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Archive for March 23, 2011

Silver, gold gain on fast-changing global events

March 23, 2011 Comments off

businessweek

Silver and gold prices are climbing as developing crises from Portugal’s financial problems to uprisings in the Middle East are prompting investors to buy more stable assets.

Silver for May delivery rose 2.6 percent Wednesday to settle at $37.198 an ounce. Gold settled up $10.40 at $1,438 an ounce.

Investors are nervous as they monitor fast-changing global events.

In Portugal, lawmakers are poised to vote against more austerity measures for the debt-stressed country. Meanwhile violence in the Middle East and North Africa is raising concern about oil supplies.

The uncertainty of how those events will play out is supporting both precious metals, which have the reputation of being safer assets to hold during turbulent economic times.

Energy prices were mainly higher. Bean and grain prices fell.

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Powerful sunspot emerges, extreme UV radiation detected

March 23, 2011 Comments off

(TheWeatherSpace.com) — A sunspot is emerging around the southeastern limb of the Sun and it is a powerful one at that.

Labeled 1176, this sunspot may have been old sunspot 1165 when it was last seen in early March on the southwestern limb of the Sun.

Since then it has rotated to the far side of the Sun and it looks as if it was busy doing so. This sunspot will have the power to generate large solar flares for the next couple weeks as it crosses the Earth facing side of the Sun.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has recorded very high levels of UV radiation from this sunspot, a clear signal to unsettled times ahead for it and the Earth should it blast a solar flare this way.

“If this puts a flare in this direction you can bet on more powerful earthquakes in the world,” TheWeatherSpace.com Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin said. “We’ve been quiet and that is not a coincidence.”

A global energy war looms

March 23, 2011 Comments off

telegraph

Here’s an alarming chart to ponder. HSBC has calculated what would happen to energy consumption by 2050 given plausible forecasts for economic growth and assuming no constraint on resources, or that humans carry on using energy in the “taken for granted” way they do at the moment.

 

As you can see, demand in China, India and other emerging markets soars, but there is also quite considerable growth from advanced economies too. The big picture is that with an additional one billion cars on the road, demand for oil would grow 110pc to more than 190 million barrels per day. Total demand for energy would rise by a similar order of magnitude, doubling the Read more…

Japan battles crippled nuclear plant, radiation fears grow

March 23, 2011 Comments off

www.jpost.com

Radiation found in sea water, milk, vegetables; IAEA: Overall situation at Fukushima plant remains serious; 21,000 dead or missing.

TOKYO – Rising temperatures around the core of one of the reactors at Japan’s quake-crippled nuclear plant sparked new concern on Tuesday and more water was needed to cool it down, the plant’s operator said.

Despite hopes of progress in the world’s worst nuclear crisis in a quarter of a century, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami that left at least 21,000 people dead or missing, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it needed more time before it could say the reactors were stabilized.

Technicians working inside an evacuation zone around the stricken plant on Japan’s northeast Pacific coast, 250 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, have attached power cables to all six reactors and started a pump at one to cool overheating nuclear Read more…

FBI center takes on $1 billion ID project

March 23, 2011 1 comment

wvgazette.com

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Clarksburg FBI complex is taking part in a $1 billion project that will enable law enforcement agencies to identify criminals and terrorists by physical characteristics more quickly and accurately, an FBI official said Monday in Charleston.

Earlier this month, the FBI center unveiled its “Next Generation Identification System,” which will slowly replace an older system that can no longer handle the volume of fingerprints sent to Clarksburg.

“It’s bigger, better, faster,” said Stephen Morris, a deputy assistant director at the FBI Center. “It increases capacity and accuracy.”

Morris spoke Monday at a Charleston Rotary Club luncheon at the Civic Center.

The NGI system, built by Lockheed Martin, allows FBI employees to Read more…

Is China Backing Indian Insurgents?

March 23, 2011 Comments off

the-diplomat.com

The arrest in January of a Chinese spy who allegedly met insurgents in the northeast of the country suggests a broader effort to destabilize India.

On January 25, 2011, Wang Qing, a Chinese spy disguised as a TV reporter, was arrested and deported after she reportedly visited the headquarters of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN-IM—one of India’s largest and most troublesome insurgent groups. Indian authorities said Qing admitted to being a spy for the People’s Security Bureau, a Chinese intelligence agency, and that she had conducted a secretive four-hour-long, closed-door meeting with Thuingaleng Muivah, a key rebel leader of the NSCN-IM who is currently holding reconciliation talks with the Indian government. The rebel group, however, insisted that it was holding talks with the Indian Government in good faith and that it has had Read more…

China Tightens Censorship of Electronic Communications

March 23, 2011 Comments off

nytimes.com

BEIJING — If anyone wonders whether the Chinese government has tightened its grip on electronic communications since protests began engulfing the Arab world, Shakespeare may prove instructive.

A Beijing entrepreneur, discussing restaurant choices with his fiancée over their cellphones last week, quoted Queen Gertrude’s response to Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” The second time he said the word “protest,” her phone cut off.

He spoke English, but another caller, repeating the same phrase on Monday in Chinese over a different phone, was also cut off in mid-sentence.

A host of evidence over the past several weeks shows that Chinese authorities are more Read more…