Business

Billions in the Ground: The Race to Harvest North Korea’s Rare Earth Reserves

Recent studies suggest that North Korea could have the world’s largest rare earth elements. Patricia Schouker The National Interest When looking at contemporary geopolitics, often energy and related resource questions are  key in the struggle for influence amongst world powers, as energy can drive or amplify underlying tensions. Today, the attractiveness of traditional oil exploration loses ground with the emergence of new energies and technologies, often produced by “Rare Earths” and the elements they contain. The DPRK could have a ... Read More »

Ocasio-Cortez rails against overpriced croissants at LaGuardia

WASHINGTON — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned an overpriced croissant into a lesson on the minimum wage. Nikki Schwab New York Post “Croissants at LaGuardia are going for SEVEN DOLLARS A PIECE,” the New York Democrat tweeted Monday morning. “Yet some people think getting a whole hour of personal, dedicated human labor for $15 is too expensive??” She said her point wasn’t that the croissant cost too much. “GOP taking every tweet so earnestly, making my point for me. It’s not an argument ... Read More »

Switzerland to sue Nigeria over seized oil tanker

Authorities in Bern are considering legal proceedings after failed diplomatic efforts to secure the release of a Swiss-flag-carrying oil tanker, blocked in the bay of Biafra for over a year. SWI The San Padre Pio oil tanker, registered with canton Vaud shipping company ABC Maritime, was seized by Nigerian authorities in January 2018, who accused the ship and its crew of violating territorial waters and diesel smuggling. Over a year later, with diplomatic efforts to release the ship proven futile, ... Read More »

Germany’s Manfred Weber warns of China ‘shopping spree’

European Union politician Manfred Weber says the bloc should stop Chinese companies from gaining too much power in key sectors. He also warned of the political implications of China’s Belt and Road project. Chase Winter Deutsche Welle The European Union should prevent Chinese firms from going on a “shopping spree,” buying up strategic assets, a top contender for the European Commission presidency said Saturday. Manfred Weber, the leader of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), warned that the EU should ... Read More »

1100 mutilated dolphins found washed up on beaches in France

A record number of dolphins’ bodies have been found horribly mutilated on the French Atlantic coast. 9news AP What has shocked French marine researchers wasn’t just the brutality of the deaths of these highly intelligent mammals, but the numbers involved – a record 1,100 have landed on France’s beaches since January. The mass deaths, widely blamed on industrial fishing, have alarmed animal welfare groups and prompted France’s ecology minister to launch a national plan to protect them. “There’s never been ... Read More »

The Eurozone’s Real Weakness

A new eurozone crisis would most likely have a less uneven effect than in 2008 or 2011, not least because its largest economies are currently weak. Lucrezia Reichlin Project Syndicate But if a recession hits, policymakers will find it hard to mount an effective response. LONDON – The 20th anniversary of the euro this year is a good time to reflect on the robustness of Europe’s monetary union. The memory of the last crisis, which began in the United States ... Read More »

Denmark cannot name timeline for its decision on Nord Stream 2

The need to find an alternative route to the Nord Stream 2 is linked to changes in Danish legislation STOCKHOLM, March 28. /TASS/. The Danish Energy Agency will decide on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after environmental impact of the pipeline route in the exclusive economic zone of Denmark is assessed and public hearings are held, head of the… “The Danish Energy Agency has requested that Nord Stream 2 AG investigate the environmental impacts for a route south of ... Read More »

Do you have a moral duty to pay taxes?

It’s tax season. Americans will pay an average of US$10,489 in personal taxes – about 14 percent of the average household’s total income. Brookes Brown The Conversation Most will do so because they think it is their civic duty. Many believe they are morally obliged to obey the law and pay their share. But as tax day approaches, many Americans will bemoan their tax bill and complain that it is unfair. So, how are we to know if paying taxes ... Read More »

Wall of Death: Will Feds challenge use of international driftnets?

Senators and representatives have been proposing bills on controversial fishing practice in recent years, but is the United States standing tough on the global stage? Parimal M. Rohit theLog NATIONWIDE—Labeling anything as a “Wall of Death” is certain to capture the attention of, well, anyone who is paying attention to whatever is being labeled as a Wall of Death. In this instance the Wall of Death is a drift gillnet, also known as a driftnet. Most people reading The Log ... Read More »

Bank boss bonuses to be savaged by watchdog

Bank boss pay packets are set to be radically overhauled by the banking watchdog, including moves to force executives to wait longer after departing the C-suite to receive their payouts. Jessica Irvine The Canberra Times The chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Wayne Byres, said that individual boards had been too slow to reform remuneration structures for their executives in the wake of the royal commission’s damaging revelations. “Boards have struggled to gain acceptance that new approaches are needed,” Mr ... Read More »

Energy and security in the Eastern Mediterranean

The discovery of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean’s Levant Basin has created new regional security dynamics. Petros Petrikkos Global Risk Insights The quest for power and influence hinders energy and economic cooperation. The growing ‘battle’ for the creation of a pipeline is not easily sustained due to the region’s unstable landscape. Research on the Levant Basin dates back to 2010 when the Leviathan block was first discovered by Ratio Oil. Following this, companies like US-owned Noble Energy and French giant ... Read More »

Global carbon emissions hit record high in 2018, International Energy Agency says

Greater demand for energy and more extreme temperatures saw global carbon emissions reach a record high in 2018 partly because of higher coal use, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Sue Lannin ABC Carbon emissions rose by 1.7 per cent in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion tonnes, with coal making up one third of the total increase, according to the IEA’s Global Energy and C02 Status Report. That is despite energy generation from wind and solar farms growing ... Read More »

New ABC chairman has history calling out ‘problems’ with multiculturalism

“There are problems with multiculturalism and it’s about time our politicians had the guts to mention some of them,”  wrote Ita Buttrose in 1988 when she was editor-in-chief of the Sun-Herald. Jennifer Duke The Age In the column, Buttrose talks about two-thirds of voters wanting a reduction in immigration levels, Australians fearing “Asianisation” and her hopes for a referendum on immigration. “I don’t object to specific groups of people, linked to their country of birth, congregating in a specific area, but ... Read More »

‘Flashing amber’: stocks tumble as bond markets sound US recession warning

Investors around the region ditched shares on Monday and fled to the safety of bonds while the Japanese yen hovered near a six-week high as risk assets fell out of favour on growing fears about a US recession, sending global yields plunging. Swati Pandey The Canberra Times Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.1 per cent on Monday to the lowest level in five weeks and wiped $20.2 billion off the value of the stock market. The financial and mining sectors ... Read More »

David McWilliams: Europe is glued to energy-rich Russia

As Putin marks 20 years in power, he knows how much the world needs his country David McWilliams The Irish Times As the train screeches to a halt, the young man, in his slim-fit Tom Ford suit, alights energetically. This is Revolution Square station, deep beneath Moscow’s congested boulevards. Built in 1938, the station is one of the gems of the Moscow metro system, itself one of the finest pieces of public transport infrastructure in the world. Stalin understood symbols. ... Read More »

House prices keep dropping – and there’s no end in sight

Prices will continue to fall, unless the Reserve Bank gets involved and cuts rates soon Greg Jericho The Guardian Τhe latest residential housing prices figures confirm what buyers and sellers have known for some time: the drop in housing prices is continuing without any real sign of a bottom being reached. This fall, as with the housing boom, is most pronounced in Sydney and Melbourne. This has seen an improvement in housing affordability but it remains above the pre-boom levels. In the ... Read More »