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

15 - 21 May 2017

by Bjinse Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:22:31 AM EST

Your take on this week's news

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by Bjinse on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:22:56 AM EST
I'm starting to wonder if I should start posting Brexit/Tory BS to the Trump column.

That said, here is some more on the Cambridge Analytics story -- but this time from the angle of electoral law violations.

Follow the data: does a legal document link Brexit campaigns to US billionaire?

On 18 November 2015, the British press gathered in a hall in Westminster to witness the official launch of Leave.EU. Nigel Farage, the campaign's figurehead, was banished to the back of the room and instead an American political strategist, Gerry Gunster, took centre stage and explained its strategy. "The one thing that I know is data," he said. "Numbers do not lie. I'm going to follow the data."

Eighteen months on, it's this same insight - to follow the data - that is the key to unlocking what really happened behind the scenes of the Leave campaign. On the surface, the two main campaigns, Leave.EU and Vote Leave, hated one other. Their leading lights, Farage and Boris Johnson, were sworn enemies for the duration of the referendum. The two campaigns bitterly refused even to share a platform.

But the Observer has seen a confidential document that provides clear evidence of a link between the two campaigns. More precisely, evidence of a close working relationship between the two data analytics firms employed by the campaigns - AggregateIQ, which Vote Leave hired, and Cambridge Analytica, retained by Leave.EU.

by Zwackus on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 04:10:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least she's sane, and not a fascist. Sigh.

Angela Merkel's CDU 'seizes key state from rivals'

Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU) have unseated the Social Democrats in a key state election, exit polls say.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU is projected to win 34.5% of votes in North Rhine-Westphalia, compared with 30.5% for the Social Democrats (SPD).

It was seen as a test for Mrs Merkel ahead of September's general election.

The SPD has run the state - Germany's most populous - for most of the post-war period. Party leader Martin Schulz said it was a "hard day".

Voters were choosing candidates for the state legislature, whose leadership may now change from its current SPD-Green coalition.

The SPD's vote is said to be down by 8.6 percentage points on the last election there in 2012, while the CDU vote is up by almost the same amount.

by Zwackus on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 04:13:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Die Tagespresse is the Austrian Onion. (The Link has since been fixed)

Though since I'm writing about the idiocy that is Austrian politics.
Since Christian Kern took over the Socialists the Conservatives have been sharpening their knives for their own party chair. Everybody knew that he was only keeping the seat warmed for the presumptive nominee Sebastian Kurz, the unreasonably popular foreign minister. The conservative contribution to the ruling coalition mostly consisted of unacceptable offers (that the social democrats of course ended up accepting) and provocations mainly from interior minister Sobotka. When both he and Kurz didn't attend the regular ministerial meeting in a show of contempt and after, as rumor has it failing to get support from his party for firing Sobotka, Mitterlehner finally quit.
So now we have a few months of hopefully stagnation while both parties try to damage each others party chair.

by generic on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 08:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This hardly compares with Der Postillon's getting people to think that a real news item was actually copied from them....
Selbst Spiegel online geriet ins Zweifeln, wie eine auf der Postillon-Facebookseite veröffentlichte Email einer Redakteurin an das Magazin zeigt: ,,(...) könnten Sie mich bitte einmal unter der Nummer 040 xxx oder 0xxx-xxx zurückrufen. Es geht um Ihre Pofalla-Meldung von gestern. Herzliche Grüße xxx Redaktion Kultur SPIEGEL ONLINE".

Als sich herausstellte, dass die Nachricht kein üblicher Fake, sondern wahr ist, war der Satire-Scoop perfekt. Mit der zurückdatierten Meldung hält der Postillon, dem Anspruch einer guten Satire gerecht werdend, der Gesellschaft einen Spiegel vor. Denn er führte er seine eigenen Leser, aber auch alle anderen hinters Licht.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 09:06:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Though you can't really blame the Guardian. The "Geilomobil" was real after all....
by generic on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 09:53:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aber jetzt regt sich Widerstand. Seit Angela Merkel im August 2015 mit ihrem Satz "Wir schaffen das" zur Prophetin einer neuen politischen Kultur in Deutschland wurde, und seit Horst Seehofer sogar mit dem Bruch der Regierungskoalition in Berlin drohte, falls sich die Kanzlerin seiner Forderung nach einer Obergrenze für Flüchtlinge nicht beugen würde, wollen sich immer mehr Wähler in Bayern nicht damit abfinden, dass sie die CSU wählen sollen, wenn sie Angela Merkel unterstützen wollen.

Die Rechtsanwälte Rainer und Christine Roth haben Verfassungsbeschwerde erhoben, weil sie sich in ihrem Grundrecht auf freie Wahlen verletzt sehen.

Die Frage ist: Wer ist dafür zuständig, dass ein Bürger der Bundesrepublik eine Partei wählen kann, die sich weigert, an seinem Wohnort zur Wahl anzutreten? "Zivilrechtlich habe ich keinen Anspruch", sagt Rainer Roth. "Ich kann die CDU nicht zwingen, bei der Bundestagswahl in Bayern anzutreten. Aber ich habe einen Anspruch an den Staat, dafür zu sorgen, dass ich mein Recht auf Wahlfreiheit ausüben kann."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 03:55:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK perhaps you can explain the issue. Party lists for the Bundestag are regional, rather than national? So Merkel groupies are obliged to vote for the stinky old CSU rather than the dynamic CDU?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 11:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The CSU is strictly a completely different party but they agree to not compete. It doesn't come up often except that one time when Schröder lost and suddenly discovered that he actually was head of the biggest party and still wanted to be chancellor.
Also no one can tell Seehofer to just shut up for once.
by generic on Thu May 18th, 2017 at 05:07:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What connects Brexit, the DUP, dark money and a Saudi prince?
To recap briefly: two days before the Brexit referendum last June, the Metro freesheet in London and other British cities came wrapped in a four-page glossy propaganda supplement urging readers to vote Leave. Bizarrely, it was paid for by the DUP, even though Metro does not circulate in Northern Ireland. At the time, the DUP refused to say what the ads cost or where the money came from.

We've since learned that the Metro wraparound cost a staggering £282,000 (€330,000) - surely the biggest single campaign expense in the history of Irish politics. For context, the DUP had spent about £90,000 (€106,000) on its entire campaign for the previous month's assembly elections. But this was not all: the DUP eventually admitted that this spending came from a much larger donation of £425,622 (€530,000) from a mysterious organisation, the Constitutional Research Council.  

by fjallstrom on Thu May 18th, 2017 at 01:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not even remotely shocked that dirty money, possibly even illegal money, was involveed in brexit.

tbh just like in the US. You can break any law you like, do any dirty trick your fevered imagination conjours forth, lie, cheat and basically buy your way through. If....you are a conservative.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 18th, 2017 at 08:37:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the trails are interesting. So far, we have US billionaires and privatised deep state in Cambridge Analytica. Now we also have the House of Saud.
by fjallstrom on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 09:19:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Swedish media today the prosecutors has after the translation of the interview with Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy reviewed the case and decided to drop the charge of rape (the other charges has passed the statute of limitations). That means that the European arrest warrant is scrapped, Sweden no longer demands extradition.

Now, UK may have opinions regarding bail jumping, so he isn't free to move to Ecuador yet.

It will be interesting to see if Assange's legal team here in Sweden sues the state.

by fjallstrom on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 09:55:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On what grounds was it dropped? Do they say?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 10:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 11:17:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good, they translated it themselves.

Now I've read the prosecutors site, and they are closing the investigation for now rather then drop the charges. They do drop the European Arrest Warrant.

In the Swedish version I felt they put more emphasis on the lack of venues to continue the process at this point. This essentially because they think Assange will stay at the embassy, and that Ecuador will not accept that Sweden serves him at the embassy. Therefore it is no longer proportional to have him remanded in absentia, so the remand is dropped.

They explicitly reserves the possibility to re-open the investigation at any point until 2020 (when the rape charge expires) if things change. In effect, if he leaves the embassy a new EAW can be sent. Though a EAW takes a bit of time, so if UK doesn't want him I guess he can buy a plane ticket, arrive just in time for the flight and be off to Ecuador.

But thinking about it, maybe he will just stay in the embassy. After all, the US wants him officially now (though not formally afaik). And UK is historically weak when it comes to US extraditions.

by fjallstrom on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 01:26:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Washington Post's angle is, although extradition to Sweden is moot, UK will enforce violation of orders in its own court. "Jumping bail" is the phrase of the day in the USA, to confuse americans, I suppose. Here,it's impossible to jump bail unless you've already been arraigned on charges. Not so evidently in the UK or Sweden. There one can be "detained" (arrested) indefinitely while investigation of alleged criminal conduct proceeds from one court to another to discover the venue most favorable to the prosecution of the defendant.

British police said that Assange still faced arrest on charges of jumping bail if he walked out of diplomatic protection [POLITICAL ASYLUM], which Assange claims is needed to keep him from being extradited to the United States on charges of disclosing confidential military and diplomatic documents.
"Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on the 29 June 2012. The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy," it read.

Sweden drops Assange rape allegation, but Britain says WikiLeaks founder still faces arrest

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 04:43:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The European Arrest Warrant has created interesting combinations of legal traditions.

The European Arrest Warrant did away with ost protections for the individual against being extradited as long as it is within the EU and the crime is on the list. Assange's first legal team claimed that the acts he was accused of wasn't rape, becausee rape is on the list and I think the lesser charges wasn't, the UK courts did not agree.

In Sweden, we don't have a bail system. Either you need to be remanded pending trial or you don't. You are remanded if you are deemed to be dangerous (suspected of a violent crime) or if you will probably be interfering with the investigation (mobster) or if you are a flight risk. Since Assange had already left Sweden he was a flight risk and was therefore remanded in absentia pending trial. If he had given himself up in October 2010, the case would have moved forward quickly (because it is high profile). He would have been interviewed and served with charges and the investigation would be handed over to the prosecutor for trial. I am not saying remand is never abused, for example after the Gothenburg summit many protesters were remanded for long times, but normally it isn't, and I can come up with no examples were it has been abused in high profile cases.

In the UK, they do have a bail system. Assange was arrested pending extradition but was then on bail during the extradition process, which became lengthy as he used every opportunity for appeal.

If my cursory searches comes up right, in the US there is no chance of getting bail while fighting extradition within the US, but in the case of international extradition there is. So, the case is not that different from an international extradition request in the US if the suspect is granted bail, posts bail and then escapes to the embassy of a third country.

by fjallstrom on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 08:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On what charge was Assange indicted in Sweden? I ask, because my understanding is,
  1. Prosecutors were still investigating allegations until today's announcement;
  2. Assage's attys have argued that his "detention"(arrest) absent indictment is unlawful on its face.

Here are minimum criteria pursuant to extradition from the USA, in particular.

Offense Charged: The crime with which the fugitive has been charged or of which he or she has been convicted. Some extradition treaties limit extradition to offenses specified in the treaty. The more recent treaties allow extradition in any case where the conduct is criminal and punishable as a felony in both countries. In either event, OIA must know the offense to determine whether an individual is extraditable.

[emphasis added]
603. Determination of Extraditability

DOJ | 9-15.000 - International Extradition And Related Matters

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 11:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat May 20th, 2017 at 05:59:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People have to understand he has never been charged with a crime. These are allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden.
In July [2014], a Stockholm judge ruled that Sweden's prosecutor had sufficient cause to continue to pursue the arrest of Assange in order to question him about the crimes of which he is suspected. No charges have yet been brought against Assange in Sweden, because he has not been interrogated by police regarding the allegations brought by the second of the two women.

In four years, never a criminal charge. The prosecutor claims she wants to question Julian Assange. He's open for the questioning. But she hasn't been willing to do it.
He's essentially in custody not of the Ecuadorians, but in custody of a Swedish warrant for his arrest that has forced him to essentially be in custody, choosing between either going to Sweden and the United States or giving up his right to asylum....
The Swedish court, however, was very critical of the prosecutor's actions in failing to move the case forward by questioning Julian Assange. And that is certainly the most important part of the case. The court said-the court reprimanded the prosecutor. And here's what it said. The investigation into the suspected crimes has come to a halt." ...In other words, looked at this way, Julian's rights were violated by the failure of the prosecutor to press the case, but the [SWEDEN AND UK] court refused to give Julian Assange a remedy for that violation.
RATNER: You know, Sweden is not exactly, despite its reputation, the most liberal country in the world, and here you've had a case pending for four years. The prosecutors failed to question Julian Assange. There's only allegations. So they're put in this situation: either they question him and most likely the case just goes away because they don't necessarily have a case after they hear his side of the story, or they just are ordered to drop the case. And it's obviously a big black eye in Sweden, because here they've made this hullabaloo, they've gone through the court system in the U.K., they've asked for his extradition, the U.K. upheld it-although I should say as an aside, the U.K. upheld the extradition under the old U.K. extradition law, because in fact the Julian Assange case and some other similar cases-they have now changed the law in the U.K., so that Julian Assange would not be extradited under the law today. But they didn't make it retroactive in the U.K.

Swedish Court of Appeals Rule to Continue the Detention ["ARREST"] of Julian Assange
Michael Ratner was the U.S. lawyer for Julian Assange and president emeritus for the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat May 20th, 2017 at 06:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, let's see : Leakywicks, the story so far.

Assange is alleged to have done stuff which would constitute rape according to Swedish law (and to my personal opinion), but probably not elsewhere.

Assange, fearing (rightly or wrongly) extradition to the USA once he was in the grips of the Swedish justice system, fled.

When the UK justice system, correctly, was preparing to send him back to Sweden, he fled again.

Sweden drops the extradition request, rightly, because the whole thing isn't going anywhere, and because (presuming he committed the acts alleged), he has effectively served a much longer custodial sentence than he would have, had he been judged guilty. So (in my opinion) natural justice has been served. (He could still be arrested and charged if he happens to turn up in Sweden before 2020, which seems, on balance, unlikely.)

The problem now is that the UK will arrest him for not surrendering himself to them. And we must presume (the UK will not confirm) that the US has requested extradition to the US. Presumably, if the Met arrest him on the non-surrender charge, they can then (after due process) hand him over to the US, and life in prison for the actual Wikileaks stuff.

The Met now say that, since the serious charge of rape no longer applies, they will not devote disproportionate efforts to arresting him on the minor charge of non-surrender. Grin.

Assuming this is actually true, and he can sneak out of the embassy in the dead of night or whatever, I presume he would be immediately arrested if he showed his passport at an airport or whatever. His best bet might be a small boat from the south coast or something. Then he could thumb his nose at the entire world at a press conference in France. While keeping an eye open for CIA snatch squads.

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

by eurogreen on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 09:19:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the one part of that chain that never made any sense was that Assange was on UK soil which, as every fule kno, is the most supine country in the world when it comes to the US wanting to do its extra-judicial disappearance of nuisances.

So why was he worried about being returned to Sweden and face extradition when the UK would have happily parceled him onto the next Air Amerikkka flight out of Prestwick if the yanks had really wanted him?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 10:52:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In 1215 Magna Carta stated that no one could be imprisoned unlawfully, and the first recorded use of this provision was in 1305, but Habeas Corpus as we know it today was not made law until 1679. Although the law is still in effect, Habeas Corpus has not been continually used since 1679. It was suspended in 1793 when there were concerns that the French Revolution might inspire rebellion in England. It was also suspended several times in the 20th century. Internment (detention without charge) was employed in World War I and II, and during many periods of the conflict in Northern Ireland in the later 20th century. Today, detention without charge is back on the political agenda in the debates surrounding anti-terror legislation.

British Library
[emphasis added]

Swedish law does not recognize habeas corpus "tradition". As fjallstrom has illustrated, Swedish law does not distinguish prosecutor and "judicial authority". A prosecutor may detain ("arrest") a suspect (the "accused") without a hearing of charge(s) of the crime(s) ("arraignment") presented by his or her accuser to a court for preliminary adjudication of  evidence and plea said to warrant custody of the suspect to the state.

[I wonder, too, if either UK or Swedish law even recognizes the principle of the 5th Amd. (US Constitution) given prosecutors' reliance on interrogation to make its case.]

The UK abandoned habeas corpus "tradition" just for Assange's case. That decision must appear kinda tragic and comical to Assange who is imprisoned in Ecuador's embassy. Should he leave, the MPS will arrest him, again, and probably as you say, "happily parceled him onto the next Air Amerikkka flight out of Prestwick".

To Guantánamo or Leavenworth? The US committed habeas corpus "tradition" a long, long time ago to the bin of "nice to have but not mission-critical" to democratic processes.  most infamously in the era of the GWOT for Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and more recently for the purpose of "paving the way for non-judicial actions" (2010) and condemning Wikileaks personnel, a "non-state hostile intelligence service"(2017).

It's such fine-tuned observances of law and order that separate enlightened states from the retaliation that plagues lesser republics like Turkey that despise "freedom of speech".

So, yeah: Assange's fear of arbitrary, consecutive sentences of imprisonment by any and each of those "actors" is reasonable.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 08:29:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - 15 - 21 May 2017
A prosecutor may detain ("arrest") a suspect (the "accused") without a hearing of charge(s) of the crime(s) ("arraignment") presented by his or her accuser to a court for preliminary adjudication of  evidence and plea said to warrant custody of the suspect to the state.

Yes, but anhållan is for a maximum of three days. This did not happen with Assange, which one of the womens lawyers has complained about. So this is kind of moot.

Then the suspect needs to be released or häktad, which I have translated to remanded. Remand is decided by a court of law and normally with both the accused and defense  attorneys present, the procedure is called a remand hearing. Remand is for a maximum of 14 days, but can be issued multiple times. Remand in absentia does not appear to have a time limit as such.

Since Assange was not present, he was represented by his defense attorneys. Remand was appealed and after the appelation process was completed a European Arrest Warrant was issued.

So no, it is not only up to the prosecutor to decide remand.

And he has not been charged because that happens after the suspect has been heard and served. Assange refuses to be served, and the prosecutor is now giving up for now, because she can't advance the case. He does know what he is suspected of and he has been well reprensented at each step in the judicial process. His remand in absentia has been appealed time and agian, and the last time the Supreme Court critiqued the prosecutor for not advancing the case. Thus he even got Sweden and Ecuador to make an international treaty in order for him to be interviewed at the embassy.

Yes, he may have perfectly reasonable suspicions that he would be whisked away to a US torture central, but that has nothing to do with the anglo-centric critique of the forms of the Swedish judicial process. Or his previous claim that the actions he is accused of does not constitute rape under UK law (UK courts disagrred, so he seems to have dropped that now). It would be like escaping anglo-saxon law and claim that the court is anyway corrupt because I wasn't even questioned before being charged and besides the court has no nämndemän. The horrors!

The case may even be bullshit, or he raped that girl, but now we will probably never know as there won't be a trial.

As I have been saying for years, the only real issue is Assange's fear of being unlawfully extradited to the US. Which is valid, but he should stick with that and not pile on weaker arguments.

by fjallstrom on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 12:03:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the fun in only ever saying one thing about the most significant situation in one's life. The Knight who says Ni not-with-standing?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 03:32:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least 22 dead, 50 injured, in suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena - Guardian
At least 22 people, including children, have been killed and 59 injured in a suicide bombing at a crowded pop concert in Manchester, the most deadly attack in Britain in a decade.

The horror unfolded at about 10.30pm on Monday at the end of a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande, whose music is popular with children and teenagers.

The attack, which took place in the foyer area of the arena, left hundreds of people fleeing in terror, with young people at the concert separated from their parents in the chaos. It left carnage inside the concert venue, with medics describing treating wounds consistent with shrapnel injury.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 06:53:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Terrible. I can only hope that this doesn't spark some sort of backlash against the muslim community

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 07:24:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My window into Nordic bed wetting racists and their very serious conservative enablers is already filling with piss and shit. <runs around covered in crap, hair on fire, shouting "THE CALIPHATE IS COMING, BURN THE BROWN PEOPLE.">
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 09:34:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is making the rounds in Swedish media.

EU-Kommission fordert mehr Geld für den Eurozone

Brisantes Papier: Die EU-Kommission will den Euro bis 2025 in allen 27 Staaten einführen. Neue Fonds für die Eurozone fordert sie auch, vielleicht auch einen Euro-Haushalt.  

Some good in there, though the aspect Swedish media is focused on is the claim that the euro will be joined by all EU-countries by 2025, the Commission is claiming that is a misunderstanding.

by fjallstrom on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 12:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Den" Eurozone?
by generic on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 02:15:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They've fixed it to "Euroraum"....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 02:50:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In honour or Trump's awarding of Corsica to Italy, here is a chance to practice your Corsu.
U presidente Trump hà publicatu nant'à u so contu Facebook a mappa di u so viaghju in Auropa, Israellu è Arabia.

Ma a carta geugraffica di l'Italia ghjè un pocu sferente da cum'è tutti a cunniscemu... ghjà una penisula, incù trè isule : Sicilia, Sardegna è... Corsica !

Ché u presidente americanu sia in realità... un irredentistu talianu ? O solo ignurante ?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 24th, 2017 at 08:40:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump-Macron Handshake: White-Knuckled, Finger-Crushing Male Peacocking - Newsweek
It's well-documented at this point that President Donald Trump plays an odd game of dominance when he shakes hands--he contorts, jostles and pulls the person he's greeting to make sure he's in charge of the shake. But newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron seems to have studied the American president and was prepared for Trump's odd handshake tactics Thursday when the two met in Brussels.

While seated, Macron gripped Trump's hand very firmly, and by the end, the U.S. president's hand had seemingly gone limp. Trump looked more than ready for his counterpart to let go.

Reporters on the scene noticed. "The two presidents, each wearing dark suits and blue ties (Trump's was thick and royal blue; Macron's was skinny and navy) sat in antique cream-upholstered arm chairs, with two American and French flags behind them," wrote Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker in a pool report. "They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other's hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening."

Later, when a reporter posted to Twitter that Trump seemed to just want his hand back by the end of the shake, Rucker tweeted, "Yep. Trump tried twice to release and Macron held on tight."

Also, this

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri May 26th, 2017 at 09:18:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Sorta the anti Trump twitter feed.

by generic on Fri May 26th, 2017 at 10:38:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:23:27 AM EST
IMF urges Germany to hike wages and invest

In a report released on Monday and following the IMF's annual "Article IV" meeting with the German government, the global crisis lender largely praised Europe's biggest economy, but said there was room for improvement.

Germany's large and persistent current account surplus - 8.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year - reflected high domestic savings and better investment opportunities abroad, the Washington-based lender said.

Therefore, Germany should embrace a set of coordinated fiscal and structural policies to safeguard its strengths and address remaining challenges, including reducing external imbalances.

by Zwackus on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 01:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMF should send a note to gov'ts of UK and USA, too. That way both nations can fix pricing of private-sector, non-farm labor that is mutually advantageous. Like magic.
The proportion of people in the poorest fifth who spend more than a third of their income on housing costs has increased in the last ten years and is now at almost 40%.

In 2014/15, 38% of those in the poorest fifth spent more than a third of their net income on housing costs; the proportion is 8% for those in the middle fifth and 2% for those in the richest fifth.

Net income is the total income of a household minus any direct taxes such as income tax and Council Tax. It includes the value of housing benefit. Household costs are a household's total housing costs including gross rent - the actual amount of rent that a household would have to pay if it did not qualify for housing benefit.

The proportion of people in the poorest fifth spending more than a third of their income on housing costs did not change much between 1994/95 and 2004/05. Between 2004/05 and 2008/09 there was a large increase, up from 28% to 37%. Between 2008/09 and 2014/15 there was again little change.

Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2016 (MPSE)

So what does Mashvisor claim is the reasons real estate investors should discriminate against voucher holders? I'll take each reason they provide and explain why it's not true.
[... for example ...]
San Jose, California. The rent limits are $1,773 for a 1 bedroom, $2,220 for a 2 bedroom, $3,078 for a 3 bedroom and $3,545 for a 4 bedroom.

Another Reason Voucher Holders Are Having a Hard Time Finding Landlords Willing to Accept Their Section 8 Voucher

HUD actually honors speculative RE mortgages across the nation and pays promptly.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 10:55:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[T]hose with substantial savings or with rich parents are safe as houses, regardless of preferred geographical location.

This is especially true in Amsterdam where buyers usually put up between €50,000 to €70,000 to buy a house or apartment.

Housing rent rises spread out to Amsterdam suburbs, commuter towns

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 12:44:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 05:18:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece adopts more austerity measures in bailout bid

Greece's parliament has approved a new package of austerity measures needed to release the next instalment of its multi-billion-dollar bailout.

The tax rises and further cuts to pensions were sought by Greece's foreign creditors.

As MPs voted, anti-austerity protesters clashed with police in central Athens.

Eurozone finance ministers meet on Monday to decide if Greece has done enough to receive a €7.5bn (£6.4bn; $8.3bn) loan plus debt relief.

by Zwackus on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 12:47:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This horrible feeling of Groundhog day.

Every now and again, we read reports that Germany has got it and is seeking to change the path of the Eurozone, which we should therefore seek to strengthen, or something.

And then, quietly, they collect another pint of blood.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 06:49:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:23:51 AM EST
In Wisconsin, ID law proved insurmountable for many voters

By one estimate, 300,000 eligible voters in the state lacked valid photo IDs heading into the election; it is unknown how many people did not vote because they didn't have proper identification. But it is not hard to find the Navy veteran whose out-of-state driver's license did not suffice, or the dying woman whose license had expired, or the recent graduate whose student ID was deficient -- or Harris, who at 66 made her way to her polling place despite chronic lung disease and a torn ligament in her knee.

She had lost her driver's license just before Election Day. Aware of the new law, she brought her Social Security and Medicare cards as well as a county-issued bus pass that displayed her photo.

Not good enough. She had to cast a provisional ballot that ended up not being counted.

by Zwackus on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 05:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump shared classified information with Russia

President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about so-called Islamic State (IS) to Russia's foreign minister, officials have told US media.

The information came from a partner of the US which had not given the US permission to share it with Russia, says the Washington Post.

It happened when Mr Trump met Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office last week, says the paper.

But a senior security official has said the report is not true.

I find it hard to get worked up over Trump/Russia news. It reveals nothing that we did not already know about his utter craven incompetence, and the only bodies that could act upon the knowledge in any way are under the control of him or his allies. Republicans are not going to investigate a Republican president, and Trump can fire anyone in a government agency that tries to investiagte him, and there is nothing anyone can do about it until the 2018 election.

by Zwackus on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 01:49:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... there is nothing anyone can do about it until the 2018 election.

That's not true.  One truly fearful individual on the inside could end this entire nightmare.  But what would inspire that patriot?

Question: This whole bit about nuclear codes and the "nuclear football"?  Face it: The Emperor will not go quietly into this goodnight (I'm so literary, as I pet Truffles at midnight.) So if he feels REALLY threatened, what can he do with his nuclear options, and who can stop him?  You will not get rid of him peacefully.  At 70 years old he feels he has nothing to lose and everything to retain, humanity be damned!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 06:56:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Winners and Losers of the Recent Nuclear Holocaust -- by DAN CLUCHEY
The nation was recently rocked by retaliatory nuclear blasts that have turned much of America into a barren wasteland, decimating the population, triggering the rise of firestorms and supervolcanoes, and generally bringing civilization to the brink of collapse. Let's take a look at the political fallout.
by das monde on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 08:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gallows humor at its finest.  Thank You!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 11:38:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is true, if you believe Russian meddling and interference with the "democratic process" in the USA not only elected Mr Trump the POTUS but ahh unexpectedly entrenched the majority of Republican Party seats in both chambers of the Congress. Untold millions of eligible voters have denied any responsiblity for the outcome ... because their provisional ballots went uncounted, I suppose.

What else but RT-media mind control of hundreds of thousands of WaPoo abd innerboob subscribers could explain the ambivalence of Republican partisans for their leader ("Not MY President!") before, during, and after the general election?! Why, I'll never forget that EXPLOSIVE EXPOSE on Tom Ryan which revealed his tragic double-idenity as triple-spy, or traitor to the former-Soviet republic and true American patriot.

You should thank RT for its exhaustive coverage and prediction of Nate Silver's predictions of US congressional races.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 10:22:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To put this in perspective, from today's Naked Capitalism
But, you know, can I say one more thing about the '90s that connect it with what's going on today? In 1991, we had George Herbert Walker Bush in the White House. It was still the Soviet Union, Gorbachev was still in power for the rest of the year, and a warning came from our ambassador in Moscow, Jack Matlock, which was passed on to the White House. He had inside information from sources, from confidential sources, that a coup attempt was being planned. And, by the way, of course it happened in August of that year. That information came from our Ambassador Matlock, from his sources in Moscow, to the White House. George Bush had been instructed that this was highly sensitive, do not reveal the source of the information, keep it confidential. Bush fouled up, and within hours, he got on the phone to Moscow, a line that was open, monitored by the KGB, trying to reach Gorbachev, and he revealed the information, and he revealed the source, which went straight to the KGB. This was an unbelievable breach of confidentiality, dangerous, potentially deadly results, and the greatest irony is that George Herbert Walker Bush had been Director of the CIA before.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 09:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rogers is the only candidate to be endorsed by the FBI Agents Association, or FBIAA.
[Sen. Lindsey] Graham said that picking someone from within the agency ranks or someone with zero political background would be prudent and would allow for that person to hit the ground running on their first day.

Fourteen Candidates Make Short List for FBI Director

walp, that narrows the finalists to crazy Trey and Ray.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 11:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump : FBI inquriy into Russia links 'hurts US terribly'

President Donald Trump says the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee the inquiry into Russian influence on his election "hurts our country terribly".

He said the US was being made to look "divided, mixed up", media reported.

Earlier, he tweeted that the decision was "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history".

Former FBI director Robert Mueller has been selected to lead the inquiry.

"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country," Mr Trump told CNN and CNBC.

The sad thing is that the US could really stand to develop a more productive and positive relationship with Russia ... but an incompetent populist puppet who is too stupid to realize just how far he stepped over the line is not really the one to do it.

by Zwackus on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 12:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 04:37:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 04:51:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They could have figured that out by looking at Hoover, Carter, and GW Bush.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 05:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump and Bush were particularly awful businessmen.
Don't know about Hoover.

And Carter was a pretty good president. Just happened not to be liked by the oil lobby because he understood that we needed to free ourselves from oil.

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

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 06:51:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From Wikipedia
In 1908, Hoover became an independent mining consultant, traveling worldwide until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. He left Bewick, Moreing & Co and, setting out on his own, eventually ended up with investments on every continent and offices in San Francisco, London, New York City, St. Petersburg, Paris and Mandalay, Burma.[He specialized in rejuvenating troubled mining operations, taking a share of the profits in exchange for his technical and financial expertise.He had his second successful venture with the British firm Burma Corporation, again producing silver, lead, and zinc in large quantities at the Namtu Bawdwin Mine, where he caught malaria in 1907. He also helped increase copper production in Kyshtym, Russia, through the use of pyritic smelting. Then he agreed to manage one of the Russian Czar's Cabinet Mines located in the Altai Mountains. The oxidized lead-zinc-silver ore contained copper and gold as well. According to Hoover, "It developed probably the greatest and richest single body of ore known in the world" before the Communist Revolution.


By 1914, Hoover was a very wealthy man, with an estimated personal fortune of $4 million. He was once quoted as saying "If a man has not made a million dollars by the time he is forty, he is not worth much". By 1914, Hoover stood eventually to obtain what he later described as "a large fortune from these Russian industries, probably more than is good for anybody"

Together with his wife, he also made the first English translation of Agricola's De re metallica, probably avoided by classicists because of their unfamiliarity with the English vocabulary needed.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 07:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is back in the news.

Flynn and other advisers with the Trump campaign were in touch with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former US officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.
In addition to the six phone calls involving Kislyak, the communications described to Reuters involved another 12 calls, emails or text messages between Russian officials or people considered to be close to Putin and Trump campaign advisers.
Beyond Medvedchuk and Kislyak, the identities of the other Putin-linked participants in the contacts remain classified and the names of Trump advisers other than Flynn have been "masked" in intelligence reports on the contacts because of legal protections on their privacy as American citizens. However, officials can request that they be revealed for intelligence purposes.

US officials: `Back channel' between Trump and Putin discussed

No Flynn Tapes tho.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 11:37:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon May 22nd, 2017 at 08:09:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 22nd, 2017 at 09:05:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Sun May 28th, 2017 at 05:30:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing will ever be enough for the GOP to turn on Trump. I used to think that losing elections, or at least the threat of it, wold do it. But the GOP are still winning special elections, even when their candidates  beat up journalists.

And with gerryandering on an industrial scale, I think they now feel they will never lose and so see no reason to care

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 28th, 2017 at 08:31:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Booker is not in the GOP - though it's an understandable mistake to make.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 28th, 2017 at 09:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the Kushners are donating, then he's deefinitely on the plutocrat radar as a friendly. And just as Labour are discovering with the divide between the Blairites and the Corbynites, some people join the wrong party for the wrong reasons and will, over time, find themselves in the wrong place politically.

Quisling filth like Booker just need to join the GOP and be done with it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 28th, 2017 at 09:29:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Booker has a few inspiring bits in his personal history (rescuing people from burning buildings in his off time sorts of things), and looks good on TV - his name used to be floated as potentialyl presidential. But, his centrist shilling is so, so over the top that he has faded entirely from that conversation, and in activist circles is a bit of an embarassment.
by Zwackus on Mon May 29th, 2017 at 05:29:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't make this stuff up. RT
The White House is under fire for omitting the name of the Prime Minister of Luxembourg's husband while captioning a picture of every other leader's spouse at the G7 Summit.

The official White House photo, posted onto its Facebook page Saturday, included the Queen of Belgium along with the other halves of leaders from the US, France, Turkey, Iceland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Norway and Luxembourg.

However, the photo's original caption left out Gauthier Destenay, the husband of Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.


Not letting the administration off lightly, many have taken to social media to criticize the omission, saying either incompetence or downright "homophobia" was behind the snub.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 28th, 2017 at 09:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:24:06 AM EST
China's Xi lays out $900bn Silk Road vision amid claims of empire-building

Oh No! China is using development aid to sway the political loyalties of other countries! How can such dastardliness be tolerated???

However, there are also deep-rooted doubts, with some suspecting Beijing is using its "win-win" project as a ploy to lure less powerful nations into its economic orbit and boost its geopolitical power. Privately, western diplomats voice concerns about China's true intentions and how much involvement non-Chinese companies will be allowed to have in Belt and Road projects. Only one G7 leader, the Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni, is in Beijing for Xi's summit.

In a statement released on Saturday, India, the plan's most vocal critic, cautioned China against pursuing projects that would create an "unsustainable debt burden for communities", damage the environment or infringe upon other countries' sovereignty. Such initiatives "must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality", it said.

India may be mad about the investment going Pakistan's way, because anything that benefits Pakistan must be evil. Or they may have better reasons.

by Zwackus on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 05:42:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing I don't get is that there is a gap between China and Pakistan where they must either go through Afghanistan (the Wakhan corridor, a designated nature reserve where you'd imagine a road should be prevented) or through the top of Kashmir province, which might be problematic given the expressed hostility of the Indian Govt to the project.

A road and, presumably, a railway, through the Wakhan corridor wouldn't have to be terrible, but probably will be. So long as they don't mess with the site of of one of Alexander the Great's more famous battles anyway

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 08:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The other Guardian article ("World's biggest building project aims to make China great again") has a map showing exactly what is planned.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 08:39:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, they've re-badged N Kashmir as Pakistan. that explains my confusion

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 12:42:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's dream of a new Silk Road runs into hurdles at its first stop: Pakistan
Families were still at home when the bulldozers came. Children were returning from school exams. The residents of nearly 80 apartments were given hours to vacate Postal Colony -- housing allotted to low-level postal workers -- to make way for a new metro train station.

In a chaotic evacuation before the twin tenements were razed, residents pelted stones at police. Witnesses said one woman choked to death when her scarf got caught in the wheels of a moving rickshaw.

The mid-March scene in central Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city, exemplified a growing outcry over a light-rail project that is being touted as a symbol of Pakistan's economic development and its friendship with the financier, China.

The $1.6-billion Orange Line is one of the first major overseas infrastructure projects China is financing under President Xi Jinping's vision of forging a modern Silk Road.

[...] Judges have blocked construction near 11 shrines, churches and historical sites. Yet the demolitions of Postal Colony and other adjacent properties continue. The chief minister of Punjab province, Shehbaz Sharif, promises the train will be completed by the end of 2017 -- months before his brother, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, faces reelection.

by das monde on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 03:00:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China urges Pakistan to give army lead role in Silk Road project
The Pakistan military, which has detachments of civil, mechanical and electrical engineers, has had decades of experience with large infrastructure projects and analysts say the army is well placed to supervise the corridor.

But some politicians warn that military involvement will expand the army's footprint on civilian matters and give the armed forces an even greater say in policymaking.

Security along the route, which traverses many volatile regions, is also a factor. "Because this project runs from Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar, the CPEC's route is very long and high-risk," said Huang Rihan at the Center for China and Globalisation.

A 15,000-strong army-led security force has already been deployed to protect Chinese personnel assigned to the project.

by das monde on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 03:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brazil's Temer : 'I won't resign' amid corruption allegations

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Brazilian President Michel Temer on Thursday rejected calls for his resignation, saying he will fight allegations that he endorsed the paying of hush money to a former lawmaker jailed for corruption.

Even in this country weary from the constant drip of revelations of a wide-ranging corruption investigation, the incendiary accusation set off a firestorm and Brazil's highest court opened an investigation. Stocks and the currency plunged and rumors circulated that Temer would step down.

Instead, the embattled leader remained defiant in a national address to respond to allegations he was recorded endorsing payments to former lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha. The existence and the contents of the recording were reported Wednesday night by the Globo newspaper.

Really, I don't see why he should have to resign. Corruption is expected from conservatives. I mean, he and his party used an accounting proccedure as an excuse to impeach the left-leaning government, and has proceeded to ram through a neoliberal reform agenda despite being unelected -- doesn't he deserve the benefit of the doubt here? He's doing God's work, after all that horrible growth and development in Brazil over the past 10 years.

by Zwackus on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 12:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order banning smoking in public across the second-most populous country in south-east Asia, creating one of the region's strictest anti-tobacco laws.

The ban, which carries a maximum penalty of four months in jail and a fine of 5,000 pesos ($100), covers both indoor and outdoor smoking, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said on Thursday.

It also covers existing bans on tobacco advertisements, promotions or sponsorship, which are subject to fines of up to 400,000 pesos and maximum jail terms of three years and possible revocation of business permits.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 08:30:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So he goes after Western-approved drugs too. That is interesting.

Though I must admit I don't know what the punishment is if you get caught in Sweden breaking the ban on smoking in public places indoors. Probably a fine.

by fjallstrom on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 09:24:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the Philippines, it's likely to be summary execution... Good incentive if you're trying to cut down

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 09:24:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not quite that severe.

European Tribune - 15 - 21 May 2017

a maximum penalty of four months in jail and a fine of 5,000 pesos ($100)
by fjallstrom on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 12:05:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Independent
India has cancelled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations - about the same as the total amount in the UK - with the price for solar electricity "free falling" to levels once considered impossible.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 05:18:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if only such clear-eyed thinking informed energy planning in the UK

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 05:30:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Washington Post
A former neo-Nazi who converted to Islam is accused of killing his two roommates because they "disrespected" his new faith, police said.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 24th, 2017 at 12:52:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Team Trump and international trade:

Trump calls Germans `bad, very bad,' vows to curb car imports: report - Politico

U.S. President Donald Trump said "the Germans are bad, very bad" during a meeting with EU leaders on Thursday, German newspapers reported.

According to people in the room during the meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and the U.S. president, Trump took issue with Germany's auto industry in particular.

"See the millions of cars they are selling in the U.S. Terrible. We will stop this," Trump said, according to Der Spiegel.

Juncker responded by supporting Germany, Der Spiegel said.


Trump Reportedly Called Germans `Very Bad,' Vowed To Stop German Car Sales In The U.S. - Huffpo

Another German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, reported that E.U. representatives felt their U.S. counterparts did not understand that the E.U. negotiates trade agreements as a single entity, rather than on a country-to-country basis. That is, the U.S. can negotiate trade deals with the E.U. as a whole, but not individually with the separate members of the E.U.

Der Spiegel reported that Gary Cohn, the director of Trump's National Economic Council, appeared to believe that the U.S. could negotiate different trade deals with Germany and Belgium.  

This is not the first time this basic misunderstanding has cropped up. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House in March, she had to explain how E.U. trade deals were negotiated almost a dozen times, a senior German official told the Times of London.

"Ten times Trump asked [Merkel] if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany. Every time she replied, `You can't do a trade deal with Germany, only the EU,'" the official said. "On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message, `Oh, we'll do a deal with Europe then.'"

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri May 26th, 2017 at 09:02:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we're getting to the stage where the book of "things the Trump administration doesn't understand" far outweighs the small pamphlet of things they do

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 27th, 2017 at 06:58:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Sun May 28th, 2017 at 04:01:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:24:29 AM EST
by generic on Sat May 20th, 2017 at 05:02:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing says "don't fuck with me" like an AK47 and a snow leopard. I want.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 09:25:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You may be badass, but you'll never be "Mongolian shepherd with an AK-47 and a pet snow leopard" badass.
by rifek on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 07:52:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Arctic stronghold of world's seeds flooded after permafrost melts

It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world's most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity's food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide "failsafe" protection against "the challenge of natural or man-made disasters".

But soaring temperatures in the Arctic at the end of the world's hottest ever recorded year led to melting and heavy rain, when light snow should have been falling. "It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that," said Hege Njaa Aschim, from the Norwegian government, which owns the vault.

why is there only one?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 20th, 2017 at 07:47:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Time for an international effort, send a sample of the earth's genetic diversity to a safe haven on one of the moons of Saturn, or wherever.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 09:30:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
cos after climate change ecosystem destruction and civilisation collapse we really need to have the seeds in somewhere we can access them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 10:47:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My subtext, as any sf reader will have realised, is that you also send a sample of humanity off the rock, in an attempt to save ourselves from the extinction event.

For me, the worst piece of ecological news of last year -- and it was a very bad year -- was that Venus used to have oceans of water, 900 million years ago. Just think about that for a minute.

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

by eurogreen on Mon May 22nd, 2017 at 06:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are more than one.  Norway's is the biggest with ~20 million seeds.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 06:38:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The vault was not breached, water seeped into the tunnel leading to the vault, according to the article in Forskning&Framsteg that seems to be the starting-point for the reporting. They have taken steps to ensure that water can't get into the tunnel again.

That shouldn't obscure the real news should be that when the vault was constructed in 2008, not having permafrost there was seen as unthinkable.

by fjallstrom on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 12:08:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon May 29th, 2017 at 06:27:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But if you want to re-impose the 50s mindset, then the idea of climate change must be ignored. America the Confident that recognises to let or hindrance to the imposition of its power and desires

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 29th, 2017 at 07:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:26:21 AM EST
by generic on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 05:44:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering the state of British politics, I wouldn't be quite so optimistic about the superior object recognition talents of the average British voter brain.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 16th, 2017 at 01:02:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:26:37 AM EST
The Petrograd Workers' and Soldiers' Soviet agrees to join a coalition government. Meanwhile, several commanding generals have resigned over the new policy allowing soldiers to vote on whether to obey orders. The Petrograd Soviet's main strategy seems to be encouraging Socialists in Germany and Austria to prevent their armies being used as "the executioners of Russian liberty."

The Turks [GERMAN ALLY] are supposedly deporting the Jewish population of Jaffa. During Passover, no less.

Today -100: May 16, 1917: A program of conquest helps us as little as a program of reconciliation to win victory and the war

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed May 17th, 2017 at 12:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Sun May 14th, 2017 at 09:26:57 AM EST
President Macron: Does he have what it takes to reform France?

Success is however far from certain, especially since Mr Macron's reformism seems to be as weak on a number of key issues.

The main open question regards public spending. France has the highest level of government expenditure in the OECD group of industrial countries. It is the only European OECD member that increased public spending between 2010 and 2014 (before inflation).

Mr Macron is not as bold on this issue as he is on others. His aim is only to curb the increase in public spending. But if he doesn't significantly bring down spending itself, he will have no leeway to push through some of his other reforms. He will find it difficult to be a French Tony Blair without the radical legacy of a Margaret Thatcher as a foundation.

Like that is a good thing? Bleah.

by Zwackus on Mon May 15th, 2017 at 04:16:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fires of hell are burning bright tonight. Do you smell all that fat burning ... hear the crackle, like bacon in the pan?  Wonderful!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 12:00:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for once your bad taste glee is entirely justified. Had a damn good laugh myself, Rupert next please

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 07:00:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frankly in a time when outright fascists run second place in elections and the "liberal" centre clutches their horseshoes as if their lives depended on it liberal norms of civility seem a tired joke.

by generic on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 07:46:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The weak minded are always being taking advantage ... the basis for all religions.  Fuck the idiots.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 05:43:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Good work everyone.

by generic on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 10:02:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I absolutely LOVE IT here at ET!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 04:46:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rachel Maddow On The Passing Of Roger Ailes: 'I Considered Him To Be A Friend' | Access Hollywood -
Rachel Maddow joins Access Hollywood Live's Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover and comments on the passing of former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Is it true that Rachel, who hosts the No. 1 primetime cable news show on Fox News' rival, MSNBC, knew Ailes as a mentor?

TV is incestual bullshit.

by generic on Sat May 20th, 2017 at 04:55:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps hatred towards Bill will do the same. More likely that it will be Bill's own hatred that gets him.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 05:09:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adam Troy-Castro on Facebook (via David Gerrold)

Bill O'Reilly wants us to know that the nation's hatred killed Roger Ailes.

No, you miserable blotchy-skinned hate-gibbon, you don't get to do that.

You don't get to do that when your own speech has an actual body count. You nightly called Dr. George Tiller a baby-killer until one of your listeners took you at your word and assassinated the guy. That's hatred killing a man, and you're responsible. You don't get to have blood on your hands and say that we mistreated poor Roger Ailes.

You don't get to spend years on end talking about all your hate-objects, Obama and Clinton and Nancy Pelosi and anybody else whose excoriation you could use to sell adult diapers, in terms that amounted to "Will no one free us of these troublesome priests," and shake your head mournfully at the coarsening of public discourse.

You don't get to report on the air that our marines slaughtered captive Nazis at Malmedy when in fact the Nazis slaughtered our captive fighting men at Malmedy, when the false version of history can be clearly traced back to neo-Nazi literature from 1947, thus showing where you get your facts, and position yourself as the voice of kindness and understanding.

You don't get to dolefully shake your head that recently-recovered kidnap victim Shawn Hornbeck was a typical modern-day kid who likely enjoyed his carefree life with his abductor more than he liked living with his parents, this while he was free for less than twenty-four hours, prior to the subsequent discovery that the kid was raped daily for all his time in the monster's hands, and then open your goddamned filthy mouth with comments about the proper way to behave. You don't get to sexually harass women for decades and position yourself as the guy who gets to tell us we should have been nicer.

It is not a matter of politically disagreeing with you, Bill O'Reilly. Seriously, your personal conduct has been so vile that you would be almost as disgusting if your show had been all about the virtues of stamp collecting.

You don't get to open your mouth on this subject. Go to hell.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 06:42:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill O'Reilly wants us to know that the nation's hatred killed Roger Ailes.

Wait a minute! Is asshole Bill claiming my intense hatred of Ailes and everything Fox actually is responsible for Ailes' death?  Oh, put that on my resume!  That's one of my top 10 accomplishments ... I won't even ask to be paid (but I will ... bricks of hundreds will do.)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 11:07:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rolling stone - Matt Taibbi - Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever

When I mentioned to one of my relatives that I was writing about the death of Ailes, the response was, "Say that you hope he's reborn as a woman in Saudi Arabia."

Ailes has no one but his fast-stiffening self to blame for this treatment. He is on the short list of people most responsible for modern America's vicious and bloodthirsty character.

We are a hate-filled, paranoid, untrusting, book-dumb and bilious people whose chief source of recreation is slinging insults and threats at each other online, and we're that way in large part because of the hyper-divisive media environment he discovered.

Ailes was the Christopher Columbus of hate.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat May 20th, 2017 at 07:43:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that just about covers it.  Now if they would just give the location of Ailes' grave so we can all go and piss on it ... the line is gonna be long.  Ladies ... either squat or bring a mayo jar.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat May 20th, 2017 at 01:07:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Watch here for updates.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat May 20th, 2017 at 01:20:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Money making idea ... T shirts with "I PISSED ON AILES GRAVE", with his photo lithoed.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 08:14:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I want all the people who betrayed my father to know that I'm coming after them, and hell is coming with me," Zachary Ailes, 17, said during a speech at the service, according to Lifezette.

Oh NO!! A little rich prick is coming after MEEEE for all the nasty things I posted at ET.  Where will I hide!! (Wimper wimper)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun May 21st, 2017 at 06:04:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 04:57:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
do I agree twitter's use of cookies? And will they distract the dog?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri May 19th, 2017 at 06:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Travelers Chant `Lock Him Up' As Man In Trump Hat Is Removed From United Plane
Passengers chanted "lock him up" as United Airlines had a man sporting a Donald Trump "Make America Great Again" campaign hat removed from a flight in Shanghai. The man delayed takeoff for hours as he was escorted from the flight for being belligerent, the airline confirmed in a statement Monday.

The incident is the latest in a slew of mid-air confrontations this year, with United hitting the headlines for an ugly incident involving a staff member. This time, passengers were reportedly upset with the unnamed man in the Trump campaign hat for refusing to allow anyone to sit next to him on Flight 187, apparently because he had been refused an upgrade.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue May 23rd, 2017 at 08:33:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
does anyone know why he thought he deserved an upgrade?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 24th, 2017 at 07:26:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We ever gonna get a new thread?
by Zwackus on Mon May 29th, 2017 at 05:30:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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