Congress barreling toward explosive immigration fight | TheHill


With just 12 legislative days left on the calendar — and the Republicans laser-focused on enacting a tax overhaul before Christmas — GOP leaders have some tough decisions ahead.

And the question of timing on DACA is becoming every bit as sticky as the substance of the bill.

Source: Congress barreling toward explosive immigration fight | TheHill

Law likely on AT&T’s side in Time Warner battle


Analysts from another brokerage, Evercore, also backed the company’s chances in the fight.

“Based on our assessment of both the DoJ brief and the AT&T arguments, we believe that the law is likely on AT&T’s side,” they said in a note.

Source: Law likely on AT&T’s side in Time Warner battle: analysts

U.S. sues to stop AT&T buying Time Warner, says would hike rates


The lawsuit is the first major challenge to a merger by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Time Warner’s CNN news unit and announced his opposition to the deal before the election last year, saying it would concentrate too much power in AT&T’s hands.

The Justice Department is arguing that AT&T would use Time Warner’s films and movies to force rival pay-TV companies to pay “hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for Time Warner’s networks” in the lawsuit filed late Monday in federal court in Washington.

Source: U.S. sues to stop AT&T buying Time Warner, says would hike rates

Modern Scientists Are Wrong Far More Than You Think | Pacific Standard


There is a 1 percent chance that an innocent person’s fingerprint will accidentally match the fingerprint found at the crime. Since there were 100,000 innocent bystanders, we should expect around 1,000 false matches to be found. Mixed in with these innocent suspects will be the one true criminal, now just a drop in an ocean of 1,001 suspects.

Even though there was only a 1 percent chance that the fingerprinting technology mistakenly matched an innocent person, the probability that any one of the 1,001 primary suspects is innocent is a whopping 99.9%.

That is all to say, there are far more incorrect hypotheses about how the world works than there are correct ones. The truth is a needle in a haystack; this is precisely what makes science so hard.

Source: Modern Scientists Are Wrong Far More Than You Think – Pacific Standard

The costs of not being recognized as a country: The case of Kosovo


Kosovo’s contested status creates challenges for its businesses, from difficulties of travel to complications in the exchange in goods and services.

For example, until recently, Kosovo did not have a postal system. Instead, the Albanian postal service would receive post from abroad and deliver it to Kosovo, making sending and receiving goods difficult.

Money transfers were also problematic, as Kosovar banks have only recently been assigned the SWIFT codes that are needed for international transactions. Until this happened, firms used intermediary banks, a practice that meant additional administrative procedures, restricted availability of online transactions, and increased costs.

Source: The costs of not being recognized as a country: The case of Kosovo

Joseph Stiglitz: ‘Trump has fascist tendencies’ | The Guardian


Stiglitz, in London to publicize his new book, says that for the past six or seven years he has been growing increasingly disturbed by America’s growing inequality and the simmering anger it has caused.

“I began to say ‘if we didn’t fix this problem we are going to have a political problem’ and historically a Trump figure, a fascist kind of figure arises.”

Asked whether he really thinks Trump is a fascist, Stiglitz says: “I certainly think he has those tendencies. He is restrained by our institutions and every day those institutions work we feel relieved. We don’t know what the bounds are and we don’t know how far he would push those bounds.

“A couple of things are most disturbing – the attack on the press and the attack on the foundations of knowledge which goes beyond the press.

“We have never had a president who day after day lies and is unaffected by it. Normally everybody you deal with is tethered by a sense of responsibility and truth, but not him.

Source: Joseph Stiglitz: ‘Trump has fascist tendencies’ | Business | The Guardian

Get Lost in This Visualization of Interconnected Global Issues | WIRED


Transformation Maps, a new platform developed by the World Economic Forum is a completely different sort of visualization, one that I’ve never seen before. The Swiss nonprofit calls it a “dynamic knowledge tool,” and it charts the interactions between dozens of industries, countries, and issues that shape the world.

Climate change is on there. 3D printing is, too. Social media, global governance, gender parity, cybersecurity, space, China—these and more than 100 other “insight areas” form the nodes in a responsive web of interconnections.

Source: Get Lost in This Visualization of Interconnected Global Issues | WIRED

Why wages aren’t growing in America


The wage stagnation of the past 40 years is also linked to some developments that may have suppressed productivity growth, which has slowed since 1973, with an exception of a surge from 1995 to 2004.

Some of the most disturbing trends can be loosely grouped under the heading of declining “dynamism.” Workers are less likely to move across states than they once were (fewer than 2 percent of workers do so today, as compared with about 3 percent who did 40 years ago).

They are also less likely to switch jobs than they once were. These changes may reflect a diminished ability to find the places and jobs that are most conducive to upward mobility.

Source: Why wages aren’t growing in America

The new geopolitics of trade in Asia


In the more evocative part of his speech, the president spoke of an Indo-Pacific dream built upon a series of bilateral trade agreements that the United States stands ready to negotiate with nations willing to embrace fair and reciprocal trade.

By and large, this is a dream of one: No Indo-Pacific nation (with the potential exemption of Philippines) has accepted the entreaty to negotiate bilaterally.

Two powerful deterrents to countries signing on to Trump’s proposal are at work here:

1) countries see through the faulty proposition that trade deficits driven by macroeconomic forces can be wiped out quickly with trade negotiations, and

2) widespread understanding that multilateral deals promise larger economic gains by turbocharging global supply chains.

Source: The new geopolitics of trade in Asia

Why Is Fiji Selling Out Its Coastlines? | Pacific Standard


By the time the Sigatoka River Dredging Project is done, China Railway will have pulled over 1.2 million cubic meters of silt from the river bottom between its mouth and the Sigatoka Bridge, just over two miles upstream—all in the name of flood prevention. But development along the Sigatoka River won’t end there.

Dome Gold Mines, an Australian mining company, has an exploration license to mine the river mouth for sand laced with magnetite—a source of iron. If the company ultimately receives a full permit to begin dredge-mining in the region, they’ll pull even more material from the bottom of the river and its banks, and from sand deposits on Koroua Island, a tract of incredibly valuable agricultural land for the village of Vunavutu.

Source: Why Is Fiji Selling Out Its Coastlines? – Pacific Standard