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Posts Tagged ‘lithuania

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes that Toronto has been ranked the 12th most expensive city in the world.
  • Centauri Dreams is impressed by Pluto’s diverse landscapes.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the debris disk of AU Microscopii hints at planetary formation.
  • The Dragon’s Tales observes Russia’s fear of American hypersonic weapons.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a GoFundMe campaign for a man who was harassing a lesbian colleague.
  • Language Hat notes the adaptation of the Cherokee language to the modern world.
  • Language Log examines the complexity of the language used by Republican candidates in a CNN debate.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a major difference between national and international markets is the latter’s lack of regulation.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at how migrant labourers in California can be cheated out of their pay.
  • Registan notes the likely sustained unpleasantness in the Donbas.
  • Peter Rukavina quite likes the new Island musical Evangeline.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog shares photos of Lithuanian castles in Ukraine.
  • Spacing notes the cycling infrastructure of Toronto.
  • Towleroad observes that the new constitution of Nepal explicitly protects LGBT people.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Syrian Circassians will go to Russia as refugees and examines the complexities of Karabakh.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes Uber competition could mean lower taxi rates.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the New Horizons data is starting to come in.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to some papers suggesting that the solar system is not exceptional.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the linkage between Enceladus’ surface features and its geysers.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel writes about efforts to convert Japanese in Hawai’i.
  • Language Hat links to an article on endangered languages.
  • Languages of the World reports on the complexities of describing the history of the Slavic laqnguages.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on the Syrian-Lebanese diaspora of Haiti.
  • Out of Orbit’s Diane Duane announces a new Young Wizards novella.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the exceptional size of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
  • Spacing Toronto describes the complexity of education in inner-city Toronto.
  • Transit Toronto notes the repairs at Dupont Station.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the scale of the Russian HIV/AIDS epidemic.

[LINK] “EU law puts a dent in Scandinavian labor organizing”

Al Jazeera America’s Ned Resnikoff reports on the tension between the EU institution of posted workers–workers sent from one, low-wage, country to work in a high-wage country at the wages of the native countries–and the Nordic welfare state.

“The question is under what circumstances the services offered by a Latvian, Polish or German firm should be sold in Denmark and Sweden,” Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told Al Jazeera. “There’s an ongoing struggle over whether they should be able to offer those services paying Polish or Latvian wages.”

The struggle concerns a particular category of workers, defined as “posted workers” under EU law. A posted worker is “sent by his employer on a temporary basis to carry out his work in another Member State” according to a fact sheet on the European Commission website.

Under the Posting of Workers Directive, approved by the European Parliament in 1996, workers who are posted to a particular member state get to enjoy that state’s labor protections. A Polish worker posted to Denmark must be paid Denmark’s minimum wage or more.

The problem is that Denmark doesn’t have a minimum wage, at least not legally speaking — nor does Sweden. (Norway, the third of three Scandinavian countries also does not have a legal minimum wage but it is not a member of the European Union.)

Instead of legislating their minimum wages, the Scandinavian countries have their unions bargain for them. Sweden and Denmark may not have minimum wage laws, but they do have effective wage minimums, defined by the collective bargaining agreements their unions negotiate.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm

[LINK] “Putin’s Tanks Draw Cheers in Russian City Jammed Between NATO Nations”

Bloomberg’s Leonid Ragozin visits Kaliningrad during the celebrations of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany to find a population that is cautiously accepting official mythology.

Tanks and ballistic missiles lumbered past thousands of spectators gathered in Kaliningrad on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe, an historic triumph for Russia that the Kremlin has used to whip up a new nationalist fervor.

“We need to show our enemies, who deem us guilty just because we exist, that Russia is a very peculiar woman—she can knock you down without a second thought,” said Aleksandr Sapenko, a 64-year-old history teacher, citing the U.S. and European Union as Russia’s main enemies. “Soviet soldiers saved them from the Nazi gas chambers, but they are barking at Russia like a pack of stray dogs.”

This Russian enclave was once the German province of East Prussia; the city’s Victory Square was known for centuries as Hansa Platz and briefly as Adolf Hitler Platz. On Saturday, when Russia and the former Soviet republics marked the anniversary of Hitler’s defeat in World War II, the square was awash in Russian and Soviet flags. Many people brought their children, whom soldiers encouraged to climb tanks and pose for photographs while wearing garrison caps and clutching tank-shaped balloons. Similar parades were held all over Russia, notably in Moscow, the capital, where more than 16,500 troops marched in Red Square.

In the postwar settlement, East Prussia was incorporated into the Russian republic of the USSR, its entire population deported to Germany and the province repopulated with Soviet citizens, primarily ethnic Russians. Nearly flattened by British bombers and Soviet artillery, the East Prussian capital, Koenigsberg, was rebuilt as a drab Soviet city and renamed Kaliningrad, after Mikhail Kalinin, a Stalin functionary who held the largely ceremonial post of Soviet president during the war.

[. . .]

At the rally, Nikita, a 21-year-old student sporting a red Soviet flag on his bicycle, complained about the hardware. “Why couldn’t they show the new T-90 tanks instead of the old T-72s?” he said, more satisfied with the state-of-the-art Platforma-M robot tanks. Nikita said such parades were necessary so that no one forgets Russia’s war sacrifice. “It is also important to show our military might, but it’s not to scare the neighbors,” he said. “They are not our enemies, and we should all be united.”

Written by Randy McDonald

May 12, 2015 at 11:34 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the good and the bad of freelancing.
  • Centauri Dreams wonders about the technical issues associated with the Encyclopedia Galactica.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper speculating on how Jupiter would appear if it was an exoplanet.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a paper examining the tumultuous planetological history of Venus.
  • A Fistful of Euros argues that Cyprus’ engagement with the Euro has been marked by the government’s willingness to hide shady behaviour at all costs.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the death of out 60s pop icon Lesley Gore.
  • Language Hat deservedly celebrates its author’s return to health and blogging.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig notes that sdhe has an online course on languages available.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the lessons of Uruguay’s José Mujica for the left, and suggests that putting populists on pedestals is a losing strategy.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe approves of the recent book Unruly Places.
  • Marginal Revolution shares a revisionist take on the 1943 Bengal famine.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw considers the role of community gardens in modern-day Australia.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if Grexit will be triggered over so little.
  • Savage Minds shares tips on better writing for students of the social sciences (and all people, really).
  • Window on Eurasia notes the shattering of the post-Soviet space, suggests further advances into Ukraine are unlikely, argues that Lithuania would be much more likely to face conventional aggression than Estonia or Latvia, and notes Russia’s outlook to the European far left as well as the far right.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • The Big Picture shares photos of aspiring K-pop stars.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly notes how being rich and being happy do not necessarily coincide.
  • Centauri Dreams features a guest post from Andrew Lepage looking at the potential habitability of more than two dozen exoplanets. (Three look good.)
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin reports on the election in the Australian state of Queensland.
  • D-Brief notes the numerous surprises associated with the Rosetta comet probe.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that near-contact binary star system ZZ Eridani might have a brown dwarf in orbit.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Uranus’ moon Ariel is warmer than expected.
  • A Fistful of Euros notes the potential for change in Greece.
  • Language Hat links to an Irish Times essay arguing Ireland stayed much more Irish in language than people give it credit.
  • Language Log suggests in a guest post that the Chinese script is responsible for high levels of myopia.
  • The Planetary Society Blog features a report by Marc Rayman on the Dawn probe’s approach to Ceres.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer argues that the small Caribbean basin states which depend on Venezuela’s Petrocaribe can survive that corporation’s collapse.
  • Savage Minds recommends that writers should read more.
  • Spacing Toronto wonders what will be next for the TTC after the decision to let minors ride for free.
  • The Transit Toronto blog notes the expansion of wireless Internet across the GO Transit network.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the growth of fascism in Russia, notes the politicization of the Russian diaspora, observes the launching of websites for Russophone secessionists in the Baltic States, and wonders about whether or not Putin distinguishes between lies and the truth.

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

  • Al Jazeera captures the mood of Tunisia on the eve of elections, looks at the sufferings of ISIS’ sex slaves, reports on Kenya’s harsh response to American criticism of anti-terrorism legislation, and notes that Florida surpasses New York as the United States’ third most populous state.
  • Bloomberg reports on the absence of well-heeled Russian customers visiting Dubai, North Korea having been found guilty of the kidnapping of a Korean-American pastor, describes a European Union response on Ukraine’s financial needs, examines the entanglement of BP with Russia’s sanctions-hit oil and gas industry, outlines Chinese interest in helping Russia for a price, describes geopolitical rivalries of companies bidding for a South African nuclear program, notes Lithuanian interest in the Euro as a way to protect that Baltic state from Russia, shares listings of wonderful Detroit homes on sale at low prices, suggests the low price of oil means economic retrenchment in the Gulf states, and describes how a globalized Filipino village came to specialize in child porn.
  • Bloomberg View suggests Russia’s economic future is parlous despite the recent stabilization of the ruble, criticizes Russian military aircraft confrontations with civilian aircraft, suggests Russia wants a deal, argues the collapse of Vermont’s single-payer healthcare program shows the path-dependency of America’s medical industry, argues Japan should surpass China as a lender to the US, and describes North Korea’s high price for its apparent Sony hack.
  • The Inter Press Service notes a high dropout rate from school for Afghan refugees, suggests political turmoil in Spain might lead to a moral regeneration, describes the negative impact of falling oil prices on fragile African economies, comments on Pakistan’s renewed use of the death penalty, and argues Cuban-American detente will help stabilize the Americas.
  • MacLean’s wonders why the National Archives are being made inaccessible to visitors, describes the toxic CBC environment that enabled Jian Ghomeshi, and visits Yazidis returning to liberated territories to find mass graves of their people.
  • Open Democracy looks at Russian support of Central Asian governments which kidnap their dissidents on Russian territory, examines official misogyny in Chechnya, looks at constitutional turmoil in the United Kingdom, and studies the nature of Russian support for European far-right groups.
  • Universe Today describes how a newly-discovered dwarf galaxy satellite of the Milky Way can help explain the universe, looks at evidence for a subsurface reservoir of water on Mars, and examines the idea of airship-borne exploration of Venus.
  • Wired thinks the withdrawal of Google News from Spain will do nothing to change the underlying dynamics of the mass media industry, and examines the fascinating dynamics of volcanism in history on Mars.

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