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.
Inside Wealth: A Worrisome Pileup of $100 Million Homes (The New York Times, CNBC) There is a global pileup of homes listed for $100 million or more. A record 27 properties with nine-figure prices are officially for sale, according to Christie's International Real Estate. That is up from 19 last year and about a dozen in 2014. If you add in high-priced "whisper listings" that are offered privately, brokers say the actual number of nine-figure listings worldwide could easily top 40 or 50. The rise in nine-figure real estate listings comes just as sales of luxury real estate have cooled. Many say the sudden surge in hyperprice homes - often built and sold by speculative investors - is the ultimate bubble signal.
Tropical Storm Bonnie stalls en route toward South Carolina (Reuters) Tropical Storm Bonnie, the first of the year to threaten the United States, stalled in the Atlantic on Saturday but its center is expected to cross the South Carolina coast on Sunday night and Monday, National Hurricane Center said. Bonnie, coming four days before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, triggered a tropical storm warning from South Carolina's Savannah River, near Hilton Head Island, and the Little River Inlet.
Internal Trump University records must be released, federal judge rules(The Boston Globe, MSN News) A federal judge has ordered the release of internal Trump University documents in an ongoing lawsuit against the company, including ''playbooks'' that advised sales personnel how to market high-priced courses on getting rich through real estate. The Friday ruling, in which Judge Gonzalo Curiel cited heightened public interest in presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, was issued in response to a request by The Washington Post. The ruling was a setback for Trump, whose attorneys argued that the documents contained trade secrets.
Bernie Sanders Warns Hillary Clinton on Running Mate Pick (NBC News) The Vermont senator was adamant that Clinton pick a hardline progressive for vice president if she successfully secures the Democratic nomination for president. This could help her appeal to the supporters who have flocked to Sanders' campaign during the primary. He will be talking about this on "Meet the Press" later this morning.
More odd twists and turns in Deflategate (The Boston Globe) You have to read this for yourself - Econintersect finds the situation too hopelessly complicated for a meaningfull summary. Anyway, aren't there more important things to pay attention to?
European migrant crisis: Weekly boat rescues reach 13,000 (BBC News) The rescue of more than 600 migrants off Libya on Saturday by a flotilla of EU ships took the weekly total to at least 13,000, Italian authorities say. The rescues were the latest by a patrol of Italian, German and Irish ships operating in the Mediterranean. Spring weather has led to a surge of people attempting the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe. It is now the main migration route since an EU-Turkey deal curbed numbers sailing to Greece.
Putin visits Russian Orthodox monastic community in Greece (Associated Press) Russian President Vladimir Putin visited a Russian Orthodox monastery Saturday as he wrapped up a two-day visit to Greece, which is looking for more Russian investment and tourism as it copes with a prolonged financial crisis and a massive wave of migrants. Putin, who has sought to capitalize on the strained relations between Greece and many other European Union members, said Russia seeks to cooperate with Greece in the energy sector. Several Russian ministers also expressed interest in the privatization of Greek railways and in the northern port of Thessaloniki, but no major deals were announced. Only lower lever "cooperation agreements" were reached during the visit.
Islamic State: Iraqi army makes gains in Falluja offensive (BBC News) Karma is now firmly under control of government forces, including rapid reaction troops and federal police, our correspondent says. Iran-backed Shia militias, which also took part in the fighting, have left graffiti on the walls of buildings in the town, including one saying: "Thank you, Iran." But Karma is now a ghost town, with not a single civilian to be seen and with rows of shops battered and burnt out and some bigger buildings badly damaged, our correspondent adds. Large number of the elite Counter-Terrorism Force have been brought up in preparation for an assault on the city itself. However, it is not clear when the attack will begin.
Putin's Approval Rating Is Down (Bloomberg) His public opinion poll ratings are the lowest in years - down to 80%. International leaders face a paradox in their relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The more he confronts and defies them, the better the Russian public likes him. The Kremlin works hard to keep it that way by cracking down on opposition activists and cultivating an image on state television of Putin as the "good Czar" protecting a nation surrounded by enemies. His annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 sparked the riskiest standoff with the U.S. and Europe since the Cold War - and unleashed a patriotic fervor at home. His military intervention in Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad was spun as the act of a statesman standing up to American adventurism in the Middle East.
Pakistani men can beat wives 'lightly,' Islamic council says (CNN) The leader of a Pakistani Islamic council has proposed a bill that allows husbands to "lightly beat" their wives as a form of discipline. In the 75-page proposal, Mohammad Khan Sheerani suggests a light beating is acceptable should the need arise to punish a woman. The proposal bans forceful beating, saying only a small stick is necessary to instill fear. The Council of Islamic Ideology is a powerful constitutional body that advises the Pakistani legislature whether laws are in line with the teachings of Islam.
After West Asia, PM sets his sights on Israel (The Hindu) With his visits to the rest of West Asia and in particular Iran completed, officials in Israel and Palestine territories are expecting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Israel early next year. This will be the first ever visit there by an Indian head of state.
China's richest man Wang Jianlin declares war on Shanghai Disney with Wanda World theme park (abc.net.au) Chinese conglomerate Wanda has opened its first theme park, with its billionaire boss declaring war on Disney just weeks before the American entertainment giant launches a similar attraction in Shanghai. Wanda City, in south-eastern Nanchang, comprises a giant mall set over two square kilometres, as well as an 80-hectare theme park boasting "the highest and longest roller coaster and the highest drop tower in China", according to a statement by the group. The project represents an investment of $4.7 billion, the statement said.
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