Over Easy: Around the World

 

Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see
Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see

(Picture courtesy of Herry Lawford at flickr.com.)

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene. As today you’re hearing from Over There direct, we have a couple of changes, and the computer doesn’t want to reproduce my eggs so we’ll see what picture goes up.

Yesterday I was visiting Kensington Palace, which to my surprise, and Avedon‘s, you can now walk right up to and into, and can use the great spread of castle and grounds as scenery for your dining pleasure.   This is a great use of public expenditure, imho, and it was quite wonderful to visit the Serpentine Gallery on the Kensington Gardens grounds also.

Now I see that Buckingham Palace is falling down, in pieces, and realize that the proceeds from all those tourist dollars for the gift shops and tours, and cafes on the grounds, help pay for those lovely ceremonial sweeps.   Not the worst way to fund the monarchy.

On a visit to the British Museum, it was a pleasure to view treasures from Nimrud.   These are the ones that the Brits took back home with them, which is a little bit overbearing, but I can’t help being relieved that they were not left to be smashed by the religious fanatics that are at war with their own past, and the cultures of the ages.

ISIL needs to be stopped from destroying such accomplishments, ones its own people are proud to have produced.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group says it has destroyed two ancient shrines close to the Syrian city of Palmyra, seized by the armed group a month ago. Photographs posted online appeared to show the shrines, 4km from Palmyra, being blown up and reduced to rubble on Saturday. It was the first reported damage to ancient sites since ISIL captured Palmyra, known as Tadmur in Arabic and famed for its UNESCO-listed Roman ruins. Pictures showed smoke rising from the hilltop tomb of Mohammed Bin Ali, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin, Imam Ali.

Success bringing suit against government for its failure to give the governed a decent life may be coming back to the fore, after bringing about civil rights gains in previous history.

…world leaders have failed to protect the most basic of human rights – to exist.

But today, thanks to 886 Dutch citizens who decided to sue their government, all of that may change. We may not have to wait for the politicians to save us – the lawyers may step in instead. In the first successful case of its kind, a judge in the Hague has ruled that the Dutch government’s stance on climate change is illegal and has ordered them to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a hefty 25% within five years.

Coming from RT, this is a bit suspect for its advocacy, but IMF backing of the perilous Ukraine economy is a puzzle.

…despite Ukraine hurtling towards bankruptcy, the IMF remains willing to lend. There may be American background influence through their 17 percent shareholding.At the same time, Ukraine has the advantage of being such a basket case that some structural IMF medicine could deliver measurable improvement. A better organized public sector, with a sound, fair legal framework to promote private property and grassroots commerce could deliver great progress in Ukraine. Underdeveloped Ukraine contrasts with a Greece which zealously guards a dysfunctional post war status quo, wanting to have its cake and eat it, despite Athens’ magic money tree having lost the power to generate cash, let alone bake. The IMF choosing to keep funding Ukraine may have some shady US overtones of influence but at the same time, the Washington based international lender is deploying a pragmatism which sends out a chilling message to Brussels. Even while yet another Europhile European politician leads the development bank, in truth, the IMF has seen through the simply dismal EU track record. True, past performance is no guide to future outcomes as investment small print always attests. However, with nothing but relative decline to show for Europe’s lost decade, the IMF is now decoupling from riding sidesaddle alongside Brussels’ aloof incompetent delusion.

Never.Give.Up.

Over Easy: Around the World

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.

Prime Minister Tsipras calls forEuropean reality consciousness as Greek debt talks kick off to resolve the crisis occasioned by a €330 MN due in payment on Friday.

It is a dispute about whether the eurozone’s creditors will release funds so that they can pay themselves and avoid having to call Greece in default.

Or to put it another way, it is all about whether the IMF and eurozone can keep up the pretence that Greece is a sound and solvent debtor.

Reaching its full energy level for the first time, the Hadron Collider in Switzerland began yesterday its epochal experiment in researching matter itself.

After nearly two years of maintenance and repair, as well as several months of recommissioning, the experiments at the world’s largest particle accelerator are ready to take data at the unprecedented energy of 13 tera-electronvolts (TeV) – almost double the collision energy of the LHC’s first three-year run.

It is hoped the development will mark the start of season two at the LHC, opening the way to new frontiers in physics.

In May scientists achieved test collisions between protons at 13TeV for the first time. The stage is now set for data to be collected from collisions within the LHC’s giant detectors.

Negotiations that have the prospect of lifting sanctions on Iran and bringing about a new orientation with the western world have shown great appeal for the citizens of that country.

Iran remains a theocracy in which citizens have only limited political rights. Most people I met said they would prefer a government that reflects the aspirations of a young and globalized population. Few, however, expect that the lifting of sanctions would produce a more democratic society anytime soon.

“It will have an economic effect, and life will be easier, but there won’t be a political effect,” an art student predicted. Then, like almost every other Iranian I met, he hastened to tell me how much he admires the United States. “Let me tell you a fact. Iranian people love American people,” he said. “Those people you see on TV yelling ‘Death to America’ are paid to do that. Anyone who says he doesn’t like America is either working for the regime or afraid to say what he really believes.”

Americans traveling in Iran are repeatedly surrounded by ecstatic Iranians. Many excitedly snap pictures of themselves with their new friends.

Never.Give.Up.

Over Easy: Around the World

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.

A raid by Swiss justice officers on the Zurich headquarters of FIFA, worldwide governing body of the sport the U.S. calls soccer, kicked off a corruption crackdown that has been assisted by Charles Blazer, the former head of Concacaf, working undercover..

Amid the U.S. indictments released Wednesday, Swiss authorities indicated that they were separately investigating the processes by which the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host country sites were secured. The United States narrowly lost out on hosting the latter competition to Qatar, whose securing of the tournament has been overshadowed by concerns over alleged human rights abuses of its migrant labor force.

According to SIU law professor Dervan, part of the reason the DOJ may have launched its investigation into FIFA is because of the widely held belief that corruption influenced the body’s decision to award Qatar the World Cup — thus negatively impacting U.S. commerce and legal norms.

Representatives of the two tribes with members  in the legislative body, Penobscots and Passamaquoddies, withdrew from the Maine legislature as a protest of state attitudes injurious to the tribes’ interests.

As Dana and Mitchell were leaving, a number of lawmakers accompanied them and joined a protest held in the statehouse courtyard.

“The Passamaquoddy and Penobscot people will always have a place in the Maine House,” said House speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick.

”I hope they will reclaim their seats,” he added without elaborating how it may come about.

Technology that can meddle with the DNA of human embryos has been opposed by world bodies that are concerned about its implication for the future of the species.

The technique allows researchers to artificially insert or remove parts of the DNA.

Nascent work in the field has already led to fierce patent battles between start-up companies and universities that say it could prove as profitable and revolutionary as recombinant DNA technology, which was developed in the 1970s and 1980s and launched the biotechnology industry.

But CRISPR has also brought ethical concerns. Use of the technology provoked strong criticism from some scientists last month, after it was employed in China to alter the DNA of human embryos.

Never.Give.Up.

Over Easy: Around the World

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.

In an effect that might have been anticipated, the side effect/peripheral damage of our first world big crackdown on human trafficking is producing abandoned cargo folks.  The European Union asked for U.N. approval for a plan to board and destroy human trafficking boats in Libyan and international waters. (more…)