|Group seeks to ban all fissile|
material for nuclear weapons
"This World Belongs to Everybody" & "The Big Picture - You Are Not Alone"
"The State of the Earth" - The Predicted Weather Shift (Mini Ice Age - 2032 !!)
"The State of the Earth" - The Predicted Weather Shift (Mini Ice Age - 2032 !!)
- More Articles ....
- Council of Europe assembly authorises Russia's return
- Council of Europe and Russia reach tentative compromise
- Dutch court won’t send back British drugs trafficker, citing prison conditions
- Council of Europe turns 70 amid Russia crisis
- Council of Europe demands truth on CIA 'black sites'
- 20 years on, former Eurogroup head says euro a source of stability
- In sadness, EU leaders approve Brexit deal
- Dutch PM outlines challenges facing Europe, closer union ‘no goal’
- Former Dutch Prime Minister Rudd Lubbers dies
- Europe pays tribute to Helmut Kohl, 'a giant' of post-war history
- German veteran leader, EU visionary Kohl dies
- EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome
“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
- MEPs narrowly elect von der Leyen to EU top job
- MEPs can keep their expenses secret, European Court of Justice rules
- Many Dutch MEPs are ‘vague’ about what they do with their expenses
- EU leaders, minus UK, declare 'Europe is our common future'
- Pope warns EU 'risks dying' without new vision
- EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)
- Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'
- Poland's Donald Tusk takes over as EU Council president
- Merkel says fall of Wall proves 'dreams can come true'
- New President Juncker, European commissioners officially take office
- EU's Juncker wins green light for 'last chance' team
- Britain, France get top jobs from EU's Juncker
- Juncker is the new European Commission President
- German Socialist Martin Schulz elected new EU parliament president
Pope Francis and other religious leaders at the Vatican. Photograph: AP
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)
“… The Shift in Human Nature
You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.
In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?
Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.
What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …”
- More Artcles .....
- Row over Marlboro-funded research that undermined plain cigarette packs
- Swedish private jet scandal claims seventh scalp
- HSBC bank 'helped clients dodge millions in tax'
- Dutch toughen anti-smoking policy, introduce age limit for e-cigarettes
- Wonga writes off debts for 330,000 customers
- Big four accountants under fire in Holland for poor audit work
- Asia's rising tobacco epidemic
- McDonald's Faces 'Millennial' Challenge
- Tough case to crack: the mystery of Britain's falling crime rate
- Full tobacco ban suggested by lawmakers in China
- Bank of America reaches record $17bn settlement over questionable mortgages
- Capitalism is doomed if ethics vanish, says Bank of England governor
- Business Live: Lagarde and Carney call for more integrity in capitalism
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Deutsche Welle, 30.04.2011
The foreign ministers of ten countries have called for fresh efforts by the international community to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and materials at a meeting in Germany.
At talks in Berlin on Saturday, hosted by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, ten nations agreed to renew their efforts to speed up nuclear disarmament.
"We encourage all countries who may still be hesitant to follow our example," Westerwelle said.
The German foreign minister said that the participants from five continents saw themselves as the vanguard of a new global disarmament effort.
"We want to make this young decade a decade of disarmament," he said.
A joint statement released after the meeting said that the goal of the initiative was to "work toward achieving nuclear disarmament and strengthening the international non-proliferation regime."
Seeking nuclear disarmament
Westerwelle told journalists that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the international Nuclear Test Ban Treaty should be adopted by all countries, adding that the production and mining of all fissile material for nuclear weapons should be banned internationally. He called for resuscitating the Geneva Disarmament Convention.
Attending the talks with Germany were Japan, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Chile, Poland, Mexico, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Last year, these countries formed the group Friends of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Author: Gregg Benzow (dpa,AP)
Editor: Kyle James
Friday, April 29, 2011
BBC News, 29 April 2011
- Santander says upturn has begun
- Barclays' quarterly profit falls
- Weak trading saps Goldman profits
- Slow business hits Citi profits
The EU's competition authorities are investigating the activities of nine of the world's biggest banks over the market for credit default swaps (CDS).
|The EU probes involve 16 global|
banking giants as well as other
CDS's are a form of insurance policy taken out on financial instruments, such as bonds, in case they lose value.
The banks include Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.
The probe centres on whether preferential treatment - including special low fees - was given by a clearing house to drum up business.
The other five banks involved are Bank of America, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and UBS.
The EU's anti-trust commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, said in a statement: "CDS's play a useful role for financial markets and for the economy.
"Recent developments have shown, however, that the trading of this asset class suffers a number of inefficiencies that cannot be solved through regulation alone."
The value of CDS - said to be in the region of $28 trillion (£17tn) dwarfs the worth of the instruments they are based on.
As well as providing insurance against a bond going bad, CDS are also used for speculation, with banks and hedge funds trading in CDS to make money without actually owning the underlying bonds.
During the height of the financial crisis there were concerns that speculation in CDS for bonds was driving down prices and fuelling market panic.
The European Commission said it is investigating whether the nine big investment banks received special treatment from the clearing house ICE Clear Europe, and were therefore only giving their business to ICE.
The Commission said: "The effects of these agreements could be that other clearing houses have difficulties successfully entering the market and that other CDS players have no real choice where to clear their transactions."
The nine banks are shareholders in ICE's US clearing arm.
In a separate case, the Commission said it was investigating whether those nine banks - and the seven others that act as dealers in the CDS market - give essential information on pricing and other daily activities only to Markit Group Ltd, which is the leading financial data provider for that market.
Such preferential treatment "could be the consequence of collusion between them or an abuse of a possible collective dominance" and could lock other data providers out of the CDS business, the Commission said.
Seven other firms are targeted in this probe: BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Wells Fargo, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale.
All 16 banks, which control around 90% of the market whereby banks deal with each other, are shareholders of Markit.
Markit holds a near monopoly on financial data, which the EU says could leave smaller competitors with worse information on pricing.
Market players, however, insist that there is no conclusive proof of such a link.
Markit said Friday it "does not believe it has engaged in any inappropriate conduct and looks forward to demonstrating that to the Commission".
A spokeswoman for IntercontinentalExchange said the company would cooperate with the investigation.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Deutsche Welle, 28.04.2011
|Some technical adjustments are|
needed, but roads offer plenty of
Amsterdam feels about as close to being owned by cyclists as any city can. Yet if that's not environmentally friendly enough, the Dutch are now looking to turn their bike paths, and streets, into clean power plants.
Paving the streets of the Netherlands with solar panels will kick off with a trial in the small town of Krommenie, 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Amsterdam, next year.
The city lane opposite the town's train station will be covered with 100 meters (328 feet) of solar panels.
Until now, solar panels have been placed in locations with no other purpose than to extract energy from the sun. This is about to change.
"Solar energy is a rather diffused energy source and you need a lot of area to use it. And these roads, this is some space we already use," said Sten de Wit, a project manager at the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) that came up with the idea.
"There is a lot of area covered with roads. If you compare the amount of rooftops in the Netherlands and the amount of area that is covered with roads it's approximately twice as big," he added.
|Solar panels on the street will differ|
from those on rooftops
New technology was needed to develop the 1.5 by 2.5 meter solar tiles necessary for the solar paths. A key challenge was establishing the right surface for the roads.
The slabs incorporate a transparent top, an optical layer of tiny lenses and beneath that a series of small flat solar cells housed in concrete.
The glass top of the solar blocks is highly resistant and has been roughened to allow grip.
"The idea is if you roughened the surface of the top layer, perhaps you get some pollution over time, not all the light will come through the top layer. So what we do is we have these special kind of lenses which are very flat and they concentrate, they focus the light on to the relatively small solar cells and in that way you can use the light that comes through the top layer rather efficiently," Sten de Wit says.
At a laboratory in the Dutch town of Delft, a machine tests the structure's resistance. Some of the tests that are now taking place will help determine how many cars can drive over it before it wears out.
The blocks will also be placed slightly atilt to ensure water runs down to the roadside when it rains – a common occurrence in the Netherlands.
|The solar panel will be covered with|
a transparent top layer
Will the project survive in the real world?
The pilot project is expected to last for five years and the investors will be looking at how this state of the art technology performs in the wear and tear of the real world, where pollution or heavy traffic could impair the panels' ability to gather sunlight.
The experiment is being backed by the local regional government, and Green Left politician Bert Heller is one of the project's most enthusiastic supporters.
"In the whole of the Netherlands there's about 137,000 kilometers of roads and bicycle tracks - if you could put this innovation on all of those kilometers, you'd be able to fuel all the cars now driving those roads with electricity."
Indeed, one of the goals is to connect the system to a future electric car program.
The Northern Dutch province where Krommenie is located has provided an initial investment of 50,000 euros ($74,000) to build the prototype solar road, and it expects to recoup this money if the project advances.
"It's a relatively small amount of money we put into it, if it comes into production then of course we would like the production in our province. So there will be a clear economic side-effect."
|Solar paths would be more expensive|
than regular paths but would hopefully
pay off over time
TNO project manager Sten de Wit agrees that this is an investment in the future. "If you look at the comparison with a normal road, then of course it will be more expensive. But on the other hand, you get a lot of energy out of this system."
"The idea is that we want to build a system which eventually generates so much energy that the cost of the road over the duration of the lifetime is not that much higher than the cost of a normal road," he said.
TNO hopes that every 70 square meters (753 square feet) of solar road will generate a year's worth of energy for a medium-sized household.
Of course, not all roads can expect to be equipped with the technology. Shady and traffic-dense regions would be pointless, but elsewhere Dutch people can soon expect to see their dark paved streets turned to light transparent glass.
Author: Cintia Taylor
Editor: Nathan Witkop
- Government subsidies driving demand for panels
- Expert says fall in price removes need for feed-in tariff review
|HomeSun solar panels are installed onto homes in Delabole near Bodmin|
in Cornwall, where residents have teamed up to create what may be Britain's
first 'solar street'. Photograph: Simon Burt/PA
Householders rushing to put solar panels on their roof in order to take advantage of government subsidies have more than tripled the amount of solar power in the UK over the past year, figures published on Thursday show.
The lure of making nearly £1,000 a year has led to a record 11,314 people, largely homeowners, installing solar panels in the first three months of this year. The 'solar gold rush' appears to have been driven by the introduction of feed-in tariffs (Fits) last year, which pay businesses, groups and individuals for generating green energy.
The total amount of installed solar power in the UK has jumped from 26MW before the scheme started on 1 April 2010, to 77.8MW at the end of March this year, according to the department of energy and climate change (DECC). This takes the number of solar photovoltaic systems in the UK taking part in the Fits scheme to 28,505, alongside over a thousand micro wind turbines and just over 200 small hydro sites.
But despite the rise in demand, solar power under the Fits scheme still contributes only a tiny amount of the UK's total electricity generation. At 77.8MW, it accounts for just 0.104% of the 75GW provided by fossil fuel, nuclear and large scale renewable power plants. The UK's largest coal fired power station, Drax in Yorkshire, generates approximately 4,000MW.
The surge of installations in the past three months comes despite the government announcing a review of the feed-in tariffs in January, which is expected to exclude large-scale solar farms in a bid to protect the scheme for homeowners.
Ray Noble, a solar PV specialist at Renewable Energy Association, told the Guardian: "The vast majority of these installs are domestic and the surge is a result of rising consumer awareness, with people telling one another about solar. It's not a rush to beat the government's solar review [announced in January] – most people haven't even heard of the review. But I think the figures would have been even higher without the review."
Noble said that a fall in solar costs meant the government could avoid excluding large solar schemes by cutting the rate of solar tariff payments: "The cost of solar is falling, because solar panels are getting cheaper and the labour costs are coming down as bigger players and more competition enter what was once a cottage industry. We think the feed-in-tariffs [currently 43.3p/kWH for solar photovoltaics] could come down by as much as 30% and still make financial sense for consumers."
The DECC's figures also reveal that one of the UK's first mega solar schemes came online at the start of this year. The development, which was over 100KW, compared to around 2-3KW for most householders, is the sort that will no longer be eligible for the Fits under the review's proposals, which put a subsidy cap on solar installations above 50KW.
Businesses and environmental groups last week attacked the government review for sending the wrong signal to investors. Penny Shepherd, the chief executive of UKSIF, the UK's leading organisation representing financiers specialising in green investments, said: "One area of particular concern has been the changes to feed-in tariffs [subsidies for renewable energy]. It wasn't the proposal itself, but the sudden revision that sent out the wrong signal – investors need confidence that [the] policy will remain stable."
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
University of St Andrews to review acceptance of funding arranged by Bashar al-Assad's controversial regime in Damascus
|The University of St Andrews has received more than £100,000|
in funding from Bashar al-Assad’s regime for its centre
for Syrian studies. (Photograph: David Cheskin/PA)
A prestigious British university is to review the work of one of its academic research centres because its funding was arranged by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Guardian can reveal.
The University of St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton studied, has received more than £100,000 in funding for its centre for Syrian studies with the assistance of the Syrian ambassador to the UK, Sami Khiyami.
Following questions on Wednesday from the Guardian about its relations with figures associated with the regime – and "in view of significant international concerns about recent events in Syria" – a spokesman for St Andrews said the university would be reviewing the centre's work "to ensure its high academic standards are maintained".
The university's association with the Assad regime has come under scrutiny in the wake of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Syria which is estimated to have claimed 450 lives so far.
In addition to Khiyami, the centre's board of advisers also boasts other figures closely associated with the Damascus regime including Fawaz Akhras, the charismatic British-based cardiologist who is not only Bashar al-Assad's father-in-law, but also acts as a gatekeeper for the family, screening British journalists before they are granted an interview with his daughter Asma or his son-in-law.
Akhras is also the founder of the British Syrian Society, which has organised visits to Damascus and meetings with Assad for sympathetic members of parliament, as well as organising an investment conference in London to introduce British, European and Arab businesses to Syrian government ministers.
Opened in November 2006 as part of the university's school of international relations, funding for the centre was only secured with the assistance of Khiyami, who, according to the centre's head, Prof Raymond Hinnebusch, persuaded Syrian-born British businessman Ayman Asfari to pay for it.
Asfari is head of Petrofac, the London and Aberdeen-based oil and gas services company, which is a partner of the Syrian government in two major projects in the country worth $1bn, according to the company's figures.
The latest embarrassing disclosure over connections between a British university and an authoritarian Arab regime follows the row that engulfed the London School of Economics over its links with Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
Supporters of the centre and of Hinnebusch – including the author Patrick Seale, who is an adviser to the centre – insist on the necessity of engaging with Syria as it appeared to be grappling with reform, and stress the seriousness of its academic work. But critics claim that British universities should have been far more vigilant before associating with regimes with a record of human rights and other abuses.
According to Hinnebusch, writing in the Syrian Studies Association newsletter last year: "Khiyami made the decisive breakthrough in finding a philanthropist who was willing to provide the funding to launch the centre."
A well-known scholar on Syria, he insists that his centre supports "politically unbiased research", and he has written that he believes Syria is "lamentably misunderstood in policy circles and in the western media where the over-amplified voices of special interest pundits are allowed to demonise all who oppose imperial plans for the region".
Despite the fact that the opening of the centre came at a time when western governments were attempting to engage with Damascus, Syria remained – as it still does – a police state with few political freedoms or rights of free expression, and a state where human rights abuses continue.
Among events organised by the centre, in partnership with the Orient Centre for International Studies based in Syria, was a conference in Damascus in 2008 with papers provided by a former adviser to Hafez al-Assad, Bashar's harshly authoritarian father who was implicated in numerous human rights abuses, and other pro-regime officials.
Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow, who has called for an inquiry into British universities' links with despotic Middle Eastern regimes, said: "We need to learn from what's happened with Libyan funding of our universities, that universities should not accept money from governments like Syria, or those with connections to the Syrian government. The danger is that you get compromised by the amount of money, and it inevitably influences your outlook on the Middle East. I've argued that universities that take money from dictatorships should receive a reduction in their public subsidy."
The MP said he found it astonishing that St Andrews had not mentioned the relationship with Syria in response to a freedom of information request he submitted about donations from the Middle East or Africa since 2000.
Robin Simcox, who studied foreign funding of universities in a report for the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "Universities take this money claiming they're going to break down walls and open relations. What they end up doing is colluding with murderous family-run regimes. These universities have got it wrong. With the likes of Gaddafi, they say the people they're taking money from are reformers. They're not reformers, they're tyrants."
Sam Westrop, a spokesman for a student-run campaign to ensure ethical funding of universities, said that it would put pressure on St Andrews to explain its Syrian links.
However Niall Scott, a spokesman for St Andrews, said the centre for Syrian studies "was established with the assistance of a £105,000 donation from the Asfari foundation, a recognised UK charity, in 2007. This is the only external funding the centre has received. The salaries of CSS staff are paid directly by the university.
Its board of advisers comprises a cross-section of Syrian interests and viewpoints. From an academic standpoint, it is critical to be able to engage directly with all aspects of Syrian society in order to better understand the regime.
"The University of St Andrews assiduously and regularly reviews its research centres and institutes and is satisfied that the CSS has met the high academic and ethical standards required to function effectively and independently.
"In view, however, of significant international concerns about recent events in Syria, a further review of the centre is currently underway to ensure its high academic standards are maintained."
Monday, April 25, 2011
Reuters, by Louis Charbonneau, UN, Mon Apr 25, 2011
A man throws a rock at a passing tank in a location given as Deraa on April 25, 2011,
in this still image from an amateur video. (Credit: Reuters/Social Media Website via Reuters TV)
(Reuters) - Britain, France, Germany and Portugal are asking the U.N. Security Council to condemn Syria's violent crackdown against protesters and urge restraint by the government, council diplomats said on Monday.
But it was unclear whether Russia and China would support the idea. The two permanent veto-wielding council members have become increasingly critical of the U.N.-backed intervention to protect civilians in Libya, which U.N. diplomats say Moscow and Beijing worry aims at ousting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
"We would like council members to condemn the violence in Syria and to urge restraint," a diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
At least 18 people were killed on Monday when Syrian soldiers and tanks stormed the southern city of Deraa, prominent activist Ammar Qurabi said.
Western powers which took up arms against Gaddafi's forces, citing the United Nations principle of the responsibility to protect civilians, have confined themselves so far to verbal condemnations of the killing of hundreds of people in Syria.
Another U.N. diplomat said the four European members of the council have circulated a draft statement to the other 11 member states that also supports U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call over the weekend for an independent investigation into the killings of demonstrators.
The Europeans hope a condemnation by the Security Council could increase the pressure on Syria to halt its crackdown on anti-government demonstrators, diplomats said.
The United States on Monday said it was considering "targeted sanctions" against the government of President Bashar al-Assad in response to its violent crackdown on protesters.
There was no move to discuss the possibility of U.N. sanctions against Syria at the moment, one diplomat said.
Russia and China have indicated they would be loath to have the council take up another internal conflict that they consider to be a domestic issue. The council has been unable to agree to a statement on unrest in another Arab state, Yemen.
The European draft statement on Syria notes that the situation is significant for the outlook for peace and security across the Middle East, a diplomat said. Reference to an international dimension to the violence could make it more difficult for Russia and China to refuse to discuss Syria.
Council discussion of Syria could also be awkward for Beirut. Lebanon, the sole Arab council member, has had a troubled relationship with its neighbor and Syrian influence remains strong there.
(Editing by Eric Beech)
Sunday, April 24, 2011
RNW, 24 April 2011
Europe should suspend 130 million euros in ongoing projects in Syria because of the unrest gripping the country.
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal made his remarks in an interview on the current affairs television programme Buitenhof. The VVD (conservative) minister said he would argue in Brussels for immediately freezing these projects, because “Giving the Syrian authorities money is not exactly what we should be doing right now.”
The minister argued that as long as the violence continues and reforms are not being implemented all projects involving the Syrian government should be suspended. He also posited that it’s obvious that discussions with the EU on an association agreement should be suspended as well.
Mr Rosenthal said that Europe should do anything within its power to put maximum pressure on Syria.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Says he can now predict when they will next appear
IrishCentral.com, By KATE KICKEY , IrishCentral.com Editor, Friday, April 22, 2011
|Eamonn Ansbro being hoisted to|
of one of the largest private owned
telescopes anywhere in the world
Eamonn Ansbro, a Roscommon-based astronomer, has attracted international media attention as he claims his research has unearthed evidence of extraterrestrial activity. Now the Boyle local wants to put the town on the map establishing a centre for all things UFO.
For the past 20 years Ansbro, from the town of Boyle, has been carrying out research on extraterrestrial intelligence. Ansbro gives presentations across the globe, including one to the French government.
Although his work might seem controversial and unusual he insists it is carried out "scientifically". Ansbro's work has been published by the European Space Agency and he works as a part of a group of scientists called OSETI (Optical Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence).
His recent work shows that alien space-crafts follow defined paths around the earth. In his hometown of Boyle Ansbro has set up an "all sky camera" to monitor the whole sky hemisphere around the clock. The camera which comprises of 11 cameras record anything that moves or is unusual. Ansbro, along with other scientists, has collated the data which suggests that space-crafts are circling the earth.
He explained "When you take all that data and apply it to this theory we have found that it fits with the computerized time graphs and that we can predict when future sightings will occur and we have found that it has happened in Boyle."
He refers to thema as "Identified Flying Objects" rather than UFOs.
Making comparisons to Roswell, New Mexico, he said "the tourism potential is huge.” he said, drawing comparisons with the UFO centre in Roswell New Mexico, which attracts huge numbers of visitors every year and also another UFO centre in Japan.
He told his local paper the Roscommon Herald, "We haven’t proven our discovery to the scientific community yet and don’t have the resources but we can show that extraterrestrial space craft are on specific orbital tracks around the earth.”
Deutsche Welle, 23.04.2011
|Farming is hard work at the|
best of times
Financial problems are thought to have been behind the suicides of more than 300 French farmers last year. Despite receiving the highest subsidies in the EU, many are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.
For those on the outside, it may appear that French farmers have it good, living and working in the idyllic Gallic countryside that so many other Europeans travel many kilometers to enjoy while on vacation.
French farmers are also the greatest beneficiaries of European Union agricultural subsidies. But behind these persistent clichés lies a less-rosy reality. Many French farmers are suffering from depression and are taking their lives in great numbers. While no official figures are available, it is estimated that an average of one farmer committed suicide every single day last year.
While most don't resort to such desperate measures, there is no doubt that the French farmer's life of hard work has been getting harder in recent years.
François Vichard, 35, operates a 200-hectare (494-acre) farm in an area of Burgundy known as the Bourbonnais. He has about 300 head of cattle that he raises for meat, a few work horses and some sheep.
Sharp drop in income
He says doing things like staying up half the night to helping his Charolais and Limousin cattle deliver calves, as he recently did, is all part of the job he loves. But he says it's also getting a lot more difficult to keep going. When he took over from his parents 13 years ago, the farm was profitable, allowing him to pay himself a salary about 1,500 euros ($2,184) a month. But this has now dropped to 300 euros a month.
"Who would agree to work 70 hours a week, and sometimes more depending on the time of year, for such a miserable salary? No one," he said. "Farmers don't have access to social assistance, unemployment insurance or other types of social help. When you get to miserable wages like these, people feel like they can't go on."
|An idyllic scene - if you can|
afford to pay the bills
The only reason that Vichard has been able to scrape by is because his wife works as a nurse in town. But neighboring farms don't all have a second salary. And since December, five farmers in this area alone have committed suicide.
"One guy, who was 52. spent the afternoon talking with his neighbor about their respective financial difficulties. After his neighbor went home, he drowned himself in his pond," Vichard said. "Another guy needed to buy out his brother who was going into retirement. The bank refused to give him a loan. So he went home and shot himself."
Vichard says the financial hardship has many causes. The price the farmers sell their cattle at has remained low at the same time as their overhead has increased. The price of cattle feed has almost doubled over the past five years, going jumping from 180 euros per ton five years ago, to about 350 euros per ton today.
At the same time, farmers are forced to ensure that their facilities keep up with constantly changing government regulations. Vichard keeps his sheep in the 19th century stone barn his family has been using for generations. But he has been forced to invest in open air metal barns to house his cattle. The modern buildings are considered more hygienic and allow the animals to be kept without the need for tying them up. Abattoir fees have increased to cover the cost of better meat tracing, instituted since the mad cow and foot-and-mouth epidemics.
Farmers' jobs have also become more complex. In addition to farming and accounting skills, they now need to have a good understanding of international commodity markets so that they can make difficult choices on which farming equipment to invest in.
Nowhere is this more evident than at the SIMA farm show, a biannual international event that shows the best in new farming equipment.
A proud culture
Among those who attended this year's show was Thierry Guilbert, a farmer who is also a member of the executive board of Coordination Rurale. This trade union has been working to publicize the issue of farm suicides for the past year, but the whole issue is a taboo topic in rural culture.
|Equipment costs take a bite|
out of a farmer's budget
"It remains a shameful act that families prefer to hide," Guilbert said. "I know a family that did that. They said the person died of a disease or an accident, whatever. Because the shame of the suicide rubs off on the entire family. Talking instead about an illness makes it easier for the family to face others, even though everyone in the community knows it's not true. There is still a lot of shame attached to suicide in rural culture."
Guilbert added that in traditional farm culture, people generally don't like to talk to outsiders about their problems. Often neighbors don't realize there is a problem until it's too late.
This is why his union is calling for the creation of a national suicide hotline. One that would allow farmers to call in anonymously and without charge to talk about their problems, before falling into a deep state of depression.
Quantifying the problem
This propensity to suicide is supported by more than anecdotal evidence. Last year, Christine Cohidon, an epidemiologist specialized in mental health from the French Institute for Public Health, the INVS, published a suicide study with staggering results.
"We looked at whether there were higher or lower rates of suicide based on peoples' professions. And the results, over a very broad period, showed that farmers are two or three times more likely to kill themselves than professionals," Cohidon said. "Two times more likely in the case of women and three times more likely in the case of men."
That study shocked the public. Since then, Cohidon's institute and the MSA, the farmer's social service group, have launched a more comprehensive study on suicide on French farms - one that should eventually provide reliable annual suicide figures.
The French government is also taking note. Two weeks ago, Agriculture Minister Bruno Lemaire announced a telephone hotline will be put into place by the end of this year and that social workers will actively seek out farmers who appear to be in distress.
But behind this rash of suicides lie complex financial realities, and so far it seems, this problem hasn't been adequately addressed.
Author: Genevieve Oger / pfd
Editor: Andreas Illmer
Friday, April 22, 2011
BBC News, 22 April 2011
French riot police are outraged over plans to end a long-cherished tradition of drinking alcohol with their meals.
|Riot police are sent into warring|
football crowds, street demonstrations
and troubled estates
Under the terms of an interior ministry decree, riot police will no longer be allowed to wash down their lunch with a glass or two of beer or wine.
Officials were angered in 2010 when photos emerged of riot police drinking beer while policing a demonstration.
One police union has called for alcohol to be allowed if meals are taken out of the view of the public.
Articulating the sense of outrage among the rank and file, Didier Mangione, who heads one French police union, wrote to the interior ministry defending the rights of riot police to drink on duty.
Like most other workers in France, officers serving in the Compagnies Republicaines de Securite (CRS) should be entitled to "a small quarter litre of red to accompany meals on the ground", Mr Mangione wrote.
"CRS officers do not have any more or less alcohol problems than anybody else in society. They should be allowed to drink in moderation," he said.
According to French law alcohol is banned while employees are at work - with the exception of "wine, beer, apple cider and pear cider".
That has traditionally been taken to mean that a moderate amount of beer or wine is an entirely acceptable way to punctuate a French working day.
Reports suggest the relaxed attitude to alcohol even meant that cans of beer were included in packed lunches issued to riot police while out on the streets.
But images of riot police swigging beer on the sidelines of a student demonstration in late 2010 provoked a strong reaction - and prompted an even stronger reaction from police unions.
In his complaint, Mr Mangione suggested officers should be allowed to continue as before, providing the meal is not eaten in public view.
Paul Le Guennec, of Unite Police SGP-FO, a riot police union, suggested police bosses should look at their own behaviour.
"Does the fact that having a glass of wine while eating prevent any kind of worker from carrying out their job? I don't think the chief of police drinks water when he's having a meal," he told the JDD newspaper.
- Big banks will need Tier 1 capital of 10 pct
- Benefit to economy to outweigh costs to banks -govt
- Watch out for competitive disadvantage - bankers group
- Legislation to enter into force in 2012 at earliest
- Parliament could still delay, amend proposals
BERNE, April 21 (Reuters) - The Swiss government pushed ahead on Wednesday with plans to make UBS (UBSN.VX) (UBS.N) and Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX)(CS.N) reach tough new capital standards, saying the benefit to the economy outweighed costs to the banks.
As it finalised legislation to go to parliament, the Swiss cabinet said the general thrust of a draft law it issued in December was unchanged but it had made a few minor changes following a consultation period.
Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said Switzerland was compelled to take a tougher line on bank regulation than other countries as UBS and Credit Suisse were so big that any failure could bring down the small Alpine economy.
"There will be adjustment costs for the banks but all in all the net effect will be positive," she told a news conference. "I am convinced that the Swiss banking sector will be the winner."
The government has proposed both big banks will need an equity Tier 1 capital ratio of at least 10 percent, versus the 7 percent minimum set under the Basel III global standards which begin to take effect in 2013.
Both UBS and the powerful right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) have warned the plan risks making UBS and Credit Suisse less competitive, raising questions about whether the rules might still be watered down during the legislative process.
Widmer-Schlumpf rejected suggestions the government was rushing ahead with the proposals, saying they had taken more than two years of consultation since the Swiss government was forced to bail out UBS at the height of the financial crisis.
She said the plans had been broadly endorsed by experts and the banking industry -- including Credit Suisse -- and said only the SVP and UBS had expressed fundamental opposition.
Widmer-Schlumpf said the government addressed concerns raised by the SVP and others about powers proposed for the FINMA regulator in a crisis, saying FINMA would only intervene to impose an emergency plan if a failing big bank did not do so.
The government proposed publishing a report on international developments every year to address concerns about Switzerland forging ahead and Widmer-Schlumpf said she expected other countries would enact similar regulations.
James Nason, spokesman of the Swiss Bankers Association, criticised the formulation of the review provision as too vague.
"The Swiss authorities should clearly commit themselves to reviewing and adapting the regulation should Switzerland's two globally-active universal banks find themselves placed at any serious competitive disadvantage," he told Reuters.
Britain too is considering capital standards more stringent than Basel III, though these would apply only to big retail banks and its comparatively lenient treatment of investment banks has provided ammunition to opponents of the Swiss rules.
UBS Chief Executive Oswald Gruebel has said the stiff Swiss standards could force UBS to move units abroad. In response, Widmer-Schlumpf noted the bank benefited from Switzerland's other advantages such as low taxes plus political stability.
Credit Suisse said it wanted to study the proposal in detail before commenting but referred to a recent interview by CEO Brady Dougan in which he reiterated his broad support.
"I fear that people may have forgotten what happened in 2008. The financial system needs to be made more robust and secure," he said, adding he assumed regulators elsewhere would also demand other global banks hold more capital.
"If that is the case, we will see the emergence of a reasonable competitive landscape around the world."
Helvea analyst Peter Thorne said the fear the rules would make Swiss banks uncompetitive was "a gross exaggeration" but they would have to cut their investment banking businesses.
"Implementation of the rules should see CS and UBS downsize their investment banking operations ... and this should liberate capital which is probably not earning its cost of capital for the benefit of shareholders," he said.
The government said parliament could vote on the matter before the end of the year so the plans could come into force by the start of 2012 at the earliest, with a transition period up to 2018 to allow implementation.
However, in a taste of a likely heated debate to come ahead of Swiss elections on Oct. 23, the centre-left Social Democrats and Greens both said they wanted the proposals made still tougher, suggested they may still be amended or delayed.
(Additional reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto) (Writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David Holmes and Mike Nesbit)
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