The New York Times—D. Zucchino & R. Nordland / Iraq claims victory in ISIS’ last urban stronghold
- Iraqi forces have driven Islamic State fighters from the northern city of Hawija, the militants’ final urban stronghold in Iraq.
- In Iraq, ISIS is now left in control of only a string of desert outposts in the Euphrates River valley and the city of Qaim, on the border with Syria.
- Militants fleeing Hawija have moved north toward the Kurdish-held district of Dibis, where many are surrendering to Kurdish pesh merga forces.
- According to United Nations estimates, up to 78,000 civilians remain in Hawija. There have been reports that some have been killed by militants and others blocked from escaping the city.
Politico—T. Meeus / Mark Rutte’s last dance
- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is due to officially announce early next week that he will lead a government made up of four parties with vastly different political beliefs.
- Rutte has managed to force two extremely different parties to join his administration: the liberal democratic D66, culturally the most progressive political force in the country; and the Christian Union (CU), a party made up of evangelical Christians.
- The new four-party government — also joined by the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), besides the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy of PM Rutte — rests on a one-seat majority in both houses of parliament.
- Rutte recently said he wouldn’t rule out running for a fourth term as prime minister. But leading members of his party expect this term to be his last. And given the frail nature of this government, things could go south for him before it ends.
Project Syndicate—J. Stiglitz / Déjà voodoo
- Trump and the Republicans are offering a tax plan that provides the overwhelming share of benefits not to the middle class – a large proportion of which may actually pay more taxes – but to America’s millionaires and billionaires.
- It would be far better to reduce taxes for those companies that invest in America and create jobs, and increase taxes for those that don’t.
- Neither theory nor evidence suggests that the Republicans’ proposed corporate tax giveaway will increase investment or employment.
- The Republicans also dream of a territorial tax system, whereby American corporations are taxed only on the income they generate in the US. But this would only reduce revenue and further encourage American companies to shift production to low-tax jurisdictions.
- While Trump the candidate criticized the growth of US national debt, he now proposes tax cuts that would add trillions to the debt in just the next ten years
Financial Times—E. Platt & N. Bullock / Catalan crisis sparks biggest exit from Spanish stocks since 2014
- Investors pulled more money out of Spanish equity funds in the past week than in any since November 2014.
- “Investors who have a knee-jerk reaction pulled money out of [the] Spanish market due to uncertainty regarding the referendum,” said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Northern Trust.
- But he added that the move may “prove to be a bad decision as the worst-case scenarios are unlikely to unfold.” He pointed to the 2.5 per cent rally on the Ibex 35 on Thursday as evidence investors had started to come to the view that a break was unlikely.
- Strategists often caution against reading too deeply into specific country flows, as some investors in Spanish equities will choose to invest in a broader European stock fund.
- Big bank to move headquarters out of Catalonia
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.