July 4, 2019

Law & Order

Judge blocks Ohio bill that would ban abortion as early as six weeks

Judge blocks Ohio bill that would ban abortion as early as six weeks

The measure temporarily blocks the application of a law signed by the governor that was harshly criticized by his opponents, because if implemented, it would eliminate the right to access safe abortions after six weeks of gestation.

A federal judge temporarily blocked a law on Wednesday that sought to prohibit the right to decide to end a pregnancy in the state. It is a momentary victory for reproductive rights, and for clinics that offer health services in a safe way because legislation like that would only promote clandestine procedures.

The decision of District Judge Michael Barrett draws to a halt the start on July 11 of the law that was enacted on April 11 by the state governor, Republican Mike DeWine. He signed it even though his predecessor John Kasich, of the same party, vetoed it twice. The text was then considered one of the largest restrictions on abortion in the United States.

The legislation was known as “the law of the heartbeat” and limited abortion from one and a half months of pregnancy. That term has been rejected by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of the United States because they consider it vague, among other things because “what is interpreted as a beat in these laws, is actually the electrical pulsations of a portion of the fetal tissue that eventually it will become the heart when the embryo develops. ”

Ohio counts in a list confirmed by at least a dozen of states that have approved similar legislation to end Roe v. Wade, a case that decriminalized abortion in 1973 in the United States and ratified the constitutional right of women to make medical decisions about their bodies, including ending a pregnancy. In this case, the Ohio law does not even include exceptions for pregnancies due to rape or incest.

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Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra could appeal to some progressive lawmakers

Facebook's cryptocurrency project Libra could appeal to some progressive lawmakers

Four other US lawmakers are making a formal call to Facebook to stop all development of their Libra cryptocurrency. This through a new letter sent to the executive partners of the giant in social networks.

This Tuesday, the Democrats of the House of Representatives of the United States, addressed an open letter to Facebook, calling for a moratorium on all development of Libra. Meanwhile, the Financial Services Committee and affiliated subcommittees held hearings to determine how it will work and what protections will be implemented to protect the user’s privacy.

Libra was unveiled in June, although it was rumoured that the social networking giant had been developing the project for months. The company joined 27 partners for its launch, including the Coinbase exchange house. In addition, it intends to have at least 100 members for the Libra Association, who will act as a governing council for the cryptocurrency, once the token is activated.

The first public hearing to examine Libra, by the Committee of Domestic Financial Services, has already been scheduled for July 17. Just one day after the hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on this same topic is maintained.

Since the formal announcement of this project, regulators and government entities worldwide have expressed caution or alarm. Members of the G7 have formed a working committee to investigate the project and several ministries have called on Facebook to share more details, or otherwise cease their developments.

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Business & Trade

U.S. trade deficit surges to five-month high as imports soar

U.S. trade deficit surges to five-month high as imports soar

The deficit in the international trade of goods and services of the United States rose by 8.4{dd299c883823a46beb0705d70a03c819bede140f906792bc593d52b8d4c5e8ee} in May to 55,500 million dollars, the highest figure in five months and with a significant increase in imports from Mexico despite the protectionist efforts of President Donald Trump.

In May, exports reached a value of 210,600 million dollars, 2{dd299c883823a46beb0705d70a03c819bede140f906792bc593d52b8d4c5e8ee} more than in the previous month; and imports rose 3.3{dd299c883823a46beb0705d70a03c819bede140f906792bc593d52b8d4c5e8ee} to 266.2 billion dollars, the Department of Commerce reported Wednesday.

In the first five months of the year, the trade deficit increased by 6.4{dd299c883823a46beb0705d70a03c819bede140f906792bc593d52b8d4c5e8ee} compared to the same period of 2018, to a total of 261,400 million dollars.
The increase in May was largely due to the abrupt increase in automobile imports of 7.5{dd299c883823a46beb0705d70a03c819bede140f906792bc593d52b8d4c5e8ee}, as well as the 11{dd299c883823a46beb0705d70a03c819bede140f906792bc593d52b8d4c5e8ee} increase in crude imports.

The deficit with China, very sensitive politically for the commercial war unleashed by the US president, rose by 12{dd299c883823a46beb0705d70a03c819bede140f906792bc593d52b8d4c5e8ee} in May, to 30.2 billion dollars.
Last weekend Trump met in the framework of the G20 summit in Japan with Chinese President Xi Jinping and reached a new truce in the trade dispute, which has encouraged the financial markets.

Trump agreed not to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports. The president came to the White House with the promise to reduce the huge trade deficit in the country, but after more than two years in office has not managed to reduce the imbalance.

In fact, economists consider that the trade balance is not a significant indicator of the economic health of a country. The United States, as the world’s leading economy, often sees deficits rising historically during boom times by increasing Americans’ appetite for imports.

Indeed, the United States is experiencing a period of solid economic expansion, with an annual growth rate of 3.1{dd299c883823a46beb0705d70a03c819bede140f906792bc593d52b8d4c5e8ee} in the first quarter of 2019, spurred by the aggressive fiscal stimulus launched by Trump through tax cuts for companies and, to a lesser extent, the workers. These tensions have caused concern in the financial markets and doubts about the evolution of the global economy.

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Real Estate

Chicago’s weak housing market carries an upside

Chicago's weak housing market carries an upside

Weak house prices offer a potential boost to Chicago to compete against other metropolitan centres around the world. A new study conducted by Demographia, the study looks at house prices. As the growing paces of house prices are slow in Chicago. So the study basically compares the house prices with household income. That gives an index of affordability: how much can a house with an approximate average income buy.

With the study of around five million, Chicago ranks 13th among the most affordable cities according to the new study. Cities like Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami and New York also Dallas / Ft. Worth and Houston are now less accessible compared to Chicago. Whereas only Atlanta and Philadelphia have cheaper house prices.

Chicago was the 35th most affordable of the 47 cities according to the report when the study was extended with at least two million people.
Chicago is rated 3.6 on a 5-point scale for affordability.

Unfortunately, the study does not include Western Europe outside of the United Kingdom. But these data will be helpful to local vendors to launch another company which needs expansion space. A little more bounce in the local real estate market would surely be good, too.

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