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If I Were Another: Poems

If I Were Another: Poems

By Mahmoud Darwish
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Tag: Europe

Greece Offers to Repay Loans with Giant Horse

Finance ministers from 16 EU nations awoke in Brussels this morning to find that a huge wooden horse had been wheeled into the city center overnight.

Posted on May 9, 2010 READ MORE


A Fragile Partnership

The present crisis of the European Union was inherent in the creation of the institution itself.

Posted on May 4, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Andres Rueda (CC-BY-ND)

What’s Euro Problem?

The once-mighty euro, a currency that humbled American tourists in its day, has sunk to a 13-month low against the dollar. Greece’s impending bailout apparently isn’t settling nerves in the eurozone, which includes other major economies that look a little wobbly as of late.

Posted on May 4, 2010 READ MORE


baggage claim
Flickr / faz the persian

The European Adventures of a Christian Right Leader and His ‘Rent Boy’

This is the story of George Rekers, a Baptist minister and prominent anti-gay activist who recently took a European sojourn with a young man who said, on his Rentboy.com profile, that he’s “up for anything.” Well, how about a trip to London and Madrid with a card-carrying member of the Christian right?

Posted on May 4, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Hector Lopez-Berges

Spain’s ‘Desempleo’ Rate at 20%

With all the focus on job losses here at home, we sometimes forget how the economic crisis—which originated in the U.S.—has affected other countries. Official figures in Spain, for example, show that that country’s unemployment rate has hit 20 percent, highest in the eurozone.

Posted on May 1, 2010 READ MORE


The NATO Nuisance

Large and firmly implanted bureaucratic organizations are almost impossible to kill, even when they have no reason to continue to exist, as NATO has not since the Soviet Union, communism and the Warsaw Pact all collapsed.

Posted on Apr 27, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Somebody on This Earth

Remembering the Armenian Genocide

Every year on April 24, Armenians around the world commemorate what they call “Genocide Remembrance Day” in honor of the 1.5 million Armenians who died in the genocide from 1915 to 1923.

Posted on Apr 24, 2010 READ MORE


Iceland Erupting [A Cartoon from Australia]

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Posted on Apr 19, 2010 READ MORE


volcano
AP via latimes.com

European Flights to Resume—With Caution

Many grounded travelers and some airline industry officials disagreed with the halting of air travel across much of Europe last weekend due to the ashy work of Iceland’s now-infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano, and now it’s looking like some flights will be gearing up for takeoff on Tuesday.

Posted on Apr 19, 2010 READ MORE


airport
bbc.co.uk

Icelandic Volcano Grounds Flights Across Europe

A volcano under the Eyjafjallajoekull (got that?) glacier in Iceland spewed a hefty cloud of ash into the air Thursday, turning airports across Europe into no-fly zones and leaving stranded travelers little hope of taking off until midday Friday or later.

Posted on Apr 15, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / U-g-g-B-o-y-(-Photograph-World-Sense-)

$40 Billion for Greece Bailout

The 16 nations that use the euro have just revealed an aid package of up to $40 billion in an effort to stem the Greek financial crisis. Finance ministers see the offer as a “step of clarification” for markets and a boost for the faltering euro.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE


Greece Isn’t Europe’s Only Problem

Today’s European crisis was precipitated by Greece acting with possibly reckless honesty, and Germany behaving badly.

Posted on Mar 30, 2010 READ MORE



aquamarinepower.com

The Prince of Tides

Hoping to become the “Saudi Arabia of tidal energy,” the Scottish government is offering 10 million pounds to spur innovation in wave power. Some say the incentive is unnecessary, since private companies are already racing to figure out the best way to generate electricity from the ocean.

Posted on Mar 23, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / FreeCat

A World Without Tuna

They served whale at a Santa Monica sushi restaurant. But where are the shock, horror and hidden cameras when the sashimi comes out? Tuna are rapidly vanishing from the Earth’s oceans. An effort to ban the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna just failed at a U.N. meeting, because the countries that sell the animals as food are worried about their fishermen.

Posted on Mar 18, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Petros Giannakouris

Bailing Out Greece

In an effort to save the Greek economy, and by extension the euro itself, eurozone countries—the 16 European Union states that use the common currency—have agreed on a multibillion-euro bailout that also will impose financial austerity measures on Greece.

Posted on Mar 12, 2010 READ MORE


Competition in Ignominy

There is a lot of money to be made by big international banks in impoverished small, and even medium-size, countries in times of world crisis.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Martin Beek

Gadhafi’s Personal Holy War

Moammar Gadhafi has had it up to here with Switzerland. First they arrest his son on charges of beating up two servants at a luxury hotel. Then they pass a pretty horrible law banning mosque’s minarets. Now, Gadhafi has called for a holy war against the country, a move which has received almost universal denouncement.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 READ MORE


U.S. Allies in Europe Begin to Pull Back

The U.S. devotes large sums of money to subsidizing the participation in Afghanistan of small NATO countries and publicizing the affair as a true coalition operation, but NATO-nation political and public support for the war is faint and grudging because few believe the mission is realistic.

Posted on Feb 23, 2010 READ MORE


Greece’s Dysfunctional Economy [A Cartoon From Slovakia]

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Posted on Feb 16, 2010 READ MORE


Europe Needs to Believe in Its Own Adequacy

What is this problem about Europe’s standing in the world today that obsesses the Europeans and generates constant self-examination, endless academic seminars and political conferences, all permeated with inarticulate anxiety?

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / World Economic Forum

My Big Fat Wall Street Bankers

The logic of global capitalism is everywhere. New investigations are showing that the same Wall Street tactics—and companies—that ushered our own economy to economic collapse have emerged to exacerbate Greece’s current financial crisis.

Posted on Feb 14, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / max-sham

Kremlin Ally Wins Ukrainian Presidency

“Weird” Viktor Yanukovich has won the Ukrainian presidency, exit polls indicate, shifting power in the former Soviet republic to a more pro-Kremlin position after five years of “Orange Revolution” political fervor.

Posted on Feb 7, 2010 READ MORE


Irish Abortion Law Is Targeted

Human rights organizations are on the offensive as groups mobilize pressure against Ireland’s ban on abortion, accusing the government of a deliberate campaign of misinformation and exposing women to undue risk by forcing them to travel abroad for abortions.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE


Diane Sawyer
abcnews.go.com/WN/DianeSawyer/

European Human Rights Group, U.S. Media Decry SCOTUS Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to loosen corporate restrictions on campaign finance didn’t sit well with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an international human rights coalition of 56 European nations, but somehow we doubt that the top court’s conservative justices are going to lose sleep over that particular critique.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 READ MORE


Emancipation

Milton Viorst on the Emancipation of Europe’s Jews

A new book by Michael Goldfarb grapples with the fate of a people caught between hope and history.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / A Outra Vouz

Portugal Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

“The large print giveth and the small print taketh away”—T. Waits (1990). So goes the news that Portugal has become the sixth European nation to pass a law allowing same-sex marriage, though parliament rejected proposals to let gay couples adopt children.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Alessio85

Notable Quotable: Berlusconi Is Lucky

Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini made this observation on the BBC’s “Newshour” program: “If we were in America, where madmen carry guns, [Silvio] Berlusconi would be dead. We are in Italy. Madmen carry souvenir replica of the Duomo.”

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Squaring Idealism and Realism

Europeans are coming to terms with the fact that President Barack Obama is not a miracle worker, and with the reality that everything he does is not magic.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE


Berlusconi Bloodied by Attack

From the BBC: “Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been hit in the face and knocked to the ground after a political rally in Milan.” Update: Video

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE


Shame on the Swiss

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Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE    



CERN

That’s One Big Bang for Mankind

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider buried deep beneath the Swiss-French border made history Monday, smashing two proton beams traveling at near light speed into each other. The LHC, also known as the big bang machine, is the largest machine on Earth and ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 24, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / SuperFantastic

For 23 Years, Fully Aware but Mute and Paralyzed

After surviving a car wreck in 1983 at the age of 20, Rom Houben was written off as a vegetable. He was actually perfectly alert. The Belgian would spend the next 23 years in a private hell until doctors finally discovered ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 23, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Claire Wasserman on Europe’s Islamic Immigrants

Christopher Caldwell explores in his recent book what he terms Islam’s “adversary culture” now challenging Europe’s own sense of historical identity.

Posted on Nov 20, 2009 READ MORE


Tony Blair
Flickr / World Economic Forum

Blair Bows Out of EU Race

In a surprising last-minute move, Tony Blair has dropped out of the race for the European Council’s presidency, a position for which he was an early favorite.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 READ MORE


Hashim Thaci
defenselink.mil

Kudos for Kosovo Elections

A year after declaring independence from Serbia, Kosovo has received good marks from European monitors for its first round of local elections, which could lead to wider recognition and acceptance of its newly established status in the international community.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 READ MORE


Learning to Speak Anew in a Tribal World

The international conversation since the Second World War tended to be something of an American monologue, but that’s changing now that the United States is widely perceived as a large part of the current world problem.

Posted on Nov 5, 2009 READ MORE


American soldier
U.S. Marine Corps / Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

Europe Balks at Sending More Troops to Afghanistan

As President Barack Obama considers whether to send more American forces to fight in Afghanistan, it’s looking as if European countries are unlikely to commit more of their own troops to the cause, according to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



White House Archive / Paul Morse

Tony Blair Isn’t Conservative Enough to Be President of Europe

The former British prime minister took a hit after France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel agreed over dinner at the Élysée Palace (oh to be a fly on that wall) that the first president of the European Council ought to be more of a right-winger. (continued)

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



Rich Germans Want More Taxes

While America’s super rich are coping with bailouts and bonus envy, a group of well-to-do Germans, led by a brewery heir, has delivered a petition demanding a 5 percent wealth tax—on themselves. Imagine if Pete Coors demanded that the government spend more of his money on “ecology, education and social justice.”

Posted on Oct 25, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. Tia P. Sokimson

The Country That Cries Wolf

European allies have tired of America’s cries of “wolf! wolf!” in Iraq (yesterday), Afghanistan (today), and (I fear) Pakistan or Somalia or Kashmir tomorrow.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE


Berlusconi
telegraph.co.uk

Newsweek Tells Italy to ‘Dump Berlusconi’

It’s not clear whether the editors of Newsweek believe they hold any diplomatic power, but they’ve gone ahead and told Italy to “dump” its scandal magnet of a prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, in the magazine’s European edition this week. Let’s see whether Time can top this.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Hellgasms!

Condoms, Not Laws, Help Cut Abortions

This isn’t going to sound all that shocking, but remember that this country is still wrapping its head around evolution: Criminalizing abortion does not reduce the number of abortions; it reduces the number of safe abortions. Contraception, however, does reduce abortions, according to an epic study of 197 countries.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

In Search of Great Men

The world hungers for great men to liberate it from grief. They rarely arrive, and even more rarely are they appreciated at the time for what they are.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Nobel
eetd.lbl.gov

What Does the Nobel Mean for Obama?

He’s not a year into his presidency yet, and when he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize that he just won, President Barack Obama hadn’t even occupied the White House for two full weeks. So, how are we to make sense of his surprise victory? The New York Times rounded up a bunch of ... well, learned white guys to comment on Obama’s and other U.S. leaders’ Nobel nods.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE



World Economic Forum

Tony Blair, President of Europe?

If all goes according to plan, the European Union will soon have a new honcho, and it looks as if the former British prime minister is the front-runner. But the bloom is definitely off the rose, Tony Blair having been such a Bush lappie during the Iraq war. Even in view of the former PM’s pro-war stance, Europe’s conservatives are the ones miffed at the idea of Blair possibly becoming the “president of Europe.”

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

‘Viva Berlusconi’? Not So Much

Italy’s colorful prime minister is in a heap of legal trouble now that the country’s high court has stripped him of immunity. Despite facing charges of corruption, bribery, tax evasion and fraud, Silvio Berlusconi stayed in character, saying, “The trials against me are a farce. Viva Italia and Viva Berlusconi!”

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


EU Flag
ul.ie

Ireland Votes to Streamline the European Union

Sixteen months after rejecting the same treaty, voters in Ireland have emphatically accepted the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty—an agreement that gives more power to the European Parliament and creates the position of the president of the European Council.

Posted on Oct 3, 2009 READ MORE


In Europe, the Left Has Run Out of Gas

While the Republican leadership in the United States would have people believe that the country is being remorselessly driven to the far left under Barack Obama, European voters are moving toward the right.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


MDogg
zimbio.com

Merkel Claims Victory in Germany

German election exit polls are showing that reigning Chancellor Angela Merkel is headed for a second term, with her conservative bloc collecting more than a third of the national vote.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy

Obama Punts Missile Shield, Russians Dance the Kalinka

Add this to the oft-forgotten list of things progressives can celebrate about the president: Obama’s decision to postpone the deployment of a missile shield in Eastern Europe has possibly averted a new arms race with Russia.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


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