Archive | International Media Resource Articles

Gold sees biggest drop in seven years on rising U.S. yields – by Justina Vasquez (Bloomberg News – August 11, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

The rally that pushed gold to record heights above US$2,000 an ounce has come to an abrupt halt, with the haven metal heading for the biggest drop in seven years after bond yields spiked higher.

Treasuries and European bond yields climbed, cutting into the negative real rates that had supported the metal. The 10-year Treasury yield jumped the most since June ahead of an expected flood of government and corporate debt issuance. U.S. producer prices increased faster than expected.

“Today real rates clearly moved higher and that’s clearly what moved gold lower,” Michael Widmer, head of metals research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said by phone from London. “You had stronger PPI data out and I think when that data came out the market had another look at rates and expectations.” Continue Reading →

‘Hell To Pay’ Sheds New Light On A-Bomb Decision (NPR.org – January 16, 2020)

https://www.npr.org/

The atomic bombs that ended World War II killed — by some estimates — more than 200,000 people. In the decades since 1945, there has been a revisionist debate over the decision to drop the bombs.

Did the U.S. decide to bomb in order to avoid a land invasion that might have killed millions of Americans and Japanese? Or did it drop the bomb to avoid the Soviet army coming in and sharing the spoils of conquering Japan? Were the prospects of a land invasion even more destructive than the opening of the nuclear age?

D.M. Giangreco, formerly an editor for Military Review, has taken advantage of declassified materials in both the U.S. and Japan to try to answer those questions. He talks with NPR’s Scott Simon about his new book, Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947. Continue Reading →

Why the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima – by Ryan Browne and Scottie Andrew (CNN.com – August 6, 2019)

https://www.cnn.com/

(CNN)On this date 74 years ago, the US dropped the first of two atomic bombs on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing more than 70,000 people instantly. A second bomb followed three days later over Nagasaki and killed 40,000 more.

The US remains the only country to ever use an atomic bomb in war.
The nuclear warfare ushered in the end of World War II and a devastating chapter in world history. Here’s what you need to know about the attacks and how Hiroshima honors those who died.

Where is Hiroshima?

The city is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture located in southwestern Japan on the island of Honshu. Continue Reading →

NUCLEAR: The forgotten mine that built the atomic bomb – by Frank Swain (BBC.com – August 3, 2020)

https://www.bbc.com/

The Congo’s role in creating the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was kept secret for decades, but the legacy of its involvement is still being felt today.

“The word Shinkolobwe fills me with grief and sorrow,” says Susan Williams, a historian at the UK Institute of Commonwealth Studies. “It’s not a happy word, it’s one I associate with terrible grief and suffering.”

Few people know what, or even where, Shinkolobwe is. But this small mine in the southern province of Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), played a part in one of the most violent and devastating events in history. Continue Reading →

The Attack On Indigenous Rights In Brazil – OpEd – by Yanis Iqbal (Eurasian Review – August 11, 2020)

https://www.eurasiareview.com/

On 5 August, 2020, the Brazilian Supreme Court ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to institute measures aimed at protecting indigenous people from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This ruling is the legal recognition of the totally disastrous anti-indigenous policies of the Bolsonaro government. Like other indigenous people living in the Peruvian jungles, eastern Bolivia, the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Colombian Amazon, Brazilian collectivities too have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 23,000 members of 190 indigenous groups in the Amazon basin have been infected by the virus and all of these communities share a commonality – they suffer from structural inequalities. Continue Reading →

BHP urges more power for Indigenous groups after Rio cave blast disaster – by Hamish Hastie and Nick Toscano (The Age – August 11, 2020)

https://www.theage.com.au/

The nation’s largest miner, BHP, says Indigenous groups should have a greater say over projects endangering significant sites on their ancestral land following Rio Tinto’s destruction of 46,000-year-old rock shelters in Western Australia.

In a submission to a federal inquiry into the blasting of the Juukan Gorge site by rival Rio, BHP said heritage-protection laws covering mining operations in WA’s iron ore-rich Pilbara were weighted too far in favour of resources companies.

BHP said it supported enshrining traditional owner consultation requirements for disturbing land into new state laws, and the introduction of rights for traditional owners to appeal decisions after they are granted. Continue Reading →

The Unraveling of America – by Wade Davis (Rolling Stone – August 6, 2020)

https://www.rollingstone.com/

Wade Davis holds the Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia.

Never in our lives have we experienced such a global phenomenon. For the first time in the history of the world, all of humanity, informed by the unprecedented reach of digital technology, has come together, focused on the same existential threat, consumed by the same fears and uncertainties, eagerly anticipating the same, as yet unrealized, promises of medical science.

In a single season, civilization has been brought low by a microscopic parasite 10,000 times smaller than a grain of salt. COVID-19 attacks our physical bodies, but also the cultural foundations of our lives, the toolbox of community and connectivity that is for the human what claws and teeth represent to the tiger.

Our interventions to date have largely focused on mitigating the rate of spread, flattening the curve of morbidity. There is no treatment at hand, and no certainty of a vaccine on the near horizon. The fastest vaccine ever developed was for mumps. Continue Reading →

South Africa’s platinum miners, reeling from years of curtailed investments, take blow from coronavirus pandemic (South China Morning Post/Bloomberg – August 9, 2020)

https://www.scmp.com/

South Africa’s gold industry has been dying slowly for years. As the coronavirus undercuts the already fragile case for investment, its platinum mines may be next.

Beset by power and water shortages, alongside whipsawing government policies, South African producers have cut spending over the past decade on mines responsible for 75 per cent of global platinum supply.

The virus is accelerating that trend, damping demand for the catalytic converters that are the largest users of the metal, while stimulus packages push carmakers to speed a shift to electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

What Trump got wrong by pushing coal – by Carolyn Kissane (The Hill – August 9, 2020)

https://thehill.com/

While campaigning in Columbus, Ohio, in March 2016, Hillary Clinton said something that she later cited as the comment she “regret[s] the most” from her presidential run.

Clinton announced that she would put coal miners and companies out of business if she became president. Her comments likely cost her significant support across the coal-mining states of Ohio, Kentucky, Wyoming, Montana and Pennsylvania.

In the end, it wasn’t Clinton who put the hurt on coal country but instead the rapidly declining costs of renewable energy, especially solar and wind, uber-cheap natural gas and an array of states and cities with ambitious climate change action plans requiring sharp reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Continue Reading →

Legacy of Canada’s role in atomic bomb is felt by northern Indigenous community – by Geoffrey Bird (The Conversation – August 9, 2020)

https://theconversation.com/

Geoffrey Bird is Professor of heritage, culture, and tourism at Royal Roads University.

As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a little known part of the legacy is the impact on the Délı̨nę First Nation of the Northwest Territories. I explore their stories in the film A Moral Awakening, which is available online.

This heritage connects Indigenous people, Canadians and people all over the world who are concerned with peace, reconciliation and social justice. The film contributes to understanding of the global impact of nuclear weapons and its contested history.

But the main goal of A Moral Awakening is to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of the people of Délı̨nę, a story long silenced. Continue Reading →

Tommy Knockers and the coal mines: A PA legend – by Emma Downey (North Central PA.com – August 8, 2020)

https://www.northcentralpa.com/

The coal mines of Pennsylvania were dark, dirty, and deadly. Among the many stories, folksongs, and superstitions of the coal miners comes the legend of a curious creature: The Tommy Knocker.

Tommy Knockers pronounced “knacker,” were described as small, little men who worked alongside the miners inside the mines. The creatures were known to be mischievous, described as stealing miners’ tools or food, but also benevolent helpers.

The creatures were blamed for missing tools and stolen items as well as saving the lives of many miners. The miners believed the creatures would “knock” on the side of the mine to warn miners of an impending collapse. Continue Reading →

Life in Kyrgyzstan’s once-booming uranium mining town, where the past poisons the future – by Liza Premiyak (The Calvert Journal – August 10, 2020)

https://www.calvertjournal.com/

Mailuu-Suu is a small town in southern Kyrgyzstan, secretly built by the Soviets in the 1950s. The uranium extracted there from the surrounding mountains between 1946 and 1968 was reportedly used to create the first atomic bomb for the Soviet nuclear programme.

But improperly managed, the mines also heralded environmental catastrophe. In 1958, a dam failure caused nuclear waste to collapse into the area’s water system.

Even when operations were running smoothly, nuclear waste was often hastily disposed of close to the town. Much of it remains. Today, earthquakes and landslides pose an ever present threat to the town’s uranium dumps. Continue Reading →

The Dirty Secrets Of ‘Clean’ Electric Vehicles – by Tilak Doshi (Forbes Magazine – August 2, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

The widespread view that fossil fuels are “dirty” and renewables such as wind and solar energy and electric vehicles are “clean” has become a fixture of mainstream media and policy assumptions across the political spectrum in developed countries, perhaps with the exception of the Trump-led US administration.

Indeed the ultimate question we are led to believe is how quickly can enlightened Western governments, led by an alleged scientific consensus, “decarbonize” with clean energy in a race to save the world from impending climate catastrophe.

The ‘net zero by 2050’ mantra, calling for carbon emissions to be completely mitigated within three decades, is now the clarion call by governments and intergovernmental agencies around the developed world, ranging from several EU member states and the UK, to the International Energy Agency and the International Monetary Fund. Continue Reading →

New Documentary Film, ‘Juice,’ Challenges Elitism Of Anti-Growth Environmentalism – by Micheal Shellenberger (Forbes Magazine – August 7, 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” Green Book Award Winner, and author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All (Harper Collins, June 30, 2020).

The root cause of climate change, say many activist leaders, is economic growth. “How dare you!” Greta Thunberg told the United Nations last September “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth!”

And yet it was economic growth that lifted Thunberg’s ancestors out of agrarian poverty, raised life expectancy from 40 to 70 years, and liberated women and girls from feudal patriarchy.

Without Sweden’s economic growth, and the fossil fuels upon which it depended, the person who is Greta Thunberg would not exist. Continue Reading →

Russian indigenous peoples call on Elon Musk not to buy battery metals from Nornickel – by Thomas Nilsen (The Baren Observer – August 7, 2020)

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/

The company that recently made international headlines for causing environmental disasters on the Taimyr Peninsula by spilling 20,000 tons of diesel fuel into a river in the fragile Arctic ecosystems is under increased pressure.

In a letter to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, the Aborigen Forum urge him not to buy nickel, copper and other products from Nornickel until the company conducts a full and independent assessment of the environmental damage caused by its production.

This week, The Barents Observer could tell the story about dying tree leaves caused by massive air-pollution over a several square kilometers large area near Nornickel’s smelters in Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula. Continue Reading →