Operation Protective Edge entered its 22nd day on Tuesday, as Israeli ground forces continued their incursion into Gaza following the government rejection of a cease-fire draft proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend. Earlier in the evening, Haaretz reports the Israeli Air Force struck Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh's home in Gaza and then Reuters notes that Hamas said that its broadcast outlets, Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Aqsa Radio were also targeted. The television station continued to broadcast, but the radio station went silent.
In just 800 words Pat Buchanan exposes the sheer juvenile delinquency embodied in Washington’s current Ukrainian fiasco.
What motivates Putin seems simple and understandable. He wants the respect due a world power. He sees himself as protector of the Russians left behind in his “near abroad.” He relishes playing Big Power politics. History is full of such men. But what motivates those on our side who seek every opportunity to restart the Cold War? Is it not a desperate desire to appear once again Churchillian, once again heroic, once again relevant, as they saw themselves in the Cold War that ended so long ago? Who is the real problem here?
Is there anyone in the world who is not mocking John Kerry? As AP reports, Obama administration officials were fuming Monday over a torrent of Israeli criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Israeli media commentators have leveled almost nonstop criticism at Kerry in recent days over his attempts to bring Qatar and Turkey — two countries viewed by Israel as strong Hamas supporters — into the cease-fire negotiations - "U.S. Secretary of State of State John Kerry ruined everything." The White House is not happy - in unusually harsh language, officials said the criticism of Kerry could put the relationship between the U.S. and Israel in jeopardy. They also said the personal attacks on Kerry crossed a line. Another red line crossed?
- The market in one sentence: Buying on Dips Pays Most in Five Years as Stocks Rebound (BBG)
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- Chinese Data Don’t Add Up (WSJ)
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- Global Pressure Mounts on Israel to End Gaza Fighting (BBG)
- Ukraine troops advance as experts renew attempt to reach crash site (Reuters)
- Prospects Brighten for Republicans to Reclaim a Senate Majority (WSJ)
- Europe’s banking union faces legal challenge in Germany (FT)
- Investors Bet on China's Large Property Developers (WSJ)
- Hague court orders Russia to pay over $50 billion in Yukos case (Reuters)
There has been little in term of tier 1 data releases to drive the price action so far in the overnight session which means participants focused on the upcoming US related risk events including the Fed, Q2 GDP and July Payrolls. This, combined with WSJ article by Fed’s Fisher who opined that the FOMC should consider tapering the reinvestment of maturing securities and begin shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet (note that Fisher’s opinion piece is written based on a speech he gave on July 16th) meant that USTs came under pressure overnight in Asia and in Europe this morning. There has been little notable equity futures action (for now: the USDJPY algo team gave it a good ramp attempt just before Europe open, and will repeat just around the US open despite Standard Chartered major cut to its USDJPY forecast from 110 to 106 overnight), although we expect that to change since today is the day when Tuesday frontrunning takes place with full force. We expect equities to completely ignore the ongoing deterioration in Ukraine and the imminent release of EU's own sanctions against Russia, as well as what is now shaping up as an Argentina default on July 30.
The middle east is burning again: first it was the fascinating ascent of the brutal Al-Qaeda spinoff ISIS, creating its own Caliphate in northern Iraq and in the process taking over a third of Syrian territory as well as all of its oil infrastructure. Then, the latest iteration of the Israel vs Gaza conflict has now claimed over 1000 lives and is dragging virtually all neighboring countries into it as well. And the cherry on top is that the Libyan "liberation" by the US has just gone full circle, as the country is is now witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since Gadhafi’s ouster. End result: nearly two years after the deadly attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, moments ago the US once again shuttered its embassy in Libya, this time in Tripoli, evacuating more than 150 Americans to Tunisia. This is happening just 24 hours after the US Secretary of State was literally next door in Egypt, assuring the region that peace and stability are just around the corner.
… Their Views Would Change Overnight
It was a little over a year ago when the "Mystery Sponsor Of Weapons And Money To Syrian Mercenary "Rebels" Was Revealed" as none other than the uber-wealthy Qatar (also known as the tiny but filthy rich state in the Persian Gulf that hosts the US Fifth fleet, better known as infinite leverage vis-a-vis the United States), which effectively had been pulling the US interventionist strings in hopes of taking out the Assad government and installing a puppet regime, one which would be helpful in facilitating the passage of a natgas pipeline beneath the country, which would then proceed into Turkey and all the way into Europe, as a means of bypassing Europe's reliance on Russia (which as recent events have shown has all the leverage when it comes to Europe). It failed. As a result it had to redirect its puppetmastery skills elsewhere. That "elsewhere" appears to be none other than Hamas,
Despite an impressive ramp by USDJPY in the last two hours of trading (thank you Nomura and BOJ) whose purpose was to get the DE Shaw and all other correlation algos to push spoos higher, today's trifecta of the ugly guidance by Visa (which dominated the DJIA), very ugly earnings by Amazon (which dominated the Nasdaq) and the CME ES margin hike just proved too much, and while Friday may have been the new Tuesday following 11 "green" DJIA Fridays in a row, today's 123 point drop stopped the trend before lucky 12 out of 12.
Over the past few days, John Kerry flew to Egypt, where among other things, he proposed a weekling Gaza Truce. Alas, that was one taxpayer funded trip for the Secretary of State flushed down the drain:
- ISRAEL CABINET UNANIMOUSLY OPPOSED KERRY PLAN: CHANNEL 1
- ISRAEL'S SECURITY CABINET HAS REJECTED GAZA CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL, SEEKS MODIFICATIONS -GOVT SOURCE
Or, largely just as was expected (because even Bloomberg is now reporting how the entire middle east is mocking John Kerry).
There are major clashes occurring currently in The West Bank tonight as claims of 10s of thousands and Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers. An Israeli army spokeswoman told the AFP news agency, "there are thousands of rioters there. They are rolling burning tyres and throwing Molotov cocktails and fireworks at soldiers and border police... The soldiers are responding with riot disposal means." Sadly, as the photos below reveal taken moments ago show, things appear set to get very much worse.
America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On SolutionsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/24/2014 21:21 -0400
A house divided against itself will surely fall. America is more divided today than it has been in decades, and the deep divisions that are tearing us apart continue to get even worse. In fact, a newly released Rasmussen Reports national survey discovered that 67 percent of voters believe that America is even more divided now than it was four years ago. What most Americans can agree on is that we are facing tremendous problems as a nation. Unfortunately, there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are.
Yesterday, Navi Pillay, the UN rights chief told an emergency session of the council on Wednesday that Israel's military actions in Gaza could amount to war crimes. Shortly thereafter, the 47-member council voted (and adopted) a draft resolution titled "Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" to conduct an investigation whether Israel is indeed engaging in war crimes. Note: this was a vote just to conduct an investigation, nothing more - nothing less, no military intervention, no aid, nothing:just an attempt to get some information aside from the constant propaganda barrage. 29 states voted in favour of the investigation and 17 abstained, including many EU states. 1 voted against. Guess which one.
How Iran's Supreme Leader Really Feels: "Annihilation Of The Murderous, Usurping Regime Of Israel Is The Only Cure"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/24/2014 14:07 -0400
If there was any doubt whether following the recent, and quite surprising, detente between the US and Iran, which from a state that was shunned by the US for decades has transformed into a country that has been actively courted by the US in recent months, that Iran would change its tune toward that other bossom US ally in the middle east, Israel, it can be put to reset following the latest pronouncement by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who on Wednesday called for a referendum canvassing the Arabs and Jews that live in Israel in order to end the "Zionist state.""While waiting for an end to this cold-blooded murderous regime, mighty armed resistance is the only way to deal with it.... Israel's annihilation is the only real cure, but that doesn't mean destroying Jews in this region,"
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