An Arms Race Toward Global Instability



-- this post authored by Omar Lamrani

The United States is gearing up once more for a struggle between giants. On Jan. 19, the Pentagon released a new National Defense Strategy, the first in 10 years, in which it called strategic competition the 'central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security' as Russian and Chinese military capabilities expand. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis echoed that concern Feb. 2 in the preface of the Nuclear Posture Review, arguing that the United States could no longer afford to pursue a policy of nuclear arms reduction given the steady growth of the Chinese and Russian nuclear arsenals. The U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Review, due for publication soon, is expected to emphasize the same key points, namely that the United States should bolster its missile defenses to better repel threats as strategic competition builds.

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What We Read Today 23 February 2018

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary 'reading list' which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for 'reading list' items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published Monday through Friday in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).


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The Euro Area Needs A Fiscal Union

from the International Monetary Fund

-- this post authored by Helge Berger, Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, and Maurice Obstfeld

The euro area is experiencing a robust recovery, but the architecture supporting Europe's currency union remains incomplete and leaves the region vulnerable to future financial crises.

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Infographic Of The Day:The Top Tourist Attraction In Every Country

Even as early as a decade ago, if you were backpacking in a foreign place, it was not uncommon to rely on the wisdom printed in travel guides such as Lonely Planet or Rick Steves to choose your day-to-day activities.

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Video of the Day:

Drone video shows the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp as it is today - 70 years after it was liberated by Soviet troops. The camp in Poland is now maintained as a World Heritage Site and is visited by thousands of tourists and survivors every year. Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans during World War II. More than a million people - the vast majority of them Jews - died there between 1940, when it was built, and 1945, when it was liberated by the Soviet army.

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Current Weather Outlook

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It has not yet reached crisis levels but a severe drought is impacting many states including Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. Arizona and Southern California have also been impacted but they are likely to receive relief soon. This drought raises the risk of significant impacts to farming and ranching. Thus until the situation improves, we will be providing updates of the Drought Monitor which is issued each Thursday. The extreme cold in Canada has also had impacts on agriculture there. Although our focus is on the U.S., we will be reporting also on the situation Worldwide.

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The American Public Has Power Over The Gun Business - Why Doesn't It Use It?

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Brian DeLay, University of California, Berkeley

As teenagers in Parkland, Florida, dressed for the funerals of their friends - the latest victims of a mass shooting in the U.S. - weary outrage poured forth on social media and in op-eds across the country. Once again, survivors, victims' families and critics of U.S. gun laws demanded action to address the never-ending cycle of mass shootings and routine violence ravaging American neighborhoods.

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 USA economy at a glance (boxed items are updates in last 7 days)

16 February 2018: ECRI's WLI Growth Index Rate Again Marginally Declines

ECRI's WLI Growth Index which forecasts economic growth six months forward remains in expansion. ECRI released their lagging index this week also/

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