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France and Germany give OTTs early Xmas gift in digital tax saga - Telecoms.com

Saturday, December 8, 2018

With bureaucrats under pressure to produce a plan, accepted by all member states by March 2019, a lighter touch approach will be needed. We suspect such a plan will be put together, championed as a revolutionary position, though the internet players will be given enough wiggle room to ensure there is no meaningful victory. What will help internet players sleep at night is the knowledge they only need to get one member state on side to veto the battle plan. Rev up the lobby machine! ...http://telecoms.com/493975/france-and-germany-give-otts-early-xmas-gift-in-digital-tax-saga/

Germany’s new Green divide - POLITICO.eu

Saturday, December 8, 2018

It then achieved a similar feat in the neighboring state of Hesse, where it won 20 percent of the vote. It remains to be seen whether the party will be able to cement its support and become the champion of Germanys cosmopolitan-liberal camp for years to come. In early November, the Greens overtook the rapidly deflating SPD in nationwide opinion polls. One survey put the partys support at 24 percent, just three points below that of Chancellor Angela Merkels Christian Democratic Union. In a snap election, such a result would establish the Greens as Germanys largest left-wing force an enormous leap for the once marginal party. Buoyed by these recent successes, Greens from across Europe are gathering in Berlin this weekend to rev up their campaign for next May's European Parliament election. In the minds of many German voters, the Greens have established themselves as the polar opposite of the AfD and those who adopt a similar rhetoric. I didnt have to think about it very long, it was crystal clear, says Doris Langer, 45, of her decision to vote Green in the Bavarian election. The communications specialist from Munich used to think of herself as largely apolitical and has voted for various center-left and center-right parties in the past. But when Bavarias ruling Christian Social Union, the CDUs sister party, shifted rightward particularly on migration, a subject she cares about deeply Langer saw the Greens as her only option. They are the only ones who have a liberal refugee policy, she says. Merkels sentence from 2015, that ‘We can do it, the Greens are the only ones who take it seriously. * * * The Green surge could not have happened without the collapse of the SPD. In the birthplace of social democracy, the SPD held out longer than likeminded parties in other places in Europe. But its decline reaches back decades. In a way, social democracy became a victim of its own success. The SPD is Germanys oldest existing party. Since taking on its current name in 1890, it has dipped below 20 percent in nationwide elections only once, in 1933; the party was banned by the new Nazi government shortly after. After the war, the SPD became Germanys leading left-wing force, locked in a battle with the center-right Christian Democratic Union. After abandoning its Marxist tenets in 1959, drawing up plans to reform rather than abolish capitalism, the party gradually expanded beyond its working-class roots. Reinvented, the party attracted centrist and middle-class voters, leading to a series of SPD victories in the 1970s. Back in opposition in the 1980s and 90s, the party led regional governments in several states. The SPD governed once more between 1998 and 2005, together with the Greens. (As junior coalition partners, the Greens were weaker and less influential than now; this seven-year period was their first and so far only time in power.) But even in the SPDs 1970s heyday, its core base was already eroding. The structure of Germanys economy was changing, and with it the countrys workers. img class="wp-image-981725 size-ev-full-width"...https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-green-party-haidhausen-munich-elections-social-democrats-spd-is-the-new-red/

Bush saluted by CIA comrades; service dog Sully comes, too - Stuttgart Daily Leader

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Wednesday: Alan Simpson, the former senator and acerbic wit from Wyoming, Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister who also gave a eulogy for Reagan; and presidential historian Jon Meacham. In an invocation opening Monday evening's ceremony, the U.S. House chaplain, the Rev. Patrick J Conroy, praised Bush's commitment to public service, from Navy pilot to congressman, U.N. ambassador, envoy to China and then CIA director before being elected vice president and then president. "Here lies a great man," said Rep. Paul Ryan, the House speaker, and "a gentle soul. ... His legacy is grace perfected." Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell also spoke. Political combatants set aside their fights to honor a Republican who led in a less toxic era and at times found commonality with Democrats despite sharp policy disagreements. Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a past House speaker nominated for the post in the new Congress, exchanged a warm hug with George W. Bush and came away dabbing her face. Bush himself seemed to be holding back tears. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, placed wreaths in the short ceremony before the rotunda was opened to the public. Sent off from Texas with a 21-gun salute, Bush's casket was carried to Joint Base Andrews outside the capital city aboard an aircraft that often serves as Air Force One and designated "Special Air Mission 41" in honor of Bush's place on the chronological list of presidents. Cannon fire roared again outside the Capitol as the sun sank and the younger President Bush stood with his hand over his heart, watching the casket's procession up the steps. Bush was remembered just feet away from what he called "Democracy's front porch," the west-facing steps of the Capitol where he was sworn in as president. Although Bush's funeral services are suffused with the flourishes accorded presidents, by his choice they will not include a formal funeral procession through downtown Washington. On Sunday, students, staff and visitors had flocked to Bush's presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M University, with thousands of mourners paying their respects at a weekend candlelight vigil at a nearby pond and others contributing to growing flower memorials at Bush statues at both the library and a park in downtown Houston. "I think he was one of the kindest, most generous men," said Marge Frazier, who visited the downtown statue Sunday while showing friends from California around. After services in Washington, Bush will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church before burial Thursday at his family plot on the library grounds. His final resting place will be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age 3. Trump has ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning. Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days. Bush's passing puts him in the Washington spotlight after more than two decades living the relatively low-key life of a former president. His death also reduces membership in the ex-presidents' club to four: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. ...http://www.stuttgartdailyleader.com/zz/news/20181204/bush-saluted-by-cia-comrades-service-dog-sully-comes-too

Finalists Announced for International Grower of the Year Awards - Greenhouse Grower

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Royal FloraHolland and founding partner FloraCulture International. Established by AIPH, the IGOTY Awards have been championing outstanding achievement in the ornamentals industry since 2009. They recognize best practices in horticultural production by the top ornamental production nurseries from around the globe, celebrating the expertise and energy they give to horticulture. The awards also stimulate and promote best practices by giving global attention to outstanding producers and promoting knowledge throughout the industry. The IGOTY Awards are judged by a jury of six internationally recognized experts. At the gala ceremony, winners of four separate categories will be announced: finished plants and trees, cut flowers, young plants, and sustainability. From among the winners of all categories, an overall champion wi...https://www.greenhousegrower.com/management/finalists-announced-for-international-grower-of-the-year-awards/

Travel: Germany's answer to Vancouver and Whistler is worth the trip - BCBusiness

Saturday, December 8, 2018

But B.C.s favourite winter wonderland lacks the old-timey charm of Berchtesgaden. And while some aspects of the Bavarian retreats history are undoubtedly regrettable (thanks to historical museum Dokumentation Obersalzberg and its 170,000 visitors in 2017, the village doesnt shy away from its past), others have aged well. A trip across a lake named K.nigssee, for example, yields the Church of St. Bartholom., built in the 12th century, plus a family-run food stand specializing in smoked trout on a bun. (Just dont ask for WiFi.) The right to fish in the lake is passed down from generation to generation, with only one person holding the right to catch at any given time. Not a bad business model. Speaking of which, two other notable commercial endeavours in the region that have stood the test of time are lederhosen clothier Engelbert Aigner and the Grassl distillery, which specializes in schnapps. The former is another family business, though instead of monopolizing Germanys waterways, it makes artisanal lederhosen. This isnt the stuff you can find in every tourist shop in Germany for $200 a pop, either. Its the real, custom, hand-stitched item that will put you on a year-long waitlist. Apparently, the leather is a good choice in the mercurial Bavarian climate and isnt only worn during Oktoberfest. (Though if you dont sport a pair in Germany then, youre not even a tourist; youre like an alien or something.) The latter is Germanys oldest distillery, open since 1692. Grassl doesnt use any aromas or perfumes for its schnapps, either; theyre all-natural, to the point that many of the shops specialty products are still made up in the mountain ranges and barrel-aged for three years. Berchtesgaden has also cornered the market on a certain Olympic sport with a massive luge/bobsled track that German athletes flock to in all seasons. It seems like a perfect little paradise, but as with all such places, our time here is too short. Keep Munich weirdAfter another bus ride through the mountains, we arrive in the capital of the state of Bavaria. Spotless Munich is one of the richest areas of Europe, but there are some eccentricities amid the beautiful buildings that shape the city centre. Perhaps chief among them is the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, basically a huge merry-go round, atta...https://www.bcbusiness.ca/Travel-Germanys-answer-to-Vancouver-and-Whistler-is-worth-the-trip

Germany’s new Green divide - POLITICO.eu

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Germanys Social Democrats would do well to look at the neighborhood of Haidhausen in central Munich. For centuries, the area was known as the poorhouse of the Bavarian capital; after post-war reconstruction, it became a dilapidated workers quarter, described as a district of broken glass for its rundown condition. About half of all apartments had no bathroom and no hot water, the magazine Der Spiegel wrote in 1980. Even fewer had access to central heating. Over the past few decades, however, the neighborhood has flourished thanks in no small part to a large-scale redevelopment plan initiated by the SPD-led city government in the early 1970s. Gentrification has taken hold. Residents are younger and rents are higher than the Munich average. Trendy cafes, expensive bicycles and organic shops cluster around the districts picturesque squares. Given Haidhausens history, its no surprise that the Social Democrats were the dominant party in this area for decades at least until recently. In Bavarias state election in October, the SPD suffered a colossal defeat in the Munich-Mitte constituency to which Haidhausen belongs, its vote share shrinking by t...https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-green-party-haidhausen-munich-elections-social-democrats-spd-is-the-new-red/

Bavaria election: German conservatives lose their fizz - BBC News

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Every autumn, lederhosen-clad drinkers crowd into vast tents festooned with dried hop flowers, to celebrate Bavaria's most intoxicating export. Waitresses bearing fistfuls of beer glasses squeeze between packed wooden benches. It's hard to make much out above the brass band music but, listen closely this year, and the talk is of politics. Just like Oktoberfest, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative sister party is woven into the checked fabric of Bavarian culture. The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Germany's richest state since 1957, sharing power just once in a coalition with the free-market FDP. And since then, every Bavarian prime minister has risen from its ranks. But now, swift as a reveller draining his tankard, support has ebbed away. The CSU is bracing itself for humiliating losses in today's Bavarian state election. The party is on course to lose the absolute majority its leaders once took for granted. This is likely to be an historic election which will define Bavaria's very identity, encapsulated in the word "Heimat" (homeland). "In this...https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45835795

Bavaria election: German conservatives lose their fizz

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Every autumn, lederhosen-clad drinkers crowd into vast tents festooned with dried hop flowers, to celebrate Bavaria's most intoxicating export. Waitresses bearing fistfuls of beer glasses squeeze between packed wooden benches. It's hard to make much out above the brass band music but, listen closely this year, and the talk is of politics. Just like Oktoberfest, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative sister party is woven into the checked fabric of Bavarian culture. The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Germany's richest state since 1957, sharing power just once in a coalition with the free-market FDP. And since then, every Bavarian prime minister has risen from its ranks. But now, swift as a reveller draining his tankard, support has ebbed away. The CSU is bracing itself for humiliating losses in today's Bavarian state election. The party is on course to lose the absolute majority its leaders once took for granted. This is likely to be an historic election which will define Bavaria's very identity, encapsulated in the word "Heimat" (homeland). "In this...https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45835795