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Showing posts from January 16, 2014


Driest Year Ever in California (and what it means for 2014!)

Posted on January 16, 2014

2013 was California’s driest year since 1849, when the state started measuring rainfall. 

Low rainfall measurements broke prior records in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shasta and up to Eugene, Oregon. 

Experts say that if rain doesn’t fall soon, the worst may be yet to come.

“The 2013–14 water year is off to a rotten start,”
the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)wrote in their analysis

As of January 10th the Sierra snow pack, which is responsible for about a third of California’s water, was at 84% below average.

The high pressure zone, winter 2012-2013 to now – Credit: NOAA/ESRL

Meteorologist say the cause for this dry spell is a massive high pressure zone, about 4 miles high and 2,000 miles long, that’s been blocking storms for more than a year. 

This zone typically comes and goes year to year — but this year, it stayed put and the consequences can be dire.

Another view of the high pressure zone –

Some of the potential cons…


Dudley Althaus

January 13, 2014 00:18

This map could mean militia mayhem for Mexico

Many say armed self-defense groups are filling a vacuum left by a near-absent government, becoming Mexico's next big security challenge.

Self-defense groups have surged in western Mexico's Michoacan state, fighting gangs in at least 70 communities in 25 municipalities. The Spanish text says "Apatzingan is considered a bastion of the Knights Templar [gang]." Courtesy El Universal

MEXICO CITY — Hell seems ever more liable to bust loose in western Mexico’s Michoacan state, with heavily armed civilians squaring off against feared meth-producing gangsters who’ve had the run of rural hamlets and towns for years.

The self-defense militias, at least some of them accused of connivance with criminal rivals of the local Knights Templar gang, have been working to encircle the Templar-dominated city of Apatzingan since last summer.

That siege strategy is apparent in the above map of militia-controlled …

Where The World's Super-Rich Spend Their Millions On Real Estate [MAP]


JAN. 16, 2014, 11:40 AM 

Wealth-X and Savills are out with a new report showing how the super-rich (those with $30 million or more in assets) spend money on real estate.

There are a ton of interesting takeaways from the report, which is available here

The map below, which shows the flow of wealth around the world, is particularly telling.

 It shows where these ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) are most likely to purchase luxury real estate.

According to the report, "[the map] highlights not only where they like to live but also the geographies and jurisdictions that they might favour for other types of real estate holdings — and other investments — as well. Most notably, when it comes to residencies, UHNWIs may invest crossborder but they will tend to stick to destinations within their global region, to areas they call 'home'."

Some notable trends:

** North Americans are most likely to purchase luxury real estate within the U.S..

** Latin Americans al…


Prince Alwaleed-Backed Company Plans The Biggest US IPO Of A Chinese Company In Over A Decade


JAN. 16, 2014, 10:06 AM 

AP Photo

Jingdong Trading Company, a Chinese e-commerce site, is planning a $2 billion U.S. IPO in the second half of 2014, Bloomberg reports.

If this goes down, it will be the biggest IPO of a Chinese company in the United States since China Life Insurance raised $3.3 billion going public in 2003.

Now a few things about the company — Jingdong's e-commerce site,, is right behind Alibaba's Taobao in terms of e-commerce market share.

The company wants to go public soon, before its larger rival. Alibaba has yet to hire bankers, but Bloomberg reports that Jingdong is already working with UBS and Bank of America.

And according to Bank of America, that's probably a good idea. The bank recently published a report called "eCommerce vs. retail: A power shift to consumer sovereignty," it is, in part, a break down of the problems in the e-commerce space.

One of the biggest problems BofA discusses is over-saturation. There are so ma…

NORWEGIAN WOOD : Oslo’s rapid growth redefines Nordic identity

15 January 2014 Last updated at 22:27 ET

By Maddy Savage
BBC News, Oslo

Norway's national opera house opened in 2008 amid controversy

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Oslo's image is one of Viking history, snowy forests and fish and oil industries.

But Norway's largest city is Europe's fastest-growing capital and it is undergoing its biggest and most controversial makeover since the 17th Century.

Nowhere is Oslo's redevelopment more obvious than from the top of Norway's national opera house.

The gleaming marble and glass building opened in 2008, amidst rows over its contemporary design and a $835m (£424m) price tag.

Oslo's population
* 624,000 people live in the city
* 30.4% are immigrants or those born to immigrant parents
* Polish citizens are the largest immigrant group
* 1.7% population growth in 2012
* Projections suggest there will be 832,000 residents by 2040

Source: Statistics Norway, 2013

But with free public a…

Israel Corp To Lose Control Of Zim Shipping In Debt Deal


ZIM Antwerp on river Elbe, approaching Hamburg. File photo courtesy Zim

TEL AVIV, Jan 16 (Reuters) – The Israel Corp holding company is set to lose control of shipping company Zim under the terms of a bailout agreement being negotiated with Zim’s creditors, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

The agreement would reduce Zim’s 3 billion shekel ($860 million) debt by half, making it the largest debt reduction ever for an Israeli company, The Marker financial newspaper said.

Israel Corp, which owns all of Zim, would hand over its shares in the company to creditors and inject $200 million into Zim to buy back a 30 percent stake in the restructured company, TheMarker said.

Spokesmen for Israel Corp and Zim declined to comment but said a statement would be issued to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange once a debt agreement is reached.

Loss of control of Zim would be a blow to billionaire Idan Ofer, Israel Corp’s controlling shareholder, as his family made its fortune in the …

¡Avion militar USA transportó 24 ton. de cocaina de Costa Rica a Miami!

Publicado el 8/15/13

 en el tema
Costa Rica

Agencia Matriz del Sur / – En una extraña y reservada operación de destrucción de drogas, una aeronave de la Fuerza Aérea de Estados Unidos trasladó cerca de 24 toneladas de cocaína desde Costa Rica a Miami.

Según el Costa Rica Star, un Boeing C-17 Globemaster III proveniente de la Base Dover de la Fuerza Aérea de Estados Unidos aterrizó en el Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós el pasado sábado 27 de julio, cargó casi 24 toneladas de cocaína en contenedores y despegó hacia Miami, no sin antes detenerse en Nicaragua y Honduras.

La Fuerza Aérea norteamericana habría acordado transportar la cocaína luego de que el incinerador de un exitoso programa costarricense, capaz de destruir 300 kilos de droga por hora, presentara dificultades para funcionar.

El Organismo de Investigación Judicial de Costa Rica dijo que no autorizará más el transporte de cocaína a Miami y que volverá a almacenarla en recintos seguros.

El reporte señala que…

GLOBAL MARKETS : Elections Don't Matter, Institutions Do

Global Affairs

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2014 - 04:01 


By Robert D. Kaplan

Many years ago, I visited Four Corners in the American Southwest. 

This is a small stone monument on a polished metal platform where four states meet. 

You can walk around the monument in the space of a few seconds and stand in four states: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. People lined up to do this and have their pictures taken by excited relatives. 

To walk around the monument is indeed a thrill, because each of these four states has a richly developed tradition and identity that gives these borders real meaning. 

And yet no passports or customs police are required to go from one state to the other.

Well, of course that's true, they're only states, not countries, you might say. 

But the fact that my observation is a dull commonplace doesn't make it any less amazing. 

To be sure, it makes it more amazing. 

For as the late Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington once remarked, the genius of the Amer…