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January 25, 2014

Stuff you may have missed: January 25, 2014

The prime minister of Ukraine wants the protests in the country to end so badly that he’s offered opposition leaders government posts. It’s not enough; the protesters are sticking with it.

The Coca-Cola company had a bunch of laptops stolen by a former employee with something a little extra still on the devices: The personal information of 74,000 people. Oops.

Speaking of data breaches, if you’re crafty and a regular Michaels customer, check your credit card statements.

It’s not often that a sitting president splits from his first lady while in office, but that’s what’s happening in France right now.

Teaching 101: Don’t bring marijuana-laced food to a school potluck.

23:02 // 7 months ago
December 29, 2013

Stuff you may have missed: December 29, 2013

With the Winter Olympics in Sochi just weeks away, Russia is facing increased pressure on the terror front, with a bombing at a train station in the city of Volgograd killing 16 on Sunday. It’s the second such attack in the past three days.

In a win for president Francois Hollande, France can tax salaries over €1 million Euros by 75 percent, a court ruled today. The rule, a feather in the cap for the Socialist president, had previously been overturned.

Michael Schumacher, a seven-time Formula One champion racer, is currently in a coma after having brain surgery following a serious ski accident in which he fell on his head.

Sonia Sotomayor is dropping the ball—at Times Square that is. The Supreme Court justice will hit the button Tuesday night to ring in the new year.

The craziest retail theft scheme you’ve ever heard of involves tin foil, satellite antennas, and lots of stolen credit cards.

19:36 // 8 months ago
April 23, 2013
18:30 // 1 year ago
February 2, 2013
I just want to say thank you from myself and the people of Mali - Vive la France! I hope Francois Hollande continues to help us and that that we can stay free like this.
Timbuktu resident Bena Abdel Kadir •  Praising France and President Francois Hollande for approving military engagement in Mali, where the French have been fighting, aided by Malian forces, to uproot an Islamic rebel movement now contained in their lone remaining stronghold, the northeastern city of Kidal. Timbuktu, also in northern Mali, was freed from rebel control by this collaboration, and reports of the scene when Hollande visited suggest a great deal of jubilance towards the French leader, who pledged to keep troops in Mali “as long as necessary,” until state sovereignty has been restored. In other words, an open-ended military engagement, the sort of which has become dubiously familiar to the international community over the last decade. source  
15:27 // 1 year ago
May 7, 2012

producermatthew:

Flip Socialism: Even before the allegations of rape against former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Francois Hollande was moving himself in to become the next Socialist presidential candidate, according to one French commentator. “Some say that he knew, like actually many others in the part, that DSK was doomed: His colorful private life was always bound to prevent his running for president,” journalist Agnes Poirier said. [Photos: Reuters]

CNN: How Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s fall led to Hollande’s rise

In which a tabloid-headline-generating scandal in a hotel room an ocean away from France sealed the fate of an election.

11:42 // 2 years ago
May 6, 2012
Sometimes a photo tells the whole story: ”Torn election posters of French President and UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy are seen in Paris Sunday, May 6, 2012. France voted in a presidential run-off election Sunday expected to see Socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by capitalizing on public anger over spending cuts and a Europe-wide push for austerity.” Sarkozy has conceded defeat in the election, wishing his opponent “good luck.” (Photo by Francois Mori/AP)

Sometimes a photo tells the whole story: ”Torn election posters of French President and UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy are seen in Paris Sunday, May 6, 2012. France voted in a presidential run-off election Sunday expected to see Socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by capitalizing on public anger over spending cuts and a Europe-wide push for austerity.” Sarkozy has conceded defeat in the election, wishing his opponent “good luck.” (Photo by Francois Mori/AP)

14:43 // 2 years ago
zainyk:

Paris, 8pm: OFFICIAL - FRANCOIS HOLLANDE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF FRANCE
Becomes first Socialist President since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1988. 
Incroyable.

Check Reuters for live updates.

zainyk:

Paris, 8pm: OFFICIAL - FRANCOIS HOLLANDE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF FRANCE

Becomes first Socialist President since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1988. 

Incroyable.

Check Reuters for live updates.

14:10 // 2 years ago
May 1, 2012
I will not grant my trust, or a mandate, to these two candidates. … On Sunday, I will cast a blank ballot.
Marine Le Pen • Speaking about her plans to endorse no candidate in the second round of the French presidential election — a huge blow to President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has taken some isolationist cues from Le Pen’s party and needs those votes to top Socialist Francois Hollande, who won the first round. While Le Pen didn’t encourage other voters to do likewise, her decision does have the potential to influence 6.4 million voters to do the same.
10:13 // 2 years ago
April 22, 2012
jakke:

France had the first round of its presidential election today. To no one’s surprise, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande leads incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy in the exit polls. However, horrible far-right Marine Le Pen is doing way better than was predicted by polling. What happened here? Was this a random sampling mishap, or are voters lying about their choice?
On Friday, five separate polling agencies released polls based on samples taken over Wednesday and Thursday (available here, here, here, here, and here). These should be reasonably close to how people actually voted, and since they’re all polling all of France at the same time they should be sampling the same distribution of voters. So based on those polls, what’s the likelihood of the exit poll outcome we saw today?
Oh the graph above, the bell curves represent what the last five polls predict, and the horizontal dashed lines indicate the actual exit poll results. For Hollande and Sarkozy, then polling did a good job; the polls are pretty close to the middle of the bell curve. For (despicable bigot) Le Pen, though, the actual vote share was way higher than what the polls predicted. What happened here? There are three possibilities:
The polling agencies all just randomly picked a sample without very many Le Pen voters. As you can see from this graph, this possibility is so far out at the end of the bell curve that it barely even registers.
Lots of people changed their votes over the weekend. Millions of French people woke up Sunday morning with their mind totally changed and marched out to vote for Le Pen even though previously they’d been set on another candidate. This is definitely possible, although Le Pen never touched 20% support in any poll in the last two months.
Voters are lying to pollsters because they don’t want to admit (even to a stranger) that they are the pathetic small-minded racists who would vote for Le Pen.
Almost certain that #3 is what’s going on here. This has scary implications for polling European elections, because it indicates that as voter dissatisfaction with the eurozone and the response of the mainstream parties to the ongoing crisis grows we might see some really unpleasant surprise election results over the next couple years.

Great analysis of the French presidential election. Of note — Le Pen toppled the first-round score her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, scored in 2002, a showing which her party suggests solidifies her long-term potential. Read up more on the election over here.

jakke:

France had the first round of its presidential election today. To no one’s surprise, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande leads incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy in the exit polls. However, horrible far-right Marine Le Pen is doing way better than was predicted by polling. What happened here? Was this a random sampling mishap, or are voters lying about their choice?

On Friday, five separate polling agencies released polls based on samples taken over Wednesday and Thursday (available here, here, here, here, and here). These should be reasonably close to how people actually voted, and since they’re all polling all of France at the same time they should be sampling the same distribution of voters. So based on those polls, what’s the likelihood of the exit poll outcome we saw today?

Oh the graph above, the bell curves represent what the last five polls predict, and the horizontal dashed lines indicate the actual exit poll results. For Hollande and Sarkozy, then polling did a good job; the polls are pretty close to the middle of the bell curve. For (despicable bigot) Le Pen, though, the actual vote share was way higher than what the polls predicted. What happened here? There are three possibilities:

  1. The polling agencies all just randomly picked a sample without very many Le Pen voters. As you can see from this graph, this possibility is so far out at the end of the bell curve that it barely even registers.
  2. Lots of people changed their votes over the weekend. Millions of French people woke up Sunday morning with their mind totally changed and marched out to vote for Le Pen even though previously they’d been set on another candidate. This is definitely possible, although Le Pen never touched 20% support in any poll in the last two months.
  3. Voters are lying to pollsters because they don’t want to admit (even to a stranger) that they are the pathetic small-minded racists who would vote for Le Pen.

Almost certain that #3 is what’s going on here. This has scary implications for polling European elections, because it indicates that as voter dissatisfaction with the eurozone and the response of the mainstream parties to the ongoing crisis grows we might see some really unpleasant surprise election results over the next couple years.

Great analysis of the French presidential election. Of note — Le Pen toppled the first-round score her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, scored in 2002, a showing which her party suggests solidifies her long-term potential. Read up more on the election over here.

16:53 // 2 years ago