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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 7 April

by Fran Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 04:18:35 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1945 – Megas, an Icelandic singer, songwriter and writer, was born.

More here and video

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 EUROPE 



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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:44:58 PM EST
BBC News - Election race begins as Brown confirms 6 May date

Political leaders have headed off on the campaign trail after Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the UK general election would be held on 6 May.

He said he would seek a "clear" mandate to continue the "road to recovery", as Labour bids for a fourth term.

David Cameron, whose Conservative Party has been ahead in the polls, said they offered "hope" and a "fresh start".

Nick Clegg, leader of the UK's third biggest party the Liberal Democrats, said only they offered "real change".

Shortly after announcing the date at Downing Street, Mr Brown boarded a train and headed to Kent to meet voters at a supermarket in Rochester.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:58:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New Statesman - Support for Conservatives plunges among gay voters

The Tories were fortunate that none of the papers chose to lead on the Chris Grayling story on Monday. If they had, David Cameron would be facing far more calls to sack his shadow home secretary.

But the party would be wrong to think that it had escaped from the row with no damage. A new PinkNews poll of more than a thousand LGBT voters shows that support for the Tories has fallen sharply since Grayling's gaffe and since Cameron's flustered interview on gay rights.

The poll puts support for the Tories down 5 points to 20 per cent, with Labour unchanged on 28 per cent and the Lib Dems up 5 points to 29 per cent.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that was obvious. I remain constantly amazed that the re are any gay tories, but there are gay republicans too, so what do I know ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 05:38:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some people are just masochists.
by IdiotSavant on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 08:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The upper class can be anything they want---IN PRIVATE.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 01:07:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Conservative cancer drug saving disputed by King's Fund

A health think tank's economist has disputed Tory claims they could fund more cancer drugs by halting a planned rise in National Insurance (NI).

Conservatives say the move would save the NHS £200m in NI contributions for staff, giving doctors more power to choose which drugs are made available.

But John Appleby, from the King's Fund, said cash was "not there to be saved".

He said the money would still have to be taken away from other services funded from the current year's budget.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:06:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - French presidency strikes out at rumour mill

French police have launched a criminal inquiry to trace the bloggers behind rumours President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife were both having affairs.

The inquiry follows a legal complaint filed by the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

It was on a blog housed by the paper's website that the speculation about the Sarkozy-Bruni marriage first appeared in March.

The rumours, relayed around the world, then appeared on newspaper front-pages.

However it now appears that they were based on no more than idle fantasy.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mafia attacks church prior's house after Easter procession snub | World news | guardian.co.uk

Mafia leaders angry at church officials for excluding them from the annual Easter procession in the Italian town of Sant'Onofrio got their revenge by opening fire on a prior's house in a drive-by shooting.

The Affruntata procession was subsequently cancelled "for spiritual and public order reasons", said parish priest Father Franco Fragala.

Police believe the attack on church prior Michele Virdo's home in the early hours of Sunday was a reprisal for a decree that in effect excluded the local mafia from their traditional prominent roles in the parade.

The Affruntata ("Encounter") is a symbolic re-enactment of St John's search for Mary to tell her of the resurrection of Jesus. The various protagonists of the story are represented by statues, borne shoulder-high through the streets of Sant'Onofrio, a town of 3,000 people in Calabria, southern Italy.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:11:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a Sopranos episode on a similar theme.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 01:10:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy's quake town marks anniversary with candles and and whistles at PM - Times Online

A message from Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister, to survivors of the Abruzzo earthquake was greeted with whistles of protest as the first anniversary of the tragedy was marked by a candelit nighttime procession through the deserted streets of L'Aquila, many still strewn with rubble.

Mr Berlusconi, who visited the stricken area repeatedly after the earthquake to oversee rescue efforts and meet survivors, did not attend the vigil. However he sent a message of greetings to a packed town meeting held at a church on the Cathedral square as residents assembled for the procession.

Franco Gabrielli, the chief of police, dismissed the protesters as "four or five scoundrels". However Il Messaggero, the Rome daily, said there was "more whistling than applause".

In his message Mr Berlusconi stressed the government's achievement in swiftly rehousing many displaced residents. He said he felt close to the survivors and shared their suffering over the "sorrow and death". "We managed the crisis with absolute efficiency and began reconstruction in the best way" he said. "It will take years to completely restore and reconstruct what has been damaged and lost, but the people of L'Aquila should remain confident that the necessary resources for reconstruction have been set aside."

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:48:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italian earthquake survivors are angry as they remember | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 06.04.2010
Inhabitants of the central Italian town of L'Aquila have been remembering their dead, a year after an earthquake hit their town. But they are also angry at the failure of the authorities to rebuild their city. 

Early on Tuesday morning, four candlelight processions met up in the large central square of L'Aquila. Twenty-five thousand people, most of them wearing hats and gloves against the early morning chill, crowded into the square, as the names of friends and family who died a year ago were read out one by one.

Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  Thousand made their way to the town's main square by torchlight

Then at 3:32, one year exactly after the town began to crumble, bells tolled, 308 times in all, once for each victim.

The earthquake, which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, destroyed many of the historic buildings in the city and left 60,000 homeless.  One year later, many of the homeless are still in temporary shelters. Most are in hotels several hours away along the Adriatic coast.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:51:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia praises anti-proliferation pact , but reserves right to abandon it | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 06.04.2010
The Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty recently agreed to by the US and Russia will reduce each country's nuclear stockpile by nearly a third. Russia acknowledges the progress made, but also reserves its right to back out. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia maintains its right to withdraw from a new arms proliferation treaty with the United States if it feels threatened by US missile defense plans. But he told reporters that the nuclear disarmament agreement represented a "new level of trust" between the two countries.

"Russia will have the right to abandon the START treaty if a quantitative and qualitative buildup of the US strategic anti-missile potential begins to significantly affect the efficiency of Russia's strategic nuclear forces," Lavrov said during a press conference held on Tuesday morning.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:50:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Greece floats solution for Macedonia name dispute

A senior Greek official has indicated that Athens is ready to accept the name 'Northern Macedonia' for its northern neighbour, in a development that could bring an end to the 19-year-old title dispute that has hampered Skopje's EU membership ambitions.

"The name 'Northern Macedonia' fits with the settlement as envisaged" by Athens, Greek deputy foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas told national media on Monday (5 April).

Should Macedonian leader Nikola Gruevski reject this proposal "he will have to explain to the Macedonian people why he is depriving them of their European prospects," Mr Droutsas added.

Currently referred to as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in official terminology, Athens is strongly opposed to a shortening of the country's name to simply "Macedonia," a title already used by a northern province in Greece.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:53:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Parliament adopts bill to legalise online gambling
France's National Assembly has passed a bill to legalise online gambling and open up the French market to international operators. French laws regulating online gambling are among the strictest in Europe.

France's National Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill to legalise online gambling and open up the French market to international operators.

The bill, which is expected to become law in time for the World Cup in South Africa to take place from June 11 to July 11, had already been passed by the French Senate in February.

The law will also prohibit minors from online gambling and reinforce measures targeting illegal gambling Web sites.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:58:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy sees 130 priests investigated over abuse - Telegraph
Italian authorities have arrested, investigated or convicted 130 Catholic priests for sexually abusing children over the last decade, it has been claimed.

A report by prosecutors said that not one of the cases was referred to the police by the local bishop.

Sergio Cavaliere, a lawyer who has compiled evidence on the cases, said: "It's an alarming figure if you consider that it's only the tip of the iceberg, if you think about all the cases that haven't shown up in the media or that haven't gone to court."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 04:03:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Would-be thieves tunnel into Paris bank - again

For the second time in a week, robbers in Paris have dug a tunnel to access the vaults of a high-street bank.

Police said they may have used the sewerage network to enter the BNP Paribas bank from a metro station, but fled before they could steal anything.

It is the latest of several similar incidents in the city.

A week ago, thieves raided dozens of safety deposit boxes at a branch of Credit Lyonnais after digging a tunnel into the vault.

Last weekend's underground raid on a branch of the Credit Lyonnais seems to have whetted the appetite of other would-be bank robbers, says the BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 06:29:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:45:21 PM EST
BBC News - Total faces Iraq bribery investigation

French oil company Total is to be investigated over allegations of corruption relating to Iraq's oil-for-food programme.

A French judge has filed preliminary charges accusing Total of bribing Iraqi officials while Saddam Hussein was in power in order to secure oil supplies.

This marks the first time the company itself will be investigated.

Total reacted with surprise to the news. It insists it abided by the rules of the UN-sponsored programme.

Filing preliminary charges against the company will give French officials more time to continue their investigation.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Euro falls on more Greece debt fears

The euro has fallen sharply against the dollar and the pound after reports that Greece had tried to renegotiate the terms of a eurozone rescue plan.

The euro was down by more than a cent, or 1%, against the dollar, at $1.3381. Against the pound, it fell by half a penny to 87.899 pence.

The risk premium on Greek bonds also increased sharply.

Greece moved quickly to deny the reports it had tried to change the terms of the bail-out plan.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:00:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek seeks US bond investors - report - : business, economy | euronews

Greece is reportedly seeking five to 10 billion dollars from US investors to help cover its borrowing needs of about 10 billion euros in May.

According to the Financial Times the money would be used for interest payments on previously issued government bonds.

The FT said Morgan Stanley is likely to manage the deal.

Greece is said to be looking to sell bonds in the US for the first time in two years because of lack of interest in Europe.

Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou would go to the states later this month and push the bonds to investors who specialise in developing world economies, such as Brazil and Poland, and who expect higher rates of return.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 04:00:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / EU keen to enshrine culture in economic planning

UOBSERVER / BARCELONA - Europe should invest more in its creative industries as a source of future growth the European Commission has said, while EU ministers have called for culture to be put at the "heart" of the bloc's new economic plan, the Europe 2020 strategy.

The EU executive is in late April set to adopt its "Green Paper on Cultural and Creative Industries," aimed at unlocking the economic potential of cultural and creative industries in Europe - a sector that generates 5 million jobs and represents 2.6 percent of GDP in the 27-nation bloc.

Barcelona park: The cultural sector includes areas as diverse as cinema, music, publishing, the media, fashion, interior and product design, cultural tourism, performing arts and heritage

The sector includes areas as diverse as cinema, music, publishing, the media, fashion, interior and product design, cultural tourism, performing arts and heritage.

Speaking at the European Forum on Cultural Industries in Barcelona, the director general of the European Commission's education and culture department, Odile Quintin, outlined the general lines of the upcoming commission document.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Court Favors Comcast in F.C.C. `Net Neutrality' Ruling - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt a sharp blow to the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to set the rules of the road for the Internet, ruling that the agency lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. Readers' Comments

Share your thoughts.

The decision, by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, specifically concerned the efforts of Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, to slow down customers' access to a service called BitTorrent, which is used to exchange large video files, most often pirated copies of movies.

After Comcast's blocking was exposed, the F.C.C. told Comcast to stop discriminating against BitTorrent traffic and in 2008 issued broader rules for the industry regarding "net neutrality," the principle that all Internet content should be treated equally by network providers. Comcast challenged the F.C.C.'s authority to issue such rules and argued that its throttling of BitTorrent was necessary to ensure that a few customers did not unfairly hog the capacity of the network, slowing down Internet access for all of its customers.

But Tuesday's court ruling has far larger implications than just the Comcast case.

The ruling would allow Comcast and other Internet service providers to restrict consumers' ability to access certain kinds of Internet content, such as video sites like Hulu.com or Google's YouTube service, or charge certain heavy users of their networks more money for access.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:54:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain hopes electric cars will help jump start future - Cars : europa, europe | euronews

Spain is revving up its green credentials with a plan to encourage electric cars. It wants to see a quarter of a million of them on its roads by 2014, investing 590 million euros in public funds.

Lower off-peak power rates and recharging points in homes, car parks and motorways are on the cards.

One recent convert said: "A hundred kilometres in this costs one and a half euros, compared to eight euros of petrol for a normal car, so you save a lot. You could say this kind of car pays for itself."

The socialist government has announced a 20 percent subsidy for electric car purchases, with a 6,000 euro ceiling. The prime minister unveiled the plan within the context of the economic crisis. Spain is one of the EU countries hardest hit.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 04:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but who's going to build those cars? Volkswagen?

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 04:42:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: China set for renminbi policy shift (April 7 2010)
A senior government economist told reporters in Beijing yesterday China could widen the daily trading band for the renminbi and allow it to resume the gradual appreciation it halted in July 2008 in response to the global credit crisis,

...

Speaking at a press briefing organised by the Foreign Ministry, Mr Ba said the current peg was a temporary emergency measure that would be abolished at some point.

...

Both sides have made conciliatory gestures following months of strained relations, with the US delaying a decision on China as a currency manipulator and Beijing moving diplomatically in tandem with Washington on Iran and nuclear security.



The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 04:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this week in wealth creation, jobless recovery, unbound rationality

One VC source complained to us recently that these days there are "so few deals and so much money." The VCs trying to get Foursquare agree. From their perspective, there are very few consumer-facing startups with the ambition of Foursquare. Foursquare is the only deal to get. Meanwhile, there's a ton of VCs firms with piles of cash. The supply and demand equation [?] skews in Foursquare's favor.

The other huge factor to remember is that investing in Foursquare is not necessarily a bet that Foursquare will gain mass consumer adoption.

Investing in Foursquare, is actually just a bet that any of the five following things will happen:

  • That some company -- Google? Yahoo? Facebook? -- will believe that Foursquare can gain mass consumer adoption.
  • That some company will buy or develop a Foursquare rival and that another company will come to believe it needs Foursquare to defend its market position.
  • That some company -- we're thinking of Yahoo here -- will decide that buying Foursquare for $100 million is a cheap way to demonstrate to its employees and investors that it is interested in making bets on startups that could gain mass consumer adoption.
  • That Foursquare will gain mass consumer adoption
  • And, most importantly: That someone,someday will come in and bet on any of the above happening, but at a higher price.

Don't miss: Yahoo Considers Buying Foursquare For ~$100 Million

Read more...

Normally, Foursquare is an ancient American ball game played by, you guessed it 4, elementary school aged girls. This Foursquare is a cell phone app leveraging GOOG GPS maps to locate, accumulate, and redeem "customer loyalty program" points, if any, awarded by retailers. Do watch the "Learn more" animation.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 10:50:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:46:28 PM EST
BBC News - Obama to announce new nuclear defence strategy

Barack Obama is set to announce a new defence strategy that would reduce the circumstances in which the US would be prepared to use nuclear weapons.

It would rule out a nuclear response to attacks on the US involving biological, chemical or conventional weapons.

Nor would the US use nuclear arms on non-nuclear states that comply with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Mr Obama said he would make exceptions for states deemed in violation of the treaty, naming Iran and North Korea.

Ahead of the report's release, Mr Obama told the New York Times he was convinced Iran was on a course that "would provide them with nuclear weapons capabilities".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:49:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From AlterNet to Rethink Afghanistan
Brave New Foundation's Rethink Afghanistan project has been following the story about a night raid in Gardez by U.S. and Afghan forces (see the video above), and today those forces made a major admission about their responsibility for civilian deaths. In a press release issued on Easter (gee, I wonder if they hoped people would be distracted today), the U.S. and allied forces under General McChrystal's command, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), admitted they killed three innocent Afghan women, two of whom were pregnant.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:54:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Flooding in Rio de Janeiro state kills 79

At least 79 people have been killed after torrential rain caused landslides and flooding in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, officials have said.

Thirty-three people died in the city of Rio de Janeiro after 7cm (3in) of rain fell in 15 hours, while 33 were killed in the neighbouring city of Niteroi.

Flooding left another 12 people dead in Sao Goncalo, and one in Petropolis.

Rio de Janeiro's governor has declared a state of emergency while the city's mayor has told people to stay indoors.

Authorities say the transport system is close to collapse.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:02:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - West Virginia coal mine explosion kills 25

Twenty-five miners are now known to have died and four are missing in an accident at a West Virginia coal mine.

The worst mine disaster in the US since 1984 was caused by an underground explosion at Upper Big Branch, about 30 miles (50km) south of Charleston.

It happened at about 1500 (1900 GMT) in a chamber 330m (1,000ft) below ground, mine owner Massey Energy Company said.

The rescue operation has been suspended because rising methane gas levels have heightened the risk of another blast.

The operation will resume as soon as conditions allow, Massey Energy said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:02:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Thai protesters defy police with Bangkok marches

Anti-government protesters in Thailand have defied a government ban to march through more areas of Bangkok, shutting down parts of the city.

The government had ordered the red-shirts, as the protesters are known, not to demonstrate along 11 key routes.

But the reds, who are calling on the government to step down, fanned out into Bangkok's business district.

The move followed scuffles earlier in the day between riot police and protesters.

No-one was hurt but it marked the first clash since the protests began almost a month ago.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:03:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Former Russian oligarch calls for oil theft charge to be dismissed | World news | The Guardian

The former Russian oligarch and opposition critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky today called for the latest case against him to be thrown out, describing Kremlin allegations that he stole billions of tonnes of oil as "deliberately malicious".

Taking the stand for the first time since his second trial began just over a year ago, Khodorkovsky brandished a jar of crude oil and said state prosecutors had failed to grasp how the oil industry worked. He is accused of stealing $25bn worth of oil and laundering most of the proceeds.

Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 after defying the then president, Vladimir Putin, by funding opposition political parties. He has been in jail ever since. In 2005 he was sentenced to eight years in prison for tax evasion and he was then charged with further offences as he neared parole in what critics say is an attempt to keep him behind bars.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boise priest calls for the the Pope to resign | McClatchy

Pope Benedict XVI and the people around him "are just not really aware of what is actually going on in many of the places in the world and how strongly felt these issues are," said the Rev. Thomas Faucher, pastor at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

In a Reader's View on today's Opinion page, Faucher writes that the pope "may be a saintly man, but he is much too old to lead the church through this mess."

Pope Benedict is 82. He became pope in 2005 at the age of 78. Popes are typically in their 60s when they are selected.

Michael Driscoll, Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise bishop, declined to comment. A church spokesman said Faucher was expressing his opinion, which he has a right to do.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:25:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[I]s a bishop an employee of the Vatican or not? -- is the central issue raised by two lawsuits in U.S. federal court.

One case involves the Rev. Andrew Ronan, a Servites order priest who was moved from Ireland to Chicago to Portland, Ore., and who admitted abusing minors in each place. Ronan has died, but an alleged victim sued not only the order but also the Vatican. "The Ronan case, because it involves the international movement of the priest and a documentary trail that goes from the priest through the superiors to Rome, looked like our best shot to get to the Vatican," says Jeffrey Anderson, who represents the plaintiff....

Another case in Kentucky is a little broader: It alleges that the bishops were acting as employees of the church when they moved around suspected priests. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer and an adviser to plaintiffs' in both cases, believes the bishops are akin to senior managers of the Vatican. "The Vatican appoints bishops. The Vatican fires bishops. It transfers bishops," Doyle says. "The Vatican controls what they do on a day-to-day basis through the code of canon law. Everything a bishop does is determined or interpreted by the Vatican."

Not so, says Nicholas Cafardi, a canon lawyer at Duquesne University. He says the pope doesn't pay the bishop's salary or get involved in the minutia of running a diocese.  

Read more...



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 10:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israeli Rights Groups View Themselves as Under Siege - NYTimes.com
JERUSALEM -- Leaders of some of Israel's most prominent human rights organizations say they are working in an increasingly hostile environment and coming under attack for actions that their critics say endanger the country.

The pressure on these groups has tightened as the country's leaders have battled to defend Israel against accusations of war crimes, the rights advocates say, raising questions about the limits of free speech and dissent in Israel's much vaunted democracy.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 06:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BREAKING:
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake has struck the northern part of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, triggering a tsunami watch for the immediate area.

The quake struck at 5:15 a.m. local time, the USGS said. Its epicentre was about 205 kilometres northwest of Sibolga, on Sumatra, and 1,425 km northwest of Jakarta.

The agency said the quake's depth measured 46 kilometres.



"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 08:06:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there any serious frequency analyzes of earthquakes? It seems strong earthquakes start ticking like a clock. Some are putting up awful guesses.
by das monde on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 10:10:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know how serious this is.

In any case, there is a case of selection bias here. The farther back you go the stronger an earthquake needs to be to make it into the historical record and so you see more "intermediate strength" earthquakes in recent times. Also, nowadays an earthquake anywhere in the world is reported almost instantly by the press whereas not so many years ago it might take hours or days for news to get around and they would only be reported as significant if large human or material damage resulted.

The first question one has to ask is where one can get comprehensive earthquake data and what possible selection biases might be in the data...

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 11:13:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the selection bias hypothesis has to be confirmed somehow. Otherwise it may become a too convenient excuse.
by das monde on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 09:04:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The selection bias has to be simple to explain, as in "the farther back you go the stronger recorded earthquakes are".

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 9th, 2010 at 04:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is what was left in Yediot of Judith Miller's article in The Daily Beast after the censors were finished with it. The original starts
A 23-year-old journalist is under arrest for exposing a secret Israeli assassination plot, and another has fled to London, afraid for his life. Judith Miller talks to insiders who have been gagged by the government about the scandal rocking Tel Aviv, and Israel's slide toward Iranian-style censorship.
She sure wouldn't have written that in the New York Times...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 02:50:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:46:53 PM EST
Ezra Klein - World goes one way, scientists and donors the same
Besides their apparent inability to spot a scientific consensus in plain view, the thing that puzzles me the most about climate change deniers is why, exactly, they think those trying to stop climate change are so invested in doing so.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Northern Lights to come south tonight| News | This is London

Look into the northern sky tonight and you could be in for a surprise - an aurora.

Yesterday a huge storm on the surface of the sun led to a massive explosion that produced its biggest recorded solar flare.

Experts predict that the interaction between the highly charged ions and the earth's magnetic field could produce a pink and green display of lights visible through the South-East, weather permitting.

The Meteorological Office is predicting a clear, cold night.

Auroras are rarely visible in the South of England and are usually small when they do appear. But astronomers predict tonight's show could be the most impressive ever.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt you'd be able to see it through the orange-glow that envelopes most of the south.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 05:55:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well we have cloud over us, but the last time  it was visible this far south, it was visible through the orange glow.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 05:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Oil prices hit new 18-month high

The price of oil reached a fresh 18-month high on Tuesday on growing hopes of a US-led global economic recovery.

One-month futures for US light crude hit $86.97 a barrel in New York trading, before falling back slightly.

The UK benchmark, Brent crude, peaked at $86.63 a barrel on Tuesday - also an 18-month high.

Investors have also signalled their confidence in the US economy with the strengthening of the dollar against both the pound and the euro.

The US dollar was up by more than a cent against the euro, with a dollar worth 74.8 euro cents.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Turtles killed 'in millions' by fishing gear

Millions of marine turtles have been killed over the past two decades through entrapment in fishing gear, according to a global survey.

Described as the first global synthesis of existing data, the study found especially high rates of "bycatch" in the Mediterranean and eastern Pacific.

Six of the seven sea turtle types are on the Red List of Threatened Species.

Writing in the journal Conservation Letters, researchers advocate much greater use of gear safe for turtles.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:07:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tokyo to trial electric 'filling stations' to boost green transport | Environment | The Guardian

The first public trial of a system that "refills" electric cars in minutes will be launched this month. The Californian company Better Place will test its automated battery-swap stations in Tokyo.

It is the latest element in the company's ambitious plans to build the world's first infrastructure networks for electric cars by the start of next year.

Globally, road vehicles generate around a fifth of carbon dioxide emissions. The figure is the same for the UK. According to a study for the Department for Transport, widespread adoption of electric vehicles with a range of 30 miles or more could halve road transport emissions.

One of the biggest challenges, however, to the large-scale implementation of electric cars is the problem of infrastructure for recharging.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French feathers ruffled over wind farming dispute | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 06.04.2010
In France, a controversial planned increase in the number of wind farms has rubbed some residents the wrong way. Now a newly commissioned parliamentary report has criticized the way wind farms are financed. 

France has between 2,000 and 2,500 wind farms, far fewer than its neighbors Germany or Spain. However, the government has ambitious plans to build 8,000 more over the next decade, as part of a strategy to reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Kyoto climate change agreement.

But in many parts of the country, people are unhappy with the wind farms that already exist.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:49:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some 280 of the 1,000 farmers who planted the three varieties of Monsanto corn this year, have reported extensive seedless corn problems....

[E]nvironmental activitist Marian Mayet, director of the Africa-centre for biosecurity in Johannesburg, demands an urgent government investigation and an immediate ban on all GM-foods, blaming the crop failure on Monsanto's genetically-manipulated technology.

Willem Pelser, journalist of the Afrikaans Sunday paper Rapport, writes from Nelspruit that Monsanto has immediately offered the farmers compensation in three provinces - North West, Free State and Mpumalanga. The damage-estimates are being undertaken right now by the local farmers' cooperative, Grain-SA. Monsanto claims that 'less than 25%' of three different corn varieties were 'insufficiently fertilised in the laboratory'.

80% crop failure

However Mayet says Monsanto was grossly understating the problem. According to her own information, some farms have suffered up to 80% crop failures. The centre is strongly opposed to GM-food and biologically-manipulated technology in general.

"Monsanto says they just made a mistake in the laboratory, however we say that biotechnology is a failure. You cannot make a 'mistake' with three different varieties of corn.'...

"One can't see from the outside whether a plant is unseeded. One must open up the cob leaves to establish the problem,' he said. The seedless cobs show no sign of disease or any kind of fungus. They just have very few seeds, often none at all.

Read more...

I wonder idly, if the farmers' compensation offer is cash or in-kind.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 04:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2008

As a result of climate change, many countries are considering the use of biofuels. As you would be aware, the ANC government for example, has authorised the establishment of a Biofuels Task Team to develop an alternative fuels strategy for the country. The biofuel industry thus can contribute towards the development of the second economy and enhance small business development. However we caution that in pursuing these opportunities, food security should not be compromised.

In December last year the ANC government approved the Bio-fuels strategy, clearly excluding maize for the first phase of the strategy, from 2008 to 2013. Maize, the staple food of the majority of the poor in our country, cannot be used as feedstock for bio-fuels production as we are concerned about food security and possible price increases.

Read more...

Laubscher argues that, excluding maize will put "a ceiling" on what can be produced in South Africa, as that local consumption is about nine-million tons a year, and production in excess of that generally results in very low prices for producers. On average, South Africa produces some 12-million tons of maize a year.

When asked about the potential conditions that should be taken into consideration when reviewing the exclusion or inclusion of maize, Laubscher says that the industry could possibly distinguish between white and yellow maize. He also says that there is potential for the "recommissioning of marginal land", in which farmers would be able to recultivate idle land, and possibly use it for maize production.

Read more...

2009

South Africa ranked as the eight-largest producer of GM crops, and planted more than 1,8-million hectares of biotech crops in 2008. The US still lead the world production with an estimated 65,5-million hectares of biotech crops, followed by Argentina with 21-million hectares, Brazil with 15,8-million hectares, and India and China with 7,6-million hectares each. In addition to the 25 countries participating in commercial GM crop raising, an additional 30 countries have granted regulatory approval for the importation of biotech crops for food and feed use....

During 2008, GM maize planting increased by 10 000 ha in South Africa alone, this despite an almost 8% decline in commercial maize area planted, said Laubshcer. Of the estimated 1,6-million hectares of white maize planted, about 56%, or 891 000 ha, was biotech, which represented about 579 000 ha of Babillus Thuringiesis (Bt) insect resistant, 148 000 ha was herbicide-tolerant, while a further 164 000 ha had combined, or stacked, traits. Of one-million hectares of yellow maize produced, 72% or 724 000 ha was biotech crops. Laubscher added that this represented about 455 000 ha of Bt, 131 000 ha of herbicide-tolerant crops, and 138 000 ha of stacked traits.

Read more...

I'm Kobus Lindeque, the business lead for Africa. As some of you have heard, a few weeks ago we started hearing from some of our farmer customers about a pollen issue with three white maize hybrids grown in South Africa.  In some instances, farmers experienced reduced yield. We've committed to reimburse the farmers for their lost yield....

Pollination variation is not uncommon and can be influenced by several factors such as weather or agronomic practices. In some cases, such as this one, seed production methods can also contribute to lower pollination, [Kobus Lindeque, South Africa Area Director Monsanto Africa] said.

Read more...

[fao.org "MONTHLY NEWS REPORT ON GRAINS
ISSUE 49 - MARCH 2009" ]

Thousands of hectares of genetically modified (GM) maize planted in South Africa failed to pollinate this season and farmers found some of their healthy-looking maize plants carried no mielies.

About 82 000 hectares of GM maize were affected, with some farmers losing five percent of their crop and others 80 percent.

Now the multinational biotech company Monsanto, which produced and supplied the GM seed, has said they will pay the farmers for their losses. Monsanto claims the failed crops had nothing to do with genetic modification, but the anti-GM lobby has said they have warned several times about the possibility of "unintended consequences" of GM and have called for a government inquiry.

Read more... (pdf)



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 05:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:47:39 PM EST
Is permission needed to retweet hot news?

When an aggregator like Google News publishes newspaper headlines, is the company treading on thin ice? What about aggregators that publish headlines and a one-line excerpt? What about those that simply rewrite the facts contained in the story and publish a new account in their own words?

Newspapers have long objected to these practices, arguing that they dilute the value of their own work. Case in point: last month, Laura Malone of the Associated Press appeared at a Federal Trade Commission conference on the future of news and told the assembled audience (read the transcript PDF):



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarah Palin's Fox News Special Ratings Unspectacular

Sarah Palin's "Real American Stories" Fox News Special generated its fair share of controversy, but that didn't translate into a ratings boost.

The special, which debuted Thursday night in Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record" time slot, drew 2.073 million total viewers and 472,000 A25-54 viewers. While that was more than enough to win the timeslot (beating everything else on cable news in the hour combined), it's an unspectacular number for Fox News. TVNewser notes that Palin's special was down 10% in total viewers and 28% in the demo compared to Greta's previous Thursday episode.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:50:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PeteSearch: How I got sued by Facebook

There's information about my Facebook data set scattered around multiple news articles, as well as posts in this blog, but here's the full story of how it all came down.

I'm a software engineer, my last job was at Apple but for the last two years I've been working on my own startup called Mailana. The name comes from 'Mail Analysis', and my goal has been to use the data sitting around in all our inboxes to help us in our day-to-day lives. I spent the first year trying (and failing) to get a toe-hold in the enterprise market. Last year I moved to Boulder to go through the Techstars startup program, where I met Antony Brydon, the former CEO of Visible Path. He described the immense difficulties they'd faced with the enterprise market, which persuaded me to re-focus on the consumer side.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:55:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Associated Press: FCC loses key ruling on Internet `neutrality'

WASHINGTON -- A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations and U.S. broadband expansion plans into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC's authority to impose such "Net neutrality" obligations on broadband providers.

The ruling marks a serious setback for the FCC, which is trying to adopt official net neutrality regulations. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, argues that such rules are needed to prevent phone and cable companies from using their control over Internet access to favor some online content and services over others.

The decision also has serious implications for the massive national broadband plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs clear authority to regulate broadband in order to push ahead with some its key recommendations, including a proposal to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.

Comcast and the FCC had no immediate comment.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WikiLeaks (wikileaks) on Twitter
Facebook.com has blocked outgoing links to collateralmurder.org (but not as yet,.com)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:57:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Shadow cyber spy network revealed

A "complex cyber-espionage" network that penetrated various organisations including the Office of the Dalai Lama, has been uncovered by researchers.

The shadow network targeted government, business, and academic computers at the United Nations and the Embassy of Pakistan in the US, among others.

It was used to steal at least 1,500 emails from the Office of the Dalai Lama, the researchers said.

The attacks were thought to originate in the city of Chengdu in China.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"There is a vast, subterranean ecosystem to cyberspace within which criminal and espionage networks thrive."

ooooooooooo trrrra from the methannnne depths ooooo

The team said its eight-month investigation showed no "hard evidence" of the involvement of the government of the People's Republic of China,

Don't say, D***!. Say, Whammy Whoa!

"An important question to be entertained is whether the PRC will take action to shut the Shadow network down," the report said.

yessss, demonstrate once MOAR red communist authoritay. Off with their heads!

The researchers said that the network - known as a botnet - exploited social networking and cloud computing platforms,

so the lens of magical realism reveals not-so-reliably SSH servers running IRC through big-box web browsers

"including Google, Baidu, Yahoo, and Twitter" to infect [their clients'] computers with malicious software, or malware.

yes, well, one do get what one do pay for.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 07:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history * The Register

Comment When the Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne realised his wife had left her dress on the train on the way to a charity dinner last Saturday he called lost property.

Unfortunately, being a Saturday afternoon, lost property was closed and his wife was distraught.

Fortunately Duncan's 50,000 Twitter followers came to the rescue. He made a single tweet offering a reward of £1000 for the safe return of the item of clothing. Amazingly the dress was indeed quickly located and returned.

Read the comments afterwards (and dont use buzzwords and technical language if you dont understand what they mean).

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:15:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mandybill enters pre-election wash-up * The Register

Both sides of the Digital Economy Bill debate made what could be their final pitch to MPs in newspaper adverts today, as the legislation enters the Parliamentary "wash-up" ahead of the election.

The Bill is due to receive its second reading in the Commons at 3.30pm. During the wash-up, set to take place over the next few days, the parties generally push through uncontroversial Bills quickly before returning to their constituencies for campaigning.

Opponents of the Digital Economy Bill are arguing it is highly controversial, and has not been sufficiently debated by MPs. The Open Rights Group has issued dire warnings about the death of public Wi-Fi hotspots, human rights and democracy.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:17:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists Discover Heavy New Element - NYTimes.com

A team of Russian and American scientists has discovered a new element that has long stood as a missing link among the heaviest bits of atomic matter ever produced. The element, still nameless, appears to point the way toward a brew of still more massive elements with chemical properties no one can predict.

The team produced six atoms of the element by smashing together isotopes of calcium and a radioactive element called berkelium in a particle accelerator about 75 miles north of Moscow on the Volga River, according to a paper that has been accepted for publication at the journal Physical Review Letters.

Data collected by the team seem to support what theorists have long suspected but so far failed to prove: that as newly created elements become heavier and heavier they will eventually become much more stable and longer-lived than the fleeting bits of artificially produced matter seen so far.

If the trend continues toward a theorized "island of stability" at higher masses, said Dawn Shaughnessy, a chemist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California who is a member of the team, the work could generate an array of strange new materials with as yet unimagined scientific and practical uses.

By scientific custom, if the latest discovery is confirmed elsewhere, the element will receive an official name and take its place in the periodic table of the elements, the checkerboard that begins with hydrogen, helium and lithium and hangs on the walls of science classrooms and research labs the world over.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:59:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France's wealthy young Muslims fuel boom in halal food - Telegraph
An affluent middle class of young Muslims is driving a boom in sales of halal products, including alcohol-free sparkling wine and Islam-approved foie gras in France.

The new consumers, known as the beurgeois - a combination of bourgeois and beur, slang for a French person of North African descent - have spending power worth an estimated 5.5bn euros a year.

But they don't want the foods that their parents grew up with, instead they want high end halal luxuries and a range of halal cuisines, the Guardian reports.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 04:05:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SpringBoardMedia: The trifecta that broke the internet as we know it
That deafening applause you hear is not from Durham, NC post NCAA, but rather from the MPAA and the representatives of other major content providers on both sides of the Atlantic cheering on what may be looked back upon as the trifecta week that broke the internet as we know it. Three momentous things took place simultaneously this week that combined are more important than most people realize - the Ipad was released, the UK looks poised to pass Debill and a federal appeals court ruled that the FCC doesn't have the right to regulate broadband, thus possibly ending its ability to enforce network neutrality.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 06:19:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Washington state man has been charged with threatening to kill Democratic Sen. Patty Murray over her support for health care reform.

Read more...

OTOH

Obama Inc. is making a buck off Joe Biden calling the health care victory a "big f----ing deal."! The "Health Reform is a BFD" T-shirt appeared this week on the fundraising website hosted by President Obama's perpetual campaign, Organizing for America.

The Tee is available to anyone who makes at least a $25 online contribution to OFA.

Read more...

stay classy!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 07:39:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dame Shirley Porter Funded Prince Charles' Political Report on NHS Alternative Medicine | The Quackometer

After writing about how Prince Charles' charity, the Foundation for Integrated Health, is now under police investigation for possible fraud, it has become clear how I have missed one of the most shocking aspects of the Smallwood Report.

The report has proved to be very controversial because it was commissioned by Prince Charles and was sent directly to government ministers in an attempt to influence them to fund the provision of pseudo-medical treatments, such as homeopathy, within the NHS. Given, the unique constitutional position of the future monarch, direct lobbying over specific policy issues is seen as being in conflict with the democratic process.

<snip>

In a comment on my last blog post, Ernst makes it clear that the money was coming from Dame Shirley Porter and that Smallwood made it clear the Prince did not want it to be known who was behind the financing.

It is not difficult to understand why Prince Charles would not want it to be know that Porter was funding his pet project.

The Smallwood report was published in 2005 at a very sensitive time for Shirley Porter. She has been described as "the most corrupt British public figure in living memory". During the 80's, Porter was leader of Westminster council where she systematically tried to gerrymander wards to make them more likely to vote Tory by selling off council houses in marginal areas to private tenants. She ousted homeless people out of marginal wards and tried to house them in safe labour wards in buildings unfit for human habitation. She sold of cemeteries for 15p each and organised thugs to jeer at families who protested.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 08:00:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, less mentioned is the fact that Shirley Porter's corruption was well known to the British press, who decided, given the fact that at that time they were giving the tories a free pass about riding roughshod over poor people all over the country, that it was much more something to be reported as a laugh than as a corruption of government.

It was only after she fled to Israel, which has no extradition with the UK, with something like £56 million of ratepayers money that they decided that perhaps she'd gone a bit too far. But you will not hear any mention of their silence about her misdeeds while she was committing them in the full public glare.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 05:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
news from the great state of ILLINOIS

When the body of Chicago's school board president [!] was found partially submerged in a river last fall, a bullet wound to the head, cameras helped prove it was a suicide.

O RLY?

within days, police recreated Scott's 20-minute drive through the city using high-tech equipment that singled out his car on a succession of surveillance cameras, handing the image from camera to camera.

The video didn't capture Scott's final moments, but it helped convince police his death was a suicide: He wasn't followed. He wasn't following anyone. He never picked up a passenger.

Somebody, think of the savings.

In less than a decade and with little opposition, the city has linked thousands of cameras - on street poles and skyscrapers, aboard buses and in train tunnels - in a network covering most of the city. Officials can watch video live at a sprawling emergency command center, police stations and even some squad cars. "I don't think there is another city in the U.S. that has as an extensive and integrated camera network as Chicago has," said Michael Chertoff, the former Homeland Security secretary....

While critics decry the network as the biggest of Big Brother invasions of privacy, most Chicago residents accept them as a fact of life in a city that has always had a powerful local government and police force. And authorities say the system helps them respond to emergencies in a way never before possible.

Read more...

Possibly related news:
On the road show
Placements, everyone! Placements
WaPo balks...
Illinois Terrorism Task Force

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 08:20:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:48:03 PM EST
BBC News - Women try to take body on plane at Liverpool airport

Police have arrested two women after they tried to take the body of a dead relative onto a plane at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Staff became suspicious when the women tried to check in the man, who was wearing sunglasses, for a flight to Berlin on Saturday.

The man is thought to have died the previous day and was in a wheelchair.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 02:48:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they just wanted his extra duty free allocation

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 06:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Fire alert over Blairs' burnt breakfast toast

Firefighters were called out to the home of ex-prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie after their burnt breakfast toast set off a smoke alarm.

Mr Blair's spokesman said firefighters had already arrived before they could be told it was a false alarm.

Four engines were sent to the 17th Century building in Wotton Underwood when the alarm went off on Saturday.

A spokesman for Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said the Blairs were given fire safety advice.

Mr Blair's spokesman said that, because the house was a grade one listed building, the alarm was "automatically connected" to the local fire station.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:00:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Aberystwyth lifeboat man's DIY store Caribbean rescue

A lifeboat crewman helped coordinate a rescue in the Caribbean on his mobile phone from a DIY store in Aberystwyth.

Alex Evans answered a call from friend Mark Corbett who said he was on a ship that was taking on water and his was the only number he could remember.

Mr Evans wrote down the latitude and longitude on a till receipt and contacted Milford Haven Coastguard.

They alerted their colleagues over 4,000 miles away and the ship was located, made safe and towed ashore.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 03:05:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Campaign 2010, ILLINOIS post-Burris Senate seat

The family bank of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias loaned a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period when Giannoulias was a senior loan officer, according to a Tribune examination that provides new details about the bank's relationship with the convicted felons....

Stavropoulos in 2005 began a two-year sentence following a felony conviction for running a multistate bookmaking ring, while Giorango would serve six months intermittent confinement on a felony for promoting a nationwide prostitution scheme as Broadway financed their land deals from downtown Chicago to Florida, California and South Carolina.

In the most complete examination yet of Broadway's loans to the pair, the Tribune found more than $27 million worth of mortgages to Giorango and his land trusts and companies since 1999. Stavropoulos took part in many of those deals. Broadway officials have cited privacy laws in declining to document the full extent of their business with the men. The new figures exceed reported totals by about $7 million....

Broadway violated no laws if it didn't know that Giorango and Stavropoulos were using Broadway funds to lend money, said Robert Serino, a former director of the Comptroller of the Currency's enforcement and compliance division. But Serino added that if the Giannoulias family "put their head in the sand and didn't want to know, they wouldn't necessarily be violating the statute, but they may not be doing their jobs."...

Show me da B-ROLLLLLLL!

The bank's ongoing problems have become a major campaign issue for Alexi Giannoulias as he runs against Republican opponent U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk. Giannoulias last month said he fears Broadway, which is struggling to raise more than $85 million to prevent a federal takeover, will fail.

Read more...

Possibly related news:
Feb 2010
Feb 2010

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Apr 6th, 2010 at 10:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Bobo" Brooks coins a phrase, "income is adjusted for family size," and other curiosities.

As the world gets richer, demand will rise for the sorts of products Americans are great at providing -- emotional experiences.

some investor guy (profile) wrote (in reply to...)  on Tue, 4/6/2010 - 7:42 am
ResistanceIsFeudal wrote: We can all buy and sell emotional experiences to each other
What was that movie? Some type of toupee that recorded emotional experiences and what people saw and heard? Pretty good science fiction. One guy stumbled across someone who committed murder while wearing the recording device.

Educated Americans grow up in a culture of moral materialism [?]; they have their sensibilities honed by complicated shows like "The Sopranos," "The Wire" and "Mad Men," [?] and they go on to create companies like Apple [?], with identities coated in moral and psychological meaning [?], which affluent consumers crave.

As the rising generation leads an economic revival, it will also participate in a communal one [!]. We are living in a global age of social entrepreneurship. [?]

In 1964, there were 15,000 foundations in the U.S. By 2001, there were 61,000. In 2007, total private giving [?] passed $300 billion. Participation in organizations like City Year, Teach for America, and College Summit surges every year. Suburbanization helps. [?] For every 10 percent reduction in population density [?], the odds that people will join a local club rise by 15 percent. The culture of service [!] is now entrenched and widespread.

Read more...

Yes, well, do peruse the comments. I never before had had the time for NYT comments. Incredibly, Brooks has a fan club of sorts, fellow optimists, with the exceptions rather proving the idiocracy implied by Brooks' vaunted station regarding current and future events.

66. Charles Gerard Larkin
Brooks says of America that "It's always had that moral materialism that creates meaning-rich products." Whatever this means (and it's far from clear), it surely suggests moral bankruptcy.

Related psychotic breaks:
Wal-mart hippies and the New Left

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 12:50:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Public Service CatTM:

Reading Brooks - so we won't have to. ;)

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 03:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid I won't be able to carry on.
I want to live.
srsly.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 02:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan unveils humanoid robot that laughs and smiles
Japanese researchers said Saturday they have developed a humanoid robot that can laugh and smile as it mimics a person's facial expressions.

The robot, Geminoid TMF, can move its rubber facial skin to imitate a smile, a laugh showing teeth, and a grim look with furrowed brows, by receiving electric signals from the person it is modelled on.

The researchers demonstrated with a robot made to look exactly like an attractive woman in her 20s with long dark hair. The woman and the robot were dressed in the same clothes - a black skirt and black leather jacket.

The robot smiled and furrowed its brow in almost simultaneous mimicry of the woman, whose face was filmed with a video camera which then provided information on her expressions to the robot through electric signals.

The robot is from the same guy who had made a robotic copy of himself.

by das monde on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 at 09:46:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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