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posted on 09 April 2017

Early Headlines: Oil Headed Above $60?, Retail Shutdown, Syria Activity Map, India's Surprise Tightening, India's Solar Powered Airport, Deadly Aftermath In Oz, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 09 April 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.

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Global

  • Get ready for pumped up prices: RBC says oil could surge nearly 20%, and take gas with it (CNBC) Get ready to open up your wallet a lot wider at the gas pump. A major Wall Street bank is reiterating its bullish call on crude oil, as the fossil fuel sits at four week highs following this week's U.S. missile attack on Syria. RBC Capital Markets Head of Commodity Strategy and CNBC Contributor Helima Croft predicts prices will climb to the low $60s within months - a nearly 20% move from current levels. That would translate to roughly a $1.80 gasoline spot price.

U.S.

  • New York set to become first state to offer free tuition at public four-year colleges (The Washington Post) Budget negotiators struck a deal late Friday that could make New York the first state to cover residents’ tuition at public four-year universities. The $163 billion state budget agreement includes the Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition for any New Yorker accepted to one of the state’s community colleges or four-year universities, provided their family earns less than $125,000 a year. Proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in January, the scholarship taps into one of the Democratic Party’s most popular ideas and advances a bipartisan movement to lower the cost of college that is taking shape across the country.

  • America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever (Bloomberg) Hat tip to John O'Donnell. The rapid descent of so many retailers has left shopping malls with hundreds of slots to fill, and the pain could be just beginning. More than 10 percent of U.S. retail space, or nearly 1 billion square feet, may need to be closed, converted to other uses or renegotiated for lower rent in coming years, according to data provided to Bloomberg by CoStar Group.

Syria

Click for large image.

Russia

  • Russia warns of serious consequences from U.S. strike in Syria (Reuters) Russia warned on Friday that U.S. cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base could have "extremely serious" consequences, as President Donald Trump's first major foray into a foreign conflict opened up a rift between Moscow and Washington.

India

  • India's Surprise Tightening Offers Path for Peers to Follow (Bloomberg) India’s central bank is using tools to keep a lid on prices that could provide a template for the rest of Asia. Instead of the time-tested increase in the benchmark rate, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday chose to tighten through the money markets, unexpectedly raising the reverse repo rate. The move is aimed at draining a flood of cash in the banking system and containing inflation without jeopardizing investment.

  • First 100% solar-powered airport expands its capacity (Climate Action) The world’s first airport to be solely powered by solar energy is set to increase its capacity from 15.5 megatwatts (MW) to 21.5 MW to power its new international terminal. In 2015, Cochin International Airport in southern India became the first airport to run on 100 per cent solar energy with the installation of a 12 MW solar power project.

The 46,000 solar panels provided more electricity than was required by the airport, promoting Cochin International Airport Limited to expand the project to 15.5 MW, with the excess electricity being sold to the grid.

To power the new terminal, the airport plans to generate an additional 6 MW through installations situated in three locations on the airport’s grounds.

A total of 8,500 solar panels will be installed on the roof of the new solar carport, which can accommodate up to 14,000 cars and can generate at least 2.5 MW of power.

The parking lot will also host electric vehicle charging stations.

South Korea

  • U.S. Navy strike group to move toward Korean peninsula: U.S. official (Reuters) A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea's advancing weapons program.

  • How Far Apart the Two Koreas Have Grown in Six Decades (Bloomberg) While North Korea’s Kim dynasty has defied the odds for decades, it’s at times of heightened crisis that questions on the future of the divided peninsula loom large. This series of graphics shows how far the two halves have grown apart during more than six decades of separation. They point to the huge challenges of bringing them smoothly back together, but also the potential benefits of reunification.

Click for larger image.

China

  • Chinese state media cheer Xi-Trump meeting, say confrontation not inevitable (CNBC) Chinese state media on Saturday cheered the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as one that showed the world that confrontation between the two powers was not inevitable. The official China Daily newspaper said it was encouraging to see the two-day summit that ended on Friday "going as well as it could", after earlier "confusing signals" from Washington about how it was approaching the U.S.-China relationship. Trump had campaigned with strident anti-China rhetoric and had angered Beijing before taking office by talking to the president of Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own.

Australia

  • Cyclone Debbie: Why was aftermath deadlier than storm itself? (BBC News) Natural disaster consequences can be unpredictable. When Debbie, a category four system, slammed into the Queensland coast 11 days ago, remarkably there were no fatalities in its immediate aftermath and few serious injuries were reported. Through flying debris unleashed by violent winds that wrecked homes and businesses, communities around the Whitsunday holiday region felt the full force of what was labelled a "monster" cyclone. At its worst, gusts were recorded at 263km/h (163 mph). But residents and tourists had been told what was coming.

Crucially, the slow-moving storm had given authorities time to trigger emergency plans and issue repeated warnings. Thousands of people heeded advice to leave, while others hunkered down and waited.

Only a day after Cyclone Debbie made landfall, Queensland's Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner, Katarina Carroll, said her "biggest concern" was people getting trapped in floodwaters.

A week later, floods had claimed at least six lives as the storm lashed a 1,200km (745 miles) stretch of coast down to northern New South Wales.

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