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Financial Times

US risks future of low growth, says IMF: The US faces economic “headwinds” and “pernicious” trends including a shrinking middle class that could slow growth in the long term, the International Monetary Fund has warned. In a statement marking the end of their annual mission to assess the US economy, IMF economists said the country was in “good shape”, citing 2.4m jobs created in the past year and declaring that slowing growth in recent quarters had been a temporary setback. It predicted US GDP would grow 2.2 per cent this year, down from 2.4 per cent in 2015. But the IMF offered a much more sobering view of the economy the next president will inherit, warning that recent weak employment and other data may reflect the economy’s lower potential growth rate and daunting longer-term trends. It also warned that the US dollar was now 10-20 per cent overvalued and that a decision on Thursday by voters in the UK to leave the EU could lead to a further appreciation as investors poured into the currency as a haven.

New York Times

Bedlam Erupts in House Floor Standoff Over Gun Control: A Democratic sit-in on the House floor demanding votes on gun-control legislation led to a remarkable scene of pandemonium and a late-night confrontation on Wednesday when Speaker Paul D. Ryan was shouted down after briefly regaining control. Democrats pressed against the speaker’s dais, waving signs with the names of gun victims and chanting “No bill! No break!” as Mr. Ryan repeatedly banged his gavel in an attempt to restore order. When Mr. Ryan gave up and left the speaker’s chair, Democrats shouted: “Shame! Shame! Shame!” The standoff continued through early Thursday morning, as Mr. Ryan contemplated adjourning the House until July 5, which would shut down the Democrats’ protest or leave them alone in a darkened, empty chamber. Republicans were planning to push one last vote, on the annual military-construction and Veterans Affairs bill — considered politically vital because it contains $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The Guardian

David Cameron makes final plea for Britain to vote to remain in the EU: David Cameron criss-crossed the country on Wednesday in a final effort to warn Britain’s voters against rejecting the EU in the historic poll, that will also be read as a referendum on his premiership. Cameron was joined last night by the former prime ministers Gordon Brown and Sir John Major, the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, and the Green MP Caroline Lucas, in a final display of cross-party unity as the polls pointed to a close finish. Appearing in his shirt sleeves, and with his voice breaking at times, the prime minister issued an impassioned personal plea to the public to reject the “untruths” of the leave campaign. He pleaded for voters to “put jobs first, put the economy first”.

The Economist

A new crop of hands-on universities is transforming how students learn: When Christine Ortiz imagines her ideal university she sees “no lectures, no classrooms, no majors, no departments”. Students will work on tough practical problems in huge open spaces. If they need to swot up they will consult the internet, not a lecturer. Her vision is far removed from the traditional model of higher education. But it will soon become a reality: in July, after six years as dean of graduate education at MIT, the materials scientist will leave to found a new university. It should open in the next five years. It will exemplify a trend that is reshaping how some students learn. Geoff Mulgan of Nesta, a British think-tank, calls it the “rise of the challenge-driven university”. In the past 15 years dozens such institutions have been set up, from Chile to China. Many more are planned. Though they differ in scope, they share an approach. They reject the usual ways of getting young adults to learn: lectures, textbooks, slogs in the library, exams—and professors. Instead students work on projects in teams, trying to solve problems without clear answers.

 

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