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posted on 25 June 2017

Early Headlines: GOP Healthcare Waivering, UK's Great Brexit Divide, Hopes Of Defeating Merkel Fade, Saudi-Qatar Impasse, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 25 June 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.

  • GOP at decisive moment on Planned Parenthood (The Hill) Republicans are speeding toward a fight over defunding Planned Parenthood that threatens to blow up their healthcare legislation. The Senate Republican bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare would cut off federal funding for the organization for a year, mirroring the legislation passed by the House.

With Republicans in control of both Congress and the White House for the first time in a decade, the healthcare bill represents the party’s best shot to defund the organization after years of trying.

But the move has frustrated two key moderate GOP senators - Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) - who are warning they don’t support using the bill to target the women’s health organization.

  • CIA director says intelligence leaks have 'accelerated' (Politico) CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Saturday said the rate of intelligence leaks has "accelerated," attributing the trend to the "worship of Edward Snowden" and to WikiLeaks. "In some ways, I do think it's accelerated," Pompeo said of intel disclosures during an interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt on his new MSNBC program. Pompeo said that the Trump administration is focused on "stopping leaks, of any kind, from any agency, and when they happen, pursuing them with incredible vigor."

  • Opioid crisis threatens GOP ObamaCare repeal (The Hill) Fears that cuts to Medicaid could exacerbate a national opioid epidemic that took more American lives last year than the Vietnam War have emerged as a huge threat to the Senate GOP's ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill. The legislation includes a $2 billion fund to help people with substance use disorders, but critics say that's not enough to make up for the deep cuts to Medicaid that would come if the bill becomes law. See also Bill Clinton issues warning on opioid crisis: ‘It’s going to eat us all alive’.

  • Koch chief says health care bill insufficiently conservative (Associated Press) Tim Phillips, who leads Americans For Prosperity, the Koch network’s political arm, called the Senate’s plans for Medicaid “a slight nip and tuck" of President Barack Obama’s health care law, a modest change he described as “immoral".

  • Trump just ended a long tradition of celebrating Ramadan at the White House (The Washington Post) In the early days of December 1805, a handful of prominent politicians received formal invitations to join President Thomas Jefferson for a White House dinner. Such entreaties were not uncommon: Jefferson frequently hosted lawmakers for political working dinners at the White House, almost always commencing them about 3:30 in the afternoon, shortly after the House or Senate had adjourned for the day. But this gathering, scheduled for Dec. 9, would be slightly different. The invitations read:

    dinner will be on the table precisely at sun-set - The favour of an answer is asked."

    The occasion was a dinner with the Tunisian ambasador during Ramadan. Muslims observe a month of fasting each year during the hours of sunlight and Jefferson scheduled the White House dinner to comply with that observation. In recent years, presidnets Clinton, Bush, and Obama have held a Ramadan observation dinner (called an iftar) each year. This year there has been no iftar at the White House.

UK

The result of the election - a hung parliament with no single party able to form a majority government - is the latest in a line of close or indecisive results over the past decade. The 2010 election produced a hung parliament and the 2014 Scottish referendum gave unionists a victory but hardly a crushing one. The same is even more true of Brexit’s 52% win in 2016.

Germany

  • Here’s why Germany’s left has dwindling hopes of unseating Merkel (The Washington Post) This article says that the Social Democrats problem stems from the fact that they have governed in a "grand coalition since 2013" with "Merkel’s bloc". In polling Social Democrats (SPD) now trail Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) by double digits.

Turkey

  • Why Erdogan Is Flooding Turkey’s Economy With Credit (Bloomberg) With elections just over two years away and his approval ratings dipping below 50%, Erdogan isn’t leaving his political fate to the vagaries of the free market. Instead, he’s risking his country’s future stability by flooding the economy with credit to engineer short-term growth, analysts say.

Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi-Led Bloc Seeks Diplomatic Fix to Impasse With Qatar (Bloomberg) Saudi Arabia and its allies want to resolve their standoff with Qatar through diplomacy and don’t seek regime change, U.A.E. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said at a press conference in Dubai.

The Saudi-led bloc presented Qatar with a list of steep demands to end the crisis that has roiled the Gulf Cooperation Council. The 13 requirements include shutting the Al-Jazeera TV network, cutting back diplomatic ties with Iran, severing relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and ending Turkey’s military presence in Qatar, according to a Gulf official who confirmed the veracity of the document, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

North Korea

  • Who Killed Otto Warmbier? (Politico) Visiting North Korea can be safe. But the tour company that lost an American student made key mistakes, people on the trip say.

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