Tag Archives: Portugal

A Brief Pastry Tour of Lisbon

By Lauren Salkeld Clockwise from top left: Queijada de Sintra, pastéis de Belém, pao de deus tabuleiro Maybe it’s the fact that my Facebook newsfeed is filled with photos of friends traveling in Europe, or perhaps it’s just a regular summer slump, but lately I’ve been thinking about my last vacation, a week spent in Lisbon this past March. While the trip’s leisurely pace and no-cell-phone-or-Internet-style relaxation come to mind, mostly I’m reminiscing about all the new things I got to see and, if I’m honest, even more so about all the new food I got to try. There was a lot, including at least five of Portugal’s legendary 365 ways to prepare bacalhau. But if I had to pick a theme for the trip, it would be pastry. I knew from fellow Epi-Log contributor Carolina Santos-Neves that the Portuguese have a fondness for egg-filled desserts, so I anticipated lots of custards and enriched baked goods. Plus, as soon as I started mentioning my upcoming trip, Portugal fans immediately insisted I had to go to the Antigua Confeitaria de Belém to try their famous pastéis de Belém, small crisp pastry shells filled with (surprise, surprise) a luscious egg-y custard, and dusted in powdered sugar and cinnamon. As David Leite explains in his culinary guide to Portugal, “These treats are so sought after that it is illegal for any other shop to sell anything called pastéis de Belém; pretenders to the throne must call theirs pastéis de nata.” The bakery can be quite popular. According to Leite, they shape, fill, and bake more than 10,000 pastéis de Belém a day. We were lucky to encounter only a short line in Belém, though I’m sure I would have waited if necessary. I may balk at lines at home in New York, but on vacation, when I worry about never making it back, I’m usually game for a little waiting in line. We encountered another famous pastry in Sintra, a castle-filled town that’s a quick 40-minute train ride from Lisbon. Like pastéis de Belém, Sintra’s specialty, queijadas, are also made in other places. I haven’t heard of any legal claims to the name, but it seems generally accepted that Sintra’s version is the best. The similarities don’t stop there: Queijadas also feature a thin pastry shell filled with custard, but the pastry is thinner and a little less sweet. The filling is also less sweet, probably because it includes fresh cheese (something along the lines of ricotta), and has a firmer texture than the soft custard in the pastéis de Belém. If forced to choose, I’d probably pick Sintra’s queijadas over the pastéis de Belém, but the award for favorite goes to another, less-well-known pastry. At breakfast at Padaria Portuguesa, which has multiple locations in Lisbon, we discovered pão de deus tabuleiro. I’ve yet to find a decent translation for this coconut-infused pastry, reminiscent of an enriched bread dough, something along the lines of brioche, but more delicate and crumbly. The unique texture was probably what…<div …read more

Source: Epicurious

Invasive Gramineae species propagate by wildfire in the Mediterranean and aid its spread

Researchers in the Biological Station of Doñana (CSIC) have studied the extent to which alien invasive plants benefit from fires in Mediterranean regions. Their results indicate that many grasses and certain trees are spread by wildfire, species which in turn increase the frequency of fires, as occurs with Eucalyptus trees in Portugal and Galicia. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

First Drive: 2014 BMW 4 Series

By Steven J. Ewing

2014 BMW 4 Series

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Because Four Is Greater Than Three

Say what you will about the name 4 Series, there is a method to BMW’s madness. On one hand, it’s easy enough to just buy into the logic that odd numbers are reserved for sedans and wagons, and that even numbers are reserved for coupes and convertibles. On the other hand, consider the idea that the higher numbers are used to separate the more dynamic, more engaging vehicles that use the same platform. It’s that sort of separation that differentiates the 6 Series so nicely from its 5 Series roots, after all. And if we’re being cynical, it also allows BMW to charge a bit more money for its lower-volume offerings.

So with the new two-door version of the 3 Series, BMW has gone the route of strengthening the dynamic virtues of its F30 chassis to create a car that’s more removed from its sedan kin than one might think. And after spending some time with the new 4 Series on the roads around Lisbon, Portugal, as well as the famous Circuito do Estoril racetrack, it’s increasingly clear that calling this car a 3 Series Coupe simply wouldn’t be fair.

Continue reading 2014 BMW 4 Series

2014 BMW 4 Series originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Fish-tracking robots take to the seas and skies off Portugal

A unique field experiment being conducted off the coast of Portugal this week combines ocean robotics and marine biology in a complex aquatic dance. Researchers are using a fleet of robotic vehicles to track over a dozen Mola mola (ocean sunfish) as they forage across the coastal ocean. During this experiment, engineers and marine biologists are working together to test new techniques for tracking multiple animals in real time, collecting environmental data in the water around each animal, and controlling and coordinating a diverse group of robotic vehicles. Collaborators are also testing advanced capabilities for seafloor mapping and for search and rescue, in concert with local maritime authorities. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

BMW shows off 435i Coupe with M Performance parts

By Steven J. Ewing

2014 BMW 435i Coupe with M Performance parts

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Greetings from the famous Circuito do Estoril racetrack in Portugal. We’re here to put the 2014 BMW 4 Series coupe through its paces, and we’ll have the chance to sample the updated 2014 BMW M5 with its new Competition Pack, as well. But before going out for some hot laps, we took a few minutes to check out this 435i Coupe that’s been fitted with a full suite of goodies from the BMW M Performance parts catalog.

Starting with the exterior, carbon fiber bits are the most noticeable additions, with the lightweight material added in the form of a massive front splitter, mirror caps and a rear spoiler. Other visual changes include lightweight 20-inch wheels, a blacked-out grille, and unique M Performance side stripes. No, that’s not a shadow you see under the 435i’s strong side character line – that’s a stripe. Yes, we’re serious.

Inside (we couldn’t get photos of the interior, sorry!), BMW has added its sport steering wheel with race display, unique M floormats, steel pedals, and a whole mess of carbon fiber and Alcantara trim.

But the M catalog isn’t just about added flair. Legitimate performance parts can be had, and for starters, this 435i is fitted with a power kit that increases engine output from 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque to 334 and 332, respectively. Building upon that, there’s a limited-slip differential, performance suspension, upgraded brakes with red calipers and a rear apron diffuser finished in carbon.

BMW hasn’t announced official pricing for the 4 Series goodies as of this writing, but we should have a clearer idea of how much coin each option will warrant closer to the kit’s debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. Until then, have a glance through our gallery of live photos to take it all in for yourself.

BMW shows off 435i Coupe with M Performance parts originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Jul 2013 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Today in History for 20th July 2013

Historical Events

1654 – Anglo-Portuguese treaty, Portugal comes under English control
1866 – Sea battle of Lissa-Austria vs Italy
1920 – Heerenveen soccer team forms
1956 – US performs atmospheric nuclear Test at Bikini Island
1964 – 1st surfin’ record to go #1-Jan and Dean’s “Surf City”
2001 – The London Stock Exchange goes public.

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1938 – Jo Ann Campbell, Jacksonville Fla, Lawrence Welk’s champagne lady
1951 – Jeff Rawle, English actor
1963 – Frank Whaley, American actor
1967 – Akihito Sugisawa, hockey forward (Team Japan 1998)
1978 – Will Solomon, American basketball player
1978 – Charlie Korsmo, actor (Dick Tracy, What About Bob)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1322 – Frederik II van Sierck, bishop of Utrecht (1317-22), dies
1766 – Isabelle Farnese, queen of Spain, dies
1944 – Korten, chef gen of Germany Luftwaffe, dies in bomb explosion
1982 – Okot p’Bitek, Ugandan poet (b. 1931)
2007 – Tammy Faye Messner (Bakker), American televangelist (b. 1942)
2009 – Ria Brieffies, Dutch singer (b. 1957)

More Famous Deaths »

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at HistoryOrb.Com – This Day in History

Merkel in warning over another Greek debt haircut

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is warning that a second debt writedown for Greece could undo much of the recent work done to stabilize the euro area.

Merkel’s comments Friday came a day after her finance minister visited Athens and told a Greek audience that it’s not in the country’s interests to seek a second write-off, or “haircut,” following last year’s debt restructuring with private-sector bondholders.

Merkel pointed to the possible consequences of another writedown in the 17-country eurozone and the danger that others might seek a similar deal. Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus have also received bailouts.

She said another debt relief deal “could lead to such massive uncertainty among all investors in the eurozone that everything we have done in recent years would again be in question.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Portugal's PM survives no confidence vote

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has survived a no confidence vote as he struggles to prevent early elections amid deep differences over the austerity measures the country is pursuing in return for rescue funds.

The proposal, pushed in Parliament by the Green Party, failed by 131 votes to 87.

Coelho, who is leader of the Social Democrats, is negotiating with the junior party in the coalition, a couple of weeks after the government almost collapsed. Coelho is also talking with the main Socialist opposition to see if an agreement can be cobbled together.

A deadline of Sunday has been set.

Portugal has been relying on 78 billion euros ($101 billion) of bailout funds from its euro partners and the International Monetary Fund for the past couple years.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Japan, South Korea continue to lead in fiber Internet

The number of fiber Internet subscriptions rose 12.7 percent in the countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Paris-based group said Thursday.

Just under 49 million fiber Internet connections existed across the 34 countries, according to the data. That represented about 15 percent of all fixed Internet lines, but in several nations the percentage of fiber connections is much higher.

Japan and South Korea lead the pack with fiber penetration of over 60 percent. Sweden, Estonia and Slovakia rounded out the top five with penetration in the 30 percent range. The other nations with above average fiber penetration were Norway, Iceland, Slovenia, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Portugal. Hungary was ranked just slightly below the average.

Penetration rates in the remaining countries, which included the U.S., U.K., France and Germany, were all under 10 percent.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Fitch downgrades European rescue loan fund

Fitch Ratings has cut its credit grade for the European fund that provides rescue loans to Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

The agency says it lowered the rating for the European Financial Stability Facility — or EFSF — by one notch from AAA to AA+ as a result of its downgrade of France last week. The EFSF’s creditworthiness depends on that of the countries that provide its financing, which includes France.

Monday’s downgrade of the EFSF means the fund could have to pay higher interest rates to raise money. Fitch’s rivals Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s have already downgraded it.

The EFSF has been taken over by a new, permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism. However, it still manages the rescue loans to Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

S. American leaders back asylum amid Snowden row

South American leaders defended their right to offer asylum, venting anger at claims of US spying in the region while intelligence leaker Edward Snowden’s fate hangs in the balance.

Washington wants Snowden, currently in limbo in Moscow, arrested for disclosing details of the massive US electronic intelligence operations around the world.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua — all run by leftist governments — have offered Snowden asylum. The 30-year-old US fugitive however told rights activists in Moscow on Friday that he would seek interim refuge in Russia.

Four European countries also came under attack in Montevideo at a summit of Mercosur, the regional bloc, for shutting off their airspace and holding up a plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales, apparently on suspicion that Snowden was aboard.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also called for stronger regional cyber-security after documents leaked by Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, allegedly show that Washington has engaged in a mass of electronic spying in several Latin American countries.

The Mercosur leaders issued a statement reaffirming “the inalienable right of every state to grant asylum,” a right which, they said, “must not be restricted or curbed”.

“It is fundamental to ensure that the right of asylum seekers to travel safely to the country granting asylum be guaranteed,” they added, in a thinly veiled reference to US pressure to block Snowden’s possible departure from Russia to Venezuela.

The South American leaders rejected “any attempt at pressure, harassment or criminalization by a state or third parties” in response to a decision to grant asylum.

They demanded “an immediate end to such practices and explanations as to their motivation and their consequences.”

They also plan to push for the adoption of Internet regulatory rules, with an emphasis on cyber-security “to guarantee the protection of communications and preserve the sovereignty of states.”

Snowden has been stranded at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport since arriving on a flight from Hong Kong on June 23. His US passport has since been revoked.

Mercosur leaders also said they would recall their ambassadors from Spain, France, Italy and Portugal for consultations in protest at the four nations’ decisions to close their airspace to the plane carrying Morales last week.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, whose country was reportedly a key target for US electronic surveillance, slammed NSA activities disclosed by the O Globo newspaper.

It is time for Mercosur “to set a limit… We must adopt pertinent measures to avoid a repetition of such situations,” she said.

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman told the summit that more than 100 of his country’s officials were under electronic surveillance from a nation he did not name.

“I received less than an hour ago from a country present in this room the names (of the targeted officials) with their emails and passwords,” he said.

And Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said Morales’ airplane holdup raised fears that her presidential plane could be impounded over a debt dispute.

“If I am aboard, I don’t know if they won’t seize me as well,” she said. “There are new forms of colonialism, more subtle than those practiced centuries ago.”

In January, …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Portugal launches another round of spending cuts

Portugal‘s government has announced plans to save around 800 million euros ($1 billion) this year — about 0.5 percent of its annual gross domestic product — by slashing expenditure on public sector staff, goods and services.

The center-right government says the new austerity measures are needed to meet deficit targets stipulated by creditors who gave the country a 78 billion euros bailout two years ago.

The government is trying to plug a 1.3 billion euros hole in its budget after the Constitutional Court recently ruled that some of this year’s austerity measures were unlawful.

Officials said Thursday the latest cuts will likely result in layoffs and prompt some public services to be scrapped.

Government minister Luis Sarmento said the steps “will place public services under great pressure.”

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/4pBuQ7iK1tw/

European Q1 car registrations fall 10 percent in

Europe‘s automakers’ association says new car registrations slid 10 percent in the first quarter of 2013, with all but three European Union countries posting declines.

ACEA on Wednesday said new car registrations for the first three months of 2013 totaled 2.9 million, down from 3.3 million in 2012.

The European debt crisis has sapped consumer spending and March marked the 18th straight month of declining auto sales as unemployment and gas prices remain high.

Among Europe‘s major markets, only the U.K. posted growth in the quarter, up 7.4 percent to 605,000 vehicles. Otherwise, all major markets saw double-digit contractions: down 11.5 percent in Spain, 13 percent in Italy, 14.6 percent in France and 13 percent in Europe‘s strongest economy, Germany.

The smaller car markets of Estonia and Portugal also grew.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/f7QymAaJZiU/

New Zealand becomes thirteenth country in world to legalize same-sex marriage

Hundreds of jubilant gay-rights advocates celebrated at New Zealand‘s Parliament as the country become the thirteenth in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage.

Lawmakers voted 77 to 44 Wednesday night in favor of the gay-marriage bill.

People watching from the public gallery immediately broke into song after the result was announced, singing a New Zealand anthem in the indigenous Maori language.

Leaders of most political parties encouraged lawmakers to vote as their consciences dictated rather than along party lines.

Same-sex marriage is currently recognized in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark. Lawmakers in Uruguay approved a law last week that President Jose Mujica is expected to sign.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/rshH108vP20/

Of Course Portugal Should Default And Leave The Euro

By Tim Worstall, Contributor Finally we actually have someone in Portuguese politics who is saying something sensible about the euro. Portugal‘s financial situation is simply such that yes, of course it should default on its debts and if that means leaving the euro as well, or even the EU, then so be it: Mario Soares, who steered the country to democracy after the Salazar dictatorship, said all political forces should unite to “bring down the government” and repudiate the austerity policies of the EU-IMF Troika.

From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/04/13/of-course-portugal-should-default-and-leave-the-euro/

Bailed-out Portugal to unveil more cuts next week

Portugal‘s prime minister says his government will announce new spending cuts worth 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) next week to compensate for austerity measures disallowed by a court and to unblock access to its bailout funds.

The Constitutional Court last week declared some of this year’s tax hikes unlawful, leaving the government with a 1.3-billion-euro hole in its 2013 budget.

Foreign creditors who lent Portugal 78 billion euros in 2011 consequently froze a scheduled disbursement of 2 billion euros until the government comes up with alternative measures. The government needs that money to pay expenses such as salaries and pensions.

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho told reporters Friday that his Cabinet will next week announce a 600-million-euro reduction in the government budget and prune the same amount from public services.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/EUyBVNu4Ldo/