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posted on 10 April 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Dollar, Oil Up, Gold Down, Some GOP Like ACA, Kurdish Immigrant Creates US Jobs, Wall Is Fading, Hybrid Police Cars, Japan Has New Babe Ruth, China Concedes On Trade, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 10 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.

early-bird-301-180

Global

Asia equities close mixed with Nikkei posting gains despite regional tensions (CNBC) Asian equities finished mixed in Monday trade on the back of heightened geopolitical tensions after a move by the U.S. military to send an aircraft carrier group near the Korean Peninsula and a U.S. missile strike in Syria last Friday. The dollar was higher against a basket of currencies at 101.190 against a session high of 101.34 at 2:05 pm HK/SIN time, its highest level in nearly 3 weeks. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were at $55.39 per barrel at 0109 GMT, up $0.15, or 0.3%, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $0.24, or 0.5%, at $52.48 a barrel. Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,252.20 per ounce by 0319 GMT, while U.S. gold futures had dropped 0.2% to $1,254.30.

asia.pac.2017.apr.10

  • Like it or not, poor countries are increasingly dependent on mining and oil & gas (United Nations University) Slthough the higher-income countries extract the largest volumes of minerals, they are not as economically dependent on them. By contrast, low income countries (LICs) produce lower volumes of resources but are much more highly dependent on these for their foreign exchange earnings, and indeed for other components of their macroeconomic performance such as government revenues and investment. If LICs could learn to use resource income to develop the rest of their economies the way higher income countries have done, more than 500 million people could be raised from poverty by 2030.

Click for large image.

U.S.

  • Reversal: Some Republicans now defending parts of ObamaCare (The Hill) The House’s debate over repealing ObamaCare has had an unintended effect: Republicans are now defending key elements of President Obama’s health law. Many House Republicans are now defending ObamaCare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, in the face of an effort by the conservative House Freedom Caucus to repeal them. Some Republican lawmakers are also speaking out in favor of ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid and its mandates that insurance plans cover services such as mental health and prescription drugs.

  • Karl Rove: WH staff has been leaking info on each other for weeks (The Hill, MSNBC) Karl Rove, a former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, said Sunday President Trump's aides "have been leaking on each other for weeks". Rove said these leaks are one of the three reasons he believes there is "acrimony" between three competing factions in the White House, which he said include the allies and supporters of senior adviser Jared Kushner, chief strategist Stephen Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus. The second sign that top White House aides are not getting along, according to Rove, is the president expressing concern and asking others what they think of his staff.

  • Chobani's Billionaire Founder on Creating Jobs in America (CBS News 60 Minutes) Hamdi Ulukaya, a Kurd, came here from Turkey 23 years ago on a student visa with almost no money. Today, he is a billionaire who has changed American tastes with his Chobani yogurt, resurrected the economy in two communities, and drawn praise and some hostile fire for the way he’s done it. He has built his yogurt buisness from nothing, now a national enterptise with more than a1,000 in each of his two plants, one in northern New Yrok and the other in Idaho. But not everybody is happy. During the last election he was attacked by Breitbart News, accused of "refugees, crime and tuberculosis to Twin Falls, none of which is true yet both Hamdi and the mayor of Twin Falls received death threats." Econintersect: Well, the excerpt is not quite correct - Ulukaya has hired some refugees to work along side his American employees.

  • Dems winning fight over wall (The Hill) Democrats are winning the war over the wall.

Despite President Trump’s request for more than $1 billion to fund the Mexican border wall this year, GOP leaders are expected to exclude the money in the spending bill being prepared to keep the government open beyond April 28.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the choice is pragmatic and the money will come later.

  • Ford says hybrid police car catches bad guys, saves gas too (CNBC) Ford Motor Co., which sells more police cars in the U.S. than any other automaker, says it will offer a police pursuit version of the hybrid Fusion midsize sedan, in response to requests from cities nationwide. The new car, with its 2-Liter four-cylinder engine and 1.4 kilowatt lithium-ion battery, is expected to get 38 miles per gallon of gas in combined city-highway driving. That's 20 mpg more than Ford's current police car, the Taurus police interceptor.

Russia

  • Trump officials tell Russia to drop its support for Syria’s Assad (The Washington Post) Officials in the Trump administration on Sunday demanded Russia stop supporting the Syrian government or face a further deterioration in its relations with the United States. Signaling the focus of talks Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will have in Moscow later this week, officials said Russia, in propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, bears at least partial responsibility for Wednesday’s poison gas attack on villagers in Idlib province. Although officials acknowledged that they have seen no evidence directly linking Russia to the attacks, the top national security adviser, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, said Russia should be pressed to answer what it knew ahead of the chemical attack since it has placed warplanes and air defense systems with associated troops in Syria since 2015.

India

  • India news anchor learns of husband's death on live TV (Associated Press) People across India are hailing the composure of a television news anchor who learned of her husband's death as she delivered a breaking news report on live TV. Supreet Kaur was reading the morning news bulletin for India's IBC24 channel in Chhattisgarh state on Saturday when a reporter called in a story about a fatal road crash. Although the reporter didn't name the three victims, Kaur realized her husband, Harsad Kawade, was among the dead from the details of the story.

"For a moment her voice trembled, but she collected herself and carried on reading the news till the bulletin got over 10 minutes later," Ravikant Mittal, IBC24's editor-in-chief, said Sunday.

Once the broadcast was over, Kaur emerged from the studio and broke down in tears. She called the reporter for more details from the accident site before informing her family about the accident, Mittal said.

Kaur and Kawade had been married for just over a year and lived in Raipur, Chhattisgarh's capital.

Japan

  • Is Japan's Babe Ruth Headed for the Majors? (CBS News) Babe Ruth was one of the best young pitchers to ever play the game when he pitched (and hit) the Boston Red Sox to 3 world championships between 1914 and 1919. Of course, he is best known for his years with the New York Yankees, to whom he was traded after the 1919 season at age 23. See Wikipedia. Now, a new all-skills player in Japan may be ready to become the second Babe Ruth:

  • Shohei Ohtani is on deck to be the first MLBer in a century to figure into a team’s starting rotation and its everyday lineup.

  • At 6-foot-4, Ohtani’s fastball has reached 102.5 mph for Japan’s Nippon Ham Fighters, but he thinks he can improve.

  • If Ohtani comes to the Majors, he wants to face MVP hitter Bryce Harper AND star pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

  • At 22, Ohtani stands to lose millions if he comes to MLB as a foreign player under the age of 25.

China

  • China offers concessions to avert trade war with US (Financial Times) China will offer the Trump administration better market access for financial sector investments and US beef exports to help avert a trade war, according to Chinese and US officials involved in talks between the two governments. US President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, decided at their first meeting in Florida last week that they needed rushed trade negotiations to produce results within 100 days. The two concessions on finance and beef are relatively easy for Beijing to make.

At present, foreign investors cannot hold a majority stake in securities and insurance companies in China. The country’s largest companies in these sectors, such as Citic Securities and China Life Insurance, have achieved enormous scale in the 15 years since the world’s second-biggest economy joined the World Trade Organisation, making them formidable competitors for new entrants to the market.

The concession to allow majority foreign ownership was discussed during Barack Obama’s administration, when Chinese and US negotiators held several rounds of talks about a bilateral investment treaty, or BIT.

Mr Trump has not yet said if he intends to pursue the treaty, which US negotiators hoped would address China market access issues in a wide range of industries.

  • China's Changing Economy Helps Explain Taming of Trump's Threats (Bloomberg) U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to punish China over trade have been displaced by a pledge to negotiate after hearing the perspective of his counterpart Xi Jinping. The article presents five charts that may explain the change in tone. Here is one:

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