Thousands of protesters angry at pandemic-related restrictions marched to European Union headquarters in Brussels on Saturday and had minor tussles with police over their unauthorized gathering. The crowd initially assembled in a Brussels park for a party designed to flout Belgium’s COVID-19 rules and a related gathering calling for Europeans to claim back their freedom. Participants then marched to the district of the Belgian capital that houses key EU buildings.
(Bloomberg) — Iran started its first transfer of crude oil via its strategic Goreh-Jask pipeline, allowing the country to bypass the Strait of Hormuz, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.The oil passed through the pipeline’s second pump house and reached a facility near the port of Jask, IRNA said, without giving any details on the size or volume of the transfer.Earlier this month the state-run National Iranian Oil Co. said it had started injecting crude into the pipeline and that oil shipments from the Jask region on the Gulf of Oman coast will start next month, adding that the 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) conduit will be officially opened by President Hassan Rouhani in the near future.Iran to Start Oil Exports From Port Skirting Troubled StraitMost of Iran’s energy exports currently pass through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow shipping channel on the Persian Gulf that was plunged into crisis after former President Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal and reinforced sanctions on Iran’s oil sector and wider economy.Oil markets are closely watching talks between Iran and world powers to revive that accord and remove a raft of U.S. sanctions from the Islamic Republic’s energy sector and wider economy, helping it reinstate millions of barrels of exports.Earlier this month Rouhani said negotiators had already accepted that sanctions on Iran’s oil, shipping, insurance and banking industries will be lifted, triggering a drop in oil prices.Iran Gears Up for Return to Oil Market as U.S. Talks Advance (1)(Updates with background and more context.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
One of the fastest-warming regions of the U.S. is the Southwest — and that region, plus the broader West, is stuck in its most expansive and intense drought of the 21st century.Why it matters: Studies show that a warming climate is exacerbating the drought, and in some ways may be triggering it in the first place. That means the Southwest is drying out — and California’s large wildfires could start as soon as next month.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeAnd one climate researcher says California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains saw one of the fastest snow melt-outs in history this year. The drought situation is particularly severe in the Colorado River Basin and northern California. Scientists and public officials are warning that the California wildfire season is likely to be severe, due to the combination of dry vegetation and above-average temperatures. This one comes on the heels of the worst fire season in state history, which turned the skies above San Francisco a “Blade Runner” orange last year. The big picture: Some parts of the world are already getting close to, or have slipped beyond, the Paris agreement’s temperature limit that scientists warned about in a report last week. As Earth’s temperatures tick upwards, closer to the Paris guardrail of 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels, some parts of the world are already warming by much greater amounts, from the Southwestern U.S. to the Arctic. These areas are seeing destructive impacts that are mounting. Details: California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains show what climate change can do as it worsens. The mountain snowpack, which provides 30% of the state’s water supply annually, has vanished about two months ahead of schedule. Water runoff from snow melt has been paltry, and major reservoirs like Lake Oroville are running even lower than they did during the record drought from 2012-2016.Climate change is playing a key role in the drought, by boosting temperatures and increasing the loss of water to the atmosphere. Much of the snow went directly from frozen form back into the air, rather than melting into runoff.Warming is also thought to be leading to increasing chances of dry fall seasons in the Golden State and shortened rainy seasons, according to Daniel Swain, a climate researcher at UCLA and the Nature Conservancy.Craig Clements, who studies wildfires at San Jose State University, warns that large wildfires typically not seen until late summer in California could occur this year as early as June. Vegetation is at near record dry levels for this time of year, he said. “We are starting off in a more dire situation than we typically would for June,” Clements told Axios.Context: The worsening drought and potentially devastating wildfire season is not an isolated occurrence for California and other Southwestern states. Climate studies have consistently shown that as the world continues to warm, the Southwest will become drier and hotter. This is worrisome, given the likelihood of increased stress on water resources amid a population boom in states such as Arizona and Nevada.Although it’s interspersed with short intervals of wetter years, parts of the West, including California, are suffering through an emerging, human-caused “megadrought” that began in 2000. Studies show this drought, measured using soil moisture data and tree rings, is the second-worst in the past 1,200 years. What they’re saying: “This current drought has quickly accelerated, and is now on par (if not worse) than the extreme and in some cases record-breaking drought that occurred just 5 years ago in California,” Swain said. What’s next: If the world does not steeply reduce greenhouse gas emissions starting in this decade, more areas will warm to near or above the Paris limits, until the global average arrives at that level as well. This threatens to unleash catastrophic impacts, such as the melting of parts of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. For now, the drought and likely severe wildfire season in the West offer an unfortunate preview of what may come next. Go deeper:Earth may temporarily hit Paris climate limit in next 5 yearsA very, very, very dry future for the U.S. WestDrought stokes fears of severe fire season in WestMore from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson: Lifting the veil on a relationship (and marriage) conducted in secrecy
For a relationship that began under the shroud of rumour and has been conducted largely in private, it was only fitting that the marriage of Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds included the element of secrecy. The world now knows that the Johnsons’ wedding anniversary will forever be May 29 2021. But precisely when their relationship started is a little harder to pin down. Miss Symonds, a Warwick University graduate who instantly progressed through the ranks of the Conservative Party, is thought to have got to know Mr Johnson when she worked on the 2012 Back Boris campaign for his re-election to become mayor of London. After that experience, she developed a habit of praising his speeches on social media.
(Bloomberg) — Peru’s presidential race is tightening a week before the runoff between Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, according to two opinion polls published Sunday ahead of a key candidates’ debate.In a vote simulation conducted by Ipsos and published in El Comercio newspaper, leftist front-runner Castillo would get 51.1% in the June 6 election compared with 48.9% for Fujimori, within the poll’s 2.5-percentage5-percentage5-percentage-point margin of error. Some 20% of voters were still undecided. The poll of 1,517 people was conducted on May 28.A separate survey by Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP) published in La Republica newspaper also showed a statistical tie between the candidates.Those who intend to vote for Castillo fell to 40.3% from 44.8% over the last week, while support for Fujimori grew to 38.3% from 34.4% compared to May 23. Only 6.3% of voters reported being undecided. IEP poll of 1,227 people was conducted by phone May 27-28 and had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.Read More: Peru Tight Runoff Election Holds Risk of Radical DownturnThe candidates are scheduled for a face-to-face debate Sunday evening in Arequipa at 7pm local time. They’ll discuss six topics including health and pandemic response, economy, education, and human rights.Castillo, a former school teacher running with a self-proclaimed Marxist party feared by many investors, is promising to seek more from multinational miners to spend on education and health.Peru’s stock market on Friday posted its largest gains in months and its bonds and currency also rallied as Castillo’s lead narrowed.Fujimori, a former lawmaker who’s narrowly lost two previous runoffs and has been charged with graft, is running on a law and order platform that often invokes her father Alberto Fujimori’s presidency that was marked by clashes with the left-wing rebel group Shining Path.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
For millionaires rushing to take advantage of lower capital-gains tax rates, the Biden administration’s budget proposal says they’ve already missed the boat. On Friday, the Treasury Department’s detailed explanations of President Biden’s $6 trillion budget confirmed the administration is seeking a retroactive effective date on a capital-gains tax rate hike from 20% to 39.6% for the sliver of households making at least $1 million. “This proposal would be effective for gains required to be recognized after the date of announcement,” according to Treasury Department materials released Friday afternoon.
First, as explained immediately below, Roth IRAs have two big advantages over other tax-favored retirement accounts. Second, waiting until next year to do a Roth conversion could result in a higher conversion tax bill. You can take federal-income-tax-free Roth withdrawals after reaching age 59½ as long as you’ve had at least one Roth account open for more than five years.
Financial markets periodically undergo profound sea changes that have little similarity to what came before. Bryan Taylor, chief economist at Global Financial Data, believes we currently are undergoing another of these sea changes. The table also reports for each era the amount by which stocks beat bonds — the so-called equity premium.