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posted on 30 November 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Neg Outlook For Gold, Veterans Join ND Protest, RBS Fails Stress Test, CIA Chief Warns Trump, India GDP Outlook Falls, Colombia Peal Deal And More

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Early Bird Headlines 30 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.




  • Battered Gold Looks at Risk of Further Thumping (Bloomberg) The worst is yet to come. At least that’s the opinion of the top two gold forecasters who say bullion will suffer further losses in 2017 as interest rates climb and the dollar strengthens. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and ABN Amro Group NV see gold sliding to $1,100 an ounce by the end of next year as the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy, real Treasury yields increase and the U.S. currency rises. Prices were at $1,190.28 on Wednesday. The banks were ranked first and second as gold forecasters in the third quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


  • North Dakota officials hope to quell pipeline protests with fines (Reuters) North Dakota officials on Tuesday moved to block supplies from reaching oil pipeline protesters at a camp near the construction site, threatening to use hefty fines to keep demonstrators from receiving food, building materials and even portable bathrooms. Activists have spent months protesting plans to route the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying the project poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites. State officials said on Tuesday they would fine anyone bringing prohibited items into the main protest camp following Governor Jack Dalrymple's "emergency evacuation" order on Monday. Earlier, officials had warned of a physical blockade, but the governor's office backed away from that.

  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters (The New York Times) As many as 2,000 veterans planned to gather next week at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to serve as “human shields" for protesters who have for months clashed with the police over the construction of an oil pipeline, organizers said. The effort, called Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, is planned as a nonviolent intervention to defend the demonstrators from what the group calls “assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force." See also Tulsi Gabbard to Join Veterans at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Access Pipeline (Observer)

  • Trump Notches a Win as Carrier Agrees to Keep 1,000 Jobs in U.S. (Bloomberg) Carrier agreed to keep about 1,000 jobs at an Indiana factory that had been set to move to Mexico, marking a victory for President-elect Donald Trump on an issue that had become a rallying cry during his campaign. “We are pleased to have reached a deal" with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to keep the work in the U.S., Carrier said Tuesday in a tweet. Trump tweeted that he’ll travel to Indiana on Thursday to make the announcement. Carrier said earlier this year it would move the furnace plant’s operations, eliminating 1,400 U.S. jobs, to keep production costs competitive.

  • Trump signals he’s serious on ObamaCare repeal (The Hill) By picking Georgia Rep. Tom Price as his point man on healthcare, Donald Trump calmed conservatives who have been concerned about the president-elect’s commitment to overturning ­ObamaCare. Trump’s announcement on Tuesday that he wanted Price to be secretary of Health and Human Services suggests the president-elect is serious about repealing ­ObamaCare. See also House in driver’s seat on healthcare.

  • Tennessee residents escape 'firestorm' (CNN) Wildfires near the western border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are giving a literal cast to name of the popular mountains which starddle the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Three people died in raging wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee, that scorched roughly 15,000 acres, showered residents with embers and sent people scrambling to evacuate from resort communities. The wildfires, which started Monday, damaged or destroyed more than 250 buildings in and near the eastern Tennessee's resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, but it spared some major tourist attractions in a dizzying 24 hours, officials said Tuesday. Evacuees said the fire that spread without warning from the Great Smoky Mountains surrounded their homes, forcing them to leave with only the clothes on their backs.

  • Romney, potential U.S. secretary of state, hails Trump after dinner (Reuters) Republican Mitt Romney made an impassioned statement in support of President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday to try to erase doubts about him among Trump's supporters and remain in contention for U.S. secretary of state. Romney, a fierce critic of Trump during the Republican presidential primary battle, stopped short of an outright apology but his intention to wipe the slate clean was clear. The former Massachusetts governor, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 and lost, praised Trump for a "message of inclusion and bringing people together" since his Nov. 8 victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.



  • CIA chief warns Trump: Scrapping Iran deal 'height of folly' (BBC News) The director of the CIA has warned US President-elect Donald Trump that ending the Iran nuclear deal would be "disastrous" and "the height of folly". In a BBC interview, John Brennan also advised the new president to be wary of Russia's promises, blaming Moscow for much of the suffering in Syria. In his campaign, Mr Trump threatened to scrap the Iran deal and also hinted at working more closely with Russia. Mr Brennan will step down in January after four years leading the CIA.


  • Fitch lowers GDP forecast to 6.9% post cash crunch (The Hindu) Hat tip to Sanjeev Kulkarni. The cash crunch caused by demonetisation and its impact on consumers and farmers could result in the Indian economy’s growth slowing down to 6.9% this financial year, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday, scaling down its earlier GDP growth estimate of 7.4%. The ratings agency also revised downwards its GDP growth forecast for 2017-18 to 7.7 per cent from 8%. However, the report says although the medium-term effect of the currency withdrawal on GDP growth is uncertain, it is unlikely to be large, adding that the informal sector should recover soon.

  • Callers for dollars: Inside India's scam call centers (Reuters) According to the U.S. Department of Justice, at least 15,000 people have lost more than $300 million in an "enormous and complex fraud" running since 2013. The department last month brought grand jury charges against 56 people in India and the United States for "telefraud" scams run from fake call centers in India. Investigators have arrested 20 people in the United States, and Indian authorities have made 75 arrests following October raids on three premises in the Thane suburb of Mumbai. Charges include conspiracy to commit identity theft, impersonation of an officer of the United States, wire fraud and money laundering. Indian police say they are looking for Sagar Thakkar, a man in his early 30s also known as Shaggy, who they believe masterminded the scam.

  • The Cheapest Trip to Mars Leaves From This Tiny Indian Island (Bloomberg) The cheapest flight to Mars may leave from a tiny barrier island in southeastern India. Sriharikota, the nation’s Cape Canaveral, is the launchpad for an ambitious space program that has shot more than 120 satellites into orbit -- including for the U.S., Israel and Germany. Spacefaring rivals can’t beat the prices charged by India, which sent its own probe to the Red Planet for less money than Hollywood spent making a movie about an astronaut stranded there. While China strives to put people farther into space, this South Asian country instead eyes a bigger slice of the $5.4 billion satellite-launching industry. India added an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary as a customer this year, heightening its profile just as the global launch market surges because of the demand for constant internet connectivity and monitoring of the earth by commercial, scientific and military entities.


  • Colombian Senate backs new Farc peace deal (BBC News) Colombia's Senate has approved a revised peace accord with the country's largest rebel group, the Farc. The first agreement was narrowly rejected in a referendum last month. President Juan Manuel Santos says the new proposals are stronger and take into account the changes demanded by opponents of the scheme. Those opponents, led by former President Alvaro Uribe, say the revised deal is still too lenient on Farc leaders. The revised agreement now goes to the lower house of Congress for approval.

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