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posted on 03 September 2017

What We Read Today 03 September 2017 - Special Public Edition

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Econintersect: Due to a power failure 'What We Read Today' was not published in time to be included in the daily newsletter. It is through the newsletter that this column is normally accessed. To make it readily available to newsletter subscribers, we are posting this special edition. This provides a special opportunity for non-subscribers to read something they don't normally get to see.


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What We Read Today 03 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".).


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

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Topics today include:

  • The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? Part 1

  • The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? Part 2

  • The Job Guarantee Program: A Policy Platform for Sustainable Prosperity

  • Global CO2 Emissions from Fuel Consumption

  • Idaho police reveal patient defended by ‘heroic’ nurse was an officer

  • Colonial delays restart as fuel prices keep rising after Harvey

  • Obama team’s 2020 signals spark chatter among Dems

  • Dollar Depreciation

  • Russia: U.S. closure of diplomatic sites a 'blatantly hostile act'

  • Here is Modi government's next big plan to make India a cash-mukt Bharat

  • China denies it gave $20 billion loan to India to disengage in Doklam

  • North Korea conducts hydrogen bomb test; U.S. pledges 'massive' response if threatened

  • Mattis Warns North Korea: U.S. Has ‘Many Military Options’

  • China Plans Yuan-Priced Crude Oil Futures Convertible To Gold

  • Trump exempts Citgo from Venezuela sanctions

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Global CO2 Emissions from Fuel Consumption (IEA Atlas of Energy) Global CO2 emissions from fuel combustion rose 0.8% in 2014, to reach 32 381 MtCO2, a 58% increase over 1990 levels. Two-thirds of global emissions for 2014 originated from just ten countries: the People’s Republic of China (28%), the United States (16%), India (6%), the Russian Federation (5%), Japan (4%), Germany, Korea, Canada, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia (all 2%).

Looking at emissions by fuel, coal, which has a high carbon content per unit of energy, accounted for the largest share of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion (46%), followed by oil (34%) and natural gas (19%).


  • Idaho police reveal patient defended by ‘heroic’ nurse was an officer (The Hill) An Idaho police department on Friday revealed that the patient in a Utah hospital is one of its reserve officers and thanked the “heroic" nurse who informed law enforcement that it was against hospital policy to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant. The Rigby Police Department in a statement on Facebook identified the patient as William Gray, one of its reserve officers. Rigby is a city in southeast Idaho. The department said Gray was “severely injured" in a car accident during his full-time truck-driving job. The department said:

“The Rigby Police Department would like to thank the nurse involved and hospital staff for standing firm, and protecting Officer Gray’s rights as a patient and victim. Protecting the rights of others is truly a heroic act."

  • Colonial delays restart as fuel prices keep rising after Harvey(Reuters) Colonial Pipeline Co, the biggest U.S. fuel system, delayed reopening a segment of its system in Texas that was shut due to Hurricane Harvey, increasing worries about rising retail prices and the domestic distribution of gasoline and distillates.

The company, which had originally scheduled a Sunday restart for the segment going from Houston to Hebert, Texas, said it planned to reopen the distillates line on Monday. The line would be ready to move gasoline on Tuesday, it added.

The company’s pipelines connect refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast to markets in the Northeast, transporting more than 3 million barrels a day of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

  • Obama team’s 2020 signals spark chatter among Dems (The Hill) Rumors have former VP Joe Biden and former Massavhusetts governor Duval Patrick among the former president's favorite candidates for president in 2020.

  • Dollar Depreciation (Alternative Economics) The problem with data such as this is that it has little relation to how much Americans can buy. For example, an average new car in 1980 cost about 50% of the median household income and in 2016 the cost was about 30%. Also, gasoline cost averaged about $1.20 a gallon in 1980 (about 23 minutes work at minimum wage) and about $2.30 in 2016 (about 18 minutes work at minimum wage).


  • Russia: U.S. closure of diplomatic sites a 'blatantly hostile act' (Reuters) Moscow denounced the American decision to close three Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States as a “blatantly hostile act" that violated international law and demanded Washington reverse the order on Sunday. The United States has ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two buildings housing trade missions in Washington and New York. It is the latest broadside in a tit-for-tat exchange between the countries that has helped push relations towards a new post-Cold War low. Russian diplomats were working to vacate the properties over the weekend, including the six-story consulate.


Also on the drawing board are plans for greater integration of the online payment gateways of these state-owned agencies with official payment modes such as BHIM and Bharat QR code, the officials cited above told ET. The government is also considering incentives for citizens opting for digital payments.

  • China denies it gave $20 billion loan to India to disengage in Doklam (The Economic Times) China’s defence ministry refuted reports in the Chinese social media that India agreed to enter into an agreement on the Doklam issue after Beijing promised a loan of $20 billion. China’s military also said it will continue to patrol the Doklam despite the recent agreement between India and China. The agreement resulted in China halting road construction in the disputed area. But the defence ministry indicated that Beijing sees this as a temporary halt and not a permanent stoppage of infrastructure construction.

North Korea


China is expected shortly to launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold in what analysts say could be a game-changer for the industry.

The contract could become the most important Asia-based crude oil benchmark, given that China is the world’s biggest oil importer. Crude oil is usually priced in relation to Brent or West Texas Intermediate futures, both denominated in U.S. dollars.

China’s move will allow exporters such as Russia and Iran to circumvent U.S. sanctions by trading in yuan. To further entice trade, China says the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong.


  • Trump exempts Citgo from Venezuela sanctions (The Hill) President Trump is exempting Citgo Petroleum Corp., owned by Venezuela’s government, from the financial sanctions imposed Friday on the country. The latest set of sanctions is meant to punish the government of President Nicolfls Maduro as it moves to rewrite the country’s constitution and consolidate his power. To that end, the sanctions seek to exclude the Venezuelan government from the United States’ economy, including its markets and capital, and to make sure the U.S. does not assist the Maduro government. But Citgo, an oil refiner, retailer and transporter based in the United States and owned by the government’s Petróleos de Venezuela, will get to operate largely as normal. From Twitter:


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

  • The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? Part 1(Ancient Origins) Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft - ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?

  • The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? Part 2 (Ancient Origins) Until documents of bygone ages are unearthed, located and recovered we are stuck with sacred texts, classical writings and myths of the past. Can these documents we know of now be considered as reliable material for reconstructing the picture of the past? One hundred and fifty years ago, no scholar took the Iliad or the Odyssey of Homer as history. But Heinrich Schliemann put faith in it and discovered the legendary city of Troy. Then, like a sleepwalker, he followed the homeward route of Odysseus and discovered golden Mycenae.

  • The Job Guarantee Program: A Policy Platform for Sustainable Prosperity (Binzagr Institute) The idea of quaranteed employment goes back to the early 1600s. Noted economists have supported the idea, such as John Petty, David Ricardo, John Maynard Keynes, Hyman Minsky, and others. Here are two graphics that provide simple illustration and justification (KSA = Kingdom of Saudi Arabia):



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