Crisis, what crisis?

For those of you who still check in on my blog occasionally (wishful thinking), sorry for the absence. For those who were glad to see me go (again, wishful thinking), sorry for the abscess.


Happy Holding in Luxembourg

Friday, Nov. 17, 1967

"As befits a tiny country in the Ardennes hills between France and Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has long been a hospitable tourist center of quiet pastoral charms.


Luxembourg law allows a foreign company incorporated there to transfer freely any funds under its control to its parent company, without any public disclosure. Dividends, too, can be paid to bondholders anywhere, free of withholding tax.


Luxembourg is delighted. About $10 million in tax revenue has been collected from holding companies so far, and that is insignificant compared to the benefits reaped by Luxembourg's banking community. Local banks often participate in underwriting consortia, manage bond issues and act as paying agents.


'We are the Switzerland of the Common Market.' "

(in http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,844118,00.html)

Get a Voki now!


French police and the screening of prostate cancer - the rectal touch

Regular screening of early prostate cancer offers men more treatment options with potentially fewer side effects.

I guess that's why the French police started a new pilot program to tackle this major cause of death among men over 40. The initiative was launched last Friday, at dawn, and widely covered by the media. The first screening procedure (or the "bend over and cough three times" procedure, as they call it in France) was performed on Mr Vittorio de Filippis, former director of the French diary Libération.

(more details: http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2008/11/29/journaliste-et-pire-que-la-racaille_1124889_3224.html or http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/29/AR2008112902051_pf.html)


Sarah Palin and Sarkozy

Hi, I'm Jor-El calling from Krypton...


I am African

"J.f. ch. femme pour faire du babysitting, de 10h à 20h, (excepté pers. africaines), non fum., qui ait de l'exp. av. les enfants" (in LuxbaZar).

Just in case you're interested. Place of work: the Kehlsteinhaus, near Berchtesgaden, I guess.


A small correction to my previous post

For my French-speaking readers: at least in the first French translation of Animal Farm (Les Animaux partout !, 1947 > La République des animaux, 1964 > La Ferme des animaux, 1981), Napoleon was renamed César.
In fact, according to The Times, in France it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon.


Cold War, the sequel

The grand-grandsons of Napoleon’s mutts took over Animal Farm. And they are rich.

Let's face it and stop being naive: the Caucasus is Russia's backyard. The whole region holds an immense economical and geostrategical value for the ex/new/never ceased to be superpower. In the old times, when the vetuste, archaic Soviet Union exported almost nothing, we still could think that the problem was most of all ideological. But not anymore. It's about money.

Were the Americans really expecting that the Russians would let Tbilisi regain total control of the region? No, they weren't. They were just trying to stir things up a little, maybe to test Medvedev's strength, and at the end it's up to Europe to try to calm things down and pick up the pieces (one quarter of our energy depends on it) . And up to the Georgians and the Ossetians to bury their dead. It's "those Washington bullets again". Or Moscow bullets.

(In a country where L'Essentiel is such a success, it was very plesant to find a decent defying article about this subject here. It's the online edition of the Woxx, l'autre hebdomadaire.)