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.
New doubts on Zika as cause of microcephaly (Science Daily) Hat tips to Roger Erickson and Jeremy R. Hammond. Brazil's microcephaly epidemic continues to pose a mystery -- if Zika is the culprit, why are there no similar epidemics in other countries also hit hard by the virus? In Brazil, the microcephaly rate soared with more than 1,500 confirmed cases. But in Colombia, a recent study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with Zika found zero microcephaly cases. If Zika is to blame for microcephaly, where are the missing cases?
World's 400 Richest People Lose $127 Billion on Brexit: Chart (Bloomberg) The world's 400 richest people lost $127.4 billion Friday as global equity markets reeled from the news that British voters elected to leave the European Union. The billionaires lost 3.2% of their total net worth, bringing the combined sum to $3.9 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The biggest decline belonged to Europe's richest person, Amancio Ortega, who lost more than $6 billion, while nine others dropped more than $1 billion, including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the wealthiest person in the UK. Econintersect: To put this in perspective, they haven't been this "poor" since the third week in May. And they are still $360 billion wealthier than they were in the middle of February.
'Brexit' in America: A Warning Shot Against Globalization (The New York Times) The message may be that there are limits to globalization. For all the shock and awe on Wall Street and financial markets around the globe on Friday, the imminent danger to the underlying American economy is relatively small. What's far more worrisome is whether Britain's decision represents an end to the economic integration and opening markets that have helped propel sales at American companies over the last few decades.
A Brief History of Britain's Relationship with Europe, Starting in 6000 BCE (Harvard Business Review) Since 6000 BCE, when melting glaciers raised sea levels enough to create the English Channel, two fundamental facts have dominated British history - first, that the islands are at the edge of the European landmass; and second, that they stick out into the Atlantic. Insularity has never equaled isolation. People, goods, and ideas were moving constantly along the Atlantic coast from Spain to Scotland by 5000 BCE, and southern England was still tightly linked to northern France by ethnicity, economics, and culture when Julius Caesar invaded in 55 BCE. What ushered in the gradual end of England's subordination to continental powers was the 15th-century invention of ships that could cross the oceans. It took several centuries, but these gradually converted the Atlantic from a barrier isolating Western Europe to a highway linking it to lands of untold wealth. Ultimately England became the dominant European nation to exploit the oceanic highway, even though Spain and Portugal, which combined excellent access to the Atlantic with centralized monarchies, were better placed than England to exploit these highways and gained an early advantage. This article sees Brexit as a mistaken withdrawal of Britain from the key role it has held in Europe since 1700.
ISIS captures 900 Kurdish civilians in northern Syria (Daily News) The Islamic State militants have abducted some 900 Kurds in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo over the past three weeks amid fierce fighting for control of a nearby IS stronghold, a Kurdish official and Syrian activists said Friday. The extremist group has a history of mass kidnappings in areas they control in Syria and Iraq and have mostly targeted Christians and Kurds in the past.
Who Wins From Brexit? China (Bloomberg) In the short term, of course, China's struggling economy may take a hit from the chaos in the EU, its second-largest trading partner. A smaller, less-stable European market and more cash-strapped consumers aren't good news for Chinese exporters. Over the longer term, though, Brexit is almost certainly in China's economic and political interests. Even a fully united Europe -- burdened as it is by debt woes, high costs, overbearing bureaucracy and, in some cases, dubious competitiveness -- has had a tough time competing and contending with China. Now fractured, the EU can't help but pose less of a counterweight to China's rise on the world stage.
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