Welcome to the XXVII74 Issue

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U.S. MARKETS

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs this week, with the Dow jumping more than 200 points, continuing its four-week run.  Could they be rising because economies are contracting around the…
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LOST SEOUL

Despite having dropped interest rates to record lows plus record stimulus efforts, South Korea’s economy is failing to generate growth.  “We have expected fiscal spending to play the supporting role…
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INDIA

Last week, Moody’s, the American credit rating agency, lowered its outlook for India to negative. With their GDP dropping to 5 percent, a six-year low, Moody’s forecast a worsening economic climate…
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JAPAN

Japan, the world’s third largest economy, grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter, down sharply from a 1.8 percent expansion the previous quarter.  Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Japan…
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CHINA: NUMBERS DON’T COUNT

For many economists, the “official” economic data from China has long been questionable. In an effort to ease global skepticism, Beijing announced last week that local governments will now start…
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THE AMERICAS

Currencies Going South As geopolitical strife intensifies south of the border, currencies are devaluating in Latin America, hitting new lows. The Chilean peso was down 1 percent against the dollar…
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GERMANY

Germany, the largest economy in the eurozone and the world’s fourth largest economy, grew just 0.1 percent in the third quarter, barely escaping recession, which is defined as two consecutive…
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RALLY AGAINST THE DOLLAR 

In an effort to protect itself against future U.S. sanctions, and to distance itself from the dollar, Russia wants to cut its $45 billion dollar holdings in its $125 billion sovereign wealth fund…
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BOLIVIA: CIVIL WAR LOOMING?

Last Thursday, Evo Morales, the once popular leader of Bolivia, who was pressured to resign on 11 November, accused the United States and the Organization of American States (OAS) of leading a coup…
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HONG KONG: WEEK 24

It’s non-stop. Another day, another wave of violent confrontations between Hong Kong protesters and police… this time closing down universities and virtually bringing commercial traffic to a halt.…
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BEIRUT: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE “PARIS OF THE MIDDLE EAST”?

Among the many leaderless demonstrations sweeping the globe protesting graft, corruption, political elite dominance, income inequality, declining living standards, lack of jobs, etc., the street…
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IRAQ: PROTESTS AND BLOODBATH

Last Friday saw the deadly confrontations between protesters, who were closing in on government headquarters in central Baghdad, and military/police forces, who fired live bullets and tear gas to…
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IRAN: U.S. SANCTIONS WORKING – NATIONAL UNREST

On Saturday, demonstrations broke out across Iran when oil prices jumped 50 percent overnight following the government’s decision to slash fuel subsidies. While the Iranian demonstrations began…
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ISRAEL/PALESTINE: NEW DAY, MORE CONFLICT

Last Tuesday, Israel’s military carried out the planned killing of Palestinian leader Baha Abu al-Ata in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli airstrike that destroyed Ata’s home also killed his wife, and his…
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OIL DRIVES OFF INTO THE SUNSET

A new study from asset management firm BNP Paribas sees the oil industry’s future path shrinking from today’s superhighway to a country lane over the next 25 years. The study looked at the…
Credit: University of Leeds

USING YOUR EAR TO ROLL BACK AGING

At the University of Leeds, British biologists have been able to undo key symptoms of aging by tickling people’s ears. A lobe in humans’ outer ear holds a strand of the vagus nerve, a neurological…
MOF-303, the aluminum-organic framework that captures water molecules as vapor and releases them as liquid.

ANOTHER WAY TO HARVEST WATER FROM AIR

As part of the world’s quest for increasingly scarce potable water, chemists at the University of California at Berkeley have fashioned a material that pulls water vapor out of air, even in a desert…