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What We Read Today 02 June 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:

  • Stockman: Not a Snowball’s the Economy Grows 4%

  • Scientists find a way to turn hydrogen into a metal

  • Nation’s Prisons Face Acute Staffing Shortage, Fueling Violence

  • US Jobs Market: Much Worse Than Official Data Suggests

  • Job openings remain near record highs in U.S.

  • Projecting the Price of Bitcoin

  • World pledges to save 'Mother Earth' despite Trump's snub to climate pact

  • Winners and losers in Trump's Paris decision

  • Trump misunderstood MIT climate research, university officials say

  • Bloomberg pledges $15M to UN to cover US climate share

  • Trump to decide whether to block Comey testimony: White House adviser

  • Will UK Prime Minister May's election gamble backfire?

  • Theresa May Answers Fierce Criticism During BBC Question Time Debate Over Snap Election Decision

  • Macron Pushes Trudeau Aside as Brightest New Global Face

  • Thunder’s Enes Kanter says his father has been arrested and faces torture in Turkey

  • Putin May Want to Pick a Male Interviewer Next Time

  • China's Hebei province launches new probe into steel overproduction

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world

Global

U.S.

  • Trump to decide whether to block Comey testimony: White House adviser (Reuters)  U.S. President Donald Trump will decide whether to invoke his presidential powers of executive privilege to block former FBI Director James Comey from giving congressional testimony next week, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Friday.  Comey, fired by Trump last month, is due to testify on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee in both an open session and behind closed doors. The hearings could add to problems facing the president over probes into alleged Russian meddling in last year's U.S. election and potential collusion by his campaign.

  • Winners and losers in Trump's Paris decision (The Hill)  Here are the lists:

Winners:

  • Stephen Bannon

  • Scott Pruitt

  • Mitch McConnell and Other Concervatives in Congress

Losers:

  • Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

  • Rex Tillerson

  • European allies

  • Former President Obama

  • The Paris accord

  • Trump misunderstood MIT climate research, university officials say (Reuters)   Massachusetts Institute of Technology officials said U.S. President Donald Trump badly misunderstood their research when he cited it on Thursday to justify withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.  Trump announced during a speech at the White House Rose Garden that he had decided to pull out of the landmark climate deal, in part because it would not reduce global temperatures fast enough to have a significant impact.  That claim was attributed to research conducted by MIT, according to White House documents seen by Reuters.   Trump said:

"Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100." 

UK

  • Will UK Prime Minister May's election gamble backfire? (The Hill)  On the eve of the start of its all-important Brexit negotiations, the last thing the United Kingdom can afford is a prolonged period of political uncertainty. Yet, judging by recent electoral polls, that is something that could very well occur should Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party not substantially increase its parliamentary majority in the snap elections on June 8.

  • Theresa May Answers Fierce Criticism During BBC Question Time Debate Over Snap Election Decision (Huffington Post)   Theresa May answered fierce criticism of her decision to call for a snap General Election on Friday by declaring: “I had the balls to call an election”.  The Prime Minister issued the unusually brash statement while answering fiery questions from a clearly angered member of the BBC Question Time Leaders Debate audience.  An unidentified man asked the PM: “Let’s face it, you called this election for your own political gain.”  May replied: “No I didn’t, Sir.”  Before adding: “I had the balls to call an election.

France

macron.vs.trudeau

Turkey

  • Thunder’s Enes Kanter says his father has been arrested and faces torture in Turkey (The Washington Post)  Last month, Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter was briefly detained at the airport in Bucharest, Romania, after the Turkish government tried to pull some shenanigans with his passport. Kanter, a frequent critic of the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, eventually was allowed to leave on a flight to London after he broadcast his plight to the world via Twitter. He eventually made his way back to New York on a green card.  On Friday, Kanter announced that his father has been arrested by the Turkish government and again called Erdogan “the Hitler of our century.”  Kanter’s relationship with his family reportedly has been strained by his political views. The Thunder big man has long been a supporter of Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who is accused of being the mastermind behind a failed, bloody coup attempt against Erdogan last year. Kanter’s family disowned him after he continued his support of the cleric last year, leading the NBA player to informally change his last name to Gulen last year.  Mehmet Kanter, Enes’s father, wrote in a pro-government newspaper last summer.

 “I apologize to the Turkish people and the president for having such a son.” 

Russia

  • Putin May Want to Pick a Male Interviewer Next Time (Bloomberg)  Russian President Vladimir Putin needed someone to deliver a message to his Western adversaries. He picked Megyn Kelly of NBC News, which was probably a mistake.  She grilled Putin on supposedly inconvenient subjects such as election interference and his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

China

  • China's Hebei province launches new probe into steel overproduction (Reuters)   China's Hebei province, a major steel-producing area, has launched a fresh probe into steel overproduction in the city of Tangshan amid concerns that firms have continued to raise output despite mandatory capacity cuts.  Hebei was ordered by China's central government to investigate firms in Tangshan that have

"restricted but not cut production, restricted production but not actually cut emissions, and cut capacity but actually increased output."

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

  • Nation’s Prisons Face Acute Staffing Shortage, Fueling Violence (The Washington Post)  Low pay, forced overtime and inmate uprisings have hampered efforts to recruit more guards.  The nation’s 1,800 government-run prisons are struggling with an acute staffing shortage and crippling overpopulation that state officials say is fueling violence against corrections officers and worsening conditions for inmates.  Although prison populations have been declining in recent years, prison closings have occurred at a faster rate.  One program to address this involves release of non-violent prisoners to work programs.  Another obvious action to increase guard pay to attract more applicants for guard positions does not appear to be getting much attention.  Potential guards can make more per hour working at Wal-Mart with much safer work environs.  But state governments have severe budget constraints.

  • US Jobs Market: Much Worse Than Official Data Suggests (Lance Roberts, Real Investment Advice)  LR is a regular contributor to GEI.  LR presents a report from Morningside Hill Capital Management Company.

A full 93% of the new jobs reported since 2008 and 40% of the jobs in 2016 alone were added through thebusiness birth and death model –  a highly controversial model which is not supported by the data. On thecontrary, all data on establishment births and deaths point to an ongoing decrease in entrepreneurship.

Click for larger image.

  • Projecting the Price of Bitcoin (Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds)  CHS contributes to GEI.  This article asserts that bitcoin does not satisfy the conditions necessary for a bubble as exists with traditional financial instruments.  Econintersect:  Accept or reject this assertion at your own risk.


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