Stories for May 30th 2009
Defiantly low-tech yet accurate to the second, Big Ben is having its 150th birthday Sunday, its Victorian chimes carrying the sound of Britain into the 21st century.
Climate change is killing about 315,000 people a year through hunger, sickness and weather disasters, according to a new report. The report, commissioned by the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF) and released on Friday, said the the annual death toll is expected to rise to half a million by 2030.
New apartment building construction in Santiago de Chile is down by 14.6% since October 2008, according to the latest figures from real estate agency Collect GFK.
Last fall there were 560 housing projects underway, but as of April that number is down to 461, including 166 projects on hold.
Construction in Argentina fell 3% in April year-on-year, accumulating a 2.7% decline since the start of the year, the INDEC statistics' bureau reported. Nevertheless, construction activity grew 3.6% from the previous month, according to the agency, which was partly explained by seasonal effects.
Britain stands by its decision to issue postage stamps from the disputed territories of and around the Falkland Islands, according to a letter to the UN secretary-general made public at the United Nations Headquarters in New York this week.
The US economy shrank at an annual pace of 5.7% in the first quarter, a less severe drop than initially reported but still the second-biggest quarterly decline in 27 years, according to the US Commerce Department.
Aerolineas Ándalus will delay the launch of flights between British Overseas Territory Gibraltar and Barcelona, Spain by at least a month because of low demand. The company began selling tickets several weeks ago but few people were buying, reports the Gibraltar Chronicle.
The Euro zone annual inflation rate in the 16-country region fell to 0% in May from April’s 0.6%, according to Euro-stat. Economists said inflation would turn negative in June, --deflation—further complicating the task of the European Central Bank as it attempts to combat the worst economic downturn for half a century.
The Brazilian currency reached its highest level in eight months on Friday as signs that the world economy is bouncing back and there’s a return of capital inflows to emerging markets. Similarly the Bovespa market index rose 12% in May totaling 40% since the beginning of the year.
The task force created by the Organization of American States, OAS, in an attempt to bridge different members’ proposals to consider the readmission of Cuba seems to have stalled with the main actors clearly underlining their stance.