Saturday, July 31, 2010
Just five years ago, Germany was in the grip of an unemployment crisis with the jobless figure soaring to over 5 million in January 2005, the highest level since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Now, with the industrialized world still reeling from the effects of the financial crisis, Germany is in the fortunate position of seeing its unemployment figures falling steadily and could soon have fewer than 3 million people out of work.
On Thursday, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) released the latest unemployment figures. A total of 3.192 million people were registered as unemployed this month, an increase of 39,000 on June. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, up 0.1 percent compared to the previous month. The slight increase is largely due to seasonal factors.
The figure is an improvement on the same period last year when 271,000 more people were without work and the joblessness rate was 8.2 percent. The figures point to the success of the German policy of keeping workers on the job under a short-time work program as the country weathered the global crisis, as well as the fact that the country's exports are increasingly in demand.
The government-subsidized short-time work scheme has helped companies to ride out the crisis. While there are still 481,000 people on such schemes, that is just a third of the figure at the height of the recession.
"Germany's economy is experiencing a recovery, the situation on the labor market has improved further," BA boss Frank-Jürgen Weise said when announcing the figures. Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the figures as "good news," saying that the slight increase is due to the start of the summer vacation period when business activity slows down.
To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,709329,00.html
Friday, July 30, 2010
What a big and unexpected surprise... Just a parcel from Cambodia arrived as a very big surprise for my birthday next week. Still cant believe that you send this. So cruel, now I have to wait till Wednesday to open it, when we celebrate together on cam. Hope time will pass by quickly. But my revenge is on its way, for your birthday on Thursday. Hope my parcel arrives soon, so that you even have to wait one more day, till you can open it. So curious...
The keep-it-simple, keep-it-cheap business model that started in the grocery aisle when the first Aldi open end its doors in 1962 has become pervasive in the German supermarket sector, according to Matthias Queck, a senior analyst at Planet Retail.
"Aldi is only able to offer really low prices by its limited range, through which is generates massive advantages in purchasing," Queck said of the chain, which is also known as Trader Joe's in the United States.
The discount concept has been so successful that it is responsible for some 44 percent of national grocery sales, according to Germany's GfK market research group. Though it shares the no-frills sector with a number of competitors, Aldi's network of 4,400 outlets makes it hands-down the largest discounter in Germany. Planet Retail estimates the nation is served by a total of 16,300 discount grocery stores.
"It is a very German phenomenon," Queck said, pointing to Germans' fondness of getting a good deal on food, clothes or electronics - all of which at some point make it onto Aldi's bi-weekly flyer of special sale items.
Divided into Aldi North, which was managed by Theo Albrecht, and Aldi South, which was controlled by his brother Karl, total revenues for the Aldi brand are estimated to be between 34 billion euros and 53 billion euros ($44 billion and $69 billion).
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5849068,00.html
Source photo: www.aldi-nord.de
Yesterday, the world's largest online book retailer, Amazon.com, announced it was launching a newer version of the Kindle, at an even cheaper price -- $139 (107 euros). The company says the e-book reader will start shipping to its American customers at the end of August.
This aggressive move further into the e-book market comes just a week after Amazon.com also announced that it had sold more digital books than hardbacks in the second quarter of 2010.
From April to June, the company sold 43 percent more digital books for its Kindle handheld device than hardback books, nearly three years after the electronic format became available. Total e-book sales tripled from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010.
However, despite the rapid growth in the United States, in Germany, one of the continent's biggest book markets, uptake of e-books has been much slower.
Around 25,000 e-book titles are listed on the Libreka site - an online e-book shop of the German Booksellers’ Association. However, compared to the 1.2 million printed books available on the German market, this is a very small number. It reflects the current reality of the state of the German e-book market.
According to Roland Schild, the CEO of Libreka, there are two main reasons why the German e-book market share is still well under one percent. The first is that the range of e-book bestsellers is "still not wide enough." The second is that "for a long time we didn't have an adequate reading device," although "now we have the iPad, and we know that this year there will be several more coming out of the major suppliers' development labs."
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5847861,00.html
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Cambodia’s war crimes court, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, or ECCC, deserves credit for convicting Kaing Guek Eav, better known as “Duch,” for war crimes and sentencing him to 35 years in prison. But Duch was the legal equivalent of a “tomato can” in boxing — an unskilled opponent used to pad a win-loss record. His conviction was an easy knockout.
Now that that legal mismatch is over, the long delayed main event — the trial of the aging Khmer Rouge political leaders — Ieng Sary, Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea and Ieng Thirith — can begin.
Unlike Duch, a functionary who admitted he was “responsible for the crimes committed” and expressed “deep regret and heartfelt sorrow,” the regime’s top leaders will mount aggressive defenses and maintain their innocence until the end.
None of the four defendants were hands-on killers like Duch — they simply issued orders from on high. Thus their cases will require the tribunal to take a much broader view of their legal mandate. Unlike Duch, these defendants were careful to distance themselves from the atrocities.
Their cases will rely heavily on the court’s reading of the conspiracy charge because while the accused were architects of Khmer Rouge policy and issued the orders, they did not carry them out.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/opinion/29iht-edmaguire.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a27
The signing of Real Madrid's legendary striker Raul on Wednesday shows Schalke means business. The Bundesliga club is building a team of youth and experience to challenge for domestic and European honors.
It is unlikely that even the most die-hard of Kevin Kuranyi supporters will feel bitter after Wednesday's announcement that Real Madrid legend Raul is replacing him in the Schalke 04 attack.
Kuranyi, who moved to Dynamo Moscow at the beginning of July, may have been the Bundesliga team's top scorer over the past four seasons but Raul Gonzalez Blanco is Real's all-time goal scoring record holder, netting more times than the great Alfredo di Stefano, and the current top scorer in the history of World Cup winners Spain.
Even if Kuranyi had become Schalke's all-time record goal scorer he would never had achieved the same reverence as Raul had at his former club, let alone across the world. It is unlikely that the departed former Germany international would have been half as loved in Gelsenkirchen if he had spent as many seasons as Raul spent in Madrid. Sixteen campaigns, six La Liga titles, three Champions League titles and 44 international goals tell their own story.
All of which makes Raul's signature on a two-year deal one of the sensations not only of this season but of any season.
It can be argued that Raul's best days are behind him and at 33, he may have a couple more seasons of top flight soccer in his weary legs. But the fact that Schalke have managed to bring such a legend to the Bundesliga when other ageing stars are being enticed to Major League Soccer by America dollars, signals not only the club's intent but the willingness of Raúl not to go quietly into the night.
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5838104,00.html
As Schalke arena is close to our home in Bochum, we might be able to go and see him play live soon in the future.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The German security company G Data released a tool on Tuesday that blocks attacks using Microsoft's shortcut vulnerability but also preserves shortcut icons unlike the hotfix released recently by Microsoft.
The tool, called the G Data LNK Checker, is a small piece of software that is independent of other security software. It monitors the creation of shortcuts and then will block the execution of code when a shortcut icon is displayed, according to G Data. The tool is free and can be downloaded from G Data.
Microsoft hasn't indicated when it will patch the shortcut flaw, which can cause malware to be executed merely by looking inside a folder containing a malicious shortcut. The company released a hotfix last week, but shortcuts lose their icons.
"This is very impractical and not a very satisfactory workaround to the problem," G Data said.
G Data said its software will display a red warning signal if a shortcut tries to execute something that appears to be malicious. When Microsoft patches the flaw, G Data said its tool -- compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7 -- can then be uninstalled.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/external/idg/2010/07/27/27idg-g-data-releases-tool-to-block-windows-shortcut-attac-47454.html
On Sunday, the day after 20 people were crushed to death and over 500 injured in ain Duisburg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the opera in Bayreuth. It is true that tickets for the annual Wagner festival are notoriously hard to come by, but she would have been better advised to skip Act I and travel to the site of the disaster.
Both have said they will attend a memorial ceremony to be held on Saturday. But that is too late, and the distant messages of condolence they have issued so far aren't enough.
The physical presence of Germany's national leaders was urgently needed at this site of national tragedy, not just to express mourning but, more importantly, to show solidarity with the people of Duisburg who must be feeling utterly abandoned at the moment.
The amateurish organization of the event -- having a single entrance and exit point through a tunnel and grossly underestimating the size of the crowd -- is startling for a first-world country, especially one like Germany which prides itself on its safety standards and capacity for organization.
To read more:http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,708711,00.html
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
For 30 years since the brutal Khmer Rouge regime was driven from power, Cambodians have lived with unresolved trauma, with skulls and bones from killing fields still lying in the open and with parents hiding the pain of their past from their children.
On Monday, Cambodia took a significant step toward addressing its harsh past with the first conviction of a major Khmer Rouge figure in connection with the deaths of 1.7 million people from 1975 to 1979.
But some survivors were distraught over what they saw as a lenient sentence, one that could possibly allow the defendant, Kaing Guek Eav, 67, commonly known as Duch, to walk free one day.
A United Nations-backed court found Duch (pronounced DOIK), the commandant of the central Khmer Rouge prison, Tuol Sleng, guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 35 years in prison for overseeing the torture and killing of more than 14,000 people. The court reduced that term to 19 years because of time already served and in compensation for a period of illegal military detention.
“I am not satisfied!” cried one of the few survivors, Chum Mey, 79, who had testified in excruciating detail about his 12 days of torture. “We are victims two times, once in the Khmer Rouge time and now once again.”
He was shouting in agitation in the muddy courtyard outside the tribunal building.
“His prison is comfortable, with air-conditioning, food three times a day, fans and everything,” he said. “I sat on the floor with filth and excrement all around.”
It was the first time in Cambodia’s modern history that a senior government official had been made accountable for serious human rights violations and the first time such a trial had been held that met international standards of justice.To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/world/asia/27cambodia.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a4
Monday, July 26, 2010
Even a big article about the tragedy at the Love Parade in Duisburg.
Cambodia’s war crimes tribunal today handed down its first guilty verdict against a senior Khmer Rouge figure, Tuol Sleng prison director Duch, for crimes committed under the regime more than 30 years ago.
Judges at the United Nations-backed court sentenced Duch to 35 years in prison. However, they reduced his sentence by five years after ruling that he had been illegally detained by a military court following his arrest in 1999.
Duch's prison term was reduced by a further 11 years for time served, meaning that he faces a total of 19 years behind bars.
Duch, whose real name is Kaing Guek Eav, was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role at Tuol Sleng, or S-21, the regime’s most important interrogation centre where as many as 16,000 men, women and children were brutalised before being systematically exterminated.
Only 14 people are known to have survived Tuol Sleng, which under Duch’s meticulous and rigid hand evolved into an efficient killing machine that came to symbolise the worst excesses of increasingly paranoid Khmer Rouge leaders.
Entire families were imprisoned for the alleged crimes of a single member, and on a single day in 1977 alone, Duch ordered the executions of 160 children.
The verdict marks the first time that a Khmer Rouge official has been convicted by an internationally recognised court for crimes committed during the 1975-79 communist regime, which dismantled modern Cambodian society as it sought to build a classless agrarian utopia.
To read more: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2010072640755/Online-Edition/duch-sentenced-to-35-years.html
News magazine Der Spiegel cited a document from local authorities which revealed that Saturday's Love Parade in the western city of Duisburg could not accommodate any more people because of insufficient fire and safety measures.
Allegations have also been made that the authorities had been warned that Duisburg was not suitable for such an event, one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
Prosecutors launched an investigation on Sunday.
The deaths occurred as panic broke out in a tunnel packed full of people that served as the only entrance to the festival grounds, police said. More than 340 people were injured.
The dead included seven foreigners, from Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Bosnia and Spain.
Flags in the mourning German city flew at half mast Monday as investigators continued probing allegations over the lax safety measures.
On Sunday deputy police chief Detlef von Schmeling said the victims, aged between 20 and 40, died as they scrambled to escape from a crush in a narrow, 100-metre tunnel that served as the only entrance.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100726-28737.html
Source photo: DPA / http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100726-28737.html
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I heard about Mak SUONG few years ago. He also got a blog atwordpress.com that written in Khmer language. I interested in him about his writing. He wrote a lot of short story and novel. Some of his novels already published and available at book shop.
The latest novel from Mak is surprising a lot of readers due to its subject that talked about young Cambodian gays (man loves man). You might see the Khmer film called “WHO AM I” that cover the topic on lesbian (woman loves woman). Mak have watched this video during his home visit in Cambodia. Then the writing of new novel has started and he finished the novel during a month of his holiday. He is currently living in Laos for his study on Laos literature. He didn’t have chance to learn Khmer literature in Cambodia. It is because he need the scholarship to support his study. Laos scholarship has helped him to continue his study.
Here a interview made with him via Facebook, by khmerbird.com:
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Another 100 people were lightly injured in the incident. Nine of the dead were women and six were men, police said.
Organisers said 1.4 million people had turned out for the day-long open-air festival in Duisburg, a city of 500,000 just north of Düsseldorf, with most of them unaware of the incident, the NTV television network reported.
The tunnel led to a disused freight railway yard where the festival was taking place. It was not immediately what sparked the initial panic.
Fearing further mass panic, local officials opted against an immediate evacuation of the festival grounds where tens of thousands of revellers were still gathered late in the afternoon, a city spokesman said.
Television footage showed emergency personnel working frantically at the tunnel while a line of revellers filed away slowly from the scene.
Dozens of ambulances and emergency vehicles were parked nearby, while medical tents had been set up. Several helicopters had landed on an elevated motorway bridge near the scene, which police had closed off with bollards.
First held in Berlin in 1989, the Love Parade is one of the biggest techno festivals in Europe, featuring world-renowed DJs spinning their turntables onstage as fans dance and throb to the beat.
It moved from Berlin from 2007 onwards after disagreements with the city authorities over logistics and security and has been held in several other German cities in recent years.
Deadly stampedes of this kind are rare in Europe but have happened elsewhere in the world in recent years.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100724-28723.html
Luckily nothing happened to some friends of ours, who went there, big relief!
Photos: 1. Cocoon of domestic yarn (naturally produces GOLDEN color)-how nice is it!
2. A woman prepares her knotting for Ikat (traditional silk clothes)
3. Fried Spider (Wanna Try It !)
4. Anana (local sweet pineapple or known as Honey Anana)
5. Building made of Soil for villager's tobacco. (Maybe try a local CIGAR??)
Just share with our friend from here. Even a bit busy but want to post something from here so that you can enjoy seeing the picture of here.
Friday, July 23, 2010
On Monday the Cambodian war crimes tribunal will hand down its verdict in the case against Kaing Guek Eav, the former head of the Khmer Rouge's most important torture and execution centre known as S-21.
Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Comrade Duch, remains the only member of the Khmer Rouge to appear thus far before an international tribunal charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Duch's trial heard emotional testimony from some of the very few who survived S-21. The prison was a place where all of the 20,000 who entered were deemed guilty of treason. No more than a dozen inmates survived.
S-21's function was to torture prisoners, extract a confession, and then kill them. Those implicated in the confessions would in turn be rounded up, and the cycle resumed.
Duch's signature was on thousands of execution orders, which contained the phrase 'smash them'.
Last November, after 77 days of testimony, the process of hearing evidence at Duch's trial came to an end.
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5825155,00.html
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chided Vietnam on Thursday for intolerance of dissent and infringement of Internet freedom, even as she celebrated its 15 years of normalized relations with the United States.
Mrs. Clinton said she raised the issues of jailed democracy activists, attacks on religious groups and curbs on social-networking Web sites during a meeting with Vietnam’s deputy prime minister, Pham Gia Khiem.
The United States will prod Vietnam’s government “to pursue reforms and protect basic rights and freedoms,” she said at a news conference, as Mr. Khiem stood expressionless beside her.
“Vietnam, with its extraordinary, dynamic population, is on the path to becoming a great nation, with an unlimited potential,” she added. “That is among the reasons we expressed concern.”
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/23/world/asia/23diplo.html?_r=1&ref=asia
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Facebook, the social network created in the dormitories of Harvard six years ago, said on Wednesday that it now had 500 million members.
The company has grown at a meteoric pace, doubling in size from a year ago and pushing international competitors aside.
Each month, Facebook says, more than 30 billion photographs, links to Web sites and news articles are shared through the site, and its members spend roughly 700 billion minutes there.
“This is an important milestone for all of you who have helped spread Facebook around the world,” Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s 26-year-old chief executive, said in a company blog post.
Facebook’s dizzying rise has not been without stumbles. Most recently, the company was the focus of intense scrutiny over changes to its site that encouraged members to make more information about themselves accessible to anyone on the Internet.
A recent survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index showed that user satisfaction with Facebook stood at 64 on a 100-point scale, which placed it in the bottom 5 percent of the companies covered in the index.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/technology/22facebook.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a21
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Hong Kong Book Fair Adds a New Element: Electronic Publishing
The largest event of its kind in the Chinese-speaking market is still largely about selling print books, but this year there are booths of more than 20 companies in the "digital reading interactive
The commemoration ceremony for Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and his co-conspirators took place at the site of his execution, the Bendlerblock, on Tuesday. The Bendlerblock is now the German Defense Ministry.
July 20 marks the 66th anniversary of the execution of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the German army officer and leader of a resistance movement that very nearly assassinated Adolf Hitler in 1944.
The large number of politicians, senior military officers, reporters, and representatives of various memorial organizations present at Tuesday's ceremony are a testament to the importance Germany still attaches to the resistance movement that crystallized around Stauffenberg during World War Two.
The resistance hero was executed along with four of his co-conspirators in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock building, and the first commemoration took place here in 1952, under the supervision of Ernst Reuter, Berlin's first post-war mayor.
Reuter's central message that day – that the failure of Stauffenberg's plot did not mar its moral importance for Germans after the war – was taken up by the current mayor, Klaus Wowereit, as his own guiding theme.
" 'Their work was not in vain' - Ernst Reuter's sentence has become the motto of this commemoration in the past 58 years," Wowereit said in his speech. "By their actions, the women and men of the resistance set ethical benchmarks, and so became role models."
German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg echoed the mayor's sentiments, and spoke of the emotional intensity with which the resistance movement's actions still resonate directly today. "They show us living today that even in the darkest days of dictatorship, there was another, a better Germany," he said.
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5820912,00.html
The iPhone 4 antenna may be causing static for some Apple investors, but the company is showing no signs of slowing down.
Apple said on Tuesday that its net income rose 78 percent last quarter, driven by strong sales of the iPhone, the iPad and the Macintosh line of computers.
The results show that Apple is continuing to outpace its competitors in its three major lines of business: computers, phones and tablets. And Apple would be selling even more iPhones and iPads if it could keep up with demand.
“More and more, people’s lives are dependent on desktop and mobile computing,” said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray. “People realize that and are willing to pay up for it, and Apple is capitalizing on that.”
Apple executives said they were pleased with the results, which topped Wall Street’s forecasts.
“IPad is off to a terrific start, more people are buying Macs than ever before, and we have amazing new products still to come this year,” Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said in a news release.
Apple sold nearly 3.3 million iPads in the quarter. Consumers gravitated to higher-priced models of the tablet, helping to create a new segment of Apple’s business that generated revenue of $2.1 billion.
With 8.4 million units sold, the iPhone remains Apple’s biggest and most profitable business, generating $5.3 billion in revenue in the quarter. Most of the sales were of the iPhone 3G and 3GS, since the iPhone 4 went on sale June 24, just three days before the quarter’s end.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/technology/21apple.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a21
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Germany's national football coach Joachim Löw and his staff said Tuesday they had agreed two-year extensions to their contracts hoping to build on the young team's bold showing at the World Cup.
Löw, team manager Oliver Bierhoff and assistant coaches Hans-Dieter Flick and Andreas Köpke signed on with the German Football Federation (DFB) to 2012, when the European championships will be held.
The 50-year-old chief coach called the negotiations "uncomplicated," without revealing details, and thanked DFB President Theo Zwanziger for his vote of confidence.
"We had a whole lot of fun at the World Cup and are looking forward to the work ahead," Löw told reporters in the western city of Frankfurt, adding that he had informed a few of the players of his decision by text message.
"Many of them wrote back and congratulated me," he said.
Germany finished third in the World Cup in South Africa, demolishing England 4-1 and favourites Argentina 4-0 before losing 1-0 to eventual champions Spain in the semi-finals. They then beat Uruguay 3-2 in a third-place playoff.
Löw has won 38 out of 55 matches since he succeeded Jürgen Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup, taking Germany to the runners-up spot at Euro 2008.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/sport/20100720-28623.html
Monday was a day for the history books — if those will even exist in the future.
In that time, Amazon said, it sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books, including hardcovers for which there is no Kindle edition.
The pace of change is quickening, too, Amazon said. In the last four weeks sales rose to 180 digital books for every 100 hardcover copies. Amazon has 630,000 Kindle books, a small fraction of the millions of books sold on the site.
Book lovers mourning the demise of hardcover books with their heft and their musty smell need a reality check, said Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change. “This was a day that was going to come, a day that had to come,” he said. He predicts that within a decade, fewer than 25 percent of all books sold will be print versions.
The shift at Amazon is “astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months,” the chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, said in a statement.
Still, the hardcover book is far from extinct. Industrywide sales are up 22 percent this year, according to the American Publishers Association.
To read more:
Monday, July 19, 2010
by Robert J. McKain
Yet this is no usual year for the Ruhr region. As part of its year as the 2010 European capital of culture, visitors on foot, bike and inline skates have displaced the usual noisy traffic of the highway at the heart of this industrial region.
It is all part of a piece of living artwork called "Still life: Ruhrschnellweg" or the "Ruhr speedway." Where normally thousands of cars and trucks rush by everyday, the highway was transformed into a huge area for a summer party.
To read more:http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5813574,00.html
Source photo: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5813574,00.html
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The project - part of the Ruhr 2010 European capital of culture season – involved completely closing the 60-kilometre stretch of the motorway between Duisburg and Dortmund, filling it with up to 20,000 tables for people to sit, eat and experience an enormous range of performances.
Things on offer range from literature readings, local poetry performances and rappers to the Eppendorfer cultural heritage group’s display of 1900s rural life, and the Dortmund Korean association’s display of traditional costumes and music.
The tables were set up on the Dortmund to Duisburg side of the road – the other side has been left empty for people to ride bikes or skate up and down from performance to performance.
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals not just from Poland but from all over Europe and North America marched and danced their way through downtown Warsaw, calling for greater tolerance and equal rights, in particular the right to marry or at least to be joined in civil partnerships.
The event, the first Europewide gay pride parade held in a former Communist bloc country, revealed a place where gays and lesbians aspired to the level of acceptance found in Western European cities like Amsterdam and London, yet remained part of a deeply Catholic society that was still significantly more opposed to homosexuality than in the West and where politicians did not seem ready, or perhaps willing, to change that.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/world/europe/18poland.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a4
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Hope many people support this boycott, to fight against intolerance, everywhere.
Let Gloria Jeans know that you won't be supporting them in Phnom Penh.
1. The Chairperson of Gloria Jeans is a member of the anti gay, pro life religion Hillsong.
2. Hillsong and Gloria Jeans in the past have shown to be anti trade union and anti worker. How will they treat their workers in a country where workers already struggle to survive?
3. Evidence and recent allegations suggest that products are high in fat and sugar. Gloria Jeans have in the past avoided revealing the nutritional value of their products.
4. Will put the local coffee sellers and cafes on the streets of Phnom Penh out of business.
A former part of the Berlin Wall's death strip is now attracting thousands of people each week eager to belt out often lethal karaoke versions of Michael Jackson and Britney Spears hits.
Just over 20 years ago, this part of Berlin echoed to the wail of alarm sirens and the howls of attack dogs guarding the Wall that split the German capital, the uneasy front line in the Cold War.
But these days Mauerpark, or Wall Park, part of the death strip once dividing the city, hums to the sound of people butchering pop hits as thousands of Berliners turn up here every Sunday to enjoy a huge open-air karaoke show.
One spring Sunday in 2009, Joe Hatchiban, a 36-year-old Irish courier living in Berlin, fired up his laptop and a microphone and held an impromptu karaoke competition with just a scattering of people sitting in the park.
"I live here around the corner so one Sunday I just came round here and set up the sound system. I just started singing a few songs with just five or six people," he told news agency AFP.
The five or six participants on that first Sunday quickly became hundreds, then thousands. And more than a year later, what was impromptu has become an institution, a "must-do" event among Berliners.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100716-28551.html
Mu Sochua refuses to pay a fine despite a deadline that expired on Thursday evening local time. Criminal convictions against two leading opposition MPs mean they could be banned from competing in the 2013 election.
"I am not going to pay any fine, because my conscience cannot let me pay the fine. Therefore this is really the countdown. I am ready – emotionally, psychologically, physically – ready to go to jail," Mu Sochua told Deutsche Welle on Thursday.
She is arguably Cambodia's leading female parliamentarian, and in the past year has gained a higher international profile.
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5795837,00.html
In a number of Asian countries, acid attacks which distort the victim's face have become a serious problem. Cambodia is the country most affected outside the South Asian subcontinent.
The Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) is based at a house on a hectare of land outside Phnom Penh. In the front room a group of a dozen men and women are resting or getting physiotherapy treatment. All have been burned by acid.
Statistics from CASC show that more than half of acid victims are deliberately attacked. CASC has recorded 103 people burned with acid in the past five years, with another 16 so far this year. But its coordinator Ziad Samman says the true number is likely far higher since CASC sees only a fraction of those hurt.
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5790055,00.html
While the Moscow-Berlin political relationship gets a lot of attention, German companies have come to realize that the money to be made in Russia is overshadowed by the prospects even farther afield in China.
Germany is China’s biggest trading partner by far in Europe, and the trade is increasing by leaps and bounds, especially for high-value electrical and electronic goods. Germany’s car industry, which suffered greatly during the global financial meltdown, has recovered thanks in large part to a surge in Chinese demand for the top range of German cars — Bayerische Motoren Werke raised its 2010 forecasts on Tuesday for that very reason.
German companies also are investing heavily in training programs for engineers and computer experts in China as the country upgrades its industrial base. Meanwhile, the largest group of foreign students in German universities is from China, with engineering one of most popular subjects, according to a study by the German Foreign Ministry.
Even the big German retailing chains, like Metro, are setting up shop there.
The new focus is evidenced by a trade mission being led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, starting Wednesday: For the first time, she is combining Russia and China in one trip — with energy-rich Kazakhstan thrown in for good measure.
Some analysts have criticized Mrs. Merkel for putting Russia and China into the same travel package. “No chancellor has done such a package tour,” said Alexander Rahr, Russian expert at the German Council of Foreign Relations. “It could send the wrong signal both to Moscow and Beijing.”
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/business/global/14trade.html?_r=1&ref=asia
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Now only these memories are left and a grave to bring her some flowers and candles...
Source photo: www.burghotel-witzenhausen.de
Western parts of the country bore the brunt of storm front, which brought heavy rain, gales, thunder and lightning and injured dozens of people through falling tree branches, hurled debris and road accidents.
A small tornado caused damage in the lower Rhine region, while several camp sites were destroyed in the Rhineland-Palatinate.
A 72-year-old hunter was found dead just before midnight under a fallen tree in a forest in the region of Werra-Meißner after being reported missing by a fellow hunter, police said.
Frankfurt airport, Germany’s largest and a key air transport hub, was closed for half and hour from around 8pm to 8.30pm. Approaching planes had to be diverted or put in a holding pattern, an airport spokesman said, though he had no information on how many passengers had been affected.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100715-28517.html
Source photo: DPA / http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100715-28517.html
Kraft’s coalition of centre-left (SPD) and environmentalist Greens will now take power in the western economic powerhouse, which has been politically paralysed for nine weeks following an inconclusive election result.
The outcome is a blow for beleaguered , whose centre-right federal government has now lost control of the upper house, or , which represents Germany's 16 states. This, in turn, will make it harder for her coalition of conservative ( ) and pro-business ( ) to pass legislation.
Kraft, 49, won the second ballot with 90 MPs voting for her, 80 against and 11 abstaining.
In her first address as premier, Kraft thanked the previous centre-right government – which was resoundingly trounced at the polls in May – for its five years’ service.
“Amid all the political differences, one goal unites us: a strong and liveable NRW,” she said.
As the leader of a minority government, Kraft will have a tough time passing legislation. Her “red-green” coalition will need to scrape together other parties’ votes in the state parliament – either from its left or its right – meaning it will need to make deals or risk a parliamentary deadlock.
Kraft said she wanted to work with all parties to ensure the smooth governing of the state.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20100714-28501.html
Wednesday, July 14, 2010