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posted on 25 September 2016

Early Headlines: Japan Needs Fed Hike, Mexico Tanker Ablaze, 1.5C Limit Within 10 Yrs, Africa's Growth Problems, Did US Destroy Syria Truce?, Merkel: No Help For DB And More

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Early Bird Headlines 25 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.



  • Earth Could Reach Critical Climate Threshold in a Decade, Scientists Warn (EcoWatch) Speaking at a University of Oxford conference this week, led by leading UK climate researcher Richard Betts, scientists said global greenhouse gas emissions are not likely to slow down quickly enough to avoid passing the 1.5°C target. The goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C was agreed to in the landmark Paris agreement negotiated by 195 nations last year. But the planet is continuing to experience unprecedented heat month after month, setting 2016 on track to be the hottest year ever recorded. In fact, the scientists said, Earth is currently on a trajectory to hit at least 2.7°C in global temperature rise.

  • Realizing the potential of Africa's economies (McKinsey) Many observers are questioning whether Africa's economic advances are running out of steam. Five years ago, growth was accelerating in almost all of the region's 30 largest economies, but the recent picture has been more mixed: while growth has sped up in about half of Africa's economies, it has slowed in the rest. Between 2010 and 2015, Africa's overall GDP growth averaged just 3.3%, considerably weaker than 4.9% a year between 2000 and 2008. But the economic growth patterns have been widely varying:



  • Saudi skeptics gain strength in Congress (The Hill) Lawmakers in both parties are growing more skeptical of the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia. This week, 27 senators - three Republicans and 24 Democrats - voted against a $1.15 billion arms sale to the country. That wasn't enough to block it, but it was more votes against the deal than observers expected.

  • Florida Residents Sue Mosaic Over Massive, Radioactive Sinkhole (EcoWatch) Mosaic Fertilizer has been slammed with a federal lawsuit over the massive, radioactive sinkhole that opened under its New Wales plant in Mulberry, Florida, 30 miles east of Tampa. The sinkhole, formed below a phosphogypsum stack, has leaked an estimated 215 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into the Floridan Aquifer, posing a potentially serious threat to drinking water. To make matters worse, news reports indicate that the fertilizer giant and state officials knew about the problem for three weeks but failed to notify the public. There are approximately 1,500 private wells in the affected area.

  • Details of Syria Pact Widen Rift Between John Kerry and Pentagon (The New York Times) Hat tip to Rob Carter. The agreement that Secretary of State John Kerryannounced with Russia to reduce the killing in Syria has widened an increasingly public divide between Mr. Kerry and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, who has deep reservations about the plan for American and Russian forces to jointly target terrorist groups. Read more about the ceasefire and its failure under Syria, below.


  • New fears for 1,000 lone children in Calais refugee camp (The Guardian) Up to 1,000 unaccompanied minors will be left to fend for themselves when the so-called jungle camp for refugees in Calais is bulldozed next month. The French authorities have made no plans to rehouse the children, the Observer has learned, because it is hoping to force Britain to honour a promise to help child refugees. The French interior ministry has informed charities and aid organisations that it intends to destroy the camp in less than four weeks. Almost 400 unaccompanied youngsters in the camp, some of whom have relatives in the UK, have already been identified as having a legal right to come to Britain. In May, David Cameron announced that Britain would accept as many as 3,000 unaccompanied minors. James Brokenshire, immigration minister at the time, said Britain had "a moral duty to help". So far only 30 children have been relocated.


  • Merkel Rules out Assistance for Deutsche Bank, Focus Reports (Bloomberg) Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out any state assistance for Deutsche Bank AG in the year heading into the national election in September 2017, Focus magazine reported, citing unidentified government officials. The German leader also declined to step into the Frankfurt-based bank's legal imbroglio with the U.S. Justice Department, which may seek as much as $14 billion in sanctions against Deutsche Bank's mortgage-backed securities business, the magazine said. A German government spokesman declined to comment on the report Saturday. A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman also wouldn't comment.


There are several sound reasons for concluding that the US-led air strike on the Syrian army base near Deir Ezzor last weekend was a deliberate act of murderous sabotage. One compelling reason is that the Pentagon and CIA knew they had to act in order to kill the ceasefire plan worked out by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The compulsion to wreck the already shaky truce was due to the unbearable exposure that the ceasefire plan was shedding on American systematic involvement in the terrorist proxy war on Syria.

Not only that, but the tentative ceasefire was also exposing the elements within the US government responsible for driving the war effort. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter - the head of the Pentagon - reportedly fought tooth and nail with Obama's top diplomat John Kerry while the latter was trying to finalize the ceasefire plan with Russia's Lavrov on the previous weekend of September 9 in Geneva.


  • India's Modi hits out at Pakistan after attack in Kashmir (Reuters) India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized Pakistan on Saturday, accusing it of being an exporter of terrorism, and vowing to mount a global campaign to isolate it. The comments follow the Sept. 18 attack on an Indian army camp in Kashmir, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan. The attack claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers, in the biggest blow to security forces in the disputed Himalayan region for 14 years.


  • Why the Bank of Japan may be praying for a Fed rate hike (CNBC) The national flag flutters in the wind at the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. The Bank of Japan has lost its grip on the country's currency, and an interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve may be the only fix for Japan's economy. Overnight, the yen hit 100.07, its strongest against the dollar in nearly a month. The strength comes after the Bank of Japan took the new and unusual step of implementing so-called "yield curve control", a policy that's designed to keep the 10-year Japanese government bond yield near current levels, around 0 percent. Most bonds issued by Japan have negative yields - meaning that bond buyers actually pay for the right to lend money to the government. The yen has been rising against the dollar all year and the only thing that might slow down that trend is higher rates in the U.S.


  • Fire breaks out on Mexican state oil tanker in Gulf of Mexico (The Guardian) A fire broke out on an oil tanker of Mexican state oil company Pemex in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, forcing all the crew to be evacuated in the latest accident to plague the struggling firm. The blaze on the tanker Burgos occurred off the coast of Boca del Rio in Veracruz state and all the crew were safe, Pemex said in a tweet. Mexico's Navy said there were 31 crew members and that all had returned to port. The tanker was carrying 80,000 barrels of diesel and 70,000 barrels of gasoline, Mexico's communications and transport ministry said.

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