Fed policymakers cautiously optimistic on U.S. economy despite new risks, minutes show

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve policymakers were cautiously optimistic about their ability to hold interest rates steady this year, minutes of the central bank’s last policy meeting showed, even as they acknowledged new risks caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

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Options markets flash euro warnings after currency plunges past $1.08

(Reuters) – The euro’s tumble below $1.08 for the first time in three years may be only the first milestone in its downward journey, with global newsflow, economic data and option market positioning all seemingly stacked against the single currency.

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Election Update: Bloomberg’s Super Tuesday Gamble May Be Paying Off

It’s been a good 24 hours for Michael Bloomberg. Early this morning, on the brink of the deadline to do so, the former New York City mayor qualified for Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate thanks to a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College poll that gave him 19 percent of the national primary vote. He’s up to 16.3 percent in our national polling average — essentially tying him with former Vice President Joe Biden for the first time. However, he’s still 9 points behind front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders, and — by Bloomberg’s own design — it will be a couple weeks before we know how much actual voter support Bloomberg has.

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Illinois governor looks to income tax change to boost Fiscal Year 2021 revenue

The Democratic governor’s second budget since taking office in January 2019 would put that revenue in reserve pending the outcome of the vote on a constitutional amendment to replace the state’s current flat income tax rate with graduated rates starting Jan. 1.

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Some Of Our Best Work From 2019

For a newsroom like FiveThirtyEight’s, 2019 may as well been part of 2020. Such is the peril of covering electoral politics. But before 2020 actually arrives, we wanted to take a moment and remember some of our favorite features from the past year that the news cycle hasn’t rendered obsolete. There was a lot of good stuff! This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start.

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Congress Is Throwing A Little Money At Gun Violence Research. It Might Go A Long Way.

The Dickey Amendment is dead. Or, maybe it’s more that it has eroded into a shadow of what it once was. First passed into law in 1996, the Amendment is widely credited with ending federal funding of gun violence research in the United States. But while Dickey is technically still on the books, Democrats have chipped away at its power over the last couple years — first with an official clarification that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can study gun violence, and now a bipartisan agreement to provide $25 million of actual funding to back that up.

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Here’s How We Know 2019 Was The Second-Hottest Year Ever

This summer, we asked readers to send us their climate change questions. And they did. We received many, many, many climate change questions. So many, in fact, that we’re doing several different projects around them. You’ve seen our columns on Who’s Winning Climate Change? Today, we’re diving into the mailbag for another edition of Climate Question from an Adult – a series that will explore the business, culture and chemistry behind your most pressing questions about global warming. Have a question? Send it to us!

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Safe-haven yen takes a hit as hopes for China stimulus grow

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese yen traded near a nine-month low versus the dollar on Thursday as risk appetite improved on expectations that China will continue to take steps to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

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