News roundup for Tue, Oct 25, 2022

In short:
  • The US to brace for a “tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses.
  • Canada’s nationwide handgun sales ban went into effect.
  • Colorado will recycle wastewater for drinking.
Next US GDP report expected to show growth; Eurozone’s fear of recession accelerating; Global growth forecast to slow in 2023

The US unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, payrolls rose by 263,000, and industrial production rose 0.4% in September. The latest GDP report is due to come out Thursday and is expected to have risen roughly 2.9% between Jul-Sep, according to a tracker from the Atlanta Fed. But inflation will keep weighing on household budgets and businesses.

Flash PMI data suggest US consumer inflation should eventually cool in the coming months, according to S&P Global. Goldman Sachs has put the risk of a recession at 35% in the next 12 months (way below recent predictions), but “[the US economy] does not appear to be on the brink of recession at the moment.” GS warns that shelter and health care inflation will remain “uncomfortably high throughout 2023,” and that might cause the Fed to keep hiking interest rates, eventually causing an unintended recession.

The Eurozone’s business activity slowed faster than expected, and the fear of a severe recession is surging. The manufacturing sector led the losses, but services output also fell for a third consecutive month. The European Central Bank is expected to raise rates by another 0.75 % on Thursday.

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook predicts one-third of the world economy will likely contract this year or next:

Via IMF (click to link for interactive chart).

Bird flu killed 7.3 million US turkeys (almost 4% of total birds) this year. Most producers, retailers, and market analysts don’t think meat cases will be empty this Thanksgiving, but prices will be higher, and options might be limited. More than 85,000 birds were euthanized over avian flu concerns in Quebec.

1 in 10 California households is falling behind on their water bill. Drought restrictions and the replacement and upgrade of aging infrastructure are making water more expensive. The average debt is about $500 per household.

According to a recent study, US food insufficiency spiked by 25% after monthly Child Tax Credits expired.

90% of English schools will run out of money by next year, according to a survey by the National Association of Head Teachers. Higher energy bills and salary raises are cited as the main causes.

The US to brace for a “tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses; Drones started delivering medicines in Utah

Another flu-like outbreak infected 1,000 students and staff in a Virginia high school. Public health officials are bracing for a “tripledemic” (Covid, flu, and RSV).

Drones started delivering medicines in Salt Lake City’s area. The drone company will start servicing communities within a few miles of its distribution center located in South Jordan and promises deliveries within 15 minutes. Interested customers within the Intermountain Healthcare network can start signing up to use the service.

East Australia facing floods for three weeks in a row; Tropical Storm Roslyn killed two in Mexico; Florida swamped with mosquitoes

Mini tornados hit the north of France, and high winds tore through The Netherlands and London:

Cat 3 Hurricane Roslyn made landfall near Puerto Vallarta and killed two people after being downgraded to a tropical storm.

The flood crisis in Australia has entered its third week as heavy rains keep lashing the southeast.

After Hurricane Ian, Florida is dealing with a surge in mosquitoes that can carry the West Nile virus and other diseases. The state, alongside local officials, is spending millions to curb the spread of disease. DeSantis has announced $5 million toward local housing partners to help those impacted by Ian pay down their deductibles. The article also has a list of disaster relief resources. And here’s a FEMA representative explaining why FEMA might reject applications.

Rats fitted with tiny backpacks are being trained to help rescue earthquake survivors. They must first locate the target person, pull a switch on their vest that triggers a beeper, and then return to base, where they are rewarded with a treat. The backpack can allow communication with the victim. HeroRATs will soon be deployed to Turkey.

Russia accusing Ukraine of false flag “dirty bomb” operation; A dozen people charged in spying schemes from China

Russia claims Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb” in Ukraine — the West sees this as a pretext for possible escalation. The DoD is monitoring the situation but sees nothing to indicate that the Russians have made a decision to employ nuclear weapons. A “dirt bomb” is a conventional explosive wrapped around radioactive material. When the bomb explodes, it is not a nuclear detonation but only the normal explosion of something like TNT or other munitions. The difference is that this explosion spreads around a lot of radioactive material, poisoning anyone nearby and rendering the area highly dangerous—perhaps even impassable. The Institute for the Study of War concluded that Russia was “unlikely to be preparing an imminent false-flag dirty bomb attack.” Instead, it might be trying to “slow or suspend Western military aid to Ukraine and possibly weaken the NATO alliance.” Ukraine invited IAEA to check that they were not building a dirty bomb:

Two have been arrested, and a dozen have been charged with spying schemes on behalf of China. Charges include conspiracy to forcibly repatriate PRC nationals, attempted obstruction of criminal prosecution (likely against Huawei), and conspiracy to act as an illegal agent of a foreign country. The UK had recently warned that China was trying to poach ex-RAF jet pilots to train its air force.

The rest

Colorado approved a preliminary plan to reuse wastewater for drinking. Brewing beer, cooking food, and refilling water bottles with recycled wastewater could soon become standard practice in Colorado. Colorado’s water quality agency gave preliminary approval to regulate direct potable reuse. The process typically entails disinfecting wastewater with ozone gas or ultraviolet light to remove viruses and bacteria.

Canada’s nationwide handgun sales ban went into effect. The ban will bar anyone from buying, selling or transferring handguns within Canada, and it will stop people from bringing new handguns into the country.

Brown = lay down. Black = fight back: A woman walking her dog survived a bear attack by punching its nose. You usually want to try and scare away a black bear before it comes too close, but in this case, the attack came as a surprise.

Robots are helping pick strawberries in California amid drought and labor shortage. California produces about 90% of the nation’s strawberries.

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.Paulo Coelho


    • Mike Hill

      Does anyone know what a recession would do to the housing and job market?

      Lets say a recession hits today, in general over the coming months, would mortgage rates go up or down, would house prices go up or down, would job security and pay raises go up or down?

      Wish they taught this kind of stuff in my school.

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      • EzlyAmuzzed Mike Hill

        This is a hard one to answer because every recession looks different, but I’ll tell you what I have been seeing. 

        Rates are being raised by the Feds to slow inflation, however all, including the feds know this can cause a recession. When rates are raised, so do mortgage rates. So with the chicken and the egg, here it’s higher mortgage rates..then recession. However when the inflation rates slow then the raising of rates will slow too.

        Because there are fears of a recession, companies are already enacting hiring freezes, so yes, recession generally means less jobs and less job security. However currently the job market is considered to be doing well.

        The housing market is a wild one to predict. However with the raised rates, and thus raised mortgage rates, less people are buying. This means demand goes down which usually means house prices go down. However the supply of houses is still low currently, thus it’s kinda wild right now. There is some talk of borrowers getting ARM mortgages because of these higher rates…this means they get a lower rate now but that can change, causing foreclosure. This would feed the supply and lower prices, but all that hypothetical scenario is years away.

        What I am seeing currently is people can’t afford the homes they are renting and are having to move into cheaper places, therefore a lot of flux going on there.

        But to put this in perspective, I remember in the late 90s people getting excited for mortgage rates being between 6-7% which is where we are now, it used to be much higher. Also we have been in a bull market for a very long time, recessions just naturally happen and we are long overdue. On the bright side, for those able to invest, a recession is a great time to put money in. But for most of us it is a time to prepare financially and there are a lot of articles on here for that. If you would like to chat it out you can join us on discord, we love talking about these things.

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      • Mike Hill EzlyAmuzzed

        Thank you for your response to my question. It does seem like quite a crazy time that many people haven’t seen in quite a while. I’ve been talking to a lender and they offered an ARM mortgage for the reasons you mentioned but I don’t think it’s worth the risk of potentially raising and then not being able to afford the payment. So many working pieces and ways to finance!

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      • Hardened Mike Hill

        A lot of people lost their homes during the Great Recession because of ARM mortgages.  99 Homes is a well-made movie about what it was like for home owners during that time.

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      • EzlyAmuzzed Hardened

        That was such a strange time to be house shopping then, during the Great Recession. There would be 100 homes available that met criteria, almost always vacant because they were foreclosed on. And almost all were in such bad shape that my husband and I would look at like 8-10 a day to see if it was even worth getting with our agent on.

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    • Hardened

      Ukraine is supposedly going to detonate a dirty bomb to contaminate their own territory?  How is that remotely plausible?

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      • Carlotta SusannaStaff Hardened

        Yeah, no one is believing Putin. And UKR has been smart at inviting IAEA to investigate.

        He’s either bluffing (again) and trying to sow discord among UKR allies (as the Institute for the Study of War said), or (maybe slightly more likely) he’s planning to detonate one himself to try and stop UKR’s counteroffensive (or escalate, which wouldn’t make sense to me–because he doesn’t seem to have the advantage, but who knows).

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