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Daily Digest 12/28 - Sandy Left NJ Housing Market in Turmoil, Showdown In Italy Over Polluting Plant

Friday, December 28, 2012, 11:09 AM

Economy

Storm Weakened a Fragile System for Mental Care (VeganD)

sychiatric hospital admission is always a judgment call. But in the city, according to hospital records and interviews with psychiatrists and veteran advocates of community care, the odds of securing mental health treatment in a crisis have worsened significantly since the hurricane. The storm’s surge knocked out several of the city’s largest psychiatric hospitals, disrupted outpatient services and flooded scores of coastal nursing homes and “adult homes” where many mentally ill people had found housing of last resort.

Germany 'exporting' old and sick to foreign care homes (Suzie G.)

Germany has one of the fastest-ageing populations in the world, and the movement here has implications for other western countries, including Britain, particularly amid fears that austerity measures and rising care costs are potentially undermining standards of residential care.

The Sozialverband Deutschland (VdK), a German socio-political advisory group, said the fact that growing numbers of Germans were unable to afford the costs of a retirement home in their own country sent a huge "alarm signal". It has called for political intervention.

Greece: The Odyssey (printista)

Greece is what collapse looks like. Not an immediate big bang collapse, but
like air escaping from an inflated trash bag. People dropping back to
subsistence farming as their circumstances dictate. Some may make the case
that the whole western world is in collapse right now; this could be true.
It's a gradual relaxing and letting go of the hyper urban and corporate
ideals. Meanwhile, corps and urban life which are shrinking, are still
operating under their own logic and in some cases we'll see a bit of thrash
from them as they try to preserve their profits and turf. In the end, as each
person drops out, it leaves a hole in the whole cloth. One day the final
collapse will come, but there will be no-one left to note it; everybody will
be too busy carrying on with their lives elsewhere.

Along Coast, Hurricane Left Housing Market in Turmoil (jdargis)

Some owners have indignantly balked and even gone so far as to take houses that were already on the market off, waiting for values to rebound. But many others who lack the means or the desire to rebuild say they have no choice but to try to get out from under these properties for whatever they can.

“They’ve had enough,” said Steve Kaplan, 49, an investment banker from Long Beach, on Long Island, who has been buying damaged properties there since the storm. “They are going to move on, they don’t want to deal, they don’t want to redo their house.”

Senators to Return With 5 Days Left and No Clear Fiscal Path (jdargis)

Mr. Geithner wrote that he would take “extraordinary measures” to keep the government afloat but said that with so much uncertainty over the shape of the tax code and future government spending he did not know how long the Treasury could shuffle accounts before the government could no longer pay its creditors.

Summoned Back to Work, Senators Chafe at Inaction (jdargis)

“Members of the House of Representatives are out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things,” said Mr. Reid, in a ferocious floor attack on the House that he returned to periodically throughout the day Thursday, like an angry father-in-law revisiting a grudge he’s been nursing all year. “They should be here.”

A Showdown In Italy Over A Polluting Steel Plant (cmurray)

Workers' representative Antonello Piccolo says trade unions have above all defended job security. He's worried about the court ruling's possible repercussions. "The court's insistence on a shutdown could leave 20,000 people jobless," he says. "And the government knows it would have grave consequences for the entire economy."

Developers of Wind Farms Run a Race Against the Calendar (jdargis)

The deadline is a bit like the April 15 one for filing income taxes, but “there are no extensions here,” said Paul Copleman, a spokesman for Iberdrola. To reduce the risk of missing it — a risk that increases when managing construction projects on mountaintops in New England in the winter — the company allowed more than a year for what are normally nine-month construction projects.

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