during a joint press conference with Tsipras in Greece, Putin warned Romania and Poland they could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they are hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security. "If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security."
In what has been another quiet overnight session, which unlike the past two days has not seen steep, illiquid gaps higher in US equity futures (the E-mini was up 3 points and accelerating to the upside as of this writing so there is still ample time for the momentum algos to go berserk), the main event was the price of Brent rising above $50 for the first time since November with WTI rising as high as $49.97.
Following strikes over the unpopular French labor reform, that started over the weekend and crippled the French refining industry leading to gasoline shortages and rationing, things are about to get far more serious for the country whose economy has already been threatened with a sharp slowdown as a result of a relentless wave of labor unrest. According to Reuters, staff in France's 19 nuclear plants - which by definition we assume is essential - have voted to go on strike on Thursday as part of protests over a labour reform, according to a CGT union official.
After countless reports about the potential for nuclear or radioactive weapons of mass destruction being smuggled into the United States, the State of Texas is has begun to take the threat seriously.
An Update From the Front Lines ...
On 23 June the British will vote in a referendum to decide whether their country should remain in or leave (BREXIT) the European Union (EU). The importance of this event cannot be overstated, since it will impact the future of the UK – and very likely that of Europe – for decades to come. The polls suggest that this will be a close contest. This means that a significant proportion of the population will be deeply unhappy with the outcome of the referendum, not really an encouraging sign given its profound implications. But why on Earth are the Brits questioning their membership of the EU in the first place? Why can’t they just settle down like everyone else?
Nuclear power is not commercially viable but has become a state-sponsored technology. There is nothing wrong with state supported technology. But we could save a lot of time and money by not pretending that it is something else.
What until now was mostly effete jawboning over US complaints surrounding China's territorial expansion ambitions in the South China Sea, including the occasional sailing of a US ship deep inside the disputed territorial waters (with zero impact especially now that China may soon start building maritime nuclear power plants in the area), changed dramatically earlier today when China officially denied a U.S. carrier strike group's request for a port visit to Hong Kong next week.
One month after we learned that the Brussels suicide bombers had planted hidden cameras at the home of the top Belgian nuclear official, we now learn that in a disturbing continuation of this story, the entire population of Belgium will be receiving iodine tablets, which helps to limit the effects of radiation on the body, as fears increase around the security of its nuclear power plants.
We finally got confirmation of news from two days ago that a German nuclear power plant had been infected with malware after Reuters reports that the nuclear power plant was indeed infected with not one but several computer viruses. But don't worry, Reuters is quick to calm a concerned public, "they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility's operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station's operator said on Tuesday." The Gundremmingen plant in question is located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE.
On the 30th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe yet, a new report shows radioactive contamination from the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl in Ukraine still lingers in startlingly large amounts across the border in neighboring Belarus. In an exclusive report by the Associated Press, fresh milk from a Belarusian dairy farm contained a radioactive isotope, traceable to the Chernobyl disaster, at “levels 10 times higher than the nation’s food safety limits” - thirty years after the accident occurred.
"One of the things that we have been doing is spending a lot more time positioning our missile defense systems, so that even as we try to resolve the underlying problem of nuclear development inside of North Korea, we're also setting up a shield that can at least block the relatively low-level threats that they're posing right now"
Remember when "someone" used the Stuxnet virus in an Iranian nuclear plant several years ago to freeze Iranian nuclear production, leading to a major diplomatic scandal involving the spy agencies of both the US and Israel, as the world learned that in the present day industrial sabotage only needed a flash drive and a computer virus to render even the most sophisticated piece of industrial machinery obsolete? Well, a few minutes ago, Bloomberg reported that a computer virus was discovered in a German nuclear power plant.
- Obama sending more forces to Syria to consolidate gains against Islamic State (Reuters)
- Global stocks, dollar stumble ahead of Fed, BOJ meetings (Reuters)
- The Rise and Deadly Fall of Islamic State’s Oil Tycoon (WSJ)
- Oil Producers Lock In Once-Snubbed Prices (WSJ)
- Yellen's Scope for Summer Rate Hike Widens as ECB Signals a Hold (BBG)
- 11,000 jobs at risk as BHS teeters on brink (The Times)