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posted on 24 April 2016

Early Headlines: New Climate Warnings, 3 Charged In Flint, Dollar Technicals Improve, 30 Boom Towns, Man Made 63 Bn Mistake, India Heatwave, Robot Farmers And More

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Early Bird Headlines 24 April 2015

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.



  • Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries (The New York Times) Leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of the magnitude targeted by international agreements (the 2 degree Celsius limit) would actually be quite dangerous. The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world's coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared. "We're in danger of handing young people a situation that's out of their control", said James E. Hansen, the retired NASA climate scientist who led the new research. The findings were released Tuesday morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. See also "Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change" (The New York Times)


  • Dollar's Technical Tone Improves (Marc to Market) It's not that the U.S. dollar had a particulary good week. The news is that it wasn't a bad week and the "broader technical tone improved". The US Dollar Index rose for the second consecutive week, something not seen for two months. This is consistent with the widening of interest rate spreads between the U.S. and Japan and the U.S. and Germany.

  • 3 Michigan Officials Charged in Flint Water Poisoning (Eco Watch) The first criminal charges have been filed in the ongoing Flint water contamination crisis that exposed nearly 100,000 residents to poisonous levels of lead. Two state employees have been charged with misleading the U.S. government about the problem: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby. Meanwhile, a Flint employee, Michael Glasgow, is charged with altering water test results.

  • America's Top 30 Boom Towns of 2016 Revealed (World Property Journal) According to a new study by titled America's Top Boom Towns, Gilbert, Arizona took top honors, closely followed by Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami for striking it rich when it comes to new home construction, job creation and an increasing number of households - the golden economic engine for healthy housing market growth.


  • Ronald Wayne Sold 10% of Apple in 1976. What Can We Learn from That? (The Big Picture) In April 1976, Wayne was the third co-founder and 10% shareholder of Apple Computer. For reasons that are discussed in this article, he sold his stake for a mere $800. Had he held onto to it, that 10% stake would today be worth $62.93 billion of Apple stock. That would rank him the third wealthiest person in the world, just ahead of Warren Buffett.

  • What will be the Sanders legacy? (Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, Monetary Sovereignty) RMM contributes to GEI. This is a rather idealized summary of what might live on after the "Big Bern".

  • Republican financier Koch says Clinton might make better president (Reuters) Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, a key source of financing for conservative Republican causes along with his brother, said Democrat Hillary Clinton might make a better president than the candidates in the Republican field.

  • Charges against 3 in Flint water crisis 'only the beginning' (CNN) The first criminal charges have been filed in the ongoing Flint water contamination crisis that exposed nearly 100,000 residents to poisonous levels of lead. Two state employees have been charged with misleading the U.S. government about the problem: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby. Meanwhile, a Flint employee, Michael Glasgow, is charged with altering water test results. These charges shouldn't be the last, according to residents of the city who had water contaminated with lead pumped into their homes.

Saudi Arabia

  • How U.S.-Saudi ties frayed under Obama (The Hill) President Obama's chilly reception in Saudi Arabia this week was the culmination of long lingering tension between the two allies that bubbled to the surface over the course of the last year and a half. Many Americans have distrusted the Saudi kingdom for years, given its rumored connections to Islamic extremists, harsh restrictions on women and paltry record on human rights. But in the last year, a more serious rift emerged that is sure to outlast Obama's time in office and will leave a challenge for his successor.


  • Heat wave conditions to persist till April 27 (The Hindu) Several parts of India reeled under severe heat wave conditions on Saturday, with the maximum temperature exceeding 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit) at Titlagarh in Odisha and above 45 degrees in several other parts of the country. No respite is in sight till April 27, as India Meteorological Department issued severe heat wave or heat wave warnings for parts of Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana and Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh. Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Bihar and the Gangetic West Bengal also recorded above normal temperatures. In many places temperatures range from 3 to 5 degrees Celsius above normal.


  • Japan's Next Generation of Farmers Could Be Robots (Bloomberg) With the average age of Japanese farmers now 67, Agriculture Minister Hiroshi Moriyama has the idea of replacing retiring growers with Japanese-developed autonomous tractors and backpack-carried robots. And the rest of the wolrd could follow. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has warned that left unchecked, aging farmers could threaten the ability to produce the food the world needs. The average age of growers in developed countries is now about 60, according to the United Nations.

North Korea

  • AP Exclusive: N. Korea to halt nuke tests if US stops drills (Associated Press) North Korea is ready to halt its nuclear tests if the United States suspends its annual military exercises with South Korea, the North Korean foreign minister told The Associated Press in an interview in which he also warned that his country won't be cowed by international sanctions. Just hours after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine in its latest show of defiance at the U.S.-South Korea exercises, Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong defended the country's right to increase its military readiness.


  • How Canada Came to Dominate the Global Supply of Ginseng (Bloomberg) The aboriginal Iroquois people of eastern Canada were the first known users of ginseng in North America, harvesting the wild root for use in ceremonies and as medicine to relieve fever, ease sinus problems and reduce swelling. In the U.S., the Cherokee thought ginseng could "make itself invisible to those unworthy to gather it". Jesuit priest Joseph-Francois Lafitau started hunting for the root around 1715. Aware of its value to the Chinese, he flagged its presence to traders who soon made it one of Canada's earliest and largest exports to Asia. By the late 1800s, ginseng was being cultivated in Ontario in small quantities, but Ontario farmers were much more interested in another crop that was rising in demand the world over: tobacco. It wasn't until the 1980s, when government restrictions on tobacco companies and more health-conscious consumers reduced demand, that growers began looking for an alternative that would thrive here and provide the same high returns. From then on, ginseng boomed. The root now contributes more than C$600 million ($472 million) annually to the Ontario economy.

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