Archive for the 'Europe' Tag

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Society: Israel’s general strike and the soccer championship

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You might have seen in the news that this morning about 400,000 Israeli workers stopped working and started a general strike in the public sector. Within this strike all public service except Post offices, banks, telephones, the health sector and the defense sector are basically closed until further notice (sorry almost forgot, the stock exchange will stay open as well which surprisingly seems to be considered as an essential service in that country – hmmm…). Anyway the strike was launched after thousands of municipal workers have not been paid for months and as one of the results of the strike there will be no public transport including international flights to and from the country. All flights are grounded – no wait – all but one…

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Europe: The EU’s “Nobel prize” for IT

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I have just learned that one of the IT awards – or in good government gibberish “ICT” awards – I won for some of my inventions a few years ago is now called the “EU – Nobel prize – for ICT”. Maybe I should now move the plaque from the guest toilet where its displayed with the other awards to a more prominent place… “…The European ICT Prize, the EU’s “Nobel Prize” for innovation in information and communication technologies, is the most distinguished prize for innovative products and services in the field of ICT…” Well, to finish up the story, the money (grand prize winners now get EUR 200,000) went to my then company, which is now owned (at least some of the innovations) by an American conglomerate. So much about being successful in Europe when being innovative. Nevertheless the EU ICT prize is really a good thing and if…

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Geneva: Symbolic “Broken Chair” re-erected

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In September 1997, Handicap International unveiled the Broken Chair, a 12 meter high wooden sculpture in support of the global movement against land mines, outside of the Palais des Nations in Geneva. After a lengthy period of reconstruction during which the Chair was placed in storage, it will be reinstated as a reminder of the governments’ commitment to fully universalize and adhere to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty…

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Monaco: The changing size of a country

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The “Principality of Monaco” the second smallest state in the world, is continuously demonstrating for the last 100 years how to gain in size without being able to expand into neighboring countries…What the two maps above don’t show is the substantial expansion with the new harbor in recent years as part of a new orientation of Monaco towards a broader spectrum of tourism (see for example this “official press release”). Other countries in Europe that have substantially expanded their terrain in a similar way are…

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Europe: European Innovation Scoreboard 2006 published

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The European Innovation Scoreboard measures the innovation performance of a country’s economy based on a wide range of 25 indicators, from education to expenditure in Information and Communication Technologies, investment in R&D or number of patents. Countries with a more homogeneous behavior in all aspects of innovation tend to achieve higher overall scores.

“…For the fourth consecutive year, the innovation gap between the US and the EU has decreased. The Nordic countries and Switzerland continue to be the innovation leaders worldwide, while many of the new Member States are steadily catching up with the EU average. These are some of the main findings of the European Innovation Scoreboard 2006, published today. The report presents a comparative analysis of the innovation performance of European countries, the US and Japan…

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UK women are now officially the fattest in Europe

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Based on the authoritative Eurostat yearbook British women are now leading the chart of obesity of the EU’s 27 member countries. Measured by the Body Mass Index that calculates a height to weight ratio – people are classified as obese if they weigh a fifth more than their ideal maximum weight. A quarter of women and a fifth of men in the UK are now so overweight that their health is at serious risk. The EU statisticians looked only at adult obesity, but previous studies have shown…

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