Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 3/21 - Detroit City Council 'Still Relevant,' Argentines Go For Gold

Thursday, March 21, 2013, 11:28 AM

Economy

AstraZeneca slashing 1,200 jobs in Delaware (Thomas C.)

“The changes we are proposing represent an exciting and important opportunity to put science at the heart of everything we do because our long-term success depends on improving R&D productivity and achieving scientific leadership,” said AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot. “This is a major investment in the future of this company that will enable us to accelerate innovation by improving collaboration, reducing complexity and speeding up decision-making. The strategic centers will also allow us to tap into important bioscience hotspots providing more of our people with easy access to leading-edge academic and industry networks, scientific talent and valuable partnering opportunities.”

Bankrupt San Bernardino approves over $1 mln in pay hikes (Phil H.)

The bankruptcy of the city 65 miles east of Los Angeles is a national test case on whether the pensions of government workers take precedence over other payments in a municipal bankruptcy. It is a high-stakes issue for pension plans and their beneficiaries, and for Wall Street bondholders who lend money to governments.

Detroit council: We're still relevant (Phil H.)

President Pro Tem Gary Brown echoed Pugh's position, saying he also believes council will remain relevant.

"He hasn't taken any power away. I thought I heard him say that he wanted a partnership with the mayor and council to make the decisions that needed to be made. We are way ahead of ourselves with this takeaway," Brown said of the concerns voiced by residents and some fellow council members.

Argentines go for gold. Literally. (Alan W.)

Meanwhile, inflation expectations are in the 25-30 per cent range (according to the opposition, based on private estimates, inflation is still running above 25 per cent despite price freezes that look set now to continue at lest until June.

Taken all together, it’s little surprise that gold sales are booming at Banco Ciudad, Argentina’s only gold trader, as citizens literally go for gold as an inflation hedge.

Ficano wants retired deputy to drive and guard him, wash his car (Phil H.)

Although Berry's contract calls for driving and protection, that would only be a small portion of his job, Assistant County Executive June Lee said. She said the bulk of his time would be spent supervising the Alternative Work Force, a program that allows convicts to avoid jail time by performing community service projects.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - New Zealand Goes Cyprus-Style, RBNZ Responds (Thomas C.)

One understands that in the event of a bank failure, pain will be apportioned to the shareholders and depositors in New Zealand banks. And it must certainly be an extraordinarily transparent financial system indeed so that depositors can properly assess risk, on a par with insiders.

But one might ask, in the event of a failure, what is the penalty for the politicians, the banking management, and their regulators?

Nearly 150 years after conflict ended, U.S. government still making payments to children of Civil War vets (westcoastjan)

At the 10 year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, more than US$40-billion a year is going to compensate veterans and survivors from the Spanish-American War from 1898, World War I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the two Iraq campaigns and the Afghanistan conflict. And those costs are rising rapidly.

In Spain, The Bitcoin Run Has Started (westcoastjan)

The value of the virtual currency has soared almost 30 percent in the last two days. "One hundred percent of that is due to Cyprus," says Colas. "It means the Europeans are getting involved." As German economist Peter Bofinger warned in an interview with Spiegel Online: "European citizens must now fear for their money."

Canadian man to sell house for Bitcoin virtual currency (westcoastjan)

Entrepreneur Taylor More listed his two-bedroom Alberta bungalow, asking 405,000 Canadian dollars (£261,000; $395,000) - or the equivalent in Bitcoins.

He says the first reaction of his family was that of a shock.

CIA's Gus Hunt On Big Data: We 'Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever' (westcoastjan)

He referenced the failure to "connect the dots" in the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the "underwear bomber" who was able to board a plan with an explosive device despite repeated warnings of his intentions. In that case, a White House review found that the CIA had all of the data it needed to identify the would-be bomber, but still failed to stop him. Nevertheless, the agency does not seem to have curbed its ambitions for an endless amount of data.

Energy

Tories aim to divide, conquer with envoy who will canvas First Nations on energy projects (westcoastjan)

In an announcement from Terrace in northwest B.C., near the Kitimat port that has been earmarked to house major oil and gas export developments, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Vancouver lawyer Douglas Eyford has been given the task to engage with Aboriginal communities in British Columbia and Alberta and report his findings directly to the Prime Minister. He will present a preliminary report by June 28, and will issue a final report by Nov. 29.

German scientists quit oil sands research over public climate concerns (westcoastjan)

The initiative focuses on topics including waste-water management, carbon capture, geothermal power and land reclamation. It also researches better ways to upgrade bitumen — a subject that proved controversial in Germany, where climate change is politically prominent.

“There is an ongoing campaign here in Germany with regard to oil sands, but also with regard to climate protection,” Schneider said. “We have this energy transition discussion here in Germany, which is quite intensive.”

Environment

Doctors call for ban of antibiotic use in farm animals as drug-resistant human infections hit ‘dangerous level (westcoastjan)

The problem of bacteria impervious to antibiotics has moved beyond the oft-reported super bugs like MRSA (methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus) and C. difficile, and affects a “multitude” of common infections from strep throat to salmonella, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) warns.

‘We, as a nation, have to wake up’: First Nations leaders vow to do what it takes to block oil pipelines (westcoastjan)

Vancouver-based lawyer Doug Eyford is to focus on energy infrastructure in Western Canada, but some native leaders say he has no credibility.

He is to examine First Nations concerns about the troubled Northern Gateway proposal, as well as the development of liquid natural gas plants, marine terminals and other energy infrastructure in British Columbia and Alberta.

Wave of prawn deaths baffles Chile city of Coronel (westcoastjan)

Experts are looking into water temperature and oxygen levels and other details to explain the deaths.

"We're investigating the Coronel Bay to establish the physical parameters of temperature, electric conductivity and, above all, the oxygen," said local environment official Victor Casanova.

Eating locusts: The crunchy, kosher snack taking Israel by swarm (westcoastjan)

Locusts eat their bodyweight in food every day. And they have been chomping their way through fields of potato and maize.

They are showing little sign of letting up.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the Gold & Silver Digest: 3/20/13

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@peakprosperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

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Ending poverty hinges on tougher environmental goals: study

Governments must impose radical limits on everything from water use to greenhouse gases if they want to have any chance of ending global poverty, a group of scientists said.

States needed to tighten clean air laws, at least halve the amount of water drawn from river basins and start cutting some environmentally damaging pollution, all by 2030, they suggested.

"The stable functioning of Earth systems - including the atmosphere, oceans, forests, waterways, biodiversity and biogeochemical cycles - is a pre-requisite for a thriving global society," the Australian-led team wrote in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature.

http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/68212

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Fed balance sheet grows to record size in latest week

"The Federal Reserve's balance sheet grew to a record size in the latest week with more holdings of U.S. government debt, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

The Fed's balance sheet, a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system, stood at $3.189 trillion on March 20, compared with $3.147 trillion on March 13.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.785 trillion as of Wednesday versus $1.770 trillion the previous week."

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