Early Bird Headlines 04 June 2015
Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.
- US anthrax scare widens to 51 labs in 17 states (BBC News) In addition to labs in 17 states, samples of live Anthrax were mailed to Australia, Canada and South Korea.
- Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements. (The New York Times) About 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost. Many American companies use H-1B visas to bring in small numbers of foreigners for openings demanding specialized skills, according to official reports. But for years, most top recipients of the visas have been outsourcing or consulting firms based in India, or their American subsidiaries, which import workers for large contracts to take over entire in-house technology units – and to cut costs. The immigrants are employees of the outsourcing companies. The net result is that Americans lose jobs and temporary H-1B visa immigrants fill them. The process can be extended as long as the outsourcing vendors can get visas to keep recycling immigrants. Meanwhile, technology giants like Microsoft, Facebook and Google repeatedly press for increases in the annual quotas, saying there are not enough Americans with the skills they need.
- Slain Boston man had planned to behead police officers: FBI (Reuters) A Massachusetts man slain by law enforcement officers on Tuesday had discussed plans to behead police officers with an associate arrested the same day, according to papers filed in Boston federal court on Wednesday. Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, who law enforcement officers shot to death after he allegedly confronted them with a large knife, had told David Wright “I’m just going to, ah, go after them, those boys in blue.”
- Democrats Challenge Voter Restrictions in Battleground States (The New York Times) Democrats allied with Hillary Rodham Clinton are mounting a nationwide legal battle 17 months before the 2016 presidential election, seeking to roll back Republican-enacted restrictions on voter access that Democrats say could, if unchallenged, prove decisive in a close campaign.
- Hillary Clinton’s “Grassroots Campaign” Sets $1,000 Minimum for a “Conversations” (The Intercept) Econintersect: No crabgrass allowed? See also next article.
- Legendary Journalist in Private: “It is all Fraudulent, All of It, Everywhere” (The Intercept) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Theodore H. White publicly took the stance that U.S. politicians and politics were just super. But his thoughts in private were much different.
- Seeking compromise deal, Greece warns it might skip IMF payment (Reuters) Greece’s international creditors signaled on Wednesday they were ready to compromise to avert a default even as a defiant Athens warned it might skip an IMF loan repayment due this week. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed in a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on the need for an immediate solution to the long-running debt negotiations involving a lower primary budget surplus target for Greece. Econintersect: As we have noted previously the principles of accounting require that Greece’s private sector must contract if there is a primary budget surplus of any size and a current account deficit. Simple arithmetic has not been replaced by some magic powder.
- Meet the New Israeli Government (Chuck Spinney, The Blaster) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Chuck Spinney has contributed to GEI. After lurching to the right to “win” the parliamentary election in Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu has assembled the fruits of his victory: a new government with the smallest possible majority in Knesset (61 out of 120 seats). Just under half of the new government consists of Netanyahu’s right wing Likud party (30 seats). The incompatible domestic agendas of the five parties are a prescription for paralysis, because a threat by even the smallest party to leave the coalition becomes a threat to the government’s existence.
- Ukraine forces, separatists fight first serious battles in months (Reuters) Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists on Wednesday fought their first serious battles in months and Ukraine’s defense minister said an attempt by rebels to take the eastern town of Maryinka had been thwarted. The Ukrainian military said the Russian-backed rebels had tried to advance using tanks and up to 1,000 fighters west of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk.
- You Can Get a Pilot License in India After Just 35 Minutes in Air (Bloomberg) Concern about the quality of India’s pilots has been building over the past decade as a proliferation of budget airlines created demand for hundreds of new pilots. In 2011, the government reviewed the licenses of all 4,000-plus airline pilots in the country, as police investigated at least 18 people suspected of using forged documents to win promotions or certification. The findings of the review were not made public.
- Polio in Pakistan: Drop of 70% recorded this year (BBC News) Polio cases in Pakistan have dropped by 70% this year as troops make territorial advances in the north against militants opposed to vaccination programs. Government officials say that so far in 2015 there have been about 25 cases. In October officials said that Pakistan had its highest number of cases for 15 years, mostly due to militant attacks curtailing vaccinations.
- Families march to China shipwreck site as survivor hopes fade (Reuters) Dozens of people broke through a police cordon on Wednesday as they marched towards the site of a sunken cruise ship in the Yangtze River to demand news of missing relatives. Rescuers searched for more than 400 missing people, many of them elderly, but hopes were fading of finding more survivors from the worst shipping disaster in modern Chinese history.
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