Archive for the 'Around the World' Category

“The Trump presidency is a corruption that flows from corruption. It is damned by its own damned lies.”

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

New York Times Opinion: Birth of the Biggest Lie. By Charles M. Blow.

“A few things are clear after the congressional testimony of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, this week:

First, Donald Trump owes Barack Obama and the American people an apology for his vituperative lie that Obama committed a felony by wiretapping Trump Tower. It was specious, libelous and reckless […].

Second, Donald Trump will never apologize. Trump’s strategy for dealing with being caught in a lie is often to tell a bigger lie. He seems constitutionally incapable of registering what others would: shame, embarrassment, contrition. Something is broken in the man — definitely morally and possibly psychologically.

Third, and to me this is the biggest, Comey confirmed that the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russians who tampered with our election is not “fake news” manufactured by Democrats stewing over a bitter loss but a legitimate investigation that has been underway for months and has no end in sight.”

“Killing wolves and bears in this cruel, unsportsmanlike fashion is outrageous, especially in national wildlife refuges that belong to all Americans.”

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

NPR the two-way: Congress Rolls Back Obama-Era Rule On Hunting Bears And Wolves In Alaska.

“By a largely party-line vote Tuesday, the Senate approved a bill that repeals Obama-era hunting restrictions on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The House already voted last month to abolish those restrictions — which were instituted by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 to protect predator species from hunters — and so the bill now heads to the desk of President Trump, who is widely expected to sign it.

The FWS rule facing repeal explicitly prohibited many kinds of “predator control” on the 16 federally owned refuges in Alaska. That prohibition included a ban on the aerial hunting, live trapping or baiting of predators such as bears and wolves — as well as killing those predators while near their dens or their cubs.”

Erdoğan-Auftritt in Deutschland

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Die Zeit: Erdoğan-Auftritt: Verbieten! Nein, aushalten! “Der türkische Präsident Erdoğan will in Deutschland für seine autokratische Verfassung werben. Sollen deutsche Behörden das verhindern – oder zulassen? Ein Pro & Contra von Till Schwarze und Ludwig Greven”. Erschienen am 24.02.2017.

“Bundesverfassungsgericht[:] “Es ist damit Sache des Bundes zu entscheiden, ob und unter welchen Rahmenbedingungen sich ausländische Staatsoberhäupter oder Regierungsmitglieder auf dem Gebiet der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im öffentlichen Raum durch amtliche Äußerungen politisch betätigen dürfen”, heißt es in dem Beschluss.


Ein Verbot von Erdoğans Auftritt würde […] die Konflikte unter den hier lebenden Türken und Türkischstämmigen nur verschärfen. Es würde politisch vermutlich genau das Gegenteil erreichen: eine noch größere Zustimmung zum Referendum. Und Erdoğan könnte sich wieder einmal als Verfolgter darstellen.”

(Bin momentan mit dem Lesen der “Zeit” etwas hinterher…)

Merkel meets Trump

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Deutsche Welle

News: US President Trump welcomes Chancellor Merkel to the White House. “Chancellor Merkel and President Trump have held their first joint press conference at the White House. Items on the agenda for the first meetings between the two leaders are NATO, immigration and global trade.”

Merkel meets Trump: The ending of a beautiful friendship? “Trump does not only want to build real walls, he also wants to isolate the USA economically. Merkel will seek to fend off his plans as she visits Washington – and that is not only in her interest.”

Business: Uncertainty clouds German firms’ US outlook. “Amid growing protectionist rhetoric and fears of increasing barriers to trade across the world, German business leaders look at the new Donald Trump administration in the US with cautious optimism.”

In German:

Transatlantische Beziehungen: Erster Auftritt von Kanzlerin Merkel und US-Präsident Trump. “Chaos à la Donald Trump oder Ordnung à la Angela Merkel? Das war die Frage im Vorfeld des ersten gemeinsamen Auftritts. So viel vorweg: Er lief deutlich gesitteter ab als Trumps vorige Pressekonferenzen in Washington.”

Merkel in Washington: Das Ende einer wunderbaren Freundschaft? “Nicht nur echte Mauern will Trump hochziehen, auch wirtschaftlich will er die USA einigeln. Merkel wird sich bei ihrem Besuch in Washington dagegen stemmen. Aber auch andere würden unter einem isolierten Amerika leiden.”

Transatlantische Beziehungen: Merkel trifft Trump: Worum geht es? “Es dürfte kompliziert werden in Washington: Trump findet Merkels Flüchtlingspolitik “katastrophal”. Sie findet sein Einreise-Dekret ungerechtfertigt. Einem konstruktiven Dialog steht allerdings noch viel mehr im Weg.”

Tiny but dangerous

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The Guardian: Single clothes wash may release 700,000 microplastic fibres, study finds. (September 27, 2016) “Tiny plastic particles released by synthetic fabrics can cause harm to marine life when they enter rivers and oceans.”

“Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study.
Inside the lonely fight against the biggest environmental problem you’ve never heard of
Read more

A team at Plymouth University in the UK spent 12 months analysing what happened when a number of synthetic materials were washed at different temperatures in domestic washing machines, using different combinations of detergents, to quantify the microfibres shed.

They found that acrylic was the worst offender, releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester.”

So far, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot we consumers can do, except not wear synthetic clothing. However, there’s a company called Guppyfriend that is developing a washing bag designed to catch those microfibers. Here’s their Kickstarter page.