Newsworthy – Jul 26th, 2019

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to focus more on climate change, the Trump administration will tighten food stamp eligibility, Guatemala has become the largest source of illegal immigration into the U.S., and record high temperatures in Europe have exacerbated a drought.

These are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Business and Economics

  • Coca-Cola plans to sell an alcoholic, lemon-flavored fizzy drink nationwide in Japan, following what it calls a successful test of the 133-year-old company’s first cocktail.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Ford, Honda, BMW and VW said they have voluntarily agreed to meet California emissions standards and reached a deal with the state on fuel economy, both stricter than what the Trump administration has proposed. The four said their intent is to show support for nationwide standards.

    The Wall Street Journal
  • For the first time, China accounts for more companies on the Fortune Global 500, which measures the world’s largest corporations by revenue, than the U.S.

    On the list out this morning, China has 129 companies (including 10 in Taiwan), and the U.S. has 121.

    From Axios
  • The Justice Department is poised to approve the more than $26 billion merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint under a plan that includes selling certain assets to Dish Network. That part of the deal is meant to maintain competition by creating a fourth wireless player to join Verizon, AT&T and the new, larger T-Mobile, though Dish would be dwarfed by the others.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco will host what is believed to be the central bank’s first research conference specifically on climate change

    Climate change poses systemic risks to the soundness of the U.S. banking system, and the Fed is signaling its appetite to learn more.

    From Axios

Government and Politics

  • In one of its last acts before August recess, the House passed a sweeping budget compromise hammered out between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

    The bill, which is expected to be passed by the Senate next week, raises spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over existing caps and allows the government to keep borrowing to cover its debts through July 2021.

    From The New York Times
  • The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed a rule to tighten food stamp eligibility that would cut about 3.1 million people from the program.

    The USDA wants to require people who receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) to pass a review of income and assets to determine whether they are eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

    Currently, 43 states allow residents to automatically become eligible for food stamps through the SNAP if they receive benefits from TANF.

    If enacted, the rule would save the federal government about $2.5 billion a year by removing people from SNAP, according to USDA.

    From Reuters
  • Immigrants may have a negative impact on the work prospects of some U.S.-born workers, as Harvard economics and social policy professor George Borjas wrote for Politico. But they also are increasingly a vital part of the U.S. economy.

    From Axios
  • Guatemala is now the largest source of illegal immigrants into the U.S. About 236,000 Guatemalans were apprehended in the U.S. in the first nine months of fiscal 2019, up from about 15,000 in 2007.

    The country is one of the poorest in the Americas, but three particular events have driven the surge:

    First, a 2015 U.S. court ruling made it easier for families with children to apply for asylum and stay in the U.S. until their cases are decided.

    Second, coffee prices are down and a long drought has shrunk corn and bean harvests.

    Finally, President Trump’s border-wall pledge led many to conclude they should head north now—or risk being shut out for good.

    From The Wall Street Journal

Health and Society

  • Singapore, aging faster than any society but South Korea, is fighting loneliness among the elderly by offering them garden plots.

    From Reuters
  • Temperatures hit record highs in Europe Thursday, worsening a yearslong drought that has triggered a rare water emergency and forced governments to enact conservation measures.

    From The Wall Street Journal

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