Daily Digest 10/8 - Big Food Strikes Back, Great Pacific Garbage Patch Larger Than Ever
Citing the rising anti-trade sentiment, analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch warned that "events show nations are becoming less willing to cooperate, more willing to contest," and a backlash against inequality is likely to trigger more activist fiscal policies. Looser government spending in developed countries—combined with trade protectionism and wealth redistribution—could reshape global investment strategies, unleashing a wave of inflation, the bank argued, amid a looming war against inequality.
For example, foreign banks who did not comply with US sanctions, irrespective of what they privately thought of them or the diplomatic stance of their home countries, faced massive fines. They could, in theory, refuse to pay these fines. But they risked being locked out of the dollar-clearing market, which, given that the greenback is the world’s reserve currency, effectively means being locked out of the global financial system. Not so much a carrot-and-stick approach; more like stick-and-stick.
After enduring agonizing treatment in secret C.I.A. prisons around the world or coercive practices at the military detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, dozens of detainees developed persistent mental health problems, according to previously undisclosed medical records, government documents and interviews with former prisoners and military and civilian doctors. Some emerged with the same symptoms as American prisoners of war who were brutalized decades earlier by some of the world’s cruelest regimes.
Big Food Strikes Back (richcabot)
A spokesman for the American Council on Science and Health, a chemical-industry front group, called the Obamas “organic limousine liberals,” warning that organic farming would lead to famine and calling on the first lady to use pesticides in her garden — evidently whether she needed them or not. The Mid-America CropLife Association wrote a letter to the president suggesting that, by planting an organic garden, his wife had unfairly impugned conventional agriculture. A minor skirmish, perhaps, but also a shot across the bow.
I Listened To A Trump Supporter (richcabot)
I disagree with her choice, but I understand why she rejects Clinton so fiercely, and why she’s been swept up in Donald Trump's particular brand of right-wing populism. I feel that on the left, it’s increasingly easy to ignore these people, to disregard them, to write them off as racists, bigots, or uneducated. I think that’s a loss for everyone involved, and that sometimes listening can help you to at least understand why a person is making the choices they make, so you can work on the root causes. For her, the root cause isn’t racism. In fact, I remember her as one of the only people in the area who proudly hired black workers, in a place where that was a huge issue. She fought over that choice.
“Indeed, we would view a gold selloff substantially below $1,250/oz as a strategic buying opportunity, given substantial downside risks to global growth remain, and given that the market is likely to remain concerned about the ability of monetary policy to respond to any potential shocks to growth,” said the Goldman team.
Ocean Cleanup's founder Boyan Slat called the refuse a "ticking time bomb because the big stuff will crumble down to micro-plastics over the next few decades if we don’t act." Fish and other marine life eat the micro-plastics, passing them up the food chain.
The patch measures about 1.3 million square miles, with the heart of it spanning about 386,000 square miles. The UN says it is growing so quickly, it can be seen from space.
In the agriculture space, New England has been hit very hard. According to the NOAA, crop losses in Massachusetts alone this year have exceeded $13 million, with corn suffering the most. A loss of feed has also required ranchers to buy feed from outside their own farms for livestock, a huge added expense that could make the difference between a profitable year and a loss year. Root crops, like beets and carrots, dried out while still tiny, and water-reliant spring and summer crops like beans showed huge losses. With such an extreme drought, some farmers have been forced to choose which crops to allow to die.
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