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

UK’s Duchess of Cambridge photographs Holocaust survivors for remembrance day

Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge has honored two Holocaust survivors she photographed for a project marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day as among the most “life-affirming people I’ve ever met.”

The future Queen is among more than a dozen photographers taking part in a UK Jewish News-initiated project that will lead to an exhibition of 75 powerful images of survivors and their families to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The initiative – a joint collaboration between Jewish News, the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust – aims to honor the victims of the Shoah and acknowledge the full lives that survivors built for themselves in the UK.

The Duchess met Yvonne Bernstein and Steven Frank, along with their grandchildren, at Kensington Palace this month, spending nearly two-and-a-half hours listening to their stories of survival and taking two of the four images published today. Also featured in this first group of photos are John Hajdu and Joan Salter, both photographed by members and fellows of the Royal Photographic Society.

Monday’s Jewish News front page features Steven Frank, 84, who survived multiple concentration camps as a child but lost his father at Auschwitz, alongside his granddaughters Maggie and Trixie Fleet, aged 15 and 13. Also in the image – for which the Duchess took inspiration from the style of Johannes Vermeer – is a cooking pan which Steven’s mother kept with them throughout their time in the camps.

She would accumulate crumbs and add water to create a paste to feed her sons to help stave off starvation. Frank also brought a tomato from his garden — something he has grown since helping a fellow prisoner in Theresienstadt to grow the fruit in the camp.

Frank, who travels throughout Britain to pass on the lessons of the Shoah, said: “I hope that the people who look at these pictures not only look at the beauty of the photography, but they will also think of the people behind the photos and the families they lost.”

The remainder of the 75 photos will be taken by RPS fellows over the coming months, ahead of the exhibition later this year. Organizers hope to inspire people across the UK to consider their own responsibility to remember and share the stories of those who endured persecution.

Justin Cohen, co-publisher of Jewish News, said: “Each of these striking photographs remind us of the strength of so many survivors in building new lives and families after coming face to face with Nazi evil, but also of the millions who were murdered and the many more millions of children and grandchildren who were never even born.

The duchess took the photographs to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which falls on Monday.

“With fewer survivors with us to relay their experiences, the work of the Duchess and the other photographers will help ensure the truth is never forgotten, and its lessons for fighting hate today are brought to the fore,” Cohen said.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “The exhibition will be a fitting way to mark 75 years since the world was left scarred by the Holocaust. The survivors featured in these portraits all have very different stories, but each of their lives has been fundamentally changed by the trauma and loss they experienced. What connects these individuals is that, after systematic persecution, they all made the UK their home and the country has been enriched by them and their families.”

For her photo with granddaughter Chloe Wright, Germany-born Yvonne Bernstein, brought a brooch and a 1939 ID card stamped with the letter ‘J’ which identified her as a Jew. She was a hidden child in France and recalls vividly the fear when the Nazis came for them. Although Yvonne, her cousin and her aunt were released, her uncle was sent to Auschwitz where he was murdered.

While Yvonne said it was important that what her aunt did for her isn’t forgotten, Chloe, 11, added: “I’m happy my grandma’s story is being shared, because it raises awareness. Her story gives more perspective on the history, so you don’t just see what’s written in books, but hear what people witnessed first-hand. I also want to share my grandmother’s story when I’m older.”

Her message was echoed by the Duchess, a patron of the RPS, who said it was “a true honor to have been asked to participate in this project and I hope in some way Yvonne and Steven’s memories will be kept alive as they pass the baton to the next generation.”

Dr Alan Hodgson, President of the Royal Photographic Society, said: “The power of photography to document and give insight is evident in these photographs.

“These portraits provide a direct connection to those who were witnesses and, crucially, bring in their children and grandchildren who will be so important in ensuring their stories and experiences remain relevant.”

Yvonne was born in Germany in 1937, and named Ursula. Her father was in Amsterdam on business when Kristallnacht took place in 1938, and was advised to stay there and go into hiding. After months of hiding, he got a visa to go to the UK and work in the jewelry business in Birmingham.

Yvonne’s mother then managed to get a domestic visa to work for a vicar in Nottingham, but she could not bring Yvonne with her. They expected to be reunited a few weeks later, but war broke out. As a young child, Yvonne then undertook a long journey in the care of her aunt and uncle, frequently changing homes and names whilst living in France, including two months hiding in a convent with her cousin. Eventually the Nazis came to arrest the family.

Although Yvonne, her cousin and her aunt were released, her uncle was sent to Auschwitz where he was murdered. In 1944, Yvonne’s father, who was then in the British Army, set out to find his daughter and she eventually arrived in Britain at eight years old in June 1945. She was reunited with her parents.

The image includes an ID card and a brooch. Yvonne’s ID card is from Germany, and dated 3 March 1939. It has a letter ‘J’ stamped on it, to identify her as a Jew – one of the many ways Jewish people were separated from the rest of the population.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/uks-duchess-of-cambridge-photographs-holocaust-survivors-for-remembrance-day/

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State is failing to collect natural gas profits for public good, MK charges

A 2014 Knesset law mandating the creation of a sovereign wealth fund aimed at ensuring that Israeli citizens benefit from the country’s natural gas bonanza, as well as private investors, has not yet been implemented.

Not only is there no fund; not a single person has been taken on to set it up or run it, and a recruitment committee established in 2016 for two years under a retired judge broke up without appointing a soul.

As far back as 2012, it was predicted that the minimum level of cash for the fund to start operating — NIS 1 billion ($290 milllion) — would be reached, and even exceeded, by 2018.

But just NIS 450 million ($130 million) in levies has been collected to date and that was from the Mari-B Yam Tethys gas field, which closed in 2012. The sum was paid in 2013, and not a dime more has gone into the fund since then, according to the Globes business daily. The money is being managed temporarily in a wealth fund by the Finance Ministry’s Office of the Accountant General.

Current predictions are that the fund will not kick off until next year, at the earliest.

At a Knesset Finance Committee meeting held last Monday to discuss the Bank of Israel’s 2020 budget, committee chairman Moshe Gafni said, “We have failed in everything to do with this fund.” He added that the failure “tainted” all the institutions involved because of the total lack of responsibility they had shown.

The fund idea has been around since 2011

The fund, whose proceeds are to be spent on strategic projects for the State of Israel, was recommended by a committee set up in 2009 and led by Prof. Eytan Sheshinksi. The committee’s recommendations (with amendments) were enshrined in the Petroleum Profits Taxation Law (better known as the “Sheshinksi law”) in March 2011. That law left royalties on natural gas (paid to the Energy Ministry) at a uniform 12.5 percent, and went on to detail the way a new, additional, levy on profits (to be transferred to the tax authority) would be calculated. It ordered that a separate law detailing the mechanics of the fund be submitted to the Knesset by November of that same year.

It took three years.

In the meantime, in 2012, an inter-ministerial committee headed by the chairman of the National Economic Council, Prof. Eugene Kandel, predicted that by 2018, the fund would have amassed more than NIS 1.5 billion (according to 2012 dollar-to-shekel exchange rates), exceeding the NIS 1 billion required for the fund to start operating.

The Citizens of Israel Fund Law (available only in Hebrew) was passed in July 2014.

That law determined that the fund’s capital could only be invested overseas, in foreign currency, to protect the stability of the shekel, and that only up to 3.5 percent of investment income could be spent annually on social, economic and educational projects for the first nine years.

The law called for the creation of a recruitment committee to find candidates for the fund’s council and investment committee.

A seven-member council would include representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel, economists, and expert public appointees. Its role would include determining overall investment policy and overseeing implementation, providing the Finance Minister with an annual proposal on how to spend the funds, and appointing the director of a department within the Bank of Israel to carry out the day-to-day work.

What happened was that a recruitment committee, set up under a retired judge, Moshe Gal, failed to make any appointments.

Furthermore, as revealed by Bank of Israel governor Amir Yaron in a letter of response to Blue and White MK Orit Farkash-Hacohen before Monday’s Knesset meeting, a row has erupted between the tax authority and the Accountant General’s office that could lead to further delays in moving the fund ahead.

At Monday’s meeting, Francoise Ben Zur, the point person for setting up the new department at the Bank of Israel, noted that none of the machinery for operating the fund had been created because nobody had been employed to fill the relevant posts.

The real deal of the century?

That such a small amount of cash has been deposited so far is mainly due to the highly controversial terms for paying the levy obtained by the main gas companies involved — Delek Drilling, owned by Israeli Yitzhak Tshuva, and the Texas-based operator, Noble Energy — particularly for the Tamar natural gas field, which started commercial production in 2013. (Delek and Noble also owned the Mari-B).

Tamar’s owners successfully argued that they deserved special conditions because they had discovered the Tamar field in 2009 and started investing in it before Sheshinksi “changed the rules of the game.”

The  2011 law exempts Tamar’s owners from paying anything in levies until they have recouped twice the cash they invested, from day one of exploration (the high-risk part) to the start of commercial production — giving them a maximum of four years to do so.

It then gives them a further period of grace via a formula. Payment only begins once the companies’ total proceeds, minus total expenses, divided by total investments, reaches the figure of 2.

When that happens, the companies have to start transferring 20% of their profits to the sovereign wealth fund (or a fraction thereoff, depending on the month of the financial year in which the payments start). As the share of expenses decreases in relation to the income that comes in, that percentage rises, reaching a maximum of 50% of profits when the formula gets to 2.8. It is capped at 50% thereafter.

In the case of the Leviathan gas field (also mainly owned by Delek Drilling and Noble Energy), and companies that follow in the future, nothing has to be paid in levies until 1.5 of the investment has been recouped, within a maximum of two years. After that, the first 20% in levies will only be paid when the formula yields the figure of 1.5. The maximum levy of 50% kicks in when the formula figure reaches 2.3, remaining at 50% thereafter.

The formula for the Tamar field is expected to reach the requisite figure of 2 later on this year, although creative accounting by the companies’ firms might push it into 2021.

It was supposed to have paid earlier, but the government allowed it to write off additional expenses.

Leviathan, which still has to recoup its initial investment, let alone meet the formula figure for the start of payment, is only expected to start transferring the levy in around four to five years time.

In 2015, the Petroleum Profits Taxation Law was renamed the Natural Resources Taxation Law to reflect the inclusion of other natural resources — mainly the minerals that Israel Chemicals Ltd mines from the Dead Sea and elsewhere in southern Israel — in the levy scheme. The law specified a different method of calculation for levies on non-oil and gas profits.

In December, Globes calculated that the levies on all the industries coming under the law would bring an estimated NIS 250 billion (roughly $72 billion at current exchange rates) into the public’s coffers over a period of 30 years — NIS 155.5 ($45) billion from the Leviathan field, payable from 2024 to 2063, NIS 12 ($3.5) billion from the smaller Karish and Tanin reservoirs (from 2024 to 2032) and NIS 82.4 ($24) billion from the Tamar reservoir (2020 to 2050). The paper was unable to provide a figure for levies to be paid by ICL.

The Bank of Israel: We did everything we could

It remains unclear whether the authorities will succeed in creating the fund’s machinery in time for the arrival of the first NIS 1 billion.

The Bank of Israel’s Yaron told the Knesset Finance Committee, “Everything that the Bank of Israel could have done – we did.”

The committee heard that the bank had already spent more than NIS 2 million ($580,000) — mainly on consultants and technology — in preparation for its role as fund operator.

According to the Globes business daily, the bank has also been reaching out to international financial institutions over the past couple of years in the search for trustees and investment managers. However, it has not been able to sign any agreements because the Finance Ministry has not given it power of attorney to do so.

Farkash-Hacohen, who in 2015 was pushed out of her job as chairperson of the Israeli Public Utilities Authority on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s orders for vocally opposing the monopolistic control of the natural gas industry that Netanyahu was determined to push through, has asked for a Finance Committee discussion on the status of the fund. As she wrote to Israel Tax Authority head Eran Yaakov last month, she wants to know who is supervising the monies already collected and how and what steps are in place to ensure public transparency. She also wants the 3.5% limit on the interest that can be spent in the first few years to be expanded in light of pressing needs for upgrading in areas such as transportation infrastructure.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/state-failing-to-collect-natural-gas-profits-for-public-good-mk-charges/

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Controversy-hit Genesis Prize distances itself from prime minister

The Genesis Prize Foundation announced Monday that the Prime Minister’s Office would no longer be involved with the prestigious prize, in an attempt to distance the award from perceptions that it is political in nature.

Two years ago, Israel-born actress Natalie Portman, refused to come to Jerusalem and receive the honor because it was to be presented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to the Monday statement from the foundation, the decision for the PMO to quit the partnership was made in coordination with the Genesis Foundation and the Jewish Agency. The three bodies made-up the founders of the $1 million annual prize, touted by organizers as the Jewish Nobel.

“Despite the efforts of the partners to create a non-political award that unites the Jewish people, some have incorrectly interpreted the participation of the Office of the Prime Minister in the Genesis Prize as bringing a political dimension to this important initiative,” the statement read.

“This is the opposite of what the founders of the Prize intended. Therefore, in order to make it perfectly clear that this award transcends politics, the three partners collectively have decided that the PMO would exercise the option contained in the founding documents and withdraw from the partnership,” the founders said.

The prize honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement and commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.

Portman announced in 2018 that she would not travel to Israel for the award ceremony, which was then canceled, drawing accusations that Portman was supporting the boycott Israel movement. Portman said she did not want to be seen as endorsing Netanyahu.

The Genesis Foundation later decided that the prize money and an additional $1 million matching grant by Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn would still be distributed to women’s empowerment programs, but through the foundation.

The saga was troubling for the Genesis Prize Foundation, which says it works hard to prevent its philanthropy from being politicized.

Last year’s recipient, Robert Kraft, was thought to have been a much safer candidate, though he later became embroiled in a prostitution scandal.

Board member Prof. Rivka Carmi, a former president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, resigned in protest over the decision to move forward with plans to honor Kraft despite the New England Patriots owner being charged with soliciting a prostitute.

Last month the foundation announced that the winner of its $1 million 2020 prize is former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, citing his “lifelong struggle for human rights.” The prize committee said that following the precedent set by previous winners, Sharansky would donate the $1 million prize to nonprofit organizations.

In addition to Kraft and Portman, previous winners include artist Anish Kapoor, violinist Itzhak Perlman, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor-director Michael Douglas. Winners traditionally donate the prize money to charity.

In 2018, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg received a lifetime achievement award from the foundation.

JTA contributed to this report.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/controversy-hit-genesis-prize-distances-itself-from-prime-minister/

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NBA star Bryant’s helicopter flew in fog that grounded other choppers

CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) — The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others that crashed into a rugged hillside outside Los Angeles was flying in foggy conditions considered dangerous enough that local police agencies grounded their choppers.

The helicopter plunged into a steep hillside at about 9:45 a.m. Sunday with an impact that scattered debris over an area the size of a football field and killed all aboard. The accident unleashed an outpouring of grief from admirers around the world who mourned the sudden loss of the all-time basketball great who spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thousands of fans, many wearing Bryant jerseys and chanting his name, gathered outside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, home of the Lakers and site of Sunday’s Grammy Awards where Bryant was honored.

The 41-year-old Bryant, who perished with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was one of the game’s most popular players and the face of the 16-time NBA champion Lakers.

The cause of the crash was unknown, but conditions at the time were such that the Los Angeles Police Department and the county sheriff’s department grounded their helicopters.

The Los Angeles County medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, said the rugged terrain complicated efforts to recover the remains. He estimated it would take at least a couple of days to complete that task before identifications can be made.

Bryant’s helicopter left Santa Ana in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, shortly after 9 a.m. and circled for a time just east of Interstate 5, near Glendale. Air traffic controllers noted poor visibility around Burbank, just to the north, and Van Nuys, to the northwest.

After holding up the helicopter for other aircraft, they cleared the Sikorsky S-76 to proceed north along Interstate 5 through Burbank before turning west to follow US Route 101, the Ventura Highway.

Shortly after 9:40 a.m., the helicopter turned again, toward the southeast, and climbed to more than 2000 feet (609 meters). It then descended and crashed into the hillside at about 1400 feet (426 meters), according to data from Flightradar24.

When it struck the ground, the helicopter was flying at about 160 knots (184 mph) and descending at a rate of more than 4000 feet per minute, the data showed.

The chopper went down in Calabasas, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in nearby Thousand Oaks was holding a basketball tournament on Sunday.

Federal transportation safety investigators were on their way to the scene. Among other things, they will look at the pilot’s history, the chopper’s maintenance records and the records of its owner and operator, said NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy at a news conference.

Kurt Deetz, a pilot who used to fly Bryant in the chopper, said the crash was more likely caused by bad weather than engine or mechanical issues.

“The likelihood of a catastrophic twin engine failure on that aircraft — it just doesn’t happen,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

Justin Green, an aviation attorney in New York who flew helicopters in the Marine Corps, said pilots can become disoriented in low visibility, losing track of which direction is up. Green said a pilot flying an S-76 would be instrument-rated, meaning that person could fly the helicopter without relying on visual cues from outside.

The National Transportation Safety Board typically issues a preliminary report within about 10 days that will give a rough summary of what investigators have learned. A ruling on the cause can take a year or more.

Colin Storm was in his living room in Calabasas when he heard what sounded to him like a low-flying airplane or helicopter.

“It was very foggy so we couldn’t see anything,” he said. “But then we heard some sputtering and then a boom.”

The fog cleared a bit, and Storm could see smoke rising from the hillside in front of his home.

Firefighters hiked in with medical equipment and hoses, and medical personnel rappelled to the site from a helicopter, but found no survivors, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

News of the charismatic superstar’s death rocketed around the sports and entertainment worlds, with many taking to Twitter to register their shock, disbelief and anguish.

“Words can’t describe the pain I am feeling. I loved Kobe — he was like a little brother to me,” retired NBA great Michael Jordan said. “We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much. He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force.”

Bryant retired in 2016 as the third-leading scorer in NBA history, finishing two decades with the Lakers as a prolific shot-maker with a sublime all-around game and a relentless competitive ethic. He held that spot in the league scoring ranks until Saturday night, when the Lakers’ LeBron James passed him for third place during a game in Philadelphia, Bryant’s hometown.

He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and he earned 12 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams. He teamed with Shaquille O’Neal in a combustible partnership to lead the Lakers to consecutive NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

His Lakers tenure was marred by scandal when in 2003, Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He said the two had consensual sex, and prosecutors later dropped the felony sexual assault charge at the request of the accuser. The woman later filed a civil suit against Bryant that was settled out of court.

Bryant went on to win two more titles in 2009 and 2010, and retired in 2016.

Among those killed in the crash were John Altobelli, 56, longtime head coach of Southern California’s Orange Coast College baseball team; his wife, Keri; and daughter, Alyssa, who played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, said Altobelli’s brother, Tony, who is the sports information director at the school.

Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley tweeted that the dead also included Christina Mauser, a girls basketball coach at a nearby private elementary school. Her husband, Matt Mauser, founded the Tijuana Dogs, a popular Orange County band. In a Facebook post he said: “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash.”

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/nba-star-bryants-helicopter-flew-in-fog-that-grounded-other-choppers/

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New York high school sparks public storm over free speech on Israel

On January 9, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School — an elite private school in the Bronx known for its diversity and progressive values — fired JB Brager, a 31-year-old history teacher. Brager, who is Jewish, had expressed views on Twitter that were anti-Zionist and in support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Brager’s firing appears to be the latest instance in a trend, trickling down from colleges to high schools, in which educators whose politics challenge the mainstream Zionist narrative about Israel are punished for their political views.

“To me, what makes a good teacher is making clear my views and helping my students argue against me,” Brager (who uses they/them pronouns) tells me, in their first comments to a reporter since being fired. “I feel strongly that one should be able to teach students of all different political belief systems, but that doesn’t mean I have to change my beliefs.”

Brager’s dismissal followed a series of tweets they posted in November 2019 regarding a recent incident involving a speaker at a school assembly. Kayum Ahmed, an adjunct law professor at Columbia University and a division director at Open Society Foundations, gave a talk at Fieldston about apartheid South Africa. In response to a question from a student, Ahmed discussed the phenomenon of victims becoming perpetrators.

In a video of the talk posted by the right-wing Washington Free Beacon, which has played a key role in drawing national attention to this incident, Ahmed said that “the Jews suffered in the Holocaust and established the State of Israel. Today they perpetuate violence against the Palestinians that are unthinkable… the victims of the Holocaust and violence have become perpetrators of injustice against Palestinians.”

The Free Beacon and Tablet reported that some parents took issue with the comments. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), told the Free Beacon, “To blame the victim in this manner was really outrageous and these virulent views — saying that Jews who escaped the Holocaust are now the perpetrators of injustice — has [sic] no place in our society and certainly not in our schools where we’re educating young people.” (The ADL did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)

CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Jonathan Greenblatt, attends a conference on American Jewry in the Knesset, December 05, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The Fieldston administration sent out a letter to parents deeming Ahmed’s comments “deeply hurtful” and suggesting that they were anti-Semitic. “We know that Anti-Semitism, alongside many other forms of bigotry, is resurgent in America and in the world today,” the letter read. “ECFS [the Ethical Culture Fieldston School] vehemently opposes anti-Jewish words, deeds, and sentiment. We do not accept them in our community.”

According to the New York Times, Fieldston had asked Ahmed for clarification on his remarks, and he responded that he did not believe he had said anything anti-Semitic and that he is “deeply opposed to anti-Semitism.” The Fieldston administration’s letter did not include any information about these later statements from Ahmed.

Following the letter, Brager posted several tweets expressing indignation with the school’s handling of the situation, some of which have since been deleted. “When institutions of ‘learning’ bow to political pressure to disavow historical reality, what can educators do within that institution?” wrote Brager. They added, “I have never been more disappointed in my employer than I am today and I have never been closer to quitting.”

They also tweeted, “I support BDS (boycotts, divestments, sanctions) and Palestinian sovereignty, and I have for my entire life” and “I refuse to ‘reaffirm the value’ of ethnonationalist settler colonialism.” (The latter tweet references the language of Fieldston’s letter, which contained this line: “We are taking the opportunity brought by this incident not to discuss this particular speaker or his words, but to reaffirm our institution’s firmly held values.) Later, in December, Brager also tweeted, “Making latkes tonight for my birthday and channukah, text me if you want to come over, no Zionists.”

In December, Tablet reported on some of Brager’s tweets in their coverage of the assembly. Outrage continued to build, and on January 8 — the day before Brager’s dismissal — Democratic U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Max Rose of New York sent a letter to Fieldston condemning Ahmed’s remarks.

On the day that Brager was fired, the Free Beacon devoted an entire article to their tweets and other social media posts, which they reported “have caught the attention of Fieldston students and parents.” The next day, the Free Beacon took credit for Brager’s firing. (Yad Yamin — “right hand” — a group that calls itself a “non-partisan, non-political idea that organizes Jews, and our allies, to vehemently combat anti-Semitism in all its forms” — also took credit for Brager’s firing on Facebook because of a phone-in campaign they organized complaining about Brager, whom they describe as a “Jew hater.”)

Activists from the ‘International Block’, hold a BDS sign, during the annual May Day demonstration, Berlin, Germany, May 1, 2017. (Activestills.org)

‘Smear attacks’

It is unclear why the school waited until almost two months after Brager’s tweets about Fieldston’s response to Ahmed’s remarks to fire Brager, who reached a settlement with the school last week, the terms of which are confidential. Some in the Fieldston community assume that Brager’s dismissal was triggered by a gesture they made at an assembly held on the day they were fired.

The assembly featured Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and Rabbi Joshua Davidson of Temple Emanu-El, both prominent Reform synagogues in Manhattan, whom Fieldston invited to speak about the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the United States. (The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue later tweeted that the two rabbis were there “to present the mainstream Jewish perspective on the recent explosion of anti-Semitism in our country and mount a defense of Zionism”).

The event was organized as a response to the blowback from Ahmed’s comments, amid the recent uptick in anti-Semitic violence in the New York area. The two rabbis were added to programming the school already had in place as part of its “anti-bias Community Curriculum,” introduced last year.

In a video filmed by a student that has been circulating widely among students and parents, Brager is seen from behind making an annoyed gesture with their fingers at the back of the room during the rabbis’ speech. While the New York Times and the Free Beacon reported that Brager gave the middle finger, the nature of the gesture is not clear from the video. Brager says they don’t remember what gesture they made, but that the “words [of the rabbi who was speaking] were more obscene than my gesture, whether I pointed or waved and whatever finger it was.”

During his speech, Hirsch directly referred to the Ahmed controversy, saying that “to accuse Israelis of inflicting Nazi-like violence on others is morally grotesque.” (Comparing Israeli policy to Nazism, which Ahmed only arguably did, is one example of anti-Semitism offered by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the State Department, which is also included in the executive order against anti-Semitism that Donald Trump signed last month.)

Hirsch went on to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, attributing both to the left.  (One week after Brager’s dismissal, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Hirsch and Davidson in which they claim that “[a]nti-Israel activism has spread beyond the college campus and into the elementary and high school classroom” and note that Fieldston had fired a teacher — Brager — for “tweets demonizing Zionism.”)

Fieldston (Ethical Culture School) at 33 Central Park West, New York, NY. (Wikmedia Commons)

It seems unlikely that Brager’s gesture or the Free Beacon’s article played a role in the school’s decision, given that, according to Brager, they were informed two days prior to the day of their firing that they were being investigated, and that the meeting itself at which they were fired had been scheduled the day before.

Fieldston, for its part, has not offered any information to clarify why Brager was fired. Since dismissal agreements typically include non-disparagement clauses, it is practically impossible to get any details about the specifics of Brager’s dismissal. Fieldston faculty has been instructed not to speak publicly on the matter, and the administration refuses to comment on record about the incident, beyond a statement issued by the head of the school, Jessica Bagby, which was sent to alumni on January 14.

Bagby wrote: “with regard to ECFS personnel matters, out of respect for the privacy of our faculty and staff, we do not comment on internal personnel decisions. We can reaffirm, however, that the School does not tolerate hurtful, offensive, or exclusionary content or comments from any member of the community. Students, parents, employees, and other members of our community all face consequences for misbehavior of this nature.”

In the wake of Brager’s dismissal, over 700 Fieldston alumni, parents, educators, and community leaders have signed a letter to Fieldston trustees condemning the administration for caving to pressure from “a small set of conservative parents, who in turn were supported by smear attacks on JB in the right-wing press,” and calling for Brager to be reinstated.

Two days after the dismissal, Gina Apostol, a novelist and English teacher at Fieldston, tweeted, “Like JB, I support BDS: sanctions against Israel to restore human rights to Palestinians. That isn’t anti-Semitic nor anti-Israel.” Apostol also started a GoFundMe campaign in support of Brager, who is not entitled to severance because they worked at Fieldston for only 1.5 years, less than the three years required for union membership.

“They are an excellent educator,” one Jewish parent, whose child is currently a student at Fieldston and studied with Brager last year, tells me. “They are fair and thoughtful, and they encourage their students to see things from a multitude of perspectives.” This parent is also concerned about the wider intellectual climate at Fieldston right now. “The school is really targeting people that don’t stand with the administration,” she says, citing Brager’s efforts to diversify the curriculum.

American Jewish activists protest outside the Birthright offices in New York, April 5, 2019. (GIli Getz)

Since being hired in 2018, Brager — whose areas of academic expertise include the history of genocide and settler colonialism, as well as queer and feminist studies — had taught courses on U.S. history and the two World Wars to 10th graders, as well as a sex education class to 7th graders. They were slated to teach four new classes this year: a course on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, a course on Reconstruction, a course on Indigenous studies, and a course on queer history (the first of its kind at the school).

Brager says they had always been open in the classroom about their politics, and that their relationships with students and other faculty members had been very positive. “This seems to be coming from people that I don’t know and who don’t know me,” they say.

‘McCarthyite atmosphere’

Fieldston was founded in the late 19th century by Felix Adler, a German Jewish immigrant, with the mission of studying and practicing ethics. Its alumni include many famous figures in the media and entertainment industries, such as Diane Arbus, Sofia Coppola, Sean Lennon, Jane Mayer, and Barbara Walters. Annual tuition is now over $50,000, but the school provides millions in financial aid each year. Of its 1,200 students from pre-K through 12th grade, 30% are non-white, and there is a large Jewish student population.

Last year, the student group Students of Color Matter staged lock-ins demanding that the school respond better to racism and, among other things, develop a mandatory black studies course. Bagby, the head of the school, was herself embroiled in a controversy a few years ago in which she was accused of anti-Semitism for claiming privately that some “Jewish” and “Zionist” parents of students had qualms with the combating racism program, according to a report in the New York Times. (Neither Bagby nor the principal, Nigel Furlonge, are Jewish, but many Fieldston parents, alumni, and donors are.)

As Nancy Kricorian — an author, former Code Pink staffer, and parent of two recent Fieldston graduates — told the Riverdale Press, “Fieldston’s administration is afraid — as are many school administrations — of being accused of anti-Semitism. There are real and terrifying acts of hatred and violence being perpetrated against Jewish people, but a Jewish teacher’s anti-Zionist opinions and social media posts are not anti-Semitism.”

In an email sent to alumni after Brager was fired, Fieldston claims to be “in conversations with a number of prospective partners” regarding anti-Semitism education at the school, listing among them the ADL and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) as well as the left-wing group Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), which rejects the equation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

Hundreds fill New York City’s Washington Square Park to protest President Trump’s decision to ban Muslim refugees from entering the U.S., January 26, 2017. (Gili Getz)

However, according to Leo Ferguson, the movement-building organizer at JFREJ and co-author of the resource “Understanding Antisemitism,” the school has not reached out to them since this incident. Ferguson notes that last year, a parent group at Fieldston inquired about JFREJ doing a training, but nothing came of it. Ferguson also says that JFREJ is “appalled” by Brager’s firing. “We think it sets a terrible precedent and chilling for free speech.”

Brager is worried about the implications their firing will have for other educational institutions. “I am particularly concerned about the conflation of anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, effectively shutting down real conversations about Palestinian rights and Israeli ethno-nationalism,” they say.

“For students of Jewish history to not be exposed to the long and rich history of leftist, even anti-Zionist Jewish culture and politics is a tragic erasure. For students to learn about Indigenous rights and settler colonialism without confronting Israel as a settler colony is an incomplete picture of history. For students to learn about the Holocaust without considering the Nakba is to say that history ended in 1945.”

According to Radhika Sainath, an attorney with Palestine Legal — an organization providing legal support and resources to people who are censored or penalized for their advocacy of Palestinian rights — there has been a significant rise in incidents targeting pro-Palestinian speech in K-12 education since 2018. The spreading of this phenomenon, which has until recently mostly taken place on college campuses, into the realm of secondary education is especially concerning considering that high school teachers — particularly at private schools — often have fewer protections than tenured university professors.

“There is a real McCarthyite atmosphere when it comes to talking about Palestine,” Sainath says. “Teachers shouldn’t be scared of losing their jobs for criticizing Israel or simply teaching about Palestinian human rights. This is not an environment that’s conducive to learning.”

Palestine Legal says it responded to 247 incidents of suppression of U.S.-based Palestine advocacy in 2019 — the great majority of them targeting college students and professors. Between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2019, a total of 1,494 incidents of this kind were reported to Palestine Legal.

Members and supporters of Fordham Students for Justice in Palestine rally on the university’s Manhattan campus against the Fordham administration’s refusal to register SJP as a student organization, January 23, 2017. (Joe Catron)

Palestine Legal is currently advising Jon Cohen, a Queens public school educator who was asked to stop wearing a Jewish Voice for Peace shirt and to remove items supportive of Palestinian rights (including a photograph of the late pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie, a postcard-sized handmade Palestinian flag, and a small strip of paper that read “free Palestine”) from his work space last May.

Other instances in recent years include the 2017 firing of two teachers at the Friends’ Central School, a Quaker school near Philadelphia, for inviting a Palestinian professor to speak at the school. In 2018, some parents at the Beacon School in Manhattan were outraged when students were asked to pause for a moment of silence for the 62 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in a single day on May 15, 2018, prompting the principal to apologize.

That same spring, Joel Doerfler, a Fieldston alumnus, resigned in protest from another elite private school in the Bronx — Riverdale Country School — after a course he taught on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was canceled, reportedly as a result of parental outrage caused by his highlighting Israel’s killing of Palestinians in Gaza by hanging a newspaper clipping about it on his office door.

“There is only one subject that is outside the pale and it’s Israel,” says Doerfler, who is Jewish and who worked as a teacher for over 40 years and is now retired.  “I wouldn’t dismiss this as the work of a tiny handful. I think this is something that is splitting the Jewish community everywhere… It’s a powerful force because it’s organized, and it’s got this whole institutional infrastructure and zillions of dollars and lots of willing media outlets,” Doerfler says, noting that when parents were upset with his politics, they brought in the AJC to help coordinate efforts.

“We are dealing with the most privileged parents on the globe,” says Doerfler. “They have wealth, they have connections. When they organize and in my case with the benefit of the AJC, the administration listens.” Doerfler believes that Brager is the latest victim of a “vicious and dangerous assault on free speech and academic independence.”

The Riverdale Country School Campus Entrance Sign (Anthony22/Wikimedia Commons)

Excluding Palestinian narratives

The fact that so many of these incidents are taking place in schools that pride themselves on diversity and progressive values is a testament to how successful the pro-Israel network — from right-wing Jewish organizations and wealthy donors, to conservative media outlets and politicians — has been at suppressing anti-Zionists and BDS advocates in the American education system. Their efforts have resulted in the exclusion of Palestinian narratives from curricula and the omission of basic historical and current facts about Israel’s role in displacement, occupation, and systematic inequality and violence.

Brager’s firing is part of a national push to restrict free speech about Israel by conflating anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and by framing the fight against anti-Semitism as inseparable from the promotion of Zionism. This push is increasingly gaining traction in the U.S. Congress. A House bill introduced this month proposes that one of the ways to combat anti-Semitism is to “teach about the vital and historic importance of the Jewish State of Israel.”

Brager sees these efforts as counterproductive to critical thought. “Zionists are afraid of even neutral histories, much less anti-Zionist views, being presented to young Jewish people,” they say, “because when young Jews are asked to think critically about Zionism, many of them begin to question the dogmatic belief system presented to them particularly by faith leaders.”

In Israel, meanwhile, a left-wing civics teacher in Rishon Letzion was fired this month for expressing his opposition to Israel’s military operations to his students. The efforts to silence left-wing views on Israel/Palestine are international, and will require international efforts to counteract.

This article was first published on Jewish Currents. Read it here.



Source Article from https://www.972mag.com/fieldston-free-speech-israel/

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Trump Is Right: Afghanistan Is A ‘Loser War’


Source Article from https://stanstasblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/trump-is-right-afghanistan-is-a-loser-war/

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“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

By Israel Shahak and Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, November 16, 2019 Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc. 3 March 2013 Introduction The following document pertaining to the formation of “Greater Israel” constitutes the cornerstone of powerful Zionist factions within the current Netanyahu government, the Likud party, as well as within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. President Donald […]

via “Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

Source Article from https://stanstasblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east-uprootedpalestinianss-blog/

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Domestic Politics weighing heavily on Trump’s proposed Mideast peace plan The Ugly Truth Judaism, Zionism and the toxic effect of apocalyptic religious delusions on world affairs

Source Article from https://stanstasblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/domestic-politics-weighing-heavily-on-trumps-proposed-mideast-peace-plan-the-ugly-truth-judaism-zionism-and-the-toxic-effect-of-apocalyptic-religious-delusions-on-world-affairs/

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Bennett: ‘We won’t allow even a centimeter of ‘our land’ to be surrendered The Ugly Truth Judaism, Zionism and the toxic effect of apocalyptic religious delusions on world affairs

Source Article from https://stanstasblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/bennett-we-wont-allow-even-a-centimeter-of-our-land-to-be-surrendered-the-ugly-truth-judaism-zionism-and-the-toxic-effect-of-apocalyptic-religious-delusions-on-world-affairs/

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Lest We Forget–As Air Force One lands in Israel, breaking news that articles of impeachment voted against Bill Clinton by House Judiciary Committee

Source Article from https://stanstasblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/lest-we-forget-as-air-force-one-lands-in-israel-breaking-news-that-articles-of-impeachment-voted-against-bill-clinton-by-house-judiciary-committee/

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Italian Bonds Rally As League Loses Critical Vote

League Party Leader Matteo Salvini has been stymied in his mission to destabilize and destroy Italy’s ruling coalition government.

Yesterday, voters in Emilia-Romagna, a prosperous region in Italy’s north that has long been considered part of the country’s “red belt,” sided with the center-left once again and elected its candidate, Stefano Bonaccini, to serve as governor of the region for five years. Bonaccini won 51.4% of the vote, beating out League senator Lucia Borgonzoni, who won 43.7%. Borgonzoni was the candidate of a center-right coalition. Voters also headed to the polls in Calabria yesterday in an election which the League candidate handily won, as was expected.

While the League remains the most popular political party in Italy, Emilia Romagna is part of the so-called “red belt” – a region of the country that for decades supported the Italian Communist Party (once the largest Communist Party in Europe) before moving to the center-left Democratic Party (or PD) after the fall of communism. Polls ahead of the vote showed that Borgonzoni and Bonaccini were running neck-and-neck, suggesting that the region might be the latest left-wing stalwart to embrace Salvini’s tough-on-immigration agenda. The League also triumphed in the region during the EU parliamentary elections in May, becoming the leading party with 34% of the vote to the PD’s 31%. And after Salvini led the League to an upset in Umbria three months ago, many observers bet that he would repeat that same feat.

Italian government bonds (known as BTPs) rallied, compressing the spread with German bunds to its tightest level since November. Analysts claimed the risk of imminent collapse for the Italian government had abated – for now, at least.

“With the centre-left win in Emilia-Romagna, the risk of a government crisis in the short term has receded somewhat,” said analysts at Barclays in a note to investors. “Yet many hurdles persist: [among them] the future nature of the coalition with a fractured Five Star Movement, the thin majority in the Senate [and] the regional and referendum votes further into 2020.”

As one WSJ reporter pointed out, this is hardly the first time that fears of political instability led to a blowout in spreads, only for Italian bonds to rally on the big risk-off headline.

To be sure, tensions in Italy’s ruling coalition – between the center-left PD and anti-establishment Five Star Movement – remain tense, even after longtime M5S leader resigned from the leadership last week in a bid to save the coalition. Despite this, Goldman Sachs said it expects BTPs to outperform, seeing more room for yield compression between bunds and BTPs.

The 10-year BTP yield slid 16 basis points lower to 1.08% bringing the spread to the 10-year bund to 142 bps, the narrowest since Nov. 8 as the ruling coalition looks to stay in power until at least the first half of 2021.

But before you pile in to BTPs, the FT’s Tony Barber offers some food for thought: Though this loss was Salvini’s second political miscalculation in the last six months, “the overall political momentum” is still behind him. And the ruling coalition of former sworn enemies has been riddled with gridlock. The only thing they seem to agree on is that they don’t want Salvini to become prime minister.

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/fFfY4_Pv4Ec/italian-bonds-rally-league-loses-critical-vote

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Retired Or Retiring Soon? Yes, Worry About A Correction

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

When I was growing up, my father used to tell me I should “never take advice from anyone who hasn’t succeeded at what they are advising.” 

The most truth of that statement is found in the financial press, which consists mostly of people writing articles and giving advice on topics where they have little experience, and in general, have achieved no success.

The best example came last week in an email quoting:

“You recently suggested that you took profits from your portfolios; however, I read an article saying retirees shouldn’t change their strategies. ‘If you’ve got a thoughtful financial plan and a diversified investment portfolio, the general rule is to leave everything alone.’” 

This seems to be an entirely different approach to what you are suggesting. Also, since corrections can’t be predicted, it seems to make sense.” 

One of the biggest reasons why investors consistently underperform over the long-term is due to flawed investment advice.

Let me explain.

Corrections & Bear Markets Matter

It certainly seems logical, by looking the 120-year chart of the market, that one should just stay invested regardless of what happens. Eventually, as the financial media often suggests, the markets always get back to even. One such chart is the percentage gain/loss chart over the long-term, as shown below.

This is one of the most deceptive charts an advisor can show a client, particularly one that is close to, or worse in, retirement.

The reality is that you DIED long before ever achieving that 8% annualized long-term return you were promised. Secondly, math is a cruel teacher.

Visually, percentage drawdowns seem to be inconsequential relative to the massive percentage gains that preceded them. That is, until you convert percentages into points and reveal an uglier truth.

It is important to remember that a 100% gain on a $1000 investment, followed by a 50% loss, does not leave you with $1500. A 50% loss wipes out the previous 100% gain, leaving you with a 0% net return.

For retirees, this is a critically important point.

In 2000, the average “baby boomer” was around 45-years of age. The “dot.com” crash was painful, but with 20-years to go before retirement, there was time to recover. In 2010, following the financial crisis, the time to retirement for the oldest boomers was depleted, and the average boomer only had 10-years to recover. During both of these previous periods, portfolios were still in accumulation mode. However, today, only the youngest tranche of “boomers,” have the luxury of “time” to work through the next major market reversion. (This also explains why the share of workers over the age of 65 is at historical highs.) 

With the majority of “boomers” now faced with the implications of a transition into the distribution phase of the investment cycle, such has important ramifications during market declines. The following example shows a $1 million portfolio with, and without, an annualized 4% withdrawal rate. (We are going into much deeper analysis on this in a moment.)

While a 10% decline in the market will reduce a portfolio from $1 million to $990,000, when combined with an assumed monthly withdrawal rate, the portfolio value is reduced by almost 14%. This is the result of taking distributions during a period of declining market values. Importantly, while it ONLY requires a non-withdrawal portfolio an 11.1% return to break even, it requires nearly a 20% return for a portfolio in the distribution phase to attain the same level.

Impairments to capital are the biggest challenges facing pre- and post-retirees currently. 

This is an important distinction. Most articles written about retirees, or those ready to retire, is an unrealized assumption of an indefinite timeline.

While the market may not be different than it has been in the past. YOU ARE!

Starting Valuations Matter

As I have discussed previously, without understanding the importance of starting valuations on your investment returns, you can’t understand the impact the market will have on psychology, and investor behavior.

Over any 30-year period, beginning valuation levels have a tremendous impact on future returns.

As valuations rise, future rates of annualized returns fall. This should not be a surprise as simple logic states that if you overpay for an asset today, the future returns must, and will, be lower.

This is far less than the 8-10% rates of return currently promised by the Wall Street community. It is also why starting valuations are critical for individuals to understand when planning for both the accumulation and distribution, phases of the investment life-cycle.

Let’s elaborate on our example above.

We know that markets go up and down over time, therefore when advisors use “average” or “annualized” rates of return, results often deviate far from reality. However, we do know from historical analysis that valuations drive forward returns, so using historical data, we calculated the 4-periods where starting valuations were either above 20x earnings, or below 10x earnings. We then ran a $1000 investment going forward for 30-years on a total-return, inflation-adjusted, basis. 

The results were not surprising.

At 10x earnings, the worst performing period started in 1918 and only saw $1000 grow to a bit more than $6000. The best performing period was actually not the screaming bull market that started in 1980 because the last 10-years of that particular cycle caught the “dot.com” crash. It was the post-WWII bull market that ran from 1942 through 1972 that was the winner. Of course, the crash of 1974, just two years later, extracted a good bit of those returns.

Conversely, at 20x earnings, the best performing period started in 1900, which caught the rise of the market to its peak in 1929. Unfortunately, the next 4-years wiped out roughly 85% of those gains. However, outside of that one period, all of the other periods fared worse than investing at lower valuations. (Note: 1993 is still currently running as its 30-year period will end in 2023.)

The point to be made here is simple and was precisely summed up by Warren Buffett:

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” 

To create our variable return assumption model, we averaged each of the 4-periods above into a single total return, inflation-adjusted, index. We could then see the impact of $1000 invested in the markets at both valuations BELOW 10x trailing earnings, and ABOVE 20x. Investing at 10x earnings yields substantially better results.

Starting Valuations Are Critical To Withdrawal Rates

With a more realistic return model, the impact of investing during periods of high valuations becomes more evident, particularly during the withdrawal phase of retirement.

Let’s start with our $1 million retirement portfolio. The chart below shows various “spend down” assumptions of a $1 million retirement portfolio adjusted for an 8% annualized return, the impact of inflation at 3%, and the effect of taxation on withdrawals.

By adjusting the annualized rate of return for the impact of inflation and taxes, the life expectancy of a portfolio grows considerably shorter. Unfortunately, this is what “really happens” to investors over time, but is never discussed in mainstream analysis.

To understand “real outcomes,” we must adjust for variable rates of returns. There is a significant difference between 8% annualized rates of return and 8% real rates of return. 

When we adjust the spend down structure for elevated starting valuation levels, and include inflation and taxes, a far different, and less favorable, outcome emerges. Retirees will run out of money not in year 30, but in year 18.

With this understanding, let’s revisit what happens to “buy and hold” investors over time. The chart below shows $3000 invested annually into the S&P 500 inflation-adjusted, total return index at 10% compounded annually, and both 10x and 20x valuation starting levels. I have also shown $3000 saved annually and “stuffed in a mattress.”

The red line is 10% compounded annually. While you don’t get compounded returns, it is there for comparative purposes to the real returns received over the 30-year investment horizon starting at 10x and 20x valuation levels. The shortfall between the promised 10% annual rates of return and actual returns are shown in the two shaded areas. In other words, if you are banking on some advisor’s promise of 10% annual returns for retirement, you aren’t going to make it.

Questions Retirees Need To Ask About Plans

What this analysis reveals is that “retirees” SHOULD be worried about bear markets. 

Taking the correct view of your portfolio, and the risks being undertaken is critical when entering the retirement and distribution phase of the portfolio life cycle.

Most importantly, when building and/or reviewing your financial plan, these are the questions you must ask and have concrete answers for:

  • What are the expectations for future returns going forward given current valuation levels? 

  • Should the withdrawal rates be downwardly adjusted to account for potentially lower future returns? 

  • Given a decade long bull market, have adjustments been made for potentially front-loaded negative returns? 

  • Has the impact of taxation been carefully considered in the planned withdrawal rate?

  • Have future inflation expectations been carefully considered?

  • Have drawdowns from portfolios during declining market environments, which accelerates principal bleed, been considered?

  • Have plans been made to harbor capital during up years to allow for reduced portfolio withdrawals during adverse market conditions?

  • Has the yield chase over the last decade, and low interest rate environment, which has created an extremely risky environment for retirement income planning, been carefully considered?

  • What steps should be considered to reduce potential credit and duration risk in bond portfolios?

  • Have expectations for compounded annual rates of returns been dismissed in lieu of a plan for variable rates of future returns?

 If the answer is “no” to the majority of these questions. then feel free to contact one of the CFP’s in our office who take all of these issues into account. 

With debt levels rising globally, economic growth on the long-end of the cycle, earnings growth weak, valuations high, and potential risk of a recession, the uncertainty of retirement plans has risen markedly. This lends itself to the problem of individuals having to spend a bulk of their “retirement” continuing to work.

Yes, not only should you worry about bear markets, you should worry about them a lot.

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/YhRm-SWjhiU/retired-or-retiring-soon-yes-worry-about-correction

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Canada Says Wife Of First nCoV Patient Also Has Virus

Another alarming development in the global coronavirus outbreak has been confirmed: Public health officials in Ontario are preparing to announce that the wife of Canada’s first coronavirus patient has also been stricken with the virus.

The significance of this news may be lost on some casual observers, as it was no doubt lost on the reporters from the Canadian Press News who got the scoop: But this might constitutes evidence of human-to-human transmission outside of China – a sign that the virus has reached a new stage of contagion that some epidemiologists and researchers dismissed as extremely improbable just last week.

It’s unclear whether the woman traveled to China with her husband, so it’s still not certain whether she contracted the disease from the same source as her husband, or whether he actually passed it to him. The CPN reported that she has been in self-imposed isolation with her husband since arriving in Toronto (presumably for him to get treatment) last week.

On Thursday, the WHO declined to designate the outbreak as a global pandemic, arguing that China had the resources to contain the virus, and that it had not yet become a global problem. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said they needed more information to reach a consensus on whether to declare a PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern). Specifically, the organization wanted to see evidence of human-to-human transmission outside of China before declaring a global emergency.

This has now been confirmed. So, how much longer until the WHO reverses its decision? We suspect they’ll wait at least until 4 pm ET.


Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/XGKqk6OYs-Y/canada-says-wife-first-ncov-patient-also-has-virus

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Global Stocks Crash As Coronavirus Pandemic Infects 3,000; China, Yuan Plummet

Global markets are a freefalling, sea of red mess, as algos finally realized that last week’s optimism that “China’s coronavirus epidemic is contained” was actually dead wrong, and the result is Dow down over 400 points and S&P futures plunging below 3,250…

… because with nearly 3,000 people infected around the globe and over 80 dead, one thing is certain: the epidemic is anything but contained.

And so, after denying reality for over a week, global stocks finally tumbled on Monday with S&P futures plunged the most since October 2, as investors grew increasingly anxious about the economic impact of China’s spreading virus outbreak, with demand spiking for safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen and Treasury notes.

“Any economic shock to China’s colossal industrial and consumption engines will spread rapidly to other countries through the increased trade and financial linkages associated with globalization,” Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at Axitrader, wrote in a note Monday. “I’m starting to think cash is the right place to be for the next few weeks” Innes added making a mockery of Ray Dalio’s cash forecast for the second time in three years.

As Saxobank notes, equities are finally beginning to contemplate the possibility that the virus 2019-nCoV in China will have significant economic impact as the lockdown is now affecting 56 million people. China has imposed travel bans, school closings in major cities and is extending the Lunar New Year. The market reaction already started Friday with the US equities declining as more news disseminated, but in today’s session Chinese related markets are hit hard.

“Investors will react quickly to any sign of negativity and this is no exception as China announces that the issue has become an emergency. This could keep oil prices fragile until the coronavirus shows signs of slowing down,” said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive at Sun Global Investments.

In Asian trading, the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan was off 0.4%, although trade in the region has already slowed for the Lunar New Year and other holidays, with financial markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia closed on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei average slid 2.0%, the biggest one-day fall in five months. Amid the Lunar New Year holiday, many markets in Asia were closed with China expected to be closed until at least Feb 3, however those who wanted to get out of China could do so thanks to the Singapore-tarded China proxy, the FTSE China A50 future, has plunged over 11% since the disease outbreak was reported.

The risk-off sentiment continued in European trading, where volumes and volatility surged, as Europe reacted to Asian equity weakness driven by weekend updates on the coronavirus spread. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index headed for its worst decline since October, with the mining group dropping by 4%. All Euro Stoxx 600 sectors are in the red with miners, travel and tech names posting the heaviest losses; a key measure of risk for the debt of Europe’s most fragile companies jumped to the highest in nearly two months. Adding to Europe’s pain, Germany’s IFO survey disappointed, confirming that the economic rebound in Germany is not a straight line as we have seen in previous rebounds since 2008. It all adds to uncertainty.

U.S. Treasury prices advanced, pushing down yields further, with the benchmark 10-year notes dropping to a 3-1/2-month trough of 1.627% in early Asian trade.

As yields plunged, so did oil and Brent crude futures fell to three- and five-month lows, respectively, with Brent plunging below $60 for the first time since October.

In Rates, German bonds rallied after closing their opening gap in early London trade with the curve bull flattening, spurred by a large block trade in bobl futures. One-way traffic in Italian bonds, 10y BTP rally ~230 ticks, tightening ~17bps to core after the weekend regional election. Amusingly, in Greece 10-year GGB yields drop to record lows after Friday’s upgrade by Fitch. Treasury curve bull steepens, 10-year yield drops ~6bps, with 2y and 5y supply due later today.

Emerging market equities are down 4.1% and cyclical sectors are leading the declines with especially travel, luxury goods, semiconductors and mining related stocks being hit the hardest.

Adding to risk-off sentiment we observe the VIX Index is close to 18, the highest level since October, which means that the equity market is shifting in a different state with lower expected returns and higher volatility. Remember as we have said many times in the past that the 22 level is the magical level where equity markets downside dynamics become very ugly. So stay alert and pay attention to news out of China and watch the VIX.

In the currency market, the concerns about the virus supported the yen, which strengthened as much as 0.5% to 108.73 yen per dollar, its 2-1/2-week high. The euro last stood at $1.1028 versus the dollar, having fallen to its eight-week low of $1.1019 on Friday. The offshore yuan dropped more than 0.5% to 6.9776 against the dollar, its weakest level since Jan. 6 and its biggest drop since October.

In other commodities, base metals slump, LME Nickel over 2% lower to underperform peers. Spot gold rose as much as 1.0% to $1,585.80 per ounce, the highest level since Jan. 8, as rising concerns over the spread of a virus outbreak in China and its potential economic impact prompted investors to buy the safe-haven metal.

In geopolitical news, Iran nuclear agency deputy chief said they have the capacity to enrich uranium at any percentage if the government decides to. There was an attack on the US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq where 3 rockets hit the embassy which left one individual injured although the injuries were only minor and the person later returned to duty, while the US embassy is said to have informed the Iraqi government that there will be a military response according to Twitter sources.

New home sales are among economic data due. Scheduled earnings include Sprint, Whirlpool

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 1.3% to 3,250.25
  • MXAP down 0.7% to 170.81
  • MXAPJ down 0.5% to 556.16
  • Nikkei down 2% to 23,343.51
  • Topix down 1.6% to 1,702.57
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 27,949.64
  • Shanghai Composite down 2.8% to 2,976.53
  • Sensex down 1% to 41,210.97
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.04% to 7,090.54
  • Kospi down 0.9% to 2,246.13
  • Brent futures down 3.4% to $58.62/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.8% to $1,583.27
  • U.S. dollar Index up 0.06% to 97.91
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 1.7% to 416.42
  • German 10Y yield fell 2.7 bps to -0.362%
  • Euro down 0.07% to $1.1017
  • Brent Futures down 3.2% to $58.75/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 2.2 bps to 1.064%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 5.2 bps to 0.296%

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Traders see nearly 60% chance of a Bank of England cut this week as of Monday. Economists are more cautious, predicting a 6-3 vote to keep rates on hold as the government prepares to negotiate a trade deal with the European Union that will help define the post-Brexit economy
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s upcoming choice of candidate to join the Bank of Japan board could shed light on the leader’s current thinking on the importance of achieving a stubbornly difficult inflation goal. be’s nomination to replace Yutaka Harada is scheduled to take place Tuesday morning, according to a document seen by Bloomberg
  • China’s escalating viral outbreak may end up hitting Japan’s fragile economy harder than the SARS outbreak of 2003, according to economists
  • Traders are pricing in a full quarter- point Federal Reserve rate cut this year amid fears of headwinds to global growth from the spread of the coronavirus. Economists for their part see the Fed holding rates steady this year and next, according to a survey by Bloomberg

A broad risk-averse tone resumed across asset classes following on from last Friday’s declines on Wall St. where the S&P 500 posted its worst weekly performance since August amid ongoing coronavirus fears, with the number of confirmed cases stateside now at 5. Furthermore, the latest official update from China stated the number of infected rose to 2744 with the death toll at 80, and China also warned that the coronavirus is getting stronger and the amount of cases could increase. This heavily pressured US equity futures which slipped around 1% in early trade and spurred safe-haven bids for T-notes and gold, while Nikkei 225 (-2.0%) sold off due to the virus outbreak fears, detrimental currency flows and against the backdrop of thinned conditions with nearly all major bourses in the region closed for holiday. India’s NIFTY (-1.0%) was also lower after large-scale protests yesterday regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act, but with losses limited amid corporate earnings including ICICI Bank. Finally, 10yr JGBs were underpinned on safe-haven buying due to the coronavirus jitters which also spurred T-notes to gap higher by about 10 ticks at the re-open, although the upward momentum for JGBs has since petered out amid the lack of BoJ presence in the market and absence of most regional participants.

Top Asia News

  • Abe’s Pick to Replace BOJ Board Member Could Come on Tuesday
  • Coronavirus Seen Hitting Japan’s Economy Harder Than SARS
  • Bidders Must Absorb $3.3 Billion Debt to Buy Air India

European stocks see hefty losses across the board [Eurostoxx 50 -2.2%] following muted but negative APAC session as the region experiences mass holiday closures. For reference, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index sees around 95% of its stocks in negative territory. UK’s FTSE 100 (-2.5%) sees slightly more pronounced downside amid heavy-bleeding from large-cap miners and energy names, in-fitting with price action in the respective complexes – Rio Tino (-4.8%), Antofagasta (-4.3%), Anglo American (-4.5%), Glencore (-4.5%), BP (-2.0%) and Shell (-2.0%).  Meanwhile, Italy’s FTSE MIB (-0.7%) fares better in light of the aftermath from the Emilia Romagna regional elections which diminished the chances of an Italian snap election, thus Italian banks cushion losses in the index with tailwinds from favourable BTP price action – Ubi Banca (+0.1%), Banco BPM (+0.1%), Intesa Sanpaolo (-0.1%). Sectors are broadly, but firmly in the red, with Materials (-2.8%) lagging amid the base-metal price action. Defensives meanwhile see losses to a lesser extent than their cyclical peers. Consumer discretionary names also remain a laggard amid the demand implications from the virus outbreak for luxury goods and travel names, such as: Swatch (-3.6%), Richemont (-3.0%), IAG (-6.0%) and easyJet (-5.5%). In terms of individual movers; William Hill (-1.7%) saw losses at the open amid a breakdown in expansion talks with CBS Sports. Bayer (-1.5%) conforms to losses seen in the region despite a pushback from a spokesperson regarding last-week’s sources reports of an imminent settlement to its Roundup weedkiller scandal. On the flip side, positive broker moves see RWE (+0.1%), Uniper (+0.1%) Orsted (+0.1%) and Italgas (+1.4%) in the green.

Top European News

  • Populists Humiliated in Italy Vote as Conte Gets a Respite
  • Axa Narrows Bids for Eastern Europe Unit to Generali, Austrians
  • Slovenian Prime Minister Resigns, Floats Holding Early Elections
  • Turkey Starts Probe of ‘Provocative’ Social Media Posts on Quake

In FX, broad losses experienced in the EM-sphere, led by downside in the Yuan as the coronavirus crisis claims more lives and spreads further towards the West (full analysis available on the Newsquawk feed). USD/CNH has gained traction and breached 6.9800 to the upside (vs. 6.9400 low), topping its 200 and 55 DMAs at 6.9817 and 6.9843 respectively – with talks of potential stimulus measures by the Chinese Government to cushion the economic impact of the outbreak. TRY and ZAR feel the Yuan contagion with USD/TRY looking for a test of 5.9500 to the upside whilst USD/ZAR inches closer to 14.6000, but could see mild resistance at 14.5970 (21st Jan high) with reported stops above the round figure and ahead its 200 DMA at 14.6105.

  • CAD, NOK, RUB – Energy-related FX succumb to losses seen in the complex as jitters materialise regarding the implications of the virus outbreak on global oil demand. The Rouble remains the most impacted as USD/RUB surpasses 62.50 (vs. 62.24 open) before stopping short of its 200 DMA (62.63). The Loonie meanwhile extends losses vs. the Buck as the pair found support ~1.3150 before taking out its 55 and 100 DMAs (at 1.3158 and 1.3178 respectively) ahead of the psychological 1.3200. Similarly, Norway’s oil-correlated Crown drifted lower since the open – EUR/NOK reclaimed 10.0000 (which also coincides with its 55DMA) to the upside and topped its 100 DMA (10.0183) – with potential resistance touted at 10.0500.
  • AUD, NZD – The antipodeans also drift in tandem with the risk aversion and headwinds from detrimental base metal price action amid the aforementioned virus woes. AUD/USD has given up its 0.6800-status as losses exacerbated amid the domino-effect coronavirus would have on the Australian economy via China’s anticipated economic slowdown – with reports noting that Chinese GDP could see a reduction of as much as 1ppt. The pair remains the marked G10 underperformer thus far and eyes 0.6755 (26th Nov low and 76.4% Fibo of the Oct to Dec move) to the downside for a potential support level, and with some AUD 800mln in options seen expiring at strike 0.6765. Meanwhile, its Kiwi counterpart looks to test its 55 DMA to the downside at 0.6550.
  • JPY, DXY – Safe haven flows have seen an early bid in the Japanese currency, as USD/JPY gapped below 109.00 at the open vs. Friday’s 109.25 close. Since then, the pair has fluctuated on either side of the round figure having found a base around 108.75, and with technicians eyeing 108.67 (100 DMA) and 108.52 (200 DMA) should the base fail to hold, and with 109.00 seeing circa USD 800mln in options expiries. DXY meanwhile remains flat intraday having notched a current range of 97.800-941 and with little by way of schedule data/speakers to sway the state of play.
  • EUR, GBP – Mixed session for the Sterling and Single Currency, but relatively muted action compared to some of its G10 and EM peers. EUR/USD saw some pressure amid a downbeat German Ifo Survey which reaffirmed that the German economy has a subdued start to the year, but somewhat echoed Markit’s assessment that the manufacturing sector is slowly emerging from its downturn. EUR/USD failed to glean much reprieve from the development in Italy after the Centre-Left bloc defeated Salvini’s league in regional elections, thus dimming the chances of a snap election. The pair hovers just above 1.1000, having clocked in a current range of 1.1015-35. Meanwhile, Cable found an overnight base at 1.3050 and took advantage of some weakness seen in the Single Currency. EUR/GBP drifts further below 0.8450 whilst GBP/USD meanders just under 1.3100, having eclipsed the level in recent trade.

In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures continue their downward trajectory amid the materialising concerns surrounding the virus outbreak’s impact on global growth, oil demand and overall sentiment. While some desks have drawn comparisons to the SARS virus in 2003, which trimmed 0.15ppts off of global growth, some believe that the comparisons may be slightly unfair, albeit some economists note that Chinese GDP could see a reduction of as much as 1ppt. WTI Mar’20 futures gapped lower at the open before downside exacerbated and prompted the contract to test levels close to USD 52/bbl to the downside, levels last seen in October 2019. Similarly, Brent Mar’20 surrendered the USD 60/bbl handle and currently posts loses around USD 2/bbl; the contract did find some support at USD 58.50/bbl. Elsewhere spot gold is bolstered by the flows in to safe-havens, with prices testing USD 1590/oz to the upside during APAC trade vs. Friday’s ~USD 1570/oz. The overall demand/global growth aspect of the outbreak of the coronavirus has led to sharp losses in base metal prices: copper slumped around 2% at one point and dipped below USD 2.62/lb vs. Friday’s ~USD 2.67/lb close, whilst iron ore futures fell as much as 6% at one point.

US Event Calendar

  • 10am: New Home Sales MoM, est. 1.53%, prior 1.3%
  • 10am: New Home Sales, est. 730,000, prior 719,000
  • 10:30am: Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. -1.6, prior -3.2

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

There’s a reasonable amount of drama to anticipate this week. The progress of the coronavirus will be the overwhelming key short term driver (latest below) as more and more concerns rise to the surface. As an aside the week ends with a landmark moment in history as at midnight CET on Friday the U.K. will finally leave the EU 43 months after the vote. Staying with the U.K., a finely balanced BoE meeting the day before might be the highlight elsewhere. The FOMC (Wednesday) will attract the usual interest even if the Fed seemingly have a high bar to act in either direction at the moment. Also watch today’s German IFO with expectations that it will match the strongest level since June. China’s official PMIs (Friday but possibly delayed as the holiday season has now been extended until February 2) could be a very important release for the globe but the reality is that the virus will impact these numbers from next month making trends difficult to decipher. Q4’s GDP numbers from both the US (Thursday) and the Euro Area (Friday), as well as the European flash CPI (Friday) will also garner some interest.

We also have some very high profile earnings this week with four of the five largest US companies reporting (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook). On Friday night our US equity strategists reiterated their view of very stretched positioning in the market. They now see it in the 98th percentile of their historical dataset with systematic funds at all time high exposure. They also show that 3-5% pull backs typically happen every 2-3 months and we’ve now been without one for 3.5 months. In another two weeks this will put us in the 90th percentile through history (86th currently). See their report here.

Staying with the US and with great importance to US equity markets, it seems that Bernie Sanders has edged into the lead in the Democratic nomination race over the weekend with a probability of between 35-40% in bookmaker markets. He was 5th in the race and only just above 5% in mid October. Joe Biden probabilities range from c.31-37%. So pretty tight with Sanders climbing rather than Biden falling. This time next week Iowa will vote in the first primary so we’ll soon be giving this race a lot more macro attention. The polls (Emmerson College and YouGov) suggest he’s edged into a very narrow lead there, the same as with New Hampshire that polls 8 days later. A reminder that in our last monthly investor sentiment poll, 90% thought a Sanders Presidency would be negative for US equities. Should more risk premium be priced into markets therefore? Especially with positioning and valuations as stretched as our strategists believe.

Before we go through the two main central bank events of the week in more detail and review last week in markets we should go straight to Asia and for updates on the coronavirus. The latest is that there are now 80 confirmed deaths (up from 25 on Friday) and 2,774 confirmed cases (up from 835) with around 30,000 people under observation. Meanwhile, France became the first country in Europe to report cases of the virus. As of now, the global tally is 7 in Thailand, 3 in Japan, 3 in South Korea, 3 in the US, 1 in Canada, 2 in Vietnam, 4 in Singapore, 3 in Malaysia, 1 in Nepal, 3 in France, and 4 in Australia along with 8 in Hong Kong, 5 in Macao and 4 in Taiwan. Elsewhere, on Saturday China said that it is imposing a ban on all outgoing overseas group tours from today after banning all domestic group tours on Friday. China has now also banned wildlife trade across the country with the government saying that the shipping and sale of wild animals won’t be allowed, and breeding sites will be quarantined and warned citizens against the consumption of wild animals. Also about 56 million people in China are now under severe transport curbs.

Risk off continues to be the theme in Asian markets this morning as the concerns over the coronavirus continue to rise. Safe heaven assets are up with gold (+0.48%) and the Japanese yen (+0.18%) both higher while yields on 10y USTs are down -4.2bps to 1.643% and crude oil prices are down c. -2.35%. Meanwhile, Asian equity markets are declining with the Nikkei (-1.97%) and India’s Nifty (-0.43%) both down. Markets in Hong Kong, China and South Korea are closed for the NY holiday. As for Fx, the offshore Chinese yuan is down c. -0.50% to 6.9669 while most emerging market currencies are also trading weak. Elsewhere futures on the S&P 500 are down -0.98% while those on the Chinese equity market (SGX FTSE China A50) are down -5.19%.

In other news, the Italian government led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte were boosted by a victory in a regional election in Emilia-Romagna with interior ministry figures showing that support for the center-left bloc led by the Democratic Party was at around 50% while the group headed by Salvini’s Lega Party trailed at only 45%. Meanwhile, the support for the M5S dropped to only 5%. The election results should help the performance of BTPs albeit in a risk off environment.

We also got news over the weekend that three rockets hit the US embassy in Iraq’s capital Bhagdad on Sunday with Bloomberg reporting that at least one person was wounded in the attack. It is not clear how serious the injuries are or whether the person was an American national or an Iraqi staff member. This indicates that geopolitical risks are likely to linger this year.

Now to the knife-edge BoE decision on Thursday (Mark Carney’s last meeting). This meeting follows a run of fairly weak economic data over the last few weeks but with last week’s strong employment data and better than expected flash PMIs (more later) confusing the picture. Our economists have expected a cut for a good couple of months now but markets are closer to 50:50. Sterling is at $1.3058 in Asia (-0.11%) as we approach the big day. It started the year at $1.3257 so net net the weak data in 2020 has impacted pricing.

As for the FOMC on Wednesday, our US economists write in their preview (link here) that the FOMC should hold rates steady, and that “the current stance is likely to be unchanged barring a “material reassessment to the outlook.” However, they do foresee a 5bp upward technical adjustment to the interest rate on excess reserves (IOER), though they write that “it is a close call given the communication challenges of such a move.” All eyes will be on Chair Powell’s press conference following the meeting for any new information. The full day by day week ahead is at the end.

Earnings seasons ramps up this week, with a number of large companies reporting. Tuesday sees reports from Apple, LVMH, Pfizer and SAP. Then on Wednesday we’ll get an array of companies, including Microsoft, Facebook, Mastercard, AT&T, Novartis, Boeing, McDonald’s, PayPal, General Electric and Banco Santander. On Thursday, releases come from Amazon, Visa, Roche Holding, Verizon, The CocaCola Company, Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Amgen and Samsung. Finally on Friday, we’ll hear from Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Caterpillar.

Now for last week where we ended weak as fear grew over the coronavirus. Global equity markets sold off with the S&P 500 coming off record highs to end the week down -1.03% (-0.90% Friday), with its decline on Friday actually its worst daily performance since early October. It was a similar story elsewhere, with the NASDAQ also down -0.79% (-0.93% Friday), and the STOXX 600 down -0.22% (+0.86% Friday before the late US sell-off). Chinese assets in particular suffered last week, though they were closed on Friday for the New Year holiday, with the Shanghai Composite index down -3.22% in its worst week since August, while the CSI 300 was down -3.63% in its worst week since May. Other risk assets also underperformed, with Brent crude down -6.41% (-2.18% Friday) in its worst weekly performance since December 2018 and its 3rd successive weekly decline. So probably not where a lot of investors thought we’d be for oil following the heightened geopolitical tensions that started the year between the US and Iran.

Safe havens were the beneficiaries, with 10yr bund yields falling every day last week, down -12.0bps (-2.7bps Friday), which is actually their biggest weekly decline since May 2018. 10yr Treasury yields were also down -13.8bps (-4.9bps Friday) in their biggest weekly fall since October, down to 1.684%, their lowest level since October. Other safe haven assets outperformed as well, with gold up +0.92% (+0.55% Friday) and the Japanese Yen +0.79% (+0.19% Friday) against the US dollar.

The main data release on Friday came from the PMIs, which were a mixed set of results, though their impact on markets was rather outweighed by the virus. For the Euro Area as a whole, the composite PMI surprised slightly to the downside, remaining at 50.9 against expectations for an increase to 51.2. The French composite PMI fell back this month, down to 51.5 (vs. 52.0 expected) amidst the ongoing strikes in the country, while the German reading surprised to the upside, with the composite PMI up to 51.1 (vs. 50.5 expected), which is the strongest reading since August. Here in the UK, the PMIs also surprised on the upside, with the composite PMI coming in at 52.4 (vs. 50.7 expected), and up from a contractionary 49.3 in December. Following the news, investors dialled back their expectations of a rate cut from the Bank of England this week, which now stand at around a 46% chance, down from 70.5% chance a week ago. For completeness, over in the US the composite PMI rose to a 10-month high of 53.1, in spite of the fact that the manufacturing PMI declined for a second successive month, down to 51.7 (vs. 52.5 expected).

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WaPo, CNN Reporters Spark Massive Backlash With ‘Kobe Was A Rapist’ Tweets

What kind of sensible person would feel compelled to call Kobe Bryant a rapist and trash his legacy in the hours after the devastating helicopter crash that left the NBA legend and his daughter, Gianna, dead? Unsurprisingly, the answer to that question is staff reporters at CNN and the Washington Post, among other media outlets.

Bryant and his daughter were on their way to a travel basketball game. The victims in the crash also included another player and a parent. But that didn’t stop the Washington Post’s Felicia Somnez from sending a controversial tweet reminding the world about Bryant’s “disturbing” rape case. The tweet was deleted, but a screenshot was preserved and published by the Daily Mail.

Sonmez said she received death threats after posting the tweet, and added that she was inundated with more than 10,000 harassing and insulting messages in the wake of her tweet.

We find it difficult to believe that she didn’t anticipate this reaction. And unfortunately for her, this play for sympathy in the aftermath has decidedly backfired.

Of course, Bryant is a ‘rapist’ at the moment of his death, but Fidel Castro was simply “Cuban dictator” – where were the reminders of the atrocities committed by his government?

Unsurprisingly, a Buzzfeed reporter tweeted the exact same thing.


According to the Mail, Sonmez, a political reporter at WaPo, has been suspended from her position.

In response to Sonmez’s claims that she was merely remembering Bryant’s legacy “in totality,” one twitter user cut right to the heart of why her tweet infuriated thousands of people.

The backlash was just as intense after CNN’s Nathan McDermott tweeted about the “very credible rape allegation” made against Bryant, neglecting to mention that the charges were dropped and the victim admitted she went on to have sex with another man less than a day after the incident with Bryant.

Even reporters with obscure sports media organizations managed to incite a massive backlash (and boost their own profile) with their critical Kobe tweets. One reporter with College Hockey News decried the “sick” people on twitter for inundating her with insults after she had the “audacity” to suggest that “sexual assault victims deserve compassion too” in the hours after the crash.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood called Bryant a “rapist”.

And there’s the random smattering of radical feminists and #MeToo fanatics.

As a reminder of how much Bryant meant to millions of fans:

Oh, and let’s not forget the New York Times, LA Times and other media organizations highlighting Bryant’s “complicated” legacy.  WaPo also caught some flack for describing Bryant as a “controversial” figure in the opening paragraphs of its obituary.

You want to show compassion for ‘survivors’ living with trauma? How about showing some compassion for the Bryant family and the millions of people devastated by the deaths of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter?

So much for the tolerant, compassionate, left…

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/eKZWTa5rC98/wapo-cnn-reporters-spark-massive-backlash-kobe-was-rapist-tweets

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Virus Spread Exposes Fragility Of Global Markets

By Tyler Durden

As the numbers of infected and dead soar exponentially this weekend, with the deadly coronavirus spreading to multiple nations and seemingly very much not “contained,” early trading in markets suggest, as Bloomberg macro strategist Mark Cudmore details below, that this ‘black swan’ event is exposing the fragilities, and vulnerability, of financial markets that long ago de-tethered from any fundamental underpinning.

Source: Bloomberg

USDJPY is tumbling in early trading, implying a 400-point drop in Dow futures…

Source: Bloomberg

And Aussie fell to six-week lows.

Markets are driven by narratives, and the virus outbreak that has now spread in four continents is finding investors at a particularly vulnerable time, with valuations in many risk assets arguably stretched and volatility near record lows.

Without speculating how the novel coronavirus situation will evolve from here, it already has enough features to prompt severe risk aversion in the week ahead. It has now spread globally and Chinese authorities said Sunday that the transmission is increasing. With signs that the disease may be infectious long before symptoms show, the situation could deteriorate further in coming days as more cases emerge.

Less than two weeks ago in this column, I argued that only a black swan event would see expensive stock markets correct lower, since there was no obvious negative catalyst on the horizon. This outbreak has the potential to be that kind of event.

The key reason why this catalyst will matter where geopolitical scares such as Middle East conflict or North Korea missile tests do not, is that it’s front and center with the retail investor. Films such as Outbreak and Contagion have shown that fear of a viral outbreak is something that plays deep in the general population. It’s an easily accessible and understandable phobia that can strike closer to home than conflicts playing out far away.

The shutdown of major parts of the Chinese economy China is already mulling to extend the Lunar New Year holiday to prevent the spread of the virus, while restaurants and other public spaces are closed, transport is blocked, and public events canceledat a normally prime consumption period will not only hurt domestic growth, but the knock-on impact will be felt globally. After all, China is the growth engine for many economies.

Profit outside the rigged system! Protect yourself from tyranny and economic collapse. Learn to live free and spread peace!

Counter Markets Newsletter – Trends & Strategies for Maximum Freedom

News of the virus’s spread hit as volatility across assets had dipped to fresh lows and with many markets, from equities to credit, trading at historically extreme valuations. Investors have made good money and now have a solid reason to take profit.

The game plan for most traders won’t be sophisticated. It doesn’t need to be. It’ll be about cutting back on risk and deleveraging. Previously outperforming assets will now suffer even if the direct economic link isn’t obvious.

The signs of classic risk aversion were already evident in the markets on Friday after more cases were reported in the U.S. Stocks gave in and havens such as Treasuries, gold and the yen are suddenly in position for potential breakouts. Technicals will matter more from here until nuances return in the market. These could be in the form of a potential response from central banks to any signs of faltering economic growth.

EUR/JPY closed below its 4-month trendline on Friday; it’s likely to make fresh 3-month lows below 119.25 within days. Gold had its second-highest close in more than six years; the intraday peak over the same period at $1611.42 is the next level that could be taken out soon. After the 10-year Treasury yield Friday fell to the lowest level since early November, traders will be eyeing last September’s low near 1.40%.

While this may all sound very pessimistic, history has shown that a subsequent market recovery from such events is V-shaped and sudden. How soon that happens, though, will depend on how long the uncertainty lasts before the outbreak is contained and fears of a global pandemic subside. It’s clear we’re still at least a few days away from that upturn in sentiment, and potentially a few weeks.

Article source: Zerohedge.com

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Another FCC Lawsuit Challenges Agency’s Order Nixing Evaluation of Federal RF Radiation Limits

By B.N. Frank

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed to protect the American people by regulating the telecom industry – HOWEVER – there is still NO safe level of wireless radiation that has been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women. 

Last week Robert Kennedy Jr. and Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit against wireless health exposure guidelines.  Environmental Health Trust and their coalition are joining in as well.

From Environmental Health Trust:

Please help support The Environmental Health Trust and a coalition of other commentators file a court appeal challenging the FCC’s order terminating its evaluation of the adequacy of FCC RF radiation limits.

Despite reams of scientific evidence showing serious biological effects at levels far below the existing FCC RF limits and evidence given by numerous individuals injured by RF, the FCC says RF limits established in the 1990’s are adequate to protect the public from today’s technologies and the new technologies being developed for widespread deployment across the nation.

The deadline for a legal challenge is February 3, 2020. 

(If you choose to support this effort, you may do so HEREEd.)


More Information on the FCC Item

In December 2019, the FCC released an item stating they decline to update the US radio frequency (RF) human exposure limits despite scientific public health organizations’ arguments that the existing limits are 23 years old and outdated, not protective of children, and should be tightened in light of recent US government research findings that associated radio frequency with cancer and DNA damage.  To read the over 1,000 submissions ignored by the FCC see Dockets 13-84 and  03-137.

The FCC has been “captured” since long before the Trump administration (see 1, 2).  Lawsuits continue to be filed against them regarding the forced installation of 5G technology (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) which even telecom executives won’t say is safe.

Activist Post reports regularly about FCC shenanigans and unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives.

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Shouldn’t More Environmentalists Promote Natural Tech, Not Electrosmog and E-Waste Producing Smart Cities?

By B.N. Frank

“Smart Cities” require countless transmitting devices and infrastructure operating 24/7.  All of this requires massive amounts of energy to operate.  That’s not eco-friendly.  Operating digital, electrical, and wireless devices and infrastructure also creates pollution in the form of “Electrosmog”. That’s not eco-friendly either.  Wireless transmitting devices require “conflict minerals” in order to operate.  Mining for those definitely isn’t eco-friendly.  It’s not humane either.  When these devices break or become obsolete, they become E-Waste.  Unfortunately, most E-Waste can’t be recycled and ends up in landfills (see 1, 2).  That’s definitely not eco-friendly either.

This being the case –it’s astonishing that there are environmental groups still promoting “Smart” technology of any kind as beneficial to the environment instead of turning to less toxic options.

Thanks to The Guardian for providing more information on how that can be achieved.

High-tech smart cities promise efficiency by monitoring everything from bins to bridges. But what if we ditched the data and embraced ancient technology instead?


Julia Watson, a lecturer in urban design at Harvard and Columbia Universities, recently launched her book Lo-Tek: Design by Radical Indigenism, with publisher Taschen. It’s the result of more than 20 years of travelling to research the original smart settlements, through an architect’s lens.


There are hundreds of nature-based technologies that have never been explored.

Read Full Article

According to a 2018 survey, 66% of Americans don’t want to live in “Smart Cities” because of privacy and cybersecurity concerns.  Constant surveillance still doesn’t seem to be desirable to many people (see 1, 2).  Go figure.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives and the following websites:

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Bottled Water Company Admits Dumping Deadly Arsenic Into CA’s Ecosystem—Nobody Goes To Jail

By Jack Burns

Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water’s bottled parent company, CG Roxane, LLC, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful storage of hazardous waste and one count of unlawful transportation of hazardous material on January 9th. Yet, to date, not one person has spent one night in jail for releasing thousands of gallons of arsenic into California’s wastewater system.

Elemental arsenic and arsenic sulfate and trioxide compounds are classified as “toxic” and “dangerous for the environment” in the European Union under directive 67/548/EEC. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recognizes arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds as group 1 carcinogens, and the EU lists arsenic trioxide, arsenic pentoxide, and arsenate salts as category 1 carcinogens.

This extremely dangerous and potentially deadly practice of dumping the arsenic into the California ecosystem has essentially gone unpunished.

The company earns nearly $50 million per year in revenue from its spring water but was slapped on the wrist, some might say, with a $5 million penalty for discharging arsenic tainted water back into the ecosystem. The legal problems started for Crystal Geyser when it sourced spring water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains nearly two decades ago.

That water was and still is poisoned with arsenic as is much of the water in western states. The company used sand filters to remove the arsenic. But in an effort to increase the filters’ effectiveness the company washed out the sand filters with chemicals, removing the build-up of arsenic, and releasing it into an outdoor holding pond. Yes, that’s right folks. They filtered out the arsenic, and then put it right back into the ecosystem in a concentrated form.

People magazine published the news accompanied with a press release by the U.S. Attorney assigned to the case:

To maintain the effectiveness of the sand filters, CG Roxane back-flushed the filters with a sodium hydroxide solution, which generated thousands of gallons of arsenic-contaminated wastewater.

The company kept all of the arsenic in the holding pond for 15 years, at which time it was told it would have to dispose of the arsenic-filled wastewater, a hazardous material which could kill people. But it was ultimately how the company disposed of the arsenic which got the private company into trouble with the government. According to the press release by the U.S. Attorney:

The arsenic-contaminated wastewater was ultimately transported to a Southern California facility that was not authorized to receive or treat hazardous waste…As a result, more than 23,000 gallons of the wastewater from the Arsenic Pond allegedly was discharged into a sewer without appropriate treatment.

The corporate crime has largely gone unpunished as no single employee has been held criminally responsible for enriching the naturally-occurring arsenic levels in the wastewater and releasing all 23,000 gallons into the sewer. With a fine as low as $5 million – a fine which could be disputed at a later date presumably with a new trial – the company could conceivably be laughing all the way to the bank.

To put it into a different perspective, if a citizen had poisoned the California wastewater with arsenic, that person, if convicted, would spend the rest of his life in jail convicted of domestic terrorism, conspiracy, and a whole host of other crimes. The fact no one is going to prison serves to illustrate how corporate free passes work.

That’s right America. A company which promises to give you the cleanest, purest, mountain spring water, took out the good stuff, sold it to you for a profit, then dumped the poisons found in the water right back into the wastewater system and no one went to jail, no one paid a high price, and the privately held company will just keep on getting wealthier at the public’s expense.

Article source: The Free Thought Project.

Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine.

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Virginians Respond to Gun Control Proposals by Purchasing Almost 74,000 Firearms in December

By Sean Walton

Gun control bills and measures have been a hot topic in the state of Virginia, and with good reason.

Democrats within Richmond have been adamant in bringing forth legislation that can be contorted to strip citizens of their Second Amendment rights. As a result, citizens of the state thought it a good idea to purchase their weapons while they still could.

According to the Associated Press, December of 2019 saw an increase of 47% over the number of firearm sales when compared to December of 2018.

The tallied number of guns sold totaled out to 73,849. The outlet reported that the increase in sales was likely “due to growing fears of increased firearms restrictions backed by Democrats who control the state government.”

In the past 30 years, there was only one month that toppled the sales from this past December, and that would be December of 2012. That holiday season saw an estimated 75,120 firearm sales, which might have had something to do with then-Governor McDonnell removing the restriction of only being allowed to buy one gun a month.

Several gun store owners made mention of the notable increases in both foot traffic and purchases within their shops. Some customers mentioned that they were first-time buyers, while others were looking to acquire firearm accessories they thought might be subject to banning later on.

One of the first-time gun purchasers was a 66-year-old grandmother of eight. Ida Wright expressed concerns that the impending legislation championed by Democrats within Virginia geared her toward purchasing a weapon:

I didn’t think I would ever be buying a gun, but things are changing so drastically. If we don’t protect ourselves, who else is going to protect us?

One of the managers from Bob Moates Sports Shop, Richard Hill, noted the increase in customers filing into the store in December:

On the basis of what we would have been doing a year ago at this time, you’re looking at a 500 to 1000% increase depending on the day.

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Hill mentioned that with all the bills being pushed forward that aim to restrict lawful gun owner’s rights, it’s creating an increased demand overall. He was also critical of the fact that political pundits in Richmond haven’t addressed the fact that there are criminals already in violation of existing gun laws:

I have yet to see a single law that addresses what we are going to do with the criminals we’ve already got that are violating untold numbers of laws.

Gerald Stauffer Jr., who is the manager of Southern Gun World in Chesterfield County, also stated that in the wake of everything going in the state Senate and House, business is booming.

He pointed out that while the rally was going on in Capitol Square, there was a remarkable number of sales from attendees:

About noon we saw a very steady amount of people coming in with their stickers on, most of them buying a new firearm. They were motivated.

This outcome is hardly surprising, as there have been previous studies which show when lawful gun owners think their rights are going to be infringed upon, gun sales experience an uptick.

Maurizio Porfiri, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Tandon School at New York University, found that whenever the media or legislators attack gun rights there’s a near immediate bump in sales.

The study, which gathered data between January 1999 and December 2017, cross-examined whether gun purchases increased following mass shootings or when media attacks and reporting of oncoming gun reform happened.

The study proved there to be zero fundamental link between an actual mass shooting and gun purchases – just gun sales increasing when people try to relieve lawful gun owners of their weapons. A testament that the “fear of loss” inevitably creates demand.

Sean Walton is a researcher and journalist for The Daily Sheeple, where this article first appeared. Send tips to [email protected]

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