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 - 18 May

by ceebs Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:08:30 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1897 - The novel Dracula, is first published

More here and here

 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 of 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 



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:13:40 PM EST
It's official: France wins 2018 Ryder Cup bid

France will host The Ryder Cup for the first time in 2018. The historic announcement, which will see golf's greatest team event return to the Continent of Europe for the first time in 21 years, was made by Ryder Cup Europe at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England.

Le Golf National on the outskirts of Versailles near Paris, the well-established home of the Alstom Open de France, will become only the second Continental venue - following Club de Golf, Valderrama, in Spain in 1997 - when the 42nd edition of The Ryder Cup between Europe and the United States is contested in the autumn of 2018.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:29:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does Blue Labour have what it takes to be a vote-winner after all? - Telegraph

Blue failed to win the voters' hearts. Although Britain's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest began as third favourite, the ageing boy band finished a miserable 11th. Thinkers across the political spectrum are hoping that the colour proves luckier for them. On the Conservative side, Lord Ashcroft is angling for a Tory majority with a scheme called Project Blueprint.

Meanwhile, Blue Labour today publishes its bible as an ebook. This opus is more than the mission statement of the most fashionable movement to emerge from the party's election wreckage. It is also the test of whether Labour has the cohesion to challenge David Cameron. The first signs are not entirely encouraging.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:29:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
while we shouldn't have to worry too much about anything the Telegraph has to say on the subject of the Labour party, I have to be concerned at reports mentioned within that Ed Miliband is taking this stuff seriously.

Glasman's view is all very well, but none of it is economic. He makes the same mistake Crosland and Blair made, which is that Labour's job is not to regulate the market but to divert sufficient resources to protect the most vulnerable for the consequences of that abdication of responsibility. And while Labour refuses to take responsibility for the economy, it renders itself useless as a guardian of the duty of governing the people for the people for which it was elected.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 06:58:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
not to regulate the market but to divert sufficient resources to protect the most vulnerable for the consequences of that abdication of responsibility

That's the tipping-point that has made social democrats into ineffectual nobodies throughout Europe. The French Socialists went through a process where they were summoned (by people in their own ranks, like Michel Rocard) to "accept the market". Either you accepted the market (and you were then an up-to-date realist) or you were a basket case. Now that the PS (or most of it) has "accepted the market", a great deal of their difficulty in getting into government comes from the fact that they only differ from the conservative right in a matter of degree, not on the substance of policy. "Regulate the market!" should be the watchword.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Regulate the market!" should be the watchword.

In flaming letters 5 feet high

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 09:09:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Queen lays wreath on Republic of Ireland state visit

The Queen has laid a wreath at the Republic of Ireland's Garden of Remembrance during the first visit to the country by a British monarch.

The act is significant as the garden, in Dublin, is dedicated to people who fought for Irish independence.

Dozens of protesters gathered nearby amid one of the biggest ever security operations in the country.

Earlier, the Queen was welcomed by President Mary McAleese after flying into Baldonnel military airbase



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:30:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the queen lays a bloody wreath everywhere she goes. It's what she does. There's probably a big pile of them outside the royal loo.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 06:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depending on the definition of the English verb to lay.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:18:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Setback for Silvio Berlusconi after poor local election results | World news | The Guardian

The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has suffered a serious blow in local elections that punctured his image of political invincibility and could usher in a period of instability.

Aides said he was "surprised and saddened" by the results.

Both Berlusconi's PDL party and its Northern League allies did badly in the first round of voting on Sunday and Monday in elections in 1,310 towns and 11 provinces. The polls were seen as a key test for the premier midway through his third term.

Berlusconi's centre-right bloc suffered the biggest shock in their stronghold of Milan, trailing a centre-left candidate who forced them into a run-off for the first time in 14 years.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:42:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cue a "reform" of the Italian voting system.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:00:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek civil servants face the sack | Business | The Guardian

Under huge pressure to rein in Greece's spiralling debt following Monday's eurozone meeting in Brussels, Athens appears to have finally bitten the bullet by promising to do the unthinkable: sack civil servants.

With fury mounting over the lack of progress the recession-hit country has made in implementing reforms in return for loans, the government said on Tuesday that it would forge ahead with mass layoffs in the one million strong state-sector. "If someone is not considered worthy of working in the public sector ... then no one can say that he should automatically continue to burden the Greek taxpayer," said Yiannis Ragousis, the interior minister. "The system of blind transferals [within the sector] has to stop. Civil servants will be evaluated and sacked," he said, if they fail to make the grade.

The promise came as Athens's troika of creditors - the EU, ECB and IMF - signalled it was running out of patience with Greece's inability to adhere to a fiscal programme aimed at lowering its debt that is projected to reach 160% of GDP in 2012.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:51:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Juncker calls for 'soft restructuring' of Greece's debt | EurActiv

Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg prime minister and Eurogroup chair, called yesterday (17 May) for a "soft restructuring" of Greece's debt provided that the country would put in practice deep reforms and a privatisation "exceeding the imagination".

Juncker said that the case of Greece was "beyond comparison" with Ireland and Portugal, the two other eurozone countries to have benefited from an EU/IMF bailout.

Speaking only hours after chairing a eurozone meeting which approved a three-year, 78-billion-euro emergency loan programme for Portugal, Juncker admitted that a large part of the ministerial meeting had been in fact dedicated to discussing the situation in Greece.

Juncker was speaking at the inauguration of a new Brussels think-tank, the Government of the Future Centre, led by former Bulgarian Commissioner Meglena Kuneva. The think-tank is supported by Accenture, a global management consulting company, the College of Europe and the Lisbon Council, an economic think-tank and policy network.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 03:20:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot believe the EU is trying to turn Greece into a failed state before our eyes.

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 04:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Failed, yes.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 10:15:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NYTimes: Money Troubles Take Personal Toll in Greece (via Google)
These struggles have again made Greece an urgent matter for the 17-nation euro zone, whose finance ministers are to meet on Monday to discuss Greece and the debt crisis that has defied Europe's yearlong efforts to contain it. On the table will be whether Greece, which is now projected to miss its deficit target by as much as two percentage points of G.D.P. this year, will be granted another round of loans totaling as much as 60 billion euros, and what further budget cuts would be required in return.

But there is serious debate about whether this kind of prescription -- subjecting Greece to more cuts and sacrifice in order to justify a second installment of funds from a reluctant Europe -- is the right one.

This form of remedy violates two basic economic principles, according to Yanis Varoufakis, an economics professor and blogger at the University of Athens. "You do not lend money at high interest rates to the insolvent and you do not introduce austerity into a recession," he said. "It's pretty simple: the debt is going up and G.D.P. is going down. Have we not learned the lesson of 1929?"



Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 02:37:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have we not learned the lesson of 1929?"

Yes, they have. This time they have eliminated the Keynesians from the debate entirely

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair: What won the debate for Keynes was the war. It made the argument that mass unemployment was a fact of life untenable.
by generic on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:23:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Juncker is confusing everybody with his loose talk on "reprofiling"
Reprofiling - the exchange of short-term debt for long-term debt - has emerged at the catchphrase in the Greek crisis resolution; Jean-Claude Juncker makes reprofiling conditions on a successful Greek privatisation programme; Ecofin does not address the question that a reprofiling would constitute a credit event, and would land Greece with a C-rating, and its banks with no access to ECB collateralised lending; Christine Lagarde opposes reprofiling, as does the ECB; Reuters reports that the word reprofiling does not exist in finance, but it is a well known alternative term for a nose job; El Pais says the idea of a restructuring is now becoming accepted among the EU policy makers; EU insists on cross-party consensus in Greek debt talks; Bild Zeitung reports that the privatisation of land in Greece is hard, considering the absence of a land registry; Martin Wolf pays tribute to DSK, and says the new IMF chief, probably a European, will face a very tough job in keeping the lid on the eurozone crisis; Wall Street Journal reports that Timothy Geithner effectively called for DSK's resignation; Bild reports that Angela Merkel is looking for a German candidate; we think it is going to be Lagarde;Sarkozy's electoral fortunes are improving in the wake of the DSK affair; Ireland asked the European Commission to extend its bank guarantee scheme; the French media welcome Mario Draghi's nomination to the ECB, while the Germans remain cautiously sceptical; King Albert of Belgium, meanwhile, has asked the French-speaking Socialist leader Elio di Rupo, to try to form a government.
(Google link)

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 02:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recall: Straight Talk From Juncker by afew on February 12th, 2010.

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 02:26:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The state sector is not "one million strong" it is ~750k strong. That is around 15% of the work force, so "bloated public sector" I would say is a borders on disinformation. Greece was unable "to adhere to a programme" that forsaw the debt reaching at 150% of GDP and then magically by implementation of a complete public property fire-sale rejoin the markets and grow at ~8% a year for a decade. I repeat the increase in debt was part of the programme.  It is of course impossible to adhere to a work of fantasy and a contradictory fantasy at that: the deficit was shaved 5% points in a year and the failure was not cutting it by 7%. The troika are demanding an immediate self-relegation to colonial status, as they even insist on managing the sell out themselves...

Our colonial overlords threatened to withhold the 5th installment of the Greek bank bailout unless Greek parties (they will be satisfied with just the conservatives it seems) accept in advance any long term commitments. And they want water, power and rail services fully privatized by yesterday.

The really idiotic and irresponsible thing was the Greek government accepting a program that any sane person could see would lead to a death spiral...

I note that the implicit, and incorrect, assumptions the article makes would be unsettling if this was the Telegraph... But the Guardian?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 06:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unions urge ministers to ease pressure on Greece | EurActiv

Meeting in Athens, trade union leaders from across Europe have called on EU finance ministers to show solidarity towards Greece and other EU countries facing serious financial difficulties, notably by reducing interest rates on loans from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Unions are urging ministers to "immediately change course" in the way they treat member states with serious deficit problems - such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

John Monks, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), has written to members of the Ecofin Council insisting that they "change the logic of the financial bailouts, allowing the countries involved to grow out of debt".

According to Monks, "brutal austerity, both in terms of public finance as in terms of wages, is not working but is instead undermining the economies of countries such as Greece, Ireland and Romania".

Union leaders are very critical of the package that was adopted by EU leaders 12 months ago, with the aim of saving the economy of the whole euro zone while putting Greece on a path towards reducing its budget deficit and repaying its national debt.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 03:20:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5 Stelle Milano has refused to endorse any candidate for the runoff, while saying that Moratti's closeness to Berlusconi does not dispose us favourably towards the candidate of the centre-right.
Nessun apparentamento con i partiti in vista del ballottaggio, anche se la vicinanza a Silvio Berlusconi "non depone a favore del candidato di centro destra". Attraverso quello che era stato il suo candidato sindaco di Milano, e ora consigliere per il prossimo quinquennio, il Movimento a Cinque Stelle continua a ribadire la linea della libertà di voto.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 06:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure how important the issue is, but Berlusconi has just lost 4 votes in Parliament concerning the conditions in the prisons. It's too soon to tell, but this may be a sign of him losing control after the regional elections this weekend.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 06:57:22 AM 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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:14:15 PM EST
BBC News - UK inflation rate rises to 4.5% in April

The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual rate of inflation rose to 4.5% in April, up from 4% in March.

The rise was due to a jump in transport costs, particularly Easter rises in air and sea fares, and alcohol and tobacco.

However, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation - which includes mortgage interest payments - fell slightly to 5.2% from 5.3% in March.

The rise in CPI was bigger than analysts had forecast and follows a surprise fall in the index last month.

CPI is now at its highest level since October 2008.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Strauss-Kahn: Pressure grows on IMF chief to resign

Pressure is mounting on Dominique Strauss-Kahn to step down as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Austrian finance minister Maria Fekter called on him to consider his position.

Meanwhile, her Spanish counterpart, Elana Salgado, gave her support for the victim of his alleged sexual assault.

Mr Strauss-Kahn has been remanded in custody at New York's notorious Rikers Island jail, following his arrest on Saturday for the attempted rape of a hotel maid.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:32:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rosneft ready to ditch BP and do deal with rival | Business | The Guardian

The Russian oil and gas group Rosneft is ready to ditch BP and look elsewhere for an alliance with a foreign competitor following the collapse of the two companies' proposed alliance.

The Rosneft-BP deal, announced in January, would have paved the way for joint exploration of parts of the Arctic where there may be 60bn barrels of oil in an area the size of the North Sea. Its collapse is a severe blow for the British firm's chief executive, Bob Dudley.

Dudley's move was viewed as a way for BP to ensure long term growth and revive its reputation after the explosion on its Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico last year, leading to the worst oil spill in US history. The disaster off the coast of Louisiana has cost BP more than $41bn (£25bn) and has forced it to sell assets to raise $24bn.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BAE Systems to pay $79m fine for breach of US military export rules | Business | The Guardian

BAE Systems has agreed to pay fines of up to $79m (£48.7m) to the US government for breaking military export rules, drawing a line under corruption investigations into the British company on both sides of the Atlantic.

Europe's biggest defence company and a major supplier to the US military said on Tuesday that the latest penalties formed part of a civil settlement with the US state department. The decision comes after BAE, which makes around half of its revenues in the US, last year admitted making false statements over the sale of fighter planes to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The latest penalty comes on top of $450m in fines from the US and Britain revealed by BAE last year, following long-running corruption investigations into defence deals in Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

"This brings an end to the investigations and uncertainty that have surrounded the company for a while now," said one analyst. "The fine is within the range expected by BAE and can be seen as a positive that allows the company to move on."



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finance ministers strike deal on short selling | European Voice

EU member states' finance ministers have reached a deal intended to limit and improve the transparency of two trading practices that have been most criticised in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007-08.

Ministers agreed a common approach to rules covering short selling - a practice in which traders sell a security at a high price in the expectation that they will be able to buy it again at a lower price - and on the trade in credit default swaps, a form of insurance that guarantees the creditworthiness of a loan.

Under the compromise reached today, short selling will be banned when a trader borrows the security- a practice known as `naked short selling'. This will not apply to the short selling of government debt if the deal is made to hedge against a long position in that instrument.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 03:24:55 PM 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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:14:46 PM EST
Florida Law Change: Boss Could Deny Unemployment Benefits Because of Employee Misconduct Outside of the Office or Outside of Business Hours - ABC News

In what some see as an assault on the unemployed, Congress is considering changes that would "dismantle" jobless benefits for millions of workers. In Florida, a law awaiting the governor's signature would deny benefits to anyone found to have engaged in misconduct; not just on-the-job, but outside the office, outside business hours and on the employee's own time.

While defenders of the Florida legislation insist only misbehavior relevant to a person's job could result a denial of benefits, others aren't so sure.

"This new legislation, if signed by our governor, is definitely going to make it easier for employers to disqualify somebody from getting unemployment," says Jack Lord, a labor law attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP in Orlando. He calls it "all part of the Florida legislature's extremely pro-business stance during this recession."

Under HB 7005, the definition of "misconduct" would be broadened to include misbehavior whether or not it occurs at the workplace or during working hours. Such misconduct for the first time includes, under certain circumstances, "violation of an employer's rule."



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:30:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libyan oil minister Shokri Ghanem 'defects' - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Libya's oil minister has reportedly defected and fled to Tunisia.

Shokri Ghanem, who also chaired the National Oil Corporation, is said to be on his way to the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Hoda Abdel Hamid, one of Al Jazeera's correspondents in Libya, said a border guard confirmed the defection.

"He told us the minister had crossed into Tunisia two days ago and that he was alone, not with his family," she said.

"He mentioned he had tried to cross before but was held in Libya. We cannot confirm this."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 02:34:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Emergency' in Guatemala over killings - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom has declared a "state of siege" in the Peten region along the Mexican border, where at least 27 people were killed over the weekend in an alleged drug gang massacre.

The state of emergency will allow authorities to restrict demonstrations and police to carry out raids at night, among other things, according to local media.

Colom said the order would last through to Tuesday to allow authorities to try to track down the killers, adding that police had captured a suspect and killed two others in an operation in which two policemen were wounded.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ex-Rwanda army chief sentenced for genocide - Africa - Al Jazeera English

The UN court for Rwanda has handed the general who was army chief during the country's 1994 genocide a 30-year jail term for his role in the mass killing, including calling for the murder of ethnic Tutsis.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) found that Augustine Bizimungu had complete control over the men he commanded, who were involved in the massacres that started on the night of April 6.

Augustin Ndindiliyimana, the former head of the paramiltary police, was also convicted of genocide crimes but the court ordered his release as he had already spent 11 years behind bars since his arrest.

Bizimungu and Ndindiliyimana are among the most senior figures to be tried by the tribunal, based in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, for the genocide in which 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis, were killed.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:37:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pakistan protests over border strike - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

Pakistan's army has lodged a strong protest and demanded talks with NATO commanders after an allliance helicopter hit a Pakistani checkpoint, injuring two security personnel.

"It [the incursion] happened early morning," a Pakistani intelligence official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, told the Reuters news agency.

"The helicopter hit a Pakistani checkpoint on the border in the Datta Khel area."

A Western military official in Kabul, told Reuters that two NATO helicopters supporting a base in eastern Afghanistan had returned fire after being attacked from Pakistan.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:38:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Osama bin Laden's guns found 'only after' US Navy Seals killed him | World news | guardian.co.uk

The American soldiers who killed Osama bin Laden found his two guns only after he was dead, while they photographed his remains, according to a detailed new account of the al-Qaida leader's final moments.

The Associated Press revelation will add further fuel for critics who say US forces acted illegally in killing the unarmed Saudi fugitive. The Obama administration insists the shooting was lawful.

Meanwhile, US relations with Pakistan, already at their lowest point in a decade, have found a fresh point of friction following an exchange of fire between Nato and Pakistani forces along the Afghan border.

Two Pakistani soldiers were injured after opening fire on two Nato helicopters that crossed into Datta Khel, North Waziristan.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:43:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima reactors will be stable by January, operator insists | World news | The Guardian

The firm at the centre of Japan's worst nuclear accident insisted on Tuesday it would bring stricken reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant under control by January 2012, despite evidence that the complex is more seriously damaged than previously thought.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said it would try new methods to cool the reactors, but would stick with its original plan, announced a month ago, to stabilise radiation levels and bring the units to a stable condition - a process known as "cold shutdown" - within six to nine months.

Officials said the melting of fuel rods in three reactors did not raise the risk of explosions and would not affect the timeline for bringing the plant under control.

But Tepco's roadmap has looked increasingly unworkable recently, after it said uranium fuel rods in three reactors had been left exposed and had melted hours after the earthquake on 11 March



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:44:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh good, they're gonna turn the corner in 6 months.

[Moustache of Understanding Alert]

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:09:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[McClatchy], PALENQUE, Mexico -- As residents in a third of Guatemala's territory hunkered down Tuesday under a state of siege, President Alvaro Colom offered chilling new details of a weekend slaughter of 27 laborers on a ranch, declaring it an act of "total savagery."  Colom flew to the northern Peten region of Guatemala to lead a military crackdown against the transnational criminal band known as Los Zetas.
More HERE.

Colombia Reports: Colombia has become the first Latin American nation to sign an agreement to enforce the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decisions, which may involve having those condemned serve their sentences in Colombia, according to a government press release Tuesday.

MercoPress: Almost 81 million children under 18 suffer from poverty in Latin America which is equivalent to 45% of that age group according to a study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's presidential front-runner Keiko Fujimori has hired former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as an adviser, trying to bolster her law-and-order credentials without relying on the image of her divisive father, jailed former President Alberto Fujimori.

MercoPress: A group of Brazilian banks and funds have created a company called Sete Brasil that will build seven deep-water rigs for state-run oil company Petrobras offshore exploration campaign, Petrobras announced on Monday.

Javier Sicilia Speech from the Zócalo in Mexico City: The Mexican Poet and Journalist Speaks on May 8 After Silent March from Cuernavaca.

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

by maracatu on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 08:33:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Ha'aretz.
Israel Police forces have uncovered a Jaffa-based gang allegedly behind a series of attacks and attempted assassinations in the Tel Aviv area, including a plot to kill a senior sheikh of a local mosque, it was revealed after a gag order was lifted on Tuesday.

[...]

Attorney Gur Finkelstein, who represents the Scientology Center in Israel, was detained several weeks ago for allegedly hiring this gang to supply him with weapons and  assist him in his own endeavors.

He emerged as a suspect in a series of crimes after police uncovered the Jaffa gang, though he was not linked to plans to kill the sheikh.

A string of high-profile crimes have been attributed to Finkelstein, include attempts  to burn down the Scientology Center, and also the assault and plot to assassinate the director of Tel Aviv's planning and construction department, Shoteh Hovel.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 04:23:20 PM 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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:15:09 PM EST
BBC News - Chris Huhne briefs MPs on long-term carbon target

Chris Huhne has committed the UK to halving carbon emissions by 2025, from 1990 levels, and changing the way that the country produces energy.

The energy secretary - who is battling claims he asked someone close to him to take speeding points for him - briefed MPs on the UK's fourth "carbon budget".

He said there would be a review of progress in early 2014 to ensure the UK's targets were in line with Europe.

Labour accused him of a "go-slow" on green progress



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:33:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exploding watermelons put spotlight on Chinese farming practices | Environment | The Guardian

The flying pips, shattered shells and wet shrapnel still haunt farmer Liu Mingsuo after an effort to chemically boost his fruit crop went spectacularly wrong.

Fields of watermelons exploded when he and other agricultural workers in eastern China mistakenly applied forchlorfenuron, a growth accelerator. The incident has become a focus of a Chinese media drive to expose the lax farming practices, shortcuts and excessive use of fertiliser behind a rash of food safety scandals.

It follows discoveries of the heavy metal cadmium in rice, toxic melamine in milk, arsenic in soy sauce, bleach in mushrooms, and the detergent borax in pork, added to make it resemble beef.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did they really explode?  There are plenty of examples in the plant kingdom of exploding fruits, many legumes for example, but this still seems a little surprising.
by njh on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 08:48:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 09:31:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's the kaboom?  There was supposed to be an earth shattering kaboom!
by njh on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:32:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's tsunami turned Chile's scallop industry upside down | World news | Guardian Weekly

The March earthquake off the coast of Japan sparked a tsunami alert for the length of the Chilean coast. The warning was lifted 24 hours later after just a few small waves.

Things were different at Tongoy, about 450km north of Santiago. "What was supposed to be just a ripple was actually a powerful underwater current that turned everything upside down," says a bitter scallop farmer, Eduardo Briones.

Despite travelling 17,000km from Japan to Chile, the wave was strong enough to move concrete blocks weighing nearly a tonne, to which nets were attached, holding mature, two-year-old shellfish. The fishermen hurriedly sold all the shellfish that were still alive, but according to the local press the losses amount to about $6m. Hundreds of scallop farmers may find themselves without a livelihood.

Since the 1980s the fishing port of Tongoy, with its population of about 5,000, has become the main source of scallops in Chile. The country is the world's second-largest producer, exporting mainly to France, Spain and Italy. Hundreds of small contractors have given up more dangerous, less dependable fishing activities and switched to shellfish farming.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:45:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that due to porosity, aggregate choice and the density of water, a 1 tonne block on land may only have a few hundred kgf under water.  Still, mighty impressive.
by njh on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 08:50:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Plant clinics scheme to boost food security

A "plant clinic" scheme to improve food security in developing nations has received a £6.8m boost from the UK and Swiss governments.

The clinics, similar to human doctors' surgeries, offer local farmers advice on how to treat pests and diseases.

Organisers hope to collate data from front-line "plant doctors" in order to provide an early warning system.

It is hoped that more than 400 clinics will be established in 40 countries over the next five years.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:57:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UPS Boosts Mileage 40% with Prototype Plastic Delivery Vans | Business | GreenBiz.com

United Parcel Service is rolling out a prototype delivery van that gets 40 percent better mileage than its familiar big, brown boxy predecessor.

The twist here is less high tech than you might guess: It's not a new recipe for electric batteries or some new exotic fuel. Rather, to deliver big fuel savings, UPS put one of its standard package vans on a strict weight loss program.

By replacing aluminum sheet body panels with rugged, lightweight ABS plastic, UPS engineers have lowered fuel consumption by about 40 percent. Using less sheet metal cut the truck's weight so much that UPS could then opt for a smaller, lighter engine, saving still more weight. All together, the changes have carved off 1,000 pounds, or about 10 percent, from the original 5-ton model, says Dale Spencer, UPS' director of automotive engineering.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 03:06:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another Chink in Climate Skeptics' Armor | Mother Jones

The "report" that House climate skeptics commissioned back in 2005 to debunk long-term warming patterns appears to be falling apart at the seams.

As I wrote here a few months ago, evidence has emerged that staffers for Rep. "Smokey" Joe Barton (R-Texas) worked closely with the "independent" statistician they asked to review the famed hockey stick graph that shows temperatures over the past millennium. The report sided with critics of the graph and accused climate scientists of uncritically reinforcing each other's work, and has been touted by climate change deniers ever since. (It also makes an appearance in my feature on the "Climategate" affair.)

That statistician has also been under investigation for possibly plagiarizing portions of that report, and of making all kind of other off-base factual claims in the report. Now the journal that published it has retracted the piece, Dan Vergano at USA Today reports. After presenting the report to Congress, George Mason University statistician Edward Wegman published it in the journal Computational Statistics and Data Analysis. Now the journal is pulling it:

The journal publisher's legal team "has decided to retract the study," said CSDA journal editor Stanley Azen of the University of Southern California, following complaints of plagiarism. A November review by three plagiarism experts of the 2006 congressional report for USA TODAY also concluded that portions contained text from Wikipedia and textbooks. The journal study, co-authored by Wegman student Yasmin Said, detailed part of the congressional report's analysis.


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 May 17th, 2011 at 06:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plagiarism from Wikipedia is pretty pathetic. At least bother to go to the library and look in a real encyclopedia...
by asdf on Tue May 17th, 2011 at 11:29:19 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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:15:33 PM EST
BBC News - Android handsets 'leak' personal data

More than 99% of Android phones are potentially leaking data that, if stolen, could be used to get the information they store online.

The data being leaked is typically used to get at web-based services such as Google Calendar.

The discovery was made by German security researchers looking at how Android phones handle identification information.

Google has yet to comment on the loophole uncovered by the team.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:58:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France's official P2P monitoring firm hacked * The Register

The French government has temporarily suspended its reliance on the company designated to monitor file-sharing networks for copyright scofflaws following reports that a hack on its servers may have leaked sensitive information.

Eric Walter, France's secretary general of internet piracy, made the announcement over Twitter on Tuesday, saying that Hadopi, short for the High Authority for the dissemination of works and the protection of rights, was taking control of Trident Media Guard "following the leak of IP addresses."



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 May 17th, 2011 at 03:00:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lol
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:23:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Internet is insecure and can never be made secure as long as downloading and installing system level software is permitted.  

With Cloud Computing¹ becoming possible there's no reason for application programs to be necessarily resident on a local machine.  For those people who wish to run applications locally they can be installed using disks, thumb drives, etc.  

¹, for the cynical: Cloud Computing = going back to 1972

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

by ATinNM on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 12:37:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Council of Europe wants to maintain net neutrality * The Register

Internet service providers (ISPs) should not alter online traffic to serve faster access to content produced by companies that have helped to pay for better connectivity, draft principles into the governance of internet freedoms say.

European internet users are entitled to access to the whole internet in all but exceptional circumstances, the body behind EU human rights law has said. The Council of Europe has backed net neutrality as a fundamental principle.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 03:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vince Cable to back copyright law reform | Law | guardian.co.uk

Vince Cable, the business secretary, will on Wednesday give cabinet-level support to a report calling for a wide-ranging overhaul of the UK's intellectual property and copyright laws.

The minister is expected to endorse the major recommendations of Professor Ian Hargreaves's review into copyright, which is due to be published on Wednesday, in a speech to be delivered at a conference run by the Alliance Against IP Theft.

Hargreaves's report is expected to call for a loosening and simplification of some aspects of copyright law, a view held by Cable who is will say that the current system has failed to "keep pace" with the fast-moving digital economy.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 03:04:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Currently it's still illegal in the UK to make personal safety copies of CDs and DVDs.

I doubt anyone has been prosecuted for it. But it remains an eccentric legal position.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 08:14:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Orwell prize goes to Tom Bingham | Books | guardian.co.uk

Senior law lord Tom Bingham, who died last September, has won the Orwell book prize for his accessible examination of the rule of law.

Aimed not at lawyers, but at those "who have heard references to the rule of law, who are inclined to think it sounds like a good thing rather than a bad thing, who wonder if it may not be rather important, but who are not quite sure what it is all about and would like to make up their minds", according to Bingham's preface, the former lord chief justice's The Rule of Law beat books by authors including Christopher Hitchens and novelist Helen Dunmore to win the Orwell award posthumously this evening. His wife, Lady Bingham of Cornhill, accepted the £3,000 prize in his absence, along with a plaque inscribed with Orwell's ambition "to make political writing into an art".

James Naughtie, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said that he and his fellow judges "all felt [The Rule of Law] was a book for our times", and chose it as their winner unanimously. "At this time when the Middle East is in flux, and many countries in the developing world are still making the transition to their own kinds of democratic systems, it's an exposition of why the law matters, why citizens need to care about their system," said Naughtie.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 06:01:18 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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:15:58 PM EST
BBC News - Facebook inspires Israeli couple to name baby 'Like'

An Israeli couple have named their baby daughter Like, taking inspiration from the Facebook social networking site, Israeli media say.

Lior Adler and his wife Vardit said they were looking for a name that was "modern and innovative".

Facebook allows users to "like" their friends' statuses, pictures and posts.

Like Adler's father said originality was a key factor in the choice and said he had checked no-one else in Israel had the same name.

"In our opinion it's the modern equivalent of the name Ahava [Love]," he said, according to Israeli newspaper Maariv.



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 May 17th, 2011 at 02:56:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's like really dumb

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 07:20:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The kids these days!

Why don't they use proper names ... like Moon Unit Zappa.

:-)


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

by ATinNM on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 12:38:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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