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posted on 21 November 2015

Early Headlines: Huge 1,111 Carat Diamond, Big Snow Storm, New Ford Contract, US Peak Income, Increased ECB QE And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 21 November 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.



  • Paris attacks: UN backs 'all necessary measures' against IS (BBC News) The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution to "redouble" action against Islamic State, following last week's deadly attacks in Paris. The French-drafted document urges UN members to "take all necessary measures" in the fight against IS.

  • What is behind ISIL's attacks? (Al Jazeera) After ISIL's deadly attacks on Paris, Beirut and a Russian airliner over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, has the group changed its strategy? On this episode of UpFront, Mehdi Hasan asks the former head of counterterrorism for British intelligence and one of the founders of the UN's Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) about ISIL's tactics and game plan. If the video cannot be viewed below, click on headline link to go to source.


  • Storm blankets parts of Midwest with more than foot of snow (Associated Press) While winter has not officially begun, the shovels and snow blowers were out from South Dakota through southern Minnesota, Iowa and southern Wisconsin to northern Illinois and Indiana. The National Weather Service said the snow would continue in Illinois and Indiana on Saturday and move into Michigan. The front will head northeast to Canada late on Saturday and into Sunday. The Chicago area is forecast to get 6-10 inches.

  • Ford union workers ratify new four-year U.S. labor pact: UAW (Reuters) Ford Motor Co's U.S. union workers narrowly approved a four-year labor contract after a late push for support by United Auto Workers leaders, the UAW said late Friday night. The UAW said 51.3 percent of production workers and 52.4 percent of skilled trades workers voted in favor of the new contract

  • 10 cities where people can't find work (MSN Money) Follow link to slide show.

  • Most Americans Hit "Peak Income" More Than 15 Years Ago (The Burning Platform) After adjusting for inflation, the majority of Americans are worse off today than they were decades ago. The map below shows that median household income actually peaked at least 15 years ago in 81% of U.S. counties. But in some counties income peaked 25, 35 and even 45 years ago.

Click for larger image at Visual Capitalist.


  • ECB minutes: Bigger Eurozone QE programme now looks like 'done deal' (City A.M.) The European Central Bank considered expanding its €1.1 trillion (£770 billion, $1.2 trillion) quantitative easing (QE) program at its October meeting, new minutes reveal. The meeting, on the 22 October, saw the ECB's main policy rate kept unchanged at a record low of 0.05%. QE is where the central bank buys assets using newly created money - it currently runs at a rate of €60 billion a month.


  • Asian and Russian buyers desert prime London property market (Financial Times) Asian and Russian homebuyers who once made up a third of those buying property in London's wealthiest areas have largely deserted the market this year as emerging market currencies plunged against sterling. Properties in boroughs such as Kensington, where the average home price is £1.5 million ($2.3 million), have been a sought-after asset in recent years among wealthy buyers seeking a base or an investment in a global, politically stable city. While the changes in exchange rates is an important factor, an increase in stamp duty that means buyers of the priciest homes pay substantially more tax, a further discouragement.


  • Shares in Greek banks hit record lows as investors brace themselves for bank recapitalisation (City A.M.) Shares in Greece's biggest banks plummeted this week with three of the big four hitting record lows as the country's parliament prepares to pass reforms that will unlock cash for their recapitalization. On just one day (Wednesday 18 November) Piraeus Bank's share price was down 16.67% and Alpha bank's share price was down 4.69%. The National Bank of Greece's share price has fallen 6.6% while Eurobank has dropped 8.33%. Greek bank shares have been getting hammered since Syriza's election victory in January as investors feared banks would not get money back they had lent to the government.

  • Greece Passes New Austerity Measures, Recieves New Debt Loan (10 Anniversary) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Greece pushed through controversial, austerity economic reforms Thursday that will allow the debt stricken country to unlock a third installment of bailout money from international lenders. The deal that was agreed Tuesday will give Greece an extra €12 billion (US$12.7 billion) with 10 billion set aside to bailout it's financially crippled banks. The remaining €2 billion will be to pay state arrears. Econintersect: Let's see - the problem is too much debt so we will just add some more for a cure. And to assure the cure takes we will remove some more of the little bit of ability to repay which remains. 18th century bloodletting was more logical than this.


  • Biggest Diamond in More Than a Century Unearthed in Botswana (Bloomberg) A 1,111 carat gem-quality diamond, second in size only to the Cullinan diamond cut into the British Crown jewels, has been unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. in Botswana. The Type-IIa stone, just smaller than a tennis ball, is the largest diamond discovery for more than 100 years, according to Vancouver-based Lucara. It was recovered by machines at the south lobe of Karowe mine in central Botswana


  • Iran shifts approach to fight against alcohol (Al Monitor) The prohibition of alcohol has been a powerful symbol of post-revolutionary Iran. However, 36 years after the revolution, alcohol consumption is becoming a normal part of everyday life for more and more Iranians. Now the government is switching from emphasis on the strict prohibition which is still the much ignored law of the land to talking about alcohol abuse, alcoholism and other health related issues with alcohol. As a result, Iran this summer declared plans to license 150 alcoholic rehabilitation clinics in the near future.


  • China coal mine fire kills 21 - state media (BBC News) A fire at a mine in north-eastern China has killed 21 people, and one person is still missing, state media report. China has the world's deadliest mines, with hundreds of mine workers killed in accidents every year.


  • Final Vote Tally Confirms Rout by Myanmar Opposition (The New York Times) The National League for Democracy, led by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, won 390 seats compared with 42 for the governing party. The remaining 59 available seats in Parliament were won by smaller parties. One-quarter of the seats (164) were not contested and are controlled by the military.


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