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What We Read Today 08 April 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:

  • Supreme Court After Nuclear Option

  • Why Blockchain Matters

  • Single Mother is Hogging Two Jobs

  • Taper Tranquility Greets Fed Bond-Reduction Plan

  • Bannon, Kushner Reportedly Smooth Differences

  • We are Now Part of Syrian War

  • Trump Sends Letter to Congress on Syria Attack

  • 15 Jobs that May Flourish Under President Trump

  • Syria Bombs Gassed Town Again

  • 21 Civilians Killed Near Raqqa by U.S.-led Strikes

  • Russia's Lavrov, Tillerson Spoke by Pone

  • Either Russia's Incompetent or Played for Fools by Syria:  Nikki Haley

  • U.S. Airstrikes on Syria Unforgivable:  North Korea

  • China Still Uses Coercive Abortions and Sterilization

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Bannon, Kushner reportedly meet, 'smooth' differences, amid reports of feud (Fox News)  Top White House advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner purportedly met Friday to “smooth things over”, amid continuing reports about high-level, Trump administration turmoil.  The meeting took place at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago south Florida estate and was led by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who with B (annon was told by the president on Thursday to “work this out”.

  • We Are Now Part of This War (Slate)  What comes next, and how this ultimately ends, depends on what military steps come next—by the United States, as well as the Russians, Syrians, Iranians, and others active in the region. Moreover, Thursday’s strike complicates  nearly everything we are now doing in Syria, potentially setting in motion a chain reaction of conflict whose end is difficult to foresee or control.  It appears that Trump doesn’t know what he wants to do in Syria. He needs to figure it out fast, according to this article.

  • Trump sends Congress letter explaining Syria strike (The Hill)  President Trump on Saturday delivered his justification to Congress for ordering a missile strike on Syria this week, saying in a letter to congressional leaders that the U.S. was prepared to take further military action if necessary.  The letter was addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the Senate president pro tempore.  Trump wrote:

"I acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.  The United States will take additional action, as necessary and appropriate, to further its important national interests."

  1. Construction

  2. Civil Liberties Lawyers

  3. Law Enforcement

  4. Military

  5. Media

  6. Therapists

  7. Cyber Security Professionals

  8. Non-Profits Jobs

  9. Artists

  10. Brewers and Bartenders

  11. Bankers and Finance Professionals

  12. Social media Specialists

  13. Energy Workers

  14. Environmental Scientists

  15. Graphic Artists


  • Fatal airstrike hits Syrian town days after deadly chemical attack on citizens (Fox News)  A fatal airstrike occurred Saturday in the same northern Syrian town hit earlier this week by a deadly chemical weapon attack, according to several international monitoring groups.  The airstrike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun killed a woman, following the chemical attack Tuesday that killed 87 people, including children.  The chemical attack purportedly was authorized by Syrian President Bashar Assad and targeted the town because it is a stronghold for rebel forces trying to topple his regime in the country’s 6-year-long civil war.  The Local Coordination Committees, another monitoring group, said the airstrike Saturday was carried out by warplanes from Russia, which has backed Assad.

  • U.S. strikes destroyed Syrian means to deliver chemical weapons: admiral (Reuters)  U.S. Navy Admiral Michelle Howard said on Saturday U.S. cruise missile strikes on an air base in Syria had destroyed the means to deliver chemical weapons from that base, and the U.S. military remained ready to carry out further strikes if needed.

Howard, the four-star officer who leads U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa, told Reuters the United States had decided to launch the strikes after the United Nations failed to pass a resolution condemning a deadly chemical weapons attack that killed scores of people in rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun.

Washington has blamed the Syrian government for the attack on Tuesday. The Syrian government has strongly denied responsibility and blamed the deaths on leaks from a rebel chemical arms store it says was hit by a Syrian air strike.

  • Activists: Civilians among 21 killed in US-led Syria strikes (Fox News)  U.S.-led coalition aircraft struck two locations in northern Syria on Saturday, killing at least 21 people, including a woman and her six children who were on a boat fleeing clashes between the Islamic State group and U.S.-backed fighters, activist groups said.  Activist groups that operate in IS-held territory around Raqqa and are opposed to the militants have reported increasing numbers of civilian deaths from U.S.-led airstrikes in recent weeks. The coalition is providing support to a Syrian Kurdish-led force that is on the offensive against the extremist group.


North Korea 

  • U.S. strikes on Syria 'unforgivable': North Korea (Reuters)  North Korea said U.S. missile strikes against key ally Syria were “an unforgivable act of aggression” that showed its decision to develop nuclear weapons was “the right choice a million times over”.


President Trump had dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday evening.

China changed its coercive family planning policy last year by lifting the limit on children from one per couple to two per couple.

To make sure women do not have more children than the Communist government believes they should, the government engages in both forced birth control and forced abortion.

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

  •  Supreme Court After the Nuclear Option (Slate)  If the filibuster can no longer be used to defeat a judicial nominee, the immediate effect is to lodge the confirmation power in whatever party has a majority of senators. That party therefore need make no concessions to the other and indeed can, if it wishes, pay absolutely no attention to arguments against confirmation made by the minority power, however cogent those arguments.  This article suggests that the overall quality of future members of the SCOTUS may be rduced beccause the barrier to entry has been lowered.  Econintersect:  We would go further:  The risk now is that the SCOTUS may eventually be reduced to two camps of political hacks.  Possible future SCOTUS robe shown below:


Among companies in consumer goods and manufacturing, 42 percent plan to spend at least $5 million on blockchain technology this year. If you participate in any part of a supply chain and don’t know about blockchain – you need to get smart fast.

  • Single Mother Hogging 2 Jobs (The Onion)  Just think - Twice as many people could have minimum wage jobs if the greedy were not hoarding them.  #sarcasm.  From The Onion:

Between her regular employment cleaning homes and side work waitressing at Perkins on mornings and weekends, 35-year-old single mother Janice Paulings is greedily hogging two jobs all to herself, outraged sources reported Monday. “I can’t believe the nerve of some people, waking up before 5 a.m. each day to take the earlybird shift at a restaurant, then racing across town to drop her children off at school before selfishly putting in a full day at another job,” Amos Waltham resentfully said of Paulings, adding that the shamelessly self-absorbed woman was also eager to pick up extra shifts wherever she could. “What about the rest of us? How are we supposed to find a steady source of income while she’s collecting two separate paychecks and racking up as many as 80 hours a week? Some jerks only think of themselves and their three kids.” Most irritating of all, Waltham noted, is that in addition to Paulings taking two jobs, her selfish children were also living it up by enjoying free government-subsidized breakfasts at school every day.

  • Taper Tranquility Not Tantrum Greets Fed Bond-Reduction Plan (Bloomberg)  Investors have reacted to the Federal Reserve’s plan to shrink the balance sheet so far in exactly the opposite way that policy makers had feared.  News about the U.S. central bank’s strategy to start reducing its bond holdings, which began taking shape over the past week, has actually led to easier financial conditions via lower interest rates. That contrasts with the surge in Treasury yields that occurred during the so-called “taper tantrum” of 2013, when then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted the central bank would reduce its purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities that were designed to bring down long-term interest rates.  Expectations for rate increases through 2018 have declined from 0.55% to less than 0.40% over the last 3 weeks (first chart below).  In the last week the yield curve has steepened (second chart below).  Neither change is what many thought would happen if the Fed started to sell bonds to reduce its balance sheet.

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