Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has agreed to step aside and support his nominated replacement in the post, according to Shiite lawmakers via AP. In an statement on state-run TV, Maliki declared support for al-Abadi, leaving his post "to not let one Iraqi blood drop be shed because of me." Of course, what really matters is what concessions were offered. In the past, Mr. Abadi has worried that American military presence was exacerbating sectarian tensions. Perhaps most notably, Maliki stated "Intelligence apparatuses behind the sectarian strife in the region." - CIA?
As we feared during the day yesterday, when night fell in Ferguson, a combination of massive SWAT team presence and an increasingly disillusioned citizenry were a recipe for disaster. Over 70 heavily-armed police enforced quasi-martial-law in the troubled town, at least 10 people were arrested, tear gas and rubber bullets were unleashed, and 2 reporters were (briefly) arrested. Perhaps Rep. Justin Amash summed it up best, "Is this a war zone or a US city? Gov't escalates tensions w/military equipment & tactics."
The Russian 'aid' convoy continues to wend its way closer and closer to the East Ukraine border. As NYTimes reports, moving at a steady 50 miles per hour, more than 200 commercial trucks and some army trucks with white tarpaulins set out before daybreak from a military base in the city of Voronezh, where the convoy had halted for more than a day after protests from Kiev. It is now around 30 miles east of Ukraine, stopped in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky. Here is the a full look at the convoy, its contents, and the helicopters and tanks surrounding it...
This is especially the case in Ukraine where the currency has lost more than half of its value versus gold (see chart above and below). Gold in Ukraine Hrvynia is up 70% since the start of 2014. People who own gold in Ukraine would laugh at you, if you said that gold is not a safe haven. As would people in many countries in South America, the Middle East and Africa.
Massive SWAT Presence In Ferguson Unleash Tear Gas & Rubber Bullets: "Go Home Or Be Subject To Arrest - This Is Not Open For Discussion" - Live FeedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/13/2014 23:07 -0400
At least 70 SWAT moving civilians along: "this is not open for discussion", "your rights to assemble are not being denied", 2 reporters arrested for "not packing bags fast enough"
Police are firing rubber bullets and tear gas - "This is no longer a peaceful assembly. Go home or be subject to arrest," says the loudspeaker.
Protesters exclaimed, "we have a right to assemble, a right to freedom," said Paul Muhammad. "But here we are facing what looks like a military imposing martial law. It is not acceptable." Interestingly, President Obama's official response "urging reflection" has been rejected as insultingly inadequate by many African American residents of Ferguson.
If you are fortunate enough to have a job in America today, the phrase "just over broke" probably describes you. Yes, there are a handful of jobs that certainly pay very well, but most Americans that work for somebody else are just barely making it from month to month. More than half of all working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and more than half of all working Americans make less than $30,000 a year. Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet our leaders just keep telling us how wonderful our economy is.
This just happened...
1645ET *PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR SAYS TRUCE EXTENDED BY 5 DAYS
1659ET *THREE MORE GAZA ROCKETS HIT ISRAEL, ARMY SAYS
1729ET *IDF TOLD TO RESPOND TO PALESTINIAN CEASEFIRE BREACH: HAARETZ
1740ET *ISRAELI WARPLANES BOMBING GAZA: AL JAZEERA
For the record, Hamas denies responsibility for the rockets. We presume that "ceasefire" means something different in Gaza?
UPDATE: *BRAZIL PRES. CANDIDATE CAMPOS DIES IN PLANE CRASH: GLOBONEWS
Brazil's stock market is reeling this morning as rumors and now news hit that Brazilian Presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was on board a private jet that crashed in the city of Santos. Polls had put Mr. Campos head-to-head with Ms. Rousseff (but behind Ms. Silva). A police official in Santos said there were "certainly" fatalities in the crash, but could not say how many or provide any additional information. Campos had run on a platform of less government intervention and proposed a bill to ensure central bank indpendence.
Is $85 a barrel in the cards? Sure it is once the Fed Effect on Oil Price comes out of the market.
- Obama says Missouri shooting death tragic, reflection needed (Reuters)
- U.S. Weighs Iraq Rescue Mission to Save Yazidis (WSJ)
- Maliki says Abadi's appointment as Iraqi PM 'has no value' (Reuters)
- Iran Joins U.S. in Backing Replacement for Iraq’s Maliki (BBG)
- Kurds Push Attack in North Iraq as Maliki Clings to Power (BBG)
- Obama Donors Embrace Corporate Inversions He Criticizes (BBG)
- Syrian Forces Advance on Aleppo, Rebels Fear Another Siege (WSJ)
- Israel, Palestinians pursue Gaza deal with ceasefire clock ticking (Reuters)
- Ebola Drug’s Success Bolsters Approach for Other Diseases (BBG)
- With Natural Gas Byproduct, Iran Sidesteps Sanctions (NYT)
- Kazakhs to Hoard Food as Putin Sanctions Rattle Alliance (BBG)
The riots and looting that erupted in Ferguson is symptomatic of something much more worrisome in America. This is a problem that is brewing and is extremely dangerous to say the least. The killing of this black teen is not simply racism. The problems are much deeper. Claiming this is just racism deflects the entire issue and makes it simply black-v-white. This is something far more serious for it is impacting our entire society. The police are being transformed from protecting the public into protecting government from the public. Most do not even see what transformation they have gone through.
The Fed keeps moving their targets, and came up with this ‘slack in the labor force’ argument helped of course by Wall Street or should I say the Big Banks.....
ISIS has attracted an entire generation of radicalized Sunni militants to the region. If one watches interviews with their enemies such as e.g. Peshmerga fighters, one topic that is occasionally mentioned is that they don't seem to fear death much. Combined with their well-known brutality, this undoubteldy makes them a formidable fighting force. However, there is evidently far more to ISIS than that. All of the above suggests that it will be exceedingly difficult to effectively destroy ISIS. It seems to us that if the goals the president has announced in recent days are to be achieved, nothing short of a full-scale invasion of Iraq (as well as of Syria for good measure) is likely to suffice – and even then, success is by no means guaranteed.
- Gunshots, tear gas in riots over shooting of black Missouri teen (Reuters)
- Russia sends big aid convoy to Ukraine, West sounds warnings (Reuters)
- Maliki Bid to Block Successor Escalates Crisis in Iraq (BBG)
- Poor German data pushes euro toward 9-month lows against dollar (Reuters)
- Derivatives Reincarnate Boosting Debt Wagers in New Era (BBG)
- Israel Says No Gaza Talks Progress as Hamas Warns on Truce (BBG)
- Traders brace for research crackdown as easy money dries up (Reuters)
- U.S. Bank Profits Near Record Levels (WSJ)
- Unproven Ebola Drugs Are Ethical to Use in Outbreak: WHO (BBG)
- Caesars’ CEO Loveman Says No Qualified Bidders for Revel (BBG)
Here is a video of what the alleged Russian convoy, that is about to enter east Ukraine, looks like: some ~300 military vehicles, all repainted "Humanitarian White."