Fight Against Malaria Has Reached a Standstill

Progress against malaria has stalled, and the disease remains a significant threat to billions of people despite the expensive, decadeslong efforts to contain it, the World Health Organization reported Monday.

According to the WHO’s latest annual assessment, there were an estimated 220 million cases of malaria last year, and about 435,000 deaths from the disease. Of the dead, 262,000 were children under age 5.

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Italy’s Interior Minister Begins Deporting Migrants

By Robert Spencer – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Salvini is right, but he will be excoriated as a “racist” anyway.

The political and media elites expect, and indeed demand, that the countries of the West commit national suicide.

Anything short of that is “racist” and “neo-Nazi.”

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Taking the Fight to Malicious Cyber Actors

[I agree with some of this, and disagree with some. But, Cyber Attacks are a huge Economic problem. -Bob]

By Montgomery Sibley – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

Recently, a Google executive, decrying the danger of  cyber attacks claimed that “Our society is in real jeopardy.”  I agree but rather than argue that passive “high-quality cybersecurity must be a pillar of modern society” I contend the opposite: It is time to take the fight to Malicious Cyber Actors.

Just like Steve Austin at the start of the 1970s television show “The Six Million Dollar Man”, our Internet is “barely alive.”  Beset by malicious actors intent on preying on our personal privacy and property rights; the greater harm they do is denying to us the full realization of the potential of the Internet to usher in a new economic prosperity for all of mankind.  I herein claim – akin to Oscar Goldman in the Six Million Dollar Man – that we can rebuild the Internet; We have the technology, We have the legal capability. If we are brave enough to do so, the Internet will be: “Better… stronger… faster.”

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Did OPEC Just Cry Uncle?

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

OPEC Decision Helps Oil Post Its Second Straight Month of Gains

You’ve probably heard by now that, in an effort to lift oil prices, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) tentatively agreed to a production cut at its meeting in Algiers last week. The cartel, which controls more than a third of world output, plans to limit daily production to between 32.5 million barrels and 33 million barrels, down from 33.2 million barrels.

This comes more than two years since oil prices were kneecapped, wreaking havoc on several OPEC member nations’ economies. Saudi Arabia currently faces a steep budget deficit, as oil revenues make up close to 90 percent of the country’s budget. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar, has become so worthless that it’s now cheaper to use it as a napkin than to buy actual napkins. Airlines flying to the U.S. won’t even accept bolivars. (Of course, this has more to do with the government’s woeful mismanagement of the country than oil prices.)

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More Pressure Builds Against Oil Prices

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog

Saudi Arabia has moved beyond its original statement that it will only support a production freeze if “other major producing nations” sign on to the agreement. It has now clarified what I believed to be intended by its initial caveat all along, stating that it will only sign on to a production freeze if ALL nations sign on to such a freeze. So, “other” means “every.”

To which, Iran says, “Never!”

The Saudi Deputy Crown Prince went even further than that by stating if ANY nation does not sign on to a production freeze, “then we will not reject any opportunity that knocks on our door,” by which he means any opportunity to ramp up crude oil production and sell more oil.

And here is what that means for the OPEC meeting in Doha this month that has raised hopes that I believed to be absurd in the first place:

OilBarrels-500x375

The actions and intentions of Saudi Arabia and Russia—the two largest oil-producing nations attending the Doha meeting on 17 April—have dashed all hopes of any fruitful outcome. The most important meeting of the last three decades, which has promised to forge new friendships and a new cartel, is turning out to be the biggest farce, even before the curtain is raised.

The recent announcements from Saudi Arabia outlining the plan to create a $2 trillion fund to reduce dependency on oil and reports of austerity plans indicate that the Kingdom is not taking the Doha meeting seriously. It also seems to be sending a message to the others that it will not buckle under any sort of pressure, and it is readying its Plan B.

The Doha meeting will turn out to be a total disaster and the sentiment will be further damaged if the participating members don’t release a common statement. Forget about the production freeze. Listen carefully, Bears can be heard sharpening their claws ahead of the meeting. (OilPrice.com)

Meanwhile, what do Russia’s actions (the other key player in this agreement to talk about an agreement) say about the likelihood of success? Russia’s production has worked its way up since talk about having a talk began to a new thirty-year high!

Oil production in Iraq has also picked up so much that there is standing room only in the Persian Gulf:

Oil tankers are caught in a traffic jam near the Iraqi port of Basra, causing delays in loading. According to Reuters, around 30 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are sitting in the Persian Gulf, and the backlog could cost ship owners more than $75,000 per day. Some could be waiting for weeks to reach the port…. The culprit is high oil production in Iraq. The port at Basra is struggling to load up all the oil tankers fast enough, forcing some to sit and wait…. And the line of tankers appears to be growing. The gridlock is forcing up the cost of renting an oil tanker. That, combined with the shrinking capacity of available storage in China is pushing up tanker rates in Asia as well. (OilPrice.com)

While oil tankers are stacking up because of increased Iraqi production, they are also stacking up because, once loaded, they have nowhere to go! So, it’s a pile-up at sea.

As storage becomes less available on land and sea, the price of storage goes up (supply and demand again). As ships has become backlogged, the price of shipping has nearly doubled. Increases in the cost of moving and storing crude oil, put additional downward pressure on how much people are willing to pay for crude oil. So, while supply (production) is still rising in many parts of the world, demand for more crude is going to fall, as it gets pricy to have it just sitting around.

In spite of ramping up it’s production, Iraq is one of five OPEC nations on the brink of financial disaster, due in large part to the current low oil prices — the others being Venezuela, Nigeria, Libya, and Algeria. So, these smaller nations talk of hope for the Doha meeting, while the larger nations give no rational basis for hope.

One has to wonder how long it will be before some architect of human chaos decides the way to resolve this crisis for the oil and banking industries is with a Middle-East war that crushes supply lines and knocks out production. Let’s hope not, but history has its example wars that look like they had such motivation.

So far, there is a growing storm of reasons to stay with my prediction that the price of oil is going to go back down. As I published my article yesterday to that effect, the price of oil was going up rapidly; but I look at the fundamentals and see a lot more downside … and stay with that.

Oil, oil everywhere, and almost nowhere left to put it.

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Hidden Force Behind Oil’s Rise: Sabotage by Terrorists

 

Oil prices have surged on hopes of a freeze in global production. But a more hidden factor is also fueling the price spike: terror attacks on oil facilities.

Sabotage to key oil pipelines have driven global supply outages to “elevated” levels estimated at more than 3 million barrels per day, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.

For instance, last month a critical pipeline in Nigeria was bombed, taking around 250,000 barrels of crude offline until May.

Extremist groups pose a “clear and present danger” to energy facilities, especially those in oil-rich North Africa, RBC wrote in a recent research report.

Oil prices have rallied recently to around $40 today from $26 a barrel in mid-February. The sharp rise has been largely attributed to an effort to “freeze” oil output by Saudi Arabia, Russia and other producers. Investors are also betting U.S. production will decline sharply in 2016.

But geopolitical jitters and supply outages are also playing an important role. That’s a change from much of the past two years when these concerns were overshadowed by the epic supply glut and Iran’s efforts to ramp up production.

“OPEC outages in hotspots like those recently seen in Iraq and Nigeria are a good reminder of how quickly volumes can be sidelined,” RBC wrote. “As the market gradually tightens, we think these hotspots will return to center stage.”

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