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posted on 20 November 2016

Early Headlines: Does Trump Lead Global Far Right?, Trump Vs Amazon, Bannon Interview, Voter Suppression, 'Deplorables' Beat Hillary, EU To Force Hard Brexit And More

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Early Bird Headlines 20 November 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 battle started last December with a series of seemingly unprompted tweets from Trump. “The Washington Post, which loses a fortune, is owned by Jeff Bezos for purposes of keeping taxes down at his no-profit company, Amazon," Trump wrote. “If Amazon ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag. The Washington Post scam is saving it!"

The Washington Post is owned through Bezos’s personal investment firm, rather than Amazon, and Trump did not provide any explanation for his allegation. Amazon’s tax policy is controversial and is already well-known around the world, including in Europe, where it agreed favourable tax arrangements with Luxembourg. Its profit margins are also notoriously thin. In 2015, Amazon recorded sales of $107 billion but net profits of just $596 million, a margin of barely 0.5%.

... the battle took a more sinister turn for Amazon when Trump addressed a campaign rally in Texas two months later. “Believe me, if I become president, oh do they have problems, they are going to have such problems," Trump said of Amazon and Bezos.

In June 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that states with a long history of racial discrimination no longer needed to approve any proposed changes to their voting procedures with the federal government, as had long been required under the Voting Rights Act. That meant this year’s presidential election was the first in 50 years without the full protections of the act.

What was the result? Fourteen states had new voting restrictions in effect in 2016, including strict voter ID laws, fewer opportunities for early voting and reductions in the number of polling places. These restrictions depressed turnout in key states like Wisconsin, particularly among black voters.

Among advocates for voting rights, there was hope that a Hillary Clinton presidency and Democratic control of Congress would help reverse this situation. But with Republicans now in control of the presidency, Congress and two-thirds of state legislative chambers, the attack on voting rights is almost certainly going to get much worse.

  • The Deplorables: The Moment Clinton Lost, And The Lesson The Left Must Learn (New Matilda) Hat tip to Roger Erickson and Chuck Spinney. From down under comes a short summary of how Hillary Clinton lost the election. The author thinks the moment she lost was when she declared half of Trump's supporters were racists. The author has developed and taught programs to work with students on issues of racism. He says:

    The cardinal rules. Never, ever try to make students feel guilty for the racist views they might have. Never ever say that you think those views are racist. By and large people have real insecurities. The key to persuading is to recognise and acknowledge those insecurities and then work on addressing them.

    Econintersect: We suggest that there were more instances of what this author called the "apparent contempt for those the left thought they represented". An example not mentioned was the occasion that Hillary wondered out loud why she was "not ahead by 50 points". This represents an arrogance, a sense of entitlement on the part of the candidate which is not lost on the American voter. And that sense of entitlement continued frequently, right up to the end, when she celebrated her election as the first woman president of the United States on the night of 07 November (pictured below - from this article), approximately 24 hours before she made a concession by phone to President-Elect Donald Trump.


  • Europe’s leaders to force Britain into hard Brexit (The Guardian) European leaders have come to a 27-nation consensus that a “hard Brexit" is likely to be the only way to see off future populist insurgencies, which could lead to the break-up of the European Union. The hardening line in EU capitals comes as Nigel Farage warns European leaders that Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, could deliver a political sensation bigger than Brexit and win France’s presidential election next spring - a result that would mean it was “game over" for 60 years of EU integration.



  • At least 60 killed in Indian train derailment (Reuters) At least 60 people were killed and 80 injured when several carriages of an Indian train derailed in northern Uttar Pradesh, the nation's most populous state, in the early hours of Sunday, senior railway officials said. Fourteen carriages of the train, traveling between the northeastern city of Patna and the central city of Indore, were thrown off track in Pukhrayan, 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of Kanpur city, according to railway officials.

​​South Korea

  • South Korea prosecutors indict friend, former aides of President Park in corruption probe (Reuters) South Korean prosecutors said on Sunday they had formally indicted a friend of President Park Geun-hye and two former aides in a corruption scandal engulfing her administration. Choi Soon-sil, Park's friend, and former presidential aide An Chong-bum are charged with abuse of power in pressuring conglomerates to contribute funds to foundations at the center of the scandal, said Lee Young-ryeol, head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office. Lee added that his team believed Park had an accomplice role in the case but said she cannot be indicted because she has constitutional immunity.


  • China's Xi calls for 'smooth transition' in relationship with U.S (Reuters) Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for a "smooth transition" in Beijing's relationship with Washington and praised outgoing President Barack Obama for strengthening ties between the two nations. During a meeting in Peru, Obama again urged all sides in the dispute over the South China Sea reduce tensions and resolve their disputes peacefully. He encouraged China to advance economic reforms, including a transition to a market-determined currency exchange rate. The meeting is expected to be the last between the two leaders before President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House. Trump has been sharply critical of China.


  • Ten kidnapped in Mexican state where 43 students were abducted (Reuters) A group of armed men has kidnapped 10 people in the violent southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero, where 43 students were abducted and likely massacred two years ago, authorities said on Saturday. Suspected members of a gang known as Los Tequileros took the 10, which included two minors, from the municipality of San Jeronimo on Thursday evening, said Roberto Alvarez, a spokesman for a government task force overseeing security in Guerrero. Alvarez said the gang was created by former cohorts of drug cartels the Knights Templar and La Familia, and had been carrying out kidnappings in the state for ransom for several months. Home to beach resort Acapulco, Guerrero has been mired in violence for years, and suffered more than 1,650 murders in the first nine months of this year, according to official data. The kidnappings are the latest sign of how the government is struggling to beat violent crime in the troubled state after suffering one of its biggest crises over the abduction of the 43 trainee teachers in the city of Iguala in late September 2014.

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