Germany and France feel absolutely determined to strengthen the Euro as our common currency and further develop it.Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor • Talking about Germany and France’s new plan of joint taxation. They’re drawing up plans to have a common corporate tax rate beginning in 2013. Both countries are having difficult economic issues, in fact Germany’s GDP only grew 0.1% from March to June, which means it’s basically at a standstill. Germany and France are hoping that joint taxation would strengthen confidence in the Euro, which would be great for both their economies. source (via • follow)
The man reportedly visited Germany recently. The rare and dangerous form of E.coli in Germany, first discovered in May has already killed dozens of people in Europe. Now, it’s possible the epidemic has killed an American. Tests are still pending to see if it is that extra-deadly strain of E coli has made it stateside. But he wouldn’t be the first person to bring the bug home with them to the U.S. — on top of sickening over 3,800 Europeans, the disease has hit recent travelers from Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina. source
americans are funny. At least, that was the conclusion drawn from a survey by social networking site Badoo (who?), in which 30,000 people in 15 countries were asked to name the world’s funniest citizens. Americans came out on top, with Spaniards and Italians taking second and third, respectively. But wait—what exactly did they mean by “funny?” Was it in a, “That joke was hilarious!” sort of way, or a “You have toilet paper stuck to your shoe and nobody’s telling you” sort of way? We don’t know, so we’re not sure whether or not Americans should rejoice at this news. Similarly, should Germany be proud or embarrassed that they came in dead last? source
This is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before … [it has] various characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing.World Health Organization food safety expert Hilde Kruse • Describing what makes the mutant strain of E.coli — the one found mostly in Germany at this point — much more dangerous than previous versions. The disease, which sickened more than 1,500 and left nearly 500 with a rare type of kidney failure, is the third-largest outbreak of E.coli ever. So, where did it come from? “One should think of an animal source,” Kruse suggested. “Many animals are hosts of various types of toxin-producing E. coli.” source (via • follow)
» Contradictions and conflict: Despite the findings of new cases by the Robert Koch Institute, a German disease control agency, European Union Health Commissioner John Dalli was recently on record for saying this: ”According to the latest information we have available from Germany, it appears that the outbreak is on the decline. Fewer people have been hospitalized over the past couple of days than before.” Uh, not so much. Also, Spain (already struggling with the highest unemployment of the European Union) is very upset that their cucumbers were slandered by Germany, and is considering legal action. Either way, if you’re in Europe — particularly Germany — you might want to be extra-careful when eating food.
» “Operation Spiderman” was a success. Federal authorities, posing as tarantula buyers, successfully ordered five packages worth, including 22 Mexican red-kneed tarantulas, a species protected under international convention. Sven Koppler, the German national who made the sale, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
» Blame it on the eggs, yeah yeah: The farms have been quarantined in the wake of a tained egg scandal reportedly caused by some possibly contaminated animal feed. Harles and Jentzsch, the makers of a fatty acid used by animal feed producers, noticed high levels of dioxins but reportedly did nothing to stop the spread of the fatty acid. So now, we’re here. Oops.