Reuters

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Obama On The "Sacrifice" Of "No Vacations" In His Own Words





"You give me this office, and in turn, my fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving myself to you. The American people should have no patience for whatever is going through your head because you have a job to do. You don't make that decision unless you are prepared to make that sacrifice, that tradeoff. Those who make mistakes in the president's office make them because they haven't fully thought through the dimensions of that choice."

- Barack Hussein Obama

 
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Putin Defies Western Warning, Will Send "Aid Convoy" To East Ukraine





This may get messy. Following days of loud warnings by the West that Putin should not take any moves to send "humanitarian" aid into East Ukraine, due to western fears that this would be merely a pretext for invasion, Putin said on Monday that Russia will go ahead and send an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine anyway.

 
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Is Anyone In Control? The Iraq "Post Coup" Confusion Deepens





While the US is alternating between bombing the north of Iraq, and occasionally paradropping MREs and jugs of water to keep up the "noble" facade of intervention, it is very much unclear if Iraq currently has a government and in fact, who is in charge. As reported yesterday, current PM al-Maliki, seemingly unhappy with relinquishing power when a new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi was chosen, decided to conduct what many described as a military coup and encircled the residence of the president. Since then things have gotten quite confusing.

 
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Ukraine Says 45,000 Russian Troops On Border With Tanks, Missiles, Warplanes And Attack Helicopters





Just the usual warmongering soundbites, because someone clearly is on a mission to escalate the cross border hostilities into all out war. From Reuters:

  • UKRAINE MILITARY SPOKESMAN LYSENKO SAYS RUSSIA HAS 45,000 TROOPS ON ITS BORDER WITH UKRAINE WITH TANKS, MISSILE SYSTEMS, WARPLANES AND ATTACK HELICOPTERS

And meanwhile, from the other side: LAVROV: ONE MAY GET THE IMPRESSION THAT THE COUNTERTERRORISM OPERATION IN UKRAINE AIMS TO WIPE OFF SOUTHEASTERN UKRAINE FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH AND TO MAKE ALL RUSSIANS GO

 
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"World Insecurity” May Have “Positive Impact On Gold" - King, Ex BOE





He also warned that all countries would have to face up to mounting debt levels and said that central bank’s ultra loose monetary policies were not the answer. King echoed the IMF’s Lagarde recent declaration that the world needs a “global economic reset”.

 
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De-escalation Delayed: NATO Chief Warns Again "High Probability" Of Russian Intervention In Ukraine





Deja vu all over again. Just as he stole the jam from the market's donut last week, NATO Chief Rasmussen has done it again:

NATO'S RASMUSSEN SEES "HIGH PROBABILITY" THAT RUSSIA COULD INTERVENE MILITARILY IN EASTERN UKRAINE

He also adds he sees no sign of troop withdrawal. So, despite the market's confidence that it's fixed and Putin has folded, it seems NATO is not so sure. Un-De-Escalation begins.

 
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Frontrunning: August 11





  • Maliki digs in as U.S. pushes for new Iraq government (Reuters)
  • Ukraine's forces say close to taking rebel-held Donetsk (Reuters)
  • Anger Over Michael Brown Shooting Leads to Looting (WSJ)
  • German Economy Backbone Bending From Lost Russia Sales (BBG)
  • Kinder Morgan to Consolidate Empire (WSJ)
  • Early Failure to Detect Gaza Tunnel Network Triggers Recriminations in Israel (WSJ)
  • You’ll never guess how much BuzzFeed raised from Horowitz (FT)
  • The dumb money is now chasing Chinese oligarchs: Norway’s Wealth Fund Buys $576 Million of Mayfair Area (BBG)
  • Clinical trial to start soon on GSK Ebola vaccine (Reuters)
  • No drone skeet shooting any time soon (WSJ)
 
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Military Coup In Iraq: Prime Minister Maliki Refuses To Step Down; Security Forces On Alert, Encircle Presidential Palace





Just days after the US launched a campaign that implicitly aides the current regime headed by the supposedly outgoing PM, al-Maliki, it appears that latest US intervention has already led to "unexpected" consequences, this time with the prime minister appearing to have just staged a coup overthrowing Iraq's president President Fouad Massoum moments ago.

 
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Guest Post: The U.S. Airstrikes In Northern Iraq Are All About Oil





This week, President Barack Obama announced that he was authorizing American airstrikes in Iraq. He described his intervention as a “humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain” and as an effort “to protect our American personnel.” One word that he didn’t mention is “oil,” but it lies near the center of American motives for intervention.

 
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Hundreds Of Yazidis Found In ISIS Mass Grave, Many Buried Alive





If the stated purpose of US intervention in the "country formerly known as Iraq", which saw the fourth consecutive US president launching military strikes in a nation now absolutely destroyed thanks to US involvement, was humanitarian (it isn't) and allegedly to "protect" the Yazidi ethnic minority members stuck on a mountain near Sinjar, then it needs some fine-tuning. The reason: as Reuters reports, Islamic State militants have slaughtered at least 500 Yazidis during their latest offensive in the north, with Iraq's human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani adding that the ISIS jihadists also buried alive some of their victims, including women and children. Some 300 women were kidnapped as slaves, he added.

 
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Gold Breaks Out As Tensions In Middle East, With Russia Intensify - Technicals and Fundamentals Positive





Gold is nearly 2% higher this week and its technical position has further improved (see key charts). On Wednesday, gold broke out of bullish descending wedge chart pattern that has formed in recent months. Another buy signal for gold came when gold rose above the 20 EMA and 50 EMA (exponential moving averages). Also positive is the fact that the price momentum oscillator (PMO) has turned up, indicating that a positive momentum shift has occurred.

 
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Nigeria Declares "State Of Emergency" As Study Finds West African Ebola Virus Is Previously Undetected "New Strain"





Following the WHO's warnings, (the ironically named) Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a "state of emergency" over the Ebola outbreak that is rapidly escalating in his nation. This comes on the heels of a US medical journal study that finds, as Reuters reports, the Ebola virus that is ravagaing West Africa was not imported from Central Africa but caused by a "new strain" of the disease - raising the specter of further regional epidemics.

 
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Iraq Airstrikes Begin Despite Warning ISIS Retaliation Could Put Baghdad Underwater





Pentagon Press Secretary Admiral John Kirby confirms:

US military aircraft conduct strike on ISIL artillery. Artillery was used against Kurdish forces defending Erbil, near US personnel.

2 F-18A Aircraft dropped 500lb bombs. We anxiously await ISIS' response which - as the State Department warns "could leave Mosul under 100 feet of water."

 
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WHO Declares "Health Emergency", Admits "Stretched To Limit" On "Out Of Control" Ebola Outbreak As Nigeria Cases Soar





CDC Director Frieden's worst nightmare is coming true - Nigeria, of which he was "deeply concerned" due to the population density in Lagos for instance, has admitted 139 patients are now being monitored for Ebola (up from 8 mere days ago). This, along with "the outbreak moving faster than we can control it," drive the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare West Africa's Ebola epidemic, an "extraordinary event" and now constitutes an international health risk. As Reuters reports, the agency said that, all states with Ebola transmission - so far Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone - should declare a national emergency, as former WHO official warned "governments appear to not have been engaged as necessary."

 
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Frontrunning: August 8





  • Pope Francis calls for action as Iraqi Christians forced to flee (Reuters)
  • Richest Russians Deprived of Luxury Foods by Putin’s Ban (BBG)
  • Exxon Drilling Russian Arctic Shows Sanction Lack Bite (BBG)
  • Israeli Jets Strike Gaza Targets After Rockets Shatter Truce (BBG)
  • U.S. starts aid airdrops in Iraq but no strikes yet (Reuters)
  • Banks Said to Be Arranging Argentine Debt Buyer Group (BBG)
  • Siberia Flight-Ban Threat Forces Airlines to Mull Options (BBG)
  • Malaysia Airlines to Be Delisted in $429 Million Buyout (BBG)
  • Erdogan poised to win Turkey's first popular presidential vote (Reuters)
  • African Bank Fights Collapse in Espirito Santo-Like Drama (BBG)
  • China to build lighthouses on five isles in defiance of U.S. call (Reuters)
 
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