The sacks of grain falling from the sky are the first food aid the people of Dablual have seen in months since fighting cut the South Sudanese village off in April.
Here in the northern battleground state of Unity, fighting in South Sudan’s 19-month civil war has escalated since April, with government and rebel forces accused of burning people alive, gang rape and recruiting large numbers of child soldiers.
“We want peace, we are really suffering… anytime they can come, kill children, rape the women, burn the children – those in the houses they burnt them alive,” said David, recounting what government forces did when they attacked his village of Koch.
People here survived by retreating into the rebel-held enclave then fishing in rivers or gathering water lilies from the swamps. Their farms have been destroyed, livestock stolen and grain stores ransacked.
Scores of their neighbours were killed in the fighting, they say, while others died of disease, sickness or hunger.
“Life is very bad, my cows were all taken by government forces. Here there is no food at all,” said David, one of around 30,000 people here who fled intense fighting to this remote and already hugely overstretched village.
“The food security situation is alarming,” according to the United Nations with “nearly 70 percent” of the country’s population – 7.9 million out of 11.6 million people -? expected to face hunger during the current rainy season.
South Sudan’s civil war began in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that has split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.
Tens of thousands have died in the war, according to the UN, but no official death toll has been kept.
Pressure is once again mounting on the warring leaders to strike a deal.
- From joy to despair -
US President Barack Obama, who wrapped up a two-nation Africa tour Tuesday, has focused attention on South Sudan, holding talks with regional leaders in Ethiopia and raising the issue in an address to the African Union.
“The joy of independence has descended into the despair of violence,” Obama said of Africa’s newest nation which broke free from Sudan in 2011.
“Neither Mr Kiir not Mr Machar have shown any interest in sparing their people from this suffering or in reaching a political solution,” Obama said. He promised to “raise the costs of their intransigence” if a regionally imposed August 17 deadline for a peace agreement is not met.
Despite so far failing to halt the fighting, the east African regional bloc IGAD remains the best bet for a peace deal, analysts say.
“The coming weeks will require concerted international action, coordinated with IGAD, to take the final, necessary steps to secure an agreement,” the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank said in a report Monday.
The group described the initiative as “the last, best chance for peace”.
For those struggling for survival in the swamplands of Dablual, an end to fighting cannot come soon enough.
“The government took away all my cattle and burnt my houses, and killed some of my relatives,” said Nayluak, a mother of seven who depends almost entirely on UN handouts to survive.
“I call on the government and the rebels to sign for peace and end our suffering,” she said.
In Dablual, World Food Programme (WFP) planes – too big to land in the swamplands here – made their first drop for months. WFP country chief Joyce Luma called the situation “desperate”.
The UN has warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe”, with this area just one step away from famine.
At the end of a four-day visit last week UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien spoke of the enormous struggles of ordinary South Sudanese he had met.
“They have lost husbands, wives and children. Their homes and livelihoods have been destroyed,” said O'Brien. “Women and girls have been targeted throughout the conflict, they have been beaten, abducted, raped and set on fire.”
India, assalto a posto polizia nel Punjab: almeno 10 morti
Nuova Delhi 27 lug. (askanews) - E’ salito ad almeno dieci morti, fra cui tre assalitori, il bilancio delle vittime di un attacco contro un commissariato di polizia a Gunsdaspur, nello Stato indiano del Punjab, nei pressi del confine con il Pakistan, a cui è seguito uno scontro a fuoco durato circa 12 ore. Lo ha reso noto la polizia precisando che fra le vittime figurano oltre ai tre assalitori, tre civili e quattro poliziotti.
Gli assalitori, di cui al momento non si conoscono le generalità né il movente, con indosso uniformi dell'esercito indiano si erano barricati all'interno del commissariato. La sparatoria è terminata solo dopo l'irruzione da parte delle forze speciali indiane all'interno dell'edificio.
Questo genere di attacchi è piuttosto frequente nel vicino Kashmir indiano, rivendicato anche dal Pakistan e a maggioranza musulmana, ma è un evento raro nel Punjab dove la maggior parte della popolazione è sikh. Esiste comunque anche un movimento autonomista sikh, che negli anni Ottanta fece ricorso alla lotta armata per poi tramontare dopo circa un decennio; le autorità indiane hanno tuttavia aumentato le misure di sicurezza lungo il confine pachistano, il che fa ritenere che Nuova Delhi sospetti piuttosto gli estremisti islamici di stanza in Pakistan.
Market Update: Wall Street Analysts Take On CNX Coal Resources
Thermal coal producer CNX Coal Resources LP (NYSE: CNXC) was introduced to the New York Stock Exchange on July 1. The company was formed by CONSOL Energy Inc (NYSE: CNX). The coal producer offered 5 million of its common shares to the public at the price of $15 per unit.
The stock has been up and down since its IPO, but has not moved too much from its initial $15 per common share. Many Wall Street analysts initiated coverage on the new stock Monday:
Goldman Sachs: Neutral and price target of $17.
JP Morgan: Overweight; PT of $18.
Bank of America: Buy; PT of $17.
Citigroup: Buy; PT of $20.
Credit Suisse: Outperform; PT of $22.
Cowen Group: Outperform; PT of $17.
Jefferies Group: Hold; PT of $14.50.
Stifel Nicolaus: Buy; PT of $19.
SUMMARY: 3 Buy, 2 Outperform, 1 Overweight, 1 Neutral, and 1 Hold rating; Price target range $14.50 - $22.00.
China Tanks as Q2 Marches On - Ahead of Wall Street
Monday, July 27, 2015
(This is Mark Vickery covering for Sheraz Mian, who is giving an interview this morning.)
Overnight, Chinese markets suffered their deepest drop since 2007 on measures that appear to test the markets’ buoyancy without relying on government buybacks. Questions about the sustainability of Chinese government funds’ ability to stabilize the market cause a pullback in market support. As a result, the Shanghai index dropped 8.5 percent and the Shenzhen was down 7 percent.
Uncertainty: it’s not just for American markets anymore.
Also, industrial profits in China fell 0.3 percent in June following two strong months, and this added pressure to the Chinese selloff. And since peaking in June, the Shanghai and Shenzhen indexes have toppled 30 percent. Closer to home the impact can already be felt: the largest Chinese ETF has slid 3 percent in pre-market trading this morning.
Unlike in the U.S. and other “mature” markets, the Chinese stock market is much smaller than the Chinese economy as a whole. Only 10-20 percent of domestic household wealth is invested in Chinese stocks.
With the recent boom in the Chinese markets, common knowledge had been that government support would continue keeping Chinese stocks strong. However, with recent lowering economic projections, this test on the stability of the market adds the most amount of uncertainty: can Chinese markets return to growth without relying on the crutch of government investing?
Perhaps these are merely temporary growing pains — things might look up in a big way if losses are relatively minimal; there may be lots of opportunity to get into quality Chinese stocks at bargain prices as long as enough investors believe the Chinese economy — while no longer as robust as it once was — can subsist without major government intervention.
In other news, a major shakeup in the generic pharma world: Teva (TEVA), which had expressed interest in buying out generics maker Mylan (MYL), has changed course and now looks to purchase Allergan’s (AGN) generics business for $40.5 billion. This has sent shares of Mylan down nearly 13 percent in pre-market trading, while Teva shares are up 14 percent and Allergan sees a 7 percent rise in stock value this morning.
Finally, Q2 earnings season marches on this morning, with Norfolk Southern (NSC) reporting before the opening bell and homebuilder AvalonBay (AVB) and insurance majors like PartnerRe (PRE) reporting in the after-market. To see a full analysis, check out Sheraz Mian’s Earnings Preview here.
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Burundi security fired on protesters to 'punish' them: Amnesty
Burundian security forces crushed anti-government demonstrations, including shooting protesters running away from them, to silence those opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza bid for a third-term, a rights group said Thursday.
Non, les boas constricteurs n'étouffent pas leurs proies
Empêcher la circulation du sang de la proie, plutôt que l'étrangler. C'est le mode opératoire du boa constricteur, une espèce de serpents de la famille des boidae, selon des chercheurs américains du Dickinson College de Carlisle, en Pennsylvanie (Etats-Unis), qui ont publié le résultat de leurs travaux, mercredi 22 juillet, dans le magazine Company of Biologists (en anglais).
Les boas constricteurs n'entourent donc pas leurs proies pour les étouffer, comme on l'a longtemps cru, mais les enserrent pour empêcher le sang de circuler. Ensuite, les organes, tels que le cœur, le cerveau et le foie, qui ne sont plus alimentés en sang et donc en oxygène, cessent de fonctionner.
Un arrêt circulatoire provoque la mort
“Le cœur n'a littéralement plus la force de s'opposer à la pression”, décrit au National Geographic (en anglais) Scott Boback, qui a dirigé les recherches. Cet arrêt circulatoire, expliquent les scientifiques, est beaucoup plus efficace, rapide et définitif pour entraîner la mort de la proie que la strangulation.
Pour parvenir à cette conclusion, l'équipe scientifique a enregistré, pour la toute première fois, la pression artérielle et l'activité du cœur de rats (anesthésiés), lorsqu'ils sont étreints par de tels serpents. Ces mesures montrent que le fait de serrer la victime réduit sensiblement la pression artérielle des rongeurs, suffisamment pour provoquer, au bout d'un moment, la mort.
Diluted earnings per share of $1.38 declined 3 percent.
Operating income totaled $1.9 billion, down 11 percent.
Operating ratio of 64.1 percent, up 0.6 points.
Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) today reported 2015 second quarter net income of $1.2 billion, or $1.38 per diluted share, compared to $1.3 billion, or $1.43 per diluted share, in the second quarter 2014.
“Solid core pricing gains were not enough to overcome a significant decrease in demand,” said Lance Fritz, Union Pacific president and chief executive officer. “Total volumes in the second quarter were down 6 percent, led by a sharp decline in coal. Industrial products and agricultural products also posted significant volume decreases. However, we made meaningful progress right sizing our resources to current volumes, and I am encouraged to report that we made these improvements while posting strong safety performance.”
Second Quarter Summary
Operating revenue of $5.4 billion was down 10 percent in the second quarter 2015 versus the second quarter 2014. Second quarter business volumes, as measured by total revenue carloads, declined 6 percent compared to 2014. Volume declines in coal, industrial products, and agricultural products more than offset the growth in automotive and intermodal. Chemicals volume was flat compared to 2014 as growth in base chemicals carloads offset a decline in crude oil shipments. In addition:
Quarterly freight revenue decreased 10 percent compared to the second quarter 2014, as the volume decline, lower fuel surcharge revenue, and negative business mix more than offset core pricing gains.
Union Pacific’s 64.1 percent operating ratio was 0.6 points worse than the second quarter 2014. The operating ratio benefited just under a point from the net impact of lower fuel prices in the quarter.
Other income of $142 million increased $120 million compared to the second quarter 2014. Included in this amount is the previously announced Fremont, California, land sale, which contributed $113 million to pre-tax income, or 8 cents per diluted share to total earnings.
The $1.99 per gallon average quarterly diesel fuel price in the second quarter 2015 was 36 percent lower than the second quarter 2014.
Quarterly train speed, as reported to the Association of American Railroads, was 24.6 mph, about 3 percent faster compared with the second quarter 2014.
The Company repurchased almost 8.0 million shares in the second quarter 2015 at an aggregate cost of $834 million.
Summary of Second Quarter Freight Revenues
Automotive up 3 percent
Chemicals down 1 percent
Intermodal down 5 percent
Agricultural Products down 7 percent
Industrial Products down 14 percent
Coal down 31 percent
“While the volume outlook remains uncertain, we remain laser focused on operating safely and efficiently no matter what the market environment. We will continue to reduce costs and improve productivity as we further align resources with demand,” Fritz said. “Longer term, we continue to be optimistic about the strengths of our diverse rail franchise.”
ABOUT UNION PACIFIC
Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (UNP). One of America’s most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain. From 2005-2014, Union Pacific invested more than $31 billion in its network and operations to support America’s transportation infrastructure. The railroad’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers, operates from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways. Union Pacific provides value to its roughly 10,000 customers by delivering products in a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.
This presentation and related materials contain statements about the Corporation’s future that are not statements of historical fact, including specifically the statements regarding the Corporation’s expectations with respect to economic conditions and demand levels; and its ability to generate financial returns, improve network performance and cost efficiency, and provide returns to its shareholders. These statements are, or will be, forward-looking statements as defined by the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements also generally include, without limitation, information or statements regarding: projections, predictions, expectations, estimates or forecasts as to the Corporation’s and its subsidiaries’ business, financial, and operational results, and future economic performance; and management’s beliefs, expectations, goals, and objectives and other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts.
Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times that, or by which, such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking information, including expectations regarding operational and financial improvements and the Corporation’s future performance or results are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in the statement. Important factors, including risk factors, could affect the Corporation’s and its subsidiaries’ future results and could cause those results or other outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Information regarding risk factors and other cautionary information are available in the Corporation’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2014, which was filed with the SEC on February 6, 2015. The Corporation updates information regarding risk factors if circumstances require such updates in its periodic reports on Form 10-Q and its subsequent Annual Reports on Form 10-K (or such other reports that may be filed with the SEC).
Forward-looking statements speak only as of, and are based only upon information available on, the date the statements were made. The Corporation assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information. If the Corporation does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that the Corporation will make additional updates with respect thereto or with respect to other forward-looking statements. References to our website are provided for convenience and, therefore, information on or available through the website is not, and should not be deemed to be, incorporated by reference herein.
"المجتمعات العمرانية" تطرح ١٣ مناقصة في ٦ مدن جديدة
تطرح هيئة المجتمعات العمرانية الجديدة خلال اليومين المقبلين، ١٣ مناقصة عامة فى ٦ مدن جديدة، لتنفيذ أسواق تجارية ومركز طبي، ومركز شباب وإنارة طرق فى إطار تنمية هذه المدن.
وقال المهندس أمين غنيم، رئيس جهاز مدينة العبور، إنه سيتم طرح تنفيذ أعمال إنشاء مركز طبي بالقطعة رقم (20) بالمحلية (2) بالحي الثاني، بالمدينة، وذلك فى مناقصة عامة بين الشركات المسجلة بالإتحاد المصري لمقاولي التشييد البناء.
وأشار المهندس عصام بدوي، رئيس جهاز تنمية مدينة العاشر من رمضان، إلى أنه سيتم طرح ٥ مناقصات عامة بين الشركات المسجلة بالإتحاد المصرى لمقاولى التشييد والبناء، لتنفيذ ٥ أسواق تجارية نماذج مصغرة غرب وجنوب الحي العاشر، وبالمجاورة (28) بالحى الرابع بالمرحلة الأولى، وبالمنطقتين ٤ و٥ بالحي ١٦.
وأضاف بدوي :“ سيتم أيضًا طرح تنفيذ أعمال الطرق والميادين والتقاطعات بالطرق الرئيسية والإشارات المرورية، وأعمال مركز الشباب على القطعة رقم 17/2 بالمحور الشرقى للخدمات بالمرحلة الرابعة”.
وأوضح المهندس محمد عاشور، رئيس جهاز تنمية مدينة السادات، أنه سيتم طرح أعمال تشغيل وحراسة شبكات الإنارة للمناطق السكنية (23،15) ومناطق مشروع ابني بيتك (20،19،18،16)، فى مناقصة عامة بين الشركات المسجلة بالإتحاد المصرى لمقاولى التشييد والبناء.
ولفت المهندس أحمد عمران، رئيس جهاز تنمية مدينة أسيوط الجديدة، إلى أنه سيتم طرح ٣ مناقصات عامة، لتنفيذ عملية شبكات التغذية بالمياه والصرف الصحى لمنطقة جنوب غرب المدينة ، وأعمال صيانة المسطحات الخضراء وماعليها بالحى الثانى، بين الشركات المسجلة بالإتحاد المصرى لمقاولى التشييد والبناء، بينما سيتم طرح أعمال النظافة العامة بالمدينة بالمناطق ( المرحلة العاجلة – إسكان الشباب – الإسكان الحر – الإسكان المطور – الإسكان العائلى الأول والثاني والثالث – منطقة ابني بيتك (5) – محور النصر – محور الثورة – الطريق الدائرى بداية تقاطع ميدان النصر وحتى محور النصر – مدخل من جمال عبد الناصر إلى ميدان النصر – محور وميدان الشباب ) بالإضافة إلى منطقة إسكان المستقبل، وذلك بين الشركات المتخصصة فى هذا المجال.
وأكد المهندس أحمد إبراهيم الدسوقي، رئيس جهاز تنمية مدينة برج العرب الجديدة، أنه سيتم طرح مناقصتين لتنفيذ أعمال إستكمال شبكة إنارة الطرق الرئيسية والفاصلة بين الأحياء السكنية والمناطق الصناعية، وأعمال تأهيل وإصلا محطتى رفع الصرف ( د، هـ).
وذكر المهندس محمود النجدي، رئيس جهاز تنمية مدينة الصالحية الجديدة، أنه سيتم طرح أعمال إحلال وتجديد بعض خطوط شبكة التغذية بمياه الشرب بالمدينة.
A husband shot dead in his Costa Rican paradise, his wife’s murder conviction tossed out. Who killed the Wall Street millionaire? “48 Hours” correspondent Susan Spencer updates the case Saturday, July 25, 2015, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Chinese Travel Agency Rally Led by Ctrip as Traffic Aids Outlook
China’s online travel agencies rallied in New York as a surge in passengers for the nation’s biggest airlines boosted the outlook for profit.
Ctrip.com International Ltd., China’s biggest trip-booking website, climbed 1.4 percent to $72.91 at 3:04 p.m. Elong Inc., whose biggest shareholder is Ctrip, gained for the first time in seven days. Tuniu Corp., which focuses on packaged-tour services, climbed 2 percent. A Bloomberg gauge of the most-traded Chinese companies in the U.S. fell 0.6 percent.
The number of passengers on China’s three biggest airlines jumped the most in two years in the past three months, led by international routes, signaling a boost to the travel agencies’ second-quarter earnings, Shanghai-based 86Research Ltd. said in a note Monday. For Ctrip, airline tickets accounted for 38 percent of revenue in 2014 and 39 percent for the first three months of this year.
“The airlines’ traffic data looked very strong in the second quarter, especially on the international travel side,” Juan Lin, an analyst at 86Research, said in an interview. “While domestic growth would benefit all online travel websites, Tuniu and Ctrip will benefit more than peers from the fast rising overseas trips” because they have a stronger foothold in that market, he said.
Traffic at Air China Ltd., China Southern Airlines Co. and China Eastern Airlines Corp. jumped 12 percent in the second quarter, with a 32 percent increase in international passenger volume, according to 86Research.
Elong, which is 38 percent owned by Ctrip, rallied 3.9 percent to $14.03, the biggest gain since July 9. Tuniu’s American depositary receipts climbed to $16.06. Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd., a Beijing-based online travel search company, added 2 percent to $41.62 in a third day of gains.
ADRs of China Southern, the country’s largest carrier, were little changed. China Eastern advanced 0.5 percent to $44.29. A close at that level would be the highest since June 25.
The Bloomberg China-U.S. Index slid to 125, after climbing 2.5 percent last week, the first gain in a month. The Deutsche X-trackers A-Shares ETF dropped 1.9 percent to $42.64, while the iShares China Large-Cap ETF tracking Hong Kong shares fell 0.5 percent to $42.63, the first decline in three days.
SALEM, Va., July 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Medeco® Security Locks, a high security product manufacturer and ASSA ABLOY Group company located in Salem, Va., has announced the development of an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for the Medeco M3 CLIQ mortise cylinder, with additional EPDs to follow on other Medeco products.
“Medeco has led the security industry in innovation and quality for decades,” said Medeco President Tom Kaika. “We’re now leading efforts to increase transparency and reflect continuous environmental improvement of our products with Environmental Product Declarations.”
An EPD is a standardized way of quantifying the environmental impact of a product or system throughout its life cycle. Declarations include information on energy use and efficiency to raw material acquisition and waste generation. An EPD is created in accordance with standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
“Medeco has already implemented many outstanding green solutions from the manufacturing side,” said Amanda Troise, Medeco Mechanical Product Line Manager and key implementer of Medeco’s sustainability plan. “Publishing an EPD for the Medeco M3 CLIQ cylinder, a top-of-the-line high security product, was a natural ‘next step’ in our sustainability initiative. We now have other EPDs in development and will eventually cover most of Medeco’s product line.”
The value of developing an EPD ranges from promoting transparency to the public to earning business from customers that are concerned about the environment. “Many of our customers need to match the requirements necessary to obtain green building certification, such as LEED,” added Troise. “EPDs contribute to earning points in LEED v4 and offer beneficial third-party validation in our sustainability claims.”
To learn more about Medeco’s sustainability initiative or to download the Environmental Product Declaration, visit www.medeco.com/sustainability.
About Medeco Founded in 1968 and based in Salem, Va., Medeco is a market leader in mechanical and electronic locks and locking systems for security, safety, and control. The company’s customer base includes wholesale and retail security providers, original equipment manufacturers, and institutional, commercial, industrial, and residential end-users. Visit www.medeco.com for additional information.