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Europe, explained
 

Rule Britannica is at an end

Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer publish a dead tree version.
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Can you carry a Britannica around in one of these? (ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

The last printed edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published in 2010. When the last copy is sold that will be it for the printed edition of the almost 250 year old publication.

The reason why is obvious. The net has made the hard copy unnecessary. More specifically, to research why something called "Britannica" is published in Chicago, I went to Wikipedia. Here's what I learned:

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President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have a lot of things on their agenda today, including the world economy. But I doubt the President will be so rude as to ask the PM about the latest unemployment figures in Britain.

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Goldman Sachs letter travels fast

Britain reacts to Greg Smith's very public resignation

By now you know about Greg Smith's astonishing public resignation from Goldman Sachs in the pages of The New York Times.

It has excited commentary here in Britain.

"A knee in the nuts," is how The Daily Telegraph's Iain Martin describes it.

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A British Arabist's Advice for Syrian rebels

Get your political act together and negotiate the end of the Assad regime
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Devastation in Homs is proof that Syrian rebels don't have the firepower to beat Syrian army, but they have other ways of removing the Assad regime. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Chris Doyle runs an outfit called  CAABU, the Council for Arab-British Understanding, and he knows the Syrian situation as thoroughly as anyone outside official channels in Britain does.

You can listen to a very interesting interview Doyle gave to Guardian blogger Haroon Siddique here (scroll down to 2:21 p.m.).

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Tensions between Italy and Britain over failed hostage rescue attempt

British raid in Nigeria led to deaths of two hostages held for more than nine months by Boko Haram
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Briton Chris McManus, who was killed yesterday in Nigeria when British Special Forces tried to rescue him from his captors. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Success has many fathers, but failure?

Yesterday's failed attempt by British Special Forces to rescue a pair of British and Italian men held hostage by Nigeria's Islamist Boko Haram for the last nine months has led to diplomatic repercussions.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has expressed genuine anger at not being informed about the raid in advance. "The way the British government has behaved is quite inexplicable. To have failed to inform or consult Italy, with regard to a military action which could have such consequences," Napolitano said.

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BMW says: Thank you, China

Massive rise in company's profits thanks to China sales
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(FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

You think China is the world's workshop (or sweatshop, if you're manufacturing Apple products)?

Well, when it comes to luxury goods, Europe is the world's workshop.

Nothing proves the symbiotic relationship between China's rapidly growing upper-echelon consumer demand and Europe's luxury goods industries than sales figures released yesterday by BMW.

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Greek debt crisis: big hurdle crossed

Most private bond holders accept their haircuts opening way for EU bail-out
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Does today's deal with its private creditors mean that Greece's economy can rise from the ruins? (Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

The bond-holders represented the last obstacle to the second bail-out of Greece's debt-shattered economy. They had to agree by 8 p.m. Athens time.  80 percent have, enough for the Greek bail-out to go forward.

From the moment the crisis went from smoldering to explosive, last summer this deal has been haggled over, delayed, brought the single currency to the brink of extinction and threatened to take the world economy through a worm hole into a new dimension - a very dark one.

A three-way deal between Greece, its EU partners and the private bond-holders often seemed as if it might be impossible to reach. This last piece of the puzzle was open to question even after Greece and the EU had reached agreement on their part.

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Lionel Messi breaks Champions' League record

Messi scores 5 goals against Bayer Leverkusen in quarter-finals of Champion's League
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Lionel Messi chips in the first of his five goals last night. (LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

UPDATE: UEFA has taken down the YouTube video linked to in this post. I call that an own goal.

We celebrate genius and special talent across Europe in this blog whether artistic (as in my take last week on the David Hockney exhibition at London's Royal Academy) or sporting.

And there is no genius in world football like Barcelona's Lionel Messi at the moment.

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Forbes Billionaire's list: the European factor

The continent has become the lifestyle hub of the global economy.
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European wealth, its all about lifestyle and fashion as Europe's richest man, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault can attest. That's him in the suit at a recent fashion show in Paris. (Pascal Le Segretain/AFP/Getty Images)

The Forbes annual billionaire list may be no more than a conversation starter, but what it says about Europe is clear. This is not a place where industrialists or inventors, people who build traditional businesses, become super-rich.

Instead, it is the place where aggregators and creators of retail experiences prosper. Europe's two billionaires in the top five are France's Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods firm, LVMH, worth $41 billion, and Spain's Amancio Ortega owner of the global retail outlet Zara, worth $37.5 billion.

More from GlobalPost: EU austerity watch: Two test cases

The other Europeans in the top ten are Sweden's Stefan Persson, chairman of cheap chic clothing chain H & M, and Germany's Karl Albrecht, whose Aldi chain of discount supermarket operates on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Future flood threat to British nuclear reactors

Report says many will be underwater due to rising sea levels
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It isn't fire that is a threat to some British nuclear plants like Sizewell, it's flooding from rising sea levels. (Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

A year ago, the world was watching Japan wrestle with the flooded reactors at Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Guardian newspaper has obtained, under a Freedom of Information request, a report partially published two months ago detailing the risks to 12 of 19 nuclear plant sites in the country.

It is the older ones right on the sea cost that are cause for concern. Global warming has led to a rise in sea levels around this island.

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