Over Easy

In tribute to Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner, today we review news and media from outside the U.S.

Protests in Istanbul have resulted from Prime Minister Erdogan’s attempt to turn an urban park into yet another development.  Today he announced that protesters will be removed at once from Gezi Park.   After clashes over the past week in defiance of his threats, Erdogan had recently offered to bring the development plan to a referendum.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, said on Wednesday he would consider holding a referendum on plans to redevelop Gezi Park that have led to nationwide protests, in his first major concession.

Gezi Park is a leafy corner of Taksim Square where the protesters have set up a makeshift settlement of tents.

The mood in the public square on Wednesday night was subdued and peaceful, in stark contrast to the previous night when protesters fought running battles with riot police.

While NSA head Alexander announced that many terrorist plots had been foiled by surveillance, consternation was an ongoing reaction to the release of information about the program, PRISM.  Reports of extensive U.S. spying on individuals brought clamor in Europe for the U.S. carriers of the internet to be better controlled.

Europe, which lacks internet giants of its own, has long yearned to contain the power of the U.S. titans that dominate the Web, and privacy-focused Germany was quick to condemn their co-operation with the U.S. security services.

“The U.S. government must provide clarity regarding these monstrous allegations of total monitoring of various telecommunications and Internet services,” said Peter Schaar, German data protection and freedom of information commissioner.

“Statements from the U.S. government that the monitoring was not aimed at U.S. citizens but only against persons outside the United States do not reassure me at all.”

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Some of the companies named in the article have denied the government had “direct access” to their central servers. Nevertheless, the justice minister for the German state of Hesse, Joerg-Uwe Hahn, called for a boycott of the companies involved.

Market spiraled downward as the World Bank reported growth lower than anticipated under austerity plans adopted by governments hit by recession.

It said the global economy was likely to grow by 2.2% this year, a downgrade compared with its January forecast of 2.4% growth. The gloomier outlook came as global markets fell, with the Japanese Nikkei closing down 6.35%, and the FTSE 100, the French CAC, German DAX and Spanish IBEX all down more than 1% in early trading on Thursday.

Against the backdrop of the World Bank report, markets faltered amid fears that central bank stimulus measures – led by the US – might be withdrawn.

Technology under development would create a building method giving environmental integration of structures in their surroundings.

An expanded range of screens and canopies built with minutely balanced filtering layers could work with convective air and currents of heating and cooling air encircling a new urban architecture. Within this kind of city “fabric”, the thermal plumes emitted by each human occupant offer a new form of energy to be captured and used to operate entirely ductless buildings.

Never.Give.Up.