Worst ever carbon emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency. guardian
Berlin Split over US Nuke Modernization

The US wants to modernize part of its nuclear arsenal, including some bombs based in Germany. But the plan is likely to be controversial in Berlin where the ruling coalition remains divided over whether the American weapons should be in the country at all. spiegel

Nuclear Phaseout Is an 'Historic Moment'

Angela Merkel's government has decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022, in a reversal of its previous policy. German commentators are split over the wisdom of the decision, with one newspaper comparing the move to the fall of the Berlin Wall and another saying it will harm future generations. spiegel
Interview with EU Currency Commissioner Rehn

To help the Greeks, we are seriously thinking about establishing a privatization agency based on the model of the Treuhandanstalt (Eds. note: the institution which privatized former East German state assets following German reunification), as Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker already indicated in SPIEGEL last week.
Greece has to stop living beyond its means. spiegel
Qatar Accused Of 'Buying' 2022 World Cup

The suspended Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has made public an email in which secretary general Jerome Valcke accuses Mohammed bin Hammam of 'buying' the World Cup for Qatar.

The explosive revelation will add further woes to world football's governing body, already mired in controversy following an earlier ethics committee ruling on corruption. yahoo/skynews
Turkey remains a dangerous country for journalists

Reporters Without Borders calls on the Turkish justice system to severely restrict the recourse to exceptional anti-terror measures against journalists who are only doing their job, in particular articles under the anti-terrorist law providing for prison sentences in cases involving "propaganda for a terrorist organisation", very often leading to journalists being brought before special courts for organised crime, and which should urgently be repealed. humanrightsdefence
Inner Mongolia protests prompt crackdown

A communist official tipped as a future leader of China is moving to defuse a wave of protests in Inner Mongolia by choking information, tightening campus controls and promising to reform the mining industry.

A demonstration by ethnic Mongolians on Monday in the regional capital, Hohhot, was the latest test for Hu Chunhua, whose appointment as party chief of the resource-rich region last year was widely seen as a step towards top office in 2020. guardian


What Would a Greek Haircut Mean for Germany?

It may only be a small passage in the statutes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but it is the bottom line: An organization can lend money to a country only if it is certain the state will remain solvent for at least one year. Washington experts are increasingly doubtful that this minimum requirement can be guaranteed in the case of Greece. spiegel


Government and Tech

Yesterday the EG8, or Electronic G8, a conference of global technology leaders that was hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The leaders planned to discuss the future of technology, but the conversation kept going back to Internet privacy, a divisive topic. Sarkozy said, "The Internet is the new frontier, a territory to conquer. But it cannot be the Wild West." Google CEO Eric Schmidt shot back, "Technology will move faster than governments." Schmidt added, "So don't legislate before you understand the consequences." yahoo

Note: at business level internet is yet the "wild west" as companies like lastminute.com (a british company) are acting as if it were the very real Wild West. Those companies must be completely blocked from the internet and be forced to take full responsibility for what they are been doing.
Arab Spring Boosts Dream of Desert Power

The project, which is expected to cost around €400 billion ($566 billion) and which is still at the planning stage, is being pushed forward by the nonprofit Desertec Foundation together with the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII). The latter is an industrial consortium that includes such major German players as Deutsche Bank, Siemens, E.on and Munich Re. It aims to create the "legal, regulatory, economic and technical framework" that will allow the Desertec vision to become reality. spiegel

Note: it will be nice...
UN on back foot

JAKARTA (AFP) – The United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNMIT) was on the back foot Friday after Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao angrily accused the world body of trampling on his country's sovereignty.
He said that from 2000 to 2008 the "international community" had spent almost $8 billion in the tiny half-island state but "we do not see any physical development and even more poverty was created in our country".
"My proposal is this: UNMIT and Timorese experts, offer your services to improve Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and give support to democracy in Yemen, Syria and Libya," Gusmao said. yahoo/AFP

$1bn fraud at Kabul Bank

The move, to "protect taxpayers' money", came as the full extent of the scandal at Kabul Bank – described as the biggest fraud in modern times... independent

NATO fuel tanker explodes in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Militants in northwest Pakistan blew up a tanker carrying oil for NATO forces in Afghanistan on Saturday, and a secondary explosion killed 15 people as a group gathered to try to siphon off some of its fuel. Another bombing damaged 14 NATO tankers in a nearby border town, but no one was hurt. usatoday

Six-Figure Pensions at Age 50 at the IMF

The IMF's pension structure allows many of its economists to be able to draw pensions in excess of $100,000 a year in their early fifties. It is remarkable that no major news outlet has ever mentioned these exorbitant pensions at a time when politicians across the country have been screaming about pensions for public employees that average less than $30,000 a year and generally require workers to wait until their 60s before they start receiving benefits. cepr


121 Executions In Six Weeks

According to the statistics compiled by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, 121 individuals have been hanged between 20 December 2010 and 31 January 2011. iranhumanrights

Al-Qaida hoped to blow up oil tankers

Documents seized from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan reveal that al-Qaida considered hijacking and blowing up oil tankers to provoke an "extreme economic crisis" in the west, the US government has said. guardian

Syria fires on thousands of protesters

Rights groups today reported that at least 44 people were killed at rallies across the country, most of the them in the northern province of Idlib and the central city of Homs, the scene of repeated challenges to President Assad's rule. independent
Thai, portuguese friendship sails into its 500th year

Having captured Malacca in 1511, Alfonso de Albuquerque, who directed his operations from Goa, promptly dispatched an embassy to King Ramathibodi II of Ayutthaya with credentials and gifts from the King of Portugal at the ready. The reason was that Albuquerque had heard that Malacca was officially a tributary state to the Siamese king, who he wanted to sound out over where the matter stood. nationmultimedia


Ivo Pogorelich - Ravel - Scarbo (Gaspard de la Nuit)
Exploding watermelons

The flying pips, shattered shells and wet shrapnel still haunt farmer Liu Mingsuo after an effort to chemically boost his fruit crop went spectacularly wrong. guardian

Ai Weiwei is under "supervision"

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the International Council of Museums, who organised petitions, said they had collected more than 90,000 signatures calling for the release of Ai Weiwei.

On 13 April 2011, a group of European intellectuals led by Václav Havel had issued an open letter to Wen Jiabao, condemning the arrest and demanding the immediate release of Ai Weiwei. The signatories include Ivan Klima, Jiří Gruša, Jáchym Topol, Elfriede Jelinek, Adam Michnik, Adam Zagajewski, Helmuth Frauendorfer; Bei Lin (Chinese:贝岭), a Chinese poet in exile drafted and also signed the open letter.

On 16 May 2011, the Chinese authorities allowed his wife to briefly visit him. After the colloquy, Liu Xiaoyuan, his attorney and personal friend, reported that the wife had found the artist in good physical condition not held in a prison or hospital but in something she guessed. "...it’s a form of house arrest, under supervision." Furthermore there are news reports that Ai Weiwei has been receiving requested treatments for his pathologies (diabetes and hypertension). wikipedia

Note: lots of other intellectuals and artists still jailed in China.
Buddhist monk killed in south Thai

A Buddhist monk was killed and another seriously injured when they were gunned down while collecting alms as more violence erupted in Thailand's restive south, police said on Friday.

The attack was the latest in a recent flare-up of bloody violence in the Muslim-majority region near the Malaysian border, where nearly 3,500 people have been killed in five years of unrest. reuters

Note: killing monks while collecting alms is not only absolutely disgusting but it would be considered crime against the humanity.


Why the Next IMF Head Must Be European

The next head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will have two tasks. He or she will have to both help stabilize the European common currency and help pave the way for a transition from the Western to the multi-polar world, both institutionally and financially. spiegel

Note: to impose 5% interest rate on the money borrowed from troubled countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal?


Vladimir Sofronitsky plays Alexander Scriabin's Piano Sonata No.4


Scriabin's Etude in C#m Op.42 No.5 by Vladimir Horowitz, 1972
Stanislaw Neuhaus plays Scriabin's Etude op.42 no.5
Evgeny Kissin plays Scriabin's Etude op.42 no.5


China denies

"Prohibited ballistic missile-related items are suspected to have been transferred … on regular scheduled flights of Air Koryo and Iran Air, with trans-shipment through a neighbouring third country," the panel wrote. guardian
Strauss-Kahn case twist

Letter From District Attorney to Defense in Strauss-Kahn Case.

What's in a reputation?

Tristane Banon, 31, a French journalist and writer, said that she would take belated legal action against Mr Strauss-Kahn for what she described as a sexual attack on her in 2002.

At the time, she said, she was persuaded not to press charges by her mother, who had family and political links with him. DSK's own daughter was one of Ms Banon's best friends.

In 2007, the young woman told of her ordeal in an interview with a French TV chat show. The show made compellingly prurient TV but cowardly journalism and politics. Each reference to Mr Strauss-Kahn's name was bleeped out. independent

Note: "The French media and French justice systems have an extravagant definition of the extents of "privacy" for public figures. Consensual extramarital affairs are one thing. Sexual harassment, bordering on assault is another."

IMF chief charged with 'sex attack'

The leader of the International Monetary Fund and a possible candidate for president of France was arrested in New York on Sunday in connection with the violent sexual assault of a hotel maid after being yanked from a plane moments before it was to depart, police said. independent


War (no use of photoshop or similar)


Laden: collection of digital pornography

An extensive collection of digital pornography was found inside Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound, current and former U.S. officials told Reuters Friday.

The pornography was found among the thumb drives and other electronics recovered by U.S. soldiers who carried out the raid, the news agency reported, and consists of “modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive.” slatest

May have lived in Pakistan for seven years

Osama bin Laden may have lived in Pakistan for over seven years before being shot dead by US forces, senior Pakistani security officials said today, a disclosure that could further anger key ally Washington over the presence of enemy number one in the country. independent

Note: stop sending money to Pakistan.


Syria: stand with the protesters

The Syrian regime is laying siege to whole cities, and is willing to annihilate them to crush the peaceful democracy movement. Security forces have cut off all food, water and medicine to these towns, shot hundreds of citizens, and detained and tortured thousands -- in many cases ripping out their fingernails before releasing them, as a warning to other protesters. avaaz

Syrian army attacks Banias

Syrian tanks stormed the mostly Sunni city of Banias today, a rights campaigner said, raising sectarian tensions in a country ruled by the minority Alawite Shi'ite family of President Bashar al-Assad.

The attack came hours after the United States, reacting to the death of 27 protesters yesterday, threatened to take new steps against Syria's rulers unless they stopped killing and harassing their people. independent

Iran Secretly Helping Crackdown

Iran is secretly helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad put down pro-democracy demonstrations, according to U.S. officials, who say Tehran is providing gear to suppress crowds and assistance blocking and monitoring protesters' use of the Internet, cellphones and text-messaging. foxnews

Syria, Libya and Middle East unrest

1.56pm: At least six people have been killed in today's crackdown the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AP.

Five people were killed in the central city of Homs and one was killed in Hama, said a senior member of a human rights group that compiles death toll figures in Syria.

"We were chanting, peaceful, peaceful, and we didn't even throw a stone at the security forces," said a witness in Homs. "But they waited for us to reach the main square and then they opened fire on us." guardian


Sanctions against Iran ineffective

TEHRAN, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Minister of Mines and Industries Ali-Akbar Mehrabian said sanctions against the Islamic Republic are ineffective, the English language satellite Press TV reported Tuesday.

"We heard about crippling sanctions from enemies many times. Last year, they (the West) intended to adopt a resolution to disrupt economic activities in Iran but they are completely disappointed now," Mehrabian was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"The country's enemies are so disappointed with the thwarted sanctions that they do not pursue the issue of sanctions anymore," he said. xinhuanet
A legitimate target

The reported deaths in a Nato air strike of a son of Muammar Gaddafi and three of his grandchildren has moved the battle for control of Libya on to a new plane. Mobs have sacked the British and Italian embassies in Tripoli, Britain has expelled Libya's ambassador in London, and Russian criticism of the coalition has intensified. Yet this should not come as a surprise. UN Security Council Resolution 1973 authorised "all necessary measures", a phrase allowing broad interpretation, to stop Col Gaddafi killing civilians.

From obvious targets such as tanks on the road to Benghazi, Nato has moved on to strike what it calls "command and control" centres: that is, any point from which government action against the rebels is being prosecuted. As the chief prosecutors are Col Gaddafi and his immediate entourage, they have become legitimate targets, whatever the coalition may say about targeting structures and not individuals. telegraph
Syria detains hundreds as crackdown grows

BEIRUT — Syrian security forces have escalated an arrest campaign in the country's most rebellious regions, detaining hundreds over the past few days in the besieged city of Daraa and towns on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, activists said Monday.

Since the uprising began six weeks ago against the rule of President Bashar Assad, security forces have sought to arrest protesters in locales across the country. But in recent days, activists have spoken of a broader campaign of intimidation, with arbitrary detentions aimed at instilling a sense of fear that the uprising had seemed to break. stltoday

Syria's Crackdown Undermines Claim for Seat

UNITED NATIONS, May 2, 2011 (IPS) - When the General Assembly meets on May 20 to elect 15 new members for the Human Rights Council (HRC), the four candidates from the Asian Group - India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Syria - were until now considered certain winners for one primary reason: they remain uncontested on a "clean slate" for four vacant uncompetitive Asian regional seats.

But the mass uprisings in Syria over the last seven weeks - and the killings of over 500 unarmed civilians by a regime described as "repressive" - have cast strong doubts on the legitimacy of Syria's candidacy for a seat in the U.N.'s premier human rights body. ipsnews


Was he betrayed?

Pakistan knew Bin Laden's hiding place all along. independent

Osama Bin Laden Killed

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been killed in an American-led operation in Pakistan, US President Barack Obama has announced.

In the latest pictures from Abbotabad, a town just 60 miles from the Pakistani capital Islamabad, flames are seen rising from a building that was the apparent target of the raid.

It is thought Bin Laden had been living in a $1m villa in Abbotabad. yahoo/skynews

Osama Hid Cash And Phone Number

The report puts pressure on the White House after US President Barack Obama initially said bin Laden died in a firefight but his spokesman later revealed the terrorist was unarmed. yahoo/skynews

Note: the people him killed were also unarmed.
Call for the Release of Ai WeiWei