Monitor the quakes via the sites below:
Monitor the quakes via the sites below:
Pressure is building on the north American plate beyond the rocky mountain continental divide. As far north as the Cascadia range in the Pacific Northwest, south east to Yellowstone, then further south east to Georgia, up north to Montreal / New York …
The threat of a new madrid earthquake , in my opinion, goes up ANOTHER notch, with the signs of more activity in the north east, extending along the faults down to Arkansas.
HUA HIN, Thailand — Asian leaders will pledge to overcome their differences and push towards the formation of an EU-style community as they wrap up an annual summit in Thailand on Sunday.
Human rights issues, border disputes and signs of apathy over a meeting that was twice delayed by protests have at times marred the gathering of leaders from a region that contains more than half the world’s population.
But plans to increase the region’s global clout by building closer ties eventually dominated the three-day meeting of Southeast Asian nations along with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Heads of state at the Thai beach resort of Hua Hin will sign a raft of agreements Sunday on boosting economic and political integration and cooperating on subjects including climate change and disaster management.
Japan’s proposal for a so-called East Asian community will be up for further discussion, after Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said the region should “have the aspiration that East Asia is going to lead the world.”
The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is also set to restate its commitment to create its own political and economic community by 2015.
Asia will be infected by the economic weakness spreading through the world’s leading economies, threatening the engine of global growth, HSBC has warned.
Cashing in on Hong Kong gets harder
Speaking after reporting a “resilient” 28pc fall in pre-tax profits to $10.3bn (£5.2bn) for the six months to June, despite incurring a further $10bn of bad debt, Stephen Green, HSBC chairman, said: “I don’t believe the emerging markets have completely decoupled. There is no way a serious downturn in the US will leave Asia immune.”
HSBC, the world’s third largest bank, still expects the region to grow but it will be “with less momentum than in the recent past” because of rising inflation in the face of commodity price pressures.
Analysts at Exane BNP Paribas warned that the Asian outlook “provides the greatest threat to HSBC’s premium valuation” and that “some of the gloss has started to fade”.
Many people deny that the U.S. government presides over a global empire. If you speak of U.S. imperialism, they will fancy that you must be a decrepit Marxist-Leninist who has recently awakened after spending decades in a coma. Yet the facts cannot be denied, however much people’s ideology may predispose them to distort or obfuscate those facts.
How can a government that maintains more than 800 military facilities in more than 140 different foreign countries be anything other than an imperial power? The hundreds of thousands of troops who operate those bases and conduct operations from them, not to mention the approximately 125,000 sailors and Marines aboard the U.S. warships that cruise the oceans, are not going door to door selling Girl Scout cookies. United States of America is the name; intimidation is the game.
We are now importing inflation. This does not only apply to the cost of commodities, such as oil, but also to consumer goods imported from Asia. This is a newer trend as, in our analysis, Asia had been exporting deflation until the summer of 2006; since then, we have seen increased pricing power by Asian exporters.
Inflation is not just a U.S. phenomenon; as Asian economies are far more dependent on agricultural and industrial commodities, rising inflation may become a serious concern in the region. The stronger and more prudent Asian central banks may realize that allowing their currencies to float higher versus the U.S. dollar may be the most effective way to combat inflationary pressures.
Shortages of the staple crop of half the world’s people could bring unrest across Asia and Africa, reports foreign affairs editor Peter Beaumont
A global rice shortage that has seen prices of one of the world’s most important staple foods increase by 50 per cent in the past two weeks alone is triggering an international crisis, with countries banning export and threatening serious punishment for hoarders.
With rice stocks at their lowest for 30 years, prices of the grain rose more than 10 per cent on Friday to record highs and are expected to soar further in the coming months. Already China, India, Egypt, Vietnam and Cambodia have imposed tariffs or export bans, as it has become clear that world production of rice this year will decline in real terms by 3.5 per cent. The impact will be felt most keenly by the world’s poorest populations, who have become increasingly dependent on the crop as the prices of other grains have become too costly.
Rising food prices, which have caused social unrest in several countries, are not a temporary phenomenon, but are likely to persist for several years, World Bank President Robert Zoellick says.
Strong demand, change in diet and the use of biofuels as an alternative source of energy have reduced world food stocks to a level bordering on an emergency, he says.
Speaking to reporters Monday before the bank’s spring meeting this coming weekend, Zoellick said the 185-member World Bank would work with other organizations to deal with the crisis by seeking ways to help farmers, especially in Africa, to increase productivity and improve access to food through schools or workplaces.
“This is not a this-year phenomenon,” he said, referring to the price spike. “I think it is going to continue for some time.”