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posted on 14 May 2017

Early Headlines: Ransomware, US Life Expectancy Gap, Comey Reaction Still Partisan, EPA Resignations, NHS Short Of Nurses, Brazil Strike And Corruption, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 14 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

Let’s take a break from the media hysteria about the massive global attack by software built by the NSA. Cybersecurity expert Marcus Ranum explains why hospitals were the focus of the attack, why organizations are so vulnerable after a decade of warnings, and what will create effective defenses. This continues our years of coverage about cybersecurity, one of the most important frontiers of 21stC conflict.

U.S.

life.expectancy.video

  • Comey's firing occurred in the midst of the FBI's investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

  • According to the memo recommending his removal, Comey's firing stemmed from his handling of the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server.

  • Scientists Resign From EPA in Protest (EcoWatch) Econintersect: We have commented before that President Trump's 'drain the swamp' process seems to be aimed at removing the game wardens and increasing the number of poachers. From this article:

As reported by POLITICO Pro, scientists resigned Friday from an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advisory panel in protest of Administrator Scott Pruitt's recent decision not to reappoint nine members of the Board of Scientific Counselors, a panel of outside experts that advise EPA on research and development issues.

The New York Times reported these scientists believe that Pruitt's intention is to replace scientists with industry representatives.

  • This Land was Your Land (Field & Stream) The future of hunting and fishing is under attack. States are trying to wrench control of public lands from the federal government in order to drill, mine, sell off, and - ultimately - steal our national sporting heritage. This article explains why public lands must remain in public hands.

Click here for large, readable image.

UK

  • NHS 'dangerously short of nurses' (BBC News) he NHS in England is drastically short of the nurses it needs, with 40,000 posts unfilled, figures suggest. The total is double what it was in 2013 - and means one in nine positions is now vacant, according to the analysis by the Royal College of Nursing. The union said the situation was dangerous, blaming the stress of working in the NHS and the cap on pay rises for the problem. But the Conservatives said plans were in place to tackle the issue:

The party has said the extra money being invested - an average of 1% a year between 2010 and 2020 - is enabling ministers to ensure patient safety is prioritised and, despite the vacancies, the number of nurses employed is still rising.

Between 2010 and 2016 the numbers employed have risen by 2% to just over 300,000 full-time nurses.

Germany

  • What Schäuble is really saying about Macron and Europe (Edward Harrison, Credit Writedowns) EH has contributed to GEI. The German Finance Minister has widely been praised for constructive comments following the election of left-of-center Emmanuel Macron as French President. EH explains why Schäuble has not changed.

India

  • India skips China’s BRF summit ceremony (The Hindu) india appears to be protesting the China 'Belt and Road' initiative. India on Sunday skipped the opening ceremony of China’s Belt and Road Forum following sovereignty concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). No Indian delegation was seen at the opening ceremony addressed by Chinese President, Xi Jinping. When inquired, Indian diplomats here pointed to the statement issued by MEA spokesperson Gopal Bagley on Saturday night:

“...No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity."

North Korea

  • North Korea carries out new ballistic missile test (BBC News) North Korea has carried out another ballistic missile test days after a new president took office in the South. The missile was launched near north-western Kusong, flying hundreds of miles then landing in the Sea of Japan. This puts immediate pressure on South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, who campaigned on a platform of better engagement with the North.

A series of North Korean missile tests this year has sparked international alarm and raised tensions with the US.

Two missile launches last month both failed, with the rockets exploding just minutes into flight.

After hosting an emergency meeting of his security council, Mr Moon condemned the latest launch as a "provocation".

Brazil

  • Brazil hit by first general strike in two decades (BBC News) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. See also next article. Brazilian cities has gone into partial shutdown, which started two weeks ago Friday, as the country observed its first general strike in more than two decades. Millions of workers, including public transport staff, bankers and teachers, have been urged to take part by trade unions and social groups. Protesters are taking a stand against the president's proposed pension reforms. President Michel Temer says the changes are needed to overcome a recession.

    President Temer says capping pension benefits and raising the retirement age will fix the finances of the country, as it undergoes the worst recession in more than a century.

    The president has said the austerity measures are needed to prevent a future crisis such as that suffered by Portugal, Spain or Greece.

    The country has also been hit by rising unemployment.

    Government statistics released on Friday say more than 14 million people are out of work.

    Econintersect: Comparing Brazil to "Portugal, Spain or Greece" is disingenuous because Brazil has its own currency, unlike those other countries. For the real problem in Brazil, see the next article.

  • Brazil judge targets dozens of politicians for ‘corruption’ (BBC News) A Brazilian judge has revealed the names of dozens of politicians to be investigated over alleged involvement in a huge bribery scandal. Judge Edson Fachin unveiled his extensive list on Tuesday, after much speculation in the country's media. It includes almost a third of President Michel Temer's cabinet and Rio de Janeiro's mayor during the Olympics. The names were given by corrupt former officials from Brazil-based construction giant Odebrecht. The firm has admitted paying $1 billion (£800 mollion) in bribes.

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