Saturday, June 6, 2020

Russia’s Amazing New Anti-Nuke Rockets Are Far Better Than America’s – Russian TV News

by Nicholas Sokolov, Russia Insider:

Russia says its cutting edge anti-ballistic missile systems completely protect it against a first strike from everybody’s favorite war-mongering superpower.

“We, along with many experts, believe that this weapon is best-in-class in the whole world.” – Valery Kashin, Missile Designer

With tensions at an all-time high around the world, talks of states acquiring nuclear weapons, and the possibility that someone might be stupid enough to start a nuclear war, all states, including Russia, are interested in missile defense. This video report by on the Russian evening news hosted by the country’s top anchor, Dmitry Kiselyov, goes into detail about this aspect of the modern Russian arsenal, as well as other advanced Russian military gear. (Full Transcript Below).

The truth is missile defence is a crapshoot, it’s a bit like trying to bat away golf balls flying towards you armed only with a tennis racket. You can stop a few, but if hundreds come…you’re screwed. Eventually one of them will hit. If any country is likely to develop this technology, it will be the United States with its massive military budget dwarfing the other top ten countries put together, or Russia, legendary for its rocketry.

But the truth is…Russian rocketry is not equal to American…it is far superior.

It all began when Russia put the first satellite, and then the first man in space. Russia has an endless legacy of excellence in the field of rocketry. 

This is perhaps one of the reasons why it is so infuriating how Russia can still be called a backwards country, and even Americans who respect Russia are still under the impression it lags behind significantly not only the US, but most of Europe. 

Earth to America…Russia currently operates the flights to International Space Station which YOUR astronauts use! Due to setbacks at NASA and with SpaceX, American astronauts are looking at still remaining reliant on Russian rockets to fly them to space until at least 2019, provided there are no setbacks.

Russia is a rocketry colossus, and she’s lending her considerable might not only to the world, in providing humanity transport to space, but to defend her borders from any nuclear threats foolish enough to attack the country which detonated the largest nuclear explosion known to man…at half yield.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

New Russian Hacker Claims Putin Ordered Theft Of Clinton’s Email, After First One Refused FBI Bribe To Lie

from ZeroHedge:

A Russian hacker has reportedly confessed that he hacked the DNC and stole Hillary Clinton’s emails under the direction of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), claims Russian news outlet The Bell. Konstantin Kozlovsky – a Russian citizen with a hacker group called Lurk, confessed to the theft during a hearing about his arrest in August, along with a handwritten letter in which he admits to acting on the orders of an FSB agent he referred to as “Ilya.” 

Sound familiar?

In May, another Russian hacker claimed US officials offered him cash, citizenship and an apartment if he would accept responsibility for hacking the DNC and stealing Clinton’s emails – which he refused, and was then arrested by the FBI under the lead of former Director James Comey.

“[They told me:] you will have to confess to breaking into Clinton’s inbox for [President Trump] on behalf of [Russian President Vladimir Putin],” Mr. Nikulin wrote, as translated by The Moscow Times.

“Later I received an offer from an agent: “You will have to declare that you broke Hillary Clinton mailbox for J. Trump on Putin’s orders, you must agree to the extradition to the US, then we will remove all charges give you apartment and money, US citizenship “- I gave up shortly” questioning “was over, the agent said that they had come”

According to Nikulin, the proposal was made during conversations 14-15 November. The following conversation then took place on February 7 (translation via Currenttime.tv)

“You have to say that it is you broke-mail Clinton, that you prepared and entered into a democratic network and polling stations on Putin’s orders, you call the names of accomplices, agree to extradition, and in America we will resolve all the issues will be living in an apartment and we will provide you all.”

“He was offered to falsely testify that he was cooperating in the attack on the Democratic Party,” defense attorney Martin Sadilek said Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

A tale of two headlines:

Considering what we have learned about James Comey’s FBI in recent weeks and months, something doesn’t seem quite right with this story. After serious doubt was cast on Crowdstrike, the firm hired by the DNC to inspect their servers – and recent forensic analysis which revealed at least the Guccifer 2.0 portion of the leaked emails could have only been accessed locally – the Russian hacking narrative has been on incredibly thin ice. 

In March, Journalist Lee Stranahan more or less destroyed the CrowdStrike narrative in an article summarized below: 

  • The DNC Russian hacking claims rely entirely on a report by a private company the DNC hired called “CrowdStrike”

(not mentioned in Stranahan’s article: The Irvine, CA company was partially funded by Google, which led a $100M ‘Series C’ investment round)

  • CrowdStrike’s report (“Fancy Bear”) is highly speculative, inconclusive by most standards, and does not contain “hard evidence” per CrowdStrike Co-Founder Dmitri Alperovitch:

The firm suspects they may have targeted DNC employees with “spearphishing” emails. These are communications that appear legitimate — often made to look like they came from a colleague or someone trusted — but that contain links or attachments that when clicked on deploy malicious software that enables a hacker to gain access to a computer. “But we don’t have hard evidence,” Alperovitch said.

  • The MSM ran with the “Fancy Bear” report in an attempt to delegitimize Trump:

 Starting in June of 2016 and continuing to this day, the DNC, Washington Post, New York Times, and other MSM outlets have been using the CrowdStrike report to stage a smear campaign against Donald Trump in an attempt to delegitimize the President while providing an excuse for Hillary Clinton’s loss.

  • Cybersecurity experts and respected journalists have cast serious doubt on it’s the report’s validity.

How To Get To “Reasonable Certainty” on a Russia Finding – Jeffrey Carr, Medium (12.13.2016)

HERE’S THE PUBLIC EVIDENCE RUSSIA HACKED THE DNC — IT’S NOT ENOUGH – Sam Biddle, The Intercept (12.14.2016)

  • In December, CrowdStrike published another report concluding that Russia hacked Ukranian a artillery-targeting app using the SAME “Fancy Bear” malware.
  • Once again, Several new articles casting doubt on CrowdStrike’s claims cropped up.

The GRU-Ukraine Artillery Hack That May Never Have Happened – Jeffrey Carr, Medium (1.3.2017)

Why I Still Don’t Buy the Russian Hacking Story – Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg (12.22.2016)

Skeptics Doubt Ukraine Hack, Its Link to DNC Cyberattack – Oleksiy Kuzmenko, VOA (12.23.2016)

He told VOA that contacts in the Ukrainian military units that used the app reported no losses of D-30 howitzers, which contradicts large battlefield losses referenced in the CrowdStrike report.

“I personally know hundreds of gunmen in the war zone. None of them told me of D-30 losses caused by hacking or any other reason,” Narozhnyy stressed to the VOA

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Europe, Brexit and the credit cycle

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by Alasdair Macleod, GoldMoney:

Europe’s financial and systemic troubles have retreated from the headlines. This is partly due to the financial media’s attention switching to President Trump and the US budget negotiations, partly due to Brexit and the preoccupation with Britain’s problems, and partly due to evidence of economic recovery in the Eurozone, at long last. And finally, anyone who can put digit to computer key has been absorbed by the cryptocurrency phenomenon.

Just because commentary is focused elsewhere does not mean Europe’s troubles are receding. Far from it, new challenges lie ahead. This article provides an overview of the current state of play from the European point of view, and seeks to identify the investment and currency risks. We start with Brexit.

At least there’s some money on the table

Last week, sufficient agreement had been obtained from the Brexit negotiations to allow the EU’s negotiators to recommend to the Council and the European Parliament to proceed to the next step, which is to discuss trade. That has now been approved.

There were three areas agreed in outline: the money, estimated at up to €50bn, the rights of EU and UK citizens, and the Irish border. Only one of these matters, the other two being little more than side issues deployed by the EU negotiators to squeeze as much money as possible from the British.

Yes, it was about the money. As I’ve pointed out before, Brussels’ administration costs are almost the same as Britain’s net annual contribution of €8bn.[i] Without the UK, the EU is in serious financial trouble, particularly when Brussels plans to set up its own standing army, and integrate all the member states into united states of Europe. It used the myth of Britain’s on-going commitment to financing future projects to come up with estimates of up to €100bn, when no liability for these projects, the RAL, or reste à liquider actually exists.[ii]

While the main-stream media focused on Britain’s problems, it missed the simple truth that the EU faces a far larger problem. Pace observing Libertarians; an overtly free market approach, with Britain just walking away was never politically practical. It would have created enormous damage for Europe. In the circumstances, the British negotiators held their nerve, and won the game of chicken.

What came out of last week’s agreement was basically a fifteen-page statement of intent, the detail to be worked on later. It was, as has subsequently been pointed out by two Brexit-supporting cabinet ministers (David Davis and Michael Gove) no commitment at all, no more than a gentlemen’s agreement. Also, on the money question, Brussels will have to itemise the expenses Britain is liable for to an expected maximum of €50bn. Given that legally Britain has no liability for that highway project being planned in, say, Slovenia, Brussels can still go whistle.

There are line items that are justifiable, such as Britain’s stake in the ECB, and indeed in the European Investment Bank, which is based in London. There are the pensions for MEPs and other Brussels staff of British origin offsetting the value of these stakes. And so on. The money will end up being a fudge, because the gap between the net liabilities between Britain and the EU is probably less than €10bn either way.

The way round this, to save Brussels from itself, is to agree to a two-year interim period, during which current arrangements will be extended, and Britain will continue to pay membership fees of €16bn over the two years. Anything over that will have to be properly expensed, which means further money should not be used to finance Brussels’ establishment costs. Brussels needs to make alternative arrangements after Britain finally leaves, presumably getting Germany, France, and other leading members to up their ante. The transitional arrangement will ease Brussel’s pain in this respect.

Main-stream media and Remainers alike have all stated that the difficult negotiations lie ahead. They are wrong. Agreeing an outline on the money was the sticking point. On trade, which we now move onto, there is a fundamental difference between negotiating a trade agreement where none existed before, and Brexit. Britain already complies with all EU trade regulations, a fact which is accepted by all member states. The British government seeks to pass all these regulations onto the British statute book, so there will be no reason for not continuing with current trade arrangements with the EU.

There can be little doubt that in time, EU and UK trade regulations will drift apart. But this is not a problem either, because anything sold from Britain (or from elsewhere into the EU for that matter) will have to conform to EU regulations. Similarly, UK product sold in the US has to comply with US regulations. Tariffs are a separate subject, so any tariffs imposed on British products post-Brexit is a purely political matter.

Assuming the transition period of two years is implemented, that means the new trade arrangements will apply from March 1921. However, the agreement must be completed by March 2019, unless elements of it are deferred into the transition period. This will give time for industry to lobby both Brussels and individual governments for no tariffs, which we can be sure is the preferred outcome for the large international corporations, particularly when their supply chains are spread round multiple EU jurisdictions, including the UK.

Therefore, trade in physical goods is likely to continue on more or less the current free trade basis, not least because without a satisfactory agreement from the British point of view, Brussels will get no money. 

There is much kerfuffle about services, which in sentiment echoes the debate twenty-plus years ago about Britain having to join the euro. What we are seeing is lobbying through the media by large financial corporations, notably the powerful American banks, to protect their investment in London. Post-Brexit, will they move their operations to Frankfurt, Paris, or possibly Milan? Will they hell as like. 

These centres are parochial backwaters, dominated by insular nationalistic and bureaucratic cultures. Foreign-owned businesses are effectively second-class to local organisations, effectively barred from making local acquisitions. It was never a problem in London. Why was it that despite the introduction of the euro without sterling, forecast to drive businesses from London to Frankfurt and Paris, the major European players chose to base their investment banking activities in London? Because that is where the international business is. This will not change, post-Brexit, one iota.

It is feared the EU will insist services such as euro clearing leave London for an EU location. To the extent that governments have control over these matters, there is nothing London can do about it, Brexit or no Brexit. But where these services are provided is a mostly a matter for the banks, not governments. This is the uncomfortable truth for the EU. Financial services are only under their control from a regulatory point of view. And if they over-regulate, which is normal for the EU, service providers simply decamp. Brexit should therefore encourage a bit of competition for Brussels regulators, to the benefit of us all.

Read More @ GoldMoney.com

GOLD UP $8.60 TO $1254.90/SILVER IS UP 7 CENTS TO $15.92

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

QUEUE JUMPING IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER COMEX/COMEX GOLD EFP’S ISSUANCE AT 17,961/COMEX SILVER EFP ISSUANCE: 1492/MORE “SWAMP” NEWS

GOLD: $1254.90 UP $8.60

Silver: $15.92 UP 7 cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1253.20

silver: $15.91

SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1254.20 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1243.80

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $10.40

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1268.54

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1256.90

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$11.64

SHANGHAI REJECTS NY /LONDON PRICING OF GOLD

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1255.60

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1255.10

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1251.00

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1255.10 ???

For comex gold:

DECEMBER/

 NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR DECEMBER CONTRACT:  288 NOTICE(S) FOR 28,800 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 7010 FOR 701,000 OZ (21.804 TONNES),

For silver:

DECEMBER

270 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

1,350,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 5798 for 28,990,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: BID $16,138/OFFER $16,500, UP $86 (morning) 

BITCOIN : BID $16,397 :  OFFER 16,571  UP $91 (CLOSING)

end

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest SURPRISINGLY ROSE BY A GOOD SIZED 3313 contracts from 202,797 RISING TO 206,110 WITH YESTERDAY’S FAIR  SIZED 20 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICING.  WE HAD NO  COMEX LIQUIDATION AND ON TOP OF THIS, WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE:   1492 EFP’S FOR MARCH (AND ZERO FOR DEC AND OTHER MONTHS) AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 1492 CONTRACTS. HOWEVER THE MOVEMENT ACROSS TO LONDON IS NOT AS SEVERE AS IN GOLD AS THERE SEEMS TO BE A MAJOR PLAYER TAKING ON THE BANKS AT THE COMEX.  STILL, WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1492 CONTRACTS, WHAT THE CME IS STATING IS THAT THERE IS NO SILVER (OR GOLD) TO BE DELIVERED UPON AT THE COMEX AS THEY MUST EXPORT THEIR OBLIGATION TO LONDON. YESTERDAY WITNESSED 2503 EFP’S FOR SILVER ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S/SILVER/ STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF DECEMBER:

31,337 CONTRACTS (FOR 10 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 31,337 CONTRACTS OR 156.68 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 3,133 CONTRACTS OR 15.665 MILLION OZ/DAY)

RESULT: A GOOD SIZED RISE IN OI COMEX WITH THE  20 CENT RISE IN SILVER PRICE.  HOWEVER  WE HAD NO SILVER LIQUIDATION AT THE COMEX PLUS  A FAIR SIZED 1492 CONTRACTS  WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE:  FROM THE CME DATA 1492 EFP’S  WERE ISSUED TODAY (FOR MARCH EFP’S)  FOR A DELIVERABLE CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS. IN ESSENCE THE  DEMAND FOR SILVER PHYSICAL INTENSIFIES GREATLY. WE REALLY GAINED 4805 OI CONTRACTS i.e. 1492 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A INCREASE OF 3313 OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS INCREASED DEMAND  HAPPENED WITH THE FAIR SIZED  RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER BY 20 CENTS AND A  CLOSING PRICE OF $15.85 YESTERDAY. YET WE STILL HAVE A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX.

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.032 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 147% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT DECEMBER MONTH/ THEY FILED: 270 NOTICE(S) FOR 1,350,000 OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest ROSE BY WHOPPING 9533 CONTRACTS UP TO 456,151 WITH THE FAIR SIZED GAIN  IN PRICE OF GOLD YESTERDAY ($6.40).  HOWEVER,  THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED YESTERDAY FOR TODAY  TOTALED AN UNBELIEVABLE  17,961 CONTRACTS OF WHICH THE MONTH OF DECEMBER SAW 0 CONTRACTS AND FEB SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 17,961 CONTRACTS. The new OI for the gold complex rests at 456,151. DEMAND FOR GOLD INTENSIFIES GREATLY AS WE WITNESS THE HUMONGOUS NUMBER OF EFP TRANSFERS TOGETHER WITH THE MASSIVE AMOUNT OF GOLD OUNCES STANDING FOR DECEMBER. EVEN THOUGH THE BANKERS ISSUED THESE MONSTROUS EFPS, THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS TO SUPPLY METAL BUT IT TRANSFERS THE RISK  TO A LONDON BANKER OBLIGATION AND NOT A NEW YORK COMEX OBLIGATION. LONGS RECEIVE A FIAT BONUS TOGETHER WITH A LONG LONDON FORWARD.  THUS, BY THESE ACTIONS, THE BANKERS AT THE COMEX  HAVE JUST STATED THAT THEY HAVE NO APPRECIABLE METAL!! THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD: THEY CANNOT SUPPLY ANY METAL TO OUR COMEX LONGS BUT THEY ARE QUITE WILLING TO SUPPLY MASSIVE NON BACKED GOLD (AND SILVER) PAPER KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO METAL TO SATISFY OUR LONGS. LONDON IS NOW SEVERELY BACKWARD IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES.  IN ESSENCE WE HAVE A HUGE GAIN OF 27,494 OI CONTRACTS: 9,533 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE  COMEX  AND THE MONSTROUS  17,961 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 11,317 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE:  137,203 CONTRACTS OR 13.720 MILLION OZ OR 426.74 TONNES(10 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 13,720 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 1.3720 MILLION OZ/DAY)

Result: A GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN OI WITH THE RISE IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING  YESTERDAY ($6.40). WE  HAD A HUMONGOUS  NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 17,961. THERE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE COMEX AND YET WE REACHED THE HUGE DELIVERY MONTH OF DECEMBER. I GUESS IT EXPLAINS THE HUGE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S…THERE IS HARDLY ANY GOLD PRESENT AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR DELIVERY PURPOSES.  IF YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE 17,961 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 27,494  contracts:

17,961 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND 9533 CONTRACTS INCREASED THE  COMEX. (in tonnes, the gain yesterday equates to 85.51 which is unbelievable)

we had:  288  notice(s) filed upon for 28,800 oz of gold.

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With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:

GLD:

Today,  A HUGE CHANGES in gold inventory at the GLD/ a deposit of 1.48 tonnes of gold into the GLD>

Inventory rests tonight: 844.29 tonnes.

SLV

A small withdrawal of 377,000 oz and that usually means to pay for fees.

INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.337 MILLION OZ/

 

end

First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver ROSE BY A GOOD SIZED  3313 contracts from 202,497 UP  TO 206,110 (AND now A LITTLE CLOSER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) WITH THE RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER OF 20 CENTS YESTERDAY . HOWEVER,OUR BANKERS&nbs
p; USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER  1492  PRIVATE EFP’S FOR MARCH (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM).  EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON.  WE HAD ZERO COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. ON TOP OF THIS, IF WE TAKE THE OI GAIN AT THE COMEX 3,313 CONTRACTS TO THE 1492 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S  WE OBTAIN A NET GAIN OF  4805  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS, AND YET WE STILL HAVE A  HUGE AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN DECEMBER (SEE BELOW). THE NET GAIN TODAY IN OZ: 24.02 MILLION OZ!!! 

RESULT: A GOOD SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE 20 CENT RISE IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING).  BUT WE ALSO  HAD ANOTHER 1492 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING  COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON . TOGETHER WITH THE HUGE AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR DECEMBER, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER INTENSIFIES DESPITE THE CONSTANT RAIDS. WHAT REALLY STANDS OUT IS THE FACT THAT ON A PERCENTAGE BASIS MORE GOLD EFP’S ARE ISSUED FOR GOLD THAN IN SILVER.  SOMEBODY IS TAKING ON THE COMEX TO REMOVE WHATEVER SILVER THEY HAVE.

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY: Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

)Late WEDNESDAY night/THURSDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 10.59 points or 0.32% /Hang Sang CLOSED DOWN 55.72 pts or 0.19% / The Nikkei closed DOWN 63.62 POINTS OR 0.28%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.11%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.6080/Oil DOWN to 56.34 dollars per barrel for WTI and 62.05 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED ALL RED . ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.6080. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED DOWN AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.6125 //ONSHORE YUAN SLIGHTLY STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS  STRONGER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES. CHINA IS NOT  VERY HAPPY TODAY.(WEAK MARKETS)

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

Vladimir Putin: Russiagate “invented by those aiming to de-legitimize Trump”

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by Adam Garrie, The Duran:

In Vladimir Putin’s annual Q&A presser, the Russian President takes questions from foreign journalists and citizens.

The first question of the annual presser came from foreign media.

ABC News asks about the US probe into alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia:

ABC: “How would you explain the number of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia… and how would you asses the Trump presidency?”

Putin: “It’s up to the American people to assess Trump, not me. But look at the markets, they are up, indicating investors trust him. We also respect the US opposition. I don’t know if Trump still has the same desire to cooperate closely with us, but I hope we can work closely on a range of issues.”

On the issue of alleged collusion with the Trump campaign:

Putin: “That’s been invented by those aiming to de-legitimize Trump. These people don’t understand they are undermining their own country, they aren’t showing respect for Americans that voted for Trump.

On contacts between Russian diplomats and Americans:

Putin: “It is standard practice for diplomats to talk – what’s so strange about this? Why do you have this ‘Russia spy hysteria?’”

Watch here LIVE:

Read More @ TheDuran.com

US F-22s Fire Warning Flares At Russian Su-25 Jets In Near Incident Over Syria

from ZeroHedge:

On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported an “Incident” had taken place involving a USAF F-22 over Syria which according to the Russians “actively prevented the Russian pair of Su-25 attack aircraft from carrying out a combat mission to destroy the Daesh stronghold in the suburbs of the city of Mayadin in the airspace over the western bank of the Euphrates River on November 23” with the The F-22 firing off heat flares and released brake shields with “permanent maneuvering, imitating an air battle” to which we said that in the apparent eagerness by the US to re-engage Russia, it is likely that more such near-incidents will take place.

Sure enough, on Thursday morning, a Pentagon official confirmed that a pair of U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighters fired flares to chase two Russian Su-25 fighter jets out of restricted airspace over Syria on Wednesday. 

  • U.S. OFFICIAL SAYS U.S. F-22 JETS FIRED WARNING FLARES ON WEDNESDAY AFTER RUSSIAN JETS ENTERED AGREED UPON “DECONFLICTION ZONE” OVER SYRIA

As the Washington Examiner adds, the aerial encounter occurred “when the Russian jets strayed into airspace east of the Euphrates River, putting them on the wrong side of a “deconfliction zone” established between Moscow and Washington to avoid confrontation in the skies over Syria.

The Russian jets immediately left the area after the intercept and warning flares from the F-22s, an official confirmed to the Washington Examiner. Meanwhile, the Pentagon could not provide an account of how many or how often Russian violations of the deconfliction zone occur.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Extraordinary Russian-Chinese Economic Integration in Siberia Gathers Pace

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by Pepe Escobar, Russia Insider:

China’s Belt and Road Initiative heralds a new era with mega infrastructure projects dotting the landscape

f  you are looking for the latest breakthroughs in trans-Eurasian geo-economics, you should keep an eye on the East – the Russian Far East. One interesting project is the new state-of-the-art $1.5 billion Bystrinsky plant. Located about 400 kilometers from the Chinese border by rail and tucked inside the Trans-Baikal region of Siberian, it is now finally open for business.

This mining and processing complex, which contains up to 343 million tonnes of ore reserves, is a joint venture between Russian and Chinese companies. Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s leading mining group and one of the world’s largest producers of nickel and palladium, has teamed up with CIS Natural Resources Fund, established by President Vladimir Putin, and China’s Highland Fund.

But then, this is just the latest example of Russian and Chinese cooperation geared around the New Silk Roads or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Beijing is the world’s largest importer of copper and iron ore, and virtually the entire output from Bystrinsky will go to the world’s second largest economy.

Naturally, to cope with production, a massive new road and rail network has been rolled out, as well as substantial infrastructure, in the heart of this wilderness. Yet there is another major BRI initiative about 1,000km east of Bystrinsky. Work started on the Amur River Bridge, or Heilongjiang as the Chinese call it, in 2016 and the road and rail links should be finished in 2019.

The project is being developed by Heilongjiang Bridge Company, a Russia-China joint venture, along a crucial stretch of the Russian-Chinese border. It will also be part of a huge trade corridor, which will transport iron ore to China from the Kimkan mine, owned by Hong Kong’s IRC Ltd,  in Russia.

The Amur River Bridge, linking Heihe, in Heilongjiang province, with Blagoveshchesnk in the Russian Far East, is a natural part of the New Silk Roads program. It is well connected to one of BRI six major corridors – the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, or CMREC, via the Trans-Siberian Railway all the way to Vladivostok.

CMREC’s additional importance is that it will connect BRI with the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union, or EAEU, as well as the Mongolian Steppe Road program. CMREC has two key links. One involves China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei to Hohhot before winding on to Mongolia and Russia. The other is from China’s Dalian, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin and Manzhouli to Chita in Russia, where the Bystrinsky plant is located.

Numerous aspects of the Russian-Chinese intranet were extensively discussed at the Third Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September. CMREC involves closer cooperation, especially in energy, mineral resources, high-tech manufacturing, agriculture and forestry. Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang had already announced even closer economic cooperation with Russia, including a $10 billion China-Russia Investment Cooperation Fund in yuan for BRI and EAAU projects.

Monetary integration

Part of this will include Russian-Chinese investment funds, known as Dakaitaowa, or “to open a matryoshka doll”. Monetary integration and energy cooperation are all part of an ambitious Russian-Chinese package. This will allow trade to be settled in yuan, instead of US dollars, in Moscow via the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Products promoted under the http://www.madeinrussia.com “Made in Russia” brand are bound to get a boost.

According to the China General Administration of Customs, Russia continues to be the country’s leading crude oil supplier, exporting more than one million barrels per day, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Angola. Exports of Russian oil to China have more than doubled during the past six years.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

United States of Europe’ Would Become a ‘German Dictate’ – Czech Politician

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from Sputnik News:

German SPD party leader Martin Schulz’s talk of a European federalist constitutional treaty sparked an uproar of dissent and criticism within the European Union, especially from its Eastern European members. Speaking to Sputnik, Czech politician Premysl Votava outlined what he said was so dangerous about Schulz’s proposal.

Last week, Schulz outlined his desire to create a legal mechanism for Europe’s federalization, subject to EU member approval, leading to the creation of a ‘United States of Europe’ by the year 2025. According to the politician, any country opposed to the idea would be free to exit the supranational bloc.

Speaking to Sputnik Czech, Premysl Votava, deputy chairman of the Czech National Social Party, a left civic nationalist and soft Eurosceptical party, said that while Schulz’s proposal was absurd, it was by no means accidental.

“It turns out that one of the countries of the European Union, and one which from the economic point of view is the strongest, wants to determine how the EU will look within the next few years. This looks like a return to the time of the dictate, when small states have to submit to the interests of stronger states,” the politician warned.

“And I think this is an attempt to punish countries, first and foremost the countries of Eastern Europe, for their divergent positions on issues like as migrant quotas. On this issue, Mr. Schulz would like to arrange a German dictate in Europe. I do not think that even anyone in his parliament will support him,” he added. 

Stressing that his party is firmly opposed to the idea of a ‘USE’, Votava explained that a federalist Europe would violate the base principles of sovereignty.

“This would be interference in the sovereign affairs of these countries. The next step would be to subordinate smaller states to Germany and France. I’m talking specifically about the countries of Eastern Europe: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary…There is an obvious desire to punish these countries because they hold a different opinion. Mr. Schultz wants to punish them for behaving differently to how Germany or the stronger part of the EU would like.”

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

Switzerland Is Well-Prepared For A Civilization Collapse

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by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

More than perhaps any other nation, Switzerland is prepared for a massive civilization collapse. In fact, if the government itself collapses in Switzerland, most people who live there probably won’t even notice.

A decentralized government (the kind America was supposed to have been founded on) makes it possible for Switzerland to be prepared for a collapse. The mountains and valleys mean that Swiss towns and villages are geographically independent of each other, yet linked in a spider-web of robust connections. But that isn’t all.

The Swiss towns are prepared for water system failures, which would affect the ability to access clean water. According to Marginal Revolution, all around Switzerland, there are thousands of water fountains fed by natural springs. Zurich is famous for its 1200 fountains – some of them quite beautiful and ornate – but it’s the multiple small, simple fountains in every Swiss village that really tell the story. Of course, they look elegant, but if and when central water systems are destroyed these fountains are a decentralized and robust system for providing everyone in the country with clean, pure, drinkable water.

Despite being at peace since 1815, Switzerland is still prepared for a war. Swiss males (and perhaps females in the future) are required to serve in the military (those who cannot pay a special tax) creating a robust reservoir of trained citizens ready to serve in case of an emergency.

As a further example of how ridiculously well prepared the Swiss are for any and all threats, there are things like hidden hydroelectric dams built inside of unmarked mountains so that in the event of mass bombings, they’ll still have electricity from these secret facilities. And, remember, these are the things the Swiss government has let us know about. It is thought that there are probably more fortifications and hidden goodies scattered about the country’s landscape. Marginal Revolution

Buried deep alongside the hydroelectric dams, shelters, and food stores, the Swiss also have libraries ready to reboot civilization. In one underground bunker, there are detailed instructions on how to build devices for reading all known data storage formats, even older formats like floppy disks. If that knowledge is otherwise lost, future generations can still decode our current and past data storage devices to access the data within correctly. Essentially, the researchers involved in this particular project have attempted to create a “Rosetta Stone” of data formats and are using a ridiculously secure Swiss bunker as the storage point for that knowledge.

Not only do the Swiss have thousands of military bunkers permeating the Swiss mountains, there are also several hundred thousand private and public fallout shelters the largest of which can hold about 20,000 people. Some of the largest installations have been decommissioned and even turned into museums but there is little doubt that they could be rapidly re-purposed in a SHTF scenario. As the Swiss continue to improve their already fantastic railway system it’s standard practice to convert old railway tunnels to security shelters.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

Why Every Government in the World Is Nervous About Bitcoin

by Justin Splitter, Casey Research:

The White House is watching bitcoin.

Germany’s central bank recently called it a “speculative plaything.”

The European Central Bank (ECB) thinks bitcoin is “a sort of tulip.”

The Royal Bank of India is telling people to avoid it like the plague.

I could go on and on.

My point is that every government in the world is nervous about bitcoin.

And they should be…

• Bitcoin is a direct threat to their monopoly on money…

That’s because, as regular readers know, bitcoin is unlike every paper currency on the planet.

It’s decentralized. This means it’s not controlled by any government or central bank.

That’s why many people, especially its early adopters, bought bitcoin. But that’s not the only thing that makes it special.

• The supply of bitcoin is predetermined…

It’s set to grow at a fixed rate over the next 123 years.

Not only that, the supply of new bitcoins that enter the economy is set to decrease by 50% every four years.

This will continue until the very last bitcoin is mined in 2140.

This practically ensures that bitcoin will become more valuable over time.

• Paper currencies are a much different story…

Governments can create them at will. They’ve been doing this since the dawn of time.

Of course, “money printing” comes at a steep price. Eventually, it destroys the value of paper money.

If unchecked, it can even render a currency completely worthless.

That’s why hundreds of paper currencies have failed throughout history.

• Unfortunately, central bankers have yet to learn their lesson…

They continue to print money by the boatload.

They do this to fund wars, entitlement programs, and a host of other bad ideas.

Because of this, practically every paper currency in the world is approaching its intrinsic value of zero. It’s one big race to the bottom.

I’m not just talking about the currencies of places like Zimbabwe and Venezuela, either.

• Major currencies are also in serious trouble…

That’s because the Federal Reserve, the ECB, and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) have been printing money with reckless abandon for nearly a decade.

In fact, they’ve created more than $12 trillion since the 2008 financial crisis.

Unfortunately, this money printing has done almost nothing for the “real economy.”

The U.S. economy, for one, is recovering at the slowest rate on record. Japan’s economy, on the other hand, has grown just 1% over the last 20 years.

About all these “stimulus” measures have done is rob everyday people of purchasing power.

Just look at the U.S. dollar.

It’s lost 97% of its value since 1913.

As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s nothing to stop the Fed from printing more money during the next financial crisis.

• Because of this, many people are losing faith in paper currencies…

…and turning to bitcoin.

It’s a big reason why bitcoin is up 1,937% over the last three years.

Read More @ CaseyResearch.com

UK Gov’t Exposed For Funding Terrorist “Councils,” “Police,” And “White Helmets”

by Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post:

The BBC has recently surprised everyone with a rare act of journalism, exposing the UK government for funding terrorists in Syria through a foreign aid programme that has dished out millions of pounds of taxpayer money over the years. The money has been awarded to groups like Adam Smith International which is then funneled to the extremists. At the focus of the BBC article is the fact that taxpayer money has been provided to the Free Syrian Police, a police force operated by “rebel” councils.

While ASI argues that the FSP is an unarmed security force, an abundance of evidence demonstrates to the contrary as anyone who pays even a shred of attention to the Syrian crisis would already know. FSP is heavily armed, heavily sectarian, units of terror employed by units of terrorists. They are, in reality, simply more terrorists employed to control and oppress the people of Syria. Of this there is no doubt.

As BBC reports,

The government has suspended a foreign aid project after a BBC Panorama investigation found taxpayers’ cash was being diverted to extremists in Syria.

Officers from a UK-backed police force in Syria have also been working with courts carrying out brutal sentences.

A UK government spokesman said it takes allegations of co-operation with terrorist groups “extremely seriously”.

Adam Smith International, the British company running the project, said it strongly denies the allegations.

The Free Syrian Police (FSP) was set up following the uprising in Syria, to bring law and order to parts of the country that were controlled by opposition forces.

Adam Smith International (ASI) has been running the project since October 2014.

Britain was one of six donor countries paying for the project, which provides community policing to the rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Idlib and Daraa provinces.

It is intended to be an unarmed civilian police force, and not co-operate with extremist groups, but Panorama has found examples where that was not the case. Some of Panorama’s allegations against the project include:

  • Police cooperating with courts that carry out summary executions – including a case where two women were stoned to death
  • Police being paid in cash and then being forced to hand over funds to an extremist group controlling the area
  • Police officers being handpicked by an extremist group
  • Dead and fictitious people are on the police payroll

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson announced in April that the UK would commit a further £4 million to the UK-funded Access to Justice and Community Security (AJACS) scheme that supports the FSP.

BBC continues by pointing out the connections between the money provided to FSP as well as the connections between FSP and other terrorist groups like Nour al-Din al-Zinki. The report states,

Panorama has obtained ASI documents that show dead and fictitious people were on the police payroll.

One police station in Koknaya in Idlib province was supposed to be the base for 57 police officers. But the documents show that when ASI’s staff visited in September 2016, they couldn’t find a single officer.

ASI said officers were accounted for on subsequent visits. The company has now suspended the payment of all salaries at the Koknaya police station.

It said it had identified very few examples across Syria where deceased officers had remained on the salary list.

The documents also show how some police officers in Aleppo province were forced to hand over cash to the extremist group – Nour al-Din al-Zinki – in control of the area.

The Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement has been linked to atrocities including the beheading of a young prisoner in 2016.

An ASI report from July 2016 warned that 20% of all police salaries were being handed over “to pay for the military and security support that Zinki provides to the five FSP stations located areas under its control”.

As well as handing over a cut of British aid money to Zinki, the police had also worked with a Zinki court “by writing up warrants, delivering notices, and turning criminals over to the court”.
. . . . .

The police cooperation has continued despite allegations of torture and summary executions involving the court at al-Qasimiyeh.

Tory MP Crispin Blunt, former chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said the FSP should not be supporting extremist courts.

He said: “You’ve got people being sentenced to death for homosexuality.

“Clearly that is completely and utterly unacceptable by any standard and the idea that British taxpayers’ money was associated with that would of course be wholly abhorrent.”
. . . . .

Panorama also discovered that the Free Syrian Police provided support for courts run by the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda – Jabhat al-Nusra – which handed out extreme punishments.

Police officers were present when two women were stoned to death near Sarmin in December 2014. Sources have told Panorama the officers closed the road so that the execution could take place.

ASI says the police officers who attended the stoning were not formally under FSP control and have since been removed.

Panorama has also seen evidence that al-Nusra handpicked police officers in two stations in Idlib province.

ASI says that the officers imposed by al-Nusra were detected in under two months and that payments to the station were then stopped.

BBC’S “Journalism” Was Done Nearly A Year Ago By Independent Media

To be clear, the report of the UK funding of the terrorist Free Syrian Police was work that was already done in January of 2017 by Vanessa Beeley of 21st Century Wire. Her article, “The ‘Free Syrian Police’ Made In The UK – Vanessa Beeley Exposes West’s Shadow State Project,” contained an interview with Mike Robinson and Brian Gerrish of UK Column regarding the FSP founders and the media moves to highlight the role of the FSP in the Nusra Front, ISIS, and other terrorist-occupied, region of Idlib. Still, better late than never, BBC.

However, there is much more to the story than what is being covered by the BBC. Nowhere in the BBC Panorama report is there anything incriminating the White Helmets and their own connections to the Free Syrian Police, the blatant connections of these groups to terrorists (i.e. terrorist leaders of White Helmets, FSP, etc.), recent or current atrocities committed by FSP and White Helmets, or the muddied waters of terrorist groups’ name changes so that it is more difficult to pinpoint in general terms Western support for terrorism in Syria. Thus, what BBC is doing cannot be called investigative journalism (since the investigation and the journalism was already done nearly a year ago), it is a whitewash designed to conceal the nature of the UK’s true involvement in the war on Syria, it’s funding and support of terrorism, and the reality that the White Helmets themselves are nothing more than terrorists.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

The BRI and the Dialogue of Cultures: The Highest Expression of Each Culture

by Harley Schlanger, Rogue Money:

For all the centuries up to now, from the earliest manifestations of human civilization, tribes, ethnic groups, nations or alliances of nations have pursued their self-perceived interests by various means—by negotiations, by diplomacy, and if this did not work out, by armed conflict and war. Geopolitics—the idea that a nation or group of nations has the right to pursue their interest against another group of nations—has led to two World Wars in the Twentieth Century.

It should be obvious to anyone, that in the age of thermonuclear weapons, war can no longer be a method of settling conflicts, if we as a human species are not to bring about our own annihilation. Humanity is distinct from all other species known in the universe so far, in that we are capable of creative reason. This means that we, unlike the animal species, can consciously change our mode of our existence, continuously discover new universal principles in science and culture, and develop a deeper and more profound knowledge about the physical universe, of which we are the most important part. So in a certain sense it is lawful that mankind would come up with the idea of how to overcome geopolitics, and establish a system of self-governance, which would guarantee the long-term survivability of humanity.

The concept of a “community of a shared future of mankind” presented by President Xi Jinping, is exactly that idea. By placing the notion of the one single mankind, defined from the standpoint of our common future, as the reference point for how to think about political, economic, social and cultural issues, President Xi has established a higher level of reason, a conceptual basis for a peace order throughout the planet. It is no coincidence that the concept for an entirely new paradigm in human history would come from China, as it is coherent with the 2,500 year-old Confucian tradition.

The economic dimension of this idea is expressed in the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Silk Road proposal which Xi presented in September 2013 in Kazakhstan. In the very short period of four years, this initiative for “win-win” cooperation has become the largest infrastructure program in history, developing six large economic corridors, numerous rail lines in Eurasia and Africa, ports, airports, industrial parks, power projects, water management, etc., with more than 70 countries participating. It is now twelve times bigger than the Marshall Plan in Europe in the reconstruction period after World War II, and it is open-ended. In Africa the “New Silk Road Spirit” has completely changed the outlook of the participating countries. For the first time after centuries of suffering from colonial oppression and a lack of financing, now, because of Chinese investments there is the perspective of overcoming poverty and underdevelopment in the near future. This has created an unprecedented sense of optimism.

At the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi defined the goal for China to become by the year 2050 “a strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and beautiful country;” he defined the goal of politics to be creating a better and happier life for the people; he called on the people of all countries to work together to build a community of shared future for mankind—to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. Shortly after this remarkable event, the extremely successful state visit of U.S. President Trump to China signified a historic step in the effort to reach this goal.

With this global perspective for the next 33 years, President Xi Jinping put a vision on the agenda, which has inspired many people in many countries, especially in the developing sector, with an unprecedented spark of optimism. The response by some politicians in some Western countries, and by the mainstream media, has ranged from complete censorship of what President Xi actually said, to the wildest falsehoods concerning the real motives behind China’s BRI policy. Some went so far as to say that China’s policy represents a threat to the liberal order of the West. Does that mean that the idea of building a harmonious world, in which all nations can work together for the common aims of humanity, is a utopia, a dream, that can never become a reality?

I believe that the universal history of mankind can provide the answer to that question, because it shows that there are some profound characteristics, involving the ideal of the highest humanity, which are shared by the most noble expressions of different cultures. There is an amazing similarity among some of the most outstanding thinkers, who, coming from completely different cultural backgrounds, nevertheless come to the same insights into the nature of man and the purpose of mankind’s existence. These philosophers, poets, and scientists have in common a fundamental optimism about the role of human beings in the universe, realizing that human creativity is itself a power in the further development of the physical universe, and that there is a cohesion between the harmonic development of all human mental and spiritual capacities, with the harmonious development of the state, as well as of states with each other, and also with the laws of the Cosmos.

In China, this image of man and harmony in the state and among states is associated foremost with Confucius and his 2,500 year-old tradition in Chinese culture, which accounts, in my view, for the gist of what is generally called “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Confucius has an image of man that perceives man as fundamentally good, with the obligation to tirelessly improve himself intellectually and morally, which he can do by exerting his inner will-power, and in aesthetical education through poetry, classical music and certain other arts. If the individuals develop themselves to become ”junzi,” there can be harmonious development in the family. If the government is run by junzi, the common good prospers.

Read More @ RogueMoney.net