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posted on 11 July 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks, Oil, Dollar All Up, Gold Down, Global Bonds Turn Back Down, $1.20 Euro?, ISIS Still In Iraq, Chinese Buy Japanese Condos, China's Stealth Expansion, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 11 July 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

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U.S.

  • Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign (The New York Times) Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.

The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy.

  • Trump wall moves to center of shutdown fight (The Hill) Two House conservatives on Monday warned that the government could shut down if a spending bill does not include money to fund President Trump’s wall along the Mexican border. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, even said he believed that Trump would veto a spending measure that did not include money for the wall.
  • Trump Targeted Chelsea Clinton (Who Answered Back) (Twitter)

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  • Trump names new Fed regulatory chief (CNN) President Donald Trump has pledged to "do a big number" on the 2010 reform law known as Dodd-Frank, and now he's named his point man for the job. On Monday, Trump named Randal Quarles, a former top Treasury Department official in the George W. Bush administration, as his choice for the Federal Reserve's vice chair for supervision post, filling one of three vacancies on the board. The president's nomination will require Senate confirmation.
  • Poll: Most Republicans say colleges have negative impact on US (The Hill) Econintersect: Ignorance is bliss? A Pew Research Center poll finds 58% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents think colleges and universities hurt the country. We question the headline. Since when is 58% 'most'? Does that mean 75% is 'all'?

EU

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UK

Syria

  • Justice in Syria: five ways to prosecute international crime (The Conversation) The conflict in Syria has seen atrocities committed by all sides for six long years. Barbarities are an everyday occurrence. The existence of these offences counts for little, of course, unless the law is enforced. This raises the question: is there any way of prosecuting any side of the Syrian conflict? Some options that could help inform the way forward are discussed in this article.

Iraq

The general reaction in Iraq and on social media to the recapture of Mosul has been one of joy and celebration, yet for many, the feelings are mixed. Although it is a huge blow for IS, the victory does not mean that IS has been defeated across Iraq. Battles are still awaiting in Tel Afar in the north-west, to Hawija and other areas in Anbar Province in western Iraq. And even when these are retaken, IS will continue its regional and global insurgency.

  • Losing Mosul, IS prepare for military parade in Hawija, recruits minors (Iraqi News) Hat tip to Sig Silber. Having lost Mosul, its main stronghold in Iraq, Islamic State is preparing for a military parade in Kirkuk’s Hawija, another bastion it has held since 2014, according to intelligence sources. Shafaq News website quoted the source saying that IS called upon young men, aged at least 15, to sign up for the planned show of force. The source said the parade aims to make up for demoralization caused by losing Mosul, which Iraqi commanders announced recapturing totally on Sunday.

Philippines

The sad fact is that much of the suffering Duterte is inflicting was entirely predictable. The Philippines’ human rights institutions are fragile, and Duterte came to office with a well-known record as a mayor who sanctioned death squads to dole out vigilante justice in his city. But the international community failed to respond to his election with due alarm, and it is still failing to realise the sheer destruction the Duterte administration is causing.

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Japan

  • Abe aims to bounce back with cabinet shakeup (Nikkei Asian Review) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will replace some of his cabinet members and top party officials early next month while keeping his closest advisers in place, aiming to recapture the initiative and win back public confidence without sacrificing his government's ability to get things done.

Abe announced the plan Sunday while in Sweden. New faces could be brought into the cabinet on Aug. 3, if current plans hold. Support for the cabinet has been on the decline, and the depth of the government's unpopularity became clear last week, when the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was dealt a resounding defeat in elections for Tokyo's metropolitan assembly.

  • Chinese investors lead charge for Japanese condos (Nikkei Asian Review) Prices for investment properties in Japan have hit their highest level in about 11 years, as they continue to be snapped up by both domestic and overseas investors, with the Chinese leading the charge. One-room condos are particularly popular. Nationwide prices for condos averaged 15.5 million yen ($136,000) for the April-June quarter, according to figures released on Tuesday by Kenbiya, a major Tokyo-based property information website operator.

China

  • China's Bhutan land grab aims at bigger target (Nikkei Asian Review) China honed its "salami slicing" strategy in the Himalayan borderlands with India in the 1950s, when it grabbed the Switzerland-sized Aksai Chin plateau by surreptitiously building a strategic highway through that unguarded region. Aksai Chin, part of the original princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, has since provided China with the only passageway between its rebellious regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. Now, the attempt by the People's Liberation Army to replicate its seizure of Aksai Chin by building a military road through the Doklam plateau of tiny Bhutan has triggered one of the most serious troop standoffs in years between China and India, which is a guarantor of Bhutanese security.

The standoff involving hundreds of PLA and Indian troops, near where the borders of Tibet, Bhutan and India's Sikkim state meet, has successfully halted the Chinese construction of the highway in Doklam, which Beijing claims as a "traditional pasture for Tibetans." This is similar to Beijing's claims in the South and East China seas, which are based on "traditional fishing grounds for Chinese." The Indian intervention has triggered a furious reaction from China, which is warning India almost daily to back down or face reprisals, including a possible war.

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