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

Aviation: outlook is grim at best

by Elco B Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 05:32:04 AM EST

I stole the titel from a press release from IATA.

Seeing the graph they are in full panic-mode now.

IATA is in conference in Istanbul (1 - 3 June IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit) and what is coming out there is worth a look.      

About Us
IATA is an international trade body, created some 60 years ago by a group of airlines. Today, IATA represents some 230 airlines comprising 94% of scheduled international air traffic. The organisation also represents, leads and serves the airline industry in general.

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LQD: Turmoil in the Netherlands

by Elco B Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 08:32:18 AM EST

Geert Wilders: riding the hype.

He is one of the best-known Dutch politicians. His views about Islam have offended Muslims and non-Muslims alike, within the Netherlands and around the world. He's the most famous bleach-blond since Marilyn Monroe. And he's about to release a highly controversial anti-Islam film, called Fitna, or "Ordeal" in Arabic.

About Fitna, the Netherlands and Wilders (see 10min.film below)

Very rarely has a film sparked off as much pre-release controversy as Dutch MP Geert Wilder's `Fitna,the movie'. Even without knowing what's in it, 'Fitna' has got the world asking questions. Questions about the man who made it and his motives, about the country he lives in where his film is allowed. Questions about that country's government - which issues warnings about the film but does nothing to stop it. And questions about the position of Muslims in The Netherlands. The central character in this film is also struggling with these questions, and decides to travel to The Netherlands in search of answers.


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Belgium: Federal Government Formation: day 176

by Elco B Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 at 01:50:23 PM EST

I'm typing this when still new speculations are coming in  after the declaration of our prime minister (G.Verhofstadt)at 18h30.

The Belgian political situation is complex and very hard to explain. Even the majority of Belgians have no clue what all the fuzz is about.
I'm not a specialist but I tried to understand what's going on, but my feelings now about the whole situation are best described as "ridiculous!")

For an oversight of what happened since the elections of 10 June see the excellent pages on Wikipedia: 2007 Belgian government formation.


Read more... (12 comments, 381 words in story)

Little boy and hell on earth.

by Elco B Mon Aug 6th, 2007 at 10:14:49 AM EST

That fateful summer, 8:15. The roar of a B-29 breaks the morning calm. A parachute opens in the blue sky. Then suddenly, a flash, an enormous blast - silence - hell on Earth.

The eyes of young girls watching the parachute were melted. Their faces became giant charred blisters. The skin of people seeking help dangled from their fingernails. Their hair stood on end. Their clothes were ripped to shreds. People trapped in houses toppled by the blast were burned alive. Others died when their eyeballs and internal organs burst from their bodies-Hiroshima was a hell where those who somehow survived envied the dead.

Within the year, 140,000 had died. Many who escaped death initially are still suffering from leukemia, thyroid cancer, and a vast array of other afflictions.

But there was more. Sneered at for their keloid scars, discriminated against in employment and marriage, unable to find understanding for profound emotional wounds, survivors suffered and struggled day after day, questioning the meaning of life.

August 6, 2007
Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba
The City of Hiroshima


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Belgian election blog (updated)

by Elco B Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 03:43:14 AM EST

  Federal elections are held every four years in Belgium.

Today 7.7 million Belgians go to the polls to elect a new Federal Parliament. Voters will choose a new Chamber of Representatives (150 members) and 40 senators.

Belgium is one of the few democracies where voting is obligatory. Anyone not turning up to vote risks a fine.

And the Belgian elections too - afew

Updated here: final Belgium vote results

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Flower power.

by Elco B Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 08:23:43 PM EST

Euh... yes, I'm old enough to write first hand about Flower Power..... Amsterdam......Paradiso.... end 1960's and early 70's but no, no memoires yet.

  This story is about the real flowers from today, the ones we buy as a gift, a present or attention for our loved ones, specially with the newyear's parties and gatherings ahead.

And yes, as so many things today, flowers are globalised.  

Read more... (8 comments, 519 words in story)

Gueuze ? Geuze ? Geus ?

by Elco B Sat Aug 26th, 2006 at 11:35:34 AM EST


In the LondonMeet Shoe Blogging diary, Helen proves again she knows about beer, even Belgian beer. I must admit she demonstrates a more extensive knowledge than I have despite being Flemish and having three breweries 'around the corner'.
In the thread afew mentioned 'Gueuze' might be a Flemish word. Well he was right, partially ! But to explain we need a bit of history and we will discover multicultural influences already exist in Europe since a long time.

from the diaries

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***DR CONGO: Elections

by Elco B Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 03:59:21 AM EST


Sunday 30 July 2006 is a historic day in DR CONGO (DRC). For the first time in 46 years democratic elections are organised.  This morning the message came that a Belgian unmanned aerial vehicle (Israeli made B-Hunter) crashed in the streets of Kinshasa wounding two. Belgian military are in DRC as part of the European force to keep an eye on the elections.((Operation EUFOR RD Congo).). Is this the omen the elections will crash also?

From the front page ~ whataboutbob

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***DR Congo : facts and figures

by Elco B Sat Jul 29th, 2006 at 03:41:08 AM EST

Sunday, 30 July elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (ex Zaire) for the first time in 46 years.

Political propaganda African style.....

from the frontpage

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D.R. CONGO: Minerals Flow Abroad, Misery Remains***

by Elco B Thu Jul 13th, 2006 at 08:41:01 AM EST

International companies and local elites in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are pocketing revenues from copper and cobalt production instead of sharing it with local communities or spending it to reduce poverty. This is a nice sentence, written by Emad Mekay in his article from today released by IPS.. It is a summary of a report by Global Witness on the ongoing pillage of DR Congo.

                                             Local mining in Katanga.

***back from front page

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Special Planes = link-page

by Elco B Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 10:49:08 AM EST

Comments >> (2 comments)

Special planes : Fuel !

by Elco B Sun Jun 11th, 2006 at 01:15:43 PM EST

When browsing  US-aviation sites I came across this statement:

If I'm doing the math correctly (but someone might want to check me--it's been decades since I used numbers), the Air Force needs 8.8 million barrels of jet fuel a day to stay aloft, .4% of all the oil used in the world.

I have no idea if this statement is correct, but indeed intuition says , what the US Airforce is burning up, is probably a huge quantity.  So , I looked for some figures.
Also I found something is moving in that 'market-niche'.

            A US strategic bomber, a B-52, refuelling mid-air.

Read more... (11 comments, 888 words in story)

Special Planes: The Pixelito.

by Elco B Sat May 27th, 2006 at 02:42:42 PM EST

In an earlier diary, I wrote about the biggest plane, the Mriya, now it is about one of te smallest helicopters ever build (yes, I'm an extremist): it's unbelievable small and it's Belgian: the Pixelito helicopter.

  • Weight inclusive battery : 6,9 grams (NO typo!).

  • 4 channel infra-red control.

The hamster weighs 120 grammes.

Adult man remain children: only the toys change and get more expensive.  

I forgot the author of that quote but the author of this plane challenges this, because far more is at stake.

Read more... (6 comments, 877 words in story)

Racism in Flanders (Belgium)

by Elco B Mon May 22nd, 2006 at 03:47:48 AM EST

(comment promoted by DoDo)

Sat. 20 may 2006  Bomako (Mali) : funeral of Oulematou Niangadou (24) attended by more than 1000 people inclusive premier Ousmane Issoufi Maïga.Wen.17 may Antwerp (Belgium) : Funeral of 2 year old Luna attended by more than 1000 people: politicians were asked by the parents to stay away.

The facts which led to these funerals:

  1. On 11 May, a young man (18) enters a shop in Antwerp (Belgium). He buys a hunting riffle with 15 shells.
  2. With the riffle, 'holding it like a cowboy' as a witness recalls, he enters one of the center streets of the city.
  3. From 5m he shoots a woman in the back; the woman of Turkish origin was sitting near a park reading Flemish poetry (!) to learn more of the Flemish language.
  4. The young man walks calmly further in the street, from only a few meters away, he shoots a black woman and a white child she had with her, both died immediately.
  5. An alert and courageous policeman goes in direct confrontation with the shooter and can shoot him down with his pistol.

The Turkish woman, severly wounded, survives.
The shooter also survives.

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Special Planes : the nEUROn

by Elco B Sat May 13th, 2006 at 05:05:15 PM EST

Impression of what the NEURON is going to look like.
Neurons are a major class of cells in the human nervous system and their primary role is to process and transmit neural information. I know this is a ridiculous short description but the name of this plane indicates what it's designed for.
 Ok, there is EURO in it and the plane is a major European project but military can think !
 This development of new 'toys' shows how they think and how industry and governments waste our money and resources.

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Participatory Economics : 10 claims

by Elco B Sat May 6th, 2006 at 05:04:47 PM EST

Participatory Economics (Parecon for short) is a type of economy proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalism. The underlying values are equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self management.  Znet organises from 1 to 6 june his first Z Sessions on Vision and Strategy in Woods Hole,Mass. US.
The purpose is :

  • To explore ideas about long term vision and related long and short term strategy and program, to reach agreements and clarify persisting differences
  • To facilitate people laying a basis for working together
  • To facilitate people establishing joint projects
  • To generate enough agreement to initiate some joint or collective work
  • To generate enough agreement to initiate continuing and/or enlarging group connections

Fot this sessions, Michael Albert has prepared a paper offering 10 claims about vision and strategy of participatory economics.

Inspiring stuff:

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Special planes: OO-DLL hit above Bagdad .

by Elco B Sun Apr 30th, 2006 at 10:04:05 AM EST

In the morning of 22 november 2003 a civilian freighter plane was hit by a missile but manages to return safely to the airport of Bagdad.
This news item covers story's about an illegal war, armed resistance, craftsmanship of an aircrew and ethics of war-reporting.


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Special Planes

by Elco B Thu Apr 20th, 2006 at 04:31:32 PM EST

Visual link page to the Special Planes diaries

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Deregulation doesn't fly ?

by Elco B Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 03:06:13 PM EST

This short diary is about the Association of European Airlines (AEA), competitiveness and  the EU.


Read more... (2 comments, 292 words in story)

Special planes : The Antonov-225 "Mriya".

by Elco B Sat Apr 8th, 2006 at 01:39:02 PM EST

As suggested by Soj in a previous diary, a short story about the Ukrainian-Russian "Mriya" (Dream) An-225.   This is the largest plane ever built in the world  measered by lift capacity : 250 tonnes ! The Antonov-125 takes 170, the Airbus 380(freighter) 150 and the C5-Galaxy 120 tonnes up in the air.


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