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8/31/05

TIME.com: Is Global Warming Fueling Katrina?

TIME.com

Is Global Warming Fueling Katrina?

Warm ocean temperatures are a key ingredient for monster hurricanes, prompting some scientists to believe that global warming is exacerbating our storm troubles. One thing’s for sure: hurricanes were around a long, long time before human beings began chopping down rainforests and fouling the atmosphere. To get such a tempest going, you don’t need much more than ocean temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit; a cool, wet atmosphere above and a warm, wet one near the surface; and a preexisting weather disturbance with a bit of spin to it far enough from the equator (at least 300 miles) so that the rotation of the Earth amplifies the rotation of the storm. The more intense the storm becomes, the more the temperature of its core climbs, accelerating the spin, exacerbating the storm, and leading to the meteorological violence we call a hurricane. And violent it can be: The heat released in an average hurricane can equal the electricity produced by the U.S. in a single year. One especially sobering study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that hurricane wind speeds have increased about 50% in the past 50 years. And since warm oceans are such a critical ingredient in hurricane formation, anything that gets the water warming more could get the storms growing worse. Global warming, in theory at least, would be more than sufficient to do that. While the people of New Orleans may not see another hurricane for years, the next one they do see could make even Katrina look mild.

Forbes.com: European govt bonds surge as US economic confidence dented

Forbes.com

European govt bonds surge as US economic confidence dented

European government bonds surged as the market's concerns over economic growth in the US, the world's engine room over the last few years, were fuelled by disappointing economic news. While government figures showed the US economy grew by less than expected in the second quarter, a closely-watched survey indicated that the manufacturing sector in the crucial mid-west region retrenched sharply during August. Official figures from the US Commerce Department showed US GDP grew by only 3.3 pct in the second quarter on an annualised basis, compared with 3.4 pct in the original estimate. Analysts had not expected any change.

EUPolitix.com - MEPs call for EU constitution re-run in France

EUPolitix.com

MEPs call for EU constitution re-run in France

France should try again in two years to ratify the EU constitution, said the leader of the European Parliament’s biggest political grouping on Wednesday. Hans-Gert Poettering, chairman of the EPP-ED group of centre-right MEPs, is suggesting that French presidential elections in 2007 could be a key factor.
Europe’s centre-right believe that a likely change of French leader should create a new political climate more conducive to either a fresh referendum or parliamentary ratification. “The signals I’m hearing from France is that a new president in 2007 would open a new route,” he said. Poettering denies that he is urging the ditching of current French President Jacques Chirac – himself a member of the centre-right EPP-ED pan-European grouping.

NewKherale.com: India-Europea Union business summit Sep 7

NewKherale.com

India-Europea Union business summit Sept. 7

India and the 25-member European Union (EU) will strengthen and consolidate their growing commercial relations during the sixth India-EU business summit being held here Sep 7. British Prime Minister Tony Blair will address the special plenary session of the day-long summit that will see top business leaders and officials from the two sides exploring new ways to deepen strategic business partnership between India and the EU. "The new face of Indian industry will get projected at the summit which will be the next stepping stone to building stronger India-EU relationship," N. Srinivasan, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), told reporters here Tuesday. "Earlier, Indian business interests in the EU revolved around IT, pharmaceuticals and service sectors. Now, manufacturing industries are eyeing the EU market," he said.

8/30/05

Press Roundtable: Democracy in Europe and Beyond

Scoop

"Press Roundtable: Democracy in Europe and Beyond
Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 10:11 am
Press Release: US State Department
Solidarity 25th Anniversary: Democracy in Europe and Beyond

Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
On-The-Record Press Roundtable
Washington, DC
August 23, 2005"

Solidarity as a foundation for European integration

EUROPA - Rapid - Press Releases:

"JoseManuel Barroso
President of the European Commission
Solidarity as a foundation for European integration
Conference “Solidarnosc to Freedom”
Varsaw, 30 August 2005
Conference “Solidarnosc to Freedom”
Varsaw, 30 August 2005

Professor Geremek, ladies and gentlemen

Not every anniversary is a cause for celebration, just as not every birthday is a cause for celebration. But today we can and should celebrate 25 years of Solidarność, and I am honoured as President of the European Commission to participate in this event.

I do not think this is the last anniversary of Solidarność which will be celebrated. I suspect that in 100, 200 years time what happened in Poland in 1980 will still be recognised as a very significant event in the history of Europe after the Second World War. It is one of those moments which will continue to grow in importance as it is viewed through the telescope of history.

Why? Because of the courage and determination of Solidarity’s leaders, which provided such an inspiration to so many. Because it showed the evidence of vibrant democratic life beneath the dull mud of communist dictatorship. Because Solidarność did not wither and die. It spread its roots wide and deep beneath the surface of political and social life in Poland, until it blossomed in the peaceful revolution of 1989. "

EU faces uphill struggle as it returns to work

EUobserver.com

"EU faces uphill struggle as it returns to work
30.08.2005 - 17:31 CET | By Honor Mahony

EUOBSERVER / ANALYSIS - With six weeks of summer break behind it, the EU officially gets back to work this week to face a series of problems that are no more palatable now than they were in July.

It is approaching the autumn with no deal on how to spend its money from 2007, an impasse on the EU Constitution and a dilemma over Social Europe.

The last issue is perhaps most fundamental to the EU and the direction that it is heading.
"

Paradoxical Policies - EU, Iran and U.S Triangle

JTW Comment

"Paradoxical Policies - EU, Iran and U.S Triangle
Arzu Celalifer
Let’s look over a global policy based on a paradoxical framework and the changes occurred due to the fluctuations in the world’s balance of powers. Using this theorem will be helpful to understand the Iran’s nuclear issue that has engaged the world’s agenda nowadays.

It will be noteworthy to remind that the first nuclear reactor was given to Iran by the U.S (United States) in 1967. It was a 5 Megawatt trigger research reactor under the Eisenhower Atoms for Peace Program[1]. Following this, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968 that gives her the inalienable right to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without restriction, and acquire equipment, materials and scientific and technological information. The nuclear program was triggered by the U.S and after a report prepared by Stanford Research Institute putted it out that Iran would need, by the year 1990, an electrical capacity of about 20.000 Megawatt the Shah announced his policy of 23.000 Megawatt of nuclear energy. Here is the paradoxical point that to be underlined."

Guardian:Turkey and Ukraine-We owe them a debt of honour

Guardian

Turkey and Ukraine-We owe them a debt of honour

France threw the Turkish negotiations into crisis the other day when the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, swiftly transformed as a non-diplomatic ex-diplomat, announced that Ankara would have to recognise Greek Cyprus as the legal government of the island before any meaningful talks could begin (the Turks, with extreme difficulty, having just formalised clear trading links with Nicosia).

So, at a bound, the prospect of Turkish membership as a means of solving the Cyprus impasse is turned on its head - and more years of UN toil go to waste. So the Turks, reforming hard, striving to prepare for Europe, get dealt duplicity as usual. So the prospect of a Muslim member nation, tolerance and unity cemented, the one development al-Qaida doesn't want, slips back into jeopardy again.We helped Turkey's new government put its life in our hands. We said we were there with the orange revolutionaries of Kiev. We owe them both debts of honour. We can't just pack when it begins to rain this autumn. We're leaders, aren't we?

RGE - Global Imbalances are Growing and Increasing the Risk of a Disorderly Adjustment and Hard Landing

RGE

Global Imbalances are Growing and Increasing the Risk of a Disorderly Adjustment and Hard Landing

To those with panglossian or benign views of the global imbalances and to supporters of view of the long term stability of the BW2 regime, the financial developments of the last few months appear as a proof that global imbalances are not something we need to worry about. I will instead make the case here that we need to seriously worry - even more than before - about such imbalances and the risks of their disorderly unraveling. For the full report: click on the headline.

Bloomberg.com: European Bonds May Advance on Speculation Oil Will Crimp Growth

Bloomberg.com

European Bonds May Advance on Speculation Oil Will Crimp Growth

European bonds may gain amid speculation oil prices near a record will crimp the outlook for economic expansion in the euro region. The 10-year German bund rose for three straight weeks through Aug. 26, and gains for debt yesterday pushed the yield to its lowest in almost two months, on concern rising energy costs will erode spending and undermine confidence among European consumers. `We see the oil price surging and this supporting the bond market,'' said Kornelius Purps, a fixed-income strategist at HVB Group in Munich. ``Yields might drop further.'' The yield on the benchmark 10-year bund rose 1 basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.16 percent by 7:30 a.m. in London after yesterday falling to as low as 3.13 percent, its lowest since July 7. Bond yields move inversely to prices. Yields may drop to 3 percent in the next month, said Purps. The price of the 3 1/4 percent bund due July 2015 fell 0.08, or 80 cents per 1,000-euro ($1,222) face amount, to 100.73, according to Merrill Lynch & Co.

Expatica - More Dutch people have a second passport

Expatica

More Dutch people have a second passport

Almost one in every 15 Dutch people in the Netherlands have a second passport, according to a report by the national statistics agency CBS. At the start of 2005, some 977,000 people had both a Dutch and another passport, up 39,000 on the year before. The CBS said on Monday that 252,000 Turkish people in the Netherlands have both a Dutch and a Turkish passport. Moroccans are the second biggest dual nationality group in the Netherlands, with some 215,000 holding Dutch and Moroccan nationality. A quarter of the people with dual nationality come from another EU member state, while 14,000 people from Suriname, 12,500 US citizens and an equal number
of Egyptians also have a Dutch passport.

8/29/05

The Economist: US Bolton showing his teeth - Crunch time for UN reform

Economist

Bolton showing his teeth - Crunch time for UN reform

If there was still any question that America is taking a new line with the United Nations, the answer now seems clear. Next month, 175 world leaders will gather in New York to consider a raft of reforms for the world body. But just weeks before the summit is to begin, America has asked for extensive changes to the draft “outcome document” that many other negotiators felt was almost finished. Many detect the hand of John Bolton, America’s controversial new ambassador to the UN, who offered the proposed changes on Wednesday August 24th. But Mr Bolton is probably more symptom than cause—George Bush sent him to the UN as a signal that business-as-usual would no longer be acceptable. There is talk of crisis in many of the media reports about America’s proposed changes. The Washington Post reported that 750 such edits had been made to the draft “outcome document”. In truth, the majority of these are nitpicking wording changes that have little effect on the content. But some of them would change the declaration considerably, particularly regarding development efforts and intervention to stop human-rights catastrophes.The proposed American edits to the document remove nearly all references to the MDGs, referring instead to more vaguely-worded “internationally agreed development goals”. In place of the MDGs, America wants to put more emphasis on the “Monterrey Consensus”, the result of a 2002 summit in Mexico that concluded that developing countries need to take more responsibility for their own growth by fighting corruption, improving the investment climates and otherwise making their countries more hospitable to economic activity. America has annoyed many with some seemingly needless niggling points—cutting “respect for nature” from a legally meaningless laundry-list of the world’s basic values, for example. Critics say that the deletion is emblematic: America is taking an overly lawyerly approach to a non-binding political document on which all have made compromises. An American spokesman responds that “mumbo-jumbo” does no one any good, and that America may support a shorter statement instead of the current 36-page draft.

METRO: Chirac seeks ways to restore French faith in EU

METRO

Chirac seeks ways to restore French faith in EU

President Jacques Chirac called on Monday for new ideas to develop the European Union and win back the confidence of a skeptical French electorate. Chirac told a conference of 150 French ambassadors that a strong Europe was vital to French interests and said voters who rejected the EU constitution in a referendum on May 29 must be shown that Europe can respond to their concerns. "We must take account of the worries and expectations that were expressed on May 29 and create a new consensus and new French support for the European project," Chirac said. Chirac, who as president is in charge of foreign policy, said France and Germany would remain the engine driving the EU and would not allow Europe to become a "vast free market diluted in a globalizes economy." The French president called for a "demanding" dialogue with the European Central Bank, which sets interest rates for the 12 countries in the European Monetary Union, to help stimulate growth in the sluggish European economy. Chirac said he had asked British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, to find ways to involve parliament and local communities more in EU decisions.

ESA Portal - European Envisat satellite sees whirling Hurricane Katrina from ocean waves to cloud tops

ESA Portal

European Envisat satellite sees whirling Hurricane Katrina from ocean waves to cloud tops

ESA's multi-sensor Envisat satellite has gathered a unique view of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico. While an optical image shows characteristic spiralling cloud patterns, a simultaneous radar observation pierces through the clouds to show how Katrina's 250-kilometre-an-hour an hour winds scour the sea surface.

Webindia123.com: Accountability only to IAEA, not European Union says Iran

Webindia123.com

Accountability only to IAEA, not European Union says Iran

Iran will be accountable only to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its nuclear dossier and not to the European Union, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi said Sunday. Assefi said that the Europeans had failed to fulfil their obligations and acted contrary to the November 2004 Paris Agreement, forcing Iran to consider other negotiation partners in the nuclear dispute. The EU trio of Britain, Germany and France were "excluding themselves" from the negotiations with unsuitable rhetoric and constant threats to cut off talks, he claimed. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to present a plan within the next 45 days aimed at settling the dispute.

Back to work for EU

EUPolitix.com - Back to work for EU

"Back to work for EU

Bra wars, bird bugs, lethal flu pandemics, air safety, terrorism and Turkish EU entry are at the top of the European political in-tray as Brussels returns to work.

There are key developments in European politics for EU institutions to consider as European Commissioners, MEPs and officials return after the summer break.

Europe’s textile crisis – dubbed ‘bra wars’ by the media – has generated negative headlines for Brussels over the last few weeks.

Europe’s trade chief Peter Mandelson will be seeking a quick resolution to stop the row escalating before an EU-China summit next week."

8/28/05

Detroit Business News: Behind the EU-China textiles dispute is a vast, interdependent relationship

Detroit Business News

Behind the EU-China textiles dispute is a vast, interdependent relationship

China's growing economic strength is "turning up the heat on the EU, and not only in textiles," said Katinka Barysch, chief economist at the London-based Centre for European Reform. But the EU "often finds it difficult to think about China in strategic terms," she added. "Most Europeans are hardly aware of China's growing importance" in world trade, she wrote in a recent study on EU-China relations. "While Americans are fuming about their $160 billion trade deficit with China, most west Europeans worry more about low-cost competition from eastern Europe" -- which is closer but whose population is a small fraction of China's. It's not just Europe that has to worry about China. Stuart Newman, a spokesman for the Brussels-based Foreign Trade Association, an EU umbrella group, said textile exports from other Asian nations to Europe are down this year because China has been undercutting its neighbors. Since 1985, China's foreign trade has jumped by 15 percent a year on average. Last year, EU-China trade exceeded 131 billion euros ($160 billion), and investments by EU companies in China now total almost 30 billion euros ($35 billion). Beyond sending cheap textiles to Europe, China will contribute 230 million euros ($282 million) to participate in Galileo, the EU's planned satellite-navigation system that is a competitor to the U.S.' Global Positioning System. Currently, 100,000 Chinese students are enrolled at European universities, and hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists are expected to visit EU nations in the years ahead.

The Hindu : Sunnis reject draft Iraqi constitution

The Hindu

Sunnis reject draft Iraqi constitution

Iraq's Shia, Kurdish and Sunni negotiators have failed to arrive at a consensus on a draft Constitution, despite lengthy negotiations and American mediation, setting the stage for a crucial referendum in October. Efforts to get Sunni support have formally ended, with a majority of negotiators representing the Shias and the Kurds signing the document. The final draft was read out in Parliament, which had been convened. A combination of Iraq's majority Shias and ethnic Kurds has a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Sunni negotiators were unanimous in rejecting the document, describing it as an "American Constitution."
"We have not agreed on this Constitution. We have objections which are the same as we had from day one," Hussein al-Falluji, claiming to represent all Sunni delegates, said.
He hoped that the Iraqi people would reject the Constitution during the October referendum. "This is an American Constitution and we will not accept it no matter what." Sunnis can defeat the draft during the October 15 referendum as they are in a majority in four of Iraq's 18 provinces. Under the interim Iraqi Constitution, a two-thirds majority in three provinces can reject the document. Already, Sunni leaders are exhorting supporters to register for the referendum in large numbers to defeat the draft.

Bloomberg.com: Dollar May Drop for Second Week Against Euro, Yen, Survey Shows

Bloomberg.com

Dollar May Drop for Second Week Against Euro, Yen, Survey Shows

The dollar is likely to decline for a second week against the yen and euro on speculation economies in Japan and Europe are accelerating fast enough to draw investors from the U.S., according to a Bloomberg survey. Fifty-five percent of the 57 traders, strategists and investors surveyed from Sydney to New York on Aug. 26 said to sell the dollar against the yen, up from 30 percent a week ago. Forty-six percent said they'd sell the dollar against the euro, the second highest since March. Twenty-six percent said hold. The dollar is still up 7.4 percent versus the yen this year.

Irish Times: Economy at risk in a changing Ireland

Irish Times

Economy at risk in a changing Ireland

In competitive economies, companies produce products and deliver services that attract people to buy them. In Ireland's case, current momentum relies increasingly on domestic spending, but consumption-led expansion by itself cannot sustain long-term growth in such a small country. That must come from exports. Ireland exports 84 per cent of all it produces.

8/27/05

Wiener Zeitung: Revolution in transport Asia to European Union

Wiener Zeitung

Revolution in transport Asia to European Union

The idea of replacing ships with rail has won high-level political support. Russia, China, and other countries along the route to Europe say they want to boost rail shipments, and EU countries with Russian-gauge spur lines, including Finland and Hungary, could also get involved.Somewhere in Asia, a train carrying Chinese tomato paste is making its way toward Poland, and Marian Bak can’t wait for it to get here – it’s part of the plan for a revolution in transport from Asia to Europe. Bak runs CZH, a Polish company that says Asian manufacturers could cut their month-long transit time to Europe in half by shipping goods to its rail yard, where a Russian-gauge line extends some 645 km (400 miles) into the European Union’s largest new member. CZH is building a container terminal at the yard in Slawkow, originally laid out during communism to bring Soviet raw materials like iron ore to Poland’s southern industrial heartland, and send back steel. The tomato paste train is a trial run. The terminal is the westernmost point of the wider Russian broad gauge railway system that runs from the Pacific coast city of Vladivostok, some 8,000 km (5,000 miles) away. In Slawkow, cargo is shifted onto trucks, or onto trains built to run on Europe’s standard gauge rails for their onward journey in the EU. "About nine million containers come from Asia to Europe each year. This takes about 30 days by ship, and our project cuts this to 15 days,” Bak says. "Time is money, and there are big savings to be had here.” The Polish government, which owns CZH, will put 50 million zlotys ($15 million) into road and water infrastructure around the site this year, and CZH hopes to invest 40 million euros ($49 million) to raise the terminal’s capacity. With the help of EU funds, capacity would rise from 35,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) a year to 120,000. That would give Slawkow about one percent of the total Asia-to-Europe market – a drop in the ocean, perhaps, but CZH says it has room to expand.

Deutsche Welle: Iran Promises 'Breakthrough' in Nuke Talks

Deutsche Welle

Iran Promises 'Breakthrough' in Nuke Talks

New proposals from Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will lead to a 'breakthrough' and big changes in negotiations with Europe over the Islamic republic's nuclear program, Iran's top negotiator said Saturday. "With our new proposals to the Europeans we will have a breakthrough and with these positive results we will reach our goal," Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies. "Dr Ahmadinejad has new innovations, and the details will be announced soon soon," he added, signaling that the initiative could be partly designed to widen international involvement in the talks -- currently being led by Britain, France and Germany. The so-called EU-3 have cancelled talks set for August 31 in Paris, saying negotiations can not continue unless Iran ceases all nuclear fuel work. Iran is unhappy with the demand for a total halt fuel work in exchange for a package of trade, security and technology incentives. Iran maintains such work for peaceful purposes is a right of any signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Reuters.com: Euro zone new industrial orders jump in June

Reuters.com

New industrial orders in the euro zone rebounded strongly in June from a drop the previous month, driven by demand for transport equipment and electronics, the European Union's Statistics Office said on Wednesday. New orders rose 3.1 percent month-on-month in June and 4.9 percent year-on-year in the 12 countries using the single currency, Eurostat said. In May orders fell a revised 0.1 percent on a monthly basis and 3.5 percent in annual terms. May orders were originally reported as a 1.5 percent monthly drop and a 3.3 percent annual fall. The strongest year-on-year rise in orders in June was in Germany, up 10.5 percent and Portugal where orders increased 8.0 percent. In France they were 4.1 percent higher.

Wanadoo Jordan: Chirac wants EU talks on Turkey's refusal to recognise Cyprus

Wanadoo Jordan

Chirac wants EU talks on Turkey's refusal to recognise Cyprus

The French leader "reminded the president of the (European) Commission that this declaration poses political and legal problems and that it's not in the spirit of what one expects from a candidate to join the Union," a presidential spokesman said Friday. "That's why we want to discuss this with our partners" at the next EU foreign ministers' meeting on September 1-2, he said. Chirac told European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso that France "had questions over the interpretative declaration Turkey added to its protocol of adhesion." Turkey on July 29 signed an accord extending a customs agreement to the newest EU members, including Cyprus, but declared in an annexe that this did not amount to recognition of the Greek Chypriot government.

IHT: Merkel aide seeks more EU integration

IHT

Merkel aide seeks more EU integration

The man expected to play a major role in shaping foreign policy if Angela Merkel is elected chancellor of Germany on Sept. 18 says he wants a stronger and more-integrated Europe that will not compete with the United States but work with it. Such an ambitious agenda will not be easy to achieve for Wolfgang Schäuble, the veteran Christian Democratic foreign policy expert whom Merkel brought into her mini-cabinet. There are still big misgivings among some European leaders over the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. And many have yet to be convinced that the administration of President George W. Bush will find its way back to supporting a multilateralist agenda.

JTW News - Schroder: EU’s turn to honor its promise

JTW NEWS

Schröder: EU’s turn to honor its promise

Talking exclusively to Hürriyet’s Ertuğrul Özkök in Berlin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has pledged that he will do his best to back Turkey’s EU bid, adding that Turkey has travelled a long distance since December 17, 2004 – when a date for the opening of accession talks was officially given by the EU. “Turkey has fulfilled all its promises,” Schröder said, “Now it is time we honour ours.” Schröder also pointed out that the negotiation period will be no easy task: “It goes without saying that the negotiation will take a long time, and both parties can bring it to a halt if they want to. Therefore there is no reason either of the parties should be afraid.” When asked about the allegation that he has "silenced" his backing for Turkey’s membership fearing it might damage his party in the upcoming elections, Schröder was vehement: “I do not know where people are getting these ideas – I have not reconsidered my stance on Turkey’s membership. The negotiation talks will start on October 3.”

San Mateo Daily Journal: U.S. economy may not be a healthy one

San Mateo Daily

U.S. economy may not be a healthy one

Creeping trade protectionism and bloated budget deficits pose a risk to the United States’ long-term economic vitality, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Friday. “Developing protectionism regarding trade and our reluctance to place fiscal policy on a more sustainable path are threatening what may well be our most valued policy asset: the increased flexibility of our economy, which has fostered our extraordinary resilience to shocks,” the Fed chief said in a speech to an economic conference here, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Maintaining economic flexibility is especially important, Greenspan said, to deal with what he called some of America’s current economic imbalances: the swollen current account trade deficit, which surged to a record $668 billion last year, and the housing boom. Greenspan also worried in his speech about what will occur with the ending of the recent sustained period of low interest rates and low risks for investors. “History has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk premiums,” he said in his prepared remarks. Greenspan’s speech was to a conference titled “The Greenspan Era: Lessons for the Future.” The Fed chief, who has steered the world’s largest economy through both smooth and choppy economic waters for 18 years, plans to step down in just five months.

8/26/05

Gas prices too high? Try Europe

csmonitor.com

"Gas prices too high? Try Europe.
$7 a gallon? That's what drivers in Amsterdam pay. But Europeans have long adapted to high prices.
By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
PARIS – When Guy Colombier pulls his economy car up to a Paris pump, he allows himself just 15 Euros ($18) worth of gas - barely enough for three gallons. Since prices started rising rapidly earlier this year, says Mr. Colombier, a printing press worker, 'I drive a lot more slowly ... and I'm looking for a place to live closer to where I work.'
Colombier's pain is shared by drivers all over Europe, where fuel prices are the highest in the world: a gallon of gas in Amsterdam now costs $7.13, compared with just $2.61 in America. The contrast in prices and environmental policies - and the dramatically different behaviors they inspire - signals a widening transatlantic energy gap. And it raises the question: Does Europe offer America a glimpse of its future?"

New York Times: In Istanbul, Contemporary Art Blooms Amid a Thousand Minarets

New York Times

In Istanbul, Contemporary Art Blooms Amid a Thousand Minarets

NURAN TERZIOGLU, a Turkish curator and gallery owner, is holding court in Cezayir, a restaurant in Beyoglu, Istanbul's pre-eminent arts neighborhood. A large group of writers and journalists is meeting in an adjoining room, while a few artists are lounging around in the cafe, a bright beige room with high ceiling fans and decorated only with prints of the great 15th-century miniaturist Siyah Kalem, or Black Pencil, one of the fathers of Ottoman, hence Turkish, art.

Eurobarometer finds 57 per cent of Europeans receptive towards innovation

CORDIS: News service

"Eurobarometer finds 57 per cent of Europeans receptive towards innovation
[Date: 2005-08-25]

'Innovation is a cornerstone of the strategy to meet the target agreed by the European Council [...] of the Union becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by the end of the decade,' starts a Eurobarometer report on 'population innovation readiness' in Europe. However, the citizens of Europe appear not to award innovation the same degree of importance, with only 57 per cent claiming to feel attracted to innovative products or services.
"

EU wants airlines blacklist in early 2006

businessweek.com

"AUG. 26 2:42 P.M. ET The European Union, concerned about a spate of plane crashes this summer, hopes to publish early next year a list of airlines barred from flying in the EU due to shaky safety records, officials said Friday.

They said the European Commission will ask all 25 EU governments to provide their national blacklists so they can be turned into an EU-wide listing.

At the moment, it is up to each EU government to make its blacklist public.


Earlier Friday, EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot welcomed Belgian and French decisions to publish their blacklists, calling it 'a good step toward the consolidated European list.'"

UPI Interview: Turkey's man in Brussels

World Peace Herald

"UPI Interview: Turkey's man in Brussels
By Gareth Harding
UPI Chief European Correspondent
Published August 26, 2005

BRUSSELS -- Almost 40 years after it first applied to join the European Union, Turkey is due to begin membership talks with Brussels in just over a month. United Press International talked to Turkey's Ambassador to the EU, Oguz Demiralp, about the chances of Ankara's membership bid succeeding and the widespread fears many Europeans have about the large, poor, mostly Muslim republic entering the wealthy Western club.

UPI. In a recent EU opinion poll, a majority of Europeans said they were opposed to Turkish membership of the Union -- partly because they are afraid that letting a Muslim country into a largely Christian bloc would lead to 'clash of civilizations.' Do you understand this concern? "

Blind faith - Australia is watching keenly as Europe's great multicultural experiment seems to be unravelling

World - smh.com.au

"Australia is watching keenly as Europe's great multicultural experiment seems to be unravelling.

They came in their hundreds of thousands, young men from Morocco, Algeria, Turkey and Pakistan, and they took jobs in the mills and factories of Hamburg, Rotterdam, Lille and Leeds. It was the boom of the 1950s and 1960s, Europe was getting rich, and the men did the jobs Europeans didn't want to do any more. Among them was Mohammed Shaffi.

After hauling rocks to build roads in Pakistan, working in a mill in Bradford, West Yorkshire, was an opportunity. Shaffi prayed in the local mosque, made an arranged marriage with a cousin from Pakistan, and raised six children in a largely segregated Pakistani neighbourhood. His wife, Alam Bibi, never learnt English, and five of the children also made arranged marriages with distant cousins from Pakistan. But not the fifth child, Wahida."

8/25/05

Luxembourg tops EU minimum wage scoreboard

EUPolitix.com

"Luxembourg tops EU minimum wage scoreboard

Luxembourg tops the Europe's monthly minimum wage league, outstripping EU candidate Romania by more than twenty times, according to official statistics.

Eurostat, the Brussels statistics office has unveiled minimum wage figures showing widely differing levels between the EU's 25 member states.

Figures for January 2005 show Luxembourg's monthly minimum wage at €1467, compared to Romania on just €72, followed closely by Bulgaria on €77.

The figures show EU newcomers Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic also fairly low on the scale with wages between €116 to €235.

They were all surprisingly outstripped by Turkey - another EU hopeful - whose minimum wage levels stand at €240 per month."

Europe aims lone rover for Mars

BBC NEWS

"Europe aims lone rover for Mars
By Paul Rincon
BBC News science reporter

Europe has fixed on a concept for its next mission to land on the Red Planet.

It aims to send a single robot rover to the Martian surface along with another, stationary, science package.

The European Space Agency (Esa) had also been considering a mission concept from the British team behind Beagle 2, but this is no longer on the table."

Washington Post: U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq

Washington Post

U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad. The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say. "What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

"Iraqis are taking control of their country, building a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself. And we're helping Iraqis succeed," President Bush said in his latest radio address. But the realities of daily life are a constant reminder of how the initial U.S. ambitions have not been fulfilled in ways that Americans and Iraqis once anticipated. Many of Baghdad's 6 million people go without electricity for days in 120-degree heat. Parents fearful of kidnapping are keeping children indoors.

8/24/05

Scotsman.com News - Opinion - Mandy losing grip on world economy

NEWS.Scotsman.com

Mandy losing grip on world economy

PETER MANDELSON, EU Trade Commissioner, is in danger of pulling off the political coup of the last half century: he's possibly going to be responsible for the ordinary people of Europe realising the ludicrous extent of the EU's ineffectiveness and inefficiency. Due to Mandelson's muddling, millions of pounds', or euros', worth of winter clothing - sweaters, underwear, men's trousers etc - bought from Chinese manufacturers by clothes shops in the UK and Scandinavia, are locked up in container terminals. Retailers are worried that from next month there'll be the same sort of clothing shortages as were experienced during the Second World War. At the root of this stupidity is a combination of inefficiency, a lack of democratic accountability and the growth of the global market. But the man who's supposed to understand these trade winds of change, and who's paid a king's ransom to manage them as an EU Commissioner, is Tony Blair's nominee, Peter Mandelson.

Is Europe a friend or foe?

Idaho Mountain Express

"Is Europe a friend or foe?

Former ambassador to E.U. addresses conference in Sun Valley

By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Assistant Editor

Rockwell Schnabel speaks at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference Monday morning at Sun Valley Resort. Van Gordon Sauter, right, a former top news executive at CBS, introduced Schnabel, joking that he is probably the 'only other Republican in Blaine County besides me.' Photo by Barbi Reed, courtesy of Sun Valley Writers' Conference

The age of the European superpower is upon us, but we need not fear.

That was the essence of the message delivered Monday in a speech by Rockwell Schnabel, a part-time Ketchum resident who served the last four years as the U.S. ambassador to the European Union."

Aljazeera net: Iraq Sunnis say charter draft divisive

Aljazeera net

Iraq Sunnis say charter draft divisive

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari says that almost all issues troubling the draft constitution have been resolved, but Sunni Arabs warn it is divisive and will be rejected when put to a vote. Several issues remained unresolved, including the mechanism for implementing federalism, the treatment of former Saddam government officials, and how to divide authority among the presidency, parliament and government. Negotiations will take place over the next three days especially with Sunnis to bridge remaining differences over the text, which must be approved in an October referendum. Under stiff US pressure, the Shia and Kurds apparently reached a compromise on issues including the political structure of Iraq and the relationship between religion and state.

Reuters: New measures against hate preachers in UK

Reuters

New measures against hate preachers in UK

The government will on Wednesday unveil measures to rid the country of radical clerics who could inspire bombers like those who attacked London last month as part of a broad crackdown on Islamist preachers. Home Secretary Charles Clarke will publish a list of "unacceptable behaviours" which would prompt immediate action -- either deportation or a ban on entry. A Home Office spokeswoman said the announcement followed a period of consultation which started earlier this month. Behaviour likely to be pinpointed are inflammatory preaching and publishing views which foster hatred or foment terrorism. "I will be publishing, then acting upon, new ways of dealing with preachers of intolerance and hatred who try to exploit the openness of our society to oppress others," Clarke wrote in Monday's Evening Standard. Two waves of bomb attacks on London last month have sparked a raft of new anti-terrorism measures and Prime Minister Tony Blair has said the "rules of the game are changing". Earlier this month, Britain said it was detaining 10 people, including the alleged spiritual leader of al Qaeda in Europe, Jordanian national Abu Qatada, and pledged to deport them. Britain has also barred hardline Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed from returning to Britain. The cleric has said he would not inform police if he knew Muslims were planning to bomb trains in Britain. The government is seeking agreements like one it has struck with Jordan which allows courts to deport Jordanians seen as a menace. London says the agreement protects deportees from ill treatment but a United Nations human rights expert on Tuesday dismissed those assurances and urged the UK not to deport foreign Muslim militants to states suspected of using torture. Blair has said he will override human rights laws if necessary in order to deport foreign nationals. © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

8/23/05

Key EU meeting postponed

Turkish Daily News

"Key EU meeting postponed
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

A meeting of European Union countries' permanent representatives, originally slated to take place this week, has been postponed until Aug. 31. Turkey's membership process is expected to be a top issue in the meeting's agenda."

Bloomberg.com: Euro May Rise; Speculation German Business Confidence Will Rise

Bloomberg.com:

Euro May Rise; Speculation German Business Confidence Will Rise

The euro may strengthen in Asia on speculation a report tomorrow will show rising business confidence in Germany, luring overseas investors to euro- dominated assets. Signs of an improving economy in Europe have curbed speculation the European Central Bank will cut interest rates. The euro last week had its biggest weekly loss against the dollar in more than two months as faster U.S. economic growth and inflation raised expectations the Federal Reserve will keep increasing interest rates into next year

8/22/05

Iran slams European trade hypocrisy

EUobserver.com

"Iran slams European trade hypocrisy
22.08.2005 - 09:23 CET | By Andrew Rettman

Iran has accused the EU of hypocrisy in an escalating war of words following Tehran's decision to resume its nuclear fuel programme earlier this month.

'We are importing goods worth billions of US dollars from some certain countries but they are not buying our oil or other products. Such countries should be thankful to us but they behaved like we owe them', president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the Iranian parliament on Sunday (21 August), the European press reports. "

EU countries help Portugal fight its fires

EUobserver.com

"EU countries help Portugal fight its fires
22.08.2005 - 09:23 CET | By Lucia Kubosova

Four EU countries have moved to assist Portugal after it called on Brussels for help in fighting raging fires in the country.

The European Commission has a special unit that coordinates assistance between the EU's member states in tackling emergency situations.

Spain and France sent aircraft on Sunday and similar help from Italy and Germany is to to arrive on Monday (22 August).
"

CNES NEWS: Ariane 5 sets a heavyweight record with THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR)

href="http://www.arianespace.com/site/news/news_sub_missionupdate_index.html">CNES NEWS


Ariane 5 sets a heavyweight space record

Arianespace's Ariane 5 launcher demonstrated its performance and maturity today by lofting THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) during an early-morning mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana.This payload is the heaviest commercial satellite ever delivered to geosynchronous orbit. Built for Shin Satellite Plc of Thailand by Space Systems/Loral, the large telecom platform had a liftoff mass of 14,300 lb. (6,485 kg.), and is to provide Internet access service throughout 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. After its liftoff from the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch zone, tracking cameras followed the Ariane 5 during its ascent, clearly showing separation of the solid boosters two minutes into the mission. THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) was released from the launcher's upper stage 26 minutes later.

The Globe and Mail: Portugal Burning

The Globe and Mail:
Portugal Burning

On Saturday Portugal asked the European Union for help in fighting massive wildfires as the Interior ministry admitted it could no longer cope with dozens of blazes burning through forests and farmland without external help. Portugal's worst drought in years has helped the flames spread. So far, 11 firefighters and four civilians have been killed in this year's fires, while 50 houses have been destroyed.

8/21/05

Newsday.com: Poverty on the Rise in the Netherlands

Newsday.com

Poverty on the Rise in the Netherlands

Soup kitchens and bread lines seem out of place in this affluent country long known for its generous welfare system, administered until recently by generations of socialist-leaning governments. But the growing dependency on private charity by thousands of people reflects how Holland -- long admired for its fast-paced growth, high employment and prosperity -- is increasingly falling on hard times. After years of strong growth, the economy has ground to a near standstill and since April 2004, the number of people receiving free food packages at the Dutch Food Bank has jumped from 600 per week to nearly 5,000. Thousands more go without.

NY Times: Someone Tell President Bush the War Is Over

NY Times

Someone Tell President Bush the War Is Over

Like the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President Bush may be the last person in the country to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over. "We will stay the course," he insistently tells us from his Texas ranch. What do you mean we, white man? A president can't stay the course when his own citizens (let alone his own allies) won't stay with him. The approval rate for Mr. Bush's handling of Iraq plunged to 34 percent in last weekend's Newsweek poll - a match for the 32 percent that approved L.B.J.'s handling of Vietnam in early March 1968. (The two presidents' overall approval ratings have also converged: 41 percent for Johnson then, 42 percent for Bush now.) On March 31, 1968, as L.B.J.'s ratings plummeted further, he announced he wouldn't seek re-election, commencing our long extrication from that quagmire.

Kurds and Way-Out Factions By Jesse Stanchak

Slate.com:

"Kurds and Way-Out Factions
By Jesse Stanchak
Posted Sunday, Aug. 21, 2005, at 2:52 AM PT

The Washington Post leads with the rise of Shiite and Kurdish militia groups in northern and southern Iraq. The New York Times leads with the nationwide rush of new bankruptcy claims as debtors move to file before stricter laws take effect in October. The Los Angeles Times leads with Pope Benedict XVI urging Muslim leaders to crack down on terrorism.

The paramilitary wings of Kurdish and Shiite political parties in northern and southern Iraq have spun webs of corruption and violence that may undermine any attempts to bring those regions under a federal Iraqi state, the WP reports. Kidnappings, assassinations, and other violent crimes run rampant around primarily Shiite Basra in the south and Kurdish-controlled Mosul in the north, with each group trying to stamp out their opposition. The crimes are often committed by coalition-trained security forces, whose true allegiance lies with ethnic or religious political parties, not any sort of central Iraqi authority. The WP writes that the local groups seem more intent on dominating their respective territories than participating in a unified Iraqi government, enforcing their authority with the kind of swift brutality that seems only too familiar."

8/20/05

Pope asks Muslims to fight terror

BBC NEWS:

"Pope asks Muslims to fight terror
Pope Benedict XVI during Saturday's prayer vigil
The Pope said the Church had good and bad elements
Pope Benedict XVI has appealed to Muslims to help combat the 'cruel fanaticism' of terrorism.

At a meeting with Germany's Muslim leaders in Cologne, the pontiff said Islamic teachers had a 'great responsibility' to educate the young.

Afterwards, the Pope led an open-air prayer vigil at a park outside the city, which was attended by at least 700,000 people.

Pope Benedict wraps up his four-day trip to his native country on Sunday."

Moneywise: Why we need a dynamic outward-looking Europe - by Alasdair Murray

Moneywise


Why we need a dynamic outward-looking Europe - by Alasdair Murray

Few EU summits have passed quite as disastrously as the June meeting of EU leaders in Brussels. Heads of government failed to reach agreement on a new budget, or even whether to halt ratification on the proposed constitutional treaty, following the 'No' votes in the French and Dutch referendums. Tempers flared as leaders openly blamed each other for the breakdown of the talks. Bertie Ahern, the Irish prime minister, left the meeting lamenting that he did not like to see "grown men bickering with each other". Recent events had thrown into stark relief the two competing visions of the EU. The constitutional treaty itself is dead, even if some European leaders still appear reluctant to turn off the life-support machine. But all EU governments are beginning a far-reaching debate about what direction the EU should now take.

IRAQ: COALITION CASUALTY REPORT - ALARMING FIGURES

IRAQ

COALITION CASUALTY REPORT - ALARMING

So far a total of 64 US military have been killed during the month of August in Iraq. This brings the total of US forces killed in Iraq to 1863. More than 100.000 Iraqi civilian and military forces have been killed as a result of the US invasion and that number is also rising.

EURO NEWS: EU plan to cut terrorist funding

EURO NEWS

EU plan to cut terrorist funding

In an attempt to cut off the cash flow to terrorists - the European Union is planning to introduce new controls on money transfers. The Commission is set to table a proposal requiring banks to register the name, address and account number of all those moving money - no matter how small the amount - between the EU and abroad. Without the data, banks will have to refuse the transfer. The plan is part of a series of proposals discussed by EU interior ministers at an emergency meeting in the wake of the London bombings on July 7.

Noticias.com - simpler and less expensive flights in Europe

noticias.info

SAS launches Nya Europaflyget - simpler and less expensive flights in Europe

Scandinavian Airlines Sverige is today presenting its new European offering, Nya Europaflyget, which includes lower fares, one-way flights that can be combined without restrictions, and new, simplified booking on sas.se. It will make it simpler and less expensive to fly with SAS to our European destinations," says Anders Ehrling, President of Scandinavian Airlines Sverige.
Tickets from SEK 650 will be available on all departures from Arlanda to 22 European destinations and from Gothenburg to London. The tickets will be sold as one-way tickets and can be combined without restrictions to form return tickets. For example, the cheapest outbound flight for SEK 650 may be chosen and combined with a flight offering higher level of comfort on the return journey. All complicated rules, such as the demand that passengers must stay away over a Saturday or Sunday, have been eliminated and it will be easier to find and book tickets at low prices on the Internet.

PKK Reports: Europe No Longer Sympathizes with PKK

JTW News

"PKK Reports: Europe No Longer Sympathizes with PKK
Armed struggles and bombs placed on railways recently occurring one after another in Southeast Anatolia have turned all eyes to the terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) again. While the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) operation continue against the separatist organization, the PKK try to rally; however, reports sent within the organization proved that the PKK was unable to find supporters especially in Europe, where it had been easy in former years.
"

Turkey Grand Prix be Held in Istanbul Tomorow

Zaman.com

"Turkey Grand Prix be Held in Istanbul Tomorow

Published: Saturday, August 20, 2005
zaman.com

Turkey Grand Prix, the season’s 14th race in the Formula 1 World Championships, will be held in Istanbul.

According to the schedule, Turkey Grand Prix, which is in the season for the first time, will start in Istanbul Park Track at 3:00 p.m.

Prior to the race, which carries a historic importance for Turkey, the Formula 1 drivers will walk in a parade at 1:30 p.m. in the track. Between 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., track activities and the starting order will be announced."

8/19/05

The American Dream Vs. the European Dream by Jeremy Rifkin

The Globalist > > Global Politics

"The American Dream Vs. the European Dream

By Jeremy Rifkin | Thursday, August 18, 2005

As Jeremy Rifkin sees it, the American and European dreams are — at their core — about two diametrically opposed ideas of freedom and security. While Americans have long valued autonomy as a component of freedom, Europeans find this same freedom within communities. While both dreams have their merit, Rifkin sees the European Dream as better serving the future of humanity."

EU to blacklist unsafe airlines

Guardian Unlimited

"EU to blacklist unsafe airlines

Leo Cendrowicz in Brussels and agencies
Friday August 19, 2005
The Guardian

The European Commission yesterday announced that it intends to name and shame airlines that fail to meet basic safety requirements.

The proposal comes as investigators scrutinise the safety records of Cyprus's Helios Airways, following a crash near Athens on Sunday that killed all 121 passengers.

The Colombian government has also halted operations of West Caribbean Airways after the deaths of all 160 people aboard a plane which crashed in Venezuela on Tuesday ."

8/18/05

New American: Orwellian Europe

href="http://www.thenewamerican.com/artman/publish/article_2056.shtml">New American

"You may have gotten the impression that the European constitution was dead -- that the French had felled it, and the Dutch had pounded a stake through its heart," wrote Daniel Hannan, a Conservative Member of the European Parliament from Great Britain, in the London Telegraph on July 17. "If so, think again. The constitution is being implemented, clause by clause, as if the No votes had not happened."Since the resounding defeat of the Soviet-style European Union constitution at the polls in France and The Netherlands, three minuscule European nations — Cyprus, Malta, and Luxembourg — have ratified the pact. This means that the EU constitution has now been ratified by 13 of 25 European governments, a fact that Eurocrats haughtily depict as reflective of a continental consensus on behalf of the new mega-state.

Workers from new EU challenge Swedish model

JTW News

"Workers from new EU challenge Swedish model
By Patrick Lannin

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - 'It's easier with a Latvian,' promises the recruitment agency's Web site. To drive the point home, it adds that staff from the Baltic state will cut a Swedish employer's wage costs by 50 percent.

The offer from a Latvian firm is the latest challenge to Sweden's decades-old system of setting wages through sector-wide deals with employers in a country where 85 percent of workers belong to a trade union.

The arrival of cheaper workers from new European Union members has inflamed the debate, with trade unions describing the practice of hiring low cost migrants as modern slavery."

EUbusiness - EU looking at Internet 'blacklist' of airlines following Venezuela crash

EUBusiness

EU looking at Internet 'blacklist' of airlines following Venezuela crash

The European Commission is considering publishing an Internet blacklist of airlines and aircraft subject to bans or restrictions in EU member states, EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said Wednesday. He spoke of the measure to France's BFM radio the day after a chartered Colombian jetliner carrying 152 French passengers crashed in Venezuela, killing all aboard in the worst loss of French lives in commercial aviation history. The European Union blacklist idea is similar to a mechanism already operational in the United States, where would-be passengers can consult a website publishing the names of airlines with relatively poor safety records. "We hope that with the information that will be communicated to the commission we will be able to publish a sort of blacklist," Barrot said, adding that the proposal could become reality by the end of the year if it is passed by the European Parliament.

8/17/05

Making multiculturalism work

signandsight:

"Making multiculturalism work
Jutta Limbach defends the idea of multiculturalism, and suggests how its constitutional protection could reduce the terrorist threat.

The 1960s witnessed the beginning of worldwide migration. Increasingly, people find themselves in surroundings where not only their clothes, food and drink set them apart from local inhabitants, but also their language, their ways of thinking and their beliefs. In Europe, as previously in the USA and Canada, the growing diversity of cultures and religions leads to tensions and conflicts.

These conflicts often take place in the schools, in many cases over questions of clothing, religious signs and symbols. The "Islamic scarf" and the crucifix come to mind. Should schoolgirls or teachers be allowed to wear veils in public schools? Does an Islamic girl have the right to be excused from co-educational gym classes because her religion – at least according to her reading of the Koran – forbids her from wearing gym clothes in the presence of the opposite sex?"

Cyprus is a poor excuse for turning away Turkey

International Herald Tribune

"Cyprus is a poor excuse for turning away Turkey
Philip Gordon International Herald Tribune

THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2005

WASHINGTON One of the most unfortunate consequences of the French and Dutch rejection of the European Union's draft constitution in May and June was the negative signal this sent regarding future EU enlargement. With their complaints about immigrants and job competition from low-wage workers, French and Dutch voters seemed to be saying that they did not support last year's enlargement to 10 new members, let alone future rounds that might extend to the Balkans, Ukraine or Turkey.

The risk now is that Europe's leaders, instead of courageously making the case for enlargement - one of Europe's greatest success stories - will begin to pander to voters' fears and tell the pending candidates for membership that the EU door has closed."

MSNBC.COM: Change is blowing for wind power industry

MSNBC.com

Change is blowing for wind power industry

Even with oil prices marching toward $70 a barrel, most alternative energy sources require heavy federal subsidies to allow producers to turn a profit. Wind power, though it still enjoys subsidies, is one of the few that is becoming economically competitive in its own right -- thanks to rising electric power costs in many parts of the world and technological advances in the design and manufacture of wind turbines. As a result, total wind power generation capacity in the U.S. is expected to grow by about a third this year. But developers of wind power have begun to confront other barriers to the production this relatively cheap, clean renewable energy source.

Independent Online:Secrets of the morgue: Baghdad's body count

Independent Online Edition

Secrets of the morgue: Baghdad's body count

The Baghdad morgue is a fearful place of heat and stench and mourning, the cries of relatives echoing down the narrow, foetid laneway behind the pale-yellow brick medical centre where the authorities keep their computerised records. So many corpses are being brought to the mortuary that human remains are stacked on top of each other. Unidentified bodies must be buried within days for lack of space - but the municipality is so overwhelmed by the number of killings that it can no longer provide the vehicles and personnel to take the remains to cemeteries. July was the bloodiest month in Baghdad's modern history - in all, 1,100 bodies were brought to the city's mortuary; executed for the most part, eviscerated, stabbed, bludgeoned, tortured to death. The figure is secret.

Rap music and the far right: Germany goes gangsta

Independent Online Edition

"Rap music and the far right: Germany goes gangsta
A new wave of rap music is sweeping Germany: sexist, violent, often racist - and adored by neo-Nazis. Ruth Elkins reports on the alarming advance of the shock troops of popular culture

"If it doesn't work out with hip hop," shrugs Bushido, Germany's most notorious rap star, "then I'll just sell drugs."

It probably won't come to that. The 26-year-old half Tunisian Berliner is turning the world of German hip hop upside down."

ekathimerini.com : A hectic August in Europe

ekathimerini.com

A hectic August in Europe

August has always meant a time of vacations for most Europeans. This year, the month is spotlighting significant negotiations on the European political stage, following the intervention of French Prime Minister Dominic de Villepin on Turkey’s non-recognition of Cyprus.

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos is expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in Athens on Thursday, so Greece and Cyprus can hammer out a “common stance” on this issue.

Having said that, it was entirely anticipated by Athens, Nicosia and other European capitals that Ankara would make a statement dissociating its signature of the protocol extending its customs agreement with the EU to all 25 member states from any recognition of Cyprus. British Prime Minister Tony Blair undoubtedly discussed this matter with Karamanlis and Papadopoulos (although this will likely never be officially confirmed). Papadopoulos and Karamanlis apparently made it quite clear what wording in Turkey’s statement they would not accept. Blair also had a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Blair evidently explained to Erdogan that, due to the negative climate prevailing in the European Commission, the wording of the statement would have to be clearly restrained. This is the strategy which countries holding the EU presidency always follow, and which Blair naturally followed, too.

JURIST - Paper Chase: Austrian president suggests next EU constitution ratification try in two years

JURIST

Austrian president suggests next EU constitution ratification try in two years

In an interview [in German] with the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper to be published Tuesday, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel [official profile], whose country is scheduled to take over the six-month rotating EU presidency from the UK at the beginning of 2006, has suggested that EU countries make another attempt to ratify the troubled European Constitution [JURIST news archive] in two years. In the meantime he suggested a period of reflection on the recent rejections of charter by France and the Netherlands. He also expressed caution about admitting countries with a record of economic and social instability, such as Turkey and the Ukraine.

World Peace Herald: Oil price spike sparks debate in France

World Peace Herald

Soaring oil prices have sparked bitter political sparring over how to handle the energy crunch in France, even as environmentalists press European nations to search for more environmentally healthy alternatives. On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin convened a Cabinet round table to discuss ways to lighten the oil-price load, which has sent the cost of a full tank of premium gas soaring to a staggering $69 in France. French drivers pay roughly 16 percent more for gas than the year before. Indeed, pump prices jumped 7.5 percent in June alone, compared to the previous month, news reports said. In remarks to the media following the ministerial meeting Tuesday, de Villepin rejected proposals by the Socialist opposition for a cut in gas taxes, but said some of the fiscal revenue would be redistributed to French most hurt by price hike, along with employers and French workers. He also called for a greater push toward fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles, and said France would be ever more reliant on its nuclear plants for generating electricity.

E-Notes: King Fahd’s Saudi Arabia

Foreign Policy Institute

King Fahd’s Saudi Arabia

On August 2, 2005, Saudi King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz was laid to rest in an unmarked grave. Wrapped simply in a brown robe, his bier borne by family after the briefest of funeral services, Fahd’s end gave no clue to his life. He had been one of the world’s most opulent rulers, his largesse the stuff of legend. Fahd also possessed powers as monarch that would have impressed Louis XIV. His reign and his wrestle with the challenges that threatened his kingdom tell us much about Saudi Arabia’s past, and, perhaps, even more about its future.

Britain should quit EU, French sage says

Telegraph

"Britain should quit EU, French sage says
By Colin Randall in Paris
(Filed: 17/08/2005)

France's most celebrated living intellectual - and probably its most constant Anglophile - called on Britain yesterday to leave the European Union.


Maurice Druon, an author, ex-culture minister and grandee of the Academie Francaise, said that Britain's aversion to full integration made it unsuited to the full membership for which he campaigned more than 30 years ago."

8/16/05

ABS-CBN Interactive: An Economic 9-11?

ABS-CBN Interactive

An Economic 9-11?

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday said it has arrested two British nationals with $3 trillion fake US federal bank notes in their possession, DZMM reported. NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco identified the suspects as Paul Edward John Flavell and Sam Beany. The two listed their address as Unit 305 CEO Apartments in Jupiter Street, Makati City. The suspects were not physically present during the press conference called by Wycoco at the NBI office in Taft Avenue, Manila. Only the suspects' photographs were shown to reporters. Wycoco said NBI agents have also launched a manhunt for two other British nationals involved in the syndicate. The two other suspects are Seki Mehmet Bayram and Peter Whittkamp. Flavell and Beany's arrest came following a tip from international cargo forwarder DHL Philippines Inc. on April 14, Wycoco said. Three trillion in fake Federal Reserve Certificates could do huge damage to the nation, yet the mainstream media that screams "terrorism" everytime a taxicab backfires in Bahgdad has totally buried this story. Why?

Peak Oil News: A Challenge to Peak Oilers

Peak Oil News

A Challenge to Peak Oilers

The peak oil piece has gained interest again because the New York light, sweet crude contract has vaulted into new record territory, trading above $67 per barrel late last week. Of course, the peak oilers – by that, I mean the folks who believe the top of the Hubbard's Peak curve for world oil output is coming sometime in the next few years – are all patting themselves on the back and pointing to these high market prices and saying "see, we told you so." Why are prices so high right now? Fear, plain and simple. Last week was a bad week for an already tight refining system in the United States, and every small fire and power outage – from the Paramount Refinery in Los Angeles to the ConocoPhilips plant in Illinois – as well as BP's continuing safety issues with its high-pressure reforming units at its Texas City refinery mean there is near panic over future supplies of gasoline and distillates (heating oil, diesel and jet fuel). This autumn's refinery maintenance season could be longer and more difficult than average, since so many US refineries have to retool for the new low-sulfur diesel mandates. And the shortage of distillates in the "Atlantic Basin" (North America and northern Europe) means that if it's a cold winter this year, a lot of people in New England, Germany and Scandinavia may have to learn to go without heat for periods of time. (This doesn't even begin to touch the astronomical price of natural gas in the US, which will cause huge problems elsewhere in North America if a bitterly cold wind blows south from Canada and settles over the United States this winter.) And fear that world energy markets may have to deal with yet more geopolitical uncertainty in the form of American military action against Iran. "All options are on the table," George W. Bush told Israeli TV when asked about Iran. "The use of force is the last option for any president. You know we have used force in the recent past to secure our country." The evolving confrontation can hardly be much of a comfort (and we know that force is never this president's last option). Iran produces about 4 million barrels per day, only about 5% of world demand. But everyone who can produce is producing, and of the major oil-producing nations, only Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have significant extra capacity. Which means if the world loses Iran, it loses that 4 million barrels. No one can make that production up. And depending on how prepared Iran is to wage war, the world could lose a lot more.

8/15/05

The Globe and Mail: Denmark won't provoke 'flag war' over Hans Island

The Globe and MailDenmark won't provoke 'flag war' over Hans Island

Denmark will not try to plant a new flag on a tiny island off northwestern Greenland that is at the centre of a territorial spat with Canada, Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said in a newspaper column published Monday. Mr. Moeller said he and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew intend to discuss the dispute over Hans Island next month on the sidelines of a foreign ministers gathering at the United Nations. The 1.3-square-kilometre uninhabited Arctic island lies between Canada's Ellesmere Island and Greenland, which is a semi-autonomous Danish territory. A 1973 border drawn through the Nares Strait between Ellesmere and Greenland left Hans Island's status undecided.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | EU pollution deaths cost billions

BBC NEWS - Science and Nature Archives

EU pollution deaths cost billions

Air pollution reduces the life of the average European by 8.6 months. The toxic particles in pollution increase deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and the price of treating these ailments is costly. However, EU plans to cut pollution by 2010 should on average save 2.3 months of life for each European, WHO says. This is the equivalent of preventing 80,000 premature deaths and saving over one million years of life across the European Union. "Measures to reduce the effects of air pollution on health and extend life expectancy already exist and work," said Dr Marc Danzon, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

csmonitor.com: Goodbye, America - hello, Israel - EU should follow example?

csmonitor.com

Goodbye, America - hello, Israel - EU should follow example?

Israel is eager to maintain its Jewish majority, but has experienced a dramatic decline in immigration, from 200,000 in 1990 to 23,000 in 2004, as arrivals from Russia, Europe, and Central Asia have dropped off. This has led Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to declare that "Aliyah is the central goal of the state of Israel. The aim is 1 million immigrants over the next decade, and North America is the priority area," says Michael Landsberg, head of Aliyah for JAFI in the US. Some 6.3 million Jews reside on the continent, a well-educated population that offers prized high-tech skills and democratic values not always possessed by other arrivals. To spur immigration, JAFI has joined in a strong marketing effort with a private organization, Nefesh B'Nefesh (Jewish Souls United). For each Nort American immigrant, Israel provides unconditional help: a $3,300 grant, airline tickets, health insurance, Hebrew study, tax deductions, and rent assistance. Nefesh B'Nefesh gives an additional conditional grant (to be returned if people return to the US within three years), as well as support services for settling in. More funds go to those choosing certain cities and rural areas. Immigrants must become Israeli citizens. "All this might equal between $25,000 and $40,000 for a family," says Mr. Landsberg. With its declining and aging population, this might be a good example for the EU to follow?

8/14/05

The Local - Foreign drivers "escape Swedish speeding fines"

The Local

Foreign drivers "escape Swedish speeding fines"

Foreign drivers who exceed the speed limit are not being fined when caught by Swedish speeding control cameras because of a lack of cooperation between international police forces. Speed control cameras will nearly double in number within the next few years, but the new cameras will do little to stop foreign speeding offenders. According to Stellan Lander, a traffic police officer in Örebro, photographs of foreigners caught speeding are tossed directly into the garbage can. “As things stand today, traffic police are working together with Denmark and Norway. But Finland and other parts of Europe are not cooperating,” Lander told Swedish Radio.

Islamic cultural center coming to the Netherlands

Radio Netherlands

Islamic cultural centre coming to the Netherlands

Four districts in the western part Amsterdam are joining forces to create an Islamic cultural institute. If all goes according to plan, the first activities should take place towards the end of this year. The city of Amsterdam initiative was taken by a group of public figures from indigenous Dutch and immigrant Muslim backgrounds. Two of them represent large national Muslim organisations: Haci Karacaer is director of the Turkish group Milli Görös and Ahmed Marcouch is from the Union of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands. The men describe their project as a reaction to negative publicity in the Netherlands - and particularly in Amsterdam – for the Islamic religion and the wider Muslim community. The centre will be modelled on the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, a joint project between France’s government and the Arab League.

Spain: Economy still lacking behind the rest of Europe

Infoplease Spanish Economy

Traditionally an agricultural country, Spain produces large crops of wheat, sugar beets, barley, tomatoes, olives, citrus fruit, grapes, and cork. Spain is the world's largest producer of olive oil and Europe's largest producer of lemons, oranges, and strawberries. The best-known wine regions are those of Rioja, in the upper Ebro valley, and of M�laga and Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalusia. Agriculture is handicapped in many regions by lack of mechanization, by insufficient irrigation, and by soil exhaustion and erosion.The major industries produce textiles, iron and steel, and chemicals. Motor vehicles, diesel and electric motors, and machinery are manufactured, in addition to a variety of consumer goods such as shoes, toys, radios, televisions, and home appliances. There are also beverage and tobacco industries. Industries are concentrated chiefly in the Madrid region; in Valladolid; in Catalonia, which has large textile, automotive parts, and electronics manufactures; in Valencia; and in Asturias and the Basque Country, where the rich mineral resources of the Cantabrian Mts. (iron, coal, and zinc) are exploited. Copper is mined extensively at R�o Tinto; other mineral resources include lead, silver, tin, and mercury. Petroleum is found near Burgos. Fishing, notably for sardines, tuna, cod, and anchovies, is an important source of livelihood, especially on the Atlantic coast, and fish canning is a major industry. Tourism is Spain's greatest source of income. Overland communications are generally poor. Most Spanish railroads, unlike those of the rest of Western Europe, use broad-gauged tracks, although some regional systems consist of narrow-gauge railways. In 1992 a high-speed standard-gauge railway connecting Madrid and Seville began operation. Spain has made great economic progress in recent decades, but it still lags behind most of Western Europe. Though industry has grown considerably since the 1950s, the country still has a large trade imbalance. Spain's greatest trade is with the United States, Germany, France, and Great Britain. Among the leading exports are fruit, wine, and other food products, ships, footwear, machinery, and chemicals; major imports include machinery, petroleum, iron and steel, and transport equipment.

8/13/05

SPACE.com -- Russia Game for Space-Technology Swap

SPACE.com

Russia Game for Space-Technology Swap

In a move that could boost the Russian space program's place in the world space market, the country has launched a company designed to kick start an open international exchange of space technology. The Russian Technology Transfer Center (RTTC) -- the first Russian national technology-transfer center -- is now responsible for all of the Russian space agency's licensing, patenting and other technology import-export operations. This new center could radically improve the process of buying and selling of Russian space technology in the international market.

The Globe and Mail: U.S. trade gap widens

The Globe and Mail

U.S. trade gap widens

The U.S. trade deficit grew more than economists expected, widening in June to $58.8-billion (U.S.) amid rising crude oil prices and increasing consumer appetite for cheaper Chinese products. The gap between what the U.S. imports and what it exports grew 6.1 per cent in June, according to the Commerce Department. Imports rose 2.1 per cent to a record high of $165.7-billion. Exports climbed just 0.1 per cent. Economists expected the trade deficit to widen to $57.2-billion in June from $55.3-billion in May, mainly due to a 13 per cent spike in oil prices during the month. “The greenback also appreciated 1.1 per cent in June on a broad trade-weighted basis, for the third consecutive month and a cumulative 2.5 per cent, which doesn't help matters much,” said BMO Nesbitt Burns economist Michael Gregory. The deficit reached a record $60.1-billion in February.

Science Daily: EU retailers to recycle electronics

Science Daily

EU retailers to recycle electronics

EU rules that go into effect today will force retailers to take back used electric and electronic goods for recycling when selling similar products.The law covers one of the fastest growing waste problems in the European Union and aims at recycling 80 percent of white goods and 75 percent of information technology equipment. Both European and third-country producers are to pick up the bill for the collecting, retrieving and treating electro-scrap, the European Commission said Thursday. The directive requires that electronic products be labeled with a crossed-out trashcan to illustrate that throwing out devices that contain heavy metals is environmentally hazardous.

Orlando Sentinel: Must science also make a leap of faith?

OrlandoSentinel.com: Opinion

Science, if it's to remain true science, must be about objective, verifiable facts. Testable. Observable. Repeatable. Consistent. For example, after testing, testing and retesting, scientists established that water at sea level boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It does it for everyone. There's nothing to debate. Things get a little trickier when it comes to origins -- because, in the final analysis, how things got to be what they are is a historical question. And none of us is old enough to have been around when it happened. Not even our Supreme Court justices. So we have to engage in a kind of forensic pathology. We can see what exists today. And we can see traces of things that existed in the past. But how it all relates involves a fair bit of speculation. And not all scientists postulate the same scenarios. Further, the nature of the quest doesn't lend itself to experimental verification. Even demonstrations that a particular mechanism can deliver a certain result doesn't prove that it's the only mechanism that might have done so. I find it fascinating that a sub-discipline of science (exobiology) searches for intelligent life forms elsewhere in the universe. Yet the possibility that some Intelligent Life Form may have played a role in our origins is automatically declared unscientific.

Europe's dilemma

Turkish Daily News

"Europe's dilemma
Saturday, August 13, 2005

It is wishful thinking to believe that the EU can admit and integrate such a large and culturally different country as Turkey

Robert ELLIS

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Ramussen was right when he stated at his Liberal Party's summer meeting that the prospect of Turkey's European Union membership is a dilemma that must be discussed openly.

It is only the Social Liberals who express alarm over the fact that there are some who are beginning to waver in the faith."

Bloomberg.com: European Economies: French Growth Slowed in Second Quarter

Bloomberg.com

European Economies: French Growth Slowed in Second Quarter

France, the biggest contributor to European growth in 2004, is dragging down the European economy after the effect of government measures to encourage consumer spending, such as a reduction in the inheritance tax, tapered off. The European Commission said yesterday it expects growth in the region to pick up in the second half as the 8 percent decline in the euro against the dollar improves the outlook for exporters. ``It's a very bad figure,'' said Nicolas Bouzou, chief economist at economic research institute Xerfi. ``A growth forecast of 1.5 percent in the year has become almost optimistic.'' The French economy may grow as little as 1.3 percent this year if oil prices remain around $60 a barrel, Michel Devilliers, Insee's chief economist said in an interview Aug. 10. The statistics office on June 23 said it expects the economy to expand 1.5 percent this year after 2.3 percent in 2004.

EUobserver.com: Brussels says things are looking up for euro zone economy

EUobserver.com

Brussels says things are looking up for euro zone economy

The European economy appears to be regaining some momentum and the indications are that things will continue to improve in the second half of the year, the European Commission announced yesterday (11 August) Presenting its growth figures for the second quarter of 2005, the Commission said that the euro zone had grown by 0.3%, a much stronger performance than most analysts had expected, although weaker than the 0.5% seen in the first three months of the year. The figures were helped by some surprisingly strong economic growth from Italy, which has rebounded from recession but were dragged down by stagnation in Germany, Europe’s largest economy. The Commission also said that growth should be higher in the fourth quarter of the year (September to December), forecasting 0.4%-0.8%. The economy should be spurred on by better economic conditions globally and the fact that the recent decline in the value of the euro against the dollar has made life easier for European exporters, Brussels said.

Hand Held Products Inc.: Hand Held Products Announces Plans to Comply with European Union Mandates

Handheldproducts

Hand Held Products, Inc., a leader in image-based data collection systems for mobile, in-premise and transaction processing applications, is undertaking efforts to meet compliance mandates in two European Union Directives - WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances). The WEEE Directive aims to ensure the safe disposal and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment, and transfers the responsibility of disposal from the government to the producer, where producer is defined as the 'importer of record' or the brand owner. RoHS restricts the use of specific hazardous substances in electronic and electrical equipment. To ensure WEEE compliance, Hand Held Products will register with all European Union member states as well as with Switzerland and Norway. Since not all countries have turned the directive into legislation, registration deadlines for certain countries will extend into late 2005 and 2006. The company will also attach the 'wheeled trash bin' symbol to all products and provide information regarding WEEE collection, disposal and recovery to all of its products shipped for European distribution after August 1, 2005.

8/12/05

Dundas Star News:Man from land of tulips becomes renowned Cactus King of Canada

Dundas Star News

Man from land of tulips becomes renowned Cactus King of Canada

March 1, 1976, was a memorable day in Dundas history when town council proclaimed Dundas The Cactus Capital of Canada. It was also around the same time that the local chamber of commerce and the Dundas Jaycees were attempting to establish a community summer festival with a strong central theme.
Thus, the Cactus Festival, acclaiming the international reputation of Ben Veldhuis, was established and a tradition was born. Barend (Ben) Veldhuis was born in Amelo, Holland, on Friday, Dec. 13, 1913, and emigrated to Canada with his family in 1927, when he was 13. Ben went to work right away at his father's nurseries in Burlington. There, he had his own little spot which he used for growing cacti, and a life-long fascination with the prickly plants ensued. Ben carried on the family tradition first in Limehouse (near Georgetown), then in Burlington, Waterdown, Hamilton and, finally, Dundas, where in 1951, Ben and his wife, Marika, purchased the Peterson Greenhouses at 154 King St. E. and started Ben Veldhuis Limited.

USA TODAY: 'Support US troops' - bring them home alive

YahooNews

'Support US troops' - bring them home alive

They're burying young Marine reservists in Ohio this week. Fourteen of them, ages 19 and up, were killed last week when their amphibious landing vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb in Iraq. President Bush, acknowledging that some families of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq want to bring the troops home now, believes that would be a big mistake. "Pulling the troops out would send a terrible signal to the enemy," he said. Speaking to reporters at his ranch, the president noted that the United States sent more soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan before elections and was considering doing so again before another round of Iraqi elections in December.

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia : CALDORO, EVEN EU MUST ADMIT THAT DATA IS POSITIVE

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia

GDP: CALDORO, EVEN EU MUST ADMIT THAT DATA IS POSITIVE

"It would be irresponsible not to recognise the encouraging reprisal signals of the Italian economy. ISTAT data mark a significant increase of GDP in Italy which is more than double the average of other European Union countries," said Government Plan Implementation Minister Stefano Caldoro (New Socialists) on commenting data revealed by ISTAT regarding GDP in the second quarter of 2005. "It is easy to boast government's merits in difficult moments, and as it is right, it's the whole country that reacts. Today it can realistically be said that there is a renewed confidence in ourselves, necessary to make the reprisal stable.

WorkingForChange-The selling of brand Kurdistan

WorkingForChange

The selling of brand Kurdistan

As chaos continues across much of Iraq, the governing authority is coming to yet another crossroads.Inside the Green Zone -- the location of the U.S. Embassy and major Iraqi government offices -- officials are struggling to forge an acceptable constitution by the mid-August deadline. Outside the relative safety of that enclave, the insurgency continues apace as demonstrated by daily suicide bombings and civilian casualties. While the Shi'ite leaders of the government are negotiating deals and solidifying ties with Iran, and the Sunnis remain mostly disengaged from the political process, the Kurds appear to have mastered a dual strategy of participating in government decisions while at the same time taking matters regarding their future into their own hands. The generally efficient, if questionable, electoral process not only turned out large numbers of voters, but it also allowed Kurdish leader, Jalal Talabani, to be selected as the country's president, insuring close participation by the Kurds in all important government deliberations. On a parallel strategic track, however, the Kurdish Regional Government appears to be keeping its options open, recently hiring Russo Marsh & Rogers (RM&R) -- a Sacramento, Calif.-based public relations firm with close ties to the Republican Party -- to promote its interests.

8/11/05

ESA Portal - Ariane 5 lifts record payload into space

ESA Portal

Ariane 5 lifts record payload into space

This morning an Ariane 5G launcher lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. On board was the largest telecommunications satellite ever to be placed into geostationary transfer orbit. The mission was initially delayed during the two-hour-long launch window to verify telemetry readings from Ariane 5's mobile launch table, and the countdown subsequently resumed for an early morning takeoff from the ELA-3 launch zone.

The heavyweight THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) satellite had a lift-off mass of almost 6500 kg. Before this morning’s launch, the record for the heaviest telecommunications satellite to be placed into orbit belonged to the Anik F2 satellite, launched by an Ariane 5 launcher in July 2004. THAICOM 4, built for Shin Satellite Plc of Thailand, will provide businesses and consumers throughout Asia, Australia and New Zealand with various levels of Internet access services. The satellite has a total data throughput capacity of over 45 Gbps. This is the fourth Shin Satellite to be launched by an Ariane vehicle. An Ariane 4 vehicle launched the first satellite in 1993.

EUobserver.com: Fear of 'youth drain' from new EU member states

EUobserver.comFear of 'youth drain' from new EU member states

Some new member states are battling with a 'youth drain' as well-qualified young people leave for jobs in western Europe, but at the same time, the feared influx of workers to old member states has proven to be a myth, according to a new report.

Bloomberg.com: French Industrial Output Rises Suggesting Recovery

Bloomberg.com

French Industrial Output Rises Suggesting Recovery

Industrial production in France rose for a second month in June, suggesting growth is accelerating in Europe's third-largest economy. Output by French factories, utilities and mines increased 0.3 percent from May, Paris-based national statistics office Insee said today. Economists expected a 0.4 percent gain, according to the median of 27 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. From a year ago, production fell 0.4 percent. The euro's 9 percent decline against the dollar this year and rising foreign demand are boosting earnings at manufacturers such as Schneider Electric SA, the world's biggest maker of circuit breakers.

ePolitix.com - Bank chief intervenes in immigration issue

ePolitix.com

EU -Bank chief intervenes in immigration issue

Inward migration from new EU member states has been important in easing labour shortages, the head of the Bank of England has said. Speaking at a press conference to launch the latest quarterly inflation report, Mervyn King was critical of the lack of data on immigration. But he suggested that practical experience from businesses on the ground showed that foreign workers are playing a key role in easing skills shortages. Most recent figures show that since May 2004, some 176,000 people from the EU accession states have registered to work in the UK.

8/10/05

Deutsche Welle: GM Maize Fight Goes to Court in Germany

href="http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1675080,00.html">Deutsche Welle

GM Maize Fight Goes to Court in Germany

American biotech firms want to use legal action to force Germany to approve their genetically modified maize for cultivation. The America seed companies Monsanto and Pioneer are trying to get provisional approval to cultivate their pest-resistant maize, Mon 810, in Germany, according to German consumer protection authorities. But Alexander Müller of the consumer protection office says he doesn't believe that Mon 810 can be legally approved as seed. "It is not allowed under European law," he told the German public broadcaster ARD. For the past seven years, Mon 810 has been approved in the EU only as feed and as food. Cultivation of the crop was explicitly excluded.

Washington Times: Chinese dragon awakens

Washington Times

Chinese dragon awakens

China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.
U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.
China's military buildup includes an array of new high-technology weapons, such as warships, submarines, missiles and a maneuverable warhead designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses. Recent intelligence reports also show that China has stepped up military exercises involving amphibious assaults, viewed as another sign that it is preparing for an attack on Taiwan.

The Independent: Terror fears as a result of war in Iraq push oil prices to 22-year high

The Independent

Terror fears as a result of war in Iraq push oil prices to 22-year high

The price of oil rose to its highest level for more than 22 years after warnings of imminent terror attacks against Westerners in Saudi Arabia. There was also evidence that the surge in the price of crude oil ­ driven in part by the invasion of Iraq and more general concerns about the security of the commodity's supply ­ is poised to have a significant impact on the spending power of the consumers. Gas prices, which are dependent on oil, will increase by 11.9 per cent this month, according to Powergen, the supply company. And rising fuel bills faced by the airlines are likely to be passed on to passengers.

8/9/05

JTW News - Clinton: U.S. cannot isolate itself to fight terror

JTW News

Clinton: U.S. cannot isolate itself to fight terror

Source:Swissinfo

August 9, 2005 12:20 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Tuesday the United States needed to build alliances rather than pursuing policies that might foster terrorism.

"We cannot isolate ourselves from the world behind walls. We cannot kill all our enemies," he said in an interview with France's Le Monde newspaper.

"We need a strategy which will create more partners and fewer terrorists. Americans' destiny is closely tied to that of other people."

He cited the example of U.S. aid raised for victims of the December 26 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, and linked it to an increase in the proportion of Indonesians who had a favourable opinion of the United States.

"It can't but improve our image when we show that we can be selfless, that we want to build a world with others, by understanding their problems, by helping them both for our interests and for shared objectives," Clinton said.

He also urged the use of religion to resolve conflicts rather than to create them.

Clinton said he regretted the rejection of the European Union constitution by French and Dutch voters in referendums earlier this year.

"It is difficult to overcome the reflexes of national identity. But you will get there. The world needs Europe and a demonstration that intelligence, reason and goodwill are stronger than historical fate," he said.