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posted on 10 May 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Dollar Down, Oil And Gold Up, Bitcoin Record, Comey Questions, A Map Saved NAFTA, New So. Korea Pres Wants To Talk With Un, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 10 May 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

asia.pac.2017.May.10

  • Bitcoin surges to all-time high above $1,700 (Reuters) Digital currency bitcoin hit a record high on Tuesday as demand for crypto-assets soared with the creation of new tokens to raise funding for start-ups using blockchain technology. Blockchain, the underlying technology behind bitcoin, is a financial ledger maintained by a network of computers that can track the movement of any asset wthout the need for a central regulator. Bitcoin hit a record $1,760.40 BTC=BTSP on the BitStamp platform and was last at $1,747.89, up 6 percent on the day. So far this year, bitcoin has surged nearly 80 percent. Bitcoin's market capitalization on Tuesday soared to $52.5 billion, according to data from coinmarketcap.com.

U.S.

  • Comey's Firing Is a Crisis of American Rule of Law (Bloomberg) Harvard law professor Noah Feldman says that Trump's actions are constitutional but violate powerful political norms. This article discusses how the firing raises all sorts of conflict of interest questions.

  • GOP senators split over Trump's decision to fire Comey (The Hill) GOP senators were split Tuesday over President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, with many Republicans appearing to be caught off guard by the announcement. Several Senate Republicans voiced concern about the decision, which comes as the FBI investigates possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, while others offered support for Trump, saying he was within his authority to remove Comey. See also Dems ask Justice Dept, FBI to 'preserve any and all files' on Comey firing.

  • Trump Preparing Certified Letter Attesting to No Russia Ties (Bloomberg) The White House says President Donald Trump is sending a certified letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham attesting that the president has no connections to Russia. Graham told CNN on Tuesday he wants to explore possible ties between Trump's businesses and Russia. The South Carolina Republican chairs a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. White House spokesman Sean Spicer says Trump has asked a Washington law firm to send a certified letter to Graham stating that he has no connections to Russia. Spicer says Trump has no business in Russia or ties to the country. He says based on that Graham's inquiry "should be a really easy look".

  • Senate GOP Plans Secret Health Debate That May Take Months (Bloomberg) Senate Republican leaders are starting what’s shaping up to be a secretive process to write their version of an Obamacare overhaul -- even after some GOP senators complained that the House devised sweeping health-care legislation behind closed doors. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky held a private meeting Tuesday of an all-male working group of GOP senators who will help shape the chamber’s own version of an Affordable Care Act replacement. Among other changes, they’ll probably curb the House bill’s deep cuts to Medicaid and bolster protections for insurance customers who are older, poor or have pre-existing health conditions.

  • The Cost of Raising a Child in America (Investopedia) Parents tend to underestimate the cost, even of that first year, as a recent survey by personal finance website NerdWallet points out. The actual cost of raising a baby in its first year is around $21,000 (for a household earning $40,000) and $52,000 (for one bringing home $200,000). According to the poll, 18% of parents thought it would cost $1,000 or less and another 36% put the price tag at between $1,001 and $5,000. You’re going to pay a lot of money for that cute little bundle - somewhere around $233,610 by the time the baby turns 18, according to a 2017 Department of Agriculture (USDA) study. And this is the cost before starting college.

  • A Map Like This Persuaded Trump to Save Nafta, For Now (Bloomberg) Location is everything in the real-estate biz, so it's not entirely surprising that a map changed former developer Donald Trump's mind. President Trump was close to withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement last month, before he saw a U.S. map highlighting areas that rely on business with partners Mexico and Canada. It just so happened many of those states supported Trump in the 2016 election, giving him a strong motivation to renegotiate rather than abandon the pact, he told the Washington Post.

  • Reporter arrested after repeatedly questioning Health secretary (The Hill) Dan Heyman, a reporter for Public News Service, said he was arrested at the West Virginia State Capitol after trying to ask Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question about the House-passed healthcare bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Dan Heyman, a reporter for Public News Service, said he was arrested at the West Virginia State Capitol after trying to ask Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question about the House-passed healthcare bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

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South Korea

  • New South Korea president vows to address North Korea, broader tensions 'urgently' (Reuters) South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-in was sworn in on Wednesday and vowed to immediately tackle the difficult tasks of addressing North Korea's advancing nuclear ambitions and soothing tensions with the United States and China. Moon said in his first speech as president he would immediately begin efforts to defuse security tensions on the Korean peninsula and negotiate with Washington and Beijing to ease the row over a U.S. missile defense system being deployed in the South.

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