While the rest of the world was paying attention to the sad conclusion of the Greek tragedy now in its third bailout season, the US was focused on a another tragedy playing out in the nation's heartland when in the latest mass shooting on US soil, 4 marines were killed when a gunman, since identified at Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, a naturalized citizen born in Kuwait, opened fire first at a military recruiting center and then at a Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee in what officials have called a "brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism."
While slightly later than expected, a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program has now been reached. As Reuters reports, the agreement will be greeted with alarm in several quarters, both in Washington and Tehran and internationally too, and could yet unravel. Internationally, the deal will accelerate unease in some Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, but it is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who remains the fiercest public critic and has issued a warning that the accord will "inevitably lead to a nuclear war." The deal profoundly changes the balance of power in the region, but averts the conflict that was likely otherwise, but as ECStrat notes, Iran offers exceptional investment opportunities, but the near term impact will be to continue oil’s decline back to its lows, potentially taking energy stocks with it.
As the Muslim world reflected during the height of Friday's Ramadan prayers, ISIS was busy.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia celebrated the beheading of its 100th prisoner this year. The story was nowhere to be seen on Arab media despite the story's circulation on wire services. Even international media was relatively mute about this milestone compared to what it might have been if it had concerned a different country. How does a story like this go unnoticed? Today's release of the WikiLeaks "Saudi Cables" from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs show how it's done.
"When I left the military, I started noticing all the other ways in which the government turned the Constitution into a punchline. And that practice has only accelerated. The American Revolution itself was predicated on the inequity of taxation without representation. Are your interests represented when they buy bombs and body scanners? Mine certainly aren’t. Yet people who define patriotism by the frequency and rapidity of their flag-waving think that we all have some collective duty to ignorantly believe whatever we’re told by the government. I disagree."
For the first time since the Cold War, the US is set to store heavy military equipment in Eastern Europe in a stepped up effort to deter 'Russian aggression.' While this marks a very meaningful escalation in the standoff between Moscow and the US, one former NATO commander was quick to point out that "nothing is as good as troops stationed full time on the ground."
Are we QE'd out??? It was supposed to be about the quality of growth,not helping the oligarchy protect their collective arses
When forecasting how much oil will be available in future years, most agencies, including EIA, IEA and BP appear to adopt a similar 'work-backwards from GDPO growth expectations' method. It seems that this approach has a fundamental flaw. It doesn’t consider the possibility of continued low oil prices and the impact that these low oil prices are likely to have on future oil production. Hoped-for future GDP growth may not be possible if oil prices, as well as other commodity prices, remain low.
"The oil rebound has run out of gas and now you are seeing nervous investors with itchy trigger fingers bailing out of USO," notes Bloomberg, as the biggest US ETF that tracks oil is heading for the largest two-month outflow in six years, raising concern that crude’s 30% rally may stall. As BNP points out, "we do not think that the bulls have enough supporting fundamental factors to make a case for a higher oil price," and judging by the mass exodus from USO, as Bloomberg concludes, knife-catching 'investors' "don’t want to get burned by another drop in oil."
Another day, another Clinton Foundation related scandal. In the latest expose by International Business Times’ David Sirota, we learn about the explosion in weapons sales to certain nations during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Billions of dollars in sales went to autocratic regimes notorious for human rights abuses who donated generously to the Clinton Foundation. Should we be surprised? No. Should we be outraged and disgusted? Absolutely. Of all the Clinton scandals, the following is the most dangerous to peace on earth.
"Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data."
On June 5, all eyes will be on OPEC as the group convenes in Vienna to discuss its course for the second half of 2015.
What if Putin is Telling The Truth? On April 26 Russia’s main national TV station, Rossiya 1, featured President Vladimir Putin in a documentary to the Russian people on the events of the recent period including the annexation of Crimea, the US coup d’etat in Ukraine, and the general state of relations with the United States and the EU. His words were frank. And in the middle of his remarks the Russian former KGB chief dropped a political bombshell that was known by Russian intelligence two decades ago... Putin stated that the terror in Chechnya and in the Russian Caucasus in the early 1990’s was actively backed by the CIA and western Intelligence services to deliberately weaken Russia.
Having been 'snubbed' by the new Saudi King Salman, it appears the uneasy relationshipo with our 'allies' in The Gulf is ebbing. In what the State Department will, we are sure, just brush off, Politico reports that the king of Bahrain has apparently also snubbed President Barack Obama, preferring instead to attend a horse show with Queen Elizabeth.