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 - 9 January

by Fran Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 06:14:11 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1928 – Domenico Modugno, a twice Grammy Award-winning Italian singer, songwriter, actor, and later in life, a member of the Italian Parliament, was born. (d. 1994)

More here and video

 The European Salon is a daily selection of news items to which you are invited to contribute. Post links to news stories that interest you, or just your comments. Come in and join us!


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.
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in finance and the economy.
  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - is about humanity, society, culture, history, information...
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - this is the place for stories about people and off course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

    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 



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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 01:53:29 PM EST
EUobserver / EU commissioner hearings to go ahead without staff protests
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The hearings of the nominee EU commissioners by MEPs next week will go ahead without disruption after European Parliament chief Jerzy Buzek indicated to staff unions that the assembly would sign up to a European Commission court case against member states over their blocking of a standard pay rise for EU officials.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:28:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / EU asks Slovakia to explain explosives botch-up

"What we want to know from the Slovak authorities is what actually happened," said commission transport spokesman Fabio Pirotta on Friday (8 January).

Mr Pirotta said the EU executive was entitled to ask the questions as the flight with explosives onboard had taken place between two EU countries.

The bungled security exercise has resulted in the resignation of Slovakia's chief of border police, Tibor Mako, with the country's opposition parties also clamoring for the head of interior minister Robert Kalinak, currently standing steadfast.

Despite the resignation, Mr Kalinak insisted on Friday that the fiasco was the sole fault of a police dog-handler who forgot to remove one of two samples of explosives placed in a man's luggage as a test for sniffer dogs.

(Kaliňák should have been fired long ago for other issues.)

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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mr Kalinak insisted on Friday that the fiasco was the sole fault of a police dog-handler who forgot to remove one of two samples of explosives placed in a man's luggage as a test...

The reducto ad absurdum of that defense would be for the dog handler to say: "It is all the dog's fault!"

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 07:18:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'The police dog ate my security.'

Could work...

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 06:19:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / French law could see fines for burqas

The author of a new anti-burqa law in France has told the press he will propose €750 fines for women wearing the head-to-toe covering.

Jean-Francois Cope, the leader of France's ruling centre-right UMP party, gave advance notice of the bill in an interview with Le Figaro magazine out on Thursday (7 January).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:31:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the leader of France's ruling centre-right UMP party is Xavier Bertrand.

Jean-François Copé heads the UMP group in the National Assembly.

In other news, this is more attempting to grab the media cycle by UMPist pols, and more attempting to hold on to the Front National electorate that Sarko needs. Secondarily, it's Copé trying to be the one who grabs the media cycle and holds on to the FN electorate more than... Sarko.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 03:29:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Van Rompuy makes debut at Turkey-sceptic gathering

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Herman Van Rompuy on Thursday (7 January) delivered his first official speech as president of the EU council at a party gathering of Bavarian conservatives, just days after the group caused a stir in Turkey with a paper underlining its opposition to the country's membership of the EU.

Mr Van Rompuy explained his decision to attend the conclave of the Christian-Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, by saying that the EU "needs thriving national democracies."

"Delivering a speech at a party gathering doesn't make you a party man," the centre-right Belgian politician argued, stressing that in his new EU capacity his "only master to serve" is the collection of EU leaders. The Bavarians had simply been quicker than other political parties to invite him, he added.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian / Migrants and residents in standoff in Italy after four Africans wounded

Two Africans were shot and injured tonight as racial unrest continued to grip the southern Italian town of Rosarno after a night of rioting and an earlier shooting in which two other immigrants were wounded.

On a main road, close to a disused building in which hundreds of itinerant farm workers live in conditions of squalor, about 100 local people armed with iron bars and wooden staves were manning an illegal roadblock.

by Sassafras on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The article is updated to 21:53 Friday, showing a keen interest abroad for a situation that could quickly get out of control and extend elsewhere. During the day five Africans were reported victims of hit and run incidents.

It appears to be a war between the poor. As of this comment (after midnight) the local population continues to menace the abandoned factory where many immigrants are holed up.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 06:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CSU rejects Foreign Minister Westerwelle's Turkey policy | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 08.01.2010
The Christian Social Union (CSU) remains locked in a bitter row with government coalition partners the Free Democratic Party (FDP), after the Bavarian conservatives rejected Westerwelle's overtures to Turkey.  

The dispute between government coalition partners, the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the latter led by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, escalated Friday when the CSU reiterated its opposition to Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

The CSU's declaration came a day after Westerwelle made a speech to Turkish diplomats in Ankara, promising that the German government would consider Turkey's application for EU membership "without prejudice."

Speaking at a party conference in the Bavarian town of Wildbad Kreuth, leading CSU member Hans-Peter Friedrich said that his party was strongly against Turkey's full membership in the EU, but was ready to offer a "privileged partnership" deal to the country. "That is our opinion, which we're entitled to," Friedrich said. "If Mr. Westerwelle has a different one, then he's entitled to that too."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:16:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"CSU rejects FM Westerwelle's Turkey Policy"

If i was Der Guido (Westerwelle), i would be incensed if any political party called my policy a turkey, but especially if it came from Bayern, Texas.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:35:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Parliament legalises same-sex marriage, but not adoption

Portugal's parliament has voted to legalise gay marriage but will not allow adoption by same-sex couples. In a speech before the vote, Prime Minister Jose Socrates said the new law was "designed to redress the decades of injustice".

AFP - Portugal's parliament approved a bill to legalise same sex marriages on Friday, less than 30 years after the country revoked its ban on homosexuality.

Lawmakers rejected proposals to allow gay couples to adopt, but otherwise the bill passed with little public controversy in what has traditionally been one of Europe's most socially conservative countries.

In contrast to Spain, where the run-up to the legalisation of gay marriage in 2005 brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets, the bill in Portugal provoked only muted opposition even from the political right.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - New international genocide and war crimes task force to be established in Paris

France plans to set up a new panel to try cases of genocide and crimes against humanity at the Paris High Court (pictured), according to Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

AFP - France plans to set up a new panel to try cases of genocide and crimes against humanity, two ministers said in a newspaper column published Wednesday.
  
Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said legislation would be presented to parliament in the coming six months to create the new unit within the Paris high court.
  
The genocide and crimes against humanity unit will be given special powers to try cases of genocide and crimes against humanity that have occurred outside France's borders and involve many jurisdictions.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera / Georgian plane lands in Moscow

A charter flight from Georgia has landed in Moscow, the Russian capital, in the first direct air service between the two countries since their brief war in August 2008.

The Georgian Airways flight, a Boeing 737, left Tbilisi, the country's capital, on Friday morning, arriving in Russia a few hours later.

The airline plans to fly to Moscow between January 8 to 10 under a deal with Russia over the festive season, raising hopes of a full resumption of regular flights between the neighbours.

by Sassafras on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:21:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 01:54:43 PM EST
EUobserver / Spain to push for binding EU economic goals

Speaking ahead of the formal inauguration of Spain's EU presidency on Thursday (7 January), Mr Zapatero also suggested that the European Commission be given new powers to police the fledgling plan, currently known as the "2020 Strategy."

"It is absolutely necessary for the 2020 Economic Strategy ... to take on a new nature, a binding nature," said Mr Zapatero.

The Spanish leader suggested potential penalties for member states that fail to reach agreed economic targets could include cutbacks in payments from the EU budget.

"This is something we are going to put on the table. But I cannot preempt the outcome of the debate," said the Socialist prime minister, whose country is the first to hold the EU's six-month rotating presidency under the bloc's new Lisbon Treaty rules.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:27:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / France considers tax on search engines

The French government is considering taxing search engines such as Google and Yahoo and internet service providers as a way to support the production of music, films and journalism in the digital age.

A report commissioned by the country's culture ministry issued this week proposed a tax on online advertising that could then be put toward subsidies or vouchers for artistic and other cultural works.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:31:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Google, Yahoo, Cuil and Bing fired back that they will make a search of tax engines.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:36:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Other Side of the Tracks: France's SNCF Muscles in on German Rail Market - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

As of Jan. 1, long-distance passenger rail services are completely deregulated within the EU. The French state-owned rail company SNCF is preparing to muscle in on the territory of its neighboring competitor, Deutsche Bahn. The German national railway company is hoping for help from the government.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy made his instructions for the country's state-run railway service, SNCF, unambiguously clear. It should "take a leading role on the European level as a French public company," Sarkozy wrote SNCF president Guillaume Pepy in spring 2008.

Modesty never really having been his thing, Sarkozy then took it up another notch, adding that in the future SNCF should either be, or at least be in the process of becoming, number one in the areas of freight transport, logistics, and long-distance travel -- and not just in France or Europe, but "in the world."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:36:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy then took it up another notch, adding that in the future SNCF should either be, or at least be in the process of becoming, number one in the areas of freight transport, logistics, and long-distance travel -- and not just in France or Europe, but "in the world."

Modesty, or the lack thereof, does not seem an adequate descriptor in this case. Has the word "grandiose" appeared in the French media in this regard? Or would that constitute "lese magiste"?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 07:41:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The French media (with few exceptions) are totally under the control of Mr Sarkozy and his friends, even to a greater extent than the US media is dominated by the conservatives.

As for Sakozy's legendary modesty, by now French people are so blasé about it they no longer care, let alone notice.

by Bernard on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 04:28:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Free competition will be theoretical for the coming months, and competitors will start small then. (SNCF will run into Germany on some routes out of Strasbourg/France, another newbie wants to run Cologne-Hamburg.) But, I shudder at the thought f this development as the biggest idiocy of our brave new open access rail world (but one sadly supported by almost every party in the EP).

What does long-distance rail competition mean? It means price wars on the most profitable services of train operators. Which will mean less willingness to sustain connecting services with lighter traffic that make a loss when viewed in themselves.

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

by DoDo on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 06:22:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is called f%ckin with the lifeblood system of Yurpeen travel.  Let's Great Britainize continental rail transport.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:38:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Unemployment figures dash hopes for growth in US economy
AFP - The US economy lost 85,000 jobs in December while the unemployment rate held at 10.0 percent, the government said Friday in a report dashing hopes of a turnaround in the ailing labor market.

The Labor Department report on nonfarm payrolls was a disappointment to those hoping for growth in jobs, which is critical to recovery from recession.

The figure was far worse than the consensus expectation for no change in overall employment levels, and came amid a wide array of predictions ranging from steep losses to modest gains.

But in revising data for prior months, the report showed a net gain of 4,000 jobs in November instead of a loss of 11,000 previously reported.

The agency also revised its October estimate to show a loss of 111,000 jobs in October instead of 127,000.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:43:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They'll need to fudge the data to less than 10% (say 9.8%) by fall election time.  It'll make for good TV propaganda.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 06:36:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2010 should be an intensely vitriolic mid-term. The congress is up to no good seven ways to sunday. Nailing your rep's concern for the "affordability" of your HH financial sitch will be a challenge. Check this scuttlebut.

poic (profile)  wrote on Fri, 1/8/2010 - 9:58 am
The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.

Possibly related warning:

Testimony of P. Borzi: "A related regulatory initiative is the Department's activity related to investment advice. The Department intends to withdraw the final rule implementing the investment advice provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) and accompanying class exemption that the Department published in January 2009. We intend to issue a new proposed rule that will support affordable and unbiased investment advice for 401(k)-type plans and IRAs. The new rule will provide participants access to quality investment advice that will assist participants in choosing investments, including target date funds."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 10:16:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would you please translate for us non-finance sorts?  How are we being screwed NOW?!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 01:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beside so-called healthcare reform, one of Mr Obama's campaign promises was to increase employee participation rates in defined contribution retirement plans. His prospectus was titled Blueprint for America's Working Women and Families.(1, 2, 3) One may interpret the plan as an entry to privatizing social security benefit trust and administration.

Jesse links to reporting on the immediate players and features of the "conversion" project -- which is apparently to migrate more savings funds into capital markets. Key features are mandatory (or automatic) participation and fees generated by financial services agents.

Tax and savings implications. Risk and price volatility.

SSI income risk-free. It is subject to tax, if you report additional income that exceeds certain marginal rates. See taxable SSI income.

Savings accounts, e.g. demand and timed deposits like CDs, are risk-free. They are not taxed; interest earned on those deposits are taxed as capital gains. Interest paid by depository institutions to demand account holders is at an historical low. NB such deposits are insured by the FDIC.

Defined contribution retirement plans, e.g. 401(k), IRA, are tax sheltered investment funds that are managed for a fee by a licensed agent ("fiduciary"); distributions are restricted generally to the period after one's 65th birthday, then taxed as normal income. NB such funds are not insured by the FDIC.

An annuity is a kind of insurance product; you give the insurance company money (periodic premium or annuity NPV price --lump sum-- of estimated future returns), and the insurance company agrees to make fixed (mark-to-model) or variable (mark-to-market) amount payments to you for a specific amount of time. Payments not distributed but "rolled over" into your annuity fund are called "tax deferred." NB such funds are not insured by the FDIC.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 10th, 2010 at 09:14:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
meanwhile, Initial + Continuing + EUC claims (this-is-a-meme-no?) innerboobz analytics builds momentum...

Unemployment Exhaustion Rate = 53.78%, a New High

hmmm.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 09:07:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - President Kirchner fires central bank chief over debt repayments
AFP - Argentine President Cristina Kirchner signed a decree Thursday ordering the removal from office of the head of the central bank in a bitter showdown over payments on the country's national debt.

"The president of the central bank, Dr Hernan Martin Perez Redrado, has been removed from office for misconduct and having failed in his official duties," the decree stated.

... The decree, signed by Kirchner's entire cabinet at an emergency meeting she convened in her office, said central bank vice president Miguel Pesce will provisionally take over Redrado's functions as of Friday.

The confrontation stems from Redrado's refusal to hand over 6.59 billion dollars from Argentina's foreign currency reserves to pay off part of a 13 billion dollar payment of the national due this year, after the president ordered him to do so.

Kirchner called for the money to guarantee debt payments, part of an effort to end Argentina's isolation from global credit markets in the wake of its 2001 default.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:44:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WSJ: Argentina's Redrado Back At Central Bank After Court Ruling
Minutes after the news broke, live television footage showed Redrado arriving by car to the central bank and entering the building.

The court had accepted Redrado's petition that Thursday's presidential decree, which had ousted him from office, reportedly shouldn't stand.

It was the second ruling on Friday that the same court issued against the government.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
E.U. Leaders Call for Sanctions Against Reform Busters - NYTimes.com

MADRID -- Europe will be unable to afford its extensive social programs without economic change, the European Union's new permanent president, Herman Van Rompuy, warned Friday, supporting calls for sanctions against countries that fail to honor pledges to reform their economies.

At a news conference marking the start of Spain's presidency of the E.U., Mr. Van Rompuy shared the spotlight with the Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and with the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. They went out of their way to resemble the "Three Amigos," but the crowded stage highlighted the difficulty the bloc is having streamlining its leadership.

The E.U.'s six-month rotating presidency was supposed to be scaled back by the recently enacted Lisbon Treaty, which created Mr. Van Rompuy's job. But on Thursday Mr. Zapatero set the political agenda by calling for a new European economic reform plan, which is about to be drawn up, to be made binding on national governments.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For what meaning of reform?

sanctions against countries that fail to honor pledges to reform their economies

This sounds ominously like the Brussels Consensus taking over where the Washington Consensus left off.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:42:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Simon sez "DOOM" to Erin Burnette and the rest of CNBC. A very upbeat, smiling bringer of DOOM tidings! Hilarious.
(H/T Yves Smith.)



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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 09:31:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wall Street Reform: Traditional Foes Join Forces To Take On Bankers   Ryan Grim   HuPo

On Thursday evening, a roomful of people more accustomed to fighting each other met to unite against a common enemy: Wall Street. The forces that are gathering against the bankers include energy companies, airlines, truckers, farmers and other end users of derivatives, along with unions, consumer advocates and a host of progressive organizations.

"I can't think of anything where such a diverse group has come together. Some of these organizations don't see eye to eye on other issues," said Jim Collura, a lobbyist with the New England Fuel Institute and a lead organizer behind the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition (CMOC), which includes end users of derivatives such as corn or gas futures. The businesses rely on futures contracts to hedge against the risk of price spikes or declines.

A senior administration official who addressed the coalition partners at the meeting would have been considered just as unlikely a bedfellow a year ago. Gary Gensler, now the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), spent nine years with Goldman Sachs and, as a Treasury official in the '90s, pushed the type of deregulation that contributed to wild speculation in derivatives and helped bring about the financial collapse. For those sins, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put a hold on his nomination to the CFTC. He eventually let him move through, convinced that Gensler had seen the error of his ways.

....

Meanwhile, hedge funds are preparing for regulation that would curb speculation. Several end users in the meeting with Gensler said that they'd seen hedge funds and other investors begin to purchase the physical product that underlies the derivatives. In other words, hedge funds that want to speculate on corn futures are going out and actually buying corn, as well. Then, when the regulations are in effect, they can claim to be commercial end users. Collura said the group is a bit flummoxed at how to respond to such efforts. It shows, he said, how much surplus profit exists in speculation that traders are willing to buy physical commodities they have no use for.

....

Collura said that the first step the new coalition plans to take will be to walk the halls of Congress to let senators know that the end users trotted out by the banks don't represent the interests of all small businesses. "There are some people who ware skeptical about our chances to get a strong bill out of the Senate. The new commitment to make a coordinated effort has given us some hope," said Collura.

 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 12:09:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 04:27:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are we measuring here?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 05:55:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is the ratio of adults working to the total number of adults. It reached a high of 67% under Clinton, and has now fallen to 54% if I get the numbers right.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 10:03:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are women considered adults in this scale?  (and thus counted)  While we can't see the early 70's and 60's, it seems women had to go to work in that long oil embargo-caused recession beginning '74.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 11:21:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what i was trying to say was that in addition to feminism being accepted and beginning to go mainstream, with the meme it was good for women to have careers, the oil embargo made it necessary for the first time for families to have two incomes for a while.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 02:11:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the rise in the participation rate since the '60s in all the developed economies is due to the arrival of women on the labour market.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 03:03:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not far enough to the right.

BBC News - Darling in tough spending cut vow

The Chancellor Alistair Darling has warned that Britain is facing the toughest spending cuts in 20 years if Labour is re-elected.

In an interview with the Times, he says cutting borrowing is non-negotiable and he confirmed there would be a budget before the general election.

Mr Darling said: "My priority is to get borrowing down. Once recovery is established, we have to act."

He also said Labour had to regain the middle ground to win the election.

(my bold)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:23:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:02:15 PM EST
France24 - Israeli air strikes hit seven targets, killing several Palestinians
AFP - Israeli air strikes hit seven targets in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip early Friday, killing three men and wounding another, Palestinian medics said.

The casualties occurred near Gaza's border with Egypt when Israeli jets bombed tunnels which Palestinians use to smuggle goods into the besieged coastal strip, medics and Hamas security officials said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:39:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israeli anti-missile system shoots down major strategic threat
Israel's soon-to-be-deployed anti-missile system, capable of intercepting barrages of rockets, may shoot down one of the biggest strategic threats facing the country in recent decades.

After successfully completing its final tests this week, the Iron Dome system, providing an answer to short-range rockets and artillery shells, is planned to be integrated into the army within six months, officials said.

The unique cutting-edge technology will be deployed along the border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, where militants have fired thousands of projectiles against southern Israel over the past decade.

In a second stage, it will be deployed along the border with Lebanon where the militant group Hezbollah is said to have an arsenal of more than 40,000 rockets.

The Iron Dome will join the Arrow long-range ballistic missile defence system in an ambitious multi-layered programme to protect Israeli cities from rockets and missiles fired from Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Syria and Iran.

A third system specifically aimed at countering medium-range missiles is planned to be developed in the coming years, the ministry said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 03:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Togo footballers shot in ambush

Gunmen have fired on a bus carrying Togo's football team to the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, wounding players and reportedly killing the driver.

The attackers opened fire with machine guns on the vehicle in the oil-rich territory of Cabinda, where rebels have been fighting for independence.

The Angolan government called the incident an "act of terrorism". There are reports of serious injuries.

Togo is due to play its first cup game in Cabinda on Monday.

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor was on the bus but is unhurt. In a statement, Manchester City said Adebayor had been "shaken by the terrible events" but was "unharmed".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Togo football team pulls out of Africa Cup of Nations

Togo's football team are pulling out of the Africa Cup of Nations following a deadly gun attack on their team bus in Angola.

Two players were shot and injured in the attack in Angola's northern province of Cabinda on Friday and the coach driver was killed.

Organisers say the tournament will go ahead but Togo's players had been discussing whether they would stay.

Team captain Emmanuel Adebayor said on Friday many players wanted to go home.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A third fatality was reported today: the goalkeeper died of gun shot injuries sustained during the attack.

Meanwhile, the African football organization decided the Africa Cup of Nations will carry on regardless...

by Bernard on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 10:19:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera / UN official urges Sri Lanka inquiry

A UN human rights official has urged Colombo allow an impartial investigation after he concluded that video footage allegedly showing Sri Lankan troops executing Tamil Tiger fighters last year is authentic.

Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, told Al Jazeera that Sri Lankan arguments used to dismiss the video, aired on Britain's Channel 4 in August 2009, were flawed.

"Sri Lanka has consistently denied the authenticity of the footage, but two of their investigators were members of the Sri Lankan military," Alston said on Thursday

by Sassafras on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:25:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera / Contractors held over Afghan deaths

Two former employees of the US private security contractor Blackwater, now known as Xe, have been arrested over the killings of two Afghans last year.

Justin Cannon and Chris Drotleff were charged on Thursday with second-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges.

The two Afghans were killed, and a third was wounded, in a shooting incident that apparently took place after a traffic accident Kabul on May 5.

by Sassafras on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:34:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shots fired at leading Iranian opposition figure  AP

TEHRAN, Iran - Pro-government demonstrators opened fire on the car of one of Iran's opposition leaders and shattered his windows, but he escaped unharmed from the rare armed attack on a top reformist, his Web site reported on Friday.

Hard-liners called last week for the execution of opposition leaders, raising tensions that could spark a cycle of political violence beyond even the government's control.

Mahdi Karroubi blamed authorities after shots were fired at his car late Thursday from a crowd of about 500 government supporters surrounded by police in the town of Qazvin, some 90 miles (140 kilometers) west of Tehran.

At the time of the shooting, Karroubi was leaving a house he was staying in while visiting a friend in the town, and government supporters were rallying outside the building. Karroubi's bodyguards, who were with him at the time of the incident, did not return fire. They were also unharmed.

....

Karroubi ran in June's disputed presidential election that the opposition says Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won by fraud. Unrest began immediately following the government announcement declaring Ahmadinejad the victor, with mass street protests followed by a ferocious government crackdown. The opposition says more than 80 protesters have been killed in the crackdown, but the government puts the number of confirmed dead at less than 40.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 09:00:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Change in Japan a Tough Task for Finance Minister  NYT

TOKYO -- It sounds like a script written for Hollywood: an idealistic reformer put in charge of cleaning up his nation's most powerful center of entrenched bureaucratic influence. Finance Minister Naoto Kan, who took office this week, has limited experience in running Japan's economy, but he is known for challenging government corruption and bureaucracy.

Political experts say that the appointment Thursday of Naoto Kan, a former civic campaigner against government corruption, to run the Finance Ministry does just that, pitting a veteran bureaucracy fighter against the most formidable of the central ministries that have presided over Japan's postwar economic rise and subsequent stagnation.

They say that the choice of Mr. Kan, a deputy prime minister with limited experience in running the nation's economy, shows the desire of the new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, to step up efforts to achieve his government's main goal: changing the way Japan is governed by shifting power to elected politicians, away from career bureaucrats.

"Mr. Kan is the administration's most recognizable face when it comes to overcoming the bureaucracy," said Tomoaki Iwai, a politics professor at Nihon University in Tokyo. "This appointment shows Mr. Hatoyama's desire to show his resolve."

Mr. Kan will have his work cut out for him, battling a secretive institution that claims historical roots going back 13 centuries and that has long drawn the best and brightest graduates from top universities. The ministry has long wielded enormous influence over Japan, the world's second largest economy, using its broad budgetary powers to control the nation's purse strings.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 10:29:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
America: What works, and what doesn't - latimes.com
Lately, I've been studying the melting of glaciers in the greater Himalayas. Understanding the cascading effects of the slow-motion downsizing of one of the planet's most magnificent landforms has, to put it politely, left me dispirited.

It is impossible to focus on those Himalayan highlands without realizing that something that once seemed immutable and eternal has become vulnerable, even perishable. Those magnificent glaciers are wasting away on an overheated planet, and no one knows what to do about it.

Another tipping point has also been on my mind lately, and it's left me no less melancholy. In this case, the threat is to my own country, the United States. We Americans too seem to have passed a tipping point. Like the glaciers of the high Himalaya, long-familiar aspects of our nation are beginning to seem as if they are, in a sense, melting away


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 07:55:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These are some of the things he thinks work in America.

America: What works, and what doesn't - latimes.com

Civil society, which, despite the collapse of the economy, seems to be luring the best and brightest young people, and superbly performs the crucial function of goading government and other institutions.

American philanthropy, which is the most evolved, well funded and innovative in the world.

The U.S. military, the best-led, -trained and -equipped on the planet, despite being repeatedly thrust into hopeless wars by stupid politicians.

by generic on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:10:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
`the problem is trying to use the third in other countries to try and impose the first.

(And how inovative is American Philanthropy)?


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:30:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This piece is written by Orville Schell, certainly one of amurka's preeminent China scholars, and quite erudite.  REading his list makes me want to diary some comment, hmmm.

Amurkan philanthropy because there's such a huge hole in public services because amurka don't cotton to socialized shit.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 09:03:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what's totally mindblowing is seeing a newsflash yesterday on bbc about nazi rightwing youth in america, and they've co-opted the name 'socialist', as in addled adolph's 'national socialist'.

meaning, meet manglers!

no wonder joe sixpack is allergic to the word...

'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 Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 09:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Next week in IP litigation

C&D notice (pdf), .us BAH BLEH MEH
Would be plaintiff appeals to a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that would seem to prohibit any user transfer of his or her uses and rights to a third party. That is the proprietor implies an ownership interest in client-created property stored on its servers. Paradoxically, the complaint acknowledges client agent in order to enforce Statement prohibition of content collection by automated means ("scraping" script). And seeing as how suicide machine performs a service as advertised and for free, appeals to fraud and phish statutes look weak. How to remediate proprietor's failure to expunge client records and content as ordered has been a topic of investigative reporting for two years.

Boston Globe
NYT
epic.org, 2007-2009

moddr_.net, .dk LOL

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 11:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If this is what i think it is, brilliant.  (if it's not what i think it is, it's likely still brilliant.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 11:49:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a Rotterdam, NL, based service called "Web 2.0 Suicide Machine" that allows you to delete your accounts and profiles on the main social networks: Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and LinkedIn, with one single operation.

Facebook has blocked their access, claiming it's a violation of their T & C's.

Facebook blocks 'Web 2.0 Suicide Machine' | NetworkWorld.com Community

Called Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, the site's pitch goes like this: "Tired of your Social Network? Liberate your newbie friends with a Web2.0 suicide! This machine lets you delete all your energy-sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web2.0 alter ego. The machine is just a metaphor for the Website which moddr_ is hosting; the belly of the beast where the web2.0 suicide scripts are maintained. Our service currently runs with Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and LinkedIn! Commit NOW!"

The "machine" is the brainchild of Moddr, "your 'unfriendly' neighborhood medialab" located in Rotterdam.

by Bernard on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 12:55:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NL -- thanks.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 01:16:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, saw it a few weeks ago, seems to be esalating.  aber danke, didn't know they from NL.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 02:09:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The conflict of interests posed, of which individual privacy I think is the least germaine, is profound in light of the state's purported, exclusive claims to determining parameters of and proper implementation of "national security". moddr better have deep pockets.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 01:15:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:02:57 PM EST
Bamboo Bikes: The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Ride - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Carbon fiber and aluminum are so 2009. This year's best bicycling model is made out of bamboo and hemp. A new generation of manufacturers are coming up with some of the most environmentally friendly transport yet. Lighter, stronger, more comfortable and these bikes have also got a much smaller carbon footprint.

Craig Calfee is known as the Zen master of bamboo-bike builders. In his workshop on the Californian coast, only a hundred meters from the tumultuous waves of the Pacific Ocean, the frame designer builds breathtaking bikes out of the fast-growing plant, the largest member of the grass family.

But the American, who has become well known for making bikes out of plant materials, has some competition. The number of experts who are making bicycles out of renewable raw materials is growing. Among them are Brano Meres, an engineer from Slovakia and professional cyclist Nick Frey also from California. German engineer Nicolas Meyer is also working along this line, but not with bamboo. Instead he has built a triathlon bike out of hemp.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:37:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AGRICULTURE: Three-Quarters of Hungry Are Rural Poor - IPS ipsnews.net
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 8 (IPS) - Climate change, associated with a four-fold increase in natural disasters in the last decade, and the growth of world population, which is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, pose new challenges for aid initiatives like those of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

This warning comes from Gemmo Lodesani, head of the WFP office in Brussels, who is in charge of relations with the European Union and of fund-raising to fulfil the organisation's primary commitment: fighting hunger worldwide.

Interviewed by IPS while on an unofficial visit to Brazil, Lodesani said three-quarters of the more than one billion hungry people in the world are poor farmers.

This vulnerable rural population will bear the brunt of the consequences of global warming through catastrophes like drought and flooding, he said.

"We are already seeing the impact of climate change on food production patterns. We know there are poor areas of the world that will become poorer through lack of rainfall. Desertification is already happening," Lodesani warned.

"We have to address this now, through specific measures," said the expert, who previously coordinated emergency food aid plans in countries like Sudan and Ivory Coast.

The WFP report titled Climate Change and Hunger: Responding to the Challenge says that "By 2050, the number of people at risk of hunger as a result of climate change is expected to increase by 10 to 20 percent more than would be expected without climate change."

Lodesani emphasised the need for specific programmes to encourage sustainable development, through "the use of land resources to produce food" without further harming the environment.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 03:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Explosion kills two at China chemical plant: Xinhua
Two people were killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in China's northwest province of Gansu belonging to energy giant CNPC on Thursday, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The incident occurred at a plant operated by the Lanzhou Chemical Company, which is owned by China National Petroleum Corporation, Xinhua reported from the provincial capital Lanzhou, citing local officials.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 03:11:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mass mercury poisoning at China factory: report
Over 150 workers at an electrical factory in southern China have tested positive for suspected mercury poisoning, state press said Thursday, in the latest work-safety scandal to hit the nation.

Urine samples from 590 workers at the Foshan Electrical and Lighting Co. in Guangdong province were tested late last month after a smaller group was diagnosed with mercury poisoning, Xinhua news agency said.

Initially 23 workers were diagnosed with mercury poisoning after taking tests that they paid for themselves, the report said.

During the subsequent tests, 152 workers were identified as suspected cases and were preparing for further tests.

"All six production lines of the workshop used liquid mercury, but some workers seldom took the trouble to wear a mask at work," Xinhua cited the company's human resources manager, Lu Ruijin, as saying.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 03:12:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If my theory of history is correct, and what else could it be since i thought it (wink), China is in deep peril.  According to my reading, it took some 200 years for Rome to fall, while amurka in only 200 weeks.  (300 works better, but hey, this ain't rocket science.)

That means as a result of China's catastrophic despoiling of luxuries such as soil, water and air, their empire is likely to be over before it begins.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 11:27:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pressure builds against mountaintop coal mining  
By Tom Hamburger   LAT

Reporting from Washington - Mountaintop coal mining, which involves blowing up mountain peaks to get access to coal seams below, should be halted immediately because of growing evidence of its environmental and health threats, scientists urged Thursday in the journal Science.

The paper, by a group of hydrologists, ecologists and engineers, presents a new and difficult challenge to the Obama administration, which has upset environmentalists by continuing to approve such permits even as it has promised to rely on scientific expertise in deciding whether to grant permits for the controversial practice.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a permit for a large mountaintop removal mine in West Virginia, which raised objections from environmental activists.

Coal companies say the practice is more efficient and safer than traditional deep-shaft mining, and that steps are taken to mitigate damage. Environmentalists say it degrades the landscape, destroys habitat and pollutes streams that get filled with debris from explosions.

....

The authors of the paper urged the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject all new mountaintop mining permits. "The scientific evidence of the severe environmental and human impacts from mountaintop mining is strong and irrefutable," said lead author Margaret Palmer of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.


For CH.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 12:21:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BMJ Group: Female janitors and scientists at risk of having children with birth defects
Mothers who were janitors/cleaners, scientists, operators of electronic equipment were significantly more likely to have a child with a birth defect.

Of all the occupations, being a janitor/cleaner was associated with the highest number of birth defects, including ear, eye, gastrointestinal and cleft abnormalities. The finding backs up previous research showing a higher risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida and clefts among this group.

On the other hand, teachers were significantly less likely to have children with birth defects.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 04:42:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:04:01 PM EST
The Beautiful Game in Africa: 'Football Is the Reason We Have Feet' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The year 2010 marks the first time that an African country will host the World Cup. The continent, though, is no stranger to the Beautiful Game. Indeed, nowhere on Earth is football such an important part of daily life -- from refugee camps in Sudan to the war zone in Mogadishu.

It wasn't long before Csaba László learned one of the fundamental truths about Africa. László, a temporary resident of the Sheraton Kampala after being hired to coach the Ungandan national football team, thought he was hearing things as he relaxed on the hotel terrace one evening. It was a Wednesday night, when suddenly a great cheer went up -- "Goooooooooooaaaal!" The cheer was so loud that László thought there must be a match going on in the area. But then he heard the same chorus from a different direction. "Goooooooooooaaaal" from the north and another from the south.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:34:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heitor Villalobos' opinion of the sport.

«el fútbol hizo que la inteligencia humana se trasladara de la cabeza a los pies»

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 06:43:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too Much Reality: Big Brother Is Watching You Watching Big Brother - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The 10th season of the German version of "Big Brother" starts next week. Although the original format is being followed less and less, the show has done more than just revolutionize television. Nowadays, everything and everyone is under constant observation.

It seemed that it had finally been conclusively demonstrated that television was indeed causing the inevitable decline of Western culture. The prominent German politician Kurt Beck called for a boycott, while then-Interior Minister Otto Schily compared the new show to the highly controversial practice of dwarf tossing. A succession of critics and media moralists lined up to voice their indignation at the barbarism on display.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:35:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPECIAL OP-ED: Why Women's Reproductive Freedom Ensures Our Survival - IPS ipsnews.net
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 8 (IPS) - Fifteen years ago in Beijing, then first lady, Hillary Clinton, stated firmly, "Women's rights are human rights." Today, after eight years of non-existent U.S. support for women's reproductive rights, Secretary of State Clinton is reviving women's hopes around the globe by affirming the Obama Administration's support for the International Conference on Population and Development Action Plan.

This historic agreement, signed by 180 nations in Cairo in 1994, outlined a visionary 20-year strategy for making family planning universally available by 2015.

The Cairo declaration saw women's human rights take a quantum leap forward. For the first time, a global consensus acknowledged that the empowerment and economic independence of women and education of girls were integral to meeting global population and development goals. It was the first time that an international document clearly stated that women had the right to determine their own reproduction. Principle 4 of the Action Plan states: "ensuring women's ability to control their own fertility, is a cornerstone of population and development-related programmes."

The Global Fund for Women supported dozens of women's groups from developing nations who collectively helped shape the outcomes of that historic gathering. Founding President, Anne Firth Murray, noted that the Cairo Declaration was the first major UN document that defined women as independent sexual beings, not merely child-bearers or mothers. In her words, "This was a revolution in women's empowerment."

The Cairo consensus provided much needed ballast for women's groups seeking to amend laws and cultural norms that kept women silent on an issue vital to the well-being of their families and communities: control over their bodies.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 03:00:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenpeace says made to 'pay' for climate summit failure
The head of Greenpeace Spain, freed from 20 days in Danish custody along with three others, on Thursday accused authorities in Copenhagen of making them "pay" for the failure of the climate summit.

Juan Lopez de Uralde and Norwegian Nora Christiansen fooled security staff at the Danish parliament in Copenhagen by drawing up to a December 17 gala dinner in a limousine and wearing evening attire.

There, they unfurled banners reading "Politicians Talk, Leaders Act" at the entrance.

They were arrested along with two others, Christian Schmutz of Switzerland, who posed as their bodyguard, and Joris Thijssen of The Netherlands. All four were released on Wednesday.

"We were made to pay for the anger of the Danish government after the problems of the Copenhagen summit," Lopez de Uralde told Spanish National Radio.

He also denounced their treatment in prison.

"We were very shocked by the way in which we were treated," he said. "We did not expect to get off scot-free... We were taking a risk. What was completely disproportionate was the 20 days in isolation in prison, without knowing the extent of the charges against us, without speaking to anyone."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 03:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Baroness Greenfield loses her job in Royal Institution shake-up - Times Online

Baroness Greenfield has lost her job as the director of one of Britain's oldest and most venerable scientific institutions, The Times has learnt.

The neuroscientist and peer, who is one of Britain's most prominent female scientists, was served with redundancy papers yesterday by the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI), where she was director, the organisation confirmed last night.

Her position at the head of the institution where Michael Faraday and Sir Humphrey Davy once worked is to be abolished after a review of its managment structure and a financial crisis that could threaten its survival.

The RI's trustees decided that the position of a full-time director was no longer affordable in the light of funding problems that has left it more than £3 million in the red. Its chief executive, Chris Rofe, will now head the organisation.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 04:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - France tops magazine's poll of best places to live for fifth year

France was named the best place in the world to live by International Living, a US lifestyle magazine. The result seems to have split French public opinion: what do you think?

For the fifth consecutive year, France has been selected the best place in the world to live by International Living magazine, a US-based lifestyle magazine for retirees wishing to travel or live abroad.

The magazine, which has been conducting the survey for 30 years, rhapsodised about France on its website: "Its tiresome bureaucracy and high taxes are outweighed by an unsurpassable quality of life, including the world's best healthcare."

The magazine declared, "you don't need number-crunchers to tell you its bon vivant lifestyle is special."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:30:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
El Dorado Found


The gradual devastation of the Amazon--the felling of thousands of square miles of forest, the clear-cutting of the jungle--has produced, paradoxically, one of the greatest archeological discoveries: a vast and complex ancient civilization. In cleared-away areas of the upper Amazon basin, researchers, using satellite imagery, have recently pinpointed a vast network of monumental earthworks, including geometrically aligned roads and structures, constructed by a hitherto unknown civilization. According to a new report published in the journal Antiquity, the archeologist Martii Pärssinen and other scientists have documented more than two hundred and ten geometric structures, some of which may date as far back as the third century A.D. They are spread out over an area that spans more than two hundred and fifty kilometers, reaching all the way from northern Bolivia to the state of Amazonia in Brazil.

<snip>
In the early nineteen-hundreds, the British explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett challenged this prevailing notion. While exploring and mapping much of the same area where the ruins were recently discovered, he reported finding large earth mounds filled with ancient and brittle pottery. Buried under the jungle floor, he claimed, were also traces of causeways and roadways. Based on this and other evidence, he insisted that the Amazon once contained large populations and at least one, if not more, advanced civilizations. Despite being dismissed and ridiculed as a crank, he set off in 1925 to find the place, which he christened the "City of Z." He and his party, including his twenty-one-year-old son, Jack, then vanished forever--a fate that seemed to confirm the madness of such a quest.

Never dismiss the ramblings of indian elders.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 07:12:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's creeping censorship | Alice Xin Liu | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Most Chinese bloggers, Twitter users and internet-savvy folk are happy about the suing of the Green Dam by Cybersitter LLC, who this week claimed that China's software developers stole 3,000 lines of code directly from them and used it for the controversial Green Dam Youth Escort software.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:17:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Golden ratio discovered in quantum world: Hidden symmetry observed for the first time in solid state matter
Golden Ratio Discovered in Quantum World: Hidden Symmetry Observed for the First Time in Solid State Matter

ScienceDaily (Jan. 7, 2010) -- Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), in cooperation with colleagues from Oxford and Bristol Universities, as well as the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK, have for the first time observed a nanoscale symmetry hidden in solid state matter. They have measured the signatures of a symmetry showing the same attributes as the golden ratio famous from art and architecture.
...
The research team is publishing these findings in the Jan. 8, 2010 issue of the journal Science.

On the atomic scale particles do not behave as we know it in the macro-atomic world. New properties emerge which are the result of an effect known as the Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. In order to study these nanoscale quantum effects the researchers have focused on the magnetic material cobalt niobate. It consists of linked magnetic atoms, which form chains just like a very thin bar magnet, but only one atom wide and are a useful model for describing ferromagnetism on the nanoscale in solid state matter.

When applying a magnetic field at right angles to an aligned spin the magnetic chain will transform into a new state called quantum critical, which can be thought of as a quantum version of a fractal pattern. Prof. Alan Tennant, the leader of the Berlin group, explains "The system reaches a quantum uncertain -- or a Schrödinger cat state. This is what we did in our experiments with cobalt niobate. We have tuned the system exactly in order to turn it quantum critical."

By tuning the system and artificially introducing more quantum uncertainty the researchers observed that the chain of atoms acts like a nanoscale guitar string.



'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 Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 10:44:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 02:11:30 PM EST
Men who do more housework get more sex- Hindustan Times

Men who devote lots of time to paid work and household chores get more sex and the same applies to women.

These are the conclusion of a new US study of almost 7000 married couples, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Published in the Journal of Family Issues, the study denies the ideology that the time crunch has killed passion stone dead.

"As life gets busier and time gets tighter, a select group of go-getter spouses can successfully balance multiple time commitments," say the authors, Constance Gager, of Montclair State University, New Jersey, and Scott Yabiku, of Arizona State University.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 03:52:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Go getter? Sheesh. How about those who give receive 10x in return?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 09:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yuri Gagarin death mystery solved after 40 years - Telegraph
The mystery surrounding Yuri Gagarin's death in an aircraft crash more than forty years ago may finally have been solved by a report which quashes decades of conspiracy theories.

Independent Russian investigators say they have uncovered crucial new evidence which finally reveals how the world's first man in space died aged just 34.

The study claims Gagarin's death during a routine training flight in 1968 was caused by his panicked reaction after realising an air vent in his cockpit was open.

He threw his MiG-15 fighter jet into such a steep dive that he blacked out and crashed into a forest below killing himself and his co-pilot.

Igor Kuznetsov, a retired Soviet air force colonel, believes his findings will end years of conspiracy theories ranging from claims Gagarin was drunk to allegations the accident was staged by jealous Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:17:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LONDON (Reuters) - Bookmaker Ladbrokes is refusing to pay out more than 7 million pounds ($11 million) to a man who gambled on a white Christmas across the UK, as the bet was accepted by mistake.

Cliff Bryant, 52, had placed two 5-pound accumulator bets that snow would fall on 24 towns and cities across the north of England on Christmas Day.

"We have apologized to the customer for any confusion and for mistakenly accepting an accumulator bet when our own rules state that only single bets are available on a market of this nature," said a Ladbrokes spokesman.



"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 06:48:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shenanigans. Lawsuit.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 09:46:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Psychic sues over claims he betrayed Jackson - Entertainment - NZ Herald News

Uri Geller is to sue America's leading television news channel after it broadcast an allegation that he had betrayed his friend Michael Jackson for £100,000.

The legal action is the latest controversy to emerge from the claims and counter-claims arising out of the events that followed Jackson's death last year.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 08:00:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tennant backs Gordon Brown, labels Cameron a "a regional newsreader" | Tory Politico

David Tennant has ventured into the election by coming out and endorsing Gordon Brown, saying he would "rather have Gordon Brown than David Cameron."

The Doctor Who star insisted Brown was still a far better choice as Prime Minister, despite Labour's "issues".

Tennant said: "I would still rather have Gordon Brown than David Cameron.

"I would rather have a Prime Minister who is the cleverest person in the room than a Prime Minister who looks good in a suit.

"David Cameron is a terrifying prospect.

"He's a regional newsreader who will jump on whatever bandwagon flies past.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 9th, 2010 at 10:25:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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