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posted on 10 August 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, U.S. LNG To Asia Via Panama, U.S. Campaign Craziness, EU-27 Demands For Brexit, India's 16-Year Hunger Strike And More

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Early Bird Headlines 10 August 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.




  • A New Trade Route for Natural Gas Opens in Panama (Bloomberg) When the Panama Canal's expanded locks slid open in late June, perhaps no one was happier than executives in the U.S. shale industry. With the goal of making the U.S. a global powerhouse for natural gas exports, these frackers have their sights on Asia. Now they have a more direct route that could significantly benefit their bottom line.

Nine years of construction work at a cost of more than $5 billion have equipped the canal with a third set of locks and deeper navigation channels, crucial improvements that doubled the isthmus's capacity for ferrying goods between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Within a week of opening, officials said they had more than 170 reservations for transits this year, mostly for so-called New Panamax cargo carriers that couldn't fit through the old canal.

For natural gas suppliers, the expansion comes at a pivotal moment. It coincides with a big increase in U.S. shale production and the construction of several Gulf Coast export terminals designed to help American gas muscle its way onto the world market. The canal's deeper channels can accommodate the kind of football-field-size tankers that transport liquefied natural gas (LNG), shaving 11 days and one-third the cost of the typical round trip to Asia. In July the U.S. Department of Energy predicted 550 tankers could be crossing each year by 2021.

  • An Updated Version of the "Peak Oil" Story (Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World) GT has contributed to GEI. This is a comprehensive look exploring how oil limits affect the economy. Tverberg suggests at one point that energy consumption per capita may have passed its peak. Econintersect: The graph she shows makes us suggest she may not be able to confirm that for a few years.


  • Trump accused of threatening violence against Clinton with gun-rights remarks (Los Angeles Times) Donald Trump roiled his tumultuous campaign once again Tuesday by suggesting supporters of gun rights could take action to stop Hillary Clinton from appointing judges as president, a remark that critics said hinted at the possibility of violence. Trump often makes comments that can be interpreted with both benign and malignant connotations. Ambiguous statements that can be read as incitements or appeals to prejudice have been a core part of his rhetoric. Econintersect: This is the strangest presidential campaign season ever. Craziest might be a better word. We have a feeling that crazy may just be getting started. See the following articles.

  • Sanders Supporters Stunned by Sudden Death of 38-Year Shawn Lucas Who Served the Lawsuit on the DNC and Wasserman Shultz (Wall Street on Parade) According to the official report from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., officers Kathryn Fitzgerald and Adam Sotelo responded to a 911 call from the girlfriend of Shawn Lucas, Savannah King. The officers arrived "at 1913 hours," or 7:13 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, August 2. The report states that Lucas was "laying unconscious on the bathroom floor" at 7:13 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, August 2. The report says "DCFD Engine 9 responded and found no signs consistent with life." Who is Shawn Lucas? See video below and the following excerpt from this article:

On Friday, July 1, just ahead of the long Fourth of July weekend, a happy, exuberant process server, 38-year old Shawn Lucas of One Source Process, served a lawsuit at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters and named the DNC and its then Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as defendants. It leveled the following serious charges: fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive conduct, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence.

There is only one reasonable explanation for Donald Trump's erratic behavior in recent weeks. His infatuation with the presidency apparently has ended.

Like a schoolboy falling for a girl the very first time, Trump was bewitched by the grandeur of the title "Mr. President." The power and prestige that go along with being the leader of the free world would far exceed the notoriety of the high-rise hotels and steaks that bear his name.

So for months, Trump flirted with the idea of being president. He pursued his new passion with a vengeance, trampling over 16 other suitors who got in his way. He teased potential supporters with merciless vigor, bringing them to the point of complete surrender, convinced America could not survive without him at the helm.

  • The Case For A Negotiated Republican Surrender To Hillary (The Daily Caller) This right wing news source suggests that it's time for Republican leaders to consider a negotiated endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Barring a Wikileaks revelation showing Clinton to be a secret member of ISIS, she seems to be on a glide path to the White House. Instead of Donald Trump attempting to expand his base since securing the Republican nomination, he is politically self-immolating on a national stage. Trump apologists keep saying he will soon change course. But the only way for Trump to change course is to change who he is. That's not going to happen.

  • The Republicans tried to sink Obama. Instead, the party imploded (The Guardian) From Richard Wolfe's editorial:

His name is Barack Obama. And he can thank the freak show that is Donald Trump's Republican party for restoring his stature as a unifying, national leader with a moderated and mature approach to a complex and unstable world.

Eight years ago, Obama represented an existential threat to the Republican party, and not just because he was going to lead the Democratic party to win the White House and Congress by large margins.

No, Obama's biggest threat was that he could realign American politics, shifting it fundamentally towards progressives for a generation. He and his campaign aides talked privately of being the Reagan of the left: a transformative figure who would leave an indelible legislative mark at home and restore America's position on the world stage.


  • EU-27 drafts Brexit red lines as Britain plans its strategy (Chicago Tribune) British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a daunting array of demands from European Union nations when the time comes to negotiate Britain's future relationship with the bloc, an analysis of the region's 27 other members shows. The Bloomberg survey, based on responses from ministries, public comments from government officials and interviews with policy makers, reveals European leaders are laying down their own red lines as May's team weighs what it wants to seek in the Brexit talks. The result is a complex patchwork of priorities -- from fishing to shipping, an insistence on freedom of movement to the sovereignty of Gibraltar -- that may run counter to what the U.K. wants to achieve and that it will have to seek to satisfy if May is to meet her commitment of making a success of Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

  • The pound has not been so sterling after Brexit: How currency weakness will hit our travel plans, inflation and trade (City A.M.) The pound has been steadily falling as the Brexit referendum and Bank of England's moves to shore up the economy have pushed investors into selling the pound. Its downward slide over the last 12 months means sterling is now worth 16%t less against the dollar, at £1/$1.31, compared to £1/$1.56 previously. It's even weaker against the euro, having fallen 18% in the last year, down to £1/€1.18. The pound fell again as the Bank of England announced a batch of measures to prevent the emergence of a post-Brexit crisis. Everyone's agog at the impact of the rate cuts, but the relative strength of sterling has a considerable effect the UK economy too.


  • Yulia Efimova hits back at critics: 'I thought cold war was long in the past' (The Guardian) The Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, who was booed on the podium after taking the silver medal in the 100m breaststroke, hit out at competitors who badmouthed her for doping, and claimed the West was using sport to fight a new cold war. The USA swimmer Lilly King, who won gold, had been involved in a spat with Efimova prior to the race, and a number of other competitors had registered their frustration that Efimova, who was banned twice for doping, had been allowed to take part. Econintersect: Was the removal of Lance Armstrong's awards for doping a political act? No Yulia, there does not seem to be anything political about the world's reactions to the misdeeds of your dope-testing scandal either.


  • Indian activist ends 16-year hunger strike with a lick of honey (The Guardian) After 16 years, it was a lick of honey that did it. The world's longest hunger strike ended on Tuesday when an Indian human rights campaigner gave up her protest against state violence but pledged to continue the fight in the political arena. Crinkling her face at the taste of food, Irom Sharmila, 44, from the troubled north-eastern state of Manipur, finished the fast she began in 2000 after the Malom massacre - when 10 people were reportedly killed by a government-run paramilitary group near the city of Imphal. During the 16 years she had been fed only by intravenous drip while in police custody.

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