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Archive for January 12, 2011

World’s Richest Man Enters the Silver Market

January 12, 2011 Comments off

Here’s some juicy stock market RAW to kick off 2011 – Carlos Slim Helú, the world’s richest man is looking to enter the silver market in a big way.

And that big way, according to KingWorldNews, is a bid for Fresnillo, the Mexican based mining company that is poised to become the world’s biggest silver producer.

Northeast Braces for Powerful Snowstorm That Paralyzed South

January 12, 2011 Comments off

A major snowstorm that paralyzed much of the South is expected to hit the Northeast on Tuesday, possibly dumping more than a foot of snow in regions still digging out from recent storms.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for New York City from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon, calling for the city and its suburbs to get between 6 and 12 inches. Forecasters also predicted up to 8 inches in Philadelphia, while parts of Massachusetts could see 18 inches.

The storm will produce near-blizzard conditions with frigid temperatures, MyFoxBoston.com reports, and is expected to fall heavily, at a rate of 1 to 3 inches an hour. The Weather Channel also reports that storm systems from the South and Midwest are expected to merge.

The wintry blast, which pounded the South on Sunday and Monday, sent cars sliding off the road, emptied grocery shelves and had officials nervously watching ice-laden powerlines and tree limbs.

Snow ranging from several inches to more than a foot blanketed states from Louisiana to the Carolinas — a region where many cities have only a handful of snowplows, if any. And more misery was on the way: The snow began turning to freezing rain in numerous areas, and low temperatures threatened to turn roads that may have thawed icy overnight.

“I had God with me this morning!” Yolanda Hill, manager of a Shell station north of Columbia, S.C., said of her drive to work. “I drove in the middle of the street, but, hey, I’m here.”

Freezing rain followed the snow in many spots, turning major highways into ice rinks and coating pine trees and power lines.

“If you’re off the main roads, it’s a skating rink, Read more…

The Future of Food Riots

January 12, 2011 Comments off
By Gwynne Dyer, January 9, 2011

This is a map of the countries in which there have been food riots

If all the food in the world were shared out evenly, there would be enough to go around.

That has been true for centuries now: if food was scarce, the problem was that it wasn’t in the right place, but there was no global shortage. However, that will not be true much longer.

The food riots began in Algeria more than a week ago, and they are going to spread. During the last global food shortage in 2008, there was serious rioting in Mexico, Indonesia, and Egypt. We may expect to see that again this time, only bigger and more widespread.

Most people in these countries live in a cash economy, and a large proportion live in cities. They buy their food, they don’t grow it.

That makes them very vulnerable, because they have to eat almost as much as people in rich countries do, but their incomes are much lower.

The poor, urban multitudes in these countries (including China and India) spend up to half of their income on food, compared to only about 10 percent in the rich countries. When food prices soar, these people quickly find that they simply lack the money to go on feeding themselves and their children properly—and food prices now are at an all-time high.

“We are entering a danger territory,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, chief economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization, on January 5.

The price of a basket of cereals, oils, dairy, meat, and sugar that reflects global consumption patterns has risen steadily for six months. It has just broken through the previous record, set during the last food panic in June 2008.

“There is still room for prices to go up much higher,” Abbassian added, “if, for example, the dry conditions in Read more…

USDA begins surveying damage to citrus crop

January 12, 2011 Comments off
LAKE COUNTY — Plan on paying more for fruits and vegetables over the next couple of months. Florida’s freezes wiped out thousands of acres worth of agriculture and millions of cases of food.

Bruce Rottman is picking fruit to get a picture of how bad Florida’s freezes were on citrus.

Rottman works with the USDA, surveying crops to assess damage.

“There’s one right here that’s on the border line,” Rottman said. “It’s got some damage right here where you can see the wavy segment wall there. The fruit is dry right here.”

Nick Faryna, a third generation citrus grower, owns these groves.

He faired surprisingly well, but said the citrus industry will definitely feel the one-two punch from the freezes over the last month.

“Normally we catch the brunt of every system that comes through,” Faryna said. “In this particular event, the air came in so strongly for two days, the air worked its way all the way to South Florida. It was kind of a democratic event. Everyone caught a little bit of it this time.”

Some got hit a lot worse than others.

“There are some areas in Lake County where I have seen some pretty good damage,” Rottman said.

At a grove in Howey-in-the-Hills, most of the leaves are gone and the trees look weathered by winter.

Rottman said this is how it looked after the notorious freezes in the 1980s that wiped out much of the citrus industry here.

“Growers that were in the lower grounds, the sheltered and protected areas really caught the brunt of it this time. And it’s pretty much industry-wide this time,” Faryna said.

Overall, Faryna said about 25 percent of the fruit in his groves suffered some sort of damage from the freezes.

Now, there’s a rush among citrus growers across the state to get that fruit into the orange juice factories before more of it hits the ground.

“It could have been worse,” Faryna said.

Every time there’s a freeze and damage to Florida agriculture, big money is lost here in the state.