Monday, May 26, 2014


  • (NYT) “We just get The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times,” superlative Justice Scalia told New York magazine in September. He canceled his subscription to The Washington Post, he said, because it was “slanted and often nasty” and “shrilly liberal.” He said he did not read The New York Times either “I get most of my news, probably, driving back and forth to work, on the radio,” he said. “Talk guys, usually. 

  • The “fine” Senator from Florida Marco Rubio — much of whose state is fated to sink beneath the waves — does not believe human activity is causing climate change... 

  •  Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose by more than expected 6.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 units, ending two months of declines. March's sales were revised up to 407,000 units from a previously reported 384,000 units. YoY sales were down 4.2%. Inventory of new houses rose 0.5% to 192,000 units - the highest level since November 2010. At April's sales pace it would take 5.3 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 5.6 months in March. 
  • YoY the median price of a new home last month fell 1.3% to $275,800. 
  •  Existing home sales climbed 1.3% from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.65 million. 

  • When it meets on June 6, SPIEGEL has learned, the European Central Bank may implement a negative interest rate for financial institutions seeking to park their money at the Frankfurt powerhouse. The move is aimed at spurring loans. 

  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the Fed is closer to its goals for employment and inflation than at any time in five years, helping to warrant its tapering of record stimulus. 

  • U.S. Construction on new U.S. homes rose in April at the fastest pace in five months, rising 13.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.07 million, led by the apartment category. 

  • The Internal Revenue Service collected $5.7 billion in 2011 from penalties. That’s because Americans took out about $57 billion from retirement funds before they were supposed to.

  •  Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought a stake in Verizon (VZ), according to the company's 13F filing for 2014's first quarter. Berkshire owned 11 million shares in the telecom at the end of March, versus none at the end of December.. 

  • (Reuters) - Intel Corp's next-generation Broadwell processors will ship in time to be used in personal computers sold during the holiday season but probably won't be available for back-to-school shopping, Chief Executive Brian Krzanich said. 

  • The city of Portland, Ore., said it had started divesting itself of holdings in Wal-Mart (WMT) because of its labor practices. 

  • (Pritchard) Outflows from Russia since the Ukraine crisis erupted may be four times higher than admitted by Kremlin 

  •  (Pritchard) The Chinese central bank has ordered 15 commercial banks to boost loans to first-time buyers 

  •  US soybean ending stocks to usage at the end of 2013/14 is currently seen at a record tight 3.8%, expanding to a more comfortable 9.6% by the end of 2014/ 
  •  World Soybean ending stocks in 2014/15 are anticipated to be almost 12 MMT above the previous record high at 82.23 MMT. 

  • The current 13/2014 corn stocks-to-use ratio of 8.4% is the 3rd lowest since 2000 behind 11/12 and 12/13. 
  •  The USDA estimates 2014/15 US corn ending stocks to usage rising to 12.9%. 
  • World ending stocks to usage in 2014/15 is seen at 18.8%. 

  • Fears of a mismatch between supply and demand and slowing industrial growth in China have had a significant impact on the value of iron ore

  • The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) predicts that coffee production across Latin America will fall by as much as 15 to 40 percent in the coming years because of Coffee rust, or roya. 

  •  Silver fix dies after 120 years: The move follows increased scrutiny by European and US regulators into precious metals price-setting following the Libor scandal and forex probe. 

  • Scientists from the Harvard University have found the reason behind the HoneBees disappearance. The researchers have blamed the increased usage of insecticides for the issue. The use of two neonicotinoids led to the death of half the colonies of bees, researchers showed. However, those bees who were in the untreated colonies didn’t disappear. Neonicotinoids is the most widely used class of insecticide in the world. 

  • (Businesswire) Nathan Han of Boston Wins US$75,000 Top Prize at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair NEWS HIGHLIGHTS -- The world's largest high school science research competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, announced its top winners in Los Angeles. – 
  • Nathan Han of Boston received the Gordon E. Moore Award, a US$75,000 prize named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist. -- Two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards winners -- 
  • Lennart Kleinwort of Germany and Shannon Lee of Singapore -- each received prizes of US$50,000 from the Intel Foundation. 
  • Nathan Han, 15, of Boston was awarded first place for developing a machine learning software tool to study mutations of a gene linked to breast cancer at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public. Using data from publicly available databases, Han examined detailed characteristics of multiple mutations of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene in order to "teach" his software to differentiate between mutations that cause disease and those that do not. His tool exhibits an 81 percent accuracy rate and could be used to more accurately identify cancer threats from BRCA1 gene mutations. Han received the Gordon E. Moore Award of US$75,000, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist. 
  •  Lennart Kleinwort, 15, of Germany received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000. Kleinwort developed a new mathematical tool for smartphones and tablets that brings capabilities to hand-held devices that previously required more sophisticated and expensive computing tools. His app allows users to hand draw curves, lines and geometric figures on the touch screen and watch the system render them into shapes and equations that can then be manipulated at will. 
  •  Shannon Xinjing Lee, 17, of Singapore received the other Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of US$50,000 for developing a novel electrocatalyst that may be used for batteries of the future. Researchers have been looking for ways to make rechargeable zinc-air batteries practical, as they would be safer, lighter in weight, and have six times the energy density of lithium ion batteries, making them ideal for hybrid vehicles. Lee found that her activated carbon catalyst, which she made entirely from carbonized Chinese eggplant, greatly out-performed a more sophisticated commercial catalyst in stability and longevity tests and will be environmentally friendly and inexpensive to produce. "The world needs more scientists, makers and entrepreneurs to create jobs, drive economic growth and solve pressing global challenges," said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. "Intel believes that young people are the key to innovation, and we hope that these winners inspire more students to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math, the foundation for creativity." This year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured more than 1,700 young scientists selected from 435 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories. In addition to the top winners, more than 500 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including 17 "Best of Category" winners, who each received a US$5,000 prize.

Monday, May 05, 2014

East Antarctica melt could cause a global coastal destruction Parts of the vast ice sheet of East Antarctica – which collectively holds enough water to raise global sea levels by 53 metres – could begin an irreversible slide into the sea this century, causing an unstoppable process of global coastal destruction, scientists have warned.

Sunday, May 04, 2014


  • Springfield, MO, breaks May 4 high temp record with 91 F. Old record: 89, set in 1952
  • Earliest 100F ever in Wichita KS today..

  • Tehran says it is capable of shipping "big volumes" of gas to Europe if required as Russia threatens Ukraine's energy supplies. 

  • PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector gained 0.3 % MoM to 54.8 % in April. 
  • Warren Buffett calls for greater punishment for Wall Street rule breakers: The Billionaire says authorities should come down harder on individuals rather than the companies that employ them.. 

  • (AP) Older mice got stronger, exercised longer and performed better mentally after they were injected with blood from young mice, or even just with a substance (protein called GDF11 ) that's more abundant in younger blood, U.S. researchers found.. 

  •  (Bloomberg) Gaming revenue from the six casino operators in Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal, rose 11% to 31.3 billion patacas ($3.92 billion) in April, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said. 

  • U.S. job growth increased at its fastest pace in more than two years in April, suggesting a sharp rebound in economic activity early in the second quarter. 

  •  U.S. Fed announced that it would continue to reduce the amount of money it is pumping into the recovery, as it sees consistent improvement in the economy. 

  • A ranking of the competitiveness of the world's top 25 exporting countries says the United States is once again a "rising star” and has it at #2 – after China. 

  • U.S. durable goods orders rise 2.6% in March suggesting strength in manufacturing and the broader economy at the end of the first quarter. 

  • The National Endowment for Financial Education released a poll that showed only 13% of Americans considered home ownership as their “top long term financial goal,” down from 17% in 2011. 

  •  In Q1 mortgage lending declined to the lowest level in 14 years. 

  • The FCC’s chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed reports that proposed changes to internet governance will abandon net neutrality principles and says companies can charge extra for some types of traffic so long as it's "commercially reasonable."… 

  • Per IMF, the economic growth in Asia is projected to remain steady at 5.45% in 2014 and 5.5% in 2015 

  • BOJ holds pat on further easing, on course for 2% inflation target. 

  • Japan's March jobless rate steady at 3.6% (Guardian) 

  • China says more than half of its groundwater is polluted: Number of groundwater sites of poor or extremely poor quality rose to 59.6%. 

  • British GDP grows 0.8% in Q1 2014 

  • Greece sells five-year bonds at 4.5% rate