Top news stories for today – Dec 27, 2017
China’s economy will beat America’s by 2032
The Chinese economy is expected to be larger than the American economy for the first time in 2032, per a report from the Centre for Economics and Business (CEBR) Research in London. The CEBR also predicts significant economic growth for India over that period; India will have the third-largest economy by 2032, a decade after it replaces China as the world’s most populous country. The question of population is key to understanding what it means for Beijing to become a larger economy than Washington.
China’s population is currently about 1.38 billion, more than four times the United States’ 323 million. Even with a larger total economy, per capita income and standard of living in China will remain significantly lower than in the US for some time. Bloomberg
58 inches of snow hit in Erie
Erie, Pennsylvania, didn’t just get a White Christmas, it got a Whiteout Christmas. The city got hammered with 34 inches of snow Monday – shattering records. Then yesterday, it got hit with another 24 inches, for a grand total of 58 inches over two days. That’s almost five feet! It’s the highest two-day snowfall total in the entire state of Pennsylvania!
The rest of the Midwest and eastern US will be in the deep freeze throughout the holiday week. The wind chill will be in the single digits when revelers ring in the New Year in Times Square. CNN
Argentine prosecutor’s death ruled a murder
Alberto Nisman, Argentine prosecutor who accused top government officials of a cover-up in the country’s deadliest terror attack was murdered, a federal judge said Tuesday. He was found with a bullet to his head just days after he filed a report accusing former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and other officials of covering up Iran’s involvement in a 1994 Jewish community center bombing that left 85 people dead. And he was supposed to testify before lawmakers about it the next day.
In the ruling, Ercolini charged Diego Lagomarsino with accessory to murder. Lagomarsino was the last person inside the prosecutor’s apartment, and Nisman was killed with a weapon belonging to Lagomarsino, the judge said. Lagomarsino, an IT security expert who worked for Nisman, has maintained that he gave Nisman his gun at the prosecutor’s insistence. According to Lagomarsino, Nisman called him to his home on January 17 worried for his safety. But Lagomarsino has insisted he had nothing to do with Nisman’s death. CNN
Trump’s Infrastructure bill
Fresh off his tax reform triumph, President Trump sets his eyes on a big infrastructure bill for 2018. The President said a spending bill to fix the nation’s bridges, roads and airports should be easy to get through Congress. But he’ll definitely need Democratic votes — not a sure thing at all.
Trump promised a $1 trillion bill on the campaign trail, but the White House has been kicking around a more modest $200 billion proposal, with the hopes of spurring an additional $800 billion in state and local funding. CNN
US sanctions 2 N. Koreans over missile program
US has imposed sanctions on two North Korean officials, Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol, for their role in Pyongyang’s ballistic missile program. “Kim Jong Sik reportedly is a key figure in North Korea’s ballistic missile development, including efforts to switch from liquid to solid fuel, and Ri Pyong Chol is reported to be a key official involved in North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile development,” the US Treasury Department said.
North Korea has significantly stepped up its nuclear and missile programs in 2017, launching a newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) called a Hwasong-15 last month. North Korea claims the missile is capable of delivering nuclear warheads anywhere in the continental United States. The test was Pyongyang’s third ICMB test this year and its 20th ballistic missile launch of this year. VOA
US Defense Department sued over gun background check
New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia sue US Defense Department after the US Air Force disclosed that it had failed to report the criminal record of a man who shot and killed 26 people at a Texas church in November.
The Air Force is investigating why the 2012 domestic violence conviction of the Texas church shooter, Devin Kelley, 26, was not properly entered the FBI’s database that could have stopped him from legally buying the rifle he used in the attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A report released by the Defense Department’s inspector general this month found the US military overall had failed to submit fingerprint data for 24 percent of the convicted offenders reviewed. A new Quinnipiac University public opinion poll shows 95 percent of US citizen favor uniform background checks for gun purchases. VOA
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