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posted on 03 June 2017

Early Headlines: Comey To Testify, Gravest Injustice, Trump Fed Picks, Real Trump Israel - Palestine Story, Modi's 3 Years, Japan Forestry, How Chinese Sneak Money, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 03 June 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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In light of the news that Donald Trump wishes to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which has overseen global climate diplomacy for some 25 years, I argue that a US withdrawal would minimise risks and maximise opportunities for the climate community. Simply put: the US and the Trump administration can do more damage inside the agreement than outside it.


  • Comey Expected to Testify Before Senate, if He Isn’t Blocked (The New York Times) Senators expect the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to testify next week about his conversations with President Trump, congressional officials said on Wednesday, setting up a test of the White House’s willingness to cooperate with investigations into Mr. Trump’s associates.

Putting the highly anticipated hearing on the calendar would force Mr. Trump to decide whether to invoke executive privilege and try to prevent Mr. Comey from testifying. Mr. Comey is expected to be asked about several conversations he had with the president, including one in which he says Mr. Trump encouraged him to stop investigating his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

  • The judge who says he's part of the gravest injustice in America (CNN) U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett calls manditory minimum sentencing for minor drug offenses the "gravest injustice in America".

  • Trump makes two conservative picks for Fed: NY Times (Reuters) U.S. President Donald Trump's picks for two open spots on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors may push for tighter monetary policy if they receive the Senate confirmation needed to join the Fed's rate-setting panel, their records suggest. Trump will nominate Carnegie Mellon University professor Marvin Goodfriend and former Treasury Department staffer Randal Quarles to fill two of the three open seats on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, the New York Times said on Friday, citing unnamed people with direct knowledge of the decision.

The conservative picks come as Fed Chair Janet Yellen continues to slowly raise interest rates and lay out plans to shed some of the trillions of dollars of bonds bought in the wake of the financial crisis.

Goodfriend in particular has been skeptical of the Fed's bond-buying programs, saying that it is too close to fiscal policy.


A week has passed since US President Donald Trump's visit to Israel and the West Bank May 22-23, and the euphoria is starting to wear off. According to Channel 2, the conversation between Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that took place in Bethlehem was harsh. The president even burst out shouting at the Palestinian leader, claiming that Abbas had deceived him with statements about his commitment to peace at an earlier meeting between the two men in the White House.

Is Trump the responsible adult who can conduct the mission? Many people might find the label “responsible adult" somewhat amusing when applied to Trump. With regard to everything connected to the negotiations, however, the president has so far revealed acute understanding, vision and execution. His problem is that the sides themselves don’t really want to enter the negotiating room, despite statements to the contrary. Netanyahu is deathly afraid of negotiations, and Abbas knows that he will be obliged to make decisions that no Palestinian leader has made before him. It is doubtful that Trump could pull it off.


Mr. Trump’s tirade against India, whose per capita carbon emission is one-tenth of the U.S., comes ahead of a likely visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington later this month.




  • Revealed: the sneaky ways Chinese are moving money across the border (South China Morning Post) China’s foreign currency regulator has shed light on the mass underground exodus of cash from the country, coming up with a list of 10 top cases of individuals and firms moving money covertly over the border. Here is a list from this article:

  1. Forging transport invoices and shipping contracts

  2. Forging trade records

  3. Re-using invoices

  4. Faking transaction amounts for customs

  5. Putting money in other people’s accounts and asking them to transfer money in instalments

  6. Going through underground banks

  7. Using invalid custom clearance forms

  8. Creating false reasons to explain to banks the need for transfers

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