Friday, July 3, 2015

Water CRISIS Also Affects Brazil Mega-city, & More





Exceptional drought, extreme temperatures, unprecedented drops in reservoir levels and threatening water shortages for millions of people have dominated headlines in California in recent years. Unfortunately, Californians are not the only people being stressed with the “water crisis.”
Citizens of one of the most densely populated areas in South America – the Sao Paulo metropolitan area (SPMA) in southeastern Brazil – are struggling with one of the nastiest water crises in decades.




“Credit markets have played a big role in keeping the entire sector alive,” said Amrita Sen of London based consulting firm Energy Aspects Ltd. Another emerging trend, according to research by Morgan Stanley, is the raising of funds for potential acquisitions, which are expected to pick up in the third and fourth quarters of this year. Apart from Shell’s upcoming acquisition of BG group, other oil majors like Statoil are actively hunting for reasonably priced opportunities.

However, there are some investment firms and trade pundits that expect a rebound in oil prices thanks to increased global demand and declining U.S. production.




Most shark attacks in North Carolina happen when the water reaches about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius), something that happened early this year, in April. Most sharks prefer warmer water, and the higher temperatures have drawn them in from farther south.
The warmer weather has also brought more people to the state’s beaches and entices them to take a dip to cool off. That makes more chances to run into sharks.




Citing a “significantly underfunded” budget for the new fiscal year, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has told Medicaid providers they won’t be seeing the usual rate increases for inflation.






When Chicago Public Schools announced on June 24 that it would borrow $1 billion to make a $600 million-plus pension payment due June 30 an eerie feeling spread across bond investors and taxpayers alike. It was the same feeling that gripped investors when Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Chicago’s credit rating to junk based almost entirely on the city’s pension problem



As systemic solutions fall short, we must grasp the nettle of making our own arrangements in a time characterized by burgeoning demands and diminishing resources, capital and security.
The idea that our large-scale problems could be fixed with systemic reforms is enticing: replace the thousands of pages of tax code with a simple flat tax without deductions, for example, or the replacement of too big to jail/fail banks with community-owned banks that served the public, not shareholders.
But the attraction of reforms is a siren song, because our system is run by vested interests for vested interests, period. Any real reform is Dead On Arrival (DOA) because any real reform threatens the swag and security of vested interests.





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