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What We Read Today 12 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".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

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Topics today include:

  • New “Instantly Rechargeable” Battery Deals a Fatal Blow to Fossil Fuels

  • Pretty Soon Electric Cars Will Cost Less Than Gasoline

  • President Trump's First Formail Cabinet Meeting

  • Trump hands Democrats a $1 trillion moment of truth

  • In latest job, Jim DeMint wants to give Tea Party ' a new mission'

  • My Lawyers Got Trump to Admit 30 Lies Under Oath

  • UK prime minister’s top aides resign after election fiasco

  • Qatar finance minister: 'If we lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar'

  • Punishing Putin Mostly Means Punishing His Foes

  • Korean Stocks Teach Pessimists a Lesson

  • Top Ten Myths about Neanderthals

  • Neanderthals May have been Infected by Diseases carried out of Africa by Humans, say Researchers

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded Monday that the president exceeded his authority by suspending nationals from six mostly Muslim countries without showing how letting those people in hurts American interests. Last month, a Richmond, Virginia-based panel of judges ruled that the ban was “steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group.”

Trump wants the Supreme Court to revive a 90-day ban on the six countries, a step he says will protect the country from terrorists.

  • President Trump is handing the Democrats the massive infrastructure spending they've always wanted.

  • Democrats have objections to the details, but they can't just boycott the whole process.

  • Doing so would be a mistake that could haunt the Democrats and the country for decades.

  • In latest job, Jim DeMint wants to give Tea Party ' a new mission' (USA Today)  Former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, ousted last month as head of the Heritage Foundation think tank, is joining a fast-growing, conservative movement that is pushing states to seek a constitutional convention to rein in federal spending and power.

DeMint, a prominent figure among the Tea Party activists who helped Republicans seize control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, will serve as a senior adviser to the Convention of the States Project, providing a jolt to its efforts to marshal grassroots support for a state-led movement to amend the U.S. Constitution.

A decade ago, my lawyers questioned Trump under oath during a deposition in a libel case he filed against me for a biography I wrote, “TrumpNation.” (Trump lost the case in 2011.) Trump had to acknowledge 30 times during that deposition that he had lied over the years about a wide range of issues: his ownership stake in a large Manhattan real estate development; the cost of a membership to one of his golf clubs; the size of the Trump Organization; his wealth; the rate for his speaking appearances; how many condos he had sold; the debt he owed, and whether he borrowed money from his family to stave off personal bankruptcy.


  • UK prime minister’s top aides resign after election fiasco (USA Today)  The two top aides to British Prime Minister Theresa May resigned Saturday, sacrificed in a bid to save their leader from being toppled by a furious Conservative Party after a disastrous election wiped out May’s majority in Parliament.  The ballot-box humiliation has seriously — and possibly mortally — wounded May’s leadership just as Britain is about to begin complex exit talks with the European Union.

Downing St. chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who departed Saturday, formed part of May’s small inner circle and were blamed by many Conservatives for the party’s lackluster campaign and unpopular election platform, which alienated older voters with its plan to take away a winter fuel allowance and make them pay more for long-term care.


  • In an exclusive interview with CNBC, Qatari Finance Minister Ali Shareef Al Emadi dismissed fears of a crisis after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the U.A.E. and Egypt imposed an economic blockade on Doha.

  • "If we're going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also," he warned.


South Korea

  • Korean Stocks Teach Pessimists a Lesson (Bloomberg)  If any country seems like an unsettling place to invest judging by headline risk alone, it would be South Korea.  The past year has brought recurring missile tests at its isolated northern neighbor while, at home, a corruption scandal engulfed the presidency and ensnared the country's largest conglomerates. The siting of a U.S. missile-defense system on Korean soil irked China, resulting in hefty retaliatory measures against the nation's businesses including shutting down Lotte Group's discount stores and pulling popular television shows.

But what's happened in Korean equities is a good lesson for all investors: Opportunities may abound for those who can tune out the noise -- and the pessimists.

Foreign funds have injected more than $15 billion into South Korea's stock market over the last 12 months, more than in India or Taiwan. 


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

  • Neanderthals May have been Infected by Diseases carried out of Africa by Humans, say Researchers (Ancient Origins)  A new study suggests that Neanderthals across Europe may well have been infected with diseases carried out of Africa by waves of anatomically modern humans, or Homo sapiens. As both were species of hominin, it would have been easier for pathogens to jump populations, say researchers. This might have contributed to the demise of the Neanderthals.  Econintersect:  The decimation of the Neanderthal population may be considered analogous to destruction of Native American populations by European diseases such as small pox to which the new world peoples had no natural immunity.

  • Top Ten Myths about Neanderthals (Ancient Origins)  Neanderthals are generally classified by palaeontologists as the species Homo neanderthalensis, but some consider them to be a subspecies of Homo sapiens (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis). The first humans with proto-Neanderthal traits are believed to have existed in Europe as early as 600,000–350,000 years ago, and they died out around 30,000 years ago.  The ten myths:

  1. Neanderthal tools were simplistic compared to humans

  2. Neanderthals spoke through grunts and animal-like sounds

  3. Neanderthals did not bury their dead

  4. Neanderthals did not make homes

  5. Neanderthals were carnivores who ate little else than raw meat

  6. Neanderthals were not good parents

  7. Neanderthals had no forms of cultural expression

  8. Neanderthals were incapable of showing care and empathy for others

  9. Neanderthals did not mix with humans

  10. Neanderthals were our direct ancestors

The new model is a flow battery, which does not require an electric charging station to be recharged. Instead, all the users have to do is replace the battery’s fluid electrolytes — rather like filling up a tank. This battery’s fluids from used batteries, all clean, inexpensive, and safe, could be collected and recharged at any solar, wind, or hydroelectric plant. Electric cars using this technology would arrive at the refueling station, deposit spent fluids for recharging, and “fill up” like a traditional car might.

  • Pretty Soon Electric Cars Will Cost Less Than Gasoline (Bloomberg)  Battery powered cars will soon be cheaper to buy than conventional gasoline ones, offering immediate savings to drivers, new research shows.  Automakers from Renault SA to Tesla Inc. have long touted the cheaper fuel and running costs of electric cars that helps to displace the higher upfront prices that drivers pay when they buy the zero-emission vehicles.  By 2025 electric cars will also be cheaper tp buy.

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