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posted on 29 November 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Oil Down, Russia Not Meeting OPEC, Trump Picks ACA Critic For Health, WaPo Fake News, NHS Denies Fat Patients, Smokers Surgury, So Korea's Park Looks To Resign And More

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Early Bird Headlines 29 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.



  • South Korean shares retrace losses as Park ofter to step down (CNBC) South Korean shares retraced losses late Tuesday afternoon, as investors reacted to a televised speech by President Park Geun-hye offering to step down through a legal process, according to reports. (See more under South Korea, below.) Share across Asia were mixed on Tuesday.


  • Oil prices fall as Russia says will not attend OPEC meeting (Reuters) Oil prices fell over 1 percent on Tuesday on market jitters over whether producer cartel OPEC would be able to hammer out a meaningful output cut during a meeting on Wednesday, aimed at reining in a global supply overhang and propping up prices. Non-OPEC oil production giant Russia confirmed on Tuesday that it would not attend the OPEC gathering, but added that a meeting between the group and non-affiliated producers at a later stage was possible. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $47.69 per barrel at 0741 GMT, down 55 cents, or 1.14%, from their last close (Monday). U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 were down 51 cents, or 1.06%, at $46.58 a barrel.


  • We May Not Know If Trump’s Foreign Business Deals Violate the Constitution (ProPublica) The question of whether President-elect Donald Trump will run afoul of federal conflict-of-interest rules or the Constitution because of his extensive foreign investments has been the subject of intense scrutiny among legal and ethics scholars. But it seems that the answere to the question may simply be we do not know. There are two reasons for this: One is that the disclosures required from presidents are limited. The other is that Trump has refused to voluntarily release his tax returns or other business details, a significant break from presidential administrations dating back to Jimmy Carter. And Trump won’t have to file a comprehensive annual report of his assets, income, gifts and stock portfolio until May 2018, according to U.S. Office of Government Ethics requirements.

  • Tom Price is Trump's pick for health secretary (Reuters) President-elect Donald Trump is set to announce Republican Representative Tom Price of Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon and vociferous critic of the Affordable Care Act, as health and human services secretary, two sources told Reuters. If confirmed by the Senate, Georgia's Price, 62, will play a major role in overhauling the health care insurance law better known as Obamacare, the signature domestic legislative achievement of President Barack Obama.

  • Trump’s Promises Will Be Hard to Keep, but Coal Country Has Faith (The New York Times) Experts say Mr. Trump’s expansive campaign promise to “put our miners back to work" will be very difficult to keep. Yet as he prepares to move into the Oval Office, Appalachians are eyeing Washington with a feeling they have not had in years: hope.

  • Annoyed Dems dismiss recount as ‘waste of time’ (The Hill) Democrats are unenthusiastic about the recount effort being mounted by Jill Stein of the Green Party, seeing it as a futile effort that serves only to distract opponents of President-elect Donald Trump’s policy and personnel decisions. Some Democrats even come close to echoing Trump’s charge that re-tallying votes from the presidential race is just a “scam" being advanced by Stein, who has raised more than $6 million to fund potential recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three states critical to the Republican nominee’s win.

  • Roger Stone: Recount ups prosecution odds for Clinton (The Hill) A longtime ally of President-elect Donald Trump says the Clinton campaign joining recount efforts increases the chances of Hillary Clinton facing criminal prosecution. “I think Hillary increases her chances of prosecution by acting this way," Roger Stone said Monday on Newsmax TV’s The Steve Malzberg Show."

  • The Washington Post’s Propaganda about Russian Propaganda (William K. Black, New Economic Perspective) WKB has contributed to GEI. Econintersect: We have reported on this story twice before, but Prof. Black offers an exposition of exemplary clarity and thoroughness, as one would expect from one of the world's top white-collar crime experts. Read this essay to fully understand how amateurish the WaPo appears to be in this situation. Prof. Black links to the Glenn Greenwald article we listed yesterday.

  • The Major Purveyor of ‘Fake News’ is the CIA-Corporate Complex (Strategic Culture Foundation) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. In an article also prompted by the WaPo embarrassment, this source says that:

The US corporate media, its strings pulled by the modern version of the Central Intelligence Agency’s old Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influencing operation, is laughably accusing Russia of generating «fake news» to influence the outcome of the American presidential election.


  • Fat patients will miss out on surgery, NHS decides (The Times) Hospitals could deny routine operations to obese patients and smokers after new rationing plans were approved by senior National Health Service officials. A decision yesterday to place restrictions on some patients in Yorkshire who need non-urgent surgery is likely to encourage health commissioners elsewhere in the country to follow suit, doctors have warned. Overweight people who did not lose weight would be prevented from undergoing surgery for up to 12 months while smokers would be forced to wait for six months if they did not quit.

  • Theresa May to unveil boardroom crackdown on private big business (The Guardian) Theresa May is to promise a crackdown on boardroom excess at large privately owned businesses as she unveils proposals intended to hold corporate Britain to account. The prime minister said the government would look at ways to bring privately owned companies under a regime that could mimic the one imposed on major stock market companies. May proposes to put limits on executive compensation in line with company performance after recent corporate collapse scanfals have revealed abuses.

  • The official Remain camp is refusing to back a fresh Brexit legal challenge (City A.M.) Campaigners from the EU referendum's official Remain group have declined to back a fresh legal challenge to Brexit. A plan by a think tank to challenge the government over it's right to withdraw the UK from the European Economic Area emerged late on Sunday. British Influence wrote to Brexit secretary David Davis to warn it would seek a judicial review, arguing that EEA membership could both keep the UK in the Single Market and support Theresa May's desire for migration reform. However, the government has warned that it considers EEA and EU membership to be a single issue.

  • British security forces are too good for Isis, suspect claims (The Times) British security services are so proficient that Islamic State terrorists who attacked Brussels and Paris made no plans to carry out atrocities in the UK, an alleged accomplice told police. Mohamed Abrini, known as the man in the hat, said in a police interview that superior “observation techniques" made Britain more difficult to attack and that France was the primary enemy of ISIS.


  • Iranian vessel points weapon at U.S. helicopter: officials (Reuters) A small Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessel pointed its weapon at a U.S. military helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, two U.S. defense officials told Reuters on Monday, an action they described as "unsafe and unprofessional". The incident is the latest in a series of similar actions by Iranian vessels this year, but the first reported since Republican Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8. During his campaign, Trump vowed that any Iranian vessel that harassed the U.S. Navy in the Gulf would be "shot out of the water," if he was elected. Trump is due to take office on Jan. 20.


North Korea

"China has been cutting back the number of workers from North Korea it allows in by tightening checks on potential visiting workers and making the paperwork more difficult."

South Korea

  • South Korea's Park asks parliament to find way for her to step down (Reuters) South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday asked parliament to find a way for her to give up power and decide when she should step down amid an influence-peddling scandal, but the opposition said she was just trying to avoid impeachment. Park, 64, had apologized twice previously but until now resisted mounting public calls to quit, even as lawmakers readied to mount impeachment proceedings.


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