Month: July 2017

  • The Next Escalation: Pentagon Offers To Arm Ukraine, McCain Delighted

    When we reported yesterday about Putin's surprisingly harsh response to last week's House legislation to launch new sanctions against Russia, which also binds Trump from unilaterally removing sanctions without getting Congressional approval, we concluded that "now we await the US re-retaliation in what is once again the same tit-for-tat escalation that marked the latter years of the Obama regime, as the US Military Industrial Complex breathes out a sigh of relief that for all the posturing by Trump, things between Russia and the US are back on autopilot."We didn't have long to wait.The WSJ reports that, in what appears to be the next gambit by the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex (or "deep state" for those so inclined) to force Trump to "prove" that he did not, in fact, collude or have any ties with Russia or Vladimir Putin, Pentagon and State Department officials have devised plans to hit Russia where it hurts the most, and supply Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weaponry, and are now seeking White House approval at a time when ties between Moscow and Washington are as bad as during any point under the Obama administration. American military officials and diplomats say the arms, which they characterized as defensive, are meant to deter aggressive actions by Moscow, which the U.S. and others say has provided tanks and other sophisticated armaments as well as military advisers to rebels fighting the Kiev government.Ukrainian national guardsmen are instructed on the proper technique for
    using a grenade launcher by an American soldier, on April 21, 2015The question of course is, "why now?" Since the start of the Crimean conflict, which in turn was the byproduct of a State Department-facilitiated presidential coup in Ukraine, the US has been supporting Russian-speaking insurgents in the country’s east however Washington, wary of escalating the conflict, has largely limited its support for Kiev’s military to so-called non-lethal aid and training.So one attempt at "why now", is because with Trump reeling, and having already caved on the latest Congressional anti-Russia bill, why not push the president to escalate the Russia conflict to a point where not even his predecessor dared to take it. For now, Trump is unaware of the plan: A senior administration official said there has been no decision on the armaments proposal and it wasn’t discussed at a high-level White House meeting on Russia last week. The official said President Donald Trump hasn’t been briefed on the plan and his position isn’t known.Of course, that will change once the president, now with a veteran general by his side as new Chief of Staff reads the WSJ report, and starts debating whether it is worth to further deteriorate Russian relations if it means getting Mueller of his back, by showing just how committed Trump is to "containing Russian aggression."Meanwhile, setting the stage for the escalation, a Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, said the U.S. has not “ruled out the option” of providing “lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine.” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has endorsed the plan, according to U.S. officials quoted by the WSJ.Going back three years, when the Obama administration considered supplying arms to Ukraine - and ultimately refused to do so -  it faced considerable opposition from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other allied leaders and instead provided Kiev with short-range radar, night-vision goggles and other equipment. So, ironically, just as Trump's imminent signing into law of the Congressional sanctions against Russia, which as we explained before, have already infuriated Europe, so any further escalation in Ukraine will likely add to Europe's animosity toward the US.Germany and France remain deeply skeptical about providing arms to Ukraine, fearing that such moves would raise tensions and deepen the conflict there. But U.S. officials said they expect allies, possibly including the U.K., Canada, Poland and Lithuania to be open to increased military support.  “It is really important we don’t inflame the situation,” said British National Security Adviser Mark Sedwell. “There has been quite a lot of agitation from across the border in the east.”Alas it may be too late for that. Enter, the US warhawks, who now feel that after being shut out for nearly a year, it's their turn to shine. As the WSJ notes, U.S. officials say they "worry" that the conflict has intensified, with a rising number of cease-fire violations as progress on peace efforts has faltered. “The level of violence is up a bit of late,” said Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the top U.S. and NATO military commander. “The Russians provide equipment, some of their most modern equipment, and they provide proxy forces with advisers.”Meanwhile, NATO continues to deploy even more troops to countries in the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe, something which Russia has warned it takes as an act of aggression. Over weapons deliveries to Ukraine rebels may be just the spark that finally launches an armed conflict between Russia and NATO. Under the Pentagon and State Department proposal, the U.S. would provide anti-tank weapons, most likely Javelin missiles, as well as possibly anti-aircraft weapons, in addition to other arms. Ukraine has long sought Javelins to counter Russian-made armored vehicles in rebel-held areas.  U.S. officials, however, said the plan would be to deploy the anti-tank missiles with Ukrainian troops stationed away from the front lines of the conflict —part of an effort by policy makers to limit the risks of escalation and defuse criticism that the moves could encourage offensive action by Kiev.  Javelin missiles and launchers are lightweight and usually carried by two-man teams, so they are highly mobile.And the best bit: just like in Syria, the Pentago has said that "should Ukraine use the weapons improperly, Washington could decide to withdraw its support or technical assistance."It was not immediately clear what 'improper use of weapons' would consist of, but probably taking down another Malaysian Airlines airplane over Ukraine would be not be among the actions permitted. Needless to say, the Ukraine is delighted by this latest development:A senior Ukrainian official said Monday that the fact of the Pentagon’s proposal could help persuade Russia to scale back actions in Ukraine’s east. The official also said it was widely accepted in Kiev that any advanced weapons from the U.S. would be used only in an “emergency” and not during regular combat with separatist forces.And another amusing detour: the WSJ writes that "U.S. and European officials are divided on how Moscow would respond to new arms shipments. Some believe it would push Moscow back to the bargaining table and others think it would prompt the Russian military to escalate the situation further." Spoiler alert: it would be the latter, and most likely with devastating consequences. John McCain, for one, is delighted.It's about time. @WSJ: "Pentagon Offers Plan to Arm #Ukraine" https://t.co/JoOyRv5U63— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 31, 2017 The post The Next Escalation: Pentagon Offers To Arm Ukraine, McCain Delighted appeared first on crude-oil.news.The post The Next Escalation: Pentagon Offers To Arm Ukraine, McCain Delighted appeared first on Forex news forex trade.
    http://forex.wine/the-next-escalation-pentagon-offers-to-arm-ukraine-mccain-delighted/

  • 5 Huge Benefits of Self-Driving Cars

    Via The Daily BellNew technology can be scary. It certainly presents risks and challenges. But I have to admit, one technology I am very excited about is autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars.We’ve talked about the potential for the Internet of Thing to leave us with nowhere to hide, and self-driving cars are part of that. We have also mused about the possibility of the government ruining self-driving cars.But let’s take a moment to balance those positions with the benefits of autonomous vehicles.First, it frees up so much valuable time for humans. Time is the most precious resource and morbidly limited. As many as 90% of working Americans drive a car to work. The average commute is about 25 minutes. This means an average American worker would get over 4 hours of their life back each week!Granted, they would still be in a car, but most people have pressing tasks that can be accomplished on a smartphone or laptop. Over the course of a lifetime, this amounts to getting a full year of your life back, that would otherwise be spent flipping off other commuters, and beeping the horn in frustration. Nevermind that most people will use that year to scroll Facebook.Second, way fewer people will die in car accidents. I know it is scary to let go of control, but automation of traffic patterns will lead to far fewer roadway fatalities. Currently, about 1.3 million people worldwide day each year in traffic accidents. Many more are seriously injured.The possibility that cars will be hacked is scary. But seeing as this is a pressing concern for consumers, it would be very bad publicity for whatever company has their car taken over by hackers. So far no hacker has been able to do so in industry tests which reward hackers for finding vulnerabilities in their systems.Also, most cars can already be hacked. It is much easier to make a murder look like an accident when humans are behind the wheel.Third, economic resources that were once spent on cars and insurance will be freed up! Most people will not have to buy a car, they will simply use rideshare programs. The ones who do buy cars will likely have a much lower cost to insure the vehicle.Fourth, we no longer have to worry about drunks, elderly, teen drivers, or distracted drivers. Think of all the social problems this immediately removes! No more debates about taking driver’s licenses away at a certain age. No more tweaking regulations and legislation in a fruitless attempt to curb teen accidents.Go ahead and text in your car, talk on the phone, mess around with friends, and even crack open a beer! It doesn’t matter, the technology is in control.In America, over 10,000 deaths per year from drunk driving accidents will be prevented when all cars on the road are self-driving.Fifth, and possibly widely overlooked, is that autonomous vehicles really throw a wrench in most excuses for the police to engage you. Police can currently pull you over when driving for almost anything. If they see a taillight out, if you cross the center line, if you are driving a bit too fast, if you speed up for a yellow light, if you swerve, and so on and so forth.Most people will be able to go from their own private property to the private property of a car. Then they will exit onto a business or individual’s private property, and never give the government a chance to violate their rights.About 1.5 million people are arrested each year in the U.S. for Driving Under the Influence. Think of how much it costs taxpayers to send those people through the court system.Then there are all the people arrested for drugs after the police search their vehicles during a traffic stop. Again, the court system is unburdened. Fewer rights will be violated. Fewer illegal searches will be conducted.Cops will be safer since they won’t constantly be walking up to strangers in vehicles. People will be safer and not have to worry about being shot when a cop can’t see their hands for a split second. This removes entire swaths of dangerous interactions between the police and the public.Autonomous vehicles might prove instrumental in changing the cultural acceptance of being stopped, questioned, and searched by officers for no real reason.Like with any other new technology, there will be difficulties and unforeseen dangers to autonomous vehicles. But these five benefits only scratch the surface.There will be changes in the landscape, social activity, and recreation. There will be new opportunities for shipping, selling, and conducting business.What are you most worried or excited about for the advent of autonomous vehicles?The post 5 Huge Benefits of Self-Driving Cars appeared first on crude-oil.news.The post 5 Huge Benefits of Self-Driving Cars appeared first on aroundworld24.com.
    http://aroundworld24.com/2017/07/31/5-huge-benefits-of-self-driving-cars/

  • Internal Cracks Are Showing In The Market – Nasdaq’s Bad Breadth & Options Skew

    Last week we warned of 'low volume highs' as internal cracks began appearing in the markets. Today, J. Lyons' Fund Management's Dana Lyons points out another 'crack' - The recent string of Nasdaq new highs occurring with negative breadth has only been matched by a stretch in 1999-2000.In the last few months, we have observed a recent cluster of 52-week highs in the Nasdaq Composite occurring along with negative breadth on the exchange, i.e., more declining stocks than advancers.Wednesday marked the 7th such occurrence in the last 3 months. That is the largest string of these days on record, outside of a run of 12 that ended in late January 2000. I probably don’t have to tell you what happened soon after that episode.This chart shows all of the 3-month clusters of at least 5 occurrences going back to the late-1980′s.So is this a red flag regarding the durability of the bull market?Some will point to it as evidence of a thinning out of the rally.We certainly have seen these clusters pop up in the lead up to some tough markets in the past, e.g., 1998, 2000, 2007, 2011.Furthermore, as Nasdaq has soared  - SOMEONE has been buying downside protection...To its most extreme level since November...So these new highs are not seeing an exuberant following. The post Internal Cracks Are Showing In The Market – Nasdaq’s Bad Breadth & Options Skew appeared first on crude-oil.news.The post Internal Cracks Are Showing In The Market – Nasdaq’s Bad Breadth & Options Skew appeared first on aroundworld24.com.
    http://aroundworld24.com/2017/07/31/internal-cracks-are-showing-in-the-market-nasdaqs-bad-breadth-options-skew/

  • 5 Huge Benefits of Self-Driving Cars

    Via The Daily BellNew technology can be scary. It certainly presents risks and challenges. But I have to admit, one technology I am very excited about is autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars.We’ve talked about the potential for the Internet of Thing to leave us with nowhere to hide, and self-driving cars are part of that. We have also mused about the possibility of the government ruining self-driving cars.But let’s take a moment to balance those positions with the benefits of autonomous vehicles.First, it frees up so much valuable time for humans. Time is the most precious resource and morbidly limited. As many as 90% of working Americans drive a car to work. The average commute is about 25 minutes. This means an average American worker would get over 4 hours of their life back each week!Granted, they would still be in a car, but most people have pressing tasks that can be accomplished on a smartphone or laptop. Over the course of a lifetime, this amounts to getting a full year of your life back, that would otherwise be spent flipping off other commuters, and beeping the horn in frustration. Nevermind that most people will use that year to scroll Facebook.Second, way fewer people will die in car accidents. I know it is scary to let go of control, but automation of traffic patterns will lead to far fewer roadway fatalities. Currently, about 1.3 million people worldwide day each year in traffic accidents. Many more are seriously injured.The possibility that cars will be hacked is scary. But seeing as this is a pressing concern for consumers, it would be very bad publicity for whatever company has their car taken over by hackers. So far no hacker has been able to do so in industry tests which reward hackers for finding vulnerabilities in their systems.Also, most cars can already be hacked. It is much easier to make a murder look like an accident when humans are behind the wheel.Third, economic resources that were once spent on cars and insurance will be freed up! Most people will not have to buy a car, they will simply use rideshare programs. The ones who do buy cars will likely have a much lower cost to insure the vehicle.Fourth, we no longer have to worry about drunks, elderly, teen drivers, or distracted drivers. Think of all the social problems this immediately removes! No more debates about taking driver’s licenses away at a certain age. No more tweaking regulations and legislation in a fruitless attempt to curb teen accidents.Go ahead and text in your car, talk on the phone, mess around with friends, and even crack open a beer! It doesn’t matter, the technology is in control.In America, over 10,000 deaths per year from drunk driving accidents will be prevented when all cars on the road are self-driving.Fifth, and possibly widely overlooked, is that autonomous vehicles really throw a wrench in most excuses for the police to engage you. Police can currently pull you over when driving for almost anything. If they see a taillight out, if you cross the center line, if you are driving a bit too fast, if you speed up for a yellow light, if you swerve, and so on and so forth.Most people will be able to go from their own private property to the private property of a car. Then they will exit onto a business or individual’s private property, and never give the government a chance to violate their rights.About 1.5 million people are arrested each year in the U.S. for Driving Under the Influence. Think of how much it costs taxpayers to send those people through the court system.Then there are all the people arrested for drugs after the police search their vehicles during a traffic stop. Again, the court system is unburdened. Fewer rights will be violated. Fewer illegal searches will be conducted.Cops will be safer since they won’t constantly be walking up to strangers in vehicles. People will be safer and not have to worry about being shot when a cop can’t see their hands for a split second. This removes entire swaths of dangerous interactions between the police and the public.Autonomous vehicles might prove instrumental in changing the cultural acceptance of being stopped, questioned, and searched by officers for no real reason.Like with any other new technology, there will be difficulties and unforeseen dangers to autonomous vehicles. But these five benefits only scratch the surface.There will be changes in the landscape, social activity, and recreation. There will be new opportunities for shipping, selling, and conducting business.What are you most worried or excited about for the advent of autonomous vehicles?The post 5 Huge Benefits of Self-Driving Cars appeared first on crude-oil.news.The post 5 Huge Benefits of Self-Driving Cars appeared first on Forex news forex trade.
    http://forex.wine/5-huge-benefits-of-self-driving-cars/

  • Quebec halts Anticosti Island exploration

    The Quebec government has suspended oil and gas exploration on Anticosti Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.The post Quebec halts Anticosti Island exploration appeared first on bestforexmoney.info.The post Quebec halts Anticosti Island exploration appe...

  • Gold Shrugs Off Strong Housing Report

    Gold is showing limited movement at the start of the week. In North American trade, spot gold is trading at $1268.50, down 0.08% on the day. On the release front, Pending Home Sales posted a gain of 1.6% in June, beating the forecast of 0.9%. On Tuesday, the US publishes Personal Spending and the ISM Manufacturing […]The post Gold Shrugs Off Strong Housing Report appeared first on Forex news - Binary options.
    http://betiforex.com/gold-shrugs-off-strong-housing-report/

  • South Korea Is Preparing A “Surgical Strike” Against The North: Report

    According to a report in South Korea's Munhwa Ilbo newspaper, which cites an unidentified government official, South Korea's military is preparing a "surgical strike" scenario that could wipe out North Korean command and missile and nuclear facilities ...The post South Korea Is Preparing A “Surgical Strike” Against The North: Report appeared first on crude-oil.news.The post South Korea Is Preparing A “Surgical Strike” Against The North: Report appeared first on aroundworld24.com.
    http://aroundworld24.com/2017/07/31/south-korea-is-preparing-a-surgical-strike-against-the-north-report/

  • Corporate America Is Suddenly Freaking Out About Amazon

    Last night we showed the dramatic impact Amazon has had on the retail sector, where over $6 billion in retail debt has filed for Chapter 11 protection YTD...... a 110% surge compared to the first half of 2016, and pointed out that there was one recurring name mentioned among 2017's bankrupt retailers listed in the chart below: brands such as Gymboree, Payless, rue 21 and the Limited all cited Amazon affect as a contributor to their downfall.It's not just the direct casualties of Amazon's encroachment on the retail sector that are having nightmares about Jeff Bezos' $500 billion juggernaut, however. As Bloomberg, which picked up on the topic of Amazon references this morning points out, "it's It isn’t the chaos in Washington or rising worker pay" that is keeping corporate America up at night: "It’s what Amazon.com Inc. is, or could be, doing to their business models."With the expanding online behemoth morphing from a retail category killer to a much broader enterprise that now competes with everything from high-end grocers to technology developers, "America has taken notice - and is increasingly concerned about the competition. So much so that Amazon’s overshadowed the Trump administration’s inability to claim a signature legislative achievement after more than six months in office."Bloomberg has quantified this by looking at the last 90 days of earnings calls and other corporate events such as investor days, which reveals a trend: "Amazon comes up a lot. It was mentioned a staggering 635 times over that time frame, while President Trump came up just 162 times and wages were discussed 111... It’s become even more pronounced over the past 30 days, with Amazon garnering 165 mentions compared with 32 for Trump and 22 for wages."As Bloomberg adds, the trend holds over the past 12 months, which encompasses the period when Trump pulled off his surprise election victory. Yet, Amazon was mentioned 1,800 times on earnings calls over that span, compared with 1,000 for Trump and 406 for wages. On the surface this would suggest that while Trump may be taking credit for the market's upside, corporate America is terrified by Amazon (and not Washington politics, and certainly not Trump) as catalyzing the next move lower, if not for the market, then certainly for thousands of mostly-public US corporations.Some more from Bloomberg:  Amazon typically comes up in discussions about efforts to expand into new business lines in a shifting retail landscape. For instance, on the McDonald’s Corp. second-quarter earnings call this month, Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook pointed to Amazon’s purchase of the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. as an example of how rapidly the food industry is being transformed. “It just demonstrates how disruptive the business world is and how quickly it moves,” he said.So quickly, in fact, the the Washington Post itself - a newspaper owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos - issued a front page article asking "Is Amazon Getting Too Big", i.e. a monopoly. The answer, remarkable, is as close to yes as a WaPo editorial would be allowed to go:If Amazon is so small and its growth so benign, she asks, then why does the prospect of Amazon’s entry into a market dramatically drive up its own stock price while driving down those of its rivals? Why, she asks, have so many large and successful bricks-and-mortar retailers been unable to make significant inroads into online retailing while so many small retailers feel they have no choice but to use Amazon’s platform to reach their customers?  Antitrust analysis generally assumes dominant firms often exercise their market power by raising prices, but what if Amazon exercises its market power, Khan asks, by squeezing the profit margins of its suppliers? What if its strategy is to keep prices low in markets it dominates to gain entry into new markets that will generate still more sales and profits?  How, she asks, can antitrust regulators analyze the structure of a market, and Amazon’s bargaining power in it, when so many of Amazon’s competitors are also its customers or suppliers? Why did Sears stock rise 19 percent on the day that it announced its Kenmore line of appliances would be sold through Amazon? Why do Walmart, Google, Oracle and UPS all consider Amazon their biggest threat? And if Amazon is not a monopolist, Khan asks, why are financial markets pricing its stock as if it is going to be?  “Antitrust enforcers should be . . . concerned about the fact that Amazon increasingly controls the infrastructure of online commerce and the ways it is harnessing this dominance to expand and advantage its new business ventures,” Khan wrote in her law review article.All good questions, and ones which we are confident, will be asked by Congress, the FTC and the administration in the not too distant future. The post Corporate America Is Suddenly Freaking Out About Amazon appeared first on crude-oil.news.The post Corporate America Is Suddenly Freaking Out About Amazon appeared first on aroundworld24.com.
    http://aroundworld24.com/2017/07/31/corporate-america-is-suddenly-freaking-out-about-amazon/

  • Gold Shrugs Off Strong Housing Report

    Gold is showing limited movement at the start of the week. In North American trade, spot gold is trading at $1268.50, down 0.08% on the day. On the release front, Pending Home Sales posted a gain of 1.6% in June, beating the forecast of 0.9%. On Tuesday, the US publishes Personal Spending and the ISM Manufacturing […]The post Gold Shrugs Off Strong Housing Report appeared first on Forex news - Binary options.
    http://betiforex.com/gold-shrugs-off-strong-housing-report/