Chelsea Clinton's husband shuts down vulture fund after losing 90% of his investors' money

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Chelsea Clinton's husband Marc Mezvinsky is a Goldman Sachs alumnus; in 2014, he founded Hellenic Opportunity, a hedge fund that raised $25M to bet on distressed assets from Greece's collapsed economy, wagering that the country's investors would force it to make deeper cuts to finance payments on the debts. Read the rest

The only man to never have seen a woman

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In 1938, Mihailo Tolotos died at age 82. He's considered to have been the only man to have lived such a long life "without ever seeing a woman." Tolotos, whose mother died at childbirth, lived all his years as a monk in one of Greece's Mt. Ethos monasteries where only men are permitted. Of course, Tolotos's claim to fame doesn't account for people who are blind since birth, but it's still a rather curious story anyway.

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EU plans to class volunteers who rescue drowning Syrian refugees as "traffickers"

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An exceptionally broad proposal before the Council of the EU lumps the traffickers who cram refugees into unsafe boats with the volunteers and NGOs who rescue drowning refugees when those boats sink. Read the rest

Playful, pacifist IEDs

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Sculptor Petros Eftstathiadiadis makes these "pacifist bombs" as a commentary on the Greek political/economic situation, constructing them from materials chosen to seem absurd, playful and harmless. Despite that, a few of these look somewhat alarming to me, possibly because of Eftstathiadiadis's (admirable) lack of knowledge about antipersonnel weaponry -- the soap immediately makes me think of jellied gasoline, for example. Read the rest

Greece's creditors demand casino rights, archaeological sites, selloff of EUR50B of national assets

Already sold: most of Greece's airports -- for sale: gas transmission, oil refineries, power company, post office, national highways, water company. Read the rest

Greek statue from 110 BCE of a girl showing her mom a laptop computer

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Or in Italian, "Arte greca, pietra tombale di donna con la sua schiavetta, databile al 100 a.C. circa." Read the rest

Figuring out Greece

This helped: Three Things To Read About Greece . Read the rest

Greek finance minister resigns

Yanis Varoufakis, a "libertarian Marxist" who played the heavy in Greece's negotiations with its creditors, has stepped down after helping to secure a historic popular mandate rejecting austerity. Read the rest

Greece deadline extended by one second

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The Greek loan repayment deadline was extended, Reuters reports—by a leap-second. Pretty good troll, Reuters! What is a leap-second, anyway? Read the rest

Anti-austerity parties soar in Spanish elections as Greece threatens default

Two new, anti-establishment parties (including one that grew out of the indignados movement -- a kind of Spanish precedent to Occupy) took key seats in regional and municipal elections in yesterday's Spanish election, which is a kind of dress rehearsal for the upcoming national elections. Read the rest

Piketty on the pointless cruelty of European austerity

The economist says that the US's post-crisis job creation record and the EU's lagging record demonstrates that austerity cripples recoveries. Read the rest

Greece's new finance minister used to be Valve's games economist

Yanis Varoufakis used to manage in-game economies in games like Counter-Strike; now he's finance minister for a Greek government that has set its sights on reforming the entire basis of austerity and debt service in the Eurozone. Read the rest

Embroidered anatomical notebooks

Chara from Athens, Greece operates an amazing Etsy store full of hand-embroidered notebooks featuring anatomical, natural and historical themes: the circulatory system, the heart, a spider, Leonardo da Vinci's Apostle James, blood circulation of the head and many more. (via Geeky Merch) Read the rest

Platonic Potter

Kristen's figured something important out: "the addition of 'Harry' to almost any Plato quote makes it seem legitimately like a nugget of wisdom out of the mouth of Albus Dumbledore." Read the rest

European Broadcasting Union steps in to keep the Greek national broadcaster on the air after police shut it down

Yesterday, the Greek government forcibly shut down the state broadcaster, ERT, sending in the police to drag journalists away from their microphones. The government claimed that the shutdown was the result of inescapable austerity measures. In response, the European Broadcasting Union -- an umbrella group representing public broadcasters across Europe -- has set up a makeshift mobile studio where ERT broadcasters can continue to work and stay on air.

This is being fed around Europe on an EBU satellite as part of its European news exchange operation and can be picked up by commercial stations in Greece but not the general public.

A spokesman for the EBU, which is headquartered in Geneva, said a "high-level meeting with a conference call" with the director general of ERT would take place later on Wednesday to decide on next steps.

Roger Mosey, the BBC's editorial director, who is on the EBU board told the Guardian: "We're watching events in Greece with great concern. When countries are in difficulty, there's an even bigger need for public service broadcasting and for independent, impartial news coverage. I hope that's restored in Greece as soon as possible."

The EBU spokesman said ERT staff in contact with the organisation have told them the power has not yet been cut by the government, but email servers have been taken down. They are now contacting the EBU through smartphones, using Facebook and personal email accounts.

"This is unprecedented, stations have closed and re-opened for a number of reasons, but never with such abruptness," said a spokesman for the EBU.

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Greek government shuts down state broadcaster, police force journalists out of the building

Michael sez, "The Greek government forcibly shut down transmissions of all TV and radio stations operated by the state-owned broadcaster ERT, with police ejecting journalists and other employees who were occupying the buildings."

A few hours ago, the Greek government announced that state television and radio channels would be silenced at midnight. No public debate, no debate in Parliament, no warning. Nothing. ERT, the Greek version of the BBC, will simply fold its tent and steal into the night. As probably the only Greek commentator to have been blacklisted by ERT over the past two years, I feel I have the moral authority to cry out against ERT’s passing. To shout from the rooftops that its murder by our troika-led government is a crime against public media that all civilised people, the world over, should rise up against.

ERT (Greek state tv-radio) is dead: A blacklisted person’s lament Read the rest

Documentary on hidden victims of Greek austerity that's crowdfunded, free & CC-licensed

Into The Fire is a film with a difference. Besides being a hard hitting documentary which shows the plight of refugees and migrants amidst a collapsing Greek economy, it's also an experiment in new film production and distribution techniques.

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