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Showing posts from June 21, 2013


The Monitor's View

More light on the NSA

Some government actions must be clandestine. But US citizens are being told so little about government spying on them that they lack the information they need to have an informed opinion about it.

By the Monitor's Editorial Board / June 12, 2013

Photos of Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), and President Obama are printed on the front pages of English and Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong. Snowden, who is now in Hong Kong, leaked details of top-secret US surveillance programs and may face charges in the US.

Bobby Yip/Reuters

By one count, sales of George Orwell’s "1984” have shot up nearly 10,000 percent recently on The classic novel that spawned the phrase “Big Brother is watching you” tells the story of a totalitarian government that closely spies on the lives of each and every citizen.

The obvious reason for this sudden interest is the news that the US National Security Agency (NSA) is collecti…



84% Less Fat Gain with Tropical Treat

Could mango minimize weight gain? Scientists at the North Carolina Research Campus — home of the Dole Nutrition Research Lab — found that mango worked magic in a mouse study, dramatically blocking many effects of a high-fat diet.

Researchers fed mice high-fat chow — with or without mango mixed in — for two months. 

Though overall caloric intake was the same, the mango-fed mice ended up gaining 84% less fat weight than those on the straight high-fat diet. 

In fact, the mango mice gained just 5% more weight than a control group on a normal diet! 

The tropical fruit also helped restrain cholesterol levels, which ended up 20% lower among mango mice. 

According to study co-author Penny Perkins-Veazie, PhD, “The mango mice were basically protected from gaining fat weight, even while on a high-fat diet!”

Why might this be? 

The credit may go partly to mango phytochemicals, speculated to help enhance fat burning.

 Also, per cup mangos contain …


'MOL Comfort (sank) Broke in two due to yet unclear reasons, sailing from Singapore to Jeddah and after that to North Europe, leaving behind hundreds of drifting containers and a huge aftershock hitting liner sector and all of the maritime industry. 

Even the scale of the consequences is hard, impossible, to estimate, not to mention consequences themselves. 

This is the 1st case in liner sector, when modern ocean-going liner container vessel (built in Japan!) (sank) Floated in the ocean after breaking in 2 parts, like a poorly built and managed bulk carrier or over aged coaster. 

Nothing like this ever occurred, and no one believed it was possible, even theoretically. It just could not happen, but still, here it is.'


these are fresh reports coming in from Syrian News:

'A large fleet named "Mol Comfort" carrying Arms for FSA from the U.S. has crashed in the Indian Ocean as it made …


Hapag-Lloyd to move on?

German container line Hapag-Lloyd may seek a new merger partner or shrink its business after the tie-up with Hamburg Sud failed.

Kuhne: time to move on?

Major shareholder Klaus Michael Kuhne, the logistics billionaire, told Manager Magazin: "There must be talks on the future strategic direction of the company.

"There is the great solution either with a strong partner or the ability of a selective business model with strengths in niches and certain trades."

He still favours a global reach for Hapag, however, and he also called for an external consultant to be brought in to study options.

The Hamburg Sud merger was suspended in March after talks broke down over who would own what stake.

This week, Dow Jones cited two people familiar with the deal as saying it was now "dead in the water."

The merger would have created the world's fourth-largest container line in a bid to compete with the big three, Maersk, CMA CGM and MSC.

Since then, those thr…

Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM to establish an operational alliance

18 June 2013 - Press Release

Maersk Line, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. and CMA CGM have in principle agreed to establish a long-term operational alliance on East – West trades, called the P3 Network. The aim is to improve and optimise operations and service offerings.

The P3 Network will operate a capacity of 2.6 million TEU (initially 255 vessels on 29 loops) on three trade lanes: Asia – Europe, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic.

While the P3 Network vessels will be operated independently by a joint vessel operating centre, the three lines will continue to have fully independent sales, marketing and customer service functions.

Improving services for the customers

The P3 Network will provide customers with more stable, frequent and flexible services.

Each of the lines will offer more weekly sailings in their combined network than they do individually. As an example, the P3 Network plans to offer 8 weekly sailings between Asia and Northern Europe. In addition the P3 Network wi…


LDC names new CEO

Louis Dreyfus Commodities (LDC) chief executive Serge Schoen is stepping down after eight years in charge of the company.

Louis Dreyfus names new CEO

He will step down as of 30 June and be succeeded by Ciro Echesortu, who is now chief operating officer and head trader, the group said.

Echesortu has been the company’s chief operating officer (COO) and head trader since 2009.

He joined the group in 1985 and initially served as chief executive officer for the South Latin American Region.

Schoen will join the parent company, Louis Dreyfus Holding, in an advisory capacity, and will remain a member of the supervisory board of Louis Dreyfus Commodities Holdings.

“Under Serge’s and Ciro’s leadership, our team has brought the company to its leading position in agribusiness globally,” said LDC chairwoman Margarita Louis-Dreyfus.

“Over the last years, the company has seen exceptional growth and outstanding recurring performance. It has more than tripled its turnover, multiplied its net…


Figueres strives to clean up shipping

A former president of Costa Rica has set out how he intends to win over the sceptics by using a new financing model to upgrade ships and cut carbon emissions.

As shipping strives to clean up its growing air-pollution problem, it has recently been receiving some advice from quite an unusual source.

Jose Maria Figueres, a former president of Costa Rica, has been arguing for shipowners to step up their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

As a newcomer to shipping, his encouragement has not been widely welcomed — and many have been left asking what it has got to do with him anyway.

The 57-year-old’s emergence in shipping’s emissions debate comes by virtue of his appointment in March as president of British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room (CWR), an organisation established in 2009 to encourage transport industries to reduce greenhouse gases.

While Costa Rica might not exactly be a renowned maritime nation, Figueres, who held office between 199…

MOL COMFORT : Loss set to be costly for insurers — but not crushing ...

Even if the bill tops $200m, the accident is unlikely to be a market changing event in view of the limited impact of the much costlier ‘Costa Concordia’ and ‘Rena’ losses in the past two years

There are few certainties about the developing casualty of the MOL Comfort, apart from the prospect that it will be an expensive insurance market loss.

The hull of the 8,110-teu vessel is insured for more than $80m in the Japanese market but the potential cargo claim is much higher — at maybe $130m.

The good news from an insurance and financial point of view is that the casualty is in the Indian Ocean, so it is less likely to provoke headlines and the sort of government reaction that can make a costly loss much more expensive.

But, even if the total bill turns out to be well above $200m, it is unlikely to be a market changing event for insurers, who have seen little or no hardening of the market as a result of the $1.25bn loss of the cruiseship Costa Concordia or the $400m bill from the extended wre…

'MOL Comfort' disaster sparks fear over safety of its sisterships

Use of high tensile steel in MOL’s Mitsubishi designed series of post panamax containerships is being questioned as the industry tries to come to terms with its biggest loss so far

The sinking of the MOL Comfort has shocked the container shipping industry and put the spotlight on the condition of a whole series of sisterships built in Japan.

Questions are being asked about 14 boxships built to the same design as the 8,100-teu MOL Comfort (built 2008), which dramatically broke its back and split in two in the Indian Ocean on Monday in unexplained circumstances.

All 26 crew were rescued by the Indian Coastguard and the two hull sections were still afloat as TradeWinds went to press. A Smit Salvage tug and team are on their way to the stricken vessel to assess the situation.

The investigation into what is thought to be the biggest containership casualty to date could turn into a race against time for the operators of sisterships desperate to avoid a repeat incident.

That is primarily a concer…