"Keep the door wide open to Turkey
The EU should welcome Turkey into the European fold – delaying negotiations risks a political disaster
The fallout from the Irish no vote on the Lisbon treaty threatens a damaging rift between the EU and one of its biggest economic and strategic partners. This country, with a growing economy – now the 17th largest in the world – and a skilled population, has long had a significant relationship with Europe."
Eurofighter is the world's best
Only the American F-22, which enters service several years later at more than twice the price, will be superior to the Eurofighter
Only 15% of the aircraft is made of metal. Some 70% is made of carbon fibre composites and 12% glass reinforced plastic thus ensuring it has structural strength and durability but with a low weight penalty. Eurofighter has the world's most advanced radar for long-range detection and acquisition of targets both in the air and on the ground. Known as the ECR90, it is developed by GEC-Ferranti and will allow pilots to detect and track numerous targets simultaneously and then to fire at enemy aircraft well beyond visual range.
Sarkozy calls for changing the way Europe is being built
President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday called for a profound change to the way Europe is being built as France prepared to take the helm of the European Union. "There have been errors in the way that Europe has been built," Sarkozy said in a television interview as France was to take over the presidency of the 27-nation bloc starting on Tuesday. "We must therefore profoundly change our way of building Europe," he said.France wants to push issues it says Europeans find relevant: taking steps to stem the influx of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers; assuaging fears that jobs are being lost to globalization and emerging powers like China; softening the blow of high oil prices on fishermen, farmers, truckers, and low-income households.
France's presidency will, a senior diplomat told me recently, be "fun". That is not a word used often to describe EU presidencies.
Why both Europeans and Americans need a strong Europe
Make no mistake, the European Union has the potential to be a top global power. But while Europeans have such formidable assets at their disposal there is a strong reluctance to unify in the areas of foreign, security and defence policy, which is further augmented by displays of a certain timidity in some European states, which, consequentially, causes divergences with the duties and obligations that come with being a global power. If foreign countries, and especially autocratic regimes, do not respect, let alone fear, the Europeans, their international clout will not match their material assets and their adversities will be emboldened, damaging European interests all over the world. Europeans must gain the will to turn up in diplomatic forums and say, when necessary: “We are the European Union, and we are willing to make things very difficult for you if you refuse to comply with our wishes.” What is required, then, is ‘global power’ thinking: an understanding across the whole Union that the European Union is becoming—and must be—a global power.
Airbus Set to Conquer Chinese Market - by Kristina Doneck
Hamburg-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus has started transporting the first aircraft segments to their new assembly line in Tianjin, China. This is a milestone for Boeing's rival in the struggle to dominate Asian markets and produce planes in the People's Republic. The manufacturer will start building aeroplanes there in August 2008, and the first locally-assembled Airbuses will be delivered to Chinese airlines in the first half of 2009.
Entering the Chinese market is not only another great step in increasing Airbus' global presence, but will also increase the company´s flexibility in the A320-family production. It is expected to lead to increase the production rate to 40 by 2010.
Spain is finally Europe's pride with win over Germany - by Rob Hughes
The long wait in Spanish soccer is over. By defeating Germany, more emphatically than the 1-0scoreline in the Austrian capital suggests, the Spaniards thoroughly deserve to be called champion of Europe. They won it with victories every time they took the field, they won it majestically in front of their King Juan Carlos, and their near septuagenarian coach, Luis Aragonés, could now retire knowing he has disproved the myth that Spain's fractured regions could never learn to like one another to form a combined and victorious national side.
Aragonés intends no such thing. He might rest for the weekend, but he then takes on the task of managing Fenerbache of Istanbul. At 69, he lives for the game, and his game on Sunday night repaid him.
France's Nicolas and Carla assume Europe's throne - by Angela Charlton
France's first lady sings in English and dreams in Italian, and the president's roots reach to Hungary and Greece. Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy could be a metaphor for a harmonious, borderless Europe. The real Europe is a cacophonous and conflicted place, though, as the Sarkozys will soon discover: On Tuesday, they become the continent's public face, as France takes over the presidency of the 27-nation European Union. It's an unusual, important job, presiding over a bloc that boasts nearly half a billion people and an economy rivaling America's yet that struggles to manage its financial and diplomatic heft.
"Modesty" and "no arrogance" — Sarkozy's aides say these are the watchwords of the French EU presidency. Skeptics question whether the glamorous and wealthy Sarkozys can pull that off.
Dutch cafes, restaurants and coffee shops are bracing themselves for a feared exodus of patrons when a public smoking ban for the hospitality industry enters into force on Tuesday. "It is clear that enterprises are awaiting the ban with dread: polls show that 60 percent are thinking of selling their businesses," said a recent statement from horecasite.nl -- claiming to be the Netherlands' biggest online retail agency for the hotel, restaurant and cafe (horeca) industry. It said there had been an increase by nearly a quarter in the number of enterprises up for sale -- from 1,350 in January to 1,600 in June.
The notorious Dutch "coffee shop" faces a unique conundrum under the ban: its patrons can still light up their cannabis joints but no longer if blended with tobacco. As The Netherlands follows the example of other European Union members in curbing smoking for public health reasons, it finds itself in a singular position as the only one to allow, since 1976, marijuana use in licensed cafes.
Soccer - Euro 2008: Germany 0-1 Spain
Spain win Euro 2008 to claim their first title in 44 years after a 1-0 win over Germany in Vienna thanks to a Fernando Torres goal.
Will the oil crisis lead to nuclear proliferation - Michael Meacher
The authoritative International Energy Agency foresees an oil supply crunch within 5 years forcing up prices to unprecedented levels and greatly increasing western dependence on Opec. And the oil industry itself in its own report Facing the Hard Truths about Energy, produced by 175 authorities including all the heads of the world's big oil companies, for the first time predicted that oil and gas may run short by 2015.
What is most disturbing of all is that the big powers, so far from seeking major adjustments of their energy policies on either the supply or demand fronts or making a major switch into renewables, are actually massively intensifying their competitive struggle short-term for the limited oil reserves left. Despite an unwinnable war in Iraq, the US is still constructing at least five large permanent military bases there in order, according to evidence given to a US Congressional Committee, to control access to Gulf oil, including in Saudi and Iran. A US government adviser says: "one of the reasons we had no exit plan from Iraq is that we didn't intend to leave".
The US maintains 737 military bases in 130 countries under cover of the "war on terror" to defend American economic interests, particularly access to oil. The principal objective for the continued existence and expansion of Nato post-cold war is the encirclement of Russia and the pre-emption of China dominating access to oil and gas in the Caspian Sea and Middle East regions. It is only the beginning of the unannounced titanic global resource struggle between the US and China, the world's largest importers of oil (China overtook Japan in 2003). Islam has been dragged into this tussle because it is in the Islamic world where most of these resources lie, but Islam is only a secondary player.
In the case of Russia, the recent pronounced stepping up of western attacks on Putin and claims he is undermining democracy are ultimately aimed at securing a pro-western government there, and access to Russian oil and gas when Russia has more of these two hydrocarbons together than any other country in the world.
npchardtruthsreport.org: Facing the Hard Truths about Energy - A Report by the National Petroleum Council
Facing the Hard Truths about Energy - A Report by the National Petroleum Council
People all over the world are very concerned about energy—its availability, reliability, cost, and environmental impact. Energy also has become a subject of urgent policy discussions. But energy is a complex subject, touching every part of daily life and the overall economy, involving a wide variety of technologies, and deeply affecting many aspects of our foreign relations. The United States is the largest participant in the global energy system—the largest consumer, the second largest producer of coal and natural gas, and the largest importer and third largest producer of oil. Developing a framework for considering America’s oil and natural gas position now and for the future requires a broad view and a long-term perspective; both are provided in this study.
Guardian.co.uk: US elections - Principles give way to politics as Obama courts mid-America - Michael Crowley
US elections - Principles give way to politics as Obama courts mid-America - by Michael Crowley
During the Democratic primary season, all those eons ago, Barack Obama deployed no more powerful line against Hillary Clinton than his insistence that 'we can't just tell people what they want to hear. We need to tell them what they need to hear'. More than just a catchy couplet, the phrase was a deadly arrow into the heart of Clintonism.
But since Obama dispatched Clinton, he has seemed rather more attuned to what the people want to hear or perhaps he has simply traded the wants of a liberal audience for those of a more moderate one. Either way, he is treading that reliably time-worn path every nominee follows to the political centre. And the question for Democrats is whether to applaud Obama as a cunning politician who knows how to win or fret that he's given undecided voters reason to think his 'politics of hope' are just politics as usual.
EURO 2008: A final of power versus patience - by Bob Lenarduzzi
After three weeks and 30 games, it all comes down to today's match, Germany versus Spain in the final. It's Spanish skill and patient passing versus Germany's physical and more direct style, as the game's great underachievers go head-to-head with a side that has won everything there is to win. Spain will be without star striker David Villa, who leads the tournament in scoring but is sidelined with a torn thigh muscle. If there is any team that can shrug off such a loss, however, it is Spain, which has demonstrated tremendous depth.
Why do foreign tourists hate Russians on holidays?
A recent research published in the Netherlands revealed that many foreign tourists, particularly the Dutch, prefer to stay away from Russian holiday-makers in Turkey and Egypt. The research was conducted by Esme Visser, a specialist of Eastern Europe. She personally questioned hundreds of tourists and used several hundreds of comments which she gathered at hotels and online forums. She was interested in most popular destinations with Russian tourists – Turkey, Egypt and Arab Emirates. For example, over 1.5 million Russian vacationers visited Turkey in 2006 alone. The researcher said that she was shocked to hear so much criticism of Russians from Dutch tourists. About 40 percent of opinions included in the research touched upon Russian tourists, most of them contained complaints. There were positive comments, but they were in minority. To crown it all, there were hardly any complaints about tourists of other nationalities.
The phenomenon even led to the development of a new trend in tourism, known as “tours without Russians.”
The real Dutch treat is Delft
The Dutch harnessed the sea with their ingenious dikes, and the wind, with their trademark windmills. They also gave us Rembrandt. So, it’s only fitting that their most famous pottery, Delftware, is not only known for its artistry, but also for its technical superiority.
Obama to visit Europe, Middle East
Barack Obama will visit Europe and the Middle East ahead of August's Democratic nomination convention, his campaign has said. The trip to France, Germany, Great Britain, Jordan and Israel will focus on issues such as terrorism and nuclear proliferation.In a statement, Mr Obama said: "This trip will be an important opportunity for me to assess the situation in countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with some of our closest friends and allies about the common challenges we face.
The Nova Scotia Business Journal:Alternative energy: Nova Scotia Province researches tidal power development - by John Demings
AlternativeEnergy : Nova Scotia Province researches tidal power development - by John Demings
The Nova Scotia government has committed up to $2 million for research to ensure tidal devices face close scrutiny before going in the water, and that there is a better understanding of the Bay of Fundy’s tidal resource. The announcement came today in the province’s answer to a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) that was prepared by the Offshore Energy Environmental Research Association and completed in April.
"Tidal energy is an exciting offshore resource, with all the potential benefits that come with it," said Energy Minister Richard Hurlburt. "But we won't know what can safely be developed without more research, and more experience in the water." The province also committed to create legislation covering benefits, royalties and other issues before considering commercial in-stream tidal projects. In-stream tidal devices work somewhat like wind turbines underwater.
Europeans picking mobiles over landlines
Europeans are increasingly shunning landlines for mobile phones and online calling, according to a European Union survey released Friday. The poll, carried out in November and December, found that 24 percent of European households have given up fixed landlines for mobile phones, up from 22 percent in a survey two years earlier. The Czech Republic, Finland and Lithuania had the lowest number of landlines in use across the 27-nation bloc.
06/27/2008 - By Thomas Renard (from Terrorism Monitor, June 26) - Two very different forms of Kurdish activism oppose each other in Europe. The largely unnoticed development of opposing forces could be exploited by European diplomats to terminate terrorist activities carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and soften Europe’s relationship with Turkey. The “old” form of Kurdish activism consists of terrorist attacks, training and fundraising in Europe by PKK members. The “new” form of activism relies on legal and democratic means. While the former takes advantage of the lack of European counter-terrorism cooperation, the latter finds its force in the new powers implemented by the European Union (EU)."
Manpower: 37 percent willing to relocate anywhere in the world for better career
Thirty-seven percent of workers says they would be willing to relocate anywhere in the world for a better career, according to a new survey published by Manpower, Inc., the Milwaukee-based employment services firm. The relocation survey, which gathered responses from more than 31,000 people in 27 global labor markets, was conducted in parallel with a workforce survey of employers that revealed substantial concern about workforce mobility.
Living on the Ice Shelf: Humanity's Melt Down - by Mike Davis
"The current ruthless competition between energy and food markets, amplified by international speculation in commodities and agricultural land, is only a modest portent of the chaos that could soon grow exponentially from the convergence of resource depletion, intractable inequality, and climate change".
The United Nations Development Program, which has made its own study of sustainable energy goals, warns that it will require "a 50 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 2050 against 1990 levels" to keep humanity outside the red zone of runaway warming (usually defined as a greater than two degrees centigrade increase this century). Yet the International Energy Agency predicts that, in all likelihood, such emissions will actually increase in this period by nearly 100% -- enough greenhouse gas to propel us past several critical tipping points.
Knowledge@Wharton: US Presidential elections Obama and McCain: Different -- and Evolving -- Visions for the U.S. Economy
US Presidential elections 2008 - Obama and McCain: Different -- and Evolving -- Visions for the U.S. Economy
For the most part, the positions of the presumptive nominees, Republican McCain and Democrat Obama, fall along traditional party lines: Obama leans more toward government involvement in the economy, while McCain's proposals rely on private sector solutions. Both plans, however, would certainly add to already troubling deficits, according to Wharton faculty and economic policy analysts who point to worrisome elements of both candidates' plans.
In the Indian business magazine Business Today, V.K. Kaul, professor of business economics at Delhi University, said that rating the most favorable candidate from India's perspective is a futile exercise. "Any U.S. president will look to promote only that country's interests. Who comes to power is, therefore, immaterial."
A fragmented form of integration is emerging in the region, in which Central America and the Caribbean are strengthening their ties with the U.S. whereas South America -- except for Colombia -- is coming together and strengthening its relationships with Europe more than with the U.S. In this context, "Colombia will continue to be a strategic ally of the U.S., even under a Democratic-controlled government and Congress."
EURO 2008 - Spain beats Russia 3-0 to reach Euro final vs. Germany
Spain scored three second-half goals Thursday to beat Russia 3-0 and reach the European Championship final, giving the team a chance to shed its status as football's biggest chokers. Xavi Hernandez, Dani Guiza and David Silva scored a goal each to give the Spaniards a shot at their second European title when they play Germany on Sunday at Ernst Happel Stadium.
AEI - Bush Returns from Europe without Understanding the Old Continent's Position on Iran - by Ida Garibaldi
Bush Returns from Europe without Understanding the Old Continent's Position on Iran - by Ida Garibaldi
There was little more than the window dressing of a farewell tour in President Bush's trip to Europe earlier this month. Most significantly, he failed to come away with a clear idea of where Europe stands on Iran. It is a pity, but it is not surprising. At the end of his second mandate an American president progressively loses his political influence, becoming a semi irrelevant actor on the political scene of his country. This element coupled with the entrenched European indecision in facing the Iranian issue undermined the results of a trip that otherwise could have had a very positive effect on the transatlantic alliance.
Study shows Climate change forces plants to higher ground
Researchers from AgroParisTech in France said the shift to higher altitudes is even larger for those plant species restricted to mountain habitats. "If all of these species moved in the same way, this is interesting to see and to analyze and it was significant enough to be considered a movement in relation to climate warming," said lead researcher Jonathan Lenoir in an interview podcast by Science.
Sarkozy is making enemies when he should really be making friends
Making enemies might seem a strange way to launch a presidency. But Nicolas Sarkozy just cannot help it, it seems. In the run-up to the start of France's six-month leadership of the European Union, kicking off next Tuesday, a steady stream of venom is pouring Brussels's way from Paris. The two main targets are Jose Manuel Barroso, the ex-Portuguese prime minister who heads a liberal commission, and Peter Mandelson, former New Labour brain and now powerful trade commissioner. The rhetorical knives are out.
Consumer confidence across Europe fell in June - but business sentiment holding its own
Household confidence, strained by sky-high fuel prices, slid in many parts of Europe in June, including Germany, the Continent's recent juggernaut, economic surveys showed Tuesday.
France, Continental Europe's second-biggest economy behind Germany, showed some resistance with business sentiment holding its ground in June and consumer spending surging surprisingly. Spending held up in Britain, too, despite signs there of a potentially serious housing slump.
The U.S. Consumer: Darkness in June - by Michael Englund
The public dialogue on the economy may now be worse than at any time since the disastrous 1970s and early-1980s periods, which is remarkable given the ongoing resilience in reported economic data. As for the Federal Reserve's June 25 policy statement, the weak confidence report is likely to cool the central bank's interest in appearing too hawkish on inflation.The one-year-ahead inflation reading was steady at 7.7% in June, after soaring in May from the 6.8% April reading that matched the prior all-time high set in September, 2005.
EURO 2008 - Turkey and Russia worthy of top billing - by Andrew Warshaw
While the semi-final line-up tomorrow and Thursday might not exactly set the pulses racing or fill the coffers of either the joint hosts or Uefa, especially now that an estimated 120,000 Dutch fans have left town, no-one can say that the four teams involved don't deserve to be there – and that includes 66-1 outsiders Turkey. With his trademark unbuttoned white crisp shirt and Mediterranean tan, Terim's emphasis on team play has paid off big-time. He has developed a squad with the mental resilience of a club side, a player's coach who treats them as soldiers going into battle. Whatever happens in Basel tomorrow night, his cult status can only be enhanced.
Five times Hiddink has taken teams to major tournaments, and five times he has successfully steered them out of the group stages. Russia may have started badly against Spain but the way they responded had the purists purring with delight. Hiddink may have already exceeded expectations but there is a train of thought that suggests Russia are the growing force in European football following Zenit St Petersburg's Uefa Cup win over Rangers. But good enough to beat Spain? No one , least of all themselves, expect Luis Aragones' team to have anywhere near as comfortable a ride as they did in the group phase when Russia were raw and nervous. But having broken their jinx against Italy in the quarters, the great under-achievers of European football believe their time has come.
Europe's trance of unreality - by van Krastev
There is something unreal and profoundly disturbing about the latest crisis in the European Union. In theory the results of the Irish referendum held on 12 June are a fatal blow to the Lisbon treaty and the prospects of reforming the European Union. In theory the only logical outcome of the referendum should be either a Europe of "two speeds" or a paralyzed Europe. In reality, however, nobody believes that the Irish vote will bury the Lisbon treaty. The only genuine question is when the Irish will be forced to vote "yes" after they were so unreasonable as to vote "no."
European citizens are bored to death with their leaders. The more these leaders are ready to ignore the sense of crisis and disappointment expressed by the voters, the more voters are ready to reject any idea or policy coming from on high. The problem is less that Euroscepticism is on the rise as that Euro-enthusiasm has disappeared. It is safe to predict that if all European Union member-states were to vote on the Lisbon treaty, the result would be an Ireland-style rejection in at least half. The latest version of the dialectic of European integration - its new social pact - proclaims that people can vote "no" only to a certain extent, and that elites preserve the right not to take "no" for an answer. This process of "evasion by trivialization" is the core of the EU's crisis.
German Politicians Want Nukes out of Europe
Following the release of confidential information from a US Air Force report claiming that US nuclear weapons in Europe are not properly taken care of, German politicians from across the political spectrum are calling for the weapons' removal. "Atomic weapons in Germany are relics of the Cold War and need to go," Guido Westerwelle, head of the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), told the Berliner Zeitung. This is just "one more reason to remove all of the tactical atomic weapons stored in Germany," Westerwelle added. Note EU-Digest: The United States still keeps as many as 480 nuclear weapons at air bases across Europe, more than twice what independent military analysts previously estimated, according to a new study that says the weapons' presence is hurting efforts to curb nuclear proliferation worldwide. Capt. Curry W. Graham, a spokesman for the military's European Command, said the United States still maintained a sizable nuclear arsenal in Europe to support NATO's strategic deterrence mission to "maintain peace and stability in the region." Pentagon policy prohibits the disclosure of the amount or location of American nuclear weapons.
"Luxembourg and Ireland richest in EU
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Luxembourg is by far the richest country in the European Union, with Ireland second at almost half its gross domestic product per capita, while Bulgaria is the poorest, the European Union statistics office said."
Between the age of 16, when he lost his
virginity, and his late forties, when he lost his potency, Casanova
slept with around 130 of them, which works out at an average of four a
year. This may or may not seem a great deal for a man who never married
or stayed in one place for too long, but Kelly argues that Casanova
deserves his place in history not because of the quantity of bodies he
enjoyed but because of the guilt-free quality of the enjoyment as he
describes it in his memoirs. The Histoire 'posited firmly, for the
first time in the Western canon, the idea that an understanding of sex
- with all its irrationality and destructive potential - is key to an
understanding of the self'.
making of his acclaimed movie, ‘Absurdistan’. Veit Helmer’s allegorical
comedy tells the story of a tiny village inhabited by just 14 families
between Asia and Europe.
Life is strange in Absurdistan.
There are only two pressing problems - a chronic lack of water and lazy
men. As the battle of the sexes breaks out, the main slogan adopted by
the women becomes: "No water - no sex!"
Helmer’s picture features two childhood sweethearts who seem destined
for one another, but the sex strike threatens the young couple's first
night of love.
SanDiego.com: US Economy - Harvard report: Housing outlook remains bleak - Decline 'is shaping up to be the worst in a generation' - by Emmet Pierce
In a grim report on the weakened state of the housing industry, Harvard
University says the
United States is caught in a real estate market
downturn “that is shaping up to be the worst
in a generation.”
The five sharpest drops in metropolitan area building permitting from
2005 to 2007 were in
Florida. Florida tops the list of states with the
deepest cutbacks at 64 percent, followed by
Michigan at 61 percent and
Minnesota at 51 percent.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday there could be no Mideast
peace unless Israel drops its refusal to cede sovereignty over parts of
Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinians, challenging one of Israel's most
emotionally held positions.
feared for his safety, while police on Monday raided his party's
headquarters and took about 60 people away. Morgan Tsvangirai
went to the embassy Sunday shortly after announcing he was withdrawing
from Friday's presidential runoff against longtime leader Robert
Mugabe, citing violence against opposition supporters, a Dutch Foreign
Ministry spokesman said.
Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential election on March
29, but did not gain an outright majority against 84-year-old Mugabe.
That campaign was generally peaceful, but the runoff has been
overshadowed by violence and intimidation, especially in rural areas.
Independent human rights groups say 85 people have died and tens of
thousands have been displaced from their homes, most of them opposition
It's often said that "art imitates life." Sometimes, so, too, does
sport. In watching the 2008 European football championships, Macro Man
has been struck how each of the four semifinalists in some way
represent the future of Europe in a way that, for example, the host
nations (Austria and Switzerland) never could. Consider the impact of
the four qualifying countries.
soft power, is stop trying to pile new, hard architecture on its
soft mass. That means forgetting about becoming a mammoth lumbering with the cast iron paraphernalia of an all-purpose state. It could do things differently. And more simply.
Russia's new Superjet 100 medium-haul passenger jet is set to become
the safest plane in the Russian fleet of civilian aircraft, a leading
test expert said on Wednesday. Sukhoi plans to manufacture at least 700 Superjet 100s, and intends to
sell 35% of them to North America, 25% to Europe, 10% to Latin America,
and 7% to Russia and China. So far, the company has secured 73 firm orders for the aircraft.
Optimism was the name of the game at the European Summit in
Brussels on Thursday and Friday. Still it was clear: After the Irish
rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union doesn't know what to
do next. And more hurdles are just over the horizon.
After cruising through the Group of Death, scoring nine goals and
allowing only one, there was a new swagger to this crowd. This was
clearly a pre-party, preparation for the bigger one to come once they'd
advanced to the semifinals. That cockiness extended to the Dutch team.
It cost them dearly in a decisive 3-1 extra-time loss .The Dutch, they should still be crying today.
All three quarterfinals have been won by group runners-up. Russia will
play the winner of Sunday's match between Spain and Italy next Thursday.
large-scale training operation that simulated an attack on an Iranian
nuclear reactor, US media reports claim. The
apparent operation follows months of escalating rhetoric from the
Israeli defence establishment and politicians, who insist a military
strike against the nascent nuclear capabilities of Iran is on
strategists' drawing boards. Up to 100 advanced Israeli combat jets were reported to have taken
part in the drill over Greece and other areas of the eastern
Analysis, Opinion - The anti-EU leprechauns bring us no crock of gold
CRISIS? What crisis? No crisis at all, say the people who urged us to vote 'No', although by their own admission they did not know what we were voting about. And the break-up of the EU is not just a pipe dream for loonies. It is a nightmarish possibility which terrifies European leaders. They cannot allow little Ireland, or the little Czech Republic to turn it from a possibility, into a probability. The Czechs are to some extent protected by their geopolitical importance. We have no such protection. Out here in the Atlantic, we could be cut adrift. We might have nowhere to turn but good old HMS Albion
abruptly put on ice Friday at the request of a High Court judge, adding
a fresh twist to the bloc's latest institutional crisis.
Minister Gordon Brown, attending an EU summit in Brussels, agreed to
delay ratification of the Lisbon Treaty pending a ruling -- expected
next week -- on a legal bid to force a referendum in Britain on the
Note EU-Digest: It is time to realize the British, Irish and some Eastern European countries want only the benefits of the EU and give nothing in return. The other EU-Members who want a more cohesive integration should have the courage to "think out of the box" and go ahead without these obstructionists of European integration.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez lamented a set of rules
approved by the European Union (EU) to expel illegal immigrants
and threatened to stop sending crude oil to European countries
that implement the law."Our oil will not go to any countries which apply this affront,"
said the head of state during a ceremony to review Venezuelan-Paraguayan
cooperation agreements. He recommended the rest of the presidents
in the hemisphere following suit, no matter if they are leftists
Note: EU-Digest: Who cares what Hugo Chávez says. Less and less people are taking him serious, even the ones that wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt are now questioning his motives.
Guardian: Forward Russia and the Hiddink revolution as European football finds another superpower - by Dominic
Hiddink is blessed with supremely talented players. Andrei Arshavin
could illuminate this tournament while the full-backs Aleksandr Anyukov
and Yuri Zhirkov, and the striker Roman Pavlyuchenko boast outstanding
ability. There are midfielders in Igor Semshov, Konstantin Zyryanov and
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who ally slick passing with feverish industry. At
a little over 26, the squad's average age is the youngest at the
finals. This has the mark of a golden generation that, unlike
England's, might actually claim silverware.
Turkey beat Croatia 3-1 on
penalties after their Euro 2008 quarter-final finished 1-1
following extra time on Friday.
Turkey will meet Germany, who beat Portugal 3-2 on Thursday,
in the first semi in Basel on Wednesday.
Elon Musk is perhaps the ultimate immigrant success
story. He left home in South Africa for Canada and came to the United
States to pursue his education. In 1999, he co-founded a company called
X.com, an online financial services and email payments company that later became PayPal.
In 2002, Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he is currently CEO and CTO.
He's also Chairman of the Board of Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley-based
company which is building high-performance electric vehicles.
Musk says : "I think the United States is the greatest country that's ever
existed on earth. And I think that it is difficult to argue on
objective grounds that it is not. I think the facts really point in
that direction. It's the greatest force for good of any country that's
ever been. I think it would be a mistake to say the United States is
perfect; it certainly is not. But when historians look at these things
on balance and measure the good with the bad -- and I think if you do
that on a rational basis and make a fair assessment -- I think it's
hard to say that there is anything better. I wasn't born in America -
but I got here as fast as I could."
Note EU-Digest: "Let us hope one day we will hear European immigrants say the same about Europe as what Mr. Musk is saying about the US?"
The U.S. Ranks Dead Last Among 19 Nations In Preventive Medicine
The United States ranks worst among developed nations in the number of preventable deaths, according to a study conducted by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and published in the journal.
The foreign ministers of the 27-nation EU bloc have agreed to scrap
sanctions against Cuba. The Caribbean country's northern neighbor is
bound to be angered by the move.
The move is expected to place Brussels and Washington on a collision course and drew criticism from Cuban dissidents.
The vote on Thursday, June 19, scrapped the sanctions that were
imposed in 2003, suspended in 2005 and are largely symbolic. They
include limits on high-level government visits and the role of EU
diplomats in Cuba's cultural events and do not approach the hard line
of the 46-year-old US sanctions, which include a trade and investment
In an anonymous letter, the officers from across the armed services slammed
France's new defence doctrine, outlined by Mr Sarkozy this week, which calls
for 54,000 military and civilian defence job cuts in return for investment
in intelligence and hi-tech equipment.
"We are abandoning European military leadership to the British, when we
know their particular relationship with the United States," wrote the
group calling itself Surcouf – the name of a legendary French corsair who
captured dozens of British ships in the Napoleonic wars.
The U.S. keeps an estimated 350 thermonuclear bombs in six NATO
countries. In four of those — Belgium, Germany, Italy and the
Netherlands — the weapons are stored at the host nation's air bases,
where they are guarded by specially trained U.S. military personnel.
But the full text of the document, obtained by Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) and posted on his blog, shows the extent to which U.S. Air Force inspectors worry about the safety of weapons in Europe.
In one of the clearest signs yet of Europe's hardening stance on
immigration, on Wednesday the European Parliament approved tough new
rules for expelling undocumented immigrants, among them a provision
allowing member nations to keep migrants in detention centers for up to
18 months. Foreigners who have been forcibly deported also face a
five-year ban on reentering the European Union.
More oil production is not the answer
No one wants a return to the days of the 1970s, when President Carter wore a sweater during an Oval Office speech in which he encouraged Americans to turn down their thermostats in order to save a few gallons of heating oil. The United States must develop an energy plan consisting of more than begging other countries to increase their oil production so that automobile-addicted Americans can cling to their gas-guzzling SUVs. It must include research for alternative fuels and the more-efficient use of the fuels we have.
Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. is disappointed by a recommendation that a $35 billion U.S. Air Force tanker contract that it won with an American partner be reopened for bidding, the company's chief executive said Wednesday. The US Government Accountability Office said it found "a number of significant errors that could have affected the outcome of what was a close competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman." The GAO decision is not binding, but it puts heavy pressure on the Air Force to reopen the contract and could help Boeing capture part or all of the award.
Note EU-Digest: one can only hope the EU takes good note of this US Government intervention on behalf of Boeing when Boeing or US Aircraft builders try to sell their aircraft in Europe.
Germany Beats Portugal 3–2 in Euro 2008 Soccer
Germany triumphed over Portugal 3–2 in the first Euro 2008 Championship quarter-final match.
Portugal won it's first two matches, and fielded a team of substitutes for its final round match. thus, its starters were well rested and ready.
When it comes to tackling climate change, Germany's government seems to
be making a serious effort. On Wednesday, the German cabinet signed off
an ambitious package of measures
aimed at slashing the country's CO2 emissions by 40 percent relative to
1990s levels by 2020. German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel called
the package, which reflects Germany's ambition to take a lead in the
fight against climate change, "the largest worldwide."
A special EU-Digest report
Declan Ganley - Who has been bankrolling the man behind the Irish "no to EU" campaign?
The no campaign against the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland was buoyant, thanks in large part to the zeal of 39 year old Declan Ganley. But the question remains: who has been bankrolling him? In reality, Declan Ganley, should be a member of Ireland's elite establishment: he is after all a millionaire, living in a mansion in Galway and owning a Rolls-Royce, a Merc and a helicopter. Yet the establishment is intensely fearful of him, because of the highly effective role he has played in persuading Irish voters to reject the EU Lisbon Treaty.
He can hardly be accused of being insular, since he has amassed his fortune with international ventures which have taken him to the US, Russia, Bulgaria and Latvia, where he once also worked as an adviser to the government. His English accent comes from the fact that he was born in London, though his Irish-born parents took the family back to live in rural Co Galway when he was 13.
In some ways he did not fit in, but he compensated with precocious entrepreneurial flair which already emerged in his teens. After school he went from working on construction sites in London to a lowly position in an insurance company before going on to build a business career ranging from aluminium in Russia to forestry in Latvia, telecommunications in Bulgaria and jewelry on the Internet. Some of his concerns have not been huge successes, while others are said to have been sold for phenomenal sums. What is clear is that until this campaign, he was much better known in the business world than in political circles and concentrated his activities on international, rather than Irish matters.
Some of his many companies do business with the US military-industrial complex. One supplies emergency response systems to the military leading some in the Yes camp to portray him as a shadowy figure with connections to neoconservatives whose organisation is being bankrolled by sinister money from outside Ireland. One senior figure asked: "Are they getting it from the CIA, the UK Independence Party or their friends in the US military?" Certainly, his campaign movement Libertas has spent plenty of money. The Sunday before the vote, for example, he could afford to have a private plane soar over Croke Park trailing the message "Keep Europe off the pitch vote No". His Libertas party, which dismisses all such allegations, is part of an anti-Treaty coalition, ranging from the far-right to the far-left. In their no-campaign they concentrated on different areas affected by the Treaty and indeed in some cases areas which are, arguably, not affected by it at all.
Ireland was once hugely, automatically pro-European, originally in terms of idealism and later in terms of major funding. But eaten bread is soon forgotten, specially now that monies are diverted to newer EU entrants. For whatever his motives, Declan Ganley used his old insurance salesman skills well and sold the Irish "a policy" on Europe they could one day come to regret.
EU summiteers seek to avoid paralysis over treaty
EU leaders will meet in Brussels Thursday, eager to show that Europe can tackle pressing issues such as soaring oil prices, while handling the crisis caused by Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. The 27 heads of state and government received a boost late Wednesday when the British parliament approved the treaty, designed to bring the EU's creaking institutions up to date to deal with an ever-expanding bloc. After a stormy debate the unelected upper House of Lords effectively ratified the treaty.Britain, one of the biggest and most eurosceptic member states, thus became the first nation to push forward with the treaty since Irish voters firmly rejected it in a referendum a week ago. The bill is set to go for Royal Assent by Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday morning, hours before British Prime Minister Gordon Brown takes his place at the Brussels summit. To further show that the treaty has not been killed off by the Irish "no" vote, the European leaders are set to confirm that the eight nations still to ratify the text should continue to do so via the parliamentary route.
Those who have followed Euro 2008 on television may be surprised by
some of the choices in our list of the top 30 players of the group
stages. Some players on the list have hardly been mentioned by commentators
focused on the ball. We prefer to look at a player’s overall body of
The best thing about having the privilege to be at the tournament is
the opportunity to witness the thought processes and movement away from
the ball that makes Europe’s top players special.
It should be no shock that the Dutch are heavily represented following
their unbeaten run in the Group of Death. The list is topped by Wesley
Sneijder, who made life miserable for both the World Cup champions and
finalists with his vision and trickery.
The group phase is almost over and it's time to have a look at the first of four quarter finals. Two tournament favorites, Portugal and Germany, face each other in Basel on Thursday.
Portugal have been doing well so far, with two relatively easy wins in the group phase to secure qualification. Scolari's men did lose the last game to Switzerland, but that was nothing more than a formality. Germany have had an up-and-down campaign so far. After an easy win over Poland, the 1996 European Champions crashed to a defeat against Croatia. Their narrow win over hosts Austria eventually earned them in a spot in the quarter finals.
Russia has confirmed that Georgia detained earlier
on Tuesday four Russian peacekeepers and a military truck in the
conflict zone between Georgia and its breakaway region of Abkhazia,
local media reported.<p> "We confirm the detainment of four
military from the Collective Peacekeeping Force and a vehicle with
munitions in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict," Itar-Tass
cited Colonel Igor Konashenkov, aide to the commander-in-chief of the
Russian Ground Troops. "At about 20:30, Moscow time (1630
GMT), Georgian law enforcement agencies detained in the southern
security zone in violation of all regulatory documents a vehicle of
Russian peacekeepers, which was carrying their munitions to the
southern security zone," he said.
Time to focus on Europe’s success
When Europe’s leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday, they should use the occasion to take a step back and ask: why is the European Union today apparently so unloved? Of course, it would be wrong to exaggerate. In every member state in the EU, more people love it than loathe it. But they do not really understand how it works, and they have forgotten what it is for. They are also worried that it has become too large and too alien. But that alone is not enough. It is time the EU leaders went out and sold their success story to their voters. Enlargement has been a fantastic success story. The same goes for the euro and the “four freedoms” – freedom of movement of people, capital, goods and services. If that positive story is not told, there is a real danger of a backlash that will tie the EU up in nationalist knots.
Firefox 3 downloads clear 8 million mark - by Stephen Shanklan
Take this statistic with a grain of salt, but Mozilla said more than 8 million copies of Firefox 3 were downloaded in its first 24 hours online. Mozilla, which is behind the open-source Web browser, was trying to set a download record for the software. The 24-hour period lasted from 11:16 a.m. PDT Tuesday to the same time Wednesday, and Mozilla said it's waiting for the Guinness Book of World Records to review the results.The download rate, which peaked at 14,000 per minute Tuesday, was still going strong at more than 6,000 per minute Wednesday morning.
EU - Outrage at plans to lift USA 'chlorine chicken' ban
Members of Parliament from all political horizons have reacted with fury to a Commission proposal yesterday (28 May) to re-allow imports of poultry rinsed with chemicals, stemming mainly from the United States.MEPs, meeting in Parliament's Environment Committee, were incensed by the decision, which they say contradicts Community food production standards. "The chlorination of chicken intended for human consumption is not acceptable for the EU […] Such food production methods are at variance with the relevant Community standards, and threatening to the EU's entire set of food production standards and rules," states an EP press release. If approved, the proposal would effectively lift an 11-year ban on US poultry, which are generally treated with these processes.
The US has been pushing for the ban to be lifted for years but to no avail. However, the issue was recently pinpointed as a top priority in the new "Transatlantic Economic Council" process, which aims to remove remaining regulatory obstacles hampering trade and investment between the two economic giants.
France is leading the opposition to the plans, saying the move would frustrate efforts to reduce bacterial infection rates, such as salmonella, in Europe. Many other European governments are fiercely opposed to any form of compromise on food safety standards, which in the EU are among the highest in the world.
Reverse Henry-Fordism-"There are no sellers without buyers"- by Ernest Partridge
That's the first law of practical economics. Everyone knows this to be true, whether or not one has ever taken a course in Economics. Everyone except, apparently, a few Ph.D economists who seem to forget this rule when they are hired by the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, etc., from which they migrate, back and forth, between offices in Republican/conservative administrations and these right-wing think tanks.
For these worthies, the "first law" is replaced by the dogmas of deregulation, "trickle-down" and market fundamentalism: impoverish the masses, throw money at the rich who will then invest it, and then "the invisible hand" of the unregulated free market will bring forth a cornucopia of goods and services. Never mind that there will be few if any buyers for these consumer goodies. Henry Ford saw the fallacy of such a policy when he raised the wages of his workers. His competitors in the auto industry were aghast. "Why did you do that?," they asked. Ford is said to have replied, "If I don't pay them more, who will buy my cars?"
Brown Wins Liberal Support for EU Treaty's Final Hurdle in U.K. - by Mark Deen
Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords plan to back Prime Minister Gordon Brown's effort to approve the European Union governing treaty, clearing the way for British ratification of the document rejected by Irish voters. ``We should finish the process, just as the Irish have completed theirs,'' Lord Tom McNally, leader of the 76 Liberal Democrats in the upper chamber, said in an interview. ``Our intention is to see the bill pass. We're not going to fall into the Conservative elephant traps along the way.'' The comments indicate that Brown's Labour government has enough strength in the House of Lords to win final approval for the Lisbon Treaty when lawmakers vote later today. The treaty can only take effect once all 27 EU countries endorse it. Irish voters vetoed it in a referendum last week.
EU-Digest/ IHT: Afghanistan: No 1 Heroin Producer in the world: "A bottomless Pit which is hard to sell in Europe" - by Celestine Bohlen
Afghanistan: No 1 Heroin Producer in the world: "A bottomless Pit which is hard to sell in Europe" - by Celestine Bohlen
As allied casualties mounted - more than 840 at last count - popular support for the war has waned in Europe, limiting the ability of government leaders to respond to urgent pleas for help from the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which leads the international force. Continued involvement hinges on a comprehensive plan for the country's reconstruction, which was the focus of an international conference in Paris last week. European leaders "want a new strategy that's more saleable at home," says Daniel Korski, author of "Afghanistan: Europe's Forgotten War" and a senior fellow at the London-based European Council on Foreign Relations. "It is part of an outreach to the domestic audience that there's more to this than the military component." When the war was started in late 2001 in response to the attacks of Sept. 11 against New York and Washington, the fight against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies had broad support in both the United States and Europe, in stark contrast to the more divisive, costlier and deadlier Iraq war that began two years later. Since then, Afghanistan has increasingly been caught in a spiral of violence and corruption, fueled by a booming opium trade that has put local officials in thrall to a criminal narcotics racket.
Heroin production in Afghanistan has tripled since 2001 and now accounts for 90 percent of the world supply, according to U.S. figures. Profit from the drug trade helps fund Taliban insurgents, who have stepped up attacks. In 2003, there were three suicide bombings. In 2007, there were 130.
Iran has no plans to move money out of Europe
Iran is not planning to move assets from European banks, a banking official said on Tuesday, rejecting reports it is making major withdrawals to dodge impending EU sanctions. "No money from Iranian banks has been transferred out of European banks to Iran or other countries. And it will not be (moved)," the managing director of Bank Mellat, Ali Divandari, was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency. "There is no reason for the transfer of this money," said Divandari, whose bank is one of Iran's major state banks. The United States and European Union are seeking to ratchet up pressure on Tehran in the standoff over its contested nuclear programme by imposing a range of financial measures against the Islamic republic. Media reports have said Iran has been shifting tens of billions of dollars from the European banks to other institutions, fearing that further sanctions would affect its access to investments. Divandari however said that the transfer of such assets has not even been discussed.
For the complete report from the AsiaNews click on this link
Oil to reach US$ 250 a barrel very soon, says Russia's Gazprom chief
With the price of oil rising, at its highest yesterday at US$ 139.89 a barrel, the head of Russian energy giant Gazprom expects crude to climb to US$ 250 a barrel in the "foreseeable future.” According to Alexei Miller, chief executive of Gazprom, the world's biggest natural gas company, the day when this happens is not far off. In the meantime his forecast produced a whirlwind of speculation. Jeff Spittel, an analyst at Natixis Bleichroeder, said prices might reach that level only after a war or attack on major oil installations. Yet other experts who disagree with Miller still agree that rising crude prices cannot be stopped. “It would be a disaster for all the oil-importing countries, all the democracies and China,” says James Woolsey, the vice-president of consultant Booz Allen & Hamilton.Some investors are already betting on Mr Miller's forecast. However at US$ 250 a barrel, "there would be a massive shutdown of companies", says Carlos Mattei, procurement vice-president for glassmaker Vitro SAB. And big companies would be nationalised.
Netherlands, Italy go through from Euro 2008 "group of death"
World champions Italy and the Netherlands won their final matches in group C at the European championship finals on June 17 by the same scoreline, 2:0, to progress to the quarterfinals. The Dutch had secured their spot at the top of the group even before their match with Romania and fielded a team filled with reserves, which nevertheless included players that can single-handedly win a match on their night, such as Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben. For Romania, a win would have guaranteed progressing at the expense of Italy and France, the two teams that played in the last World Cup final. But instead of adopting a more swashbuckling attitude, as they did against Italy, Romania looked for the larger part of the match as a collection of individuals who were playing together for the first time, struggling to string along more than three passes going forward. The Netherlands enjoyed the lion's share of the possession, aided by Romanian players, who appeared unable to stop themselves from giving the ball away. Expertly stretching their opponents' defence on the wings, the Dutch looked more likely to score and in the 36th minute Robben missed the first clear-cut chance, stabbing his shot just inches wide of goal. One of Romania's rare forays saw Razvan Cocis shoot over the crossbar when he was left alone at the edge of the Dutch penalty area just before half-time.
Within ten minutes of the restart, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the Ajax striker rumoured to be a transfer target for a host of big clubs, who has looked largely ineffective until then, finally scored his first goal of the tournament with an easy-looking tap-in from Ibrahim Afellay's cross.At the other end, the Netherlands continued to patiently test Romania, but their second goal came from a counter-attack in the dying minutes of the half, van Persie beating his market to thump his shot into the near corner.Italy received an unexpected boost eight minutes into the match, when Franck Ribery, France's most dangerous player so far this tournament, was stretchered off with an apparent hamstring injury.Luck was on Italy's side throughout the match, but it remains to be seen whether it will hold against Spain when the two teams play each other in the quarterfinal on June 22. The last time they met, in March, Spain won 1:0.
Expotec GmbH - Germany, Rostock - International Trade Fair for the Maritime Industry in the Baltic Sea area
Germany, Rostock - International Trade Fair for the Maritime Industry in the Baltic Sea area
The 3rd Future Conference of the Maritime Industry of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will be held along with the trade fair Baltic Future on November 19, 2008. The conference is organized by the Department of Economic Affairs of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the Maritime Board of the Rostock Chamber of Commerce. The proposed topics of the conference are a perfect supplement to the core themes of the trade fair: Maritime logistics, shipbuilding- and supplier industry as well as offshore wind power. Rostock Business will commit itself even stronger to offshore wind power. The company has already confirmed both: Cooperation with the Offshore-workshop of the Maritime Future Conference and a presentation at the trade show. Four lectures and a panel discussion will deal with the extension of medium-sized maritime industries in order to come to a linked-up production within complex superstructures for offshore wind power. Topics of high interest such as specific manpower training in the specialized sectors of this branch of industry will also be discussed.
Siemens eyes to invest in Turkish wind energy market
Europe's largest engineering conglomerate, Siemens, has taken steps to increase its position in the Turkish renewable energy market. Siemens Turkey CEO Hüseyin Gelis and Wolfgang Dehen, a board member and the company's energy division CEO, expressed their strong will to invest in the Turkish wind energy business in particular at a roundtable with members of the press in İstanbul on Tuesday. "We see a huge market of opportunities in Turkey's energy sector. And we strongly wish to invest in this market!" Dehen said. "Turkey is among the world's top five fastest growing countries and is currently the 17th most important economic power of the world, with the potential to move up to 15th place in 2008," Dehen said, explaining that these growth rates will naturally be reflected by a rapidly increasing demand for energy in the future.
Spain's economy hits the wall - by Andrew Hay
"The Spanish economy is in for a ferocious fall," said economics professor Antoni Espasa at Madrid's Carlos III University. "It's going to suffer more than Europe and take longer to recover." Europe will feel the impact, economists say: Spain drove as much economic growth as Germany or France last year, according to Madrid's AFI consultancy, and created over a third of European Union jobs between 2004 and 2007. Big banks and construction firms like Santander and Acciona long ago diversified beyond domestic housing and today make much of their income abroad. But smaller banks and firms stayed at home, and Spain's socialist government continued to forecast high growth until after its March election victory. Up to last year, Spain financed and built more homes than Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom combined, making it more dependent on housing than any western country bar Ireland. Sprawled across the plains 65 kilometres south of Madrid, La Sagra's brickworks and builders are going bust as credit-starved banks cut off lending and Spaniards stop buying homes.
For the complete report from Bloomberg.com click on this link
Europe Inflation Accelerates More Than Estimated, Reaches 3.7% - by Fergal O'Brien
The inflation rate in the euro area rose to 3.7 percent last month, the highest since June 1992, from 3.3 percent in April, the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg said in a statement today. That is higher than the 3.6 percent estimate published on May 30. Soaring commodity prices have pushed up costs for companies and consumers across Europe and at the same time damped spending and threatened economic growth. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet this month said the ECB may raise its benchmark interest rate a quarter point in July, setting aside concerns about the economy's expansion to combat the fastest inflation in 16 years.
TimesOnline: US Presidential election - the Obamacons - Dismayed Republicans emerge as Barack Obama supporters - by Sara Baxter
US Presidential election - the Obamacons - Dismayed Republicans emerge as Barack Obama supporters - by Sara Baxter
What do the daughter of Richard Nixon, a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and the son of Milton Friedman, the monetarist economist, have in common? They are all Obamacons: conservatives, Republicans and free market champions who support Barack Obama, the Democratic party nominee, for president.
The Obama campaign has a sharp-eyed political operations team tasked with seeking out prominent endorsers “on both sides of the aisle”, according to a campaign official. It came tantalisingly close to securing one of the biggest names in politics when Colin Powell, secretary of state during President George W Bush’s first term in office, said last week that he might vote for Obama. Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute, a libertarian free market think tank in Washington, said he was “seriously thinking of pulling the lever” for Obama in November. Although he is lukewarm about some of his policies - particularly on free trade and tax and spending - he believes that “the post-partisan, postcultural war rhetoric of Barack Obama is deeply appealing”. There is also the question of pay-back for eight years of Republican mismanagement. “There is a good chunk of people, like myself, who believe the Republicans ought to go down in flames,” he said. “They have made a complete hash of things and they deserve to pay.”
Airbus seeks 500 engineers - Recruitment Day - 30th June 2008, Toulouse, France
Airbus seeks 500 engineers to insert in the personnel at the European facilities. This is an exclusive invitation-only opportunity for experienced engineers in the following areas to join us for a unique day of career and technological discovery at our A-380 Assembly line in Toulouse, France.
f you would like to take part in this Recruitment Day, send your cv and introductory letter and to: firstname.lastname@example.org within the 16th June 2008. Following positions are available - Structural Design & Stress
Electrical Design, System Design, On-board information systems, Avionics Software/Electronics, Simulation Software, and General Design. Please provide the following information when you apply, as incomplete submissions will not be considered:
Area/vacancy of interest.............
How did you find out about the Airbus Recruitment Day?.........
Bloomberg.com: Asia, EU Can Weather Economic Slowdown, Officials Say - by Rainer Buergin and Sandrine Rastello
Asia, EU Can Weather Economic Slowdown, Officials Say - by Rainer Buergin and Sandrine Rastello
Asia and Europe are better placed than other regions to cope with the global economic slowdown, according to officials attending a meeting of finance ministers from the two continents in Jeju, South Korea. The two areas ``have good fundamentals to weather in better condition than others these difficulties,'' European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in an interview today. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said the regions ``were far more resilient than expected in the light of the international economic crisis.'' Still, Almunia said Asia and Europe face ``difficulties from an inflation point of view, because of oil prices, because of food prices.'' Financial-market turmoil is ``having some consequences in our real economies and growth forecasts have been reduced a little bit.'' Spanish Finance Minister Pedro Solbes said inflation over the medium to long term is ``the biggest danger'' for economic growth in Europe. At the same time, he added, governments must foster productivity growth and increase competitiveness.
In an interview, European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos said last week's report that labor costs accelerated in the euro-area by their most since 2003 ``was indicative of intensifying domestic inflation pressures.''
Ireland's referendum - the EU will give them the boot
The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty is a vote that the people of Ireland will come to regret. No other nation has benefited as greatly from its membership in the European Union, and not just from billions of euros in direct subsidies. EU membership - in addition to Ireland's low taxes and its English-speaking population - has made the country an attractive place for multinationals to invest, and it has given Irish families and businesses access to the cheap credit that fueled the nation's economic growth. Irrational fear of "Brussels bureaucrats" is a poor substitute for a rational examination of the facts. Having scuttled the Lisbon Treaty, the Irish will have no one but themselves to blame if the EU gives them the boot.
Iran withdraws $75 billion from Europe
Iran has withdrawn around $75 billion from Europe to prevent the assets from being blocked under threatened new sanctions over Tehran's disputed nuclear ambitions, an Iranian weekly said. Western powers are warning the Islamic Republic of more punitive measures if it rejects an incentives offer and presses on with sensitive nuclear work, but the world's fourth-largest oil exporter is showing no sign of backing down. "Part of Iran's assets in European banks have been converted to gold and shares and another part has been transferred to Asian banks," Mohsen Talaie, deputy foreign minister in charge of economic affairs, was quoted as saying.
Hopp Suisse! becomes Hup Holland! for Swiss fans
Switzerland loves Oranjes as from now on it will be supporting the Dutch at Euro 2008. With the Swiss bowing out of the tournament, the country is looking for another team to support - and it looks as though the Dutch have won their hearts. With four official languages - German, French, Italian and Romansh, and around 10 per cent of the population speaking other languages - there would seem to be plenty of scope for partisanship.
Why Holland? "Because I like flowers," she said. "They play good football, and they like to party. They are very nice." Similar views on the Oranje are held by a great deal of her countrymen and women at the Euro 2008 tournament. According to a survey carried out for SonntagsBlick newspaper by Le Matin Dimanche and Il Caffe, around one in four of Swiss fans are now supporting the Netherlands, far more than any other team.
EURO 2008 - Soccer: Turkey completes stunning rally - by John Doyle
A full hour after Turkey stunned the Czech Republic with a last-gasp 3-2 victory, most of the thousands of Turkish fans were still inside the stadium, celebrating. They could hardly believe it. Neither could anyone else. This was a game for the ages. An epic, come-from-behind victory for an unheralded team that had already dispatched co-host Switzerland from the tournament. For the Turks celebrating in the stands, it was another rebuke to their rude hosts.
Those fans, who had been prepping all day in Geneva outside Turkish coffee houses and kebab shops, knew that every game played in Switzerland, and every goal scored, transcends soccer. The Turks have a complicated, resentful relationship with the Swiss. There are scores to settle, on a sporting and sociological level. It matters that Turkey beat the Czech Republic, but it mattered even more that it happened in Switzerland.
:The Daily Star: US Elections - The 2008 US presidential election will not be close - by Billy I.Ahmed
US Elections - The 2008 US presidential election will not be close - by Billy I.Ahmed
"In early December 2007, when Hillary Clinton was 20-plus points ahead of the Democratic field in national polls, she was a basic weak candidate, a beatable candidate, and polls indicated that Barack Obama would be a stronger match against Republicans. She had the highest "unfavorable" rating of anyone who had ever run for the presidency, and she was the only Democratic candidate who could unite and energise the Republican base, as she was running 10 to 15 points behind in generic Democrat vs. Republican presidential polls. But Barack Obama is a different story. The November presidential election is not going to be close. Barack Obama is going to beat John McCain by 8 to 10 points in the national popular vote and win 300 to 350 electoral votes. Obama is going to wipe out McCain."
Soccer - EURO 2008 - Buffon and Sacchi plea to Netherlands to help keep Italy in Euro 2008
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has a message for the Netherlands: the Dutch beat his team and France so easily in the first round that they ought to help out the World Cup champion and runner-up so they can face them again in the semifinals. Italy is worried that the Netherlands will let Romania win in the final round of Group C games at Euro 2008 because the Dutch have already advanced and the result would eliminate both Italy and France — both possible semifinal opponents.
Scotland on Sunday: EURO 2008 - Soccer - Austria-Germany tie stirs memories of the shameful carve-up of 1982 - by Pat Nevin
EURO 2008 - Soccer - Austria-Germany tie stirs memories of the shameful carve-up of 1982 - by Pat Nevin
T IS fair to say that most footballers aren't generally renowned for their deeply held political viewpoints. My experience was that beyond discussing which party would lower the maximum tax rate and wouldn't hinder them squirrelling some of their cash abroad to a convenient tax haven, few were interested in the subtleties of foreign or fiscal policy.
I can't wait for the spectacle tomorrow as I originally suspected this would be a dead rubber. Instead there is an outside chance of the biggest upset of the tournament. There is also the chance that this could be the start of a deep and unhealthy rivalry between two nations that were once just too close for comfort, and that has to be a good thing.The Austrians also have the advantage of a vociferous 50,000 crowd that makes the most astonishing noise inside the Ernst Happel Stadium. Just like the Tartan Army at Hampden these days, they keep the players going through their unswerving support when the legs would otherwise have packed in, hence the 92nd minute equaliser against Poland.
Europe must not be derailed by lies and disinformation - by Will Hutton
Eurosceptics celebrate a triumph of the little people against the Euro juggernaut. Ireland's 'no' vote against the treaty on the European constitution is, in such minds, the brave assertion of democracy against bureaucracy. The European elite in Brussels, with its dark plans to hobble Europeans everywhere, deserves a good kicking for producing an unloved, incomprehensible set of reforms. It has got it. Ireland has stood up for Europe.
This is nonsense from top to bottom, a farrago of lies and disinformation. The European Union is a painfully constructed and fragile skein of compromises that allows 27 democratic states on our shared continent to come together and drive forward areas of common interest to further their citizens' well-being. The elite that plots this is a nonexistent phantom invented by populist demagogues. The beleaguered, unloved treaty would have improved Europe's effectiveness and tried to address its much talked about democratic weaknesses. The reality is that Ireland's 'no' voters have trashed an EU that is precious but weak. Most 'no' voters, grabbing on to the worst fear rather than reasoned fact, have unknowingly set in train a political dynamic that, unless carefully handled, could lead not just to Ireland but Britain leaving the EU. Everybody will be the poorer. Note EU-Digest: "if the Euro Sceptics in Britain and Ireland eventually get their way, the day might even come where Ireland and Britain will be replaced by Russia as a member of the EU. Russia in a way has far more to contribute to the EU as a whole than Ireland or Britain. If this happens it would finally get rid of two countries who have always been treating the EU with a certain amount of disdain and who look at their EU membership as "wanting to have their cake and eat it also."
The reality is that Ireland's 'no' voters have trashed an EU that is precious but weak. Most 'no' voters, grabbing on to the worst fear rather than reasoned fact, have unknowingly set in train a political dynamic that, unless carefully handled, could lead not just to Ireland but Britain leaving the EU. Everybody will be the poorer.
Note EU-Digest: "if the Euro Sceptics in Britain and Ireland eventually get their way, the day might even come where Ireland and Britain will be replaced by Russia as a member of the EU. Russia in a way has far more to contribute to the EU as a whole than Ireland or Britain. If this happens it would finally get rid of two countries who have always been treating the EU with a certain amount of disdain and who look at their EU membership as "wanting to have their cake and eat it also."
Bernanke chases his tail after spraying cheap money around
Having rescued the financial system by spraying cheap money around, the Federal Reserve is now either relieved that the economy has squeaked through relatively unscathed or the central bank is caught in a bind. Take your pick.
The new Da Vinci Code: Secrets of the Sistine Chapel -Cristina Ruiz
A Venezuelan diplomat visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome in 1950 and made a startling discovery. At the heart of the Vatican, in the place where the College of Cardinals meets to elect each new pope, Joaquin Diaz Gonzalez identified a colossal portrait of the medieval poet Dante contained within Michelangelo’s fresco of The Last Judgement. The artist, argued Gonzalez, had secretly arranged the figures of the resurrected into the distinctive profile of the Florentine author of The Divine Comedy, a hidden tribute to the writer whose great poem Michelangelo so admired he had learnt great tracts of it by heart.
France urges pursuing EU treaty
French President Nicolas Sarkozy led calls Saturday for the European Union to press on with ratifying its new treaty, but Ireland's "no" vote revived talk of pro-European capitals forming their own club. Sarkozy said the rejection of the pact in a referendum Thursday should not spark a crisis and confirmed that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had assured him he that would defy Euroskeptics and pursue its endorsement.
"Today, 18 European states have ratified. The others must continue to ratify . . . so that this Irish incident does not become a crisis," Sarkozy said at a news conference with President Bush in Paris.
In Europe, Bush encounters more disregard than disdain - by Geraldine Baum
In his sweep across Europe last week, President Bush found a continent that has largely moved beyond him. The American president who enraged and infuriated Europeans over everything from military intervention in Iraq to climate change and once provoked massive street protests was greeted this time like a former boyfriend who is no longer even worth fighting with.
Air fares could double if oil prices keep rising - by Terry Maxon
Airlines may have to double fares this year if crude oil prices rise above $150, industry analyst Michael Boyd warned Friday. Ticket prices will need to jump 80 percent to 100 percent to cover the airlines' jet fuel if oil prices go that high, he said. His report was issued on the same day the Business Travel Coalition projected that nine of the 10 largest U.S. carriers are likely to report pretax losses of $18.3 billion in 2008 and 2009 combined. The study projected that Southwest Airlines Co. would be the only profitable airline, with pretax income of $708 million.
The Guardian: EU powers try to ( must) isolate Ireland after treaty defeat - by Ian Traynor and Henry McDonald
Refusing to take Ireland's no for an answer, leading politicians in Berlin and Paris prepared for a crucial EU summit in Brussels this week by trying to ringfence the Irish, while demanding that the reform treaty be ratified by the rest of the EU. The scene is set for a clash between the Irish and their European partners after a Dublin minister and sources in the ruling Fianna Fail party ruled out any chance of a second Irish referendum on the treaty.
Note EU-Digest: Whoever was behind this no-vote movement in Ireland, which had nothing to do with democracy and all about manipulation, should be made to understand that "you can not have your cake and eat it also".
China view: Poland says Irish referendum no dis-qualifier for Lisbon Treaty - by Mu Xuequan
Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty does not disqualify it and the EU will seek ways to enforce it, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Friday commenting Thursday's result of an Irish national referendum on the EU act. According tofficial partial results announced on Friday Lisbon Treaty opponents won the referendum in 27 of 43 Irish constituencies. Ireland was the only EU member to decide the matter in a national ballot. "The referendum results in Ireland do not disqualify the Treaty completely. We will continue seeking ways to bring it to life. Regardless of the referendum results I think we can be moderately optimistic about the EU finding a way to put it in force," Tusk told reporters in Polish parliament.
Note EU-Digest: "With Britain among the countries continuing to push the ratification process through their parliaments, Ireland is the odd one out. It has to explain how it finds common ground with 26 nations in favor of the Lisbon Treaty. An Irish "no" is being set against a "yes" from the parliaments of another 18 countries so far. The "no" from Ireland does not mean everything is wrecked. Ireland will feel the repercussions, not Europe, because the momentum can't be stopped. As to the strong EURO septics lobby and press in Britain, let them be warned, the true fight is only beginning now."
Netherlands beats France 4-1 to qualify for Euro 2008 quarter-finals
Substitute Arjen Robben set up one goal and scored another Friday to lead the Netherlands to a 4-1 victory over France and a place in the quarter-finals of the European Championship. While the Dutch clinched first place in Group C, the result left France needing a win over World Cup champion Italy in its last match to stand a good chance of advancing at the tournament. With a second classic performance in as many games, the Dutch again produced the sparkle any championship craves, compiling a total of seven goals against World Cup finalists Italy and France. The Netherlands beat Italy 3-0 Monday.