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ISIS: US urges Turkey and Russia to end row over downed plane

US President Barack Obama has urged Turkey and Russia to reduce tensions, a week after Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane.

After talks with Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Paris, Mr Obama reaffirmed US support for "Turkey's right to defend itself and its airspace".

But he stressed that Russia and Turkey should "de-escalate" their dispute.

"We all have a common enemy," Mr Obama said, referring to the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.
"I want to make sure that we focus on that t

Read more: US urges Turkey and Russia to end row over downed plane - BBC News


France: COP21: China′s climate efforts far from sufficient

China is one of the biggest polluters in the world. The Asian economic giant, however, says it is committed to tackling the issue as the UN climate conference kicks off in Paris. But how difficult will that be for China?

China's rise from a developing country to a global superpower in just half a century has mesmerized the world. But the progress has come at a price: The Asian economic giant is now one of the biggest polluters in the world.

China's economic growth is a result of its rapid industrial expansion. In 2011, it overtook the United States as the country with the highest rate of energy consumption. In 2012, more than two-thirds of China's energy was directed to its industrial sector. Chinese authorities argue that they still have to catch up with the West in terms of industrialization; hence, they cannot reduce emissions drastically - at least not now.

But there seems to be a shift in Beijing. Shortly before the start of the UN climate conference in Paris, China announced that it was planning to revise its energy policy. In a rough version of the 13th "Five-Year Plan," which was released in early October, the government presented proposals for clean energy and environmental protection. A detailed version of the document will be released next year.

Read more: COP21: China′s climate efforts far from sufficient | Asia | DW.COM | 30.11.2015

France: World leaders in Paris begin bid for breakthrough in climate talks

Representatives from more than 150 countries have started their ambitious attempt to bring down the earth’s rising temperatures.

The climate change conference in Paris, COP 21, will seek to steer global economies towards greener fuels instead of fossil fuels.

Opening the summit, French President Francois Hollande said the fight against terrorism and global warming are closely linked.

He also reiterated that a deal to try and keep any further rises in global temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius needed to be “universal, differentiated and binding”, with richer countries contributing more than poorer ones.

Reaqd more: World leaders in Paris begin bid for breakthrough in climate talks | euronews, world news

"The Corporate Takeover of American Minds": Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which is better?- by Kirsten VerHaar

Black Friday: Frenzied Shoppers  going crazy
"There's nothing quite like the thrill (and novelty) of piling into the car in the wee hours of the morning and waiting for your favorite retailer to open its doors. Adventure awaits:

Will you score the ultimate doorbuster deal? Or how about that unannounced surprise sale that could be offered? Both are very real possibilities that you can only experience live and in person.

And sometimes nothing can replace the sensory experience, especially when shopping for clothing or furniture.

You don't have to worry about shipping costs or canceled orders either, because you'll be carting your loot home.

To some, Cyber Monday offers many of the same benefits of Black Friday without all the hassle. According to the National Retail Federation, Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend) is expected to contribute significantly to overall holiday sales — an anticipated $105 billion in online sales, So, is it worth opting for the couch instead of the mall?

Shopping from the comfort of home or work makes for more rational decisions, and you're not dealing with the crowds.

Finally, the pleasure of shopping in PJs can't be discounted. There's nothing better than curling up on the couch with a cup of cocoa and getting your spend on.

Bottom-Line: do you really need all  those so-called "bargains" and make retailers happy as they deposit your hard earned cash in the bank ?  As a passerby of a major US  department store noted when he saw all the frenzied shoppers trying to get into the store: "Every One Has The Right To Do Stupid Things But The American Consumers Are Abusing that Privilege."

 Read more: Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which is better?

FRANCE: Rallies worldwide call for action at Paris climate summit

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of cities around the world on Sunday, demanding bold measures to stave off catastrophic climate change as representatives of 195 countries gather in Paris for the start of a critical summit. Protests have been banned in the French capital as part of emergency rules passed in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks that left 130 dead and hundreds more injured.

Instead of marching, campaigners formed a 2-kilometre human chain and covered the symbolic Place de la R̩publique with thousands of shoes Рincluding a pair of trainers left by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Elsewhere, large crowds rallied to put pressure on world leaders as they begin a 12-day diplomatic marathon aimed at producing a comprehensive deal that can curb global warming.

Read more: france 24 - Rallies worldwide call for action at Paris climate summit - France 24


Syria: EU-Digest Poll shows majority of people polled want return to pre-war status Syria

A recent EU-Digest poll (October through November) shows the majority of the people polled (50%) want Syria to return to the situation before the commencement of hostilities there.

A total of 40% polled  want an immediate cease fire to be called and negotiations started between all involved parties, to reach a binding settlement.

The rest of the people polled (10%) find the present situation confusing and dangerous.

The latest EU-Digest poll which runs throughout the month of December focuses on the EU and changes that are required to make it more manageable and  inclusive..


EU-US Relationship: The Atlantic Alliance needs a facelift - by RM

Is the Atlantc Alliance outdated?
Everyone seems ton be in total agreement that the US and the EU (Europe) share a lot of common values going back all the way to the American war of independence and the majority of the people on both side of the pond hope it will remain that way. 

Europe and the US need to support each other in these ideals - even though if we look at the US  reasons for helping out Europe in times of need, for instance during the first and second world war, this support also came because of US self interest.

If the Nazi's had won the war in Europe they would also become a direct threat to the existence of the US.

A similar situation developed during the the cold war with the Soviet Union.

What some visionary Europeans are suggesting today is that times have changed. Even though the basic principles on a large number of issues, including human rights are still common ideals in the US and the EU, there are also many areas of disagreement..

These including: but are not limited to, foreign policy, the environment, privacy rights, trade, financial laws, military alliances (NATO), and agricultural safety standards.

In other words - what is good for America is not necessarily good for the EU.

The EU needs to do some basic homework as to figuring out what needs to be achieved from within if the EU wants to become a truly independent world  player and this brain-storming must also include developing a new framework for the Atlantic Alliance with the US.

It is high time this happens, before the more than 500 million inhabitants of the EU lose faith in this greatest European political project ever undertaken in history.