GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse – The World Bank Warns Russian Economy Will Shrink 1.8 PERCENT If Crimea Crisis Escalates!

March 26, 2014 – RUSSIA The World Bank has dramatically cut Russia’s outlook from 2.5 percent GDP growth, saying in the worst case scenario the economy could shrink 1.8 percent in 2014, as the Crimea conflict is hitting confidence.

Russia’s economy may contract up to 1.8 percent in 2014, as the dispute with Ukraine could lead to further worsening of the consumer and business climate, says the World Bank study.

Since the political uncertainties around the Crimea crisis in early March 2014 led to an increase in market volatility, the World Bank developed two alternative scenarios for Russia’s 2014-2015 growth outlook. The projection is highly dependent on a recovery in business and consumer confidence and how the outcome of the geopolitical risks.

The optimistic World Bank projection of 2.2 percent GDP growth in December has turned.

“The low-risk scenario assumes a limited and short-lived effect of the Crimea crisis and projects 1.1 percent growth for 2014 and 1.3 percent for 2015,” said Birgit Hansl, World Bank Lead Economist and Country Sector Coordinator for Economic Policy in Russia and the main author of the Report.

“The high-risk scenario assumes a more severe shock to economic and investment activities if the geopolitical situation worsens, resulting in a contraction of 1.8 percent in 2014 and 2.1 percent growth in 2015. Also, global risks are expected to remain prominent with continuing higher overall market volatility,” she concluded.

Both scenarios don’t assume any trade sanctions against Russia by the West.

The Russian government expected the economy to grow 2.5 percent in 2014, but officials have already indicated the forecast may be revised in April.

2013 wasn’t a very successful year for the Russian economy. The GDP expanded at an estimated 1.3 percent in 2013, well below the projected rate of 3.6 percent.

The ongoing deterioration of the current account and higher volatility in capital outflows has triggered the ruble to come under increasing pressure. Meanwhile frail domestic demand has dragged the Russian economy close to stagnation. – RT.

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MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: "Consequences Could Be Dire" – Record Cold Temperatures And One "Polar Vortex" After Another Points To An Impending Ice Age!

March 26, 2014 – UNITED STATES – “Coldest Mardi Gras Ever?” asked the New Orleans Times-Picayune as revellers sported long underwear under their costumes to cope with temperatures in the thirties. On the same day it was four degrees Fahrenheit at th… Continue reading

The Calming Collection-The Weight is Over:Hypnosis/Meditation for Lasting Weight Loss**Guided Meditation and Hypnosis CD

The Weight is Over:Hypnosis/Meditaton for Lasting Weight Loss has several sections, each carefully devised with newest, most helpful techniques to achieve empowerment and lasting control of one’s eating and life style choices. Part One is the introduction. Part two is Hypnosis. Part 3 is Self Hypnosis Training, in which the… Continue reading

WAR DRUMS: Escalating Tensions On The Korean Peninsula – North Korea Test-Fires Ballistic Missiles In Defiance Of United States-South Korea War Games!

March 26, 2014 – NORTH KOREA – North Korea test-fired two medium range ballistic missiles in a move violating a UN Security Council ban. The launches come after test-firing of short range rockets, and coincide with annual joint US-South Korea war games.

A North Korean Taepodong-class missile (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)

The unannounced launches on Wednesday morning came less than ten minutes apart. The missiles were fired from Sukchon in the west of the country and flew over North Korea and into the Sea of Japan, South Korea’s Defense Ministry reported.

The missiles flew some 650 km rising as high as 160 km and traveling at over Mach 7, said ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok. This indicates the missiles were of the Rodong class, a single-stage liquid-propelled ballistic missile with an estimated range of up to 900 km, which can be fired from a mobile launcher.

“The missile launch constitutes provocations that violate the UN Security Council resolutions and add tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the Northeast Asian region,” South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “The government calls on the North to immediately halt such provocations and fully comply with its obligations and promises with the international community.”

A 2006 resolution of the UNSC, which was passed in the wake of its first nuclear test, prohibits North Korea from developing ballistic missile technology. Pyongyang defied the ban on several occasions. The latest example was the successful space launch of a satellite in 2012, which many countries saw as a veiled test of a long-range ballistic missile with military needs in mind.

Rodong launches are rare in North Korea, which has tested the missile twice, in July 2006 and in July 2009. North Korea is believed to have between 50 and 100 missiles of the type.

AFP Photo / KNS

The launches were criticized by the US and Japan, although Tokyo stressed that they will not affect planned talks with Pyongyang scheduled later this month. China called all relevant parties to show restraint and take steps to relax regional tensions.

The ballistic missile test comes shortly after North Korea conducted several launches of short-range missiles. South Korean military believe that the demonstration of force comes in response to joint war exercises.

“The North’s pre-dawn missile launch is believed to be aimed at protesting against South Korea-US joint military exercises and demonstrating its infiltration capability in a show of force,” Kim said.

The two-week exercises called Key Resolve ended in early March while the two-month training program Foal Eagle runs through mid-April. Washington and Seoul conduct such exercises annually, while Pyongyang protest them, saying the accompanying build-up of troops is a threat to its national security.

The launches on Wednesday came hours after a joint press conference in The Hague, where leaders of South Korea, the US and Japan held trilateral talks on the sidelines of a global nuclear forum.

They also coincide with the commemoration in South Korea of the fourth anniversary of the sinking of the warship Cheonan, in which 42 sailors were killed. Seoul says North Korea torpedoed the ship as it was taking part in naval exercises, an allegation that Pyongyang denies. – RT.

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GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse – Impendent Fuel Crisis In Ukraine Will Crash The Country’s Economy; Only Has Enough Gasoline For A Month!

March 26, 2014 – UKRAINE – According to a recent statement made by the energy minister Yuri Prodan, Ukraine will run out of gasoline in the next 29 days. Given Ukraine’s dire economic situation, a fuel crisis will surely crash the country’s economy.

Photo: RIA Novosti

Most oil refineries in Ukraine are owned by Russian companies or are operating on Russian crude oil. Since the beginning of political crisis, refineries have almost stopped producing gasoline and the imports of crude oil have ceased. “If we talk about fuel, we have a stable situation. We estimate that we have enough fuel for 28-29 days”, Prodan told RBK Ukraine. Of course, a situation in which a country receives no crude oil imports and has insignificant stocks of fuel can’t be described as “stable”, but the current Ukrainian “government” is known for its unjustified optimism.

The situation with the natural gas supplies is just as bad. According to Prodan, Ukraine can access 2 bn cubic meters of natural gas from its underground storage facilities. This quantity should be enough for covering between 2.5 and 3 months of consumption. However, after April 1st all of the existing discounts on Russian gas price will be canceled. In the past, Ukraine was unable to pay for natural gas deliveries even at discounted prices so, there is doubt that a crisis-stricken illegitimate government is alble to pay for gas deliveries at full price.

After Ukraine’s debt to Gazprom reached 2 billion dollars, the Russian gas giant warned that the next deliveries will only be made after advance payments. It is highly unlikely that the self-appointed authorities in Kiev will find the funds necessary for the payments. Yuri Prodan’s hopes that “reverse supplies” from the EU can help were dashed by a recent statement made by Slovakian government which stressed that Bratislava will not increase supplies to Ukraine to a level that can be “detrimental” to the Slovakian economy. Robert Fico, the prime minister of Slovakia, told the press that his priority is “to ensure the flow of Russian gas through Ukraine” and pointed out that although supplies from Slovakia can help Ukraine, his government is not in a position to fund such help.

Overall, the situation in Ukraine has not yet become a full-fledged fuel crisis but it is likely to evolve into one. Regardless of the source, imports of crude oil and natural gas will require advance payments in hard currency while the country’s budget is empty. Self-appointed Ukrainian authorities expect help from the US and the EU, but so far no one in the West has come up with a solution and the funding for helping the so-called Ukrainian government. – VOR.

Ukraine Only Has Enough Gasoline For A Month
Фото: ИТАР-ТАСС

Nothing to see here, move along. While it appears the Russians are willing to pay the price of modest sanctions from the west to ‘liberate’ their fellow countrymen, the fallout from further tension with Ukraine could “boomerang” once again on the divided nation.

As RBC Ukraine reports, the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuriy Prodan said at a press conference today that “oil reserves will last for 28-29 days” in Ukraine. After that, the negotiation begins as Ukraine already owes billions for previously delivered gas – as Ukraine’s storage levels more than halved in the last 3 months.

Via RBC Ukraine,

Stocks of petroleum products in Ukraine will last for 28-29 days, said at today’s press conference, the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuriy Prodan.

Speaking on the situation with oil, then ensure there is quite stable. Today oil reserves will last for 28-29 days,” – he said, the ” RBC-Ukraine . “

At the same time, the Minister noted the significant risk reduction in the supply and rising gas prices. As of March 25, 2014 in Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities located 7 billion cubic meters of gas.

“Up there can be about 2 billion is not the quantity that scares experts, it would be possible to hold only a week. It all depends on what kind of regime will be whether we can take about 20 million cubic meters. Meters of gas to reverse and so on “- said Prodan.

According to the company “Ukrtransgaz” abnormally warm winter 2013 2014. has reduced gas extraction from underground storage by an average of 37% compared to the same period last year: it was 60 million cubic meters per day.

In late December 2013. occupied at the time the post of Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Edward Stawicki reported that Ukrainian gas reserves in underground storage is 16.5 billion cubic meters.

We suspect any further military intervention will only crimp this supply even faster. – Zero Hedge.

WATCH: Collapsing Ukraine.

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MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: "Wherever We Step, There Seems To Be A Cave-In" – 150 Sinkholes In Five Months In And Around Kaski Village, Nepal; 7.3 MILLION Recommended To Control The Disaster!

March 26, 2014 – NEPAL – The land cave-in that appeared at Thulibeshi Phant of Armala, Kaski, today morning, has further terrorised locals. Another sinkhole in Armala, locals terrified The sinkhole has destroyed Krishna Prasad Paudel’s cowshed. Accord… Continue reading

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: The European Southern Observatory To Hold Major Press Conference Today In Brazil To Announce "Surprise" Discovery In The Outer Solar System – "Unexpected Result" Will "Provoke Much Debate"?!

March 26, 2014 – BRAZIL –  The European Southern Observatory says its discovered something at the edge of our solar system that will “raise several unanswered questions and is expected to provoke much debate.”

Here is the media advisory:

An international team of astronomers, led by Felipe Braga-Ribas (Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), has used telescopes at seven locations in South America, including the 1.54-metre Danish and TRAPPIST telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, to make a surprise discovery in the outer Solar System.

This unexpected result raises several unanswered questions and is expected to provoke much debate. A press conference will be held in Brazil to present the new results and allow opportunities for questions.

Note that all information regarding these findings is under strict embargo until 19:00 CET (15:00 BRT) on Wednesday 26 March 2014.

ESO’s La Silla Observatory.

When: The conference will be held on 26 March 2014 at 14:30 local time (BRT) and will take place in Portuguese with a summary in English.

Who:
The conference presenters are:

  • Felipe Braga-Ribas, Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Bruno Sicardy, LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Paris, France
  • Prof. Roberto Martins, Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Prof. Julio Camargo, Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Where: The event takes place in Observatório Nacional, Auditório do Grupo de Pesquisas em Astronomia (GPA), in the GPA/LINEA Building in Rua General José Cristino, 77, Bairro de São Cristovão, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20921-400, Brazil.

How: To participate in the conference and receive additional material, bona fide members of the media must get accredited by sending an email to Dr. Gustavo Rojas (ESON Brazil) at eson-brazil@eso.org. Members of the media may also request the feed URL from the contacts below. Questions can be sent by email to eson-brazil@eso.org in Portuguese or English. A limited number of journalists can participate via GoToMeeting online (please request access from eson-brazil@eso.org).

Contacts

Gustavo Rojas
ESON Brazil, Universidade Federal de São Carlos
São Carlos, Brazil
Tel.: +55 1633519795
Cell.: +55 16991554847
Email: eson-brazil@eso.org

Richard Hook
ESO, Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
Email: rhook@eso.orgESO.

Please check this space for updates as the story unfolds.

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GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse – Chinese Officials Urge Calm As Depositors Again Line Up Outside Rural Banks; Three Days Of Bank Runs In Yancheng!

March 26, 2014 – CHINA –  The rumor spread quickly. A small rural lender in eastern China had turned down a customer’s request to withdraw 200,000 yuan ($32,200).

People gather in front of a branch of Jiangsu Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank, in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, March 25,
2014. Hundreds of people rushed to withdraw money from a branch of a small Chinese bank on Monday after rumours
spread about its solvency, local media reported, reflecting growing anxiety among investors
as regulators signal greater tolerance for credit defaults. REUTERS/Stringer

Bankers and local officials say it never happened, but true or not the rumor was all it took to spark a run on a bank as the story passed quickly from person to person, among depositors, bystanders and even bank employees.

Savers feared the bank in Yancheng, a city in Sheyang county, had run out of money and soon hundreds of customers had rushed to its doors demanding the withdrawal of their money despite assurances from regulators and the central bank that their money was safe.

The panic in a corner of the coastal Jiangsu province north of Shanghai, while isolated, struck a raw nerve and won national airplay, possibly reflecting public anxiety over China’s financial system after the country’s first domestic bond default this month shattered assumptions the government would always step in to prevent institutions from collapsing.

Rumors also find especially fertile ground here after the failure last January of some less-regulated rural credit co-operatives.

Jin Wenjun saw the drama unfold.

He started to notice more people than usual arriving at the Jiangsu Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank next door to his liquor store on Monday afternoon. By evening there were hundreds spilling out into the courtyard in front of the bank in this rural town near a high-tech park surrounded by rice and rape fields.

Bank officials tried to assure the depositors that there was enough money to go around, but the crowd kept growing.

A man reads an announcement by the Rural Commercial Bank of Huanghai in one of the bank branches in Yancheng,
Jiangsu province, March 26, 2014. A Chinese county official appealed for calm among bank depositors in the eastern city
of Yancheng on Wednesday as queues formed for a third straight day outside the branches of two small banks rumoured
to be in financial trouble. Police and security guards stood by as dozens of people formed a line outside a branch of
Rural Commercial Bank of Huanghai, one of the two banks that have suffered a rush of withdrawals
this week on the outskirts of the city. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

In response, local officials and bank managers kept branches open 24 hours a day and trucked in cash by armored vehicle to satisfy hundreds of customers, some of whom brought large baskets to carry their cash out of the bank.

Jin found himself at the bank branch just after midnight to withdraw 95,000 yuan for his friend from a village 20 kms (12 miles) away.

“He was uncomfortable. It was late and he couldn’t wait, so he left me his ID card to withdraw his cash,” Jin said.

By Tuesday, the crisis of confidence had engulfed another bank, the nearby Rural Commercial Bank of Huanghai.

“One person passed on the news to 10 people, 10 people passed it to 100, and that turned into something pretty terrifying,” said Miao Dongmei, a customer of the Sheyang bank who owns an infant supply store across the street from the first branch to be hit by the run.

Claiming to be a Yancheng resident, one user of Sina Weibo’s Twitter-like service repeated the story on Monday about the failed 200,000 yuan withdrawal, adding that “rumors are the bank is going bankrupt.”

When later contacted by Reuters online, he said he had heard the rumor from his mother when she came back from town.

Huanghai and Jiangsu Sheyang banks declined to comment.

China’s banks are tightly controlled by the state and bank bankruptcies are virtually unheard of, so the crisis has baffled many outsiders.

Yet in Sheyang, fears of a bank collapse resonate.

In recent years, this corner of hard-strapped Jiangsu province has experienced a boom in the number of loan guarantee, or ‘danbao’, companies and rural capital co-operatives.

These often shadowy private financial institutions promised higher returns on deposits than banks, but many have since failed.

Qu Guohua, a spiky haired former migrant worker in his 50s, nearly lost 30,000 yuan in a credit guarantee scheme that went up in flames.

People gather in front of a branch of Rural Commercial Bank of Huanghai in Yancheng, Jiangsu province,
March 26, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

What saved him one day in January 2013 was a tip-off from a friend at a rural co-operative just down the street from the loan guarantee company where he had his money.

“He told me the other one was going to go out of business and I better go get my money quick,” he said.

Qu managed to get his cash, but others behind him in line were not so lucky, he said.

That helps explain why lines formed so quickly once the rumors started circulating this week. Luck has it, he deposited the cash in a bank next door: Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank.

Banks are different than credit co-operatives and guarantee companies in that they are regulated by China’s banking watchdog and subject to strict capital requirements.

On Wednesday, officials’ painstaking efforts to drive that message home were in full swing.

Bank managers stacked piles of yuan behind teller windows in full sight of customers to try to reassure them that they had plenty of cash on hand. Local officials used leaflets, radio and television to try to calm nerves.

Near one of the troubled banks, a branch of the China Commercial Bank – one of China’s ‘Big Four’ state-owned banks – was running a ticker message on an electronic board over the entrance stating: “Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank is a legal financial organization approved by the state, just like us”.

While small groups of depositors still gathered at several bank branches in and around this part of Yancheng, some arriving by motorbike, others by three-wheeled motor vehicles common in the Chinese countryside, there were signs that the banks’ efforts were bearing fruit.

Jin said he did not panic when the rumors were spreading and on Wednesday, like many others, he made a deposit.

Others, like Qu, are holding their nerve.

On a visit to see his hospitalized daughter, he decided to nip into a local bank where he still has about 10,000 yuan – just for a look.

“I’m not nervous about my money in the bank. It’s protected by national law.” – Yahoo.

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TERMINATOR NOW: The Rise Of The Machines – Professor Predicts That 90 PERCENT Of News Stories Will Be Written By Computers By 2030!

March 26, 2014 – TECHNOLOGY –  Professor of Computer Science Dr. Kristian Hammond predicts that by 2030, 90 per cent of all news stories will be written not by human reporters but by computer algorithms.

Hammond, co-founded of Narrative Science, helped develop a program with reporter and programmer Ken Schwencke that relies on a fusion of statistics and journalistic clichés to write simple news stories.

This is how the L.A. Times was able to publish an article about last week’s earthquake just 3 minutes after it happened, because the whole story was artificially generated by Schwencke’s computer algorithm.

While the L.A. Times is open about its use of the program, many other mainstream news websites are using “robo-reporters” completely anonymously without a disclaimer.

According to Singularity Hub’s Jason Dorrier, Professor Hammond, “thinks some 90% of the news could be written by computers by 2030.” And don’t think this will just be restricted to sports results or earthquakes.

Hammond also believes that “a computer could write stories worthy of a Pulitzer Prize by 2017.”

WATCH: Professor – 90% of news stories to be written by computers by 2030.

This speaks to the increasingly redundant role of mainstream news reporters. Journalists working for the corporate press have abandoned their role as adversarial checks against the state to such a degree that they are now being replaced by computers.

Mainstream reporters have become so adept at merely regurgitating official narratives and echoing government talking points unchallenged that they are now being replaced by robots – and nobody is even noticing. – Info Wars.

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