Tag Archives: Reaches

The northernmost reaches of the Earth are on fire. Here's what this record-breaking hot summer looks like from space.

The northernmost reaches of the Earth are on fire. Here's what this record-breaking hot summer looks like from space.Climate change comes with a higher risk of wildfires. This summer, fires have ravaged the Arctic, and the flames can be seen from space.



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Zimbabwe Reaches ‘Tipping Point’ as Inflation Blacked Out

Zimbabwe Reaches ‘Tipping Point’ as Inflation Blacked Out(Bloomberg) — Zimbabwe’s finance minister responded to the country’s worsening economic crisis last week by blacking out inflation statistics for the next six months, boosting the price of the little power that’s available five-fold and admitting what the International Monetary Fund told him in April: the economy will contract for the first time since 2008.At the same time he spoke of fiscal surpluses and a relaxation in local ownership requirements for the key platinum industry. This all happened in a country with daily power cuts of up to 18 hours and shortages of everything from bread to motor fuel. People are receiving food aid in cities for the first time and a drought has necessitated the import of hundreds of thousands of tons of corn.When Robert Mugabe was ousted after four decades in power in late 2017 his replacement, Emmerson Mnangagwa, promised economic regeneration and declared that Zimbabwe is “open for business.” Instead things have gone from bad to worse with the effects of rapidly expanding money supply through the sale of Treasury bills under Mugabe’s rule coming home to roost and this year’s outlawing of the U.S. dollar in favor of a local quasi currency that can’t be traded outside the country causing panic.“Zimbabwe is at a tipping point and if it falls over the edge it’s going to be quite a long way in coming back,” said Derek Matyszak, a Zimbabwe-based research consultant for South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies. “The wheels are falling off. There is no way out of a Ponzi scheme other than a massive infusion of cash to pay off your creditors.”The country with the world’s highest inflation rate after Venezuela also suspended annual consumer-price data for the next six months. The authorities need to collect comparable data since the introduction of the new currency in February. That marked a return to 2009, when the country abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in favor of the U.S. dollar and other currencies after inflation surged to an estimated 500 billion percent.If the more commonly used black-market exchange rate is used, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation is currently 558%, about three times the official rate, while Venezuela’s is 35,004%, according to Steve H. Hanke, a professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.Scrapping the official annual rate is “no real loss from an analytical perspective,” said Jee-A van der Linde, an economist at NKC African Economics in Paarl, South Africa. “These elevated inflation readings did little more than create panic and damage what little confidence was left.”Still, the decision evokes other countries in crisis. Venezuela halted publication of inflation data and while it periodically releases figures, it isn’t operating on a regular schedule. In 2013, Argentina was censured by the IMF for tampering with its data.A de-linking of the country’s quasi-currencies from parity with the U.S. dollar in February and the re-imposition of the Zimbabwe dollar overnight in June has fueled depreciation with the currency officially trading at 9.28 to the dollar on Aug. 2. The black-market rate was 10.8, according to Marketwatch.co.zw, a website run by analysts. While the government has argued that in the face of foreign-currency shortages it has no choice but to reintroduce its own currency, Hanke disagrees.“The Achilles heel is the introduction of the new currency to the exclusion of the dollar,” he said. “They have decided to go in the completely opposite direction and claimed it’s the best thing since sliced bread and it’s going to be an absolute disaster.”While the cost of basic services has climbed 400% this year, pay rises have been around 10%, said Japhet Moyo, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which has 130,000 members.Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube tried to highlight the country’s first positive current-account balance in a decade as a sign of progress. Since his appointment last year, the government has sold only marginal amounts of Treasury bills. And earlier this year, the Cambridge University-trained economics professor forecast that month-on-month inflation, which surged to 39.3% in June, would be close to zero by year-end.The fundamental problem is that the government has failed to attract significant investment and hasn’t substantially changed the policies of the Mugabe era, said John Robertson, an independent economist in Harare, the capital.“People are very angry” and even though a quarter of the population has already emigrated, more may follow, said Matyszak.“The Zimbabwe I once loved has become a cemetery for my son’s future” said Ashley Randen, an unemployed single mother of a 12-year-old boy in Harare.\–With assistance from Daniel Cancel and Carolina Millan.To contact the reporters on this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net;Prinesha Naidoo in Johannesburg at pnaidoo7@bloomberg.net;Ray Ndlovu in Johannesburg at rndlovu1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rene Vollgraaff at rvollgraaff@bloomberg.net, Antony SguazzinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Cruise ship reaches Norway port after near disaster, dramatic rescues

Cruise ship reaches Norway port after near disaster, dramatic rescuesThe Viking Sky sent out a mayday signal on Saturday as it drifted in rough waters in the Norwegian Sea to within 100 meters of land. A total of 1,373 people had started the voyage and about 900 people were still on board as the ship arrived at the port of Molde on Norway’s west coast. The ship drifted to within 100 meters of running aground before they were able to restart one of the engines,” police chief Hans Vik, who heads the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, told TV2.



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Cruise ship from Norway reaches port with remaining passengers after mayday, air rescues

Cruise ship from Norway reaches port with remaining passengers after mayday, air rescuesA cruise ship stranded off Norway’s western coast that airlifted more than half its passengers to safety amid a ferocious storm has now reached port.



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Venezuela aid boat reaches Curacao after reported standoff

Venezuela aid boat reaches Curacao after reported standoffWillemstad, Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) (AFP) – A boat carrying aid from the United States docked at the island of Curacao on Sunday after officials said the Venezuelan military had stopped it reaching the crisis-hit country. The shipment was part of a broader drive to take food and medicine into Venezuela in defiance of its President Nicolas Maduro. The Midnight Stone supply ship, loaded with nine cargo containers, entered the harbor on the Caribbean island 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Venezuela’s coast, AFP reporters saw.



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Brazil dam collapse: Search for survivors resumes as death toll reaches 58

Brazil dam collapse: Search for survivors resumes as death toll reaches 58Firefighters in Brazil have resumed their search for hundreds of people missing in the wake of a massive dam collapse. The dam burst at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in southeastern Brazil unleashed a torrent of mud on Friday, burying the mining facilities and nearby homes in the town of Brumadinho. Nearly 300 people are still missing, with the list of those unaccounted for being constantly updated, Flavio Godinho, a spokesman for the Minas Gerais civil defense agency, said.



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Sanders reaches out to black SC voters before 2020 decision

Sanders reaches out to black SC voters before 2020 decisionCOLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Even before he announces whether he's a 2020 presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders is working to avoid the drubbing that South Carolina's African-American voters handed him in 2016.



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Death toll from Mexico pipeline blast reaches 91, Pemex defends response

Death toll from Mexico pipeline blast reaches 91, Pemex defends responseHundreds of people near the small town of Tlahuelilpan in Hidalgo state rushed to collect fuel from a gushing duct which authorities said was punctured by suspected thieves, and dozens were caught in the explosion that followed. The blast followed severe shortages of gasoline in central Mexico after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in late December launched a major crackdown on fuel theft, ordering pipelines closed in a bid to thwart the criminal activity. Some people at the blast site said those shortages had encouraged local residents to try to make up the deficit by collecting fuel from the ruptured pipeline – a version of events that was backed up by officials in the state government.



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Woman who fled Saudi Arabia reaches her new home in Canada

Woman who fled Saudi Arabia reaches her new home in CanadaTORONTO (AP) — Tired but smiling, an 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she feared death if deported back home arrived Saturday in Canada, which offered her asylum in a case that attracted global attention after she mounted a social media campaign.



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As Kushner reaches out to Congress on shutdown, 'DACA for the wall' deal gains steam

As Kushner reaches out to Congress on shutdown, 'DACA for the wall' deal gains steamWhite House adviser Jared Kushner is reaching out to both sides of the aisle as multiple members of Congress are pushing a "DACA for the wall" deal to end the shutdown.



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