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Italy And Israel - A Pair Of Political Stalemates Demystified With Gifs


In elections, there are winners and there are losers. But what happens when the winner cannot actually claim victory? How can the loser manage to hold all the cards?

Both Italy and Israel are famous for getting stuck in just these sorts of Byzantine deadlocks, and coincidentally both Mediterranean democracies are swimming in it right now.

There are some signs that a government may be formed the week in Jerusalem. In Rome, not so much. Anyway, it's hard work for those involved, and not much easier for the rest of us to understand just what's going on...

Once you win, you’d think forming government is easy enough,

In both countries, voters must choose from party lists. Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, Likud came out on top in the elections in late January, but still hasn’t managed to join forces with either of the other main parties in order to rule the country.

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In Italy, Pierluigi Bersani’s center-left party came out on top, but just barely, which means he must team up with either Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement (M5S) or, well, you know who...

[rebelmouse-image 27086381 alt="""" original_size="391x227" expand=1]

In Israel, a coalition of a majority of the 120 seats is needed to form a government: Likud only pulled in 23.3% of the votes.

[rebelmouse-image 27086382 alt="""" original_size="500x281" expand=1]

Bersani has a worse time of it because he needs a majority in both houses: the senate plus the lower chamber of Parliament. Grillo's M5S said before the election even began that they will not form a coalition and two weeks after the results, they still show no signs of budging. Grillo has made himself clear...

[rebelmouse-image 27086383 alt="""" original_size="200x122" expand=1]

Netanyahu not so much

[rebelmouse-image 27086384 alt="""" original_size="500x282" expand=1]

Opposition leaders, Naftali Bennett and Yair Iapid have said that they will form a coalition in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, but only if they’re both involved. Netanyahu failed to form a coalition in the required four weeks, so sought an extension of an extra two weeks from President Peres. This extension expires on Sunday March 17. If they can’t do so, another election will be held.

The same could happen in Italy, though Italian President Giorgio Napolitano could potentially appoint another non-political technocrat government. We thought it was Game Over, Super Mario...?

[rebelmouse-image 27086385 alt="""" original_size="500x609" expand=1]

via Tumbler

At least there is another election in the neighborhood that should produce clearer results. And though there will be just one winner at this week's conclave, we'll now have two popes!

[rebelmouse-image 27086386 alt="""" original_size="300x206" expand=1]

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The Unsustainable Future Of Fish Farming — On Vivid Display In Turkish Waters

Currently, 60% of Turkey's fish currently comes from cultivation, also known as fish farming, compared to just 10% two decades ago. The short-sightedness of this shift risks eliminating fishing output from both the farms and the open seas along Turkey's 5,200 miles of coastline.

Photograph of two fishermen throwing a net into the Tigris river in Turkey.

Traditional fishermen on the Tigris river, Turkey.

Dûrzan Cîrano/Wikimeidia
İrfan Donat

ISTANBUL — Turkey's annual fish production includes 515,000 tons from cultivation and 335,000 tons came from fishing in open waters. In other words, 60% of Turkey's fish currently comes from cultivation, also known as fish farming.

It's a radical shift from just 20 years ago when some 600,000 tons, or 90% of the total output, came from fishing. Now, researchers are warning the current system dominated by fish farming is ultimately unsustainable in the country with 8,333 kilometers (5,177 miles) long.

Professor Mustafa Sarı from the Maritime Studies Faculty of Bandırma 17 Eylül University believes urgent action is needed: “Why were we getting 600,000 tons of fish from the seas in the 2000’s and only 300,000 now? Where did the other 300,000 tons of fish go?”

Professor Sarı is challenging the argument from certain sectors of the industry that cultivation is the more sustainable approach. “Now we are feeding the fish that we cultivate at the farms with the fish that we catch from nature," he explained. "The fish types that we cultivate at the farms are sea bass, sea bram, trout and salmon, which are fed with artificial feed produced at fish-feed factories. All of these fish-feeds must have a significant amount of fish flour and fish oil in them.”

That fish flour and fish oil inevitably must come from the sea. "We have to get them from natural sources. We need to catch 5.7 kilogram of fish from the seas in order to cultivate a sea bream of 1 kg," Sarı said. "Therefore, we are feeding the fish to the fish. We cannot cultivate fish at the farms if the fish in nature becomes extinct. The natural fish need to be protected. The consequences would be severe if the current policy is continued.”

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