Monday, May 21, 2018

God Help Turkey: Lira Crashes As US Yields Explode

 (Staff articles from The BLOOMBERG & DAILY RECKONING on May & February 2018.)

With Turkey’s central bank sitting on the sidelines observing a currency meltdown and double-digit inflation, one brokerage is looking for help from a higher power.

“God help Turkey,” Istanbul-based broker Alnus Yatirim said in the sign-off to its morning note to clients on Monday. “We’re faced with a central bank that is watching the market when it needs to lead and direct it.”

The brokerage predicted that the TRY could fall to 4.58 per dollar by the end of this week - or rather the start as it is already there now, give or take - and 4.75 next week.

The market is testing whether the central bank’s verbal interventions are a bluff or not, Alnus said. Without policy action, the damage is likely to spiral, it said, citing the $222 billion of net debt held by Turkish non-financial companies in overseas currencies. Each 1 cent depreciation in the currency adds about 5 billion liras to the cost of Turkey’s foreign borrowings, it said.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Gaza Strip: The Hellhole Of Palestinian Arabs

As Gaza sinks into desperation, a new book makes the case against Israeli brutality.

ISRAEL CELEBRATES a double anniversary on May 15 this year, the founding of the state and the formal establishment of the Israeli Defense Forces, the name the state gave to its combined army, navy, and air force. Armed statehood fulfilled the political Zionists’ dream of gathering Jews from the ancient Diaspora under their own government in what they declared to be their “promised land.”

During the battle over the land between 1947 and 1949, the IDF expelled three-quarters of the indigenous population. Of the 750,000 Palestinian Arabs who fled, 250,000 took shelter in Gaza, a tiny pocket of southwest Palestine then occupied by the Egyptian army. The destitute and traumatized refugees were three times more numerous than the 80,000 Gazans who took them in.

The United Nations passed but did not enforce annual resolutions calling for the refugees’ return. Israel invaded the territory in 1956, withdrew under American pressure in 1957, and invaded again in 1967. As its population grew to nearly 2 million souls packed into a pocket five miles wide and 40 miles long, Gaza has become a byword for misery. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron, no advocate of the Palestinian cause, called it “an open-air prison.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Families Of Indonesian-Muslim Suicide Bombers

(Staff articles from The CNN, STUFF NZ, & GUARDIAN on 14-15 May 2018.)

Innocent-looking family of Muslim suicide bombers.
Jakarta (CNN): A husband and wife used their four children in a string of deadly suicide attacks on three churches in the Indonesian city of Surabaya that left 12 people dead, according to the country's ranking police official.

The family included two daughters, aged 9 and 12 years old, said Head Gen. Tito Karnavian. The young girls were present when their mother detonated one of the bombs, and the couple's two teenage sons carried out a separate attack on another church.

Earlier reports indicated at least 10 people died in the Sunday morning attacks, but Karnavian said during a news conference that 12 victims were killed. Forty-one people, including two police officers, were hospitalized with injuries, police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said previously.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Understanding Modern Map Of Jerusalem

US Embassy in Jerusalem has officially been opened.
The U.S. marks the opening of its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem with a large ceremony Monday. In physical terms, it's just a move of the ambassador and some staff from Tel Aviv to a large consular building that already exists.

But it carries political significance that's reverberating around an already-tense Middle East: After decades of U.S. policy saying the status of the disputed city should be settled in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, the Trump administration is now saying the city is Israel's capital.

It puts the U.S. in a distinct world minority. The U.N. General Assembly, by a vote of 128 to 9, condemned the move last December. Most of the world's governments do not recognize the city as either Israel's or as the Palestinians'.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Return Of Horror Stagflation 1970s Style

One of the worst possible outcomes for the U.S. economy, and ultimately for investors, is stagflation. Of course, if you weren’t around in the 60-70’s, there is a reasonably high probability you are not even sure what “stagflation” is.

Here is the technical definition: “stagflation – persistent high inflation combined with high unemployment and stagnant demand in a country’s economy.” How can that happen? Exactly in the way you are witnessing now.

While the current Administration is keen on equalizing trade through tariffs, trade deals, and trade deficit reduction, they have also embarked on a deficit expanding spending spree which has deleterious long-term effects on economic growth. At the same time, the administration is attacking our major trading partners, particularly China, leading to a push to shift away from the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

“Iranian Secret Nuke Program” By Benjamin Netanyahu

Good evening. Tonight, we’re going to show you something that the world has never seen before. Tonight, we are going to reveal new and conclusive proof of the secret nuclear weapons program that Iran has been hiding for years from the international community in its secret atomic archive.

We’re going to show you Iran’s secret nuclear files. You may well know that Iran’s leaders repeatedly deny ever pursuing nuclear weapons. You can listen to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: “I stress that the Islamic Republic has never been after nuclear weapons.” 

You can listen to Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani: “Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s security and defense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions.”  This is repeated by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif: “We didn’t have any program to develop nuclear weapons. Anyway, we consider nuclear weapons both irrational as well as immoral.”

Thursday, May 3, 2018

KiloPower Nuclear Reactors For Space Travellers

NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy say they have successfully tested a new type of nuclear reactor that could one day provide juice to colonies on other worlds. The reactor can power several homes and appears able to operate in harsh environments.

Getting electricity in space is always a problem. Close to Earth, satellites and astronauts can use solar panels. But farther out, the sun's light dims, making it exponentially harder to get the power needed to run communications, scientific instruments and, in the case of astronauts, life support.

The best solution is good old-fashioned nuclear power. Nukes have fueled everything from NASA's Pluto probe to the Curiosity rover on Mars. Nuclear power sources are durable, and they can last a long time. The two Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977, are still phoning home using power from a a few pounds of plutonium they carry with them.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Burma’s Collective Amnesia by Alex Wagner

Alex Wagner.
Our family turned a blind eye to the country’s violence against Indians in the 1930s. But that pattern of persecution and denial continues to play out in Burma—and beyond—today.

The story my Burmese family told itself went like this: We’d fled the only home we’d known to escape oppression and danger, only to find ourselves in America, strangers in a strange land. But we did it. We made it. And from our vantage across the ocean, we continued to fight for Burma, to support its virtuous freedom fighters with our voices and resources. We were on the other side of an ocean, the right side of history.

These stories were so often repeated, so well worn, that they had very nearly faded into the background, until I noticed a snag—and decided to pull. “We had an Indian cook who made the most delicious curry,” my grandmother often wistfully recalled when speaking of her life back home in Burma. But she offered—always—this caveat: “And he robbed us blind.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

10 Killed In Toronto Van Jihad In Pro-Muslim Canada

A VAN jumped a kerb in a busy intersection in Toronto overnight and struck more than 20 people. Toronto’s Police Chief confirmed that 10 people were killed and 15 were injured in the incident. Eyewitnesses described the horrific scene as the white van jumped the footpath and travelled for more than a kilometre, mowing down pedestrians at speeds of 70km/hr.

An eyewitness told local media: “He was just hitting people one by one, he hit every single person on the sidewalk, holy God I never seen anything like this in my life ... you see it in a war zone. He is going 60 to 70 kms on the sidewalk ... this person was intentional, doing this he was killing everybody ... this is terrorism stuff here.”

The van was finally stopped after a police car approached from the opposite direction, swung into a U-turn and began driving side-by-side with the van. After both vehicles came to a stop, a police officer exited his car with gun drawn.