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7/31/08

EJP |News: Croatia’s Jews protest against funeral ceremony of former head of concentration camp

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Croatia’s Jews protest against funeral ceremony of former head of concentration camp

The Jewish community in Croatia has condemned he organization of a funeral for a former concentration camp commander, saying it was turned into a celebration of his crimes. Dinko Sakic, a former commander at the Jasenovac death camp, who died earlier this month, was cremated last week in the Ustasha Croatian pro-Nazi uniform he reportedly wore as head of the camp. Some 70,000 victims, mostly Jews, Serbs and Roma, died in Jasenovac during World War II. Sakic died at the age of 86 while serving a 20-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity.

The Independent: The Karadzic trial should only be the start - by Jelena Subotic

Open House: The Karadzic trial should only be the start

The Karadzic trial should only be the start - by Jelena Subotic

Radovan Karadzic's appearance before the UN war-crimes tribunal in The Hague today is a welcome and important step for international justice. It is also a huge boost for the new Serbian government. The international community is showering praise on its leadership, and the European Union has indicated that after years of isolation the country is finally on the road toward Brussels. Serbia, we hear, has at last “turned the page” on its nationalist and violent past.Just like the Serbian government did in the case of Mr. Karadzic and his military sidekick, Ratko Mladic, the Croatian government claimed for years that it had no knowledge of Mr. Gotovina’s whereabouts. But when the EU suspended accession talks and showed it was serious, the Croatian government miraculously discovered Mr. Gotovina in the Canary Islands and promptly delivered him to The Hague.

China View: Spain rejects banana deal between EU, Latin America

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Spain rejects banana deal between EU, Latin America

Spain has rejected the agreement reached by the European Union (EU) and Latin American banana producers on reducing EU import duty on the fruit. According to reports from Geneva, Spanish Rural Environment Minister Josep Puxeu told reporters Monday that Spain would support high duty on Latin American bananas for "as long as possible." According to the compromise reached on Sunday between negotiators from both regions, the EU would reduce the duty per ton on Latin American banana from the current 176 euros (about 276U.S. dollars) to 114 euros (179 dollars) in 2016.

New Statesman - Why Miliband was right - by Denis MacShane

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Britain - Why Miliband was right - by Denis MacShane

Labour must embrace English culture which today is as much Salman Rushdie as it is Shakespeare. There is plenty in the English canon of culture and political science to be inspired by without importing modish American theories about nudging or the latest Heritage Foundation paper regurgitated by Cameron’s millionaire frontbench.

Ministers are trapped administrating – that is where the word comes from. But they are politicians and must do politics again. Not the disastrous politics of briefing against Brown nor the disastrous politics of attacking Miliband because he manages to sneak an anti-Tory article into the Guardian. Of course personality counts. But none of our great prime ministers – from Gladstone, to Attlee to Thatcher – had smoothie-chops Old Etonian charm, rather the opposite. They had ideas and vision and worked in a team of like-minded visionaries and believers in policy. Labour needs to do likewise.

canada.com: Record profits for big oil companies - by John Harding

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Record profits for big oil companies - by John Harding

Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest publicly listed company in the world, reported the highest quarterly earnings for an American company in history Thursday.Exxon, which owns about 78 per cent of Canada's oldest oil company, Imperial Oil Ltd., said profit in the second quarter climbed 14 per cent to $11.68 billion US. Exxon's net income was $2.22 US per share compared to $10.26 billion US, or $1.83 US per share last year. Excluding an after-tax charge of $290 million US related to an Exxon Valdez legal settlement, Exxon's second quarter earnings were a whopping $11.97 billion, or $2.27 a share.

The results from the Irving-Tex.,-based company mirrored those of other integrated players as upstream profits surged but downstream earnings plummeted, driven by lower worldwide refining margins. Exxon's upstream earnings in the quarter were a company record $10 billion, up from about $6 billion in the same quarter last year while downstream earnings of $1.55 billion fell by $1.9 billion compared to last year. Exxon rival Royal Dutch Shell also released earnings Thursday, saying net income rose to $11.56 billion US, or $1.87 a share, from $8.67 billion, or $1.38, a year earlier. Earnings from both global super majors fell short of analyst expectations, a result of falling production.

Lucrezia Magazine: Emotions, Robots & the Future: - by Anastasia Mavromatis

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Emotions, Robots & the Future: - by Anastasia Mavromatis

In his book, Love and Sex With Robots (2007, Harpercollins), artificial intelligence expert Robert Levy is of the view that relationships with androids and similar other artificially enhanced machines will be inevitable by 2050. His view is based on studying the historical relationships between humans and machines. Completely different from the Hollywood version of robotics, namely The Terminator franchise, new features (such as emotions) can affect the sex industry, making sex workers redundant as well as minimizing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Robots offering emotional feedback, such as the recent example in the UK, and the potential this may have for realistic sex dolls can lead to one thing – the safest form of sex. It seems that sexual evolution is heading into the mechanical sector.

USA Today: US economy grew at 1.9% rate in Q2; jobless claims jump - situation worse than expected - by Sue Kirchhoff

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US economy grew at 1.9% rate in Q2; jobless claims jump - by Sue Kirchhoff

The economy grew at a muted 1.9% annual pace in the second quarter of the year, buoyed by federal tax stimulus checks and strong exports, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Economists expected the economy to grow at a 2.3% rate in the second quarter. But even though the figures were more sluggish than expected, they could turn out to be the only high water mark for the year. In a recent survey by USA TODAY, 54 top economists predicted economic growth will slow to a barely perceptible 0.2% annual rate by the fourth quarter.

In a second report Thursday, the Labor Department said the number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose 44,000 to a seasonally adjusted 448,000 the week ended July 26 from a revised 404,000 the prior week. It was the highest number since April 2003.An inflation gauge tied to the GDP report showed all prices galloping ahead at a rate of 4.2% in the second quarter, fastest pace since the end of last year.

Ian Shepherdson, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics, called Thursday's numbers "soft and worse to come."

7/30/08

The Standard: Europeans may ditch our roses for blue variety - by John Njiraini

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Europeans may ditch our roses for blue variety - by John Njiraini

The multibillion shilling cut flower sector is facing a ‘not so rosy’ future following the creation of genetically modified blue roses. After 14 years of research, an Australian company, Florigene Pty, has managed to create blue roses using the controversial genetic engineering technology.Already Japanese group Suntory, which owns Florigene, has been given the go-ahead to market genetically modified carnations in the European Union (EU) and sell them as cut flowers. The flowers, which started to circulate in the EU in February, are being sold with labels that clearly indicate the product is genetically modified. Considering that blue is Europe’s favourite colour, the flowers seem to be gaining popularity quite fast.

NYT: Turkey’s Governing Party Avoids Ban - Sebnem Arsu

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Turkey’s Governing Party Avoids Ban - Sebnem Arsu

Turkey’s governing party narrowly missed being banned in a court ruling on Wednesday that released months of pressure in the country and handed a victory to the party’s leader, a former Islamist.The party, Justice and Development, or AKP, as it is know in Turkish, was kept alive by just one vote — six members of Turkey’s Constitutional Court voted to close it, but seven were required. A ban would have brought down the government, forcing national elections for the second time in a year and pitching the country into chaos. “A great uncertainty blocking Turkey’s future has been lifted,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the party, speaking in Ankara, Turkey’s capital.

And while the ruling was widely viewed as a win for Mr. Erdogan, and in turn for Turkish democracy, the court did not let the party off the hook, voting to cut its public funding in half, a strong but not fatal sanction, and issued a “serious warning,” that the party was steering the country in too Islamic a direction. “AKP is on probation,” said Soli Ozel, a professor at Bilgi University in Istanbul. “The court clearly said it sees the party as a focal institution for Islamizing the country.”

IHT: Serbia - Radovan Karadzic arrives in The Hague for trial at UN war crimes tribunal bv- by Marlise Simons

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Radovan Karadzic arrives in The Hague for trial at UN war crimes tribunal - by Marlise SimonsLess than two weeks after the police pulled him off a bus in downtown Belgrade, Radovan Karadzic, the onetime psychiatrist turned warmonger who hid from the law as a peddler of New Age medicine, has now taken on a fresh persona, that of prisoner of the United Nations war crimes tribunal.

EU-Digest/Bloomberg.com: US employment figures - Spin doctors at work?

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US employment figures - spin doctors at work

Companies in the U.S. unexpectedly added an estimated 9,000 jobs in July, a private report based on payroll data showed today. The increase followed a revised drop of 77,000 for the prior month that was smaller than previously estimated, ADP Employer Services said.

ADP includes only private employment and does not take into account hiring by government agencies. Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis produces the report jointly with ADP. The ADP figures come ahead of the government's Aug. 1 report, which may show total payrolls fell by 75,000 in July, the seventh consecutive months of job losses, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. The unemployment rate probably increased to 5.6 percent. Payrolls dropped by an average 94,000 a month from January through June, according to the Labor Department. The ADP estimate shows gains of almost 11,000 on average. Note EU-Digest: It looks like the ADP is on the payroll of the Bush Administration?

Reuters : US blocks compromise at WTO - EU's Mandelson points at U.S. after WTO collapse- by by William Schomberg

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US blocks compromise at WTO - EU's Mandelson points at U.S. after WTO collapse- by William Schomberg

The European Union's trade chief said on Wednesday the United States helped to bring down global trade talks this week when its negotiators shunned a compromise proposal at a key juncture in the talks. The proposal was drawn up by the EU on Tuesday in a last-gasp bid to unblock an impasse over an agricultural trade issue being discussed by seven powers at the centre of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Mandelson initially declined to point fingers, calling the collapse of the talks a collective failure. But his frustration at Washington was clear in a weblog he wrote on Wednesday, describing the events of the previous day when the talks failed. "...when WTO chief (Pascal) Lamy reconvenes the Group of Seven negotiators at midday, the Indians and the Chinese express reservations and the U.S. rejects the proposal outright, much to Lamy's understandable frustration," Mandelson said. "It seems that the issue on which we have diverged is more important for some than agreement as a whole. Instead of reaching out for help to solve the problem, they are digging in," he said.

FT.com: Germany - Siemens’ earnings beat expectations - by Daniel Schäfer

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Germany - Siemens’ earnings beat expectations

Siemens posted stronger than expected third-quarter earnings on Wednesday and said it aimed to expand revenues twice as fast as global economic growth in the next fiscal year. Europe’s biggest engineering group said it increased profit of its three sectors year-on-year by 33 per cent to €2.08bn, more than analysts had forecast.

7/29/08

Scoop: USA - The People, the Press, & the Case for Impeachment of George W. Bush

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The People, the Press, & the Case for Impeachment of George W. Bush

"When our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence they were not worried about political will, how much time there was, or about any parties' political future, they were just worried they were going to be hanged by the neck. But they did what was right. Now it is your time", said Elliott Adams, President, Veterans for Peace, testimony July 25, 2008. The July 25, 2008 House Committee on the Judiciary hearings focused on the Kucinich resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush. In his resolution, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) argues that Bush knew that the Iraqis had no weapons of mass destruction, yet claimed that they did in order to justify the March 2003 invasion. The "fraudulent misrepresentations," as they're referred to in the resolution, cost lives, compromised national security, and represented a clear abuse of constitutional power. The evidence supporting these claims is highly persuasive.

For the most part, the witness statements from House members and the panel of invited witnesses contain specific justifications for impeachment. The Kucinich resolution for impeachment, H. Res 1345, offers a concentrated body of evidence substantiating the charges and demonstrates the main charge in the resolution: the president knew that he was misrepresenting the facts about Iraq at the time he was doing it.

'Spiegel Online: German Minister Wants Tax Cuts to Heat Up Cooling Economy

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German Minister Wants Tax Cuts to Heat Up Cooling Economy

Germany Economics Minister Michael Glos wants to launch a €10 billion ($15.6 billion) spending program to help cushion the country from the effects of a slowing economy, SPIEGEL has learned.

Bert Rürup of Darmstadt University, who chairs the German Council of Economic Advisors that advises Angela Merkel's government, said he could foresee a temporary shrinking of German economy. "Because of the orders in hand, a recession in Germany is unlikely, but it can't be ruled out entirely," he told SPIEGEL. He also said he feared that the number of unemployed in the country would only continue to sink until the end of the year." Job creation in recent months has resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of unemployed in Germany.

Rediff News: France - Bruni wants a child with Nicolas Sarkozy

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France - Bruni wants a child with Nicolas Sarkozy

Just days after the release of her new music album in which she sings of her love for Nicolas Sarkozy, Carla Bruni [Images] has expressed her desire of having a baby with the flamboyant French president. "I'd love to have children with Nicolas. I hope to, if I am young enough. It would be a dream," Bruni, who already has a child from her first marriage, said in an interview to Vanity Fair magazine at Elysee Palace in Paris. However, the 40-year-old former Italian supermodel-turned-singer has ruled out fertility programs. "If it comes, I'd be the happiest person in the world, but if it doesn't come, I'm not going to tempt the Devil. If life doesn't give me another child, well, it has given me so much already," Bruni said.

EU-Digest/NOS.nl. Europeans cut back on the purchase of flowers by ten percent this year

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Europeans have cut back on the purchase of flowers by ten percent this year

The Flower and plant industry in the Netherlands has come under serious pressure this year as a result of the world economic slowdown. In particular the export of flowers, which is a major Dutch export product. Some 85 % of the world famous Aalsmeer flower Auction market production is exported internationally. If this trend continues it is expected that flower and plant exporters in the Netherlands will incur losses up to euro 250 million. Industry specialists say that the market will only improve after consumer confidence in the economy returns.

The Economic Times: Flower exports from India may fall 20% this year-

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Flower exports may fall 20% this year

The Indian 300-crore flower export market is likely to shrink 15-20% this year owing to global recession. With fertilizer costs also doubling, the industry foresees a price rise by 10%. Besides, the increase in petroleum prices has led to the increase in packaging material, such as polythene PP covers. Even the price of corrugated boxes has doubled. All this has affected exports of floriculture industry to markets like Europe, Japan, China and US. Shrivardhan Biotech CEO Ramesh Patil says, “Flowers are considered to be a luxury item. The demand for flowers has gone down as buyers are not ready to spend much on them due to their perishable nature. It has badly affected our sales during Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Ohigan (Japanese festival).

Washington Post:- The Hour of Europe - by Anne Applebaum

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The Hour of Europe - by Anne Applebaum

Way back in 1991, when an otherwise forgettable foreign minister of Luxembourg infamously pronounced that sentence, it seemed to portend great things. "This is the hour of Europe": That meant that in the post-Cold War world, Europeans, not Americans, would resolve the conflicts that were about to become the Bosnian war, and maybe a lot of other things, too. Yet he was wrong. Those Balkan conflicts were eventually "resolved," up to a point, not by Europe but by the United States and NATO. European influence in Washington dwindled -- and then dwindled further during the Bush administration, which mostly treated the very idea of "Europe" as a kind of pointless distraction.

As the election draws closer, the anxiety will grow. In a strange sense, Bush's catastrophic diplomacy was a gift to Europe's politicians. "Bush allowed them to explain away radical Islam as an understandable, even legitimate, response to the hypocrisies and iniquities of American policy," one British columnist wrote this week. Bush also allowed them to blame American "unilateralism" for their own lack of initiative, to use bad American diplomacy as an excuse for doing nothing.

IHT: Mideast investors lose interest in US real estate despite recent sales of landmark offices

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Mideast investors lose interest in US real estate despite recent sales of landmark offices

Middle East investment real estate investment in the US is expected to be flat or down this year compared to a banner year in 2007. More than half way through the year, Mideast investors have shelled out $2.7 billion for U.S. assets, according to Real Estate Analytics Inc., a New York-based real-estate research firm. But at that pace, this year's total sales will likely fall far below last year's $8.2 billion in deals. Other countries have similarly pulled back their investment in U.S. real estate and the disruption in the credit markets has halted many deals. At midyear, sales of office buildings were just a third of last year's total through the first half. Retail property sales were down 62 percent; industrial sales, down by half; and apartment sales, down by 45 percent. Prices, especially in suburban markets, have started to slip, making many investors jittery about getting into a sliding market. And the economy, on uncertain footing, could hurt property occupancy rates and rents as tenants give back space or scrap expansion plans.

Guardian: Wall St's problem crosses the globe - by Heather Stewart

Wall St's problem crosses the globe - by Heather Stewart

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The health of the global economy as a whole over the next couple of years will depend on how these two powerful forces - inflation and the credit squeeze - play out. Russell Jones of RBC Capital Markets points out that the problems the world is currently seeing resemble a patchwork of past recessions. 'We are experiencing the sort of asset price adjustment, credit rationing and deleveraging associated with the contractions of 1990-91 and 2001,' he says. 'But the world is also digesting a sharp escalation of energy and food prices redolent of 1973-4 and 1989-90. When combined, these considerations amount to a particularly poisonous cocktail.'"

7/28/08

Canada.com: Google targeting international talent with innovative, creative qualities - by Wendy Mclellan

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Google targeting international talent with innovative, creative qualities - by Wendy Mclellan

Fortune magazine has named it the best place in America to work for the last two years, and similar surveys in the U.K., Italy, France and the Netherlands have put the company at the top of their lists too. With a million people a year wanting to work at Google, what does it take to get a job there? "We're always looking for great talent," says Anne Driscoll, manager of talent and outreach programs for Google. "The people we're looking to attract are really excited about solving problems and making a difference." The company is looking for people to fill a range of jobs in many offices worldwide. Software engineers, as well as sales, marketing and legal positions are listed on Google's job board.Google gets 3,000 job applications every day.

Casrrentals.co.uk: Ryanair ad discloses Italian Government subsidies to Alitalia increases passengers fares - by Dave Anderson

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Ryanair ad discloses Italian Government subsidies to Alitalia increases passengers fares - by Dave Anderson

Ryanair, the prominent Irish low cost carrier, has managed to anger Italy’s conservative government by posting an ad on its website, in which the airline claimed that Italian officials had an “up yours” attitude, when it comes to the country’s struggling national carrier, Alitalia.The fact that Ryanair decided to run these ads should serve as no surprise, considering that the Irish low cost carrier has very openly articulated that it opposes state subsidies to carriers and as such, the airline has spoken out on several occasions against the Italian government’s decision to provide the near bankrupt Alitalia with a €300 million emergency loan. Ryanair argues that by providing these loans, the government is essentially supporting Alitalia’s higher fares and thus placing passengers at a disadvantage.

TheStar.com: Spain's reign domain reaches three sports - Garth Woolsey

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Spain's reign domain reaches three sports - Garth Woolsey

As Eliza Doolittle of My Fair Lady fame might say: The reign in Spain falls mainly on the ... tennis and cycling and soccer. Or, as they might say in Spain: Ole! Ole! Ole! These are high times for Spanish sports, what with Rafael Nadal continuing his assault upon Roger Federer's overall No.1 position in tennis with yesterday's victory in the final of the Rogers Cup. That came a few hours after Carlos Sastre was anointed victor of the Tour de France, the third consecutive Spaniard to hold that crown.

Bloomberg.com: US Economy - Record $482 Billion 2009 Deficit

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US Economy - Record $482 Billion 2009 Deficit

The U.S. budget deficit will widen to a record $482 billion next year, the Bush administration projected today, leaving a deep budget hole that will constrain the next president's tax and spending plans. The projected deficit for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 is higher than the $407 billion forecast by President George W. Bush in February. The bigger shortfall reflects dwindling tax receipts because of the U.S. economic slowdown, the cost of a $168 billion economic stimulus package and spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Associated Press: Serb ultranationalists plan pro-Karadzic rally - by Dusan Stojanovic

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Serb ultranationalists plan pro-Karadzic rally - by Dusan Stojanovic

Ultranationalists are planning a huge anti-government rally in Serbia's capital Tuesday evening, and Radovan Karadzic's lawyer predicted the government will try to whisk the arrested war crimes suspect off to the U.N. tribunal before the protest. Belgrade was rife with fears there could be clashes in the streets Tuesday evening as the ultranationalists plan to prevent the extradition of the ex-Bosnian Serb leader to the U.N. tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands. The rally organizers — the right-wing Serbian Radical Party — are busing Karadzic's supporters in from all over Serbia and Bosnia where Karadzic is revered by many as a wartime hero who helped create the Bosnian Serb mini-state after the bloody 1992-95 war.

Scientific American: Europe in the Moon's Penumbra

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Europe in the Moon's Penumbra

The only total eclipse of the sun in 2008 will be visible on August 1 over a narrow but long swath of land, beginning in Canada and ending in China after traversing northern Greenland, the island of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean, Siberia and western Mongolia. Those who wish to enjoy the whole 147 seconds of totality will just have to travel to some of the most out-of-the-way places on the globe. Only a partial eclipse will be visible in Germany. Although that is not nearly as impressive as a completely "black" sun, for most Europeans it won't cost anything to see it. With the exception of the Iberian peninsula, southern Italy and the Greece's Peloponnese, you will be able to view the partial eclipse all over Europe. The farther north you happen to be, the more of the solar disk will be obscured by the moon as it transits.

Daily Times - The end of neo-liberalism? — Joseph E Stiglitz

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The end of neo-liberalism? — Joseph E Stiglitz

The world has not been kind to neo-liberalism, that grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently, and serve the public interest well. It was this market fundamentalism that underlay Thatcherism, Reaganomics, and the so-called “Washington Consensus” in favour of privatisation, liberalisation, and independent central banks focusing single-mindedly on inflation. For a quarter-century, there has been a contest among developing countries, and the losers are clear: countries that pursued neo-liberal policies not only lost the growth sweepstakes; when they did grow, the benefits accrued disproportionately to those at the top. Today, there is a mismatch between social and private returns. Unless they are closely aligned, the market system cannot work well.Neo-liberal market fundamentalism was always a political doctrine serving certain interests. It was never supported by economic theory. Nor, it should now be clear, is it supported by historical experience. Learning this lesson may be the silver lining in the cloud now hanging over the global economy. Note EU-Digest: Joseph E Stiglitz, Professor at Columbia University, received the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics. He is the co-author, with Linda Bilmes, of The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Costs of the Iraq Conflict

City Journal: Economics Does Not Lie - by Guy Sorman

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Economics Does Not Lie - by Guy Sorman

"If economics is finally a science, what, exactly, does it teach? With the help of Columbia University economist Pierre-André Chiappori, I have synthesized its findings into ten propositions. Almost all top economists—those who are recognized as such by their peers and who publish in the leading scientific journals—would endorse them (the exceptions are those like Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs, whose public pronouncements are more political than scientific). The more the public understands and embraces these propositions, the more prosperous the world will become." Note EU-Digest: "A very optimistic view of the free market system which seems to cancel out the dangers it presents when Government regulatory controls are removed and total trust is placed on corporate decision making."

7/26/08

The Real Truth: GM, Ford “On Verge of Bankruptcy”?

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GM, Ford “On Verge of Bankruptcy”?

U.S. automotive giants General Motors and Ford Motor Company are facing record losses as they work to restructure under a threat of bankruptcy. Professor Robert Altman of NYU’s Stern School of Business told Bloomberg that “both are in very serious shape and the markets reflect that.” According to Prof. Altman’s mathematical formula for measuring risk, both companies are “on the verge of bankruptcy.”

Posting a $38.7 billion loss in 2007, GM’s troubles appear to stem from circumstances in the market. With the high cost of fuel, the company was slow to react to the higher demand for fuel efficient vehicles, and instead continued producing larger SUV’s, trucks, and commercial vehicles. This large loss and the bankruptcy of a major part supplier—combined with the fact that GM has not turned a profit since 2004—place the company in what appears to be a real threat of bankruptcy, according to Prof. Altman.

Your Industry News - Eurofighter Typhoon now on QRA Duty in Five Air Forces

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Eurofighter Typhoon now on QRA Duty in Five Air Forces

The Spanish Air Force has announced the assignment of Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) responsibilities to Eurofighter Typhoon. All five customer Air Forces now operate the weapon system in the air defence role, with Spain following the leads of Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and Austria in deploying their newest weapon system to the first line of defense.

Eurofighter Typhoon is the world's most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft available on the market and has been ordered by six nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). With 707 aircraft under contract, it is Europe's largest military collaborative programme and delivers leading-edge technology, strengthening Europe's aerospace industry in the global competition. More than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies are secured by the programme. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies Alenia Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland, Europe's foremost aerospace companies with a total turnover of EUR60.7 billion (2006)

European multiculturalism sparks a backlash

Register-Pajaronian Online

"European multiculturalism sparks a backlash
Posted: Saturday, Jul 26th, 2008
BY: DR. LAINA FARHAT-HOLZMAN

Europe has a problem with their well-intentioned promotion of multiculturalism. In a region of the world that invented modern nationalism, their recent history has been an attempt to reverse centuries of history. Europe has embraced massive immigration from Africa and the Muslim world, which has beefed up Europe’s declining labor pool.

However, rather than emphasize integration into the existing culture, the European elites have ghettoized their newcomers and have bought them off with generous welfare. The result is an internal violent and potential fifth column, recruited to an ideology that aims at Europe’s destruction. What a fine mess they have gotten themselves into."

Spiegel online: West Wing : Obama's Romantic Revolution - by Gabor Steingart

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West Wing : Obama's Romantic Revolution - by Gabor Steingart

Barack Obama's promises to heal the world were lapped up in Berlin on Thursday. His speech was a masterpiece in the art of political magic -- and it was all coolly calculated.Barack Obama is often compared with a pop star these days. That makes the job of being a politician all the more difficult for him. In show business the performance is the finished product, where reality and appearance come together as one. What you see is what you get, as the Americans say. There is no morning after. "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us," said George W. Bush during the 2000 election campaign. The worthlessness of this statement is now well known. Back then he was believed. In reality there are just two types of voters: the romantic democrats and the common-sense democrats.

7/25/08

Star Tribune: Legendary Texas oilman embraces wind power

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Legendary Texas oilman embraces wind power

Americans spend $700 billion a year on foreign oil. According to one observer, this is an addiction, a crisis and a trap: The US must pursue alternative energy sources as fiercely as it once shot for the moon. So far, so much liberal boilerplate? The critic in question, however, is a Republican oilman: T. Boone Pickens. As he puts it, in an Okie drawl: "I've been an oilman all my life. But this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of."

guardian.co.uk: China's relations with Europe wilt ahead of games - by Crispian Balmer

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China's relations with Europe wilt ahead of games - by Crispian Balmer

If China thought hosting the Olympics would win it friends abroad, it probably miscalculated.
Certainly in Europe, the approach of the Beijing Games has exacerbated relations between the two trading partners, with rows about human rights and Tibet overshadowing Chinese pride in their sprouting city skylines and booming economy. But as the trade imbalance ballooned in China's favor so attitudes in Europe have hardened and a wave of negative reports about executions, pollution and corruption ahead of the Games has further eroded the EU view of the eastern giant. "The Games have already backfired on China and if I were Chinese I would feel a bit short changed," said Kerry Brown, a Chinese expert at the Chatham House think-tank in London.

KCEarth Notes: Money Money Honey - by Walter Winch

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Money Money Honey - by Walter Winch

Alas, the eight-year experiment in America has turned into a disaster. The multiplying microbial organisms in the Petri dish, in this case an especially virulent free-market-cartoon-capitalism, are crawling out of the dish, and are now spreading across the globe. Can we discover an antidote in time? But I digress. The rapidly melting Arctic sea ice is raising the possibility that the region's untapped natural resources will become more readily accessible, and not just to oil and gas exploration. I'm sure I am not alone in having strong misgivings about this prospect. The five countries surrounding this region are the U.S., Russia, Norway, Canada, and Greenland (Denmark). While 90 billion barrels of oil sound like a lot, at the current rate of consumption, it would supply the world for "only" three years.

USA Today: No end in sight for economic imbalance, IMF official says - by David Lynch

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No end in sight for economic imbalance, IMF official says - by David Lynch

Despite the dollar's sharp decline, the global economy is likely to remain seriously unbalanced between debt-heavy Americans and the USA's cash-rich trading partners, according to the International Monetary Fund's No. 2 official. "Large imbalances may be with us longer than we had originally envisaged," says John Lipsky, the fund's first deputy managing director. Since 2002, the dollar has fallen by 25% against the currencies of its major trading partners, taking into account relative price levels — among the largest such moves since 1973. The IMF now believes the dollar is closer to a sustainable value than it has been in a decade, while the euro is overvalued, Lipsky said in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

BLDGBLOG: Baarle-Hertog - a Belgian Dutch Town

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Baarle-Hertog - a Belgian Dutch Town

Baarle-Hertog borders the Netherlands – but, because of its unique history of political division, the town is sort of marbled with competing national loyalties. In other words, pockets of the town are Dutch; most of the town is Belgian. You can thus wander from country to country on an afternoon stroll, as if island-hopping between sovereignties.

7/24/08

Press TV - 'Iran to be equipped with Russian S-300 by 09'

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'Iran to be equipped with Russian S-300 by 09'

Iran will receive the advanced Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense system by year-end, senior Israeli military officials say. An Israeli military official claimed the missile batteries would arrive in early September, as Iran's contract with Moscow asserts that the S-300s to be delivered by the end of 2008, Reuters reported. The S-300 is the most sophisticated version of the anti-aircraft system which is capable of tracking 100 targets at once and firing on planes 120 km away.

Iran has cited diplomacy as the only means acceptable in clarifying the nature of its nuclear activities but has warned that it would target Israel and 32 US bases in the region should the country come under attack.

Quamnet.com: EU's Almunia says euro overvalued against Chinese yuan

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EU's Almunia says euro overvalued against Chinese yuan

EU economic and financial affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the euro is overvalued, while some currencies with an official exchange rate, such as the Chinese yuan, are undervalued. In an interview with the daily La Republica, Almunia said that there is also the risk that the dollar could further decline against the euro and called on the governments of the euro-zone to coordinate their stances.

"It is necessary that the euro zone finds a clear consensus and speaks with one voice at the next international meetings," with the G8 and IMF, he said.

Reuters: Sarkozy says will not sign WTO deal as it stands

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Sarkozy says will not sign WTO deal as it stands

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday he would not sign the current version of a global trade deal unless it was modified.Talks to salvage a global trade deal faced a crunch point on Thursday after three days of scant progress and officials said it would be clear soon whether it was worth pressing on.

The Economist: The Balkan Blushes - Bulgaria, Romania and the EU

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The Balkan Blushes - Bulgaria, Romania and the EU

On July 23rd the European Commission issued critical reports on Bulgaria’s and Romania’s progress (or lack of it) in fighting corruption and spending European Union money. Yet after intense lobbying, the language was weaker than in the scalding drafts leaked earlier. And the commission dropped an explicit warning that Bulgaria was endangering its chances of joining the euro and the Schengen passport-free travel area.

Even so, the reports hit home, complaining of a “striking” absence of convincing results in Bulgaria’s anti-corruption fight, and of a “grave problem” over the “lack of accountability and transparency in public procurement” when spending EU funds. The commission announced severe sanctions, suspending aid worth as much as €486m ($770m). Without reform, the suspended sum will rise sharply by November.Worries about Bulgaria and Romania, especially over their ability to administer nearly €38 billion promised by the EU up to 2013, are hardly new.If you wanted to discredit the EU, squandering taxpayers’ money in its most corrupt new members, Romania and Bulgaria, would be one way to go about it. Yet though Brussels is disappointed and even angry about the two countries’ performance since joining the club in January 2007, Eurocrats are not sure what to do.

Note EU-Digest:Not knowing what to do is a very poor excuse - the EU must take strong actions against this flagrant misuse of European Tax payers funds by Bulgaria and Romania.

The Norway Post : Disagreement over WTO negotiations


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Norway - Disagreement over WTO negotiations

The Farmers' Union (Bondelaget) claims 40,000 jobs will disappear if Norway agrees to the new proposed WTO agreement. At the same time Brekk says that Norwegian farmers will have to reckon with lower import tax on various farm produce.

NYT: Dutch Firm Said to Manipulate Oil Market - by Diana B. Henriques

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Dutch Firm Said to Manipulate Oil Market - by Diana B. Henriques

Commodity regulators in Washington have accused a Dutch trading company of making roughly $1 million in illegal profits by manipulating the prices of crude oil, heating oil and gasoline over an 11-day period last year.In audiotapes uncovered in their investigation, regulators said one defendant described the scheme as an effort to “bully the market” by making a large number of trades at or near the end of the trading day to move closing prices.

Guardian: US elections: Obama wows Berlin crowd with historic speech - by Jonathan Freedland

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US elections: Obama wows Berlin crowd with historic speech - by Jonathan Freedland

For the man who has brought rock-star charisma to electoral politics, today saw the campaign rally as pop festival, a summer gathering of peace, love — and loathing of George Bush. Taking what he calls his "improbable journey" to the heart of Europe, Barack Obama succeeded in closing down one of Berlin's main thoroughfares tonight, luring the city's young in their tens of thousands to stand in the evening sunshine and hear him spin his dreams of hope, not for America this time, but for the whole world.

The young and the pierced, some with guitars slung over their shoulders, others barefoot, jammed up against each other to cheer on a man who in less than a year has become the world's most popular serving politician, even
if, as yet, he has been elected to no office grander than the junior Senate seat for Illinois.By common consent, tonight and the entire Obama week has been a huge success, generating priceless images for TV consumption back home and helping Obama cross the credibility gap — making it easier for Americans to imagine him as a player on the world stage.

Bloomberg.com: Obama's Plans Must Be Louder Than Europe's Cheers - by Matthew Lynn

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Obama's Plans Must Be Louder Than Europe's Cheers - by Matthew Lynn

The Brandenburg Gate would have been the perfect backdrop for Barack Obama to give his first major speech on trans-Atlantic relations tomorrow. Not surprisingly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel killed the idea when it was first mooted by the U.S. presidential candidate's team. Allowing him to appear at such a symbolic place during an election campaign risked allegations of favoritism that would have been foolish to ignore.

What Obama needs to do now is start seizing that chance. He must flesh out a program that can allow Europe and the U.S. to work together again. And Europeans need to do more than just cheer the rhetoric and star quality: They have to ask some tough questions about what Obama intends to do.

7/23/08

 SI.com: Tour de France - Proof the good guys keep winning - by Austin Murphy

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Tour de France: Proof the good guys keep winning - by Austin Murphy

What it all boils down to is that the 95th Tour will be decided in Saturday's flat, twisting 53km time trial through the Cher region in the midsection of France. Can Carlos hang on? He now holds a 1:34 lead over Evans. He's 2:39 ahead of Menchov. Both those riders, along with Vandevelde (now 4:41 in arrears) are much more powerful time trailers than is Sastre, who has historically been a bit soft in the Race of Truth.Will Sastre find those wings? How delightful that when Phil Liggett declaimed that we are bearing down on one of the closest finishes in the history of the Tour de France, he wasn't exaggerating. It's a beautiful thing.

Forbes: Europe Goes For Some Va-Va-Voom - Parmy Olson

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Europe Goes For Some Va-Va-Voom - Parmy Olson

Wednesday was a blowout day for European carmakers, as several big names astounded markets with stronger than expected profits and stable outlooks for the rest of the year, in seeming defiance of Western Europe's current economic malaise.

Europe's double standards

Politics | guardian.co.uk

"Europe's double standards
Brussles bullies smaller member states but is often feeble towards the big ones
July 23, 2008 8:52 AM

I was picking up a rental car at Canton, Ohio airport in the American rustbelt four winters ago and noticed that the energetic young man who was doing the paperwork spoke perfect but accented English. 'Where are you from?' I asked, as people routinely do without offence in the United States."

Washington Times - OBAMA in Europe: Deja vu again - by Helle Dale

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OBAMA in Europe: Deja vu again - by Helle Dale

Mr. Obama said in an interview that the purpose of his trip was to get acquainted with foreign leaders that he fully expected to deal with in the next 8-10 years.Of course in Europe, no one will mind very much if Mr. Obama was elected king by the Americans and threw the entire Constitution out the window. The level of adulation exceeds even that which attended the candidacy of Sen. John Kerry. A recent British poll suggested that 53 percent of Europeans favor Mr. Obama for president while only 11 percent would like to see Mr. McCain in the White House. With stops in Germany, France and Britain, he will be soaking up the adulation. In Europe, Mr. Obama is not just viewed as the potential first black American president, but also as the anti-George Bush, the man who will slay the U.S. president that Europeans have despised most in human memory and whose policies they expect Mr. Obama will reverse.

Interestingly, no European country has ever allowed an ethnic minority to hold a position so powerful, and is hardly likely to do so in the foreseeable future.

7/22/08

BBC NEWS : Manned Russian/European spaceship design unveiled - by Paul Rincon

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Manned Russian/European spaceship design unveiled - by Paul Rincon

The first official image of a Russian-European manned spacecraft has been unveiled. It is designed to replace the Soyuz vehicle currently in use by Russia and will allow Europe to participate directly in crew transportation. The reusable ship was conceived to carry four people towards the Moon, rivalling the US Ares/Orion system. Unlike previous crewed vehicles, it will use thrusters to make a controlled landing when it returns to Earth.

NYT: With Karadzic’s Arrest, Europe Sees Triumph - by Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle

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With Karadzic’s Arrest, Europe Sees Triumph - by Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle

Europe on Tuesday welcomed the arrest of Radovan Karadzic not just as a victory for international justice, but as a vindication of the Continent’s favored political doctrine: soft power. “This is a big success for Europe,” Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, said on Tuesday after meeting his European Union counterparts here, the group’s headquarters. Europeans have certainly had to wait to claim success. Mr. Karadzic escaped capture for more than a decade, and two other genocide suspects — notably Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general — remain at large. At the same time, the political situation in Belgrade remains precarious in the aftermath of Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February, which has enraged many Serbs. But Europe’s approach has worked.

7/21/08

Three Kings: European Union abolishes the acre

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European Union abolishes the acre

As per an agreement reached last week in Brussels, it will be illegal after 2010 to measure and sell land using the English acre as a unit of measure. This act was meant to standardize the hectare as an EU measurement and streamline intra-EU dealings and trade.

A hectare is the equivalent of 2.471 acres; the acre, one of Britain’s most ancient units, measures 4,840 square yards.

RIA Novosti - Russian combat aircraft could return to Cuba


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Russian combat aircraft could return to Cuba

Russian combat aircraft could return to Cuba in a bid to counter U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe, a Russian daily reported on Monday. Moscow has strongly opposed the possible deployment by the U.S. of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an accompanying radar in the Czech Republic as a threat to its national security. Washington says the defenses are needed to deter a possible strike from Iran, or other "rogue" states. "While they are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba," a high-placed military aviation source told the Izvestia newspaper.

Forbes.com: Europe's 10 Best Places To Live - by Vidya Ram

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Europe's 10 Best Places To Live - by Vidya Ram

The cost of living in Europe may seem astronomic--$6 for a cup of coffee in Copenhagen, Denmark, anyone? But in many cities, you get what you pay for. Take Frankfurt. Germany's financial capital is home to some spectacular architecture, including the Old Opera House and Saint Bartholomeus Cathedral, and a vibrant cultural scene. The city has excellent hospitals and shops and a thriving economy (with Europe's second-largest stock exchange and banks such as Deutsche Bank (nyse: DB - news - people ) headquartered there). What drags it to the No. 7 spot--tied with another German city, Munich--in Mercer Consulting's 2008 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey, which we used to compile our own list, is the city's dearth of high-quality housing close to the city center and heavy traffic.

The number one sport - Zürich's tiny population--376,815 at the end of 2007--is spoiled with over 2,000 bars and restaurants, (including one with original Picasso and Cezanne paintings on the walls) and a breathtaking view of the Alps and Lake Zürich. Taxes are also among the lowest in Switzerland, and residents pay no inheritance tax. The city has top scores practically across the board, whether for its medical facilities or international banking services, though its gloomy weather and traffic bring it down.

A ‘menu Europe’ will prove more palatable

FT.com / Comment & analysis / Comment

"A ‘menu Europe’ will prove more palatable

By Vivien Schmidt

Published: July 21 2008 18:24 | Last updated: July 21 2008 18:24

The European Union cannot go on like this. Whether the Lisbon treaty ultimately succeeds or fails, the Irish referendum will have taught us one thing: unanimity and uniformity are things of the past. The EU is now too diverse to expect all member states to ratify any given treaty or participate in all areas of union activity."

AFP: Gore urges total shift to renewable energy to avert disaster

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Gore urges total shift to renewable energy to avert disaster

Nobel laureate and former US vice president Al Gore echoed president John F. Kennedy on Thursday as he urged Americans to shoot for the moon and make a total shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy in 10 years. "I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years," Gore told thousands of people who packed into a conference hall near the White House to hear the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner speak. "When president John F. Kennedy challenged our nation to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely in 10 years, many people doubted we could accomplish that goal," Gore said. "But eight years and two months later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon," Gore told the crowd, eliciting a huge cheer.

EU offers 60% cut in farm tariffs

BBC NEWS | Business

"EU offers 60% cut in farm tariffs
European tobacco farmer

The European Union (EU) has offered to cut its farm tariffs by 60% to kick-start trade talks in Geneva.

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said this was the best offer yet from Brussels on the crucial farming issue."

EU Food safety authority boosts public image

EU Politics News - theParliament.com

"EU Food safety authority boosts public image

The European body responsible for food safety says that interest in its activities has increased “substantially.”

In its annual report, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said there had been a 49 per cent rise in its media coverage over the past year."

Spiegel Online: The World from Berlin: Will Europe's Adulation of Obama Soon End?

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The World from Berlin: Will Europe's Adulation of Obama Soon End?

US presidential candidate Barack Obama will speak in Berlin on Thursday. Germans are infatuated with the Democrat, particularly because he isn't George W. Bush. But German commentators doubt the love affair will survive this week's foreign policy speech."One shouldn't forget that the campaigner Obama simply wants to hold a major foreign policy speech for the benefit of his voters in America and wants a fitting backdrop. Nothing more. It isn't the place that creates dignity, rather that which happens at the place."

'Dear Europeans, dear Germans, should I be elected, I am going to take you at your word. More international cooperation means more European engagement in crisis regions.' Obama, should he become the superpower's next president, will not suddenly transform into a dove. He too will use the US military to reach his political goals."

7/20/08

Al Jazeera - Analysis: Blame the dollar - by Massoud Hedeshi

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Analysis: Blame the dollar - by Massoud Hedeshi

According to the US Federal Reserve, the dollar has dropped by around 65 per cent against the Euro, 31 per cent against the British Sterling, 45 per cent against the Canadian Dollar, and by 59 per cent against the Australian Dollar over the eight-year period since June 2000. As America struggles to avoid recession, the world economic order appears to be heading for a drastic overhaul. Despite a trend by some economists and politicians to blame the current food and energy commodity price hikes on Opec or overpopulation, there is a clear picture emerging of deep structural problems in the world economy.

Ironically, the inevitable dumping of the US Dollar is not such good news for the EU in the long run, as the continuing rise of the Euro is detrimental for the continent's exports, and will weaken European manufacturing almost as rapidly as the Euro's rise. Furthermore, reliance on the services sector is no solution either, as rising global prices coupled with the rise of the Euro reduce demand for luxuries-oriented European goods and services - such as designer goods and tourism - even harder.

USA Today: US economic meltdown - Credit seen drying up for U.S. small business - by Nick Carey

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US economic meltdown - Credit seen drying up for U.S. small business - by Nick Carey

As losses mount at American banks and the pain of the credit crisis spreads from housing and finance to the broader economy, many small companies complain it is increasingly difficult to obtain loans. Tighter credit could not only help to push the United States into recession, but prolong the downturn as ideas for new businesses get stymied once entrepreneurs sit down with local bank managers, small business representatives warn."In recent weeks we've seen banks becoming more cautious and the pace of lending has slowed considerably," said Weldon Gibson, a consultant at the Lamar University Small Business Development Center in Texas. "They are demanding higher credit scores and want more collateral before lending.

"Small businesses are a linchpin of the U.S. economy because they form the backbone of the country's jobs market and are crucial for job creation. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2002 the United States had 112 million paid employees. About 56.4 million of them, or just more than 50%, worked at companies with fewer than 500 employees.

Boston Globe: Where to find sexiest women and men in world (excluding us, of course) - by Paul Makishima

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Where to find sexiest women and men in world (excluding us, of course) - by Paul Makishima

The Matador Knights have compiled a list of where you can find the world's sexiest -- outside of the United States. I know this is not the criteria by which most plan their travel. But frankly I have heard of worse reasons
So, where can you find the sexiest women and men? Note EU-Digest: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Based on that criteria Paul Makishima did a good report.

tehran times : Iran, Turkey seek stronger energy cooperation

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Iran, Turkey seek stronger energy cooperation

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki on Saturday held talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on ways to expand comprehensive cooperation especially in energy sector. “Fortunately, the train of bilateral relations is moving in a good condition. Joint agreements on energy and building an electricity power plant are underway and the memoranda of understanding on cooperation in South Pars gas filed are in the final process,” Mottaki stated. He expressed hope that the implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution which calls for the privatization of state-run economy will provide the ground for further cooperation between the two neighbors’ private sectors.

Money Morning: Inside Wall Street: The US economic meltdown - That Ticking Sound You Hear Out in the Mortgage Market is the FHA - by Shah Gilani

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The US economic Meltdown - Inside Wall Street: That Ticking Sound You Hear Out in the Mortgage Market is the FHA - by Shah Gilani

The fundamentals of economic strife based on the disastrous collapse of the U.S. housing market will not get better any time soon. In fact, what’s being pushed through both houses of Congress, even as you read this, is so dangerous that it should be immediately abandoned and revealed for what it is - a ticking time bomb labeled with the initials FHA. In the past few days alone, the Bernanke Bomb Squad - also known as the U.S. Federal Reserve - was able to defuse two ticking time bombs - Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) - before the full force of their explosive power could be felt. Fannie and Freddie are now being propped up and will eventually have to be taken over or put into receivership, meaning there ultimately will be damage to deal with.

Half a world away - in his new home in Singapore - peripatetic investing guru Jim Rogers blasted the federal government for its new activist approach, which conflict with the very idea of a free market. A rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - the second federally sponsored corporate bailout in four months after the Treasury Department rode to the rescue of The Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. (BSR) in March - is shifting the cost of errant financial strategies away from shareholders and onto U.S. taxpayers. Said Rogers: Paulson and Bernanke "are bailing out their friends on Wall Street … but there are 300 million Americans that are going to have to pay for this."

China View: Prospects of Iranian nuclear issue's resolution remain dim after Geneva talks

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Prospects of Iranian nuclear issue's resolution remain dim after Geneva talks

A solution to Iran's nuclear issue remains elusive after the high-level talks in Geneva on Saturday between six major powers and Iran achieved only "insufficient" progress. Significant progress is unlikely unless the key parties involved in the issue are ready to show more flexibility and make substantial compromise, analysts say. As the U.S. troops are bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington is keen to see some progress in efforts to solve Iran's nuclear issue, especially before President George W. Bush leaves office in January. And a peaceful resolution of the crisis could be seen as a big achievement for Bush's presidency. White House spokesperson Dana Perino said before the talks that the U.S. official would not be in Geneva to negotiate, and more sanctions were still possible if Iran rejected the incentives. "We will be there to listen, (and) we are not there to negotiate," she said.

Bloomberg.com: EU - Sarkozy Says EU Treaty Needs No Renegotiation - by Helen Fouget

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Sarkozy says EU Treaty Needs No Renegotiation - by Helene Fouquet

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Lisbon Treaty to overhaul European Union institutions should not be renegotiated after Irish voters rejected the treaty, the Irish Times newspaper reported today, citing an interview. Sarkozy, who holds the rotating presidency of the EU, will visit Ireland on July 21. He said Europe must resolve the crisis ``several months'' before the June EU parliamentary elections and the Commission's renewal later next year, the newspaper said.

Europe needs Ireland and Ireland needs Europe, Sarkozy told the newspaper. The French leader said the EU's executive arm, the Commission, under the Lisbon Treaty, could keep one commissioner for each of the 27 member states until at least 2014 and that this could be discussed as a solution with Ireland, the newspaper said. He said the EU common defense plan would not threaten the Irish neutrality, the Irish Times reported.

DW: Britain Ratifies EU's Treaty of Lisbon

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Britain Ratifies EU's Treaty of Lisbon

Britain has formally ratified the European Union's Treaty of Lisbon, the country's Foreign Ministry said in London. The beleaguered treaty's future is still in doubt after Irish voters rejected it last month. Both houses of the British parliament as well as the head of state Queen Elizabeth II gave the nod to the reform treaty. All steps for the final ratification were taken and the documents were deposited in Rome, where the 1957 Treaty of Rome for the founding the European Economic Community was signed.

Telegraph: Irish 'No' vote architect plans Europe-wide 'referendum' on Lisbon Treaty - by Tim Shipman

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Irish 'No' vote architect plans Europe-wide 'referendum' on Lisbon Treaty - by Tim Shipman

The man who delivered an historic "No" vote in Ireland against the EU's Lisbon Treaty has revealed far-reaching plans to give voters throughout Europe a peoples' referendum on the handover of power to Brussels. Declan Ganley is planning to field more than 400 candidates in next June's European Parliament elections, in the 26 countries – including Britain – where voters have had no direct say on the treaty. The energy and rhetoric of Mr Ganley, a multimillionaire businessman, was widely credited with persuading the Irish to reject the treaty, even though every leading Irish political party apart from Sinn Fein was urging voters to say "Yes".

7/19/08

The Raw Story: US Election Fraud: GOP cyber-security expert suggests Diebold tampered with 2002 election - by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane

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US Election Fraud - GOP cyber-security expert suggests Diebold tampered with 2002 election - by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane

A leading cyber-security expert and former adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says he has fresh evidence regarding election fraud on Diebold electronic voting machines during the 2002 Georgia gubernatorial and senatorial elections. Some critics of electronic voting raised questions about the 2002 Georgia race even at the time. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, who was five percentage points ahead of Republican challenger Saxby Chambliss in polls taken a week before the vote, lost 53% to 46%. Incumbent Democratic Governor Roy Barnes, who led challenger Sonny Perdue in the polls by eleven points, lost 51% to 46%. However, because the Diebold machines used throughout the state provided no paper trail, it was impossible to ask for a recount in either case.

Washington Post: Iran Nuclear Talks End Without Agreement - by Glenn Kessler

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Iran Nuclear Talks End Without Agreement - by Glenn Kessler

High-level international talks on Iran's nuclear program ended inconclusively today in Geneva, with European envoy Javier Solana telling reporters that Iran needed to give a more definitive answer within two weeks.

The meeting was significant because for the first time a U.S. diplomat, Undersecretary of State William J. Burns, joined other envoys in meeting with the top Iranian nuclear negotiator. U.S. officials had said the shift in Bush administration policy was intended to help lead to a breakthrough in the impasse over the Iranian program, but if Iran failed to respond positively, it only would unify the international coalition dealing with Iran.

Moscow News - Russia becomes Europe’s largest car market

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Russia has become Europe's largest automotive market after year on year sales grew 41 percent in the first six months of 2008, according to a survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC.) In this period, 1.65 million cars were bought in Russia compared to 1.63 million in Germany, which was previously Europe's largest market. It is foreign brands that have been driving the expansion, with a 54 percent increase in the number of imports. In contrast, Russian brands only made up a quarter of all the cars sold in Russia according to the PWC report.

TimesOnline: Barack Obama fears the Blair effect: hero abroad, liability at home - by Sarah Baxter

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Barack Obama fears the Blair effect: hero abroad, liability at home - by Sarah Baxter

As Obama embarks on his first foreign tour as the Democratic presidential nominee, the world is inclined to agree. If Britain and Europe could vote, he would win the White House in a landslide. A poll in The Guardian last week showed that Obama would trounce John McCain, his Republican rival, in Britain by a margin of five votes to one. France and Germany are even more ardent members of Obamaland.

Once Obama arrives home, he should stop focusing on foreign affairs, seasoned advisers warn. In 1992, one of the few occasions when a Democrat was elected president in the past 40 years, Bill Clinton’s slogan was: “It’s the economy, stupid.” The world may love Obama, but Americans love a president who focuses like a laser on their greatest concerns.

DW: Europeans Plan Floating Windmills for North Sea | Business

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Europeans Plan Floating Windmills for North Sea

They are loathed as blights on the landscape and menaces to migrating birds. But a new partnership between two European innovators could create wind turbines that can float on the ocean's surface. Norwegian energy group Norsk Hydro and German engineering firm Siemens recently announced that they have joined forces to research and build a floating wind turbine. Currently, windmills have to be built on land or in shallow off-shore seabed sites, where they often generate complaints that they spoil the landscape, and concerns that the turbines batter birdlife. A floating windmill could be placed far out at sea. Hydro hopes to have a prototype operating in the North Sea by 2009. It is projected to cost 200 million Norwegian kroner (25.2 million euros or $34.3 million), although the project's finances have yet to be agreed on. Hydro has already spent 30 million kroner on developing its floatation technology. Siemens says it will spend several million euros on the project over the next two years. If all goes well, the partnership is hoping to have an off-shore wind energy field set up by 2013, using 5 megawatt wind turbines.

7/18/08

The Daily Reckoning: The party is over - by Bill Bonner

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The party is over - by Bill Bonner

“No combination of tax hikes and spending cuts, though, will change the total burden borne by current and future generations. For the existing unfunded liabilities to be covered in the end, someone must pay $99.2 trillion more or receive $99.2 trillion less than they have been currently promised. This is a cold, hard fact. The decision we must make is whether to shoulder a substantial portion of that burden today or compel future generations to bear its full weight.“...Throughout history, many nations, when confronted by sizable debts they were unable or unwilling to repay, have seized upon an apparently painless solution to this dilemma: monetization. Just have the monetary authority run cash off the printing presses until the debt is repaid, the story goes, then promise to be responsible from that point on and hope your sins will be forgiven by God and Milton Friedman and everyone else.

RTÉ News: Europe prepares for Obamania

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Europe prepares for Obamania

US presidential front-runner Barack Obama will tour Europe and the Middle East next week, making much anticipated stops in Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Berlin, Paris and London. His exact itinerary has been kept a secret for security reasons, but his campaign says he will be in Amman, Jordan on Monday; Tuesday and Wednesday in Israel and the West Bank; Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Europe; and somewhere in all this, fact-finding missions to Iraq and Afghanistan. He will be accompanied to the war zones by two US Senate colleagues, Democrat Jack Reed and Republican Chuck Hagel, an outspoken critic of president George W Bush and the Iraq War.

Quinnipiac University Poll, conducted from July 8 to July13, 2008, showed Obama leading McCain by 9% points – 50% to 41% among the registered voters nationally. Reuters/Zogby Poll, conducted from July 9 to July13, 2008, showed Obama leading McCain by 7% points – 47% to 40% among the registered voters nationally.

7/17/08

Science Daily: Hydrogen Vehicles Coming Soon? Two Million Could Be On Roads By 2020

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Hydrogen Vehicles Coming Soon? Two Million Could Be On Roads By 2020

A transition to hydrogen vehicles could greatly reduce U.S. oil dependence and carbon dioxide emissions, says a new congress mandated report from the National Research Council, but making hydrogen vehicles competitive in the automotive market will not be easy. While the development of fuel cell and hydrogen production technology over the past several years has been impressive, challenges remain.

The maximum practicable number of hydrogen vehicles that could be on the road by 2020 is 2 million, says the report. By 2023, the total cost of fuel cell vehicles, including the cost of hydrogen fuel over a vehicle's lifetime, could become competitive with conventional vehicles. At that point, the number of hydrogen vehicles on the road could grow rapidly, to nearly 60 million in 2035 and 200 million by 2050.

CSMonitor: U.S. shifts tack on Iran with decision to send envoy to nuclear talk - by Liam Stack

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In a surprising development in the tense American-Iranian relationship, the US announced this week that it would send a high-level State Department official to attend talks with Iranian nuclear negotiators in Switzerland over the weekend. This unexpected policy turn comes after a tense, saber rattling summer during which the US, Israel, and Iran have traded threats, staged war games, and tested weapons. But observers suggest that the shift in the US's longstanding tactic of isolating Tehran may be motivated by a desire to ensure that other countries such as China and Russia do not make too many concessions to Iran during the negotiations.

Note EU-Digest:Washington finally has realized that one way of avoiding the further meltdown of the US economy that dialog with Iran is a far better tactic to calming down the jitters about the US economy in the financial world than taking confrontational actions.

Forbes: France calls on gas-consuming countries to club together

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France calls on gas-consuming countries to club together

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, said European countries should club together to give them greater bargaining power in their negotiations with gas suppliers such as Russia. At a time of soaring energy prices, 'we believe it would be better to strike a common stance in Europe,' Kouchner told a joint news conference with his Austrian counterpart Ursula Plassnik. 'Russia negotiates with us as if Europe didn't exist. They negotiate on a one-on-one basis which is understandable but not to our advantage,' he said.

The idea of a European gas purchasing centre, as proposed by the previous EU president Slovenia and taken up by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, would fit in with this, Kouchner argued, pointing out that such a facility already existed in the area of electricity. Note EU-Digest: This is an excellent idea and could also be applied in other areas related to energy supplies.

www.kansascity.com: Airbus orders top Boeing's at Farnborough - by Jane Wardell

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Airbus orders top Boeing's at Farnborough - by Jane Wardell

European plane maker Airbus emerged as the clear winner at the Farnborough International Airshow on Thursday after racking up plane orders dwarfing the deals done by U.S. rival Boeing Co. An agreement to sell South American consortium Synergy Aerospace 10 aircraft worth $2.1 billion took Airbus' total orders so far at the weeklong show outside of London to 247 planes worth $38.7 billion at catalog prices. Boeing, meanwhile, boosted its show tally to 197 planes worth $23.1 billion with an apparent headline grabbing deal with Air China for 45 of its planes worth $6.3 billion.

Reuters: US Economy - As faith in bank bailouts dims, losses set to deepen - by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa

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As faith in bank bailouts dims- by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa

The nightmare scenario for U.S. economic authorities is here: confidence in their ability to rescue the country from a housing-led financial panic is now at its lowest level since the crisis began. This means losses for investors, already totaling nearly half a trillion dollars, could mount even further over the next few months, with implications for business investment and the overall health of the economy. "You see a massive potential for financial meltdown on a global scale," said T.J. Marta, fixed-income strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

Bloomberg reports: ``Hopes for a bottom'' this year in home construction ``are rapidly fading,'' said David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. The housing recession ``has been spilling over to manufacturing for months,'' contributing to ``recessionary conditions,'' he said. Commodity on line reported: "A Depression doesn't run hot and fierce like some crazed meth burner. A Depression is methodical, purposeful, patient. It will build a shelter out of tree branches and newspaper, light a small, well-contained campfire and wait you out, brother. While you feed on the empty calories of denial and popcorn, it will quietly gather shards of broken dreams and fashion them into a terrible weapon of blunt force reality".

Washington Post: Cancer Survival Depends on Where You Live - by Steven Reinberg

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Cancer Survival Depends on Where You Live - by Steven Reinberg

Your odds of surviving cancer depend on which country you live in. And, in the United States, it also depends on whether you're black or white, a new study finds. Economic differences among countries, access to health care, and the availability of cancer treatments feed the disparities in survival, the report said. "There is a very wide global range in the odds of survival after a cancer diagnosis," said lead researcher Michel Coleman, a professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Great Britain. "Some of the range is understandable on the basis of the relative wealth of these countries," he added.

USA Today: Mosques increasingly not welcome in Europe - By Jeffrey Stinson

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Mosques increasingly not welcome in Europe - By Jeffrey Stinson

Europeans are increasingly lashing out at the construction of mosques in their cities as terrorism fears and continued immigration feed anti-Muslim sentiment across the continent. The latest dispute is in Switzerland, which is planning a nationwide referendum to ban minarets on mosques. This month, Italy's interior minister vowed to close a controversial mosque in Milan.

Some analysts call the mosque conflicts the manifestation of a growing fear that Muslims aren't assimilating, don't accept Western values and pose a threat to security. "It's a visible symbol of anti-Muslim feelings in Europe," says Danièle Joly, director of the Center for Research in Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick in England. "It's part of an Islamophobia. Europeans feel threatened."

The Economist: Europe’s Tory nightmare

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Europe’s Tory nightmare

As to me declaring bankruptcy because "I am on a road of debt": Maybe I should clarify that everyone's net worth is based on equity minus debt. Given that basic economic principle my equity at the moment stands at a a minimum of $200.000 - $50.000 = $150.000 not counting the potential benefit from the sale of MMA or EU-Digest. Bankruptcy is therefore the last thing I am considering at this point. My suggestion is to get your trust to pay me $150.000 and I sign over my part of the Cutler deed to you. Out of this capital I will buy property in Europe and put Adaja, Justin and Andre as the co-owners to inherit it when I pass away.

7/16/08

MWC News - Will Martial Law Prevent US elections in November? - by Rachqael Bliss

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US elections - Will Martial Law Prevent US elections in November?

Will we even see an election this fall in the USA? - by Rachael Bliss

Conversely, will we be forced to endure more time under the influence of the Bush Administration, during which time new judges will be possibly appointed to federal judgeships, including the Supreme Court itself? Nah, will never happen, we say. But don't be so sure about the so-called "impossibility." Have you ever heard of martial law, whereby because of an emergency, the current president gets new powers, one being the ability to delay elections, such as the General Election scheduled for the first Tuesday in November of 2008.

What kind of emergency could happen that would put the US into a situation calling for the proclamation of martial law?

The ChronicleHerald.ca: G8 losing relevance in new global reality by David Crane

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G8 losing relevance in new global reality by David Crane

We live in a global economy, yet we have no effective system to manage a global economy. That’s one reason the world is in such a mess today. If you want evidence of this look at the current state of the world’s economy — soaring oil prices, a food crisis, the risks of stagflation and protectionism, climate change, growing competition for natural resources and great inequality. The G8 leaders from the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Russia, Italy and Canada like to think they are the ones who can take charge of the big global challenges. But as their recent annual summit in Japan showed, this is a pipe dream.

So a top priority has to be a new consensus on how we manage the global system in the years ahead without conflict, environmental disaster or a world of competing protectionist blocs, and how leaders of the major nations can help provide effective ways of dealing with challenges in a way that supports the work of the UN and the various multilateral institutions.

7/15/08

APP.Com: New Jersey Lakewood company buys Dutch partner in Almere, Holland

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New Jersey Lakewood company buys Dutch partner in Almere, Holland

Component Hardware Group, a Lakewood-based company that manufactures plumbing and hardware products, has acquired CHG-Europe in Almere, Netherlands, for an undisclosed amount, company officials said Thursday. The acquisition is expected to give Component Hardware a sales office and distribution center to sell its products throughout Europe. The two companies previously worked together through a joint venture.

Component Hardware is known in the industry for making bacteria-fighting products for commercial buildings and health-care providers.

The Associated Press: US Economy - Analysis: Leaders running out of economic options - run on the banks by depositors? - By Tom Raum

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Analysis US Economy: Leaders running out of economic options - run on the banks by depositors? - By Tom Raum

The nation's leaders are running out of answers to America's economic crisis. The Federal Reserve has no more practical room to push interest rates lower; there's only so much taxpayer money for shoring up housing, and if depositors lose confidence there's little officials can do to stop a run on banks. With soaring budget deficits, swollen from the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and increased spending on homeland security, there's only so much taxpayer money for bailing out failing financial institutions."I fear that we're sitting on a financial powder keg," Bernanke was told by Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, senior Republican on the Banking Committee.

And the risk of runs on banks is still present, although minimized by federal deposit insurance on accounts up to $100,000 and by other federal safeguards. But nearly $1 billion of IndyMac's approximately $19 billion in deposits was uninsured, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Europe's Crime Capitals

Forbes.com

"Europe's Crime Capitals
Parmy Olson, 07.15.08, 5:00 PM ET

Their method was simple but ingenious. On some of London's most high-class streets, gangs of Albanian criminals dispatched foot soldiers to saw the heads off of parking meters.

But instead of smashing the meters and taking the money, the thieves took the lock and made a skeleton key that could open hundreds more parking meters in the surrounding area. "

Guardian UK: US elections: Barack Obama details foreign policy plan ahead of European and other international visits - by Ewen MacAskill

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US elections - Barack Obama details foreign policy plan ahead of European and other international visits

by Ewen MacAskill

Barack Obama laid the foundations for a new US foreign policy today ahead of his trips to Europe and the Middle East, promising to work with allies to tackle the threats of the 21st century with a push comparable to the Marshall Plan, a policy enacted after the second world war. In his biggest speech on foreign policy since he entered the presidential race in February last year, he said the US has "paid a price for foreign policy that lectures without listening".

Ranging over the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and the United Nations, he set out five goals for his presidency: ending the war in Iraq; finishing the war with al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan; ending US oil dependency; securing all nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists and rogue states; and rebuilding US alliances.

Nuzizo Online City - Being a Muslim in a Non-Muslim Society - by Masriya

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Being a Muslim in a Non-Muslim Society - by Masriya

For me, I was born and raised in the U.S., and it's where I'm currently residing. It's been interesting for me to grow religiously and spirituality amongst so many non-muslims. Most of my friends are non-muslims, and I love each one of them as if they were my own brothers and sisters. But, there is, indeed, a difference. One of the reasons why I joined this neighborhood was to connect with more people like me. It's interesting to talk to people and see that I'm not the only one who gets tired of constantly explaining myself. Constantly explaining how muslims in the true sense are in fact NOT terrorists. And how, in fact, all muslim women are not beaten by their men as an acceptable form of punishment.

Those are just the two stereotypes that come to my mind right off the bat. I am proud of where I came from and proud of my beliefs, and it's so sad to me that there are a lot of nutsos out there who don't know the difference between fact and fiction and who also don't care to take the time to find out for themselves. I got an email today from one of my friends talking about the hit TV show "24" and how it's really becoming obvious that there's a reason why it's a favorite of the Bush administration. Unfortunately, this kind of "propoganda" is not what this country needs right now. It's rare you see anything positive about muslims and Islam in general on tv or any other media source. For me, it makes me angry and makes me want to do something about it. But, where I get stuck is where and how can I make a difference? I do educate people around me to the best of my ability, but it seems like the ignorance is spreading so quickly and so fiercely. I'm just putting this topic out there, and I'm interested to see what the response is and how others are feeling/dealing with it. If you respond to my blog, I'm asking you to please respond in an educated manner where we can all be heard. Thanks for reading my blog!

The Daily Star - American missile defense plans hit a snag in Europe - by Richard Weitz

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American missile defense plans hit a snag in Europe - by Richard Weitz

The debate between the United States and Russia over Washington's plans to deploy ballistic missile defenses in Europe is heating up again. Persistent differences with Poland over its conditions for accepting defensive interceptor missiles have led American officials to hint that they might consider Lithuania as an alternative deployment site. This shift appears aimed at pressuring Poland into showing greater flexibility in the negotiations, but the idea of the US establishing military bases in a country once part of the Soviet Union has raised the Kremlin's ire.

AFP: Euro hits record high 1.6038 dollars

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Euro hits record high 1.6038 dollars

The European single currency leapt to a record high above 1.60 dollars here on Tuesday as investor fears grew over the state of the US economy and its financial services sector, dealers said. In late morning London deals, the euro jumped to 1.6038 dollars, which beat the previous all-time peak of 1.6019 that was set on April 22.

7/14/08

Seattle Times: Airbus parent looks toward more U.S. military business

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Airbus parent looks toward more U.S. military business

Despite the Pentagon decision last week to redo the big Air Force refueling-tanker competition won in February by Airbus parent EADS and its partner Northrop Grumman, top EADS executives remain determined to break into the U.S. defense market. They talked about making a billion-dollar U.S. acquisition next year. And they are eyeing more than tankers. They aim to eventually replace more than 450 U.S. Army midsize transport planes. Boeing doesn't have a candidate plane for that role.

Saturday, EADS leaders shrugged off the tanker rebid and expressed confidence that the original award will be sustained.

China View: U.S. cautiously welcomes EU-Mediterranean summit

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The United States cautiously welcomed on Monday the summit of European Union (EU) and Mediterranean countries, which also brought together top leaders of Israel, the Palestinian authorities, Syria and Lebanon. "We don't have an observer there. We don't have a place at the table. But I think, generally, it's an effort that we can, at the least, be supportive of," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. Leaders from all the 27 EU member states and 16 North African, Middle East and Western Balkan countries launched in Paris, France, the Union for the Mediterranean on Sunday, aimed at boosting cooperation between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East through a series of regional projects.

The delegates approved six cooperation projects: the de-pollution of the Mediterranean, the building of maritime and coastal land highways, the fight against disasters, a solar energy program, an EU-Mediterranean university and a business development initiative.

Al Jazeera English -EU- Mediterranean realism triumphs - by Marwan Bishara

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EU- Mediterranean realism triumphs - by Marwan Bishara

The dream of Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, to establish a union between Europe and its southern neighbours has finally seen the light, albeit in a somewhat deflated project. The July 13 summit of 40 leaders from the Mediterranean region in Paris was a major symbolic and diplomatic victory for French foreign policy which had long been thought to suffer from stagnation and paralysis. France managed to create a process of dialogue and cooperation during the summit despite the past European failure of adopting a single constitution and the breakdown of the Barcelona process, which by 2005 was meant to have created a north-south Mediterranean rapprochment, but was instead considered all but dead.

Moreover, the failure of America's New Middle East project to produce any tangible results beyond chaos and war, prompted even Washington's closest allies to come together under French auspices and embrace a union that demanded little of their governments.

Nieuws uit Amsterdam: VVD questions subsidy for Gülen movement

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VVD questions subsidy for Gülen movement

According to the VVD conservative party in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam municipality has awarded a 23,400-euro subsidy to the Islam and Dialogue Foundation, which is related to the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen. Critics call the Gülen movement sectarian. In a NOVA documentary last Friday, Professor Erik-Jan Zürcher, an expert on Turkish society, said that the Gülen movement very actively encourages its followers to get a diploma and to make a career for themselves. It would also be very apt at adopting the Dutch discourse of dialogue and integration. However, he also said that the organisation turns its members into 'servile followers' who have to accept their leader's message as absolute truth. These are not characteristics that are helpful if one wants to get ahead in a democratic society, he said.

Zürcher further said that the Dutch government "far too easily gives money and facilities to representatives of immigrant groups who know how to push the right buttons".

Forbes.com: America's Best Places For Alternative Energy - by Willam Pentland

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America's Best Places For Alternative Energy - by Willam Pentland

The "cubic mile of oil"--a metric roughly equivalent to the amount of oil consumed worldwide each year--is frequently used to explain the challenge facing solar, wind, geothermal and biomass power. So what would it take to replace the amount of energy in a cubic mile of oil? Roughly 4.2 billion solar rooftops, 300 million wind turbines, 2,500 nuclear power plants or 200 Three Gorges Dams, according to Menlo Park, Calif., nonprofit research institute SRI International. In other words, no single category of renewable energy is growing anywhere near the speed it needs to bear the full brunt of displacing carbon-emitting fossil fuels anytime soon.

Bloomberg.com: FedEx May Buy Dutch TNT to Add Europe Parcel - by Jeroen Molenaar and Sarah Thompson

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FedEx May Buy Dutch TNT to Add Europe Parcel - by Jeroen Molenaar and Sarah Thompson

FedEx Corp., the second-largest U.S. package-shipping company, is in preliminary talks to take over TNT NV, the Financial Times reported. Buying the Dutch operator would make FedEx the No. 2 express-delivery service in Europe. Rising fuel costs and an economic decline revived merger discussion between FedEx and TNT, the U.K. newspaper said today, without citing anyone. Pieter Schaffels, a spokesman for TNT, and Jess Bunn of FedEx both declined to comment when contacted by telephone and e-mail today. A buyout ``makes sense,'' said Philip Scholte, an analyst at Rabo Securities in Amsterdam. ``You just link the two networks together.''

7/13/08

The Canberratimes: EU plan for grand union - by Lorne Cook

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EU plan for grand union - by Lorne Cook

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and 42 other leaders were to launch last night a union between Europe and its Mediterranean neighbors but tensions among Middle East countries could undermine their grand plan. Heads of state and government from the 27 European Union nations and an arc of countries running from Morocco to the Balkans representing some 756 million people were expected to endorse the new forum at the Grand Palais on Paris's Champs Elysee."

The Bosphorus, by the waters of the EU

France 24

"The Bosphorus, by the waters of the EU

Sunday 13 July 2008
Turkey, the EU's main trading partner in the Mediterranean sea, hopes the Union for the Mediterranean will mark a further step towards full EU membership. Yet, some entrepreneurs remain lukewarm in backing what they regard as mere compensation."