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

31 January - 1 February 2015

by DoDo Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:35:55 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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EUROPE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:22:42 PM EST
Greece's finance minister vows to shun officials from `troika' | Business | The Guardian

Standing his ground after talks in the capital with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup of EU finance ministers, Yanis Varoufakis said Greece would not pursue further negotiations with the body of technocrats that has regularly descended on the country to monitor its economy. Nor would it be rowing back on election-winning pledges by asking for an extension to its €240bn (£180bn) bailout programme. "This platform enabled us to win the confidence of the Greek people," Varoufakis said, insisting that the logic of austerity had been repudiated by voters when the far-left Syriza party stormed to victory in Sunday's election.

Greece has lost more than a quarter of its GDP, the worst slump in modern times, as a result of consecutive waves of budget cuts and tax rises enforced at the behest of creditors. Varoufakis and the new Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, who also met Dijsselbloem on Friday, are adamant that the government will deal only with individual institutions and on a minister-to-minister basis within the EU. They have vowed to shun auditors appointed by the so-called troika of the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

...But on Friday the Eurogroup president also held his ground. Visibly tense, Dijsselbloem - the Dutch finance minister - said it was imperative that Athens not lose the headway that had been achieved. He reiterated that the creditor group expected Greece to honour the terms of its existing bailout accords. "I realise the Greek people have gone through a lot. However, a lot of progress has been made and it is important not to lose that progress," he said. "We both want Greece to regain its economic independence as soon as possible. It is of utmost importance that Greece remains on the path of economic recovery. Taking unilateral steps or ignoring previous agreements is not the way forward."

...Dijsselbloem ruled out an international conference being held to discuss ways of reducing Greece's €320bn euro debt pile, saying the Eurogroup of euro area finance ministers "is that conference."

To me Dijsselbloem sounds less combative than before the elections, and less combative than some of his creditor-side peers.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Juncker rejects Greek debt write-off | EurActiv

...In an interview with Le Figaro on 29 January, Jean-Claude Juncker said there was "no question of cancelling the Greek debt".

"The other countries of the eurozone will not accept it," the Commission President stressed.

"It is not true to say that Sunday's elections hailed the beginning of a new era," he added.  "We respect the popular vote in Greece, but Greece must also respect the views of the people and the elected representatives of the rest of Europe. Arrangements can be made, but they will not fundamentally change the system that is in place."

Others, including the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, have also spoken out. In an editorial entitled No Greek drama and no Greek drachma, published on LinkedIn, the German MEP wrote, "If the newly formed Syriza government will be a government of "no to everything", then Tsipras' momentum might be short-lived."

The Empire Strikes Back!

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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:23:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How Syriza could make a debt relief deal palatable to Germany | Henning Meyer | Comment is free | The Guardian

Following the formation of the new Greek government we are entering a period of negotiation. This is good news, and overdue given the scale of the social and economic crisis in Greece. The new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has announced that he will not unilaterally walk away from Greek obligations but seek dialogue with creditor countries. He has a clear mandate for change, but it is also important to bear in mind the constraints on the other side of the negotiation table.

Angela Merkel's coalition government in Germany also operates within clear political limits, partly because a faulty narrative about the origins of the eurozone crisis has been circulating in Germany for half a decade. This is very unfortunate but makes a full U-turn on Greece unlikely. The anti-euro AfD - Alternative for Germany - has been gaining political support since the European elections last May, and is now trying to use the anti-Islam Pegida protests in some parts of the country to further draw disaffected citizens into its orbit. These are new phenomena in German politics and help to explain - though not excuse - the stubbornness with which misguided policies have been pursued. As in other countries, the German political elites are afraid of losing traction in society and have become excessively cautious as a result.

But there is light at the end of tunnel. The opposing parties might be at loggerheads at the moment but there is scope for a political deal that would allow both sides to keep their integrity. Here are the three things that need to come together.

Meyer's three proposals for a compromise in short: a debt service moratorium (Greece can kick-start its economy and creditors can celebrate lack of write-offs); a celebration of Syriza's anti-corruption drive in exchange for an end to austerity; and a European investment drive. To me the last one seems least likely...

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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:23:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would Schaeuble approve of a real anti-corruption drive?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 04:11:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New Greek nationalist defence minister resurrects old tensions with Turkey | World news | The Guardian

Greece's new nationalist defence minister has prompted Turkey to scramble fighter jets just days after taking office by taking a helicopter trip over the uninhabited islets off the Turkish coast that nearly triggered a war in 1996.

Turkish jets entered Greek airspace and were intercepted by Greek jets as the defence minister, Panos Kammenos, and military chiefs flew by helicopter to the islet of Imia to drop wreaths in memory of three Greek officers killed nearby in a helicopter crash 19 years ago, the Greek defence ministry said.

A belated comment on Syriza's choice of a right-populist coalition partner. First of all, it hurts to see the same people protest about ANEL who had nothing to say about the 2011 government, which included both the members of ANEL (then still part of ND) as well as a true far-right party, LAOS. Second, I am surprised people were surprised: both the communists (who want to wait until they win their own majority forever) and To Potami (who promised quite clearly to be saboteurs of Syriza for the Troika) ruled themselves out as coalition partners, while ANEL, whatever idiocy they talked otherwise, cooperated on anti-austerity with Syriza for years. Third, I saw no one consider this from the other angle: for the clerical-conservatives of ANEL to join a government of commies led by an atheist is no small departure, and proves that their focus is on ending austerity by any means, too.

Still, it remains to be seen how Syriza squares the circle with ANEL over immigration and foreign policy. With detention camps, police violence and police-tolerated Golden Dawn pogroms, maintaining the status quo on migrant policy would be bad enough, not to mention eventual concessions to ANEL. And a conflict with Turkey is the last thing needed now.

I wonder about Syriza's long-term plans. A positive outcome I can imagine is that the current government wins the battle against the Troika over austerity and debt, and then Syriza ditches ANEL over some conflict and changes it for a To Potami that realised its error.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:27:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek foreign minister: 'I am not a Russian puppet' | EurActiv

The ministers agreed to extend until September travel bans and asset freezes imposed last year that had been due to expire. They also agreed to list the names of additional people who could be targeted with sanctions when they meet again on 9 February.

They dropped language in the Council conclusions, however, about drawing up "further restrictive measures" that had appeared in a pre-meeting draft. The bloc's foreign policy chief said a decision on such measures would be left to EU leaders meeting next month.

... The run-up to the Brussels talks was dominated by Greece, whose new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, took power on Monday and complained that his government had not been consulted before tighter sanctions were threatened.

But at the meeting, colleagues said Greece's new foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, had swiftly dispelled suggestions that Greece would automatically torpedo any sanctions effort.

According to Italy's foreign minister, Kotzias announced to the meeting: "I am not a Russian puppet."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:27:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ANEL is horrible, but this Turkish thing is a non-story, as Turkish planes have been buzzing Greek islands for a long time now.
by Upstate NY on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 11:06:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OR, Syriza wins its standoff with the Germany and the Troika and calls a snap election to win a controlling majority and dumps ANEL that way

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 06:00:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A positive outcome I can imagine is that the current government wins the battle against the Troika over austerity and debt, and then Syriza ditches ANEL over some conflict...

...or, in the fact of a significant resolution of the debt issue with its creditors and the end of austerity, new elections return Syriza with a solid majority. (I don't know the practical political science underpinning this possibility.)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 09:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Portuguese Syriza? Lefist parties aspire to Greek model

There's a new political movement in Portugal which aims to be just like Syriza, the radical left party that has come to power in Greece.

Portugal's version is called Tempo de Avancar (Time to Advance) and combines four leftist political groups, the main one being Livre (Free Party), founded last year by Portuguese MEP Rui Tavares.

Tempo de Avancar is not anti-European but is strongly anti-austerity, and this weekend (31 January) is holding an open meeting in Lisbon to start preparing a government programme.

...But there are other parties that could claim the Syriza crown too.

Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc), which is already representing in national parliament, is closer ideologically to Syriza.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:28:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syriza seem to be inspiring many groups all around Europe.

Not least the greens in the UK who seem to be very obviously modelling their appeal on Syriza type lines, although sadly they have no representative with the charisma of Tsipras or the intellectual heft of Varoufkis.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 06:08:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent
The Ministry of Justice withdrew a document designed to help people with learning difficulties involved with the criminal justice system after it stated that defendants had to prove their innocence when accused of a crime.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 01:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, they didn't want them to know that they had to prove their innocence.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 06:13:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:28:32 PM EST
Syriza's finance minister has a big idea - but will Germany accept it? | Linsey McGoey | Comment is free | The Guardian

In his recent book The Global Minotaur, Varoufakis claims that the notion of a surplus recycling mechanism is simple in theory and revolutionary in its implications. It was first devised by Keynes while working as an unpaid policy adviser to the British Treasury during the early 1940s. The proposal was an outgrowth of Keynes's frustration with the limits of the gold standard during the 1920s. At that time there was an outflow of gold from Britain to the US to pay for Britain's trade deficit. Logically the inflow of gold should have expanded the money supply in the US, increasing the competitiveness of UK exports. But the US adopted policies to offset inflationary pressures. As the economist Marie Christine Duggan has suggested, the harsh lesson for Keynes was that the gold standard was ineffective at forcing creditor nations to increase domestic prices or reinvest their surpluses. Creditor nations were free to hoard as they liked, placing the burden of action on debtor nations who had very little choice but to act in ways that tended to depress their domestic economies.

Keynes's proposal for curbing the problem was to create global rules that would place equal pressure on both creditor and debtor nations to adjust their respective trade imbalances, helping to ease the burden shouldered by debtor nations. He suggested that any nation that failed to ensure its trade surplus did not exceed a particular percentage of its trade volume would be charged interest, compelling its currency to appreciate. These interest payments would help to finance the second arm of Keynes's proposal: the creation of an International Clearing Union. The ICU would act as a sort of automatic "global surplus recycling mechanism," to use Varoufakis's term.

As Varoufakis has emphasised, individual nations do this internally. They disperse their own wealth, either through direct transfers (paying unemployment benefits in Glasgow or Idaho through taxes raised in London or New York), or through direct investment - purposefully building more factories and infrastructure in depressed regions.

Keynes believed we needed something like this on a global scale. In recent years, the idea has received more and more support: economists such as Paul Davidson and Joseph Stiglitz are supporters. But surplus nations are rarely enthusiastic about the idea. Even though the proposal serves their own interests over the long term (by systematically investing surpluses in depreciated areas, they're helping to ensure markets for their own exports), few are willing to sacrifice short-term economic supremacy for long-term sustainability.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:29:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bank of England Governor : More fiscal union, less austerity | EurActiv

Mark Carney, the Governor the Bank of England, has urged the eurozone to move towards fiscal union and end its hardline austerity policies in a bid to promote growth.

Carney praised the "boldness" of a recent announcement by the European Central Bank that it plans to buy €1.1 trillion of government bonds from eurozone members between now and September 2016.

However, he criticised hardline budgetary policies and a lack of progress on fiscal union, which risked leaving the eurozone in a "debt trap" leading to a second lost decade.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FTT launch agreed for 2016 | EurActiv

France and Austria brought the other 9 European partners back to the table last week with a compromise proposal to unblock negotiations. The meeting ended with an agreement to launch the tax on 1 January 2016.

...The Finance Ministers from the participating member states met in Brussels on 27 January to discuss the action plan proposed by Paris and Vienna earlier in the month.

"This meeting reignited the political will of all the partners involved in the project," a diplomatic source told EurActiv.

Greece abstains

The Greek Finance Minister was the only one not to sign the common text, due to the political upheaval caused by the victory of leftist party SYRIZA in the recent elections. Our diplomatic source said "The former Greek Finance Minister did not want to sign a commitment in the name of the new government."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia sends rouble tumbling after cutting main interest rate | World news | The Guardian

The main interest rate was cut to 15% from 17%, just weeks after the central bank had raised the interest rate in the hope of preventing the rouble's collapse. At an emergency meeting in December the rate was put up by 6.5 percentage points to 17% but that failed to stem the decline in Russia's currency.

Now the central bank feels that pressures on the economy and a possible easing off in Russia's high inflation rate necessitate lower borrowing costs.

But the move, which defied analysts' expectations for the rate to stay at 17%, pushed the rouble down more than 4% against the euro and it also fell sharply against the dollar and pound. By 1215 GMT the rouble was still down markedly on the day, trading 2.6% lower against the dollar at 70.50 and 3% lower against the euro at 80.02.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:30:21 PM EST
Regin Malware Unmasked as NSA Tool after SPIEGEL Publishes Source Code - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Earlier this month, SPIEGEL International published an article based on the trove of documents made available by whistleblower Edward Snowden describing the increasingly complex digital weapons being developed by intelligence services in the US and elsewhere. Concurrently, several documents were published as well as the source code of a sample malware program called QWERTY found in the Snowden archive.

For most readers, that source code was little more than 11 pages of impenetrable columns of seemingly random characters. But experts with the Russian IT security company Kaspersky compared the code with malware programs they have on file. What they found were clear similarities with an elaborate cyber-weapon that has been making international headlines since November of last year.

Last fall, Kaspersky and the US security company Symantec both reported for the first time the discovery of a cyber-weapon system which they christened "Regin". According to Kaspersky, the malware had already been in circulation for 10 years and had been deployed against targets in at least 14 countries, including Germany, Belgium and Brazil but also India and Indonesia.

Symantec spoke of a "highly complex" threat. Many of the targets were in the telecommunications sector, but others included energy companies and airlines. Both Symantec and Kaspersky did not shy away from superlatives when describing the malware program, calling it a "top-tier espionage tool" and the most dangerous cyber-weapon since Stuxnet, the notorious malware program used to attack the Iranian nuclear program.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:30:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CIA interrogated suspects on Diego Garcia, says Colin Powell aide | World news | The Guardian

The UK government is facing renewed pressure to make a full disclosure of its involvement in the CIA's post-9/11 kidnap and torture programme after another leading Bush-era US official said suspects were held and interrogated on the British territory of Diego Garcia.

Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to Colin Powell at the US state department, said the Indian Ocean atoll was used by the CIA as "a transit site where people were temporarily housed, let us say, and interrogated from time to time".

In an interview with Vice News, Wilkerson said three US intelligence sources had informed him that the CIA used Diego Garcia for what he described as "nefarious activities", with prisoners being held for weeks at a time.

"What I heard was more along the lines of using it as a transit location when perhaps other places were full or other places were deemed too dangerous or insecure, or unavailable at the moment," said Wilkerson, who served under Powell from 2002 to 2005.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:30:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm quite sure the CIA tortured people anywhere they felt like. Once Cheney had given them the green light, they knew they were untouchable.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 07:45:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But this island that has been stolen and the population driven away happens to still count as owned by the UK. So any chance of anyone prosecuted for aiding war crimes?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 04:09:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. Dick Cheney will be in the dock before anybody in Britain will be even considered for censure.

No doubt some future Prime minister will apologise to the Diego Garcians for the theft of their islands in a couple of centuries

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 2nd, 2015 at 02:08:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Saudi Arabia postpones flogging of blogger Badawi for third week | News | DW.DE | 30.01.2015

Raif Badawi "was not flogged" on Friday, his wife Ensaf Haidar told AFP news agency. She said the reason for not going through with the flogging was unclear.

Human rights organization Amnesty International confirmed the postponement via Twitter.

Badawi received the first 50 lashes of his sentence of 1,000 lashes on January 9, but two subsequent rounds that had been due to take place on Fridays were postponed on medical grounds.

The 31-year-old blogger, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in addition to an expected 20 weekly whipping sessions, is said to be suffering from hypertension.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:31:17 PM EST
Scotland announces fracking ban | EurActiv

Scotland has imposed a moratorium on shale gas planning permits two days after a UK-wide ban was rejected by MPs in Westminster.

The Scottish Parliament will conduct a public consultation and an investigation into the impact of shale gas extraction - known as fracking - on public health before allowing any new permits to be issued.

The announcement was made by Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing who represents the pro-EU Scottish National Party. The Labour party also back a ban on shale gas without adequate safeguards, calling the UK government's pursuit of shale "fanatical".



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:31:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK solar poised to cruise past 5GW milestone - 30 Jan 2015 - News from BusinessGreen

According to figures released yesterday by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), solar power capacity stood at 4,979MW at the end of December, just 21MW shy of 5GW mark. More than 650,000 systems have now been installed across rooftop and ground-mounted solar arrays.

The figures confirm a surge of investment in solar technologies during the past two years, with capacity having nearly doubled in 2014 from 2.8GW at the end of 2013, and quintupled since the end of 2012 when capacity stood at just 1GW.

Of the total installed, just over one third comes from large-scale projects accredited under the Renewables Obligation scheme, with 56 per cent accredited under the feed-in tariff initiative which provides payments to smaller schemes.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A small solar array is to be built in the field behind our house. Given that this is such a conservative area, it seems to have gone through the planning process unscathed

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 07:47:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wind power fuels transition to renewable energy | Environment | DW.DE | 30.01.2015

The 2014 figures look very good. That was the best year for the buildup of wind energy in Germany. The industry can be very satisfied," said Hermann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE).

In 2014 wind turbines with a total output of 4.8 gigawatts (GW) were installed. Since 2015, these devices have generated over 38 GW of power in Germany, covering approximately 10 percent of the country's demand for power.

And for 2015, the prospects are good. The wind industry expects an additional 3.5 to four GW. To facilitate Germany's transition to renewable energies, a decisive buildup of wind power is necessary, since photovoltaics and biomass took a strong hit in the last two years.

DW is very sloppy. In addition to the usual confusion of total generation capacity and cumulative generation capacity, they failed to mention that the above figures are for on-shore wind only, though they do mentuion off-shore separately:

Meanwhile, the offshore wind industry is also gaining confidence. In 2014, 142 large wind turbines with a total output of 0.5 GW were connected to the power supply. Offshore wind power also doubled to one GW. After a long hard start, wind energy is gaining momentum offshore.

As for politics:

Albers calls on the federal government to ensure reliable political conditions and a long-term industry strategy, promoting continuous development. The leading position of the wind power industry should not be put at risk, "as the federal government did in the field of photovoltaics."

Wait until the federal government figures out that a market premium is more expensive than a low feed-in tariff...

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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:32:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Siemens installs BorWin2 platform -Recharge News
Siemens has completed the long-delayed installation of the HVDC converter platform for the 800MW BorWin2 offshore grid link in the Germany North Sea.

On the platform built by Nordic Yards at its shipyard in Warnemünde, the alternating current (AC) generated by wind turbines is transformed into low-loss direct current (DC) for transmission to the mainland using Siemens technology.

The BorWin2 onshore converter station, likewise supplied to transmission system operator TenneT by Siemens, is located in Diele. There the electric power from the connected wind farms is converted back into the alternating current required to feed into the power grid.

...Siemens says the first four of its HVDC offshore links will commence operation one after the other between the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015.

We talked a lot about HVDC on ET, now it's coming into major use in the off-shore wind sector.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:33:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the usual confusion of total generation capacity and cumulative generation capacityproduction

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2015 at 03:53:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China coal production falls for first time this century | Environment | The Guardian

State media reported on Monday that coal production fell in 2014 for the first time this century, with production totalling 3.5bn tonnes between January and November representing a 2.1% fall on the same period in 2013.

The China National Coal Association (CNCA) predicted that full year production will fall 2.5% year-on-year. Meanwhile, Jiang Zhimin vice president at the CNCA, told news agency Xinhua that the sector expected production to decline by a further 2.5% this year.

The industry maintains that it has been hit by a number of one-off factors, such as high rainfall leading to high levels of hydro-electric production that has in turn impacted demand for coal. Similarly, government restrictions on the export of low-quality coal hit a market that was already suffering as coal prices fell by around 20%.

However, Xinhua acknowledged that much of the pressure on the coal industry is the result of demanding new environmental regulations from the Chinese government and increased investment in renewable energy, that has made China the world's largest investor in clean technologies.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:33:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BC environmentalist Alex Morton notes the irony of Norways's native salmonids now threatened by diseased farmed North American fish, a mirror of the destruction ongoing in her back yard:

Farmed Steelhead Threaten Norwegian Wild Salmon

It certainly sounds familiar.

The controversy wages on. At first people were told they could eat the escaped salmon  Then the Norwegian Seafood Federation said the gruesome-looking fish were not intended for human consumption.  Still others suggested the rainbows had been medicated in December for delousing, which suggests they were not scheduled to be destroyed and the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries finally said they should not be eaten because they could still contain the drug.  

I don't think there is much chance of a Norwegian eating these fish, which raises the question, who were these fish destined for?

The difference is that at long last Norway may actually do something about  it.

Tar fisken på land

This is what Morton has been demanding in BC for 20 years.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2015 at 03:41:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:33:37 PM EST
Ida director Pawel Pawlikowski stands ground against complaints of historical inaccuracy | Film | The Guardian

The director of Oscar-nominated Holocaust drama Ida has spoken out to defend the film against accusations by nationalists of anti-Polish sentiment.

Pawel Pawlikowski told Deadline that a petition launched by the Polish Anti-Defamation League (Reduta Dobrego Imienia) calling for the film to carry title cards reminding viewers that Poland was under occupation by Nazi Germany at the time of depicted events was "absurd". He dismissed complaints against the drama, in which a young nun living in the 1960s discovers that her Jewish parents were murdered by the Polish family which was hiding them from the Nazis, as "a stream of hate in the Polish media from the right", describing the furore as "too silly to comment on".

More than 40,000 people have signed a petition lamenting Ida's supposed anti-Polish rhetoric and alleged historical inaccuracy. The Polish Anti-Defamation League is concerned that that international viewers may not be aware that the Nazi invaders were responsible for the Holocaust, and that hiding Jews was a death penalty offence during the Nazi occupation, but Pawlikowski questioned whether any of them had actually seen his film.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:33:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Death Penalty in America Is Unworthy of a Democracy - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Recent events involving a controversial drug, cruel mistakes and arbitrary, last-minute decisions have exposed the United States' system of capital punishment for exactly what it is: a human rights violation unworthy of a democracy.

A good essay, except for the IMHO naively optimistic last paragraph.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:34:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ON THIS DATE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:34:23 PM EST
70 years on, little known about the Wilhelm Gustloff sinking | Germany | DW.DE | 30.01.2015
Over 9,000 people died in the Baltic Sea on January 30, 1945, in an attempt to evade the Red Army. The Wilhelm Gustloff was the largest shipwreck in history, but little is known about the catastrophe seven decades on.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
31 January 1945 – execution of Eddie Slovik, the only US soldier executed for desertion after the American Civil War. On the same day, in the Yantarny, SS units killed the last 3,000 survivors of a death march of female concentration camp inmates by machine-gunning them into the Baltic Sea


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:34:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1 February 1945 – 3 regents, 8 royal advisors, 22 former cabinet ministers, 67 MPs and 47 army officers are sentenced to death and executed on the same night in communist-ruled Bulgaria


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:35:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:35:14 PM EST
How Andy Murray may have found his perfect match in Amélie Mauresmo | Sport | The Guardian

His swearing fiancee Kim Sears may have attracted most of the headlines the following day, but in the seconds after Andy Murray served an ace on Thursday to win a place in the Australian Open final it was to another woman that he instantly turned.

After dispatching Tomas Berdych, Murray spun towards the players' box and pointed to his coach, Amélie Mauresmo, with a long, unsmiling glare of satisfaction. Seven months after becoming the first elite male player in history to appoint a female coach who is not a family member, it was clear who Murray thanked for reaching his first grand slam final since winning Wimbledon in 2013, a long and bruising 19 months ago.

He had been widely criticised for appointing the 35-year-old, the player noted in an on-court interview moments later, but "I think so far this week we've shown that women can be very good coaches as well". It had been a "brave" decision, he agreed, "so hopefully I can repay her in a few days". The bravery, you will note, had been all hers.

If Murray can win Sunday's final against Novak Djokovic, it will establish the Murray-Mauresmo partnership as one of the most remarkable in modern sporting history. But even if he fails to beat the world No 1, it is clear that Mauresmo has already changed the tennis landscape - and not for the first time.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 30th, 2015 at 03:35:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's all very lovey-dovey, but he still got whooped by Djockovic

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 1st, 2015 at 08:02:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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