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posted on 25 July 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, ASEAN Deadlocked On So. China Sea, Global ISIS, Oil Bulls In Trouble, Hillary's PO Bank, Deadly Synthetic Opioid And More

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Early Bird Headlines 25 July 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.




  • ASEAN deadlocked on South China Sea, Cambodia blocks statement (Reuters) Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met for the first time since the U.N.-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration handed an emphatic legal victory to the Philippines in the dispute this month. The ruling by the court in The Hague denied China's sweeping claims in the strategic seaway, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes each year. China claims most of the sea, but ASEAN members the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have rival claims. Beijing says the ruling has no bearing on its rights in the sea, and described the case as a farce. Cambodia blocked any mention to an international court ruling against Beijing in their statement after the Southeast Asian nations failed to agree on maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

  • ISIS goes global: More than 125 attacks in 27 countries have killed nearly 1,770 (CNN) Since declaring its caliphate in June 2014, the self-proclaimed Islamic State has conducted or inspired more than 125 terrorist attacks in 27 countries other than Iraq and Syria, where its carnage has taken a much deadlier toll. Those attacks have killed at least 1,767 people and injured thousands more. Click on map for larger image.

  • Oil Bulls Headed Over Demand Cliff as Refinery Shutdowns Loom (Bloomberg) Beware, oil bulls: Just as U.S. oil production sinks low enough to drain supplies, demand is about to fall off a cliff. American gasoline consumption typically ebbs in August and September as vacationers return home, and refiners use that dip to shut for seasonal maintenance. Over the past five years, refiners' thirst for oil has dropped an average of 1.2 million barrels a day from July to October.


  • Why Hillary Clinton thinks making the Postal Service a bank too, is a good idea (CNBC) he Democratic platform laid out some of the party's main talking points for the general election, but also included one that may seem unusual, even bizarre, to some. The 55-page platform said that a Hillary Clinton administration would work to let the U.S. Postal Service offer "basic financial services," including cashing checks and giving USPS more flexibility in choosing with services it provides, in an effort to revitalize the government service. Harry Holzer, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University, said the reasoning behind this may be "it's the one institution that kind of exists everywhere already". He added, however, the government would have to spend money to make this work. Econintersect: Postal banking is widespread in the rest of the developed world and would be a major deterrent against payday lenders.

  • Wasserman Schultz resigning as party leader (CNN) Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday she is stepping down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the party's convention, which is set to begin here Monday. The Florida congresswoman's resignation -- under pressure from top Democrats -- comes amid the release of leaked emails showing DNC staffers favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party's 2016 primary contest.

  • Pills laced with deadly opioid infiltrating drug market, DEA says (The Guardian) Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills laced with a deadly synthetic opioid have infiltrated the US drug market, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, with the problem expected to escalate. The pills are pressed using pharmacy-grade machines to look like known prescription painkillers that an increasing number of Americans addicted to opioids seek to buy illegally. They contain various amounts of fentanyl - a synthetic drug between 50 and 100 times more powerful than morphine; even a few extra grains of the drug can prove deadly. Often law enforcement only determines they are counterfeit after they are taken to a laboratory for testing.

  • This chart shows the market rally is in jeopardy: Money manager (CNBC) It's an indicator which may humble investors riding the record breaking S&P 500 Index's rally. Jeroen Blokland, a widely followed money manager, finds stocks in the U.S. are too pricey based on a chart comparing the level of the market to the amount of sales generated by the companies within the S&P 500. The higher the price-to-sales ratio rises, the more investors are paying per every dollar of revenue.



  • Schaeuble to put financial transaction tax on global agenda (The Business Times) German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday he's putting efforts to tax financial transactions on the global agenda after attempts in Europe have stalled, even if results will only materialize after "years". Speaking to reporters in Chengdu, China, on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs, Mr Schaeuble cited G-20 progress in efforts to curb tax avoidance, through the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting initiative, as encouragement for his plan.

  • Man with machete kills woman in southern Germany (The Guardian) A 21-year-old man has killed a woman with a machete and injured two other people before being arrested in the southern German city of Reutlingen. The man, a Syrian asylum seeker, had been involved in previous incidents causing injuries to other people, a police spokesman said. The motive was not clear but there was no indication that the incident was a terrorist attack. Witnesses said the man was having an argument with the woman before he attacked her at about 4.30pm on Sunday. This is the third incident involving capital crime by a middle eastern refugee in the last 10 days in Germany. None were associated with terrorist groups.

  • One dead, 10 injured in blast near Nuremberg, Germany: police (Reuters) An explosion killed at least one person and injured 10 others near the German city of Nuremberg on Sunday in what authorities said was believed to be an intentional blast. It was the fourth violent incident in Germany in a week and came as the country was still on edge after the killing of nine people by an 18-year-old Iranian-German gunman in Munich on Friday. The blast in the town Ansbach prompted the evacuation of more than 2,000 people from a nearby music festival, authorities said. A later report says the bomb was carried by a 27-year old Syrian man who had been denied asylum last year. The bomber was the only fatality; 12 others were injured. The man had twice previously attempted to commit suicide


  • Nintendo Plunges After Saying Pokemon Go's Impact Is Limited (Bloomberg) Nintendo Co. shares plunged after the company said late Friday that the financial impact from the worldwide hit Pokemon Go will be limited. The stock sank 17% as of midday in Tokyo, wiping out about $6.4 billion in market value. The company cannot fall more than 18% today in Tokyo, as per exchange rules on the maximum that share prices can fluctuate per day. After debuting in the U.S. earlier this month, Pokemon Go launched in Japan on Friday and became available in Hong Kong on Monday. The correction comes after Pokemon Go's release almost doubled Nintendo's stock through Friday's close, adding $17.6 billion in market capitalization.


  • Japan monthly economy assessment unchanged, but business sentiment worsens (Reuters) Japan's government kept its assessment of the economy unchanged in July but said business sentiment has worsened after the Bank of Japan's tankan survey showed the corporate mood stagnated in April-June due to a strengthening yen. The government left unchanged its assessment of exports and industrial production, but there are signs that corporate activity is losing momentum as exports decline.


  • G20 should support a new int'l tax system for growth: China finance minister (Xinhuanet) China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said Saturday, speaking at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Chengdu, capital city of southwestern China's Sichuan Province, that the G20 should continuously expand and deepen international tax coordination and cooperation, and support the development of a new international tax system which is fair, equal, inclusive and organized.

  • Borrowing costs for Chinese firms is key obstacle to private investment: NDRC (Reuters) Borrowing costs and access to funding are the key obstacles to private investment in China, a senior official at the top economic planning agency said on Monday, after private investment growth shrank to a record low. A government spending spree and housing boom helped China's economy grow 6.7% in the second quarter, but a sharp slump in private investment is pointing to a loss of momentum and worrying policymakers. Government owned businesses can borrow from the government at low rates while privately owned business must pay 6% higher rates, as of the second quarter.

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