World View: Cost of Cyprus Bailout Explodes Upward to 23B Euros

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Imported rice found to have dangerously high levels of lead
  • Cost of Cyprus bailout explodes upward to 23 billion euros
  • A new mutation of H7N9 bird flu is Tamiflu resistant
  • Pentagon: North Korea could deliver a nuclear weapon
  • Iran claims to have invented a machine to predict the future

Imported rice found to have dangerously high levels of lead

Rice
Rice

Researchers from Monmouth University in New Jersey have found that rice imported from China and Taiwan contains 30-60 times the levels of lead permitted by the FDA. Samples of this imported rice were found in America, Europe and South America, as well as in Asia. Rice imported from the Czech Republic, Bhutan, Italy, India and Thailand also contained high levels of lead. However, imports account for only 7 percent of the rice consumed in the United States. CBS News and American Chemical Society

Cost of Cyprus bailout explodes upward to 23 billion euros

The cost of the bailout of Cyprus, which had originally been estimated at 17 billion euros, has now surged to 23 billion euros. In the previous deal, the Europeans would provide a 10 billion euro loan, and Cyprus would supply 7 billion euros, mostly by confiscating 60% of bank deposits about 100,000 euros. Cyprus will be responsible for coming up with the entire amount of the additional 6 billion euros. The increase is the result of a worse than expected recession -- that is, rosy, optimistic growth forecasts did not come true. It's likely that the 60% confiscation for bank deposits will be raised substantially. Cyprus is also considering the possibility of selling off 400 million euros worth of gold reserves. However, this idea is considered controversial because Cyprus will need those gold reserves if it's forced to leave the eurozone currency after all.

In other European economic news, Greece's unemployment rate in January rose to a new historic high, 27.2%, up from 25.7% in December. For Greek youths, the unemployment rate was 59.3%. Cyprus Mail and AFP and Bloomberg

A new mutation of H7N9 bird flu is Tamiflu resistant

A gene mutation found in an H7N9 bird flu patient in Shanghai has increased resistance to the two drugs used to treat the flu, Tamiflu and Relenza, though experts say that further testing is required. The new flu strain has sickened at least 33 people in China, killing nine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta has activated its Emergency Operations Center in response to the H7N9 bird flu outbreak; Bloomberg and CIDRAP

Pentagon: North Korea could deliver a nuclear weapon

The Pentagon's intelligence arm has assessed with "moderate confidence" that North Korea has the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon with a ballistic missile, though the reliability is believed to be "low." Apparently, this information was mistakenly declassified by the Pentagon, but its publication has raised the already high level of anxiety over North Korea's next move. The U.S., South Korea and Japan have all been on high alert, wondering what the North Koreans will do -- launch a missile, conduct a nuclear weapons test, target someone, test something, or whatever. There's a growing feeling that the North Koreans are following a policy of such insanity that they might try anything. Some analysts are suggesting that the reason for the appearance of total insanity is that there's a major power struggle going on in the government, and the child dictator Kim Jong-un may be brought down. CNN

Iran claims to have invented a machine to predict the future

A scientist at Iran's state-run Center for Strategic Inventions has invented "The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine." It will fit into a briefcase, and will predict the 5-8 years of the future life of any individual with 98% accuracy. It can also be used to predict wars and oil prices. However, the prototype has not yet been launched because "the Chinese will steal the idea and produce it in millions overnight." Telegraph (London)


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