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Archive for 16. März 2017

Open up: The Dutch election suggests a new kind of identity politics

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

Date: 16-03-2017
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne

Identity does not have to be the exclusive preserve of the far right

WILL no one stand up for the Dutch cosmopolitan elite? For many observers of this week’s election in the Netherlands there was only one story: the fate of Geert Wilders, the bottle-blond nativist who wants to ban the Koran and exit the European Union. Rare was the bar in Limburg, Mr Wilders’s home province, left unmolested by journalists expecting Dutch voters to deliver a populist hat-trick, following the triumphs of Brexit and Donald Trump. The young, educated urbanites of Amsterdam’s Canal District or Haarlem barely got a look-in. And yet in an election with many subplots, theirs was among the more arresting.

Though Mr Wilders disappointed on election day, he remains more than an irritant. With 20 seats in the new 150-seat parliament, he may well lead the opposition to whatever government emerges from the electoral mélange produced on March 15th. His vicious brand of anti-Islam populism is no less shocking for its familiarity (Mr Wilders founded his Freedom Party in 2006, and he is not the first peddler of xenophobia to Dutch voters). And opposition presents no impediment to his influence. Before the election Mr Wilders told an interviewer that by tugging other parties in his direction, he had already won. In a way, he was right. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hans Rosling, population prophet: Five final thoughts

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

By Ruth Alexander and Ben Carter

  • 16 March 2017
  • From the section World

Co-founder of Gapminder.org, which continues his work, he was enthusiastically trying to change old-fashioned notions of the world even as his illness took hold.

In his final BBC interview – for the BBC World Service series Economic Tectonics – the statistician highlighted five key ways that demographics are shaping the world around us.


Why bedrooms are driving economies

Why do I as a professor from public health speaking about health and demography get invited to Goldman Sachs [and] all these big banks around the world?

Because I tell them I can see on my screen when economic growth comes, before you can see it.

In the past, economic growth was driving demographics, and now it’s the other way around.

First, I see decent life coming and I see children born-per-woman drop.

I see the two-child family, and I see the economic growth starting in Vietnam, in Thailand… not only in China. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Dutch Voters Rebuff Anti-Immigration Candidate

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

Date: 16-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Prime Minister Mark Rutte achieved goal of finishing ahead of anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders

Preliminary results published after Wednesday’s Dutch election put the anti-immigration Party for Freedom led by Geert Wilders, shown, behind Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservatives.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands—The Dutch political establishment held on to power Wednesday, despite losing votes to anti-immigrant nationalists and other upstart parties, according to preliminary results published after the country’s most closely watched election in recent times.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy won the most seats, putting Mr. Rutte in a strong position to form a new ruling coalition.

Mr. Rutte achieved his goal of finishing ahead of anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders , whose Party for Freedom wants to halt Muslim immigration and leave the European Union. The key to Mr. Rutte’s win was offering his own, gentler version of anti-immigrant populism during the campaign. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Latin America’s Barriers to Growth

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

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Trump’s Imaginary Enemy

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

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The Next Innovation in Shipping: Wind Power

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

Date: 15-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Maersk launches trial run of tanker using rotating cylinders that can function as high-tech sails

A ferry operated by Dutch shipping firm Bore with two rotor sails similar to the ones Maersk will test.

More than a century after shifting away from wind power, the shipping industry is looking at ways to harness ocean breezes once again—this time to reduce reliance on fuel.

The latest effort by Denmark’s Maersk Tankers uses rotating cylinders nearly 100 feet tall that can function as high-tech sails. The company, a unit of AP Moeller Maersk A/S, said Tuesday it will begin testing on one of its tankers and could add the technology to as many as four dozen ships.

Industry executives said previous efforts to harness the wind didn’t catch on with shipping operators as either the cost of such technologies was too high or tests didn’t yield the expected fuel savings. However, the lightweight and relatively cheap rotating sails show more promise, they said.

The cylinders are made with lightweight composite materials by Finland-based Norsepower Oy Ltd., and cost €1 million to €2 million ($1.1 million to $2.1 million) to fit to a ship, depending on its size. The design takes advantage of the so-called Magnus effect, in which a spinning object drags air faster around one side, creating a difference in pressure that moves it in the direction of the lower-pressure side.

The sails are already in use on a ferry operated by Dutch shipping firm Bore Ltd. and are expected to be installed on a Viking Line cruise ship. Maersk’s trial run of the technology is a joint venture with Norsepower, Royal Dutch Shell and the U.K.’s Energy Technologies Institute, an industry group focused on alternative-fuel use. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The United Europe of Tomorrow?

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

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A Threat on Migration That May Prove to Be Empty

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

Date: 15-03-2017
Source: The New York Times

Migration through Turkey rose sharply that year, with 850,000 people leaving Turkey for Greece.

ISTANBUL — When Turkey and Europe reached an agreement a year ago this week to restrict migration to Greece, it was bad news for Abu Samir, a Syrian-Palestinian people-smuggler in Istanbul.

By late 2015, Abu Samir, a former house painter from Aleppo, had become a key cog in one of the largest Europe-bound migrations in history, sending thousands of refugees, most of them Syrians, to Greece and earning up to $4,000 on some days. But in the 12 months since Turkey’s pact with the European Union, his business has collapsed.

The problem: Too few refugees and too many border patrols. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Poland Will Take Revenge on Europe

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

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Brexit Comes With Price Shock at Checkout

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2017

Date: 15-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Weak pound boosts cost of imported goods, prompting retailers to raise prices

LONDON—The U.K. is expected to kick off talks this month over how it will exit the European Union, a process that could take two years. But for many British shoppers, Brexit already means one thing: higher prices.

The sharp drop in the pound following Britain’s June vote to leave the EU has boosted the cost of imported goods as well as British-made products containing foreign ingredients or parts. Some companies have resisted passing on those higher costs to consumers, or have been protected by currency hedges. But in the more than nine months since the vote, many others have been raising prices. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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