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posted on 06 March 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mostly Up, Dollar And Oil Down, Gold Steady, New H-1B Visa Rules, Comey Asks DoJ To Reject Trump Claim, N. Korea Missiles, US Hope-Reality Gap, GM Sells Out Of Europe And More

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Early Bird Headlines 06 March 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.



  • Asian shares cautious as geopolitical risks heighten (CNBC) Asian shares were mostly higher, dismissing earlier concerns about increased geopolitical risks in Asia after North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was trading at 101.48 after falling from the 102 handle last week on Yellen's rate rise comments. During Asian trade, Brent crude futures was off 0.68% to $55.53 a barrel and U.S. crude fell 0.75% to $52.93. Gold was steady.



  • U.S. suspends fast processing of high-tech H-1B visa applications (Reuters) Foreigners aiming for temporary jobs at high-tech U.S. companies will undergo a longer visa approval process after the Trump administration announced it will temporarily suspend expedited applications for H-1B visas. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said on Friday that starting April 3 it will suspend "premium processing" for up to six months. Under this expedited procedure, applicants can be eligible for visa approvals within 15 days, instead of a regular review period that can last for up to a few months. The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows U.S. companies to employ graduate-level workers in several specialized fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics.

  • Democrats Bet G.O.P. Will Come to Regret Opposing Scrutiny of Trump (The New York Times) President Trump gives Democrats in Congress an ideal adversary, one who can set off impassioned protests and ignite their supporters with a single Twitter post. But with the Democrats’ power severely limited by their minority status, they cannot conduct congressional investigations. The chances their bills will even get a vote are slim. What they do possess, they hope, is the power to shame. So they have been offering up bills that stand virtually no chance of passing, like ones forcing Mr. Trump to release his tax returns, with the clear intent of putting Republicans on the record now in hopes that voters will punish them later.

  • The Last Time the Russians Intervened in a U.S. Election (Narratively) John F. Kenendy undoubtedly owed his victory in the 1960 presidential election to actions by Nikita Krushchev.

  • Comey Asks Justice Dept. to Reject Trump’s Wiretapping Claim (The New York Times) The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement.

Mr. Comey made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter. Mr. Comey has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down Mr. Trump’s claim because there is no evidence to support it and it insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment. Sarah Isgur Flores, the spokeswoman for the Justice Department, also declined to comment.

Click for large image.


  • PSA pays GM $2.3 billion for Opel, sets first recovery goals (Reuters) GM is leaving Europe after 90 years there. PSA Group (PEUP.PA) has agreed to buy Opel from General Motors (GM.N) in a deal valuing the business at 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion), creating a new regional car giant to challenge market leader Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE). The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars vowed to return Opel and its British Vauxhall brand to profit, with an operating margin of 2% within three years and 6% by 2026 underpinned by with €1.7 billion ($1.88 billion) in joint cost savings.


  • In the era of Donald Trump, Germans debate a military buildup (The Washington Post) As the Trump administration ratchets up the pressure on allied nations to shoulder more of their own defense, no country is more in the crosshairs than Germany. If it meets the goals Washington is pushing for, Germany - the region’s economic powerhouse - would be on the fast track to again become Western Europe’s biggest military power. Any renaissance of German might has long been resisted first and foremost by the Germans - a nation that largely rejected militarism in the aftermath of the Nazi horror. Yet a rethinking of German power is quickly emerging as one of the most significant twists of President Trump’s transatlantic policy.



  • Turkey's Erdogan compares German behavior with Nazi period (Reuters) Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany on Sunday of "fascist actions" reminiscent of Nazi times in a growing row over the cancellation of political rallies aimed at drumming up support for him among 1.5 million Turkish citizens in Germany. German politicians reacted with shock and anger. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told broadcaster ARD that Erdogan's comments were "absurd, disgraceful and outlandish" and designed to provoke a reaction from Berlin. But he cautioned against banning Erdogan from visiting Germany or breaking off diplomatic ties, saying that such moves would push Ankara "straight into the arms of [Russian President Vladmir] Putin, which no one wants".

North Korea

  • Seoul: North Korea fires 4 ballistic missiles into ocean (Associated Press) On Monday, North Korea fired four banned ballistic missiles that flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), with three of them landing in Japan's exclusive economic zone, South Korean and Japanese officials said, in an apparent reaction to huge military drills by Washington and Seoul that Pyongyang insists are an invasion rehearsal. It was not immediately clear the exact type of missile fired; Pyongyang has staged a series of missile test-launches of various ranges in recent months, including a new intermediate-range missile in February. The ramped-up tests come as leader Kim Jong Un pushes for a nuclear and missile program that can deter what he calls U.S. and South Korean hostility toward the North.

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