Just hours after the beheading of a 2nd American journalist, The White House has issued a statement:
*U.S. TO SEND ABOUT 350 MILITARY PERSONNEL TO IRAQ: WHITE HOUSE
*WHITE HOUSE SAYS ADDITIONAL FORCES WON'T SERVE IN A COMBAT ROLE
With American non-combat, humanitarian, advisers now being dispersed to the four corners of the world for non-combat, humanitarian, advisory roles; one wonders how long it will be before someone asks President Obama just what these peace-keeping non-combat personnel will be doing in their role "to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad."
The CDC's worst nightmare is coming true. Despite reassurances from the government that it was 'contained', the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria is accelerating fast. Health Minister Chukwu said that 17 had now been infected and 271 were under surveillance (including most horrifyingly, 72 in Lagos). In addition, Congo is seeing cases increase rapidly, with WHO reporting 53 cases of Ebola (31 dead) and warning, perhaps ominously, that there is no link with the West Africa strain. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the situation in her country "remains grave," adding "People now don't see this as a Liberia or West Africa crisis. It could easily become a global crisis." Furthermore, Doctors-without-Borders warns, "the world is losing the battle to contain the Ebola epidemic."
Eating out for the weekend brings home the idea that food and restaurant costs are only going up on the whole...
The violent protests that raged yesterday have turned deadly as clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters left 3 dead and at least 470 injured according to The WSJ. The military, who are acting as mediators between PM Sharif and opposition leader Imran Khan have warned both sides that they neither support the others view or sanction further use of violence to suppress crowds. Mr. Khan exclaimed to the people, "if you want to be free, if you want to have a real democracy, the time has come;" as another protester noted "the police were brutal, but that is good because whenever blood is shed in a movement, it turns into a revolution." Meanwhile, the so-called "soft-coup" as WaPo refers to it continues to harden (threatening $3bn of US aid) as Prime Minister Sharif is left with fewer and fewer options.
Ukraine Defense Minister Warns Of "Worst Conflict Since WWII", Shifts Forces To "Combat Full-Scale Russian Invasion"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/01/2014 10:18 -0400
Unless they are tilting at windmills, the rhetoric this morning from Ukraine's defense minister is the strongest and most actionable yet. Via his Facebook page, Valeriy Galetey accused Russia of "open aggression," and explained that:
- *RUSSIA SHIFTED TO 'FULL-SCALE' INVASION OF DONBAS, GELETEY SAYS
- *UKRAINE HALTS ATTEMPTS TO DISLODGE REBELS: DEFENSE MINISTER
- *UKRAINE SHIFTS FOCUS TO HALTING RUSSIAN INVASION, GELETEY SAYS
Earlier in the morning, US Senator Bob Menendez said he has "no doubt Russia has invaded Ukraine," and following Ukraine requests for assistance from Europe and US, NATO responded by noting a reaction force or 3-5,000 can be ready in 48 hours.
Gold Bears Have Wind at their Backs as Technicals likely to fail to downside over Near-Term.
Probably the 'oddest' headline of the day but in yet another show of disdain towards US military might, the Islamist militia group known as "Dawn Of Libya" has 'secured' an annex of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli. As Reuters reports, the United States evacuated its embassy in Tripoli on July 26, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia; but a YouTube video showed the breach of the vacated diplomatic facility by an armed group, with fighters seen milling around a swimming pool. A rebel takeover of the compound would now deliver another symbolic blow to U.S. policy toward Libya, which Western governments fear is teetering toward becoming a failed state.
The Islamic State is nothing if not ambitious. Despite no record of current 'airplane' assets in their annual reports, ISIS has begun detaining and forcing Syrian pilots to train militant fighters to fly stolen aircraft. According to CNN Arabic, the pilots (and their planes and helicopters) were abducted when the terrorist group gained control of Tabqa military base. It appears that if beheadings, executions, and whippings are not enough to strike fear into the hearts of the locals, then (just as America is tryiung to do), an air assault will greatly demoralize. We can only imagine how this changes Obama's strategy (and just where are all the rest of Syria and Iraq's airplanes stored?)
20,000 Pakistan Riot Police Unleash Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets As Protesters Breach PM's Residence, 230 InjuredSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/30/2014 17:54 -0400
UPDATE: *POLICE, PROTESTERS CLASH IN ISLAMABAD; AT LEAST 230 HURT: AFP
Against the background we initialliy explained here, and the escalation we discussed here, Imran Khan's "Pakistan Spring" has grown dramatically. The former cricketing-legend and erstwhile opposition leader's call for people to take to the streets to demand new 'unrigged' elections has 1000s of protesters breaching the Prime Minister's residence in Islamabad. Along with anti-government cleric Tahirul Qadri, Khan urged peaceful protest but, as AP reports, an estimated 20,000 police in riot gear are blocking the procession using tear gas and rubber bullets. Local hospitals report at least 100 injuries.
This seems to be the biggest question in financial markets for me right now because the math just doesn`t add up any way you slice it.
Expect market participants coming back from vacation, and probably everything that worked in August will get “taken out to the woodshed” in September.
- Obama Cools Talk of Strikes Against Islamic State in Iraq or Syria (WSJ)
- Separatists say will allow 'trapped' Ukrainian forces to withdraw (Reuters)
- Ukraine Fighting Surges as Russian-Backed Forces Gain (BBG)
- Missouri police sued for $40 million over actions in Ferguson protests (Reuters)
- BTFDividend stocks? Tesco Slumps as Retailer Slashes Dividend 75% on Forecast (BBG)
- In town halls, U.S. lawmakers hear voter anger over illegal migrants (Reuters)
- Obamacare’s Latest Threat Nears Turning Point in Court (BBG)
- Untangling the Mess of Austrian Bank Hypo (WSJ)
- The billion-dollar fall of the house of Espirito Santo (Reuters)
- Manhattan Condo Resale Prices Reach Record High (BBG)
- California Drought Squeezes Wells: State Considers Regulating Groundwater Use for First Time (WSJ)
UPDATE: Damage Control Spin begins... Josh Earnest: "In his remarks today, POTUS was explicit - as he has been in the past - about the comprehensive strategy we'll use to confront ISIL threat."
President Obama 'knows' how to handle Putin's 'continuation' (not 'invasion') - more sanctions (and costs for Europe) - but when it comes to beating the most "barbaric" terrorists known as ISIS, ISIL, or The Islamic State; he had this to offer... "I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet." Rest assured Americans - who have been told that ISIS could be crossing the borders every day and a constant threat, President Obama is 'working on it'. Perhaps most crucially, while we 'joke' that the administration has no strategy, it is noteworthy that Obama stated it was "not US policy to defeat ISIS, only reverse gains."
In the endless series of public statements by the Chief Golfer on the Ukraine.... situation... which nobody knows exactly what to call, here comes the latest one. Expect the GOTUS to dangle more threats of sanctions, red lines, hash tags, in short an all out European depression, as to how the US will respond to the latest regurgitated story of a Russian "invasion" (at least pre-retraction). The statement is scheduled for 4 pm, so expect Obama to talk around 5 pm.
In the USA, instead of "boots on the ground," we have 'humanitarian advisors' on the battlefield - because it's so important to manage the iPad -fiddling public's perception of how hawkish politicians are. However, for the various nations opining upon the ongoing events in Ukraine, finding just the right word is simply stunning... as descriptions of the conflict soften as one more from East to West. However, as Ian Bremmer notes, “Russia and Ukraine as sovereign countries are now at war and it’s going to be very difficult for the United States and Europe to deny that reality.”