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posted on 16 April 2016

Early Headlines: Sarah Palin Vs. Bill Nye, Bernie's Tax Return, Jamaican Farewell?, Pope To Visit Lesbos, Japan Quake 2, Ancient Peruvian Water, Brazilian Impeachment And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 16 April 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.



  • Climate change denier Sarah Palin: 'Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am' (The Guardian) Of all the causes Sarah Palin has embraced in her varied career as hockey mom, Alaska governor, Republican vice-presidential nominee, Fox television commentator and Donald Trump supporter, none perhaps may be as bold or - as she still likes to say, "rogue" - as trying to take down a much-beloved children's television personality: Bill Nye the Science Guy. But that was where hardcore climate change denial landed Palin on Thursday: a wood-paneled committee room in Congress where she disputed the credentials of a hugely popular science educator who has a degree in Mechanical Engineering; who took an astronomy course when in college taught by noted astronomer Carl Sagan; who has designed devices for NASA; and has been awarded several honorary degrees. The occasion was the premiere for the Climate Hustle, a film that dismisses global warming as an excuse for government takeover and makes the outrageously false claim that rising carbon emissions are beneficial. Econintersect: Palin was undoubtedly reacting to Bill Nye's negative interview on the subject of the film she supports, Climate Hustle.


  • Louisiana delegates lash out at media: We're not with Cruz (The Hill) Unbound delegates in Louisiana are fuming over media reports that they have decided to back Ted Cruz over Donald Trump in the presidential GOP primary, calling them untrue. Trump edged out Cruz in the Louisiana primary that was held March 5, though the margin was close enough that each candidate ended up taking 18 delegates. But earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets reported that the five state party leaders who will attend the Republican convention, and the five delegates who were formerly pledged to Marco Rubio, were planning to throw their support to Cruz. That would give Cruz a resounding delegates victory in the state despite losing to Trump by 4 points. Four of the former Rubio delegates have since signed an open letter saying they are undecided and plan to stay uncommitted until the convention. Party officials in the state insist that at least a few of them are undecided as well.

  • Bernie Sanders calls for a 'moral economy' at the Vatican (BBC News) Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has carried his populist message of economic inequality to the Vatican. Visiting to speak at an economy and social justice conference, he emphasized "the common good". There are no plans for him to meet personally with Pope Francis.

  • Sanders' tax returns highlight contrast with rival Clinton (Reuters) U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has made income inequality a top campaign theme, had taxable income of $205,271 in 2014, putting him almost in the top 5% of American earners, according to the release of Friday of his federal tax return. That figure was still far below the millions earned by his main Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in recent years. Sanders and his wife, Jane, paid $27,653 in federal income taxes in 2014, an effective federal tax rate of 13.5%, on income of $205,271, which is their adjusted gross income before deductions. That figure is just below the $206,563 that Census data show as the lower limit for the top 5% of U.S. households in 2014. But Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had income approaching $140 million over the last eight years, according to previously released returns. Sanders on Thursday described himself as "one of the poorer members of the United States Senate".


  • EU referendum: People would vote to stay in EU if they'd be £100 poorer per year from the UK leaving (City A.M.) it's not that surprising that if people would end up personally poorer as a result of a Brexit vote, they would vote to remain in the EU, according to a poll by YouGov. It found British people to have said that if they felt they would personally be poorer - even by just £100 a year - they'd decisively support the Remain campaign in the upcoming referendum. Though what's more interesting, is that the result implies that "project fear" has much potential. "Project fear" is what the Leave side has dubbed tactics by the Remain side which attempt to scare people into backing continued EU membership.

  • Jamaica may oust UK's queen as official head of state (CNN) In a speech to legislators Thursday, Jamaican Governor-General Patrick Allen proposed a constitutional amendment "to replace Her Majesty The Queen with a Non-Executive President as Head of State" in the Caribbean nation. While Elizabeth II isn't involved much at all in the day-to-day functioning of Jamaica's government, she's officially head of state in 15 nations in what's called the Commonwealth, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Like Jamaica, all have longstanding ties to the United Kingdom and British monarchy, even if they are independent otherwise.


  • Migrant crisis: Pope Francis to visit Lesbos camp in Greece (BBC News) Pope Francis is due to visit the Greek island of Lesbos to show support for refugees trying to reach Europe. The Pope, who will be met by Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, will visit a camp for more than 3,000 people who are awaiting either processing of asylum claims or deportation to Turkey. Lesbos has been a key entry point into Europe for migrants in the past year. Thousands are now stuck on the island after last month's deal between Europe and Turkey to try to ease the flow.

Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill (The New York Times) Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill's passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.


While President Obama's strategic rebalancing of U.S. interests through the 'Pivot to Asia' entails a stronger embrace of India as a counterweight to China, New Delhi must be careful not to conduct its foreign policy through the American prism.


  • Quakes kill at least 29 in Japan, cause widespread damage (Associated Press) Two powerful earthquakes a day apart shook southwestern Japan, killing at least 29 people, injuring 1,500, trapping many beneath flattened homes and sending thousands to seek shelter in gymnasiums and hotel lobbies. Saturday's 7.3 magnitude quake followed a 6.5 tremor Thursday night. The earthquakes occurred in the Kumamoto region of the island of Kyushu. The exact number of casualties remained unclear as rescue efforts continued to unfold Saturday. Oncoming rains could further complicate the relief operation and set off more mudslides in isolated rural towns, where people were waiting to be rescued in collapsed homes. Kumamoto Prefectural official Tomoyuki Tanaka said the death toll was climbing by the hour, with the latest standing at 19 from Saturday's magnitude-7.3 quake that shook the Kumamoto region on the southwestern island of Kyushu at 1:25 a.m. On Thursday night, Kyushu was hit by a magnitude-6.5 quake that left 10 dead.


  • Brazil's lower house begins presidential impeachment debate (Associated Press) The lower chamber of Brazil's Congress on Friday began a raucous debate on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, a question that underscores the deep polarization in Latin America's largest country and most-powerful economy. If lawmakers approved the measure in a vote slated for Sunday, it gets sent to the Senate, where an impeachment trial could take place, prompting the president's suspension from office. The atmosphere in the lower Chamber of Deputies was electric, as Rousseff's critics festooned themselves with yellow and green ribbons and brandished placards reading "Impeachment Now!" Lawmakers backing impeachment allege Rousseff's administration violated fiscal rules, using sleight of hand accounting in a bid to shore up public support. However, many of those pushing for impeachment face grave accusations of corruption themselves, prompting Rousseff and her supporters to decry the whole process as a bold-faced power grab by her foes.

  • Brazil's Supreme Court rejects motion to block impeachment (Associated Press) In a blow to President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's Supreme Court early Friday rejected a motion seeking to block an impeachment vote against her in Congress' lower house. It was another defeat for the embattled leader, who has lost support of key allies this week and is now even closer to a first major defeat in the process. The high court's extraordinary session ran about 7½ hours and ended with justices voting 8-2 against the president, turning aside her claim that the voting procedures planned by the Chamber of Deputies were "contaminated."


  • The ancient Peruvian mystery solved from space (BBC News) The puzzling holes in the arid valleys of southern Peru tell us there was once a flourishing, sophisticated society here. From before 1,000 BC up to about 750 AD the extremely arid Nasca region supported a flourishing society by developing a unique technology to recover water from very deep aquifers.


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