According to the conservative German newspaper Die Welt(German, free registration required), the EU is about to send a team to Jerusalem to seriously investigate alligations of EU funding for the Palestinian Authorities being embezzled to the benefit of Palestinian terrorist organisations (also – EUObserver)
This is big – and will be even bigger for the French right. Alain Jupp?, brilliant but aloof former Prime Minister in the first instance found guilty of illegal party financing – reports from the BBC, the NYTimes, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Sueddeutsche Zeitung (German), CNNenespanol (Spanish), and of course, LeMonde (French).
Not quite kissing and making up, but Irish PM Bertie Ahern and DUP leader Iain Paisley had a ‘constructive and businesslike’ meeting in London on Thursday – the first meeting between the two for five years.
Nikolai Johannes Merrill, born this day at 12:17am, to loving parents Iris and Douglas
A beautiful new smile in this still-new century…
The Spiegel reports that Gerd Schr?der and George Bush are to kiss and make up (article in German). The White House has invited Schr?der to lunch, where he will discuss with Bush ‘the continuation of transatlantic relations’, as well as developments in Iraq, the Near East and Afghanistan.
I don’t know if one day when historians come to examine what exactly happened (or should I say what went wrong) with the EU they will be able to identify that defining moment, the decisive hour, when everything went sailing down the river. If they are so able I wouldn’t mind a quick bet that it might be sometime about now. The ideal of the EU, it seems to me, is being blown away before our very eyes. Maybe the fault is with the politicians, maybe it is with the institutions, maybe it is with all of us: but this cannot be like this. Failure to advance a consensus on reform and the constitution cannot (or at least should not) let us fall back into our old ways of cynical cutting up the cake, power politics and triple alliances. We have, as I have been trying to suggest, a Euro which is about to fall apart between the competing pressures of Northern stringency (the Netherlands) and Southern laxity (Italy), while what is being proposed here will do nothing to help whatsoever.
In Kassel the court has spoken, and its words are a stern warning to us all: do not kill and eat people (unless you are prepared to give up eight and a half years of freedom for the privilege).
It is too early to grasp the real aftermath of 9-11 in Hollywood, but some trends are more obvious than others. Couple of last year’s major Hollywood productions indicate that the major change is afoot in American film industry, closely resembling shifts in American foreign policy resulting from 9-11.
The changes are very visible for those who paid attention to clich?s in 1990s Hollywood films, especially those dealing with films’ villains. Some films – like Braveheart, Michael Collins and Patriot ? were more explicit than others, but in those times almost all villains were British, people with heavy British accents or at least people played by renowned British actors.
While EU politicians over at Davos have been mulling over the possibilities of Turkey’s membership of the EU, Kofi Annan apparently has things much clearer. In a speech to the European parliament he bluntly told MPs that Europe needs migrants to ensure a prosperous future and that Europeans should stop using immigration as a scapegoat for their social problems.