Ebola outbreak in Congo declared a global health emergency

Ebola outbreak in Congo declared a global health emergency (Source Associated Press) The deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo is now an international health emergency, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday after a case was confirmed in a city of 2 million people. A WHO expert committee declined on three previous occasions to advise the United Nations health agency to make the declaration for this outbreak, even though other experts say it has long met the conditions.

More than 1,600 people have died since August in the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The declaration comes days after a single case was confirmed in Goma, a major regional crossroads in northeastern Congo on the Rwandan border, with an international airport. Also, a sick Congolese fish trader traveled to Uganda and back while symptomatic — and later died of Ebola. While the risk of regional spread remains high, the risk outside the region remains low, WHO chief said after the announcement in Geneva.

Iran state TV: Iranian forces seize foreign oil tanker, crew

Iran state TV: Iranian forces seize foreign oil tanker, crew(Source Associated Press)

Iran said Thursday its Revolutionary Guard seized a foreign oil tanker and its crew of 12 for smuggling fuel out of the country, and hours later released video showing the vessel to be a United Arab Emirates-based ship that had vanished in Iranian waters over the weekend.

The announcement solved one mystery — the fate of the missing ship — but raised a host of other questions and heightened worries about the free flow of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most critical petroleum shipping routes. One-fifth of global crude exports passes through the strait.

The incident happened with tensions running high between Iran and the United States over President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Iranian state television did not at first identify the seized vessel but said it was intercepted on Sunday and was involved in smuggling some 1 million liters (264,000 gallons) of Iranian fuel. Iran did not identify the nationalities of the crew.

Crude prices, which had been falling since last week, ticked higher almost immediately after the announcement.

Iran said the tanker was seized south of its Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz. Neighboring Qeshm Island has a Revolutionary Guard base on it.

Hours after that initial report, Iranian TV released footage of the ship surrounded by Guard vessels and showed the registration number painted on its bridge, matching that of the UAE-based MT Riah.

Putin and Macron call for efforts to save Iran deal

Putin and Macron call for efforts to save Iran deal(Source AFP) Russian President Vladimir Putin and French leader Emmanuel Macron agreed Thursday on the need to “consolidate efforts” to save the Iran nuclear deal following months of soaring tensions, the Kremlin said. In a phone call, Putin and Macron agreed the Iran deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was an “important factor in ensuring security in the Middle East and maintaining a non-proliferation regime,” the Kremlin said in a statement. US President Donald Trump last year withdrew from the accord and imposed sweeping sanctions prohibiting Iranian oil exports in a bid to reduce the clerical regime’s regional clout. In Germany, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “it would be a mistake to blame” Iran for the situation. He said it was very important to reach “a common position of all the remaining parties of the JCPOA   and we will not achieve a result if it is claimed that the safeguarding of this agreement depends solely on Iran”. His German counterpart Heiko Maas said that “we have always made it clear that we do not understand the exit of the United States from the JCPOA”.

Bank of England warns no-deal Brexit could trigger economic shock

Bank of England warns no-deal Brexit could trigger economic shock (Source theguardian.com)

The Bank of England has warned that a no-deal Brexit could trigger a material shock to the UK economy while causing widespread disruption for EU companies by cutting them off from London-based banks. Stating that the risk of Britain crashing out without a deal had risen, the Bank said the City of London was ready to withstand such a scenario and avoid banks failing, as they did in the financial crisis. However, there would still be major disruption for companies. Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor, said: “The perceived likelihood of no-deal Brexit has increased since last year. Although the degree of preparedness for such a scenario has improved, material risks still remain.” He said the absence of further action by Brussels to get ready for Brexit could leave the door open to disruption for banks and their customers in the EU, while warning that the UK would face “material economic disruption” from a no-deal departure.

“Although such disruption would primarily affect EU households and businesses, it could amplify volatility and spill back to the UK in ways that cannot be fully anticipated or mitigated,” he said.

Court rules against Florida officials on medical marijuana

Court rules against Florida officials on medical marijuana (Source Associated Press) A Florida appellate court ruled that the state’s approach to regulating marijuana is unconstitutional, possibly allowing more providers to jump into a market positioned to become one of the country’s most lucrative. If the ruling stands, it could force state officials to lift existing caps on how many medical marijuana treatment centers can operate in Florida. Tuesday’s ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee was another setback for Florida officials trying to regulate the burgeoning marijuana industry more tightly. It mostly affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the caps and operational requirements violated the voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in 2016. Florida now has more than 240,000 people registered with the state to legally use medicinal marijuana, according to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. They are served by 142 dispensaries across the state, the majority operated by about a half-dozen medical marijuana treatment centers that grow their own crop, process it and sell it — a business model known as vertical integration.

That business model and the limited number of treatment centers were points of contention for Tampa-based Florigrown, which sued the state after being denied a license.

Hurricane warning issued in Louisiana

Hurricane warning issued in Louisiana as Tropical Storm Barry gains strength in Gulf of Mexico( Source USA today) A hurricane warning was issued late Thursday as Louisianans grabbed sandbags or fled to higher ground, their state threatened by Tropical Storm Barry. Barry, the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, formed Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico. It could hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said. More than 2 million people were under some level of advisory or warning as the storm approached. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, warning that the “entire coast of Louisiana is at play in this storm.”  “There are three ways that Louisiana can flood: storm surge, high rivers and rain,” Edwards said. “We’re going to have all three.”

He said National Guard troops and high-water vehicles would be positioned all over the state.

Evacuations for about 10,000 people were ordered Thursday for portions of the east bank of Plaquemines Parish, which encompasses the last 70 miles of the Mississippi River before it reaches the Gulf of Mexico. Evacuation was also ordered for parts of Lafourche Jefferson Parish, including the town of Grand Isle, on a narrow barrier island in the gulf.

Deutsche BNK Begins Culling 18,000 Employees

“It’s Going To Be Carnage” – Deutsche Begins Culling 18,000 Employees(Source Zero hedge)

Some readers might have dismissed warnings of “Lehman-style” scenes outside Deutsche Bank’s global offices as hysteria related to the bank’s restructuring. But the mass firings that will eventually cull some 18,000 employees, roughly 20% of the bank’s global workforce, have already begun. After announcing the bank’s most radical restructuring plan in two decades, CEO Christian Sewing on Sunday revealed that the bank would immediately move ahead with the steep job cuts.

 On Monday, whole teams of equity traders in Tokyo and the bank’s other Asian offices were let go, the first step toward winding down the bank’s equities sales and trading operation. 

The bank is also planning cutbacks to its fixed income, and rates, trading business. Shares bounced in pre-market trading on Sunday, but have since turned lower; in recent trade, DB shares were off nearly 2%.

Though DB didn’t disclose the regional breakdown of the job cuts, it’s widely believed that roughly 50% of the employees in its bloated investment bank will be let go. That would mean the bank’s offices in New York and London will be the hardest hit.

The Quake to Make Los Angeles a Radioactive Dead Zone

The Quake to Make Los Angeles a Radioactive Dead Zone (Source globalresearch.ca) We are this close to an unimaginable apocalyptic horror: Had Friday’s 7.1 earthquake and other ongoing seismic shocks hit less than 200 miles northwest of Ridgecrest/China Lake, ten million people in Los Angeles would now be under an apocalyptic cloud, their lives and those of the state and nation in radioactive ruin.  The likely human death toll would be in the millions. The likely property loss would be in the trillions. The forever damage to our species’ food supply, ecological support systems, and longterm economy would be very far beyond any meaningful calculation. The threat to the ability of the human race to survive on this planet would be extremely significant.

The two cracked, embrittled, under-maintained, unregulated, uninsured, and un-inspected atomic reactors at Diablo Canyon, near San Luis Obispo, would be a seething radioactive ruin.

Their cores would be melting into the ground. Hydrogen explosions would be blasting the site to deadly dust. One or both melted cores would have burned into the earth and hit ground or ocean water, causing massive steam explosions with physical impacts in the range of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The huge clouds would send murderous radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere that would permanently poison the land, the oceans, the air … and circle the globe again and again, and yet again, filling the lungs of billions of living things with the most potent poisons humans have ever created.

HONEY BEES DROP DEAD FOLLOWING CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE

HONEY BEES DROP DEAD FOLLOWING CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE (Source Zero Hedge)

If the dwindling bee population across the US wasn’t enough, new footage uploaded onto social media shows, in one instance, thousands of bees dropping dead upon a series of earthquakes that shook California last week, reported Sputnik. Southern California was hit by two earthquakes late last week: a 6.4 magnitude quake on Thursday, accompanied by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake Friday evening, both with an epicenter near the Mojave Desert. On Saturday morning, blogger Khalil Underwood from California uploaded the footage onto Twitter of thousands of dying bees spread across his driveway following the massive quakes. A terrified Underwood told his followers: “This is crazy. I’ve never witnessed anything like this. He first tweeted there was “like 70 bees on the floor just buzzing & dying,” but later said, “I wasn’t exaggerating or joking after the Earthquake thousands of bees were vibrating on the floor and dying.

Russia approves 1,250-mile highway to China-Europe

Russia approves 1,250-mile highway through its territory which will connect China to Europe under Xi Jinping’s scheme to dominate global trade(Source dailymail.co.uk) Privately financed road will run from the Belarus border to Kazakhstani frontier. Construction has already begun and is expected to take around 12 to 14 years. It is the brainchild of Alexander Ryazanov, former deputy chairman of Gazprom. Russia has given the green light for construction of a 1,250 mile road through its lands amid China’s attempts to revive the ancient ‘Silk Road’ trade route. The privately financed Meridian Highway will run from Russia’s border with Belarus to the frontier with Kazakhstan and will form part of a larger network spanning from Hamburg to Shanghai. 

It comes as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious ‘Belt and Road’ initiative which has seen the Far Eastern superpower invest heavily in other nations’ road networks in an apparent bid to dominate global trade. Once constructed, the road will become the shortest route to move goods between Europe and China.