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posted on 13 September 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Trump And Obamacare, Trump Changes Stance On Debates, Independent London?, Italexit, Good China Data, Raupehu Volcano, Panama History And More

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Early Bird Headlines 13 September 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.




  • The Crazy, Mixed-Up Global Oil Market (Bloomberg) Ultra-low crude prices combined with cheap shipping rates are encouraging a host of exotic new oil trading routes that wouldn't look out of place in the latest travel brochures. Oil exporters are tapping into new markets as they attempt to work through a glut in crude supplies that's reshaping oil market economics and redrawing decades-old shipping routes. Encouraging such new routes is the fact that oil remains in contango - meaning near-term deliveries are cheaper than those further out in the future. Combined with cheap freight costs, the trend means oil exporters can just as well afford to ship their product to far-flung places for refining than keep it on floating oil tankers for delivery at a later date.

The recent explosion of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket during a test on a launchpad at Cape Canaveral may have opened a Pandora's box of legal problems previously only discussed with hushed voices in space law circles.

While there is an international space law that sets out a general framework for the conduct of all space activities - including those by private firms - most of it was developed decades ago, before the rise of commercial space exploration. It is in fact not entirely clear how much regulation of space activities by private companies currently exists - particularly in relation to the liability for accidents.

  • Hanjin Fall Is Lehman Moment for Shipping, Seaspan CEO Says (Bloomberg) The fall of South Korea's biggest container line Hanjin Shipping Co. is similar to the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and has materially impacted the shipping industry, Seaspan Corp. Chief Executive Officer Gerry Wang said. He added:

"The fallout of Hanjin Shipping is like Lehman Brothers to the financial markets. It's a huge, huge nuclear bomb. It shakes up the supply chain, the cornerstone of globalization."


  • How Trump Ended the Obamacare Debate (The Atlantic) Republicans once made opposition to the Affordable Care Act central to their message - but their nominee understands the dangers of taking health care away from those who need it.

Donald Trump remains virtually silent on Obamacare. Look at Trump's last 10 speeches - the number since Trump began delivering prepared-text teleprompter remarks. All came during a period of bad news about Obamacare. But, according to the texts released by the campaign, one Trump speech didn't mention Obamacare at all, while several others devoted just a few - really, a few - words to the subject.

  • Trump: I don't want moderator for debate (The Hill) Just days after Donald trump said he accepted the debate schedule and moderators selected, he now says there should be no moderator because "a debate with a moderator could be "rigged" and would be unfair". For reference, see this from last Monday (05 September): Trump says he 'respects' moderators, will attend all 3 debates (WBAL TV).

  • Trump says Clinton's 'deplorables' remark is disqualifying (WBAL TV) Donald Trump criticized Hillary Clinton Monday for her characterization that half of his supporters belonged in "a basket of deplorables", denouncing the comment as "an explicit attack on the American voter" and suggesting that it makes her unfit for the presidency.

  • Pence declines to call David Duke 'deplorable' (The Hill) Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence declined to call former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke "deplorable" on Monday. In a CNN interview, anchor Wolf Blitzer brought up Duke, a vocal supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in the context of Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" remark. "Would you call him deplorable?" Blitzer asked of Duke, a former grand wizard for the KKK. "No, I'm not in the name-calling business, Wolf. You know me better than that," Pence said. Pence also noted that the Trump campaign has denounced Duke's support.

  • 'I didn't think it was a big deal,' Clinton says of pneumonia bout (Reuters) Democrat Hillary Clinton said on Monday she could resume presidential campaigning in a couple of days after a bout of pneumonia that she initially had not believed was "that big a deal". Clinton's health scare after she almost collapsed at an event on Sunday, causing her to cancel some campaign trips, revived concerns about a tendency toward secrecy that has dogged her campaign, and underscored perennial worries about the medical fitness of candidates for one of the world's most demanding jobs. Econintersect: If you want a private life, Hillary, get out of presidential campaign politics. A hangnail is public interest for a president.

  • Howard Dean: NPR's Clinton coverage disgusts me (The Hill) Former Vermont governor and former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, who supports Clinton's Oval Office bid, did not say what he found objectionable in NPR's reporting. He simply said that he could "no longer stomach NPR's coverage of Hillary Clinton".


  • The future of London: Is the city edging towards independence? (City A.M.) Could London become the UK's Hong Kong? It is increasingly easy to characterise London as a "city state". Its scale, wealth and multi-dimensional differences (as compared to the rest of the country) mean it has more in common with New York or Toronto than with Yorkshire or Scotland.


  1. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi could lose the autumn referendum he has called on ratifying far-reaching Italian political reform.

  2. The follow-on general election after the failed referendum with the defeat of the center-left Democratic Party (PD) of Renzi by the populisg Five Star movement of comedian Beppe Grillo.

  3. The win by Five Star could lead to an Italexit referendum with a majority vote to leave the EU.


  • Duterte says he wants U.S. special forces out of southern Philippines (Reuters) President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called for the withdrawal of U.S. special forces troops from a group of islands in the southern Philippines, saying their presence could complicate offensives against Islamist militants notorious for beheading Westerners. Duterte, who was in the spotlight last week over a televised tirade against the United States and President Barack Obama, said the Americans still in Mindanao were high-value targets for the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf militants as counter-insurgency operations intensify.

South Korea

  • U.S. bombers fly over South Korea in show of force after nuclear test (Reuters) Two U.S. B-1 bombers flew over South Korea on Tuesday in a show of force and solidarity with its ally after North Korea's nuclear test last week, while a U.S. envoy called for a swift and strong response to Pyongyang from the United Nations. Speaking in the South Korean capital on Tuesday, Sung Kim, the U.S. envoy on North Korea, added that the United States remained open to authentic, meaningful dialogue with Pyongyang on ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons.


"The cause and crux of the Korean nuclear issue rest with the U.S. rather than China."

  • Raft of positive data from China lifts Asian markets (City A.M.) In August, industrial production was up 6.3% year-on-year, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. This was up from 6% growth in July - and it just beat economists' forecasts of 6.2% growth. Retail sales cam in at 10.6% year-on-year growth, up from 10.2%t growth. Forecasts had predicted the growth rate to stay flat. Chinese real estate sales fell again in August - but property investment grew for the first time in four months. Growth in urban fixed asset investment held stead at 8.1% year-on-year in August.

New Zealand

  • New Zealand's Raupehu Volcano is Heating Up Fast (Wired) Ruapehu, on the north island of New Zealand, is one of the most restless volcanoes in the island country. However, it has been a quiet (almost) decade for the picturesque volcano. The last confirmed eruption from Ruapehu was back in 2007, and it was a very small explosive eruption. You have to go back over 20 years to get to its last major eruption. Those eruptions, in 1995 and 1996, have had a lasting impact in how Ruapehu is watched ... that is, very closely. You see, the mountain is a major ski resort so people could be up close and personal to any unexpected eruption. And the heavy summit snow cover surrounding a crater lake create ideal conditions for massive volcanic mud flows, known as lahars, combined with pyroclastic flows, a massively deadly combination. One of the physical characteristics monitored is the water temperature in the crater lake, which has been increasing in wild swings, from 46ºF a year ago to 117ºF in March and back down to 54ºF in August. In the past few weeks the temperature has started back up, rising over 7ºF so far.



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