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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 5 October

by In Wales Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 04:07:59 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


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1933 - death of Renée Adorée, a French actress who had appeared in Hollywood silent movies during the 1920s.

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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:02:51 PM EST
European court strengthens air passengers' rights | Business | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

The European Court of Justice has strengthened the rights of air passengers in two separate rulings. Travelers are entitled to compensation even if booked flights are cancelled for operational reasons.

The European Court of Justice in Strasbourg on Thursday ruled air passengers must be compensated for not being allowed to board their booked flights or connecting flights even if crew strikes or other in-house reasons have necessitated rescheduling measures.

The court pointed to current EU regulations stipulating that airlines could only under very restricted conditions turn passengers away without any form of compensation, for instance if travelers did not have with them all required documents or if their health condition was critical.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Enlargement / Gay rights not decisive for Serbia-EU talks
BRUSSELS - Brussels on Thursday (4 October) gave Belgrade a tongue-lashing on gay rights, but the issue is unlikely to decide when Serbia can start EU entry talks.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah...There will be no parade.Leave it for the future. All tho as I said before I am against any kind of sex related parade but I am for Gay rights. That's how many ordinary people in Serbia feel too...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 10:41:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And this is why religious nuts must be denied political power.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 02:26:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the homophobia is  cultural hangover from the communist era. In the old soviet bloc the religions track the culture, not drive it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the Communists invented it?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:19:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think rather because homophobia being the general rule during the period that the soviet bloc existed.

Communism and homosexuality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Homosexuality was deemed illegal under the majority of former communist states, particularly in Europe, but in certain cases, such laws had pre-existed before the establishment of Soviet-influenced doctrine. Homosexuality carried harsh penalties in the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, to which convicted homosexuals faced lengthy prison sentences and ill-treatment in prison. Homosexuality was also illegal in the People's Republic of Mongolia, but the extent to which these laws were enforced remain unknown. Homosexuality was officially decriminalized in the German Democratic Republic in 1967, a year ahead of the NATO-backed Federal Republic of Germany.[31] The age of consent was later equalized in 1987, and in 1988 in West Germany.


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:04:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in Zizek's In Praise of Lost Causes, the one on Stalin.

Some of this has to do with rolling back the excesses of the initial Bolshevik régime, which had in many respects tended to social policy largely out of step with the beliefs of Soviet citizens.

In this way, some of the more retrograde social policies which followed had more to do with consolidating power via better aligning the policies of the régime to its citizen's beliefs than anything inherently anti-equality in Communist doctrine. And, as noted, in many countries with really-existing-socialism, notably the DDR, the sexual revolution was greatly encouraged, not just tolerated. We are now seeing similar in the PRC.

Not communism at fault here imho, more the retrograde belief structures which pre-dated the régimes.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 10:49:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because real existing Communism was an authoritarian polytical system, and authoritarians don't like teh gay.

The "deviations" that right-wing Christian regimes like Franco's or Pinochet's blamed on left-wing ideologies, the Communist regimes called "bourgeois perversions".

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:23:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What evidence do you have that the authoritarians in power before the Communists were not anti-gay?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They were also anti-gay.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:30:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
until well into the 1970's.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 10:50:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or for that matter, was contemporary liberal democracies better at LGBT rights at the time the Soviet system existed?

Most of the 20th century was a pretty bad time for LGBT rights over all.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:31:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is, why did Communist regimes advance women's liberation, while holding on to old authoritarian mores of militarism, social conformity, authoritarianism and homophobia?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:35:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The communist countries were the ones who actually fought in the second world war.

Having lost a double-digit percentage of your male working age population tends to do a number for the emancipation of women in society.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 08:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep.
WWI and WWII did more than any number of gender studies departments.
by Number 6 on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 09:40:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
prior to the wars. That dynamic simply accelerated what was already underway.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 10:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In many places, the Interbellum was where women got the vote.

And for much the same reason.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 01:25:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
authoritarians don't like teh gay.

actually they secretly love it to bits, but in a sick way... it has to be taboo to get the authoritygasm, a weapon of degradation, humiliation, and an affirmation of their own power to be above their own rules, which are a sham to keep the sheep in line anyway.

anything but love...

'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 Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:37:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France launches hunt for mob murder fugitives - FRANCE 24

AFP - French police on Thursday detained one of two fugitives wanted for the killing of two 21-year-olds by a mob armed with hammers, baseball bats and knives.

Details of the two suspects were relayed to police stations across the country amid fears they could try and flee overseas, sources close to the probe said.

One of them, named as Ilyas T., turned himself in at police headquarters in the southeastern city of Grenoble, where Kevin Noubissi, and Sofiane Tadburt died last Friday after being stabbed and beaten.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Transport official suspended over rail fiasco is ex-Goldman banker - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

A former Goldman Sachs banker in charge of private contracts for the Department for Transport was named yesterday as one of the officials suspended for their alleged role in the West Coast rail franchise fiasco. Kate Mingay, head of commercial at the DfT, is believed to be the most senior of three staff suspended on Wednesday.

She ran a team responsible for the finance model in the bidding for the West Coast Main Line franchise. The decision to strip Sir Richard Branson's company, Virgin Trains, of the multibillion-pound contract and award it to FirstGroup instead was scrapped after the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said there were "significant technical flaws" in the bidding process because of the DfT's mistakes.

Ms Mingay was also part of a team which approved the controversial decision to place a £1.4bn order for new Thameslink trains with the German firm Siemens, rather than the Derby train-maker Bombardier.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 07:54:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was an interesting point made on one on the late night political shows here, apparently the department of transport franchising team were considered internationally to be a model of how it should be organised. However, the tories came in and trashed that team entirely, believing it should be done very differently.

And, as I still believe, to respond to an agenda which was less about effective transport (and Virgin were certainly NOT that) than it was about cold hard cash (and not necessarily for the Treasury).

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I go both ways on the corruption angle - it could be possible, but I think it's not (Occam's Razor) needed to explain what happened.

The problem (as I'm seeing in my health service research at the moment) is that you have a set of civil servants who have a very simplistic view of markets and a religious belief in the power of "market-driven decisions."

This combines in this case to an excessive focus on the initial cost number (which First were lowest on) and no consideration of service levels or indeed of First's track record on bailing on later stage payments.

"The invisible hand would fix that, don't you know?"

As I say, I don't exclude other motives, but what's scary is how unnecessary they are to explain what happened.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you have a set of civil servants who have a very simplistic view of markets and a religious belief in the power of "market-driven decisions."

In this case, the civil servant is a former "market" participant herself, so naivety may not be the main factor.

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

by DoDo on Thu Oct 11th, 2012 at 07:22:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Business Insider: There Was An Amazing Exchange Between Mario Draghi And CNBC's Silvia Wadhwa Today (4 October 2012)
Wadhwa asked Draghi:
If the OMT is a purely monetary measure to help repairing dysfunctional fragmented markets, how can you say, how can you set political preconditions to it? Is that not a little bit like my local fire brigade telling me I can only turn on the water "if you show me you've got a roof improvement program?"
This actually stirred what developed into an impassioned response from Mario Draghi.

Draghi told Wadhwa that he totally disagreed, but he revealed an important fact:

So, the first conclusion was that any monetary policy would have no effect if the other policies wouldn't change. That's why conditionality is so important.

It's actually - as I said at the beginning - what makes the monetary policy effective, and it's what protects the independence of the ECB.

The ECB's independence is thus preserved. The sovereignty of euro area member states is not.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 02:42:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ECB power grab is undemocratic and disturbing.

However, I have to admit what upsets me the most is that they want to make ECB actions conditional on fiscal policies that will cancel out the beneficial effects of said actions...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only are they undemocratic, they also have no idea of macroeconomic management, or else they actually want to destroy the public sector and think the public is stupid (at least the politicians are, that's been well established).

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:29:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: De Guindos: bailout talk is a "bit of a misunderstanding"
Another apparent joke by a Spanish politician sends spreads up: De Guindos says Spain needs no bailout; he had meeting in London with bankers, denying that he solicited their support to invest in the bad bank scheme; Spanish government is desperate to keep its own share in the bad bank to below 50%; Mario Draghi said ECB had done its bit, now it was up to governments to act; he says OMT would only be offered to countries with full access to bond markets; says a review into a country's apparent failure to meet fiscal and structural targets would trigger a suspension of the OMT; ECB left interest rates unchanged, sending the euro to over $1.30; Luis Maria Linde tells Spanish MPs that they should take more austerity measures to meet next year's deficit target; says OMT has only bought time, government will still need to take the right measures; Christopher T Mahoney says that while Spain is not Uganda, it is like Enron: it must continuously borrow to stay afloat; he also says that the country needs its own central bank, as its owes the world $1 trillion it does not print; the Spanish press is appalled by Mitt Romney's negative comparison between the US and Spain; Nicholas Spiro says Spain must deal with a banking, economic, sovereign debt, political, and constitutional crisis all occurring simultaneously; James Badcock warns of the threat of a serious political and constitutional crisis in Spain; Paul Mason invokes the possibility that a military dictatorship might reassert itself in Spain; Ambrose Evans-Pritchard compares the fiscal policies of Francois Hollande with those of the Labour Party in 1931, shortly before Britain left the gold standard; French economy stalls in Q3, rendering the governments forecasts too optimistic; Portugal  explores private placements after a successful bond exchange; Italy tries to boost economy with Digital Agenda plan; Italian farmers are another group of crisis victims, as their incomes fall and costs rise; Franco Debenedetti says Mario Monti should become a more political actor and be clearer on the political future of the eurozone; Martin Wolf, meanwhile, applauds the Liikanen report as a step in the right direction, as Europe's banks constitutes the biggest stability risk to the world economy right now.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:20:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin Wolf defends the Liikanen report

In his FT column Martin Wolf notes [] the assets of European banks of 350% of GDP. They are not only too big to fail, but too big to save. He applauds the Liikanen report as a step in the right direction. It contains four salient points: first, it ringfences trading activities, not retail banking;
second, it demands a hierarchy of bail-inable debt instruments;
third[,] it imposes an extra capital buffer on the trading books;
fourth, it proposes changes to re[mun]eration and to risk disclosure rules. He says these measures would make an important difference, but says they will need to followed by further action.


 

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:28:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin Wolf: Liikanen is at least a step forward for EU banks (October 4, 2012)
In 2010, US banks had assets of €8.6tn. But those of the EU's were €42.9tn. In the US, bank assets were close to 80 per cent of gross domestic product. In the EU, they were 350 per cent. Half of the world's 30 biggest banks are headquartered in the EU. If the EU makes a mess of banking, it can explode the world economy. In brief, while individual US banks may be "too big to fail", the EU has a banking sector that is not only too big to fail, but too big to save.

...

These proposals will not help with today's crisis. It is too late for that. Nevertheless, they are welcome.

...

As happened in response to the ICB report, the critics will argue that in the crisis universal banks showed no greater tendency to collapse than simpler entities. This is true, but irrelevant. There are at least four strong arguments for ringfencing of trading from retail activities inside universal banks. First, without the implicit guarantee given to deposits, the volume of trading activities that can be profitably financed will be far smaller. Second, it is through their trading activities that banks become so dangerously interconnected. Third, universal banks are far bigger than other banks and their failure correspondingly more dangerous. Finally, fully integrated universal banks are also far more complex than other banks, which makes them harder to resolve and to understand. Northern Rock was a quite different threat from Royal Bank of Scotland.

...

The Liikanen report goes in the same direction as the ICB, though by a different route. Given reasonable flexibility, its recommendations should also be compatible with what the UK plans to do. All this is quite encouraging. I also like what it says about risk-weighting, capital requirements, bail-inable debt, compensation and governance. But the holes left in the fence are too big to ensure adequate protection of retail banking, the taxpayer and the economy from trading activities. This is a step forward. But the next ones must be further forward, not backward. The EU must enjoy safer banking. It has no sane alternative.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:32:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any prominent politician in government in the EU today who we think would push through any kind of ring fence in the teeth of opposition from their domestic banking sector?
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:18:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:05:01 PM EST
German gender income gap narrows just marginally | Business News | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

The gap in wages and professional income between women and men in Germany has hardly been closing over the past few years, a new study has found. Surprisingly, unequal pay is prevalent in top jobs.

On average, German women earned 22 percent less than men in 2010 - the year of reference for an official survey published by Germany's Federal Statistics Office, Destatis, on Thursday.

The figure shows that the gender income gap in Europe's biggest economy has been closing by just 1 percentage point in five years, compared with a previous study made by Destatis in 2006.

Differences were especially striking among business managers, where female managers earn almost a third less than their male counterparts. On average, they earn about 27.64 euros ($35.71) in hourly wages, while men in management positions make 39.50 euros ($51.04) an hour.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:33:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Old-age provision loses thrill for Germans amid crisis | Business | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

Fewer Germans feel inclined to make adequate financial old-age provisions, a study has found. The survey points out that a good part of the population is worried about inflation and record-low capital yields.

Germans on average now spend less on old-age provisions than in previous years, a study by opinion pollster Allenstein and the Postbank reported on Thursday. People only put aside 185 euros ($239) a month to compensate for largely insufficient state pensions, the survey indicated.

The pollsters found that only 42 percent of the working population intended to beef up their old-age provisions. Even among those who conceded that they weren't putting aside enough, only 14 percent appeared willing to reconsider their consumption habits to save more.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:36:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
worried about inflation

It's a national neurosis.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 02:20:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But only for a certain set:

Old-age provision loses thrill for Germans amid crisis | Business | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

Meyer said it is negligent for Germans to ignore the impact of inflation. Fifty percent of those polled stated inflationary developments played no role in their provisions for old age.

That would be Postbank CEO Michael Meyer expressing his concern about Germans not being more worried about inflation.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you promise to keep inflation at 2% come hell or high water....

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:20:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or maybe a) stagnant wages means they can not afford it or b) they labor under the illusion that it is the states job to provide pensions.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:09:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I like about the article is that there is no single mention of the failure of the subsidized Riester system.

Sozialsystem: Das Riester-Renten-Debakel | Wirtschaft | ZEIT ONLINE

Noch will es keiner aussprechen. Aber die Geschichte von der Zukunftsfestigkeit der Kapitaldeckung war von Anfang an nicht wahr. Weil sich das niemand eingestehen will, verfolgt die Politik lieber eine altbewährte Strategie: Sie versucht das Gleiche noch einmal. Sicherlich war nur die Dosierung falsch, nicht die Medizin als solche.
by generic on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 07:35:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Draghi puts the ball in Spain's court on ECB bond-buying
BRUSSELS - The European Central Bank is ready to deploy its new bond-buying scheme if Spain requests it and signs up to "conditionality," which would not be any harsher than what the country is already doing, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi said on Thursday (4 October).
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:41:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
if Spain requests it and signs up to "conditionality," which would not be any harsher than what the country is already doing

Then one wonders what is the point of requiring conditionality.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 02:22:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To make sense of all this you need a theologian, not an economist.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 02:26:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a specialist in aberrant psychology would be handy... oops, same thing!

'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 Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:08:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Opinion / Jobless youth - southern Europe's ticking time bomb

BRUSSELS - As Europe hangs on every public statement about the possibility of more bailouts from the European Central Bank or German Chancellor Angela Merkel, some investors don't see the wood for the trees.

The focus on short-term stability ignores southern Europe's powder keg of jobless youth which is set to undermine workforce productivity and pension affordability over the next decade.

Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy top the list in eurozone youth unemployment.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neo-conservatism only recognises the impoverished as being collateral damage. It is about ensuring the the wealthy have more of whatever there is. For that to happen, it is necessary for everybody else to have less....and less

Pensions in the future ? Or elites don't even care if they starve in the present.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:31:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Portugal unveils tax hikes to meet EU bail-out demands

BRUSSELS - Portugal's centre-right government unveiled across-the-board tax hikes on Wednesday (3 October) to ensure the country meets debt and deficit targets required under the terms of its bailout.

Finance minister Vitor Gaspar said that plans for an "enormous increase in taxes" in 2013 are necessary for the embattled country to meet its 2013 deficit target of 4.5 per cent.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / EU leaders to consider eurozone budget, reform 'contracts'

BRUSSELS - EU leaders meeting later this month in Brussels will try to iron out disagreements on a new eurozone banking supervisor and consider further steps to deepen the economic union, such as a eurozone budget and binding "contracts" on reforms.

According to draft guidelines discussed on Wednesday (3 October) by EU ambassadors for the summit conclusions on 18-19 October, member states should consider "individual contractual arrangements with the European level on the reforms they commit to undertake and their implementation."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:44:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / News In Brief / Banking world needs more women, says EU commissioner
EU commission vice president Vivianne Reding is calling for "self-imposed gender quotas" in the European Central Bank. The forthcoming eurozone banking supervisor is "a window of opportunity to get more women into the still very male world of central banking," she told this website.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:44:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the women who get to the top are not entirely unlike the men who do so now.

I'm not sure Mrs Thatcher changed the political climate for the better.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:33:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In a debating class, where I had to defend "Women are more sensible than men", I pointed out:
"I believe it to be no coincidence that Hitler, Stalin and Margaret Thatcher were all men."

The teacher, an Irishman, had the loudest "hear, hear".

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:53:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And yet I use Mrs Thatcher as a counter to all the essentialist feminists ho think that women are naturally nurutring, peace making, relationship building, nicer gentler etc etc {vomit}.

It denies women the full range of humanity. We know men can be gentle, gandhi etc, so why can't women be uncaring psychopaths like thatcher ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:02:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't sophistry fabulous?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:10:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's the point about quotas. You're obliged to recruit women who would otherwise get filtered out, and that's the beginning of cultural change in the institution.

It's a painful process, but it can work quite well in politics.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:31:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that is just one position. A more general problem is that since every country appoints their CB boss independently the ECB general council is full of men. The solution is to appoint a larger group all in once, since then it is easier to balance gender.

Oh, I know let the EP appoint the ECB general council! Then they would get more women and a measure of political accountability at the same time!

</shamelessly insertying own agenda>

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:32:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"a-count-a ... sorry, we don't know that word"
by Number 6 on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:01:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well... MEPs opposed to all-male ECB board (EU Observer, 02.10.12)
MEPs are considering taking legal advice over finance ministers' nomination of Luxembourg central bank chief Yves Mersch to the ECB's executive board, AFP reports. Mersch's candidacy would mean an all-male make-up until 2018. European governments are ultimately to decide the appointment after consultation with parliament.
A month earlier: MEPs postpone hearing over lack of women on ECB board (BBC, 7 September 2012)
Luxembourg banker Yves Mersch was to appear on Monday before the economic and monetary committee, having been picked to fill a vacancy on the board.

Sharon Bowles, the committee's head, said EU finance ministers had failed to explain why women were not considered.

Her letter, she said, had urged action to promote women at the ECB.

(My emphasis)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Protests erupt as Iran's currency plummets - IRAN - FRANCE 24

Riot police clashed with demonstrators and foreign exchange dealers in Tehran on Wednesday over the collapse of the Iranian currency, which has lost 40 percent of its value against the dollar in a week, witnesses said.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, angered by the plunge in the value of the rial. Protesters shouted slogans against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying his economic policies had fuelled the economic crisis.

The rial has hit record lows against the U.S. dollar almost daily as Western economic sanctions imposed over Iran's disputed nuclear programme have slashed Iran's export earnings from oil, undermining the central bank's ability to support the currency.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis: China's currency foray augurs geopolitical strains | Reuters

Fed up with what it sees as Washington's malign neglect of the dollar, China is busily promoting the cross-border use of its own currency, the yuan, also known as the renminbi, in trade and investment.

The aim is both narrowly commercial - to reduce transaction costs for Chinese exporters and importers - and sweepingly strategic.

Displacing the dollar, Beijing says, will reduce volatility in oil and commodity prices and belatedly erode the `exorbitant privilege' the United States enjoys as the issuer of the reserve currency at the heart of a post-war international financial architecture it now sees as hopelessly outmoded.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:53:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they were the ones who chose to peg to the dollar. Washington did not point a gun at them and make them do it. In fact DC has been telling them for a decade to abandon the peg.

So, this is a strange story

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:35:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China depends on a weak yuan peg against the dollar to get dollars, and a strong dollar against the colonies to convert those dollars into tribute.

Sure, until they have their own supply lines, gunboats and compliant colonial quislings shifting from dollars to yuan in their foreign trade is mostly symbolic. But it's a form of unsubtle psychological pressure on the Americans to keep defending the strong dollar.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 08:43:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We want a strong dollar because we want to be strong. Weak dollars would make us weak. It is all so simple...
by asdf on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 10:36:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We want a strong dollar because it props up the financial sector.  If the dollar were to be allowed to depreciated, the minor miracle that has occurred with the reshoring of manufacturing from Canada, a country in the full throes of the Dutch Disease, would be repeated on a much larger scale.  But.... of course that wouldn't be sensible.


And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 10:53:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why the banksters want the strong dollar. I think asdf has the right idea about why they're able to sell it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 01:15:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
L Randall Wray: THE WORLD'S WORST CENTRAL BANKER (Economonitor, October 5, 2012)
Well, here's the deal. The head of the Argentine Central Bank--Mercedes Marco del Pont-has been awarded the distinction as "the world's worst central banker" (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-worst-central-bankers-in-the-world-2012-8?op=1). By whom, you might ask? Well, by Wall Street's sycophantic press. Wall Street hates Mercedes. The woman, not the car.

Why? Well, for one thing she's a woman. Wall Street hates female heads of central banks (take a look at the list of the top ten worst--3 out of 10 are female; then take a look at the 10 best,  of which all but one are males.)

But that's not anywhere near the most important reason. Ms. Marco del Pont kicked off the conference with a rousing talk, defending her central bank's recent move away from a single mandate (inflation target) to pursuit of multiple mandates: financial stability, employment creation, and economic development with social equity.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 02:32:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
financial stability, employment creation, and economic development with social equity

The horror !! The horror !!

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:36:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The three Lady Godivas of the Apocalypse.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:24:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are other people in the running for world's worst central banker.

The Atlantic magazine: Meet the World's Worst Central Banker (Sep 26 2012)

As Germany's member of the European Central Bank's (ECB) governing council, Weidmann has opposed doing anything to solve the euro crisis. Because, inflation! (Pay no attention to the core inflation behind the curtain of 1.5 percent in September). Weidmann is one of those people who thinks it's always 1923 -- that Weimar hyperinflation is always just around the corner. Despite this preoccupation with anything resembling a price increase, Weidmann mysteriously develops amnesia about inflation when it comes to figuring out real government borrowing costs. Here's what he had to say about rising bond yields in Europe's periphery, via Linda Yueh of Bloomberg.
Government borrowing costs over 7 percent haven't caused the end of world in the past and the euro zone wouldn't fall apart if some had to temporarily pay such rates.
This is just a basic fallacy. Weidmann is confusing real and nominal rates. It's easy to pay 7 percent to borrow when inflation is high, but not so much when inflation is low. The chart below compares unadjusted and inflation-adjusted Spanish borrowing costs since 1978.

...

Weidmann doesn't think this is a problem. The opposite, actually. He thinks it's a good thing, because it pushes Spain to do the austerity and labor market reforms the ECB wants it to do. But the ECB thinks this austerity is a punishment. Weidmann thinks it's actually a medicine. In other words, the ECB thinks austerity is the price Spain should pay for the ECB to push its borrowing costs down, and Weidmann thinks austerity alone will push its borrowing costs down. The former has become the ECB's de facto policy -- a policy it's fair to say Weidmann does not like. He implied it shows the ECB is now under the influence of the devil. As in the one with the pitchfork.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Weimar hyperinflation is always just around the corner

This helpful-to-mercantilists meme probably qualifies for what Eric Hobsbawm (who died this week) identified as an invented tradition.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:52:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such as Switzerland's bank secrecy?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:53:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
bullshit, or if he's simply dressing up a hodgepodge of discredited economic theory as a way to protect German mercantile interests.

Really, I don't understand why EU nations, most notably France, are playing ball with Germany, clinging to the belief that the Germans are committed to European (as opposed to German) interests. They are not, and it's way past time for member state governments to draw the proper conclusions.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 10:57:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the policies demanded by Germany are actually the consensus prejudices of the European ruling classes?
by generic on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 11:12:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerity is increasingly seen as counterproductive, perhaps not at the German-dominated center, but more and more on the periphery.

When it all comes crashing down, I'd be curious to see what happens to their credibility...nothing, I am guessing.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 11:14:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait this is important. Someone is right on the Internet.

'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 Oct 5th, 2012 at 07:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More from Wray listening to a dinner guest at this Argentina conference:

EconoMonitor : Great Leap Forward » THE WORLD'S WORST CENTRAL BANKER

this IMF official/India Central Banker went on to claim there is no longer any poverty in India, that the caste system is actually a thinly disguised scheme for social advancement--sort of like Aristocratic Polo Clubs for everyone-and that India is the greatest land of opportunity the world has ever known, with all Indians "free to choose" whether to be rich--or poor--according to individual tastes, and thus the globe's most perfect example of democracy to which all others ought to aspire. Such is the ecclesiastical orthodoxy we mortals encounter in central banking circles.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:47:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The comments to Wray's blog are uniformly scathing, though.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:52:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hardly surprising on EconoMonitor. Though comments from Argentinians should be looked at with more respect. The whole story since Argentina left the dollar peg needs analysing.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:58:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT Alphaville » Why the UK output gap could be a chasm
Why the UK output gap could be a chasm Posted by Izabella Kaminska on Oct 04 12:07.

Capital Economics put out a cracker of a note on UK output this week. It's taken us a while to get through it but we wanted to do it justice.  Here's the key extract:

`Supply pessimists' point to high inflation and growing employment as evidence of a small output gap. But inflation was pushed up by temporary factors and has eased recently, while domestically generated inflation has remained low. The rise in employment since 2010 is puzzling, but it has been concentrated in low productivity sectors where there was less labour hoarding during the recession.

If we assume (generously in our view) that the economy was operating 2% or 3% above potential in 2007, and that the financial crisis dealt a permanent blow to the economy of 5% of GDP, the output gap should still be about 6% of GDP. If our view is correct, this implies unnecessary fiscal consolidation under current plans of about 2.5% of GDP, or £35bn in current prices.

A large output gap offers the prospect of the UK being able to enjoy strong economic growth, if and when demand recovers, without inflation taking off. But as long as monetary and fiscal policies are conditioned on a pessimistic view of spare capacity, this prospect may be frustrated. Accordingly, supply pessimism may be self-reinforcing.

The point Roger Bootle and co. are trying to make is that in theory, spare capacity could be huge:

The assumed size of the output gap -- which is notoriously hard to measure -- is extremely important when it comes to monetary policy, because it is an essential input for predicting to what degree inflation may or may not take off.

If analysts are mis-calculating the output gap, other assumed beliefs about the economy could be incorrect as well.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:39:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we assume (generously in our view) that the economy was operating 2% or 3% above potential ...

In the magical kingdom of EcoLand it's possible for the good elves and fairies to venture forth to their twee factories and workshops and produce at 103% of the potential.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 11:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was supposed to be "EconoLand" but I was not awake, the coffee hadn't kicked-in, my fingers weren't properly connected to my brain.

I blame Obama.


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

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:55:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:05:14 PM EST
Fundamentalists claim responsibility for Aleppo attack | News | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

A fundamentalist jihadist group has claimed responsibility for a succession of deadly assaults which hit the battleground Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday, according to US monitoring group SITE Intelligence.

The Islamist militant group, Al-Nusra Front, posted on jihadist internet sites on Thursday that it hit four crucial targets used by regime forces. The group named "a military officers' club, the municipal palace, the Al-Amir Hotel and another un-named hotel as its targets," SITE quoted the group as saying.

The faction said it carried out "the strikes in two stages, beginning with a suicide bomber detonating a car."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:34:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkey's parliament backs military action against Syria | News | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

Turkey's parliament has backed a bill theoretically allowing its military to step up attacks on Syria. Ankara has been firing on Syrian targets since cross-border shelling by Syria left five Turkish people dead.

Turkey's parliament Thursday approved a bill which gives its military the go-ahead to carry out cross-border operations in Syria, should the government deem it necessary.

The Anadolu Agency said the bill gives the government the legal authority to attack Syrian targets with troops and warplanes for up to one year.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:35:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romney strong in election debate performance | News | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

US President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney sparred over federal regulations restricting Wall Street and US financial institutions during the presidential candidates' debut debate.

After months of campaigning, the two candidates went head-to-head at the University of Denver on Wednesday night (US time) in the first of three televised debates in the run-up to the November 6 election.

The opponents didn't throw verbal punches at each other, instead choosing to focus on facts and figures in an attempt to win over swinging voters, with issues such as tax, healthcare and the role of government at the forefront.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:34:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romney aggressive, Obama subdued in first debate - US ELECTIONS 2012 - FRANCE 24

They've been sparring for months through tit-for-tat attack ads, campaign speeches and TV interviews.

But President Barack Obama and his rival, Republican nominee Mitt Romney, squared off for the first time face-to-face Wednesday night in an anxiously awaited debate that kicked off the tense final countdown to the general election on November 6.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:45:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Com'on Karl (Rove). This is your big chance. Spend that money, tell your lies, spread that fear and get your geek into the WH. The big boys who contributed are watching ... they see this as the foot in the door they've been waiting for. Don't screw up!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 08:07:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eighteen pupils buried in China landslide | News | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

A landslide in southwestern China has hit an elementary school in the southwest of the country, burying 18 pupils and another person. The area is still recovering from deadly quakes last month.

The semi-official China News Service reported that the landslide hit Zhenhe village in mountainous Yunnan province at around 8 a.m. local time (0000 GMT), burying a classroom building and two farmhouses.

State television said four pupils have been confirmed dead and 14 others were unaccounted for. An adult was also reported to have been buried in one of the farmhouses.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:35:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ex-Philippine president Arroyo arrested in hospital | News | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

The former Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, has been arrested in hospital on charges of misusing state lottery funds during her last years in office. The offense is punishable with life imprisonment.

The head of the police criminal investigation unit, Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel, said the 65-year-old former leader was arrested at a military-run hospital.

Coronel said Arroyo would be temporarily detained at the hospital, where she went earlier in the day suffering from dehydration and numbness of the hand, as her doctors would not allow her to be transferred due to hypertension and dehydration.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:36:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Pentagon's pivot problems | Transatlantic Voices | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

Amid recent territorial tensions between China and Japan, the US is trying to reassure its allies in the region without alarming China. However, the Pentagon risks missing out on tangible results, writes Richard Weitz.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta went on yet another trip to Asia recently, trying again to find the right balance between deterring without alarming China while reassuring US allies and friends that the United States would neither abandon them to Beijing's growing might nor entrap them in an unwanted military confrontation with China, which is typically their leading economic partner.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:39:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egypt court frees Christian children over Islam insult - FRANCE 24

AFP - An Egyptian court on Thursday ordered the release of two Coptic Christian children accused of insulting Islam, a source in the prosecutor's office said.

He told AFP that prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmud took the decision because the accused, aged nine and 10, are minors.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:49:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brazil judge says Lula aid 'masterminded' vote buying - BRAZIL - FRANCE 24

Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's chief of staff masterminded a vote-buying scheme by the ruling Workers Party in Brazil's Congress, a Supreme Court justice said Wednesday.

The former chief of staff, Jose Dirceu, is among 37 former ministers, lawmakers, businessmen and bankers on trial before the Supreme Court over the scheme known as "Mensalao" (big monthly payments) that ran from 2002 to 2005 during Lula's first term.

It is the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil in 20 years.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:51:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:05:34 PM EST
EU questions safety of German nuclear reactors | Environment | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

German nuclear power plants have lax safety measures and poor maintenance, says a soon-to-be-released report by the European Commission. But critics say the EU didn't evaluate the plants' readiness against terrorism.

In 10 years, the German government plans to shut down the last of the nine nuclear power plants still in operation. Reactors that have been already been shut down should be monitored and continue to pose safety risks, according to a European Commission study set to be released this month.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / EU nuclear reactors fall short on safety

BRUSSELS - Nuclear power plants across most of the EU require immediate upgrades to ensure their safety in face of cataclysmic events, said the European Commission on Thursday (4 October).

EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger told reporters in Brussels that safety standards on the whole were satisfactory, but noted "that nearly everywhere there is a major potential for improvement."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:42:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corals at the mercy of storms and starfish | Global Ideas | DW.DE | 04.10.2012

According to a new study, Australia has lost half its coral reefs. But the main cause of the damage is not climate change, but storms and a starfish.

The corals of the Great Barrier Reef, east of Australia, are dying in alarming numbers. A recent study by scientists at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows just how seriously they are being affected. According to the study, over the past 27 years, around half of all Australian corals have perished.

It's been known for some time that the reefs are under threat, but the study showed that the danger comes from somewhere unexpected: the main damage is not done by the gradual heating up of the ocean and its acidification as a result of climate change. Instead, the main damage is being done by storms and a thorny sea creature which reproduces particularly aggressively: acanthaster planci, more commonly know as the crown-of-thorns starfish.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:41:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The cause for the surge in starfish does have an anthropogenic source, though not the usual suspect of global warming: fertilizers and waste.

From the paper:


Water quality is a key environmental driver for the GBR. Central and southern rivers now carry five- to ninefold higher nutrient and sediment loads from cleared, fertilized, and urbanized catchments into the GBR compared with pre-European settlement (16). Global warming is also increasing rainfall variability (26), resulting in more frequent intense drought-breaking floods that carry particularly high nutrient and sediment loads (16, 18). River runoff of
nutrients and sediments directly affects about 15% of reefs (12,16). On these reefs, coral cover does not directly depend on water quality (17); however, reefs exposed to poor water clarity and elevated nutrient concentrations show significant increases in macroalgal cover and reduced coral species richness and recruitment (12, 17). There is also strong evidence that water quality affects the
frequency ofCOTS outbreaks in the central and southern GBR(5, 18). Survival of the plankton-feeding larvae of COTS is high in nutrient-enriched flood waters, whereas few larvae complete their development in seawater with low phytoplankton concentrations.

Emphasis mine. As it seems increasingly difficult to constrain the anthropogenic exhaust of greenhouse gasses, it might be worth a shot to start cleaning up the rivers a bit. How did that line go, waste seems a terrible thing to waste.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 05:40:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But if they don't overuse fertilzers, how can monsanto make a profit ? Why do you hate america ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:39:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coral reefs don't evaporate all them lonesome.  There has to be outside Agency!

WOW!  A breakthrough in the natural sciences.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 12:02:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egypt wheat buyer moves markets as he ensures bread supply | Reuters

(Reuters) - Nomani Nasr Nomani is arguably the most powerful figure on the global wheat market; he is also the man who ensured Egypt's revolution for freedom didn't turn into "a revolution of hunger".

A short walk from Tahrir Square, cauldron of last year's uprising, Nomani works in a run-down Cairo building as chief grains buyer for Egypt, the world's biggest importer of wheat.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lost in migration: Earth's magnetic field overdue a flip | Reuters

(Reuters) - The discovery by NASA rover Curiosity of evidence that water once flowed on Mars - the most Earth-like planet in the solar system - should intensify interest in what the future could hold for mankind.

The only thing stopping Earth having a lifeless environment like Mars is the magnetic field that shields us from deadly solar radiation and helps some animals migrate, and it may be a lot more fragile and febrile than one might think.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Hopi Native tradition, twin brothers guard the poles to keep the proper rotation and "energy" in play. I'm certain they didn't have instruments to measure the magnetosphere, yet somehow knew it was there.

They could have been updated by the Katchinas arriving every winter from the Blue Star, of course.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 05:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While the weakening magnetic field is not a trivial subject, this article needs some serious deconstructing.

Lost in migration: Earth's magnetic field overdue a flip | Reuters

It has happened before - the geological record suggests the magnetic field has reversed every 250,000 years, meaning that, with the last event 800,000 years ago, another would seem to be overdue.

Would seem, indeed. The earth doesn't give guarantees. And that the field flips 'every 250.000 years' is rabid nonsense. They are so far considered random events (mostly because the driving processes behind a reversal are poorly understood).


"Magnetic north has migrated more than 1,500 kilometres over the past century," said Conall Mac Niocaill, an earth scientist at Oxford University. "In the past 150 years, the strength of the magnetic field has lessened by 10 percent, which could indicate a reversal is on the cards."

While the effects are hard to predict, the consequences may be enormous. The loss of the magnetic field on Mars billions of years ago put paid to life on the planet if there ever was any, scientists say.

Ah, the delightful smell of Doom in the air. True, it is thought the field weakens prior to a flip. But the recent wandering could also be a slight weakening before it revs back up. Who knows. Earth, guarantees, etc.

Worse, the breathless addition that the possible life on Mars might have been exterminated by the loss of a magnetic field, implies that a similar fate may be waiting for the earth during a reversal.

Which is pure rubbish, as life on earth has already seen hundreds, if not thousands, reversals. Evidence to link mass extinctions to magnetic reversals have never amounted to anything noteworthy.

Tiresome business.

For the avid reader, I recommend reading this.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 06:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Access denied.

BBC Video - S Atlantic anomaly

There was an interesting programme which discussed ideas about how the magnetic field was created and how it decays. Certainly seems as if we're in interesting times

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:48:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

In other news, oxygen will kill you.

by Number 6 on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:21:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deadly fungus promts ban on ash tree imports | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Imports of ash trees could be banned to save the UK's estimated 80m of the species from a deadly fungus.

The tree disease Chalara fraxinea has already decimated around 90% of Denmark's ash population and was found in the UK at a Buckinghamshire nursery in February, raising fears of a repeat of the epidemic of Dutch elm disease in the 1970s, which wiped out virtually the entire mature population of elm trees - 25m - by the 1990s.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 01:03:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bloody hell.

There's sudden oak death, a virus of Horse chestnuts, now this.

Will there be any trees left ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
plastic ones maybe?

or GM ones!

'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 Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:59:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Farming 'shortcomings' undermines case for badger cull | Environment | guardian.co.uk

A catalogue of failures in how England's farmers prevent their cattle spreading TB between herds was uncovered by an official European Commission inspection, the Guardian has learned, undermining the case for the imminent cull of badgers.

The previously unreported document was highlighted as government body Natural England issued a licence for a pilot cull in west Somerset on Thursday, following last month's granting of a licence to shoot badgers in Gloucestershire.

The government and the National Farmers' Union (NFU) claim the cull is necessary to curb the rising number of tuberculosis infections in cattle. But cull opponents said it was "utterly outrageous" that badgers were paying the price for some farmers flouting biosecurity measures.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 01:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet, but farmers can do what they like.

"get off my land" "Give me tons of subsidies and then let me run my business my way and don't be telling me what to do"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Scientist: Quantum measurements leave Schrödinger's cat alive
Schrödinger's cat, the enduring icon of quantum mechanics, has been defied. By making constant but weak measurements of a quantum system, physicists have managed to probe a delicate quantum state without destroying it - the equivalent of taking a peek at Schrodinger's metaphorical cat without killing it. The result should make it easier to handle systems such as quantum computers that exploit the exotic properties of the quantum world.

...

Even though the measurement was gentle enough not to destroy the quantum superposition, the measurement did randomly change the oscillation rate. This couldn't be predicted, but the team was able to make the measurement very quickly, allowing the researchers to inject an equal but opposite change into the system that returned the qubit's frequency to the value it would have had if it had not been measured at all.

...

Vijay and colleagues used a new kind of amplifier that let them turn up the signal without contaminating it. They found that their qubit stayed in its oscillating state for the entire run of the experiment. That was only about a hundredth of a second - but, crucially, it meant that the qubit had survived the measuring process.

I'm not convinced and I'll have to read the paper. I wonder whether these people are not neglecting the frequency-phase uncertainty relation and the fat that by measuring the frequency and returning it to what it was, they have completely and randomly altered the phase.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 02:38:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this another paper then the one we discussed a few weeks ago?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but it is related: 13 September Salon
All this study shows is that a weak observation can be made which doesn't introduce a large amount of uncertainty--however, the observation doesn't provide a large amount of information. There is always a give and take. What the uncertainty principle actually means is that there is a direct relationship between the information and uncertainty--if you remove information from a system you introduce uncertainty, and conversely if you remove very little information (but not none) you introduce very little uncertainty.
My comment on phase-frequency duality should probably be modified in light of this. But I also need to read that paper from 3 weeks ago.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:40:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientific American: Common Interpretation of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle Is Proved False (September 11, 2012)
Steinberg's group does not measure position and momentum, but rather two different inter-related properties of a photon: its polarization states. In this case, the polarization along one plane is intrinsically tied to the polarization along the other, and by Heisenberg's principle, there is a limit to the certainty with which both states can be known.

The researchers made a `weak' measurement of the photon's polarization in one plane -- not enough to disturb it, but enough to produce a rough sense of its orientation. Next, they measured the polarization in the second plane. Then they made an exact, or 'strong', measurement of the first polarization to see whether it had been disturbed by the second measurement.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:42:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not up to speed on "weak measurement" but I suspect none of these experiments contradict Schrödinger's equation, they just affect various philosophical frames to think about quantum mechanics without doing the math.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:45:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Misses the epistemological importance of Schrödinger's argument: In a bifurcative system subject to random state dynamic(s) the future state of the system is unpredictable; the only way to know the state of the system is to look, e.g., the only way to know whether a coin will land head or tails is to flip the coin.  

The "deep reason" to take this into account is to stop distributing all Properties and Attributes of a Set over all elements of that Set.  

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

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 12:32:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Expand the last sentence.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 12:35:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Too simply, actually.)

There is the Set of All Possible Coin Flips.

There is the Set of a series of actual results of coin flipping.

There is the actual result of coin flip number 7.

The first two have the bifurcative Property of (Heads IOR Tails.)  The last can only have the potential bifurcative Property of (Heads XOR Tails) and "is" one of them.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 12:48:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'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 Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:54:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are electric cars bad for the environment? | Leo Hickman | Environment | guardian.co.uk

A study by engineers based at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has questioned some common assumptions about the environmental credentials of electric cars.

Published this week in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the "comparative environmental life cycle assessment of conventional and electric vehicles" begins by stating that "it is important to address concerns of problem-shifting". By this, the authors mean that by solving one problem, do electric cars create another? And, if so, does this environmental harm then outweigh any advantages?

The study highlights in particular the "toxicity" of the electric car's manufacturing process compared to conventional petrol/diesel cars. It concludes that the "global warming potential" of the process used to make electric cars is twice that of conventional cars.

The study also says - as has been noted many times before - that electric cars do not make sense if the electricity they consume is produced predominately by coal-fired power stations. "It is counterproductive to promote [electric vehicles] EVs in regions where electricity is produced from oil, coal, and lignite combustion," it concludes.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 05:48:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These are all important concerns, however I think they are lacking some perspective:

1) The most efficient assembly lines are for the most known technologies and the most refined designs using them and for those designs which sell in the largest numbers.

It will be a while before we get there with electric cars, but it's unfair to compare them without taking this into account.

(Batteries on the other hand are still a big toxicity issue...)

2) It's true about coal fired electricity - but it's easier to replace coal fired power stations with better alternatives than change the pattern of transport across the country.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:31:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:05:48 PM EST
Odd species of wee dinosaur identified in US - FRANCE 24

AFP - Researchers have identified a species of puny dinosaur so odd looking -- quills like a porcupine, a parrot-like beak and fangs like a vampire -- it probably deserved a small part in "Jurassic Park."

The finding was reported Wednesday in the online journal ZooKeys by Paul Sereno, a paleontologist and dinosaur specialist at the University of Chicago.

He did so belatedly. The specimen was first chipped out of a slab of red rock in southern Africa in the 1960s, and Sereno viewed it in 1983 at Harvard University.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:47:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Facebook tops one billion monthly users - BUSINESS - FRANCE 24

Social media company Facebook Inc. announced on Thursday it had reached the 1 billion active monthly users threshold last month, and is up by 45 million users since June.

Facebook has faced a rough debut since its May initial public offering. Investors and analysts have fretted about a sharp slowdown in its revenue growth. Shares of Facebook remain well below the $38 debut price.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, hit the 1 billion milestone on Sept. 14 at 12:45 p.m. Pacific time, the company said on its website. It added that it had 600 million mobile users, according to a fact sheet posted on its website.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:50:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eye in the sky: Nasa releases stunning image of Helix nebula | Science | guardian.co.uk

This ethereal eye in the dead of space is the remains of a star that once resembled our sun in the constellation of Aquarius, 650m light years from Earth.

The blue regions are intense waves of ultraviolet light that pour out of the dying star and heat up the outer layers of dust and gas, making them glow red, yellow and green in this image.

Known as the Helix nebula, the fading star belongs to a class of celestial objects named "planetary nebulae" in the 18th century, after their likeness to gas giants, such as Jupiter. At the heart of the image, red and blue regions combine to produce a vibrant pink core.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 01:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Helsingin Sanomat: Finnish-flagged aid vessel Estelle en route to Gaza

On Wednesday the Estelle was sailing off Rome en route to Naples. Jämiä says that a demonstration of support was held in Rome, but the ship decided not to stop there for fear that harbour officials might prevent their departure.

In 2010 and 2011 Greek officials prevented a number of aid vessels from sailing toward Gaza.

The last leg of the voyage is expected to begin in Naples on Saturday or Sunday this week. In Naples, the Swedish author Henning Mankell is to come on board.



You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 04:33:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If we're lucky that will be the end of Wallander.

One internationally known depressing bastard (Bergman) was enough, thanks!

by Number 6 on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:30:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Try Forbrydelsen. At least it's not Swedish.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 08:41:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 12:06:03 PM EST
The best school pudding. Ever.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 01:05:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alien Roly-Poly....

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 04:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and what were you doing scoffing a school meal ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:53:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I nabbed the photo. I haven't scoffed a school meal since I was at Primary School.  I like to leave a treat in the Salon for people.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 07:18:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The best school pudding. Ever.

Sort of like "best military music", etc...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:56:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
can i zero this post for 3rd chakra trolling?

'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 Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eric Hobsbawm died on 1st October.

Eric Hobsbawm obituary | Books | The Guardian

Had Eric Hobsbawm died 25 years ago, the obituaries would have described him as Britain's most distinguished Marxist historian and would have left it more or less there. Yet by the time of his death at the age of 95, he had achieved a unique position in the country's intellectual life. In his later years he became arguably Britain's most respected historian of any kind, recognised if not endorsed on the right as well as the left, and one of a tiny handful of historians of any era to enjoy genuine national and world renown.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 04:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico: Candidate slammed for World of Warcraft fandom (10/4/12)
Maine state Senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz is not a witch.

She is, however, an orc assassination rogue with a potty mouth -- and the Maine Republican Party believes that disqualifies her from public office.

In an unusual press release issued Thursday, the Maine GOP attacked Lachowicz for a "bizarre double life" in which she's a devotee of the hugely popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft. In the game, she's "Santiaga," an "orc assassination rogue" with green skin, fangs, a Mohawk and pointy ears.

Lachowicz is a Democrat running against incumbent state Sen. Tom Martin in south-central Maine, a heavily Democratic district of about 80,000 people. Martin, elected in 2010, is the first Republican to hold the seat since the 1960s, and his seat is one Democrats are eager to flip back.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 02:29:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 03:56:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oy.
Is she also a practicing thesbian?
by Number 6 on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:35:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a lesbian who's on the stage?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 08:13:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Number 6 on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 09:52:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She has also been seen masticating in public.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 12:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
priyamvada natarajan

This is the web page of Priya Natarajan, Professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. She is a theoretical astrophysicist interested in cosmology, gravitational lensing and black hole physics. Her research involves mapping the detailed distribution of dark matter in the universe exploiting the bending of light en-route to us from distant galaxies. In particular, she has focused on making dark matter maps of clusters of galaxies, the largest known repositories of dark matter. Gravitational lensing by clusters can also be utilized to constrain dark energy models and she has been developing the methodology and techniques to do so. Her work has demonstrated that cluster strong lensing offers a unique and potentially powerful laboratory to test evolving dark energy models.

Priya is also actively engaged in deriving and understanding the mass assembly history of black holes over cosmic time. She is exploring a new channel for the formation of the first black holes and its observational consequences at high and low redshift. This channel produces massive seeds derived from the direct collapse of pre-galactic gas disks at the earliest epochs. This is in contrast to the conventional picture wherein light seeds are produced from the end state of the first stars. Current measurements of the masses of black holes hosted in nearby faint galaxies strongly supports the massive seed model. In earlier work, she argued for the existence of an upper limit to black hole masses in the universe by showing that black holes eventually stunt their own growth. This self-regulation implies the presence of ultra-massive black holes in the centers of nearby galaxies that have since been observationally detected.

In addition to her academic position at Yale, she also currently holds the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Professorship of the Dark Cosmology Center, Niels Bohr Institute, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

this lady rocks. i listened to a podcast http://www.google.it/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ve d=0CCsQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fit%2Fpodcast%2Flittle-atoms-road-trip%2Fid523246 013&ei=r5VuUKzMHMS3hQfgvoGACQ&usg=AFQjCNE93oOpjxFlquvRc3f76dCSKJ0FJA&sig2=oSeYflLMKYp6r3 3Wdpp9GA called little atoms road trip with her interview, what a mysterious delight.

she was coding astronomical software at delhi planetarium at 12! what charmed me most was the bubbly tone of her voice, she explained things really well, i guess having a mother into pedagogy helps. she is also an advocate for womens' rights at yale. anyone here into astrophysics will probably enjoy her talk.

 little atoms (and little atoms 'on the road') are a treasure of interesting interviews.

'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 Oct 5th, 2012 at 04:18:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fantastic cartoon on the debates

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 06:32:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and today's message to mitt from Big Bird is brought to you by the letters 'F' and 'U'

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 08:07:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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