Economic and Social Crisis in Zambia - Copper's Fall at Center

Zambia is a copper-rich African country that just three years ago was the darling of international investors seeking to expand their mineral portfolios. Mining investment - encouraged by privatization of the copper mines in the late 1990s - and the copper price boom that started in late 2008 served to support the sustained economic growth the country had achieved since implementing measures in 2004 to support greater fiscal discipline. Leading multinational mining companies, including Barrick Gold Corp., First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Glencore PLC, have become major investors in Zambia's mining industry. 

Zambia's fortunes have turned, putting it on the path to become the newest "resource curse" story as its economy suffers from the perils of over-dependence on a single commodity and a handful of multinational mining companies.

Leap Day | Myths, statistics, and practical reality

Almost every four years it’s a leap year. Leap years have one extra day due to an astronomical fact about the earth’s revolution around the sun. It takes roughly 365 and one quarter days to go around the sun, however the standard calendar year lasts only 365 days. Were we to ignore the extra quarter of a day, strange things would eventually happen to our seasons - like winter and snow in July. To counteract the accumulation of additional quarters of a day, theGregorian calendar adds an extra day of February 29 nearly every four years.

Until Julius Caesar came to power, people observed a 355-day calendar - with an extra 22-day month every two years. But it was a convoluted solution to the problem and feast days began sliding into different seasons. So Caesar ordered his astronomer to simplify things. Astronomer opted for the 365-day year with an extra day every four years to scoop up the extra hours. This is how the 29 February was born.