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  • Bloomberg's Steven Arons and Gavin Finch observe that Brexit may let Frankfurt emerge as a truly global financial centre.

  • Der Spiegel's Alexander Smoltczyk describes how north German port Hamburg is starting to inch towards a bigger global role.
  • Deutsche Welle reports on how, after the G20 meeting, far-left and anarchist groups in Berlin are facing a crackdown.

  • Global News shares Joseph Nasr's Reuters article reporting on the incomprehension of Arab refugees in Hamburg at that city's G20 rioters. Why are they doing it?

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at odd binary AR Scorpii.

  • Crooked Timber examines connections between demographic change and religiosity in the United States.

  • A Fistful of Euros reports on the IMF response to the Eurozone bailouts.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the outrage of families of survivors of American military dead at Trump's treatment of the Khan family.

  • The LRB Blog calls for England to secede.

  • Out There interviews Tabitha Boyajian about KIC 8462852.

  • The Planetary Society Blog features Marc Rayman's explanation of Dawn's remaining at Ceres.

  • Peter Rukavina notes a book exploring the lost Quaker settlement of New London, on the north shore of Prince Edward Island.

  • Strange Maps looks at the cartographic imprint of Spain on the streets of Barcelona.

  • Torontoist notes that tickets for the Toronto Islands ferry can now be bought from smartphone apps.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is running out of money to sustain its economy, looks at the Russian propensity of emigration, and notes that rising unemployment is contributing to internal migration.

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  • Bloomberg notes Ireland's huge unexpected recent reported growth, looks at the deindustrialization of Israel, observes Deutsche Bank's need to search for wealth abroad, looks at the demographic imperatives that may keep healthy Japanese working until they are 80, notes the slipping ANC grip on Pretoria and looks at the rise of anti-Muslim Pauline Hanson in Australia, and predicts Brexit could kill the London property boom.

  • Bloomberg View calls for calm in the South China Sea.

  • CBC notes some idiot YouTube adventurers who filmed themselves doing stupid, even criminal, things in different American national parks.

  • The Globe and Mail reports on the plans for a test tidal turbine in the Bat of Fundy by 2017.

  • MacLean's looks at the heckling of a gay musician in Halifax and reports on the civil war in South Sudan.

  • The New York Times looks at the new xenophobia in the east English town of Boston.

  • Open Democracy notes that talk of a working class revolt behind Brexit excludes non-whites, and reports on alienation on the streets of Wales.

  • Wired looks at how some cash-strapped American towns are tearing up roads they cannot afford to maintain.

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  • Beyond the Beyond references Vincent Cerf's concern about the fragility of new media.

  • Crooked Timber considers the politics inherent in monetary unions.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes a paper suggesting Alpha Centauri A is quite evolved.

  • Discover's Dead Things wonders if Georgia is the birthplace of wine.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the claim of a Florida public employee that the rainbow flag creates a hostile work environment.

  • Language Hat looks at records of ancient Greek music.

  • The LRB Blog considers the politics of hate in the United Kingdom.

  • Marginal Revolution wonders which European financial centres would win at the expense of London.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer suggests the United Kingdom should merge with Canada.

  • Registan notes domestic terrorism in Kazakhstan.

  • Torontoist looks at queer people who opt not to celebrate Pride with the crowds.

  • Towleroad looks at a Thai gym for trans men.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes the case for sports boycotts.

  • Window on Eurasia notes the fragility of the post-Soviet order, in Ukraine and in Russia.

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  • The BBC notes an attack on a vegan restaurant in Tbilisi by meat-eating nationalists.

  • Bloomberg notes a slur by a German populist against a non-white soccer player, reports on Sweden's economic boom, Looks at rail investment in India, and notes Southeast Asia is beating out China as a destination for Japanese investment.

  • Bloomberg View looks at reform in Tunisia's Islamist movement and notes the lack of private foreign investment in Greece.

  • The CBC notes anti-gentrification sentiment in the Montréal neighbourhood of St. Henri, resulting in the looting of a gourmet grocery store.

  • MacLean's interviews Sebastian Junger on his theory that PTSD is rooted in the problems of modern individualism.

  • The National Post looks at an anthropologist's discovery of ancient hobo graffiti.

  • Open Democracy notes the Europeanization of Estonia's Russophones.

  • The Toronto Star contrasts the responses of the NDP and the Conservatives to their election defeats, and notes how older Chinese couples are now using fertility treatments to have their second child.

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  • Bloomberg notes Twitter will stop counting photos and links against its 140-character limit, reports on the challenges of the new Taiwanese president, and reports on Japan's efforts to boost its workforce.

  • Bloomberg View argues European banks just aren't good at investment banking, suggests austerity worked for Latvia, and argues an IMF suggestion of a debt holiday for Greece is impolitic.

  • CBC notes J.K. Rowling's defense of Donald Trump.

  • Via The Dragon's Gaze, I found this Eurekalert post noting a search for Earth-like worlds around highly evolved stars, like the red giants that our sun will evolve into.

  • Gizmodo reports on how Sweden is moving the city of Kiruna to safer ground, and describes Amazon's interest in opening more physical bookstores.

  • The Inter Press Service wonders what will happen to Brazil now.

  • The National Post notes the mysteries surrounding a secret American military spaceplane.

  • Open Democracy looks at the human rights consequences of Mexico's long-running drug war.

  • TVO considers the impact of a long NDP leadership campaign on the party.

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  • Bloomberg looks at the restarting of northern Alberta oil, looks at the deterioration in Sino-Taiwanese relations, reports on how Norway is using oil money to buffer its economic shocks, and suggests low ECB rates might contribute to a property boom in Germany.

  • Bloomberg View notes the idea of a third party in the US, one on the right to counter Trump, will go nowhere.

  • The CBC notes the settlement of a residential school case in Newfoundland and Labrador and predicts a terrible fire season.

  • The Globe and Mail' Kate Taylor considers Canadian content rules in the 21st century.

  • The Inter Press Service notes that planned Kenyan closures of Somali refugee camps will have terrible results.

  • National Geographic looks at the scourge that is Pablo Escobar's herd of hippos in Colombia.

  • The National Post notes VIA Rail's existential need for more funding and reports on Jean Chrétien's support of decriminalizing marijuana.

  • Open Democracy looks at controversies over Victory Day in Georgia, and notes the general impoverishment of Venezuela.

  • Vice looks at new, accurate dinosaur toys, feathers and all.

  • Wired explains why Israel alone of America's clients can customize F-35s.

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  • blogTO notes how Ryerson University has launched an incubator for the local music scene.

  • Crooked Timber notes the high minimum wage in Australia.

  • Dangerous Minds shares a video of Keith Haring getting arrested from 1982.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on a study of hot Neptunes.

  • The Dragon's Tales notes that a search of WISE data did not produce Planet Nine.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that Beyoncé has produced merchandise calling for her own boycott, to the anger of her detractors.

  • Languages of the World wonders how anyone could argue that Yiddish comes from Turkey, never mind argue so badly.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen is pessimistic about Greece.

  • Neuroskeptic notes a new brain study tracing human thought.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at how Republicans are coming to accept Trump.

  • Towleroad notes that Timothy Conigrave's Holding the Man is set to be adapted for the movies.

  • Window on Eurasia notes Chernobyl's impact on the Soviet Union, considers which Russian federal subjects might be next for merger, and notes Russia's acceptance of a Chinese railroad built with international gauge on its territory.

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Bloomberg View's Mark Gilbert notes that Brexit could endanger the City of London's role as a critical financial centre for the Eurozone, especially if Eurozone integration proceeds apace. Paris and Frankfurt could be big winners.

It's not the first time political and economic differences with the rest of Europe have threatened to diminish the City's standing. Back in 1991, the talk was all about an artificial currency called the European currency unit, the forerunner of the euro, which was starting to gain traction in fixed-income and derivatives markets. So the Bank of England did a clever thing; It issued 2.75 billion Ecu of 10-year bonds at an interest rate of 9.125 percent (yes , back in the olden days government bonds had yields close to double digits rather than below zero).

It was the biggest security available in the currency, cementing London's role as the center for Ecu trading and paving the way for it to be the dominant market for the euro (even though Britain wasn't joining the common currency, much of the technical work about its introduction was done by the Bank of England prior to the ECB coming into existence). If Britain hadn't been in the EU, though, that trick might have been a lot harder to pull off.

If Europe's "coalition of the willing" is successful in introducing a Tobin Tax on securities trading, London may benefit, although the 10 countries still trying to introduce the levy have failed so far to reach an agreement. But if the EU succeeds in building a capital markets union, creating a seamless cross-border arena for small- and medium-sized enterprises to raise money by selling equities and bonds rather than relying on bank financing, then it’s hard to see how London could attract that market away from either Paris or Frankfurt.

Rather than remaining concentrated in London, Brexit may mean European trading splinters across several cities. Germany's Deutsche Boerse is in the midst of trying to merge with London Stock Exchange Group; the combined entity would be the biggest equities exchange in Europe, so it's not hard to envisage euro-denominated stock trading migrating to Frankfurt. It would also have the world's largest clearing house for swaps, which could also spur more of that business to move to Frankfurt.

The biggest manager of new corporate bonds in Europe, meantime, is HSBC, a bank that's already flirted with moving its headquarters out of London and which has said it might move 1,000 bankers to Paris if the EU splits. If you combine HSBC's 35 billion euros of corporate bond underwriting with third-placed BNP Paribas's 25 billion euros and fifth-placed Societe Generale's 21 billion euros, you can just about see how almost a fifth of company fundraising could end up in France. And if a post-crisis market for complicated derivatives ever comes into vogue, the mathematical/engineering bent of much of the top-tier talent at French investment banks may well steer that renaissance.
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  • Centauri Dreams looks at debris disks, and potential planetary formation, around red giant stars.

  • Crooked Timber notes the Bitcoin frenzy.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at studies of the atmospheres of hot Jupiters.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money cannot understand skepticism about the harmful nature of the waters of the Michigan city of Flint.

  • The LRB Blog notes that The Gruffalo is a product of Anglo-German collaboration. Is it a product of the European Union?

  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that the joint ESA/Roscosmos Exo-Mars probe is set to launch.

  • The Signal notes a new project to digitize the corpus of Persian-language literature dating back a millennium.

  • Understanding Society looks at social facts and their non-linear origins.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a paper by on of their authors written in defense of Israel's borders.

  • The Financial Times' The World notes the exceptional fragility of Italian banks.

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    At A Fistful of Euros, Sigrún Davíðsdóttir describes the similarities of the Icelander and Irish banking crises, product of recklessness by a minority of well-connected people.

    The fate of the Irish and the Icelandic banks are intertwined in time: as the Irish government decided on a blanket guarantee for the Irish banks, the Icelandic government was trying, in vain, to save the Icelandic banks. In spite of the guarantee six Irish banks failed in the coming months; the government bailed them out. The Icelandic banks failed over a few days. Within two months the Icelandic parliament had decided to set up an independent investigative committee – it took the Irish government almost seven years to set up a political committee, severely restricted in terms of what it could investigate and given a very limited time. The Irish report now published is better than nothing but far from the extensive overview given in Iceland: it lacks the overview of favoured clients and the favours they enjoyed.

    A small country with a fast-growing banking sector run by managers dreaming of moving into the international league of big banks. To accelerate balance sheet growth the banks found businessmen with a risk appetite to match the bankers’ and bestowed them with favourable loans. Lethargic regulators watched, politicians cheered, nourishing the ego of a small nation wanting to make its mark on the world. – This was Iceland of the Viking raiders and Ireland at the time of the Celtic tiger, from the late 1990s, until the Vikings lost their helmets and the tiger its claws in autumn 2008.

    In December 2008, eleven weeks after the Icelandic banking collapse, the Icelandic parliament, Alþingi, set up an independent investigative committee, The Special Investigative Commission, SIC, to investigate and clarify the banking collapse. Its three members were its chairman Supreme Court justice Páll Hreinsson, Alþingi’s Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson and lecturer in economics at Yale Sigríður Benediktsdóttir. Overseeing the work of around thirty experts, the SIC published its report on 12 April 2010: on 2400 pages (with more material online; only a small part of the report is in English) the SIC outlined why and how the banks had failed.

    In November 2014, over six years after the Irish bank guarantee, the Irish Parliament, Oireachtas, set up The Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis, or the Banking Inquiry, with eleven members from both houses of the Oireachtas; its chairman was Labour Party member Ciarán Lynch. The purpose of the Committee was to inquire into the reasons for the banking crisis. Its report was published 27 January 2016.

    [. . .]

    In one aspect, the Irish Banking Inquiry differed fundamentally from the Icelandic one: the Irish was legally restrained from naming names. Consequently, the Irish report contains only general information on lending, exposure etc., not information on the individuals behind the abnormally high exposures.

    This is unfortunate because in both countries, the high-risk banking was centred on a small group of individuals. In Ireland these were mostly property developers and some well-known businessmen; in Iceland the favoured clients were the banks’ largest shareholders, a somewhat unique and unflattering aspect that puts Iceland in league with countries like Mexico, Russia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.

    The SIC had no such restraints but could access the banks’ information on the largest clients, i.e. the favoured clients. The report maps the loans and businesses of the banks’ largest shareholders and their close business partners, also some foreign clients. Consequently, the SIC report made it a public information that the largest borrower was Robert Tchenguiz, owed €2.2bn, second was Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, famous for his extensive UK retail investments, with €1.6bn. Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, Landsbanki’s largest shareholder (with his now bankrupt-father) owed €865m. These were loans issued by the banks in Iceland; with loans from the banks’ foreign operations these numbers would be substantially higher.
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    Bloomberg's Alice Baghdjian writes about how the strength of the Swiuss franc, especially relative to the Euro, has been hurting the Swiss economy.

    Nestled on the banks of Lake Zurich, humidifier-maker Condair AG’s factory provided a good living for its 41 workers. Then in November 2014, beset by high manufacturing costs, the company decided to transfer production to Germany. In seven months, Condair’s only Swiss plant will wind down for good.

    When the Swiss National Bank a year ago Friday lifted the cap on the franc, allowing the currency to strengthen, it confirmed the company’s decision -- and its view that the Alpine nation can’t compete in manufacturing. In 2012, the most recent year available, Switzerland had the highest labor costs in Europe, at 51.25 euros ($56) per hour, government figures show. In neighbors Austria, Germany and France, the comparable cost was 29.75 euros, 30.50 euros and 34.25 euros respectively.
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    Bloomberg's Netty Idayu and Lillian Chen note that the Euro is set to face a challenge from the rising prominence of the Chinese yuan.

    The euro’s worst year in a decade is looking even grimmer after the Chinese yuan’s inclusion in the International Monetary Fund’s basket of reserve currencies.

    The 19-nation currency’s weighting in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket will drop to 30.93 percent, from 37.4 percent, the organization said Monday. The yuan will join the dollar, euro, pound and yen in the SDR allocation from Oct. 1, 2016, at a 10.92 percent weighting.

    The euro has tumbled 13 percent against the dollar this year, the most in a decade, and central banks have reduced the proportion of the currency in their reserves to the lowest since 2002. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled on Oct. 22 that policy makers are open to boosting stimulus, after embarking on a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) asset-purchase program in March.

    “The euro will get the most impact from this weight adjustment,” said Douglas Borthwick, head of foreign exchange at New York-based brokerage Chapdelaine & Co. “The IMF is taking from euro to give to China; the other rebalancing amounts are largely negligible.”

    China’s currency will exceed yen and sterling in the new basket. The levels will be 41.73 percent for the dollar, 8.33 percent for the yen and 8.09 percent for the pound, the IMF said. The dollar currently accounts for 41.9 percent of the basket, while the pound accounts for 11.3 percent and the yen 9.4 percent.
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    • At Alpha Sources, although Claus Vistesen is rightly gloomy about the prospects for the Italian economy, he thinks there may be a cyclical upturn coming.

    • The Dragon's Gaze notes the warping of the protoplanetary disk of AA Tauri.

    • The Dragon's Tales notes exciting ancient archeological finds in Indonesia possibly belonging to Homo floresiensis.

    • Geocurrents notes the controversy over an India-Africa summit.

    • Language Log notes an instance of tardy students being forced to draw a Chinese character.

    • Languages of the World examines the genetics of Napoleon Bonaparte.

    • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the history wars of South Korea.

    • Marginal Revolution notes an East German village whose inhabitants will soon be far outnumbered by Syrian refugees.

    • Personal Reflections reacts to the Turkish election and Chinese demographics.

    • The Planetary Society Blog notes the vast data gathered from Ceres.

    • Registan suggests Russia's elites are operating according to frightening theories of geopolitics.

    • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares photos of a trip to the Southwest.

    • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at the demographics of the Donbas in 1926.

    • Whatever's John Scalzi thinks the 50 dollar Amazon Fire tablet is worth it.

    • Window on Eurasia suggests Russian nationalists will be a lasting threat to Ukraine and suggests non-Donbas Ukrainians will soon be deported from Russia.

    • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes a remarkable sort of organizational artifact.

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    • Alpha Sources notes that Eurozone economic sentiment is holding up.

    • Centauri Dreams looks at SETI in the light of KIC 8462852.

    • D-Brief notes predictions that Cassini could determine if Enceladus' ocean is active enough to support life.

    • The Dragon's Gaze links to a video presentation examining how habitable planets around Alpha Centauri could be imaged.

    • The Dragon's Tales has the latest on the Russian war in Syria.

    • Geocurrents is impressed by this map of world religion, so finely and accurately detailed.

    • Language Log notes the oddities of the promotion of China's next five-year plan.

    • The Map Room is impressed by Martin Vargic's new book of maps.

    • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw is touring Denmark and noticing the differences and similarities between that Nordic country and his native Australia.

    • The Planetary Society Blog notes workshopping for the location of the first manned Mars landing.

    • The Power and the Money notes that Cristina Kirchner might be setting up her successors to fail, so as to ensure her eventual re-election.

    • Towleroad notes that Italy forced the removal of registries of same-sex marriages contracted outside of the country.

    • Window on Eurasia talks to a Kaliningrad regionalist, notes Dagestanis are not being drafted in the proportions one would expect, and reports that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is out of control.

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    Bloomberg's Olivier Monnier reports that, at least officially, Côte d'Ivoire has no concerns with potential negative consequences for its exports coming from the pegging of the CFA franc to the Euro.

    Ivory Coast’s economy has benefited from the stability of a currency pegged to the euro and has so far escaped any fallout from the economic slowdown in China, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said.

    “There is no fear” about any major pressures being exerted on the CFA franc, the currency used by Ivory Coast and 13 other smaller African economies, Duncan said in an interview in Abidjan, the commercial capital, on Monday. The common currency “is beneficial for our economies. Those who have tried their own money have had some ups-and-downs with some difficulties.”

    The stability from the common currency has made it easier to keep investors in Ivory Coast, avoiding the sell-off in emerging market assets sparked by the surprise decision by China to devalue its yuan in August. The move, which fueled concern authorities are struggling to combat a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, prompted Kazakhstan to abandon its currency peg and intensified speculation that African nations would do the same.

    China is the nation’s third-largest trade partner, after Nigeria and France.

    The CFA franc has depreciated 7 percent against the dollar this year, compared with the 24 percent decline in the Ugandan shilling and 29 percent plunge in the Zambian kwacha, Africa’s worst performers.
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    • blogTO shares photos of Yonge and Bloor from the 1960s.

    • Crooked Timber's Corey Robin looks at trigger warnings in education.

    • The Dragon's Gaze notes that Barnard's Star cannot support a massive planet in its orbit.

    • The Dragon's Tales has more on the Ukrainian war.

    • The Everyday Sociology Blog examines racism.

    • Far Outliers notes how the Ryukyus fared under American occupation.

    • A Fistful of Euros looks at the divergences of Spain and the United Kingdom interest rate-wise.

    • Geocurrents notes another small Kurdish-speaking sect.
    • Joe. My. God. notes an attempt to appeal the Irish marriage referendum.
    • The Map Room's Jonathan Crowe notes a 2016 conference on fictional maps in Poland.

    • Marginal Revolution notes a microhistory of a block in New York City.

    • The Power and the Money examines Ukraine's debt negotiations and argues that Russia is not as big a player in global oil markets as it might like.

    • The Russian Demographics Blog and Window on Eurasia note how ethnic Russians in Ukraine are continuing to identify as ethnic Ukrainians.

    • Understanding Society considers realism in social sciences.

    • Whatever's John Scalzi talks about the Sad Puppies.

    • Window on Eurasia notes Tatarstan's potential separatism and suggests some Russian Germans still want an autonomy.

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    Bloomberg's Donal Griffen reports on the failure of Ireland to mobilize its diaspora to save its economy, at least as much as it wanted.

    For Ireland, a drive to tap into the pockets of its diaspora turned out to be mission impossible.

    The government said in Dublin this week that it’s scrapping a certificate of heritage, the state’s imprimatur on the recipient’s Irish roots, amid slow sales. Not even awarding certificates to actor Tom Cruise and President Barack Obama inspired much business.

    “It’s a very good concept,” Jimmy Deenihan, an Irish junior minister with responsibility for “diaspora affairs,” said in an interview on RTE Radio on Tuesday. “But certainly the take-up was lower than expected.”

    The government has sold about 3,000 of the certificates, which was “considerably less than anticipated,” the Foreign Affairs ministry said. The project’s scrapping is a rare reversal for a nation that has long traded on the emotions of Americans in search of their heritage. Tourism accounts for more than 4 percent of the Irish economy, with about one in six trips coming from North America, and proved a bright spot as the country emerged from its worst recession on record.
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    • blogTO reports on the mysterious alleged new neighbourhood of Bricketowne.

    • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly wonders whether things or fun are ultimately preferable.

    • The Dragon's Tales provides updates on the war in the Donbas.

    • Commenters at Joe. My. God. have fun with the Catholic priest who compares gay sex to trying to eat a bagel with your ears.

    • Language Hat links to the story of a woman who learned Uzbek.

    • Marginal Revolution notes slow economic growth in the European Union.

    • Peter Rukavina suggests that this year, the southeastern Prince Edward Island communities of Murray Harbour and Murray River are where it's at.

    • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at historical waves of emigration from Russia.

    • Torontoist looks at the efforts of the city government in the 1940s to regulate traffic.

    • Towleroad notes how British rugby player Keegan Hirst has had a good time of it since coming out.

    • Window on Eurasia notes some Central Asian migrants returning from Russia bring HIV infections with them, suggests Russians are not innate fans of authoritarianism, notes the dim demographic prospects for Russia, and looks at Russian women marrying Chinese men.

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    The editors of the Bloomberg View suggest that the Spanish economy is well on its way to recovery. This is critical, not only for Spain but for Mediterranean Europe and the wider Eurozone generally. If Spain recovers while part of the Eurozone as a consequence of policy, this undercuts certain Greek claims.

    The economy suffered a crippling downturn in the financial crisis, then hobbled along until 2012 without anybody doing much about it. At that point, the government applied for a 100-billion-euro rescue package from the European Union. The situation was grim. Spain's real-estate bubble had burst, unemployment (a blight on Spain for years) had climbed above 25 percent, and cascading bankruptcies further undermined confidence. The yield on 10-year Spanish bonds in July 2012 ran more than five percentage points over Germany's, prompting the European Central Bank to step in to save Spain from speculative runs on its sovereign debt.

    The government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy bowed to austerity demands, cut public-sector wages and benefits, and increased VAT to 21 percent (with exemptions) from 18 percent. Had he stopped there, Spain might have bumped along the bottom for a good while longer, rather than seeing the recovery it's now enjoying.

    Low inflation, a cheap euro, the fall in energy prices and renewed financial stability in Europe have supported consumer spending and lifted Spain's beleaguered retailers. Holidaymakers have favored Spain this season, too -- in part because visiting Greece without bundles of cash has presented difficulties. Put much of all that down to luck.

    But Spain's recovery today also owes a lot to hard reform aimed at particular failings in the economy. The Rajoy government braved street protests and the rise of an anti-reform left-wing opposition and persisted in a deliberate rewiring of the Spanish economy, with an emphasis on far-reaching labor-market and tax reforms.

    In 2014, the government said it would gradually lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 30 percent. The top marginal rate on personal income will fall to 45 percent from 52 percent. The government is limiting deductions, broadening the tax base and making a serious effort to curb evasion.

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