Two different viruses will lay millions low this winterIT HAS taken seven months for the vaccine intended to protect people from the potentially deadly H1N1 strain of influenza to start trickling onto pharmacy shelves. The first doses are now being made available in America. Supplies will remain limited for months to come. In the meantime, the vaccine—both the killed version that is injected and the attenuated live version that is given as a nasal spray—is being rationed to those reckoned most in need.That means children, pregnant women, nursing staff and those who could easily inf
ect other vulnerable groups—especially infants and people with weakened immune systems. Strangely, the new H1N1 strain of virus does not strike the elderly anything like as much as seasonal flu does. This relative immunity—the opposite of what normally happens each winter—suggests that they may have been exposed to something similar in the past. ...
U.S. stocks were expected to open lower Friday after General Electric posted lower-than-expected revenue and Bank of America reported a worse-than-expected loss.
The Dow carved out another one-year high Thursday as rising oil prices and a late-session rally overshadowed bank sector caused by Citigroup's and Goldman Sachs' profit reports.
It looks simpler from across the ChannelTWEAK history a bit. Imagine that in 1940 Hitler and Stalin divide Britain between them. Both occupying powers behave abominably but in different ways. After a rigged election, Scotland is declared part of the Soviet Union. Stalin imposes a one-party state and planned economy with a terrifying secret-police apparatus, liquidating normal life and decapitating the country. Tens of thousands of people—lawyers, teachers, businessmen, priests, journalists, and even philatelists—are woken in the small hours, given ten minutes to pack and then depor
ted to slave labour camps in northern Norway. Few ever return.South of the border, the Nazi military dictatorship rounds up England’s Jews, supported by local anti-Semitic collaborators. Industry is commandeered by the Nazi war machine. Anti-Nazi activity is lethal; thousands are shipped off to work as forced labourers. Others, disgracefully, even volunteer as concentration-camp guards and for auxiliary police battalions in the hope of gaining privileges or settling scores. Life is dire, but for most of the non-Jewish population it is much less awful than in the Scottish Soviet Socialist Republic. ...
U.S. stocks were poised for a flat open Thursday, as investors paused for breath after pushing the Dow above the 10,000 mark and turned their focus to bank earnings.
The Dow industrials closed above 10,000 Wednesday, ending at the key psychological milestone for the first time in more than a year, following upbeat profit reports from Intel and JPMorgan Chase.
In praise of insulation and thermostatsA DELUGE of information, computer modelling, policy suggestions and rhetoric is swamping the mind—and desk—of your correspondent in the run-up to the climate-change talks taking place in Copenhagen in December. But the simple message contained in one report is so stark that it caught his attention. On October 7th the International Energy Agency released an excerpt of its “World Energy Outlook 2009” that highlights the difference individuals can make.The excerpt addresses the agency’s “450 scenario”—its view
on the stable atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (450 parts per million) that will halt climate change—and looks at a range of potential contributions to cuts in emissions that could be made by producing power differently and using energy more efficiently. The effects of these different technologies and strategies are popularly called “wedges”, because a graph showing how they effect carbon emissions over time is invariably wedge-shaped. ...
Treasury prices rose Tuesday as a weak dollar encouraged overseas investors to buy U.S. debt.
Wall Street wobbled Tuesday as weakness in the financial sector and disappointment about Johnson & Johnson's weaker revenue report trumped the impact of a weak dollar and higher commodity prices.
Brazil envy is rife in Latin America’s other big economyWHEN Brazil was not only included but named first among the BRICs, the widely used acronym for the leading emerging economies, Mexican business leaders protested that their country should also have been there. Well, maybe. But adding an "M" to the initial letters of Brazil, Russia, India and China would have made the name much less catchy (MBRICs? BRIMCs?). And the man who coined the acronym in 2001, Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs, has said that Mexico (along with South Korea) was in fact considered, but did not quite fit. Mexic
o’s Brazil-envy is more intense than ever, as this columnist discovered last week in Mexico City. One local business leader said he was optimistic about the economic outlook, but that was because “I choose to be, because I don’t want the alternative—and, besides, next year can’t be any worse than this, can it?” Others mostly seemed worried, predicting several difficult years ahead—except for one bullish entrepreneur who has just started a consulting firm called, appropriately enough, Plan B. ...
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