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 – 21 May

by DoDo Fri May 20th, 2011 at 03:31:43 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1871 - opening of the Vitznau – Rigi Railway, Europe's first rack railway, using a system designed by and named for Swiss engineer Niklaus Riggenbach (1817-1899)

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!


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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!

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 EUROPE 



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

by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:39:55 PM EST
Demonstrators to defy weekend protest ban - SPAIN - FRANCE 24
Despite a decision by Spain's electoral oversight body to ban public protests as voters head to the polls this weekend, some demonstrators say they will continue to express their indignation over rising unemployment and a deepening economic crisis.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:40:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish leader hints at amnesty for 'banned' pre-vote protests | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 20.05.2011
Protests continued in Spain on Friday in spite of a government ban ahead of local elections on Sunday. Thousands gathered in city centers around Spain and sit-in protests were staged in more than 30 cities, with some protesters vowing they would not move if police intervened.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told a major radio station on Friday that he sympathized with protesters voicing their dissatisfaction ahead of Sunday's elections.

He stopped short, however, of elaborating on whether police would enforce a ban on protests on the eve of the vote, imposed late on Thursday by the national electoral commission. The one-day ban is supposed to permit a pre-election "reflection day."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French court rules Chirac corruption trial can go ahead - FRANCE - FRANCE 24
A French appeals court has ruled that former President Jacques Chirac's corruption trial can go ahead after rejecting claims that some of the charges, which date back to the 1990s, are unconstitutional under the statute of limitations.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / EU realigning aid towards domestic goals, say NGOs

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU members states are increasingly tying overseas development aid to specific domestic and foreign policy goals, hampering efforts to tackle the root causes of poverty, a new report by a coalition of NGOs has claimed.

Frustrated by rising immigration into Europe and stagnating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, EU countries are turning their development funds towards an alternative list of priority areas, says the AidWatch report published on Thursday (19 May).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:40:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barroso's Albania snub signals EU's exasperation | EurActiv

Tension in the wake of 8 May mayoral elections (see 'Background'), closely watched by the European Union, prompted Barroso to cancel his trip to Albania, part of a wider Balkan tour.

The latest developments appear to be a sad repeat of the situation following national elections held on 28 June 2009, which saw the opposition socialists refuse to accept the results and accuse the government of corruption and vote fraud (see EurActiv LinksDossier on EU-Albania relations).

High-ranking Commission officials told EurActiv that they they were losing patience with Albania and that the country was gambling with its historic chance to chart a course towards EU membership.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:40:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / EU institutions to create new cyber defence unit

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU institutions are setting up a joint team of internet security experts some three months after the European Commission was hacked in a bid to get sensitive data on external relations and monetary issues.

The attack in March - just a few days ahead of an EU summit on military strikes in Libya and on the eurozone debt crisis - saw commission systems attacked "in a very well-organised and targeted way, focusing on three or four keywords on external relations and monetary issues," according to a senior EU official.

"It was probably espionage, but this is very difficult to prove. We don't expect to ever know if it was the case or not," the source added.

The contact did not reveal if any data was actually stolen. The commission has not launched a criminal investigation at this stage and is still assessing the level of damage.

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 01:56:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Teen Trend Setters: A State in Germany Lowers Voting Age to Sixteen - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
For the first time in German history, 16- and 17-year-olds will be able to cast ballots in a state election on Sunday. The city-state of Bremen has lowered its voting age -- and several other states are preparing to follow suit.

Typical 16 and 17-year-olds enjoy sleeping in on Sundays. But on May 22, those in the German city-state of Bremen will have a reason to greet the day a bit earlier. For the first time in their nation's history, they will be allowed to cast ballots in state elections after the local government decided to lower the voting age to 16 from the nationwide standard of 18.

Politicians in the northern port city have made great efforts to reach the young new voting bloc, with candidates spending an entire morning speaking with students at the city parliament and taking time to visit most of the area's schools. Local sports stars have also tried sparking interest among teens. Sebastian Prödl, a player for football club SV Werder Bremen, even made a bet with a number of school classes that their under-20 demographic couldn't beat voter turnout among 21- to 35-year-olds. If they prove him wrong, he'll teach an hour-long lesson for each class.

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 03:01:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 SPECIAL FOCUS 
 Sex and money 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:41:08 PM EST
Europe and Emerging Nations Vie to Fill I.M.F. Job - NYTimes.com
European officials moved quickly to assert their claim over the leadership of the International Monetary Fund on Thursday, suggesting a serious challenge is being mounted by emerging economic powers like China and India that believe the time has come to break Europe's historic grip on the post.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:41:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the IMF should stay European - Le Figaro / Presseurop (English)
At a time when the eurozone is in danger of breaking up, Europe must not surrender the leadership of the International Monetary Fund for the benefit of Asia or Latin America, pens an editorialist in Le Figaro, who suggests that the person best qualified to take over the job of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the French Minister of Finance, Christine Lagarde.

With Dominique Strauss-Kahn out of the running, an extremely delicate chess game is underway to appoint his successor as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Not that the man is irreplaceable. Despite the undoubted quality of his record and his expertise in dealing capably with crises, others equally qualified can take over the reins. The IMF, long dormant, has not stepped back into the job of fire-fighter of the world but for the sole grace of its managing director.

If Dominique Strauss-Kahn did find himself well placed at the centre of the game, it was also due to exceptional events, foremost among them the 2008 financial crisis and the crisis of the euro that ensued. Since that crisis continues to smoulder, we can easily understand the determination of Europeans in wanting to preserve at all costs the job for one of their own.

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:03:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who said Europe should run the IMF? | Presseurop (English)
In the wake of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's catastrophic fall from grace, the International Monetary Fund is looking for a new chief. But would a European really be up to the job solving the eurozone's enduring troubles?

The IMF used to be an organisation in which the rich economies of the West bailed out the distressed economies of the emerging world. Now the position is precisely reversed.

With the exception of Germany, and, maybe, Japan, it is the West that is virtually bankrupt. And it is now the fast-growing economies of Asia and Latin America that are bankrolling the West. Even the United States, which still calls so many of the shots at the IMF, is effectively funded by China. And yet, China has fewer votes at the IMF than the UK.

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:07:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Barroso: Next IMF head pick "shouldn't be a flag issue" ("but he has to be European"..) - Letters from Europe | A blog by Craig James Willy.

See our dear President's arguments, somewhat undermined by their awkwardness and actually the slightly awkwardness, with this this CNN video here.

Who said being a life-long politician meant you had to be a good public speaker?

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:48:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poland suggests `shock therapy' guru to head IMF | EurActiv

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said today (20 May) that Leszek Balcerowicz, architect of his country's 'shock therapy' reforms in the early 1990s, could be a good candidate to become the new head of the International Monetary Fund.

However, Tusk added that he had not yet made the 64-year-old Balcerowicz an official candidate, as he was "not sure" a candidate from Poland could win the position vacated following the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:41:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Women at I.M.F. Find Themselves Vulnerable - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON -- It is an international island in the midst of the American capital, a sharp-elbowed place ruled by alpha male economists. The days are long, and employees are regularly pressed together for weeks on end during overseas "missions." It is a climate in which romances often flourish -- and lines are sometimes crossed.

Some women avoid wearing skirts for fear of attracting unwanted attention. Others trade whispered tips about overly forward bosses. A 2008 internal review found few restraints on the conduct of senior managers, concluding that "the absence of public ethics scandals seems to be more a consequence of luck than good planning and action."

...What may draw even more attention to the culture of the fund is the revelation of an affair involving a potential successor to Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as managing director on Wednesday. Kemal Dervis of Turkey had a liaison while working at the World Bank years ago with a woman who now works at the I.M.F., according to a person with direct knowledge of the relationship.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:41:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Goodwin's affair at bank exposed after peer breaks gagging order - Press, Media - The Independent
The High Court dramatically lifted part of a gagging order brought by Sir Fred Goodwin yesterday as the Government said it was planning to instruct the courts to give priority to the right to freedom of expression when hearing privacy cases. Mr Justice Tugendhat, Britain's senior judge on media cases, ruled that Sir Fred could be identified after a Liberal Democrat peer used parliamentary privilege to reveal that the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland had been having an affair with a "senior colleague".


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:41:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Judges accused of gagging bid - Home News, UK - The Independent

The most senior judges in England and Wales have been accused of trying to gag the media after criticising politicians who have deliberately disclosed the content of privacy cases covered by injunctions.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge questioned whether it was a good idea for MPs and Lords to be "flouting a court order just because they disagree with a court order or for that matter because they disagree with the law of privacy which Parliament has created".



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:42:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Newspaper blows the whistle on insurance company's sex party - Europe, World - The Independent

"We had a hell of a good time. We can't find anyone who doesn't want to go back immediately for a second helping!" is how one employee put it.

But yesterday it emerged that the "hell of a good time" they were alluding to was a lavish, Roman-style staff sex orgy held in Budapest's historic Art Nouveau thermal baths which was organised and paid for by Germany's normally reputable Hamburg-Mannheimer insurance group.

Years of dedication shown by the company's top 100 male sales representatives was rewarded on the so-called "Incentive Trip" with the services of dozens of hired prostitutes and a handful of higher-class call girls who were reserved for "best reps" and board members.

Lurid details of the aquatically assisted sex orgy were leaked by anonymous participants to Germany's Handelsblatt yesterday. The business newspaper was tipped off after receiving a copy of the company's in-house magazine Profil which referred to the sex party that took place in Budapest in 2007.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:42:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a strange article from ex-IMF man and present fellow of neocon think-tank AEI, Desmond Lachman, which I found quoted in multiple places: Articles & Commentary

Given that his fall from grace came at the most awkward of times for the International Monetary Fund's dealings with Greece and Portugal, many have written about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's talents and major influence during recent negotiations. History, however, is more likely to remember him as the man who put the IMF on the road to decline, by his misguided handling of the eurozone debt crisis.

Mr Strauss-Kahn's decision to treat the crisis as a matter of liquidity rather than solvency led the IMF to eschew any notion of debt restructuring, or exiting from the euro, as a solution to the periphery's public sector and external imbalance problems. Rather, he opted for draconian fiscal tightening and radical structural reform as a cure-all for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Experience with such policies in Argentina in 1999-2001 and in Latvia in 2008-09 should have informed the IMF that, under the euro-the most fixed of exchange rate systems-such a policy was bound to produce the deepest of economic recessions. The fund should also have anticipated that deep recessions would erode those countries' tax bases and undermine their political willingness to stay the course of adjustment.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First locked up, then locked out: Strauss-Kahn barred from his rented refuge - Americas, World - The Independent
Bail plans in disarray for former IMF chief as exclusive apartment block refuses him entry

Innocent until proven guilty, and with a $1m bail cheque burning a hole in his prison jumpsuit, Dominique Strauss-Kahn's release from New York's notorious Rikers Island jail descended into farce yesterday, after he was unable to find a suitable venue for his court-ordered house-arrest.

The former IMF chief, who is accused of the attempted rape of a chambermaid in the suite of his hotel last weekend, was left twiddling his thumbs after the management of an upscale Manhattan apartment complex where his wife Anne Sinclair had rented a temporary residence declared him to be persona non grata.

Ms Sinclair, who in public has remained vehemently supportive of her 62-year-old spouse, was forced to embark on a search for alternative accommodation, after the Bristol Plaza on East 65th Street pulled out of a deal to provide a residence for the couple. A long-standing resident of the building, where two-bedroom flats rent for around $14,000-a-month (£8,600), is believed to have complained at the prospect of having him for a neighbour.

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:05:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dominique Strauss-Kahn 'mistress' defends former IMF chief - Telegraph
A Spanish writer and socialite has become the first of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged former lovers to come forward and defend the former IMF chief, saying he was never cruel or sadistic to her.

Carmen Llera Moravia, 58, said she had known the high-flying economist "for years" and claimed that he was being subjected to a politically-motivated witch hunt.

"I was never a victim of his, as people have written," said Miss Llera in a letter to an Italian newspaper.

"He is not a cruel or sadistic man, violence is not part of his make-up. He likes sex, but so what? It's not a crime."

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:09:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, what they were apparently complaining about is massive press intrusion into the buildings. If DSK and his family aren't there, the press won't be either.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 07:38:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:43:23 PM EST
PES leader proposes Greek crisis solution | EurActiv

Speaking to EurActiv in an exclusive interview after returning from a visit to Greece, Rasmussen said there had been "too much understatement or a wrong perception" of what the country's socialist prime minister George Papandreou was doing to tackle the crisis.

"He is doing the right thing. The problem is that the expenditure for the interest on the loans is simply too high," Rasmussen insisted, rejecting the predominant opinion of eurozone finance ministers that the Greek government is not delivering its commitments.

Rasmussen said the solution to the Greek problem lay in "retro-profiling" the debt. Under such a mechanism, a longer period of repayment would be combined with a lower interest rate under a bond swap, using a European guarantee mechanism, at no cost to Greece's European partners, he argued.

"Number 1 is that we need to have a much longer period for repayment of the Greek loans. And number 2 is that it needs to be at a lower interest rate. And number 3, it needs to be tied to a better and genuine European mechanism," he said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:43:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fitch slashes Greece's credit rating - FINANCE - FRANCE 24
Fitch Ratings downgraded Greece's credit rating by three notches to B+ on Friday, in a further blow to the debt-ridden country. Fitch cited problems with the fiscal and structural reforms required for sustained economic recovery.

"The market" votes for even higher interests.

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

by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:43:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New rail route connects Antwerp to Chinese heartland | Business | Deutsche Welle | 20.05.2011
Five times a week, a freight train leaves the harbor of Antwerp on the start of an extremely long journey. It passes through Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Mongolia before reaching its final destination: Chongqing, a city of 32 million people in western China.

..."In addition to rapid, but expensive air freight and the inexpensive but slow ocean shipping, now there is a relatively quick and cheap alternative," said Zeng Su, the chief representative in Chongqing for the Antwerp region's development authority.

The project was conceived last year by the cities of Antwerp and Chongqing, the Swiss rail company Hupac as well as a Russian and Chinese rail concerns. The first train rolled out of the Port of Antwerp on May 9.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:43:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Head of nuclear plant operator to resign - JAPAN - FRANCE 24
The head of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, is to resign after the company reported massive losses related to damages caused by the March tsunami and earthquake.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:44:22 PM EST
Rwandan assassin 'sent to kill dissidents in UK' - Crime, UK - The Independent

The Rwandan government is masterminding an alleged assassination plot in Britain against dissidents critical of the east African country's increasingly authoritarian regime, The Independent can reveal.

In a move which threatens to tip relations between London and one of its closest African allies into crisis, detectives from Scotland Yard last week visited two prominent Rwandans living in Britain, one of them a founder of a new opposition party, and warned them of "reliable intelligence" that the country's government "poses an imminent threat to your life".



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:44:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bahrain visit: Cameron embraces tyranny - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

In Bahrain, it was another day of violence and repression as the Saudi-backed Al-Khalifa dynasty continued to clamp down on protesters demanding a better life for the repressed Shia majority.

But in Downing Street, David Cameron exchanged a warm handshake with Bahrain's Crown Prince, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa. While other Arab tyrants feel the full force of British disapproval, Sheikh Salman is here on a mission to repair the damaged reputation of his dynasty. His visit prompted an outcry from politicians and civil rights campaigners. It came on the day when President Obama delivered his first major speech on the Arab Spring, which he said would open a "new chapter in American diplomacy". "It will be the policy of the US to promote reform, and to support transitions to democracy," he promised.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:44:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A strange word, tyranny doesn't carry the emotional impact it does in the USA, so it struck me as a culturally tone-deaf headline. As if the headline writer was American.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 07:40:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Netanyahu rejects Obama's Palestinian proposal - ISRAEL - USA - FRANCE 24
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington Friday one day after President Barack Obama endorsed a future Palestinian state based on 1967 lines - a scenario that Netanyahu said could leave Israel "indefensible".

The price of peace: Israel should be able to fight future wars? Not that I believe for a moment that the justification for the rejection is the real reason for the rejection.

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

by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:44:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He'll get away with it, of course, because doing anything that even mildly offends Bitchtits and the rest of the Israeli fascists sends the Israel-Firsters here into a hissy fit, and thus sends Congress off to pass resolutions denouncing random shit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 07:55:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected US President Barack Obama's suggestion that the future border of Israel and Palestine should be based on the lines set before the 1967 war.

The two leaders met at the White House on Friday.

In a joint news conference after the meeting, Obama indicated that the Palestinian issue should be resolved swiftly amid the changes sweeping the Middle East. He said a moment of opportunity can be seized as a consequence of these changes.

Obama urged Israel to revert in principle to the pre-1967 war borders and withdraw settlements from the occupied territories.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 08:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. denies allegations of 'furious' Clinton-Netanyahu exchange - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said but declined to confirm a report that it was an angry exchange.

The New York Times reported that the telephone conversation was "furious" and that the prime minister "reacted angrily to (U.S. President Barack Obama's) plan to endorse Israel's pre-1967 borders for a future Palestinian state."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 08:22:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. official to Haaretz: Netanyahu focus on 1967 borders missing the point - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

A senior U.S. State Department official told Haaretz Friday that the United States is disappointed with Prime Minister Netanyahu's reaction to U.S. President Obama's Middle East policy, faulting him for focusing on the issue of 1967 borders instead of looking at Obama's policy as a whole.

"There were plenty of things in support of Israel," the official told Haaretz, citing Obama's wariness of the recent reconciliation of Hamas and Fatah, his condemnation of terror perpetrated by Hamas and his call for Palestinians to halt unilateral steps toward recognition. The official added that Obama recognized Israel as a Jewish state, saying that focusing on issue of 1967 borders was missing the point.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 08:22:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN Chief, Quartet stand behind Obama call for deal based on 1967 borders - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon endorsed President Barack Obama's speech on the Middle East Friday, calling for the recognition of the region's people's right to freedom, dignity and a better life.

The UN chief said that the future of the Middle East is in the hands of its people, adding that the United Nations will support them in their aspirations to improve their fate.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 08:23:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It might be missing the point the USA wanted to make, but Netenyahu has his own agenda. One which will not countenance any criticism, however mild, of anything done by Israel. So, to talk of the '67 borders implies criticism of the W Bank usurpation and colonisation project and that cannot be tolerated.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 07:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / US takes EU line on Israel borders

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - US President Barack Obama has said future Israeli-Palestinian borders should be based on lines established before the 1967 war, bringing US policy closer in line with the EU position on the conflict.

Obama unveiled the new US policy at a speech in the state department in Washington on Thursday (19 May).

Obama: 'Repression will fail, and tyrants will fall, and every man and woman is endowed with certain inalienable rights'

"We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognised borders are established for both states," he said.

The US had in the past left open the question of final borders until the end-phase of Israeli-Palestinian talks, giving Israel the opportunity to keep on building settlements on occupied Palestinian land even as negotiations went on.

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 01:58:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Syrian security forces open fire on protesters - SYRIA - FRANCE 24
Syrian security forces fired live rounds into crowds of protesters, killing at least 17 people after anti-government demonstrations broke out across the country, a rights activist said Friday.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO air strikes hit Gaddafi warships - LIBYA - FRANCE 24
Eight Gaddafi warships in the ports of Tripoli, Al Khums and Sirte were hit by NATO air strikes Friday. NATO said the strikes were made to protect the civilian population given the regime's "escalating use of naval assets".

Translation: we need an enemy with targets our weapons are suitable for, not the other way around.

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

by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:46:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deadly Clashes in Afghanistan: German Soldiers Fired Deliberately at Protesters - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
The German military has corrected its initial statement on protests in Afghanistan this week that left 12 people dead. The Bundeswehr has now admitted that it deliberately fired on demonstrators who were attacking a German base.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:46:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Taliban claims attack on US consulate convoy - PAKISTAN - FRANCE 24
The Taliban in Pakistan claimed responsibility Friday for a car bomb attack on a US consulate convoy in the northwestern city of Peshawar. One Pakistani died and ten more were wounded in the attack, in which no Americans were killed.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:46:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Death toll grows as India goes to war over cut-price land deals - Asia, World - The Independent
...Rajpal Singh, a farm-hand in these twin villages east of Delhi, was the latest of a number of people to be killed or injured in land disputes that have erupted across the length and breadth of India. As state authorities push the pace of industrialisation and private developers look to buy up agricultural land to build new towns and resorts for a newly wealthy upper-middle class, so clashes have become common. At proposed steel factories in Orissa, nuclear plants in Maharashtra and road projects in Mangalore, clashes have broken out when the authorities have sought to force people to part with their land.

Mr Singh was one of four people killed on 7 May, two of them police officers, when farmers held a protest over the amount they were paid for their land by local authorities who are building a new, 110-mile expressway alongside the Yamuna river to Agra, the city famous for the Taj Mahal. As in similar protests elsewhere in the country, the farmers complained that, while they were forced by the government to sell their land in return for a modest sum in compensation, the land was subsequently sold on to private developers for 10 or 15 times the amount.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:46:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who may have missed yesterdays LAB, due to lack of proper identification, go HERE.
+++
Uruguay Amnesty Vote a Missed Opportunity for Justice: Uruguay has missed a historic opportunity in the pursuit of justice for victims of human rights abuses committed during military rule by failing to overturn a controversial law that blocked prosecution of security officials accused of violations, Amnesty International said today.

Ecuador Referendum Final Tally Gives Correa Victory: Final results in Ecuador's 7 May referendum on political reforms have handed victory to President Rafael Correa. The president's plans include greater control over the media and judiciary, but his win still needs final confirmation from the national electoral council.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The U.S. State Department has revoked visas for a number of Haitian citizens, an American diplomat in the Caribbean country announced Thursday. Jon Piechowski, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, declined to disclose the identities of the Haitians or to say if some or all were public officials, citing privacy rules for individual visa decisions. He also gave no specific number.

Honduras Open For Business: The government of Honduras, which justified the illegal coup that brought it to power in 2009 on the grounds that it was necessary to protect the constitution, recently amended the constitution to give itself the power to create `special development regions' with their own (yet to be determined) laws. The hope is to build a brand new `charter city' with up to 10 million inhabitants (in a country with a current population of only seven million). Charter cities are the brainchild of Paul Romer, an economist at Stanford. In poor countries people vote with their feet, and the enterprising try to migrate to Europe or the US. Supposing then, that they were offered the opportunity of migrating to a new city, with all the opportunities of a developed country, but inside their own country's borders? For Latin Americans this should be a more attractive option than the highly risky journey to the US, where even if you make it you might well get sent back.

NEW YORK, USA -- Grenada has acceded to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) -- the founding treaty of the first permanent international court capable of trying perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.



"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 06:22:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
maracatu, would you be willing to write a diary on the Ecuador referendum?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 03:26:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not at the moment.  Semester ending.  Papers to grade.  Tests to draw up, give, and then correct.  Exhaustion.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 09:09:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WikiLeaks: Pakistani airmen sabotaging F-16s
New Delhi:  A WikiLeaks cable, which NDTV has exclusive access to, says Pakistan's airmen were being radicalised and were sabotaging Pakistani F-16s deployed for security operations along the Afghan border. (Read Cable: Pakistan cable on visiting US officials being briefed on F-16s)

The cable, sent in March 2006 from the US embassy to Washington, quotes Pakistan's then Deputy Chief of Air Staff for Operations, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Khalid Chaudhry, as saying that the airmen, most of whom came from rural villages, were being radicalised by extremist Islamic clerics. The cable quotes AVM Chaudhry as saying, "You can't imagine what a hard time we have trying to get to trim their beards." The cable notes that, "This last comment refers to the tradition of conservative Muslims to grow full beards as a sign of piety."


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 03:38:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, what they should do is identify the ones who won't grow their beards and then move them as far away as possible from anything that might matter or go bang

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 07:47:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:46:46 PM EST
Lawmakers back bigger share of CAP money for forests | EurActiv

A European Parliament report, adopted last week, backed calls to increase funding for EU forest protection measures via the CAP's rural development pillar.

The report came in response to the European Commission's 2010 Green Paper on forest protection.

The author of the report, Greek MEP Kriton Arsenis (Socialists & Democrats), said "forest spending, not necessarily for protection, does not exceed 1% of the CAP budget, which in no way reflects the role of forests for the countryside".

However, the MEP refrained from speculating as to the exact amount of money needed.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:47:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe considers plastic bag ban | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The European Commission launched a public consultation this week, open until August, considering options to reduce plastic carrier bag waste and improve the way a bag is labelled to indicate how it will biodegrade.

Some countries have already introduced taxes or reached voluntary agreements with the retail sector to phase out plastic bags, but no specific measures exist at EU level.

According to the EU, the average European citizen uses around 500 plastic carrier bags annually, most of which are used only once.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:47:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zero emission-branded electric cars 'misleading': Consumers | EurActiv

...consumer groups yesterday warned that current commercial and political pressures to present battery electric vehicles as 'zero emission' vehicles "are misleading for consumers".

"While supporting the push towards electric vehicles, our clubs are calling for greater transparency and consistency in the carbon rating of plug-in vehicles," said Werner Kraus, a president of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile), which represents 35 million consumers and counts 71 European motoring and touring clubs among its members.

Despite recognising that the electrification of transport has a key role to play in the future of the transport industry, primarily by decreasing oil dependence, the FIA warned that the purchase price of electric vehicles is still too high to favour their rapid market uptake.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:47:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting the Green Light: Germany Plans Hygiene Ratings for Restaurants - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Consumers worried about filthy kitchens full of rotting food will soon know just how clean German restaurants are thanks to a new hygiene rating system set to begin in 2012. A "traffic light" scheme will show which eateries are spick-and-span -- and which have nasties lurking under the cupboards.

...The decision came after more than a year of internal wrangling over whether the scheme should mirror Denmark's food safety "Smiley system," which has been in place since 2001. A similar pilot project has been tested in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and in Berlin's Pankow district since 2009, complete with smiley faces. Pankow's progam has been received with particular interest thanks to its monthly online publication of their "negative list," which details the worst hygiene violations using photos of the restaurants in question (see photo gallery) and which has been wildly popular among locals. Berlin has since announced its intention to implement the smiley labels city-wide in July 2011.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:48:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neville the Red Devil who became a green saint - News & Comment, Football - The Independent

Even when you're Gary Neville, the most combative footballer of your generation, you know it will be hard to make yourself heard above the ribaldry in the dressing room when the notion of becoming an environmental pioneer crops up.

...And that's just the level of resistance that Neville receives on the inside. From the outside, the notion of a representative of the ultimate world of conspicuous consumerism - with those six-figure weekly salaries, faux Tudor mansions and Baby Bentleys in the training-ground car park - talking about ethical living will be greeted with incredulity. But Neville's entire working life has been built around the culture of "us against the world" which the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has inculcated among his players to such extraordinary effect. Don't expect to see him flinching as he launches himself on a mission to promote sustainable living.

The 36-year-old, who last week won an 18-month struggle with planning authorities for permission to build a 40m-high wind turbine alongside his proposed new zero-carbon house set in rolling countryside near Bolton, Greater Manchester, has revealed that he will plough much of the revenue from a testimonial match next week against Juventus, which marks his retirement from the game after 400 appearances for United and another 85 for the national side, into a Sustainability in Sport fund, which he is launching to help grass-roots sporting projects to reduce their carbon footprint and to promote sustainable living. Next Tuesday's match at Old Trafford will also be the first to be entirely wind-powered - by virtue of the strategic partnership Neville is forming with the green energy supplier Ecotricity....



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OpEdNews - Article: Food Safety in the Post-Fukushima World

The Hiroshima Life Span Study didn't begin until seven years after the bomb was dropped. Everyone that died in the first seven years was excluded from the study. People were considered part of the exposed population only if they were in the city when the bomb exploded. The control group, the group that was considered unaffected by the radiation, was people who moved in after the bomb went off. The amount of radiation people inhaled or ingested was never considered.

         So if, for example, a person was outside the city when the bomb dropped but went back the day after to dig through the radioactive rubble, they are considered part of the unexposed control group. Cancers that occurred in the control group weren't counted as caused by radiation. Only the number of cancers in the exposed group that were above and beyond the "control" group were counted. This seriously flawed study has been used for decades to set safetly levels.

           Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors haven't been the only people exposed to radiation. Workers at nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons facilities are constantly exposed to low-levels of radiation. In 1963 John Gofman was hired by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to study the effects of radiation. He was the Director/Founder of the Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laboratory Division of Biology and Medicine.

          Gofman and his partner on the project, Art Tamplin, came to the conclusion that safety standards were woefully inadequate. The AEC pulled his funding and tried to get Gofman to stop talking about the dangers of low level radiation but the man refused to shut up. In the 1982 book Nuclear Witnesses, Insiders Speak Out he said, " Licensing a nuclear power plant is in my view, licensing random premeditated murder."



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 06:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Licensing a nuclear power plant is in my view, licensing random premeditated murder."

Life is random premeditated murder...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 05:44:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
okaaay.

i should have added 'coal plants are just as bad'

and...wind/solar is premeditated life extension!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 06:17:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is?

Is there something you're not telling us, J?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 07:11:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Europe 'stealing Iran's rain' - Telegraph
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused Western countries of plotting to "cause drought" in Iran by using high tech equipment to drain the clouds of raindrops.

Moments after the Iranian president made the startling claim at the inauguration of a dam in a central province, it started to rain.

"Western countries have designed plans to cause drought in certain areas of the world, including Iran," Mr Ahmadinejad said in the city of Arak in Markazi province.

"According to reports on climate, whose accuracy has been verified, European countries are using special equipment to force clouds to dump" their water on their continent, he said.

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:10:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fran:
Moments after the Iranian president made the startling claim at the inauguration of a dam in a central province, it started to rain.

lol, i guess we switched it off

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 06:10:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jes' messin' wi' their heads

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 07:49:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:52:47 PM EST
Rising Literacy and a Shrinking Birth Rate: A Look at the Root Causes of the Arab Revolution - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
In a SPIEGEL interview, French social scientist Emmanuel Todd discusses the demographic roots of the Arab revolution, which he argues was spurred by rising literacy and rapidly shrinking birth rates. He also muses on the ghost of Osama bin Laden, arguing "al-Qaida was already dead," and on why he believes Germany is not a part of the "core West."

SPIEGEL: Monsieur Todd, in the middle of the Cold War, in the days of Leonid Brezhnev, you predicted the collapse of the Soviet system. In 2002, you described the economic and imperial erosion of the United States, a global superpower. And, four years ago, you and your colleague Youssef Courbage predicted the unavoidable revolution in the Arab world. Are you clairvoyant?

Todd: The academic as fortune-teller -- a tempting idea. But Courbage and I merely analyzed the reasons for a possible -- or let's say likely -- revolution in the Arab world, an inexorable change, which could also have unfolded as a gradual evolution. Our work was like that of geologists who compile the signs of an imminent earthquake or volcanic eruption. But when exactly the eruption takes place, and its form and severity -- these things cannot be predicted in an exact way.

One interesting point in the long interview is Todd's contention that the European parallel for the Arab Spring is not 1989 but 1848.

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

by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:52:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sir David Attenborough: CGI confuses fact and fiction - TV & Radio, Media - The Independent

Giving evidence to a House of Lords select committee, Sir David said last week's controversial BBC 1 documentary, Inside The Human Body, had left even a veteran broadcaster like himself confused.

Sir David, 85, said: "It's a very real problem. It's not too difficult to use a computer to make a dead fish waggle its ears. It's both true and false. The problem comes when you overstep the mark and put in something that isn't true. With modelling by computers, if you wanted to confuse the audience, you've got more ways than ever before.

"I had some misgivings about the Inside The Human Body programme. I did think 'I don't know where we are with that'." Sir David also called on the BBC to give a greater voice to non-mainstream opinions which challenge orthodox thinking.

"One of the things the BBC has lost - for safety-first reasons, perhaps - is for cranky, oddball and eccentric viewers to have a platform of some sort."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:53:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Banished Von Trier steals Almodovar's (feeble) thunder, and critics react | Les blogs
Pedro Almodovar must be annoyed. His new film, "The Skin I Live In", was shown to the press this morning, but no one even had a chance to digest it before Lars Von Trier snatched back the spotlight. Less than an hour after the Almodovar screening ended, Cannes organisers released a statement (read it on the official Cannes site here) saying Von Trier had been asked to leave the festival after the comments he made on Hitler and Jews at the press conference for his film "Melancholia" yesterday.

...Reactions to the news was mixed, with some journalists present on the Croisette taking to their Twitter accounts to leap to the director's defence. Time Out London critic Dave Calhoun tweeted "Von Trier/Nazi stuff is nonsense. He said nothing offensive." Another London-based critic covering the festival, Guy Lodge, tweeted "Cannes declaring Lars von Trier `persona non grata' for his (media-exaggerated) Hitler gaffe really is fighting stupid with stupid". Meanwhile, prominent French film critic Aurélien Ferenczi (who writes for magazine Télérama) tweeted: "His film is (exceptionally) bad, but expelling Lars Von Trier...he was joking, guys" (translated from French).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:53:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
English version of the interview now up: 'If Anyone Would Like To Hit Me, They Are Welcome´ - Spiegel

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 04:43:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Critics call reunification monument a superficial sideshow attraction | Culture & Lifestyle | Deutsche Welle | 20.05.2011
After hundreds of proposals and years of debate, a design for Berlin's newest monument has been selected. But it has drawn harsh criticism from those who say it symbolizes all the wrong things.

...The event planning firm Milla & Partner won with their design of an enormous scale curving toward the sky that sinks and rises depending on where the monument's visitors stand.

...One of Germany's most successful architects, Meinhard von Gerkan, had nothing positive to say about the design, describing it as "counterproductive" and suggestive of a state fair:

"The symbolism in this design is so superficial and unclear," he said. "On the one hand, you could say the swing tends toward the side where the majority stands. But it could just as well give expression to how easily the majority can manipulate others - that decisions are met quickly, like in a game, without weighing things effectively."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A big seesaw. Or the official fruit of the reunification: a big banana - it would have to painted yellow.

I don't know why all those design competitions only yield mediocre crap. Another case in point: the 'new' design of the Stadtschloss - a reconstruction of the old palace, a dummy mockup that's supposed to house some hyped version of a museum of extra-European art. Three sides of the facade are to be built to original specifications. No one has plans only some photographs and there aren't enough masons. The fourth side is to be built in an unspeakably boring standard modern grid pattern. And they actually had a competition for that. Committees whose members are handpicked by politicians usually produce lowest common denominator results of nothingness.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 04:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the Berlin City Palace, also see discussion in the comments here.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 05:17:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crooked Competition: Rival Cities Battle for Leaning Tower Title - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Officially the title of world's "farthest leaning tower" belongs to a church in the German village of Suurhusen. But the distinction turns out to be the envy of a number of other cities with crooked towers of their own. Italy's world famous tower isn't even close.

...The tower leans at an angle of 5.19 degrees -- more than its famous cousin in Pisa, which tips at just 3.99 degrees.

...measurements have turned up some new world records, including a bell tower in the village of Barstede that tilts at 6.16 degrees, and a steeple in Midlum teetering at a stunning 6.74 degrees. But no one knows about the latter, found behind the dikes of the North Sea, because the 64-year-old church council leader Udo Aalderks has put off sending his application to Guinness World Records for months.

LOL.

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

by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:53:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hundreds injured in Soweto train crash - South Africa - FRANCE 24

Hundreds of people were injured, two of them seriously, when a commuter express hit a stationary train in Johannesburg's Soweto Township during rush hour, South Africa's rail operator said Friday.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:54:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Railway Gazette: Women-only metro inaugurated

SAUDI ARABIA: King Abdullah rode on the recently completed driverless metro during his inauguration of the Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University campus in Riyadh on May 15.

As well as being the largest women-only university in the world, PNU is said to be the largest single-site university. Transport within the campus will be provided by an 11·5 km light metro, with a total of 14 stations on a main loop plus two branches.

Local customs prevent women from being employed as drivers or female students being exposed to male drivers, and so automatic operation was required.

Insane. But the question in my mind: does this mean King Abdullah is actually Queen Abdullah?...

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

by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Qatar may be stripped of World Cup, says Blatter - News & Comment, Football - The Independent

The Fifa president Sepp Blatter made the startling disclosure yesterday that he could not rule out a rerun of the voting for the right to host the 2022 World Cup finals which was controversially won by the tiny Arab emirate of Qatar in December.

Blatter, who is seeking re-election next month for a fourth term, said that a Fifa inquiry into claims made by The Sunday Times that there was corruption in the vote could lead to the Fifa executive committee (ExCo) voting again. It would represent the biggest U-turn in the governing body's history.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:54:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Favela families displaced ahead of World Cup, Olympics | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Thousands of Brazilian families are reportedly forced out of their homes as the country prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. The United Nations has received many allegations about displacement and evictions. The world body fears basic human rights may have been trampled on. 

The allegations concern different cities including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, where people are said to have been evicted without proper compensation or sufficient time to move. 
 
There are no adequate plans for relocation and no real dialogue between communities and organisers, says Raquel Rolnik, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on the right to adequate housing. Ms Rolnik alerted the Brazilian authorities as early as December, as she told Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
 
"An "allegation letter" is the first instrument UN specials rapporteurs use when they receive complaints about human rights violations. I sent this letter detailing the complaints that I had received, and I asked the government for information and whether they were taking any steps regarding this."

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 01:59:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Hidden Disaster": The EU's actually pretty good comic on its humanitarian work - Letters from Europe | A blog by Craig James Willy.

I hate the European Union's PR efforts. Over-generalizing very slightly, they could be characterized as "universally shit". The Commission in particular is guilty of funding high-budget bizarre and even incomprehensible videos, whether it be the two-part "Adventures of Euro-Clooney and the Innovation Crystal Ball", the "Creepy One-For-All Soup" (succeeding in taking a decent, concrete initiative and making a magnificent turd of it) or the "Attack of the Flying Sci-Fi-Future-Creating Paperwork".

If you only saw this of the Commission, you would be forgiven for believing the organization was entirely made up of spendthrift, utterly out of touch megalomaniacal bureaucrats with psychotic penchants for magical thinking. For the record, and knowing quite a few people in the Commission, I don't think this is the case but clearly some people in DG COMM need to be seriously reprimanded and perhaps have their heads checked by professionals.

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:46:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:54:42 PM EST
EUobserver / Vatican protocol favours Van Rompuy, snubs Barroso
According to Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Barroso, his wife and Italian commissioner Antonio Tajani were on 1 May in the Vatican held back by guards when they tried to enter a special zone where VIPs came to meet Pope Benedict XVI and to kiss his ring.

A bishop later intervened in Barroso's favour, but it was too late to meet the pontiff and Barroso left in choler.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi on Friday (20 May) told the Italian Catholic news agency Asca that Barroso was not on the guest list because "it had been previously communicated to the Holy See that it would be the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, who would greet the Pope on behalf of the EU institutions."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:54:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ex-teammate admits to doping, implicates Armstrong - CYCLING - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Tyler Hamilton, who was allowed to keep his Athens Olympics gold medal despite failing a doping test, has finally confessed to cheating and accused other top cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, of doing the same.

In an interview to be aired by "60 Minutes" on Sunday, Hamilton ended years of denials by finally admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs, but insisted he was not alone. The 40-year-old said he witnessed his former teammate Armstrong inject himself with a blood-booster during the 1999 Tour de France, which Armstrong won.

...[Armstrong's] lawyer, Mark Fabiani, told Reuters on Thursday that Hamilton's accusations about Armstrong were untrue.

"Hamilton is actively seeking to make money by writing a book and now he has completely changed the story he has always told before so that he could get himself on "60 Minutes" and increase his chances with publishers," Fabiani said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 02:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Danke, DoDo

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 05:27:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cannes: In competition | euronews, cinema

The stars of Finnish film Le Havre received a standing ovation following the film's screening and positive reviews from the world's press.

It is the latest offering from eccentric film maker Aki Kaurismaki and stars Andre Wilms and Kati Outinen.

The quirky comedy gently takes on the issue of illegal immigration and refugees.

Asked about working with the director, Wilms said: "He's a gentleman, a real gentleman and a real tender gentleman. He has a tenderness and he is a little bit crazy."

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:25:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Canne Camera d'Or selection | euronews, cinema

A hard-hitting and stylish first film from Mexican director Everardo Gout is in the competition for the Canne's Camera d'Or.

Dias de Gracia (Days of Grace) looks at three different stories during three World Cup competitions.

With two hostage-takings and a number of twists, Dias de Gracia is a roller-coaster ride through a world of violence, police corruption and a society falling apart.

The film stars Mexican actors Tenoch Huerta, Dolores Heredia and Spanish actor Carlos Bardem, the brother of Javier

by Fran on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 02:26:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
May Basho Day 13: Hakuho sent to 1st defeat by Harumafuji at test meet

Just before the day's final bout, a strong earthquake could be felt rumbling throughout the venue at Rygoku Kokugikan and Harumafuji took full advantage of the crowd's consternation, and perhaps a lapse of concentration by Hakuho, to send the yokozuna out in a frontal force out for his eighth win of the 15-day meet.

Hakuho still leads the test meet with a 12-1 mark with Georgian Tochinoshin one off the pace at 11-2, but the yokozuna was clearly distraught after suffering his first defeat in 17 matches.

''I could tell that the crowd was a little shook up. So, I was wondering what the heck was going on. I didn't know it was an earthquake though,'' said Hakuho, who previously lost to Kisenosato on the 11th day of the New Year meet in January.

Asked if his concentration was broken before the bout, Hakuho said, ''I felt something was wrong. But I didn't know what. I guess this makes it more exciting for everyone. No one knows what will happen in the next two days.''

This is not an excuse. The earthquake itself wasn't noticeable on the video, but suddenly there was a murmur from the audience and everyone glanced up on the roof, right before the two wrestlers launched at each other. Hakuho was visibly spaced out for a moment, and that was enough for the trickiest of them all to find an opening.

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

by DoDo on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 03:17:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have a happy Rapture and I'll see all you sinners tomorrow

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 21st, 2011 at 07:53:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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