Roberto Abraham Scaruffi: July 2015

Friday, 31 July 2015

The European Union Times

Posted: 30 Jul 2015 03:30 PM PDT

The third sneak peak of the Lexus Hoverboard was released on Tuesday, with the company officially announcing the date of the ‘magic’ board’s release – August 5. “#LexusHover! See it August 5th,” says the 18-second promo.
“The Lexus Hoverboard is almost here…When technology, design and imagination come together amazing things can be achieved. The Lexus Hoverboard represents true engineering innovation and can be seen in action soon,” said Lexus in a statement under its YouTube video.
The board isn’t available for sale yet, but we are still close to life imitating the art of the 1989 classic movie ‘Back to the Future II’, which features hoverboards in key scenes.
The device is billed as the “first real, rideable hoverboard” on the Lexus website and is branded under the name slide.
“Hoverboard uses magnetic levitation to achieve amazing frictionless movement. Liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets combine to allow Lexus to create the impossible,” the developers described the working principle of the gravity-defying ‘vehicle’.
Lexus Hoverboarder Ross McGouran described riding it as being ‘born again’, “throwing out his natural instincts and starting again.”
Posted: 30 Jul 2015 03:17 PM PDT

China and Russia are set to hold joint military exercises in the airspace and waters of the Sea of Japan as part of the growing defense cooperation between the two countries.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters in Beijing on Thursday that an eight-day drill will be conducted on August 20-28 in the Peter the Great Gulf and other areas off the Russian coast.
The areas of the drills are located close to where the borders of Russia, China and North Korea come together.
Yang said the exercise will include training in air defense, anti-submarine and surface warfare, and landings.
Beijing will send seven naval ships along with fighter jets and other aircraft, Yang said, adding that the Chinese naval contingent will also include a destroyer and a frigate.
According to the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman, Russia’s fleet will include submarines, surface vessels, and fixed-wing aircraft.
The senior Chinese official also stated that both sides will dispatch ship-borne helicopters and marines.
Yang added that a key objective of the military exercises was to “further enhance their (China and Russia’s) capabilities of jointly coping with maritime security threats.”
China and Russia conducted their first joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean and European waters in the Black Sea in May.
Beijing and Moscow have already intensified cooperation in political, economic and military spheres.
On May 8, Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a meeting at the Kremlin with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, agreed to invest billions of dollars in the Russian economy.
Moscow is seeking to diversify its markets amid US-led Western sanctions against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
China and Russia have been holding naval drills in the Pacific waters since 2012 as the United States moved to step up military cooperation with its regional allies.
The latest drills could irk Japan due to the fact that the relationship between Beijing and Tokyo has strained by a territorial dispute.
Last week, Japan claimed that China has put 16 drilling rigs close to its maritime border with Japan in the East China Sea, claiming that Beijing could exploit undersea reserves over which the two neighbors are at loggerheads.
Yang has dismissed Tokyo’s claims, saying that Japan was exaggerating the threat of China in the Pacific region.
“The purpose of the Japanese accusation against China is to create and play up the China threat theory,” Yang said, adding that it provided Japan “an excuse” for new defense legislation.
Japan’s lawmakers from the lower house of parliament have recently approved controversial defense laws to allow Japanese soldiers to fight alongside allies when under attack.
Posted: 30 Jul 2015 03:16 PM PDT

The decline of fast food giant McDonald’s continues in full swing, as the company reports yet another quarter of ‘disappointing’ global losses.
I’ve been telling you about McDonald’s decline for quite some time now, as millions of informed eaters continue to turn to higher quality food options when it comes to feeding themselves and their families.
More and more individuals are realizing what’s really in their food, and they’re taking action. And as they begin to read food labels, research toxic additives, and even find out about GMOs, McDonald’s is always a ‘poster child’ for everything wrong with the food industry.
That’s why, as you may remember, McDonald’s has decided to stop reporting their monthly losses altogether to their investors. Because they’re losing so many customers, and even major news outlets are highlighting the company’s demise.
McDonald’s Keeps Losing Global Profits & Closing Stores
The latest news on the state of McDonald’s comes from their second quarter financial report, which is just hitting the news cycle. As The Daily Meal and others are detailing, McDonald’s has once again been forced to report a global decrease in sales and consolidated operating income.
Specifically, McDonald’s reported a 16% decrease in consolidated operating income, a 10% decrease in consolidated revenues, and a .07% decrease in global sales at large.
Are you surprised?
I believe that McDonald’s could have made a ‘tough’ decision about a decade ago to begin removing toxic additives and artificial chemicals from their food, around the same time that popular documentaries and food investigation films had been highlighting their presence in their fast food creations. If they had made the proper moves, introduced some organic items to their menu, and re-branded themselves, I believe they would not be seeing this kind of decline.
Instead, McDonald’s decided to keep trying to push chemical-laden garbage on the public and tell us that it’s perfectly safe. That’s where their business moves truly failed.
Now, the fast food juggernaut is desperate to try and convince us that they’re ‘going natural!’ That they just happened to decide it was in the best interest of customers to start adding more ‘natural’ meal options to their menu.
That’s why they’re launching press releases about using ‘antibiotic-free’ chicken at some unknown point in the future — it’s all about re-branding themselves in the new marketplace (where people are actually starting to care about what they eat).
Just look at what McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said about the latest losses:
“I am confident that we will create the transformation necessary for McDonald’s to become a modern, progressive burger company delivering a contemporary restaurant experience.”
McDonald’s is trying to become a ‘modern, progressive’ burger company that will start throwing up ‘natural’ labels on their menus. Unfortunately for the multi-national fast food behemoth, the food IQ of America is far surpassing their marketing tactics.
Keep eating high quality organic and voting with your dollar!
Posted: 30 Jul 2015 02:56 PM PDT

Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans to lay off 6,500 jobs this year due to global decline in oil prices.
While announcing a 35% decrease in its profit, a statement from the company says it is intending to slash operating costs for 2015 by 10%. The London-listed oil firm said it may force to cut more jobs next year warning that lower oil prices could continue for several years.
“We’re taking a prudent approach, pulling on powerful financial levers to manage through this downturn. We have to be resilient in a world where oil prices remain low for some time, whilst keeping an eye on recovery,” Chief executive Ben van Beurden said.
“It not just oil but the prices of natural gas have depressed for a number of years. So, it’s the mixture of the two and clearly oil companies will be cutting back on investment and staff. Clearly, the longer the oil and gas prices stay low, they will need cost cutting”, Marco Pietroboli, a London-based economist told Press TV.
Anglo–Dutch multinational oil and gas firm currently employs about 94,000 people. This is the first time the company has announced cost cutting measures for this year. “These are challenging times for the industry, and we are responding with urgency and determination, but also with a great sense of excitement for the future.”
The cost of oil slumped over a year ago – dropping more than 50%. It has mainly attributed to falling demand in many emerging economies in Asia, and soaring production of shale oil in the United States.
OPEC has so far maintained the previous output amid opposition from members especially Saudi Arabia over the production cut. Many analysts say the refusal to slash output by some countries is merely aimed at protecting their market share from the US challenge.
“The US and Russia are not part of the OPEC. If some countries bring down the output doesn’t impact the price at all as some other counties may increase their production. Every member of OPEC is primarily looking for its own best interest not of the OPEC because not only industries of these countries need revenue but also the governments”, said Pietroboli.
“There’s a myth that the oil prices decline are generally positive. Lower oil prices is good for consumers because they have more disposable income on other items but it is obviously not good for producers and government that drive a lot of revenues from oil industries”, he concluded.
Shell isn’t only multinational firm that is trying to grapple with cheap oil. This week, American multinational energy corporation, Chevron said it would cut 1,500 jobs in an effort to cut costs by $1 billion.
Meanwhile, Shell has also unveiled plans to reducing capital expenditure to $30 billion, down by 20 percent from a year ago. Perhaps the measure is aimed to complete a mega-takeover of British rival BG Group worth $73 billion which Shell announced earlier this year.
Posted: 30 Jul 2015 02:38 PM PDT

Cat owners in Australia may be ordered to keep their pets contained at home all the time as part of the nation’s crackdown on felines over the damage they cause to native species.
The federal government will seek public support for “24-hour containment requirements for domestic cats, particularly close to identified conservation areas of significance,” reported the Sydney Morning Herald citing Australia’s first threatened species commissioner, Gregory Andrews.
The measure would require state and local authorities to cooperate with the government program aimed at protecting native species. Announced earlier this month, the measure involves the culling of 2 million feral cats in Australia till 2020. The plan drew criticism from animal rights campaigners, including French actress Brigitte Bardot, who said killing cats was cruel and ineffective.
Introduced two centuries ago by European settlers, cats are considered among the most dangerous pests in Australia along rabbits and red foxes. There are no native species of feline on the continent. They spread across various environments and have been recorded to predate on at least 400 native species, according to a study published in Journal of Biogeography in May.
“Feral cats help themselves to a phenomenal number of species in Australia – 400 different vertebrates. This includes 123 bird species, 157 reptiles, 58 marsupials, 27 rodents, 21 frogs and nine exotic medium- and large-sized mammals. This is more than double the 179 species of animals that cats have been recorded eating on other islands worldwide,” said Tim Doherty, one of the authors of the paper.
Cats have been implicated in the extinction of at least 20 species of mammal in Australia and are currently hunting at least 16 globally-threatened species and 12 others classed as near-threatened.
The planned containment of pet cats is meant to contribute to the crackdown on their feral cousins in Australia. The domestic animals would not be able to hunt endangered species and would also not fall victim to poisonous baits that would be used to kill the feral ones.
Strict containment rules were in place since 2005 in 12 suburbs adjacent to nature reserves in the capital city, Canberra, in southeastern Australia, the Herald said, and an expert report recommended the Australian Capital Territory government to expand it across the territory.
However there are concerns that such confinement may harm some of the pets.
“Some cats are very stressed when they are confined, it can actually induce behavioral issues and some physical problems as well,” vet Michael Archinal told the newspaper.
The problems may include bladder issues and anxiety, as access to the wild provides cats with mental stimulation and a chance to exhibit behavior like scratching and marking, which owners would often not tolerate at home.