benjamin, which features retired Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba denying reports that he has seen the photos of prisoner abuse that the Obama administration is trying to keep secret.

The Telegraph reported on Friday:

    Maj Gen Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President's decision, adding: "These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.

    "I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan.

But Taguba told Salon that his quotes were taken out of context, and were not about the photos that Obama does not want released.

    "The photographs in that lawsuit, I have not seen," Taguba told Salon Friday night. The actual quote in the Telegraph was accurate, Taguba said -- but he was referring to the hundreds of images he reviewed as an investigator of the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq -- not the photos of abuse that Obama is seeking to suppress.

Are they glad Taguba retired?  No spokesman jobs for him!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so Obama is technically correct, speaking about a small subset of pictures, but Taguba's earlier quote is also correct. But it will look like he is backpedalling.

It's a shame to see the Obama administration engaging in that kind of misdirection, especially on such a topic.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:01:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is exactly how it seems to me.  A regrettable moment of truth in which information is revealed that is far more damaging that that which he is attempting to protect.  But we have seen that it often doesn't take much to throw off the MSM.  Have to wait and see how long are the legs of this story.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 02:43:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
9/11 rears it's ugly head again: nanothermite!

Absolutely "Mission Accomplished" for the neocons if they don't get caught.  But those damn scientists!

Note: Watch the Youtube.  Couldn't embed here.  Sorry.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 08:16:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:18:56 AM EST
Farms downsize with miniature cows

Tekamah, Neb. -- Walking through their lowing herd of several hundred cattle, Ali and Kenny Petersen were like two Gullivers on a Lilliputian roundup.  The half-sized cows barely reached Kenny's waist. The ranch's border collie stared eye-to-eye with wandering calves.


Their miniature Herefords consume about half that of a full-sized cow yet produce 50% to 75% of the rib-eyes and fillets, according to researchers and budget-conscious farmers.

"We get more sirloin and less soup bone," Ali said. "People used to look at them and laugh. Now, they want to own them."

In the last few years, ranchers across the country have been snapping up mini Hereford and Angus calves that fit in a person's lap. Farmers who raise mini Jerseys brag how each animal provides 2 to 3 gallons of milk a day, though they complain about having to crouch down on their knees to reach the udders.


Minicows are not genetically engineered to be tiny, and they're not dwarfs. They are drawn from original breeds brought to the U.S. from Europe in the 1800s that were smaller than today's bovine giants, said Ron Lemenager, professor of animal science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. The Petersens' mini Herefords, with their white faces and rounded auburn-hued bodies, weigh in at a dainty 500 to 700 pounds, compared with 1,300 pounds or more for their heftier brethren.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:09:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Earth's protective shield is stealing our air - space - 30 May 2009 - New Scientist

AS WELL as safeguarding our atmosphere, the Earth's protective shield may be stealing some of it on the sly.

The region in space that contains the Earth's magnetic field, known as the magnetosphere, protects us from the charged particles that come streaming from the sun. By acting as a barrier to this solar wind, it is also thought to prevent these particles transferring enough of their energy to gas molecules in the atmosphere for these molecules to escape the Earth's gravitational pull.

This may be only half the story, though. At the poles, the magnetosphere might be aiding loss of the atmosphere, according to Stas Barabash of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna, who is principal investigator for the European Space Agency's Venus Express mission. Barabash bases his suggestion on measurements of the flow of ions escaping from Venus, Mars and Earth. It is thought that Venus has never had a magnetosphere, whereas Mars did until its magnetic dynamo wound down 3.5 billion years ago.

Taking into account the different masses of the three planets, their atmospheric make-up and their distance from the sun, Barabash compared the rate of loss of oxygen ions from each one. He focused on oxygen ions because these are the most abundant ions in the ionospheres of all three planets. He found that Earth lost oxygen around three times as fast as the other planets.


by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:28:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkey blamed for looming crop 'disaster' in Iraq
Iraq faces an agricultural "disaster" this summer if Turkey continues to retain waters from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which have sustained Iraqi agriculture for millennia, experts say.

The controversy over the sharing of the mighty rivers at the root of Iraq's ancient name of Mesopotamia -- meaning "between the rivers" in Greek -- is almost as old as the country itself.

But for Baghdad, the current shortage demands an urgent response from Turkey.

The reserves of all Iraqi dams at the beginning of May totalled 11 billion cubic metres (388 billion cubic feet) of water, compared to over 40 billion three years ago, although rain has not been below normal levels this winter.

The Euphrates is the most worrying situation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alcohol makes autos more climate-friendly - tech - 30 May 2009 - New Scientist

DRIVING and alcohol don't usually mix, but giving a petrol engine an occasional slug of the hard stuff could make it as fuel-efficient as a petrol-electric hybrid.

So says the Ford Motor Company, which on 19 May revealed test results on a novel ethanol-assisted engine. Called a direct-injection ethanol engine, the unit runs primarily on petrol. When it needs to deliver maximum power - to climb a hill or overtake, for example - the engine management computer adds a little ethanol to the fuel injected into the combustion chambers.

This arrangement allows the engine to operate at a much higher compression ratio - a measure of the amount by which the fuel-air mixture is compressed before being ignited - than normal. As a result, an average car engine can be "downsized" to one that should have around 23 per cent better fuel efficiency, Ford says.

Normally, the downside of a high compression ratio is that it encourages premature ignition or "knocking", which drastically cuts down the power output. Adding ethanol to the fuel suppresses knocking.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:38:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Satellite Measurements Help Reveal Ozone Damage To Important Crops
The U.S. soybean crop is suffering nearly $2 billion in damage a year due to rising surface ozone concentrations harming plants and reducing the crop's yield potential, a NASA-led study has concluded.

The study, presented at the American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly meeting, May 24 in Toronto, is based on five years of soybean yields, surface ozone, and satellite measurements of tropospheric ozone levels in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. It revealed summertime ozone concentrations consistently exceeded threshold levels at which crops are negatively affected.

The states, three of the biggest soybean producers in the U.S., account for a large chunk of the country's $27 billion annual soybean crop. The study estimates damage to the soybean crop - by a yield reduction of approximately 10 percent - of at least several hundred million in some years in those states alone, and possibly more than $2 billion nationwide.


The severe heat that descends on the farm country of the Midwest each summer has combined with manmade emissions to create increasingly higher levels of surface ozone over the past several decades.

As temperature and the likelihood of stagnant summertime air masses increase, chemical reactions involving nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide in the air - often the emissions from fossil-fuel burning - create widespread smog and its most prevalent component, surface ozone.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:38:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Global warming causes 300,000 deaths a year

Climate change is already responsible for 300,000 deaths a year and is affecting 300m people, according to the first comprehensive study of the human impact of global warming.

It projects that increasingly severe heatwaves, floods, storms and forest fires will be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year by 2030, making it the greatest humanitarian challenge the world faces.

Economic losses due to climate change today amount to more than $125bn a year -- more than all the present world aid. The report comes from former UN secretary general Kofi Annan's thinktank, the Global Humanitarian Forum. By 2030, the report says, climate change could cost $600bn a year.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:42:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wind farms are ugly and the require subsidies!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:03:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Best Practices or Worst Practices? | Meat & Poultry | 5 May 2009

Humans, hogs may eat their way to flu resistance

AMES, IOWA -- Iowa State University researchers are putting flu vaccines into the genetic makeup of corn, which may someday allow pigs and humans to get a flu vaccination simply by eating corn or corn products.

"We're trying to figure out which genes from the swine influenza virus to incorporate into corn so those genes, when expressed, would produce protein," said Hank Harris, professor in animal science and one of the researchers on the project. "When the pig consumes that corn, it would serve as a vaccine."

This collaborative effort project involves Mr. Harris and Brad Bosworth, an affiliate associate professor of animal science working with pigs, and Kan Wang, a professor in agronomy, who is developing the vaccine traits in the corn.

According to the researchers, the corn vaccine would also work in humans when they eat corn or even corn flakes, corn chips, tortillas or anything that contains corn, Mr. Harris said. The research is funded by a grant from Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute, and is their Biopharmaceuticals and Bioindustrials Research Initiative.

If the research goes well, the corn vaccine may be possible in five to seven years. In the meantime, the team is trying to expedite the process. "While we're waiting for Wang to produce the corn, we are starting initial experiments in mice to show that the vaccine might induce an immune response," Mr. Bosworth said.

ht cryptogon

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 09:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China, Japan on collision coure over rare-earth metals | The Australian
... Don Burbar, the chief executive of Avalon Rare Metals, said: "The crux of the matter is that there are now a lot of technologies that can't work without rare earths, and China is currently in effective control of the global supply. China has positioned itself to retain control, and meanwhile politicians around the world do not appreciate how the supply side of green technology works." <...>

rare-earth specialists at two of Japan's largest trading houses said that loopholes and smuggling substantially raise the quantities of rare metals that enter Japan each year. Kazunori Fukuda, deputy director of the non-ferrous metals division at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said: "If the Chinese export quota limits were the reality of what comes into Japan each year, we would be even more worried than we already are. All green technology depends on rare-earth metals and all global trade in rare earth depends on China." <...>

Ginya Adachi, from the Japanese Rare Earth Association, said that China's dominance of rare earths would serve the developed world with a rude shock about global trade: Japan, America and Europe must now realise that some markets are not real, but political. But he added: "The Chinese Government wants full control but it doesn't have it. It is not in control of the rare-earths market in the same way that OPEC is in control of oil. Local miners will sell even if the government tries to control the price or the quotas."

Cross-posted under How important is neodymium?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 10:54:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Terence Blacker, Commentators - The Independent
I don't like the sound of this noise ruling

A magistrate's court in Didcot has come up with a ruling which might cause some alarm in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The noise made by a 40ft domestic wind turbine was so irritating, the court ruled, that the council had been quite right to require its owner to switch it off.

Although the machine's decibel level did not break the terms of the planning application, the nature of the noise it made contributed a distressing nuisance to neighbours. "Each case is examined by their independent circumstances," said the head of the council's environmental protection team.

Sadly, this sensible approach would not have been acceptable had the turbines been 400ft high rather than 40. Controversial government guidelines about turbine noise, which were established in 1997, preclude objections on an individual basis. If a small domestic appliance keeps you awake, you have recourse in law; if a larger, noisier one has the same effect, you just have to put up with it.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 08:26:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, this sensible approach would not have been acceptable had the turbines been 400ft high rather than 40.

What an idiot! Suggesting that a 400ft turbine makes ten times more noise... of the same kind... and that off in a field, compared to a domestic turbine in the middle of a residential area...

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

by DoDo on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:51:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Society, Culture, History, Information 

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:19:21 AM EST
BBC NEWS | UK | Eton swine flu outbreak spreads

Three further Eton College pupils have been diagnosed with swine flu, taking the total number of cases at the public school to four.

More suspected cases at the Berkshire school are being investigated after a pupil tested positive there last week.

Health chiefs confirmed there were another 17 cases of the virus across the UK, bringing the total to 246.

The new cases included one patient from Wales, which is believed to be the first swine flu case in the country.

They also include two cases in Scotland.

I find it ironic that Eton has to close for swine flu.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They must have been uniquely susceptible

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 05:16:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peers set to challenge suicide law - Yahoo! News UK

Senior members of the House of Lords are to attempt to lift the threat of prosecution hanging over those helping the terminally ill travel outside the UK for assisted suicide. Skip related content

More Britons are choosing to travel abroad to end their lives at clinics such as Dignitas in Switzerland.

Peers led by former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer and Baroness Jay, former leader of the House of Lords, are to table an amendment this week to the Coroners and Justice Bill to try and lift the threat of prosecution currently faced by those helping somebody commit assisted suicide overseas.

An estimated 800 Britons are now members of the Dignitas clinic, support group Dignity in Dying said.

And 34 people have been given the "green light" by the clinic allowing them to proceed with their assisted suicides.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 12:19:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
George Tiller shot to death at Wichita church | News Updates | Wichita Eagle

WICHITA - George Tiller, the Wichita doctor who became a national lightning rod in the debate over abortion, was shot to death this morning as he walked into church services.

Tiller was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation. Witnesses and a police source confirmed Tiller was the victim.

No information has been released about whether a suspect is in custody.

Homicide detectives and Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston have arrived at the church.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 01:05:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Report: George Tiller Shot To Death - Kansas City News Story - KMBC Kansas City
Tiller was pronounced dead when emergency crews arrived, the station reported.

Police were looking for a blue Ford Taurus with a K-State vanity plate, license number 225 BAB. Police described him as a white male in his 50's or 60's, 6'1," 220 lbs, wearing a white shirt and dark pants.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 01:10:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And in the killer's car, what did they find?  A note with the phone number to Operation Rescue.

Which should shock no one.  These groups are, again, nothing but al-Qaeda with lighter skin.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 09:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tiller Abortion Worker Honored at White House by Obama - Christian Newswire

Yet another connection between Pres. Obama and late-term abortionist George Tiller Contact: Troy Newman, President, 316-841-1700; Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor, 316-516-3034; both with Operation Rescue, info@operationrescue.org   WASHINGTON, May 26 Christian Newswire -- Gold Star Mother Betty Pulliam, who lost a son in Viet Nam, now works to take the lives of other women's sons and daughters at George Tiller late-term abortion mill in Wichita, Kansas. Yesterday, she breakfasted with President Obama and was honored in our nation's capital as part of a Memorial Day observance.

This is yet another connection between Obama and late-term abortionist George Tiller. Obama's new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, had close connections with Tiller. Pulliam was among those who were honored by Sebelius at a party held in Tiller's honor at the Kansas governor's mansion.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 01:11:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Domestic terrorism from the American Taliban.  Period.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 07:37:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but will that notion finally enter the skull of the pundit class?? Will the Democrats put it on the public scene?

This should be used as an opportunity to change the debate on both terrorism and the debate on abortion.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:07:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably not.  I'm doing my best, though.  Wrote an LTE to the WaPo last night calling the press a bunch of cowards and asking if it was only terrorism when brown people did it.

Not optimistic about it being published.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:22:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you diary your LTE anywhere?

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't yet.  It has to be exclusive to the paper or they won't publish it, so I'm giving it a few days.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:33:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the Christian Right immediately came out to denounce...Tiller as a murderer.

This is why many people were concerned about the extremist language being pushed at McCain and Palin rallies last year.  Pump enough hate into enough people's heads, and eventually someone's going to get killed.

Oh, who am I kidding?  "Nobody could've predicted...."

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 07:14:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Holder is dispatching the US Marshalls:

"The murder of Doctor George Tiller is an abhorrent act of violence, and his family is in our thoughts and prayers at this tragic moment. Federal law enforcement is coordinating with local law enforcement officials in Kansas on the investigation of this crime, and I have directed the United States Marshals Service to offer protection to other appropriate people and facilities around the nation. The Department of Justice will work to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice. As a precautionary measure, we will also take appropriate steps to help prevent any related acts of violence from occurring."

This is what I want.  Don't leave it to these idiot shitkickers and cowfuckers in Kansas.  Half of them are probably members of the militias.  Get the fucking FBI and the Marshalls involved, and smash these little bastards.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 10:19:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But whilst hate mongers like Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Rielly, heck all of Fox continue to broadcast and be applauded by the GOP leadership who then re-broadcast it across the rest of the GOP-loving media, there will be a constant supply of people tipping over the edge.

The trad med have to wind back their love affair with the minority hate group the GOP is descending into. But they won't because their owners are a part of the GOP.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:38:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The correct line -- domestic terrorism -- will undoubtedly get more play this time, thanks to the MSNBC crowd, and I can imagine a few of their friends -- Howard Fineman, Chris Cillizza, and a few others -- latching on to it, but you won't see it reported as domestic terrorism by Faux or CNN, since ironically the only semi-liberal figure at CNN is Ted Turner.

By the way, on a (sadly) not-wholly-unrelated topic, did you catch Ted Olson and David Boies -- the Bush and Gore lawyers in 2000, respectively -- announcing their challenge to Prop 8 in the federal courts on the 14th Amendment?  I'm not sure how I feel about their chances yet, but I've spoken to some lawyer friends, and the responses have been universal -- that Olson and Boies are the best of the best on Supremos cases, that they're making the right constitutional case, and that they're likely to win with Kennedy as the swing vote.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:31:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was awarethey wer working together, dKos had a couple of features on it, which the FPs labelled "interesting & useful".

Personally I worry this enters the arena of activist judges (nb AJs are only bad when they're pro-constitution) which sours the uncommitted voter. The time for this activity was before the referendum made it to the ballot paper. Now that the will of the people, however unpleasant, has been expressed, the legal and the political merge too messily for a judgement to shut the LDS Right up. Wheras a ballot defeat would make it go away.

The exisiting marriages are safe, tactically they should go for a ballot.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:22:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd prefer same-sex marriage come about through the legislative process, but as you know I've long thought it would arrive with a Supreme Court case.  It is, after all, the Supreme Court's job to protect individual rights if the legislative process fails.  I don't think it's any more activist than Brown v Board, a decision the public accepted and today takes as a good thing.

And, really, the Supremos have been dodging it for too long.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:48:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Supreme Court don't seem to be about preserving the Constition anymore, that's about as quaint as the Geneva convention. I've seen little of Bill of Rights lately, the USSC seem more about imposing the conservative hegemony

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:26:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recent cases of abortion-related violence

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:09:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Statement from Kelli Conlin, President of NARAL Pro-Choice New York on Assassination of Dr. George Tiller

NARAL Pro-Choice New York is reeling from news of today's tragic assassination of Dr. George Tiller.

A dedicated health care provider who never wavered in his commitment to providing abortion services and other reproductive health care to women and their families - even after surviving previous acts of violence against him -- Dr. Tiller was slain for doing the work that we pledge to protect every day: ensuring the right and ability of women to make decisions that are best for themselves and their families.

President Obama has called on leaders of both sides of the debate on whether women should have the right to legal abortion to come together to find "common ground."

But it is cold-blooded, vicious actions like today's assassination that make it hard for those of us in the pro-choice community to find common ground with those on the other side. It is lawless, violent behavior like this that makes us fear for our lives and our families. When they sit down across from us, they have no reason to believe that we come to the table with violent intentions.  Today is a brutal reminder that we are not privileged to have the same sense of security.

We therefore call upon the leaders of the anti-abortion movement to go beyond condemning today's action to actually committing to control and measure their own irresponsible and incendiary rhetoric and actions.

When these anti-abortions leaders stalk us, harass us and label physicians "murderers," they fan the flames to create a setting where abhorrent acts such as today's can transpire.

Our heart and our compassion go out to Dr. Tiller, his family, friends and colleagues.  Our thoughts are also with all the other providers across this country who do their work in the face of violent opposition. We will continue to stand with them as they serve the women who need them every day.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Measured and correct. But the anti-abortionists will not be chastened by this, rather they will be emboldened, allowing its shadow to chill all other abortion providers into submision, irrespective of womens' rights.

But,just as we find with religionists everywhere, terrorism doesn't matter when it's women's rights that are the target. Obama would unravel his "centrist" coalition if he pushed this too hard, just like his soft pedalling on DADT.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:27:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Age: Wilde's love letters to 'Bosie' go online

OSCAR Wilde's clandestine relationship with the young Lord Alfred Douglas resulted in scandal and his eventual imprisonment. Now, the original letters laying bare the playwright's love for the young "Bosie" are to be made available to the public for the first time.

The handwritten intimate correspondence is among 600,000 pages of British literary manuscripts and original documentation being put online -- along with such items as early drafts of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, manuscripts by Robert Burns and Walter Scott and letters written by Charlotte Bronte.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 01:13:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:20:14 AM EST
Guardian: Gay mayor's illicit love shakes a Texas town

The small Texan city of San Angelo has been turned upside down by one of the most unusual sex scandals ever to make an impact on American political life.

Joseph Lown, the popular mayor, suddenly resigned last week after revealing he had fallen madly in love with an illegal immigrant. That was the first revelation; the second was that his new partner was another man.

Not surprisingly the news has become the talk of Texas. In the socially conservative and solidly Republican state, gay marriage and illegal immigration are probably the two hottest potatoes in town. Perhaps, then, it was no wonder that Lown announced the end of his career from Mexico, where he had fled to be with his new boyfriend and from where he could mourn the end of an otherwise successful political career.

by Sassafras on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:58:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Birdsong radio taken off the air

A digital radio station which became unexpectedly popular with listeners by playing just birdsong is to go off the air on Monday morning.

It is being replaced by an interactive radio station which will play a mix of indie, urban, rock and jazz music by unsigned artists.

The Birdsong channel had been broadcasting for almost 18 months.

It was aimed as a temporary filler after the DAB OneWord station closed, but attracted thousands of listeners.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 10:51:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the main underground carparks in downtown Helsinki plays birdcalls instead of music. The calls change each week and are accompanied by backlit panels near the lifts that show a picture of the week's bird and a paragraph of info about it.

The origins were in the punitive costs of mechanical rebroadcast rights for music. (even playschools have to pay). But now it has become a feature.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 04:02:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is very, very interesting as a media phenomenon.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 05:37:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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