"We have to strengthen the euro," she said. "Germany needs Europe and our common currency." Mrs. Merkel said the euro is much more than a currency. "The euro is the basis of our prosperity," she said.
For more: Merkel: Euro Is Basis for Our Prosperity - WSJ.com
Specifically, the study focused on patients with macular edema because of central retinal vein occlusion, or blockage of retinal veins. Macular edema is a condition in which the macula, or central part of the retina, swells because fluid leaks or builds up.
In the 114-person study, the drug prompted vision improvements. The study showed that 56.1 percent of patients receiving the injections on a monthly basis gained at least 15 letters in vision tests.
For more:Regeneron, Bayer cite positive eye drug study - Bloomberg
For more: Spain’s Economy to Grow in 4th Quarter | Politically Illustrated
Beijing has vowed to support European countries struggling under mountains of debt by buying their government bonds, which experts say could help ease tensions over a range of trade issues as well as boost China's global standing.
Backing the euro also serves the Asian country's own interests by helping to ensure its biggest trade partner continues buying its exports while also diversify its world-leading foreign exchange holdings away from the dollar. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters on Thursday that the European Union would "be one of the major markets for our forex investment" in the future.
European officials however insist no incentives such as recognition of China's market economy status or a reconsideration of an arms embargo have been offered in return for Beijing's much-needed financial lifeline.
For more: China emerges as potential saviour for crisis-hit Europe - The Economic Times
Two years ago Wall Street's colossal greed crashed our economy. Our financial elites created and spewed highly leveraged toxic assets around the globe. These poisonous "innovations" pumped up the housing bubble and Wall Street grew insanely rich in the process. When it all burst, we learned that the big Wall Street institutions that had caused the crash were far too big to fail -- and too connected. High government officials came to their rescue with trillions in cash and guarantees -- underwritten, of course, by we taxpayers. Everyone knew this at the time. But if you asked just about anyone on "The Street" they denied all culpability and pointed the finger everywhere else: Fannie, Freddie, the Fed, the Community Reinvestment Act, tax deductions for home buying, bad regulations, not enough regulations, too many regulations, too much consumer debt, the rating agencies, the Chinese -- and on and on. Sadly, their blame-shifting strategy worked, bamboozling the media and people across the political spectrum.
Two years ago Wall Street's colossal greed crashed our economy. Our financial elites created and spewed highly leveraged toxic assets around the globe. These poisonous "innovations" pumped up the housing bubble and Wall Street grew insanely rich in the process. When it all burst, we learned that the big Wall Street institutions that had caused the crash were far too big to fail -- and too connected. High government officials came to their rescue with trillions in cash and guarantees -- underwritten, of course, by we taxpayers.
Everyone knew this at the time. But if you asked just about anyone on "The Street" they denied all culpability and pointed the finger everywhere else: Fannie, Freddie, the Fed, the Community Reinvestment Act, tax deductions for home buying, bad regulations, not enough regulations, too many regulations, too much consumer debt, the rating agencies, the Chinese -- and on and on. Sadly, their blame-shifting strategy worked, bamboozling the media and people across the political spectrum.
The Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats aren't about to let Obama seriously regulate Wall Street, even if he wanted to, which he doesn't. The truth is that employers aren't hiring because there's insufficient consumer demand for goods and services. But at least Peter Orszag is a man of his word. He personally plans to "improve the relationship between business and government" by tapping his government contacts at his new fat job at Citigroup, the nearly failed mega-bank that he helped to save at taxpayer expense. Orszag could have landed a coveted professorship at just about any university in the world. But apparently the 42-year-old wiz kid prefers Citigroup's multi-million dollar compensation package. Any bets on how long it takes for Larry Summers to cash in?
For the complete report click on : Wall St's 10 Biggest Lies of 2010 | | AlterNet
Here is a look at smoking bans elsewhere in Europe.
- Belgium: Anti-smoking measures for hotels and restaurants are expected to be extended to cafes from 2012 to 2014.
- Britain: Smoking was banned in public places, including bars and restaurants, along with workplaces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2007, while Scotland extinguished smoking in 2006.
For more: Stubbing out cigarettes in Europe < Spanish news | Expatica Spain
Animal-welfare legislation in Europe requires that abattoirs stun all animals prior to slaughter unless they are being ritually killed according to the practices of a non-Christian religion.
The move to require halal and kosher meat producers to provide consumers with more information on the packaging of their products has enraged Jewish and Muslim organisations, with the latter claiming that the move has little to do with animal welfare but, rather, reflects a pan-European bias against Islam.
For more: New EU labels for halal and kosher foods spark anger - The National
"Nothing has changed in the US vision of Latin America, which makes me sad," he said.
For more: Brazilian President Lula Critical Of US Policy In Latin America
Loans to the private sector rose 2 percent from a year earlier after growing an annual 1.5 percent in October, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt said today. That’s the fastest since April 2009. The rate of growth in M3 money supply, which the ECB uses as a gauge of future inflation, was 1.9 percent, up from 0.9 percent in October.
The ECB, which has held its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1 percent since May 2009, this month predicted economic growth of 1.4 percent next year after about 1.6 percent in 2010. While Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, is expanding at the fastest pace in two decades, other euro-area members such as Ireland, Spain and Portugal are struggling to create growth as they cut spending to rein in budget deficits.
For more: European Loan Growth Accelerated in November, ECB Report Shows - Bloomberg
With the Greek economy deep in recession, some Greeks are now looking to neighboring Turkey - in particular Istanbul - for the chance of a better life. A remarkable development considering the relations between the two have been marked by alternating periods of mutual hostility and reconciliation ever since Greece won it independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821."
For more: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Increasing-Number-of-Greeks-Flee-to-Turkey-For-a-Better-Life-112572489.html
Russian Legal System Being Scrutinized by the West : Former Russian Oil Magnate Khodorkovsky Found Guilty - by Andrey Volkov
The court did not announce a particular term for his imprisonment. The decision is the result of the second trial against him and his partner, Platon Lebedev, initiated in 2006.
The case against Khodorkovsky has been among the highest-profile issues in Russia over the last several years. It has been characteristic of Russia’s image as an authoritarian state, where politics, the judicial system, and the criminal underworld are closely tied.
For more: Former Russian Oil Magnate Khodorkovsky Found Guilty | World | Epoch Times
For more: Beware of Underestimating China - Seeking Alpha
In a December speech to the Bundestag, she described the euro as “our common destiny” and efforts to stabilise the currency as “preserving the European Union’s grandiose idea of peace and freedom”.
Grandiose indeed. Dr Merkel’s effort to place the current euro zone crisis in a wider historical EU framework was admirable but, in reading the words from a page in her trademark atonal voice, she didn’t even sound like she was convincing herself.
For more: Sceptical voters need to hear why EU matters - The Irish Times - Tue, Dec 28, 2010
In one of the most credible studies correlating overall health with sexual frequency, Queens University in Belfast tracked the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade. The study was designed to compare persons of comparable circumstances, age and health. Its findings, published in 1997 in the British Medical Journal, were that men who reported the highest frequency of orgasm enjoyed a death rate half that of the laggards.
Other studies (some rigorous, some less so) purport to show that having sex even a few times a week has an associative or causal relationship with the following: Improved sense of smell; Reduced risk of heart disease; Weight loss, overall fitness; Reduced depression; Pain-relief; Less-frequent colds and flu; Better bladder control; Better teeth; A happier prostate; ... and the list goes on and on....
For more: Is Sex Necessary? - Forbes.com
Note EU-Digest: This is absolutely necessary . We must not sell any country, including the China, the rope that will eventually hang us.
For more: EU Needs Watchdog to Study Foreign Takeovers, Handelsblatt Says - Bloomberg
Dutch counter-terrorism experts believe the country’s former military role in Afghanistan under NATO and its anti-Muslim Freedom party may have made it more vulnerable.
The prosecutor leading the case Mr Gerrit van der Burg said: ‘‘We’re carrying out a large scale investigation in order to thwart the possibility of an impending attack. We don’t want to take any risks. It’s always uncertain if we’ve escaped a terrorist strike, but in this case we have removed the threat from these people.’‘
Note EU-Digest: If radical Muslim extremists believe that acts of terrorism in the Netherlands will make Geert Wilders pipe down on his rhetoric or loose his local support they are even more out of touch with reality than they already are. On the contrary acts of terrorism will make Gees Wilders his party only grow stronger. Everyone is at risk. Muslims, Christians, other religious denominations and non-believers are therefore urged to contact Government authorities if they suspect any suspicious activities in their neighborhood.
For more: Arrests prompt fears Netherlands is prime terror target | euronews, world news
For more: Small World -- Population will top 7 billion in 2011 - Brandon Sun
"The crisis showed us that it is not sufficient to limit public debt as foreseen in the Maastricht Treaty. Ireland stuck to these criteria and finds itself nevertheless in difficulty," Lagarde said in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
For more: France Wants Closer Euro Zone Economic Policy: Report - ABC News
For more: Snow plays the Grinch again this Christmas in Europe, UK
The multimillion-dollar sale, announced jointly by the Elysee Palace and the Kremlin, marks the first time in modern history that Russia has made such a major defense acquisition abroad, illuminating a fast-evolving relationship with former Cold War enemies. The swift changes were dramatized at last month's NATO summit in Lisbon, when President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to work with NATO on ways to cooperate with the U.S.-led alliance in erecting a missile defense system for Europe.
The Mistral sale, whose financial terms were not disclosed, also signaled a triumph for French President Nicolas Sarkozy's relentless salesmanship and a boost for France's sagging defense industry and 10 percent unemployment rate. It will, the Elysee declaration noted, provide the equivalent of 5 million hours of work over four years for 1,000 qualified French employes at the STX shipyards at Saint Nazaire on the Atlantic Coast. And it might lead to the purchase of two more vessels.
For moreL Russia to buy two warships from France in major military deal
As the third wave of unexpectedly severe weather in a month struck, ill-equipped airports and treacherous road conditions conspired to ruin the festive spirit for those stranded by canceled flights, long traffic jams and slowed trains.
While officials at London's Heathrow airport, one of the worst hit by last weekend's snow, announced flights were back to a normal schedule in order "to get people home for Christmas," the storm clouds had gathered elsewhere on the continent.
For more: More severe weather adds to travel woes in Europe - latimes.com
A prominent EU lawmaker, meanwhile, said the commission must not rule out sanctions against Hungary.
German deputy foreign minister Werner Hoyer says the passage of the media law does not bode well for the EU as Hungary takes over the 27-nation bloc's rotating presidency for six months on Jan. 1.
The law, which was passed by the Hungarian parliament on Tuesday, empowers a new body, the National Media and Communications Authority, to impose heavy fines for vague infractions, including coverage that is unbalanced, or offensive to human dignity or common morals, according to the Associated Press. The law comes into effect on Jan. 1.
For more: Germany welcomes EU probe on Hungarian media law - Taiwan News Online
Banking Industry: All eyes on Bank of America as WikiLeaks hints at new bombshell - by Rick Rothacker
Looking at Europe where the EU, an admitted brainchild of the Bilderberg Group, is a globalist pet project that was to be a model for global governance. Today however, the EU is suffering an economic meltdown and discord that is bringing a backlash against the collectivist ideology behind the union. Global and regional governance faces an additional problem, specifically the fact that without the perception of an outside threat the coherence of the system falls apart. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization and frequent attendee of Bilderberg meetings, stated in a November 2009 speech that, “The anthropological dimension of supranationality has probably been underestimated. Once the imminence of the menace of a new war has disappeared from our horizon, it is as if the glue that holds Europe together as a community will also disappear. As if there were no common myths, dreams and aspirations.” Lamay further stated that “…We are witnessing a growing distance between European public opinions and the European project.”
The Internet: Blogger Andrew Steele writes, concerning a recent incident involving Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, “Because cameras are more widely available to the average consumer and because of the popularity of user fed sites like YouTube, citizen journalists have become abundant in America over the past decade.” Steele continues, “This phenomenon has weakened the controlled media’s power to influence and shape reality, as well as the power of politicians to control their exposure through that media.”
The current consensus among the intelligentsia in government – Obama regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein for example – is that information must be filtered in the new media age. “Conspiracy theories” are becoming too prolific, and an intellectual elite must guide society toward “right ways” of thinking. This type of social engineering is the driving philosophy behind many of the current initiatives coming from the Obama White House.
While the mainstream media will attempt to hold its position and stifle the growing juggernaut of alternative media, its growth has proven too explosive to be contained. Bloggers and alternative news websites continue to break stories of significance across all spectrums of society. An example; BP’s recent attempt to use photoshopped images to give an exaggerated impression of its oil cleanup efforts was exposed by a blogger.
Note EU-Digest: more recently the Wikileaks and the Julian Assange arrest also seem to be another indication of this "clamp-down" on the freedom of expression.
For more: The Future is Being Written Right Now | Old-Thinker News
The Bank of America Merrill Lynch report predicts that women will be in a better financial position than men, which will give them more buying power, according to a story by The Huffington Post.
The financial position of men as a whole has suffered over the past few years because of the way that male-dominated industries like construction and manufacturing have struggled.
For more: KTAR.com - Women will drive economic recovery in U.S.
The consumer watchdog warned that nearly all 90 samples of potato chips, biscuits and other snacks it tested from a number of manufacturers contained the chemical compound acrylamide, which is probably carcinogen.
Acrylamide is known to have caused cancer in animals, and has been classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
KFC restaurants have made earlier headlines for having some pretty foul hygienic issues, and the company has been sued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for using startlingly high amounts of artery-clogging trans fats,
For more: Snacks spark cancer scare - The Standard
You now have multiple choices among products that claim to be the most environmentally friendly, which can cause some confusion about which ones are the best."Many products are labeled green, but it's important to know what green really means. When selecting green building materials, consider their overall impact on the environment," says Mike McDonald, national green home builder. "Select products that are natural and renewable."
Begin by asking three questions.
1. Where does it come from and what has gone into producing it? Did it come from the earth or was it produced in a factory? 2. What is the product's true overall impact on the environment? Look for natural products that are renewable, growing back quickly and efficiently, and that use few or no chemicals or compounds that negatively affect the environment. 3. How long will the material last and how will it hold up? A key to conservation is selecting materials that will hold up for a long time, as they won't need to be harvested or manufactured as frequently.
For more: Lexington Clipper-Herald > Ara > Green Living > Three big questions you should be asking about what 'green' means
“Up to 10 per cent of people don't arrange travel insurance until the day they travel, too late to protect themselves from issues like unforeseen bad weather,” said Travel Insurance Direct General Manager Ian Jackson. “Travel insurance is not just important for the time you're away; it can also protect you before you leave.”
While almost all western European countries are under some market pressure to rein in deficits, the fringe economies dubbed the PIIGS - Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain - remain most in focus. For Ireland and Greece - forced to seek a bailout from the IMF and European Union - the key question will be whether the tough associated austerity measures prove politically sustainable.
For the others, the question is whether by cutting spending and controlling banking problems they will be able to persuade markets they can do without a bailout. For Europe's richer central core nations, the debate remains how much support is genuinely available and what strings are attached.
For more: Political risks to watch in Western Europe in 2011 - Money control Reuters -
If this sort of plot idea is in the minds of al Qaeda, it is scary to think of all the ways they could access America’s food supply. If they have operatives here now, as they did before 9/11, they could be working in grocery stores preparing the packaged foods. Or they could be on staff at hotels or restaurants with access to the foods served there.
For more: Al Qaeda to Attack Salad Bars & Buffets? | Gather
For more: Iceland and Faroes facing near certain EU mackerel export ban - Fishupdate.com
China, which has invested an undisclosed portion of its $2.65 trillion (U.S.) reserves in the euro, said it backed Europe’s efforts so far to tackle the debt problems, but made clear it would like to see the measures having more effect.
“We are very concerned about whether the European debt crisis can be controlled,” Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said during a dialogue between China and the European Union (EU), its biggest trade partner.
For more: China frets about EU debt woes - thestar.com
Trying to get regulators and regular people to pipe down over the exorbitant paydays even incompetent managers regularly pull down on Wall Street, some compensation managers came up with what should have been a win-win maneuver. They raised base annual salaries in 2009 and 2010 to cover what they otherwise would have handed out as year-end bonuses.
At Goldman Sachs, for example, managing directors are making $ $500,000 instead of the $300,000 they were making last year; Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse directors are making $400,000, twice what they made last year
For more: Wall Street "New" Math Just As Confusing As Old Math | The Daily Feed | Minyanville.com
The remark that Mr Wilders was "no friend of the US" was due to the party's opposition to an extension of the Dutch mission in Afghanistan and because Mr Wilders "foments fear and hate of immigrants". The diplomats refer to "The Wilders Factor: golden-pompadoured, maverick parliamentarian Geert Wilders whose anti-Islam, nationalist Freedom Party remains a thorn in the coalition's side, capitalizing on the social stresses resulting from the failure to fully integrate almost a million Dutch Muslims".
Former Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende also is also named in the documents. Initially he is seen as a "Harry Potter" look-alike", however, the cables go on to say "he has consistently and skillfully delivered cabinet support for US policy objectives while balancing fragile parliamentary majorities.
For more: US embassy cables: Barack Obama's briefing on Dutch politics | World news | guardian.co.uk
The Spanish government is making “progress towards sustainability” of its public finances, although some measures need to be “spelled out,” the Paris-based group said in a report today. The tax burden is lower than in other European nations, leaving room for increases, which may “have a relatively more benign impact on activity than some expenditure cuts,” it said.
Facing a surge in borrowing costs, Spain is trying to convince investors it can cut its budget deficit while shepherding the economy back to growth after an almost two-year recession. Support for the Socialist government is slumping as it implements the deepest austerity measures in three decades and plans to pass a pension overhaul to on Jan. 28 that will then be presented to Parliament.
For more: Spain Needs ‘Urgent’ Pension Overhaul, Tax Changes, OECD Says - Bloomberg
It's not surprising that DMM.com's venture into hardcore online gaming is just that, hardcore. Dubbed "Virtual Sex Club", the "game" allows players to experience all kinds of computer avatar humping. Computer sex isn't novel and has been around for decades. But it's not just the online threesomes that are turning heads in Japan, but the game's virtual goods and payment scale.
The monthly membership fee is ¥1,800 (euro 17), which isn't a huge sum of cash by any means. That entitles players to 30,000 Gold, which can be used to purchase characters and sexy-time "armor". Once that 30,000 Gold is gone, players can charge more gold on their credit cards. So what does 30,000 Gold buy?
For more: Sex Club Game Has Japanese Players By The Balls
For more: Some now see Obama as the 'comeback kid' - CSMonitor.com
Outer Space Exploration: Electric forcefield space sailing-ship tech gets EU funding - by Lewis Page
The "electric solar wind sail" is not your common or garden solar sail, familiar to many Reg readers, in which the solar wind strikes something physical – a fabric or film, probably extremely thin and light – and the resulting minuscule pressure exerted over a large area very gradually accelerates the sail and its attached spacecraft. No, the Finns are having none of that – the necessary vast acreage of sail fabric required to achieve even a feeble push would be too much bother, they feel.
Rather, in the electric version, the ship deploys instead 50-100 20km-long, extremely fine (25 micron thick) cables. These are arranged in a circle and the whole thing spins, keeping the wires stretched out in a huge, 40km-across disc like the spokes of a wheel. A positive potential of, say, 20,000 volts is put on the wires (requiring only a few hundred watts of power, as almost no current is actually flowing).
For more: Electric forcefield space sailing-ship tech gets EU funding • The Register
The UK filing, for example, covers four patents, including ways of using touch interfaces and on-device application stores.
In Germany Nokia is filing twice, in Dusseldorf and Mannheum, with patents including antenna structures, caller ID and display illumination, while in the Netherlands the filing only includes to two patents related to signal noise suppression and data card functionality.
For more: MINA Breaking News
“Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa was a renowned figure in international finance and politics, and I am honored to say he was a dear friend of mine for decades,” Eugene A. Ludwig, chief executive officer of Promontory Financial Group, said in a statement on the company’s website. “His death is a deep loss to me personally, and will be felt by all those in the international community who shared his commitment to bringing about a more civil and decent world order.”
For more: Padoa-Schioppa, Euro Architect, Founding Member of ECB Board, Dies at 70 - Bloomberg
The 438-kilometre (272-mile) route will slash travel time between the Spanish capital and the Mediterranean port of Valencia, Spain's third-biggest city, from four hours to just 90 minutes.The project, built at a cost of 6.6 billion euros ($8.8 billion), brings Spain's high-speed rail network to 2,056 kilometers.
It places Spain ahead of the 1,896 kilometres of high speed rail in France and 1,285 kilometers in Germany, home to Siemens, the world's largest manufacturer of high-speed trains. Spain's high-speed train service, known as Alta Velocidad Espanola (AVE), boasts trains with noses shaped like a duck-billed platypus moving at speeds of up to 300 kph (190 mph).
For more: Spain overtakes France as Europe's high-speed rail leader | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online
"We will do everything to secure the financial stability of the euro as a whole," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a news conference after a European Union summit.
She added that reform and stability will remain on the euro zone's agenda next year as the bloc fights to secure the single currency and make its economies more competitive.
Note EU-Digest: Markets reacted negatively, because as a result of new regulations and laws coming into effect in Europe they are obviously losing the grip they once had on national economic policies.
For more: Agreement at EU summit fails to reassure markets | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 17.12.2010
For more: Happy Meals cause McDonald’s Lawsuit | World News Heard now
Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, has said that she and Jean-Claude Juncker, chair of the euro zone’s finance ministers, had a discussion that settled their disagreement on the issue of euro bonds.
Merkel is opposed, while Juncker has suggested that such common-issue bonds might help to ward off investor unease. According to a Reuters report,
Merkel said in an interview published on Thursday by Germany’s Bild newspaper, “Jean-Claude Juncker and I had a long telephone conversation and cleared up the issue a while ago. With so much at stake, the emotions sometimes get involved.”
For more: Merkel, Juncker Divisions Threaten EU Meeting | Advisor One
The 3rd Africa-EU Summit opened in Tripoli last week with a speech by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi urging European heads of state to strike fairer trade policies with African countries that are based on "mutual interest not exploitation". Gaddafi's words echo concerns by African leaders that calls from the EU for developing countries to liberalise their economies and open their markets to European goods and services will damage emerging local industries and are too one-sided.
Last month, the European Commission (EC) launched a Green Paper outlining proposals of how it aims to improve the impact of its development policy. The Green Paper notes that a mere one per cent increase in developing countries' gross national income can be more effective than simply increasing aid to those countries and an impartial trade policy can be equally beneficial. Calls have already been mounting from NGOs such as CIDSE for the EU to reform its Common Agricultural Policy in order to give goods produced in the developing world fairer and more competitive access to global markets and to allow local African industries to thrive.
For more: Los Angeles Chronicle | The Africa-EU Partnership - a new model for development aid?
Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari said Iraq has alerted US and European authorities as well as Interpol about the suspected plots. He did not specify which European country or countries are facing potential danger - and it was also not possible to verify the insurgents' claims.
However, Western counter-terrorism officials generally are on high alert during the festive period. This time of year is particularly in focus after the failed attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009.
European Union heads of state and government hold a two-day summit -- their seventh and last of the year -- amid persistent concerns that Portugal and even wealthier Spain could tumble into the debt crisis that has rocked the euro.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to silence fears of a eurozone break-up, telling lawmakers on Wednesday: "No one in Europe will be left alone, no one in Europe will be abandoned."
For more: AFP: Europe aims to shield the euro for good
The lawsuit, filed today in federal court in New Orleans, is the first brought by the U.S. over the oil spill caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in April. The Justice Department’s civil investigation is continuing, as is a probe of potential criminal violations.
The lawsuit seeks damages under the Clean Water Act and to declare four of the defendants liable under the Oil Pollution Act for all removal costs and damages caused by the oil spill, including damages to the environment, according to a Justice Department statement. The lawsuit doesn’t ask for a specified amount of damages.
For more: BP Sued by Obama Administration Over Worst Oil Spill - Bloomberg
US - Opportunities For European Alternative Energy Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers: Offshore wind forum welcomes skeptical audience in Maine - by Abigail Curtis
About 160 people came to the conference, according to organizer Heather Deese, marine programs director at the Island Institute. Maine Sea Grant, the Maine Coastal Program, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and the Quebec-Labrador Foundation also helped to make the event happen.
The conference was timely, some attendees said, because offshore wind power development is just beginning to become a reality in Maine. Researchers are preparing to develop a test site with scaled-down turbines that will be located off the southern shore of Monhegan Island. Also, state and federal officials have suggested that large deep-water wind farms in the Gulf of Maine could generate a total of 5 gigawatts of electricity, bring $20 billion in investment and create several thousand new jobs here by 2030.
Note EU-Digest: Offshore electricity generating wind-power projects in Maine and at other US coastal areas provide considerable opportunities for European offshore wind-power equipment manufacturers to cooperate with local governments, given their advanced knowledge and extensive experience on the subject.
Click here for additional information on arranging partnerships related to alternative energy resources, including wind power, bio and solar energy.
For the complete article: Offshore wind forum welcomes skeptical audience - Bangor Daily News
Germany - Angela Merkel: "A stronger politically united Europe goes hand in hand with a stronger EURO "
Merkel said the bloc's leaders would back a deal struck last month by EU finance ministers, who agreed to create the European Stabilisation Mechanism (ESM) that is intended to replace a temporary mechanism from mid-2013.
Merkel stressed Berlin's commitment to help its European partners but again rejected the idea of issuing joint euro bonds. "We know that the euro is our collective destiny, and Europe is our collective future," Merkel said. "Nobody in Europe will be abandoned. Europe will succeed together." However, for the European project to work, countries needed to pull in the same direction, she added. "This is about deeper political integration, and in relation to the euro, above all deeper integration on economic policy," Merkel said. "That's why it's so important that we speak about further political integration over the next few months."
To underpin the new mechanism, Germany has pressed for small changes to the EU's treaty, which Merkel said she hoped would be formally signed off by the bloc's leaders in March. These should then be ratified across the EU by 2012 in order to dispel any doubts that a permanent mechanism would be in place the following year, Merkel said.
Berlusconi won with a razor-thin majority, as 314 politicians voted in his favour with 311 against and two abstentions in the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies lower house.
Police fired tear gas and hit protesters with truncheons in some of Rome's most tourist-heavy streets. At least five protesters were seen being taken away by police and several could be seen with blood running down their faces.
For more: Clashes in Rome after Berlusconi wins vote of confidence
Car Industry: Electric Arrivals: First Chevy Volts Ship, Renault /Nissan Leafs Delivered - by Adam Hadhazy
Renault/Nissan delivered its first Leaf to a customer in San Francisco last weekend, and other early adopters are getting their hands on the all-electric vehicle's steering wheel this week in San Diego, Calif.; Arizona; Oregon; Tennessee, and Washington.
Meanwhile, the first batch of Chevy Volts rolled out of a Detroit plant on Monday for shipment to customers in California, New York, Texas and Washington, D.C. Some 350 Volts will be distributed throughout the country this week, GM said in a statement.
For more: Electric Arrivals: First Chevy Volts Ship, Renault/ Nissan Leafs Delivered | Electric Vehicles & Hybrid Cars | Tech News Daily
Speakers set out various options, from fleets of electric cars with changeable batteries, to replacing oil with methanol, but agreed that there is no single answer and that all possibilities should be seriously considered.
At present a small, low carbon dioxide emission petrol or diesel car probably releases the same or even less carbon dioxide emissions than an electric car. So the change from efficient fossil-fuel cars to electric cars will not bring about a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions in the short- and medium- term, said.
For more click on INDEPENDENT online
NUsport claims that last week the Nerazzurri sent a delegation led by the club's technical director Marco Branca to negotiate terms with his counterpart Leo Beenhakker and the player's agent Arie Treffers. The Serie A club will reportedly launch a bid for the 18-year-old striker after their participation in the Club World Cup.
If Inter are successful in their bid, then they will farm out Castaignos on loan back to Feyenoord to continue his development.
For more: Inter consider bid for Feyenoord wonderkid Luc Castaignos - report - Goal.com
This is why so many Americans across the ideological spectrum from the liberal left to the far-right Tea Party were so furious over the bailout of the banksters of Wall Street. These gangsters who turned Wall Street into a criminal syndicate of casino capitalism threatened to destroy the world’s financial system and economy if they were not rescued by the U.S. government. The government paid the ransom and thus rewarded their criminally irresponsible behavior in the interest of preventing collateral damage to the gangsters’ “hostages,” the American taxpayer, who ultimately are paying their own ransom.
For more: Is the US on the verge of class warfare? - Tucson Progressive
Following a severe recession and a sovereign debt crisis, Europe is now experiencing a modest recovery, according to the latest euro area economic survey by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. However, the OECD said that risk to the euro zone remains and further structural reforms are needed to facilitate on-going economic adjustment and lift growth prospects.
In its latest survey of the 16 nations that share the euro, the OECD said a “gradual and sustained recovery” is underway but that “the pace of recovery is likely to be muted”.For more: Modest recovery underway in Europe - OECD - Economy - Economy | Ireland's online business and management news service - Businessandleadership.com
"We see a broad global market of 400 to 500 aircraft with good chances for this aircraft to turn profits in the long term," the company's Chief Finance Officer Hans-Peter Ring told the Germany-based Euro am Sonntag weekly.
For more: EADS confident A400M will be a success - UPI.com
"Europe will rise to the challenge even if it has delayed at times in taking action until the last minute and I am totally convinced it will exit the current crisis," Papaconstantinou said at a conference.
The finance minister said that there are three critical discussions currently taking place in Europe and these include reinforcing framework agreements to monitor public finances, regulatory reform of the financial system and the need to adopt policies for growth.
For more: Greek Fin Min: Euro Zone Will Emerge From Crisis Stronger - WSJ.com
"The brief interruption to our European retail sites earlier today was due to hardware failure in our European datacenter network and not the result of a DDOS attempt," a spokeswoman for Amazon told Reuters. The different countries' sites are all served through systems there.
Amazon was among the first American companies to stop providing services to WikiLeaks when it took the site off its EC2 cloud computing service at the end of November. That followed political pressure in the US, though Amazon insisted the decision was because WikiLeaks did not have the rights to the content.
For more: Amazon says outage in Europe due to hardware failure, not hacking attack | Technology | guardian.co.uk
Currently at the time of writing all of the online retailer’s sites in Europe are inaccessible. Twitter is awash with the news, with speculation that WikiLeaks supporters Operation Payback could have something to do with the downtime.
For more: Amazon European Sites Down: Is there a link with WikiLeaks? : Online Social Media
Citing "sources close to the cabinet," Blic writes that one of the reasons behind that move is Jeremic's allegedly self-willed decision to back the China boycott of 2010's Nobel Peace Prize award. That action had not been consulted with the cabinet and ran counter to its intentions.
In October the Nobel committee had announced that Chinese dissitent Liu Xiaobo, who is under detention in his country, would be this year's holder of the peace prize.
For more: Serbian FM to Be Sacked over Nobel Peace Prize Boycott - Report - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency
Just five" too big to fail "bankster companies" have stashed $90 billion for payouts to prized employees. They know that the beat on The Street is fading, so it seems to be take the money and run time. Incidentally, that "bonus pool" will rise with end of the year earnings.
Right now, the greedsters have a PR problem--how to transfer all this wealth from the banks to themselves with the lowest possible tax rate and the lowest degree of bad publicity. Yes, it is a cynical exercise but no more blatant that the successful campaign to extend the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. They also will try to focus the media on supporting their right to such over the top rewards and "incentives" in the name, of course, of fostering an economic recovery.'
For more: OpEdNews - Article: Merry Christmas: It's Bonus Time On Wall Street