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.
As it closes in on Jupiter, NASA's Juno spacecraft faces peril (Los Angeles Times) The day has come. As fireworks mark the Fourth of July, scientists and engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory hope to celebrate a milestone of their own: NASA's Juno spacecraft entering orbit around Jupiter. NASA's Juno is within hours of reaching Jovian orbit, said Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute. The spacecraft passed Callisto, one of the four Galilean moons, Sunday around 11 a.m., followed by Ganymede (the largest of the four) in Monday's early hours. It zipped by watery Europa around 10:30 a.m. and passed volcanic Io a little after 2 p.m. We await word on whether the planetary orbit was successfully achieved. Watch live as NASA's Juno mission attempts to enter Jupiter's orbit (Science Alert). Econintersect Note: Juno retrorocket shut off successfully at 11:53 pm EDT 04 July marking successful establishment of Jupiter orbit. Watch live feed from NASA first video below. Watch time lapse video of Jupiter's four moons in obit around the planet taken during Juno's approach several days ago. NASA says this is the first ever video view of a planet with full orbit display of moons - second video below.
Big solar is leaving rooftop systems in the dust (Reuters) Solar power is on pace for the first time this year to contribute more new electricity to the grid than will any other form of energy - a feat driven more by economics than green mandates. The cost of electricity from large-scale solar installations now is comparable to and sometimes cheaper than natural gas-fired power, even without incentives aimed at promoting environmentally friendly power, according to industry players and outside cost studies. Utility scale solar is much cheaper than distributed rooftop installations and the gap is expected to widen.
Elite Republicans tried to ignore them. Now they're shaping Donald Trump's immigration policy (Los Angeles Times) For decades, immigration hard-liners have felt sidelined and taken for granted by Republican presidential candidates, left with dog whistles and policy crumbs. But Donald Trump's ascent to the top of the Republican ticket has changed their fortunes. Longtime advocates for shutting the door to new immigrants now hold crucial positions in Trump's campaign, and many feel, for the first time in recent memory, they have a candidate who is willing to speak plainly about reducing immigration flows and offers their clearest shot yet at influencing, perhaps even drastically altering, U.S. immigration policy.
Brexit Accelerates the British Pound's 100 Years of Debasement (Bloomberg) There have been few better ways to chart Britain's decline from empire than its currency. Historians, economists and foreign-policy specialists point to the more-than 10 percent plunge since the June 23 referendum as signaling another downward leg in the U.K.'s global role and influence.
Post-Brexit power plays put Germany firmly in charge of Europe (The Conversation) Britain has voluntarily and irrevocably surrendered its privileged place within the inner circle of EU leaders. That leaves Ho;;ande and Merkel alone at the top - and guess who steers the ship. But when it comes to global security issues, France is the leader so Germany will not likely try unilateral leadership.
Indian services growth slows for third straight month in June-PMI (Reuters) Growth in India's services sector slowed to a seven-month low in June as new orders continued to soften, a business survey showed on Tuesday. Though input prices rose, service firms were barely able to raise selling prices, suggesting the central bank may have room to cut interest rates again in coming months if inflationary pressures in the broader economy moderate. The Nikkei/Market Services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 50.3 in June from May's 51.0, its 12th month above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
Rich Landowners Reap Billions From India Tax Loophole (Bloomberg) Thousands of rich landowners don't need to pay taxes thanks to laws designed to help the hundreds of millions of poor farmers who scratch a living from India's soil. Worse still, some people are buying agricultural land to avoid paying taxes by declaring their earnings as returns from farming, opposition lawmaker Sharad Yadav told parliament in March. Citizens declared about $29 trillion worth of agricultural income in the year through March 2011. That's almost 15 times the value of India's economy. The lost revenue is a blight in a nation where direct taxes as a share of the economy have fallen to the lowest in almost a decade, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pledge to crack down on tax evasion.
PM Modi expands his cabinet (Reuters) Prime Minister Narendra Modi expanded his cabinet on Tuesday in a bid to improve the efficiency of the two-year-old administration.
Chinese paper says should prepare for South China Sea armed clash (Reuters) China should prepare itself for military confrontation in the South China Sea, an influential Chinese paper said on Tuesday, a week ahead of a decision by an international court on a dispute there between China and the Philippines. Tensions have been rising ahead of a July 12 ruling by an arbitration court hearing the argument between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea in the Dutch city of The Hague. In joint editorials in its Chinese and English editions, the state-run Global Times said the dispute, having already been complicated by U.S. intervention, now faces further escalation due to the threat posed by the tribunal to China's sovereignty.
Venezuela Refuses to Default. Few People Seem to Understand Why. (Bloomberg) It's been almost two years now since the renowned Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann caused a stir in his native Venezuela by posing an uncomfortable question. Why does a country that's so starved for cash keep honoring its foreign debts? In other words, how does it justify shelling out precious hard currency to wealthy bondholders in New York when it can't pay for basic food and medicine imports desperately needed by millions of impoverished citizens?
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