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What We Read Today 18 December 2016

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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Topics today include:

  • Michelle Obama May Have Lost Hope But Investors Haven't

  • Is the Democratic Party about to Become Extinct?

  • U.S. Distrustful of Elections Now, Like Many Other Countries

  • Last Shot Attempts to Flip Electoral College

  • Podesta Says FBI Informed Him He Had Been Hacked after Wikileaks Releases

  • Two Month Old U.S. Prison Strike against Slave Labor

  • Saudi Arabia and U.S. Downplay Reports of Curbs on Support

  • Aleppo Evacuation Stalled

  • Iran Reduces Airbus Order

  • China Considers Retaliations while Trump Tweets

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Election questions leave U.S. distrustful, like other nations (PBS News Hour)  Americans’ enduring confidence that their elections are unimpeachably fair is teetering. Welcome to what much of the world calls reality, especially Russia’s neighbors.  While the United States cites its popular votes and peaceful transitions of power as examples of its democratic vigor, elections results elsewhere can entail a hint or heavy dose of suspicion. Ballots are rigged regularly, level playing fields are rare and bigger powers often meddle in the sovereign political processes of smaller nations.  Russia, accused by the CIA of helping Donald Trump in last month’s presidential election, is no stranger to accusations of interference with other countries’ elections. Nor is the United States.

  • In last-shot bid, thousands urge electoral college to block Trump (The Washington Post)  Amid the scrutiny of a divisive election, pressure on members of the country’s electoral college to select someone other than Donald Trump has grown dramatically — and noisily — in recent weeks. But although some electors appeared to waver, there is little evidence that Trump will fall short when they convene Monday.  Econintersect:  One final bit of foolish nonsense to cap an nonsensical presidential election.

  • Podesta: FBI didn't tell me about hacks until after WikiLeaks began publishing emails (The Hill)  Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta said Sunday that the FBI did not tell him about Russia hacking into his email account until two days after WikiLeaks began publishing the stolen messages online. 

  • From media cutoffs to lockdown, tracing the fallout from the U.S. prison strike (PBS)  Here is something that you probably haven't heard about:  For more than 2 months there has been a U.S. prison srike against slave labor involving inmates.  Many U.S. corporations are involved.  Prison authorities have been removing news sources, communications lines and social media access from prisoners in retaliation.  The American Civil Liberties Union says actions taken by authorities may be in violation of the First Amendment.

Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia, U.S. play down reports of curbs on military support (Reuters)  Saudi Arabia and the United States on Sunday played down media reports that Washington had decided to limit military support, including planned arms sales to the kingdom, over its war in Yemen.  Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Riyadh had not been officially informed of such decisions, which he described as contradicting the reality, while visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested the issue related more to a long procurement process than restrictions on military support.


  • Aleppo Evacuation Stalled as Buses Burn (TThee Wall Street Journal)  Part of the deal to evacuate civilians from Aleppo involved the rescue of Shi'ites from two rebel-besieged towns.  Buses meant to remove villagers from those areas have been destroyed, clouding corresponding deal to get civilians out of Aleppo.



  • As Trump Tweets, China Quietly Considers Options to Retaliate (Bloomberg)  China’s leaders are biting their tongues as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump uses Twitter to rattle relations between the world’s biggest economies.  Trump lashed out at China over the weekend, saying it stole an underwater drone from the U.S. Navy in an “unprecedented act.” Beijing’s response was muted, with the official Xinhua news agency publishing nothing on the topic on Sunday while the Communist Party-affiliated Global Times mocked Trump’s demeanor as “lagging far behind the White House spokespersons.”

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


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