Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

10 January 2014

by In Wales Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 04:20:16 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  • EUROPE - the public affairs of the European continent and the EU.
  •  ECONOMY & FINANCE - with a focus on the economic crisis.
  • WORLD - geopolitics, the affairs of nations and supranational entities.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - what we extract from the planet and the effect we have: environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - how humans live together: society, culture, history, science and technology, information...
  • ON THIS DATE - an occasional item about what happened on this date in history.
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • If you click on "Post a Comment", this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page. Please use "Reply to This" to avoid doing that.

Display:
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 09:14:05 AM EST
EUobserver.com / Defence / EU states consider sending soldiers to central Africa
BRUSSELS - EU states' ambassadors will on Friday (10 January) discuss proposals to send a joint military force to the Central African Republic (CAR).

The EU's foreign service sent round an initial plan to embassies on Wednesday.

Diplomatic sources say it contains two options: sending troops to secure the main roads leading from CAR to neighbouring Cameroon, or posting soldiers to protect the airport in Bangui, in order to relieve French troops who are currently stationed there to carry out other operations.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 10:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why ? I hate to sound callous when I suggest it's nothing to do with us, but it's more a case of noting that our presence, like it would have been in Syria, would become part of the problem.

The African Nations make a big deal about sorting out their own problems, the leaders sound very grand when they have their meetings and obviously resent European assumptions that white men have to step in to stop black nations from misbehaving. Not forgetting that they buy shitloads of weapons from us to make themselves even grander.

Okay guys, time to step up to the plate.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 03:49:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fine, but there's a time and a place for everything. In CAR, the disintegration of the state has precipitated an inter-religious conflict. Already, Chadian troops present, because they are predominantly Muslim, are not seen as impartial by the locals. Rightly or wrongly, French (or other European troops) are seen as exterior to the conflict, and are able to operate.

There have been "only" a couple of thousand deaths, probably, so far, thanks to prompt intervention; the potential for a real bloodbath is attested by all. It's not the time or place for quibbling about proprieties.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 10:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rightly or wrongly, French (or other European troops) are seen as exterior to the conflict, and are able to operate.

And how long is that going to keep being the case once the shooting starts?

The point of sending soldiers is that you want to kill people and take their stuff. So who here is it we want to kill? That's a question that needs to be answered before we start deploying.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 10:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / Samaras and Barroso show solidarity on 'anti-EU' parties
BRUSSELS - Greek PM Antonis Samaras and European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso have showed solidarity against what Samaras calls his "anti-EU" political enemies.

Speaking at a launch ceremony for the Greek EU presidency on Wednesday (8 January), Samaras dubbed the left-wing Syriza opposition party as "anti-EU, anti-Nato, and anti-Western."

He promised there will be no snap national elections in Greece before the next sheduled vote, in 2016, despite the waning popularity of his ruling coalition.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 10:54:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Social Affairs / Germany sets up panel on migrant welfare

Berlin - The German government is setting up a special panel on labour migration and possible welfare abuse, comprising of state secretaries from almost all ministries in response to calls by local municipalities and the Bavarian Conservatives to curb 'social benefits tourism.'

"Migration and freedom of movement - both are expressly welcome and wanted by the German government. The panel will probe if and what operational and legislative measures can be taken or proposed by the ministries to prevent a potential abuse of social benefits," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday (8 January) in a press conference.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 10:57:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Parliament invites Snowden to testify | News | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

The European Parliament's committee tasked with investigating the NSA announced on Thursday it had invited Edward Snowden to provide testimony via video link. It was not immediately clear if Snowden would agree to the request.

The Justice and Civil Liberties Committee voted on the measure 36-2 with one abstention.

German EU parliament member Jan Philipp Albrecht expressed doubt at the possibility of Snowden, who currently has temporary asylum in Moscow, giving evidence in the NSA investigation.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Opinion: Erdogan has overestimated himself | Europe | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

As late as last summer no one could have imagined an international discussion over the political future of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan - not to mention the domestic trials and tribulations currently tearing at his country.

Back then, the country's economic development was looking good and Erdogan's conservative-Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) governed with an absolute majority. Turkey was largely regarded as a stabilizing geopolitical factor in fragile region.

But Erdogan, seeing himself in a position unassailable superiority, overrated himself. The lack of a political opposition worthy of its name increased his belief in his own infallibility. His crisis management during the Gezi Park protests was unworthy of a democratic country.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:48:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
David Cameron calls for calm after Mark Duggan inquest verdict | UK news | theguardian.com

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have tried to calm tensions over the police killing of Mark Duggan by expressing regret at his death and empathising with the strength of feelings after an inquest jury decided he was killed lawfully.

As the Duggan family declined to attend a meeting in Tottenham, north London, with the Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the prime minister spoke of his respect for Duggan's aunt, who said the matter should be pursued through the courts and not on the street.

Speaking on BBC Radio London, Cameron said: "Of course these issues raise very strong emotions. But I hope people can react calmly and recognise that we have proper judicial processes in this country and they are the ones that must be followed and respected."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:56:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He may well have been killed "lawfully".

But that would then be an even bigger scandal than if he had been killed unlawfully.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 02:02:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See my comment last night

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 03:55:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - US travel warning for Hamburg after police crackdown

After some of the worst rioting seen in Germany in years, police declared parts of Hamburg "danger zones" on Saturday.

The unrest has centred on the eviction of an anarchist community centre, the Rote Flora, which was set up by squatters in a former theatre nearly 25 years ago.

Thousands of demonstrators turned out for a protest on 21 December at which dozens of people, including police officers, were injured in clashes.

On 28 December, masked rioters pelted a police station with bottles and stones. Three policemen were injured, at least one of them seriously. 'Not that bad'

Police now have special powers to stop and search people in the gefahrengebieten, or "danger zones", which are in force 24 hours a day and cover the red light district of the Reeperbahn, the Old Town, St Pauli and Altona Nord, where Rote Flora is located.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 05:47:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The above is a bit inaccurate, of course. The riots on the 21st December were provoked by the police, even though a large portion of the "Rote Flora" regulars don't need provocation to riot. It is unclear if there was an "attack" on the police station Davidwache on 28th December. The police had to admit in the meantime that the policemen were injured in a different place, when they got out of their car, and there is no evidence of a connection to whatever happened in front of the Davidwache.

Our Innensenator (government member responsible for guarding all our constitutional rights) and the mayor want to show how tough they are. The political decisions on are made and the senator says "there is no political problem". That makes it a problem of proper policing. I am pretty sure that he believes that, by the way.

The last nights there were quite  a lot of people trying unannounced demonstrations or just walking in the "Gefahrengebiet" out of curiosity, and it was impossible for the police to find which was which. This was largely peaceful (this district never is completely non-violent anyway).

I am optimistic that the Senate has gone too far. Many people, who normally would avoid demonstrating together with the fairly unpredictable Rote Flora people, see the need to defend our right to demonstrate. Then there are 80,000 people living in the area, and they don't like being searched. If the Senate thought these people would blame the black block, not the police, they were mistaken.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 06:11:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 06:21:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 06:31:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Varoufakis
Greek Finance Minister Confesses: "I turned down the IMF's offer of an alliance in favour of a debt restructure"

This is a stupendous story. Possibly for the first time in its tainted history, the International Monetary Fund had a major change of heart and tried to do the right thing by a `program' country, only to be turned down by that very same country's finance minister!

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 04:53:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 07:03:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 09:14:20 AM EST
EUobserver.com / Headline News / Is the Greek economy ready to come off life support?
BRUSSELS - After six consecutive years of recession, the Greek economy might finally be allowed to leave its life support machine this year.

The country's debt burden should start to fall in 2014. So should unemployment. It may even post economic growth by the end of the year.

Both Greek and EU officials insist that the tide is finally turning.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 10:53:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov faces extradition | News | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

A former Kazakh energy and trade minister, Mukhtar Ablyazov (pictured above during his time in office), was accused of stealing around $6 billion dollars (4.4 billion euros) in state and investor funds while he was the head of Kazakhstan's BTA Bank.

As the bank had interests in both Ukraine and Russia, Ablyazov is wanted in both countries on embezzlement charges.

A French court approved extradition requests from Kyiv and Moscow on Thursday, but ruled that Russia's should take priority as the scale of the embezzlement alleged by Moscow, around $5 billion, is far greater than the sum of $400 million alleged by Ukraine.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:44:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German discount grocers Aldi, Lidl bite into profits of UK retail giants | Business News | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

Britain's biggest supermarket group Tesco reported Thursday that crucial Christmas sales had dropped substantially. In the six weeks to January 4, sales in its home market declined 2.4 percent compared with the same period a year ago, Tesco said.

Further weakness in the UK grocery market continued to impact Tesco's performance, Chief Executive Philip Clarke noted.

Tesco's results for the all-important Christmas season came one day after Britain's second largest retailer Sainsbury announced shallow sales with gains of just 0.2 percent around Christmas. Sainsbury blamed tightening consumer budgets amid austerity for the drop.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:45:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apple, Samsung agree to meet for mediation over patent row | Business | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

A filing with the US District Court in San Jose showed Thursday the heads of consumer electronics giants Apple and Samsung agreed to meet before February 19, to discuss ways of settling their bitter legal dispute over designs and technologies of smartphones and tablets.

It said Apple CEO Tim Cook and his Samsung counterpart, Kwon Oh-Hyun, would attend the session to be overseen by a jointly chosen mediator, with a couple of in-house attorneys to be present. No outside lawyers would be allowed.

The agreement was reached in response to a court order to submit a mediation proposal before a new trial in March of this year.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:47:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Commission delays Single Euro Payments Area by 6 months | Business News | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

The European Union's new Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) was not going to be fully implemented before August 1, the EU Commission announced Thursday.

Intra-bank payments would be allowed to be carried out using the old, shorter national bank account data format for six more months beyond the initial February 1 cut-off date, the EU's executive body said.

"I regret having to do this but it is a measure of prudence to counter the possible risk of disruption to payments," EU Internal markets Commissioner Michael Barnier said in a statement.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:47:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migrants needed in Germany to compensate for aging population | Germany | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

The year 2013 ended with a positive outlook for the German job market. The number of unemployed increased less than expected for this time of the year - by some 67,000 to 2, 873,000. The nationwide unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 6.7 percent.

The comparatively positive situation on the job market illustrates the innovative capability of the German economy, said the employment market expert, Gerhard Bosch, from the University of Duisburg-Essen in an interview with DW. Besides booming exports,German consumers bought more due to significant wage increases.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:50:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Every time I see one of these "ageing population, woe to the labor market!" articles I have to gag, as in every instance there is a moderate to severe problem with youth unemployment or underemployment in the very same country.  
by Zwackus on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 08:38:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
more like "woe to the cheap labour market"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 03:59:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poverty in Germany hits new high
...the Joint Welfare Association published a report on the regional development of poverty in Germany in 2013 titled "Between prosperity and poverty--a test to breaking point". The report refutes the official propaganda that Germany has remained largely unaffected by the crisis and is a haven of prosperity in Europe.

According to the report, poverty in Germany has "reached a sad record high". Entire cities and regions have been plunged into ever deeper economic and social crisis. "The social and regional centrifugal forces, as measured by the spread of incomes, have increased dramatically in Germany since 2006," it says. Germany faces "a test to breaking point."

"All the positive trends of recent years have come to a standstill or have reversed. Germany has never been as divided as it is today," said Ulrich Schneider, executive director of the Joint Welfare Association at the launch of the report.

Meanwhile, US conservatives are celebrating failures of the War on Poverty.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson's proclamation of a "war on poverty," and the progress in this theater has not been encouraging. Trillions of dollars have been spent, and the number of Americans living in poverty is higher today than it was in 1964, while the poverty rate has held steady at just under one in five. That contrasts unpleasantly with the trend before President Johnson declared his war: The poverty rate had been dropping since the end of World War II. That progress came to a halt as President Johnson's expensive and expansive vision began to be implemented in earnest, which coincided with the tapering of the postwar boom. By the 1970s, the poverty rate was headed upward. It declined a bit during the Reagan years, crested and receded again in the 1990s, and resumed its melancholy ascent around the turn of the century
The moment is right for them to compare poverty rates, after 14 years of "compassionate" economic policies and 6 years of impoverishing crisis. What were the 90s numbers exactly?

Is it that simple: Capitalist economy cannot function without leaving a lot of social waste when growth pills (in GDP, "capital" or people) run out?!

by das monde on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 12:46:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 09:14:42 AM EST
Germany pledges further help in destruction of Syrian chemical weapons | News | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had asked Germany for help in its efforts to destroy Syrian chemical weapons; on Thursday, the government in Berlin said it would oblige.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that German company GEKA, based in Munster, would help destroy some of the waste material from Syrian chemical weapons. Until now, Germany had provided technological and logistical support, but only outside its borders.

"Nobody who possesses the technological capabilities required can really refuse," Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said. "The destruction of chemical weapons could be the first decisive step towards enabling a de-escalation of the Syrian conflict."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:41:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CAR's interim President Djotodia under pressure to step down | News | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

Political sources in CAR's capital, Bangui, along with French diplomatic sources said President Djotodia would announce his departure either at Thursday's meeting of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) in Chad's capital, N'Djamena, or shortly after the event.

This stood in contrast to a statement from a spokesman for Djotodia, who denied any such plan. But CEEAC Secretary General Ahmat Allami said the group would tell Djotodia that his transitional government was not working.

"If you are incapable, if you are powerless in the face of the situation, make way for others who can do a better job," Allami said in N'Djamena.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:42:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tunisia Prime Minister Ali Larayedh resigns ahead of elections | News | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

Prime Minister Ali Larayedh, of the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, resigned on Thursday under a plan with the opposition to end a months-long political crisis.

"I have just handed my resignation to the president," Larayedh told reporters. "I hope the country will be a model for democratic transition," he added.

The resignation of the Ennahda-led government has been viewed as the party's'failure to manage the rocky transition following the 2011 ouster of Tunisia's autocrat, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali - marking the first of the Arab Spring uprisings in the region .

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:42:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A great day for Tunisia, and for the Arab world.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 11:12:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cairo courts jail Morsi supporters for three years | News | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

A so-called misdemeanor court in Cairo on Thursday sentenced 63 Morsi supporters to three years in prison each on charges including rioting, thuggery and weapons possession.

Judicial sources also said they were each fined 50,000 Egyptian pounds (5,250 euros; 7,) after being found guilty of taking part in unauthorized and violent protests in November.

They were allowed to post bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds to stay out of jail pending an appeal hearing.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:44:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
`Multiple casualties' in explosion at Japanese factory

The blast took place in the early afternoon at a Mitsubishi Materials factory in the central city of Yokkaichi.

"Five people are dead. 12 people have been injured, of whom nine sustained only minor injuries," said a police spokeswoman.

Hiroki Morofuji, an official at the plant, said the incident had involved maintenance workers.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:53:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dennis Rodman sorry for comments on jailed Korean-American Kenneth Bae | World news | theguardian.com

The retired US basketball star Dennis Rodman visited a North Korean ski resort with Kim Jong-un as a statement was issued on Rodman's behalf apologising for comments he made about an American jailed by Pyongyang.

The former player, 52, took a helicopter on Thursday to a new multimillion-pound resort which is one of Kim's showcase projects and which has been condemned as a waste of money in a country where most people are malnourished.

Rodman's visit to North Korea, his fourth, has drawn criticism from human rights activists and the family of an imprisoned US missionary, Kenneth Bae, after Rodman appeared to suggest in an interview peppered with obscenities that Bae, rather than the North Korean authorities, was responsible for his incarceration.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:57:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 09:14:59 AM EST
EUobserver.com / Opinion / Frankenpolitics: The Left's defence of GMOs

The global movement against genetic modification, it is fair to say, does in general spring from the green-left side of the political spectrum, but is anti-GM campaigning actually that left-wing?

In May last year, UK activists from Take the Flour Back announced that they were going to "decontaminat" - or tear up - GM wheat being tested by the Rothamsted Research institute, one of the oldest agricultural research bodies in the world.

The grain being tested gives off an odour that repels aphids, and also attract wasps that parasitise the insects. As a result, the wheat, developed by publicly funded scientists, would require less synthetic pesticide - a development that is hardly likely to deliver profits to the pesticide manufacturers.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 10:53:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
also attract wasps

What could possibly go wrong?


'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 Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 07:40:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that this is less a left/right issue and more a social authoritarian/liberal issue, with the authoritarians wanting it and the liberals resisting it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 04:05:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No it's another axis entirely : resistence to GMOs comes largely out of conservatism, respect of nature, and fear of unknown consequences. These are not intrinsically left/right issues.

An analysis of the economic forces which are pushing GMOs reveals that they are interested in maximising profits and minimising information about hasards, which is what situates opposition on the left.

So proponents of GMOs try to separate the science from the economic model, in order to demonstrate that it's possible to be progressive and pro-GMO. But this only works in theory. Operationally, GMOs are inseparable from big agribusiness.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 11:21:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. Yes, there was enthusiasm on the left in the 60s for the "white heat of technology", but those of us who were paying attention noted how often the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow rarely delivered anything like the promises made.

All too often what we got was one or several of the following;-
transfer of funds from taxpayers to unscrupulous manufacturers
a belief that if it fails the first time, more money would solve the problems
a feeling that discussing the subject in public was unseemly
extra added pollution

All of which came from the economic theory of the infinite earth, that growth could be eternally maintained if only you managed things effectively. Well, the earth ain't infinite and GMOs have far too many already demonstrated drawbacks. Especially, given that the priorities of the companies flogging these chimeric rainbow foods rarely include actually feeding the poor.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 11:52:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales:
hardly likely to deliver profits to the pesticide manufacturers.

Since GMs have been widely grown in North America, pesticide use has increased, not diminished.

Note that it's the chemical industry that has largely bought out seedsmen and is behind GM crops.

  1. Lock farmers in to GM seed buying
  2. Sell more chemicals
  3. Profit!

Yes, that is a business plan.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 11:47:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dynamite fishing threatens Cambodia's seahorses | Environment | DW.DE | 08.01.2014

On a dock jutting into the cobalt-blue waters of Koh Rong Samloem, an island two hours by boat off the Cambodian coast, divers check their tanks before heading underwater. They are volunteers with Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC), a group that documents the seabed and animal life off the island, which was once teeming with seahorses.

They track the animals' underwater habitat, says Emma Robertson, an Australian who is MCC's in-house marine biologist. "If we come across seahorses, we want to know what size they are, whether they're male or female. We're really trying to find out the demographic of the population."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US polar vortex: the best pictures | World news | theguardian.com
The most extreme weather in decades has swept across North America, sending the mercury plummeting and causing chaos - but also creating stunning pictures
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:59:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How to repair your broken goods - from an iPhone to a washing machine | Environment | The Guardian

When the chief scientific adviser to the energy department says that the economy of this country is built on a culture of "buying lots of stuff and then throwing it away" we all know, deep down, that he is right. Many household appliances are now so cheap, and repairing them so expensive, that people often assume their things are not worth fixing. Sometimes, unless their ethical principles are very strong, they may be right. Yet many common faults can indeed be easily, cheaply and quickly repaired at home, sometimes in a matter of minutes.

If you're not sure at first, try to enlist the help of someone experienced, such as the splendid volunteers on the Restart Project.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 12:05:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read that headline as "How to repair your broken gods."

Although I'm not sure the difference is all that important.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 01:04:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Restarting Project will likely be useful now, and very useful following the next financial collapse. Thanks for the link.

NVA, a viable option when the political process fails.
by NorthDakotaDemocrat (NorthDakotaDemocrat at gmail dot com) on Sun Jan 12th, 2014 at 12:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Robot farmers are the future of agriculture, says government | Environment | theguardian.com

Will robot feet in near-future time walk upon England's mountains green? And will there be drones flying overhead from England's pleasant pastures seen?

A new vision of robots patrolling the meadows and cornfields of the UK may seem dark and satanic to some, but according to farmers and the government it is the future, and will bring efficiencies and benefits, and an end to some of the most back-breaking jobs around the farm.

An increasing number of "farmbots" are being developed that are capable of finicky and complex tasks that have not been possible with the large-scale agricultural machinery of the past.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 12:06:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now if they would just power these devices with solar energy...

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 10:11:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Antarctic penguins forced up 100-foot ice walls, study shows | Environment | theguardian.com

Emperor penguins are having to struggle up 100-foot walls of ice as warmer temperatures force them out of their traditional breeding grounds, a study has shown.

The gravity-defying march of the penguins was spotted by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists in satellite images of four colonies.

The birds normally breed on thin sea ice, close to easily accessible food sources. But ice forming later than usual in recent years has compelled them to move to much thicker floating ice shelves.

Experts believe the unusual behaviour could indicate that the penguins are adapting to environmental change.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 12:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
adapting to environmental change.

AKA not dying yet.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 10:13:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 05:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 08:52:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Better living through chemistry.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 10:14:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 09:15:14 AM EST
Former Germany international footballer Hitzlsperger comes out | Sports | DW.DE | 08.01.2014

In an interview with Die Zeit , Hitzlsperger said that "only in recent years" had he realized he "would rather be with a man."

Capped 52 times by Germany, Hitzlsperger retired from the game in September after a difficult run of injuries and form. He said he had stepped back from the spotlight since but was now ready to speak about his sexuality as he wanted "to advance the discussion to homosexuality among professional athletes." He said the issue of homosexuality in football had for too long been "simply ignored."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:46:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
West Flanders prepares for WWI commemoration | Europe | DW.DE | 09.01.2014

Almost every evening in the Flemish town of Ypres since 1928, come rain or shine, a group of buglers emerge beneath the Menin Gate monument to the fallen soldiers of World War I and play the "Last Post." This final salute to the fallen is an emotional one. "Quite often you'll choke up and cry when you hear the bugles," says New Zealander Maria Sainsbury who has travelled from half the world away to visit sites of the Great War in Belgium and Northern France.

One hundred years ago, West Flanders was one of the most militarized zones on earth across which some 60 kilometers (37 miles) of the infamous Western Front stretched. Now, with the centenary of the war commencing and lasting for the next four years, the region is readying itself to reap the benefits of a projected bump in tourist numbers.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:49:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the German speakers: Karl Kraus denouncing the WW1 battlefield tourism (written in 1921)

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 04:26:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French court overturns ban on 'anti-Semitic' comic

Dieudonné, whose stand-up act has been widely condemned as being anti-Semitic, was banned in Nantes as well as Marseille, Bordeaux and Tours on the grounds of maintaining public order as authorities probe whether he could face charges for breaking French laws against "inciting racial hatred".

French President François Hollande had also backed the ban on his performances.

"No one should be able to use this show for provocation and to promote openly anti-Semitic ideas," Hollande told a meeting of senior government officials in Paris on Tuesday.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:52:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France gives go-ahead to cannabis-based drug
France's health ministry announced Thursday it had approved the use of Sativex, a cannabinoid mouth spray, to treat patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). The drug is the first marijuana-based medicine to be made available in the country.

While the decision to approve Sativex may seem revolutionary for France, the prescription of the drug will be extremely limited. The spray will only be recommended for MS patients with "severe muscle spasms (spasticity), resistant to other treatments," according to the health ministry, which also specified that only neurologists and physical therapists will have the right to prescribe it at first.

Once on the market, Sativex can prescribed for up to six months, the national health monitoring agency (which approved the drug and set its conditions of use) told French daily Le Monde in a statement. The medication will be available at pharmacies, where it will be stocked in a safe with other opiate-based drugs.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 11:54:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does it matter that there aren't more women in science? | Richard P Grant | Science | theguardian.com

Despite years of effort almost all scientific fields are still dominated by men. There are exceptions: you are more likely to find equal ratios in cellular and molecular biology, and a predominance of women in fields including education, language, nursing and midwifery, for example. Even so, at more senior levels, thanks to the so-called 'leaky pipeline', even disciplines with parity at the undergraduate and postgraduate level end up retaining relatively few women.

It is generally assumed this is a Bad Thing. It is tacitly if not explicitly assumed that science, even society as a whole, is missing out on the intellectual contributions of the women who do not get on or continue to climb the scientific career ladder. As if other careers are neither intellectually satisfying nor useful to society. Naturally, if women are being actively discriminated against, being disproportionately denied opportunity, then that surely is a Bad Thing (regardless of what an "ideal" or "desirable" sex ratio would look like).

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 12:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
excellent example of...

In Wales:

As if other careers are neither intellectually satisfying nor useful to society.

followed by cute wiggle

In Wales:

Naturally, if women are being actively discriminated against, being disproportionately denied opportunity, then that surely is a Bad Thing

with final flourish

In Wales:

regardless of what an "ideal" or "desirable" sex ratio would look like).

truthiness galore

'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 Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 07:46:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 06:30:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But populism is not the answer. Not only does it reduce politics to essentially a moral divide, which precludes compromise and pluralism, it simplifies the true divisions within society, which are largely within the 99%, not between the 99% and the 1%.

Here's an idea: how about we take the essentially moral divide between the 99% and the 1% and worry about the rest later?

Other than that, he almost has a point. What he doesn't say is that the US right got its dominant position by throwing truckloads of money at spin machines, funding 'scholarships' for budding sociopaths, and cultivating friendly media influence.

None of this has to do with the quality of the right's ideas, which are drooling simian nonsense at the best of times.

But the right apes (sic) the moral high ground by pretending to be paternal and responsible, when in fact it's simply arrogant, criminal, fundamentally irresponsible, and institutionally abusive.

A real attack from the left would have to be a direct assault on this imagined moral superiority. Destroy that, and the rest of the edifice crumbles, leaving plenty of room for alternatives.

Chimeric nonsense about freedom and individualism will be quickly forgotten if the moral vacuity of the right becomes obvious to everyone (except perhaps a rump of the most brainwashed brownshirts.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 01:17:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 09:15:30 AM EST
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 9th, 2014 at 09:15:44 AM EST


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2014 at 05:06:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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