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What We Read Today 26 September 2015

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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Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Republicans and Democrats agree: End mass incarceration (Al Jazeera)  The election should put criminal justice reform at the top of the national agenda regardless of who wins.
  • Drinking water systems imperiled by failing infrastructure  (Associated Press)  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency projects that it will cost $384 billion over 20 years to maintain the nation's existing drinking water systems, which will require tens of thousands of miles of replacement pipe and thousands of new or renovated plants. The American Water Works Association, an industry-backed group, puts the price even higher — $1 trillion to replace all outdated pipes and meet growth over the next quarter-century.


Millions of Syrian refugees trying to escape escalating violence from the civil war and ISIS have taken shelter in neighboring countries as other migrants and refugees continue to look for asylum in Europe.

Numerous reports cite clashes between police and border crossers, while world leaders accuse each other of trying to avoid an influx by redirecting migrants and refugees to other countries.

Amid political tensions, European leaders met to find out what to do with hundreds of thousands of displaced travelers.

Saudi Arabia

  • Haj death toll rises to 769, Iran denounces 'crime' (Reuters)  The death toll in a crush at the annual haj pilgrimage outside Mecca rose to 769, Saudi Arabia said on Saturday, as arch-rival Iran said Saudi officials should be tried in an international court for what it called a crime.


  • Japanese climber who lost nine fingers nears Everest summit (BBC News)  A Japanese mountaineer who has previously lost nine fingers to frostbite is nearing the final stage of an attempt to climb Mount Everest.  Latest contact suggests that Nobukazu Kuriki, 33, has reached the South Col, where he will rest before a final push later on Saturday to reach the summit.  Mr Kuriki is the first person to attempt the climb since Nepal's devastating earthquake in April.  It will be his fifth try at reaching the summit in the past six years.


  • Russia and Estonia 'exchange spies' after Kohver row (BBC News)  Russia and Estonia have exchanged two convicted spies over a bridge separating the countries.  Estonian security official Eston Kohver was sentenced to 15 years in a Russian jail last month.  He was swapped for Aleksei Dressen, who was imprisoned in Estonia in 2012 on charges of spying for Moscow.  Kohver's case provoked a diplomatic row, with Estonia and the EU insisting he was abducted from Estonian soil, a charge Russia denied.


  • 2 American companies told us everything you need to know about China's economic divide (Business Insider)  This week, earnings out of two American corporate giants, Caterpillar and Nike, told us everything we need to know about the future of the Chinese economy.   NKE earnings crushed expecations with very strong sales in China and CAT announced massive layoffs in significant part due to reduced earnings in China.  The lesson regarding China:  Construction activity is on the decline, and consumer spending is soaring.  Here are the two stocks:


Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • Koch Foundation Funds WTAMU Economics Club (West Texas A&M University)  The Economics Club at West Texas A&M University will receive a grant of $15,500 for the 2015-2016 academic year. The grant marks the fifth year the Koch Foundation has provided financial support to the organization for a total of approximately $60,000. The grant is used to fund a book club seminar, travel opportunities, research and other program enrichment activities. 
  • In College Sports it's either about Education or Free Market Economics-Not Both  (B. David Ridpath, Forbes)  As you can see from the video below there is a clear line of demarcation between the panelists as to what should be done with the current system of college sports in the United States. Lopiano advocates keeping college sports within the educational system but with some dramatic and needed changes. Schwarz prefers letting the capitalism of the institution and the free market decide how college sports should be operated.  The conclusion of the author is that there are two directions for colleges to go with athletics and there is no middle ground.

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