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posted on 13 May 2017

Early Headlines: Oil Rally Fizzles, Trump Tapes?, Why Comey Really Was Fired, End WH Press Briefings?, Bullish Euro, Merkel Building Strength, 110 Mln Year Old Dinosaur, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 13 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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  • Oil Rally Fizzles as Focus Shifts to Output OPEC Can't Control (Bloomberg) Oil’s rebound ran out of steam as investors focus on all the production that OPEC can do nothing about. Futures were little changed in New York as they capped the first weekly gain in a month. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted estimates for growth in rival supplies by 64%, as producers in the U.S. shale patch, Brazil and elsewhere keep boosting production.


Senior administration officials have grown accustomed to learning about their boss’s whims in unorthodox ways but it doesn’t mean they like it or are prepared for the sudden swings of emotion. For instance, one official was having a conversation with a Daily Beast reporter on Friday morning when the reporter interrupted the official to inform them that Trump was on Twitter again.

After a brief pause to check Twitter, the senior Trump aide informed of the unfolding rant, responded, “Jesus."

  • Why Trump Really Fired Comey (Bloomberg) Timothy O'Brien says that two things have always driven the president: self-aggrandizement and self-preservation.

Trump himself has clearly been feeling the heat from the Russia investigation. A Politico report said he had pondered firing Comey for a week, that he had "grown enraged by the Russia investigation," didn’t understand why he couldn't control it and would occasionally "scream at television clips about the probe." He has also spent several weeks routinely criticizing the investigation on his Twitter feed -- in tweets like this:


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  • German Rust-Belt Voters Test Merkel in Last Election Warmup (Bloomberg) For someone who’s rooting for Angela Merkel’s election opponent, labor-union official Josef Huelsduenker has a lot of respect for the chancellor. Sitting in a cafe in the town hall of Gelsenkirchen, a rust-belt town in Germany’s Ruhr Valley industrial heartland, the longtime Social Democrat said Merkel’s relationship with the unions “improved hugely" after the financial crisis during her first term. He finds her far more approachable than any of her fellow Christian Democrat cabinet ministers. Polls indicate that Merkel's CDU party may possibly pull out a win in Sunday's North Rhine-Westphalia election. If that happens it will be only the second time in the last 50 years.



It's not as though Turkey was unaware that U.S. weaponry was ending up with Kurdish Democratic Union forces, which Ankara considers a terrorist group allied with Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. But for the White House to announce that such shipments are now official policy, and will include heavier equipment such as mortars and armored cars, is a direct warning to Erdogan, who has become increasingly autocratic as a leader -- and problematic as an ally -- since he put down an attempted coup last summer.


  • ‘Dinosaur Mummy’ Emerges From the Oil Sands of Alberta (The New York Times) The animal probably died as it lived - defying predators with its heavy armor and size - and after 110 million years, its face remains frozen in a ferocious reptilian glare. How the animal, a land-dwelling, plant-eating nodosaur, died is not known, but somehow its body ended up at the bottom of an ancient sea. Minerals kept the remains remarkably intact, gradually turning the body into a fossil. And when it was unearthed in 2011, scientists quickly realized that it was the best-preserved specimen of its kind.

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