Tuesday, August 31, 2010
"Everybody wants happiness nobody wants pain but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain…"
Falling sales and the growing popularity of online dictionaries mean the Oxford English Dictionary may never be printed again, its publisher says.
For over two decades, dozens of writers have been working on a book that will probably never grace a bookshelf. Online dictionaries have gained so much popularity over their printed counterparts that the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary will probably appear only in electronic form, according to its publisher, the Oxford University Press.
"The print dictionary market is just disappearing, it is falling away by tens of per cent a year," Nigel Port wood, the chief executive of the Oxford University Press, told UK newspaper the Sunday Times. He told the UK newspaper he did not think the third edition would be printed.
The second and most recent OED has existed online for more than a decade, where it receives two million hits a month from subscribers who pay an annual fee of almost 300 Euros to access it.
Simon Winchester, author of The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, said the Oxford University Press's move away from print editions of the dictionary "reflects an inevitability" and is part of a growing trend of readers moving away from printed books toward digital editions and electronic e-readers like the Kindle or the iPad.
"I think the electronic book is going to achieve ascendancy over the printed book, and I think that the printed book is just starting now to vanish," Winchester said. Though he owns three sets of the printed version of the Oxford English Dictionary, he said he relies on the digital version. "On my iPad, I've used the OED twice if not three times today. But I never ever go to the hardback version. It sits there on the shelf gathering dust, looking beautiful, but I never use it."
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5956974,00.html
Germany has said that up to €4 million (about US$5.1 million) earmarked for technical assistance to land sector reforms in 2011 and 2012 “will be contingent upon further strengthening the implementation of human rights”.
A statement issued by the German embassy on Friday said that “Germany’s future contribution in the land sector” in Cambodia would address relevant human rights issues that include “supporting indigenous communities in securing their land rights” and supporting the government “in progressively solving urban informal settlement issues in accordance with Cambodian law”.
But although the wording of the statement would appear to imply that Germany might decide to withhold funding should Cambodia fail to improve its human rights record in the land sector, an embassy official said yesterday that the statement was somewhat misleading, and noted instead that Germany’s “future support will focus on human rights issues”.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, declined to elaborate.
Nonn Pheany, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Land Management, said Germany’s pledge marked a significant increase from its previous contribution of $3,823,200 from 2008 to 2010, which focused on land registration, training and legal tools.
The next step, she said, is for the ministry to compile a list of land-reform issues it wants to address, and to present the list to the German government for consideration. “We do not know specifically what points will be chosen by the German side,” she added.
To read more: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2010083041627/National-news/berlin-notes-land-rights-in-aid-statement.html
Monday, August 30, 2010
As fixed and solid as they seem, art objects never stay still. They are not the same from one century, or second, to the next. Not only do they change in meaning and value through time, but they also change physically. With their molecules flying off into space, they grow lighter and smaller and, if we’re paying attention, more insistently alive.
So if on a visit to “Gods of Angkor: Bronzes From the National Museum of Cambodia,” at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, you imagine Buddhas and Shivas hovering and buzzing around you like so many emerald green hummingbirds — here, gone, here again — you won’t be entirely wrong.
This compact exhibition of 36 metal sculptures is literally about change, or rather about attempts to reverse and forestall it. Between 1975 and 1979, the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, one of the jewels of Southeast Asia, was all but destroyed. Khmer Rouge purges wiped out much of its staff; its buildings, abandoned, were disintegrating. The art that didn’t disappear was severely damaged.
In the decades since, the museum has struggled to become again what it was, but also something different, more modern. And other institutions have lent a hand in the recovery. In 2005 the Freer and Sackler galleries, collaborating with the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles, provided financial and technical support for the Cambodian museum’s first metal-conservation laboratory, primarily for the care and study of the collection’s magnificent bronzes.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/arts/design/27sackler.html?_r=1&ref=cambodia
There is also a photo slide show of some items of the exhibition available: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/08/26/arts/design/20100827-sackler-slideshow.html
Source photo: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/08/26/arts/design/20100827-sackler-slideshow-4.html
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sok Khemara, VOA Khmer
Washington, DC Friday, 27 August 2010
"The Dalai Lama's non-violent protests are an example to world leaders."Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay is expected to join a major celebration for Tibet's government in exile, officials said.
Tibet's exiled government, led by the Dalai Lama to seek genuine autonomy within the Chinese state framework in the mountainous province, will hold the 50th anniversary of Democracy Day Sept. 2 in India, marking the formation of the first elected Tibetan Parliament in India.
Son Chhay told VOA Khmer he would give an address to the celebrants, "to applaud Tibetans, who have struggled strongly under the leadership of the Dalai Lama."
The Dalai Lama's non-violent protests are an example to world leaders, he said.
Son Chhay will join representatives from 14 countries, including members of parliament from the EU, Africa and others.
At least 130,000 Tibetans live in exile in India, while 3 million more live under Chinese rule, where rights groups say they face rights abuses and persecution.
Tibet's government in exile now have an elected parliament, legislature and executive body, Urgen Tenzin, director of the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, told VOA Khmer Thursday.
"It's very important for Tibetans living in exile to practice the democratic system," he said.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia Friday, 27 August 2010
"I am not optimistic while [the report] has not been approved in nearly three years."With renewed diplomatic ties between Cambodia and Thailand, officials from opposite sides offered different views on whether the ongoing border issue can be resolved.
Cambodian officials say mutual renewal of ambassadors this week are not necessarily a positive step toward solving the issue bilaterally.
A Thai spokesman, however, said renewed ties would mean better communication over the border and could lead toward steps within the Thai government for more Joint Border Committee talks.
"I think with our ambassadors in place, it would facilitate more efficient and closer coordination and communication between both countries," the spokesman, Thani Thongphakdi, told VOA Khmer Thursday.
Both sides replaced their ambassadors this week following withdrawals in late 2009, when Cambodia made Thailand's fugitive ex-premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, an economic adviser.
Cambodian officials are less optimistic that the ongoing border row, over a disputed piece of land west of Preah Vihear temple, will now be settled.
Thai parliament has yet to approve border measures already discussed between the Joint Border Committee, said Var Kimhong, a senior government adviser and head of Cambodia's border committee.
"I am not optimistic while [the report] has not been approved in nearly three years," he said.
Officials said border demarcation can only begin after Thai parliament approves three agreements reached between the border committees since 2008.
"Even now that diplomatic relations are normalized, non negation can get started until Thai parliament approves these agreements," Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.
Thai spokesman Thani said he hoped the parliamentary endorsement would come in the near future. In the meantime, he said, discussions are now underway between the two sides for a meeting between prime ministers Hun Sen and Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
It's a humid Friday afternoon in Beijing, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel is addressing a friendly crowd of 80 students from the Central Party School, the Chinese Communist Party's highest training institution for its officials. A banner on the wall behind her reads: "Welcome, Chancellor Merkel."
But on this day Merkel doesn't have much time for niceties. Of course she admires the country's economic vitality, she says, and is impressed by how quickly China has overcome the financial crisis. But, she adds, it's also important to address the country's deficits -- which she then proceeds to do.
China's protections for intellectual property are not up to Western standards, says Merkel. Besides, she adds, Chinese companies have the bad habit of siphoning off technical expertise from their German partners.
At the end of her speech, the German chancellor hands the future elite of the Chinese Communist Party a few lessons in democracy. There are currently five parties in the German parliament, she says, and although this can be vexing at times, it's also productive, because the multiparty system ensures that every issue and every cause finds a voice. "This is why we ask ourselves: Can one party achieve as much as five parties achieve in our country?"
Merkel's open words in the heart of a one-party dictatorship clearly illustrate how the chancellor -- all diplomatic niceties aside -- feels about Germany's East Asian trading partner. She is well aware of the opportunities in the world's largest market, which is home to 1.3 billion people. But Merkel also knows that business leaders in Germany are starting to feel uneasy about the unstoppable rise of Chinese industry.
Some are already wondering whether the supposedly lucrative China connection will turn out in a few years' time to have been a pact with the devil.
To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,713478,00.html
Friday, August 27, 2010
Through the following link it is possible to evaluate and check this iPhone application I am working on in your Internet Browser in a kind of Emulator.
FamilyBlog Sample App: "A web simulated app gives you a good idea"
German automaker Opel, a unit of General Motors, will begin next year to sell vehicles in China and several additional countries. GM has given the green light for Opel to export beyond its core European market.
US carmaker GM has decided to allow Opel to sell its cars in China, a move expected to lead to even greater competition among its brands in the huge Chinese market.
"We will market Opel as a European designed car in the premium segment," company spokesman Andreas Kroemer told Deutsche Welle. "There are a growing number of Chinese who like European cars and have the money to afford them."
Opel tested the waters in China last year, selling around 4,000 cars, according to Kroemer.
In the first half of 2010, China passed the United States as GM's biggest national market.
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5946344,00.html
Thursday, August 26, 2010
A draft bill in Germany would crack down on employers who use hidden cameras or social networking to spy on employees. Germany would become the first country to forbid Facebook content to be used for hiring purposes.
Undercover spies and hidden video cameras - it sounds like the stuff of a James Bond movie. But for some German employees, it's just another day at work.
In recent years, a series of workplace spying scandals have come to light, several involving high-profile companies like the telecommunications firm Deutsche Telekom, the discount retailer Lidl and the national railway operator Deutsche Bahn.
"Until now, it has not been regulated, in what capacity and under what conditions an employer can use video surveillance to collect information about his employees," parliamentarian Christian Ahrendt of the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) told Deutsche Welle.
In response to the scandals, the governing coalition has proposed a draft law on Wednesday that would better regulate workplace privacy. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the new law would be beneficial for both parties.
"It's a balanced compromise among the various interests and will foster more trust in the workplace between employer and employee," de Maiziere told reporters.
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5942077,00.html
German business confidence has regained levels not seen since before the global financial crisis, the Ifo economic institute said on Wednesday in the latest sign of strength in Europe's biggest economy.
"The German economy remains robust," Ifo president Hans-Werner Sinn said in a statement as the closely watched climate index climbed to 106.7 points from 106.2 points in July, marking the highest level since June 2007.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast on average a slight decline to 106 points following a record jump by the poll of 4.4 points in July.
The latest improvement fortified the sharp increase seen a month earlier, the biggest increase since German reunification, Ifo said.
The survey was released a day after official data confirmed German output grew by 2.2 percent in the second quarter from the previous three-month period, the biggest quarterly increase since east and west Germany were reunified in October 1990.
The German central bank and most economists now forecast full-year growth of at least 3.0 percent, compared with weaker activity elsewhere in the 16-nation eurozone, Japan and the United States.
"In contrast to sentiment indices in other countries, the Ifo survey has remained at an elevated level, suggesting above-trend GDP (gross domestic product) growth in Germany - growth which is still supported by a favourable labour market situation," Barclays Capital economist Thorsten Polleit said.
German business sentiment has now reached its highest level since before the global financial system was slammed by a meltdown of the US market for high risk mortgages in mid-2007.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/money/20100825-29379.html
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Three months ago, images of protesters battling the military in the streets of Bangkok seized the world’s attention. Now, by some measures, Thailand is bouncing back: the country’s economy is projected to grow as fast as 7.5 percent this year, and the government is pushing ahead with a program of “reconciliation” with its opponents.
But even as Thailand pulls itself back together, there are concerns that deep-seated problems among its young people represent a quieter, long-term threat to the country’s future.
Declining education standards — as well as reports of growing violence and drug and alcohol use among the young, which some analysts see as related issues — are contributing to fears that Thailand’s dream of joining the ranks of the world’s most developed countries may be getting more and more elusive.
“Our G.D.P. is going up, but our society is sick,” said Sombat Rittidej, the head of the northeastern division of Child Watch, a program that analyzes trends among young people across Thailand. “All the problems, all the vices are correlated,” he said. “When kids drink and smoke it relates to cutting class, dropping out of school, violence, fighting and premarital sex.”
Analysts point to a variety of troubling trends. The Thai news media reported in July that the country had the world’s highest number of people addicted to methamphetamines, an illegal stimulant that is especially popular with young people. Experts said that this claim, made by a government official, was impossible to verify but that there was no denying the scale of the Thai drug problem. Methamphetamines have become so prevalent in Thailand that researchers from Yale University are studying whether genetic factors have contributed to the country’s high addiction rates.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/world/asia/25iht-thai.html?_r=1&ref=asia
From luxury cars to precision machinery, “Made in Germany” still means quality craftsmanship around the world. But the Teutonic attention to detail goes far beyond engineering. This series will feature a diverse array of products from both well-known German brands and less famous firms. But no matter big or small, all of them are focused on being the best at what they do.
On a trip to Scotland in 1994, the distiller Florian Stetter looked around at the lakes, the hills, and the pine woods. He breathed in the fresh air and thought of his home Bavaria. The southern German state might be beer country extraordinaire, but after drinking a few single malts with his colleagues, he wagered he could craft a whisky every bit as good as the Scottish stuff back in Germany.
Stetter began his experiments in 1997, and it took some time before he got it right. “What was first produced,” he admits, “was undrinkable.” But Stetter kept at it, and in 1999 he eventually sold the first bottles of SLYRS Bavarian Whisky from the distillery he had founded in Schliersee. Using solely Bavarian ingredients – the barley, for example, is smoked over beechwood, not peat, and water from the Bannwald spring at the foot of the Alps – he has created a truly homegrown German whisky.
By now, he had the process down pat, distilling the barley ‘mash’ twice over in 1,500-litre copper stills, then storing the whisky for three years (as of 2015, a twelve-year version will be available). The result is a whisky with a deliciously sugary-sweet aroma, whose underlying scents contain honey, herbs, wood and just a hint of vanilla. The taste has a discreet malt flavour with herb and honey accents, with a dry finish. “Try SLYRS with 70 percent bitter chocolate,” urges Stetter.
The distillation of whisky, a process which has its European origins in Ireland and, later, Scotland, is relatively new to Germany, with distilleries popping up only in the last thirty years. SLYRS’ distilling process takes place very slowly, in much the same way that traditional Bavarian fruit brandies are made. Unlike Scotch whisky, which is generally stored in used bourbon casks, SLYRS uses American white oak barrels to obtain its deep amber colour.
The distillery, which has a capacity of 60,000 bottles per year, can be visited from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. There, you can see the unusually shaped stills created by master Bavarian coppersmiths for SLYRS. When you’re done, you can swing by the shop for a bottle (or two) of whisky, which goes for €39.99 for 0.7 litres. If you feel like it, while you’re there you can also pick up fruit brandy and liqueurs produced by Lantenhammer, the nearby distillery Florian Stetter runs with his wife, Andrea.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
In an article published in the US journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers have concluded that dramatic rises in night time temperatures are decreasing rice yields in Asia.
A group of scientists from two universities in the United States, the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently published the results of a study begun in the 1990s and conducted in over 220 rice farms in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
According to the findings, rising temperatures have caused a decrease in rice yields of between 10 and 20 percent in certain parts of Asia.
"It's not perfectly clear the mechanism which causes this," explained one of the researchers Jarrod Welch.
"One hypothesis is that warmer temperatures increase respiration in the rice plant, which consumes energy. If these warmer temperatures occur at night time, there is no offsetting of the synthesis. So, warmer temperatures mean increased respiration, increased energy consumption in the rice plant. But synthesis is not occurring to replace that energy."
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5935846,00.html
Touch Eap stroked her husband’s scarred and discolored back as she described the night six years ago when she poured a tub of acid over his head, burning off his eyes and ears and lips and leaving him as dependent on her as a child.
“I wanted to kill him,” she said. “I didn’t want to injure him. He said he would kill me, and I thought, better to kill him first so that I can take care of the children.”
She smiled ruefully as she talked; his drunkenness and threats were an old memory. Her husband, Phoeung Phoeur, 45, opened his mouth in what may also have been a smile.
“I’m sorry for him,” said Ms. Touch Eap, 46, who grows vegetables to support her husband and three children, “and I try to take care of him.”
It was a moment of domestic tranquillity here in Cambodia’s only shelter for acid burn victims, where a dozen other mutilated residents napped or sang or hung their heads backward in an exercise to help keep their scarred necks flexible.
Cambodia, along with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, has a history of acid attacks — a rare and extreme form of revenge or punishment.
An increase in the number of reported attacks in Cambodia, with 17 so far this year, has drawn attention to this shelter, the nonprofit Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/world/asia/24cambo.html?_r=1&ref=cambodia
The German economy grew by 2.2 percent in the second quarter from the previous three-month period, final figures showed Tuesday. It could even expand by a record 3.4 percent for the full year, a business federation has forecast.
The National Statistics Office (Destatis) confirmed its previous estimate for Europe's biggest economy, which also showed 12-month growth 4.1 percent.
The quarterly growth rate was the strongest since East and West Germany were reunified in late 1990.
Growth in Germany contrasts with a loss of momentum in the United States, the world's biggest economy, and a slowdown in number two China.
Robust activity has continued into the third quarter meanwhile, though at a lighter pace, and is expected to remain on an upward path through the end of the year.
In October, the federal government is to revise its previous 2010 forecast of 1.4 percent growth, officials have indicated.
The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) now expects the country's economy to grow by 3.4 percent this year, its chief Martin Wansleben said Monday.
"The recovery is expanding," Wansleben told news magazine Der Spiegel.
Businesses are investing again and "even consumption is accelerating thanks to favourable developments in the labour market," he added.
The forecast is considerably higher than the revised 3.0 percent forecast issued on Thursday by the German central bank, and would see the economy tie the growth record it set in 2006.
Germany suffered its worst post-war recession last year, but has bounced back with the help of strong foreign demand for its high quality automobiles, chemical products and machine tools.
Monday, August 23, 2010
But the free application "Frings" enables free mobile video calls without WiFi, just through UMTS, 3G, Edge connection. Means that with Frings video calls are everywhere now possible, only the person to call must have Frings installed and must be added as buddy in Frings account. Just tried this with a friend and colleague at work and it was working really good. Nice tool and nice feature.
G Data Software AG is an innovative and rapidly expanding software house focusing on IT security solutions. As a specialist for Internet security and a pioneer in the field of virus protection, the company, which was founded in Bochum in 1985, developed the first antivirus program more than 20 years ago. Over the last five years, no other European manufacturer of security software has won more national and international test awards and distinctions than G Data. As a quality leader, G Data combines the best security technology in the world in its products. Examples of this are the DoubleScan technology with two independent virus scanners or the immediate protection of OutbreakShield. G Data Security's product portfolio encompasses security solutions for end customers, medium-sized businesses, and large companies. G Data security solutions are available in more than 30 countries so far. The company is headquarted in Bochum (Germany).
More information can be found on the Thai website: http://www.gdata.in.th/
Several projects have been launched in Cambodia to educate people about the Khmer Rouge regime and to ensure that the war crimes tribunal has a lasting impact.
"The school's over there, the pagoda's here. It's a community gathering space where there will be the opportunity to learn about the past, as well as plan for the future."
Daravuth Seng, a Cambodian-American lawyer, is walking me through a unique project at a Buddhist temple on the outskirts of the city of Battambang in western Cambodia.
In front of us over a deep pond, which is about twice the length and depth of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a wooden building on stilts is taking shape. When it is finished this will be a learning centre for the community that he is talking about.
This temple is called Wat Samroung Knong and during the Khmer Rouge's rule of Cambodia more than 10,000 people were executed here.
Numerous bodies were dumped into the pond. A small building nearby has skulls and bones on display.
To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5925525,00.html
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Yes so true what they write. Using now the iPhone only for two day and I am really excited, it is really a great phone, BUT this one main feature most phones offer I REALLY MISS. Hope there is soon some application or solution which works fine to show missed calls or messages, when the iPhone is in silent mode. It is really annoying when leaving the room or having the iPhone just in the jacket, to need to turn it on to see if I have missed a call or message. Miss the LED of my former google phone, who showed me in case I missed something. So I hope that a good developer out there will come up with a solution or that Apple includes such a feature in a future software update.
Source photo: www.apple.de
...sent from my WiseBuddha iPhone App.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Some of them I want to share here. First of all, so far in this short time of usage I had no problem at all with the antenna. The voice quality at calls is very excellent, in fact after this short time using it, I must admit that this is the best phone I ever had, really great device. Tried many functions with it, only one I could not try yet, which is FaceTime, the video call function. Curious to try this soon. Of course also changed the background photo to a personal photo to remind me of someone very special (not shown in the attached screenshots). The display and its quality is really amazing.
Here are some of my favorite applications I installed and I think some of them are really a must have for the iPhone:
Occasions: shows and reminds of family and friends birthdays, besides this national or religious holidays can also be shown
Facebook: of course to stay in contact with friends on the move
Skype: good for mobile chat and also to send sms messages or make skype calls
IM+: a great messenger application, so many different messengers can be used with one application
WhatsApp: really a must have, just great to send and share messages to friends, who use this application also. Is like sending sms, but with much more features and even the possibilities to send photos. Nice tool, because to send this messages no fee must be paid, so kind of sms sending for free.
Langenscheidt Dictionary: very excellent English - German / German English dictionary, even possible to use it for vocabulary training and to listen to audio files for help on pronounciation.
Channel News Asia: good application to stay updated on news and even video reports from my favorite asian news TV station - Channelnews Asia
Weather: Like also the pre installed weather application, for forecast on Phnom Penh and Bochum
WDR Radio: the local WDR radio stations, well done application, great to be able to listen now everywhere in the world to them
iPod: now I have all my music and even some of my favorite movies on the iPhone, so can take them everywhere with me, no need for a iPod anymore
Navigon Europe: Great GPS navigation system and maps for the whole of Europe, seems that I need to get a car mount and charger for the iPhone to use it than more comfortable in the car, also as navigation solution
uTalk Khmer: A nice, little language course to learn a little bit Khmer terms and phrases
Lunation: moon calendar, nice tool
This are just a few examples, of some of my favorite applications on the iPhone. But besides this also others already in use and this is just the beginning to discover other, useful tools.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
To contribute to the development, health and well-being of communities through reducing vulnerability and mitigating the impact of HIV and AIDS.
Advocating for a Cambodia where all people have equal access to quality HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment free from discrimination.
On Facebook they share a very impressive and touching movie about the great work they are doing. Really can recommend everyone to take some time to watch this movie.
Sal is one of 1520 orphans living with HIV in Cambodia. His mother abandoned him at the foot of a bamboo tree when he was only three months old. He is a very brave young man and he would like to share his story with you....
This is the link for this movie clip: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Khmer-HIV-AIDS-NGO-Alliance-KHANA/139602242734729#!/video/video.php?v=10150231947020092
More Information about KHANA at: www.khana.org.kh
Germany is gradually working toward giving gay couples equal rights in many areas. On Tuesday, it took a further step, when its top court ruled that same-sex couples in civil partnerships are entitled to the same inheritance tax rights as married couples.
The Constitutional Court, based in the western German city of Karlsruhe, found that inheritance tax law between 2001 and 2008 had disadvantaged registered homosexual partnerships. Germany introduced a form of civil partnership for same-sex couples in 2001, yet when a partner passed away, the surviving partner had to pay much higher tax on anything they might inherit.
New legislation in December 2008 helped remedy this situation and the government has prepared draft legislation that would bring about full equality on inheritance taxes. The court ruled on Tuesday that the German parliament had until Dec. 31 to produce legislation that rectified the disadvantage to gay and lesbian partners for the years 2001 to 2008.
The judges were responding to appeals lodged by a man and woman whose respective partners had died. In one case, the beneficiary had inherited €140,000 ($185,000) from his partner and had to pay €30,000 in taxes. In another, a woman had to pay €12,000 in taxes on an inheritance of €58,000 from her deceased partner.
To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,712473,00.html
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
"We respect that Mesut wants to go and take the next step in his career," said Werder Bremen's director of sport Klaus Allofs in a statement.
Özil was one of the stars at last month's World Cup and the attacking midfielder played a key role in helping Germany finish third.
With Werder Bremen preparing for a Champions League qualifying match against Sampdoria on Wednesday, the 21-year-old Özil sat out training on Tuesday and is expected in Madrid on Wednesday to undergo a medical.
Özil joined Bremen in January 2008 from Schalke 04 and won the German Cup with Werder in 2009. He has played 71 games for Werder and scored 12 goals.
Having won the European Under-21 Championships with Germany in June 2009, he was nominated as one of the ten best players at the World Cup in South Africa.
"Mesut Özil lands at Real Madrid after a standout performance at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa," Real meanwhile announced on their wesbite.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/sport/20100817-29215.html
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The unequal treatment of straight and gay partners when it comes to taxes and exemptions is unconstitutional, the court ruled.
The decision rendered relevant tax laws from between February 2001 and December 2008 invalid, and lawmakers have until the end of 2010 to create a legal framework to address the discrepancy retroactively.
“This is a good day for all homosexuals in Germany,” the Green party’s parliamentary group leader Volker Beck said after the ruling.
A 2008 inheritance tax reform recognised same-sex marriage, giving homosexuals equal rights to personal exemptions for inheriting the assets of their late partner. But registered life partners were still taxed at the highest level as distant relatives or strangers.
But the high court in Karlsruhe said the government’s 2010 annual tax law proposal should now reflect “total equality” for both same-sex and heterosexual life partners and spouses.
The case was brought to the court by two gay plaintiffs whose partners had died in August 2001 and February 2002.
Month after month, he said, he sat for hours with the aging leader, Nuon Chea, sharing meals and confidences, recording his words on thousands of hours of audio and videotape until at last he confessed his guilt.
His pursuit of Mr. Nuon Chea became an obsession that he said he hid from everybody, even his wife, who never knew where he went on what he called his investigation.
“I forgot everything,” said Mr. Thet Sambath, 42. “I forgot how to make money for my family. I sold my land. I sold everything. My brother told me, ‘You should stop going to the province. For what? You should take care of your children, your wife, build a house.’
“He didn’t know what I was doing. I never told anybody. If I told them, they would have told me to stop.”
Mr. Nuon Chea, the chief ideologue for Pol Pot, who died in 1998, is one of four Khmer Rouge leaders who are due to be tried next year for crimes against humanity in the deaths of 1.7 million people from 1975 to 1979. That trial follows the conviction last month of the chief Khmer Rouge prison warden, Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch.
The killings were a necessary part of the revolution, Mr. Nuon Chea told Mr. Thet Sambath during their discussions, which form part of “Enemies of the People,” a film about Mr. Thet Sambath’s search for answers that is now being screened in New York and Los Angeles. Mr. Thet Sambath and his British co-producer, Rob Lemkin, have refused a request by the court for a copy of the film, saying they promised Mr. Nuon Chea that his remarks would be used “for history, not for evidence.”
“They were killed and destroyed,” said Mr. Nuon Chea, now 84 years old, fragile and ailing but unrepentant. “If we had left them alive, the party line would have been hijacked.”
The new charger will be for all smartphones and all “data-enabled” phones, and not older models. Major companies, including Apple, Samsung, Sony Ericcson, Nokia and others have agreed to the deal.A European Commission spokesperson said Friday that starting in January 2011, European consumers will be able to finally purchase a standard mobile phone charger for nearly all mobile phones sold in the 27 member state bloc.
This move comes over a year after major manufacturers, including Nokia, Apple, Samsung and many other mobile companies agreed with the European Commission to provide a single charger to reduce waste and inefficiency.
"Introduction of the universal charger will make life much simpler for EU consumers," said Dennis Abbott, a European Commission spokesperson. "When you discover you've left your charger at home or work, you will be able to use someone else's, knowing it will fit your phone. How cool is that?"
The industry agreed that the new charger will be for all smartphones and all "data-enabled" phones - and will use a micro-USB connector. The new universal chargers will not cover older mobile phones.
To read more:http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5852237,00.html
As the disaster began unfolding in late July, Germans were hesitant to contribute at first. But as the situation there becomes more desperate, there is increased motivation to help the flood victims, DRK president Rudolf Seiters told daily Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.
The turning point began on Monday, he said, attributing the lag to the high number of disasters this year, including the January earthquake in Haiti and ongoing forest fires in Russia.
Without worldwide aid, Pakistan’s government will not be capable of helping its people, Seiters said.
Anyone concerned that their money may not make it to victims should know that the DRK has a long-running partnership with the Red Crescent Movement there, he told the paper.
“We can guarantee for ourselves and the Islamic Red Crescent that the money will reach the victims,” he said.
On Tuesday 18 tonnes of DRK supplies will be flown from Berlin to Pakistan, where almost one-third of the country is now covered in water. More than 1,500 people have been killed and another 20 million are homeless after the heavy monsoon rains.
To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100817-29201.html
Monday, August 16, 2010
A host of recruitment agencies has sprung up in Cambodia, with many former garment workers deciding to go abroad to find work, hoping for higher wages. However, the agencies do not always treat workers very well.According to a 2009 study by the International Labor Organization, nearly 10,000 legal migrant workers left Cambodia in 2007, going primarily to Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea to work as domestic helpers and factory workers.
Labor migration is often associated with problems such as debt, human trafficking, slavery or prostitution. In order to prevent such problems, the Cambodian government introduced laws allowing only qualified and licensed agencies to recruit migrant workers.
However, Moeun Tola from the Cambodian NGO, the Community Legal Education Center, says that new problems have arisen as a result: "The recruiting agents lend money to the families and the workers are kept in training centers."
He says that the workers liken the conditions in these recruitment centers to those in prison. "The agents lock the door and force them to stay inside the rooms. They do not have phone connections to call home. When people want to go home because of the conditions, the companies ask for compensation, saying they have lent money to the families."
To read more:http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5871901,00.html
Deutsche Welle video about this designer:
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Seems more and more newspaper publisher plan this kind of projects and publications, exploring this new and interesting market.
As I always feel so much at home there, I decided also to write a review about my stay there on Tripadvisor.com to share my experience and impressions with others.
Germans have many things they can be proud of. One is the fact that the mayor of Berlin is openly gay. And so is the current foreign minister.
Anyone who remembers the social conservatism of the Germany of the 1950s and 60s, the mutterings about then Foreign Minister Heinrich von Brentano, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union, who, according to Wikipedia, lived "as an unmarried Catholic with his mother," or the words the conservative Bavarian politician Franz-Josef Strauss uttered in 1970, when he said "I'd rather be a cold warrior than a warm brother" (in German, the term "warm brother" is slang for "gay man"), knows that a society's stance toward homosexuals is a measure of how civilized it is.
It isn't an issue of tolerance, because tolerance is an act of mercy that can be revoked as quickly as it is granted. Most Germans couldn't care less whether a politician is gay, straight, a vegetarian or an avid cyclist. Guido Westerwelle, the leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), wasn't voted into office and appointed as the country's foreign minister because he's gay, nor is he in his current position despite his homosexuality. Voters simply didn't care about his sexual preference one way or another. And that -- one would hope -- won't change until the day he is voted out of office again.
Very interesting commentary to read, this is the link to the complete article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,711783,00.html
Source photo: ddp / http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,711783,00.html
The province of Kampot is one of the least developed areas in Cambodia since it neither plays an important role for industry nor for tourism. The population survives mainly from agriculture and from fishing. 44,9 percent of the population are under 15 years of age.
Through the intervention of King Norodom Sihanouk the Cambodian government provided the land free of charge to Sonja Kill Foundation in order to build the hospital.
Really a great project run by this foundation, to help and support the cambodian children in this province.
More information can be found on this website: www.skmh.org
Saturday, August 14, 2010
For the first time I made tonight one of my favorite cambodian dishes: Green Mango salad.
Got this morning the ingredients for it at the Asian supermarket in Essen.
For making it the first time on my own here in Germany it is nice, still not as good as in Cambodia, but it comes close and next time I should use less Chili, as it is pretty spicy and hot. So its good to have some nice Jasmine rice with it.
So today I got there:
- a good rice cooker
- a Wok
- Wasabi Peas
- Singha beer, as they dont have any cambodian beer, would love to find a place in Germany where I can get Angkor beer, though
- Chili Sauce
- Chili Bean Sauce
- Hot Bean Sauce
- Mild Curry Sauce
- Green and Red Pepper
- fresh green Mango
- Dried fish
- Dried Shrimps
- Rice noodles
- Jasmin rice
- fresh lemon grass
- fresh long bean
- fresh spring onion
When being in Cambodia last week I bought some cambodian pepper. A while ago I read an article that cambodian pepper is estimated to be one of the best pepper in the world, so I was curious to try it. Today I got some pepper mill's and could try it. Wow, really great and delicious taste, love it.