News24.com | No Day Zero for 2019 – City of Cape Town
Executive deputy mayor Alderman Ian Neilson said on Thursday that dam levels have risen consistently over the last six weeks and the City is already in a much stronger position than it was at the end of winter last year.
News24 reported this week that recent winter rains had pushed the overall level of the City of Cape Town’s supply dams up to 42.7% full on Monday – higher than it was for the same period in 2017 or 2016.
“Provided that adequate water restrictions are maintained, the City is confident that there will be no prospect of reaching Day Zero in 2019,” Neilson announced.
The City has managed to avoid Day Zero in 2018 and is confident it will safely get through summer in 2019. “This is due to the amount of water already in the dams, our intense water demand management programmes, our unrelenting communication, awareness and behavioural change it has effected over the past two years, as well as the continued support and sacrifice of Team Cape Town,” he said.
The drought, however, is still ongoing, and the City also announced that its stringent water re
“While we hope to reduce the current water restrictions in the near future, and the tariffs associated with them, this decision is dependent on national government relaxing restrictions on releases from the water supply system,” Neilson said.
This means that the level 6B water restrictions, which has been in effect since January, will remain in place.
Under the 6B restrictions, water consumption was limited to 50l per person per day in the hope that Day Zero – the day the taps will be closed – can be avoided. Neilson: City in process of reassessing its new water programme, particularly its future water mix and the role of permanent desalination in supply mix. #CapeTownDrought @TeamNews24 — June 28, 2018 Neilson: Good news to share. Dam storage 43.7%. More than 2 months expected winter rainfall ahead of us. Favourable situation: last year dam levels were at 38%. #CapeTownDrought @TeamNews24 — June 28, 2018 We have avoided #DayZero for this year and 2019 says Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson. Halala!!! pic.twitter.com/8nyXHy6edg — Priya Reddy (@Priyared) June 28, 2018 Deputy mayor Ian Neilson to brief the media regarding the #CapeTownDrought . The City of Cape Town will provide a “water overview and assessment”. @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/KpPnzCgS2L — June 28, 2018
Kenya fire: ‘Several dead’ in Nairobi market – BBC News
These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel At least 15 people have been killed in a fire in a market in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, local media say.
More than 50 people were injured in the blaze, which broke out in the middle of the night destroying many properties.
The Gikomba is one of the largest open-air markets in the city and fires there are frequent, leading to speculation about possible arson attacks, The Standard newspaper says.
However, the cause of the current fire is not known. Related Topics
Punk bassist Steve Soto, who played in the Adolescents and Agent Orange, dies at 54
By Associated Press Jun 28, 2018 | 7:30 PM Steve Soto, second from left, founded punk band Adolescents. Other members, from left: Tony Cadena, Frank Agnew Jr., Derek O’Brien and Frank Agnew. (Erin Williams) Steve Soto, who founded punk rock stalwarts the Adolescents and played in a series of bands during nearly 40 years in the Southern California music scene, has died. He was 54.
Adolescents singer Tony Reflex shared the news on the band’s Twitter page . The coroner’s office says Soto died of natural causes Tuesday at home in Orange County. Advertisement
A multi-instrumentalist, Soto played bass in Agent Orange, which he co-founded in 1979. The band was one of the first to combine punk rock and surf music.
He left a year later to start the Adolescents, which went on to release eight albums, including 2018’s “Cropduster,” and recently completed a U.S. tour The band The Adolescents in 1981. Frank Agnew, left, Steve Soto, Casey Royer, Tony Cadena (center front) and Steve Roberts. (The Adolescents Archives)
Soto was also a member of Manic Hispanic and Joyride.
Fellow Orange County rockers The Offspring tweeted that Soto was “an inspiration.” Also, the band Social Distortion tweeted that Soto will go down as “one of the pioneers not only in the Orange County music scene, but the world.” We are devastated by the news of Steve Soto’s passing. He played in so many great bands, was a great bass player, guitar player, & singer, but mostly he was just an honest & sweet guy. He was our hero in the Adolescents and an inspiration to us as musicians. #heartbroken
Nigeria fuel truck blaze kills at least nine – BBC News
Nigeria fuel truck blaze kills at least nine 29 June 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The fuel truck is believed to have lost control after its brakes failed A petrol tanker has caught fire in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, killing at least nine people, officials say.
More than 50 vehicles, including five buses, were set ablaze after the truck lost control and spilled its contents on a busy motorway during rush hour.
The tanker is said to have crashed after its brakes failed.
Fuel explosions are common in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer. Petrol is transported via badly maintained roads and vehicles.
The incident on Thursday occurred at about 17:30 local time (16:30 GMT) on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, one of the main motorways into the city. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The incident occurred during rush hour on a busy motorway
A representative from the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) told the BBC that the tanker lost control as it approached a bridge, and ended up falling on its side.
Petrol then began pouring from the tanker and a fire erupted. The blaze quickly spread from vehicle to vehicle.
Images later showed black smoke rising from the road and the shells of several burnt-out cars. Image copyright Reuters Image caption The Lagos-Ibadan expressway is one of the main routes into Lagos
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said he was “very sad to learn of the tragic loss of lives”.
“Sadly, this seems to be one of the greatest tragedies we have seen in recent times,” he said in a statement.
Government spokesman Kehinde Bamigbetan said it was time “to find ways of ensuring that tankers are driven by drivers who have more responsibility”.
“We need to work more with federal agencies so we don’t have these crises all the time,” he said. Related Topics
The next bear market in stocks will spark a retirement crisis
Almost lost amid the torrent of recent news was a sobering item that will surely have far-reaching consequences.
The U.S. government announced that for the first time since 1982, it is tapping into Social Security trust funds to pay current benefits to recipients and it is dipping into Medicare’s reserves to cover the costs of that program.
The trustees also projected that the trust fund will run out of money by 2034 and that Medicare’s fund for paying costly hospital bills will be depleted by 2026 .
That may ultimately force a cowardly Congress to cut benefits, raise taxes, increase the eligibility age, or some combination of the three. For the 52% of Americans who rely on Social Security for more than half their retirement income and the 25% of retirees who get more than 90% of their income from the program, that would be a disaster.
Read: Fixing Social Security starts with us, the voters
But the 10,000 baby boomers who will turn 65 every single day from now until 2029 face an even broader retirement crisis that could cause big social and political fallout.
Over the next few years, we will almost surely confront a bear market and recession that could decimate even substantial retirement portfolios, not to mention financially dicey state and local pension plans and the federal government itself. And those governments will have few tools to fight it. Consider:
• We are in the 10th year of an economic recovery and bull market in stocks. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.01% has more than quadrupled from its March 2009 bottom, for a compound annual growth rate of 17.5% during that time. Since the S&P 500 has averaged a 10% annual gain over the past 89 years, at some point there has to be a reversion to the mean.
In fact, major investment firms like Morgan Stanley MS, +1.61% Vanguard and Charles Schwab SCHW, -1.13% are increasingly cautious about stocks over the next 10 years. We may not experience a “lost decade,” as we did in the 2000s, but subpar returns—and another bear market—appear highly likely.
• That would mean a big hit even to retirees who have saved and invested well. (The average bear market lasts 15 months and its average decline in stocks is 32%.) Although the booming stock market pushed average balances for IRAs and 401(k)s at Fidelity to $100,000 each earlier this year , that same firm said almost half of boomers won’t be able to afford basic expenses in retirement .
• It also would mean a big hit to state and local government pension funds, which according to Wilshire Consulting had about 65% of their holdings in equities as of 2016 . State and local pension funds had around $4 trillion in assets in 2017 and nearly $1.8 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Managers of those funds now count on returns of over 7% a year. A bear market or years of subpar performance would especially squeeze states like Illinois, Kentucky, Connecticut and New Jersey, which have the biggest liabilities .
Read: This is when U.S. interest payments are projected to match Social Security spending
• The deep corporate tax cuts and go-for-broke spending plans passed by the Republican Congress and signed by President Trump all but guarantees trillion-dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see . This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said total federal debt was on track to be the highest as a percentage of GDP since World War II . As interest rates rise and interest expenses take up a bigger chunk of federal spending, Washington will have much less maneuvering room to make Social Security and Medicare sustainable.
• The Federal Reserve, which has raised short-term rates several times and is just beginning to unwind the nearly $3 trillion it added to its balance sheet to combat the last recession, won’t have many arrows in its quiver to fight the next one. The current federal-funds rate is around 2%, and the Fed projects it will rise to 3.5% by 2020. (It got as high as 6.5% in 2000 and 5.25% in 2007.) That means the central bank won’t have much room to cut rates or buy trillions of dollars of bonds as it did the last time. So, don’t count on a “ Powell put ” to prevent a nasty bear market in the 2020s.
Many retirees have prepared themselves well for whatever the economy and market may bring. But far too many others have not, and their retirement may be in jeopardy if today’s bull market and strong economy become the opposite.
I know we usually manage to survive these things, but it looks like there’s an awful lot to muddle through in the years to come.
Howard R. Gold is a MarketWatch columnist. Follow him on Twitter @howardrgold .
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