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The winners and the losers

Published: Saturday, March 9 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Loser: If you thought all those storms in February were good for the water supply, think again. The valleys got hammered this winter, but the mountains didn't get as much as usual. That means tough times ahead for water managers, as reservoirs around the state remain low. In addition, the forecast is for a drier than normal spring. Officials with the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake and Sandy said it isn't time to panic. Reservoirs carry enough water to last several years, and two years ago the state had a wet year. Still, this year's dry outlook should be a reminder to everyone that it's never OK to waste water in the deserts of Utah.

Winner: The stock market passed its previous all-time high this week, in terms of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Although, when inflation is counted, it hasn't quite yet reached the level it enjoyed in 2007, it's close. The market surged this week in spite of — or perhaps, in part, because of — the automatic "sequestration" budget cuts that took effect in Washington. Coupled with a jobs report that showed the nation's unemployment rate falling to 7.7 percent, this was a good week for economic indicators. Great news, huh? Which is why we want to be the word of caution. Surging stock markets often lead to market corrections. We applaud the improvement of things generally. Now is not the time, however, for the sort of irrational exuberance that characterized life a decade ago.

Loser: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be a madman, or he may just be so desperate for attention he is making a lot of noise in hopes of being taken seriously. In either case, the United States can't afford to take his threats lightly. Kim's threat this week to launch a nuclear attack on the United States probably exceeds his current technological abilities, but his decision to end a hotline and a nonaggression pact with South Korea is disturbing. The good news is the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose tougher sanctions on Kim. That means his long-time friend China was onboard with that decision, too. It was this vote that led to Kim's outburst. This is a good illustration as to why it is important not to let certain nations obtain nuclear weapons.

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