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What We Read Today 14 August 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:

  • Short Interest at an All-Time Low

  • Our Nearest Sun-Like Star Has 2 Planets That Might Be Habitable

  • Bitcoin Surges Past $4,000 on Speed Breakthrough

  • Trump declares 'racism is evil' after firestorm

  • CNN reporter to Trump: 'Haven't you spread a lot of fake news yourself?'

  • New York Braces for Trump’s First Stay Home as President

  • Trump quietly putting his stamp on the courts

  • Gallup Daily: Trump Job Approval

  • Trump approval falls to lowest level ever in Gallup poll

  • When Bigotry Paraded Through the Streets

  • From Germany to Mexico: How America’s source of immigrants has changed over a century

  • Herbalife, Nu Skin Shares Plunge Over Fears of Chinese Crackdown

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world

Global

  • Bitcoin Surges Past $4,000 on Speed Breakthrough (Bloomberg)  Bitcoin soared past $4,000 for the first time on growing optimism faster transaction times will hasten the spread of the cryptocurrency.  The largest digital tender jumped to a peak of $4,298 Monday, a gain of nearly 20 percent since Friday, after a plan to quicken trade execution by moving some data off the main network was activated last week. The solution -- termed SegWit2x -- had been so contentious that a new version of the asset called Bitcoin Cash was spun off earlier this month in opposition.

U.S.

  • Trump declares 'racism is evil' after firestorm (The Hill)  President Trump declared Monday that “racism is evil” in public comments at the White House, and for the first time called out the KKK, Nazis and other hate groups specifically for their role in this weekend’s violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.  He spoke after a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The president pledged to hold accountable “anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence.”

  • CNN reporter to Trump: 'Haven't you spread a lot of fake news yourself?' (The Hill)  President Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta traded barbs Monday when the reporter pressed Trump to take questions about his response to the weekend white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.  Trump made a statement earlier today said that “racism is evil” and specifically criticized the KKK, Nazis and other groups that organized the rally for the first time. But he did not take questions from reporters, despite later calling it a "press conference."

At a second announcement later in the day, Trump said he is launching an investigation into China’s trade practices.

As that announcement ended, Acosta asked Trump if reporters could ask him questions about his remarks on Charlottesville.

“It doesn’t bother me at all, but I like real news, not fake news,” Trump said, pointing at Acosta. “You’re fake news.”

“Haven’t you spread a lot of fake news yourself, sir?” Acosta shot back.

Trump ignored the question and existed the room.

  • New York Braces for Trump’s First Stay Home as President (Bloomberg)  President Donald Trump will return to his midtown Manhattan apartment for the first time since taking office, for a three-day visit likely to snarl traffic and draw protests.  The president, who left his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course Monday morning for a quick trip to Washington, is to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport about 8:15 p.m. on Monday night. After a 20-minute Marine One helicopter flight to a landing zone near Wall Street, his motorcade will whisk him to his triplex home at Trump Tower overlooking Fifth Avenue.

  • Trump quietly putting his stamp on the courts (The Hill)  President Trump has been quietly making lifetime appointments to fill more than 100 vacancies on federal courts across the country.  With five judges confirmed, another 30 pending and 123 seats left to fill, according to one group tracking the numbers, Trump has the opportunity to revamp the judiciary branch and carve out a legacy for himself that could stand the test of time.

  • Gallup Daily: Trump Job Approval (Gallup)  Gallup tracks daily the percentage of Americans who approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president. Daily results are based on telephone interviews with approximately 1,500 national adults; Margin of error is ±3 percentage points.  Each daily result is based on a three-day rolling average.  The result below (for 13 August 2017):  Approval 34% and disapproval 61%, the lowest approval rating for the president since his inauguration.  See also Trump approval falls to lowest level ever in Gallup poll (The Hill)

gallup.trump.approval.2017.aug.13

  • When Bigotry Paraded Through the Streets (The Atlantic)  A century ago, millions of Americans banded together in defense of white, Christian America and traditional morality—and most of their compatriots turned a blind eye to the Ku Klux Klan.  On August 8, 1925, more than 50,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan paraded through Washington, D.C. Some walked in lines as wide as 20 abreast, while others created formations of the letter K or a Christian cross.

But today’s volume of immigrants is in some ways a return to America’s past. A century ago, the U.S. experienced another large wave of 18.2 million immigrants, hailing largely from Europe. Many Americans can trace their roots to that wave, from 1890 to 1919, when Germany dominated as the country sending the most immigrants to many of the U.S. states, although the United Kingdom, Canada and Italy were also strongly represented.

China

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

  • Short Interest at an All-Time Low (Zero HedgeTwitter)  Of course, time did start before July 2015 so the title cannot be substantiated by the graph.  But what is significant is the low level of short interest.  It seems not all lemmings are lined up for a potential cliff.

short.interest.2017.jul

  • Our Nearest Sun-Like Star Has 2 Planets That Might Be Habitable (Science Alert)  New evidence has revealed that the closest Sun-like star outside our solar system is orbited by four approximately Earth-sized exoplanets, and researchers think that two of these worlds might be habitable.  Tau Ceti is located just 12 light-years away from you and me, and it's nearness and brightness has long made it a mainstay in sci-fi and video games – but now it looks like the star's potential to support alien life may not just be the stuff of fantasy.


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