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Mexican economy registers zero growth in Q2

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Mexico registered zero economic growth in the second quarter, according to revised data released Friday, meaning that Latin America’s second-biggest economy dodged a recession even more narrowly than previously thought.

“Gross domestic product (GDP)… registered no change in real terms in the second quarter of 2019,” Mexico’s official statistics institute, INEGI, said in a statement.

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INEGI had initially said in July that GDP expanded by 0.1 percent in the period from April to June.

That puny-but-positive figure at least indicated the economy had returned to growth, after shrinking in the first quarter of the year.

Friday’s revised figure, on the other hand, is a fresh bit of bad news for Mexico and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who took office in December promising to kick-start the economy, among other things.

He has not gotten off to an encouraging start: the economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the first quarter, raising the specter of a recession — two or more consecutive quarters of economic contraction — just months into Lopez Obrador’s term.

Mexico’s officially stagnant economy — second only to Brazil’s in size in Latin America — is just the latest bleak economic news worldwide.

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With the United States and China locked in a trade war, US data flashing warning lights of a recession and Brexit mired in chaos, among other worrying signs, the “R” word is increasingly on people’s lips, raising fear for the global economy.

INEGI said Mexican industrial activity, which represents nearly one-third of the economy, contracted by 0.2 percent, while the primary sector — farming, mining and production of other raw goods — contracted by 3.4 percent.

The services sector and related activities, which represent around 60 percent of the economy, grew by 0.2 percent, INEGI said.

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Mexico’s central bank cut its key interest rate by a quarter-point on August 15, to eight percent, a move aimed at boosting economic growth.

It was the first rate cut since 2014 for the normally hawkish central bank.

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Lopez Obrador has vowed to deliver economic growth of two percent this year, and an average of four percent across his six-year term.


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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Congress still has one big tool left to rein in Trump’s corruption: Oversight Committee Democrat

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Senate Republicans may have managed to quash the impeachment trial without calling forth any new witnesses or seriously considering the evidence against President Donald Trump. And the president may feel vindicated and largely invulnerable as a result.

But, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, that doesn't mean Democrats don't have one last big play to rein in the president's abuses of power. They can use the first and strongest authority delegated to them: the power of the purse.

"What can Democrats really do when it comes to oversight of the president?" asked Cooper. "I mean, now that impeachment is over, does seem like there are fewer and fewer guardrails, if any."

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