Macro Links Nov 17th – Passing the House

Macro Links Nov 17th – Passing the House

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GOP TAX PLAN

House Passes Tax Bill in First Step Toward Historic Overhaul – Bloomberg

House Republicans passed their version of legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax code by slashing the corporate tax rate, lowering tax burdens for most individuals and adding an estimated $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade.

House Passes Tax Bill in Major Step Toward Overhaul – The New York Times

The tax overhaul still faces significant obstacles, as Republicans seek to align the House legislation with a version that is under consideration in the Senate.

Voters give thumbs down to GOP tax plans in Quinnipiac poll – CBS News

A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday finds voters disapprove of the Republican tax plan — there is one version in the House and one in the Senate — by 52-25 percent. Among Republican voters, 60 percent approve of the plan, 15 percent disapprove and 26 percent are undecided, while every other party, gender, education, age and racial demographic disapproved in the poll.

Republican deficit hawks tight-lipped on costs of tax package

Having roared their way angrily through the Obama presidency as America’s national debt mounted, Republican deficit hawks have been strikingly quiet as their party races towards a tax package that some models suggest could add trillions more to US borrowing in the coming decades.

US tax reform dash catches out lobbyists

Republicans’ increasingly urgent dash towards tax reform has left US business struggling to keep up, forcing lobbyists to switch their focus from making big demands to asking for last-minute technical changes to preserve company profits.

Trump’s core supporters are about to be handed the bill for tax reform

President Donald Trump’s white working-class supporters don’t gain much from the Republican tax cut push. So far, they’re among its strongest early supporters anyway. But their personal loyalty to Trump and his party faces a big test from the tax cut debate — and spending cut debate soon to follow.

The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students – The New York Times

Republicans in the House of Representatives have just passed a tax bill that would devastate graduate research in the United States. Hidden in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a repeal of Section 117(d)(5) of the current tax code, a provision that is vital to all students who pursue master’s degrees or doctorates and are not independently wealthy.

Mark Cuban says tax rates have almost no impact on investment

Billionaire entrepreneur and potential presidential candidate Mark Cuban said on Wednesday that a cut in the U.S. corporate tax rate would have little to no effect on his investment decisions.

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MUGABE ERA ENDING

With Mugabe’s Era Ending in Zimbabwe, a Warning Echoes in Africa – The New York Times

When Zimbabwe’s generals moved against President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday, their action foreshadowed the potential end of more than just one political career. It echoed across a continent where the notion of the “big man” leader is defined equally by the lure of power in perpetuity and the risk that, one day, the edifice will crumble under the weight of its own decay.

Zimbabwe Army’s Power Grab Could Mark End of Robert Mugabe’s Reign – WSJ

President Robert Mugabe, who led the fight to topple white rule in his country and then held it under his sway for almost four decades, was confined on Wednesday to an opulent blue-roofed palace as his former military backers seized control of Zimbabwe’s state institutions.

South Africa envoys meet Mugabe in bid to end Zimbabwe crisis

The 93-year-old leader, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, has been resisting military pressure to publicly resign, said Ibbo Mandaza, a former senior member of the ruling Zanu-PF party. A Catholic priest has been mediating between Mr Mugabe and army chiefs and attended Thursday’s talks at State House.

A Strongman Nicknamed ‘Crocodile’ Is Poised to Replace Mugabe – The New York Times

Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, was vice president until his abrupt dismissal last week. He has close ties to the military. Observers fear he is as ruthless as the man he is set to succeed.

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ROY MOORE, AL FRANKEN, DONALD TRUMP

Trump ducks Moore scandal – POLITICO

Donald Trump loves nothing more than a good controversy. But the president isn’t touching the Alabama Senate race, the biggest talker in American politics right now.

GOP leaders weigh drastic plan to save Alabama Senate seat – POLITICO

With less than four weeks until the special election and no sign that the party’s besieged nominee will exit the race, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his top advisers are discussing the legal feasibility of asking appointed Sen. Luther Strange to resign from his seat in order to trigger a new special election.

Alabama G.O.P. Says It Stands Behind Roy Moore – The New York Times

The decision, which a committee of 21 party leaders reached Wednesday evening but did not formally announce until Thursday, placed the state’s Republicans at bitter and public odds with national party leaders, who had demanded that Mr. Moore leave the race here ahead of a special election in December.

Fox News Poll: Moore Down by 8 Points – The Daily Beast

Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore trails his Democratic opponent Doug Jones by eight points in the latest Fox News poll. The survey found that Moore, who is mired in a sexual misconduct scandal, pulls in just 42 percent among likely voters in the ultraconservative state, while Jones has 50 percent support.

Fox News poll: Obama has higher favorability in Alabama than Trump | TheHill

A new Fox News poll shows former President Barack Obama is more popular in Alabama than Donald Trump. The poll, conducted from Monday to Wednesday and released Thursday, shows Obama with a 52 percent favorability rating in the state, compared to Trump’s 49 percent.

We asked a handwriting expert to evaluate claims that Roy Moore’s writing was forged – The Washington Post

To evaluate whether a questioned signature is your signature, a document examiner would need a lot of other examples of your signature (Songer said he would need five to 10) to have enough evidence to determine whether the questioned signature was valid. For other handwriting, like the rest of the inscription, he would need much more: other examples of your known writing (that is, things proven to have been written by you) that would allow him to evaluate individual words and sentences.

What’s more, Songer said, those known writings would need to be contemporaneous to 1977, the year that the inscription was purportedly written. “Everybody’s writing eventually changes over time,” he said, meaning that a bunch of handwriting from 2017 wouldn’t necessarily provide the necessary information to evaluate writing from 40 years earlier.

Roy Moore accuser: I got him banned from the mall – ABC News

“I went to my manager and talked to him about it and asked him, basically, what could be done,” Becky Gray told ABC News late Wednesday night. “Later on, he…came back through my department and told me that [Moore] had been banned from the mall.”

Al Franken Issues Apology After Accusation of Forcible Kissing and Groping – The New York Times

A radio host said Al Franken, now a Democratic senator, forcibly kissed and groped her in 2006, before he took office. He then apologized.

Franken releases new statement, calls for ethics investigation of himself | TheHill

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is calling for an ethics investigation into his own behavior after a woman accused him of kissing and groping her without consent.

Woman who accused Franken says she accepts his apology | TheHill

The woman who accused Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of sexual misconduct said Thursday she accepts his apology.

Trump’s Sexual Assault Accusers Demand Justice in the #MeToo Era

“Things just seem to fall off of Trump, I’m extremely disappointed,” says Jessica Leeds, 75, who alleges Trump tried to kiss her, fondle her breasts and put his hand up her skirt while on a flight to New York in the early 1980s.

Their stories — like the harrowing one PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff shared of Trump allegedly attacking her in 2005 by pushing her up against a wall at Mar-a- Lago and shoving his tongue down her throat — are backed up in most cases by co-workers, friends or family members.

And then there is Trump’s own words. In early October of last year came the infamous video showing Trump boasting to Billy Bush in 2005 of sexually assaulting women, that because he’s a star he can “grab them by the pussy.” Days later, Trump denied he ever did those things during the second presidential debate and dismissed the comments as “locker room talk.”

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RUSSIA PROBE, MEDDLING FEARS

Exclusive: Trump son-in-law had undisclosed contacts with Russian envoy – sources

U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, seven current and former U.S. officials told Reuters.

Kushner got emails about WikiLeaks, Russia in 2016, lawmakers say – POLITICO

Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” and forwarded them to another campaign official, according to a letter to his attorney from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senators Press Kushner for More Documents in Their Russia Investigation – Bloomberg

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Democrat Dianne Feinstein wrote a letter Thursday to Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, saying that Kushner didn’t turn over some documents first requested on Oct. 18, nor has he agreed to a transcribed interview. They said the documents include some related to his security clearance and his communications with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Did the Feds Flip Turkish Businessman Reza Zarrab—and Could He Bring Down Michael Flynn?

Reza Zarrab, whose trial for allegedly cheating U.S. sanctions is scheduled to begin in days, was secretly removed from a federal prison and may be working with prosecutors.

Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe – Bloomberg

On Monday, May told the Kremlin, “We know what you were doing, and you will not succeed.” The warning exposed Europe’s growing alarm as Russian fighter jets probe its airspace and Russian bots steer its political debates. Spanish Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal made a similar allegation this week, saying Russian servers had been used to fuel online propaganda during the Catalan crisis.

Signs of Russian Meddling in Brexit Referendum – The New York Times

More than 150,000 Russian-language Twitter accounts posted tens of thousands of messages in English urging Britain to leave the European Union in the days before last year’s referendum on the issue, a team of researchers disclosed on Wednesday.

Head of Russian Foreign Ministry department was found dead in Russia

At the same time, the telegram-channel Mash reports that Barashkov did not appear at work for three days, and when policemen showed up to him, it turned out that he was dead all this time and was lying in a filled bath with water.

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SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia king set to hand over the crown to his son | Daily Mail Online

King Salman of Saudi Arabia is planning to step down next week and name his son Prince Mohammed bin Salman as his successor, a source told DailyMail.com.

Saudi authorities offer freedom deals to princes and businessmen

Saudi authorities are negotiating settlements with princes and businessmen held over allegations of corruption, offering deals for the detainees to pay for their freedom, say people briefed on the discussions. In some cases the government is seeking to appropriate as much as 70 per cent of suspects’ wealth, two of the people said, in a bid to channel hundreds of billions of dollars into depleted state coffers.

Saudi Aramco says state corruption purge should hearten investors

Saudi Arabia’s sweeping anti-corruption purge should be viewed “very positively” by potential investors in Saudi Aramco as a sign the kingdom is committed to economic reform, according to the state energy giant’s chief executive.

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BITCOIN ROLLER COASTER

Bitcoin Hits Record Just Days After a 29% Plunge – Bloomberg

After erasing as much as $38 billion in market capitalization Monday following the cancellation of a technology upgrade known as SegWit2X on Nov. 8, the largest cryptocurrency came roaring back in to set the latest high.

While multiple reasons have been cited for the price volatility, one of the more viable is that some investors were switching to alternative coins. Bitcoin cash, an offshoot of bitcoin that includes many of the technical upgrades being debated by developers, had more than doubled in the same period.

Bitcoin Exchange Wants to Be Digital Safe House for Hedge Funds – Bloomberg

The San Francisco-based firm will sell what it bills as digital-coin custodial services for money managers like hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and family offices that have been hesitant to dive into the wild world of cryptocurrencies. The product, called Coinbase Custody, is designed for clients with stricter financial controls, Coinbase said.

Bitcoin futures face safeguards to tackle wild gyrations

Terry Duffy, CME chief executive, told the Financial Times he wants to lure a new generation of futures traders attracted by the cryptocurrency boom, although he acknowledges the challenges of creating a market infrastructure that can safely handle the hair-raising swings of bitcoin.

That may entail traders of CME bitcoin futures having to deposit close to 30 per cent of their value as collateral, says Mr Duffy, who is competing with a rival offering from Chicago neighbour, Cboe Global Markets.

This Cryptocurrency Miner Says It Solved Bitcoin’s Power Problem – Bloomberg

A green-energy startup says it can solve bitcoin’s surging electricity consumption without boosting pollution, an issue threatening to halt the meteoric rise of the virtual currency.

Bitcoin’s Rivals Multiply Amid Battle for Crypto Dominance – Bloomberg

The proliferation of bitcoin breakup plans highlights the double-edged sword of the cryptocurrency’s decentralized design; it allows for experimentation where ultimately the market will pick each coin’s value and use, but it can also get confusing and messy for users. The software underpinning bitcoin is open source, meaning anyone can simply copy it and make adjustments to form a new version of the coin if they have issues with the original. There’s also a profit motive: if offshoots are successful, the creators can earn windfalls by “pre-mining” coins for themselves or foundations they control.

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RATES, LIQUIDITY, SYSTEMIC RISK, BALANCE SHEETS

Treasury’s New Approach to Debt: Go Short – WSJ

Under the plan unveiled earlier this month by Treasury, the department would increase the share of shorter-term debt issuance and reduce the share of longer debt issuance, ending a yearslong trend that favored long-term debt issuance.

Corporate Buybacks Were So Last Year – MoneyBeat – WSJ

S&P 500 companies are poised to have repurchased about $125 billion of their shares in the third quarter, in line with its quarterly average so far this year, according to data from INTL FCStone. That puts 2017 on pace for the least amount spent on buybacks since 2012.

Investing in This $480 Billion Market Means Forgoing Bond Yield – Bloomberg

“The deposit rate is minus 65 basis points, so a one-year bond at minus 55 basis points may look expensive, but not if you just need to place your money,” Ostergaard said.

A High-Stakes Hedge Fund Battle Erupts Over Hovnanian Debt – Bloomberg

The credit derivatives market is treating New Jersey’s largest homebuilder as if it’s about to default, even as its stocks and bonds show no signs of panic. Behind that disparity, a battle is raging among hedge funds, with one group saying that the other has offered the company, Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., financing in return for taking steps that would trigger payouts on those derivatives.

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MACRO OP-EDS, INSIGHT, EVENTS AND TRENDS

Saudi Aramco Gets Some Bad News From Norway – Bloomberg Gadfly

“Permanent drop in oil and gas prices” is not a phrase you throw around lightly in Oslo — nor, it should be said, in Riyadh, either.

The Fed is Poisoning the Market. Here’s the Antidote. – WSJ

Central bank openness and the unwillingness of policy makers to surprise investors was a powerful drug in the crisis, but leaks a slow poison into the markets. The result is that investors have piled on bad risks they would otherwise be unwilling to take on. It also degraded the quality of the signals markets send about the economy. Perhaps worst of all for central bankers, the transparency has conspicuously failed in its main job of getting investors to understand the policy process. Their magical aura is wavering, and the danger is the curtain is pulled back to reveal that mere economists control the monetary policy levers.

A bruising Brexit could shipwreck the British economy

This is not a vigorous and healthy economy well able to take the shock of substantially worse access to its most important markets. It is absurd to suggest otherwise. The contempt many politicians on the right seem to feel for the UK’s European peers is particularly inappropriate. Policies aimed at improving economic performance across the board are essential, not least because economic disappointment must have been among the reasons for the Brexit vote. Yet the Brexit shock, combined with the UK’s underlying weaknesses, is likely to make the disappointment for many still more severe.

The UK has embarked on a risky voyage in a leaky boat. Beware a shipwreck.

On transatlantic trade, Trump is all bluster, no bite — so far – POLITICO

Trump’s reluctance to act on his threats reflects a simple reality of transatlantic trade: The two spheres have become so intertwined after decades of expanding business ties that moves to impose high tariffs or other barriers would be severely damaging to both sides. The two trading blocs are one another’s largest trading partners and account for about 40 percent of global trade.

This Trade Treaty Got Better when the US Bailed – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

As an American, it is gratifying to see world trade becoming freer. Though the treaty is still imperfect, it does raise hope for more trade and therefore higher living standards. What is downright humiliating for Americans is that the treaty became better only after the US withdrew from it. Here we have an excellent test case of the role of the US in pushing global trade. It turns out that the US influence has been for the negative.

The rest of the world is starting to catch on. There will be no turning back from economic globalization. It will happen whether the US approves or not.

The Uncounted – The New York Times

An on-the-ground investigation reveals that the U.S.-led battle against ISIS — hailed as the most precise air campaign in history — is killing far more Iraqi civilians than the coalition has acknowledged.

Our own reporting, conducted over 18 months, shows that the air war has been significantly less precise than the coalition claims. Between April 2016 and June 2017, we visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq, not long after ISIS was evicted from them. We toured the wreckage; we interviewed hundreds of witnesses, survivors, family members, intelligence informants and local officials; we photographed bomb fragments, scoured local news sources, identified ISIS targets in the vicinity and mapped the destruction through satellite imagery. We also visited the American air base in Qatar where the coalition directs the air campaign. There, we were given access to the main operations floor and interviewed senior commanders, intelligence officials, legal advisers and civilian-casualty assessment experts. We provided their analysts with the coordinates and date ranges of every airstrike — 103 in all — in three ISIS-controlled areas and examined their responses. The result is the first systematic, ground-based sample of airstrikes in Iraq since this latest military action began in 2014.

We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history. Our reporting, moreover, revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all. While some of the civilian deaths we documented were a result of proximity to a legitimate ISIS target, many others appear to be the result simply of flawed or outdated intelligence that conflated civilians with combatants. In this system, Iraqis are considered guilty until proved innocent. Those who survive the strikes, people like Basim Razzo, remain marked as possible ISIS sympathizers, with no discernible path to clear their names.

The Near Future of Driving: Eyes Forward, but No Hands at 10 and 2 – The New York Times

The ability to cruise on the highway hands-free is a major step forward. For many drivers, systems that require them to keep their hands on the steering wheel seem almost self-defeating. What’s the point of having the car steer itself if your hands have to stay on the wheel?

Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: ‘The system is failing’ | Technology | The Guardian

The inventor of the world wide web always maintained his creation was a reflection of humanity – the good, the bad and the ugly. But Berners-Lee’s vision for an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries” has been challenged by increasingly powerful digital gatekeepers whose algorithms can be weaponised by master manipulators.

“I’m still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence,” said the British computer scientist.

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USA ECONOMY DATA, CITIES AND STATES

U.S. Industrial Production Increased Strongly in October – WSJ

U.S. manufacturing made a strong post-hurricane recovery in October, making up almost all output lost from hurricanes Harvey and Irma and boosting overall industrial production.

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GLOBAL ECONOMY DATA

Germany replaces US as country with best international image | News | DW | 16.11.2017

Germany enjoys the best reputation of any country in the world, according to the latest Nation Brands Index. The survey found that there is much more than Germany’s economic motor driving the positive image.

Thailand May Be Joining Southeast Asia Growth Boom Despite Baht – Bloomberg

An economic boom that’s reverberated across Southeast Asia has finally crossed over to Thailand.

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POSITIONING, INFLECTION, MARKET CALLS

Dollar in Danger of Weakening for Six Years, Morgan Stanley Says – Bloomberg

The dollar is threatened by six years of weakness as stronger global growth will outweigh any boosts from interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve, according to Morgan Stanley.

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COLOR, EARNINGS, SENTIMENT, VALUATIONS

Wal-Mart Posts Strongest U.S. Sales in Years, Powered by Groceries, E-Commerce – WSJ

The world’s biggest retailer posted its strongest quarterly U.S. sales growth in nearly a decade Thursday, boosted by a big jump in ecommerce and strong store traffic at a time when many traditional retailers are struggling to keep their business growing.

Amazon Sellers Brood as States Come Calling for Taxes – The New York Times

Most third-party sellers on Amazon do not collect sales tax. States, thirsty for the millions of dollars in unpaid revenue, are coming for the money.

John Malone says Amazon is a ‘Death Star’ moving in ‘striking range of every industry on the planet’

Malone said any company that sells products to consumers is at risk of being crushed by the e-commerce giant. “If you’re in the B2C business, if you’re selling anything to any consumer anywhere on the planet, you gotta believe that Amazon is gonna have a look at that opportunity to commoditize you to use scale to serve the public,” he said. Bezos is “reducing cost to the consumer and providing great convenience … You just got to take your hat off and envy what he has built.”

P&G deadlock in board seat battle with Peltz

“This will likely end with an Al Gore-style recount,” said Ali Dibadj, analyst at Bernstein, referencing the 2000 US presidential election. “It’s going to be a painful process.”

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DEALS, MERGERS, IPOs, LBOs, RESTRUCTURINGS

Comcast enters fray with 21st Century Fox approach

Comcast and Verizon have separately approached Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox to explore potential combinations with the media company, a week after it emerged that Fox had held similar talks with Walt Disney.

Mashable Agrees to Sell to Ziff Davis for Around $50 Million – WSJ

One-time digital media darling Mashable has agreed to sell itself to trade publisher Ziff Davis for around $50 million, a fraction of the site’s valuation less than two years ago.

Cerberus’s Feinberg Switches Strategy to Shake Up German Banking – Bloomberg

Add this surprise to Feinberg’s portfolio: He’s put himself in a position to be an activist investor in a pair of German banks that have been mentioned as possible merger partners.

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ENERGY COMPANIES, NOCs, INDUSTRY

Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Wants Out of Oil Gas Stocks – Bloomberg

Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund proposed dumping about $35 billion in oil and gas stocks, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp., to protect the economy of western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer.

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ENERGY CRUDE OIL, OIL SANDS, SHALE

Saudi Arabia Says OPEC Should Extend Cuts in Meeting This Month – Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister said OPEC and its allies should announce an extension of their output curbs when they gather at the end of this month.

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ENERGY NATURAL GAS, COAL

Coal’s days numbered as countries pledge to end use

The global shift away from coal gained momentum on Thursday as more than 25 countries and regions pledged to stop using the fuel in power generation by 2030.

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POLLUTION, CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Keystone pipeline spills 210,000 gallons of oil on eve of permitting decision for TransCanada – The Washington Post

The spill comes just days before a crucial decision next Monday by the Public Service Commission in Nebraska over whether to grant a permit for a new, long-delayed sister pipeline called Keystone XL, which has been mired in controversy for several years. Both are owned by Calgary-based TransCanada.

Madagascar Wrestles With Worst Outbreak of Plague in Half a Century – WSJ

Madagascar is scrambling to contain its worst outbreak of plague in at least 50 years, with more than 2,000 cases reported and over 170 deaths.

This is what’s behind the dramatic, deadly flooding in Greece – The Washington Post

In videos from Athens, cars are being washed downstream like toys.

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FRONTIER MARKETS

Soros, Cohen among big name investors betting on Argentine startups

The founder of mobile banking startup Uala, Pierpaolo Barbieri, says that just a few years ago big name investors would never have put their money in early stage companies like his in Argentina.

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EMERGING MARKETS

Narendra Modi continues to ride wave of popularity as India’s PM

Narendra Modi’s popularity in India remains undiminished after three eventful years as prime minister, reflecting his overwhelming political advantage as he approaches the next general election in two years’ time.

According to a public opinion survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 88 per cent of Indians have a favourable view of Mr Modi, higher even than the figure for 2015 when the country rode a wave of optimism over its prospects under the then-new leader.

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BREXIT, SCOXIT, LONDON, UK ECONOMY

UK government set to reverse plan on specific Brexit date

The UK government is on the verge of giving up on its plan to put a specific date for Brexit into domestic law, after facing a rebellion of pro-EU MPs from within prime minister Theresa May’s Conservative party.

Left behind: can anyone save the towns the UK economy forgot?

Soaring antidepressant usage, falling life expectancy: Blackpool embodies much of what is going wrong on the fringes of Britain.

Barnier dashes Britain’s trade hopes – POLITICO

Brussels views its free-trade agreement with Canada as the only realistic model for post-Brexit trade with the U.K., scotching British Prime Minister Theresa May’s hopes of a far broader bespoke deal.

Barnier’s Brexit timeline: No transition deal until October 2018 – POLITICO

The timetable will alarm businesses who are keen for post-Brexit clarity as soon as possible.

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EUROPE

European Union Chastises Poland, and Draws a Sharp Rebuke – The New York Times

The European Parliament might suspend Poland’s voting rights in the E.U. It would be the most serious rift yet with Warsaw’s right-wing leaders.

Brussels sides with UK in Bombardier tariff row

The European Commission has given the UK its backing in a bitter trade dispute with Washington, hitting out at US moves to levy punitive tariffs on aerospace group Bombardier, which employs thousands in Belfast.

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GEOPOLITICS, CRIME, TERRORISM

In U.N. Showdown, Russia Vetoes Extension of Syria Chemical Arms Panel – The New York Times

It was the 10th time Russia had used its veto power to protect the Syrian government in the nearly seven-year-old war.

A Policeman’s Bear Hug Stops a Suicide Bomber From Killing More – The New York Times

Kabul, Afghanistan — The officer threw his arms about the bomber as he rushed a gathering the officer was guarding. The policeman and 13 others died. But officials say the death toll could have been higher.

Israel Sees Rising Threat From Iran After ISIS – WSJ

While much of the world celebrates the impending defeat of Islamic State, Israeli officials look at Syria and see little reason for joy. To them, a lesser enemy is being supplanted by a far more dangerous one—Iran and its allies.

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TRUMP WORLD

Trump Organization worth one tenth of value previously reported | The Independent

The Trump Organization in New York is reportedly worth one tenth of the value it previously claimed. Donald Trump’s family business had previously ranked near the top of Crain’s New York Business’ list of largest privately held companies.

‘I like Rodrigo, he’s a good guy’ | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

Before boarding Air Force One that would take him back to Washington, US President Donald Trump yesterday made sure his words would reach the ears of President Duterte.

Karl Rove Has Seen the Enemy and He Is Steve Bannon | The New Yorker

“I don’t know Steve Bannon, don’t think I’ve ever met him,” Rove told me. “But, for him, it’s all personal.”

Watchdog says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke failed to properly document travel – The Washington Post

Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall is also scrutinizing the travel of Zinke’s wife, Lola, and how it was paid for.

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SCANDALS, LAWSUITS, FINES, REGULATORY

Wall St. traders secretly used chat rooms to rig Treasury bond prices: suit | New York Post

Wall Street banks secretly shared client information in online chat rooms in order to rig auctions for the $14 trillion US Treasurys market, according to an explosive lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.

Mistrial Is Declared in Corruption Trial of Senator Menendez – The New York Times

The decision in the case against the powerful New Jersey Democrat brings an inconclusive end to the first bribery trial of a sitting U.S. senator in decades.

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SILICON VALLEY, UNICORNS, STARTUPS, VC

Google faces sustained regulatory attack from emboldened critics

Sabre-rattling from a politician running for office and a long-time adversary looking for a new line of attack does not sound like the basis for a sustained regulatory attack. But the political mood in the US has shifted under Google in the last few months, as for other big tech companies. The question now is whether the spark in state capitals will be enough to touch off a wider conflagration.

Google Has Picked an Answer for You—Too Bad It’s Often Wrong – WSJ

Going beyond search, the internet giant is presenting itself as an oracle by promoting a single result over all others as a definitive answer. Many of these “featured snippets” are contentious, improbable or laughably incorrect.

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MEDIA, CABLE, SPORTS, ENTERTAINMENT

BuzzFeed Set to Miss Revenue Target, Signaling Turbulence in Media – WSJ

Digital publisher BuzzFeed is on track to miss its revenue target for this year by a significant amount, the latest sign that troubles in the online ad business are making it tough for new-media upstarts to live up to lofty expectations.

F.C.C. Opens Door to More Consolidation in TV Business – The New York Times

The agency voted to relax several rules, including allowing a company to own more than one of the top stations in a local market.

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AUTOS, ELECTRIC, SELF-DRIVING

As U.S. Debates Ending Electric Car Tax Credit, China Aims to Expand Sales – The New York Times

The politics in Washington have not explicitly pushed carmakers to prioritize China. But the dueling approaches have added to a growing consensus among auto executives — even in the United States, where General Motors and Ford are planning to build more electric vehicles — that China will lead the world in the fast-growing sector.

Volkswagen Plans $12 Billion Electric-Car Blitz in China – WSJ

Volkswagen said it and its Chinese joint-venture partners will jointly invest nearly $12 billion by 2025 in developing electric cars for the local market, enough to roll out a total of 40 models.

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AIRLINES, SHIPPERS, RAIL, TRANSPORTS

Jet Pilot Might Not Seem Like a ‘Gig,’ but at Ryanair, It Is – The New York Times

The biggest European budget airline employs many of its pilots as contract workers — many of whom are pushing back after a recent flight cancellation episode erupted into a clash.

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SCIENCE, NATURE, PSYCHOLOGY

A Nearby Earth-Size Planet May Have Conditions for Life – The New York Times

The star, Ross 128, is not the closest with a planet similar in size to ours. That would be the sun’s next door neighbor, Proxima Centauri, just 4.2 light-years away. And there appears to be just one planet orbiting Ross 128 — not the bounty of seven Earth-size planets that circle Trappist-1, a red dwarf about 40 light-years from here.

But unlike those stars, Ross 128, about 11 light-years from Earth, appears to be a quiet, well-behaved star, without the violent eruptions of radiation that might wipe out any beginnings of life before they had a chance to take hold on the planet.

A Cliff-Edge Town Visited by Poets, Dolphins — and Octopuses – The New York Times

Octopuses and giant barrel jellyfish come and go in a town where Wales’s best-known alcoholic drank. The dolphins seem to be staying, so far.

Chimps Tailor Alarms to What Other Chimps Know – The New York Times

Experiments show that the animals change their communications depending on how much their audience knows.

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MISCELLANEOUS

Alabama fan reportedly shoots Auburn fan following argument over which team is better – The Washington Post

With Alabama set to meet rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl later this month, it’s no surprise that fan arguments are escalating. But Monday, one Crimson Tide fan reportedly took things to the next level after allegedly shooting a Tigers fan in the thigh when a conversation about which team is superior escalated into violence.

A Photo of Billy the Kid Bought for $10 at a Flea Market May Be Worth Millions – The New York Times

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

17X17 - BILLY THE KID

Robert Mugabe’s political life in pictures

The resistance leader who took charge of Zimbabwe for 37 years.

17X17 - MUGABE AND THATCHER

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