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Posts Tagged ‘NYT’

Merkel, After Discordant G-7 Meeting, Is Looking Past Trump

Posted by hkarner - 30. Mai 2017

Date: 29-05-2017
Source: The New York Times

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Munich on Sunday. “The times in which we could rely fully on others, they are somewhat over,” she said.

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Europe’s most influential leader, has concluded, after three days of trans-Atlantic meetings, that the United States of President Trump is not the reliable partner her country and the Continent have automatically depended on in the past.

Clearly disappointed with Mr. Trump’s positions on NATO, Russia, climate change and trade, Ms. Merkel said in Munich on Sunday that traditional alliances were no longer as steadfast as they once were and that Europe should pay more attention to its own interests “and really take our fate into our own hands.”

“The times in which we could rely fully on others — they are somewhat over,” Ms. Merkel added, speaking on the campaign trail after a contentious NATO summit meeting in Brussels and a Group of 7 meeting in Italy. “This is what I experienced in the last few days.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Is China Outsmarting America in A.I.?

Posted by hkarner - 29. Mai 2017

Date: 28-05-2017
Source: The New York Times

HONG KONG — Sören Schwertfeger finished his postdoctorate research on autonomous robots in Germany, and seemed set to go to Europe or the United States, where artificial intelligence was pioneered and established.

Instead, he went to China.

“You couldn’t have started a lab like mine elsewhere,” Mr. Schwertfeger said.

The balance of power in technology is shifting. China, which for years watched enviously as the West invented the software and the chips powering today’s digital age, has become a major player in artificial intelligence, what some think may be the most important technology of the future. Experts widely believe China is only a step behind the United States. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Banksy’s View of ‘Brexit’? It’s in the Stars

Posted by hkarner - 10. Mai 2017

Date: 09-05-2017
Source: The New York Times

The artist Banksy left a mural in Dover, England, depicting a workman chipping away at a star on the European Union flag.

LONDON — The three-story mural showing a workman chipping away at one of the 12 stars of the European Union flag appeared mysteriously in Dover, England, over the weekend, at once banal and symbolically poignant.

Before the paint had dried, social media was swirling with the well-trodden guessing game as to whether the intricate stenciled imagery belonged to Banksy, the enigmatic and anonymous guerrilla street artist whose work has graced walls from Britain to the West Bank.

The mystery was solved when Banksy posted photographs of the work on his official Instagram feed on Sunday, perhaps timed to coincide with the French presidential vote — which, as it turned out, the young and ardently pro-European Union former investment banker Emmanuel Macron won decisively. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Emmanuel Macron Embraces E.U. to Put France ‘Back in the Picture’

Posted by hkarner - 10. Mai 2017

Date: 09-05-2017
Source: The New York Times

LONDON — It was a striking moment when Emmanuel Macron, newly elected president of France, torchbearer of a new politics, strode onto a courtyard of the Louvre to celebrate his victory: As the crowd cheered, waving the tricolor French flag, the choice of music was “Ode to Joy,” the anthem of the European Union. Some people even waved the bloc’s flag, with its circle of golden stars.

For the past year, and longer, the European Union has been politically radioactive, deemed untouchable by most mainstream candidates for national office in Europe. Yet Mr. Macron, 39, not only embraced the embattled bloc, he proclaimed membership of it to be a necessity for France’s future: needful of reform, certainly, but something to embrace rather than run from. And he defeated the most europhobic of opponents, the far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What’s the Matter With Europe?

Posted by hkarner - 5. Mai 2017

Date: 05-05-2017
Source: The New York Times By Paul Krugman

On Sunday France will hold its presidential runoff. Most observers expect Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, to defeat Marine Le Pen, the white nationalist — please, let’s stop dignifying this stuff by calling it “populism.” And I’m pretty sure that Times rules allow me to state directly that I very much hope the conventional wisdom is right. A Le Pen victory would be a disaster for Europe and the world.

Yet I also think it’s fair to ask a couple of questions about what’s going on. First, how did things get to this point? Second, would a Le Pen defeat be anything more than a temporary reprieve from the ongoing European crisis?

Some background: Like everyone on this side of the Atlantic, I can’t help seeing France in part through Trump-colored glasses. But it’s important to realize that the parallels between French and American politics exist despite big differences in underlying economic and social trends. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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On Climate, Uncertainty Is Not the Same as Agnosticism

Posted by hkarner - 5. Mai 2017

Date: 04-05-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Greg Ip disagrees with Bret Stephens: uncertainty does not negate the case for climate action

Climate models generally assume the relationship between damage and temperature is nonlinear, that is each added degree of warming is more destructive than the last, Greg Ip writes.

Our former colleague Bret Stephens has stirred a hornet’s nest at his new home, The New York Times, with a column that challenged the certainty with which many climate-change activists make their case and compared them to Hillary Clinton’s hubristic campaign advisers.

But while I agree with his central point, I don’t agree with the implication: that uncertainty negates the case for policy action. Yes, religious conviction is too often attached to the apocalyptic scenarios embedded in many climate forecasts. A freak weather event such as a warm April or Superstorm Sandy often becomes a clarion call to action, when science doesn’t support the link. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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To Understand ‘Brexit,’ Look to Britain’s Tabloids

Posted by hkarner - 4. Mai 2017

Date: 03-05-2017
Source: The New York Times

Despite their falling circulations and tarnished reputations, tabloids maintain a striking grip on power as Britain prepares to cut ties with the European Union.

LONDON — Tony Gallagher, editor of The Sun, one of Britain’s most raucous and influential tabloids, looks down on the government, literally. From the height of his 12th-floor newsroom, all glass and views, the Palace of Westminster seems like a toy castle, something to be played with or ignored at will.

Mr. Gallagher also looks down on the editor of the more measured Times of London, whose office is one floor below and who makes a point of keeping his blinds drawn. The hierarchy is not lost on either man.

In Britain after the so-called Brexit vote, the power of the tabloids is evident. Their circulations may be falling and their reputations tarnished by a series of phone-hacking scandals. But as the country prepares to cut ties with the European Union after a noisy and sometimes nasty campaign, top politicians court the tabloids and fear their wrath. Broadcasters follow where they lead, if not in tone then in topic.

Their readers, many of them over 50, working class and outside London, look strikingly like the voters who were crucial to the outcome of last year’s referendum on membership in the European Union. It is these citizens of Brexitland the tabloids purport to represent from the heart of enemy territory: Housed in palatial dwellings in some of London’s most expensive neighborhoods, they see themselves as Middle England’s embassies in London.

In the campaign leading up to a snap election on June 8, most tabloids can be counted on to act as the zealous guardians of Brexit and as a cheering section for the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May — even though the city that houses them voted the other way. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Far-Right Leaders Loathe the European Parliament, but Love Its Paychecks

Posted by hkarner - 29. April 2017

Date: 28-04-2017
Source: The New York Times

STRASBOURG, France — Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader trying to become president of France, already has a day job as a lawmaker in the European Parliament, a position she regards with open contempt. She misses votes, mocks the process and cheers for the demise of the European Union.

Even so, Ms. Le Pen is willing to accept a salary of 101,808 euros (about $110,000), a generous per diem and an annual staff and office budget in excess of €340,000. In February, the Parliament halved her compensation after fraud investigators concluded that she had wrongly diverted money to pay for National Front party activities in France.

The scandal, which has not fazed Ms. Le Pen’s supporters in France, is another example of how Europe’s right-wing parties happily provoke populist fury by attacking the European Union — yet also happily pocket government salaries and other benefits. For some far-right politicians, a perch in the European Parliament can mean a lucrative sinecure, easy news media exposure and immunity from criminal prosecution at home. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Don’t All Jobs Matter?

Posted by hkarner - 18. April 2017

Date: 17-04-2017
Source: The New York Times Paul Krugman

President Trump is still promising to bring back coal jobs. But the underlying reasons for coal employment’s decline — automation, falling electricity demand, cheap natural gas, technological progress in wind and solar — won’t go away.

Meanwhile, last week the Treasury Department officially (and correctly) declined to name China as a currency manipulator, making nonsense of everything Mr. Trump has said about reviving manufacturing.

So will the Trump administration ever do anything substantive to bring back mining and manufacturing jobs? Probably not.

But let me ask a different question: Why does public discussion of job loss focus so intensely on mining and manufacturing, while virtually ignoring the big declines in some service sectors? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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To Curb Global Warming, Science Fiction May Become Fact

Posted by hkarner - 6. April 2017

Not according to Trump! (hfk)

Date: 05-04-2017
Source: The New York Times

The Stein glacier in Switzerland in 2015. Scientists and photographers are returning to the world’s glaciers, and watching them shrink with each visit.

Remember “Snowpiercer”?

In the delirious sci-fi thriller by the Korean director Bong Joon-ho, an attempt to engineer the climate and stop global warming goes horribly wrong. The planet freezes. Only the passengers on a train endlessly circumnavigating the globe survive. Those in first class eat sushi and quaff wine. People in steerage eat cockroach protein bars.

Scientists must start looking into this. Seriously.

News about the climate has become alarming over the last few months. In December, startled scientists revealed that temperatures in some parts of the Arctic had spiked more than 35 degrees Fahrenheit above their historical averages. In March, others reported that sea ice in the Arctic had dropped to its lowest level on record. A warming ocean has already killed large chunks of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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