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posted on 02 September 2017

Here's What You're Missing

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If you are not a GEI member you are not receiving our daily newsletter. That means you are missing on an exclusive daily column entitled "What We Read Today" which is accessed through the newsletter. It is an eclectic pot pouri of intersting items from around the internet. Membership is very affordable - it's free. To become a GEI Member simply subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter. Click through for a sample.

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Here is the entire content of "What We Read Today" from yesterday, Friday 01 September:

What We Read Today 01 September 2017

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).

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Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

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Topics today include:

  • Carbon calculus: More states are adding carbon costs to utility planning guidelines
  • Vehicle Miles Traveled: Another Look at Our Evolving Behavior
  • U.S. house prices to keep rising on supply constraints: Reuters poll
  • July 2017 Headline Existing Home Growth Slows Again
  • July 2017 Pending Home Sales Seasonally Adjusted Index Significantly Declines
  • July 2017 Headline New Home Sales Significantly Decline
  • Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index June 2017 Unchanged at 5.7 % Year-over-Year Growth
  • Coal Production and Coal Mining Employment
  • Lawsuit alleges Charlottesville police were ordered to stand down at white supremacist rally
  • Stricter building rules, rejected by Trump, helped Harvey-hit communities
  • A judge ruled this veteran is a US citizen. Now he faces deportation to Mexico
  • Trump suppressed report into coal mining’s risk to public health, accuses world-leading Nature scientific journal
  • Clean Power Plan guidance wrong, 13 states tell EPA
  • Comey drafted announcement closing Hillary Clinton probe before key witnesses interviewed: Senators
  • Harvey Will Create Temporary Drag on U.S. GDP
  • Houston GDP Would Rank 23 in World National GDPs
  • The EU is blackmailing Britain - and it may well work
  • Overvalued Euro
  • Scottish tidal power station breaks world record for electricity generation
  • 'Not a single thing was dry': Mumbai's residents count the cost of floods
  • China Property Markets
  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world

U.S.

  • Lawsuit alleges Charlottesville police were ordered to stand down at white supremacist rally (The Washington Times) A man who was assaulted during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is suing the city and state police, alleging that officers were ordered to stand down and failed to act even as they witnessed the attack. According to the federal lawsuit, Robert Sanchez Turner was sprayed in the eye with pepper spray and beaten with canes, and had urine thrown on him during the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, as police officers stood less than 10 feet away and did nothing to stop the assault or arrest the assailants. According to the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times:

“By commanding their subordinates to stand down while hundreds of white supremacists and their sympathizers assaulted and seriously injured counterprotesters, these defendants were essentially accessories to, and facilitators of, unconstitutional hate crime."

Years ago, the city imposed higher elevation standards for buildings that were stricter than existing federal guidelines on construction in flood-prone areas. Before leaving office, President Barack Obama sought to toughen those national rules, to bring them more in line with those in communities like Seabrook. President Donald Trump, however, revoked Obama’s executive order last month.

Harvey, which has displaced around a million people and flooded swaths of Houston, has proven an early test of that decision. Floodplain experts wrote to Trump this week, urging him to rethink his reversal of Obama’s order.

  • A judge ruled this veteran is a US citizen. Now he faces deportation to Mexico (The Guardian) A decorated US marine corps veteran who a federal judge ruled was an American citizen is facing deportation to Mexico, in a case that has been criticized as a cruel and extraordinary application of immigration laws. The US government’s ongoing effort to deport George Ybarra, who is currently locked up in an Arizona detention center, has shed light on the vulnerabilities of foreign-born Americans who have served in the military, along with the deportation threats that can plague even those who are deemed to be citizens and have deep ties to the country. (Econintersect: Are we a 'use and discard' country?)

Ybarra, who was honorably discharged after serving in the Persian Gulf war and earning numerous badges and medals, is facing deportation due to a criminal history that his family says is tied to mental health struggles and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his service. While there have been growing concerns about the removal of veteransand the harsh policies of deporting people for minor crimes, Ybarra’s case is particularly troubling to immigrant rights’ advocates given a judge’s acknowledgement that he is US citizen.

One of the world’s leading scientific journals has accused the Trump administration of suppressing a major study into the public health risks of coal mining, saying it raises the prospect of researchers being prevented from making discoveries that the US government does not like.

Donald Trump, who has dismissed climate change as a “hoax", has made great play of his plans to reinvigorate the coal industry in the US.

The US Department of Interior (DoI) recently ordered the prestigious US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (Nasem) to halt a $1m study into the effects of the form of coal mining known as “mountain-top removal" on the health of people living in West Virginia.

  • Led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, 13 states and seven localities have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw guidance sent to states in March regarding compliance with the Clean Power Plan.
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wrote in the guidance letter that compliance with CPP deadlines is delayed while the rule is being litigated. However, the group of states and cities asserts there is no case law to back up a “day-to-day tolling" of the rule’s compliance deadlines.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the rule in February 2016 until legal challenges conclude. However, the Trump administration is crafting a replacement that reportedly includes a narrower set of requirements.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote to FBI Director Chris Wray asking for information related to Mr. Comey’s announcement, saying they’ve reviewed partially redacted interview transcripts that indicate Mr. Comey was drafting a statement on the closure of the case months before the July 5, 2016, announcement.

In a departure from typical federal law enforcement protocol, Mr. Comey announced that no criminal charges would be sought against Mrs. Clinton because - although she had been “extremely careless" in her handling of sensitive national security information - investigators couldn’t prove that it was intentional.

EU

The UK negotiator, David Davis, is clearly playing hardball, for the understandable reason that his opposite number, Michel Barnier, is doing likewise. Generations of EU deals have been done on the same basis: of more power to Brussels and more money with it. There is simply no route map for the reverse.

Cynics have long said that Barnier will settle anything, provided only that somehow Brussels does not lose a cut of some 10% of its incomefrom the UK. Nothing matters to a bureaucracy so much as its pay. The Brussels establishment will concede transitions and frictionless borders and deals on migration and courts, if London will only come up with the money.

  • Overvalued Euro (The Daily Shot) Fundamentals, such as real yield differentials, suggest that the euro is significantly overvalued.

UK

  • Scottish tidal power station breaks world record for electricity generation(Independent) A tidal power station in the Pentland Firth between mainland Scotland and Orkney has broken the world record for electricity generation, the company behind it has announced. The tidal flows between the Atlantic and the North Sea could potentially power nearly half of Scotland’s entire electricity needs, according to a study by engineers from Oxford and Edinburgh universities. owever the exploitation of this extraordinary power source has only just begun.

In an update on the progress of the MeyGen project, by Atlantis Resources, the company said it had generated 700 megawatt-hours of electricity in August, a world record amount.

India

  • 'Not a single thing was dry': Mumbai's residents count the cost of floods(The Guardian) Devastating rainfall across South Asia has led to the deaths of more than 1,200 people and directly affected more than 40 million people in northern India, southern Nepal, northern Bangladesh and southern Pakistan. About 60% of Mumbai’s 20 million residents live in slums, which gives the city its nickname “Slumbai". The 2011 Indian census put the number of homeless people in Mumbai at just over 57,000, but local activists say it is more like 150,000-300,000.

As the flood waters began to ebb on Friday, the impact of the disaster on rich and poor people alike was beginning to emerge.

Rescuers worked overnight to pull 12 survivors from the rubble of a building that collapsed on Thursday in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar, killing 34 people.

China

  • China Property Markets (The Daily Shot) China’s property markets remain hot, with land prices rising rapidly.

Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics, and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea

  • Carbon calculus: More states are adding carbon costs to utility planning guidelines (Utility Dive) The Trump administration is abdicating Obama-era climate regulations, but a small - and growing - number of states are taking matters into their own hands. The weapon of choice? The federal social cost of carbon, developed by the former Obama administration’s interagency working group composed of federal scientists and economists. The way it works is that it monetizes the net damages of carbon dioxide emissions, necessitating the cost to be expressed as a range of dollar values. The latest state to use such a standard - or at least be in the center of a debate - is Minnesota. The state recently updated its cost of carbon standards, after determining that the previous estimate was too low, and used the federal social cost of carbon as the basis. Other states taking such actions include New York, Illinois, California, and Colorado. This article reports that the move is also backed by some power utliities.
  • Vehicle Miles Traveled: Another Look at Our Evolving Behavior (Jill Mislinski, Advisor Perspectives dshort.com) JM contributes to GEI. The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Commission has released the latest report on Traffic Volume Trends, data through June.

"Travel on all roads and streets changed by 1.2% (3.4 billion vehicle miles) for June 2017 as compared with June 2016." The less volatile 12-month moving average was up 0.1% month-over-month and 1.0% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) is up just 0.03% month-over-month and up only 0.4% year-over-year.

Click for large image.

  1. Timber has underperformed the broader market; and
  2. Timber has lost diversifiction value (correlations increased) when stocks haave gone down.

Click for large image.

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