US jobs growth points to rate rise; Pollution emergency in Delhi; For Richard Branson, key to success is intention

1 US jobs growth points to rate rise (Ben Morris on BBC) The case for a rise in US interest rates has been bolstered by strong jobs data for October. The economy created 161,000 posts last month and job creation for the months of August and September was revised up.

The unemployment rate edged lower to 4.9%, according to the latest report from the US Department of Labor. The healthy labour market will support the view held by many analysts that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month.

On Wednesday, policy makers at the US Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates on hold, which means rates have not moved in almost a year. The Fed last raised rates, to a range between 0.25% and 0.5%, last December — its first move in almost a decade following the financial crisis.

The body which sets US interest rates, the Federal Open Market Committee, next meets on 13 December for two days. Data released last month showed that the US economy grew at the fastest pace in two years in the three months to the end of September. The world’s largest economy grew at an annual rate of 2.9%, according to the Commerce Department.

2 Pollution emergency in Delhi (Michael Safi in The Guardian) The Indian government has declared severe levels of toxic air pollution in Delhi an “emergency situation” as administrators announce a plan to temporarily shut construction sites and a coal-fired power station to bring the situation under control.

Schools in the capital will be closed for three days and traffic may be rationed, following six days of heavy smog and concentrations of harmful particles so high they cannot be measured by most air quality instruments.

The level of PM2.5 pollutants, which are the most harmful because they can reach deep into the lungs and breach the blood-brain barrier, have reached at least 999 in parts of the city this week, more than 16 times the safe limit of 60.

On Sunday, Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, announced emergency measures aimed at protecting residents, including a five-day ban on construction and demolition, thought to be a major contributor to pollution levels. Bulldozers are to be used to put out fires at the Bhalswa landfill, which constantly smoulders.

A coal-fired power station in Badarpur, south-east Delhi, will stop operating for 10 days, along with diesel generators in the city. Kejriwal has called on neighbouring states to enforce laws against burning agricultural waste. Around this time each year, hundreds of thousands of farmers in Haryana and Punjab set their fields on fire to dispose of crop remnants, sending smoke billowing across India’s northern plains.

The Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based NGO, has said the air quality is the worst the Indian capital had seen in 17 years. Hospitals in the city have reported increased admissions of people suffering respiratory diseases – of which India has the highest rate in the world, with 159 deaths per 100,000 people in 2012, according to the World Health Organisation.

3 For Richard Branson, key to success is intention (Rose Leadem in San Francisco Chronicle) The key to success, according to Richard Branson, is not only productivity and motivation — but intention.

“A day without intention is a day wasted,” the Virgin Group CEO writes in a recent blog post. “Without intention, there can be no productivity, and in turn no success.” Whether you’re simply going on a morning jog or starting a business, Branson writes that intention is the driving force.

Branson has some tips on how you can get started: A. Start every day fresh. Meditation, reading, a quick crossword puzzle — there are plenty of ways to get your mind ready for the day. B. Write your intentions down. C. Use your time wisely.

D. Think ahead. “We cannot change the past, so there’s no point of dwelling on it. The key to being productive is thinking ahead.” 5. Have fun. “As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun,” Branson writes. “Just don’t get side-tracked by having too much fun. Wait. Is too much fun even possible?”


About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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