"Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce, and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate." -- President James A. Garfield, two weeks before he was assassinated

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The Philippine coast guard said on Sunday that a Chinese coast guard vessel assaulted three Philippine boats in the South China Sea with water cannons, and collided with one vessel, causing engine damage. 

This latest confrontation between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the disputed waters of the South China Sea took place near Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands, where the Philippines maintains a small outpost on a grounded navy ship. 

Philippine navy-operated supply boats with a Philippine coast guard escort were on a supply mission to deliver food and other supplies to troops stationed on the shoal. 

The Chinese coast guard said Philippine boat "deliberately" collided with their ship after ignoring several warnings.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:37

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday said he appreciated the US veto at the UN Security Council, which blocked a call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Israel will continue the war against Hamas, said Netanyahu, as the military pressed up with relentless bombardments in Gaza. Read our blog to see how the day's events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).

Posted on: Dec 10 08:35

Former President Donald Trump told partygoers at a New York Young Republican Club event that the indictments against him have 'opened Pandora's box' and that Joe Biden should 'be very careful what you wish for'. 

Talking at Saturday evening's event Trump told a crowd chanting his name that Biden has 'opened up a Pandora's box that will never let our country be the same. 

'I can only say to Joe: Be very careful what you wish for, but you have done is a terrible thing,' former president Trump said in his speech.

The event was hosted at Cipriani's flagship location on New York City's Wall Street where roughly a thousand guests gathered, including notable Republicans Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz

'I am being indicted for you. These are not indictments in the traditional sense. These are Biden indictments against their political opponent,' Trump told the event. 

Posted on: Dec 10 08:34

Defense attorneys have coined the term “January 6 Jurisprudence” to describe the treatment received by the more than 1,200 defendants arrested so far in connection with the events of Jan. 6, 2021. This carve-out legal system involves the unprecedented and possibly unlawful use of a corporate evidence-tampering statute; excessive prison sentences and indefinite periods of pretrial incarceration; and the designation of nonviolent offenses as federal crimes of terrorism.

A universal feature is the requirement that a Jan. 6 defendant, usually a supporter of Donald Trump, face trial in Washington, D.C., a city overwhelmingly populated by Democrats. Federal judges have denied every change of venue motion filed in Jan. 6 cases, arguing those who protested at the Capitol can get a fair trial in the nation’s capital.

The results so far appear to contradict the court’s collective conclusion. Court records show the jury selection process has repeatedly revealed a strong degree of bias against anyone tied to Jan. 6. At least 130 defendants have been convicted at trial – not one has been acquitted by a jury – and hundreds have been sentenced to prison time ranging from seven days to 22 years. Defense lawyers say this track record helps explain why the vast majority of defendants have opted for a plea deal rather than go to trial.

This is the same environment that now awaits the former president as he prepares to stand trial in Washington on March 4, 2024 for election interference, in addition to an array of criminal and civil cases against him elsewhere.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:34

In a surprising turn of events, the Dow Industrials achieved a new 52-week high this week, creating a buzz on Wall Street. However, beneath the surface, a Dow Theory non-confirmation has emerged as Dow Transports experienced a -1.6% decline.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:32

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen ordered diplomatic passports to be issued to powerful members of his Likud party who have the ability to influence where he is ranked on the party's slate in a future Knesset election, Haaretz has learned.

The step was taken against the advice of professional staff at the ministry who expressed the view that the recipients were not appropriate to receive diplomatic passports. Cohen also ordered a diplomatic passport for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair, even though he doesn't meet the normal criteria.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:28

Cathie Wood’s ARKK Innovation fund reminds me of the Ark scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark. “It’s beautiful” proclaims Belloch. Before it turns ugly and kills everyone.

Yes, the ARKK Innovation Fund, managed by Cathie Wood, is high risk (beta = 2.28) and low alpha (excess return) fund with a negative alpha of -0.376. Now, true the standard error of the alpha is larger than the point estimate of alpha, meaning that it is not significants. Bottom like: lots of systematic risk, little or no excess return.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:25

There have long been accusations saying Israel's military is seeking to push Gazans en masse into Sinai...

Posted on: Dec 10 08:19

House Republicans are digging in with their demands to link aid to Ukraine to permanent changes to U.S. border policy.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:17

Unexpected SOFR spikes reveal financial plumbing issues linked to the Fed's balance sheet reduction and regulatory scrutiny. China's money markets show distress amid economic challenges.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:17

The Senate on Thursday voted down a resolution that would have directed President Biden to withdraw all US troops from Syria, where US forces have come under frequent attack in response to President Biden’s support for Israel’s Gaza onslaught.

The bill failed in a vote of 13-84 and received support from seven Democrats, five Republicans, and one Independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT). The resolution was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who argued the US occupation of eastern Syria risks a major regional war.

“Keeping 900 US troops in Syria does nothing to advance American security. Rather, our intervention puts those servicemembers at grave risk by providing an enticing target for Iranian-backed militias,” Paul said.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:16

In 1996, a nest of American-born imperialists revolving around Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Richard Perle created a new think tank called “The Project for a New American Century.”

While the principled aim of the think tank ultimately hinged on a new “Pearl Harbor moment” that would justify a new era of regime-change wars in the Middle East, a secondary but equally important part of the formula involved the dominance of “Greater Israel” Likud fanatics then taking power over the murdered body of Yitzhak Rabin.

It was toward the start of the new regime of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Richard Perle wrote the reportClean Break: A Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which outlined a series of goals that would govern the strategic vision of Washington and Tel Aviv for the next two decades. It called for:

  • Canceling the foundations for the Oslo Accords that threatened to bring about a climate of peace through economic cooperation in the Middle East under a two-state solution
  • Launching a new doctrine of “right of hot pursuit” justifying armed incursions into Palestinian territories
  • Inducing the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq
  • Armed incursions into Lebanon and possible strikes against Syria and Iran
Posted on: Dec 10 08:16

White House is concerned an Israeli response could spark a major regional war.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:15

A coalition of Palestinian factions has called for an international strike in support of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, who have been under a war of genocide by the Israeli regime for more than two months.

In a statement on Saturday, the National and Islamic Forces, which is an umbrella coalition for major factions in Palestine, called for an inclusive global strike on Monday in protest at the Israeli crimes against Palestinian people, especially in Gaza.

Starting on October 7, the occupying regime launched a devastating war on Gaza following a surprise operation by the territory's resistance groups, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm. According to Gaza's Health Ministry, the war has so far killed 17,700 people and injured 48,780 others.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:14

The United Nations children's agency has strongly slammed Israel's complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is under the regime’s genocidal war, calling it a death sentence for children in the territory.

Adele Khodr, UNICEF's Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, made the comment on Saturday, while explaining about the dire humanitarian situation across Gaza.

"Our team on the ground describes meeting children with missing limbs and third-degree burns, and children left shell-shocked by the continuing violence that surrounds them," Khodr said.


Posted on: Dec 10 08:14

Iger remains a critical donor for Biden’s reelection...

Posted on: Dec 10 08:13

Ever since Russia started its full-scale strategic counteroffensive against NATO aggression in Europe, the political West has been insisting on the idea that the Eurasian giant is supposedly “isolated” and the “international pariah”. However, time and again, Moscow keeps debunking this laughable notion. Recent events have not only confirmed this, but are showing that the opposite is happening.

The Qatar trip of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been mired in controversy as he was left waiting at least 30 minutes for someone to greet him during his visit on November 29. This could be partially explained by the fact that Berlin’s position is decidedly pro-Israeli, while Doha is firmly on the Palestinian side, formally at least.

However, this doesn’t explain why Russian President Vladimir Putin got virtually a hero’s welcome in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during a visit to the Middle Eastern country exactly a week after Steinmeier’s trip to Qatar. These sharply differing, albeit seemingly unrelated events demonstrate an enormous paradigm shift in the geopolitics of the Middle East, arguably the most strategically important region on the planet. After the start of the special military operation (SMO), the political West has been trying to isolate Russia and limit its (geo)political maneuverability. However, ever since, this has only backfired, becoming a sort of litmus test for sovereignty and actual independence from the political West’s diktat.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:13

Ukraine’s president and his ministers have spent nearly two years parroting the line that Kiev is fighting for the West’s freedom, and that if Russia is allowed to win, it will attack other European countries. But some Poles no longer buy these claims.

Kiev’s “cunning propaganda” suggesting that a Russian victory in Ukraine will inevitably be followed up with attacks on NATO countries are little more than a form of “demagoguery” and “blackmail” completely detached from reality. That’s according to an editorial published in Polish politics journal Mysl Polska.

“An Estonian military officer has formulated the following thesis: that ‘there are only two options: either Ukraine will win, or there will be World War III’. This ridiculous proposition is probably shared by a large part of Ukraine’s supporters in our country,” the alternative conservative media outlet wrote, pointing to efforts by some actors to convince the public “that a Ukrainian defeat will mean we will definitely be attacked by Russia.”

But the latter claim is little more than a “cunning propaganda move by Kiev aimed at maintaining Western policy of unconditional military and financial support,” with these kind of “demagogic statements…often used by Ukrainian politicians as blackmail (for example, during the Polish truckers’ protests). This trick is also used by the failing administration of Joe Biden, which frightens the countries of NATO’s eastern flank with the prospect of an attack by Russia,” the journal emphasized.

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Posted on: Dec 10 08:11

Hungarian road carriers will begin protests on the border with Ukraine on Monday, as Ukrainian truckers ruin Hungarian logistics companies, Hungarian Road Transport Association (MKFE) Secretary General Tivadar Arvay said on Saturday.

"Due to the appearance of Ukrainian carriers on the EU market, several hundred Hungarian enterprises were on the verge of bankruptcy... Poles and Slovaks are talking about this, but the same thing is behind the Hungarian protests that will start on Monday," Arvay was quoted as saying by Hungarian news agency MTI.

He added that the mileage of Ukrainian trucks in Hungary increased by 30%, while the distance traveled by the Hungarian trucks decreased by 4%. Arvay noted that Ukrainian carriers come from a completely different economic and legal environment, therefore their costs differ, and they are not subject to EU rules.

"We asked the European Union - last week there was a meeting of the transport commission... to reconsider its agreement with Ukraine and take into account the interests of EU member states, including transport companies in Hungary," Arvay said.

Posted on: Dec 10 08:10