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 real utopia: This ancient civilisation thrived without war (American Scientist) The Indus civilization seems to have flourished for 700 years without armor, weapons, inequality or royalty. The civilization of the Indus valley is the most enigmatic of the four great early civilizations. While Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt and ancient China gloried in warfare, it seems absent from the Indus valley. Was this a real, functioning utopia? If so, how did it survive, and why did it eventually disappear? Note: Subscription required to read complete article. Map below (questgarden.com) shows the location of three of the four ancient river valley civilizations (China not shown) with the Indus River now in present day Pakistan. It is now believed that the Indus civilization was extended into the Ganges Valley and became known there as the Vedic civilization after the decline of the Indus centers. See here and here.
Do Immigrants Import Their Economic Destiny? (Evonomics) The countries that have made the most progress in political freedom and economic prosperity are those which have had the largest immigrations from northern and western Europe and eastern Asia. The correlation coefficients are very high.
The Big Question about Donald Trump's Rise in the Polls (The New Yorker) On August 10th, Hillary Clinton was leading Donald Trump by almost eight percentage points in a head-to-head match, according to the Real Clear Politics poll average. By Friday morning, the gap had narrowed to 1.5 percentage points. A poll from CBS News and The New York Times showed that Trump had pulled to within two points of Clinton among likely voters. A Fox News survey of likely voters showed Clinton leading by one point in a four-way race including two third-party candidates - Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. But the poll also showed Trump leading by one point in a head-to-head match up with Clinton. This article goes through a lengthy discussion about what shifts might occur between now and election day that would go against this seeming surge by Trump. Econintersect: We report the probability calculations from Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight) on the presidential contest twice a week, usually Wednesday and Sunday.
New York City shaken by 'intentional' explosion (Reuters) An explosion rocked the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday night, injuring at least 29 people, authorities said, adding that they are investigating the blast as a criminal act not immediately linked to any terror organization. Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials said investigators had ruled out a natural gas leak as the origin of the blast but they stopped short of calling it a bombing and declined to specify precisely what they believed may have triggered the explosion.
Obama Says It Will Be 'Personal Insult' If Blacks Don't Vote (Bloomberg) President Barack Obama said if black voters fail to vote in sufficient numbers and Donald Trump wins the presidency, he will consider it a "personal insult". At times raising his voice during an impassioned 25-minute speech, Obama sought to rally his most loyal supporters to elect Hillary Clinton as his successor. Obama said Saturday at an awards dinner hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington:
"I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard. You want to give me a good send off? Go vote!"
Deutsche Bank's Real Time Stress Test (The New Yorker) Deutsche Bank, already branded the world's riskiest bank by the International Monetary Fund, is in more trouble than anybody thought. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Justice Department wants to fine Deutsche Bank $14 billion for its role in underwriting and issuing risky residential-mortgage-backed securities (or R.M.B.S.) from 2005 to 2007. Deutsche Bank was expecting a fine of between two and three billion. Typically cases like this end up near half the initial "offer". But, even at $7 billion or a little less, DB is in deep doo-doo. They also have a big bill coming to settle phony trades which spirited around $10 billion out of Russia between 2011 and 2015. And the bank only has $5.5 billion in reserve to settle litigations. Looks like they will need an infusion of equity from investors or government bailout.
Syria, Russia: Coalition airstrike kills regime forces (CNN) Hours after US-led coalition airstrikes reportedly killed dozens of Syrian troops, the US and Russian ambassadors to the United Nations chastised each other outside an emergency Security Council meeting. The strike occurred Saturday in an eastern part of Syria that is not a part of a delicate and nearly week-old ceasefire. The US military said it was targeting ISIS militants and if it hit Syrian troops, it was an accident. Russia and Syria said the strikes prove the United States and its allies are sympathetic to ISIS.
Pro-Putin party seen winning even greater sway in Russia's parliament (Reuters) The ruling United Russia party is expected to win even greater dominance over Russia's lower house in a parliamentary election on Sunday, showing that support for President Vladimir Putin is holding up despite sanctions and a deep economic slowdown. The election for the Duma, or lower house, is being seen as a dry run for Putin's expected presidential campaign in 2018.
17 soldiers killed in militant attack in Uri (The Hindu) Seventeen soldiers were killed in an encounter when militants attacked an Army infantry battalion in Uri area of Baramulla district on Sunday morning. Four militants were killed in the encounter. Police sources said the fidayeen militants stormed the Army camp near the Line of Control (LoC) around 4 a.m. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has postponed his visit to Russia and the U.S in the wake of the terror attack. Econintersect: Uri is in the province of Jammu and Kashmir, west of Srinigar near the border with Pakistan.
Starvation deaths in Mumbai backyard rattle Maharashtra; 'So what?' asks Minister (Indian Express) Hat tip to Sanjeev Kulkarni. Malnutrition deaths at Vada and Mokhada in Palghar - the newly-carved tribal district neighbouring Mumbai, have unnerved the BJP-Shiv Sena saffron alliance government in Maharashtra. In the past month, Palghar has been rocked by 12 malnutrition-related deaths. According to activists, this tribal-dominated district has been in the grip of the quiet crisis for years, but things have now come to a head with a reported 600 malnutrition deaths during the past year. An expression of "So What? The government is doing its work, implementing its schemes" by Vishnu Savara, tribal welfare minister and the guardian minister of Palghar district, reported Thursday has been denied by the minister.
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