Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Merkel’s Folly!

Baltic Dry Index. 926 -20   Brent Crude 54.82

LIR Gold Target in 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

Eurasian Snow cover. (How bad will winter be?)

We open today with more fallout from Germany’s Mrs Merkel’s pandering to the liberal elite’s folly. Slaughter on the Ku'dam. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as the naïve Chancellor Merkel is now finding out. Hopefully Germany at their next election will pick a realist, although by then the damage will already have been done. The Bush-Blair “regime change” discretionary war, continues to claim more innocent victims. The sooner GB is out of the madness of the EUSSR the better.  

Germany Reels as Truck Kills 12 at Berlin Christmas Market

by Patrick Donahue and Stefan Nicola
A truck rammed into crowds at a Berlin Christmas market on Monday night, killing and injuring visitors as they celebrated the festive season in what the German government said was probably a deliberate assault.
Twelve people died and 48 were injured, among them tourists, after a truck with Polish plates crashed into the market on Monday evening near the Kurfuerstendamm in the heart of the German capital. Berlin police early Tuesday called the incident a “probable terrorist attack.” The country’s federal prosecutor has taken over the investigation.

The incident is reminiscent of an attack in the French city of Nice in July, when more than 80 died after a truck plowed through late-night crowds celebrating Bastille Day. The deaths in the German capital threaten to further undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel’s domestic political standing going into an election year. Her open-door refugee policy of last year polarized voters and fed support for the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party.

“We mourn for the dead and hope that the many injured can be helped,” Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, said in a Twitter statement. He added that the chancellor was in contact with her interior minister after hearing of the incident.

Berlin police said that a suspect believed to be the driver was arrested after fleeing the scene and that a passenger in the truck was among the dead. German media including Die Welt newspaper reported that the driver was a refugee from Pakistan.

----Images from the scene showed a dark Scania-brand truck with a Polish license plate, its windscreen smashed and its long trailer parked across the street where it had come to a standstill in front of the luxury Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

Politicians in the capital were quick to express their shock. Thomas Oppermann, parliamentary leader of the Social Democratic Party, which is part of Merkel’s governing coalition, said he was “horrified” and called the incident a deliberate attack. Julia Kloeckner, a vice chairwoman of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, told Bild newspaper that it was a “barbaric” act, adding that “terrorists are cowards.”

In the U.S., President-elect Donald Trump issued a statement saying that “our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying terror attack in Berlin.”

Trump condemns Berlin attack, says things 'only getting worse'

Mon Dec 19, 2016 | 6:32pm EST
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Monday condemned an attack at a Christmas market in Berlin that killed nine people and injured dozens more, linking the attack to "Islamist terrorists" before German police officials had said who was responsible.

Trump, in a statement, said "ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad," using an acronym for Islamic State.

On Twitter, he said the attack, along with others in Turkey and Switzerland, showed "it is only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking!"

Trump wins U.S. Electoral College vote; a few electors break ranks

Mon Dec 19, 2016 | 8:15pm EST
Republican Donald Trump prevailed in U.S. Electoral College voting on Monday to officially win election as the next president, easily dashing a long-shot push by a small movement of detractors to try to block him from gaining the White House.

Trump, who is set to take office on Jan. 20, garnered more than the 270 electoral votes required to win, even as at least half a dozen U.S. electors broke with tradition to vote against their own state’s directives, the largest number of “faithless electors” seen in more than a century.

The Electoral College vote is normally a formality but took on extra prominence this year after a group of Democratic activists sought to persuade Republicans to cross lines and vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. She won the nationwide popular vote even as she failed to win enough state-by-state votes in the acrimonious Nov. 8 election.

Protesters briefly disrupted Wisconsin's Electoral College balloting. In Austin, Texas, about 100 people chanting: “Dump Trump” and waving signs reading: “The Eyes of Texas are Upon You” gathered at the state capitol trying to sway electors.

In the end, however, more Democrats than Republicans went rogue, underscoring deep divisions within their party. At least four Democratic electors voted for someone other than Clinton, while two Republicans turned their backs on Trump.

With nearly all votes counted, Trump had clinched 304 electoral votes to Clinton's 227, according to an Associated Press tally of the voting by 538 electors across the country.

"I will work hard to unite our country and be the President of all Americans," Trump said in a statement responding to the results.

Elsewhere, Islamic murderous madness rolls on. Hopefully incoming President Trump will work with Russia and China to crush and stamp out the murderous madness from spreading.  At a time like this, the west needs realistic statesmen not Hollywood-liberal-elite dreamers.

Why a Russian’s Killing in Turkey Was About Syria: QuickTake Q&A

by Onur Ant
The assassination of Russia’s top envoy in Turkey is by all appearances another bloody result of Syria’s civil war. Video footage shows the assailant shouting religious slogans and “Don’t forget Aleppo,” a reference to the Syrian city where the interests of Turkey and Russia collided, and where the civil war became a humanitarian crisis. Leaders of both countries were quick to pledge that the assassination won’t break ties between Ankara and Moscow, which are still recovering from Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet near its border with Syria last year.

1. Why might the gunman have mentioned Aleppo?

Aleppo is where Russian-backed Syrian troops defeated rebels, most of them Sunni Muslim, after some of the fiercest fighting of the almost six-year-old civil war. Though Turkey actively supported the rebels since the early stages of the war, more recently it’s put a higher value on steering clear of Aleppo so as not to interfere with Russia’s campaign on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad.

2. What happens now to Turkey’s reconciliation with Russia?

Any major damage seems unlikely, with officials from both sides saying bilateral ties are too important to be damaged by the killing. Turkey’s interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, called the shooting “a terror attack against Turkish-Russian relations.” Russian and Turkish foreign and defense ministers, along with their Iranian counterparts, plan to go ahead with a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss recent developments in Syria. “There won’t be a new chill in the relationship,” Leonid Slutsky, head of the international affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, said on Rossiya 24 state television.

3. Are Russia and Turkey allies?

More like a budding friends. Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1952, along with Greece, as the U.S. and its western allies sought bulwarks against the spread of communism. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkey and Russia have been trade and tourism partners. In October, the two nations agreed to work together on a natural-gas pipeline under the Black Sea.

In economic news, yet another red flag that the tide is shifting. Tomorrow, will not be like today which was like yesterday. Neither will tomorrow’s politicians. For better or worse our world is now rapidly changing.

Swiss Watch Exports Poised for Worst Year Since 1984: Chart

by Thomas Mulier and Corinne Gretler
19 December 2016, 11:35 GMT
The number of watches Switzerland exports is on track to reach the lowest level since 1984, when digital timepieces were in vogue and Swatch Group AG had just been formed in reaction to low-cost competition. 
Three decades later, difficult times are back: 11-month data is due Tuesday after the value of Switzerland’s watch exports dropped 11 percent in the first 10 months of the year. While brands like Vacheron Constantin, Cartier and Vulcain cut jobs, Swatch has held back on any such announcements even as costs mount.

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 37.55 Moz, Eligible 144.84 Moz, Total 182.39 Moz. 

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner

The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.
Today, the tale of bad Chinese seafood certified as Malaysian. Perhaps “the Donald” can put an end to this before it becomes too late to be able to fight bacteria with antibiotics.

How Antibiotic-Tainted Seafood From China Ends Up on Your Table

You might want to pass on the shrimp cocktail.

by Jason Gale, Lydia Mulvany, and Monte Reel 15 December 2016, 09:00 GMT
---- Beside one of those fish farms near Zhaoqing, on a muggy day in June, a farmhand wearing a broad-brimmed straw hat hoses down the cement floor of a piggery where white and roan hogs sniff and snort. The dirty water from the pens flows into a metal pipe, which empties directly into a pond shared by dozens of geese. As the yellowish-brown water splashes from the pipe, tilapia flap and jump, hungry for an afternoon feeding.
Chinese agriculture has thrived for thousands of years on this kind of recycling—the nutrients that fatten the pigs and geese also feed the fish. But the introduction of antibiotics into animal feed has transformed ecological efficiency into a threat to global public health.
At another farm, in Jiangmen, a farmer scatters a scoop of grain to rouse her slumbering swine, penned on the edge of a pond with 20,000 Mandarin fish. The feed contains three kinds of antibiotics, including colistin, which in humans is considered an antibiotic of last resort. Colistin is banned for swine use in the U.S., but until November, when the Chinese government finally clamped down, it was used extensively in animal feed in China. Vials and containers for nine other antibiotics lie around the 20-sow piggery—on shelves, in shopping bags, and atop trash piles. Seven of those drugs have been deemed critically important for human medicine by the World Health Organization.
The overuse of antibiotics has transformed what had been a hypothetical menace into a clear and present one: superbugs, bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics. By British government estimates, about 700,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide. If trends continue, that number is expected to soar to 10 million a year globally by 2050—more people than currently die from cancer.
---- Research has found that as much as 90 percent of the antibiotics administered to pigs pass undegraded through their urine and feces. This has a direct impact on farmed seafood. The waste from the pigpens at the Jiangmen farm flowing into the ponds, for example, exposes the fish to almost the same doses of medicine the livestock get—and that’s in addition to the antibiotics added to the water to prevent and treat aquatic disease outbreaks.

---- But antibiotic-contaminated seafood keeps turning up at U.S. ports, as well as in restaurants and grocery stores. That’s because the distribution networks that move the seafood around the world are often as murky as the waters in which the fish are raised. Federal agencies trying to protect public health face multiple adversaries: microbes rapidly evolving to defeat antibiotics and shadowy seafood companies that quickly adapt to health regulations to circumvent them, moving dirty seafood around the world in much the same way criminal organizations launder dirty money.

---- Since the early 1990s, the average amount of shrimp Americans eat annually has doubled, turning what was once a specialty dish into the country’s single most popular seafood. As recently as the 1980s, most of the shrimp consumed in the U.S. was raised domestically, primarily off the Gulf Coast. From 1990 to 2006, shrimp import volumes doubled. They’ve since leveled out at roughly 1.3 billion pounds annually, and today about 90 percent of the shrimp eaten in America comes from abroad. China’s share of imports touched an 11-year high in 2003 at 16 percent of the market. (It’s now 5.6 percent.) In 2004, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a 112 percent tariff on Chinese shrimp, effective 2005—a response to complaints of domestic producers that insisted Chinese suppliers were selling seafood below market prices. In 2007 came the import alert.
Malaysia jumped in to pick up the slack. In 2004 imports of Malaysian shrimp rose tenfold, according to U.S. government figures. They remained elevated for a decade, peaking at about 5 percent of the market in 2008 and 2011.
There’s reason to doubt that all that Malaysian shrimp is Malaysian. Ronnie Tan, vice president of Blue Archipelago, Malaysia’s largest seafood producer, says that depending on the year either three or four shrimp producers—including his own company—operate in the country. Malaysia produced about 32,000 tons of shrimp in 2015, he says; about 18,000 tons were consumed domestically, and about 12,000 tons went to Singapore. That would leave little legitimate Malaysian shrimp to go to the rest of the world. Yet according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, imports from Malaysia during the past decade have exceeded 20,000 tons a year on average.

Solar  & Related Update.

With events happening fast in the development of solar power and graphene, I’ve added this section. Updates as they get reported. Is converting sunlight to usable cheap AC or DC energy mankind’s future from the 21st century onwards? DC? A quantum computer next?

Welink confirms ‘£2.5 billion’ solar homes joint venture

Published: 19 Dec 2016, 08:06
Renewable energy company Welink has announced a joint venture with Your Housing Group – claimed to be valued at £2.5 billion – which could see the development of 25,000 solar-powered homes each year by 2022.

The JV will be assisted by China National Building Material (CNBM) and will incorporate Barcelona Housing Systems design practices for rapid deployment. The modular, energy efficient homes will also incorporate BIPV solar solutions which Welink said would help lift tenants out of fuel poverty.
Aimal Rahman, chairman of Welink Group, said that “radical innovation” in building practices and modular housing would address a shortfall of housing in the UK.

“This joint venture will give a significant kick-start to delivering the new homes people need across the UK which includes helping to address fuel poverty issues through our incorporated solar and energy efficient design – meaning our developments can be at least 75% off-grid,” he added.

As well as providing financial support for the project, CNBM has committed to build six factories across the UK which will help develop components needed for the housing. Those factories are expected to support more than 1,000 additional jobs and also improve local supply and delivery chains.

International trade minister Greg Hands welcomed the arrangement, adding: “This is a clear endorsement of the UK’s attractiveness as a place for inward investment. This announcement has the potential to benefit local communities across the country, creating jobs, boosting local economies and creating homes
“The Department for International Trade has worked closely with the consortium to highlight the strengths of the UK and played a fundamental role in bringing together the partners in this exciting joint venture" - International trade minister Greg Hands.

Earlier this year Welink and UK-based solar developer British Solar Renewables signed a deal which it said at the time would see more than 130MW of solar PV deployed throughout 2016, including an initial tranche of 8,000 homes with solar rooftop installations. That deal included the two collaborating on the Shotwick Solar Park – claimed to be the UK’s largest solar farm with a private wire connection - and the Swindon Solar Farm, which was later sold to Rockfire Capital.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished November

DJIA: 19124  +53 Up NASDAQ:  5324 +41 Up. SP500: 2198 +58 Up

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