1550265058 vexsome tldr: A shorter front page of the internet


1. Mexico hits back on U.S. steel, slaps tariffs on pork, bourbon

MEXICO CITY - Mexico responded in kind to U.S. President Donald Trump's metals tariffs by imposing its own duties on American steel on Tuesday, while also targeting politically sensitive agricultural products from pork to bourbon. As of Tuesday, Mexico will impose tariffs of 15 percent to 25 percent on U.S. steel products, the Mexican economy ministry said in a list published in the government's official gazette. Mexico said late last week it would respond to Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum with duties on products from congressional districts that Trump's Republican party is fighting to retain in elections in November.

2. Koch brothers break with Trump and lobby to eliminate steel and aluminum tariffs.

Another trade war is brewing - one between President Trump and the Koch brothers. Days after the president moved forward with imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico, three political groups affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers are launching a multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign to tout free trade and oppose tariffs, ABC News has learned. Earlier in the day, President Trump tweeted about his recent trade push, saying U.S. farmers are being treated "Unfairly" by Mexico, Canada and China, but after his trade negotiations, "That will change."

3. Student loan debt just hit $1.5 trillion. Women hold most of it

Women hold nearly two-thirds of all student debt in the US, according to a report from the American Association of University Women, a group that advocates for equity and education for women and girls. Outstanding student debt currently exceeds auto loan debt and credit card debt. A majority of them took out student loans, but 30% had some other form of debt, like credit card debt or a home equity line of credit, according to a Federal Reserve report based on a 2017 survey.

4. U.N.'s poverty and human rights special rapporteur finds U.S. policies reward wealthy, punish poor

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5. Carbon 'bubble' could cost global economy trillions

A rapid reduction in demand for fossil fuels could see global economic losses of $1-4 trillion by 2035 according to a new report. While there has been a growing movement for divesting from shares in fossil fuel companies in recent years, the sector still accounts for 6% of global stock markets and 12% in the UK. Research has often focussed on how these investments would be affected if the world takes new action to limit the global rise in temperatures to well under 2C as agreed in Paris in 2015. "Many models assume that CCS will become cost competitive at some point, meaning that fossil fuels could still make up a part of a low-carbon energy mix - however it's not clear that the technology will ever become cost-competitive without a significant increase in current levels of investment," said Sini Matikainen, policy analyst at the Grantham Research Institute, who wasn't involved in the study.

6. Social Security taps into trust fund for first time in 36 years

For the first time since 1982, Social Security has to dip into the trust fund to pay for the program this year. Social Security trustees said that reserves for the fund that pays disability benefits would be exhausted in 2032. Combined with the fund that pays benefits to retirees, all Social Security reserves would be exhausted by 2034, they said.

7. Koch Bros Will Spend Millions to Reverse Trump’s ‘America First’ Trade Agenda

Desperate for the US to re-enter globalist trade deals and open the borders for low-cost labor, the Koch Bros - long-time boogeymen of the Left - are going to spend millions of dollars during this election year and beyond to subvert Trump's trade agenda. "The Trump administration has taken some incredibly positive steps for the American economy, but tariffs will undercut that progress and needlessly hamstring our full economic potential," said Tim Phillips, president of the Koch front group Americans for Prosperity, in a public statement. As Trump tries to drain the swamp and make America great again, well-connected globalist oligarchs like the Koch Bros will continue to do everything they can to stop him.

8. 'Economy crippling' and 'third grade' work: Conservatives pan Trump's move to save coal and nuclear

In her view, the plan stretches the limits of the Federal Power Act and the Defense Production Act to achieve a political goal. Tubb equated the proposal to President Barack Obama's use of the Clean Air Act to justify his move to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants under the Clean Power Plan, which conservatives often frame as an abuse of authority. The Examiner notes that nearly all of the nation's power outages are due to problems with transmission and distribution lines that carry energy from plants to consumers, not with the facilities that generate power themselves.

9. In High Demand, Organic Soy and Corn Farmers Stand to Win

Greene said increased demand for organic corn and soybeans are fueled by the need for organic livestock and poultry feed. According to Agromeris, imports of organic corn and soybeans for feed have been growing at an average rate of 33 percent over the past five years, outpacing growth of organic feed grains produced by American farmers. In order for the U.S. to rely less on imports and help meet growing demand for organic corn and soybeans, American farmers would need to convert approximately 600,000 more acres, according to Golbitz.

10. The real trade deficit may be half the reported trade deficit...profit shifting.

Protectionists like to cite the U.S. trade deficit-last year imports of goods and services exceeded exports by $501 billion-as evidence that unfair trade agreements have hurt American competitiveness. Although the official trade deficit in 2012 was $537 billion, they conclude that U.S. exports were undercounted and imports overstated by a combined $280 billion. With this adjustment, the real trade deficit that year shrinks to $257 billion-or about 1.6% of GDP. Trade still isn't balanced, but the deficit appears to be less than half the size everyone thought.

11. Peso Falls to Lowest since February 2017, NAFTA talks Delayed

The Mexican peso sank to its weakest in more than a year on concern the U.S. may leave the Nafta agreement and try to negotiate two separate free-trade deals with Mexico and Canada. News that Trump may consider splitting Nafta talks "Is more negative for Mexico than Canada. In general, since last week I think the peso is reacting to the turn of events in Nafta". "If Nafta isn't done by the election, and that seems the odds-on bet, then you get a whole new variable put in place afterwards as Amlo has said he wants a say in negotiation if talks are still happening after the presidential vote. That extends the Nafta timeline substantially".

12. China offered to buy $70 billion in U.S. products to ward off Trump’s tariffs

China has offered to buy close to $70 billion in U.S. agriculture, energy and manufacturing products in the first year of a package meant to ward off U.S. tariffs, said a person briefed on talks with the White House. China would buy more U.S. crude oil and natural gas exports to quench its thirst for energy. "If the numbers are accurate, an additional $70 billion in US exports to China would be considerable - a 50 percent increase in US exports from 2017 levels," Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said in an email.

13. Fifty-one million US households cannot afford “survival budget”

While CEO pay soars to unheard of heights, nearly 51 million US households cannot afford basic necessities like housing, food and health care. Among the companies that disclosed CEO pay ratios, the median was 275 to 1, i.e., the typical employee would have to work 275 years to earn the annual compensation of his or her company's CEO. While CEO compensation continues to climb-with the top 200 CEOs receiving an average raise of 14 percent in 2017, compared to 9 percent in 2016 and 5 percent in 2015-there are 50.8 million US households that cannot afford a basic monthly budget, including housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a smart phone. In other words, these households include working members and are not "Officially" poor, but cannot afford basic necessities.

14. The never-ending story of Germany's ghost money

Nearly 28 years after the complete demise of the East German mark and 16 years after the introduction of the euro, these people are patiently waiting to hand in some of the billions of old deutschmarks still in circulation. Today German marks are travel souvenirs, bits of history forgotten at the back of a drawer or still stashed in safety deposit boxes. The bank and the German government must put great store in the continued perception of trust, even though the original decision to keep the mark open was made when Germany was a European laggard still reeling from the shock of unifying East and West Germany.

15. Trustees Report Medicare Finances Worsening

The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 - three years earlier than previously forecast. The Cabinet secretaries for Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor usually participate in the annual release of the report on Social Security and Medicare, along with the Social Security commissioner, and take questions from reporters. The four top officials serve as the Social Security and Medicare trustees, along with two independent trustees who are supposed to represent the public.

16. 'Carbon bubble' could spark global financial crisis, study warns

Plunging prices for renewable energy and rapidly increasing investment in low-carbon technologies could leave fossil fuel companies with trillions in stranded assets and spark a global financial crisis, a new study has found. The new study, published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that a sharp slump in the value of fossil fuels would cause this bubble to burst, and posits that such a slump is likely before 2035 based on current patterns of energy use. Separately, an analysis in Nature Energy forecast that global energy demand would be about 40% lower than today by 2050, despite rises in population and income, and a growing global economy.

17. 1,134 Garment Factory Workers Died in the Rana Plaza Collapse. Has Safety in the Bangladeshi Ready Made Garment Industry Improved?

On April 24th 2013, the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed, causing the death of 1,134 garment factory workers. At the same time, Bangladesh has not seen any massive accidents similar to the Rana Plaza collapse since the signing of the accords, and according to AsiaInspection, a Hong Kong based safety and compliance consultancy, levels of safety compliance in Bangladesh are higher than India or China. Partly because it is seen as a violation of national sovereignty, partly because the move towards workers safety puts heavy financial burdens on Bangladeshi firms without commensurate compensation of western multinationals, and partly because of the overwhelming influence of garment makers on the Bangladeshi government.

18. G7 Countries Waste $100 Billion A Year On Coal, Oil and Gas Subsidies

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Overseas Development Institute, Oil Change International, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development just published our G7 Fossil Fuel Subsidy Scorecard, ahead of the G7 Summit in Canada, where we ranked for the first time each G7 country on their transparency, commitments and progress made on ending support for the production and use of oil, gas and coal. Canada, which holds the G7 presidency this year, scored highly on ending support to coal mining, fossil fuel-based power and fossil fuel use, but ranked poorly on reforming support to oil and gas production because it spends the most money per capita subsidizing oil and gas production. Despite repeated pledges to end fossil fuel subsidies G7 countries provided at least $100 billion annually in government support for the production and consumption of oil, gas and coal, both at home and abroad in more than 50 countries around the world.

19. Turkey Inflation Accelerates on Weak Currency

The annual inflation rate rose to 12.2 percent in May from 10.9 percent the previous month, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Food prices, which make up nearly a quarter of the consumer inflation basket, rose an annual 11 percent, up from 8.8 percent. The currency was 0.2 percent stronger after the inflation report, trading at 4.6363 per dollar at 11:13 a.m. in Istanbul.

20. U.S. economy can’t keep on truckin’ without more drivers to ease flat-bed shortage

If the nine-year-old U.S. expansion finally grinds to a halt, a lack of truck drivers is likely to be a culprit in fouling up the gears of the economy. A shortage of truck drivers has been building for several years, but now the problem is especially acute. Some industry observers predict driverless-car technology will eventually ease the existing driver shortage and provider the long-term answer for the societal shift in how trucking jobs are viewed.

22. A Prayer for the Poor

Once the principle of interest-especially compound interest-is recognized as a legitimate means of encouraging lending, it requires very little ingenuity indeed to create a system in which one man's poverty is another's source of wealth, and in which it is very much in the interest of creditors to see that the poor remain poor. The prayer as a whole is a prayer for the poor-and for the poor only. Simply said, are not "Transgressions," but "Debts"; nor are they "Debts" in a metaphorical sense-they are not sins that require some penance or recompense on out part-but are in fact quite literally the crushing burden of financial obligations under which the poor labor and suffer and die, to the advantage of the most merciless of their creditors.

23. Legacies of Colonialism: Cry, the Beloved Country

White Namibians, like white South Africans, like white Rhodesians, like white Americans, have been targeted for oblivion as "Cosmic retribution" for daring to exist in the historical shadow of since-passed colonialism and Apartheid. Namibian Democratic Movement treasurer general Nico Smit explains that the reason most white Namibians do not participate in Independence Day celebrations is quite simple-they are tired of being scapegoated for everything that's gone wrong in the country by the ruling party, Swapo, and the majority of the black population. Further, the whites of South Africa are tortured and victimized while the state turns a blind eye, and the murder rate in the country is approaching epidemic levels.