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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Britain: Cobbyn says he will accept second British Referendum on Brexit if upcoming Labor Conference votes for it

Via euronews: UK: Corbyn will accept second Brexit referendum if upcoming Labour conference votes for it

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Desirable World Order ?: China teams up with Russia to aim for 'desirable world order'

Donning a blue apron, Russian President Vladimir Putin poured batter into a pan and tossed it.

He was cooking with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and the pair were making a traditional Russian pancake called a blini.

The culinary showmanship reflected a larger trend: Russia and China are developing a closer, albeit uneasy friendship.

Before last week's blini-making, the two leaders had just discussed military and economic cooperation on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, an annual event held in this far-eastern Russian city.

Read more: China teams up with Russia to aim for 'desirable world order'

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Colombia: Potential Colombian cocaine production jumps 31 percent

Illegal coca plantations in Colombia reached record levels last year following a 17 percent increase from 2016 to around 423,000 acres (171,000 hectares), the United Nations said on Wednesday.

The UN Office on Crime and Drugs (UNODC) said that translated to a potential 31 percent increase in cocaine production from last year to almost 1,400 tons.

Coca leaf is the primary ingredient in the production of cocaine and current plantations generate 33 percent more leaves than they did in 2012.

"I want to express my deep concern about the amount of money that is moving around illicit drugs," said Bo Mathiasen, the UNODC representative to Colombia, at a press conference in Bogota.

Colombia remains way ahead of the rest of the world in terms of illegal coca plantations, while it is also the top producer of cocaine, much of it destined for the United States, the biggest consumer of the white powder.

Read more: Potential Colombian cocaine production jumps 31 percent |

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Germany: World′s first hydrogen train rolls out in Germany

 Commuters in Germany now have a chance to ride the world's first hydrogen train as the country moves to replace old diesel-powered engines. Instead of exhaust fumes, hydrogen trains produce only water.

A French-made hydrogen train took its first scheduled trip from the station of Bremervörde in Lower Saxony on Monday, marking a world first for the new transport technology.

Two Coradia iLint engines will replace diesel trains on the 100-kilometer (62-mile) route linking the towns of Cuxhaven and Buxtehude, with 14 other hydrogen trains set to be introduced across the state by 2021. The new-type engines are produced by the French company Alstom.

"The world's first hydrogen train is entering into commercial service and is ready for serial production," Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said during the unveiling ceremony in Bremervörde, which will serve as a refueling site.

The new trains carry a hydrogen tank and fuel cells on the roof, and produce electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen. Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries. The engines can run for around 1,000 kilometers without refueling and reach a maximum speed 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour), similar to diesel trains.

Read more: World′s first hydrogen train rolls out in Germany | News | DW |

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Netherlands - Free Market Forces in Health-Care and Education not benefitting Netherlands consumers - by RM

After returning back home from America to the Netherlands, it struck me how incredibly passive the Dutch population reacts to many decisions of their Government, which unfortunately, usually negatively affects the "pocketbooks" of the average Dutch citizen.

Particularly, because when these decisions are announced, the  Dutch Government gives little or often no clear explanation, about the nature or reasons for these decisions. Their catch words usually are, either to improve the economy or to cut costs.

One example is the Dutch Health-Care system, which was changed a few years ago from a government controlled Universal Health-Care program, to a "Market controlled version, now mainly controlled by Insurance companies.

According to a recently held opinion poll, however, a majority (more than 60%) of the Dutch population wants to return to the old system of Universal Health-Care, since the new system, now run by Insurance companies has steadily increased their costs for affordable Health-Care .

In the field of education, Dutch students, who used to be able to apply for a free scholarship, which they did not have to pay off, after they successfully had completed their educational program, now have to pay back their scholarship through a loan program, including interest.

Unfortunately, many Dutch politicians, and large companies have abused the concept of "market forces" to create the suggestion of freedom and honesty.

A truly free market offers advantages, but with economic "spins and gibberish", as it does now, it certainly does not.

Bottom - line, the Dutch citizen is now at the mercy of a few large suppliers - and the so-called benefits of the market forces do not end up being tangible economic benefits to them .

The Netherlands economy, unfortunately,  is starting to look more and more like that of the US, and that certainly is a scary idea. 

Isn't it time to man the barricades?

C: this article can be published if source is identified as EU-Figest