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9/30/08

China View: Eurozone inflation retreats to 3.6% in September

For the complete report from Xinhua click on this link

Eurozone inflation retreats to 3.6% in September

Annual inflation in the euro zone fell to 3.6 percent in September, retreating from its record highs in the previous months, the European Union (EU)'s statistics bureau Eurost at estimated Tuesday. Pushed by hiking oil and food prices, the eurozone inflation has been on increase in the past year. It peaked at 4.0 percent in June and July, the highest since the European Central Bank (ECB) started 12 years ago collecting inflation data for the countries which began to use the euro in 1999. Analysts said the easing of price pressure in the euro zone was mainly due to recent drops of oil prices, but the figure remained too high for the 15-nation bloc sharing the same currency, which is facing increasing risk of recession.

International Energy Agency: Vienna/Berlin - IAE estimates 50% of global electricity supplies from alternative resources by 2050

For the complete report from the International Energy agency in Vienna click on this link

IAE estimates 50% of global electricity supplies from alternative resources by 2050

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that nearly 50% of global electricity supplies will have to come from renewable energy sources if we want to halve CO2 emissions by 2050 in order to minimise significant and irreversible climate change impacts. This is a huge challenge and part of the entire energy revolution we need to achieve. Meeting these very ambitious objectives will require unprecedented political commitment and effective policy design and implementation. “Only a limited set of countries have implemented effective support policies for renewables and there is a large potential for improvement”, said Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the IEA today in Berlin at the launch of the new study, Deploying Renewables: Principles for Effective Policies. “Several countries have made important progress in recent years in fostering renewables, with renewable energy markets expanding considerably as a result. However, much more can and should be done at the global level - in OECD member countries, large emerging economies and other countries - to address the urgent need of transforming our unsustainable energy present into a clean and secure energy future.” In this publication, the IEA has for the first time carried out a comparative analysis of the performance of the various renewables promotion policies around the world. The study encompasses 35 countries, including - all OECD members and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and addresses the three relevant sectors electricity production, heating and transport.

In 2005, these 35 countries accounted for 80% of total global commercial renewable electricity generation, 77% of commercial renewable heating/cooling (excluding the use of traditional biomass) and 98% of renewable transport fuel production.

TheStar.com: Capitalism in limbo as renegades kill bailout - by David Olive

For the complete report from the TheStar.com click on this link

Capitalism in limbo as renegades kill bailout - by David Olive

In a stunning rebuke to U.S. President George W. Bush and GOP presidential candidate John McCain, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, joined by many Democrats, yesterday killed a bailout scheme promoted by the administration to rescue a U.S. financial system in paralysis.Bush, who twice has addressed the nation on the urgent need for passage of the rescue package, and from McCain, who stayed in the capital over the weekend making calls to recalcitrant Republican members of Congress to win their reluctant support for the bailout bill, 133 GOP and 95 Democratic members of the House joined to defeat the bill in a 228-205 vote. The rebuke amounted to a repudiation of the elites by Congressional backbenchers and their constituents. So why this remarkable revolt, which leaves the global financial system in a state of "credit gridlock"? All 435 House members have been deluged since last week with correspondence from constituents angry at what they perceive as a bailout of Wall Street fat cats at taxpayers' expense. And many Americans who've managed to keep up their mortgage payments are also resentful about indirectly bailing out neighbours who bought houses they couldn't afford.

All 435 members of Congress face re-election in just five weeks. Even those who voted for the bailout did so while holding their noses, and are fearful of confronting wrathful voters when they return to their districts later this week to campaign for re-election.

9/29/08

The View from Europe

Scotsman.com News

"The View from Europe

Published Date: 30 September 2008
EUROPE is getting bigger in more ways than one. Even if a newly right-wing Austria vetoes Turkish membership, the EU is still growing in terms of population. New data from Brussels shows that the union's population grew by 0.48 per cent last year – 2.39 million more people – and is now 497.5 million. Expect the commission to round that up to a crisp 500 million. That compares with the latest population estimate of 301 million for the United States."

Science and faith, the British way - Opinion - USATODAY.com

Science and faith, the British way - Opinion - USATODAY.com

"Science and faith, the British way
Some of the most prominent researchers in England enjoy a vibrant religious life that coexists with their immersion in the scientific world. Indeed, these evangelicals might give American believers, and scientists, something to think about."

USAToday: U.S., foreign stocks drop as financial problems spread -

For the complete report from USATODAY.com click on this link

U.S., foreign stocks drop as financial problems spread

Investors, watching financial problems spread overseas, sent stocks tumbling Monday, despite Washington's $700 billion financial bailout plan. Credit markets were still tight, as investors in the U.S. grappled with whether the historic $700 billion financial rescue bill would pass and whether it will work.

The Calgary Sun - Wall Street rescue won't help all - by Tom Raum

For the complete report from The Calgary Sun clicki on this link

Wall Street rescue won't help all - by Tom Raum

Congressional leaders and the White House agreed yesterday to a $700-billion rescue of the ailing financial industry after legislators insisted on sharing spending controls with the administration. The biggest U.S. bailout in history won the tentative support of both presidential candidates and goes to the House of Representatives for a vote today. The plan would give the administration broad power to use billions of taxpayer dollars to purchase devalued mortgage-related assets held by cash-starved financial firms.

AFP: Europe - Markets slump before US Congress bailout vote

For the complete report from AFP click on this link

Europe - Markets slump before US Congress bailout vote

Global stocks tumbled Monday as US Congress was to vote on a multi-billion-dollar bailout deal and as the ongoing financial crisis forced the rescue of three European banks, dealers said. In Europe, Belgian-Dutch banking and insurance group Fortis sealed a multinational bailout over the weekend, while the British government on Monday announced it would nationalise troubled mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley. Sentiment was also hit after German authorities provided 35 billion euros (50 billion dollars) in guarantees for an emergency credit line by a consortium of private banks to German bank Hypo Real Estate. A fourth European bank, Franco-Belgian group Dexia, could also be on the verge of a state rescue deal after the group saw almost one quarter of its stock market value wiped out on liquidity concerns.

In another sign of banking woes, Denmark's Roskilde Bank said it had been sold to Nordic bank Nordea and two regional Danish lenders, Arbejdernes Landsbank and Spar Nord Bank. Global central banks on Monday pumped extra cash into the financial system as part of continued efforts to keep credit flowing.

EU should fund search for aliens, says MEP

EU Politics News - theParliament.com

"EU should fund search for aliens, says MEP

The search for life on other planets should be properly funded by the EU, UK Liberal MEP Bill Newton-Dunn has said.

Speaking to theparliament.com after a hearing in parliament on the subject, he said that the search for life beyond Earth was hugely significant to everyone, and as such deserves a place in the EU’s research budget."

9/28/08

SmartCompany: Alternative Energy Investments - Wealthy investors turn to sustainable investments - by Madeleine Heffernan

For the complete report from Smart Investments click on this link

Alternative Energy Investments - Wealthy investors turn to sustainable investments - by Madeleine Heffernan

Speaking at the International Responsible Investment Conference in Melbourne this week, Christensen says high net worth individuals tend to display “toe-dip” behaviour in relation to sustainable investments: once in, they tend to increase their allocations over time. Sixty-one per cent of high net worth individuals in the European Union have allocated up to 5% of their portfolios to sustainable investments; more than a quarter have 10% to 50%. Younger generations with more than $1 million in disposable assets (excluding their primary residence) are more likely than their parents to adopt sustainable investment, Christensen says. Older generations tend to take a more conservative approach, but younger people are more willing to seek market rate returns while engaging in sustainability issues. For the Asia-Pacific, Eurosif research shows 13% of high net worth individuals have allocated part of their portfolio to green technologies and alternative energy sources. The research shows high net worth individuals in the European Union have shown the greatest enthusiasm for thematic investment, particularly in clean technology and water; while those in North America have shown the least.

Miami Herald: Alternative Energy - Vodou shrub is alternative fuel - by Jacqueline Charles

For the complete report from the Miami Herald click on this link

Alternative Energy-Vodou shrub is alternative fuel - by Jacqueline Charles

For generations, Vodou practitioners in rural Haiti have sworn by the mystic qualities of Jatropha, an indigenous plant believed to purge evil spirits and release the trapped souls of the dead. But the shrub may soon be in bigger demand among the living. Jatropha shows tremendous promise as a source of biofuel in Latin America and the Caribbean, and especially Haiti, which suffers from chronic shortages of diesel fuel, electricity -- just about everything except Jatropha. In June, Miami hosted a Jatropha World 2008 Conference that trumpeted the plant's properties. And later this week, alternative fuel sources such as Jatropha will likely share the spotlight again at an energy panel during the annual Americas Conference in Miami.It has been known for decades that the oil-producing seeds of the Jatropha curcas, once they are crushed and processed, can be a potent source of energy. But now the so-called ''miracle plant'' is sparking heightened interest as oil prices skyrocket and reports filter out of India and Nepal of power plants there being fueled by Jatropha.

Taipei Times - Is China ready to assume leadership of the globalized economy? - by Harold James

For the comolete report from the Taipei Times ckick on this link

Is China ready to assume leadership of the globalized economy? - by Harold Jame

In a financial system that has become so demented, only institutions with more or less infinite resources can stem the tide. Such institutions can conceivably be self-help organizations, such as pools of powerful banks. The US Treasury indeed tried to put together such a pool last Sunday. But in a climate of profound uncertainty, self-help is not enough. Governments or central banks are needed, because only they are both big and quick enough. Only they could quickly come to the assistance of the giant housing finance institutions US Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and then deal with AIG. The second question is what kind of government can do the job? Not just any government will do. Mid-sized European governments can possibly rescue mid-sized European institutions, but in the case of really major financial conglomerates at the heart of the world’s financial system, there are probably only two governments that have the fire power: the US and China. China is the US of this century. The initial stages of the credit crunch last year were managed so apparently painlessly because sovereign wealth funds (SWF) from the Middle East, but above all from China, were willing to step in and recapitalize the debt of US and European institutions. The pivotal moment in today’s events came when the Chinese SWF China Investment Co (CIC) was unwilling to go further in its exploration of buying Lehman Brothers. CIC’s turning back will be held up in the future as a moment when history could have turned in a different direction.

Alternet: Wall Street Bailout Takes Us Back to the U.S.S.R - Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace - by David Sirota

For the complete report from AlterNet click on this link

Wall Street Bailout Takes Us Back to the U.S.S.R - Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace - by David Sirota

Unlike European comrades, our socialists rarely mandate returns on taxpayer investments. The same 19th century socialism that gave the Mountain West to railroad companies became a 20th century socialism subsidizing oil and drug industry profits. Now, our 21st century socialists propose giving financial industry con men the national credit card, confirming Marx's theory that history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce.

Close a factory in socialist Denmark, and workers get immediate government help, along with their free health care. Shutter one in Ohio, and workers get nothing, except politicians saying their jobs are never returning and national health care is "unaffordable." But if investment banks teeter, those same politicians quickly find billions for bailouts.

Of course, socialist revolutions can share key traits. Many feature aspiring dictators like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former Goldman Sachs banker. He is pushing Hugo Chavez-style legislation demanding totalitarian authority to spend the $700 billion "without limitation" or "review by any court of law or any administrative agency." And surprise -- Paulson's scheme would enrich his Goldman Sachs pals.

NYT: US economic meltdown - Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan

For the complete report from the NYTimes.com click on this link

US economic meltdown - Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan

The link to the NYT shows the complete draft proposal of the so called bailout plan. NOTE EU-Digest: sec 2 of the draft shows that the secretary Mr. Paulson is given the sole authority to make commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States. Just this should already raise every red flags. This virtually gives Mr. Paulson carte blanche to handle as he wishes. Republicans and Democrats are urged to vote no. If they don't the voters should take note who voted for this draft agreement and vote them out.

ConsumerAffairs.com: Consumer complaints about Bank of America Credit Cards

For the complete report from Consumeraffairs.com click on this link

Consumer complaints about Bank of America Credit Cards

There have been consistent problems between credit card customers of Bank of America as it relates to bloated charges by that company.

Fars News Agency : EU Assessment: Israel Incapable of Stopping Iran N. Program

For the complete report from the Fars News Agency click on this link

EU Assessment: Israel Incapable of Stopping Iran Nuclear pogram. Program

EU diplomatic sources who specialize in the Middle East believe that Israel cannot stop the Iranian nuclear program on its own using military means. "Iran's counterstrike would not be the end of the story. There is no military solution and no stabilizing outcome," the EU source said. The assessment comes within the context of serious concerns in Europe that Israel, feeling its back against the wall, would strike Iran's nuclear facilities, even under the assumption that such action would only set back the Iranian program, not destroy it. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has told the German government, for example, that Israel will not allow Iran to go nuclear. At the same time, the overall assessment in the EU is that sanctions have not significantly impacted Iranian policy thus far, and are unlikely to do so in the future. EU sources also consider it unrealistic to expect any pressures on Tehran over its nuclear drive to result in a regime change.

In his latest report to the 35-nation Board of Governors, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed "the non-diversion" of nuclear material in Iran and added that the agency had found no "components of a nuclear weapon" or "related nuclear physics studies" in the country. The IAEA report confirmed that Iran has managed to enrich uranium-235 to a level 'less than 5 percent.' Such a rate is consistent with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production, meanwhile, requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.

9/27/08

VirtueOnline - Reformation, Renewal and Revival - Greatest Christian Revival in Church History Happening in China - by David W.Virtue

For the complete report from VirtueOnline click on this link

Reformation, Renewal and Revival - Greatest Christian Revival in Church History Happening in China - by David W.Virtue

The greatest revival in the history of the Christian Church has been going on for the last 50 years in China, making it perhaps the greatest in the history of Christianity, a Chinese Christian leader told 600 Episcopalians at Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, PA recently. "Under Mao Tse Tung there were 800,000 Christians. Unofficially today there are more than 130 million," Brother Yun, known as "The Heavenly Man" said through an interpreter."A powerful missions movement is growing in China. The Underground Church is growing. We are taking the gospel into the darkness of Asia all the way back to Jerusalem. The movement is called 'Back to Jerusalem'. We are reaching into the strongholds of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism, breaking through with the power of the Gospel of Christ." www.backtojerusalem.com

"There are two billion unreached peoples in five countries between China and Israel that has 50 million unevangelized Christians." Yun said that what is happening in China is that one million people a month come into the Kingdom of God. "Americans will not be the majority in heaven. The serious message God has given the church is to pack heaven with people. It is not enough just to sign a fire insurance policy. "There are 8,000 vested missionaries in China. They are preaching the gospel, feeding the hungry, improving the health care system and building new schools. God never intended his church to be a bunker but a lighthouse."

Telegraph.co.uk: China space walk: Astronaut's 'small step' hailed as giant leap for the country - by Richard Spencer

For the complete report and video from the Telegraph click on this link

China space walk: Astronaut's 'small step' hailed as giant leap for the country - by Richard Spencer

China space walk: Astronaut's 'small step' hailed as giant leap for the country - by Richard Spencer

The Chinese have also been unusually keen to acknowledge the role of the Russians in their space program, a sign of how the two former Communist countries are once again moving closer as they see a chance to loosen the dominance of the world's only superpower. Last month, China expressed its support for the "positive role" Russia was playing in the Caucasus, at a summit of central Asian states.

The Associated Press: Across Europe, it's becoming 'politics as USual'

For the complete report from The Associated Press click on this link

Across Europe, it's becoming 'politics as USual'

From this month's Social Democrat convention in northwestern Denmark to the slick imagery that has replaced the communist snoozefests of Cold War Eastern Europe, "Elements of the American way are seeping in," says Reginald Dale, a British expert. They're evident in televised debates of unprecedented feistiness; in candidates' obsession with polls, focus groups and image control; and in mass media, embracing a bold new role as definers — not just moderators — of key election themes. Experts say a watershed moment in the rise of image over substance came in 1997, when Britain's Conservative Party ran a poster that gave Tony Blair devil's eyes over the slogan "New Labour, New Danger."

Forbes: EU to speed up company reforms to combat slowdown

For the complete report from Forbes.com click on this link

EU to speed up company reforms to combat slowdown

EU governments will speed up reforms to help smaller companies create jobs in a bid to combat economic fallout from the credit crunch, though Germany remained reluctant to back reduced rates of sales taxes. EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said it was impossible to gauge the fallout on the European Union economy of a crisis in American banks. 'It can and probably will hit small and medium sized enterprises,' Verheugen told a news conference at the end of a meeting of the bloc's industry ministers

Bloomberg.com: European Two-Year Notes Post Biggest Weekly Gain in Seven Years

for the complete report from Bloomberg.com click on this link

European Two-Year Notes Post Biggest Weekly Gain in Seven Years

European Two-Year Notes Post Biggest Weekly Gain in Seven Years

European two-year government bonds posted the biggest weekly gain in seven years as investors sought the safest assets after negotiations on a U.S. financial-rescue plan faltered. Investors piled into short-dated debt as lawmakers in the U.S. planned to meet for a second day after talks two days ago ended without an agreement. A group of House Republicans led by Eric Cantor of Virginia said they wouldn't back a plan based on the approach outlined by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and supported by President George W. Bush. Bonds also gained after Washington Mutual Inc. was taken over by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in the biggest U.S. bank failure in history.

NYT: Russia Flexes Muscles in Oil Deal With Chávez - by Ellen Barry

For the complete report from the NYTimes.com click on this link

Russia Flexes Muscles in Oil Deal With Chávez - by Ellen Barry

Russia continued its international muscle-flexing on Friday, strengthening its ties to Venezuela through a $1 billion military loan and a new oil consortium as it announced an upgrade of its own military focusing on nuclear deterrence and permanent combat readiness.After a military exercise on Friday in the southern city of Orenburg, near the border with Kazakhstan, the Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, declared that by 2020 Russia would construct new types of warships, including nuclear submarines carrying cruise missiles and an unspecified air and space defense system.On Friday, Mr. Medvedev said the conflict also proved “the acuteness” of Russia’s need to modernize its military. Defense spending will increase by 26 percent next year, bringing it to 1.3 trillion rubles ( EURO 35 billion), its highest level since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Al Jazeere: MWC News : Us Presidential elections: - World reaction to the US debate

For the complete report from the Al Jazeera/MWC News - World reaction to the US debate

Foreign policy was the scheduled to be the topic of debate during the first televised tussle between Barack Obama, the Democrat's candidate, and John McCain, his Republican rival. But with the global financial crisis dominating the headlines in the United States, much of the debate focused on the economy pushing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the row over Iran's nuclear ambitions, down the agenda. Al Jazeera asked analysts and experts from across the world whether they got the answers to the big questions in their regions. Reactions were very interesting. For details click on the link above.

smh.com.au: US Presidential elections - Cunning stunts by McCain are rattling Obama - by Anne Summers

For the complete report from smh.com.au click on

US Presidential elections - Cunning stunts by Obama are rattling Obama - by Anne Summers

According to the men charged with supervising the US economy, the country (and, hence, the world) faces financial armageddon unless the US taxpayer bails out Wall Street's beleaguered banks. For a sum that exceeds what the US spent on World War II, the future of the country is to be mortgaged to cushion the economy from the follies (if not crimes) of financial cowboys who rewarded themselves handsomely for their creativity in turning bad debt into tradeable product.

It is against this background that the performance of the two presidential candidates, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama, needs to be assessed. McCain's political stocks had plunged along with the market after his comments last week that the fundamentals of the economy were sound. He sought to remedy this by recasting himself as a fiscal lone ranger, dramatically suspending his campaign, rushing off to Washington and attempting to cancel the foreign policy presidential debate which was scheduled for Friday night.

These are dangerous times for Obama. He risks being once again outmanoeuvred by a rival who has no qualms about dumbing down the political process (a la Palin) or disregarding established conventions. Sen. Barack Obama sharply criticized Sen. John McCain's judgment on the war in Iraq, repeatedly telling his presidential rival ''you were wrong'' to rush the nation into battle, directly challenging the Republican nominee on foreign policy as the two met in their first debate of the general-election season. McCain aggressively pushed back, accusing Obama of failing to understand that a new approach employed by Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq would lead to victory and mocking him as naive for his willingness to meet with some of the world's most brutal leaders. With 40 days remaining before Election Day and the U.S. economy teetering, the two clashed on taxes, energy policy, and the threat posed by Iran. Neither made a serious mistake in an encounter that capped one of the most chaotic weeks of the campaign, nor was either able to claim a decisive victory.

9/26/08

Taiwan News: EU monitors arrive in Georgia as operation gears up

For the complete report from the Taiwan News Online click on this link

Dozens of monitors from across the European Union arrived in Georgia yesterday for a mission intended to ease tensions in the war-torn country, a Western diplomat close to the mission said. Nearly 70 observers arrived by plane from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden, while a Romanian group came by ship, landing in the Black Sea port of Poti with armored cars, said the diplomat. The arrivals were among the vanguard of about 300 unarmed EU observers due to be in position on October 1, as part of a peace deal tackling the consequences of last month's war between Georgia and Russia over the South Ossetia rebel region. Following the EU deployment, Russia has committed to drawing its troops back to their "pre-conflict positions" by October 10 as part of a deal that France, the EU's current president, brokered to end last month's fighting.

Note EU-Digest: Its amazing that during the first Presidential debate held tonight in Mississippi neither one of the candidates acknowledged that the Georgians were the first to attack and start the conflict.

EU eastern states fear carbon plan empowers Russia

Business Feed Article | Business | guardian.co.uk

"EU eastern states fear carbon plan empowers Russia

WARSAW, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Eastern members of the European Union said on Friday its tough plans to tackle global warming could force them to rely more on Russian gas and the bloc should be equally ambitious in ensuring their energy security.
The EU is pushing through measures aimed at cutting CO2 emissions by a fifth by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, in hopes of averting the worst effects of climate change."

EU official paints bleak picture of Afghan war

International Herald Tribune

"EU official paints bleak picture of Afghan war

UNITED NATIONS: A top European Union official painted a bleak picture of the conflict in Afghanistan, and said Friday that the Georgian president's "impetuous temperament" had contributed to sparking the conflict with Russia.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Union's foreign affairs commissioner, acknowledged that Taliban fighters have made significant military gains in recent months nearly seven years after an American-led invasion ousted the hard-line Islamic regime."

Statesville.com: US Economic Meltdown - President's latest panic scheme is not what's best for America - by Kelly Jamison

For the complete report from the Statesville.com click on this link

US Economic meltdown - President's latest panic scheme is not what's best for America - by Kelly Jamiso

We have seen panic throughout the Bush administration and it has never led to a good end. The military attack on Iraq was caused by a drum beat of war that included a massive misinformation campaign. The Patriot Act, which has severely undermined civil liberties, was passed without most members of Congress even reading it. Now, this bailout is being pushed in the midst of a Wall Street panic. Is it really needed? Is this the right remedy? Will this prevent irresponsible investment in the future?

There is no question that the U.S. economy needs revitalization. But, a mass bailout of the financial community will not create the new economy we need. Indeed, if hundreds of billions are spent on bad investments it will result in there being no funding available for what is needed to create an economy for the 21st century where we can all prosper. It's time we Americans took back the America that was once compassionate, caring, free and represented.

Reuters: Alternative Energy - Windpower; U.S. wind power grew 45 percent in 2007: AWEA - by Bernie Woodall

For the complete report by Reuters click on this link

Alternative energy - Windpower - U.S. wind power grew 45 percent in 2007: AWEA - by Bernie Woodall

U.S. wind power grew by 45 percent in 2007, blowing away past annual growth marks, industry group American Wind Energy Association said.

Utilities seeking green alternatives, some in states requiring more renewable power, helped wind power account for $9 billion invested and 30 percent of all new U.S. power generation in 2007, the AWEA said in its annual year-end report. In 2006, wind power grew by 20 percent. when about $4 billion was spent in the industry. The AWEA said this year's new wind power installation will be about the same as in 2007. Growing fast has its pains, and one is that growth in 2008 will be limited by a shortage of wind turbines. The AWEA said wind turbines are sold out for the year, a condition it says will ease as more manufacturers enter the burgeoning market.

The 5,244 megawatts of new wind turbines installed in 2007 can power about 1.5 million U.S. homes. Installed U.S. wind power capacity by the end of 2007 was 16,818 megawatts.For the first time, wind power accounts for more than 1 percent of overall U.S. electricity production and can power about 4.5 million homes, the AWEA said.

"The planet is our common home, Christians and non-Christians"  

"The planet is our common home, Christians and non-Christians"  

"Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: 'The planet is our common home, Christians and non-Christians'
Culture - 25-09-2008 - 18:26
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Patriarch Bartholomew came to Parliament yesterday (24 September) with a message of peaceful and fruitful coexistence: between religion and politics, between Christians and Muslims. We are all 'children of the same God', he said. When we spoke to him after his speech, he emphasised that there is 'room for everyone' in Europe, including Turkey, with coexistence producing 'mutual enrichment'."

Counter Punch: Is Another Third World Debt Crisis in the Offing? - by Eric Toussaint

For the complete report from Counterpunch please click on this link

Is Another Third World Debt Crisis in the Offing? - by Eric Toussaint

While taking a significant toll on public revenues , repayment of public debt has, since 2004, ceased to be a major concern for most middle-revenue countries and for raw material exporting countries in general. In fact the majority of governments of these countries are having no trouble finding loans at historically low interest rates. However, the debt crisis that hit the advanced industrial countries in 2007 could radically change the conditions of indebtedness in developing countries in the near future. Are we approaching the onset of another debt crisis in developing countries? The question requires thought, because if such is the case, we need to be prepared and take appropriate measures to limit the damage.

While there was a veritable flood of credit up to July 2007, the various private sources suddenly dried up in the North. Private banks that were tied up in shaky debt packages began to distrust each other and were reluctant to lend money. The authorities of the US, Western Europe and Japan had to inject huge liquidities on several occasions (hundreds of billions of dollars and euros) to prevent the North’s financial system from collapsing.

US capitalism is facing its worst crisis since 1929 and the US government is attempting a (dangerous) damage limitation process through a (taxpayer financed) rescue package that if accepted will end up costing over 700 billion dollars. (with very limited chance of success) The current crisis has a global dimension and the consequences for developing countries will be very important.

Forbes.com: Germany - Steinbrueck: U.S. Losing Its Financial Superpowers - by Javier Espinoza

For the complete report from Forbes.com click on this link

Germany - Steinbrueck: U.S. Losing Its Financial Superpowers - by Javier Espinoza

- In the light of the financial turmoil on Wall Street, the United States will forfeit its worldwide economic primacy, Germany's outspoken finance minister, Peer Steinbrueck, said Thursday in a speech to his country's legislature. “The U.S. will lose its status as the superpower of the global financial system" Steinbrueck told the lower house of parliament in Berlin. "The long term consequences of the crisis are not yet clear. But one thing seems likely to me: the USA will lose its superpower status in the global financial system. The world financial system is becoming multipolar." He went on to say, "Wall Street will never be the same again.

IHT/Reuters - Aircraft Industry/ESA - EADS blames engines for A400M delay

For the complete report from the International Herald Tribune/reuters click on this link

Aircraft Industry/ESA EADS blames engines for A400M delay

The largest military project in Europe suffered a new blow on Thursday when European Aeronautic Defense & Space indefinitely postponed the first flight of the A400M transport plane in a dispute over engine development. The latest delay in providing airlift capacity for seven European members of NATO looks set to widen a rift between EADS and the top engine makers on the Continent.

Engine makers refused to shoulder the blame. "The engine was delivered at end-2007 and we delivered flight-worthy software in April and have been waiting since then for the aircraft to fly. Nothing from the engines prevents it flying," said a senior executive, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

9/24/08

National Post: SARKOZY BLAMES 'CRAZY SYSTEM' - by Steven Edwards

For the complete report from the National Post click on this link

SARKOZY BLAMES 'CRAZY SYSTEM' - by Steven Edwards

French President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a virtual indictment of the capitalist system yesterday in a hard-hitting speech on the opening day of the United Nations summit. Mr. Sarkozy said he wanted world leaders to hold a summit by year's end to "rebuild together a regulated capitalism." Central to the new mechanism, he said, would be measures ensuring that "those who jeopardize people's savings are punished."

PalmBeach Post: US Elections - the dubious role of the Clarion Fund - The secret cell helping McCain - by Randy Schultz

For the complete report from the PalmBeach Post click on this link

US Elections - the dubious role of the Clarion Fund - The secret cell helping McCain - by Randy Schultz

Last week, an ad for John McCain came with The Post. But it wasn't labeled as an ad for John McCain. The stealth ad is a DVD titled Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West. The film's premise - and this will shock you - is that groups such as Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah and their copycats are worth worrying about. Why, though, is this an ad for John McCain? To sound like one of the speakers in the film, it's a matter of connecting the dots.Distribution of the DVD, whose producers say it will "change the way you look at the world," was timed with the post-Labor Day start of presidential election season. About 95 percent of the papers that contained the DVD are in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire. Notice a pattern? Right, those are the swing states that most analysts believe will determine the election. The issue on which polls consistently show John McCain ahead of Barack Obama is national security. One way to make voters worry less about the economy and more about national security would be to send out a DVD that opens with clips of 9/11 and includes scenes of Muslims chanting "Death to America!" Oh, and there's that lie recirculating on the Internet that Barack Obama is a Muslim. So, for good measure, the DVD went in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and a suburban paper north of New York. All have many Jewish readers. The DVD went in the World Jewish Digest. The clear intent is to plant the idea that electing Barack Obama would be like putting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Oval Office.The sponsoring group for Obsession is The Clarion Fund, based in New York. I left two messages for the media contact. Neither was returned. I e-mailed a request for an interview to a related Web site, radicalislam.org. I got no response.

The Clarion Fund was organized in 2006 as a 501(c)3, which grants it tax-exempt status as an educational nonprofit. But The Clarion Fund is not listed with Charity Navigator, which rates nonprofits based on efficient use of donors' money. You can find Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast and United Way of Palm Beach County with the maximum four stars.

I called NSA Media in suburban Chicago. NSA placed the DVD with The Post, which - like the other publications - approved it after the usual review by the Advertising Department. NSA Media referred specific questions to The Clarion Fund. "It's all on their Web site." In fact, the Web site contains little information about The Clarion Fund. No names of directors. No sources of money. Just the mission statement, which includes this line: "Clarion Fund is helping Americans understand that the mainstream media is not adequately conveying the reality of radical Islam."

Guardian.co.uk: Wall Street turmoil leaves Europe on sidelines - by David Gow

For the complete report from the guardian.co.uk click on this link

Wall Street turmoil leaves Europe on sidelines - by David Gow

The past two weeks of deepening financial turmoil have left mainland Europe on the sidelines. The gigantic bailouts of Wall Street institutions, the socialisztion of vast tracts of the US economy and enforced US and British banking mergers have, in eurozone eyes, passed Europe by but rendered the dominant Anglo-Saxon economic model of the past quarter of a century kaput. The protagonists of modern Rhineland capitalism, Germany's centre-right chancellor, Angela Merkel, and her Social Democrat finance minister, Peer Steinbrueck, have delivered the same message. We warned the US and UK about the need to rein in runaway finance capital with greater regulation and transparency, they said, but were ignored. They and other leading eurozone players are refusing to take part in Washington's $700bn plan to acquire banks' toxic assets.

9/23/08

The American: The Limits of Obamamania in Europe — by Victor Davis Hanson

For the complete report from The American click on this link

The Limits of Obamamania in Europe — by Victor Davis Hanson

I recently returned from a trip this summer to the battlefields of Europe’s past—among them Waterloo, Verdun, and Normandy—and had a number of discussions with Europeans of all sorts. I can report that Obamamania is still sweeping Europe. With his youth, optimism, and charisma, Senator Barack Obama is hailed as the quintessential “good American,” a rare New Frontiersman in the mold of John F. Kennedy. Better yet, his biracial background and perceived hipness make him a glamorous 21st-century advocate of increased taxes, larger government, more entitlements, and a multinational foreign policy—all dear to the hearts of European socialists. In Obama’s America, there will be no more of the hated George Bush’s anti-abortion, pro-gun, and twangy evangelical primordialism. The Illinois senator also sounds more antiwar than do even European statesmen. And he has surrounded himself with a number of advisers, past and present, who seem pro-Palestinian and eager to talk to Iran, Venezuela, and Syria.

FXStreet: Europe Govts Call For Global Financial Reform After US Plan

For the complete report from FXStreet click on this link

Europe Govts Call For Global Financial Reform After US Plan

European governments on Monday called for a global solution for regulating financial markets in advance of a conference call among the finance ministers of the Group of Seven industrial countries. The U.S. is expected to solicit support for its $700 million rescue plan for Wall Street.

The U.S. plan, which ringfences bad debt lurking in the U.S. banking system, drew most support from London, where parliament is expected to begin debate on a banking reform bill in two weeks. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling Monday pledged to do everything possible to bolster the financial system and said he expected there would be international cooperation on this.

9/22/08

US urges EU to diversify energy supplies - International Herald Tribune

US urges EU to diversify energy supplies - International Herald Tribune

"US urges EU to diversify energy supplies

BRUSSELS, Belgium: Russia's fight with Georgia has added new urgency to the Europe Union's need to find alternatives to Russian oil and gas imports, the new U.S. ambassador to the EU said Monday.

"Russia's willingness to defy the international community, act in violation of international law, (and) be threatening in its neighborhood is a reminder of why progress on this issue is so important," ambassador Kristen Silverberg said."

FT.com: US economic Meltdown - Bailout plan gives dictatorial powers to Bush Administration: Democrats demand further measures - by Andrew Ward

For the complete report from the FT.com click on this link

US Economic Meltdown - Bailout plan gives dictatorial powers to Bush Administration: Democrats demand further measures - by Andrew Ward

Six weeks before the US elections, members of Congress would normally be winding down business and entering full-time campaign mode. Instead, legislators spent the weekend locked in frantic negotiations over the Bush administration’s proposed $700bn (€485bn, £382bn) rescue plan to save the financial system from collapse. Nancy Pelosi, House speaker, said Democrats were willing to act swiftly to grant the Treasury department “sweeping and unprecedented powers” to deal with the crisis but warned that Congress would demand “strong oversight mechanisms” and fast-track authority to reform regulation of the financial sector.

Citizen Sugar: US economic Meltdown: Only 7% of Voters Want Fed to Bail Out Banks — Do You?

For the complete report from CitizenSugar click on this link

US economic Meltdown: Only 7% of Voters Want Fed to Bail Out Banks — Do You?

The US government is far deeper in debt than any of the companies it is bailing out. Unsurprisingly, about seven percent of American voters think their government should bail out financial institutions, while 65 percent think the failed companies should file bankruptcy. A new survey from Rasmussen suggests that the majority of Americans approve of the Fed's decision to let Lehman Brothers go bankrupt on Sunday.

9/21/08

The Press Association:Golf - Europe unable to close gap

For the complete report from The Press Association click on this link

Golf - Europe unable to close gap

Europe today failed to find the fast start they needed to boost their hopes of a fourth successive Ryder Cup victory at Valhalla. Trailing 9-7 going into Sunday's 12 singles matches, captain Nick Faldo gambled by putting Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington at the bottom of the order, with Sergio Garcia sent out first against American Anthony Kim. But by the time Harrington teed off the American side were ahead in eight of the other 11 matches and Garcia was heading to a heavy defeat in a highly-charged contest.

theage.com.au: US struggles to prop up house of cards - by Anne Davies

For the complete report from theage.com.au click on this link

US struggles to prop up house of cards - by Anne Davies

Ben Bernanke wrote his doctoral thesis on the causes of the Great Depression and what really triggered it. Less than two years into the job as chairman of the US Federal Reserve, he's getting to test his theories — and the world is holding its breath. As the global financial markets melted this week under the pressure of highly leveraged investments that are being unwound at an alarming rate, Bernanke is trying desperately to slow the tide. It is not a job for the faint hearted. On the floor of the exchanges, distressed traders wring their hands. Sleepless bankers appear on the financial networks, desperate to gain the time they need to salvage their companies. Former billionaire Hank Greenberg of American International Group is near tears as he talks about the end of the empire his family built.

A Rassmussen poll, released on Thursday, found only 7% supported the use of taxpayers' funds to bail out companies; 65% opposed such a move. A chorus of blame has also been directed at the Bush Administration for its hands-off, anti-regulation approach to the market.

9/20/08

The Sports Network - Europe claws back at Ryder Cup

For the complete report from The Sports Network click on this link

Europe claws back at Ryder Cup

The European side took 2 1/2 points in Saturday's foursomes to cut the deficit, but the U.S. still leads 7-5 after three sessions of the Ryder Cup Matches at Valhalla. While the Americans still hold the lead, it was an impressive morning for Europe considering stalwarts Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood were both benched for the first time in their Ryder Cup careers by captain Nick Faldo.

Ian Poulter and Justin Rose of Europe trounced Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell, 4 & 3 in the first match.

The Scotsman: Britain - Brown shock as support for Tories passes 50% for first time since 80s - by Gerri Peev

Britain - For the complete report from the Scotsman click on this link

Brown shock as support for Tories passes 50% for first time since 80s - by Gerri Peev

Conservatives have smashed through the 50 per cent barrier in the polls for the first time since Margaret Thatcher's heyday, a further blow to Gordon Brown's struggling leadership.
An Ipsos MORI poll published today showed the Tories up four points on 52 per cent. The news comes amid reports that another member of the government is set to quit within days over Mr Brown's leadership.

The 'Eurabia' myth deserves a debunking

globeandmail.com

"The 'Eurabia' myth deserves a debunking

DOUG SAUNDERS

From Saturday's Globe and Mail
September 20, 2008 at 1:57 AM EDT

LONDON — There is Europe and there is “Europe,” the fantasy kingdom wished into being by North American ideologues to turn their silly ideas into action movies.

Once upon a time, this pretend continent was the left's dollhouse, a land where high government spending supposedly led to all manner of social good – so long as you avoided noting that Germany has fewer child-care spaces than the U.S., France has the lowest rate of unionization in the West, Italy's hospitals are filthy and ill-run and most of the continent's spending goes to the already well-off."

9/19/08

Le Monde Diplomatique: Why the US has really gone broke- by Chalmers Johnson

For the complete report from Le Monde Diplomatique click on this link

Why the US has really gone broke- by Chalmers Johnson

Global confidence in the US economy has reached zero, as was proved by last month’s stock market meltdown. But there is an enormous anomaly in the US economy above and beyond the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the housing bubble and the prospect of recession: 60 years of mis-allocation of resources, and borrowings, to the establishment and maintenance of a military-industrial complex as the basis of the nation’s economic life.

Globe and Mail: US economic meltdown: U.S. plan may save markets, but not economy - by Heather Scoffield

For the complete report from the Globe and Mail click on this link

U.S. plan may save markets, but not economy - by Heather Scoffield

The U.S. plan to bail out collapsing financial institutions may help stabilize markets but won't necessarily stave off the economic effects of the crisis, some economists warn. ,p>“The rescue of the banking system is a necessary ingredient for global economic prosperity, but it is insufficient to ensure it on its own,” writes chief economist Carl Weinberg. “Fixing the banks does not fix the economy. Even with the banking problems fixed, the United States economy remains in a growth recession, teetering on the brink of real contraction.”

EU: Georgia crisis fortifies importance of Turkey

International Herald Tribune

"EU: Georgia crisis fortifies importance of Turkey

HELSINKI, Finland: The Georgian crisis has strengthened the strategic importance of Turkey both in the Caucasus and for the European Union, the bloc's enlargement chief said Friday.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Turkey was "engaged in very active and evidently successful diplomacy" in its neighboring regions."

ArmyTimes: US GOVERNMENT SHIPS TROOPS HOME TO BE READY FOR UNREST - Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1

For the complete report from the US Army Times click on this link

US GOVERNMENT SHIPS TROOPS HOME TO BE READY FOR UNREST - Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys. Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home. This new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities. After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.

BBC NEWS: The American Way to fail -" hysteria and momentum": by Robert Peston

For the complete report from the BBC NEWS click on this link

The US Economic Meltdown: The American Way to fail: by Robert Peston

The breathtaking rises in the price of bank shares this morning are symptomatic of a stock market that is bereft of reason and is being driven almost purely by hysteria and momentum.

It would be more rational for the Chinese to own the American financial system itself, rather than lend to the US Government (and in that context, it's resonant that Morgan Stanley may well be close to selling almost half of itself to CIC, China's state investment fund). In this game of Wall Street Monopoly, there's no "get-out-of-jail-free" card. Maybe the US is still big enough and powerful enough to persuade the rest of the world to pay for the mistakes of its financial sector - which is broadly what's being proposed by Mr. Paulson. Note EU-Digest : Privatize profits but Socialize losses? It seems crazy.

Businessweek: Little Crisis for Europe's Banks - Carol Matlack

For the complete report from Businessweek click on this link

Little Crisis for Europe's Banks - by Carol Matlack

Suddenly, stodgy banks are looking smart. And with former Wall Street giants toppling almost daily, some European banks are starting to look especially wise. European banks are holding up pretty well amid the turmoil sweeping the industry. None of the Old World's biggest banks appears likely to fail or put itself on the block, analysts say. Indeed, the Europeans are more likely to be buying: London-based Barclays (BCS) on Sept. 17 inked a $1.75 billion cash deal to buy the investment banking and trading businesses of bankrupt Lehman Brothers.

9/18/08

Think Progress: USA - Spain - A Method To His Madness? McCain Could Be Making Bush’s Grudge Against Spain Official U.S. Policy

For the complete report from Thinkprogress click on this linkUSA - Spain:A Method To His Madness? McCain Could Be Making Bush’s Grudge Against Spain Official U.S. Policy

In an interview earlier this week, John McCain would not answer whether he would be willing to meet with Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. While some speculated that McCain either did not know who Zapatero was or thought he was some “Latin American bad guy,” McCain’s top foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann said McCain was not confused — he was simply articulating his policy of refusing to commit to a White House meeting with Zapatero. The logic behind this particular policy is baffling, considering that Spain has long been a U.S. NATO ally and currently has troops in Afghanistan. So why would McCain shun Zapatero? If President Bush’s actions towards the Spanish Prime Minster give some indication, the answer is Iraq. Zapatero withdrew Spain’s troops from Iraq soon after his Socialist Party swept to power in March, 2004 in a wave of Spanish anti-war sentiment, a move that reportedly angered Bush.

McCain’s incoherent answer to whether he would meet with Zapatero may indicate that he is interested in making Bush’s grudge against Spain permanent U.S. policy. As Max Bergmann notes, it is “beyond reckless” that McCain would refuse to meet with a democratic U.S. ally that has had soldiers killed in Afghanistan, was brutally attacked by Al-Qaeda and wields considerable influence in Europe and Latin America.

Note EU-Digest:

The EU does not have to justify any of their actions to the US and if any of their members is boycotted by the US the reaction by the EU must be unanimous.

China View: NATO denies rifts with EU on Georgia.

For the complete report from China View click on this link

NATO denies rifts with EU on Georgia

NATO denied any differences with the European Union (EU) on the Georgia crisis on Wednesday and toned down its rhetoric against Russia. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told Monday's Financial Times newspaper that the Sept. 8 agreement between Russia and the European Union (EU) was unacceptable as it allows heavy Russian military presence in Georgia's two breakaway regions-- Abkhazia and South Ossetia. De Hoop Scheffer said that the new arrangement was in direct contravention of an earlier six-point plan brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy which called for a return to the status quo before the conflict broke out.

On Aug. 7 Georgia launched attack on South Ossetia, which has enjoyed de facto independence since 1992, in an attempt to retake control of the region. Russia sent troops into the region on the next day and defeated Georgian forces in a five-day war.

FT.com: One Trichet is enough, Juncker says

FVor the complete report from the FT.com click on this link

ECB- One Trichet is enough, Juncker says

Brussels would certainly be a duller place without the sparkling wit of Jean-Claude Juncker. As guest speaker at a think-tank breakfast on Wednesday, the Luxembourg leader was challenged by an over-excited British questioner to admit that the eurozone economy was in a complete mess. Lest matters grew even worse, the questioner asked, shouldn’t Juncker and his colleagues immediately start arranging the “orderly” break-up of the single currency area? “No", replied Juncker …"Something in my heart is telling me that the British will be happy [one day] to join the single currency.” On the substance of the question, however, Juncker made the point that the disruptions to the individual national economies of the eurozone would surely have been far greater over the past 10 years if there had been no euro.

“Do you really think the European economy would be in better shape if we had had national currencies?” he asked. Would national central banks in Europe have been able to produce a better co-ordinated response than the European Central Bank and Jean-Claude Trichet, its president, had done during the market turmoil of recent months? Then came Juncker’s masterstroke. “Would 15 or 16 Trichets be outperforming one Trichet? I don’t think so. Personally, I really think one Trichet is enough.

Note EU-Digest: without the ECB in place, the European financial system would be in total chaos following what now is shaping up to be the collapse of the deregulated US financial system.

Alternet - US Economy: Only a Roosevelt-Scale Counterrevolution Can Prevent Great Depression II - by Robert Kuttner-

For the complete report from AlterNet click on this link

US Economy: Only a Roosevelt-Scale Counterrevolution Can Prevent Great Depression II - by Robert Kuttner

"Free-market extremists brought the US this needless economic collapse. Here's a rundown of the mistakes we've made and the reforms we need now.The current carnage on Wall Street, with dire spillover effects on Main Street, is the result of a failed ideology -- the idea that financial markets could regulate themselves. Serial deregulation fed on itself. Deliberate repeal of regulations became entangled with failure to carry out laws still on the books. Corruption mingled with simple incompetence. And though the ideology was largely Republican, it was abetted by Wall Street Democrats."

IHT:US Elections - Economy plays havoc with McCain candidacy - After all he voted 90% of time for Bush's disastrous proposals

For the complete report from the International Herald Tribune click on this link

US Elections - Economy plays havoc with McCain candidacy - After all he voted 90% of time for Bush's disastrous proposals

The American economic free fall has played havoc with Republican John McCain's presidential campaign, as he tries to distance himself from the unpopular Bush administration and walk away from his own history as a champion of government deregulation. McCain found himself in a particularly difficult spot Wednesday as the bellwether Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 450 points — slightly more than 4 percent and the second huge loss this week — after an $85 billion government bailout of one of the world's largest insurance companies, American International Group Inc. McCain had vigorously opposed the measure just hours before it was announced.

McCain said during the primary campaign — and likely to his everlasting regret — that he was not as well versed on economic issues as he would like. Compounding that, the 72-year-old former Vietnam prisoner of war has been closely tied to President George W. Bush, whose popularity is at near record lows and most likely falling further under the weight of the economic slide this week — a meltdown not seen going back nearly 80 years. Obama, who appears to have regained his focus in the White House contest, was hitting McCain hard as a product of a Republican drive over recent decades to deregulate the financial markets, moves that the first-term Illinois senator blamed for the mounting damage to the U.S. economy.

9/17/08

Anti-Jew, Muslim attitudes rise in Europe: survey

washingtonpost.com

"Anti-Jew, Muslim attitudes rise in Europe: survey

By Michael Conlon, Religion Writer
Reuters
Wednesday, September 17, 2008; 2:06 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish feelings are rising in several major European countries, according to a worldwide survey released on Wednesday.

The Washington-based Pew Research Center's global attitude survey found 46 percent of Spanish, 36 percent of Poles and 34 percent of Russians view Jews unfavorably, while the same was true for 25 percent of Germans, and 20 percent of French. "

Jörg Haider blames EU interference for Austria’s isolation in 2000 in pre-election interview with euronews

euronews

"Jörg Haider blames EU interference for Austria’s isolation in 2000 in pre-election interview with euronews

Jörg Haider is chief of the relatively new but so far tiny “Alliance for Austria’s Future” party which is to be found on the country’s political far right. Haider has been well known in Europe since 2000 when as leader of the far-right “Freedom Party” he provoked a political crisis when it formed part of a government coalition – the result was an isolated Austria. Today, with elections this month, he is a man wanting to return to government."

Poland and Italy most religious in Europe, study finds

EU Politics News - theParliament.com:

"Poland and Italy most religious in Europe, study finds

A major new study on religious belief has found that rates of religiousaffiliation are highest in Poland and Italy, while France has a highpercentage of non-religious individuals.

It also found that more that 25 per cent of Europeans who do not belong to a church nevertheless consider themselves “religious”."

GEORGIA: GERMAN DIPLOMAT TO LEAD EU OBSERVERS

AGI News

"GEORGIA: GERMAN DIPLOMAT TO LEAD EU OBSERVERS

(AGI) - Brussels, 17 Sept. - A memo from the current presidency of the European Union has announced that the German diplomat Hansjoerg Haber has been nominated to act as the head of the mission of EU observers in Georgia, whose task should begin on 1 October. Haber, 55 years old, was the German Ambassador to Beirut until now, where he had been assigned the task of maintaining relations with United Nations Interim Forces in the Lebanon. Furthermore, he has served as Ambassador to Ankara and Moscow and speaks fluent Russian. "

EU urged to combat Alzheimer’s disease

EU Politics News - theParliament.com:

"EU urged to combat Alzheimer’s disease

MEPs are set to call for a pan-European action plan aimed at making Alzheimer’s disease a key EU health priority.

The appeal comes in the wake of worrying new research showing that the prevalence of the disease is expected to double over the next decade."

9/16/08

Bankruptcy Reading

Doing Business Blog - The World Bank Group

"Bankruptcy Reading

Time to dust off the old bankruptcy books. With the financial crisis starting to affect some large companies in the US and Europe, ripple effects are going to be seen throughout emerging markets.

Enter a recent study on bankruptcy by Oliver Hart, Caralee McLiesh and myself, which was just accepted at the Journal of Political Economy. We present insolvency practitioners from 88 countries with an identical case of a hotel about to default on its debt, and ask them to describe in detail how debt enforcement against this hotel will proceed in their countries. We use the data on time, cost, and the likely disposition of the assets (preservation as a going concern versus piecemeal sale) to construct a measure of the efficiency of debt enforcement in each country. In Japan and Singapore, secured creditors collect 96 cents on the dollar; in the United States, 86 cents; in Germany, 57 cents; in France, 54 cents. In contrast, Brazilian creditors fear bankruptcy: they would collect 13 cents on the dollar if their debtors entered insolvency. Turkish banks are even more fearful: they would collect 6 cents on the dollar."

Northern Europeans Seeking Alternatives to the F-35

AINonline

"Northern Europeans Seeking Alternatives to the F-35

By Chris Pocock
September 16, 2008
Aircraft

Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway are all formally investigating alternatives to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace their F-16s. On September 1, Saab bid a package including 85 Gripen Next Generation (NG) fighters to the Netherlands, offering a “fixed acquisition cost” and “significant savings over 40 plus years operation."

The Caucasus effect: Europe unblocked

The Caucasus effect: Europe unblocked

"The Caucasus effect: Europe unblocked

The aftershocks of the Caucasus war are provoking European governments into surprising and even imaginative reactions. Turkey and Ukraine are at the heart of the process, says Krzysztof Bobinski

The headlines in Poland's main daily newspapers were unanimous. Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Moscow and Tbilisi on 8 September 2008 to seek assurances from the Russians that they would withdraw their troops to the positions they held before the outbreak of war with Georgia on 7-8 August was a failure. 'Sarkozy failed to take the Kremlin', declared one; 'Russia dictates to Europe', proclaimed another; 'Sarkozy defeated. Peace with Georgia possible only on Russia's terms', shouted a third."

EU urged to review its 'One-China' policy

EU Politics News - theParliament.com

"EU urged to review its 'One-China' policy

The EU has been urged to review is support for the so-called ‘One-China’ policy which it is claimed effectively excludes Taiwan from international organisations.

The call, by Portuguese MEP Paulo Casaca, comes at the start of the 63rd general assembly of the United Nations where Taiwan’s application for ‘meaningful participation’ in the UN’s specialised agencies will be considered."

9/15/08

Asia Times Online:Russia and Turkey tango in the Black Sea by - M K Bhadrakumar

For the complete report from the Asia Times Online click on this link

Russia and Turkey tango in the Black Sea

Amid the flurry of diplomatic activity in Moscow last week over the Caucasus, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took time off for an exceptionally important mission to Turkey, which might prove a turning point in the security and stability of the vast region that the two powers historically shared. Indeed, Russian diplomacy is swiftly moving even as the troops have begun returning from Georgia to their barracks. Moscow is weaving a complicated new web of regional alliances, drawing deeply into Russia's collective historical memory as a power in the Caucasus and the Black Sea.Moscow signaled the highest importance to consultations with Turkey. Lavrov summarily dropped all business at home and hurried to Istanbul on Tuesday on a working visit, essentially aimed at catching a few hours' urgent confidential conversation with his counterpart, Ali Babacan. Lavrov's mission underscored Russia's acute sense of its priorities in the current regional crisis in the Caucasus and the Black Sea.

The timing of Lavrov's consultations in Turkey was noteworthy. US Vice President Dick Cheney happened to be in the region, visiting Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia, drumming up anti-Russia animus. Turkey didn't figure in his itinerary. Moscow shrewdly estimated the need of political dynamism with regard to Turkey. Moscow has taken careful note that unlike the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union, Turkey's reaction to the conflict in the Caucasus has been manifestly subdued. Ankara briefly expressed its anxiety over the developments, but almost in pro-forma terms without taking sides.

BBC NEWS: US economic meltdown - US rivals react to economic woes

For the complete report from the BBC NEWS click on this link

US economic meltdown - US rivals react to economic woes

Mr Obama implicitly attacked President Bush for the economic situation. He blamed "the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression" on "eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans". "Too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren't minding the store," he said.

Note EU-Digest: Bloomberg reports that U.S. stocks are declining, erasing more than $300 billion in market value, as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s bankruptcy and tumbling commodities increased concern that the slump in financial markets and the economy will deepen.

Wallström backs plans to get women in top jobs by 2009

EU Politics News - theParliament.com

"Wallström backs plans to get women in top jobs by 2009

European commission vice president Margot Wallström has thrown her weight behind a new campaign to get more women into top EU jobs.

The campaign, called the ‘50/50 campaign for democracy’, will be launched by the European Women’s Lobby on 16 September, and also aims to encourage women to cast their votes in next year’s European elections."

Central Banks Fight Financial Crisis : US and Europe Move to Calm Plummeting Markets

SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

"CENTRAL BANKS FIGHT FINANCIAL CRISIS
US and Europe Move to Calm Plummeting Markets

Financial authorities tried to shore up confidence on Monday as world markets plummeted following 'Black Sunday' on Wall Street where Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection and Bank of America took over Merrill Lynch."

The Search for a Sustainable Future: Europe's Biofuels Conundrum

SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

"THE SEARCH FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Europe's Biofuels Conundrum

By Charles Hawley

The European Parliament may be backing away from its targets for crop-based biofuels, but the EU is still hoping that it can create a certification scheme that will ensure that biofuels are produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way."

Seeking Alpha: US Economy - Payback Period is Upon Us

For the complete report from Seeking Alpha click on this link

US Economy - Payback Period is Upon Us

Despite attempts made by Greenspan and Bernanke, there is no way to avert the payback period that has been building for over two decades. Over this stretch, America has consumed much more than it has produced. As a result, both consumer and federal debt have ballooned to record levels.Many of the pundits flood the propaganda networks with repeated denials of the problems, boasting how resilient the U.S. economy is. You know who they are. I’m not quite sure what they’ve been smoking. But it appears to be some sort of hallucinogen because they seem to expect Superman to bend the economy back into shape. Ladies and Gentlemen, in case mommy never told you, there is no Santa Claus and there is no Superman. And if you think Bernanke’s printing presses have an endless supply of ink and paper, just wait until the real crisis appears. So you had better get ready because it’s coming. It is virtually inescapable. And it’s going to cause devastation around the globe. Of course I’m taking about the likely implosion of the CDS market.

Let’s take a look at America’s “resilient economy.” Let’s see…the entire financial system is in the process of blowing up. Already there have been over $500 billion in bank losses, with over $1 trillion more to come. Over one dozen banks have failed, with hundreds on deck. A handful of large hedge funds have blown up, with hundreds more on the way. Already, over $1 trillion has been transferred from the Fed to the banking cartel. But I estimate another $1.5 trillion will be needed to maintain liquidity as banks de-leverage over the next few years. Unemployment is now over 6% and inflation is over 5%, even with Washington’s manipulation of the data. Virtually every metric in the housing market is at multi-decade lows, except for foreclosures which are hitting new highs.

It’s now official. America’s free market economy is really a socialist system for corporations.

USA Today: US Economy Meltdown: Worries over Lehman, etc., could wreak havoc on markets - by John Waggoner and Sue Kirchhoff

For the complete report from USATODAY.com click on this link

US Economy Meltdown: Worries over Lehman, etc., could wreak havoc on marketsJohn Waggoner and Sue Kirchhoff

Financial markets could be in for a wild ride Monday as they digest the meltdown of Lehman Bros., a merger of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, and efforts to bolster American International Group. Talks to find a buyer for Lehman apparently stalled Sunday as Bank of America and Barclays Bank walked away from negotiations. Its most likely fate: liquidation.

A Lehman bankruptcy would be the largest financial collapse since 1990, when investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert failed.

9/14/08

DW: EU Ministers Vow Unified Approach to Downturn

For the complete report from the DW click on this link

EU Ministers Vow Unified Approach to Downturn

Europe will not repeat the mistakes of the past and spend its way out of a recession, eurozone finance ministers said as they rejected calls for a US-style stimulus package to combat the continent's economic slowdown. Instead, attendees of an informal meeting of EU finance ministers in Nice on Friday, Sept. 12, vowed to stick to the rules limiting the size of their budget deficits and to fight inflation by avoiding unjustified public sector wage rises. "Governments have decided not to increase their (budget) deficits because of the crisis," said Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance and current President of the European Council.

The European Union and Russia after Georgia

The European Union and Russia after Georgia

"The European Union and Russia after Georgia

RussiaThe lesson of the Georgia-Russia crisis for the European Union is to learn from past mistakes and develop a distinct, long-term foreign-policy strategy, says Paul Gillespie.

The European Union has taken a measured route between Vladimir Putin's Moscow and Dick Cheney's Washington in its combination of refusing to impose sanctions on Russia after its military and diplomatic actions in Georgia while firmly setting a test for Moscow over the next two months about its willingness to cooperate with other Europeans.

Instead of the widely canvassed divisions at the emergency summit on 1
September 2008, there was a surprising consensus about how to proceed between harder and softer positions. The crisis emphasises what is at stake in creating a more coherent EU foreign policy; the importance of doing so; and the marked contrast between European Union and United States approaches to European security."

A New Cold War?

A New Cold War?:

"A New Cold War?
This new Russia is not what was hoped for, but common interests can still be found

By John F. Lehman
14.9.2008 0:00

A few months ago, Senator John McCain said some harsh things about Russia. Not many people agreed with his views. But it turns out that one important man did: Vladimir Putin.

Russia's recent activity in Georgia means that the next American president and our European friends will have one very big issue on the top of the transatlantic agenda. This is not the Russia everyone hoped would be an integral democratic partner of the West. But what does Moscow want? And what should NATO and the European Union do about it?"

9/13/08

Alternet: US electionsAmid a Painful Economic Meltdown, Will Obama Be Bold Enough to Win? | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace - by Joshua Holland

For the complete rport from AlterNet click on this link

US Elections - Amid a Painful Economic Meltdown, Will Obama Be Bold Enough to Win? | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace - by Josshua Holland

Americans are ready for deep and substantive change -- will Obama deliver what they seek? The Bush years have been bad. In fact, as economist Jared Bernstein noted, when one compares the economic peak of the past cycle, in 2000, with the high point of the business cycle that just ended in 2007, households in the middle actually lost ground, earning $300, adjusted for inflation, less than they did in 2000. The worst this group had done in previous business cycles occurred during the 1970s, when median income "only" increased by about $2,000. In comparison, the income for a family in the middle rose by almost four grand during the 1990s. It's the first time since they started keeping records of family income after World War II that the economy has gone into a recession before the middle class, those iconic "American families" that dominate our political discourse, had rebounded fully from the previous downturn. That represents an immensely painful double-dip for those in the middle and at the bottom -- only those in the top fifth of the economic ladder have seen any gains whatsoever since the last recession (officially) ended in 2001. (The wages of the bottom fifth fell by 6 percent, while those in the top 1 percent saw their incomes rise by about 50 percent during what some conservative pundits have called the "Bush Boom").

But it's important to understand that Bushenomics only represents an extreme iteration of the ideology that's prevailed since the 1973 energy crisis and the dawn of the "Reagan Revolution." The pain that working America feels today is the culmination of a far longer trend. An analysis by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez offers perhaps the most compelling indictment of neoliberal economics. They sliced and diced the American economy, going back to the beginning of the last century, and they found that between 1973 and 2003, despite several periods of healthy growth, the average real income of all but the top 10 percent of the economic ladder -- 9 out of 10 American families -- actually fell by about 4 percent over those 30-plus years. Meanwhile, the incomes of the top 10 percent of American households increased by around two-thirds.

American Thinker: What Europeans are Saying about Sarah Palin - by Soeren Kern

For the complete report from the American Thinker click on this link

What Europeans are Saying about Sarah Palin - by Soeren Kern

Europeans have greeted the news of Sarah Palin's nomination for Vice President of the United States with a predictable mixture of anger, frustration, resentment and resignation. After more than a year of uncritically praising Barack Obama as a supernatural figure destined by fate to solve all of the world's problems, European elites are suddenly coming to terms with the unwelcome possibility that the junior senator from Illinois might just be another human being after all. European commentary on Sarah Palin has ranged from ridicule, to ridicule, to more ridicule, to reluctant acknowledgment that Barack Obama may have met his match. In any case, many European elites are sensing that the Democratic presidential candidate, by failing to pick US Senator Hillary Clinton as his running mate, may have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Note EU-Digest: If the American electorate falls for this clever new strategy of the Republican Party to change the momentum from Obama to McCain and votes in favor of a Republican ticket, which includes a "polished Bush makeover" and an attractive but unexperienced female VP candidate, then we can also better understand America's fascination with the TV show "Dancing with the stars".

9/12/08

INDOlink - Sarkozy Deserts Bush, Europe Drifting From America

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Sarkozy Deserts Bush, Europe Drifting From America

When Nicolas Sarkozy was elected President of France, it appeared that for the first time a French President was going to play a second fiddle to President Bush. He gave the impression that he was also a staunch rightist who was bent upon reversing the liberal and leftist traditions of France and tows the neo conservative and reactionary policies of President Bush. However, the recent developments in Europe and the Middle East show that Sarkozy has parted company with Bush.

What made Sarkozy change his policies? Europe is fundamentally different than the United States. America remains the only country in the world that is loyal to the pure and unadulterated consumerist capitalism. Europe has long back deserted the traditional capitalism and has adopted the concept of a social welfare state based upon what can be called utilitarian capitalism. This form of capitalism can also be called “Capitalism with a human face”.

The poor performance of the American consumerist capitalism as compared to the European utilitarian capitalism has convinced Europe that it is on the right track. Failure of the American policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran as well as the deepening economic crisis at home has convinced the Europeans that time has come to put a distance between America and Europe. The resurgence of Russia as a global power and the relative decline of the American power has also led the Europeans to review their relations with Russia and America and adopt a more balanced and independent stand in the conflict between the two countries.

Gallup Poll: German Leadership Enjoys Fairly High Approval Globally

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German Leadership Enjoys Fairly High Approval Globally

Results from Gallup Polls conducted in 141 countries, including European Union (EU) member countries, G8 members, and former Soviet states, suggest that Germany may be poised to be a major player in mending relations between Russia and the West after Moscow's recent clash with Georgia over South Ossetia. Among residents of five of the G8 countries, which include Russia, Germany's leadership is viewed more favorably than the leaderships of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

IHT: US Congressman defends Russia in Georgia conflict

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US Congressman defends Russia in Georgia conflict

A conservative Republican congressman is siding with Russia in its invasion of and brief war with Georgia, putting himself at odds with the Bush administration and lawmakers of both parties. "The Russians were right; we're wrong," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said this week at a hearing of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Daily Times - Europe’s anchor of stability - by Otmar Issing

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Europe’s anchor of stability - by Otmar Issing

At less than ten years old, the euro is by all measures a young currency. Yet it has become a reality of daily life for almost 320 million people in 15 European countries. In the wake of the euro’s performance during this year’s global financial crisis, even its strongest critics cannot deny that the euro is an astounding success.

But this success is no reason for complacency. Major challenges lie ahead. In the context of weakening growth, the Stability and Growth Pact will face a severe new test. And, just as important, reforms aimed at ensuring greater flexibility of markets still lag behind what is needed to exploit fully the advantages of the single monetary policy.

Bloomberg.com: EU says we won't copy US monetary policy

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EU says we won't copy US monetary policy

European policy makers signaled little intention of pursuing U.S.-style tax and interest-rate cuts to support their stumbling economy. Meeting for the first time since the 15-nation euro region's economy contracted in the second quarter, finance ministers and central bankers in Nice, France, said restraining inflation and budget deficits remained more important than stimulating expansion.

Spending taxpayers' funds on fiscal programs to spark growth would be ``like burning money,'' German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck told reporters. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said inflation remains ``much higher than our definition of price stability.''

Guardian: ECB's Nowotny says Europe not in recession

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Nowotny says Europe not in recession

Europe may be facing a sharp slowing in economic growth but it is not in recession and still faces a serious inflation threat, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Friday. His comments, among the first he has made since joining the ECB Governing Council as head of the Austrian central bank last week, came as EU finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Nice, France, addressed the twin threat facing Europe from slowing growth and high inflation.ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet has said repeatedly in recent days that inflation, running at 3.8 percent in the euro zone in August, or twice the ECB's target rate, remains a menace despite recent signs of easing as oil and commodity prices.

EU governments discuss economy

International Herald Tribune

"EU governments discuss economy

NICE, France: The 15-nation euro zone economy isn't on the edge of recession and doesn't need a major spending program to boost growth, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday after leading talks between euro finance minister."

9/11/08

guardian.co.uk: U.S. trade gap widens, jobless claims still high - lower euro good news for EU exporters

For the complete report from the guardian.co.uk click on this link

U.S. trade gap widens, jobless claims still high - lower euro good news for EU exporters

In a sign of continued weakness in the U.S. labor market, the number of U.S. workers collecting jobless benefits shot up by 122,000 to 3.53 million in the week ended Aug. 30, the highest level since October 2003.
Financial market traders mostly ignored the reports, focusing instead on the fate of the beleaguered financial services firm Lehman Brothers and a drop in crude oil futures prices toward $100 per barrel. The monthly trade gap swelled to $62.2 billion, the largest since March 2007, as average oil import prices leaped 6.4 percent to $124.66 per barrel and the volume of oil imports jumped 15 percent to 342 million barrels, the highest since June 2004.

Out of the Frying Pan...: Swedish Banks at Risk from Baltic Illsl

SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International:

"Swedish Banks at Risk from Baltic Ills

By Mark Scott

Scandinavian banks steered clear of subprime ripples, but now a downturn in the Baltics, where some are heavily invested, may make them less secure.

Until recently, Scandinavian banks had good reason to be smug. Unlike other European financial institutions such as UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland, which have suffered multibillion-dollar writedowns tied to risky subprime U.S. investments, the more conservative northern banks mostly steered clear of securitized assets and other new instruments."

Environmental Defense Fund: What Iceland Can Teach America - by

For the complete report from the Environmental Defense Fund click on this link

What Iceland Can Teach America - by David Yarnold

Iceland's commitment to harnessing renewable energy resources is absolutely inspirational. Their use of geothermal power is groundbreaking. As much as 70% of Iceland's total energy (and 100% of its electricity and heat) comes from renewable energy. This is the highest percentage of any country in the world and puts Iceland on track to meet its goal of providing 100% of its energy needs from zero-emission renewable energy sources before mid-century.To complete their mission, Iceland plans to use geothermal electricity to split hydrogen from water and use hydrogen fuel cells for its fishing fleets and transportation sector, the last industries in Iceland still using fossil fuels.

The Irish Times: Finding a way out of the Lisbon deadlock

For the complete report from The Irish Times click on this link

Finding a way out of the Lisbon deadlock

Those who interface with Europe at the political level fully appreciate the fallout from the Irish No vote on the Lisbon Treaty and the need to act. Those who voted No will not admit that we have a problem. The implications for this country of that No vote are not readily apparent and to date there have been no perceptible negative consequences. But the reason for this is that the EU expects the Irish Government to resolve the current impasse.

Relations with US will improve under Obama, say EU citizens

EU Politics News - theParliament.com

"Relations with US will improve under Obama, say EU citizens

A major new survey released on Wednesday shows that nearly half of Europeans - 47 per cent - believe that relations between the US and Europe will improve if Barack Obama is elected as the next US president."

9/10/08

M&C: EU economic ministers risk nasty talks in Nice

For the complete rport from M&C click on this link

EU economic ministers risk nasty talks in Nice

The European Union's finance ministers are to hold informal talks in the sunny French Riviera on Friday and Saturday. The 'baddies': Britain's Alistair Darling, Italy's Giulio Tremonti and France's Christine Lagarde, whose sagging economies are dragging the rest of the EU into communal decline while ballooning budget deficits prevent them from doing much about it. The Nice gathering will come on the back of the latest economic forecasts of the European Commission, which on Wednesday predicted a lower-than-expected 2008 growth rate for the 27-member bloc of just 1.4 per cent.

US official urges EU to build one energy market

Business Feed Article | Business | guardian.co.uk

"US official urges EU to build one energy market

WARSAW, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Linking up European electricity grids and gas networks would boost the continent's energy security and economic competitiveness and help reduce its heavy reliance on Russia, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday. 'Europe does not function as one energy market... It needs to unbundle its energy companies and create one deep, liquid European energy market,' Douglas Hengel of the U.S. State Department's economic bureau told Reuters in an interview.
'If systems in Europe are all linked up, that becomes in some sense instant diversification. That would allow gas to flow if there is a problem in one country to another country, to meet the needs.'"

U.S. and Europe worried about Russia, poll says

International Herald Tribune

"U.S. and Europe worried about Russia, poll says

BERLIN: Americans and Europeans are united in concern over the growing political and economic power of Russia, but they cannot agree on how to respond to the Kremlin's new assertiveness, according to an annual survey by Transatlantic Trends that was published Wednesday.

The survey, by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Compagnia di San Paola in Italy, was conducted even before Georgia and Russia went to war in August, and it coincides with intense interest by Europeans in the U.S. presidential election."

AGI News - ANTIMISSILE SHIELD: RUSSIA TO AIM AT POLISH AND CZECH SITES

For the complete report from AGI News click on this link

ANTIMISSILE SHIELD: RUSSIA TO AIM AT POLISH AND CZECH SITES

Russia might be pointing missiles at US strategic objectives in Central Europe, such as the sites in Poland and the Czech Republic set aside for the enlargement to Eastern Europe of the US anti-missile system for national defence, the “shield” that Moscow considers a direct threat to its own security. The warning, which has come in a period of high tension between the Kremlin and the West over the conflict in Georgia, was given by General Nikolai Solovtsov, RVSN (the Russian Strategic Missile Forces) commander and quoted by the independent news service Interfax.

Europeans worry about Russia, increasingly support NATO

EUobserver:

"Europeans worry about Russia, increasingly support NATO

VALENTINA POP

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – European support for NATO and for closer ties with the US is increasing, while concerns about Russia as an energy provider and in relationship to its neighbours are on the rise, shows a survey released on Wednesday (10 September) by an American think-tank.

Some 57 percent of Europeans agreed that NATO is still essential to their country's security, an increase of four percentage points since 2007, according to the new poll published by the German Marshall Fund of the United States."

EU: Results of the informal meeting of the foreign affairs ministers of the European Union

EU: Results of the informal meeting of the foreign affairs ministers of the European Union

"EU: Results of the informal meeting of the foreign affairs ministers of the European Union

The French Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, his counterparts from 25 Member States of the EU and the Secretary-General of the Danish foreign ministry representing the Danish foreign minister who was unable to attend, Javier Solana, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner for External Relations, and Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the French Minister of State for European Affairs, met on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 September in Avignon for an informal meeting of the ministers for foreign affairs (Gymnich)."

Poll finds Europeans favor Obama over McCain in US

International Herald Tribune

"Poll finds Europeans favor Obama over McCain in US

WASHINGTON: Despite some optimism in 12 European countries that Democrat Barack Obama could improve relations with Europe if elected president, most Europeans polled in a survey released Wednesday do not want closer ties with the United States.

Also, Europeans continue to be much more critical of President George W. Bush than of the United States more broadly, according to the survey conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a nonpartisan policy institution that promotes trans-Atlantic cooperation, and the Compagnia di San Paolo, a research center in Turin, Italy."

9/9/08

This is not the year of the EU

Turkish Daily News Sep 09, 2008

"This is not the year of the EU
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Michael Weißbach

When Turkey's foreign minister, Ali Babacan, made the statement some time ago that 2008 would be the year of the European Union, he might have had assurances by European governments or EU contacts in Brussels, that the process for the creation of a political union of Europe would make a great leap forward during 2008 and with it the prospect of Turkey joining in at some point. "

9/8/08

CNN: Russia agrees Georgia withdrawal deadline

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Russia agrees Georgia withdrawal deadline

Moscow has agreed to withdraw its forces from Georgia outside of its two breakaway provinces within one month, the presidents of Russia and France said Monday following the latest efforts to end the region's territorial crisis.

Alternet - US elections - Weird Theology in Wasilla: A Look Inside Sarah Palin's Pentecostal Church - by Bruced Wilson

For the complete report from AlterNet click on this link

US elections - Weird Theology in Wasilla: A Look Inside Sarah Palin's Pentecostal Church - by Bruced Wilson

On June 8, 2008 Palin was publicly blessed, with the "laying on of hands" before six thousand Wasilla area church members, by Head Wasilla Assembly of God Pastor Ed Kalnins and on the same day both Kalnins and Palin described, at a "Masters Commission" ceremony at the Wasilla Assembly of God church, how she had been blessed prior to winning the Alaska governorship by an African cleric known for driving the "spirit of witchcraft" out of a town in Kenya, after which town supposedly crime rates dropped "almost to zero."

Sarah Palin's churches are actively involved in a resurgent movement that was declared heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949. This is the same 'Spiritual Warfare' movement that was featured in the award winning movie, "Jesus Camp," which showed young children being trained to do battle for the Lord. At least three of four of Palin's churches are involved with major organizations and leaders of this movement, which is referred to as The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit or the New Apostolic Reformation. The movement is training a young "Joel's Army" to take dominion over the United States and the world.