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What We Read Today 25 May 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".).


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Topics today include:

  • Trump directly scolds NATO allies, says they owe 'massive' sums

  • Trump touts approval rating from conservative pollster

  • Census: Texas has 4 of top 5 fastest growing large US cities

  • House panel chairman says FBI declines for now to meet request for Comey-linked documents

  • Appeals court upholds injunction blocking Trump's travel ban

  • Fewer refugees arrive in U.S., with declines in 46 states

  • Manchester Bombing: Trump Calls Alleged Intel Leaks ‘Deeply Troubling’

  • Flurry of leaks alarms US allies

  • Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos Injured by Explosion in Car

  • Turkish Foreign Ministry rejects U.S. resolution condemning street brawl in Washington

  • U.S. warship drill meant to defy China's claim over artificial island -officials

  • Why GDP Can Grow at 3%: The Skeptics Are Wrong

  • Some With Pre-Existing Conditions Could Lose Coverage Under The GOP Health Bill

  • Majorities in Europe, North America worried about Islamic extremism

  • Real Median Household Income Highest Since 2002 (But M2 Money Velocity Continues to Tank)

  • ESPN and the Bursting of the Sports Bubble

  • Global Stocks Hit Record High

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Trump directly scolds NATO allies, says they owe 'massive' sums (Reuters)   U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday intensified his accusations that NATO allies were not spending enough on defense and warned of more attacks like this week's Manchester bombing unless the alliance did more to stop militants.  In unexpectedly abrupt remarks as NATO leaders stood alongside him, Trump said certain member countries owed "massive amounts of money" to the United States and NATO -- even though allied contributions are voluntary, with multiple budgets.  His scripted comments contrasted with NATO's choreographed efforts to play up the West's unity by inviting Trump to unveil a memorial to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States at the new NATO headquarters building in Brussels.  See also Trump Needles NATO Allies on Debt, Raising Eyebrows at 9/11 Ceremony (NBC News)

  • Global Stocks Hit Record High (Twitter)

Click for larger image.


  • Trump touts approval rating from conservative pollster (The Hill)  President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to tout a poll by a conservative polling firm that showed his best approval rating in weeks.  Trump shared an image that celebrated his 48% approval rating as measured by Rasmussen Reports, a conservative-leaning pollster.

Rasmussen’s poll, released Thursday, showed Trump with 48 percent approval and 52 percent disapproval. 

It’s an outlier from most polls this month, which have frequently shown Trump with an approval rating under 40 percent and a disapproval rating of 54 percent or higher.

The RealClearPolitics polling average, which includes Rasmussen, shows the president with 39.9 percent approval and 54.1 percent disapproval.

The FBI said it was still evaluating the request, which had a committee-set deadline of Wednesday, in light of the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into the possibility of collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian officials seeking to influence the 2016 election, according to a letter released by committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz.

In a responding letter, Chaffetz said he still wanted any related documents that would be outside the scope of the special counsel's investigation, and a list of documents found to be within the scope of the probe, by June 8.

  • Appeals court upholds injunction blocking Trump's travel ban (The Hill)  A Richmond, Va.-based federal appeals court on Thursday refused to reinstate President Trump’s ban on nationals from six majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., delivering a major blow to the Trump administration.  The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 10-3 ruling that Trump’s executive order "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination".

  • Fewer refugees arrive in U.S., with declines in 46 states (Pew Research Center)  The number of refugees entering the United States each month has declined sharply so far in fiscal 2017, falling from 9,945 in October 2016 to 3,316 in April 2017, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department data. All but four states reported declines in monthly arrivals.

Nationwide, the number of refugee arrivals decreased in each of the first five months of the fiscal year, the longest consecutive monthly decline on record (monthly data before 2000 are not available). In April, however, the number of arriving refugees rose to 3,316, compared with 2,070 in March.

President Donald Trump, by executive order, has ordered a ceiling of 50,000 total refugee arrivals in fiscal 2017, less than half the annual limit set by the Obama administration, though the order’s implementation remains tied up in court proceedings. If the new ceiling were in place, the U.S. could resettle a maximum of 7,586 additional refugees during the final five months of the current fiscal year, which ends in September (though refugee ceilings went unreached until recent years).


  • Manchester Bombing: Trump Calls Alleged Intel Leaks ‘Deeply Troubling’ (NBC News)   President Donald Trump on Thursday called the alleged intelligence leaks following the Manchester Arena bombing "deeply troubling" and ordered the Justice Department to find out who was behind them.  Trump's statement, released by the White House during a summit with world leaders, didn't mention Monday night's terror attack in Manchester by name, but comes after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would tell her American counterpart that security intelligence must remain tightly held between the longstanding allies.  See also Flurry of leaks alarms US allies (The Hill)


Police said that Papademos, his unidentified driver and another passenger were taken to a local hospital after a bomb exploded inside the former prime minister's car at 6:30 p.m.. They did not suffer life-threatening injuries and are expected to stay in the hospital through the night.

The three were inside a Bank of Greece-owned Mercedes driving through central Athens when the bomb went off.


  • Turkish Foreign Ministry rejects U.S. resolution condemning street brawl in Washington (Reuters)  Turkey's Foreign Ministry on Thursday rejected a resolution by senior U.S. lawmakers condemning a street brawl between protesters and Turkish security personnel outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington.  The personal bodyguard detail of PM Erdogan attacked Kurdish-American demonstrators on the street on fron of the Turkish embassy while Mr. Erdogan looked on.


The operation near Mischief Reef on Thursday, Pacific time, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has disputes with its neighbors, was the boldest U.S. challenge yet to Chinese island-building in the strategic waterway.

It drew an angry response from China, which President Donald Trump has tried to court in recent weeks to persuade it to take a tougher line on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

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

  • Majorities in Europe, North America worried about Islamic extremism (Pew Research Center)  Even before this week’s terrorist bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, England, people across Europe and in the U.S. and Canada had pervasive concerns about the threat of extremism in their countries. Across 12 countries surveyed from February through April by Pew Research Center, majorities said they were at least somewhat concerned about extremism in the name of Islam in their countries.

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