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posted on 17 July 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, China Down, Dollar, Oil And Gold All Up, Emerging Mkts On Fire, GOP Medicaid Hang Up, Trump At New Low, UK Plans For No Petrol, Kim Says Trump Bluffs, China Growth Accelerating, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 17 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

asia.pac.2017.jul.17

  • The G20’s Role Reversals (Project Syndicate) The list of pressing global issues confronting G20 leaders seems to grow every year. But this year, the very countries that once brought solutions to the table may be the biggest problems of all. Since the Group of Twenty (G20) was founded in 1999, the United States and China have generally managed to restore or instill confidence in the international order, even when other members were mired in crisis. And in the ensuing years, both countries have maintained stable growth and weathered economic storms better than most. But that has changed in 2017.
  • Emerging Markets on Fire (The Daily Shot) The largest EM stock market ETF (EEM) is up 32% in the last year and 25% on the past 7 months.

U.S.

  • Inquiry Into Bernie Sanders’s Wife May Tarnish His Liberal Luster (The New York Times) A federal investigation into a long-ago land deal by Senator Bernie Sanders’s wife is threatening to take some of the luster off the senator’s populist appeal, attaching the phrase “bank fraud" to the biography of a politician practically sainted on the left for his stands against “millionaires and billionaires". But he has been shadowed by talk of a deepening investigation into his wife’s role in a 2010 land deal for a Vermont college that ultimately contributed to her ouster as its president. His wife, Jane Sanders, has hired a lawyer to represent her as federal authorities look into a $10 million sale of about 33 acres of lakefront property by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington to Burlington College. Ms. Sanders was hoping to relocate and expand the institution.But the facts in the case do not fit well with Mr. Sanders’s populist image. The charges revolve around a $6.5 million bank loan, that was obtained with a promise that college donors would quickly pay back at least $2.6 million of the debt. They did not, Ms. Sanders was ousted, and the college went belly up.
  • Former US prosecutor on Trump-Russia investigation: ‘People will be going to jail’ (Independent) A former federal prosecutor,Harry Litman, who worked at the Department of Justice in the 1990s, says that he believes the investigation into the Donald Trump campaign’s ties to Russia is going to land some people in jail.
  • Trump's lawyer may have let something slip about Don Jr.'s meeting with Russians (Business Insider) President Donald Trump's lawyer told ABC on Sunday morning that Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting last June with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin was innocent because if it weren't, the Secret Service would not have "allowed these people in".

The Secret Service confirmed on Sunday that Trump Jr. was not under its protection on June 9, 2016, when Trump Jr., his father's campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and his brother-in-law Jared Kushner met with the Russians at Trump Tower.

The Secret Service added that because Trump Jr. was not a protectee as of June 9, the Secret Service "would not have screened anyone he [Trump Jr.] was meeting with at that time." Manafort and Kushner were not under Secret Service protection at that point, either, as Think Progress noted on Sunday.

  • New Medicaid worry emerges for centrists (The Hill) Some states would likely end their Medicaid expansions earlier than 2024 if the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill becomes law, according to several sources. That dynamic could deepen concerns among several senators who are undecided about the healthcare bill because of its changes to Medicaid, the federal-state healthcare program for the poor and disabled. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has been deep in talks with her state, which might have to end Medicaid expansion early if the Senate bill passes. Murkowski is a key vote that Senate leaders cannot afford to lose. With Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) already opposed to the legislation, one more defection - from Murkowski or anyone else - would stop the bill in its tracks.
  • The unhappiness of the US working class (Brookings) The US is in crisis. The political divisions are crippling; income and opportunities are as unequally shared as they have ever been; and society is divided in terms of the different lives, hopes, and dreams that the rich and the poor have. The starkest marker of this crisis of societal ill-being is the rising rate of mortality due to premature deaths (suicide, opioids, and alcohol poisoning, among others) primarily among less educated whites. The trend of rising rather than falling mortality rates among an important demographic group is unique to the US among rich countries. The most difficult problem to solve in the decline of the white blue-collar worker may be the loss of identity and hope.
  • Trump's six-month approval rating plummets to a record low (Business Insider) Thirty-six percent of Americans approve of President Donald Trump's job performance at the six-month mark of his presidency, while 58% disapprove, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. Trump's six-month rating is the lowest of any American president at this point in the last 70 years.
  • Break-in reported at GOP Senator’s office (The Hill) Sen. Dean Heller’s Nevada office was broken into on Saturday, according to 8 News Now. A threatening note was left the GOP senator, the station reported, though Las Vegas Metropolitan Police would not confirm the presence of a note. Heller has been in the spotlight as a critic of the GOP healthcare bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

UK

North Korea

“The U.S. is crying out for mounting a military attack on the DPRK, terming its steps for bolstering the capability for self-defence a ‘threat to the world’ in a bid to escalate international sanctions and pressure on it.

“This is just a ridiculous bluffing of those taken aback by the invincible might of the DPRK.

“The DPRK remains unfazed by the desperate moves of the US to stifle it."

China

  • China reports 6.9% second-quarter GDP growth on year, topping expectations (CNBC) China said its second-quarter GDP growth was 6.9% against the prior year, and that comes as investors watch the world's second-largest economy for any signs of slowdown amid concerns over high debt levels. Economists polled by Reuters on average had expected 6.8% growth in the April to June period against the same time last year, compared to the first quarter's 6.9%. The gain over Q1 was 1.7%, in line with expectations. See also next article.
  • China’s export, import growth accelerate in June (The Washington Post) Chinese trade growth accelerated for a second month in June in a positive sign for global demand and the world’s No. 2 economy. Exports rose 11.3% to $196.6 billion, up from May’s 8.7% rate, customs data showed Thursday. Imports gained 17.2 percent to $153.8 billion, up from the previous month’s 14.8% growth. Unexpectedly strong export demand could help to support Chinese economic growth that has been forecast to weaken this year as Beijing tightens bank lending controls to reduce the risks of rising debt.

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