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posted on 16 June 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Down, Yen Surges, 3rd World Needs Coal, US Job Market Tightens, Little Conf. In US Institutions, Bookies Bet UK Stays, Oz Education Failing, Argentine Ex Gov Official Buries Cash And More

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Early Bird Headlines 16 June 2016

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.



  • Nikkei tumbles, yen surges as Bank of Japan keeps policy steady (CNBC) The Japanese yen strengthened sharply against the dollar and the Nikkei tumbled on Thursday after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady as was widely expected. The dollar-yen pair traded at 104.10 as of 1:16 p.m. Hong Kong/Singapore time, compared with levels around 105.21 just before the decision. The rest of Asian markets mostly traded lower, as investors digested the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates on hold.


  • Is coal the only way to deal with energy poverty in developing economies? (The Conversation) Energy poverty is a major human and environmental crisis. A balanced energy mix with a high degree of physical safety, low environmental hazards and sustainable supply prospects is essential for poverty alleviation and energy security. But, in the face of competing alternative energy sources, the role of the coal industry in energy poverty alleviation has become even more challenging. While renewable energy sources are in their infancy and facing many uncertainties, developing economies have a long way to go before they can completely abandon fossil fuel energy sources.



  • Americans have lost faith in pretty much everything (MarketWatch) The people of the United States have pretty much had it with the country's major institutions, as faith in everything from the banks and newspapers to organized religion and TV news has taken a big hit in recent years, according to a recent Gallup poll. Since 2006, only 2 of 14 institutions have had confidence increased, and those two only marginally: the presidency (+3 percentage points) and medical profession (+1 percentage point). Confidence in banks has fallen 22 percentage points, in church or religion, 11 percentage points decline and three have declined by 10 percentage points: TV News, newspapers and congress. The lowest confidence is for congress at 9%.


  • Britain could be a key global player if it stays in the EU (The Conversation) According to this author, the choice is stark: take a leading role in a powerful block or give up the chance to shape international politics.

  • Bookies Are Still Pretty Sure Brexit Isn't Going to Happen (Bloomberg) While polls show the U.K.'s Brexit vote poised on a knife's edge, bookies remain fairly confident the nation will stay in the European Union. But odds have been rising of Brexit passing on 23 June. The latest odds are approximately 60:40 in favor of defeating Brexit (vote for UK to "stay").



  • Hooligans and terrorists: the lethal dual threat facing French police (The Conversation) As Russian, English, Slovakian and Welsh football fans converged on Lille, and warnings of further violence cast a shadow over Euro 2016, a police officer and his wife were murdered by a man claiming allegiance to Isis, in Magnanville, west of Paris. French police with limited resources have to take decisions about prioritizing anti-hooliganism measures or anti-terrorism measures. In the background, protests against Hollande's labor law measures also demand a police response. With crowds ebbing and flowing, a sophisticated strategy is required to keep Euro 2016 spectators safe while preventing a lone wolf attacker or a terrorist cell sneaking under the radar and creating another Bataclan atrocity.



  • India is hedging its bets on coal to bring power to the people (The Conversation) More than a fifth of India's population lacks access to electricity, posing a major development challenge. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to bring affordable access to electricity to all of these people by 2019. While Modi has committed to increasing renewable generation, India is also increasing coal production. India is the world's third-largest coal producer and its second-largest coal importer. This is creating a growing tension between development and India's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change.



  • Aussie youth: Overqualified, underemployed and in debt (Macro Business) The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) has released a new report, entitled Renewing Australia's Promise: Report Card 2016, examining how young Australians are faring economically, and finds that today's young Australians are facing the very real possibility that they will be the first generation to be worse-off than their parents. As for education, today's students are less likely to complete VET (vocational education and training) than their parents, but much more likely to complete secondary education and to get university degrees. But the quality of the university degrees are much less than they were 16 years ago. See graphics below. The FYA identifies several key challenges facing young people, including:

  • High youth unemployment;

  • An education system that is struggling to adapt to changing needs in the workplace; and

  • Rising housing costs and debts.


  • Kirchner Official Caught Burying Millions Outside Convent (Bloomberg) he former No. 2 at Argentina's Public Works Ministry was arrested after he was caught burying bags containing millions of dollars in cash in the grounds of a convent near Buenos Aires. Jose Lopez, who served as public works secretary under ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, was found with an assault rifle and six bags containing dollars, euros, Japanese yen and Qatari riyal. Local media outlets broadcast and published images of Lopez wearing a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet in custody outside a police station on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The arrest may further complicate any return to politics for Fernandez, who is already under investigation in a string of cases involving money-laundering and corruption allegations. In April, she accused the government and the judicial system of conspiring to put her in prison. Econintersect: This type of "conspiracy" is often called "prosecution".

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