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.
Lessons from Germany for Integrating Refugees (Project Syndicate) Governments around the world are facing a huge challenge. The number of international migrants has surged in recent years, reaching 244 million in 2015 - a 41% increase from 2000. With that total including 20 million refugees, preventing a humanitarian nightmare demands swift and responsible integration into host societies. The logistical challenge of doing so is placing mounting pressure on the countries facing the largest influxes.
Women's marches draw huge crowds as Trump takes office (The Hill) Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in the nation's capital and cities across the country Saturday in protest of Donald Trump on the first full day of his presidency. Dubbed the Women’s March on Washington, the event spurred by a Facebook page led to “sister marches" in major cities around the world, including Paris, London and Sydney. See World of Women's Marches (Reuters). More than 2.5 million people participated in marches across the U.S. on Saturday, according to a review of official and unofficial estimates from the nation's largest cities. (Note: These numbers are all fake news, according to Sean Spicer - see video second item below.)
Trump’s regulatory freeze halts four Obama rules aimed at promoting greater energy efficiency (The Washington Post) Nearly simultaneously with President Trump’s oath of office Friday, the White House website shifted to remove climate change related content from the Obama administration and supplant it with a new statement of Trump’s energy policy - one focused, it said, reducing “burdensome regulations on our energy industry". Those are just words - but an action hours later by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus had more teeth. Priebus’s memorandum, issuing a governmentwide freeze on new or pending regulations, would appear to have the effect of sweeping up four very nearly finished Energy Department energy efficiency standards, affecting an array of products, including portable air conditioners and commercial boilers. The standards are designed to reduce energy use, and, in the process, consumer bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
GOP waiting to hear from Trump on ObamaCare (The Hill) Don’t expect President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to roll out their ObamaCare replacement plan next week at their joint House and Senate GOP retreat in Philadelphia. Healthcare is expected to dominate the three-day gathering that kicks off Wednesday. But GOP lawmakers attending Trump’s presidential inauguration Friday said they likely won’t settle on a complete replacement strategy by the time the retreat wraps up. Trump recently said he’d pitch his own plan to replace President Obama’s healthcare law that includes “insurance for everybody". And Republicans on Capitol Hill said they want to hear directly from Trump and Vice President Pence before they move forward. And just what is Trump doing? So far pretty much what he promised:
"That's what you guys should be writing and covering," new White House press secretary Sean Spicer angrily lectured reporters on Saturday during his first remarks from the podium of the press briefing room.
He was referring to the delay in Senate confirmation for President Donald Trump's pick to lead the CIA, Congressman Mike Pompeo, but the comment came after a long digression about how many people had shown up to watch Trump be sworn in as president.
"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period," Spicer said, contradicting all available data.
Aerial photos have indicated that former president Barack Obama's first inauguration attracted a much larger crowd. Nielsen ratings show that Obama also had a bigger television audience.
Spicer said, without any evidence, that some photos were "intentionally framed" to downplay Trump's crowd.
He also expressed objections to specific Twitter posts from journalists. And he said, "we're going to hold the press accountable," partly by reaching the public through social networking sites.
Spicer, at times almost yelling while reading a prepared statement, took no questions. CNNMoney called his cell phone a few minutes later; he did not answer.
Trump violated his lease for the Trump International Hotel in D.C. the second he was sworn in, according to the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The hotel is located in a renovated historic post office that Trump leases from the government -- and the paperwork explicitly forbids any elected government official from holding the lease or benefiting from it.
Protectionist-in-chief (Vice Money) The new president promises a return to pre - Great Depression economic policies of the late 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s. In his inaugural address Friday, President Donald Trump signaled plans to push the relatively healthy U.S. economy in a protectionist direction, breaking in both style and substance from decades of orthodoxy on global trade. He said:
“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs."
Any country leaving euro zone must settle bill first: ECB's Draghi (Reuters) Any country leaving the euro zone would need to settle its claims or debts with the bloc's payments system before severing ties, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said. The comment - a rare reference by Draghi to the possibility of the currency zone losing members - came in a letter to two Italian lawmakers in the European Parliament released on Friday. It coincides with a groundswell of anti-euro sentiment in Italy and other euro zone states, fueled in part by last June's unprecedented decision by Britain to leave the European Union. Based on data to end-November from the Target 2 payment system, that would leave Italy with a €358.6 billion ($383.1 billion) bill, about 18% of GDP. The system records flows of payments between euro zone countries. Draghi said in the letter:
"If a country were to leave the Eurosystem, its national central bank's claims on or liabilities to the ECB would need to be settled in full."
Trump to host British PM in first foreign leader visit (The Hill) Donald Trump will host his first foreign leader as president Thursday when he meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House. Spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed the meeting Saturday during a statement to reporters, although he was not clear in his staement whether the official meeting would take place on Thursday or Friday.
No 10 covered up Trident missile fiasco (The Sunday Times) A serious malfunction in Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons deterrent was covered up by Downing Street just weeks before the crucial House of Commons vote on the future of the missile system. The Sunday Times can reveal that a Trident II D5 missile - which can kill millions when armed with nuclear warheads - experienced an alarming failure after being launched from a British submarine off the coast of Florida in June last year. It was the only firing test of a British nuclear missile in four years and raises serious questions about the reliability and safety of the weapons system.
At least 32 killed, 50 injured as train derails in India (Associated Press) An overnight passenger train derailed in southern India, killing at least 32 people and injuring 50 others in the latest accident to hit the country's massive, disaster-prone rail network. Seven coaches of the Hirakand Express were thrown off the tracks around midnight Saturday, some landing on a goods train that was on a parallel track, said Divisional Railway manager Chandralekha Mukherji. Rescue workers were trying to cut open the mangled coaches Sunday morning near the Kuneru railway station in the Vizianagram district of Andhra Pradesh state. The train was traveling between Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh state to Bhuvaneshawar in Orissa.
Mexico's president to meet with Trump amid populist pressure at home (Reuters) Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet at the end of this month to discuss trade, immigration and security issues, as the Latin American leader faces increased populist pressure at home. Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer told a news conference on Saturday that the two leaders will meet on Jan. 31, the week after senior officials of both administrations hold bilateral talks in Washington. Trump is committed to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and would move to withdraw if no "fair deal" is forthcoming, according to the White House website.
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