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posted on 21 September 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks, Oil And Gold Down, Dollar Steady, Media Messes Up Climate Models, Trump Polls Rise, Kimmel On Health Care, Iran Deal May Go, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 21 September 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.sep.21

"Africa has tremendous business potential. I have so many friends gong to your countries trying to get rich, I congratulate you. They are spending a lot of money. But it does, it has tremendous business potential."

A number of media reports have asserted that our [study] indicates that global temperatures are not rising as fast as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and hence that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is no longer urgent. Both assertions are false. Our results are entirely in line with the IPCC’s 2013 prediction that temperatures in the 2020s would be 0.9-1.3 degrees above pre-industrial.

U.S.

  • Trump makes a comeback in the polls (The Hill) President Trump’s historically low job approval rating has been on the rise in recent weeks, giving the president a boost as the White House works to repeal ObamaCare and pass tax reform. Trump’s job approval rating is still historically low for this point in a first-term presidency, and the latest surveys show only modest improvement, rather than a dramatic spike.

But the upward trend reverses a months-long slide that was punctuated by countless developments around the Russia investigations and intraparty feuding with GOP leaders. Trump’s equivocal response to the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Va. in mid-August had tangible negative political consequences for Trump and appears to have dragged him to the low point of his presidency so far.

  • President Donald Trump says he has made his decision on whether to declare Iran in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal
  • Decertification of the agreement would lead the U.S. into "uncharted waters," says a former member of the U.S. National Security Council
  • Leaving the deal could isolate the United States and lead to "a decline in U.S. global power"
  • Trump Slams US and Saudi Foreign Policy in Fiery UN Speech (Anti Media) According to this Op Ed, President Trump condemned the violent, oppressive behavior and policies of the U.S. and its allies while speaking at the U.N. this week. The writer asserts that the statement quoted below could well apply to the U.S. rather than the country he meant (Iran). The president described the decline of

a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos."

By the close of his second term, President Obama had ordered about 540 drone strikes that killed at least 3,800 people over the course of his eight years in office. The true death toll is almost certainly much higher - the Obama administration had a long record of publishing civilian casualty counts vastly lower than those calculated by independent observers - but even as-is, this tally gave Obama roughly 11 times the drone kill count of his predecessor, George W. Bush.

The drone program was always a black mark on the Obama legacy, damning evidence of his failure to implement the promises of foreign policy change that were so central to his success in 2008. And with grim predictability, it is exactly this program President Trump now wishes to escalate further.

Germany

  • Angela Merkel's Bold Vision for Germany Can Wait (Bloomberg) German Chancellor Angela Merkel is often accused of refusing to lead. Many inside and outside her country would like her to be the leader of the free world, to suggest bold concepts and make decisive moves. But there's a strong, very German philosophy to Merkel's lack of vision, and that, as much as Germany's economic prosperity, is winning her the Sept. 24 election. She's beating the far right with a subtle ideological argument.

Spain

"The economic arguments will not be the prevailing ones in the debate over Catalonia's independence. The arguments used by both sides appeal to identity."

Iran

  • Trump Leaning Toward Decertifying Iran Nuclear Deal, Say Sources (NBC News) President Donald Trump is leaning toward decertifying the Iran nuclear deal and putting the decision of whether the United States withdraw from the accord in the hands of Congress, according to four sources - including a senior administration official - familiar with the White House deliberations.

Such a move would come before an Oct. 15 deadline and would trigger a 60-day window for lawmakers to determine whether to reimpose sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program that were lifted as part of the 2015 agreement. The president's goal during that time is to prod America's European allies, who are part of the nuclear deal, to agree to renegotiate some provisions and pressure Iran back into talks.

Russia

  • Manafort Offered Private Briefings on 2016 Race to Russian Billionaire (NBC News) Shortly before Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination last summer, his campaign chairman offered to provide private briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire with Kremlin ties, his spokesman confirmed to NBC News. The offer appeared in emails between then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and one of his employees, some of which suggested Manafort was seeking to use his role to make money, The Washington Post reported. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said the emails, which had been turned over to congressional committees, showed nothing improper.

The Post said the billionaire was Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch in Putin's inner circle. NBC News has reported that Manafort had business dealings with Deripaska, who was once denied entry to the United States because of alleged mafia links.

China

  • Beijing's willingness to use military threats in the South China, as revealed in a July incident that involved Spain's Repsol, is a worrying development for energy players
  • Firms that ignore Chinese demands could face on-site harassment, de facto exclusion from the Chinese market and threats to company staff, according to Verisk Maplecroft

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