Mon. June 25

FDA approves first medicine made from marijuana

Harley-Davidson to move jobs overseas in answer to tariffs
NY Times
— Harley-Davidson, the American motorcycle manufacturer, said on Monday that it was shifting some of the production of its bikes outside the United States to avoid European Union tariffs.

Powerful signal of recession has Wall Street’s attention
NY Times
— You can try and play down a trade war with China. You can brush off the impact of rising oil prices on corporate earnings.
— But if you’re in the business of making economic predictions, it has become very difficult to disregard an important signal from the bond market.
— The so-called yield curve is perilously close to predicting a recession — something it has done before with surprising accuracy — and it’s become a big topic on Wall Street.

Environmental crime traced to scofflaw factories in China
… a renewed threat to the ozone layer
… factories using CFC-11, a violation of 1987’s Montreal Protocol, are often smaller operations (some don’t even have names) that move around rural outposts to avoid detection; if they do get caught, they simply pay fines.

Rated true
Scott Walker’s admin has cut $8 billion in Wisconsin taxes
true— Even Dems admit it, but say … state tax cuts adopted since 2011 have disproportionately gone to Wisconsin residents with the highest incomes, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Wisconsin Budget Project.

Supremes boost Texas GOP in electoral maps
Politicus USA
— The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to Texas Republicans by reviving electoral districts drawn by the state legislature that had been thrown out by a lower court for diluting the influence of black and Hispanic voters.
— In a 5-4 ruling, the conservative-majority court largely accepted the state’s argument that the Republican-led Texas legislature acted in good faith when it adopted new electoral maps in 2013 for state legislative and U.S. congressional seats.
>>> N.Carolina gerrymandering case also tossed 
>>> Florist won’t deliver for same-sex wedding … Supremes shrug

Trump’s Iowa cult betting all on their demented hero
— Donald Trump’s trade war with China could cost Iowa farmers hundreds of millions of dollars and do untold damage to the state economy.
— But you’d never know it from talking to Republicans at the recent state GOP convention here. When Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann asked who was still behind President Donald Trump, 1,100 delegates sprang to their feet, whistling, cheering and offering prolonged applause.

Hundreds block LA streets to watch cars do burnout stunts
— Hordes of onlookers descended on several Los Angeles-area neighborhoods Saturday night to view dangerous street takeovers.
— The tire marks are still visible at the intersection of West Duarte Road and South Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia, where 300-400 people gathered watching cars do burnouts, sometimes coming dangerously close to spectators.

Retailers testing blue light to keep druggies out of restrooms
USA Today

Teflon-type chemicals found in 97% of US drinking water
Pew Research
— A newly released draft of a report by the EPA says the substances that have made their way into drinking water are more dangerous to human health than previously thought. Its release was delayed for months after a Trump administration aide said it would create a “public relations nightmare.”
— The substances are uncommonly difficult to break down.

Million-dollar burger bot makes its debut in San Francisco
— Silicon Valley CEO Angelo Vardakostas and mechanical engineer Steven Frehn will open the doors of a burger joint called Creator in which bot will prepare a burger for just $6 — a bargain in the overpriced Hell known as San Francisco.
— Employees still have to maintain the machine, refill ingredients, instruct customers on how to use it, advise them on how to make a selection, clean, and manage the space itself. Creator will have up to nine employees working during peak hours, roughly the norm in the fast food industry.
√ And if it doesn’t cut labor costs, what, may I ask, is the point? Perhaps somebody has bought the Brooklyn Bridge here. The machine’s inventors are trying to hype the notion that their machine won’t cost jobs, but clearly … it will.
The NSA’s secret spy hubs in 8 US cities
The Intercept
— Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
— In each of these cities, The Intercept has identified an AT&T facility containing networking equipment that transports internet traffic across the United States and the world. These hubs are central to an NSA spying initiative that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.
— The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.”

Ex-CIA officer (and Harvard fellow)
says Russians saw chump in Trump

Raw Story
Trump exhibited “the classical vulnerabilities that intelligence officers seek to identify and exploit, including sexual indiscretions, greed, corruption, revenge, and most of all, ego.”

Contrarian view
Why the US needs North Korea to keep nuclear weapons
The National Interest
… The long-term primary objective of U.S. strategy in East Asia should be to contain a rising China. To achieve this, the United States must minimize Chinese influence on its neighboring states—whether they are U.S. allies or not. A limited North Korean nuclear arsenal is the most effective way to make this happen.

Yes, says Cornell researcher Mary Jo Dudley
… Why the economy needs immigrant labor
The Conversation
— My work as the director of the Cornell Farmworker Program involves meeting with undocumented workers in New York, and the farmers who employ them. In my research, I’ve learned many reasons why Americans should care.
— Far from the dangerous threat the president makes them out to be, undocumented immigrant workers play vital roles in the U.S. economy, erecting American buildings, picking American apples and grapes, and taking care of American babies … and paying taxes.

Survey finds US, Canada have most welcoming attitudes toward immigrants
The Guardian
— The polling company Ipsos surveyed 20,000 people across 27 countries, looking at questions of religion, immigration status, the origin country of someone’s parents, as well as sexuality, criminal background and extreme political views. It found that Canadians had the broadest acceptance of who was a “real Canadian”, and that the US was close behind in second place. 

Helping plants remove toxins could dramatically boost farm yields
By Paul South, University of Illinois
The Conversation
paul south— To meet the growing demand for increased food production, I worked with an international team to explore whether speeding up photorespiration might boost crop yields.
… … Initially, I was skeptical that boosting the production of a single protein out of thousands in the plant could have such a dramatic impact on crop yield. But, after two years of field trials, my colleagues and I have demonstrated that increasing H-protein levels leads to larger plants, boosting the crop yield by 27-47 percent.

Turkey moves from democracy to dictatorship

On that Laura Ingalls Wilder thing…

 Did you miss our weekend stories?”
Click on June 22 & weekend updates to see ’em


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