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posted on 12 March 2017

Early Headlines: China's Women Execs, Welfare For US Farmers, US Vs Global Climate, Merkle Tied In Polls, Tensions Hit S. Korea Air Travel, China's Economy Improves And More

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Early Bird Headlines 12 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.



  • Chinese, Malaysian Women Lead Asia in Management Jobs (Bloomberg) Chinese and Malaysian women have made the greatest progress in Asia when it comes to landing jobs in management. Recruiting firm Hays Plc says women in those nations account for about a third of higher-level positions, with China expected to jump three percentage points this year.


  • Diplomats warn of Russia hysteria (The Hill) Former U.S. ambassadors to Russia and Foreign Service diplomats are angered by what they view as a “witch-hunt" pursuing Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, warning that “hysteria" over Russia in Congress and the media will undermine U.S. interests abroad.

Kislyak, a trained nuclear physicist who has served as the Russian ambassador to the U.S. since 2008, has been enveloped in controversy since national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned after misleading Vice President Pence about his contacts with the Russian envoy. That spotlight only grew hotter this month, when reports emerged that Kislyak had met privately with then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) before Sessions became attorney general.

Farmers will receive twice as much of their income from handouts (25%) this year as they did in 2013, according to the USDA … big farmers snare the vast majority of federal handouts. According to a report released this year by the Environmental Working Group … “the top 1 percent of farm subsidy recipients received 26 percent of subsidy payments between 1995 and 2014." The group’s analysis of government farm-subsidy data also found that the “top 20 percent of subsidy recipients received 91 percent of all subsidy payments." Fifty members of the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans have received farm subsidies, according to the group, including David Rockefeller Sr. and Charles Schwab.

  • Trump camp could have fallen into 'backdoor' surveillance (The Hill) Intelligence agencies could have inadvertently collected and then searched Donald Trump’s phone calls under a controversial loophole in surveillance law, experts say, even if it did not involve a wiretapping order from a federal court. The intelligence community may legally conduct so-called “backdoor searches" of Americans’ communications, without a warrant, if the target of the surveillance is not a U.S. citizen. If Trump or his advisors were speaking directly to foreign individuals who were the target of U.S. spying during the election campaign, and the intelligence agencies recorded Trump by accident, it's plausible that those communications would have been collected and shared amongst intelligence agencies, surveillance law experts say. The intelligence community’s ability to use data gathered through incidental collection outrages civil liberties advocates, who say law enforcement agencies should be required to get a warrant. But at least for now, it’s both legal and common.

  • Why Americans Pay Triple the World Price for Sugar (Foundation for Economic Education) Hat tip to John O'Donnell, Online Trading Academy.

Because American farmers cannot compete with foreign sugar growers, the federal government has maintained an array of sugar import quotas and/or tariffs for most of the last 200 years. The regulatory regime has provided windfalls for generations of politicians and jobs for legions of bureaucrats while destroying more than a hundred thousand private, productive jobs.

Look at the history of the continental US, with one of the longest and most accurate records in the world. It has warmed during the era of human-dominated warming (“more than half of the observed increase in {temperature} from 1951 to 2010 is very likely due to the observed anthropogenic increase in {greenhouse gases}", per the IPCC’s AR5) at a rate of 0.30°F per decade (0.17°C) - oddly similar to the 0.33°F per decade (0.18°C) since the record began in 1895. But it has not done so smoothly, as activists often imply.

See this is graph of February temperatures, with the blue line showing flattish trend during the 25 years from 1983 to last month…

As the world warms do we get more snow and rain - or less? Alarmists spin simple stories attributing all droughts to climate change. But precipitation in the US has increased: “Over the 121-year period of record (1895-1915), precipitation across the CONUS has increased at an average rate of 0.16 inch per decade." And Winter 2017 (Dec-Feb) was the eighth wettest on record. Snow extent in the northern hemisphere has been increasing at roughly 2% per year since 1967, as shown on this graph.


  • GCHQ: Russian cyber‑threat to British elections (The Sunday Times) Spies at GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) have called an emergency summit with Britain’s political parties after warning them that they are at risk of Russian cyber-attacks disrupting the next general election.


  • German Social Democrats draw level with Merkel's conservatives - poll (Reuters) Germany's center left Social Democrats (SPD) were up 1 percentage point at 33%, level with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives who were unchanged, an Emnid poll showed, just over six months before the federal election. Merkel, chancellor of Europe's biggest economy for more than 11 years, wants to win a fourth term in the Sept. 24 election but she faces a strong challenge from the SPD's new leader Martin Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament.


  • Brexit Brings Absolutely ‘No Benefits’ - the View From Norway (Bloomberg) Norwegian diplomats are scouring the archives for old trade agreements that could once again spring to life once the U.K. leaves the European Union. Much is at stake for the Nordic nation, which sends 20% of its exports and about $5 billion worth of gas each year to the U.K. As a member of the European Free Trade Association and an EU outsider, policy makers in Oslo will be forced to look in from the outside when the U.K. starts talks on its divorce and then attempts to forge a new relationship with Europe.

South Korea

Eastar Jet, a South Korean budget airline, said on its website that flights from Cheongju to China’s Harbin, Ningbo and Jinjiang will be stopped temporarily starting as early as March 15 through Oct. 28 because of “worsening relations." Seoul-based Jin Air, a unit of Korean Air Lines Co., said it is reviewing its flights from Jeju to Shanghai and Xian and preemptively restricted bookings to avoid disruptions.

Spring Airlines Co., China’s biggest budget carrier, canceled flights from Ningbo to Jeju March 15 through 26, and a spokesman said it was due to “changing market conditions." Jeju Air, a Korean low-cost operator, said the airline’s request for charter flight in March to Ordos in Inner Mongolia was rejected by the Chinese authorities.

Travel curbs imposed by China on mainlanders with plans for a vacation in South Korea are likely to cut revenue at airlines, travel agencies, package tour operators and cruises by about $5 billion, according to estimates by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The China National Tourism Administration verbally ordered local travel agencies to stop selling tours to South Korea starting March 15, the state-run Korea Tourism Organization said last week.

More than 8 million Chinese visited South Korea last year and Chinese make up 85 percent of tourists to the resort island of Jeju.


  • China's first large passenger aircraft C919 to make maidenflight soon ( Hat tip to John Rutledge. A C919 aircraft, the first Chinese-made large passenger plane, has entered the preparationphase for its maiden flight. The C919 plane was developed by the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC). It isthe first domestically-produced large passenger aircraft based on the latest internationalaviation standards.

  • China Says Economy Showed Signs of Improvement in Start of Year (Bloomberg) China’s economy has shown signs of improvement in the first two months of the year with little risk of a hard landing, senior Chinese officials said. China’s macroeconomy stabilized in the beginning of 2017, Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said at the sidelines of the annual legislature meeting in Beijing on Sunday. Industrial output in January and February grew more than 6%, and the services sector expanded over 8%, he said.

  • Chinese Hotel: 6 Days to Build (Tea Party Economist) Hat tip to John O'Donnell, Online Trading Academy.

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