Thursday’s Mini-Report, 1.7.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* I hope you’re not retiring right now: “U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Thursday as China news overnight and low oil prices renewed concerns about global economic growth.”
 
* Tensions still rising in the Middle East: “A diplomatic crisis roiling the Middle East intensified Thursday as Iran claimed that a Saudi airstrike overnight hit its embassy in Yemen, a charge not supported by signs of damage but that nevertheless raised tensions between the rivals.”
 
* Korea: “As the world unravels North Korea’s self-proclaimed hydrogen bomb test, the timing ahead of ruler Kim Jong Un’s birthday this week and a major government gathering in May suggest a ruler trying to reassert his authority amid increased scrutiny – including possible, internal pressure from the ruling elite.”
 
* Texas: “[Brian Encinia], the Texas state trooper charged with perjury in the arrest of Sandra Bland has turned himself in to authorities…. A grand jury indicted Encinia a day earlier on a misdemeanor perjury charge for allegedly lying about the circumstances of his arrest of Bland last summer…. The Texas Department of Public Safety announced after the indictment that it would begin the process of firing Encinia.”
 
* Climate crisis: “Last year was the second hottest on record in the contiguous United States, and included 10 major weather and climate events, such as droughts and storms, that each led to over $1 billion in damages, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday.”
 
* Guantanamo: “The first two of the 17 detainee scheduled to be released from Guantanamo Bay prison this month will be transferred to Ghana, U.S. military officials announced Wednesday.”
 
* All things considered, the job market fared quite well last year: “The number of Americans who applied for new unemployment benefits in 2015 fell to the lowest level in 42 years.”
 
* Keep expectations low: “Speaker Paul Ryan is urging top Republican committee chairmen to explore whether there’s support in the House to formally authorize a military campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the early stages of what appears to be Capitol Hill’s most serious effort to define the effort against the terrorist group.”
 
* The CDC has some work to do: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention need ‘considerable work’ before the government’s top public health agency can achieve a culture of safety at its laboratories, according to a new report.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 1.7.16