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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 5 March

by dvx Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 04:03:45 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


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1953 - death of Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer (b. 1898).

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 11:59:51 AM EST
Vladimir Putin wins Russia's presidential election: exit polls - The Globe and Mail

Exit polls cited by state television say Vladimir Putin has won Russia's presidential election, which the opposition and independent observers say has been marred by widespread violations.

Mr. Putin tallied 59 per cent of Sunday's vote, according to a nationwide exit poll conducted by the VTsIOM polling agency for Channel one television. Another exit poll done by the FOM polling agency for Rossiya TV showed Mr. Putin received 58 per cent of the ballot.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:42:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vote-rigging complaints arise as Russian presidential polls close | News | DW.DE | 04.03.2012

Polling booths in Russia have closed as the country elects a new president. Russian monitors said the process had been tainted by widespread violations. Exit polls give Vladimir Putin a clear majority of the vote.

Polling group VTsIOM reported shortly after polling stations closed that Putin had garnered some 58 percent support, with his closest rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, receiving 17 percent.

Nationalist candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky was scoring 8.0 percent, whilst tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov was sitting on 7.6 percent, the early results showed.

The figures were taken from Russia's far east and Siberia, where polling booths closed hours before they closed in the European west of the country.

Tens of thousands of monitors were observing the election on Sunday, with many posting evidence of voting irregularities.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh c'mon. Putin really won and just live with it. Even here on Australian TV they said that results are in line with polls of some serious INDEPENDENT agencies. That's it! Majority of the Russians wants him. Irregularities. Do not get me started about western election irregularities...starting with USA...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 02:11:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you get to disqualify any candidate who might cause you problems, you can't claim a democratic mandate.

He might well have won a democratic election. We'll see next time.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:03:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually know few people (foreigners not Russians) that live in Russia at the moment by THEIR OWN WILL. They went to Russia to work and previously lived and are citizens of Australia or Canada. They are staying there for years now so there must be a reason, good reason for it. Russia after collapse of USSR luckily is going better and better with Putin.
Voice of Russia (Serbian language)
http://serbian.ruvr.ru/2012_03_05/67543963/
said that in Chechnya 99.73% voted for Putin.
Interestingly I can't find this news in English version :(
Ten again this is how Grozny was destroyed by Russians
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaFrCy9HTOM

And this is how it looks today

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C1lULBGCO0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78P6rsspmCs&fea ture=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDbitWAwm0Q&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIxNJpct8U4 &feature=related

They call it "Dubai on Kavkaz", so if this is truth no wonder they voted for him...
Well I take everything with a grain of salt nowadays...where ever it comes from west or east...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 08:12:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is anything you write related at all to democracy?

I know people who have worked in all sorts of undemocratic countries. If the money's OK, that's a pretty good reason for being there. And expatriates are rarely on the receiving end of local repression.

And you must surely be smiling when you write that in Chechnya 99.73% voted for Putin... after all, why would anyone in Chechnya have anything against good old Vladimir?

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

by eurogreen on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 08:47:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chechnya has always been loyal:
THE EXILE - Who Killed The OSCE? - By Alexander Zaitchik and Mark Ames - Feature Story
Evidence of fraud, such as entire towns in Chechnya voting overwhelmingly for Yeltsin, caused Meadowcroft to liken the 1996 election to those held in African dictatorships. "In Chechnya they'd been bombed out of existence, and there they were all supposedly voting for Yeltsin. It's like what happens in Cameroon," he said.

Though of course:
THE EXILE - Who Killed The OSCE? - By Alexander Zaitchik and Mark Ames - Feature Story

It's not that the West won't be right when it condemns this weekend's vote. In OSCE jargon, the Duma elections will be "fundamentally flawed." They will "fall far short" of western standards, if not expectations. It's not a secret that the Russian state-run media are grotesquely pro-Putin. Or that the election laws have been changed to shut out opposition parties. Or that, as in previous elections, there will likely be some old-fashioned ballot stuffing in the provinces.

That was in 2007, still true.

But who do you mean was disqualified that could have unseated Putin? Far as I can see, the only opposition party with nationwide organisation is - and has always been - the communist party.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:07:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah you are right about Chechnya in the past and that's why I said I am not so trustful about the news.
Yes you are also right about opposition and communists...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:28:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah right...I knew that you will not get my point right.
To be perfectly honest after living for more than 17 years in democracy (and here in Australia situation is much better then in many other western countries where politicians simply and plainly buy their place in power in an open way) I lost my trust that people are capable to really have democracy...anywhere...let alone in Russia where we all know what happened in last century.
Opposition in Russia have all rights in my view to protest and ask for real democracy. People have right to protest anywhere...We recently saw protests against Wall street that ended we all know how in USA and elsewhere in democracies. But what I hate is when western world is interfering in other people's business for the simple reason of interest of their elite. Now we see how "democracy" looks like in Iraq:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7OuGmXE4ww
And we can only imagine Libya...no need to imagine anything about Afghanistan...
Just stay away and look in your own " yard" as we Serbs like to say....
Western lessons about democracy are so deadly...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:22:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
St. Petersburg clamps down on gays | Europe | DW.DE | 03.03.2012

St. Petersburg's city parliament passed a controversial new law against "homosexual propaganda" this week. Critics say the legislation violates the European Human Rights Convention.

The local parliament in Russia's second largest city, St. Petersburg, passed a controversial law banning what it called "homosexual propaganda" on Wednesday, making it illegal to publicly distribute material about homo-, bi- and transsexuality.

The law passed by St. Petersburg's local parliament is not the first of its kind

The new legislation, justified as an attempt to protect minors, imposes fines on anyone who publishes material deemed as promoting gay culture. Authorities can now prosecute people who publish flyers informing schoolchildren about homosexuality, and can also ban calls for participation in gay parades. Similar laws have been passed in two other Russian cities before.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:43:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European conservatives plot against Sarkozy rival: report | News | DW.DE | 04.03.2012

Europe's conservatives have made a pact to try to hinder Nicolas Sarkozy's main challenger in France's presidential election, a German news outlet says. Angela Merkel and Co. will not receive Francois Hollande.

Merkel and the Italian and Spanish premiers, Mario Monti and Mariano Rajoy, agreed secretly that they would not provide Socialist party candidate Francois Hollande with a platform during the French election campaign, Der Spiegel news magazine reported over the weekend.

Apparently, the three conservatives took the step because they were outraged that Hollande said he would renegotiate the EU fiscal pact as president. The pact, which was driven by Merkel, is meant to stabilize the bloc's economies and preserve the euro.

In not meeting with Hollande, the three leaders hoped to avoid any implication that they supported his position on the fiscal pact.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:43:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're not required to meet him. There's a protocol for how it works which is why, when he came to England, he met with the leader of the opposition but not with Cameron.

Conservatives meet with conservatives, leftists meet with leftists.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 03:08:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're not required to, but what protocol are you talking about? You mean, if Sarkozy were the challenger and came to London, Cameron would be obliged by protocol not to meet him? BS.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 03:10:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, conservatives meet conservatives.

So Cameron is PM, he meets Sarko in power or not. But only meets Hollande should he get elected President.

When Brown was PM he would have greeted Hollande in power or not, but only met Sarko as President.

I doubt there's a formal declaration of such things, but that seems to be how it plays

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:07:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't Obama meet Merkel while he was a candidate? Does that mean Obama is a conservative? (you needn't answer that....)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:16:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It meant that the smart money was on Obama to win and no european poltician is gonna miss an opportunity to suck up to a US President in waiting

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All right. What about Merkel meeting Ségolène Royal during the latter's campaign?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 08:54:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
G U A R D S !!         G U A R D S !!

Protocol breach in sector 42. Shoot them. Shoot them down. And, guards, ..... make sure you shoot to kill.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:24:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... The same logic applies with respect to France, principal partner of Germany. The fact that Merkel has chosen not to suck up to Hollande, but to treat him as an adversary, is the story.

It hasn't got much press in France, which is a shame, because it can only be good for Hollande.

Un front anti-Hollande de dirigeants européens ? - LeMonde.fr An anti-Hollande front of European leaders? - LeMonde.fr
Pierre Moscovici, son directeur de campagne, avait dénoncé sur RTL une "pression conservatrice inédite dans l'histoire de l'Europe". "Il y avait des traditions, notamment entre la France et l'Allemagne, qui existaient depuis très longtemps et qui étaient que le chancelier, ou la chancelière, ou le président français quand c'était le cas inverse, recevait les principaux candidats des deux camps, a-t-il déclaré. Ca c'est toujours fait. Parce que l'amitié franco-allemande, et l'Europe, doivent dépasser les frontières partisanes. Ca n'a pas d'importance, parce qu'il les rencontrera après avec la légitimité du peuple français s'il a été élu, mais c'est quand même un recul." Pierre Moscovici, [Hollande's] campaign manager, had denounced a on RTL "conservative pressure unprecedented in the history of Europe" . "There were traditions, especially between France and Germany, which existed for a long time and were the Chancellor, or Chancellor, or the French president when it was the opposite case, received the main candidates for two camps, he said. It is always done. Because Franco-German friendship, and Europe, must trump partisan boundaries. It does not matter, because he will meet later with the legitimacy of the French people, if elected, but it's still a regression. "


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 08:55:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It hasn't got much press in France, which is a shame, because it can only be good for Hollande.

Given the ownership of media, that is an explanation, not a shame.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 12:48:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a purely political play, not a protocol.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:49:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In times of European crisis, refusing to meet the probable future head of a major European nation is very stupid indeed; and probably bad politics too, which is why there is so much embarassment and backtracking over the story.

They know perfectly well that the election of Hollande would shift the balance of power significantly in favour of expansionist policies.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:09:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hollande's "first foreign trip" to Germany is going to be laughs all around.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
L'accord européen contre Hollande, "le baiser qui tue" pour Sarkozy, selon Villepin - LeMonde.fr The European pact against Hollande, "the kiss of death" for Sarkozy: Villepin - LeMonde.fr
Je crois que c'est véritablement le baiser qui tue et on peut s'interroger sur les intentions réelles d'Angela Merkel dans cette affaire.I think this is truly the kiss of death and one wonders about the real intentions of Angela Merkel in this case.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 03:13:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
> the real intentions of Angela Merkel

According to the playbook of her mentor the Fat Man, the best ally is a wounded ally.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 04:29:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence this morning (e-mail bulletin):

Merkel's aim is to do everything to prevent Hollande from gaining European credibility in order to diminish his chances of becoming the next president instead of Nicolas Sarkozy. The chancellor is worried that the Socialist's election will jeopardize the fiscal pact that was signed at last week's EU summit because Hollande has pledged to reopen negotiations on the pact. Cameron who has not signed to the pact is also eager to for Sarkozy to win. The German foreign minister criticised the move and said that Germany should signal that it was willing to work with whomever the French chose to elect. However Merkel's spokesman denied the chancellor had initiated an alliance against Hollande by saying that each head of government decided on his own whether or not to receive the Socialist candidate.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 03:23:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poland train crash leaves dozens dead or injured | World news | guardian.co.uk

Two trains running on the same track have collided head-on in southern Poland, killing 16 people and injuring 58 in the country's worst train disaster in more than 20 years.

The collision just north of Krakow late on Saturday came after one of the trains ended up on the wrong track. Neighbours in the town of Szczekociny were alerted by what they said sounded like a bomb and rushed to the scene as survivors emerged.

Rescuers worked through the night to recover bodies and help the wounded.
Maintenance work was being done on the tracks before the accident, but officials said it was too early to determine the cause of the disaster.

A woman living in a house about 200m from the site of the accident said she was standing at her window when the two trains collided, creating a "terrible, terrible noise like a bomb going off".



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Police say officers who shot dead man were on planned operation | UK news | The Guardian

Armed officers who shot a man dead in a countryside village on Saturday were on a planned operation, police have said.

Residents in the village of Culcheth, Cheshire, were left terrified when officers shot the man after the car he was in was stopped at about 7.20pm.

It remains unclear what prompted the incident, which is being investigated by the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Greater Manchester police confirmed its officers were deployed on a pre-planned operation in Cheshire. "As a result, one man was shot and suffered fatal injuries. This matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who will be carrying out an independent investigation and Greater Manchester police is unable to comment further at this stage."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not overly confident that anything will be found.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 03:29:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice of them to admit they planned to shoot him.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 03:08:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Government confirms that NHS Bill will privatise patient representation - Lord Toby Harris

On Friday, when Parliament was not sitting, the Government published 68 amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill changing the status of local HealthWatch organisations (the local bodies that are intended to protect patient interests in the new Tory/LibDem vision of the Health Service), as I predicted a few weeks ago.

The amendments are very complex and difficult to follow - they amend amendments to Part 14 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.  And they are scheduled to be debated next week during the House of Lords Report Stage consideration of the NHS Bill.

That means that these amendments - slipped out without proper warning or explanation (a normal courtesy of writing to those Peers with an interest in a particular matter doesn't yet seem to have happened in this case) - will not receive proper Parliamentary scrutiny.  They have never been considered by the House of Commons (and, if passed in the Lords, will now only be taken there as part of the truncated Consideration of Lords Amendments procedures).  In the House of Lords, they have not been subjected to detailed scrutiny at Committee Stage and will essentially have to be debated on a take it or leave it basis when they are eventually reached probably some time late on Thursday.  That will be the only opportunity for any  discussion on what these amendments mean.

So what are these amendments about?



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 03:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Steinmeier knüpft Ja zum Fiskalpakt an Bedingungen | tagesschau.deSteinmeier puts conditions on fiscal treaty sign-off
SPD-Fraktionschef Frank-Walter Steinmeier hat die Zustimmung der Sozialdemokraten zum EU-Fiskalpakt im Bundestag abermals an Bedingungen geknüpft."Es wird aber keine Zustimmung geben ohne Maßnahmen, die Wachstum fördern und die Jugendarbeitslosigkeit zurückführen", sagte er im Bericht aus Berlin und ergänzte: "Wir sind nicht in einer Bringschuld, sondern die Kanzlerin hat zu erklären, wie denn die Voraussetzungen einer Zustimmung für uns gestaltet werden können.SPD fraction leader Franz-Walter Steinmeier has once more linked Social Democratic approval of the EU fiscal treaty in the Bundestag. "There will be no approval without measures to promote growth and reduce youth unemployment," he said on Bericht aus Berlin and added, "We're not the ones who are obligated to come through; rather, it's on the Chancellor to explain how the prerequisites for our approval can be structured."
Am Wochenende war bekannt geworden, dass dem EU-Fiskalpakt für mehr Haushaltsdisziplin sowohl der Bundestag als auch der Bundesrat mit einer Zwei-Drittel-Mehrheit zustimmen müssen. Dass dies erst jetzt aufgefallen sei, bezeichnete Steinmeier als "größten Schnitzer".On the weekend, it was learned that the EU fiscal treaty for greater budgetary discipline must be approved by a two-thirds majority in both the Bundesrat and Bundestag. Steinmeier termed the fact that this had not been noticed until now as a "goof of the greatest magnitude".
Seine Partei lege vor allem Wert darauf, dass sich die Koalition - unter Einschluss der FDP - auf eine Besteuerung der Finanzmärkte verständige.He added that that his party put the greatest priority on the coalition - including the FDP - agree to taxation of financial markets.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 03:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In short: The fig-leaf needn't be very large and he will vote yes.
by Katrin on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 04:03:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Concern about the Greek debt exchange
ECB is also said to be concerned about acceptance rates of the Greek debt exchange offer; Charles Dallara says that there is a now momentum and predicts that the final acceptance will be high; Greece will only accept the debt exchange offer outright if participation is above 90% - at rates between 75 and 90%, Greece will consult with official creditors; the latest polls show that New Democracy will fall to receive an absolute majority at the forthcoming Greek elections; Merkel initiates an alliance of conservatives prime ministers against Francois Hollande by refusing to receive him as an official guest; German foreign minister criticises the decision; Merkel requires a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag for the vote on the fiscal pact, which may trigger some counter-demands from the SPD; a report says the ECB is outraged about Jens Weidmann's letter to Mario Draghi, saying it sends a devastating signal; Wolfgang Munchau writes the German economics establishment never accepted that the eurozone is a true monetary union, and that Weidmann's demand to securitise the Target 2 balance can only be enforced through military intervention; the German government cut out the reference in the troika's report according to which Greece needed a third rescue programme in a few years' time; Jean-Claude Juncker said he is ready to quit as chairman of the eurogroup; the LTRO has led to a change in interest rate expectations, as a majority of economists no longer believes that rates will fall; Gavyn Davies says the LTRO brings forward future seigniorage, an asset owned by governments, and thus constitutes a quasi-fiscal action.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 04:47:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: The Bundesbank has no right at all to be baffled (By Wolfgang Münchau)
The discovery of the importance of Target 2 was made by Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the Ifo economics institute in Germany, and his co-author Timo Wollmershäuser*. They found that the Target 2 balance mirrors current account imbalances since the outbreak of the crisis. There was no problem before 2007, when current account balances were funded by commercial banks. Once that stopped, national central banks took over this role. Spanish banks can now refinance themselves with no limit from the Bank of Spain. If a Spanish company buys a German product, for example, the chain of transactions goes from the buyer's Spanish bank to the Spanish central bank, which effectively creates the money for this transaction, and then sends it on to the Bundesbank, which records this transaction as a claim against the eurosystem.

...

One would assume that the best policies would be those that attack the root of the problem - the imbalances themselves. One of the deep causes behind this problem is, of course, Germany's persistent current account surplus. The problem can thus easily be solved through policies to encourage Germany to raise its imports relative to its exports. You need policies that provide eurozone-wide backstops to the banking sector, and also policies to insure against asymmetric shocks. And you need to harmonise many aspects of structural policy to ensure imbalances do not become entrenched.

...

The Target 2 debate is important because it goes to the root of the problem. But Germany's economic establishment is disingenuous. What people are really saying is that they no longer want a monetary union. They want a looser single currency regime.

See more on Weidmann and Target2 here on ET.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 05:22:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From today's Eurointelligence:
ECB attacks Weidmann over ,,devastating signal" on target balance

According to Der Spiegel, there is outrage at the top of the ECB about Jens Weidmann's letter to Mario Draghi criticizing the generous conditions for banks in the 3y LTRO's and the consequences this has on the Target balances, Der Spiegel reports. The magazine claims that within the ECB this was greeted as a ,,devastating signal". Weidmann told the weekly that with the 3y LTRO's and the simultaneous loosening of collateral requirements the euroystem's central banks had taken considerable risks on their balance sheets that were ,,at the limits of their mandate". The Bundesbank president urged his colleagues to tighten those standards again as soon as possible. However there is disagreement with other powerful Governing Council members. Banque de France governor Christian Noyer warned against a precipitated exit from the ultra-loose refinancing measures. ,,We can do that once the crisis is over", Noyer said. ,,During this crisis the central banks had to invent new instruments", he said adding that the ECB's main aim remained insuring price stability. Also Handelsblatt's ,,shadow council"of senior economists criticized Weidmann for going public with his criticism on the 3y LTRO's and the Target balances.



There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 05:41:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Handelsblatt: EZB-Schattenrat kritisiert Weidmanns Vorstoß
Einige, vor allem deutsche Mitglieder des Schattenrats begegneten dem Anliegen Weidmanns dagegen mit mehr Sympathie. Commerzbank Chefvolkswirt Jörg Krämer regte an, die Länder mit hohen negativen Target-Salden, sollten diese mit ihren Gold- und Devisenreserven absichern müssen.
ECB shadow council criticises Weidmann's proposal
Some, principally German members of the Shado Council, meet Weidmann's proposals with more sympathy. Commerzbank Chief Economist Jörg Krämer suggested that the countries with high negative Target balances should be obliged to secure these with their Gold or foreign currency reserves.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:06:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
10 questions before getting secured credit cards
You need one to make a hotel or plane reservation, or to rent a car, even if you plan to pay cash. Many stores require a credit card to accept your check. Responsible use of a credit card builds a good credit rating, too, marking the owner as mortgage-worthy.

But people who have never had credit or need to repair a poor credit history may not qualify for a regular credit card. For them, a secured credit card may be the only way to establish, or re-establish, credit.

If you're in that boat, here are the answers to the top 10 questions about secured credit cards.

1. What is a secured credit card?

A secured card requires a cash collateral deposit that becomes the credit line for that account. For example, if you put $500 in the account; you can charge up to $500. You may be able to add to the deposit to add more credit, or sometimes a bank will reward you for good payment and add to your credit line without requesting additional deposits.

Meet the Greek Escrow Account and the Securitised Target2 Balance: the loan where you get to pay interest for the privilege of borrowing from your own collateral.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:15:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent article by Münchau.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:16:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Read the comments... Münchau is a self-hating German turned Brit who lives in Brussels...

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 06:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. And an important point...
So, the two "Target 2" professors deserve credit for explaining the detailed mechanisms of how a monetary union functions in the presence of a broken banking sector.


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 08:55:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zombie banks is what one get when one deny there is a need for write-downs and rights issues.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:31:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ultimately those rights may need to be purchased by the state, which is impossible when states have their public debt debt maxed out, the Central Bank will not monetize, everyone thinks this is the gold standard, and cross-border actions are either an unacceptable fiscal transfer or an unacceptable foreign expropriation.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 10:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've said before, sucks to be in the euro.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:23:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recall that the story of the intra-EU imbalances was picked up from Sinn by Martin Wolf, though early on he correctly interpreted it as a bank run/flight to safety and later he shifted his focus to the "the ECB is funding deficit countries" narrative. (See here).

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 04:35:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a nice mirror of the "China can crush the US by selling dollars story" that from time to time pops up. The answer is always, yes they can if they want to destroy their economy.

Bundesbank owns more than €500bn as long as they don't try to collect. Pity that they do not appear to have understood the part about destroying their own economy.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:35:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:00:13 PM EST
Cash Hoard Grows by $187 Billion in Untaxed Overseas Profits - Bloomberg

U.S. companies led by General Electric Co. (GE) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE) stockpiled an additional $187 billion in untaxed overseas profits over the past year, boosting their offshore holdings by 18.4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The 70 U.S.-based companies studied hold $1.2 trillion in profits around the world. GE and Pfizer have built up the most money outside the U.S., with $102 billion and $63 billion respectively, according to securities filings. Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) were among the companies that increased their accumulated overseas profits by more than 40 percent in 2011.

As U.S.-based companies expand globally, they keep profits overseas, legally out of the reach of the Internal Revenue Service. Lawmakers from both political parties point to the stockpiling as a symptom of a failed corporate tax system, even while they remain deadlocked over whether the U.S. should impose higher or lower taxes on its companies' global profits.

"You're seeing more and more business go on overseas, because that's where an increasing amount of the global purchasing power is," said Matt Miller, director of public policy at the Business Roundtable, a Washington-based association of chief executives at large companies that backs lower taxes on overseas profits. "We need to get a competitive tax system that is not antiquated and has all the complexities we have today."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BP Set to Gain as Gulf Oil Spill Settlement Lifts `Dark Cloud' - Bloomberg

BP Plc (BP/) is poised to gain at least 5 percent this week after a $7.8 billion settlement with victims of the worst U.S. oil spill, an analyst survey showed.

BP shares will probably rise to a minimum of 520 pence from the close of 496.5 pence on March 2, according to the forecasts of five oil industry analysts. Jason Kenney, an analyst for Banco Santander SA (SAN) in Edinburgh, said the stock may climb as high as 580 pence over time if additional spill costs stay within the company's estimates.

The deal with businesses and individuals, reached after markets closed last week, was lower than the $14 billion that had been discussed, according to people familiar with the talks, and the money for the settlement will come from the $20 billion compensation fund that Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley has already provisioned for. BP still faces pollution fines and penalties under the Clean Water Act in a suit by the U.S. Department of Justice.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When Living in Limbo Avoids Living on the Street - NYTimes.com

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Forced by the harsh realities of the real estate market, lenders are increasingly likely to allow defaulting owners to remain in their homes -- a change in attitude and strategy that is helping to buoy some neighborhoods while further slowing the nation's foreclosure process.

Some lenders are now willing to make deals with owners to let them stay after defaulting, offering to pay home insurance, for example, while the resident pays for utilities. Other lenders simply look the other way, quietly putting off foreclosure sale dates, knowing that the costs of the ordeal probably exceed the diminishing value of the properties.

The evolution in thinking was perhaps inevitable, experts say. Across the country, more than 644,458 properties were lingering in bank ownership at the end of January, but even more -- some 710,725 -- were coming down the foreclosure pipeline, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate and foreclosure analysis firm.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:07:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:00:32 PM EST
Ahmadinejad's faction losing in Iran election deemed a sham by most reformists

TEHRAN - Iran, under intense Western pressure over its disputed nuclear program, on Saturday declared an initial turnout of 64 per cent in a parliamentary election shunned by most reformists as a sham.

Iran's Islamic clerical leadership is eager to restore the damage to its legitimacy caused by the violent crushing of eight months of street protests after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a 2009 vote his opponents said was rigged.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who endorsed the 2009 result, has since turned sharply against Ahmadinejad. Some early results from Friday's vote suggested the divisive president's supporters were losing ground in the 290-seat parliament.

His sister, Parvin Ahmadinejad, failed to win a seat in their hometown of Garmsar, the semi-official Mehr news agency said. Elsewhere, Khamenei loyalists appeared to be doing well.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Speech, Obama Urges Diplomacy and Warns Against `Loose Talk of War' - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON -- President Obama gave a forceful defense of his administration's commitment to Israel's security on Sunday, using a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group to take on critics on the Republican presidential campaign trail who have called for a harder American line to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Mr. Obama, speaking before a conference of the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee, declared that he would not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran and would act -- militarily, if necessary -- to prevent that from happening.

"I do not have a policy of containment," Mr. Obama said, to applause from the huge crowd in the darkened, cavernous hall at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. "I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I've made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests."

But the president also made clear that he views diplomacy, and the policy of sanctions set in motion by the United States and Europe, as the West's best hope for getting Iran to stop short of pursuing a nuclear weapon. "Already, there is too much loose talk of war," Mr. Obama said on Sunday. "For the sake of Israel's security, America's security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:06:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - China military budget tops $100bn

China's official defence spending will rise by 11.2% in 2012, pushing it above $100bn (£65bn) for the first time, the government has announced.

Beijing's defence budget has risen each year for two decades to become the world's second-biggest, behind the US.

It is developing an aircraft carrier, a stealth fighter jet, and missiles that can shoot down satellites.

The US promised to bolster its presence in the region last year, in a move seen as countering China's dominance.

Washington, which spends about $740bn on defence each year, already has bases housing thousands of American troops across the region.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:06:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's military budget is now nearly twice that of the UK. Personally I think this shows that we spend far too much, but I'm not a paranoid empire fantasist.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 03:12:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scores dead in Congo munitions depot blasts - Africa - Al Jazeera English

More than 100 people have been killed in a series of explosions at a munitions depot in the Republic of Congo's capital Brazzaville, the interior minister said.

"There are more than 100 dead. The injured are difficult to enumerate for the moment," Raymond Mboulou said by telephone, citing civilian and military hospital sources after a European diplomat said at least 150 people died.

Didier Boutsindi of the presidential office said untold numbers of people were trapped in a church that collapsed.

The explosions were heard across the Congo River in Kinshasa, the capital of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The blasts, which began around 8am local time, all occurred within an hour of one another, witnesses said, but the cause of the fire was not clear. 



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:07:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syrian forces renew assault on Homs - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Syrian forces have renewed their assault on Homs, bombarding more areas of the central city, activists say, with aid agencies still unable to gain access to neighbourhoods in desperate need of relief.

Sunday's bombardment of Syria's third-largest city with about one million inhabitants came as China offered a proposal to end the violence in the country, calling for an immediate ceasefire and talks by all parties but standing firm against any intervention by outside forces.

Syrian artillery gunners also pounded the mainly rebel-held city of Rastan in the centere of the country on Sunday, monitors said.

Four children were said to be among seven civilians killed in the shelling. The victims included six family members killed when a rocket slammed into their home, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which reported intensive shelling of Rastan since daybreak.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syria: Red Cross blocked again from Baba Amr - Sunday 4 March 2012 | World news | guardian.co.uk

* The International Committee of the Red Cross was again prevented from entering the Baba Amr area of Homs, four days after the former opposition stronghold fell to the Syrian army. Activists in Homs said the area was now deserted. The ICRC delivered aid to the nearby village of Abel, where if found a "considerable" number of families who had fled from Baba Amr.

* The UN's refugee agency said up to 2,000 people fleeing the violence in Syria were crossing the border into northern Lebanon. Some 7,000 Syrian refugees have already egistered with the UNHCR in northern Lebanon. Save the Children said some of children fleeing the violence in Syrian were showing signs of post-traumatic stress.

* An activist in Homs claimed the Syrian army has begun bombarding the al-Quosoor neighbourhood of northern Homs. The district was the scene of a number of large demonstration while Baba Amr was under siege.

* Rastan, another opposition stronghold north of Homs, has been under heavy bombardment, according to activists. Graphic video purported to show a girl who had been killed in the attack. The activist group the Local Co-ordination Committees in Syria, said five children were killed in the attack.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:22:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many Yemeni soldiers killed in fighting - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

At least 35 Yemeni soldiers have been killed in the south of the country in clashes with fighters linked to al-Qaeda, medics and officials said.

Medics at a military hospital in the southern port city of Aden said on Sunday dozens were also wounded and the number of casualties was likely to rise as a result of the fighting.

Military officials said the clashes erupted after the fighters tried to overrun an army post in Kud, south of Zinjibar, Abyan's provincial capital where the army has been battling Islamists since May.

A local official in Jaar, a nearby Islamist stronghold, said 12 fighters died in the fighting.

It was the latest in a spate of attacks against security forces since President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took over from former president Ali Abdullah Saleh on February 25 under a Gulf Cooperation Council brokered transition accord.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:08:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romney wins Washington state's Republican caucus | McClatchy

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Mitt Romney decisively won Washington's fiercely contested Republican caucuses Saturday, according to network projections, giving him an important boost on the eve of Super Tuesday, when 10 states vote across the nation.

The former Massachusetts governor won 36.2 percent of the vote with 77 percent of precincts reporting. Trailing were Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with 25.1 percent, Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, with 24.4 percent, and Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House of Representatives, with 10.8 percent.

The defeats for Paul and Santorum could be a stinging blow. Santorum Thursday told a Pasco crowd, "We can put this race on a whole other plane if Washington speaks conservatively on Saturday."

Paul, who had high hopes here, said he was running a decent second. He ran ads, drew enthusiastic crowds throughout the state and greeted voters in Puyallup Saturday. He has counted on strong showings in caucus states, where turnout is low and activists are more prominent.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:08:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rescue and Cleanups Continue in Tornado Zone, 39 Dead: Scientific American

HENRYVILLE, Ind./CRITTENDEN, Ken. (Reuters) - Rescue teams and residents combed through storm-wracked towns

to assess damage on Saturday from a chain of tornadoes that cut a 1,000-mile swath of destruction from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico, as the death toll crept up to at least 39 people.

The fast-moving twisters spawned by massive thunderstorms splintered blocks of homes, damaged schools and a prison, and tossed around vehicles like toys, killing 20 people in Kentucky, 14 in neighboring Indiana, three in Ohio and one in Alabama, officials said. Georgia also reported a storm-related death.

"We're not unfamiliar with Mother Nature's wrath out here in Indiana," Governor Mitch Daniels told CNN during a visit to the stricken southeast corner of the state.

"But this is about as serious as we've seen in the years since I've been in this job," he said, standing against the backdrop of the hard-hit town of Henryville, which declared a night-time curfew to prevent looting.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:24:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Along Mexico border, drug taint on politicians lingers | McClatchy

MEXICO CITY -- In dribs and drabs, in Mexican news accounts and U.S. court documents, new allegations are surfacing of ties between politicians and drug lords along the border with Texas.

The accounts involving former top officials in Tamaulipas -- a muggy Gulf Coast state that shares a 230-mile border with Texas and is a major conduit for licit and illicit trade -- are testing an axiom of Mexican politics that says that even if politicians rub elbows with gangsters, prosecutors rarely succeed in charging them.

"These politicians are generally seen as untouchable, from the lowly municipal level on up," said Raul Gonzalez Cipriano, a political scientist at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, a Mexico City think tank.

So far this year, however, prosecutors have issued court orders barring three former governors of Tamaulipas -- all from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI in its Spanish initials -- from leaving Mexico while an investigation of their alleged underworld ties unfolds. Moreover, an arrest in Texas last month of an accused bagman for one of the former PRI governors, Tomas Yarrington, has elevated his case into the national spotlight.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:29:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wondered the other day about the realities of Chinese politics, and then this is served by FT:

Chinese infighting: Secrets of a succession war - FT.com

Many political insiders and analysts argue that Mr Bo's primary aim in the crackdown was to discredit Wang Yang, his predecessor as Chongqing party secretary and his main rival for a spot on the politburo standing committee. Most of the targeted Chongqing business people and officials had flourished under the administration of Wang Yang (who is unrelated to Wang Lijun). The most prominent casualty of the campaign was Wang Yang's former deputy police chief, who was executed in July 2010.

Known as the "two cannons" for their outspoken politicking and rivalry, Mr Bo and Wang Yang have presented very different visions for China's future, with the latter - now party secretary of Guangdong province in the south - arguing strongly for a fresh political and economic approach.

Power, money and torture - the realities of high level politics in China appears to be pretty grim.

FT:s subscription-wall appears to still be possible to pass if one first googles the titel and then follows that link.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 10:48:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:00:52 PM EST
EU Aviation Carbon Tax to Impact Oil Demand, Saudi Adviser Says - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter, opposes the European Union's levies on airline emissions as they "will impact oil demand," according to an economic adviser to the petroleum ministry.

"It isn't under any climate agreement," Mohammed al- Sabban said at a conference in Jeddah today. "It isn't under any international system. So that is why it has been objected, not only by the U.S. but other countries. The pressure is huge for Europe to revise their position, and I think they will do that.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Effects of environmental toxicants reach down through generations

ScienceDaily (Mar. 2, 2012) -- A Washington State University researcher has demonstrated that a variety of environmental toxicants can have negative effects on not just an exposed animal but the next three generations of its offspring.

The animal's DNA sequence remains unchanged, but the compounds change the way genes turn on and off -- the epigenetic effect studied at length by WSU molecular biologist Michael Skinner and expanded on in the current issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

While Skinner's earlier research has shown similar effects from a pesticide and fungicide, this is the first to show a greater variety of toxicants -- including jet fuel, dioxin, plastics and the pesticides DEET and permethrin -- promoting epigenetic disease across generations.

"We didn't expect them all to have transgenerational effects, but all of them did," Skinner said. "I thought hydrocarbon would be negative but it was positive too."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:22:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Evidently humans aren't Roundup ready

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 03:15:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:01:10 PM EST
International Groups Move to Criminalize Fake Drugs: Scientific American

When police officers, scientists and doctors launched an investigation into the scourge of counterfeit medicines in South East Asia, they were shocked to find that nearly half of the anti-malarials that they seized were fakes. Even more alarming was the discovery that many of the blister packs presumed to contain life-saving tablets were tainted with safrole, a carcinogenic compound used to make the illicit party drug ecstasy.

The presence of safrole underscored the link between bogus pharmaceuticals and criminal syndicates, which flourish in a legal grey zone that rewards counterfeiters with high profits at low risk.

"For a criminal interested in making money, it's less dangerous to traffic in counterfeits than to traffic in illegal drugs," says Susanne Keitel, director of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare (EDQM) in Strasbourg, France. That is because, although counterfeits endanger patients, diminish public faith in essential care and hamper economic growth, their deliberate manufacture is classified not as criminal activity, but as patent infringement.

That may now change, as cross-border collaborations try to criminalize counterfeit drugs and coordinate global enforcement. Public-health authorities welcome the development, but say that years of inattention have turned the problem into a crisis.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:22:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oxygen detected in atmosphere of Saturn's moon Dione: Discovery could mean ingredients for life are abundant on icy space bodies

ScienceDaily (Mar. 2, 2012) -- Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and an international research team have announced discovery of molecular oxygen ions (O2+) in the upper-most atmosphere of Dione, one of the 62 known moons orbiting the ringed planet. The research appeared recently in Geophysical Research Letters and was made possible via instruments aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which was launched in 1997.

Dione -- discovered in 1684 by astronomer Giovanni Cassini (after whom the spacecraft was named) -- orbits Saturn at roughly the same distance as our own moon orbits Earth. The tiny moon is a mere 700 miles wide and appears to be a thick, pockmarked layer of water ice surrounding a smaller rock core. As it orbits Saturn every 2.7 days, Dione is bombarded by charged particles (ions) emanating from Saturn's very strong magnetosphere. These ions slam into the surface of Dione, displacing molecular oxygen ions into Dione's thin atmosphere through a process called sputtering.

Molecular oxygen ions are then stripped from Dione's exosphere by Saturn's strong magnetosphere.

A sensor aboard the Cassini spacecraft called the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) detected the oxygen ions in Dione's wake during a flyby of the moon in 2010. Los Alamos researchers Robert Tokar and Michelle Thomsen noted the presence of the oxygen ions.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Earth Formed from Diverse Meteorite Mix: Scientific American

Earth's building blocks were more eclectic than once thought, according to a new study suggesting our planet formed from collisions of many different types of meteorites.

Our planet is thought to have formed around 4.5 billion years ago from a disk of dust grains left over from the cloud of material that built our sun. These grains slowly clumped together, drawn by gravity into pebbles, then boulders, then planetary embryos. Eventually, enough mass coalesced to form the planet Earth.

Scientists had thought that most of the bodies that merged to make Earth formed from a narrow zone in space and were similar to each other, belonging to a subclass of meteorites called enstatite chondrites. This idea was based on measurements of numerous striking similarities between different types of atoms (called isotopes) of elements such as oxygen, nickel and chromium, between the Earth and enstatite chondrites.

But a new study of the silicon isotope signature of Earth rock samples and meteorites suggests that Earth is made of a more diverse mix of meteorites. [The Solar System To Scale (Infographic)]



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:23:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brian Paddick for Mayor of London: You Break It - You Fix It
We need to look at punishment from the criminal's viewpoint, not ours. Many criminals get up late, laze around home all day and rarely go out - except to commit crime. Their worst nightmare is what most of us do every day - having to get up early, travel across London and do a hard days work. Being locked-up in a prison cell for most of the day may be our idea of hell but for many it's just like being at home - except they don't have to pay for food and heating! Payback sentences ("community sentences" sounds soft and it isn't) are tough punishments that give back to Londoners, rather than us paying to keep criminals in prison, and it gets offenders used to the idea of work. We need a far greater emphasis on getting convicted criminals to put something back into society.

In prison, the only thing most people learn is how to be a better criminal - classes where inmates learn something useful like how to read and write are voluntary! Life after prison presents serious obstacles to housing and employment as prisoners lose their links with their own communities, and many reoffend soon after their release.

We need to make criminals pay something back to society for their crimes whilst at the same time giving them the skills to make the most of a second chance. At this election, for the first time ever, Londoners get to vote for a Mayor who will also be the Police and Crime Commissioner for London.

This is the Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 10:30:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's right, but to make it work we need an infrastructure to manage it effectively that will be expensive (tho' not as expensive as prison). However, it can't come out of the Mayor's budget, that's for the Home office/Justices secretary/whoever, so why is he talking about it ?

Might as well talk about foreign policy or tax issues.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many criminals get up late, laze around home all day and rarely go out - except to commit crime.

Is the study based on all Murdoch journalists or just those at News of the World?

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

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:09:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He may be talking about investment bankers...

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:10:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a term for what he's proposing.

It's called "peonage," and is generally frowned upon in civilised society.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:16:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's trying to sound tough on crime:
Payback sentences ("community sentences" sounds soft and it isn't) are tough punishments that give back to Londoners


There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... whenever "tough on crime" comes up:

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:01:30 PM EST
1963 - death of Patsy Cline, American singer (b. 1932).



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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dublin patron saint's preserved heart stolen from cathedral | World news | The Guardian

Irish police are hunting for a thief who stole the heart of a saint.

The burglar sneaked into Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin on Friday night and ignored valuable gold chalices and candlesticks, choosing instead to take the preserved heart of Laurence O'Toole, the city's 12th-century patron saint.

A cathedral spokesman said the thief would have needed a metal cutter to remove the heart, which was kept in a wooden reliquary inside a box with iron bars.

No alarm was triggered and there was no sign of a break-in, said the spokesman, adding that three valuable gold chalices and gold candlesticks in the chapel were not stolen.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 12:44:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The next paragraph suggests that the cathedral spokesman himself thinks that the heart is worthless.....
"It's completely bizarre. They didn't touch anything else. They specifically targeted this, they wanted the heart of St Laurence O'Toole," the spokesman said.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 08:10:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Too late for Valentine's day.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 08:41:55 AM EST
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In the nice turn of phrase of above, someone described the HQ of the Transport Workers Union this morning after 40 or so staff failed to turn up for work. They object to the bullying behaviour of the head of the union, Timo Räty.

The story: Uproar over sacking of Transport Union spokeswoman Hilkka Ahde

I'm no fan of Hilkka Ahde and her grasping family, but this little tyrant Räty is way over the top.

BTW Moulded felt  is still widely used in Finland to make footwear, hats and even acoustically absorbent music stands.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 07:28:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko says it's better to be a dictator than to be gay | News | National Post

MINSK -- The mercurial Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko lashed out Sunday at recent sanctions imposed by Europe over his rights record by saying he would rather be branded a dictator than be gay.

Lukashenko said in impromptu remarks at a mass ski event that the foreign ministers of Poland and Germany, who had spearheaded the diplomatic offensive against his government, were outsiders who deserved public scorn.

"One lives in Warsaw and the other in Berlin," Lukashenko said in apparent reference to Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

"As for the second one who was screaming about a dictatorship ... Having heard that, I thought to myself: better to be a dictator than gay."

Westerwelle is Germany's first openly gay minister.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:32:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"As for the second one who was screaming about a dictatorship ... Having heard that, I thought to myself: better to be a dictator than gay."
Yeah, like Berlusconi's reaction over being embroiled in a teenage prostitution scandal... "better to like women than be gay!"

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:45:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but what does that even mean ? It's a playground taunt entirely devoid of any value.

Better to be purple than yellow, better to be plastic instead of tin. Better to be a chicken instead of a telephone.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 09:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It means "populist", "mercurial" or "colorful" "strongmen" find it easy to connect with their popular base through homophobic shibboleths.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 10:03:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Homophobia is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 10:07:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as in... i may be crooked, but at least i'm straight!

'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 Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 10:48:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]

from dropdead funny diary http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/04/1071027/-Republican-Apology-greeting-cards?via=siderecent

'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 Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 10:52:18 AM EST
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Yea, all three of those are good

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:05:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 candidates completely nuts?

Beate Klarsfed, candidate de gauche en Allemagne, soutient Sarkozy en France | Election Présidentielle 2012 - France Télévisions Beate Klarsfed, candidate of the left in Germany, supports Sarkozy in France | 2012 Presidential Election - France Televisions

Beate Klarsfeld, candidate à la présidentielle allemande du mouvement Die Linke (parti à la gauche du SPD), a annoncé qu'elle soutenait en France Nicolas Sarkozy.

Beate Klarsfeld, presidential candidate of the German Left Party movement (party to the left of the SPD), has announced its support for Nicolas Sarkozy in France.

Beate Klarsfeld, célèbre "chasseuse de nazis", femme de Serge et mère d'Arno, a annoncé mercredi son soutien à Nicolas Sarkozy pour sa réélection à la tête de l'Etat français.
.
"Nous soutenons Sarkozy"
Beate Klarsfeld, a famous "Nazi hunter" Serge's wife and mother of Arno, announced Wednesday its support for Nicolas Sarkozy on his re-election as head of the French state.
.
"We support Sarkozy"
"Nous soutenons Sarkozy, je le dis publiquement", a-t-elle déclaré  lors d'une conférence de presse après l'annonce de sa candidature symbolique, au nom du parti Die Linke, à la présidentielle allemande."We support Sarkozy, I say so publicly," she said at a press conference after announcing his candidacy symbolic, on behalf of the party Die Linke, the German president.
Le "nous" de Mme Klarsfeld semblait faire référence à son mari Serge, l'avocat avec lequel elle a traqué nombre d'anciens nazis comme Klaus Barbie, dont le couple a obtenu l'extradition de Bolivie, et à son fils Arno, avocat lui aussi et conseiller de Nicolas Sarkozy.The "we" Mrs Klarsfeld seemed to refer to her husband Serge, the lawyer with whom she tracked down many former Nazis like Klaus Barbie, the couple has obtained the extradition of Bolivia, and his son Arno, lawyer and also adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy.
Sous la présidence de Nicolas Sarkozy, Arno Klarsfeld, qui avait échoué en 2007 à se faire élire député après avoir été investi par l'UMP, a été conseiller à Matignon, puis nommé au Conseil d'Etat au tour extérieur en 2010.Under President Nicolas Sarkozy, Arno Klarsfeld, who in 2007 had failed to get elected to parliament after having been invested by the UMP, was an advisor at Matignon, then appointed to the State Council in 2010 outside the turn.
En 2011, il a été nommé président du conseil d'administration de l'Office français et de l'immigration et de l'intégration.In 2011, he was appointed chairman of the board of the French Office and immigration and integration.

I wasn't going to hold her son against her, but...

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

by eurogreen on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 11:40:07 AM EST
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I've always felt she seemed to be an asshole, and she was supposedly a Stasi agent too.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 12:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She and Gauck are going to have a field day with Gauck, then.

By the way, check out this hit piece on Gauck, basically claiming that he jumped on the DDR-Opposition bandwagon only after the fall of the Wall.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 12:11:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite ironic really. The "Nazi hunter" secretly working for Gestapo 2.0 and the successor state of Nazi Germany. And her competitor for the presidency, Gauck the Stasi hunter... maybe the Stasi hunter will eventually catch the Nazi hunter?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 12:22:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, except that Gauck stands accused by Lafontaine of having enjoyed privileges from the Stasi.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 12:29:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting. And curious that such a thing didn't surface previously, given Gaucks position and role.

And I find it very weird that the Klarfelds haven't been attacked more for their supposed Stasi roles, given the utter hypocrisy involved, and compared to the uproar around Günter Grass, who really didn't do anything very bad, and who was like 17 at the time.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 03:53:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. It's a mass phenomenon, that's why.

In Gauck's position he inevitably had contacts to the Stasi. He claims he has clean hands and there is no proof for anything else. (There is no proof in Merkel's case either, btw. Ahem. She says it's not a "case") That's all there is. If he is lying, there is no evidence. I am pretty sure that Gauck is completely relaxed. Klarsfeld says she was naïve. She will get away with it too. Everyone who had dealing with East Germany had contact to the Stasi--although many will have been too naïve to know it. At least we can't prove it wasn't naivity...

Günter Grass is in a completely different position: there are few of his generation left, so it's not a mass phenomenon any more.

by Katrin on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 04:29:18 PM EST
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I hardly think Klarfeld would accept that excuse from former Nazis, that they were just naive and didn't really contemplate about what was happening...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 05:27:18 PM EST
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No, she wouldn't. She expects acceptance of her excuse though. I've never heard a self-critical word from her. I think that sums her up.
by Katrin on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 05:37:51 PM EST
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What is the reasoning behind her nomination? It seems that every party has rallied behind a candidate who's somehow embarrassing for them.
by generic on Mon Mar 5th, 2012 at 07:35:06 PM EST
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"Reasoning" probably isn't the most accurate expression. ;-) They needed a candidate quickly, I assume.
by Katrin on Tue Mar 6th, 2012 at 02:48:49 PM EST
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