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posted on 14 February 2016

Early Headlines: Antonin Scalia Dies, GOP Debate Brawl, Turkey Shells Kurds In Syria, Militants Down Libya Jet, Mosul Dam Threatens Half Million Iraqis And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 14 February 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.



  • Justice Antonin Scalia dead at 79 (Associated Press) Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. Scalia was 79. Scalia was found dead Saturday morning at private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas, after he'd gone to his room the night before and did not appear for breakfast. The cause of death was not immediately known.

  • Can Republicans really block Obama's Supreme Court nomination for a year? Probably. (The Washington Post) Come January 2017, Republicans have a chance at controlling the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House. So it stands to reason that Republicans have very little incentive to even consider President Obama's suggestion for who should replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday. There's some historical precedent for them to do just that. A hazy rule dating back decades that congressional experts say is really more of a tradition suggests senators of the opposition party of the White House can oppose some judicial nominations in the months before a presidential election.

  • If Republicans block Obama's Supreme Court nomination, he wins anyway (The Washington Post) The death of Antonin Scalia at this particular time is a big problem for the GOP.

  • What a divided America actually hears when Obama speaks (The Washington Post)

As President Obama spoke of the country's deepening sense of alienation and anger last month, a teacher in Michigan listened, her eyes fixed on the stone-faced Republicans in the House chamber who in her view represented the problem.

"Let's get over the party lines and work together!" she tweeted during the president's State of the Union address.

In Maryland, a retired lawyer was listening to the exact same words. He, too, was worried about the anger and division gripping the country, but as Obama spoke, his resentment toward the president only swelled.

"Hearing him complain about political rancor is frankly nauseating," he wrote.

  • Debate Takeaways: Civil court discussion gives way to brawl (Associated Press) Saturday's Republican presidential debate was the perfect spot for GOP candidates to try and project legal gravitas after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. That was a fairly civil discussion. Then came the brawls:

First, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush went after each other. Then Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio got into their own shouting match, which even devolved into barbs about who can speak Spanish.

Then it was back to Trump v. Bush for Round Two. Next up: Trump v. Cruz.

  • Winners and losers from the 8th Republican debate (The Washington Post) For reasons that Chris Cillizza tries to explain, he picks the winners ( Rubio, Bush, Dickerson and CBS News) and losers (Trump, Republican Party, Carson and closing statements. Econintersect: Chris' winners and losers do not necessarily translate into primary votes. In New Hampshire, the Dem debate winner was Clinton and the loser was Sanders. And look how that primary turned out.


  • Syria conflict: Turkey shells Kurdish militia (BBC News) Turkey has shelled a Kurdish militia in northern Syria and demanded it retreat from territory it has seized, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said. The US urged Turkey to stop the shelling and focus on fighting the group Islamic State (IS). Meanwhile Turkey's foreign minister said Turkey was mulling a ground invasion of Syria with Saudi forces.


  • Militants shoot down Libyan fighter jet (Associated Press) Libya's air force chief of staff says a fighter jet was shot down while carrying out airstrikes against Islamic militants, the third jet to be downed in nearly 40 days. Brig. Gen. Saqr al-Jaroushi told The Associated Press that a Libyan MIG32 came under fire by militants' anti-aircraft guns in the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday. He says the pilot ejected and landed safely. The same pilot has been rescued before in a similar incident on Jan. 4.


  • If this Iraqi dam collapses, half a million people could die (The Washington Post, MSN News) If the Mosul Dam were breached, it could unleash a 180-foot-high wave down the Tigris River basin and drown more than half a million people, with floodwaters reaching as far as the Iraqi capital, about 280 miles to the south. This would be a major catastrophe for Iraq. The dam has been called the most dangerous in the world for the past decade. But recent assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say it is at "significantly higher risk" of failing than previously thought.


  • Pakistan's steady progress is under attack (Al Jazeera) Islamabad must win the battle for the hearts and minds of its citizen. Attacks on educational institutions by Taliban groups call into question the progress of Pakistan's "war on terrorism".


  • More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have Zika virus: government (Reuters) More than 5,000 pregnant Colombian women are infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the country's national health institute said on Saturday, as the disease continues its rapid spread across the Americas. Cases of the virus total 31,555, the institute said in a epidemiology bulletin, among them 5,013 pregnant women. Zika, which has spread to more than 30 countries, has been linked to birth defect microcephaly and to neurological disease Guillain-Barre syndrome.

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