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posted on 31 August 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Dollar Up, Oil Flat, Gold Down, China Mfg PMI Strong, State AGs Join Trump Investigation, Erdogan Strengthens Hand, Iran-Qatar Reset, South Asia Floods, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 31 August 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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U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued an injunction that prevents Texas Senate Bill 4 from being implemented while a lawsuit challenging the law winds its way through the federal courts. The ruling marks a victory for immigrant rights groups and several local governments ― including those of Austin, Houston, San Antonio and El Cenizo ― that argued the law unconstitutionally requires police to do the work of federal authorities and would lead to racial profiling.

  • Poll: 56 percent say Trump 'tearing the country apart' (Politico) Fifty-six percent of voters say they believe President Donald Trump is “tearing the country apart" instead of drawing people together, according to a new Fox News poll released Wednesday. While the findings are sharply divided along partisan lines - with 15% of Republicans describing Trump as “tearing the country apart" but a whopping 93% of Democrats saying he is - only 33 percent of voters overall said they believe the president is “drawing the country together." The same poll found Trump wiith a 41% approval rating. Econintersect: Does that mean 8% approve of tearing the country apart?

  • Michael Cohen Speaks: Trump Exec Admits Russia Dealings Were Gross, But Not Illegal (Huffington Post) Attorney Michael Cohen (and President Donald Trump) have insisted for more than a year that the Trump Organization has had no business dealings in Russia. Cohen has been one of the president’s most dogged defenders in the media on that point, taking his case to TV, Twitter ― anywhere, basically. Speaking to the Financial Times in December, he dismissed the idea of “any connection with Russia" as “yet another example of the press’s liberal bias towards Mr. Trump."

But earlier this week, details of a planned business deal with Russia emerged in the press, partly because Cohen’s lawyer filed a two-page statement ahead of Cohen’s upcoming appearance before the House Intelligence Committee. (The hearing, originally scheduled for Sept. 5, has been postponed.) The statement reveals that in 2015 and 2016, Cohen was pursuing a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The deal was brought to him by Felix Sater, a freelance Russian-American broker, convicted criminal and former FBI informant who’d worked with the Trump Organization on several previous projects.




  • Schools around England ejecting 'underperforming' sixth-formers (The Guardian) Dozens of parents and pupils have contacted the Guardian complaining that schools in different areas of the country are ejecting sixth form students half way through their two-year A-level course after failing to achieve sufficiently high grades. Some of the schools identified are in areas where there are a high number of grammar schools, including Kent, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire, though non-selective schools elsewhere are also implicated.


  • Erdogan hastens executive presidency with new decree (Al Monitor) The Turkish president keeps consolifating power. The latest is the 27th decree Turkey has implemented under a state of emergency since the failed coup attempt last year, but make no mistake, this one's a doozy. The expansive changes enacted are coming much faster than expected after the hotly contested voter referendum in April that authorized an executive presidency.

The decree, which took effect Aug. 25, carries significant adjustments in intelligence and security bureaucracies, allows thousands of police and judiciary personnel to be recruited and indicates other hefty changes - such as abolishing the Prime Ministry - could be on the way.


  • What Iran-Qatar reset means for Syria (Al Monitor) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Qatar’s Aug. 23 decision to return its ambassador to Tehran could strengthen Iran’s hand in Syria, while further blurring the Sunni-Shiite fault line in the region.

No surprise that Qatar’s announcement that it aspires to “strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields" has inflamed the crisis in the Gulf. Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs, said the decision “embarrasses Qatar."


  • India Financial Hub Slowly Recovers From Worst Deluge Since 2005 (Bloomberg) Houston is not the only big city with major flooding. India’s financial capital slowly began recovering as rains eased, allowing authorities to restore suburban rail services and clear waterlogged areas in Mumbai a day after the city suffered from the worst deluge since 2005. Trading volume on the Mumbai Stock Exchange reflected the problems.


  • The Shanghai Composite rose 3 percent in August, pushing the index's gains to more than 8 percent in 2017
  • China's yuan just recorded its strongest month in 2017, appreciating 2 percent against the U.S. dollar
  • China's stock markets have been buoyed by strong performance in the financial sector, with the biggest four state-owned banks capping August with decent earnings
  1. Xi Jinping’s ambition
  2. The age double standard
  3. The power of former leaders
  4. The challenges ahead
  5. Foreign policy and North Korea

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