Newsworthy – June 14th, 2019

Two companies control 92% of the dialysis clinic market, the American South has recorded the country’s slowest economic growth since 2009, natural gas is only good enough for now, and Sudanese civilian protesters have been the target of large-scale killings and rape.

These are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Health and Society

  • New York, which has been hit hard by a measles outbreak, became the fifth state to eliminate religious exemptions from school-vaccination rules.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Dialysis clinics bring in about $25 billion per year in revenue. And two companies — Fresenius and DaVita — control 92% of that market.

    The manufacture of dialysis supplies is also concentrated in two companies — one of which is Fresenius. It controls 33% of that market. Critics say these monopolies drive up prices for everyone.

    From Axios
  • Opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics filed for bankruptcy protection, touching off a battle for cash between federal authorities who blamed the company for fueling addiction and lawyers defending its former executives.

    From The Wall Street Journal

Business and Economics

  • Coffee is trading below $1 a pound, less than half the value it fetched five years ago, because of a flood of beans from leading producer Brazil and its weakening real currency. Coffee’s downturn is adding to the historic flow of migrants, struggling on farms in Central America, to the U.S.

    From Axios
  • A group of state attorneys general filed a lawsuit to block the proposed merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint. New York Attorney General Letitia James said the proposed merger would result in lost jobs, price increases and less improvement in services.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • The South spent much of the past century trying to overcome its position as the country’s poorest and least-developed region, with considerable success. But that trend has now reversed.

    Since 2009, the region has recorded the country’s slowest growth in output and wages, the lowest labor-force participation rate and the highest unemployment rate.

    From The Wall Street Journal


  • Natural gas, which is becoming the world’s dominant energy source, emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal. So it’s emerging as a good-enough-for-now solution to climate change. But since it’s a fossil fuel, it still produces heat-trapping emissions.

    From Axios

Politics and Government

  • Two tankers were damaged in attacks off the coast of Iran early Thursday, sending oil prices sharply higher amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran following assaults on vessels last month.

    Damage to one of the ships was extensive, including a fire and a hole at the water line that was consistent with a hit by a torpedo or other projectile, according to early assessments.

    The U.S. said the assaults were the latest in a series of hostile actions meant to disrupt the flow of oil, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed the U.S. would defend itself and its partners

    From The Wall Street Journal


  • Sudanese civilian protesters have been attacked by the country’s military, with reports of more than 100 killings and 70 rapes during a single attack in the country’s capital, Khartoum, last week, and dozens of “bloated bodies” reportedly being dragged from the river Nile.

    From Refinery29
  • Organizers estimated that more than a million people took to the streets earlier this week to protest a proposed law that would let Beijing take people across the border to stand trial in the mainland. Police estimated 240,000 protesters took part at the peak of the march.

    Critics say the proposed law could be abused to target political dissidents and would expose people to mainland China’s more opaque legal system.

    From The Wall Street Journal

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