Errant European

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And the Conducator* said his was a “Golden Age…” Monty Python’s weaponized “killer joke” may have been used for offensive purposes, but under the Ceausescu regime humour was mainly in self-defense: Humour is what kept Romanians alive, and TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE aims to re-capture that mood, portraying the survival of a nation having… » read more

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When Israel-Palestine merits not a word from a president, you know the United States is turning inward. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 28 January 2010, “Exit America” The same Cohen op-ed indicates that only nine minutes were devoted to international affairs in President Obama’s first State of the Union message last month. And now we… » read more

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We recently spent an extended weekend in beautiful bourgs within easy driving distance of Brussels: Freiburg, Germany; Strasbourg, France; and Luxembourg (capital and country of same name). For climate change negotiators in Copenhagen, a visit to these three cities near the Rhine and the Moselle rivers could help point the way to a post-carbon future.… » read more

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Muslim communities say the decision will spread deep concern and worry. The Swiss government and businesses are worried too – about whether this controversial but democratic ballot will provoke an international backlash. Alan Fisher, Al Jazeera English, “Swiss brace for minaret backlash” What if that backlash were to include a disinvestment or divestment wave among… » read more

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Large sums promised to developing countries to help them tackle climate change cannot be accounted for, a BBC investigation has found. Rich countries pledged $410m (£247m) a year in a 2001 declaration – but it is now unclear whether the money was paid. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused industrialised countries of failing to… » read more