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posted on 08 September 2015

Early Headlines: China Trade Shrinks, Reserves Flee China, Arctic Oil Bust, Refugees Flood Into Germany, Child Abuse With Marijuana and More

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Early Bird Headlines 08 September 2015

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.



  • Melting Ice Isn't Opening Arctic to Oil Bonanza (The New York Times) Tectonic shifts in the global energy economy, fierce opposition from environmentalists who oppose tampering with the ecologically fragile waters, and formidable logistical obstacles have tempered enthusiasm that only a few years ago seemed boundless. After years of planning and delays, Shell's drilling project in the stormy waters of the Chukchi Sea is now being watched by the industry, officials, residents and critics as a make-or-break test of the viability of production in the Arctic. Russia's preparations for Arctic drilling in the Barents Sea now lie rusting and crumbling. Other efforts elsewhere have also been abandoned. But oil and Arctic are still "fightin' words", see first article under U.S.
  • Study: Are we shifting to fewer, weaker Atlantic hurricanes? (Associated Press) A new but controversial study asks if an end is coming to the busy Atlantic hurricane seasons of recent decades. The Atlantic looks like it is entering in to a new quieter cycle of storm activity, like in the 1970s and 1980s, two prominent hurricane researchers wrote Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience. To follow the latest on global weather patterns read the weekly report by climate and weather economist Sig Silber, most recently a few hours ago.


  • U.S. builds up Arctic spy network as Russia and China increase presence (Los Angeles Times) As China and Russia boost their military presence in the resource-rich far north, U.S. intelligence agencies are scrambling to study potential threats in the Arctic for the first time since the Cold War, a sign of the region's growing strategic importance. Over the last 14 months, most of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have assigned analysts to work full time on the Arctic. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently convened a "strategy board" to bring the analysts together to share their findings. But the region may have less strategic value than previously though - see first article under Global.
  • Parents face child abuse investigations over pot use (Al Jazeera) As marijuana laws loosen, child-welfare agencies are facing greater criticism for their policies surrounding the drug. Some parents have been arrested for using marijuana in the home where children were present, even when the use was legal.


Click for larger image.


  • EU migration: Crisis in graphics (BBC News) Asylum applications in Europe have surged this year - with numbers for Germany and Hungary already exceeding their totals for 2014. Altogether, 438,000 refugees had applied for asylum by the end of July - compared with 571,000 for the whole of last year.



    • Hit by new wave of refugees, Germany warns EU partners (Reuters) Struggling to cope with record numbers of asylum seekers, Germany told its European partners on Monday they too must take in more refugees, as police in Hungary used pepper spray on desperate migrants who broke out of a reception center at the border. Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking after a weekend in which 20,000 migrants entered Germany from Hungary by train, bus and on foot, described the influx as "breathtaking" and tried to reassure German citizens that the crisis was manageable. But she and her vice chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, coupled their message of optimism with a warning to European Union partners who have resisted a push from Berlin, Paris and Brussels to agree quotas for refugees flowing in mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.



    • Migrant crisis: Greece acts over Lesbos 'explosion' fears (BBC News) The Greek government and the UN refugee agency have brought in extra staff and ships to deal with some 25,000 stranded migrants on the island of Lesbos. A processing centre has been also set up on an abandoned football ground to help the migrants to get to Athens. A Greek minister said on Monday Lesbos was "on the verge of an explosion".



    • China trade shrinks in latest sign of economic weakness (Associated Press) Chinese exports and imports contracted in August in the latest sign of weakness for the world's second-biggest economy. Customs data posted online Tuesday showed that shipments of goods last month shrank 5.5% in dollar terms compared with a year earlier while imports tumbled by 13.8%. Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics predicted that trade growth would improve over the next few months because August's figures were hit by disruption from a massive explosion at the busy Tianjin port and government enforced factory shutdowns in the run-up to a huge military parade in Beijing last week.
    • China forex reserves slump by record $93.9B in August (CNBC) The drop left market watchers questioning how sustainable China's efforts to support the yuan are, as capital flows out of the country due to fears of an economic slowdown and prospects of rising U.S. interest rates.

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