Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/9 - Monthly Bills $100 Higher, Italians Face 'Elevated Risk Of Poverty'

Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 10:25 AM


300 health center directors resign in Spanish capital to protest privatization plans

More than 300 directors of some 140 health centers in Madrid resigned from their posts Tuesday to protest plans to partly privatize the region’s public health service.

The regional government of the Spanish capital plans to outsource the management of six of 20 large public hospitals in its territory and 27 of a total of 270 health centers. It argues it must do so to fix the region’s finances and secure health services.

Spain Plans Record Bond Issues

The Spanish Treasury said it aims to sell €121.3 billion ($158.53 billion) worth of bonds this year, 7.6% more than in 2012. This figure includes €23 billion for the country's semiautonomous regions, most of which have lost access to financial markets. It will offer €4 billion to €5 billion on Thursday, split between a new two-year bond and reopened 2018 and 2026 bonds.

German trade, industry data point to economy shrinking

More evidence of sliding German exports and industry orders on Tuesday compounded concerns that the euro zone crisis may have battered the region's largest economy into contraction at the end of last year.

German imports and exports slid in November, narrowing the trade surplus, and industry orders fell more than expected.

Imports slid 3.7 percent, while exports fell 3.4 percent, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected imports to increase by 0.4 percent and shipments abroad to drop 0.5 percent.

Detroit City Council back to consider contracts, budget cut plans

City officials are working through short- and long-term solutions to the city's fiscal crisis. Over the next few weeks, the city needs to find about $15 million a month to cover a budget hole of about $90 million by June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Mayor Dave Bing has called for layoffs of about 500 employees and additional furlough days, but a majority of council has proposed deeper cuts, including a 20 percent pay cut for city employees. Bing has said the council's plan would cut too deeply into city services

Highest Ever One-Day Sales for American Silver Eagles?

Today, January 7, 2013, the United States Mint began accepting orders from authorized purchasers for 2013-dated American Silver Eagle bullion coins. The opening day sales tally of 3,937,000 coins seems to represent the highest one-day sales total in the history of the program

Iran Warns Airlines: Pay Debt Or Face Grounding

Airlines in Iran have seven days to repay more than USD$200 million in debts they owe to the oil ministry for fuel or face being grounded, a senior official was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Several airlines have amassed large debts due to the pressure of successive fuel price increases and the loss of access to government-subsidized foreign currency exchange rates which has resulted in a sharp rise in spare parts costs.

Gold premiums at two-month high on import duty talk (India)

Premiums on gold shipments to India jumped to their highest level in two months on Tuesday as traders rushed in to place orders for the metal ahead of an expected rise in import duty, even as gold refiners overseas hurried to keep pace.

India, the world's biggest buyer of the metal, could likely hike import duty on the yellow metal from the current 4 percent, as part of measures to contain a record current account deficit. The RBI also recommended limits on value and volumes of gold imports.

Farm Bureau sees food prices rising by3 percent to 4 percent in 2013

Food prices in the United States are expected to climb 3 percent to 4 percent in 2013, the nation’s largest farm group said on Friday.

The drought that hit much of South Dakota and the United States during the growing season last year curtailed output for corn, soybeans and other crops. It also increased the feed costs for livestock, forcing ranchers to cull their animals – creating a short-term meat glut but smaller supplies for some time after that. As a result, food prices are expected to feel the lingering impact from the drought that shows no sign of abating.

US foreclosure settlement angers Wall Street critics

A multibillion-dollar settlement announced Monday between US financial regulators and major banks over alleged abuses related to home foreclosures is the latest example of the financial industry running roughshod over the rule-of-law without repercussions, Wall Street critics said.

“The bottom line is: Fraud pays, and it pays big time,” William Black, a former federal bank regulator and a professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, told RIA Novosti.

EU warns dramatic rise in unemployment in some countries may create new north-south divide

"A new divide is emerging between countries that seem trapped in a downward spiral of falling output, fast rising unemployment and eroding disposable incomes and those that have so far shown good or at least some resilience," said a statement from Andor's office.

Last year "has been another very bad year for Europe in terms of unemployment and the deteriorating social situation," said Andor. "It is unlikely that Europe will see much socio-economic improvement in 2013."

Child Poverty Rate in California Up 30 Percent Since 2008

The percentage of California children living in poverty has soared by 30 percent since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, and more than 1 in 5 children now live in households with incomes below the federal poverty threshold, a study released Monday shows.

Americans may face rising gasoline prices again in 2013

It's the kind of news that Americans waiting for holiday spending bills to arrive don't want to hear: “Even with increasing energy production in the U.S., declining fuel consumption, and improving fuel efficiency, Americans may still face rising gasoline prices in 2013."

The quote comes from Gregg Laskoski, one of the senior petroleum analysts at GasBuddy.com. That's the fuel price spotting service used by several million smartphone users to report the highest and lowest gasoline and diesel prices they encounter.

Health Care Spending Increased by 3.9% in 2011, CMS Analysis Finds

U.S. health care spending grew by 3.9% in 2011, according to a CMS analysis published Monday in the journal Health Affairs, Reuters reports (Morgan, Reuters, 1/7).

Monthly bills: $100 higher this year

But now we have some specific numbers about how much more the average family will have to pay for food, health care and more this new year.

It's a one-two punch facing consumers this year: Smaller paychecks because of rising Social Security and healthcare deductions, and higher prices.
AOL Daily Finance has broken down some of the higher costs we'll all face.

Italians face 'elevated risk of poverty' says EU

There is an ''elevated risk'' that many Italians may fall into an ''enormous poverty trap'' as the economic crisis worsens, according to an EU report on unemployment and social development released Tuesday.

The news was coupled with a bleak forecast for the entire 27-member European Union. Lazslo Andor, EU social affairs and employment commissioner, on Tuesday warned that the economic crisis would probably endure with few improvements in 2013 if leaders failed to implement notable changes.

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Global challenges, heading towards collapse

How far the human population size now is above the planet’s long-term carrying capacity is suggested (conservatively) by ecological footprint analysis. It shows that to support today’s population
of seven billion sustainably (i.e. with business as usual, including current technologies and standards of living) would require roughly half an additional planet; to do so, if all citizens of Earth consumed resources at the US level would take four to five more Earths.



Full report: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1754/20122845.full.pdf+html

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