19 2 / 2014

At Least 25 Killed in Ukraine Protests, Photos, Videos

I can’t stop returning to this image from #Kiev earlier today. What words were exchanged? Photo by Vlad Sodel/Reuters pic.twitter.com/EcKJemw7ef

— Vaughn Wallace (@vaughnwallace) February 18, 2014


“West readies sanctions. Yanukovich slams coup bid.” – Reuters
“Ukraine crisis, EU readies Sanctions” – The Guardian


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29 10 / 2013

European leaders are demanding an explanation after new reports regarding NSA spying on U.S. allies.

27 10 / 2013

Hackers hard at work using our weather data in innovative ways at the TechCrunch Disrupt Europe Hackathon in Berlin, Germany.

24 7 / 2013

Thank you to my friend David for showing me this great documentary, hope that you enjoy it as well.

Beginnings – Covering the period 3100 BC1000 AD. Simon Schama starts his story in the Stone Age village of Skara Brae, Orkney. Over the next four thousand…

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07 7 / 2013


Everyone loves a bargain, but what’s the real cost of cheap clothes from Bangladesh’s sweat shops? Severed limbs, cruel labour conditions and 1000 dead. How could so many of the West’s top…

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22 1 / 2012

ACTA is one more offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet. ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is an agreement secretly negotiated by a small “club” of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States, Japan, etc). Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.

ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communications. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic medicines in poor countries.

News: Hackers opposing ACTA attack Poland’s governmental websites

      Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement- ACTA- Wikipedia


About: The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a proposed plurilateral agreement for the purpose of establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement.[1] It would establish an international legal framework for countries to join voluntarily, and would create a governing body outside international institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or the United Nations. Negotiating countries have described it as a response “to the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works.” The scope of ACTA includes counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet. Groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) oppose ACTA, stating that civil society groups and developing countries were excluded from discussion during ACTA’s development in an example of policy laundering. Opponents have argued that the treaty will restrict fundamental civil and digital rights, including the freedom of expression and communication privacy. “The bulk of the WTO’s 153 members” have raised concerns that treaty could distort trade and goes beyond the existing Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Opponents also criticize ACTA’s removal of “legal safeguards that protect Internet Service Providers from liability for the actions of their subscribers” in effect giving ISPs no option but to comply with privacy invasions. According to an analysis by the Free Software Foundation, ACTA would require that existing ISPs no longer host free software that can access copyrighted media, and DRM protected media would not be legally playable with free software. via Wikipedia

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19 1 / 2012

(Pictured Athens Stock Exchange)

January 19, 2012

The Guardian: European markets have now closed, and for the FTSE 100 it is the fourth daily rise in a row. The index is up 38.78 points at 5741.15 (more detail here).

France’s CAC is up 1.96%, Germany’s Dax is 0.97% better and Italy is up 2.45%. Another round of successful bond auctions - this time in Spain and France - has helped give investors a bit of optimism about the eurozone crisis. Good figures from a number of US banks have also helped sentiment.

Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist, at City Index pointed out that the FTSE 100 has rallied more than 7.5% in the past four weeks.

And here’s Markit on how things are now in the world of credit default swaps almost a week after the Standard & Poor’s downgrades:

France, along with Austria, was the day’s strongest CDS performer. What do both countries have in common? S&P removed their AAA ratings last Friday. Since then their spreads have outperformed, both tightening by about 30bps. It shows that the market is well ahead of the rating agencies and forward-looking indicators are a better determinant of credit risk.

But we’re not out of the fire yet. The talks between Greece and representatives of private bondholders are due to continue, as the two sides try to resolve how much of a hit the investors will take on their bonds. We’ll have all the details if and when any conclusion is reached, whether later tonight or maybe tomorrow.

Meanwhile, as if we needed reminding of the severity of the situation, Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos said the country had to implement structural reforms to stay in the eurozone or face dire consequences. According to Reuters he said:

If we ignore reality this time, the outcome will be a given: the country will become economically and politically isolated.

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11 11 / 2011

Decision made to open Twitter account of Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, who is taking the case to the Council of Europe

The Guardian: Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer Birgitta Jonsdottir has slammed the decision by US courts to open her Twitter account to the US authorities and is taking her case to the Council of Europe.

On Thursday a US judge ruled Twitter must release the details of her account and those of two other Twitter users linked to WikiLeaks. Jonsdottir learned in January that her Twitter account was under scrutiny from the Justice Department because of her involvement last year with WikiLeaks’ release of a video showing a US military helicopter shooting two Reuters reporters in Iraq. She believes the US authorities want to use her information to try and build a case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

"This is a huge blow for everybody that uses social media," said Jonsdottir. "We have to have the same civil rights online as we have offline. Imagine if the US authorities wanted to do a house search at my home, go through my private papers. There would be a hell of a fight. It’s absolutely unacceptable."

She said she would press for the Council of Europe to act on the case, which she believes sets a worrying precedent for private citizens and politicians across the world.


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06 11 / 2011

NYTimes: European efforts to solve a growing sovereign debt crisis have failed to quell market unease on the Continent, and the skepticism over Greece points to continued volatility this week.

Among fresh warning signs, Italy’s cost of borrowing has jumped to the highest rate since the country adopted the euro. Others signs include pressures building in the plumbing of Europe’s banking system. While those pressures are not yet at the levels experienced during the 2008 financial crisis, when some markets in the United States froze altogether, they are high enough to cause worry, analysts say.


01 11 / 2011

The Guardian: More political upheaval in Greece - a ruling party MP has quit George Papandreou’s parliamentary group. Milena Apostolaki’s defection cuts the government’s majority to just 2 votes, with 152 of the 300 MPs still loyal.

City analysts are warning this morning that the chances of Greece exiting the euro have increased sharply. If a referendum is held, and the public vote against the bailout plan, European leaders have little room to maneuver.

Gary Jenkins, head of fixed income research at Evolution Securities, called George Papandreou’s move a “political gamble which adds further uncertainty to the European debt crisis”.

The escalating Greek political crisis (see here, here, and here) is causing alarming scenes in the financial markets.

The FTSE 100 extended its falls to a low of 5338, that’s a 206 point fall, or 3.5%. Germany’s DAX is down 6%, with the French CAC little better with a 5.5% decline. All eyes are now on Wall Street, which opens in ten minutes.

For a real horror show, though, try the bond markets. The yield (basically the interest rate) on 10-year Italian bonds is now up at 6.34%, despite the European Central Bank’s efforts to buy up peripheral debt.

The ECB will be desperate for that yield to keep away from 7% - the point at which a bailout looks a dead certainty.

German interest rates, though, have dropped sharply as investors rush to put their money in the safest places. The 10-year Bund is now yielding just 1.79%, down from over 2% yesterday. UK yields have also dropped sharply, down to 2.23% from around 2.45% on Monday.


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16 9 / 2011

Fears of a deepening of Europe's debt crisis have prompted the world's leading central banks to pump US dollars into the financial system, in a co-ordinated action designed to boost market confidence.

04 6 / 2011

The UN report is essentially aimed at France and the UK, which have been pushing for new legislation that would permanently unplug your internet access for illegal downloads. Not so fast, you guys! The UN sayeth: “The Special Rapporteur considers cutting off users from Internet access, regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, to be disproportionate and thus a violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” Boom, Euros.

Can the UN stop these laws? Probably not. But is this a prominent slap on the wrist? For sure.” via Gizmodo