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posted on 30 June 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Europe Down, Floating Oil Storage, Study Show Pos. Effects Free Trade, Financing Snafus Plague Trump And Clinton, Puerto Rico Still Faces Default And More

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Early Bird Headlines 30 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.

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The entire post for this morning was lost due to a technical malfunction. Here are a few items obtained before we published.

Global

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europe.2016.jun.30

  • Why are more and more oil ships anchoring off Singapore? (BBC News) Ships are not sitting at anchor loaded with oil because they are waiting for higher prices. It is because onshore storage facilities are full and they have no place to unload. This implies that there is still a glut of crude oil.

  • Three Amigos Decry Isolationism Fueling Trump, Brexit (Bloomberg) President Barack Obama and his counterparts from Canada and Mexico warned against protectionist and isolationist sentiments that drove the U.K. to withdraw from the European Union and now are coursing through the U.S. presidential campaign. Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto all delivered a vigorous defense of the integrated commercial ties among their countries as beneficial to the global economy as well as individual citizens.

U.S.

  • New U.S. study shows some positive effects from free trade deals (Reuters) U.S. free trade agreements since 1984 have had an overall positive effect on trade balances, reducing U.S. trade deficits or boosting surpluses with partner countries by $87.5 billion in 2015, a new government study showed on Wednesday. The study by the U.S. International Trade Commission at the request of Congress found that the trade deals, including the controversial North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and pacts with Central American countries and South Korea, boosted net U.S. employment by 159,300 jobs in 2012 over levels that would have occurred without them.

  • Trump Campaign Broke Law by Soliciting Foreign Donations, Groups Allege (Bloomberg) In a complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission, a pair of non-partisan campaign finance watchdogs alleged that the Trump campaign solicited campaign contributions from foreign government officials. Not only is it illegal for a candidate to accept money from foreign nationals, it's also a violation of the law to ask for it.

  • Pro-Hillary super PAC took $200K in illegal donations (New York Post) A super PAC backing Hillary Clinton accepted $200,000 in donations from a federal contractor - which is against the law. Priorities USA Action received two $100,000 checks last year from Boston-based Suffolk Construction Company, records show. The company has nearly $1 million in Defense Department construction work on projects in West Point, NY, and Newport, RI, according to records. Suffolk Construction also donated $10,000 to the super PAC designed to elect Republican Jeb Bush, Right to Rise. There's a long-standing ban on federal contractors donating to political campaigns, but the rule is often ignored because a divided Federal Election Commission had done little to enforce it, according to The Hill, which first reported the story on the pro-Clinton super PAC donation.

  • Puerto Rico still seen defaulting on debt even with rescue law (Reuters) Investors in Puerto Rico's debt-burdened economy still face risks of default on some of the island's $70 billion in debt even after the U.S. Congress on Wednesday created a powerful federal oversight board to manage credit restructurings. U.S. President Barack Obama says he will quickly sign the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) before the U.S. territory faces a possible default on July 1 on $1.9 billion worth of debt payments. While the government of Puerto Rico says it cannot honor all of its debts, and will likely default for a fourth time in the last year on some of its bonds, some creditors could get their payments via insurers or reserve funds.

  • Why there may be more pain ahead for US banks (CNBC) Despite the rally in financial stocks Wednesday, there may be more pain ahead for U.S. banks, Fitch Ratings' Joo-Yung Lee said Wednesday. The financials took a hit after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union on Thursday, and have been attempting to recoup their losses. The financial exchange-traded fund, XLF, was up more than 2 percent Wednesday afternoon, but was still down for the week.

Turkey

  • Turkey paying a price for Erdo─čan's wilful blindness to Isis threat (The Guardian) The President's preference for blaming everything bad that happens on the Kurds is no longer working. urkish officials, led by the prime minister, Binali Yildirim, have initially blamed the Istanbul airport attack on Islamic State, and it is true that this latest murderous outrage closely resembles last October's Isis bombing of a peace rally in Ankara that killed 103 people, the deadliest such attack in modern Turkish history. Mostly unproven accusations, listed in a research paper published by New York's Columbia University, include claims that predominantly Sunni Muslim Turkey has covertly supplied, trained, financed and assisted the recruitment of Isis's Sunni fighters in their battles with the Kurds, with Iraq's Shia-led government, and with the Syrian government, which Turkey opposes.

Iraq

  • US airstrikes kill at least 250 ISIS fighters in a convoy: reports (Fox News, New York Post) A series of American airstrikes killed at least 250 ISIS fighters driving in a convoy outside Fallujah on Wednesday, a senior U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News. The strikes occurred on the outskirts of the Iraqi city in "southern Fallujah," a second U.S. defense official told Fox News. "There was a strike on a convoy of ISIS fighters trying to leave a neighborhood on the outskirts of southern Fallujah that we struck," the official said.

Iran

  • Iran covertly recruits Afghan soldiers to fight in Syria (The Guardian) Iran is covertly recruiting hundreds of Afghan Shias in Afghanistan to fight for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, drawing them out of their own conflict-ridden country and into another war in which Afghanistan plays no official part. The Afghan fighters are often impoverished, religiously devout or ostracized from society, looking for money, social acceptance and a sense of purpose that they are unable to find at home.

China

  • China slams South China Sea case as court set to rule (Reuters) An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against China over the South China Sea on July 12, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing, which rejects the tribunal's jurisdiction. The United States, which is a close ally of the Philippines and is concerned about China's expansive South China Sea claims, reiterated its backing for The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration and urged a peaceful resolution of the dispute. Manila is contesting China's historical claim to about 90% of the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Several Southeast Asian states have overlapping claims in the sea and the dispute has sparked concerns of a military confrontation that could disrupt global trade.

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