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Credit-card delinquencies pile up and household debt rises by $116 billion


Household debt rose 0.9% in the third quarter
The numbers: Household debt rose by $116 billion, or 0.9%, to $12.96 trillion in the third quarter, the New York Fed said Tuesday. That's the highest level in nominal terms, though not when compared to the size of the economy. Credit-card debt rose by 3.1% while home equity lines of credit, or HELOC, balances fell by 0.9%. There were small gains in mortgage, student and auto debt.

Flows into credit-card and auto loans delinquencies rose, with 4.6% of credit card debt 90 days or more delinquent, up from 4.4% in the second quarter, and 2.4% of auto loan debt seriously delinquent, up from 2.3%. That's still nowhere near the 9.6% of student loan debt that is delinquent, which itself is understated because about half of those loans are currently in deferment, grace periods or in forbearance.

What happened: U.S. households aren't aggressively leveraging up, and the ones that are did so had better credit. The higher level of auto loan originations was mainly to prime borrowers, and the median credit score to individuals originating new mortgages ticked up to 760 from 754.

Comment: According to Paul Craig Roberts the job market is in the toilet:
What we are witnessing in the United States is the first country to reverse the development process and to go backward by giving up industry, manufacturing, and tradeable professional skill jobs. The labor force is becoming Third World with lowly paid domestic service jobs taking the place of high-productivity, high-value added jobs.



Attention

Child lead poisoning rates in New York and Detroit are worse than Flint

© Britta Pedersen / Global Look Press
New data shows kids in Detroit and New York City have higher levels of lead in their blood than their counterparts in Flint, Michigan. Flint has seen major improvements in lead levels since their water crisis, but the issue in the US has not gone away.

Data released on Tuesday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows that 8.8 percent of children tested positive for lead city-wide in Detroit in 2016, including a lone zip code where 22 percent of all kids had a positive test result.

In terms of the rate at which children have been poisoned, Michigan's Jackson County came in second with 7.6 percent of children having high blood lead levels in 2016, and Calhoun, and St. Joseph counties, both came in third, with a rate of 6.4 percent, The Detroit News reported.

Only 1.8 percent of children in Genesee County, home to the city of Flint, tested positive.

Director of Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies, Lyke Thompson, said, "The pattern is clear. We need to get these numbers down," the Detroit News reported.

Play

Cuteness diplomacy: China falls in love with Trump's Mandarin-speaking granddaughter

President Trump may not speak Mandarin (and he does say "China" kind of funny), so on his trip to the big red nation, Trump brought along someone who does - Arabella Rose Kushner, his 6-year-old granddaughter.

During Trump's meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday, when the leaders strolled through the ancient Forbidden City, Trump showed Xi a video of his granddaughter. In it, Arabella greets "Grandpa Xi and Grandma Peng" and then sings several Mandarin ballads. She concludes by reciting an ancient Chinese poem - all in Mandarin.

Watch Arabella sing in the clip below.


Red Flag

Sexual harassment on Capitol Hill described as 'pervasive' by female lawmakers


Rep. Barbara Comstock
Efforts to combat sexual harassment on Capitol Hill gained momentum on Tuesday as female lawmakers shared stories of male colleagues engaging in predatory behavior.

Lawmakers in both parties had already expressed support for mandatory sexual harassment awareness training, which is currently voluntary for legislative branch staffers. But they went further in a House Administration Committee hearing on Capitol Hill's harassment policies and said even more can be done in a male-dominated workplace where sexual harassment can be pervasive.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), in testimony before the panel, said at least two current members of Congress have engaged in sexual harassment.

"In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve, who have been subject to review or not have been subject to review, but have engaged in sexual harassment," said Speier, who declined to name the male lawmakers.

Magnify

American billionaire Shervin Pishevar revealed to be man who gagged the UK press after being arrested but not charged for raping woman at London hotel

© Getty Images
Shervin Pishevar
An American billionaire, who gagged the British press after being arrested on suspicion of raping a woman at a top London hotel, can now be revealed as technology entrepreneur, Shervin Pishevar.

The businessman took out an injunction which prevented newspapers from naming him, after he was questioned by City of London Police in May.

He was arrested after a woman claimed she had been attacked in the penthouse suite of the Ned Hotel in the heart of London's financial district.

Last week Mr Pishevar's name was made public in the United States after details of the arrest became the subject of an extraordinary legal dispute.

Sherlock

Florida: Witness provides description of Tampa serial killer suspect after 4th victim found in road

© Joe Skipper / Reuters
Tampa police
Tampa police say a witness was able to provide a description of a suspect who is believed to have shot a man from behind, killing him near a Seminole Heights church early Tuesday morning.

The crime scene is a few blocks away from a memorial that honors three people who were previously shot and killed in Seminole Heights. The serial murderer has not been caught.

At 4:51 a.m. on Tuesday, Tampa police officers responded to North Nebraska Ave and East McBerry Street after receiving a report of shots heard in the area.

Officers arrived at the scene within seconds and found an adult male, later identified as Ronald Felton, 60, deceased in the street. Witnesses told police that Mr. Felton was crossing the street to meet someone when the suspect came up behind him and shot him. Police say Felton was shot at least one time in the back of the head.

The suspect is described as a black male, 6′ to 6′ 2″ tall and has a thin build and a light complexion. He was armed with a large black pistol and was last seen wearing all black clothing.

Comment: More on this story: Possible serial killer on the loose "terrorizing" neighborhood in Tampa, Florida


Airplane

Bird strikes the nose cone of American Airlines flight

© Robyn Beck / AFP
Ground crews found a very unusual "stowaway" aboard an American Airlines flight as it taxied to the tarmac at Miami International Airport.

A bird became lodged in the shell of the Airbus A319 after striking the nose cone while approaching the South Florida airport from Mexico City. The plane landed safely and the animal was spotted as the airliner taxied to its gate at around 11am Wednesday. No-one was injured in the incident.

The bird strike follows a similar incident last month in which a charter plane carrying NBA stars from the Oklahoma City Thunder was hit by an unidentified object on its way to Chicago-Midway.

Heart - Black

Cop fires 16 rounds into two non-aggressive, neighborhood dogs

Video from a witness has been released, giving insight into the aftermath of a police shooting, as neighbors attempted to understand why an officer unloaded 16 rounds into two dogs they described as "non-aggressive," and then waited nearly an hour to offer medical attention forcing his victim to suffer.

According to a report from Redding's Record Searchlight, a police officer was called to a Red Bluff neighborhood on Sunday morning after receiving reports that two large dogs were chasing a girl on a bicycle. The responding officer claimed he opened fire on the dogs because they were "acting viciously and aggressively," and were threatening to attack him.

However, in a video published on Facebook by Jimi Wade, a neighbor of the dogs' owner, he claimed that the opposite had occurred. "He had no business shooting the dogs. They were in my driveway. He was the aggressor. The dogs were not the aggressor," Wade said as he stood feet away from the officer who shot them.

The officer is shown standing near a patrol car with his arms crossed over his chest. While he is close enough to hear the claims Wade is making, and to be aware that he is being recorded, he does not respond.

Heart - Black

Man who repeatedly sexually assaulted stepdaughter thought paternity test would help avoid deportation

© Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office
Horacio Alvarado
As an undocumented immigrant, Horacio Alvarado thought if he could show he was the father of a newborn American citizen, he would be allowed to remain in the United States himself.

But the paternity test ultimately resulted in more severe charges for Alvarado because the mother of the child was only 15 and was his stepdaughter, according to a criminal complaint.

Alvarado, 32, now faces three felonies for what investigators say were several years of sustained sexual assaults, assaults his wife later knew about yet did nothing to prevent, according to the complaint.

Alvarado is charged with first-degree sexual assault, resulting in pregnancy, repeated sexual assault of a child and incest. He pleaded not guilty at a court appearance last week and is being held on $20,000 bail but has a bail hearing next week.

Snakes in Suits

Women on Capitol Hill tell of 'sextTrade,' 'creep list' of lawmakers

© Scott Applewhite/AP
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are so predatory that female staffers are advised not to ride in elevators alone with them, according to accounts compiled by CNN.

Females are also admonished to be careful of male lawmakers who sleep in their offices - another "unwritten" rule that women on Capitol Hill live by, according to the outlet.

The outlet spoke to more than 50 lawmakers, current and former staffers, and other political veterans, who revealed a culture so rife with sexual harassment that there is an informal "creep list" of lawmakers to avoid.

The allegations come after dozens of high-powered Hollywood figures like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., and political journalists have been outed as rapists, predators, and perverts who have subjected men and women to sexual assault for decades.

The story noted: "On Capitol Hill, it's not clear that a similar a day of reckoning is soon coming to one of the country's most important institutions."