Fukushima Debris “Island” The Size Of Texas Near US West Coast

Fukushima Debris “Island” The Size Of Texas Near US West Coast

Tyler Durden on 11/06/2013 07:59 -0500

Fuku Marine Debris_0

While it took Japan over two years to admit the Fukushima situation on the ground is “out of control“, a development many had predicted for years, a just as important topic is what are the implications of this uncontrolled radioactive disaster on not only the local environment and society but also globally, particularly Japan’s neighbor across the Pacific – the US. To be sure, there has been much speculation, much of it unjustified, in the past two years debating when, how substantial and how acute any potential debris from Fukushima would be on the US. Which is why it was somewhat surprising to see the NOAA come out with its own modeling effort, which shows that not only “some buoyant items first reached the Pacific Northwest coast during winter 2011-2012” but to openly confirm that a debris field weighing over 1 million tons, and larger than Texas is now on the verge of hitting the American coastline, just west off the state of California. Read more of this post

Jimmy Carter works for global end to blindness caused by houseflies

Jimmy Carter works for global end to blindness caused by houseflies

Tue, Nov 5 2013

By Ransdell Pierson

Jimmy Carter

(Reuters) – As Jimmy Carter approaches 90, he is reaching for victory in a 15-year war against an infection spread by houseflies that blinds millions in developing countries and posed a threat to his own family and neighbors as a child on a Georgia farm. “Our goal is to eliminate blinding trachoma from the face of the earth by 2020,” the former U.S. president said during a visit on Tuesday to the New York headquarters of Pfizer Inc, which donates the antibiotic Zithromax used to treat the disease. Trachoma, the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness, affects more than 20 million people worldwide, of whom about 2.2 million are visually impaired and 1.2 million are blind, according to the World Health Organization. The disease is caused when houseflies, attracted to the moist eye, spread Chlamydia bacteria. It is spread further through contact with eye discharges on towels, fingers or other infected surfaces. Read more of this post

China’s Wealthy Heirs Demoralize Young

China’s Wealthy Heirs Demoralize Young, Xinhua Commentary Says

The children of China’s newly rich commit “offenses against social order” and represent a widening wealth gap that can only be addressed through political change, the official Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary. “Many offenses against social order by the second generation of China’s wealthy families in recent years have also demoralized the country’s social working spirit,” the commentary, which carried the bylines of three Xinhua writers, said today. “A widening wealth gap has appeared between cities and the countryside, different regions, jobs and groups of people.” Read more of this post

The uncomfortable truth in China’s property market: government is one of the biggest obstacles to the success of taming the market. State income is so entwined in the need for rising land prices that policy efforts to try to curb the house market create an inherent conflict of interest. Homes in cities such as Beijing are more expensive by some measures than Britain or Japan

The uncomfortable truth in China’s property market

5:09am EST

By Xiaoyi Shao and Koh Gui Qing

BEIJING (Reuters) – In defying four years of official cooling efforts, China’s soaring house prices reveal an uncomfortable truth: government is one of the biggest obstacles to the success of taming the market. State income is so entwined in the need for rising land prices that policy efforts to try to curb the house market create an inherent conflict of interest. With one hand on a patchwork of controls aimed at taming record house prices, governments with their other hand are at the same time selling land to developers at rising prices. Homes in cities such as Beijing are more expensive by some measures than Britain or Japan, a dismal outcome for a central government campaign aimed at making homes more affordable to Chinese. House prices in September rose nationwide at their fastest pace in three years. Read more of this post

Singapore Condos for Mainland Rich Funded by Bonds: China Credit

Singapore Condos for Mainland Rich Funded by Bonds: China Credit

Faced with curbs on luxury residences and fundraising at home, China’s biggest mainland-listed property developer is building apartments for wealthy Chinese in Singapore and raising debt in the city’s currency. China Vanke Co., which also plans developments in San Francisco and Hong Kong, sold S$140 million ($113 million) of four-year notes with a 3.275 percent coupon on Oct. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s a premium on the average 1.8 percent coupon for Chinese bonds in the currency. The yield on the company’s five-year U.S. dollar bonds fell 54 basis points since June, to 4.14 percent on Nov. 5, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Read more of this post

Cracks start to show in frontier markets

Cracks start to show in frontier markets

4:40am EST

By Carolyn Cohn

LONDON (Reuters) – Three years ago, a trip to the Southern Kenya production facilities of Canadian company Africa Oil attracted only seven potential investors. Two months ago, 60 boarded the flight. The investor trip, described by sales staff at Citi following a recent client conference, is just one illustration of the swelling interest in the most esoteric frontier markets. In a world of low yields and paltry growth, the attraction of frontier markets – the lesser developed emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America – is pretty clear. Juicy returns, often huge natural resources and young populations provide a stark contrast to the ageing economic profile in the West. Read more of this post

18 Singapore counters losing half their market value or more in October penny stock fallout

18 counters routed in penny stock fallout

Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013

Jonathan Kwok

The Straits Times

The extent of last month’s penny stock carnage on the local bourse is beginning to become clear, with 18 counters losing half their market value or more in October. At the top of the list of losers are Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp – whose well-publicised routs helped spark the losses in the rest. Other stocks that fell sharply include specialist relocater Chasen Holdings and Sky One Holdings, which provides logistics services in Hong Kong and mainland China. “It was a domino effect,” said remisier Alan Goh. “When such a big event (the losses in Blumont, Asiasons and LionGold) occurs and the losses are there, the same players may have less risk appetite for other penny stocks.” Read more of this post

China cuts gas supply to industry as shortages hit

China cuts gas supply to industry as shortages hit

1:55am EST

By David Stanway

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s top natural gas producers have begun to cut supplies to industrial consumers in a bid to make sure that homes and users of transport are not left short as demand surges over the winter. Chemical fertilizer makers and other industrial users are likely to bear the brunt of Beijing’s latest efforts to ration scarce gas supplies, but they are also victims of a long-term strategy to discourage the use of gas as a feedstock. Read more of this post

Merck Seen Unlocking $13 Billion With Breakup: Real M&A

Merck Seen Unlocking $13 Billion With Breakup: Real M&A

Merck & Co. (MRK), the second-biggest U.S. drugmaker, may be coming around to the idea of separating its businesses after the breakup of larger rival Pfizer Inc. (PFE) boosted shareholder value by $50 billion. Merck Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Frazier said last week that he’s evaluating whether the animal-health unit and consumer products would be better off outside the $134 billion company. Slimming down to focus on human medicines would follow in the footsteps of Pfizer, which spun off its animal-health unit and sold its baby formula business. Novartis (NOVN) AG also has identified its animal-health division as a top candidate to sell, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. Read more of this post

Attention-Deficit Expansion Merits Monitoring: Analysis

Attention-Deficit Expansion Merits Monitoring: Analysis

Expanding the criteria used to diagnose attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder led to a surge in drug prescriptions that may be “unnecessary and possibly harmful” for some children, researchers said. The broadening of diagnostic criteria in The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM, has been an “important contributor” to the growing prevalence of ADHD, according to an analysis led by Rae Thomas, a senior research fellow at Bond University in Australia and a psychologist who has worked with children and families for more than 20 years. Read more of this post

Patent Tug-of-War Prompts Congress to Catch Up to Courts

Patent Tug-of-War Prompts Congress to Catch Up to Courts

U.S. lawmakers, influenced by companies including Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) and Qualcomm Inc., are considering the second set of patent-law changes in three years as the courts try to race ahead of Congress. The goal is to rein in entities that buy patents and demand royalties from as many companies as possible. Often derided as “trolls,” such firms filed 19 percent of all patent lawsuits from 2007 to 2011, the Government Accountability Office found. Read more of this post

Singapore digs deep for ideas to build downwards

Singapore digs deep for ideas to build downwards

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 – 07:37

Feng Zengkun

Environment Correspondent

The Straits Times

Underground classrooms, libraries, swimming pools and even a science city for up to 4,200 workers – these are some of the proposals which have been unearthed even as studies into Singapore building downwards gather pace. So far, the country has already engaged in several major underground projects, including a common tunnel under Marina Bay for telecommunications cables, power lines, water and refuse pipes, and the Jurong Rock Caverns for storing petroleum products. Read more of this post

Sony to charge monthly fee for multiplayer games on PS4: Nikkei

Sony to charge monthly fee for multiplayer games on PS4: Nikkei

Tue, Nov 5 2013

(Reuters) – Sony Corp plans to charge a monthly fee of $9.99 in the United States and 6.99 euros ($9.40) in Europe for playing multiplayer online games on its PlayStation 4 (PS4) console scheduled to debut this month, the Nikkei business daily reported without citing sources. Multiplayer games can be played for free on PlayStation 3. Sony plans to charge 500 yen ($5.00) a month for multiplayer games in Japan when the new console debuts in February, the Nikkei said. The $9.99 monthly option was announced by the company in June this year, a spokeswoman for Sony Computer Entertainment America told Reuters. In addition to the monthly option, the company will continue to offer its online multiplayer games service at an annual membership fee of $49.99 or less than $5 a month, the spokeswoman said. Sony plans to make PS4 more attractive by including more social networking functions, such as the ability to chat with fellow players, the Nikkei reported. Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One will also launch this month.

Intel creates new business division for connected gadgets

Intel creates new business division for connected gadgets

Tue, Nov 5 2013

By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Intel Corp has set up a business division aimed at making money out of a new technology wave that can link up a host of electronic devices. The Santa Clara, California chipmaker and other technology companies are betting that what they call the ‘Internet of Things’ – a trend toward connecting everything from bathroom scales to skyscraper ventilation systems via the Internet – will create massive demand for new electronics and software. Read more of this post

Japan Government Green Fund Wants to Set Local Investment Model

Japan Government Green Fund Wants to Set Local Investment Model

A clean energy fund established by the Japanese government will target projects with the potential to become business models used by regional communities to promote and profit from renewable sources of energy. “One of the green fund’s roles is to show models to regional communities which aren’t aware of their potential” to develop clean energy, said Takejiro Sueyoshi, head of Green Finance Organisation, the body selected by the Ministry of the Environment to oversee the fund. “We want to tell them you can do it in your village and town with your partners.” Read more of this post

Apple Passes ZTE in China Smartphones to fifth place with 5% market share, behind Samsung (14%), Lenovo (13%), China Wireless’ Coolpad (11%), Huawei (9%)

Apple Passes ZTE in China Smartphones With IPhone Early Release

Apple Inc. (AAPL) captured fifth place in China’s smartphone market in the third quarter, surpassing ZTE Corp. (000063) and Xiaomi Corp., after it included the Asian nation in the latest iPhone’s global debut. Shipments of the iPhone rose 32 percent year-on-year to hand Apple 6 percent of the country’s smartphone market in the three months ended September, Nicole Peng, the China research director for Canalys, said in a phone interview today. Cupertino, California-based Apple had ranked seventh, with a 5 percent share, in the second quarter, she said. Read more of this post

Paris Lures Billionaires as Perrotin Rivals Gagosian

Paris Lures Billionaires as Perrotin Rivals Gagosian

Emmanuel Perrotin remembers the moment his art-dealing business changed forever. “It was the fax machine,” he says. “For the first time we were able to send information and an image in a minute. Now with the Internet, we’re everywhere.” Perrotin, 45, is in celebratory mood. He’s sitting in the pale pink office of his headquarters gallery at 76 rue de Turenne in the Marais district of Paris. This year is his 25th as a dealer, an event that’s being marked by a 150-work retrospective at the state-funded Tripostal museum in Lille. Read more of this post

World’s Third-Worst Education Inspires Bond: South Africa Credit

World’s Third-Worst Education Inspires Bond: South Africa Credit

Curro Holdings Ltd. (COH) plans to sell as much as 1 billion rand ($98 million) of property-backed bonds to fund new schools in South Africa, which is languishing near the bottom of global rankings for education. The operator of private schools with more than 21,000 students will issue the first 150 million rand of securities in two weeks, Chief Executive Officer Chris van der Merwe said in an Oct. 30 interview. The bonds, to be sold over 12 months, will complement bank loans, development financing and share sales, Finance Director Bernardt van der Linde said. Read more of this post

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Mulls Hong Kong Lure as China Builds Trade Zones

United Overseas Mulls Hong Kong Lure as China Builds Trade Zones

China’s plans to develop free-trade zones in Shanghai and Guangzhou may be dimming the attraction of banks in Hong Kong for foreign acquirers such as Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd. (UOB) The zones may make Hong Kong “less relevant” in coming years, Citigroup Inc. said in a report today, citing comments made yesterday on a conference call by officials at UOB, Southeast Asia’s third-largest largest bank. They were responding to a question about UOB’s interest in bidding for Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank Ltd. (302), according to James Antos, an analyst at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd., who was on the call. Read more of this post

Panama Canal’s LNG Surprise to Redefine Trade in Fuel: Freight

Panama Canal’s LNG Surprise to Redefine Trade in Fuel: Freight

When the newly widened Panama Canal opens in 2015, it will handle an estimated 12 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas annually, a cargo planners didn’t even envision when starting the $5.25 billion expansion in 2007. LNG carriers will cross the 48-mile waterway 350 times a year, and voyages to Asia from the U.S. will cost 24 percent less than longer routes, according to calculations from the canal authority. The expected 12 million tons, assuming half the transits are hauling cargoes, would be equal to about 5 percent of the world’s trade in 2012, Fearnley Consultants AS estimates. Read more of this post

Japan’s tofu makers battling to survive

Japan’s tofu makers battling to survive

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 – 10:16

The Yomiuri Shimbun/Asia News Network

JAPAN – A growing number of tofu makers are shutting down part or all of their business due to the rising cost of imported soybeans and demands for wholesale price cuts from supermarket chains and other buyers. Tough conditions have forced about 5,000 tofu makers out of business in the past 10 years nationwide. “We couldn’t make a profit even though we worked 365 days a year,” said Eiichi Oikawa, the 37-year-old owner of Sendaiya Honten, a tofu maker in Mitaka, western Tokyo, that declared bankruptcy in August. Read more of this post

Utilities in Pain Selling Renewable Assets at Record Rate

Utilities in Pain Selling Renewable Assets at Record Rate

Wind farms and solar parks are changing hands at record rates, signaling both an increased taste for the assets among pension funds and hard times for utilities that are the biggest sellers. About 43 percent of the 275 deals completed in the power industry in the first nine months were for renewable generators, up from 37 percent in the year-earlier period, according to data compiled by Ernst & Young LLP. The value of all the deals increased to $104 billion from $93 billion. Read more of this post

Priciest London Luxury Homes Lose Shine as Sellers Aim Too High

Priciest London Luxury Homes Lose Shine as Sellers Aim Too High

Price gains for London’s most expensive homes have stalled this year as concerns about possible tax increases and high asking prices put off even the super rich. Houses and apartments valued at more than 15 million pounds ($24 million) showed almost no gain in the year through September, compared with rise of about 5 percent for properties from 1.8 million pounds to about 5 million pounds, broker Savills Plc said in a report today. Luxury residences outside central London rose by about 10 percent. Read more of this post

Bubble Trouble Seen Brewing in Australia Home Prices

Bubble Trouble Seen Brewing in Australia Home Prices

Gigi Wong beat four other bidders in an auction of a three-bedroom Sydney house with peeling wallpaper, cracked doors and an overgrown backyard by paying A$856,000 ($811,060), 14 percent more than the realtor expected the property to fetch. “I’m not sure if I paid too much,” said Wong, an accountant at the University of Sydney, after winning the bidding war for the investment property in an inner-west suburb where prices have tripled in the past 15 years. “Since I can, and have capacity to borrow money, I should utilize it.” Read more of this post

Yunus Sees New Law Spelling Beginning of the End for Grameen

Yunus Sees New Law Spelling Beginning of the End for Grameen

Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel laureate and outcast-founder of Grameen Bank, said Bangladesh’s move to tighten controls on the microcredit lender is “heart-breaking” and called for an end to government interference. Parliament passed legislation yesterday increasing the central bank’s supervisory powers and allowing the government to set new rules, state-run Bangladesh Television reported. Read more of this post

Food Bandits Face Smartcard Check on Theft From India Poor: Tech

Food Bandits Face Smartcard Check on Theft From India Poor: Tech

Mohanlal Kapoor, a street vendor in north India, holds a card entitling him to subsidized food for his wife and four children. To get supplies, the Kapoors must battle an estimated 15 million families in their state toting similar pieces of paper that they’re not entitled to. “When I go to the ration store, I only receive enough to feed half my family,” Kapoor said, frying samosas and bright-orange sweets in a wok-shaped karhai pan to earn about $3 a day in Vrindavan, a city about halfway between New Delhi and the Taj Mahal. “They tell me I came too late and all the food is gone, but everyone around here knows it’s being sold in markets for profit.” Read more of this post

Founders need a bit of grit for the fight; Resilience in an entrepreneur is more important than brilliance

November 5, 2013 5:08 pm

Founders need a bit of grit for the fight

By Luke Johnson

Resilience in an entrepreneur is more important than brilliance

On certain days business can feel like a war of attrition. Meetings, calls and emails bring an endless stream of difficulties: customers going broke and not paying their bills, rivals poaching staff, property disputes, suppliers demanding price increases, employee grievances, frauds, accidents, collapsing deals and so forth. It could be argued that struggle is at the heart of enterprise: in a free market, competitors battle it out to seize share from others. Management talk is full of phrases such as “aggressive expansion”. In among that melée a leader is tasked with generating a profit. Why on earth would such an activity not be constant combat? Any entrepreneur should be good at coping with the stress that inevitably arises from such conflict and striving. But how does one put the various challenges into proportion? Which are trivial and which are a crisis? In the 1960s, two psychiatrists invented a table called the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, which rated 43 events as factors in causing illness, going from 100 points for the death of a spouse to 11 for a parking ticket. It includes obvious tragedies and problems such as divorce, jail and personal injury. So I have devised a special stress rating for business owners and bosses – the Johnson-FT Entrepreneur Life Stress Inventory. Read more of this post

Control Is for Beginners

Control Is for Beginners

by Deborah Mills-Scofield  |   9:00 AM November 5, 2013

My daughter’s voice teacher recently told another student to stop practicing.  ”What?!” I almost yelled.  ”What happened to the theory of 10,000 hours of practice for mastery?”  But she explained that, at times, over-practicing can stifle music, just like over-training can stifle athletes and over-engineering can create products too complex to use.  There is a time to stop rehearsing, stop waiting for perfection, stop waiting for control and just go for it.

We need to balance grabbing opportunities as they present themselves — even if we’re not ready and have to ramp up as best and as fast we can — and practicing a lot so that when the opportunity appears, we’re prepared.   At Bell Labs, we were all about practicing; we called it experimenting.  We experimented, learned, applied, and iterated until it was flawless; AT&T wouldn’t release anything into the market until it was absolutely perfect.  When I was designing the system for which I received a patent, I wanted to get prototypes in front of potential customers for feedback before we got too far down the road. How naïve of me! Of course we couldn’t show customers something that wasn’t perfect — it would affect their expectations and maybe (horreur!) negatively impact the brand.  Needless to say, by the time the system was perfect enough to get into the market, we had lost most of our competitive advantage. Read more of this post

Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity

Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity Hardcover

by Luc de Brabandere  (Author) , Alan Iny  (Author)


When BIC, manufacturer of disposable ballpoint pens, wanted to grow, it looked for an idea beyond introducing new sizes and ink colors. Someone suggested lighters.
With an idea that seemed crazy at first, that bright executive, instead of seeing BIC as a pen company—a business in the PEN “box”—figured out that there was growth to be found in theDISPOSABLE “box.” And he was right. Now there are disposable BIC lighters, razors, even phones. The company opened its door to a host of opportunities.
Your business can, too. And simply thinking “out of the box” is not the answer. True ingenuity needs structure, hard analysis, and bold brainstorming. It needs to start
—a revolutionary process for sustainable creativity from two strategic innovation experts from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
To make sense of the world, we all rely on assumptions, on models—on what Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny call “boxes.” If we are unaware of our boxes, they can blind us to risks and opportunities.
This innovative book challenges everything you thought you knew about business creativity by breaking creativity down into five steps:
• Doubt everything. Challenge your current perspectives.
• Probe the possible. Explore options around you.
• Diverge. Generate many new and exciting ideas, even if they seem absurd.
• Converge. Evaluate and select the ideas that will drive breakthrough results.
• Reevaluate. Relentlessly. No idea is a good idea forever. And did we mention Reevaluate? Relentlessly.
Creativity is paramount if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change. Replete with practical and potent creativity tools, and featuring fascinating case studies from BIC to Ford to Trader Joe’s,Thinking in New Boxes will help you and your company overcome missed opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.
This book isn’t a simpleminded checklist. This is Thinking in New Boxes.
And it will be fun. (We promise.) Read more of this post

Explosions rock Chinese Communist Party provincial headquarters

Explosions rock Chinese Communist Party provincial headquarters


NOV 6, 2013

BEIJING – A series of devices packed with ball-bearings exploded outside a provincial headquarters of China’s ruling Communist Party on Wednesday, police and reports said. “There were several explosions caused by small explosive devices near the party provincial commission in Taiyuan,” the capital of the northern province of Shanxi, local police said on a verified social media account. Read more of this post

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