GOD cursed the Jews out of Jerusalem for life, for practising Satanism. Jesus Christ tried to preach the word of God, but the antichrist crucified him for it.

ST. JUSTIN, martyr stated in 116 A. D. The Jews were behind all the persecutions of the Christians. They wandered through the country everywhere hating, killing, thieving, kidnapping children, poisoning wells, and undermining the Christian faith.

ONCE WE UNITE We can stand up against those that keep seeking to divide us, with false news, and staged terrorist attacks. Together we can stop working for them, stop paying taxes, bills, fees, fraudulent debt etc. The end of the fiat currency that is used to enslave us begins. No more slavery, debt poverty terrorism illness evil and control e.t.c.

REAL MUSLIMS are never ever shown on TV News networks.  The Muslims you see on TV are the Jews dressed as Muslims, defaming them, to spread racism and hate among us. Wake up and stop hating false enemies that the Jews invent for us to focus on.

OUR NATURE IS SOVEREIGN (we are born free) and so, obviously, God wants us to be liberated from earthly rulers.

Jews were behind the Crucades, Ku Klux Klan, Spanish Inquisition, killing millions of real Christians, in the name of God, hiding behind the Roman Catholic Church (Vatican) spreading Terror... just like they are now doing to the Islamic religion.

JUDAISM = ZIONISM today, started way back in 740bc when the Amalek Edomite Khazarian Turks (now called JEWS), converted to Judaism for political reasons. A stolen identity and history, now needs a name to become complete, so the term "Jew" was invented in 1770. All history and so called "holy books" were re-written to accomodate the lies, to create the Satanic Jew... which has nothing to do with Israelite Hebrews.

HATE CRIMES. Today, the whole world already knows that U.S.A, England and Israel (Rothschild & Co.) plans attacks and wars, using proxy regimes in every country, (so no one blames the Jews) tying them to the dates of Jewish holidays. It’s been noticed that not only terrorist attacks and military operations are planned on Jewish holidays, but also carrying out those terrorist attacks is planned so that the funerals from the attacks would fall on the feasts of the Jews

THE AGENDA: To destroy Christianity, just as they have destroyed empires, nations, heterosexual identities and nuclear families. The agenda is to strip people of power, control, unity, identity and health, leaving us defenceless in the face of a Jewish One-World Tyranny.

JUDAISM = SATANISM is the only religion that have sex (thrusting their pelvis) when they pray to Sex Goddess Shekinah. Jews today continue to murder Christian and non-Jewish children to use their blood in Jewish rituals and holidays

The invention of the Muslim Terrorist is the latest invention by the Jews, to spread fear and dismantle governments that are not yet puppets of the Jews...or have decided to stop serving the Jews.. justifying raping the World, and slaughtering billions of innocent genuine semite and gentile families in every country for power and control annually... under the illusion of Freedom, Democracy, War on Terror, or anything else that can justify their invasions and mass murders for their 2 horned God.

Jewish Rabbi claims Islam is Israel's broom
"We control Islam, and we'll use it to destroy the west."


The Elite Jews create the illness, then sell the Cure. They create Chaos & Terrorism, then sell the solution.

Problem, Reaction, Solution, is a Jew conjuring trick within their forever wandering diaspora in order to play the victim, and influence global changes in laws to protect all their historic and contemporary lies ……Who still falls for this old Yiddish trick manipulating policy changes to hide and protect Jewish crimes, acting out Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution against the gentile, changes which gives (((them))) immunity when hiding the truth.

Jews killing Christian Arabs again for their 2 horned God

Everyone was talking about Jesus! But when it came time to speak up for him in public, no one said a word. All were afraid of the Jews. Fear can stifle our witness. Although many people talk about Christ in church, when it comes to making a public statement about their faith, they are often embarrassed. Jesus says that he will acknowledge us before God if we acknowledge Him before others.

All 'Jews' today are the Khazars (converts) and Edomites, some call them the Khazarian Mafia (KM) hellbent on a World Government, as was the ruling Jewish class in the times of Jesus. Herod was an Edomite, after Esau ( Malachi 1: 3 ; Romans 9:13 ), not Jacob Israel. These Jew Fraudsters believe themelves to be Israelites (Hebrews) or from the royal tribe of Judah, claim the Bible Consignor gives themselves mandate to rule the whole world ( Psalm 2: 6-9 , Psalm 2: 10-11 , Deuteronomy 20: 10-14 , Deuteronomy 20 : 12-17 , Isaiah 60: 5 , 60: 10-11 , 60:12 , 60: 14-16 ,Psalm 2: 8 ; ), and a Judahite or descendent of the Tribe of Judah, most of the apostles were Israelites, only one of them was Jewish; Judas. The first time Jews are Mentioned in the Bible, is in II Kings 16: 6105: 44 ; 111: 6 ). Jesus was a Galilean or resident of Galilee ( Matthew 26:69 ; John 7:41 (and then only in translations revised in the eighteenth century) where we find Israel was at war with the Jews and drave the Jews from elathane. The 'Jews' in 'Jesus' time were Edomites/Turkic Mongols/Khazars/Amalak/Gog/Magog. Edom or Edomite had BEEN translated by Greek and Latin into Ioudaios and Iudaeus meaning a Judean or person living in Judea. The original King James version of the Bible, 1611, translated IDUMAEANS-Judean into Iewes. The first "Jews" were Canaanite-Edomite-Hittite.Source

Abandoned mommy dog is found chained up to fence while nursing her six newborn puppies

As we often hear stories of animals that are abandoned by their owners, we are convinced even more that some humans are the worst. Luckily, there are also those who’d do anything to help the poor souls find their place in this world again.

Recently, a case of animal neglect that happened in County Roscommon, Ireland broke the hearts of everyone who stumbled upon the story.

A helpless mommy dog was tied to a fence and her six newborn puppies were by her side, still nursing. The mommy was struggling for her life, and on top of that she had to make sure her little ones are fed.

Thankfully, a passerby who noticed the heartbreaking sight was quick to alert the ISPCA who stepped in and took the family to a safe place.

Later, they shared the story on their Facebook page along with some photos and people were outraged at the culprit who abandoned the dogs in such manner.

“This has to be the saddest picture I have ever seen,” one person wrote. “[And] that is saying a lot with so much cruelty around us.”

“Look at the fear and vulnerability in the poor dogs eyes,” another added “Darling animal. Am crying seeing this.”

ISPCA kept everyone interested in the fate of the doggy family updated and came with some great news. Except for being hungry, mommy Emmy Lou and her bundles of joy, Billy Ray, Dixie, Dolly, Dotty, June and Patsy were all perfectly healthy.

“To the kind-hearted animal lover who discovered them and alerted the Gardai and the ISPCA, we are so grateful,” they wrote. “We can’t help them without you so please continue to report cruelty, neglect or abuse.”

“Leaving a young dog only two years old tied up without water, food or shelter most definitely put her along with her young puppies’ lives at risk,”
ISPCA Center Manager Hugh O’Tool said. “I don’t understand how anyone can think it is okay to leave a dog tied to a gate to nurse her puppies.” 

“With the recent level of rainfall and cold weather this week, the outcome could have been very different and I’m happy we were alerted so we could help them.”

Source Article from https://weloveanimals.me/abandoned-mommy-dog-is-found-chained-up-to-fence-while-nursing-her-six-newborn-puppies/

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Pentagon Alarmed by Growing Russian ‘Sympathy’ Among US Troops

(ZH) — An alarmist headline out of US state-funded media arm Voice of America: “Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops”.

The story begins as follows:

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members.

Remember when Russia bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we.

Perhaps American soldiers are simply sick and tired of the US military and intelligence machine’s legacy of ashes across the globe and recognize the inconvenient fact that Russia most often has been on the complete opposite side of Washington’s disastrous regime change wars.

Nothing to see here…

The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally.

Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year.

…While a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concernedVOA

Perhaps US military households are also smart enough to know the Cold War is long over, and only bad things can come from a direct confrontation with Russia, not to mention that involvement in proxy war in Ukraine has nothing to do with America’s national defense or to “protect and defend the Constitution”.

To be expected, the VOA’s presentation of the new poll which finds more service members are ‘sympathetic’ to Russia is heavy on the supposed ‘Trump-Russia nexus’ narrative and emphasizes an uptick in Kremlin propaganda, while failing to acknowledge a failed legacy of ‘endless wars’ and destabilizing US influence across the globe.

The poll itself claimed the changing numbers were “predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump about Russia.”

“There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion,” DoD spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason was cited in the VOA report as saying. Ah yes, a few Kremlin-sponsored Facebook posts and Trump’s expressed desire for better relations with Putin, and suddenly the military too is ‘pro-Putin’! apparently.

Perhaps the “doubt and confusion” comes via trillion dollar endless wars of regime change and pointless occupations which cost American lives? In other words, this is not a ‘Russia problem’ at all, but lies too close to home for Washington pundits and pollsters to admit.

* * *

Finally, we should ask, would US military members see in today’s foreign policy adventurism anything remotely resembling John Quincy Adams’ famous 1821 admonition?

But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit…”

By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge.com | Republished with permission

The views in this article may not reflect editorial policy of The Mind Unleashed.

Source Article from https://themindunleashed.com/2019/12/pentagon-alarmed-russia-gaining-sympathy-among-us-troops.html

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Epstein Partied With Harvey Weinstein at Princess’s 18th Birthday, Photos Reveal

(TMU) — The Sun recently published photos taken in 2006 of notorious sexual predators Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein at Princess Beatrice’s Windsor Castle party. Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s accomplice who is currently on the run, was also appears in a photo with the pair.

The group were reportedly guests of Prince Andrew at the exclusive event that boasted only about 400 total guests in attendance.

A source told the Sun:

This photograph sums up just why the Epstein affair has been so disastrous for Andrew. He brought these people into the royal fold, to Windsor Castle no less, where they could rub shoulders with the great and good. It is an astounding lack of judgment at the very least. This picture will raise further questions about Andrew’s interaction with these individuals.”

This was well before Weinstein was exposed to the public as the predator that he is known as today, but for most of his career, rumors of his abuse swirled within the industry. The same goes for Epstein, who was even under federal investigation for crimes against children at the time of the event. In fact, he was in court just a week later facing charges for crimes against children.

In his disastrous interview for BBC’s Newsnight last month, Prince Andrew was asked about Epstein’s appearance at the party, and he claimed to be unaware of the charges against his friend.

However, one of the attorneys representing Epstein’s victims, Jack Scarola, said that Epstein was well aware of the investigation at the time of the party.

“There was a fairly extensive investigation underway by then. It is absolutely certain that at the time of the Windsor Castle gathering, Jeffrey Epstein was aware an investigation was going on—a search warrant had been executed on his home. I will leave it to others to judge whether it goes to the heart of concerns about the conduct of Prince Andrew,” Scarola said.

Unfortunately, the 2006 trial related to the initial charges against Epstein resulted in a shady backroom deal in which he served just 13 months in prison with regular work-release privileges.

The connection between Epstein and Weinstein has been documented for several years, but the significance was not fully understood until their crimes were exposed in recent years. The pair’s relationship goes back as far as 2003 when they were both involved in a failed deal to purchase New York Magazine for $45 million.

By John Vibes | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Source Article from https://themindunleashed.com/2019/12/epstein-harvey-weinstein-princess-party.html

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Newsweek Journalist Quits After Outlet Refuses to Publish Story on OPCW Scandal

(CJ Opinion) — A Newsweek journalist has resigned after the publication reportedly suppressed his story about the ever-growing OPCW scandal, the revelation of immensely significant plot holes in the establishment Syria narrative that you can update yourself on by watching this short seven-minute video or this more detailed video here.

“Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason,” journalist Tareq Haddad reported today via Twitter.

“I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US government was removed, though it was factually correct,” Haddad said. “I plan on publishing these details in full shortly. However, after asking my editors for comment, as is journalistic practice, I received an email reminding me of confidentiality clauses in my contract. I.e. I was threatened with legal action.”

Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer.

“I could have kept silent and kept my job, but I would not have been able to continue with a clean conscience,” Haddad said. “I will have some instability now but the truth is more important.”

This is the first direct insider report we’re getting on the mass media’s conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal that I wrote about just the other day. In how many other newsrooms is this exact same sort of suppression happening, including threats of legal action, to journalists who don’t have the courage or ability to leave and speak out? There is no logical reason to assume that Haddad is the only one encountering such roadblocks from mass media editors; he’s just the only one going public about it.

Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets, and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard. The outlet will occasionally print oppositional-looking articles like this one by Ian Wilkie questioning the establishment Syria narrative, but not without immediately turning around and publishing an attack on Wilkie’s piece by Eliot Higgins, a former Atlantic Council Senior Fellow who is the cofounder of the NED-funded imperial narrative management firm Bellingcat. Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication.

The ubiquitous propagandistic tactic of fake news by omission distorts the public’s worldview just as much as it would if mass media outlets were publishing bogus stories whole cloth every day, only if they were doing that it would be much easier to pin them down on their lies, hold them accountable, and discredit them.

recent FAIR article by Alan MacLeod documents how the Hong Kong demonstrations are pushed front and center in mainstream consciousness despite the fact that to this day not one protester has been killed by security forces, while far more deadly violence is being directed at huge protests in empire-aligned nations like Haiti, Chile and Ecuador which have been almost completely ignored by these same outlets. This deliberate omission causes a distorted worldview in casual and mainstream news media consumers in which protests are only happening in nations that are outside the US-centralized power alliance. We see the same kind of deliberate distortion-by-omission with the way mass media continually pushes the narrative that Donald Trump is “soft on Russia”, while remaining completely silent on the overwhelming mountain of evidence to the contrary.

The time is now for everyone with a platform to start banging the drum about the OPCW scandal, because we’re seeing more and more signs that the deluge of leaks hemorrhaging from that organisation is only going to increase. Mainstream propagandists aren’t going to cover it, so if larger alternative media outlets want to avoid being lumped in with them and discredited in the same sweep it would be wise to start talking about this thing today.

It’s only going to get more and more awkward for everyone who chose to remain silent, and more and more validating for those who spoke out.

By Caitlin Johnstone | CaitlinJohnstone.com | Republished with permission

The views in this article may not reflect editorial policy of The Mind Unleashed.

Source Article from https://themindunleashed.com/2019/12/newsweek-journalist-quits-opcw-scandal.html

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The march of time (and time and time again): 7 things to know for December 9

1. Call it, doc: Israeli media is awash, as of this writing, in reports that Likud and Blue and White have finally agreed… on a date for new elections: March 2.

  • The reports seemingly marks the slightly untimely but all-too-expected death of coalition talks and of the 21st Knesset, which has spent the last several weeks on life support.
  • According to Channel 12, moving it more than a week away from March 10 will require a super rare four-reading vote in the Knesset.
  • The Kan broadcaster reports that lawmakers will get to work right away Monday on drafting and pushing through the legislation to set the election date at the earlier date.
  • But Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein later sends out a statement saying that nobody is working on any legislation until Wednesday, holding out hope for a miracle.

2. Grave concerns: Most elections in Israel are on a Tuesday, but it seems March is just too chock full of important dates on Tuesdays.

  • March 10 was automatically out the window because it is the Jewish holiday of Purim, marked by feasting, drunkenness, masquerades and all sorts of other shenanigans, which one would think is actually the most fitting for the bizzaro display of democracy that is a third election in a row.
  • Ynet reports that moving it to the Tuesday of the week after March 10 is no good for United Torah Judaism, because March 17 coincides with the anniversary of the 1786 death of Elimelech of Lizhensk, who is apparently controlling Israeli elections from the beyond. “Some of the party’s voters will be off marking the date at his tomb in Poland,” the site notes.
  • What about moving it up to March 3? Channel 13 news reports that the Yad Lebanim organization for families of soldiers killed during their service asked not to hold the vote then, since it is the official date determined by the state to mark the death of soldiers whose burial place is not known.
  • “It’s not right that people should go out shopping and voting while bereaved families are uniting in memory of those killed. The sky will not fall if the election is moved to another day,” Yad Lebanim head Eli Ben Shem tells Channel 13.
  • March 2 isn’t exactly clear either. According to a website called Daysoftheyear.com March 2 is Fun Facts About Names Day, Banana Cream Pie Day, Old Stuff Day and Dr. Suess Day.
  • March 16 could be an option, but according to reports, Blue and White wants it earlier rather than later. Plus it’s No Selfies Day.

3. The nail is not in the coffin yet, though: The March 2 date is just in case no coalition deal can be reached by Wednesday night and parties say they are still holding out hope.

  • “We cannot let down our guard since we can get a call at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday that there is a unity government,” Ynet quotes Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon saying.
  • Kan reports that Likud is still working on getting Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Liberman to come over to their side. According to the station, New Right’s Ayelet Shaked is speaking to Liberman about what kind of flexibility the sides can show.

4. Don’t fear the reaper: Others, though, are ready to pull the plug and move on.

  • In Israel Hayom, columnist Eitan Orkabi says people shouldn’t be afraid of new elections, and seems to look forward to more deadlock, which has allowed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue to push his agenda even without having the confidence of the electorate.
  • “Look what’s happened thanks to the stalemate: Slowly we’ve seen a build-up of unprecedented opportunities, and the real issues emerge: Jordan Valley Annexation, renewing the state-religion relationship and more than anything, separating powers and a sharp reform of the justice system,” he writes, listing three pet projects of the right-wing and Liberman (depending on what he means by renewing the state-religion relationship)
  • Haaretz’s lead editorial accuses Netanyahu of “bombarding Israelis with ridiculous proposals, accusations in every direction and fables about security emergencies and one-time diplomatic opportunities,” rather than doing everyone a favor and resigning.
  • Right-wing columnist Shlomo Pyoterofsky is also excited: “2019 brought us a record of two elections in a single year. The question is whether 2020 will break the record with three Knesset elections in one year? (In theory, it may be hard but it is possible),” he tweets.

5. Sa’ardonic reception: Gideon Sa’ar, who is challenging Netanyahu for the leadership of the Likud, tells Army Radio that there was something not kosher about the group of hecklers who booed and jeered him at a Likud summit Sunday night.

  • “My aides were left outside, because they were told that only central committee members could enter — but that didn’t happen. There needs to be a probe to see who let in this organized group that disturbed the summit,” he says.
  • In Zman Yisrael, Shlomo Yerushalm notes that Netanyahu was also heckled by supporters of Sa’ar, calling the display a taste of what’s to come in an expected leadership battle.
  • “If there are primaries, Netanyahu will almost certainly win. But such a blatant show inside his home, in the heart of the Likud central committee, he has not seen,” he writes. “People yelled with all their might, and Netanyahu had a hard time starting their speech. He waved his hands, asked them to be quiet, but it took several minutes to calm down,” he writes.
  • Sa’ar is not the only potential challenger, with former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat also seen as a likely candidate, though for now Barkat is saving his attacks for Sa’ar. Barkat tells Israel Hayom that Sa’ar “stabbed Netanyahu in the back” and accuses him of coordinating with Liberman and Blue and White.
  • That may not be provable, but a poll published by Kan shows a whopping 17 percent of Blue and White voters prefer Sa’ar as prime minister of Blue and White head Benny Gantz.

6. A song of Donald: One would have no idea that elections are on the horizon or Israel is even an independent country from looking at most of the front page of Israel Hayom on Monday. The paper goes whole hog for US President Donald Trump after he spoke to the Israeli American Council (which happens to be funded by the paper’s owners, the Adelsons).

  • The paper gushes over the “historic speech,” and “unforgettable night,” as “thousands of Israelis and Jews could not stop clapping for the president, who proved that he is a real friend.”
  • “I’m your best friend,” reads the paper’s top headline, above pictures of the Adelsons with Trump,  and of the president hugging a member of the Shalva band, which performed for him.
  • Almost as large is a picture of the paper’s editor Boaz Bismuth, who pens a column about the “miracles” Trump is creating for “us.”
  • “Aside from converting to Judaism, he gave us everything we wanted in one evening, and it’s okay to pinch ourselves and ask, ‘were we like dreamers?” he writes, borrowing some language from a biblical Psalm of Godly salvation and a return to Zion (or south Florida).
  • And that’s all just on the front page.

7. Our mouths were full of money, our tongue a sufficient amount of loyalty: In Haaretz, Chemi Shalev agrees that in the annals of relations between Israel and the United States, there’s probably been nothing like Trump’s speech. But he differs on whether that’s a good thing.

  • “For right-wing Israelis and American Jews who believe Adelson’s adulating depiction of Trump as ‘the greatest president,’ it was a joyous celebration of his unyielding, one-sided support for Israel, which he reiterated from the podium. For everyone else, including the vast majority of U.S. Jews, Trump’s speech must have been excruciating – and his rousing reception by the Israeli-American audience more than slightly nauseating.”
  • Halie Soifer, head of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, tells Salon that Trump “has repeatedly made references to what has been a very negative stereotype of Jews and money and power.”
  • “Clearly he’s speaking from his heart. It’s clear that there’s quite a bit of hatred in it,” she says.
  • But while some Democrats called out Trump for his uses of anti-Semitic tropes in trying to lavish praise on the Jews, the outcry among others was mostly muted, and nonexistent among Republicans, as compared to other instances, writes Dean Obeidallah in CNN.
  • “The words of American Presidents can inspire the good, the bad and the ugly,” he writes. “That’s why in the case of Trump, his inflammatory and irresponsible words about Jews — as well as Muslims and other minorities — must be challenged every time, making clear that we as a society will not allow them to become the new normal.”

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-march-of-time-and-time-and-time-again-7-things-to-know-for-december-9/

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Some two dozen presumed dead on New Zealand island after volcano eruption

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — New Zealand police have said no more survivors were expected to be rescued from an island volcano that erupted suddenly on Monday, suggesting as many as two dozen people could have died.

Police said some 50 people were visiting White Island when it exploded in the early afternoon — hurling ash and rock high into the air.

Some 23 people made it off the island, five of whom have since died. The rest were being treated for injuries, including severe burns.

It was earlier estimated the number still on the island was in double digits.

Police said early Tuesday that despite several aerial reconnaissance flights to try and find those trapped “no signs of life have been seen at any point.”

“Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island. Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died.”

As night fell, deputy commissioner John Tims said volcanic activity made a rescue attempts by land too dangerous.

“I’ve got to consider the safety of our people and emergency services staff,” he said.

The New Zealand military is expected to make a pass of the island at first light in the hope that people may have survived against the odds.

The eruption occurred just after 2 p.m. (0100 GMT), thrusting a thick plume of white ash 3.6 kilometers (12,000 feet) into the sky.

Seconds before, live camera feeds showed a group of more than a half dozen people walking on the crater floor. Then the images went black.

A “considerable number” of those caught up in the disaster are believed to be Australian, according to officials in Canberra.

As many as 30 of those involved are also believed to be cruise passengers on a day trip from the vessel Ovation of the Seas, Kevin O’Sullivan, chief executive officer of industry body the New Zealand Cruise Association told AFP.

The ship’s operator Royal Caribbean — who had billed the trip to White Island as “an unforgettable guided tour of New Zealand’s most active volcano” — said “a number of our guests were touring the island” but did not confirm that number.

The ship has a capacity of around 4,000 people and set sail from Sydney last week on a 12 day voyage.

Tourist Michael Schade, made it off the island just in time and was able to capture footage of the devastation.

His videos showed groups of startled tourists clustered by the shoreline, waiting to be evacuated as the ground around them smoldered, the sky filled with white debris. An ash-caked helicopter lay damaged nearby.

Volcanic Air said they had landed a helicopter on the island shortly before the eruption carrying four visitors and one pilot. All were now accounted for.

“It had landed on the island. What happened after that we don’t know, but we know that all five made it back to Whakatane on one of the tourist boats,” a company spokesman told AFP.

Guillaume Calmelet, the co-director of Skydive Tauranga, saw the eruption from above as he took a customer on a tandem skydive from a plane 12,000 feet above the Bay of Plenty.

“As soon as the parachute opened there was this huge cloud that was really different to whatever we’ve seen before,” he told AFP. “I could see it coming out in freefall, so probably about 30 seconds for the whole cloud to form, if that. It was pretty quick.”

The country’s National Emergency Management Agency described the eruption as “moderate,” although the plume of ash was clearly visible from the mainland and from satellites flying overhead.

White Island — – also known as Whakaari — is about 50 kilometers (30 miles) offshore in the picturesque Bay of Plenty and is popular with adventurous tourists willing to don hard hats and gas masks.

It is New Zealand’s most active volcano cone and about 70 percent of it is underwater, according to government-backed agency GeoNet.

Around 10,000 people visit the volcano every year. It has erupted frequently over the last half-century, most recently in 2016.

In August of that year the New Zealand Defense Force airlifted a 2.4-tonne shipping container onto the island to serve as an emergency shelter in case of an eruption.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/some-two-dozen-presumed-dead-on-new-zealand-island-after-volcano-eruption/

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Cheney warns US disengagement in Mideast benefits Iran, Russia

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Former US vice president Dick Cheney warned Monday that “American disengagement” in the Middle East will benefit only Iran and Russia, indirectly criticizing US President Donald Trump’s pledges to pull forces out of the region.

While stressing that he’s no longer in government, Cheney’s comments in Dubai cut to the core of several policies taken by Trump, including the sudden withdrawal of US forces from Syria.

The former vice president mentioned Trump by name only once in praising him for pulling out the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. But Cheney’s backing of a muscular military response in the Mideast starkly contrasts Trump’s promises to pull America from what he calls the Mideast’s “blood-stained sands.”

“Russia is always on standby to fill power voids. That is how it happened that Russian troops swept in when the US left northern Syria,” Cheney told the Arab Strategy Forum. “To sum up that still-unfolding story: nobody will remember it as our finest hour.”

Cheney said that, as well as other challenges from extremist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, show “inaction can carry even greater risk than action.”

“There are some deeply malign forces at work in the broader Middle East, as well as disturbing influences from outside,” Cheney said. “Disengagement is just another term for leaving all the power to them.”

On Iran, Cheney alleged that “the mullahs in Tehran want most of all to acquire nuclear weapons.” However, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran stopped any organized nuclear weapons research in 2003 and Tehran insists its program is for peaceful purposes, even as it begins breaking limits of the deal.

Cheney called NATO “the most-formidable alliance in history.”

“This post-war system has been so fundamental that it has hardly mattered year to year which political parties were in power,” the vice president added, leaving unmentioned Trump’s criticism of the alliance.

Cheney’s visit marks one of many by former Western officials drawn to the Emirates for speaking fees at any number of panels and events held in this federation of seven sheikhdoms home to the skyscraper-studded city of Dubai.

While praised as “Little Sparta” by former defense secretary Jim Mattis, the UAE also has drawn increased scrutiny in Washington as Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan found himself named in the Mueller report. The Emirates’ involvement in the yearslong Saudi-led war in Yemen also drew criticism, though Abu Dhabi has begun withdrawing troops from the campaign in recent months.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, attended the talk by Cheney, showing the respect still afforded to the 78-year-old former vice president. Cheney made a point himself to describe the UAE as “confident, forward-looking influence in the Middle East.”

As defense secretary under US president George H.W. Bush, Cheney helped form the coalition that forced Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War. He visited the UAE in 1990, becoming at that time the highest-ranking US official to ever visit the country.

The 1991 war gave birth to the wide American military footprint across the region, including in the United Arab Emirates, which hosts some 5,000 US troops at Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra Air Base and elsewhere. Dubai’s Jebel Ali port is the US Navy’s busiest foreign port of call.

Cheney also visited the Emirates as vice president as the US relied on the UAE and other Mideast partners amid the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 war in Iraq that ousted Saddam but sparked sectarian warfare that ultimately birthed the Islamic State group.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/cheney-warns-us-disengagement-in-mideast-benefits-iran-russia/

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Japan PM to host Iran’s president, seeks greater mediator role with West

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday his country is arranging a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani because it wants to play a greater role in resolving a nuclear impasse between Tehran and Washington and in relieving tensions in the Middle East, the source of more than 80% of Japan’s oil.

Japan, a US ally that has traditionally had friendly relations with Iran, seeks to serve as a mediator between the US and Iran, a role that is also expected by the international community, Abe said.

He did not give details of the visit. Local media have reported that it is being arranged for later this month, before or after Rouhani’s planned visit to Malaysia to attend an Islamic leaders’ conference.

Tensions have escalated between Tehran and Washington since US President Donald Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Abe, who has developed friendly ties with Trump, traveled to Iran in June in an unsuccessful effort to encourage Iran and the US to hold talks to reduce tensions. Sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran which block it from selling crude oil abroad have crippled its economy, and Tehran has gradually reduced its commitment to the nuclear deal.

“Japan will do its utmost to relieve tension in the region and stabilize the situation through persistent efforts to hold a dialogue,” Abe said. “From the point of view of energy security, it is only natural for Japan to play a role to contribute to the peace and stability in the Middle East, while securing safe navigation for Japanese vessels.”

Abe’s government is also set to approve a contentious plan to send its military to the Middle East to ensure the safety of Japanese vessels transporting oil from the region.

The Japanese troop dispatch, however, will not be part of a U.S.-led coalition protecting Middle East waterways, officials said.

Sending warships to areas of military tension is a highly sensitive issue in Japan, where the pacifist post World War II constitution strictly limits the use of force. Abe, however, has gradually expanded Japan’s military role in recent years.

In June, a Japanese-operated tanker was attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Washington said Iran was responsible and urged Japan to join the U.S.-led military initiative.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/japan-pm-to-host-irans-president-seeks-greater-mediator-role-with-west/

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Iran says it’s ready for more prisoner swaps with US

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said Monday it was open to more prisoner swaps with the US while stressing an exchange at the weekend was not the result of formal negotiations with its Washington.

US President Donald Trump thanked Iran for what he called a “very fair negotiation” after an American scholar was released Saturday in exchange for an Iranian scientist held in the United States.

The exchange involved Xiyue Wang, a Chinese-born American held in Iran since 2016, and Massoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist detained in the United States since 2018.

But Iran’s government dismissed the idea that it was the result of any negotiations between the two countries, which have not had diplomatic ties since 1980.

“This was only an exchange and… regarding exchanges we are ready to act but there are no negotiations,” spokesman Ali Rabiei said on state television.

“Negotiations or any kind of talks” can only take place “within the framework of the 5+1 and after America has refrained from sanctions and economic terrorism,” he said.

The P5+1 is the group of countries that agreed a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015 — the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

The nuclear deal has been hanging by a thread since last year, when Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord and began reimposing sweeping sanctions on the Islamic republic.

Iran’s government has long demanded that the US first drops the sanctions for it to return to negotiations under the auspices of the P5+1.

Wang, doctoral candidate at Princeton, was conducting research in Iran when he was imprisoned in August 2016. He had been serving 10 years on espionage charges.

Soleimani, a professor and stem cell researcher at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modares University, was arrested at a Chicago airport in October 2018 for allegedly attempting to ship growth hormones.

On Monday, the Iranian spokesman Rabiei said the prisoner swap came despite a US rejection of an offer Tehran made to Washington last year for an exchange of all detainees.

A few months ago, he said, Iran had received a message from “a former US official” saying the Americans were ready to make an exchange.

Rabiei appeared to be referring to former US congressman Jim Slattery who, according to the New Yorker magazine, had approached the Iranians on behalf of the Wang family’s lawyer.

In its report, the New Yorker said Soleimani was expected to be deported after pleading guilty under a deal that Slattery had worked on with Soleimani’s lawyers.

“In a surprise move, however, the Justice Department instead dropped all charges against Soleimani,” before the exchange went ahead, it said, citing an official from the US administration.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-says-its-ready-for-more-prisoner-swaps-with-us/

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Exploited and underpaid, Palestinian women are fighting back in the workplace

On Wednesday, December 3, 15 of the 20 employees of the “Mevashlim Bishvilech” factory in the industrial zone of Mishor Adumim, an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, went on a two-day strike demanding fair wages and social benefits according to Israeli law, after they said the company’s management cut about NIS 1,000 from their wages in October.

The company also refused to pay for holidays or past debts owed to the employees, they said.

The striking employees, most of whom are Palestinian women who were leading a work strike demanding their employee rights for the first time, were unionized by the labor organization Workers Advice Center (WAC-MAAN) trade union in September.

Initially, management opened negotiations and held two meetings with the trade union and the workers’ representatives, but WAC-MAAN maintains that despite apparent understandings which were achieved, the company — which produces homemade stuffed vegetables — nevertheless unilaterally cut payroll.

For employees like Nawal Arar, 37, and Adla Ayad, 49, both from Ramallah, that was the last straw.

“I leave my home at 5:15 in the morning and get back home at 6:45 in the afternoon,” said Arar, who has worked at the factory for 2.5 years, listing the work infractions they are striking to be changed. “I work 10 hours with only half an hour break. I roll vegetables all day and hunching over like that rolling has hurt my back. The company doesn’t pay for my pension fund and it doesn’t pay for my transportation to work. We aren’t given our Muslim holidays off and we aren’t paid for the holidays. We don’t get vacation pay or paid sick days.”

WAC-MAAN representative Yoav Tamir speaks to Palestinian workers on strike during a solidarity meeting in Almog junction, West Bank, December 5, 2019. (Activestills.org)

Arar has six children and is the sole breadwinner in her family and earns about NIS 3,000 ($865) a month, she said.

“We just want to get our rights which are due us by law,” said Ayad, who has seven children and has been working at the factory for 3.5 years. “If we were Israeli workers he would not treat us like that.”

For years, the employees have been paid based on the number of pots they fill with vegetables, and not according to the hours they work.

Mevashlim Bishvelech CEO Sharon Avital told +972 Magazine in a phone interview that the discrepancy in wages between September and October stemmed from the overtime the employees had worked in September due to the extra work orders during the Jewish holiday season. Per the request of WAC-MAAN they agreed to pay the workers for the Jewish holidays and the extra will be paid this month, she said. Normally they have been paying for the Muslim holiday, she said, but in the upcoming negotiations with WAC-MAAN the workers will decide if they want to be paid for either the Jewish or the Muslim holidays, she added.

“We know that in Mishor Adumim there are companies which still pay the minimum wage according to the Jordanian pay scale and that is awful, but we pay over the (Israeli) minimum page,” Avital said in a phone interview, noting that they hadn’t been able to find an insurance company willing to give the employees a pension fund but they had now found a company and would be implementing a fund for the employees. “That is why we were shocked and surprised by what happened. We are a peace factory. We love our employees and we are like family. Now this has created a tense and unpleasant atmosphere.”

She said they would begin negotiations shortly to finalize the employment conditions.

A wave of unionization

According to COGAT (the unit of the Israeli Defense Ministry charged with administering the military occupation of the Palestinian territories), around 30,000 Palestinians with Israeli-issued permits work in West Bank settlements.

Israeli restrictions, occupation of Palestinian land, and control over Palestinian borders and natural resources splinter the Palestinian economy and cause an increase in unemployment, forcing many Palestinian laborers to seek work in Israel and the settlements. Though the salaries in Israel are higher and provide more disposable income for workers, which is then injected into the Palestinian economy, settlement businesses have been condemned for contributing to Israel’s confiscations of occupied land in violation of international law and for allowing discriminatory abuses of labor rights, as detailed by groups like Human Rights Watch.

Although most workers in industrial areas are men, there are a significant number of Palestinian women who work there, especially in the food and catering sectors. To date, women have not dared claim their rights or challenge the harsh working conditions. Many do not make minimum wage, receive no pay slips, and are subject to arbitrary layoffs.

WAC-MAAN representative Yoav Tamir said this is the first time a group of Palestinian women workers join a workers’ union and demand the opening of collective bargaining negotiations to secure their rights.

The unionization of workers at Mevashlim Bishvilech (“We cook for you” in Hebrew) is part of a wave among Palestinian workers and workers’ associations in the settlement industrial zones over the past six months, noted WAC-MAAN. “This situation indicates that the Palestinians, women and men, have grown tired of the existing situation in which they have been working for decades under harsh conditions, and have begun to defend their rights,” a WAC-MAAN statement said last .

Recently, WAC-MAAN helped unionize almost half of the 250 Palestinian workers of Maya Foods — another company in the Mishor Adumim industrial park. On Thursday, they began negotiations with the managers after the Israeli labor court in November ordered the company to conduct collective bargaining negotiations with WAC-MAAN, and pay NIS 160,000 ($46,175) in damages for obstructing the workers’ right to unionize, after the company made sudden changes in positions and hours and unlawfully dismissed employees who supported the union.

In addition, 50 Palestinian employees of R. S. Marketing and Food Production (also known as Rejwan) in the Atarot industrial zone in Jerusalem joined the WAC- MAAN union last September. At the end of November, they also went on a two-day strike, seeking to negotiate a collective agreement guaranteeing a raise and improved working conditions, which include below minimum wages, little or no compensation for transportation and lack of transparency in registering the hours the workers file, according to the workers.

Mishor Adumim is one of 20 settlement industrial zones in the West Bank including Barkan near Salfit, Shahak near Jenin, Nitzanei Hashalom near Tulkarem, Alei Zahav, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron and Alfei Menashe in the Qalqilya area.

A Palestinian worker at the ‘Mevashlim Bishvilech’ factory in the industrial zone of the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim, seen during a workers solidarity meeting, December 5, 2019. (Activestills.org)

According to Kav LaOved, a worker’s rights NGO, there are some 30,000 Palestinians employed in Israeli settlements, many of whom face discrimination in their salary and rights to social benefits by their Israeli employers.

Employers deduct the number of hours and days these employees work, and do not acknowledge overtime hours. As such, the pay stubs note a payment of minimum wage, while, in fact, workers receive much lower compensation, the group said.

There have been cases of employers refusing to provide employees with proper medical care in Israel—via health insurance the workers pay for through their wages — instead having them seek medical treatment at Palestinian medical facilities — which the workers pay for out of pocket and then must try to get reimbursement for.

“The employers are just trying to get away with as much as they can. It’s nothing personal against the Palestinian workers. They just have a population group that needs the work and has been doing the work under these conditions,” explained attorney Nasrat Dakwar, an Israeli-Palestinian lawyer who focuses on human rights violations in the occupied territories.

Giving unionized workers a tool

In recent years, Palestinians have become more aware of their rights thanks to work of Kav LaOved, and the WAC-MAAN union and Palestinian unions, and have begun filing legal complaints against their employers. But many employers still prefer not to provide Palestinian employees with the benefits they are entitled to. The employers risk being taken to court rather than pay them what they legally should, because they know that in most cases, Palestinians are likely to come to an agreement so Israeli employers in settlement industrial zones usually end up paying less than they should by law, said Dakwar.

With the unemployment rate in the West Bank hovering between 15 to 17 percent this year, according to the World Bank, combined with the difficulty of gaining permits to work in Israel, Palestinians have been willing to accept the inferior pay and social benefits of factory jobs in settlement industrial parks.

“In this way, factories benefit from both the economic advantage granted (to) them by Israel for situating themselves in areas of national priority and from the authorities’ willful blindness regarding Palestinian workers’ rights,” noted Kav LaOved in a 2013 report. “This situation creates a convenient basis for the exploitation of workers who have little bargaining power and thus can only file lawsuits once their employment has been terminated (when they are no longer in fear of losing their jobs.)”

In most cases, the organization said in the report, Palestinian workers’ claims end in settlements much lower than what they deserve according to the law.

Regulation of Palestinian laborers in Israel has been based on a government decision from 1970. Two decades later, these provisions passed in the Knesset as part of the Law Implementing the 1994 Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, which Israel signed with the PLO to restrict the Palestinian Authority’s activities in Jerusalem.

Aerial view of Mishor Adumim industrial park. (Neukoln/CC BY-SA 3.0)

According to Kav LaOved, Israel fails to apply the law fully. “The government enforces the employers’ duty to pay taxes and deposit social welfare payments on behalf of workers, but it does not enforce the transfer of collected funds to its intended recipients,” the organization wrote in a 2016.

Following a 14-year struggle by Kav LaOved, in 2007 the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Palestinians, including those working in West Bank settlements, are entitled to the same employment terms and rights that Israeli labor laws guarantee to Israeli workers. This is despite objections by some employers, including the Ma’ale Adumim municipality and another factory in Mishor Adumim owned by the Evan Bar Ltd. Company, which argued that Palestinians should be compensated according to Jordanian labor laws.

In recent years, Palestinians have been more inclined to go to court to demand their rights. As they learn more about their rights under Israeli law and see the positive results of unionizing, more workers are beginning to band together and organize similar actions, said WAC-MAAN’s Tamir, who held a solidarity meeting with the workers from Mevashlim Bishvilech at a café at the Almog Junction near Jericho.

“According to Israeli law, workers have the right to unionize and strike and the employer has to face the workers. He can’t fire them or bring in new workers. The law forces the employer to sit and negotiate. It gives unionized workers a tool,” said Tamir said on Wednesday.

This article has been modified to reflect the effects of West Bank settlements on Palestinian workers and the Palestinian economy.

Source Article from https://www.972mag.com/palestinian-women-settlements-unions-workers/

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How suddenly-precious cobalt that powers Teslas and iPhones also fuels child labor in Africa & armed heists in Europe

How to steal $10 million

On a sunny July weekend in Rotterdam last year, a gang of men pull up in trucks at an unremarkable bonded warehouse situated among an industrial landscape of cranes, shipping containers and depots that sprawls 25 miles along the banks of Europe’s biggest port.

Having purloined the secure codes that give them access through the warehouse’s main gates, they make their way inside and head first to the building’s security unit, punch in the number that disables the alarms and quickly remove the recording unit for the cameras that are aimed at the doors and windows.

Satisfied they are no longer being spied on, they head to a section towards the back of the warehouse and cut the padlock on its sliding door to reveal hundreds of orange and blue drums piled four-high on pallets. All are stuffed full with the prize the men are after: cobalt, a formerly obscure, unwanted metal that, thanks to the electric vehicle revolution, has become a highly desirable commodity nicknamed “blue gold”.

Five or six hours later, the last of the pallets stowed on board their trucks, the gang drives away with 112 tonnes of cobalt, worth around US$10 million. The Dutch police who will investigate when the heist is discovered on the Monday morning spend months failing to catch anyone for the crime or recover any of the stolen goods.

Electrifying demand

Cobalt has become of particular interest to organised crime since its price rocketed by 250 percent between 2016 and 2018 (from about US$26,000 a tonne to more than US$90,000) thanks to demand from electric car manufacturers such as Tesla, Volvo, Ford and Volkswagen, and smartphone makers like Apple.

Its unique qualities prevent lithium-ion batteries in mobiles and electric cars from overheating and going up in flames. More than 50 percent of all cobalt demand is now for battery use, and the EU and the US both class it as a critical raw material.

As electric vehicle production gears up – manufacturers worldwide are investing US$300 billion over the next few years so as to build 35 million electric cars and trucks annually by 2030 – experts believe that the price of cobalt will rise again and make it even more attractive to criminals. According to the prediction of one American cobalt investor: “A wave of demand for copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt is coming that almost no one – miner, investor or banker alike – has anticipated or planned for.”

‘The new gasoline’ fuels abuse

The value of cobalt, which takes its name from the German kobold, or “goblin”, derives from its novel properties and relatively short supply. It is an element that does not occur in a “free” form, but is gathered during the mining of copper or nickel and needs to be chemically prised from them using acids and heat.

For hundreds of years, it was used to impart a distinctive blue tint to glass or ceramics, but in the 20th century scientists discovered it to have qualities crucial to our most advanced technologies. Combined with other metals, it produces alloys that are extremely strong, stable under high temperatures and anti-corrosive for use in aircraft engines, rockets, nuclear power stations, turbines and cutting tools.

However, it is the demand created by its critical role in batteries for electric cars that is not only producing the unwanted attention of criminals, but is also fuelling a human rights crisis involving exploited child labour in one of the world’s poorest countries in Africa.

Around 70 percent of the world’s supplies come from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which has been beset by decades of war, corruption and unrest. The country is described as being to cobalt what Saudia Arabia is to oil – Goldman Sachs, the merchant bank, has called cobalt “the new gasoline”.

Every day, tens of thousands of desperate Congolese, including children as young as four, illegally mine cobalt by hand in horrendous conditions. Unicef estimates that there are 40,000 children working in mines across southern DRC, earning as little as 8p a day to crawl through discarded mines, some more than 100 meters deep, to scavenge for rocks containing cobalt in the discarded by-products.

Reports from Amnesty International and others catalogue frequent injuries and deaths, prompting television and newspaper reports detailing the dreadful human cost. One headline in a British newspaper states: “Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so you can drive an electric car.”

Campaigners estimate that hundreds of miners die every year or have their health seriously damaged. The hazards include mine collapses such as the one in June this year that killed more than 40 miners working illegally on a site in Lualaba province in south-east DR; asphyxiation due to inadequate ventilation; and illnesses such as the respiratory disease cobalt lung, a pneumonia which can cause permanent incapacity or death.

It’s feared that thousands more children will be sucked into the hellish trade, particularly now that many countries have pledged to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars between 2025 and 2040.

Such damaging reports and headlines have forced companies like Apple, Tesla, Volkswagen and Volvo to try to find ways to ensure that the metal they buy is not “conflict cobalt” produced using child labour. One avenue being explored is the use of blockchain technology, the cryptographic tech behind digital currencies like Bitcoin, to ensure traceability.

Thriving black market

It may be difficult to enforce. The rocks that the children find are sold on cheaply to traders, mostly Chinese middle-men who, in turn, ship the cobalt back to their country to be made untraceable; it is smelted down before joining the supply chain that feeds the needs of giant multinationals, and whets the appetite of organised crime gangs in Europe.

Another cobalt heist occurred in 2012 down the coast in Antwerp. Three containers of cobalt had been shipped to a warehouse at the Belgian port. When truckers arrived to pick them up, they discovered that two had already been “collected”; thieves had once again somehow obtained the access codes used for deliveries.

Experts believe that the robberies are being carried out by organised crime gangs who not only know the docks well, but have extensive knowledge of the metal and understand the market for it. “Cobalt is not as fungible a commodity as many believe – this makes it a difficult product to ‘fence’ without a knowledgeable middleman with routes to market,” says George Heppel, a senior cobalt analyst at London-based CRU group, which offers business intelligence on the metals and mining industries.

So what happens to the stolen cobalt? “It is highly unlikely to have made its way into the battery supply chain,” Heppel says. “My best guess is that it was probably sold into the alloy scrap and revert sector to be used in superalloys, speciality steels or diamond tools. It’s more likely to be in a jet engine than a smartphone.”
But whatever the use the black market that exists for scarce and valuable metals like cobalt is thriving. Jan Struijs, the chairman of the Dutch police union and the former head of a criminal investigation squad in Rotterdam, told the business channel Bloomberg that the warehouse robbery there was simply “the tip of the iceberg”.

David Weight, the president of the UK-based Cobalt Institute, says: “If something is valuable then it becomes a target. You saw it with copper: when its price was high, people were stealing manhole covers and pulling up electrical cables from the ground – and some were killing themselves doing it. When the price is high, people do the most extraordinary things.”

By Richard Ellis, freelance journalist in the UK

Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won’t tell you.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/op-ed/475370-cobalt-tesla-abuse-crime/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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For celebs like Emma Watson it’s ‘self-partnering,’ for ordinary male divorcees like me, it’s Christmas alone

Self-partnering made its international debut in November – in the pages of British Vogue. Introduced by “actor-activist” Emma Watson, the phrase quickly dotted the landscape of cultural politics. The Lexicographers of New Identity Names extolled the semantic transitioning from the suddenly pejorative “single” to the self-positive “self-partnered.” While the former term was consigned to the dustbin of history – abandoned, left alone, and made lonelier than ever – self-partnering joined the exuberant party of proliferating gender identities and sexual orientations – which now number anywhere from 31, to 63, to 112.

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In the Twittersphere, the moniker has been met with roughly one part enthusiasm, two parts contempt, and three parts satire. I found a specimen of the latter just hours before writing this: “Tried to self-partner with myself but I turned me down,”tweeted the parodic self-rejecting “maybe: Dallas.”

Notice that my listing of the gender tallies above did not include two. Two is a forbidden number – first because it’s the number of sexes long since surpassed by the genders and second because two has replaced one as the loneliest number. Henceforth, partnering with an “other” depreciates oneself, confining one to a compromised, unloving, even abusive relationship. The only partner guaranteed to suit oneself is oneself. One wonders what kind of new puritanism is at work here.

Like a Trappist monk, I contemplate the notion of self-partnering – just in time for the holiday. Notice I said holiday, not holidays. Unless one is referring to the shopping season, which is never-ending, the holidays have contracted and become one holiday, then another a week later. The tradition of celebrating serial holidays has all but disappeared in the US, leaving only December 25 and January 1. Christmas and New Year’s Day are singular, standalone, separate holidays. New Year’s is doubly singular – both a one-off and represented by the numeral one. However, in this case, one plus one equals one, not two – both for me and for you.

For the third straight year, I am glad for the singularity of the holiday. I take comfort knowing that I need to find a place to go one day and one day only – Christmas. No one goes anywhere on New Year’s, so neither will I. This is a relief, because, since becoming unpartnered over three years ago, and not finding myself a suitable partner for myself, I’ve spent at least two holidays single and alone.

Which brings me to the reason I reject the facile nomenclature swapping on offer. Treating phrases like “self-partnering” as if they possess powers to produce substantial changes in a person’s “lived experience” is the very definition of practicing magic. Those lonely before the name change, all other things remaining the same, will be lonely after it. Whoever puts their faith in these spell-whisperers have forgotten – or more likely never knew – Shakespeare’s famous adage on the very point: “a rose by any other name…”

By Michael Rectenwald, author of nine books, including the most recent, Google ArchipelagoHe was Professor of Liberal Arts at NYU from 2008 through 2019.

Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won’t tell you.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/op-ed/475364-self-partnered-single-identity/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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The violent war against Trump is real. But Trump is winning.

Image result for Tusk makes gun sign on trump



President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is stuck in prison.  His reason for jail had nothing to do with Trump, but in any case, he is in jail.

And Trump’s other lead campaign man Roger Stone has been found guilty on all counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering… Stone faces a legal maximum penalty of 50 years in prison

General Flynn forced to plead guilty of lying to the FBI. Flynn is the reason many people voted for Trump. He was getting alone well with the Russians. This was a good back-channel relationship for peace. Also, he dared to complain about the funding of extremist rebels against Assad.

These men did nothing wrong they were gobbled up by the Deep State in a bunch of process crimes.

But they are pawns in a bigger game and Trump continues to survive.

It is the Deep state who broke laws trying to keep Trump out of office, for their Israeli first crowd.

We the Trump fans cry out Crowdstrike Fusion GPS no collusion, what about her e-mails and investigate the Clinton foundation.

The Steele Dossier aka pee gate. Lies by some MI6 professional bullshitter.

What about  Jaunita Broderick? She was raped by Bill Clinton long ago?

Trump’s phone call to Ukraine? Who cares the so-called Deep stated all but ruined that country. They have looted it and cause havoc and an “Orange Revolution.

Trump’s only crime was to disagree with US policy. What is US policy? To kill for a group no one can name.

After all the Deep state crimes and arrogant insults and lies by the fake communist news services of liberal America. We the Trump fans want to see some Deep Ste guys go down.

Even after 2 years the 911 traitor goofball hack Muller had nothing on Trump.

So the corrupt American intelligence community then tries to trap Trump with a phone call and a bunch of hearsay.

We cry out Trump was right to investigate Hunter Biden and Joe they are war profiteering scumbags.

I personly think Putin should have taken Ukraine over in the very early days of the conflict. But Putin is like Trump is a chess player and it looks like things are going his way.

The Gentiles are learning to stay out of wars and that is way

Putin can’t overdo it, folks. Neither can Trump.  The truth is Trump might not get the indictments and arrest his fan crave.

But he will be able to save the US from Nuclear war we hope.

Considering the fact that the Jews and the Deep state are after trump it is amazing that he has been able do anything.

Yet jobs reports are good now and the markets are souring.  Because of Putin and Trump major war has been averted in Syria. ISIS is down and so far war with Iran has been averted.

Yet the anti-Jewish members of  the  truth movement thinks it knows better than Trump how to deal with the Jewish power or that Trump is pro Jewish himself or a pawn of Isreal,

In any case, there will be no overwhelming victory by Trump. He may be able to keep the Jewish Depp state and the fake news “in check” but I am afraid we have to be realistic.

The Clintons are not going to jail or Obama. and No FBI guys are going down for what they tried to pull on Trump.

Trump and Putin and others like him will be able to hold the line, but that is all.

This is still winning. Every day there is not a Sampson Option nuke war is winning.

Tomorrow the IG report will come out. Reports are being leaked that it is a whole lot of nothing.  So the victories by Trump and others like him will be silent and unknown. But they will be victories. Every day without nuclear war is a victory.

Also, Trump has done a lot of damage to the Deep state.  Jeffrey Epstein  is dead … Prince Andrew is done for.  Ghislaine Maxwell is on the run and disgraced and  Harvey Weinstein is on his way to jail.

All because of Trump and not the Truth movement sorry.

Source Article from https://stanstasblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/09/the-violent-war-against-trump-is-real-but-trump-is-winning/

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Biden Blames Staff For Not Flagging Burisma Concerns; Says We Should Just Trust Hunter And Not Investigate

Joe Biden has thrown his former staff under the bus for not informing him of the multiple red flags raised over his son Hunter’s employment with Ukraine’s Burisma. He also claims he had no idea Hunter was hired to sit on the gas company’s board of directors until after the fact.

Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest. Nobody warned me about that. And at the same time —,” said Biden, sitting down with NPR‘s Rachel Martin.

George Kent, the State Department official, testified that he raised it to you, and your staff.

No, he didn’t say me. He did not say me.

To your staff. To your staff, I stand corrected.

I never, never heard that once at all.

To your staff. And your staff told him he has no bandwidth for family matters.

Well, my son was dying, so I guess that’s why he said it, because my son was on his deathbed. But that, that’s not the reason why — they should have told me. –NPR

Then in an interview with Axios, Biden claimed that he knew nothing of Hunter’s board position until after the fact, none of it is suspicious, and we shouldn’t investigate because he trusts Hunter.

So – Hunter Biden is hired to sit on a board with the former president of Poland (who said he was hired due to the Biden name), and an ex-CIA guy – all while Joe Biden is in charge of Ukraine policy for the Obama administration, and we are supposed to believe the Vice President of the United States didn’t know about it, nor did anyone notify him there was an obvious conflict of interest.

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/bg8Y2ufFZC0/biden-blames-staff-not-flagging-burisma-concerns-says-we-should-just-trust-hunter-and-not

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"We’re Living On Borrowed Time…"

Authored by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com,

The laws of physics are governed by cause and effect. But there can exist a time lag between the two.

For instance:

Note how the speed of both the bullet and the retracting latex far exceed that of the shockwave or gravity on the water contained inside each balloon.

There’s an observable time lag during which the globe of previously-contained water momentarily hangs there in space.

Then, a beat later, it’s obliterated.

Living On Borrowed Time

I’m unusually focused on time these days as we’re updating Peak Prosperity’s crown jewel, The Crash Course video series.

Originally created in 2008 and updated in 2014, it lays out the macro forces driving the economy and our way of living, explaining why most of them are unsustainable and headed for trouble. That then opens the door to an avalanche of critical questioning about what the future will bring.

Updating the parade of charts and data has been eye-opening for me. When I last did this (early 2014), the S&P had just returned to the same price level that served as the apex for both the 2001 and 2008 market bubbles.

I remember how concerned I was then. How could we have returned to such reckless exuberance so quickly after the pain caused by the Dot-com bust and the Great Financial Crisis? Did we learn nothing from our previous (and recent!) excess?

Clearly not only did we not learn; we didn’t give a crap. With a “hold my beer, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet” bravado, we proceeded to DOUBLE the S&P above the previous bubble highs.

Here at PeakProsperity.com, my co-founder Chris Martenson and I have spilled a lot of ink in the ensuing years, warning how QE (aka central bank money printing), stock buybacks, and record low interest rates have pushed the degree of systemic unsustainability to Bizzaro-world levels. For our most recent analysis, click herehere and here.

But the TL;DR version is succinctly captured by the chart below:

Source: Hussman Funds

A few important things to note beyond the colorful editorial commentary I added to John Hussman’s quality work here.

First, the chart is logarithmic. The y-axis value doubles with each hashmark. Meaning: the current excess is a lot more extreme than it looks at first glance.

Second, the vertical lines indicate ‘dispersions’ which are market conditions Hussman finds are highly-correlated with “steep and rather abrupt market plunges, often representing the first leg of a more extended collapse”.

Notice how rarely they have occured over the past 25 years, and yet they’ve suddenly increased in frequency of late (the most recent took place on Nov 20th).

This is what you would expect to see from a dangerously over-extended system, where prices have been propelled way beyond where they can be sustainably supported. Keep in mind, today’s all-time high prices are occuring at a time when:

As we covered in a recent report The Phantom Mania, there’s simply no substance underlying this latest run in stocks. It’s all been driven by multiple expansion, which is a fancy term for “paying more for the same dollar of earnings”, aka, speculating that you’ll be able to sell at a higher price to an even greater fool:

What we are experiencing right now is a ‘time lag’ between the collapse of the argument underlying the 10-year bull market and investors’ recognition of that.

A full decade and some $14 Trillion in newly-printed money later, plus the cheapest interest rates in recorded history, and yet the central banks have not been able to restore growth to the global economy. The experiment has failed.

And what do we have to show for it?

The worst wealth gap in history. An impoverishment of future generations, who will be stuck paying off our recent debt orgy:

What good is Dow 30,000 if 75% of us can’t afford a house or scrape together $400 in an emergency?

Time Is Running Out

And of course, that’s just what’s going on in funny-money land.

In the real world, the resources we rely on to power the economy, sustain our modern lifestyle, and put food into our bellies are rapidly becoming more scarce and expensive.

Energy & Minerals

The world remains extremely dependent on fossil fuels and demands more every year. Yet discoveries peaked many decades ago and our reserve replacement rates are now negative:

As explained in this excellent podcast with petroleum geologist Art Berman, this supply/demand imbalance will predictably escalate throughout our lifetime. And a ‘smooth’ transition to other energy sources is mathematically impossible at this point. Sustained supply constraints and higher prices are inevitable.

Similarly, many of the most important ores and minerals necessary for economic development are in even worse decline:

Source: Visual Capitalist, US Geological Survey

The Biosphere

As a consequence of human industry’s ever-increasing need to consume and the pollution that results, life on the planet is dying off at an unprecedented rate (short of a giant meteorite extinction-level event).

World animal populations are dropping at an alarming pace:

Source: World Wildlife Fund Living Planet Report

As are insects:

Source: Statista

As are aquifers and forests:

Source: Drovers

Source: climatepro


The above statistics clearly show that we are dismantling the underpinnings of the ecosystems we depend on to live. Thus, we have become an existential threat to ourselves.

So should it comes as any surprise that we’re already seeing a diminishment of our health? And even of our ability to self-perpetuate?

Source: JAMA

Yes, our lives today still run largely as we’ve always been used to. But given the data above, how long (or brief) will the remaining time lag be before the ramifications begin to hit us at force?

Time To Get Busy

I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really: Get busy living or get busy dying.

So concluded Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption. And at this stage in the story, the decision is really that binary.

Society for its part is committed to the “busy dying” path. It’s still clutching tightly to Business As Usual. Like an alcoholic who has yet to admit to himself he has a drinking problem, it won’t address what it refuses to recognize.

So we can expect the status quo of consume-and-pollute to continue on for some time. Most likely it will be pursued until it simply proves too painful than the remaining alternatives. By which time our other options are likely to be materially worse than they are today. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that conscientious, critically-thinking individuals like you can choose to get busy living.

There is much you can do during this time lag to invest in resilience and install regenerative models before the next systemic crisis is upon us.

Whatever time we have left, and it may very not be much, is a gift. Use it.

Many of the best defenses — like fitness, community, and valuable skills — require time to acquire. You can’t simply buy them off the shelf the way you can, say, a water filter or a backup generator. Once time has run out, you either already have them in place or you don’t.

In Part 2: How Best To Use The Time Remaining we provide our advice for prioritizing and allocating your precious time capital, as well as share with you what and Chris and I are most focused on in own personal preparations.

Included along with this are several hours of excellent video clips of experts from our recent educational live events and webinars, available to-date only to premium subscribers.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/JmTCjfbZuHc/were-living-borrowed-time

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Global Market Rally Grinds To A Halt As US-China D-Day Looms

US futures and European stocks slumped, as did global treasury yields and the dollar, as traders shrugged off unexpectedly strong trade data from Germany instead focusing on the latest disappointing trade data from China ahead of an action-packed week that includes U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank meetings and a UK election.

Markets had closed last week in an upbeat mood as blockbuster U.S. jobs data reassured investors about the U.S. economy and sent MSCI’s index of global stocks 0.8% higher but those gains stalled as worries about a Chinese economic slowdown returned.  Indeed, futures on all main US equity indexes pointed to a soft start on Wall Street after the latest disappointing Chinese trade data which saw a 3rd consecutive drop in exports, while traders awaited news on whether Washington will go ahead with a planned Dec 15 tariff hike on Chinese imports.

While several major events loom for the week — the Fed meets on Wednesday and new ECB chief Christine Lagarde holds her first policy meeting on Thursday, the same day as Britain’s parliamentary election, but at the forefront of investors’ minds is the Dec. 15 deadline for the United States to impose a new round of tariffs on China. The latest overnight news on that front came from China which said on Monday that it hoped to make a trade deal with the United States as soon as possible, one which satisfies both sides, Assistant Commerce Minister Ren Hongbin told reporters on Monday.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, China top diplomat Yang spoke with US Secretary of State Pompeo on Saturday, and said the US has seriously violated international relations by passing the Hong Kong and Uighur bills, while he urged the US to correct its mistakes and immediately stop interfering with China’s internal affairs. China’s Xinjiang region Governor said the US bill on Xinjiang is a severe violation of international law, while the Governor added the US bill has no regard for facts and has made groundless accusations against the human rights situation as well as the Chinese government. Elsewhere, China Global Times Chief Editor tweets that “Because of US obstruction, WTO’s appellate body which settles disputes between members will be unable to function on Tuesday. And it is the most important platform to ensure fair trade.”

With time running out for the U.S. and China to reach a deal that would ward off an escalation in tariffs, markets will be watching closely for any signs of progress. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday the two sides are haggling over the amount of American farm products Beijing is willing to purchase. Data showed China’s exports fell 1.1% in November, with those to the U.S. tumbling 23%, underscoring why the Asian nation may want to resolve the dispute.

“There’s no upside risks on the horizon,” Katrina Ell, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, said on Bloomberg TV. “It is weighted to the downside and that big downside risk is coming from the trade war.”

In the absence of bigger “trade optimism”, and following Friday’s market surge following the blockbuster payrolls report, global risk mood was on the back foot with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fluctuating before turning lower, with falling energy companies offsetting rising miners and retailers. Europe’s energy sector was the biggest loser of the day, falling almost 1% as shares in Tullow Oil slumped 60% to 19-year lows due to issues at its main producing assets in Ghana and the resignation of its chief executive.

Earlier in the session, Asia managed to notch up small gains, climbing for a third day and led by energy producers, with Japan’s Nikkei adding 0.33% and MSCI’s Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.15%, though gains mostly fizzled in Hong Kong and Shanghai. China’s latest unexpected export drop strengthened the case for an initial trade deal with the US, as Chinese exports to the US tumbled for a 12th month, sliding 23% Y/Y.

Concerns about damage being done to the global economy by the trade war, were renewed after China released data showing its exports shrank for the fourth consecutive month in November. Chinese exports slid 1.1% in November from a year earlier, missing economists forecasts for a 0.8% gain.

Chinese shares closed 0.2% lower, their losses checked by a rise in imports that was interpreted as a sign that Beijing’s stimulus steps are helping to stoke demand.

Japan’s Topix rose to a 14-month high, driven by electronic companies and chemical producers, as Japan’s economy expanded in the third quarter at a much faster pace than initially reported. The Shanghai Composite Index edged higher, with Foxconn Industrial Internet jumping and Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine sliding. India’s Sensex advanced, supported by Housing Development Finance and Reliance Industries.

In rates, 10Y Treasury yields inched lower, in keeping with market jitters as investors awaited the central bank meetings. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields were down 2 basis points at 1.8242%. Yields on German 10-year yields held around -0.30%, down from around 0.24% at the end of 2018, as major central banks resumed policy stimulus this year. Caution before this week’s central bank meetings and trade war uncertainty lifted sentiment towards safe-haven bonds at the start of the week. Ten-year bond yields in higher-rated euro zone states were down 1 to 2 basis points.

As Reuters notes, markets have been largely working on the assumption that the Dec. 15 tariffs, covering consumer goods such as cellphones and toys, will be dropped or postponed, given Trump will be unwilling to risk a year-end equity selloff. However, with less than a week to go, there is precious little movement.

In FX, the U.S. dollar, which bounced on Friday after data showed U.S. job growth increased in November by the most in 10 months, was down marginally against a basket of currencies and the euro. The strong labor market data in the United States allayed fears about a slowdown in the world’s largest economy which had been fanned by a series of weak figures on business and consumer activity.

“The clouds of recession still remain well offshore despite troubled economies elsewhere in the world and a trade war,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.

China’s yuan fell after the country’s exports unexpectedly declined. Chinese exports slid 1.1% in November from a year earlier, missing economists forecasts for a 0.8% gain. Exports to the U.S. dropped for a 12th month. China’s car sales extended their slump, all but ensuring a second straight annual decline. Volatility is reduced ahead of a series of risk events in coming days including Fed and ECB rate decisions, a U.K. election and a deadline for higher U.S. tariffs on China.

The biggest currency mover was the British pound which rose to a new 7-month high of $1.3180 as investors raised their bets on a Conservative Party victory – and a majority in parliament – in the general election.

Oil prices weakened after the disappointing Chinese trade data, with Brent futures down more than 1% at $63.73 per barrel after gaining about 3% last week on the news that OPEC and its allies would deepen output cuts.

In geopolitical news, White House National Security Adviser O’Brien warned US has many tools to deal with North Korea if it reneges on denuclearization commitments. Subsequently, North Korean Official notes that Pyongyang has nothing to lose, in response to US President Trump. Elsewhere, USTR Lighthizer and US Democrats are reportedly nearing a deal for Congress to pass USMCA, although hurdles remain according to reports citing sources familiar with the discussions.

Today, French President Macron hosts meeting on Ukraine in Paris with Russian President Putin, German Chancellor Merkel and Ukranian President Zelensky. No major economic data is scheduled. Chewy, MongoDB are among scheduled earnings.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 3,141.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 406.62
  • MXAP up 0.3% to 165.55
  • MXAPJ up 0.2% to 526.11
  • Nikkei up 0.3% to 23,430.70
  • Topix up 0.5% to 1,722.07
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.01% to 26,494.73
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.08% to 2,914.48
  • Sensex up 0.07% to 40,475.24
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 6,730.03
  • Kospi up 0.3% to 2,088.65
  • Brent Futures down 0.6% to $63.98/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,463.05
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.09% to 97.61
  • German 10Y yield fell 1.9 bps to -0.305%
  • Euro up 0.07% to $1.1068
  • Brent Futures down 0.6% to $63.98/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 2.0 bps to 1.002%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 3.0 bps to 0.463%

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Polls in the Sunday newspapers all put the Conservatives in the lead. There were some signs that Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour Party was closing the gap, but not by enough to keep the Conservatives out of powe.
  • The Chinese government has ordered state offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years, the Financial Times reported
  • Japan’s economy expanded in the third quarter at a much faster pace than initially reported, driven by stronger capital investment and private consumption ahead of October’s sales tax increase
  • The September mayhem in the U.S. repo market suggests there’s a structural problem in this vital corner of finance and the incident wasn’t just a temporary hiccup, according to a new analysis from the Bank for International Settlements
  • Support for Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partner fell to 11% in a weekly Forsa poll, matching an all-time low reached in June. Another poll gave the SPD a 1-percentage-point bump
  • Hong Kong saw its biggest pro-democracy protest in months on Sunday, signaling more unrest to come in 2020 as the movement that began in June to fight China’s increasing grip on the city shows its staying power
  • At least 15 central banks are set to hold their final monetary policy meetings of the year this week, with the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank taking center stage. While rate setters in Washington and Frankfurt are predicted to maintain policy, their colleagues in Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine are all forecast to cut rates.
  • The September mayhem in the U.S. repo market suggests there’s a structural problem in this vital corner of finance and the incident wasn’t just a temporary hiccup, according to analysis from the Bank for International Settlements.
  • First it was Japan. Then Europe. Now investors are scanning the world for the next outbreak of stagnant inflation and tumbling yields.

Asian equity markets were mixed as the tailwinds from Friday’s stellar US NFP report was offset by mostly weaker than expected Chinese trade data including a surprise contraction in Exports and with some hesitation observed heading into a risk-packed week. ASX 200 (+0.3%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.3%) saw a firm start to the session led by outperformance in energy names following the OPEC+ agreement, although both indices briefly retraced the majority of their gains amid heavy losses in Australia’s gold miners and as recent JPY strength suppressed the effect of a firm upward revision to Q3 GDP. Hang Seng (U/C) and Shanghai Comp. (+2.4%) traded indecisively after the largely disappointing Chinese trade data and as China continued to voice discontent with US “interference” regarding the Hong Kong protests and Uighur Muslims. Furthermore, China reportedly denied entrance into Macau for the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and have also ordered government offices and public institutions to remove all foreign computer equipment and software in 3 years. Finally, 10yr JGBs declined on spill-over selling from T-notes and with the pressure also a function of the gains in stocks, firm GDP revisions and tepid BoJ Rinban announcement valued at JPY 180bln.

Top Asian News

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European equities kick the week off broadly lower, albeit marginally [Eurostoxx 50 -0.2%] after the NFP optimism waned and as sub-par Chinese data dented the mood. Sectors are mostly in the red – and with no clear standouts and little by way of a split between cyclicals and defensives to reflect the risk tone, although material names are underpinned by the Friday’s surge in base-metal prices. In terms of individual movers: Osram Licht (+14.4%) soared to the top of the pan-EU index after AMS (-3.0%) announced it has succeeded on its second attempt with a EUR 4.6bln bid for Osram which comes after it lowered the necessary acceptance rate to 55% vs. Prev. 62.5%. Elsewhere, Tesco shares (+5.4%) are supported after confirming exploration of options for its Thai and Malaysian units (which account for 10% of Co’s sales), including a possible sale which could fetch up to USD 9bln. Meanwhile, Just Eat (+0.5%) shares are underpinned after Prosus increased its offer for the Co. to GBP 7.40/shr, valuing the Co. at approx. GBP 5.1bln; additionally, acceptance level for the deal has been reduced to a simple majority. Number 10 shareholder Cat Rock (owns 2.6% of Just Eat) noted that Prosus’ offer needs to be at least GBP 9.25.shr to compete with Takeaway.com’s offer. Takeaway.com believe that their offer for the Co. remains ‘far superior’ to the Prosus one. On the flip side, Tullow Oil (-59.0%) shares plummeted after the Co. was hit by a double whammy in the form of a production outlook downgrade and the departure of its CEO. Other downside movers include the likes of Sanofi (-0.5%) and Kerry Group (-0.9%) – both on M&A news – with the former acquiring Synthorx for USD 2.5bln, whilst the latter is reportedly mulling acquiring DuPont’s Nutrition business – which could be valued around USD 25bln.

Top European News

  • Prosus Raises Just Eat Bid as Food Delivery War Intensifies
  • Tullow’s Old Guard Is Out as Poor Production Sees CEO Quit
  • Tesco Considers Sale of Asian Supermarkets in Pivot to U.K.
  • ‘Quantitative Failure’ Risk Mounts for Central Banks in 2020s

In FX, sterling is off best levels, but still firmly bid as the clock ticks down to Thursday’s GE and polls continue to flag victory for the Tories, albeit to varying degrees and ahead of the final YouGov MRP due to be published tomorrow evening. Indeed, the Pound continues to outperform G10 counterparts and is defying a broadly risk-off start to the week on the back of disappointing Chinese trade data that is undermining high beta currencies and those with closest connections naturally. Cable extended gains to circa 1.3181 at one stage, while Eur/Gbp probed just below 0.8400 before running into offers and bids respectively.

  • AUD/CAD/NZD – Predictably, the Aussie is bearing the brunt of the aforementioned smaller than forecast Chinese trade surplus that was largely due to an unexpected drop in exports, with Aud/Usd hovering around 0.6425 and Aud/Nzd retesting support ahead of 1.0400, like a 1.0407 Fib that only just held las Friday. Meanwhile, the Kiwi is pivoting 0.6550 vs its US peer and the Loonie is trying to pare losses in wake of starkly contrasting NA labour data in a relatively tight range either side of 1.3250 ahead of Canadian housing starts and building permits.
  • JPY/EUR/CHF – All narrowly mixed against the Greenback, as the DXY meanders between 97.602-725 parameters, but with the Yen benefiting from a grinding safe-haven bid and picking away at stops said to be sitting south of 108.50, while the Euro is straddling 1.1065 and Franc 0.9900 in the run up to ECB and SNB policy meetings hot on the heels of the Fed.
  • SEK/NOK – The Scandi Crowns are also feeling the adverse effects averse sentiment, as Eur/Sek rebounds towards 10.5500 and Eur/Nok nudges off sub-10.1000 lows on the back of technically delayed and mixed monthly Norwegian GDP prints for October.
  • EM – The Lira looks somewhat unimpressed with Turkey’s efforts to spur bank lending via targeted RRR tweaks, as Usd/Try trades close to 5.800 and multi-month peaks.

In commodities, the energy complex continues to drift lower following last week’s OPEC-induced surge in prices which received tailwinds from a blockbuster US jobs report. WTI Jan’20 futures have re-dipped below the 59/bbl mark whilst Brent Feb’20 futures gave up the USD 64/bbl in EU trade, with the magnitudes of the moves relatively tepid compared to Friday’s upside action. Analysts at ING believe that the action taken by OPEC+ (500k BPD deeper cuts and Saudi’s 400k BPD voluntary cuts on top of earlier curtailed output) will continue to support prices, thus the bank sees ICE Brent averaging USD 60/bbl in Q1 next year, with Q2 outlook contingent on the cartel’s next move in early March. ING note that upside risks to their forecast includes significant supply disruptions and meaningful progress on the US-China front. On that note, BofA expects Brent could be boosted to USD 70/bbl in the case of strong OPEC+ compliance and positive economic developments. Elsewhere, spot gold holds onto most of Friday’s losses with prices fluctuating within a relatively tight band ahead of its 21 DMA at USD 1464.65/oz and a risk-packed week. Copper has pared some of Friday’s gains as prices are modestly pressured by the latest Chinese trade data (which came in narrower than forecasts in USD and CNY terms) but cushioned by the breakdown, in which imports topped estimates and China copper imports hit a 13-month high on improved factory activity. Finally, iron ore prices feel little reprieve after November iron ore imports from China fell for a second straight month.

US event calendar

  • Nothing major scheduled

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

What’s the financial market’s favourite Christmas song of all time? We will find out on Thursday as that’s the final question in the second of our monthly EMR surveys of market participants that we launch today. Last month, we had nearly 700 responses but the success and longevity of the survey relies on you filling it in. So I would really really appreciate it if as many of you as possible could do so up to the close at 5pm GMT on Wednesday. The link is here. It should take less than 5 minutes to fill in and we’ve simplified it from last month while asking a few more market related questions. We have decided to compile the longer-term questions on things like inflation on a quarterly basis. So this one is very market driven with a couple of specific 2020 questions. As before, you don’t have to answer all the questions, just skip the ones you don’t want to. We will hopefully be able to build up a time series of responses soon. All feedback and questions welcome. Long-time readers will know my favourite Xmas songs but I’ll keep my powder until the results on Thursday.

Nice to be back working as I was in the dog house all day yesterday as I accidentally let Bronte out of the back garden gate and she went missing for 3.5 hours. My mistake arose as I looked around for Bronte, couldn’t see her and opened the gate to slip out. Little did I know she was in my blind spot immediately behind my feet. Long-time readers will know the last time I lost her was at a motorway service station in France three years ago. That was a bit more stressful than yesterday as she was seen crossing the motorway a few times but we did worry a lot yesterday afternoon before my wife finally found her and managed to catch her sprinting across the nearby golf course, which after yesterday I may not see for a while. Sadly as she turns 5 this week we are always going to have to accept that she’s a wandering dog with absolutely no ability to ever go off lead. I hope we have better fortune bringing up our children. I’ll come back to you for proof either way in 2030.

While we’re on that year, a reminder that last week we released the latest edition of Konzept magazine ( link ), which has the title “Imagine 2030”, with over 20 articles looking at what the world might look like at the end of the next decade. If you want to know about a world of electric but not autonomous cars by then, the end of credit cards, whether we’ll still be using cash, the future of crypto currencies, how you will consume food, the rise of the drones, the outlook for India and China, what Europe needs to do to compete and catch-up, and what we think will be the main populism battleground in 2030 then do have a read.

Rewind 10 years and we have an interesting week ahead with the highlight probably the U.K. election on Thursday. Central banks will also be taking centre stage with a number of monetary policy meetings, most notably from the Fed (Wednesday conclusion) and the ECB (Thursday) where we will welcome Mrs Lagarde to the stage for the first time. Data releases to watch out for include US CPI (Wednesday) and retail sales (Friday), but trade might end up trumping (no pun intended) everything else as we build to Sunday’s tariff escalation deadline.

Reviewing these in more detail now and first the U.K. The weekend polls showed a wide spread of Tory leads from 6pts to 15pts but with the average edging back above 10pts after recently dipping below. A reminder that anything below a 6-7 point lead is around hung parliament territory. Our UK team put out a note towards the end of last week (link here ) in which they assess the policy stances of the parties in terms of the challenges facing the UK economy. They analyse the market implications of the different elections scenarios, ranging from a sizeable Conservative majority to a Labour majority, with various scenarios for a hung parliament in between.

With regards to the FOMC mid week, the Fed are not expected to move policy by anyone I can find but the meeting won’t be without interest as they will release the latest Summary of Economic Projections, with market participants focusing on the dot plot as usual for clues as to whether member’s rate biases are changing. Friday’s payrolls number (more below) will likely give them some confidence in the outlook. Regarding the ECB a day later on Thursday, although the market is similarly expecting no changes in interest rates, the meeting will be closely watched as it’s the first monetary policy decision since President Lagarde came to office. It’ll be interesting to see what she says in the subsequent press conference, and whether there are any updates on the upcoming strategic review. In their preview out late last week (link here), our European economists write that they expect the Governing Council “will likely remain cautious and view the balance of risks as still tilted to the downside.” Yet they also say that they think Lagarde will make an immediate change, and they say that “we expect the willingness to use “all instruments” to be conditioned on an assessment of the possible side effects of policy.” Lastly on central banks, next week also sees monetary policy decisions from Brazil on Wednesday, Switzerland and Turkey on Thursday, and Russia on Friday.

Looking at data releases to watch out for, the main highlights comes from the CPI release on Wednesday and the retail sales figures on Friday. For the CPI, the consensus reading is expecting a +0.2% mom increase in both the main CPI and core CPI, while for retail sales a +0.4% mom increase is expected. In more details on the CPI and detailing DB’s above consensus call, our economists suggest the gap between trimmed mean CPI and core CPI was 14bps in October, while the gap between the sticky CPI ex-shelter and core CPI was 19bps. These divergences are in the top 8% and 3% of historical experience, respectively. This note (link here) shows that these gaps can be very useful in predicting the change in the month-over-month core CPI print the following month, implying a strong monthly core CPI print for November. As such, the team expect November core CPI to rise +0.26% month-over-month.

From Europe, the highlights include the Euro Area industrial production data on Thursday, which has seen a consistent yoy decline for every month since November 2018. The consensus is actually expecting this will deepen into October, with the yoy number falling to -2.2%, (vs. -1.7% in September). We’ve also got the ZEW survey from Germany tomorrow, which last month showed some signs of stabilisation, as the current situation reading rose to -24.7, having been at a 9-year low the previous month. The expectations reading also rose to a 6-month high. Lastly on Tuesday we’ll get the monthly GDP data from the UK for October.

Back in Germany, the SPD conference over the weekend saw the party’s new leaders strike a more emollient tone on whether or not to stay in the coalition, with co-chairwoman Saskia Esken saying that “if there is a willingness to talk there’s always the chance to keep going”. They have released a list of demands they want to see implemented however, including a €12 per hour minimum wage, further action on climate change, and more investment spending. Whether their coalition partners in the CDU will agree to this is another matter, however, and CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said that “This coalition is for the country, not trauma therapy for ruling parties”. One opinion poll out from Forsa put the Social Democrats on 11%, at a joint-record low, although an Emnid poll out over the weekend put them up 1pt to 16%

Looking at our screens overnight, Asian equities are mixed as investors await those central bank meetings and crucial trade news, with the Nikkei (+0.37%) and the Kospi (+0.35%) both up, while the Hang Seng (+0.02%) and the Shanghai Comp (-0.03%) have seen little change. S&P 500 futures are trading slightly lower, down -0.14%. The moves come as Japanese data overnight saw the final reading of Q3 GDP come in above expectations and the initial estimate, with +0.4% growth qoq, while yoy growth was up to +1.8%. Some of the strength will be consumers bringing forward purchases ahead of the October 1 consumption tax hike, but this is nonetheless a strong reading ahead of the BoJ’s decision next week.

The other important release over the weekend was the trade data from China, which showed exports down -1.1% yoy in November in USD terms, (vs. +0.8% expected), while exports to the US were down -23.0% yoy, in the biggest contraction since February. The trade balance was also lower than expected, at $38.73bn (vs. $44.50bn expected), and the figures demonstrate the importance for both economies of getting a trade deal, particularly with the December 15 deadline coming up on Sunday. Also on trade, overnight the Wall Street Journal reported that US Trade Representative Lighthizer and the House Democrats are nearing a deal for Congress to pass a revised version of the USMCA.

Recapping Friday’s news now before briefly reviewing last week and it was a bumper US jobs report that set the tone for markets, with nonfarm payrolls up +266k in November (vs. +180k expected), while there was an upward revision of +41k to the previous two months. The number was supported by the return of over 40,000 GM workers following a strike, but this still exceeded all analysts’ expectations on Bloomberg. This marks the strongest month since January, and saw the three-month rolling average rise to +205k, also the best since January. The unemployment rate ticked down a tenth to 3.5% (vs. 3.6% expected), in line with the joint-lowest rate since 1969, while the U6 measure that also includes those marginally attached to the labour force and the underemployed, fell to 6.9%, its joint lowest level since 2000. Meanwhile, wage growth was at +3.1% (vs. +3.0% expected), while the October number was revised up two-tenths to +3.2%.

Bolstered by the jobs report, the S&P 500 recovered to end the week up +0.16% (+0.91% Friday), with Friday’s session the strongest for the index in 5 weeks. Equities were further supported by positive noises on trade from Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, who said on CNBC that “The deal is still close”. Added to this, the market then got the University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading, which surprised to the upside with a 99.2 reading (vs. 97.0 expected), a 7-month high. The other indicators were also supportive, with the current conditions reading up to 115.2 (vs. 112.8 expected), a 12-month high, while the expectations reading rose to 88.9 (vs. 87.5 expected), a 5-month high.

European equities were also up as the news was released, with the STOXX 600 -0.02% for the week (+1.16% Friday). US Treasuries sold off following the report, however, with 10yr yields up +6.1bps on the week (+2.6bps Friday) to 1.836%, a 3-week high, while the 2s10s curve steepened by +5.8bps (+0.3bps Friday). In Europe, 10yr bunds ended the week +7.4bs (+0.8bps Friday), while the spread of Italian 10yrs over bunds rose +4.6bps (-2.8bps Friday)

The other big mover on Friday was oil, which surged after the news that OPEC+ would be reducing output by 500,000 barrels per day, and Saudi Arabia also said they would be making a further cut of 400,000 b/d below their official output target. Brent Crude ended the week up +3.14% (+1.58% Friday), its strongest performance in 6 weeks, while WTI was up +7.30% (+1.32% Friday) in its strongest performance since June.

In terms of other data on Friday, we got disappointing German industrial production figures for October, which fell by -5.3% yoy (vs. -3.6% expected), the biggest annual contraction since November 2009. Capital goods drove the decline, with an -8.4% yoy contraction, and the release comes after negative data from Germany on factory orders earlier in the week, as well as retail sales the week before, suggesting a poor start heading into the fourth quarter.

Ahead of Thursday’s general election, one of the big stories in FX markets last week was the strengthening pound, which rose +1.66% against the dollar (-0.13% Friday), and reached its highest level against the euro since May 2017. Friday’s head-to-head debate didn’t seem to offer a clear winner, with a snap YouGov poll on which leader performed best showing that 52% of viewers preferred Prime Minister Johnson, while 48% opted for Labour leader Corbyn.

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Yv2hFNEXG3Y/global-market-rally-grinds-halt-us-china-d-day-looms

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