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posted on 13 March 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Dollar Down, Oil And Gold Steady, Big Oil C Capture, E. Africa Drought, Historic Gov. Workforce Cuts, How To Fix Health Care, Turkey Bonds Tank, China's Debt And More

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Early Bird Headlines 13 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.



  • South Korean shares shrug off political turmoil to trade higher (CNBC) Asia markets turned positive on Monday but traders remained wary ahead of a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve this week. The dollar was trading at 101.05 against a basket of currencies on Monday, down for the fourth consecutive session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) declined $0.45, or 0.9%, to $48.04 a barrel 30. Brent crude fell $0.39, or 0.8%, to $50.98 per barrel by 0553 GMT. Both prices were the lowest since Nov. 30. Gold edged up 0.2% to $1,206.53 per ounce by 0330 GMT. It had fallen to its weakest since Jan. 31 at $1,194.55 on Friday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,206.30 an ounce.


  • Big oil embraces 'green' carbon capture with zeal of the converted (The Telegraph) The world's fossil fuel industry has joined with environmentalists in an unholy alliance to push for carbon capture, demanding radical changes in public policy to kick-start the technology. Leaders of the largest oil, gas, and coal companies lined up at the IHS CERAWeek summit in Houston, pledging a muscular drive to slash the costs of extracting CO2 from hydro-carbon energy. The goal is some sort of 'Manhattan Project' to safeguard the long-term survival of their companies. Bob Dudley from BP said:

"We can't just keep our heads in the sand."


  • Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce (The Washington Post) President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce. This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude - and all at once - since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said.

The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday will offer the clearest snapshot of his vision for the size and role of government. Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting and research. Simply put, government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America, with private companies and states playing a much bigger role.

But Mr. Bharara indicated on Sunday evening in a statement to The New York Times that he was skeptical of the White House account, although he did not offer an alternative explanation for the president’s call.

The call, placed on Thursday to the office of Mr. Bharara, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, by a personal assistant to the president, concerned Mr. Bharara because it seemed to be at odds with ethics protocols restricting communications between the White House and prosecutors. Mr. Bharara declined to return the call. But the White House said there was nothing untoward about it.

“I can't answer that question. It's up to people. Here's the premise of your question: Are you going to stop mandating people buy health insurance? People are going to do what they want to do with their lives because we believe in individual freedom in this country."

It’s time for a fundamentally new strategy.

At its core is maximizing value for patients: that is, achieving the best outcomes at the lowest cost. We must move away from a supply-driven health care system organized around what physicians do and toward a patient-centered system organized around what patients need. We must shift the focus from the volume and profitability of services provided - physician visits, hospitalizations, procedures, and tests - to the patient outcomes achieved. And we must replace today’s fragmented system, in which every local provider offers a full range of services, with a system in which services for particular medical conditions are concentrated in health-delivery organizations and in the right locations to deliver high-value care.



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  • Why a row over military bases on Okinawa spells trouble for US-Japan relations (The Conversation) Hosting a military base is difficult in the best of circumstances, but some bases are more dangerous than others. The location of thousands of U.S. military in the center of a Japanese city has resulted in a number of social problems over the years. The plan has been to move to a rural area on Okinawa, but what the Trump administration will do is anybody's guess.


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