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posted on 04 October 2015

Early Headlines: Mammoth Skeleton, 986 Mass Shootings, Mining The Moon, Russia Intensifies Syrian Strikes, India Foreign Policy Woes, China Food Safety And More

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Early Bird Headlines 04 October 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.



  • Moon Express rockets closer to planned lunar landing (CNBC) Moon Express, a start-up that plans to mine the lunar surface for rare and precious metals, took one step closer to making its moonshot a reality on Thursday, signing a deal with Los Angeles-based Rocket Lab for three robotic lunar craft launches starting in 2017. Econintersect: If rare earth elements are found on the moon will they be called "rare moons"?

  • Google will become Alphabet today (CNN Money) What does this mean? Watch:


  • Why This Surprising Partnership Is Leading the Way for Renewable Energy (Kent Moors, Money Morning) Kent Moors has contributed to GEI. Because of rising security concerns, the Navy, Army, and Air Force are dead set on generating one gigawatt each of their own energy from sources not based on the traditional grid. The Navy wants to accomplish this in the next 18 months. Econintersect: The 21st century will be the energy revolution age.

  • Farmer uncovers 11,000-year-old mammouth (CNN) A Michigan farmer uncovered the skeleton of the now-extinct large elephant relative while digging in his field. About 30 partial skeletons have been discovered to date but this is one of the more complete ones.

  • Mass shootings since Sandy Hook, in one map (Vox) What is a mass shooting? The definition has several variations (which are significantly different). Read the article to try to straighten out which definition(s) you would accept. With the definition of four or more people shot , the map since December 2012 is shown (986 events):

  • In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over. (Twitter) Click to the tweet to see the longest set of replies we have yet seen.

  • This Chart Truly Depicts New, Terrible Trend in Jobs Mess (Wolf Street) Wolf Richter has created an interesting juxtaposition of total employment and unemployment rate in a graph (below). Total employment is determined by the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Household Survey which has a much larger measurement uncertainty than the Enterprise Survey which determines the widely report non-farms payroll number, which was up 142,000 last month. The graph shows employment was actually down (that's right, there were more jobs but fewer people were employed). The problem here is that a loss of 240,000 people employed is a number smaller than the measurement error uncertainty of the Household Survey. There has not been a change in the number of people employed greater than the measurement error since January and it has happened only 6 out of the last 24 months. That being said, the trends are significant and unemployment has been declining at a steady rate, even as the number of employed has been growing at an ever slower rate. That all has to do with the labor force participation rate, which will be a story for another day.



  • Vatican upends Davis affair with news of audience with gays (Associated Press) The Vatican turned the tables Friday on the pope's meeting with Kim Davis: Not only did it distance the pontiff from her claims that he endorsed her stand on same-sex marriage, it said the only "real audience" Francis had in Washington was with a small group that included a gay couple.


  • Syrian crisis: Russia vows to intensify air strikes (BBC News) Russia has pledged to intensify its air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, saying the bombing has significantly weakened the militants. A Russian military official said "panic and desertion" had started among the militants and some 600 "mercenaries" were trying to escape to Europe. However, Britain said Russia's strikes were supporting its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The West says Russia is also hitting non-IS rebels. Moscow denies the claim.


  • 23 years and millions of dollars later, will the Grand Egyptian Museum ever open? (Al Monitor) In 1992, the Egyptian government announced the launch of a project to establish the Grand Egyptian Museum near the pyramids of Giza, in cooperation with the Belgian BESIX Group. The museum would cover a surface area of 117 acres, at an estimated cost of $550 million and a capacity to hold 100,000 archaeological pieces, making it one of the most prestigious museums in the world. Status? It still looks like the early stages of a construction site. This story describes the incompetent management of the project.


  • Why Putin gambled on airstrikes in Syria - and what might come next (The Conversation) Putin is hoping that Saudi Arabia finally gives way and joins the Americans and the Europeans to support Assad on a temporary basis. If that happens, Putin will have won his bet. But if the Saudis remain intransigent and the Americans' mood turns sour, his losses could be dire indeed.


  • Has Narendra Modi's foreign policy bubble burst? (BBC News) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has returned to India after a high-profile visit to the United States where he rubbed shoulders with global leaders, met industry representatives and also reached out to the large and increasingly influential Indian diaspora. But India has problems in relationships with China, Pakistan, Sri Kanka, Maldives, Nepal and Bangladesh, to name a few.


  • Afghan conflict: US investigates Kunduz hospital bombing (BBC News) President Barack Obama says the US has launched a "full investigation" into air strikes that killed 19 people at an MSF-run Afghan hospital on Saturday. The US military says a strike targeting Taliban in the northern city of Kunduz may have caused "collateral damage". Offering his "deepest condolences", Mr Obama said he expected a "full accounting of the facts" and would then make a definitive judgement. At least 12 MSF staff members and seven patients were killed in the incident.


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