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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch – 17 September

by DoDo Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 03:51:14 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1621 - death of Jesuit and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (b. 1542), a key theologian of the Counter-Reformation, who was one of the judges of Giordano Bruno and the one ordering Galilei to recant his theses. Bellarmine was sainted in 1930.

More here

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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 Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:09:54 PM EST
Denmark elects first female premier | EurActiv

The centre-left coalition led by the Social Democratic party won a closely contested election in Denmark, which will now be led by the first-ever female premier.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, whose party led an alliance known as the Red Bloc, claimed victory about three hours after the polls closed. "We've written history today," Thorning-Schmidt said.

The Red bloc won a slim majority of five seats in Denmark's 179-seat parliament, according to a preliminary tally. Turnout was a high 87.7%.

...Complicating the task of forming a government is the fact that the two biggest winners of the night were the far-left Red-Green Alliance and the centrist Social Liberals.

Both back Thorning-Schmidt but agree on little else. Thorning-Schmidt's own Social Democrats actually lost ground and will be the second largest party after Rasmussen's Liberals.

For discussion see Danish election roundup by JakeS.

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:10:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Danes Swing Left: Denmark To Get First Female Prime Minister - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Thorning-Schmidt, whose Social Democrats have their roots in the workers' movement, promised a "kick-start" for the Danish economy through sweeping public investments.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:10:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / Former centre-left MEP wins Danish elections

...Through her marriage to Stephen Kinnock, the 44-year old Thorning-Schmidt is the daughter-in-law of Neil Kinnock, former leader of the British Labour Party and EU commissioner, and Glenys Kinnock, former UK minister for Europe.

Trained at the "College of Europe" and a former MEP between 1999-2004, Thorning-Schmidt is set to "devote more attention to EU politics, which she knows from inside," Denmark's ambassador to Belgium Poul Skytte Christoffersen told this website.

...In terms of policy, the Social Democrats have announced they are to roll back the enhanced border checks policy - a concession made by the centre-right to the anti-immigrant People's Party - which has put Denmark on collision course with the European Commission and Germany.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:10:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Malmström vows to defend 'fantastic' Schengen project | EurActiv

The European Commission today (16 September) published a strongly Community-driven blueprint for a revamp of the EU's Schengen border-free area, ignoring calls from France, Germany and Spain for national sovereignty to remain the basis of the project.

Presenting the legislative proposals to the press, Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström described Schengen as "a fantastic project" that was "tangible, popular and successful".

Between 2004 and 2007, the labour mobility of new members boosted the EU's gross domestic product by around 40 billion euros, she said.

The Swede argued that the EU executive's goal was to strengthen the Schengen area to guarantee free movement for hundreds of thousands of EU citizens and third-country nationals travelling within the territory every day.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Decision on next Greek loan payout delayed until October | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 16.09.2011
Eurozone and IMF officials have said they will decide in October whether to approve the bailouts that Greece needs to keep it from bankruptcy. Finland has reiterated its demand for collateral in return for new loans.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:10:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / EU task force for Greece `here to help, not control'

"The task force is here to help, not to control," the task force's chief, Horst Reicherbach told reporters in Athens.

The 25-member task force, the bulk of which will remain in Brussels, has been set up to aid the absorption of EU funds aimed at kick-starting growth in the troubled country and advise on how the economy can be reformed.

In particular, Reichenbach said that the task force will focus on accelerating the deployment of European monies to develop tourism, alternative energy and food processing projects and businesses.

The new team is distinct from the inspectors of the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank troika, who descend upon Athens to assess whether the government is meeting the conditions imposed by international lenders for the latest dispersal of tranches of bail-out cash.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:10:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy 'ready to give up sovereignty' to save euro | EurActiv

Ahead of a key eurozone meeting in Poland today (16 September), Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Rome was ready to relinquish "all the sovereignty necessary to create a genuine European central government" and draw a line under the euro zone's debt crisis.

In a rare federalist outing, Frattini, a former European commissioner, may have given an indication of how serious the eurozone debt crisis is perceived in Rome.

"Different countries have different views on European federalism, but Italy is ready to give up all the sovereignty necessary to create a genuine European central government," Frattini told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday (14 September).

"We must work seriously towards the formation of a genuine European economic government. It is no longer sufficient to lead Europe by coming together around a table at intergovernmental level," he said, referring to the numerous EU emergency summits that have been called since the debt crisis erupted.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:11:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Commies. What would Don Camillo say???
by asdf on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 06:08:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, surrendering national sovereignty would be one way to get out from under the thumb of Berlusconi . . .
by Zwackus on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 09:57:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Economy on centre stage at French Socialist debate - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - The leading contenders for the Socialist party's presidential candidacy pledged on Thursday to raise taxes on the rich and stick to international commitments to reduce France's deficit if they win next year's election.

A televised debate between the six hopefuls for the opposition Socialists' primary next month was dominated by France's stuttering economic recovery and high unemployment, with proposals ranging from tougher regulation of banks to youth employment schemes.

..."I do not like outrageous wealth, I do not like indecent remunerations, I do not like selfishness," said Francois Hollande, the poll favourite to win the party's nod, pledging to increase taxes on the richest French to help fund proposals such as a rise in education spending.

..."We must respect our promises to cut the deficit below 3 percent by 2013...but we cannot just have the objective of reducing the deficit, because that would hit growth," Aubry said, pledging to eliminate 50 billion euros a year in tax exemptions. "My priorities are employment, employment, employment."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Foreign Affairs / Polish FM in Wikileaks: Germany is Russia's Trojan horse

According to a US cable recently published by Wikileaks, Sikorski, in a conversation with the then US under secretary for global affairs Paula Dobriansky in Warsaw on 23 April 2008 "Wryly commented that many accused Poland of being the US Trojan horse in the EU when it joined in 2004, but there is another Trojan horse in Nato".

The cable went on: "Asked what the US strategy should be towards Germany and Russia, Sikorski responded that Germany appears to have a deal with Russia. 'They'll play with Russia and in return German companies will get hundreds of billions of euros of business there, a pretty good deal'."

Sikorski made the comment after Germany opposed giving Georgia and Ukraine a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at a Nato summit in Bucharest.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wave of Hate: Anti-Roma Protests Turn Violent in the Czech Republic - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
For weeks there have been riots between Czech locals and newly settled Roma in northern Bohemia. What started as a series of brutal but isolated fights has grown into a popular movement in small towns along the eastern German border. Right-wing extremists have fanned the hatred.

No, Jindich Nestler wouldn't call himself a racist. "The good gypsies can stay," he says. "But most of them are lazy or criminals or even terrorists. They have to disappear."

Nestler is a 36-year-old official of the far-right "Workers' Party for Social Justice," or DSSS, by its Czech initials. DSSS is a successor party to the neo-Nazi group Dlnická Strana (DS), which was banned a year and a half ago by the highest Czech administrative court. One reason the court gave for the ban was that Dlnická Strana organized rallies that led to pogrom-like riots against the Roma.

For the last several weeks, far-right extremists have been back on the offensive. They're worried -- again -- about the Roma minority in the Czech Republic. In a part of Bohemia called Šluknovský výbžek, near the border with the eastern German state of Saxony, a bitter feud is raging between ethnic Czech locals and several hundred Roma. Interior Minister Jan Kubice has sent a detachment of 250 police to the region to quell any more problems, but he's had to admit that the situation had lurched out of control.

I first read of this a week ago.

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:11:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Foreign Affairs / EU and Nato sponsor confrontational mission in Kosovo
Francoise Lambert, a spokeswoman for Eulex, the EU police mission in Kosovo, told EUobserver that EU-hatted police and Kosovar Albanian observers will take over from Nato soldiers at the Jarinje, Brnjak and Merdar crossing points to "carry out customs and police operational work".

...On Thursday night, Kosovar Serbs had already put up barricades, including piles of sand on the symbolic bridge across the river Iber in the north Kosovo town of Mitrovica.

The head of the Serb Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, the same day called for a holy war against Kosovar Albanians.

...Eulex and Nato say the deployment of Kosovar Albanian policemen is designed to implement an EU-brokered Kosovo-Serbia customs deal. But Serbia denies that the agreement covers the new police presence.

Yet another Christian jihadist, this time at the top of a clergy.

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:12:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Offshore drilling spat sours EU-Turkey relations | EurActiv

Ankara threatened to send its navy yesterday (15 September) to intervene in a dispute involving oil and gas exploration around Cyprus, an EU member state whose northern territory is occupied by the Turkish military. EurActiv Turkey reports.

Ankara's warning came after Cyprus President Demetris Christofias announced that a US firm, Noble Energy, would begin exploratory drilling to confirm deposits beneath the sea bed off Cyprus' southern coast.

The Cypriot press reported that the drilling rig took place in the Republic of Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone, under the watchful eye of Turkey's navy and air force.

According to a Cyprus Defence Ministry source, Turkish navy ships and planes watched from a distance as the rig was moved from Israeli offshore field Noa to Cyprus' Aphrodite field.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 SPECIAL FOCUS 
 Rail 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:12:30 PM EST
Scottish Government takes over troubled tram project

UK: The Scottish Government's Transport Scotland agency is to provide experienced project managers to fill senior roles in a new governance structure for the Edinburgh tram project, which has been mired in political and contractual disputes and cost overruns.

Transport Scotland announced on September 14 that Ministers 'will have the power to direct strategic project decisions', in return for reinstating government funding for the scheme which had been withdrawn in August.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:12:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think something has been going on that we're not being told. The costs being quoted are astronomical and, if true, suggest criminality in the contractual process.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:02:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Prototype 2ES5 freight loco completed

RUSSIA: A prototype electric freight locomotive designed by the TRTrans joint venture of Alstom and Transmash Holding has been completed at TMH's Novocherkassk plant.

The 2ES5 is a twin-unit 25kV AC electric loco designed for heavy freight work, and follows the EP20 passenger locomotive now being tested by Russian Railways. For ease of maintenance and staff training, the 2ES5 and EP20 locos share a similar internal layout and cab design.

As a reminder, this is an example of an industrial policy, one pioneered by China: instead of the import of complete products, or even the import of the technology of a single product, technology is imported from all of the main Western makers.

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:12:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dubai metro Green Line opens
UAE: On September 9 the Dubai metro's Green Line was officially opened by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with passenger services scheduled to start the following day.

...Al Tayer also reported that the Red Line had carried a total of 84·2 million passengers between opening on September 9 2009 and the end of August this year.

This is significant.

In the past, the oil-rich Arab states weren't exactly friendly to the idea of public transport: with crude oil aplenty, the efficiency of electricity wasn't seen as economic necessity, and people preferred individual transport in luxurious cars. This changed in recent years: whether it was China's example or a fear of Peak Oil, all of the oil states began to draft grand plans of all kinds of rail transport: from light rail through heavy metro and heavy-haul railways to mines and long-distance mixed-traffic mainlines to high-speed rail. Leading the revolution are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In the heavy metro category, real estate bubble city Dubai was first.

Of the 84.2 million passengers, more than 54 million rode the metro in its second year, that is about 150,000 a day on average. This is still only about a quarter of what the line was laid out for, which shouldn't be surprising post-bubble. However, it is much more than what I feared on the basis of the metro being aimed at citizens used to luxury rather than the hordes of right-less guest workers: 150,000 a day is a lot, it is in the region you need a metro for. Looks like a success.

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:14:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Fairbanks has seen plenty of tourists this season, but nothing quite like the small group of hobbyists who set out to view Alaska from the seat of old-fashioned railroad speeders -- compact car-sized maintenance vehicles that were used during the past century.

The tour along the Alaska Railroad was organized by the Motorcar Operators West, a nonprofit group that specializes in restoring and operating the antique vehicles. The tour includes about 70 people from throughout the country who will set out from Fairbanks this morning in a colorful convoy of 29 motorcars that date to nearly every era of rail history.

http://newsminer.com/bookmark/15526029-Speeders----little-railroad-maintenance-cars----go-on-tour-in -Alaska

by asdf on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 06:21:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:14:45 PM EST
Geithner urges eurozone to leverage bailout fund - ECONOMY - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told EU finance ministers on Friday they should end loose talk about a euro zone break-up and work more closely with the European Central Bank to tackle the debt crisis.

Speaking after discussing with ministers the possibility of leveraging the euro zone's bailout fund to give it more clout to tackle the region's debt problems, Geithner said Europe would not see similar global financial coordination as there was in 2009, but that Washington would do what it could to help.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:14:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OECD: Long-term jobless rate worsening despite recovery | EurActiv

The study, which covered the world's wealthiest countries, found that while the average unemployment rate has been slowly declining, the proportion of jobseekers who are out of work for over a year increased from 24.2% to 32.4% between 2009 and 2010.

Some European countries were among the worst hit, with the proportion of long-term unemployed rising between 2009 and 2010 from 30.2 to 45.1% in Spain, 29 to 49% in Ireland and 24.5% to 32.6% in the United Kingdom.

In contrast, Germany is singled out as the only major economy surveyed whose long-term unemployment rate had actually declined.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:15:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Calls for ETF ban in wake of UBS rogue trader scandal - Business News, Business - The Independent

City veterans called for a ban of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) yesterday as the UBS rogue trading scandal put a spotlight on to the financial market's latest money-spinning wheeze.

ETFs have become increasingly popular, and until recently were the only place trading desks were hiring. Yet they have also been dogged by criticism from some in the City and faced scrutiny both in London and on a European and global level, and regulators have been threatening to derail their recent spectacular rise.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:15:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Myners attacks 'weak and lazy' banking reforms - Business News, Business - The Independent

Sir John Vickers was charged with coming up with ways to reform the system after it came perilously close to collapse during the credit crunch. But Lord Myners, who was in office in 2008 when parts of the sector had to resort to state help, said there was "a massive lacuna in the report", which proposed ring-fencing retail operations from investment banks.

"Vickers spends no time at all examining the causes of the collapse of the banking system... He does not examine radical solutions," he said, adding: "He is strong on assertion but weak in evidence, and frankly lazy in one particularly important piece of evidence." The evidence in question, he said, was the assessment that the proposals would cost UK banks £4bn to £7bn a year.

"Where did Sir John get this figure from? Amazingly, he got it from investment bank analysts," Lord Myners said. "He simply averaged the number produced by investment bank analysts, which were guesses not forecasts ... based on trying to anticipate what Vickers was going to propose."

Words fail.

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:15:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vickers was just doing what he was asked. As he was employed by the tories, no doubt they asked him to punt it into the long grass while appearing mindful of costs and the primacy of the city for <del>funding the Tory party</del> the economy

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:08:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
huh, why didn't   work ?


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:09:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The page source (ctrl+U) shows html mark-up for the less-than and greater-than signs, instead of showing the signs themselves.

Vickers was just doing what he was asked. As he was employed by the tories, no doubt they asked him to punt it into the long grass while appearing mindful of costs and the primacy of the city for &lt;del&gt;funding the Tory party&lt;/del&gt; the economy

Whereas

huh, why didn't <del>   </del> work ?

If you typed the signs in the same way, I dunno what happened.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:46:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Where did Sir John get this figure from? Amazingly, he got it from investment bank analysts," Lord Myners said. "He simply averaged the number produced by investment bank analysts, which were guesses not forecasts ... based on trying to anticipate what Vickers was going to propose."
Words fail.
Why? That's the way The Market works...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2011 at 09:31:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Laser lobby bids for billions in EU research cash | EurActiv

Photonics21, a consortium of more than 2,000 laboratories, companies and research institutions, has lodged a bid for a PPP, claiming it would contribute €5.6 billion to a plan that would also gobble €1.4 billion of the EU research budget's expanded pie.

The consortium includes many SMEs, but multinationals such as BAE Systems, Philips, Siemens and Sony are also represented.

Representing a variety of industrial sectors dealing with light technology, the photonics industry covers a wide range of industrial applications. Key areas highlighted by the consortium in respect of the bid include the development of:

  • Ultra-high speed fibre-optic communication networks for telecommunications and IT;
  • high-speed laser-based manufacturing processes;
  • lasers for efficient medical diagnosis and treatment; and
  • light-emitting diodes to reduce the consumption of power used for lighting.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:15:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Parliament backs EU crackdown on energy market abuse | EurActiv

New rules to monitor trading and prevent abuses in European wholesale energy markets were approved by EU lawmakers on Wednesday (14 September), in a move which MEPs said would help bring down prices for consumers.

The new rules ban the use of insider information and market manipulation practices in a wholesale market estimated to be worth around €500 billion per year.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:15:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
20 Quotes From European Leaders That Prove That They Know That The Financial System In Europe Is Doomed | Hawai`i News Daily

The following are 20 quotes from European leaders that prove that they know that the financial system in Europe is doomed....

#1 Polish finance minister Jacek Rostowski: "European elites, including German elites, must decide if they want the euro to survive - even at a high price - or not. If not, we should prepare for a controlled dismantling of the currency zone."

#2 Stephane Deo, Paul Donovan, and Larry Hatheway of Swiss banking giant UBS: "Under the current structure and with the current membership, the euro does not work. Either the current structure will have to change, or the current membership will have to change."

#3 EU President Herman Van Rompuy: "The euro has never had the infrastructure that it requires."

#4 German President Christian Wulff: "I regard the huge buy-up of bonds of individual states by the ECB as legally and politically questionable. Article 123 of the Treaty on the EU's workings prohibits the ECB from directly purchasing debt instruments, in order to safeguard the central bank's independence"

#5 Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackerman: "It is an open secret that numerous European banks would not survive having to revalue sovereign debt held on the banking book at market levels."



'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 Sep 16th, 2011 at 09:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - EU predicts Eurozone growth is 'coming to a standstill'

The European Commission has predicted that economic growth in the eurozone will come "to a virtual standstill" in the second half of 2011.

It halved its forecast for July to September to growth of just 0.2%, while the forecast for the last three months of the year is down from 0.4% to 0.1%.

The commission blamed financial market problems over the summer as well as weakening demand from outside Europe.

But it remained confident that there would not be a return to recession.

Dead.Horse.Whip.

clearly the chinese need more audis

'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 Sep 17th, 2011 at 05:18:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy, Precious Metals, and a Black Hole of Debt | Hawai`i News Daily

If you were long $10 million in Italian debt, you'd have to pay almost $387,000 a year to insure that $10 million against default.  That's not worth doing for very long.  But you'd only have to pay about $50,000 a year to insure $10 million in US debt.  Still, the return on your bonds has to be higher than your CDS insurance or it's pointless to buy them.

So.  Italian debt looks shaky.  The return on Italian bonds has to be high enough to warrant an investment gamble on them plus the cost of a CDS to insure them and THEN there is no guarantee that the CDS will pay if the sovereign debt goes south.

France is the most costly AAA country to protect against default. Credit default swaps on France trade at 143.8 basis points, almost triple the U.S..  Spain is at 407.6 basis points and Italy at 386.8 basis points. Swaps on Switzerland, the safest country, are at 35.3 basis points.

Almost every CDS was written and sold by an American company back in the halcyon days when the government was guaranteeing them against loss. They made billions selling them. But they didn't stop at what they could afford. Why should they?

So, as I have previously mentioned, there is about a QUADRILLION dollars in loan guarantees floating around. No one knows how much exactly. It was all Over the Counter (OTC) and not reportable. But a pretty good estimate is that JPMorgan/Chase alone has about 90 TRILLION dollars of exposure to any European loss. They don't have it. The US government doesn't have it. No one has it. Everyone who paid a billion dollars to insure a trillion dollars will lose all of it. A lot of those investors are central banks. Some are filthy rich people who bought into a private hedge. Some are derivative-based funds whose investors include millions of smaller investors - like retirement funds - who bought in for a high return insured against loss.

If one bank failed, they might get away. If Italy restructures, none of those CDS will pay up.

o madonna

'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 Sep 17th, 2011 at 05:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
reading that I am tempted to respond in Twank fashion, but I shall restrict myself with a sweet little poem from Derek and Clive. You can work out for yourselves why it is so appropriate

Jump! You fucker banker, jump!
Jump into this here blanket what we are holding
And you will be all right
He jumped, hit the deck, broke his fucking banking neck -
There was no blanket


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 08:08:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:16:05 PM EST
EU seeks limited upgrade of Palestinians' UN status | EurActiv
The European Union hopes to persuade Palestinian leaders to drop plans for full United Nations membership this month in return for a nuanced upgrading of their UN observer status, EU diplomats said yesterday (15 September).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:16:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Erdogan visits Libya as NTC and pro-Gaddafi forces clash - LIBYA - FRANCE 24

AFP - Fighters loyal to Libya's new leaders on Friday thrust deep into the city of Sirte and into desert oasis Bani Walid, two of fugitive Moamer Kadhafi's few remaining bastions, AFP reporters said.

On the political front, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Tripoli, boosting international support for the National Transitional Council (NTC) a day after Britain's David Cameron and France's Nicolas Sarkozy became the first foreign leaders to visit the new Libya.

Columns of NTC fighters backed by tanks launched the assault late morning on Sirte, Kadhafi's hometown 360 kilometres (225 miles) west of Tripoli, after a first attack on Thursday was repulsed by loyalists, who set up sniper nests on rooftops.

..."We are advancing in from the west and the south towards the city centre," he said by telephone. "Our forces retreated strategically during the night but are now speeding towards the centre and some have already entered."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tracking NATO on the Libyan battlefield | World | Deutsche Welle | 16.09.2011
As rebels together with NATO air support attempt to flush out the last pockets of Gadhafi-led resistance, NATO's military campaign in Libya is once again becoming the focus of intense scrutiny. 

"The whole street had been obliterated: cars, buildings, everything was in flames," Abdul Basser Richi recalls. The 30-year-old Tripoli resident was lucky enough to survive one of NATO's "surgical" bombings in the early morning of June 19.

But the destruction at Richi's family house - where he lived with his parents and his nine brothers - still pays brutal witness to something a NATO official considered afterwards as a "mistake due to a weapons system failure." That was the third admission by the alliance that they had hit an unintended target.

None of Richi's relatives were injured that night. His neighbor, Ali Garari, wasn't so lucky. The 70-year old lost six relatives under the fallen concrete debris of his house.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:16:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gunfire, explosions rock Sanaa amid renewed clashes - YEMEN - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Sounds of explosions and gunfire shook a northern district of the Yemeni capital Sanaa early on Thursday, in what appeared to be renewed clashes between tribesmen opposed to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and troops loyal to him, residents said.

Artillery and automatic weapons fire was focused near the home of a prominent anti-Saleh tribal leader in the Hasaba district, the site of weeks of bloody fighting that began in May, they said.

Two people were killed and two others wounded in the clashes, Al Arabiya television reported. There were no immediate reports of damages.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:16:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gbagbo accuses France of attempted assassination - IVORY COAST - FRANCE 24

AP - Ex-Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo has filed a legal case accusing the French army of his attempted assassination following the April operation to oust him, legal sources said Thursday.

France and the United Nations backed the forces of Gbagbo rival and new ruler Alassane Ouattara in the offensive which saw him and his wife Simone placed under house arrest.

The country had by then endured four months of clashes after Gbagbo refused to accept defeat in a November poll.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO, Afghan forces arrest two over Kabul attacks - AFGHANISTAN - FRANCE 24
AFP - NATO and Afghan forces have captured at least two suspects linked to a dramatic Taliban assault on the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, the transatlantic alliance said Thursday.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said a Taliban suspect and a member of the Pakistan-based Haqqani network were held in the wake of the attacks in the Afghan capital that left 15 dead.

The Taliban suspect "and his associates coordinated multiple attacks in Kabul against Afghan and coalition forces to include the September 13, 2011 attacks at NATO Headquarters and the US embassy," an ISAF operational update read.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:17:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:17:24 PM EST
American Superconductor Plunges, Ex-Employee Jailed for Code Theft - Bloomberg

Sinovel, China's biggest wind-turbine maker, paid an American Superconductor systems integrator in Austria for software and source code, Chief Executive Officer Daniel McGahn said today on a conference call with analysts. He didn't identify the worker, who he said was no longer with the company and is now in jail awaiting trial on charges including economic espionage.

"We have evidence that senior-level Sinovel employees engaged and paid an AMSC employee who illegally obtained and transferred some of our intellectual property," McGahn said. "We are aggressively pursuing all legal remedies against Sinovel."

American Superconductor said yesterday that it filed a claim for arbitration against Sinovel with the Beijing Arbitration Commission. It also filed civil and criminal complaints in Beijing related to the allegedly stolen intellectual property, it said in an e-mailed statement today.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:17:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am in no way condoning what Sinovel is alleged to have done, but the story is actually very complex, and one I have followed in detail for nearly five years. The other side of the story is that Wintec, the Austrian engineering company purchased by AMSC, is responsible for some of the most primitive designs (licenses) used in the Chinese turbine industry.

Don't think it wise to say more at the moment.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 04:33:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was told {anecdote alert} that at one stage American contractors gained entry to a Siemens wind installation in order to plunder some of their software.

So they all do it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:14:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, Germany's best producing technology Enercon was kept out of the US market (since the mid-90's) because they "lost" a patent dispute.

It was later discovered that their technology had been hacked by NSC computers, and divulged to the US company. Which thankfully went bankrupt a few years later.

the patent is still in effect, held by GE, though its time is almost over.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 05:53:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Green light for biomass power plant - Green Living, Environment - The Independent
The 299 megawatt biomass power station, which will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of a quarter of the homes in Wales, will be built by Anglesey Aluminium Metal Renewables at Penrhos Works, Holyhead.

Electricity generated will be used by the smelting works or exported to the grid.

The power plant will rely on fuel from local sources and imported materials, with imports coming through the port at Holyhead.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:17:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gold fever hits Bucharest | Presseurop (English)
As the economic crisis drives up the value of gold on world markets, the Romanian state intends to hitch a ride by reopening the mine fields at Roşia Montană in association with a Canadian firm. So far, the project has dug up more controversy than gold.

...The hard core of opposition to reopening the mine, which was closed in 2006, argues that the project would wipe the Cârnic massif off the map, reduce to rubble a cultural heritage that dates back to antiquity, when the Romans exploited the gold in the region, and that the region could be seriously contaminated by the dangers of cyanide extraction technology. For its part, Gold Corporation argues that it will safeguard the archaeological heritage...

For some reason the article omits to mention the precedent: on 30 January 2000, a dam holding 100,000 cubic metres of heavily cyanide-laden water burst at a mine operated by an Australian-Romanian company, killing everything in the water downriver.

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:17:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sustainable tram depot collects sunlight and rainwater

NETHERLANDS: Sustainability is central to the design of the Beverwaard tram depot which Rotterdam operator RET inaugurated with an open day for local residents on August 15.

Solar panels contribute to the depot's electrical power needs, while low-energy lighting and glass walls make the maximum use of natural light. Heat pumps take energy from the ground, and rainwater is collected and used to wash the trams...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:18:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Battle for Germany's Roads: Tempers Fray as Bikes and Cars Vie for Supremacy - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Germany may have a reputation as a bicycle-friendly country, but its streets are becoming increasingly tough as cyclists battle drivers and pedestrians for their share of limited space. A history of misguided transport policy is partly to blame for the growing aggressiveness. But model projects across Germany show harmony between bikes and cars is possible. By SPIEGEL Staff

Although I disapprove of red-light crossing bikers, too, this Spiegel cover article appears to be mostly a takedown of bikers from the viewpoint of drivers...

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:18:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No comment.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 04:34:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And yet first hand reportage from the front line of the battle is considered valuable insight by the yellow press

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:16:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:18:51 PM EST
Third body found in flooded pit - Home News, UK - The Independent

A third body has been found in the flooded colliery in south Wales.

The news came as rescuers continued to search the pit, where four men went missing yesterday.

...But the rescue teams were determined to carry on searching in the hope of finding the fourth miner.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:19:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly the fourth miner has also been found dead.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:17:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Former Paris firehouse becomes Muslim prayer hall - FRANCE - FRANCE 24
As a fiercely secular France grapples with religious issues, Interior Minister Claude Guéant has designated a vacant Paris firehouse to host Friday prayers--a stopgap measure to keep the city's practicing Muslims from doing so in public.

The polls, commissioned by the Times Educational Supplement, come at a time when the Education Secretary Michael Gove is launching a crusade to improve discipline in schools on the theme that children have to know "who's boss".



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:19:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
to keep the city's practicing Muslims from doing so in public.

  1. Imagine Catholics had no churches and were holding mass in the street. Would the above have been phrased in the same way?

  2. Guéant was placed at Interior to lick Le Penists. (sic)

  3. Gove is a dismal piece of work too, but I think he belongs in the next comment?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 11:15:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooops...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 12:33:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Parents back corporal punishment in schools - Education News, Education - The Independent
A poll of more than 2,000 parents revealed that 49 per cent of them wanted to see a return to the days when smacking and caning were allowed in schools. A separate poll of 530 children currently at secondary school revealed nearly one in five of them (19 per cent) would like to see its return to bring more discipline to the classroom.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:19:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no well-reasoned or well-thought opinion on corporal punishment in classrooms, neither having suffered it nor having used it myself.  Well, semi-comic and un-serious thumping of heads with the textbook aside.

However, compulsory schooling combined with a lack of effectively disciplinary measures creates a nightmare situation where nothing gets done.  Good students hardly need disciplinary action at all - a stern talking to is enough to scare them.  Hard-core punks are another matter entirely, as they are quite often actively resisting the school and its rules, and their resistance is fueled by a sense of resentment and anger at their unjust imprisonment in the school.

Discipline is effective in curtailing active resistance only when it is serious enough, and well-supported enough, to make disobeying the rules worse than obeying the rules.  As students who don't want to study, and don't want to be in school for any active reason of their own (the majority of students, in my opinion) find following the rules quite tedious and unpleasant, then disciplinary actions need to have the potential to be distinctly unpleasant.

This does not mean I support corporal punishment.  As I said, I am distinctly undecided on that matter.  But I am well versed in handing out hour-long cleaning assignments, keeping students after school to do boring tasks, and a variety of other disciplinary actions.  This sort of serious, but non-violent discipline is time consuming for the teacher as well as the student, but it has worked in the past at my school.  But I have very few hard-core punks, and none of them are from poor families.

My preferred solution to the matter is letting people who don't want to be at school do something else entirely, but too many middle and upper class families have little slackers who have a destiny in elite universities which must be fulfilled, no matter what.  Further, such an attitude consigns the unruly underclass to social stasis in a society where those who have avoided wasting their adolescence memorizing and forgetting nonsense are prevented from working.

by Zwackus on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 10:22:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Personally I don't see how it helps. A little coward like Gove is, of course, going to be terrified of physical retribution. But for the transgressive, violent retribution becomes a source of pride, the "I can take it" mark that sets them apart from the rest of the kids.

Plus schools seem to specialise in collective and unjust punishments. some teachers don't need to control classes because of their own personal authority, other teachers resort to violence at the first opportunity.

This is a sign of weakness and desperation from a government that has no idea what the problem is nor how to solve it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want a violent society, teach your children that the way to deal with frustration is to act out violently, just like their parents and teachers. If you want a non-violent society, isn't it obvious that you start by teaching children non-violent solutions to frustration.
Don't we have enough data from cultural sources around the world to establish an understanding of how this works?
Fuck it. There are 7 billion people on the planet competing for resources, and peaceful solutions require cooperation and education -- maybe teaching our children to be violent and ruthless makes sense in a crazy world.
by Andhakari on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 04:04:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Andhakari:
Fuck it. There are 7 billion people on the planet competing for resources, and peaceful solutions require cooperation and education -- maybe teaching our children to be violent and ruthless makes sense in a crazy world.

voila, messieurs et mesdames... the current default mode, raise more little snakes for the pit.

then run to the shrinks when little johnny has become what you told him to be...and it dimly dawns that your own child would sell you and yer mum for a 'business opportunity' that any 'rational actor' would take.

shudder

'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 Sep 17th, 2011 at 05:30:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please note that the 1 out of 2 parents in favour of corporal punishment at school think that it's the kids of the other half that need whacking.

Just sayin'.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 11:19:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would-be Hitler assassin honored with a major Berlin monument | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 15.09.2011
...The monument will be the first major memorial to the would-be Hitler assassin, a carpenter from the southwestern German region of Swabia.

The sculpture is to be erected where Hitler's chancellery once stood, before it was razed to the ground by the Soviets after the war. It is also close to where the headquarters of the secret state police, or Gestapo, was located.

...[Georg] Elser tried to kill Hitler on November 8, 1939 with a homemade bomb in Munich's Bürgerbräukeller, a large pub that served as the venue for an annual speech by Adolf Hitler.

But Hitler left the crowded hall early and escaped the assassination attempt. Eight other people died, however, and many others were injured.

Elser was arrested while trying to flee into Switzerland. He was then held at the Dachau concentration camp before being killed on April 9, 1945, just a few weeks before the end of the war.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sixty Years of Germany's Beate Uhse: When Sexual Liberation Arrived By Mail - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
In the 1950s, Germany was a place where many women were terrified of getting pregnant and kept woefully ignorant about sexual matters. One dauntless woman changed that almost single-handedly. The empire of Beate Uhse started small as a mail-order provider of sex-education brochures. But it grew to become the world's largest seller of sex toys.

...After World War II, everything started with "Pamphlet X." On seven pages, Uhse explained the system of periodic abstinence based on the findings of Japanese gynecologist Kyusaku Ogino and his Austrian counterpart Hermann Knaus that has come to be known as the rhythm method. The pamphlet also included a table with which women could calculate the days they were unlikely to conceive. The former Luftwaffe pilot and war widow sold the brochures by mail to households in northern Germany.

"It should be the self-evident right of all people to determine their family size based on their social circumstances," Uhse proclaimed in the pamphlet. Uhse's mother, country doctor Margarete Köstlin, had thoroughly informed her about sexual matters at an early age. Her sentiment struck a nerve. Pregnancy was unthinkable for many women after the war. In 1947 alone, 32,000 of these women ordered Uhse's pamphlet.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Astronomers discover planet straight out of Star Wars - Science, News - The Independent

It's enough to make Luke Skywalker feel homesick. A planet has been discovered 200 million light years away that orbits two stars rather than one, enjoying a double sunset just like the fictional world the Star Wars hero hails from.

Unlike the imaginary desert planet Tatooine in George Lucas' 1977 sci-fi classic, Nasa says the new deep-space find, named Kepler-16b, is cold and gaseous, and similar in size to Saturn.

The double-sun effect was discovered by astronomers analysing the brightness of the two stars in their telescopes. They noticed the stars dimmed even when not eclipsing one another, signalling the presence of a planet passing in front of them.

This is not the first planet discovered in a binary stellar system, but the most certain planet orbiting not just one component but both stars. There was, however, HD 188753Ab, a planet orbiting a star that is the main component of a triple star, with the other two also orbiting each other – thus that planet can have 'Tatooine days' during the primary star night.

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:19:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How it manages to stay up there for millions of years is a mystery. Huge orbital perturbations and all that.
by asdf on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 06:27:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
orbital perturbations the force solves, yes.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 06:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, if you are sufficiently far away from the two stars (say an order of magnitude), and there is no orbit resonance (that is, a situation where N revolutions of the two stars around themselves and M revolutions of the planet around the two stars take the same time, where N and M are single-digit integers), there aren't huge orbital perturbations.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:50:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:20:13 PM EST
Forest-boy riddle for German police - Europe, World - The Independent

Berlin police are investigating the case of an English-speaking teenager who appeared in the German capital saying he had lived the last five years in the woods with his father.

...Police say the boy claims that he and his father took to the woods about five years ago after his mother died and have been living in a tent and earth huts.

The boy - who says he does not remember where the family came from - claims he followed his compass north after his father recently died, reaching Berlin after walking for two weeks.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:20:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just like Dorthy finding Oz.
It sounds like a great story, but probably just a story. I spend a lot of time in the trackless deep woods, and even here in Norway it's hard to get away from the traces of people. And he shows up in Berlin, of all places?
by Andhakari on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 04:18:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See Kaspar Hauser.

On 26 May 1828, a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany. He carried a letter with him addressed to the captain of the 4th squadron of the 6th cavalry regiment, Captain von Wessenig. Its heading read: Von der Bäierischen Gränz / daß Orte ist unbenant / 1828 ("From the Bavarian border / The place is unnamed [sic] / 1828"). The anonymous author said that the boy had been given into his custody, as an infant, on 7 October 1812, and that he had instructed him in reading, writing and the Christian religion, but had never let him "take a single step out of my house". The letter stated that the boy would now like to be a cavalryman "as his father was", and invited the captain to either take him in or hang him.

or Werner Herzog's Film ("Every Man for Himself and God Against All").



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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 05:20:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why get away from the traces of people? The interesting part of the story isn't the level of isolation, but the origin of the boy (speaks English in a non-English-speaking area) and him walking for two weeks (that should be between 200 and 500 kilometres, depending on his condition; so he may have came from the border of the Czech Republic and Germany).

Let me tell another, much darker story. Around Budapest, a lot of homeless people squat in the woods. (I first met with one around 1995, the phenomenon spread more in recent austerity years.) In the district of Csepel (it is on a big island in the Danube), an immigrant guy from Transylvania got acquainted with some of these people who invited him out in the woods. There he was beaten and then buried alive with only the head sticking out, and tortured until he gave away his credit card password. While the robbers were away, he managed to dig himself out. He then brought police back to the crime scene – where police found four corpses of people buried alive in similar fashion and then beheaded. This was over a month ago, since then, none of the victims could be identified, but several people were arrested. Just this week, they finally identified the ringleader, whom people knew as a Serbian while he himself said he is Macedonian and one newspaper thought he is an ethnic Hungarian from Voivodina who fought in Arkan's Tigers (Serbian paramilitary) – turns out he was ethnic Serb and Serbian citizen and fought in Bosnia, but also a several times convicted criminal from his teens.

What I find noteworthy in this case is how a dozen (or dozens?) of homeless people who must have been at least ear-witnesses to the crimes (there were huts in the woods rather close to the crime scene) have all kept silence.

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

by DoDo on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 05:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recordings reveal a candid, critical Jackie Kennedy - USA - FRANCE 24
In a new oral history compiled from interviews recorded in 1964, a year after her husband's assassination, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy reveals an opinionated side that differs from her discreet, soft-spoken public image.

..."De Gaulle was my hero when I married Jack," Jackie Kennedy confides. That changed quickly when she met the French leader in 1961 on a visit to Paris, when she found him to be an "egomaniac" and a "spiteful man". And although she spoke fluent French and spent a year studying at the Sorbonne, her assessment of the French people in general is no kinder. "I loathe the French," she admits in the interview. "They are not very nice, they are all for themselves."

...Kennedy also had harsh words for Indira Gandhi, who would become prime minister of India, describing her as "a prune - a bitter, kind of pushy, horrible woman".

Her opinion of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was equally disapproving. "I just can't see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man's terrible," she says, citing FBI tapes of King and a woman in his hotel room to back up her assessment that he was "tricky" and a "phony". She also said that King had mocked her husband's funeral.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:20:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, ..who cares ? Jackie was a lousy reader of character, so what ? She probably thought John was faithful

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 17th, 2011 at 03:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Silvio Berlusconi embroiled in new 'sex party' claims - Europe, World - The Independent

Prosecutors say an Italian businessman recruited about 30 girls to attend parties at Premier Silvio Berlusconi's homes, selecting them for their looks and age and paying some of them to have sex with the Italian leader.

They allege that between September 2008 and May 2009 Gianpaolo Tarantini recruited women of "young age, slender frame," and told them what to wear and how to behave at the parties, according to a newly filed court document.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 01:20:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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