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In the first article we have spent on this blog in the U.S. presidential election and its relationship to the polls, we made reference city, like many other observers, the site of synthesis of the various surveys in the United united by Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight blog.

This site, which already gave Obama the winner a week ago, confirmed and even strengthened its forecasts, did not hesitate to say that the strong support% of the popular vote and 303 electoral votes (against 234 for his rival) Obama has a 80% chance of winning the election! While these results are confirmed, but to a much lesser extent, the site Realpolitics, which gives 201 electoral votes for Obama, 191 for his opponent and 146 undecided. The nuance is.

But Le Monde today tells us that part of the electoral debate in the United States these days focuses on the following question: but who is this mysterious Nate Silver, whose comparative surveys blog seems to make more most authoritative among observers? Continue reading

Exports of military equipment from Russia, second arms supplier in the world after the United States reached a record level of $ billion ( billion euros) in 2012, announced Monday, January 21 a senior official quoted by Russian news agencies.

This figure must be further refined at the end of January or early February, more than 12% of the government’s goals, said Alexander Fomin, director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation. It is, moreover, an increase of 15% compared to 2011, during which Moscow had delivered $ billion for weapons.


The law has failed in almost twenty years to bring down the price of the funeral. The economic crisis and the Internet could be more effective. For about a year, the funeral market mute. It develops all share a speech on prices, terms borrowed from the supermarket that seemed far indecent in the area. “Funeral low cost”, “discount”, “cut-price” … Appara t in this niche “first prize” a growing number of operators, storefront or online number;? For price comparison websites that facilitate competitive bidding. And families who can not, no longer want, deal with an average expenditure of 3,000 to 3,500 euros to pay their last respects to their deceased.

Ecoplus Funeral, new string of stores launched by the cooperative network’s funeral Choice, opened a new outlet in Lyon on October 17. Photo: Sebastian Erome for Le Monde

That’s almost twenty years since the communal monopoly funeral was repealed (Act Sweat January 1993), liberalizing the sector. Lower rates expected did not occur. On the contrary: most, the burial societies have increased the bill to make as much selling less. Why deny it? In this particular industry, the consumer, so far little compared.

The price of funerals has risen by a third in ten years, fell to November 2011 the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir, who tirelessly denounced the opacity of a sector whose turnover approaching 2 billion Euro ‘: “The funeral is a painful moment when we inevitably lose lucidity Some funeral operators are able to take advantage.”. Continue reading

Despite the proselytizing Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister for European Affairs, he found Tuesday in the National Assembly a handful of diehards to say no to European fiscal treaty. Among them, twenty Socialist deputies, while the government hoped to less than fifteen and twelve elected as environmentalists and representatives of thirteen Democratic and Republican Left where the front left seat.

Until the end, these officials have resisted the arguments of the Prime Minister, saying that “since May 6, reorientation of Europe is running.” They did not want to hear that their vote could weaken a president already unpopular.

They fear the austerity and refuse to support a text tag, Europe, the way to return to a balanced budget. They informed the parliament when the CGT organized demonstrations in the major cities of France to protest against the proliferation of social plans.

They somehow made a date for the future without the executive or their party dare send them against any threat of sanction. Continue reading

Facing a resurgence of tensions in the eurozone, the European Central Bank (ECB) is again under pressure to take action to support the economy, approaching its monthly monetary policy meeting on Thursday.

The political crisis in Italy and Cyprus bank “will weigh heavily on confidence in the euro area for a while,” said economist Berenberg bank, Christian Schulz. Monday holiday in most European countries, the euro fell as investors playing the caution after the Cypriot and Italian events. Around 7:00, the euro traded at 2 8 dollar against dollar on Friday to 22 hours. However, the room for maneuver of the ECB seem limited.

WEAKNESS OF CREDIT Continue reading

The European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB), the “troika” of lenders Portugal, decided to give time the Lisbon government to carry out reforms.

Portugal got its creditors an additional year to reduce its public deficit, it will return to below 3% of GDP in 2015, announced Friday Vitor Gaspar, the Portuguese Minister of Finance. “The new boundaries of the deficit from of GDP in 2013, 4% in 2014 and in 2015,” he said at a press conference to present the findings of the seventh quarterly review reforms to be implemented in exchange for aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Already eased in September, these goals were far from of GDP this year, in 2014 and 2% in 2015. In 2012, Portugal’s public deficit stood at of GDP, Mr. Gaspar said, pointing out that the European statistical office Eurostat refused to take into account the revenue from the concession of airports Portuguese. Continue reading