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posted on 30 October 2016

Early Headlines: FBI Has No Warrant, Abedin Shrugs, Disparate US Protests, US Shadow Banks Rise Again, Will Assange Destroy Hillary?, China Lets Filipinos Fish And More

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Early Bird Headlines 30 October 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.



  • Report: The FBI still doesn't have a warrant to review new emails related to the Clinton investigation (Business Insider, MSN News) The FBI still has not obtained a search warrant to review the new emails related to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server, Yahoo News reported Saturday, citing three government officials who were briefed on the investigation. According to one of the officials, FBI Director James Comey "had no idea what was in the content of the emails" when he wrote his letter to Congress Friday announcing the existence of new emails that appeared to be "pertinent" to the completed investigation into Clinton's private email server. The emails were reportedly discovered after the FBI seized the laptop of former congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The FBI has been investigating Weiner since September in a probe related to his alleged sexting with a 15-year-old girl. A senior law enforcement official told Yahoo News that "discussions are underway" between the FBI and the Department of Justice on how the situation will proceed. The DOJ had warned the FBI against alerting Congress to the existence of the emails, according to media reports on Saturday. Announcing the investigation went against longstanding tradition, and could be perceived as influencing, or attempting to influence, the looming election, the reports said.

  • Clinton aide Huma Abedin has told people she doesn’t know how her emails wound up on her husband’s computer (The Washington Post), MSN News) Econintersect: This gets weirder and weirder. First we were told there were a thousand e-mails. Now this article says "thousands". Abedin has told friends she doesn't think she was a regular user of her husband's computer and her lawyers never searched it for materials related to the Clinton inquiry. From the WaPo:

Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has told people she is unsure how her emails could have ended up on a device she viewed as her husband’s computer, the seizure of which has reignited the Clinton email investigation, according to a person familiar with the investigation and civil litigation over the matter.

The person, who would not discuss the case unless granted anonymity, said Abedin was not a regular user of the computer, and even when she agreed to turn over emails to the State Department for federal records purposes, her lawyers did not search it for materials, not believing any of her messages to be there.

That could be a significant oversight if Abedin’s work messages were indeed on the computer of her estranged husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation for allegedly exchanging lewd messages with a 15-year-old girl. So far, it is unclear what - if any - new, work-related messages were found by authorities. The person said the FBI had not contacted Abedin about its latest discovery, and she was unsure what the bureau had discovered.

According to federal law enforcement officials, investigators found thousands of messages on Weiner’s computer that they believe to be potentially relevant to the separate, Clinton email investigation. How they are relevant - or if they are significant in any respect - remains unknown.

On the same day seven defendants celebrated their acquittal in the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, law enforcement officers dressed in riot gear and firing bean bag rounds arrested nearly 150 oil pipeline protesters camped out in North Dakota.

The sudden developments in the two protests drew an unsettling contrast for many between the treatment of mostly Native American citizens at an encampment near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the heavily armed occupiers who held the federal government at bay for weeks in remote, southeastern Oregon.

"How is it that people who were seen on national media with guns having a standoff with police officials were acquitted ... and we're being treated like we're terrorists?" said Cody Hall, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and a spokesman for the pipeline protesters.

Yet experts on public land policy who have watched both situations unfold cautioned it is too soon to draw conclusions about either protest's outcome - and pointed to broad yet important themes that underlie movements otherwise separated by hundreds of miles and an ideological chasm.

Both the Standing Rock Sioux and the Oregon occupiers consider themselves marginalized groups fighting to preserve a way of life.

Both movements feel disenfranchised and are disillusioned with federal land policy, said Gregg Cawley, a University of Wyoming political science professor.

  • Shadow banks are taking over the mortgage market again (CNBC) Shadow banks are on the cusp of taking the lead from their commercial counterparts in the mortgage market, new data suggests, a phenomenon that hasn't been seen since the 2008 financial crisis. Non-bank lenders, which inhabit the comparatively lightly regulated industry, accounted for 48 percent of mortgage activity in 2015 - and there's reason to believe that when all is said and done for 2016 that number will grow. The implications, while good for an industry that is believed to hold about $80 trillion in assets, carry some dark undertones of high financial risk.

  • Breaking: Assange Lands Final Blow on Hillary after FBI Case Reopened (State of the Nation) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Econintersect: This site proclaims it has "no political affiliation" but all the more than 100 articles listed on its home page are strongly pro-Republican and Trump and against Clinton and Democrats. Here is what it claims Wikileaks will be releasing over the next few days from e-mail attributed to Wikileaks hackers (for which we question legitimacy - read and you will see why):


  • Pirates face rough seas as incumbents lead in Iceland vote (Associated Press) Iceland looked likely to steer away from a Pirate takeover Sunday, as voters favored the incumbent Independence Party over the upstart band of buccaneers advocating direct democracy and Internet freedom. With roughly half of votes counted from Saturday's election, the Independence Party had about 30% of ballots for first place and the Pirate Party about 14%, putting them in third place behind the Left-Green movement. It's a worse result for the Pirates than some polls suggested, and a better performance than predicted for the Independents, who have governed in coalition since 2013. Coalition governments are the norm in Iceland's multi-party system. It was not immediately clear whether the Independents would be able to assemble a coalition with other centrist and right-wing parties - or whether the Pirates and other opposition forces would get the numbers to govern.


  • Russia blames US for near-collision of planes over Syria (Associated Press) A Russian military spokesman is blaming the United States for a near-collision of the countries' warplanes in Syrian airspace. Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement Saturday that the Oct. 17 incident involved a Sukhoi-35, Russia's most advanced fighter jet, and an American E-3 radar plane near the city of Deir al-Zour. Konashenkov said Russia had informed the U.S. military of the Su-35's intent to fly in the area. But , Konashenkov says the American plane unexpectedly descended by about one kilometer (0.6 miles) and came within 500 meters (0.3 miles) of the Russian plane. The incident was first reported on Friday by a U.S. military spokesman, who said it had been raised with Russian commanders but deliberately not made public.


  • Philippines: China still guarding shoal but Filipinos back (Associated Press) Philippine aerial surveillance showed Chinese coast guard ships were still guarding a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, but they allowed Filipinos to fish "unmolested" for the first time in years, the defense secretary said Sunday. The return of Filipino fishermen to Scarborough Shoal, which China effectively seized in 2012, was "a most welcome development" because it brings back their key source of livelihood, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

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