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12/31/11

Syria: dispute among Arab League observers over Syria snipers

Footage posted online appears to show one official saying he had seen government snipers on rooftops and calling for them to be withdrawn.

However in a BBC interview, the chief of the Arab League mission later denied that the official had seen the snipers.

Violence in Syria has continued unabated despite the monitors' mission.The latest footage posted on the internet cannot be verified, but it shows what appears to be an Arab League observer complaining about snipers shooting at demonstrators in Deraa.

For more: BBC News - Dispute among Arab League observers over Syria snipers

France's future hangs in balance in 2012: Sarkozy

France's future will hang in the balance in 2012, President Nicolas Sarkozy warned on Saturday, four months before he faces a tough battle for re-election.

With the economy and eurozone debt crisis set to take centre stage in the vote and recent figures showing unemployment at a 12-year high, Sarkozy promised "important decisions" in January to tackle joblessness.

And with Socialist challenger Francois Hollande leading in the polls, Sarkozy vowed that financial markets and credit ratings agencies would not be the ones deciding French policy.

For more: AFP: France's future hangs in balance in 2012: Sarkozy

The year of dissent: Battling Europe

The European community bids farewell to the worst year for the eurozone, which saw the toughest economic crisis in decades. The battle to save the single currency left boardrooms and flooded European streets - most commonly and violently in Athens.

­For Greece, the country most severely affected by the financial disaster, 2011 was a year of despair and discontent. Greek debt became the centerpiece of the euro crisis. Protests in the country have become a common occurrence against desperate austerity cuts to qualify for IMF bailouts and unemployment crippling record high. The financial crisis in Greece has migrated to other European countries, including Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy.

Autumn in Europe brought about the fall of several leaders across the EU – Italy, Greece and Spain – all of these countries saw governments change within a two-week period.

For more: The year of dissent: Battling Europe — RT

US economy: The Year of the Treasury - by Bradley Davis

Mark it in the history books: 2011 was the year of the U.S. Treasury.

Investors stampeded into U.S. debt, sinking the 10-year benchmark yield to end the year below 2% for the first time on record. Earlier in the year, the yield fell to its lowest level since the 1940s.

But what was it about Treasuries that attracted investors? Certainly not the domestic political situation, wherein fighting over a routine raising of the so-called "debt ceiling" led to an unprecedented downgrade of the U.S.'s top credit rating.

For more: The Year of the Treasury - Barrons.com

12/30/11

The “American Century” has ended

In every aspect of human existence, change is a constant. Yet change that actually matters occurs only rarely. Even then, except in retrospect, genuinely transformative change is difficult to identify. By attributing cosmic significance to every novelty and declaring every unexpected event a revolution, self-assigned interpreters of the contemporary scene — politicians and pundits above all — exacerbate the problem of distinguishing between the trivial and the non-trivial.

Did 9/11 “change everything”? For a brief period after September 2001, the answer to that question seemed self-evident: of course it did, with massive and irrevocable implications. A mere decade later, the verdict appears less clear. Today, the vast majority of Americans live their lives as if the events of 9/11 had never occurred. When it comes to leaving a mark on the American way of life, the likes of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have long since eclipsed Osama bin Laden. (Whether the legacies of Jobs and Zuckerberg will prove other than transitory also remains to be seen.)

Anyone claiming to divine the existence of genuinely Big Change Happening Now should, therefore, do so with a sense of modesty and circumspection, recognizing the possibility that unfolding events may reveal a different story.

All that said, the present moment is arguably one in which the international order is, in fact, undergoing a fundamental transformation. The “postwar world” brought into existence as a consequence of World War II is coming to an end. A major redistribution of global power is underway. Arrangements that once conferred immense prerogatives upon the United States, hugely benefiting the American people, are coming undone.

For more: The “American Century” has ended - Salon.com

Chris Huhne attacks Tory Eurosceptics over 'semi-detached' stance on Europe - by Hélène Mulholland

Liberal Democrat cabinet minister Chris Huhne has urged David Cameron to stand up to Conservative Eurosceptics intent on making the UK "semi-detached" from the European Union.

In an interview in the Independent, the energy secretary warned that the isolationist approach being pursued by Tory Eurosceptics would be disastrous for British jobs and trade.

Huhne's comments are likely to resurrect tensions between the two coalition parties over Cameron's recent decision to use the veto over a new EU treaty.

For more: Chris Huhne attacks Tory Eurosceptics over 'semi-detached' stance on Europe | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Why Putin failed and the Russian democrats may too: The Sources and Risks of Russia’s White Revolution

It is yet unclear what the exact outcome of the current upheaval in Moscow will eventually be. Yet, it seems already obvious that Russian politics will change substantially, in 2012. To be sure, whether Russia indeed becomes more democratic and free as a result of the growing protests remains open. Nonetheless, speaking of an – at least, attempted – Color Revolution is already justified. To be sure, neither will Russia’s possible White Revolution become a real revolution, nor were the other Color Revolutions fully fledged revolutionary upheavals. Yet, we have now, in Russia, the typical pattern of mass protests after a falsified election that partly delegitimizes the incumbent leadership – a sequence similar to, though not (yet) identical with, what we observed in Serbia in 2000, Georgia in 2003, Ukraine in 2004 and Kyrgysztan in 2005 – as well as, perhaps, the Arab world, more recently.  Why is the Putin system which looked stable as recently as a year ago currently failing? And what are the risks for the re-emerging democratic movement in Russia?

Arguably, Putin made – within the logic of his own system that could have survived longer – one major strategic and one crucial tactical mistake. Strategically, Putin’s preeminent failure was that his “vertical of power” did not fulfill one of its major purposes: to end or, at least, limit corruption in post-Soviet Russia. Instead, of producing a modernizing authoritarianism along the lines of post-war South Korea, Taiwan or Singapore, Putin’s rule deepened rather than erased certain pathologies of late Soviet and early post-Soviet society. Above all, it did not reduce the massive bribe-taking and -giving that goes on in all spheres of Russian public life. Corruption seems to have become even a major problem for the security organs that grew out of the KGB, from where Putin once came. It has thoroughly discredited the entire rationale of Putin’s contract with society: Instead of trading political freedom for effective governance, the “national leader” took away Russians’ civil and political rights without, however, delivering what he had promised, in exchange. It is no accident that one of the leaders of the current protest movement, the nationalist Alexei Navalnyi, made himself initially a name by blogging about prominent corruption cases in Russia’s elite.

Why Putin failed and the Russian democrats may too: The Sources and Risks of Russia’s White Revolution /ДЕНЬ/

USA - The dysfunction of America : The rule of greed - by Peter Blaikie

The U.S. economy remains the most powerful, creative and dynamic in the world, but it faces major difficulties. No longer is it a true capitalist free-market system. It has become a gigantic welfare state whose prime beneficiaries are the rich and major corporations.

Think of the legions of millionaire lobbyists in Washington; the shuttle-bus-type ferrying of people back and forth between senior Washington positions and executive suites in the business world; the enormous subsidies paid to myriad industries, including agriculture; the complex loopholes that render the tax code incomprehensible to all but the beneficiaries; the deregulation of the financial system that led to the crisis of 2007 and 2008, followed by the trillion-dollar bailouts; and that's to say nothing of the dramatically increasing inequality of income distribution.

Greed may be good, as Gordon Gekko famously declared in Wall Street, but it is good only for the rich. Almost without exception, independent experts and analysts (a group that, sadly, excludes all active politicians), know that to put America's financial house in order requires both tax increases and spending cuts. President Barack Obama's proposed tax increase for Americans earning $1 million a year, which will never become law, is an almost invisible drop in the deficit bucket. The chances of anyone who advocates serious tax increases, in whatever form, being elected are not merely slim; they are zero.

For more: The dysfunction of America (i): The rule of greed

Hungary Approves Central Bank Law in Showdown With IMF, EU

Hungary’s chances of obtaining a bailout receded after lawmakers approved new central bank regulations that prompted the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to break off talks this month.

Parliament in Budapest stripped central bank President Andras Simor of his right to name deputies, expanded the rate- setting Monetary Council and created a position for a third vice president. A separate law approved earlier today makes it possible to demote the central bank president if the institution is combined with the financial regulator.

Hungary received its second sovereign credit downgrade to junk in a month when Standard and Poor’s followed Moody’s Investors Service in taking the country out of its investment grade category on Dec. 21. The forint has fallen 15 percent against the euro since June 30, making it the world’s worst- performing currency in the period.

For more: Hungary Approves Central Bank Law in Showdown With IMF, EU - Businessweek

Germany: EU mulls new powers for piracy mission

German officials say the European Union is considering expanding the scope of its anti-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa to allow the destruction of pirates' equipment on the beaches of Somalia.

The EU's anti-piracy force patrols the seas off the coast of the country. Somalia has been mired in violence since 1991 -- plunging it into a chaos that sprouted militants and piracy.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said Friday that the "limited destruction of piracy logistics on the beach" is under discussion but "no deployment on land." He stressed that discussions are ongoing and no decision has been made.
For more: Germany: EU mulls new powers for piracy mission - Boston.com

12/29/11

Brazil surpassed UK in the world’s largest economies ranking

Brazil has surpassed the UK in terms of GDP and is the world’s sixth largest economy, according to experts from the UK Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), The Guardian reports. Brazil was able to rise due to an increase in exports to China and other East Asian countries, while the UK was still experiencing the negative consequences of the 2010 banking crisis.

China will again demonstrate the highest economic growth in the coming decade. According to the baseline scenario, the Chinese economy will be increasing by an average of 7.6 percent annually up until 2020.

For more: Brazil surpassed UK in the world’s largest economies ranking

E-Books: Why buy an expensive Tablet? Read e-books on your PC, laptop, or notebook

No need to purchase an expensive Tablet to read your e-books. You can download it for free on your own PC, Laptop or notebook.   For more info go to MobiPocket or Amazon where you can download free Kindle software for your PC.

EU-Digest

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Proceeds from Angelina Jolie's "In the Land of Blood and Honey" Soundtrack to Benefit SOS Children's Villages

Angelina Jolie, Graham King Films and Varese Sarabande Records today announced that a portion of the proceeds from the In the Land of Blood and Honey soundtrack will be donated to SOS Children’s Villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The donation is given in support of the critically needed programs that SOS Children’s Villages provides in Bosnia and Herzegovina to children, youth and families still suffering from lingering effects of the 1990s war in the Balkans. In her directorial debut, Ms. Jolie worked with actors from the region whose personal experiences during the war helped inform and shape the film.

For more: Proceeds from Angelina Jolie's "In the Land of Blood and Honey" Soundtrack to Benefit SOS Children's Villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Plastic Surgery - Miami the most vain city in the world ?

If you find people who haven’t had tummy tucks, laser facial hair removal and botox to be gruesomely ugly and unkept you might want to consider moving to Miamia, Fl., the area that was most recently called the most “vain” of all U.S. based cities and probably also of the world.

According to a LivingSocial.com survey Miami is the worst city and is then followed by Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Phoenix. Surprisingly Los Angeles didn’t manage to make the Top 5 list.

In Miami 53% of respondents said women are more beautiful in their city while 38% said men were more handsome. According to one female Miami resident: “It’s all about your image, it’s what you’re wearing, the bag that you’re carrying, and the car you’re driving.”

Some France makers of wine go natural, and fight the system - by Devorah Lauter

Standing by the wood-burning oven in their kitchen, Claire Cousin rips apart the frame around a photo of her husband, Olivier, kneeling beside Romeo, the lazy draft horse he uses to plow his small vineyard in France's Anjou region.

In an industry and a country that fears losing itself to the spread of globalized sameness, Cousin is part of an increasingly popular, often rebellious movement of "natural" winemakers.

"Making wine this way is the story of humanity," Cousin says. "You have to defend it. Otherwise, you might as well make wine on a computer. And in 50 years, if we continue making industrial wine, it won't interest anybody.

"When you make something naturally, it has a magic to it."

For more: Some France makers of wine go natural, and fight the system - latimes.com

12/28/11

Multinational Corporations: Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi, Epson, among 7 Asian companies who conspired to inflate prices liquid crystat display screens

Seven companies based in Asia will pay $553 million US to settle allegations by prosecutors in eight U.S. states that they conspired to inflate prices for liquid crystal display screens used in televisions and computer monitors, said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The agreement provides $501 million US for partial refunds for consumers in 24 states and the District of Columbia who purchased products with the companies' panels from 1999 through 2006.

The attorney general had alleged that the Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese companies, which make the thin film transistor LCD panels, conspired to keep prices high.

For more: Business - CBC News

China using mental hospitals to quiet dissent - by Calum MacLeod

The electric acupuncture needles stung her scalp and the drugs bloated her weight, gave her heart palpitations and brought on premature menopause. But Wu Chunxia consented to the treatments at the psychiatric hospital because if she didn't, she knew she would be strapped to her bed and left vulnerable to assaults from violent inmates.

Wu was not at the hospital for reasons of mental health. She was committed there in 2008 by the Chinese government for 132 days as punishment for protesting about local injustice to higher authorities.

For more: China using mental hospitals to quiet dissent – USATODAY.com

12/27/11

Literature: - Britain -The dark heart of Dickens: How writer was an abusive husband who seduced a woman 26 years his junior - by Simon Heffer

Look at some Christmas cards and one feature will link many of them: a scene with snow, in the England before the railways, with a coach and horses charging up to a cosy house or inn, and red-faced men in top hats sitting inside and on top of the vehicle.


If it is not Mr Pickwick arriving at Dingley Dell on the Muggleton coach, with his codfish and his six barrels of oysters, and fortified by hot brandy and water, it is inspired by the idea of it.

Charles Dickens’s novel of 1836, like his Christmas Carol of 1843, has in 175 years lost none of its power to describe the perfect English festivities. As Dickens wrote: ‘How many old recollections, and how many dormant sympathies, does Christmas time awaken?’


It is not the least of Dickens’s achievements that millions who have never read a word of his novels know so much about his world.

Yet, as we near his bicentenary, we should remember that this was a man tortured by the memory of poverty as a child, thin-skinned, cruel to his wife, dismissive of his children, a slave to overwork and, ultimately, victim of an early death, worn out not least in the effort to support himself, his estranged wife, and his mistress and her family. 

For more: The dark heart of Dickens: How writer was an abusive husband who seduced a woman 26 years his junior | Mail Online

Literature - "A Gentleman's Homecoming" - by Ruth Axtell Morren

"It's been six years since Luke Travis has seen his native England…and his son, Sam. But his hopes for a joyful reunion are shattered when he learns that Sam wants nothing to do with him. There's one ray of hope—Luke's former sister-in-law, Bobbie Gardner. The kindhearted woman has been a mother to Sam for all these years, and she promises to help mend the breach between father and son. But can Luke trust another Gardner? His wife betrayed and abandoned him, and his father-in-law took his son away. Bobbie must prove to him that she is not her sister, or her father, but a woman who is all that Luke could wish for in a wife."

In a review, Patricia R.Gaddis writes about A Gentleman's Homecoming : "What I like best about Ruth Morren's stories is that they are so unique. She incorporates historical occurrences that I find very interesting and informative. In this case how one of the first underground train lines came to be. Also, how difficult it was for a woman to establish her ability as a civil engineer in a time when it was considered a "man's" job and a "women's place" was in the home. The romance between the hero and heroine comes across as very real and believable. The conversation flow in all Ruth's books feels very natural and flows nicely. I highly recommend Ruth Axtell Morren as an author. I've not read anything by her yet that I haven't enjoyed."


Interested in buying A Gentleman's Homecoming go to Amazon 

EU-Digest

European Union Close to Deal for $40.5 Million Manhattan Lease

The European Union is negotiating a $40.5 million lease in midtown Manhattan to replace office space it must vacate by late July.

The Brussels-based alliance is close to an agreement for its United Nations delegation to take about 45,000 square feet (4,200 square meters) at 666 Third Ave., known as the Chrysler East tower, said Christopher Matthews, an EU spokesman. The 32- story property and its neighbor, the iconic Chrysler Building, are controlled by Tishman Speyer Properties LP.

The EU seeks to complete the deal so it can move from its current home, two blocks away at 222 E. 41st St., before it has to pay holdover fees, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. Those costs could be substantial, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private
.
For more: European Union Close to Deal for $40.5 Million Manhattan Lease

German industry leaders see no 2012 recession - by Gernot Heller


The German government expects growth in 2011 to be 3 percent and then slowing to 1 percent in 2012. The Economy Ministry denied on Monday a report in Focus magazine that this forecast would be cut.

Several independent institute have lowered their 2012 forecasts to a range of between a slight contraction to growth of just under 1 percent.

Hans Heinrich Driftmann, head of the DIHK Chamber of Industry and Commerce, added: "We're expecting growth of 2 percent next year." He said he expected more jobs to be added to the labor market.
For more: German industry leaders see no 2012 recession | Reuters

Music Industry: Lenny Kravitz moving into Miami condo he designed

The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
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  • ') Welcome Guest LoginRegister LogoutMember Center Weather | Traffic if(typeof gomez != "undefined" && gomez.nameEvent){gomez.nameEvent("Masthead Completed");} #navbar ul li.f a { padding:0 5px;} #navbar ul li a {padding: 0 5px 0 6px;} #navbar ul li.l a:hover {background-position: 0 0} #navbar .dart { display: none; } .navAd { background: url("http://media.miamiherald.com/static/images/redesign/nav_bg.gif") repeat-x scroll 0 0 transparent; height:26px; width:91px; padding:2px 0 2px 4px; overflow:hidden; } Home News Sports Entertainment Business Living Opinion Jobs Cars Real Estate Shop Classifieds Advertisement People| Restaurants| Movies| Music & Nightlife| Performing Arts| Visual Arts| Books| TV| Comics & Games Posted on Wednesday, 12.21.11Posted on Wednesday, 12.21.11 var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: '{{title}} {{url}} via @miamiherald' }, url_transforms : { shorten: { twitter: 'bitly' } }, shorteners : { bitly : { login: 'miamiherald', apiKey: 'R_c391265db81e2908eaab21d177be8356' } } } var addthis_config = { services_compact: 'facebook, twitter, myspace, digg, delicious, reddit, linkedin, stumbleupon, favorites, more', services_exclude: 'print' } 1 email print comment reprint tool name close [x] tool goes here Lenny Kravitz moving into Miami condo he designed /* * Tell JavaScript how much of each type of content there is */ storyVideoCount = 0; storyVideoBoxCount = 0; storyVideoOldTypeCount = 0; storyAudioCount = 0; storyPhotoCount = 1; storyPhotoGalleryCount = 0; storyGoogleMapCount = 0; storyMapBoxCount = 0; Kravitz Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images Photo Lenny Kravitz is moving in. The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons]. Kravitz recalled hanging out at neighborhood restaurants and doing things locals do.“There is this perception from people who are not from here that they feel like they have to be on South Beach,’’ said the Fly Away singer. “What I like is to go to some hole in the wall and get some great Jamaican food and hang with graffiti artists, then do the sort of posh, upscale things. It’s all about the mix. That’s what makes a great city; it can’t all be glossy.’’Kravitz sees the Omni area/Design District a little like Manhattan in the 1980s.“When I first lived there I lived in SoHo when SoHo was nasty. I was on Broome Street, which was an extension of the Bowery. Now the Bowery’s not even the Bowery anymore,’’ he says. “The fact that this whole area has been, and is, developing with galleries and interesting places, it’s really changing the Miami lifestyle.’’His vision for the condominium was to “make it attractive to a lot of different people.’’“It’s stylized with textured earth tones like a boutique hotel,’’ he says. “But it also has that sort of loose, casual attitude like you can be in your flip-flops. Being comfortable, at least for me, is the most important thing.’’ 0diggsdigg email print Share Twitter var comment_headline=$('#storyBody > h1:first').text (); Join the discussion The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. 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Show SickCaneFan 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand Yo Miami Herald, how bout doing your job and telling us how much the units are going for?!?!? A Like Reply 12/21/2011 03:32 PM 0 Like Report Abuse disqusisgaythisprogramsucks 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand ... A Like Reply 12/21/2011 04:51 PM 0 Like Report Abuse SFLA1 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand View For Sale Listingshttp://sef.mlxchange.com/DotNe... 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    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
    The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
    The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
    The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpy
    The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/21/2556320/lenny-kravitz-moving-into-miami.html#storylink=cpyThe singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge.Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].
    The singer-cum-interior decorator, 47, is taking an apartment at the Paramount Bay condo at 2020 North Bayshore Drive. And well he should. His New York company, Kravitz Design, did all the amenities for the 47-floor, 346 unit tower including the spa, lobby, pool area, club room and business lounge

    Kravitz showed off his work Monday night, and it was evident that being back in Miami — the Biscayne Corridor, to be exact — feels good.“I grew up here on and off,’’ he said from a model unit. “My mother’s side is from the Bahamas, and a lot of my relatives settled here. Not South Beach. This is the part of Miami that I knew.’’ [His late mom is Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis in The Jeffersons].

    Note EU-Digest: Lenny Kravitz toured Europe from 16 October to 29 November this year which also coincided with the release of his new album "Black and White America".

    For more: Lenny Kravitz moving into Miami condo he designed - People - MiamiHerald.com

    The eagle has landed - in Europe - by Nelson Schwartz

    As Europe battles its debt crisis, businesses and financial firms from the United States are swooping, making loans and snapping up assets owned by banks - from the mortgage on a luxury Miami hotel to Dublin's tallest office block.

    The sales are taking place because European banks are scrambling to raise capital and shrink their balance sheets - often under orders from regulators.

    Huw van Steenis, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, estimates that European financial institutions will unload up to $US3 trillion in assets over the next 18 months.

    12/26/11

    Aircraft Safety: Turning off your electronic gadgets while in flight may be a good idea - by Adam Christy and Kelly Gross

    A new investigation by USA today says that turning off your electronic gadgets while in flight, may not be necessary anymore.

    Ernesto Martinez has been a pilot for 7 years, and he says no tool has made flying easier than his iPad. With maps, airplane and airport information, approach planes, and sectionals, Ernesto's iPad has everything he needs.

    "If you have a large aircraft and there are many people on their phones, it can get into the cockpit,” said Martinez. The study looks at hundreds of documents that found electronic devices give of electromagnetic interference, but that the amount is small.


    “Just turn it off, because you are really putting your life at risk,” says Martinez.


    For more: A new investigation by USA today says that turning off your electronic gadgets while in flight, may not be necessary anymore. - KTXL

    High Speed Rail: China tests 300-mph train

    China launched a super-rapid test train over the weekend which is capable of travelling 310-miles per hour (500 kilometers per hour), state media said on Monday, as the country moves ahead with its railway ambitions despite serious problems on its high-speed network.

    The train, made by a subsidiary of CSR Corp Ltd , China's largest train maker, is designed to resemble an ancient Chinese sword, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

    It "will provide useful reference for current high-speed railway operations", it quoted train expert Shen Zhiyun as saying.

    For more: How fast?! China tests 300-mph train - World news - Asia-Pacific - China - msnbc.com

    Czech Republic: Living Havel's truth in the Arab world - by Mark Levine

    During the last year of revolutionary protests across the Arab world, one of the things that most surprised me was how little Vaclav Havel and the Velvet Revolution he helped to lead, was mentioned by activists or even commentators as a model for understanding, or engaging in, the present revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa. In so many ways, Havel was a harbinger of the young revolutionaries who have pushed Arab countries towards the brink of freedom.

    He was liberal and cosmopolitan, an artist and a writer. No doubt, he would have been one of the most interesting bloggers of his generation if the medium existed during his dissident days (although it's hard to know whether the absurdist aesthetic that informed his philosophical and artistic production would have translated well to Twitter). He was also a lover of great rock music; indeed, the rock 'n roll soundtrack that helped propel the Prague Spring in 1968 is not that different in attitude and substance from the soundtrack of the revolutionaries of Tehran, Tunis or Tahrir.

    Indeed, the Iranian Government, for one, recognised the potential for the Velvet Revolution model to be applied to the Middle East, which is why it derisively referred to protesters of the Green Movement as "velvet revolutionaries". It well understood what a threat a culturally grounded rebellion against the political status quo can be, which is why it used anything but velvet gloves in repressing the movement in 2009.

    For more: Living Havel's truth in the Arab world - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

    Moody's maintains Denmark rating at Aaa

    Denmark retains its Aaa credit rating, but its long-term growth prospects are a cause for concern, ratings agency Moody's said late Thursday.

    "The government's top-notch ratings reflect Denmark's stable macroeconomic and political environment and relatively healthy government balance sheet," Moody's said in a statement. It added that Denmark's rating outlook remains "stable."

    The triple-A rating, the highest possible, appears to confirm Denmark's status as a relatively better economic performer during the ongoing European debt crisis.

    For more: Moody's maintains Denmark rating at Aaa - Xinhua | English.news.cn

    Libya Government to Integrate Former Revolutionaries

    Libya's transitional government said on Sunday that as of next month it will begin to register thousands of former rebel fighters who helped to overthrow the former regime of Muammar Gaddafi in an eight-month long armed struggle in order to integrate them within the security services.

    Libya's interim defence minister, Osama al-Juwaili made the announcement on Sunday, as the transitional government will be testing the government's ability to get the rebel leaders to relinquish command of their fighters.

    Planning minister Issa al-Tuijer said the plan calls for all former rebels, many of whom are still organised in disparate militias, to register and make clear if they want to join the national security forces.

    For more: Libya Government to Integrate Former Revolutionaries

    France accuses Syria of trying to dupe monitors

    France said on Saturday it did not know who was behind two deadly suicide bombings in Syria, but accused President Bashar al-Assad's regime of trying to hide its own brutal tactics from foreign observers.

    Syria has blamed the twin bombings on al Qaeda extremists, but some observers suspect Damascus itself might be trying to manipulate public opinion just as an Arab League monitoring mission gets under way.


    For more: France accuses Syria of trying to dupe monitors

    12/25/11

    ESA astronaut André Kuipers arrives at the Space Station

    ESA astronaut André Kuipers and crewmates Oleg Kononeko and Don Pettit docked today with the International Space Station in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft. They will work aboard the Station now for five months and return to Earth in May.

    ESA’s fourth long mission on the International Space Station began on Wednesday, when the Soyuz rocket roared into the evening sky from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

    After circling the globe for the last two days, the spacecraft docked at 15:19 GMT (16:19 CET), 23 December.

    For more: ESA Portal - Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers arrives at the Space Station

    European Space Exploration: Mysterious fireball was part of Soyuz

    The mysterious fireball observed above Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France on Christmas Eve was the re-entry of the third stage of a Soyuz rocket that transported three astronauts to space, the Royal Observatory of Belgium said on Sunday.

    A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying the astronauts - Oleg Kononenko of Russia, Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands and Don Pettit of the United States - to the International Space Station, lifted off on Wednesday from Kazakhstan's Baikonour space centre.

    For more: Mysterious fireball was part of Soyuz | News24

    EU does not want to import another Cyprus-like problem says Edita Tahiri

    Europe's newest nation has hailed a decision by the EU not to grant candidate status to Serbia due to its non-constructive role in dialogue talks with Kosovo but to reward Pristina with advancement toward the 27-member bloc.

    “The EU has made clear that they don't want to import another problem like Cyprus,” Kosovo Deputy PM Edita Tahiri said in an exclusive interview with Sunday's Zaman on Dec. 15. The EU accepted a divided Cyprus despite its refusal to approve a UN plan on reunification in 2004. Cyprus has been at the heart of many problems between Turkey and the EU. Claiming that Serbia is playing double standards for membership in the EU while urging Serbs in Kosovo not to honor their commitments, Tahiri, head of the Kosovo delegation in dialogue with Serbia, called on Belgrade to im-plement what they agreed upon.

    She also welcomed Turkey’s role in the Balkans, dismissing claims that it is an outsider power. “Turkey, given its historic and cultural relations with the Balkans and given its economic potential, really can establish bilateral relations with each country in the Balkans,” Tahiri said. She invited more Turkish investment in the economy and in education in Kosovo

    For more: Edita Tahiri: EU does not want to import another Cyprus-like problem

    US Republican Candidate Romney Versus Europe

    The Wall Street Journal has an interview with Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Massachusetts. Says Mr. Romney: "We have a choice in America to be remaining a merit-based opportunity society that follows the Constitution, or to follow the path of Europe. And I'm the guy who believes in the former. I believe America got it right. I believe Europe got it wrong. I believe America must remain the leader of the world. . . . I am absolutely committed to an American century. I see this as an American century."
    I understand the shorthand distinction between and American free-market model and a European social-democrat type welfare state, but Mr. Romney, as he goes forward, may want to think carefully about using such a broad brush to condemn Europe.

    Who is he talking about, exactly? Margaret Thatcher, whose economic policies were as free-market oriented as Ronald Reagan's possibly more so? Vaclav Havel? Lech Walesa? John Paul II? What does it mean for the NATO alliance if candidate Romney or President Romney is going around declaring that a whole bunch of countries in Europe that America is treaty-bound to defend, countries that have been fighting alongside us in Afghanistan and, in the case of some but not all of them, also participated in Iraq, are "wrong," and that America should not follow their path?

    For more: Romney Versus Europe :: The Future of Capitalism

    U.S. Unveils Plan to Shield $10 Trillion Online Marketplace - by Juliann Francis

    The U.S. government plans to spend $56.3 million on technology aimed at safeguarding the online marketplace and those who operate in it, including consumers, businesses and government agencies.

    “The fact is that the old password and username combination we often use to verify people is no longer good enough,” and leaves Internet users “vulnerable to ID and data theft,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said at a conference today in Washington. “Nowadays, the world does an estimated $10 trillion of business online.”

    The plan, called the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, “charts a course for the public and private sectors to collaborate to raise the level of trust” connected to online identities, according to the plan.

    Note EU-Digest: this smells of infringement on personal privacy rights.

    For more: U.S. Unveils Plan to Shield $10 Trillion Online Marketplace - Bloomberg

    Cubans celebrate Christmas ahead of pope's visit

    Cuban faithful celebrating Christmas say they have plenty to cheer this year as they prepare for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI, the first visit by a pontiff to the Communist-run island since John Paul II's historic tour nearly 14 years ago.

    The visit, expected in March, coincides with the 400th anniversary of Cuba's patron saint and follows years of lobbying by Roman Catholic officials on the island.

    The timing also appears to reward the larger role the church has assumed in Cuba in recent years. Havana Archbishop Jaime Ortega personally negotiated the release of political prisoners in 2010 and 2011, and church magazines have become a forum for articles offering advice to Cuban leaders on a process of free-market reforms begun by President Raul Castro.

    For more: Cubans celebrate Christmas ahead of pope's visit - Boston.com

    12/24/11

    Jerusalem celebrates Christmas at Holy Sepulchre Church

    The Nusseibehs are an ancient Jerusalem Muslim family, who date back to the time of the Prophet Mohammed. They hold the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Two hours after sunset each night, they lock the monks inside the Church and let them out before dawn each morning - as their ancestors have for hundreds of years.

    Wajih Nusseibeh is the current Door Keeper and Custodian of the Church.

    "It's a job handed down from father to son, since the time of the first Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in the seventh century," he told Deutsche Welle. "We have done it for 1,300 years, though there was one gap of 88 years, when the Christian Crusaders ruled Jerusalem during the 12th century."

    For more: Jerusalem celebrates Christmas at Holy Sepulchre Church | World | Deutsche Welle | 24.12.2011

    Italy: Fiat gets early Christmas present from Italian labor

    Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne got an early Christmas present Friday when Italy's labor unions ratified a new labor agreement.

    Earlier this month, Marchionne called the tentative agreement "a historic turning point for Fiat and Fiat Industrial."The agreement, Marchionne said, gives the two companies the ability to use its factories more efficiently with greater flexibility for overtime.

    Fiat's labor talks took place against the backdrop of Italy's debt crisis and the growing recognition that the country must reform its economic and labor policies to compete globally.

    Note EU-Digest:  Marchionne also said Fiat Group, which owns 53.5% of Chrysler expects to post a 2012 trading profit of between 1.6 billion and 2.0 billion euros ($2.1 billion to $2.6 billion).

    For more: Fiat gets early Christmas present from Italian labor | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    The Netherlands benefits little from its foreign students

    Most foreign students who attend Dutch universities leave as soon as they have their degrees and do not contribute to the local economy, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

    The claim is made by Sander van den Eijnden, head of Nuffic, the organisation which stimulates the internationalisation of higher education in the Netherlands.

    Van den Eijden tells the paper better integration of foreign students would bring advantages for the Dutch economy by encouraging more to stay.

    'Our strong point is our English language abilities, that is why they come here,' Van den Eijden is quoted as saying. 'But it is also our weakness because foreign students are on the edge of society because they do nothing in Dutch.

    For more: DutchNews.nl - The Netherlands benefits little from its foreign students

    12/23/11

    Real Estate USA: Home values: Losses in South Florida top $6 billion - by Paul Owers

    South Florida homes and condominiums continue to lose a stunning amount of value, but the pain is at least diminishing.

    Homes and condos in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are expected to lose $6.5 billion in value this year, real estate website Zillow.com said Thursday.

    As bad as that is, it was more than four times worse in 2010, when $28.6 billion disappeared. Nationally, U.S. homes are on pace to lose $681 billion in value, down 35 percent from 2010.

    For more: Home values: Losses in South Florida top $6 billion - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

    EU ban excessive credit card surcharges

    A European Union Consumer Rights Directive will ban businesses in many sectors, including airlines, from imposing above-cost surcharges on payments from mid-2014.

    Consumer group singled out low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair and Britain's Flybe and EasyJet , which it said charge fees per passenger, per leg of a journey, even though they only have to process one transaction.

    Airline passengers have suffered the most as a result of these rediculous charges. Over the past seven years some airline companies have increased their credit and debit card charges 15-fold per return flight, when the true cost of such a transaction is next to nothing . Worse still is that this fee is charged per passenger.  So when a family of four books a return trip from Britain to Spain today a charge of euro 58 is added just for the privilege of paying by credit card.

    A European parliamentarian from Denmark said:  "Actions by us in the EU, like this ban against excessive credit card surcharges probably is one of the many reasons why the powerful global financial industry is constantly undermining the European Union and seeking its destruction."

    EU-Digest

    Slovenia Ratings Cut by Moody’s on Concern Nation’s Banks May Need Funding - by John Detrixhe and Boris Cerni

    Slovenia had its credit rating lowered one step to A1 by Moody’s Investors Service on the potential need for the government to support its banking system amid Europe’s debt crisis.

    The euro-area nation’s banking industry has assets that are about 136 percent of gross domestic product, which is “relatively large when compared to other systems in eastern Europe,” Moody’s said yesterday in a statement. It assigned a negative outlook to Slovenia’s credit grade, the fifth-highest. Standard and Poor’s ranks the nation AA-, one level higher.

    For more: Slovenia Ratings Cut by Moody’s on Concern Nation’s Banks May Need Funding - Bloomberg