RBA’s Stevens Holds Benchmark Interest Rate at 2.5% (Arthur Robey)
In Australia, recent data indicate somewhat firmer growth around the turn of the year, but this resulted mainly from very strong increases in resource exports as new capacity came on stream; smaller increases in such exports are likely in coming quarters. Moderate growth has been occurring in consumer demand. A strong expansion in housing construction is now under way. At the same time, resources sector investment spending is starting to decline significantly. Signs of improvement in investment intentions in some other sectors are emerging, but these plans remain tentative as firms wait for more evidence of improved conditions before committing to significant expansion. Public spending is scheduled to be subdued. Overall, the Bank still expects growth to be a little below trend over the year ahead.
Crimea euphoria fades for some Russians (jdargis)
“The bosses informed us of this in June in a tone which made clear they recommended it … They distributed and asked us to fill out a form for the donation. People started complaining – why should they donate to Crimea?” said Tatyana, 52, who declined to give her surname for fear of retribution.
“In our department, not one of us made the donation and our boss understood because she was of the same opinion,” she said by telephone.
Is Shinzo Abe Headed to North Korea? (jdargis)
Specifically, the North has claimed to create a Special Commission to investigate all of the suspected and actual cases. In response, Japan has agreed to relieve some of the sanctions it has currently enforced against the North including travel bans, some restrictions on financial transactions and port access in Japan for North Korean vessels. But, the extent of any sanctions relief will depend on Tokyo’s evaluation of the North’s sincerity in reopening the cases.
Not only does the Hellcat put the Challenger SRT at the top of the American muscle car list, besting the 662 hp Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 by a fair amount, but the monster motor is also the most powerful V8 in the world and the car third among all non-electrified autos sold by major automakers, trailing only the 16-cylinder Bugatti Veyron and V12 Ferrari F12.
Oh, and if you’re worried about handing the keys over to your kids or a valet, don’t. At least not as much. The Challenger SRT will come with two sets, one that restricts the engine to 500 hp and another that opens the gates of the Hellcat.
After all, Mr. de Blasio has made it clear that he is determined to improve the lives of struggling New Yorkers. Already, he has expanded paid sick leave for workers, moved to institute a universal prekindergarten program and persuaded our reluctant governor (with a little help from the Working Families Party) to support legislation that would allow the city to increase its minimum wage.
JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have scrapped low-cost services that allowed Mexican immigrants to send money to their families across the border. The Spanish bank BBVA is reportedly exploring the sale of its unit that wires money to Mexico and across Latin America. And in perhaps the deepest retrenchment by a bank, Citigroup’s Banamex USA unit has now closed many of its branches in Texas, California and Arizona that catered to Mexicans living in the United States and stopped most remittances to Mexico as it faces a federal investigation related to money laundering controls.
Over the next two years the lawyers, David Doniger and David Hawkins, and the scientist, Daniel Lashof, worked with a team of experts to write a 110-page proposal, widely viewed as innovative and audacious, that was aimed at slashing planet-warming carbon pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants. On June 2, President Obama proposed a new Environmental Protection Agency rule to curb power plant emissions that used as its blueprint the work of the three men and their team.
Last year, Beijing’s PM2.5 levels averaged 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter—several times higher than the US Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization recommendations. “It takes time and effort to turn the ship around,” Pan said.
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