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posted on 17 February 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Down, Dollar Down, Oil Up, Gold Steady, US Car Payment Delinquencies Up, Russia Testing NATO, Pakistan Massacre By ISIS, Apple Mfg In India, Japan Bonds Falling And More

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Early Bird Headlines 17 February 2017

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.





  • Trump's pick to replace Flynn turns down offer (The Hill) President Trump's pick to replace his former national security adviser Michael Flynn told the president he could not accept the position, according to reports Thursday. Retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward cited "financial and family issues that would have been challenging in this position" in explaining his decision to decline the offer.

  • Two new polls find wildly different Trump approval ratings (The Hill) ‚ÄčThe Rasmussen Reports and the Pew Research Center released wildly different approval ratings for President Trump on Thursday. Rasmussen's daily Presidential Tracking Poll found a 55% approval rating for Trump among voters. But Pew Research Center only found Trump with 39% - a 16 point-difference between the two polls. Rasmussen, which has traditionally found results that are more positive for Republicans than other polls, seems to be an outlier among major polls, with Gallup also giving Trump a lower 41% approval rating in its most recent weekly average.

  • Purge outdated voter rolls? NYC tried it, with bad results (Associated Press) Whether or not you believe that voting fraud is a problem in the U.S., one thing is certain: Tidying up outdated voter rolls is sometimes easier said than done. Just ask election officials in the nation's largest city. After an independent review found that New York City's voting lists contained people who were dead or in prison, elections officials began an aggressive purge in 2014 and 2015 that eliminated more than 200,000 supposedly invalid registrations. The result? A record number of complaints during the 2016 presidential primary from legal voters who turned up to cast a ballot, but found that they were no longer registered.

  • One million US consumers behind on car loan payments (Financial Times) Delinquency rate reaches the highest level since 2009.

  • Donald Trump claims - falsely - that Hillary Clinton gave Russia 20% of US uranium (CNBC) President Donald Trump repeated an incorrect claim on Thursday that Hillary Clinton gave Russia 20% of the United States' uranium while serving as secretary of State. The fact-checking website PolitiFact has determined that statement, which Trump first made on the campaign trail, is mostly false. There was a Canadian company sale to a Russian company and the Canadian company had mines in the U.S. with 20% of the Uranium production capacity in the U.S., the same as Uranium production. And Hillary Clinton's State Department was one of nine government agencies that signed off on the company sale.

  • Lawyer: Pro-Trump mindset behind 8-year voter fraud sentence (Associated Press) A lawyer for a Mexican national sentenced to eight years in prison for voter fraud in Texas said that President Donald Trump's widely debunked claims of election rigging was "the 800-pound gorilla" in the jury box. Rosa Maria Ortega, 37, was convicted in Fort Worth this week on two felony counts of illegal voting over allegations that she improperly cast a ballot five times between 2005 and 2014. Her attorney, Clark Birdsall, said Friday that Ortega was a permanent resident who was brought to the U.S. as a baby and mistakenly thought she was eligible to vote. He said she voted Republican, including for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office helped prosecute her. The sentence was stark - voter fraud convictions, which are rare, many times result in probation. And as a convicted felon, Ortega, the mother of 5 young children, will very likely be deported after serving her sentence.


  • Don't Expect a Fake News Epidemic in Europe (Bloomberg) Compared with the U.S. last year, European nations that face hotly-contested elections in 2017 aren't seeing a major fake news explosion. One reason is that Europeans simply aren't going to fake news sites in any significant numbers.


  • Swiss banks face withdrawals due to tax clampdown (The Edge Markets) Wealthy clients in 2016 pulled out almost US$30 billion of untaxed assets from three of the world's biggest private banks, UBS, Credit Suisse and Julius Baer, taking advantage of government programs letting them pay tax on undeclared money. With tax amnesty programs in countries like Argentina, Brazil and Indonesia, these so-called regularization outflows come from clients taking money out of their accounts to pay taxes and penalties. Those who decline to participate in amnesty programs often have to move their accounts. Swiss banks are still recovering from European and U.S. clients withdrawing tens of billions of dollars, following a post-financial crisis clampdown on tax dodging


  • Putin More Aggressive to NATO Since Trump Win, Estonia Says (Bloomberg) Russia is testing NATO’s willingness to respond to provocation ahead of an expected meeting between President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, according to Estonian Defense Minister Margus Tsahkna. Russia’s build-up of forces and violations of international law, including in Ukraine, show the need for members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to increase spending on defense, Tsahkna, 39, said in an interview in Brussels on Wednesday, where NATO defense ministers met their new U.S. counterpart James Mattis for the first time.


  • Pakistan detains dozens after 75 killed at Shiite shrine (Associated Press) Pakistani security forces have arrested dozens of suspects in sweeping raids a day after a massive bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed 75 worshippers at a famed Sufi shrine in a southern province. The terror attack - the country's deadliest in years - stunned the nation and raised questions about the authorities' ability to rein in militant groups despite several military offensives targeting insurgents. A suicide bomber walked into the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan, in southern Sindh province, and detonated his explosives among a crowd of worshippers on Thursday, killing 75. Scores were also wounded in the explosion. Security officials said Friday's raids led to the arrest of 47 suspects, including some in Sindh province. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. See also Pakistan's Worst Attack in Two Years Dents Improved Security Image (Bloomberg).


  • Apple to start India manufacturing in coming months with iPhone SE: Report (CNBC) In the coming months Apple will start assembling its lower-priced iPhone SE models at a contract manufacturer's plant in the southern Indian technology hub of Bengaluru, an industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday. Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron Corp is setting up a plant in Bengaluru to focus solely on assembling iPhones, a separate source told Reuters earlier this month. Apple's move comes as it seeks to boost its share in the world's fastest growing major mobile market, where handsets far cheaper than Apple's iPhones dominate. It also comes as smartphone sales growth is slowing in Asia's other massive market, China.


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