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posted on 20 April 2016

Why You Should Read 'What We Read Today'

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Every day Econintersect editors present a summary of the important posts they have found on the internet on a post entitled "What We Read Today [day] [month] [year]". After the 'Read more' jump we have reposted one of the sections from yesterday's WWRT (for 20 April 2016).

The section below was what GEI Newsletter subscribers saw as part of the WWRT post yesterday. The article is easily accessed from our daily newsletter and only newsletter subscribers are provided the access codes for each day's article.

To subscribe to the GEI daily newsletter, complete the form available in the public portion of WWRT every day. Here is the link to yesterday's post to access the form.

The subscription is FREE.

Now for the excerpted section from WWRT for 20 April 2016:

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • New York Wants Foreign Banks to Hand Over Panama Records(Bloomberg) New York state's banking regulator has ordered 13 foreign banks to turn over information about their contact with a Panamanian law firm that helped register tens of thousands of shell companies, broadening the state and federal authorities investigating revelations related to the Panama data leak. New York's Department of Financial Services asked companies including Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG, Commerzbank AG, ABN Amro Group NV and Societe Generale SA to provide communications, telephone logs and records of other transactions between their New York branches and employees or agents of the law firm, Mossack Fonseca & Co. The banks aren't accused of wrongdoing.

  • Why AI won't wipe out humanity ... yet (CNBC) Hat tip to Sig Silber. The moment that humanity is forced to take the threat of artificial intelligence seriously might be fast approaching, according to futurist and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. Lack of work as everything becomes automated will possibly be a greater challenge for humanity than controlling nuclear weapons or climate change.


  • Clinton close to nomination prize; Trump strengthens hand (Associated Press) Hillary Clinton, the nearly unstoppable Democrat, and Republican front-runner Donald Trump accelerated Wednesday toward Northeast primaries on an increasingly direct path to presidential nominations after trouncing party challengers in New York. Clinton, now 81% of the way toward clinching the Democratic nomination that eluded her eight years ago, can lose every remaining contest and still prevail. Her sweeping victory in the New York primary called into question the durability of Bernie Sanders' rival campaign and left him with severely limited options for overtaking her. While Trump strengthened his hand, he is still far from in the clear.

  • Verizon Changes the Channel on FiOS in Shift to Internet TV (Bloomberg) Verizon Communications Inc. is plotting a new strategy for video as its slow-growing FiOS TV business looks increasingly like a costly relic of the cable era and out of step with the trend toward "skinny bundles" and streaming video. The telecom giant sees future in broadband, not traditional cable.

  • Harriet Tubman Will Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill (TheStreet) Harriet Tubman, famed abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor, will soon grace the $20 bill. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, according to Politico, is set to announce today that Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson. The decision comes as a change from last summer's announcement that Treasury would be replacing Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. Instead, that bill will now feature a group mural of prominent women on the back of the note, replacing the current image of the White House.

  • DOL Accused of 'Legislation by Rulemaking' on Fiduciary Rule(ThinkAdvisor) The Department of Labor's new rule to amend the definition of fiduciary on retirement advice is "legislation by rulemaking", the former head of DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration told senators Wednesday, with the rule that "ultimately passed" running contrary to what Congress intended when it passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Econintersect: The brokerage Industry believes it should not be more regulated than the used car industry.

  • Traffic fatalities in the US have been mostly plummeting for decades(Business Insider) In a recent research report to clients, a team of Morgan Stanley analysts snuck in a small chart showing traffic fatalities in the US since 1921. The total number of deaths each year are represented by the blue bars and correspond to the left side y-axis. Notably, fatalities in the 2010's (approximately around 35,000 per year) are far lower (by more than 1/3) than the peak around the late 1960's (approximately around 55,000 per year). Econintersect: We note the impact of the Great Financial Crisis as economic stress reduced miles driven and the "dividend" of low gasoline prices in 2015 as miles driven and therefore fatalities surged.


  • Persistence Pays as Google's Banned Rivals Win EU Crackdown(Bloomberg) Margrethe Vestager, the EU's antitrust chief, sent Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, a formal statement listing regulators' concerns with the company's behavior, accusing it of striking restrictive contracts that prevent makers of tablets and phones from adding competing apps and web browsers. Econintersect: The EU seems poised to regulate Google as a utility, in much the way that telephone companies are.

  • Up to 500 feared dead in Mediterranean shipwreck last week (Associated Press) As many as 500 people are feared dead after a shipwreck last week in the Mediterranean Sea, two international groups said Wednesday, describing survivors' accounts of panicked passengers who desperately tried to stay afloat by jumping between vessels. The disaster happened in waters between Italy and Libya, based on accounts from 41 survivors who were rescued Saturday by a merchant ship, according to the U.N refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration. The tragedy ranks among the deadliest in recent years on the often-treacherous sea voyage along the central Mediterranean by refugees and migrants from Africa, the Middle East and beyond who have traveled in droves hoping to reach relatively peaceful and wealthy Europe.


Saudi Arabia

  • Saudis snub Obama on Riyadh arrival amid growing tensions (CNN) President Barack Obama received a chilly reception from Saudi Arabia's leaders as he landed in Riyadh Wednesday, a clear sign of the cooling relations between once-close allies amid regional upheaval and dropping oil prices. When Obama touched down in Riyadh shortly after 1 p.m. local time, there were no kisses with the kingdom's ruler as President George W. Bush once exchanged. The Saudi government dispatched the governor of Riyadh rather than a senior-level royal to shake Obama's hand, a departure from the scene at the airport earlier in the day when King Salman was shown on state television greeting the leaders of other Gulf nations on the tarmac. Obama is in Saudi Arabia to attend a meeting of the nations in the region.

  • Obama Stands by Tough Words for Saudis During Meeting With King(Bloomberg) President Barack Obama reassured Saudi Arabia's King Salman that the U.S. is his country's ally during a private meeting in Riyadh on Wednesday, but made no apology for recent criticism of Saudi policies and insisted that its government must learn to co-exist with rival Iran, a U.S. official said.


  • Pakistan polio: Seven killed in anti-vaccination attack (BBC News) Seven Pakistani policemen, three of whom were guarding polio workers, have been killed in Karachi, officials say. Eight gunmen on motorcycles fired at a group of three police guards and later at a van containing four officers, officials told the Pakistan Tribune. Islamist militants oppose vaccination, saying it is a Western conspiracy to sterilise Pakistani children. In January, 15 people were killed in a bomb attack on a vaccination center in the south-western city of Quetta.

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