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[] Breaking news from Planned Parenthood: Not only is abortion 'important' and 'health care,' but it's also 'moral' Planned Parenthood has an announcement to make, and they're making it in ALL CAPS just to really drive it home:

Fact check: False.

Understandably so.

And we've been hearing them shout that "abortion is important" and "abortion is health care" for a while now. But what's this "abortion is moral" business? That seems]] Published:11/20/2019 1:36:53 PM

[Politics] Sen. Bob Menendez Wants Probe of Diplomats' Cell Phone Use Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., wants the State Department to investigate the use of personal cell phones by senior U.S. diplomats, NBC News is reporting. Published:11/20/2019 1:36:53 PM
[structure:news/uk-news] Oxford Circus: Commuter injured by train after falling on platform during rush hour Published:11/20/2019 1:36:53 PM
[Entertainment] Ray J Still in Las Vegas Despite Pregnant Princess Love's "Stranded" Claims Ray J, Princess LovePerhaps there are two sides to every story. Earlier this week, Princess Love got pop culture fans talking when she dropped an interesting tidbit of information on Ray J's Instagram...
Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[worldNews] Hungary aims to reach NATO defense spending goal in 2023 Hungary hopes to reach a NATO defense spending target in 2023, a year ahead of the deadline agreed by allies who are facing strong pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to invest more in European security.
Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[Markets] Fed officials have grown more optimistic about the economy, meeting minutes show Fed officials have grown more optimistic about the economy, meeting minutes show Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[Corruption] Media Delete Stories Attacking Trump Over Immigrant Kids After Realizing Numbers Were Obama’s

The following article, Media Delete Stories Attacking Trump Over Immigrant Kids After Realizing Numbers Were Obama’s, was first published on Godfather Politics.

Several news outlets deleted stories attacking President Trump over the number of immigrants kids detained in the U.S. when it turned out Obama had done it.

Continue reading: Media Delete Stories Attacking Trump Over Immigrant Kids After Realizing Numbers Were Obama’s ...

Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[christianity] Kanye’s Take on Opera: What to Expect from ‘Nebuchadnezzar’ at the Hollywood Bowl Via Twitter, West announced that the opera would be directed by his frequent collaborator, the performance artist Vanessa Beecroft. Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[Entertainment] Trump July 26 call mostly focused on rapper, Sondland says Ambassador Gordon Sondland says a July cellphone call with President Donald Trump “primarily discussed” rapper A$AP Rocky, who was imprisoned in Sweden earlier this year Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[35be20cf-9c4e-574c-82f4-02fafc8b8426] Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Hustlers’ inspiration slams claim star did film for free: ‘She got money all around’ Samantha Barbash, who inspired Jennifer Lopez’s character Ramona in “Hustlers,” is slamming the star’s claim she did the film for free. Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[Gadgets] Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro battery case sports a new camera button Apple just released the iPhone 11 Pro’s battery case and it comes with surprise: a button for the camera. This is a minor, but welcomed addition to an otherwise standard battery case. The button is clever. It’s located on the bottom half of the case is not a soft button that presses something on the […] Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[Markets] Johnson Proposes 10 Billion-Pound Tax Cut To Shore Up British Working-Class Support Johnson Proposes 10 Billion-Pound Tax Cut To Shore Up British Working-Class Support

As the Tories scramble to stitch up what's expected to be a first-place finish in the upcoming UK election, Boris Johnson is taking on Labour where it counts: With payroll tax cuts that will help to roll back the Tory's reputation for austerity.

Reuters reports that Johnson has raised the possibility of a multi-billion-pound cut to the payroll tax revenues. The PM reportedly promised to increase the amount of earnings that would be exempt from taxes should he return as PM.  On Wednesday, Johnson said he would bring the National Insurance threshold in line with the income tax levels if he won.

Presently, workers pay National Insurance contributions on annual earnings over 8,632 pounds, less than the 12,000-pound threshold at which workers start to owe income tax.

"We’re going to be cutting National Insurance up to 12,000," Johnson said in response to a question during a campaign event in northeast England about how he would help the average wage earner.

If implemented, Johnson's tax cut would give workers earning more than the threshold an extra £404 pounds a year.

A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found earlier this year that every £1,000 increase in the NIC threshold would cost roughly £3 billion, meaning Johnson's tax cuts could come with a £10 billion price tag.

Furthermore, the IFS ruled that these types of cuts wouldn't do much to benefit the most needy workers because the lowest-paid workers wouldn't benefit much (most of the benefits for increases in the threshold accrue to better-paid workers).

The Conservatives haven't yet released their full policy platform for next month's vote, which was called to break a deadlock over the withdrawal agreement Johnson's team negotiated with Brussels (which isn't much different from the deal negotiated by Theresa May's team).

But with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn pursuing the most far-left agenda in years - offering to dramatically boost spending on public-welfare programs and housing while expanding the rights of immigrants to live, vote and work in the UK - Johnson has been forced to offer the people a little extra something.

And it looks like that will come in the form of having more money in their pockets. Labour, meanwhile, is still finishing work on its own election platform. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 14:25
Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[World] Key Words: ‘It’s all over!’ — because Trump’s notepad says so, in big Sharpie strokes “I would say that means it’s all over,” Trump said, suggesting Sondland’s testimony exonerates him. “If you weren’t fake news, you’d cover it properly.”
Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[Issues] Wikipedia’s Anti-Israel Editors Unmasked

A pro-Israel organization has exposed the identities of many top Wikipedia editors who use the online encyclopedia to promote anti-Israel bias and causes, a first-of-its-kind effort that is unmasking a global online network of Israel critics.

The post Wikipedia’s Anti-Israel Editors Unmasked appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/20/2019 1:36:52 PM
[Politics] 34% of Online Streaming Service Users Complain of Too Many Choices

More Americans than ever are watching online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, but with several new companies including Disney and Apple entering the market, many now say there’s too much to look at.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 56% of American Adults use an online streaming service to watch TV and movies. That’s up from 45% in 2015 and 54% two years ago. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted November 14-15, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[World] BOOK REVIEW: 'C.S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction'

Clive Staples Lewis wrote “about 40 books” in his lifetime, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. How many of them can you name without assistance?

This reviewer gave it a go and came up with 19 books, including six of the seven Narnia books, two of the space trilogy novels and ... Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM

[structure:news] Britain's third richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to build luxury summer house on stilts at his £6m mansion Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Politics] Gordon Sondland chooses to save himself, not Trump

Almost everyone in Trump's orbit confronts the same dilemma, sooner or later: Stick with Trump and risk lasting damage, or break away and hope to survive his wrath. Gordon Sondland broke away in spectacular fashion.

Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Entertainment] Prince Andrew to Step Back From Royal Duties After Jeffrey Epstein Interview Jeffrey Epstein, Prince AndrewPrince Andrew, Duke of York, will step back from his public Royal duties with permission from his mother Queen Elizabeth II, amid ongoing backlash over his train wreck of a TV interview about his...
Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Markets] There could be politics talk at your Thanksgiving table, but Uno won’t be the reason ‘Uno Nonpartisan’ scraps red and blue cards for orange and purple ones.
Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Casper] Casper Alums Are Launching a ‘Direct-to-Dog’ Pet Food Subscription Service Jinx investors include Will Smith and Halsey. Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Markets] "Wide-Scale" Israeli Strike On Damascus Kills 23 After Alleged Iranian Rocket Attack "Wide-Scale" Israeli Strike On Damascus Kills 23 After Alleged Iranian Rocket Attack

During the night Tuesday Israel conducted a “wide-scale” strike on Syria, focused in and around Damascus, resulting in a soaring casualty count according to the AP.

"A Britain-based war monitoring group said the Israeli airstrikes killed 11 people, including seven non-Syrians who are most likely Iranians," the AP initially reported, though Syrian state media cited two civilians killed among multiple wounded. That number was revised Wednesday morning to at least 23 people, most said to be "non-Syrians"  likely Iranians, according to reports.

The Israeli military said it had hit multiple targets belonging to Iran’s elite Quds force, specifically missile and weapons warehouses, after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said rockets were "fired at Israel by an Iranian force in Syria".

Screengrab from video of Tuesday night's massive airstrikes on Damascus. 

International reports have described the attacks as the most intense since a similar operation last January. Over the past months what were previously somewhat frequent Israeli raids inside Syria had grown quiet. 

The Israeli military said its fighter jets hit multiple targets belonging to Iran’s elite Quds force, including surface-to-air missiles, weapons warehouses and military bases. After the Syrian military fired an air defense missile, the Israeli military said a number of Syrian aerial defense batteries were also destroyed.

Damascus residents are outraged after a direct hit on a civilian home Wednesday night, which included children among the wounded, as the AP reports:

Syria’s state SANA news agency said the two civilians were killed by shrapnel when an Israeli missile hit a house in the town of Saasaa, southwest of Damascus. It said several others were wounded, including a girl in a residential building in the suburb of Qudsaya, also west of the Syrian capital.

Syrian air defenses were active during the assault, with the Syrian Army saying it downed multiple inbound Israeli rockets. 

Official media said Syrian anti-aircraft missiles were able to successfully "intercept and destroy most of the hostile missiles before reaching their targets."

However, Israeli statements disputed this, with an Army statement saying up to "dozens" of targets were hit, including an Iranian base at Damascus International Airport.

"The attack was carried out in response to the launching of rockets by an Iranian force from Syria's territory into Israel, intending to strike Israeli territory," read the IDF statement, referring to a barrage of rockets launched toward Israel's Golan on Tuesday.

“Yesterday’s Iranian attack towards Israel is further clear proof of the purpose of the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, which threatens Israeli security, regional stability and the Syrian regime,” Israeli spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said.

The statement added that Israel would “continue operating firmly and resolutely” against Iran in Syria, which shows that despite the war inside Syria slowly winding down and Assad in firm control over most of the country, the long-running "shadow war" with Israel is still escalating.

Meanwhile, Russia condemned the raid as "an unnecessary escalation of tensions" and as "very wrong" according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

"Recently, the intensity of Israeli rocket and bomb attacks on Syrian territory have increased sharply...This development evokes the most serious concern and opposition in Moscow. We consider it critically important to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and other states in the region," the foreign ministry said.

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 13:45
Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Trump responds to Sondland’s testimony President Trump has just responded to Gordon Sondland’s testimony and you can watch his full remarks below: In his response, Trump says he doesn’t know Sondland very well but that he sounds . . . Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Trump responds to Sondland’s testimony President Trump has just responded to Gordon Sondland’s testimony and you can watch his full remarks below: In his response, Trump says he doesn’t know Sondland very well but that he sounds . . . Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Entertainment] Yes, you really heard A$AP Rocky’s name during the impeachment hearing. Here’s why. The president and the rapper first became linked this summer. Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Markets] Walmart Has a Dog Problem, the Post Office Has Advice Walmart employees are running into dogs “big and small” as the retail giant pushes more into home delivery. They better learn to deal with canines because package deliveries by Walmart as well as UPS, FedEx and even will only rise from here. Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Society] How to Disunite America

This week, Chick-fil-A, the immensely popular Christian-owned chicken sandwich giant, caved to the cultural left. For years, the left targeted Chick-fil-A, dating back to the... Read More

The post How to Disunite America appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[395295f2-a42f-5918-91be-890eed6c1ac1] Alex Trebek's wife on how faith helps the couple cope with his cancer diagnosis Alex Trebek’s wife of 29 years, Jean Currivan Trebek, gave a rare interview about her husband’s cancer diagnosis, treatment and how her practice of Religious Science has helped them cope with the difficult times. Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[worldNews] Third Israeli election looms as Netanyahu challenger fails to form government Israel moved closer toward holding its third election in less than a year on Wednesday, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main challenger failed to form a government.
Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[TC] Announcing TechCrunch Early Stage, a new event series all about founders TechCrunch covers a lot of bases in the tech startup world, but none is more important than supporting founders — especially early-stage founders. That’s what our new event series, TechCrunch Early Stage, is all about. These single-day events debuting next year will be highly interactive opportunities for founders to tap experts in the core startup […] Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[Impeachment] Confirmed, no harm to Ukraine military from hold on aid (Paul Mirengoff) The Washington Post tries to find harm that resulted from the brief hold President Trump placed on aid to Ukraine. However, its reporters acknowledge that the withheld aid did not disrupt Ukrainian military activities. Undaunted, the Post insists that the delay sowed doubt in Ukraine about America’s commitment to that country. If so, this must not have been a first. President Obama refused to provide lethal military assistance to Ukraine, Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[soccer] Off the England (Paul Mirengoff) I’ll be in the north of England for the next week attending soccer matches, among other things. The highlight will be a last visit to Goodison Park in Liverpool. Everton will be moving to a shiny new stadium soon. I probably won’t blog while I’m away. However, I know that John and Steve will be dying for soccer news, so maybe I’ll file a match report or two. Published:11/20/2019 1:07:01 PM
[] Claim: Other Officers Confirm LTC Hickman's Charge That Vindman Was Reprimanded For Misbehaving With the Enemy This is "unsbustantiated," which now means "It's been substantiated by people who actually want to cover the story and not just bury it, but the leftwing propaganda media is going to keep on lying and claiming there's no substantiation." Carter's... Published:11/20/2019 1:07:00 PM
[] 'Cold day in hell': How fake is the AP's fake news about Trump/Sondland? Even anti-Trump CNN reporter Daniel Dale is calling them out over it The Associated Press tweeted today that Donald Trump contradicted Gordon Sondland's testimony:

More from the AP:

President Donald Trump is insisting Wednesday that he wanted “nothing” from Ukraine and declared that impeachment hearings should be brought to an end.

The president]] Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM

[Politics] Yahoo: FBI Wants to Question Whistleblower The FBI wants to question the whistleblower whose complaint about President Donald Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sparked the impeachment investigation, according to a new report. Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[Europe] Circ, the Berlin-based e-scooter company, makes layoffs following ‘operational learnings’ Circ, the Berlin-based e-scooter rentals — or so-called micro-mobility — company founded by Lukasz Gadowski of Delivery Hero fame, has made a number of layoff, TechCrunch has learned. This has seen a reduction in headcount in its HQ and other regional operations. The exact number isn’t clear, although once source placed it at around 50 […] Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[Markets] The Dow is down more than 200 points as stocks extend their decline The Dow is down more than 200 points as stocks extend their decline Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[Markets] Stocks slide on report trade deal ‘may not be completed this year’ U.S. stocks lurched lower Wednesday midday after a report that a trade deal might not be done this year and after China condemned a U.S. Senate resolution supporting human rights in Hong Kong Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[worldNews] Hong Kong students' sewer escape thwarted Some anti-government protesters trapped inside a Hong Kong university on Wednesday tried to flee through the sewers, where one student said she saw snakes, but firemen prevented further escape bids by blocking a manhole into the system.
Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[Economy] Feds Hosted Meditation, Massage, and Social Justice Retreat for 450 Employees, Including IRS Workers

The federal government hosted a “Mindfulness & Resiliency Summit” in August where 450 employees from the IRS and other agencies spent two days receiving new-age... Read More

The post Feds Hosted Meditation, Massage, and Social Justice Retreat for 450 Employees, Including IRS Workers appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[04763d9a-c78b-5d3b-8a11-526f4a8781bb] Prince Andrew to 'step back' from public duties over Jeffrey Epstein relationship Following a disastrous interview with the BBC about his prior relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew revealed he’s asked the Queen if he can “step back” from his public duties.  Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[2019 News] Ukrainian Indictment Claims $7.4 Billion Obama-Linked Laundering, Puts Biden Group Take At $16.5 Million Ukrainian Indictment Claims $7.4 Billion Obama-Linked Laundering, Puts Biden Group Take At $16.5 Million. It appears what we have here is a failure to report money laundering. Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[Markets] The Margin: The 2020 Grammys snubbed K-Pop acts like BTS — even though they’ve outsold Taylor Swift and Beyoncé The MTV Video Music Awards were also accused of sidelining the K-Pop genre earlier this year.
Published:11/20/2019 12:38:34 PM
[Entertainment] Halsey Reacts to "Sad" 2020 Grammys Snub: "None Of It Matters" Halsey, MTV EMAThe 2020 Grammy nominations were announced this morning, but Halsey was nowhere to be found on the list. The singer's many fans have been tweeting in response to what they feel is a...
Published:11/20/2019 12:38:33 PM
[box office] How ‘Frozen 2’ Could Kickstart a 2019 Box Office Rebound Ticket sales are lagging behind last year, but a handful of blockbusters are poised to lift the box office at the finish line. Published:11/20/2019 12:38:33 PM
[Markets] Trader Warns: This Rally Is "Fraught With Problems" Trader Warns: This Rally Is "Fraught With Problems"

Authored by Sven Henrich via,

As the 3 main indices have made multiple new highs in recent days and weeks it may be worth to keep taps on the health of this rally. Why? Because for rallies to be sustainable you want to see rallies show supporting signals. This rally doesn’t. It’s fraught with problems and I’ll highlight a few of these.

In fact the divergences that signal problems with the rally are profound, but they won’t mean anything until they do. But once they do they will have signaled that this rally was not sustainable.

High yield, a key supporting driver of rallies past has negatively diverged:

As I outlined on twitter a few times consumer discretionary has not been participating at all and has failed to make new highs, but rather a series of lower highs:

$NYMO: All new highs have come on negative readings suggesting a profound weakening of the rally similar to what we’ve seen during previous rallies that have led to corrections:

$NAHL: Recent $NDX highs have come on virtually no expansion in new highs/new lows:

The rally has been highly dependent on a high number of open gaps leaving markets at risk of a filling of many of these gaps in the days/weeks to come:

All of this comes in context of a market trading at 147% market cap to GDP with record short positioning in $VIX:

..and price to sales at 2000 type levels:

With key stocks such as $AAPL vastly overbought and technically stretched:


Is all this price action a sign of an economy improving or growing vastly?

Transports say no, still no break out above the 2 year range:

The value line geometric index still hasn’t confirmed new highs either:

Indeed looking at the structure of the market this rally so far does not look any different than the ones we’ve seen before:

In fact the overall market has hit key trend line resistance:

With new highs now not reaching higher than the previous new highs. Recall incremental new highs have been limited to 3%-3.5%:

(see context of this chart discussed in this weekend’s video).

Now it may well be said that none of this matters if this rally is primarily inspired by the Fed’s liquidity injections. After all we can see that markets have rallied harder on days of larger repo operation and rallied less on days with smaller repos:

Perhaps it’s all coincidental, but the chart appears to show quite a bit of correlation. Liquidity is liquidity and of course the Fed, like other central banks across the globe, is busy adding liquidity and markets appear to flow along with the amount of liquidity coming into the system:

Where would markets trade without all that liquidity thrown in? We may never know, but the signal charts suggest this rally is not as strong as it appears, in fact it is full of problems, weak underneath, very weak and that makes its sustainability highly questionable especially considering it appears driven by liquidity only, not based on any fundamental growth basis.

Record $VIX short positioning, record highs on price to sales, 147% market cap to GDP, key stocks vastly overbought and technically stretched.

What could possibly go wrong?

*  *  *

For the latest public analysis please visit NorthmanTrader. To subscribe to our market products please visit Services.

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 13:30
Published:11/20/2019 12:38:33 PM
[] Jussie Smollett files malicious prosecution claim against Chicago (Kim Foxx admits she didn't handle his case well) Jussie Smollett still wants people to believe he's innocent. Tuesday he filed a malicious prosecution claim against the city of Chicago, the detectives who investigated his case, the police superintendent, and the Osundairo brothers.

Actor Jussie Smollett has filed a counterclaim in federal court against the city of Chicago, multiple]] Published:11/20/2019 12:07:06 PM

[Politics] Trump: I Wanted 'Nothing' From Ukraine President Donald Trump insisted Wednesday that he wanted "nothing" from Ukraine and declared that impeachment hearings should be brought to an end.The president read from handwritten notes when speaking to reporters on the White House lawn nearly an hour later than his... Published:11/20/2019 12:07:06 PM
[Entertainment] A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby Trailer Has Arrived Rose McIver, Ben Lamb, A Christmas Prince: Royal BabyThird times a charm! A Christmas Prince is the gift that keeps on giving. In 2017, Netflix introduced the adorable Christmas film starring Ben Lamb and Rose McIver, and what seemed like...
Published:11/20/2019 12:07:06 PM
[topics:people/duchess-of-cambridge] Chefs accuse TripAdvisor of allowing untrue reviews, as they call for diners to have to prove they have visited restaurant Published:11/20/2019 12:07:06 PM
[f492fc0b-49d1-58ea-9e16-4329c8685232] Andrew McCarthy: Schiff games Trump impeachment show – In legitimate proceedings, you can't have it both ways At House impeachment hearings, for all the formal trappings and somber tones, Democrats are running a kangaroo court. Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[worldNews] Tuktuk, newspaper of Iraq's uprising, aspires to be vehicle for change "If you kill us all, who will you rule over?" says the latest issue of Tuktuk newspaper, produced, printed and distributed by Iraqi anti-government activists to thousands of protesters camped out in Baghdad's Tahrir Square.
Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[Markets] Stocks, Yuan Tumble On Reports That 'Phase One' Trade-Deal Delayed Stocks, Yuan Tumble On Reports That 'Phase One' Trade-Deal Delayed

This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one (especially after last night's vote on the Democracy Bill), but Reuters is reporting that 'Phase One' US/China trade deal may not be completed this year, citing trade experts and people close to the White House.

US equity markets ARE TUMBLING...

Additionally, as Rabobank noted yesterday,. if Trump gets wind of the fact that China is ignoring him, or even has the perception Beijing is working against him politically, it must surely raise the risk of higher US tariffs--at least on 15 December--rather than the risk-on imminent decrease so many have said so loudly for oh-so long.


Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 13:00
Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[Uncategorized] Report: Illinois Public Schools Lock Kids, Even Those With Disabilities, in Isolation 9-year-old autistic boy: "By 11 a.m., Jace had also defecated and was smearing feces on the wall. No adults intervened, according to the log. They watched and took notes." Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[Automotive] Uber reports a sharp rise in government demands for user data Uber says the number of legal demands for riders’ data made by U.S. and Canadian authorities has risen sharply in the past year. The ride-hailing company said the number of law enforcement demands for user data during 2018 are up 27% on the year earlier, according to its annual transparency report published Wednesday. Uber said […] Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[Entertainment] A new book for those who don’t want millions, but an answer to their questions A.C. Grayling’s “The History of Philosophy” delves into the thinkers who explored who we are and what it all means. Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[Markets] US STOCKS SNAPSHOT-Wall Street extends fall after report trade deal may not be completed this year Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[World] The Margin: Millennial bets most of his savings on one of the stock market’s riskiest plays — and he’s about to cash in $1.5 million In the spring of 2010, when the stock market was picking up the pieces after the Great Recession, one 29-year-old with a law degree and a penchant for flipping stocks was busy licking his wounds from one bad trade after another.
Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[] Wall Street Journal: Google Is Blacklisting Conservative News Sites, Despite Denials Made Under Oath Reported by the Daily Mail, which recapitulates the WSJ reporting. (The WSJ is behind that annoying paywall.) Google 'DOES blacklist sites, has targeted conservative news sites and changes its algorithms to favour big businesses,' claims new report - despite the... Published:11/20/2019 12:07:05 PM
[] Pence chief of staff fires back at Sondland: That conversation never happened; Update: "Trifecta of unreliability"? What did Mike Pence know, and when did he know it? According to Gordon Sondland, he told the vice president on September 1 that he believed that military aid to Ukraine had been stalled as leverage for investigations into corruption. Sondland included this in his opening statement:

Published:11/20/2019 11:37:45 AM

[topics:people/donald-trump] Trump's EU ambassador Gordon Sondland says 'everyone was in loop' on drive to get Biden probe in damning impeachment testimony Published:11/20/2019 11:37:45 AM
[Politics] Pence Aide Denies Discussion of Link in Ukraine Aid Holdup A top aide to Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that a conversation described by EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland about a link between military aid for Ukraine and investigations "never happened."Sondland testified Wednesday that he spoke with Pence before a Sept. 1... Published:11/20/2019 11:37:45 AM
[Quick Takes] Boston College Students and Faculty Want School to Reject Koch Foundation Funding “climate denier dollars.” Published:11/20/2019 11:37:45 AM
[Entertainment] Tanya Tucker ‘beyond shocked’ by Grammy nominations Country rebel Tanya Tucker says she was beyond shocked by her four Grammy nominations, including song of the year for “Bring My Flowers Now.” Published:11/20/2019 11:37:45 AM
[Political Cartoons] Frosty The Snow Job- Vindman – Grrr Graphics – Ben Garrison Cartoon

By Ben Garrison -

Adam Schiff tries to build a case for impeachment, but like a snowman, it will “melt” under the hot sun of truth The Clown Show rolls on as Adam Schiff brings in his bad actors on stage to distract the public. Schiff is failing; not many are watching his disinformation ...

Frosty The Snow Job- Vindman – Grrr Graphics – Ben Garrison Cartoon is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:11/20/2019 11:37:45 AM
[Entertainment] Law and Order: SVU Sneak Peek: Mariska Hargitay's Badass Benson Is Out in Full Force Law and Order: SVUThere's an old saying Law & Order: SVU fans are very familiar with: Don't mess with Benson. Guest star Vincent Kartheiser of Mad Men fame learns all about that in the exclusive sneak...
Published:11/20/2019 11:37:45 AM
[worldNews] Saudi king blames Iran for 'chaos', says strikes failed to hurt kingdom's development Saudi Arabia's King Salman struck a defiant note against the kingdom's enemies, saying on Wednesday that missile and drone strikes it blames on Iran had not halted development and reiterating that Riyadh will not hesitate to defend itself.
Published:11/20/2019 11:37:45 AM
[Markets] Dow Jones Falls Mildly, This Retailer Surges From A New Buy Point; Pinduoduo Hits 2 Sell Rules Target reaffirmed budding strength in the discount retail sector as the Dow Jones Industrial Average kept losses small. Pinduoduo sold off hard. Published:11/20/2019 11:37:44 AM
[Markets] FBI Wants To Speak With Trump-Ukraine CIA Whistleblower FBI Wants To Speak With Trump-Ukraine CIA Whistleblower

The FBI has reached out to an attorney for the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower reported to be CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella, who filed a complaint over President Trump's July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodomyr Zelensky, according to Yahoo! News

The move came after a vigorous internal debate at the agency over how to proceed with an investigation of allegations contained in the complaint, according to sources familiar with the matter.

According to the report, an FBI agent from the Washington field office reached out to whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid (The
'Coup has started' guy who loves going to Disneyland alone), who declined comment for the article.

An interview with the whistleblower has yet to be scheduled.

The request from the FBI comes at a sensitive moment when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are making repeated efforts to “out” the whistleblower in order to suggest he may have had political motivations hostile to the president when he filed his Aug. 12 complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general. 

It also comes after multiple threats have been made against the whistleblower and his lawyers — some of which have been separately passed along by the lawyers to other officials at the FBI. But the agent who sought to question the whistleblower made no reference to the threats as the purpose of the interview, according to sources familiar with the discussions. -Yahoo! News

Yahoo suggests that an FBI interview will "introduce a new wild card into the debate over whether to impeach the president over his Ukraine dealings."

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 12:24
Published:11/20/2019 11:37:44 AM
[c235af70-279d-5ae7-9a3e-6f7c589e769c] Dolly Parton speaks about goddaughter Miley Cyrus: 'Miley has such gifts' Dolly Parton is opening up about her goddaughter Miley Cyrus and noted that “she’s got good stuff in her.” Published:11/20/2019 11:37:44 AM
[Blockchain] Kleiner Perkins joins $24.5M funding led by Blockchain Capital for Bison Trails Kleiner Perkins has joined a $24.5 million Series A funding round for Bison Trails, a provider of blockchain protocols, which was led by Blockchain Capital to develop the firm’s infrastructure services. Other participants included Coinbase Ventures, ConsenSys, A Capital, Collaborative Fund and Sound Ventures as new investors. Galaxy Digital and Initialized, as early backers, joined […] Published:11/20/2019 11:37:44 AM
[Markets] Key Words: Sondland says Ukraine aid was tied to ‘quid pro quo’, in impeachment testimony European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland testifies that there was a “quid pro quo” tying U.S. aid to Ukraine in exchange for a promise to investigate the role of political rival Joe Biden and Democrats in the 2016 presidential election.
Published:11/20/2019 11:37:44 AM
[Media Bias] The Media and the 2020 Election (John Hinderaker) I wrote here about participating in the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend. This is a video of the panel that I was on, along with Ned Ryun, Joe Concha and Chris Buskirk. Our topic was the press and the 2020 election. You may find it of interest: Published:11/20/2019 11:37:44 AM
[World] Capitol Report: House panel passes bill aiming to legalize marijuana, but top Democrat concedes ‘Senate will take its own time’ The Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted in favor a bill that decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level, with a couple of Republicans supporting the measure.
Published:11/20/2019 11:37:44 AM
[] Report: Mike Pompeo ready to bail out of the administration soon to run for Senate in Kansas Pompeo denies it, as you'd expect, but the timing makes perfect sense. And it sounds like Time magazine's sources are solid.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told three prominent Republicans in recent weeks that he plans to resign from the Trump Administration to run for the U.S. Senate from]] Published:11/20/2019 11:06:28 AM

[] WHOA: VP Mike Pence just dropped a bomb on Amb. Sondland's credibility In his opening statement at today's impeachment hearing, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland said, "I mentioned to Vice President Pence before the meeting with the Ukrainians that I had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations":

But VP Pence's office is pushing back on that,]] Published:11/20/2019 11:06:28 AM

[Politics] White House Pushes Back on Sondland's Quid Pro Quo Claim The White House is trying to extinguish flames coming from Wednesday morning's impeachment inquiry testimony by United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland by repeating what Sondland himself said under oath. Published:11/20/2019 11:06:28 AM
[worldNews] Bolivian lawmakers seek election breakthrough as death toll hits 30 Bolivian lawmakers meet later on Wednesday to try and agree a path to new elections and defuse street violence that has killed 30 people since a disputed October vote.
Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Gordon Sondland CONFIRMS that Trump said “no quid pro quo” This morning in the hearing, Gordon Sondland testified that Trump told him directly he doesn’t want a quid pro quo with Ukraine, that he didn’t want anything from them: Sondland testified that . . . Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[d2047339-93eb-534a-9167-1e6541daddf1] Former 'American Idol' contestant Antonella Barba blames show for drug trafficking crimes as she faces 10 years Former “American Idol” and “Fear Factor” contestant, Antonella Barba, is blaming the singing competition show for her past criminal behavior as she faces a possible decade in prison due to drug charges. Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[22 mercer street] Bethenny Frankel Finally Found a Buyer for Her Soho Loft But she's taking a loss on the Mercer Street apartment. Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[Entertainment] Kris Jenner Reveals Kylie Jenner's Beauty Business Plans After Majority Sale Stormi Webster, Kylie JennerWill Stormi Webster help run Kylie Cosmetics one day? Kris Jenner is reassuring fans that Kylie Jenner will continue building the company despite selling off most of it week, adding that...
Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[TC] With echoes of Theranos, Truvian Sciences revives the dream of low-cost, accessible blood tests A little over a year after the dissolution of the once high-flying blood testing startup Theranos, another startup has raised over $27 million to breathe new life into the vision of bringing low-cost blood tests to point-of-care medical facilities. Unlike Theranos, Truvian Sciences is not claiming that most of its blood tests do not need […] Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[2019 News] Jussie Smollett sues city of Chicago for malicious prosecution Jussie Smollett sues city of Chicago for malicious prosecution. Jussie puts a rope around Chicago’s bank account for an encore. Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[Politics] Gordon Sondland: I told Trump that Ukraine president ‘loves your ass’ EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland laughingly told lawmakers during the House impeachment inquiry on Wednesday that he likely did tell President Trump that his Ukrainian counterpart “loves his ass.” State Department staffer David Holmes testified that Sondland made the comment during lunch at a restaurant in Kiev when he was speaking to the president on an... Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[Politics] 34% of Online Streaming Service Users Complain of Too Many Choices

More Americans than ever are watching online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, but with several new companies including Disney and Apple entering the market, many now say there’s too much to look at.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 56% of American Adults use an online streaming service to watch TV and movies. That’s up from 45% in 2015 and 54% two years ago. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted November 14-15, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[Markets] Upgrade: If you have these personality traits, you could be at higher risk of going broke in retirement Plus two traits that predict slower withdrawal rates in retirement
Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[Markets] Devin Nunes Exposes The Democrats' 10 Most "Outlandish" Trump Conspiracy Theories Devin Nunes Exposes The Democrats' 10 Most "Outlandish" Trump Conspiracy Theories

"In their mania to attack the president, no conspiracy theory is too outlandish for the Democrats."

Those were the 'fighting' words of a clearly frustrated Rep. Devin Nunes as he addressed the American public ahead of today's latest round of farcical impeachment circus shenanigans.

With Democrats yawningly repeating endless hearsay and opinion as 'fact', Nunes - in a few brief minutes - exposed the whole house of cards by laying out succinctly the 'facts' of what Democrats have tried to pull in the last three years:

"Time and again, they floated the possibility of some far-fetched malfeasance by Trump, declared the dire need to investigate it, and then suddenly dropped the issue and moved on to their next asinine theory"

Nunes' "Top 10" list of "asinine" Democrat attacks on Trump are as follows...

  1. Trump is a long-time Russian agent, as described in the Steele dossier.

  2. The Russians gave Trump advance access to emails stolen from the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

  3. The Trump campaign based some of its activities on these stolen documents.

  4. Trump received nefarious materials from the Russians through a Trump Campaign aide.

  5. Trump laundered Russian money through real estate deals.

  6. Trump was blackmailed by Russia through his financial exposure with Deutsche Bank.

  7. Trump had a diabolical plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

  8. Trump changed the Republican National Committee platform to hurt Ukraine and benefit Russia.

  9. The Russians laundered money through the NRA for the Trump campaign.

  10. Trump’s son in law lied about his Russian contacts while obtaining his security clearance

“It’s a long list of false charges, all false, and I can go on and on and on,” Nunes concluded.

But, as Schiff would have you believe, this time is different - "we gotcha".

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 12:03
Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[World] Why investors in U.S. stocks shouldn’t underestimate Hong Kong as a big risk The Senate’s support of democracy in Hong Kong could become a wedge issue between the U.S. and China.
Published:11/20/2019 11:06:27 AM
[worldNews] Ukraine says Russia returned ships in bad condition Ukrainian naval ships, captured by Russia last November and released on Tuesday to be returned to Ukraine, are in very poor condition and cannot move independently, the commander of Ukraine's navy said on Wednesday.
Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[Entertainment] Gordo's Back! Lizzie McGuire Casts Adam Lamberg for Revival Series on Disney+ Lizzie McGuire, Hilary Duff, Adam LambertFear not Lizzie McGuire fans, for Gordo is indeed back in the picture. E! News can confirm Adam Lamberg is returning to the Lizzie McGuire fold for the new Disney+ revival sequel...
Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[TC] Anyone can now create maps and stories on Google Earth Google Earth is making a significant change to its product, with the addition of content creation tools that allow anyone to create maps and stories for its platform. The feature is an expansion of the Voyager program, launched in 2017, which then introduced guided tours from top storytellers, scientists, and nonprofits, like BBC Earth, Jane […] Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[Markets] Nasdaq edges into positive territory, but Dow and S&P remain saddled with losses Nasdaq edges into positive territory, but Dow and S&P remain saddled with losses Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[Markets] GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares slide on U.S.-China spat over Hong Kong, dollar gains Global stock markets stumbled and the dollar climbed on Wednesday after China condemned U.S. Senate legislation aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong, the latest obstacle to reaching a deal in a prolonged Sino-U.S. trade dispute that has weighed on growth worldwide. Gold prices rose to their highest in nearly two weeks before paring gains, while the yield on Germany's 10-year bond tumbled to a 2-1/2 week low as worries over the direction of U.S.-China trade talks swept world markets. The dollar edged higher, fueled by the worsening trade tensions, ahead of the 2 p.m. ET (1900 GMT) release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting in October when it raised interest rates a third time this year. Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[structure:news/uk-news] Catch 22 of drunken sailor who cannot return to the UK for sentencing because he has a conviction Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[In The News] ‘Looks Like An Inside Job’: Former National Security Official Says Impeachment Is Manufactured By Unhappy Bureaucrats

By Shelby Talcott -

Former national security adviser Michael Anton suggested Wednesday that the entire impeachment into President Donald Trump is beginning to look “like an inside job” manufactured by lawmakers unhappy with the president. Anton spoke to WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Vince Coglianese and Mary Walter Wednesday about Tuesday’s impeachment hearings. ...

‘Looks Like An Inside Job’: Former National Security Official Says Impeachment Is Manufactured By Unhappy Bureaucrats is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[Markets] Campus 'Inclusivity' Training: "If You're Breathing, You're Biased" Campus 'Inclusivity' Training: "If You're Breathing, You're Biased"

Authored by Daniel Payne via The College Fix,

Diversity training at a prominent Christian university seems to suggest that merely being alive is enough to qualify one as biased...

Baylor University’s Equity Office recently offered a training session called “If You’re Breathing, You’re Biased.” The event, which was held last Wednesday, was styled as an “introductory workshop to Building an Inclusive Community.”

“You probably don’t even know you have biases. The problem is that biases are unconscious,” the event listing reads:

As a result, you may be unaware of some of the reasons underlying your actions and reactions. According to Howard J. Ross, author of “Everyday Bias,” bias is “far from simply being malicious prejudgments of others and situations.” It influences the core of decision making abilities in how we interact within our very own communities.

The workshop promised to “take a look at defining bias, identifying personal and potential biases, and consider the effects of biases in the workplace as well as within the Baylor community.”

Earlier in the semester, reporting on another offering of the same workshop, the Baylor Lariat cited several approving responses from the student body.

“I tend to think that a lot of people here are not as open to other ideas and thinking in different ways as people might be on other campuses,” one student said, with another adding:

“I feel like we’re a very set-in-our-ways university; we all could benefit from opening our minds to different groups of people.”

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 11:25
Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[Iran] Protests spread in Iran, at least 100 are dead (Paul Mirengoff) We have discussed the anti-Iran flavor of protests in Lebanon and Iraq. In fact, the ones in Iraq are strongly anti-Iran. Now, Iran itself is the site of large scale protests. The proximate cause is high fuel prices. The cause of the high prices is, at least in part, U.S. sanctions against Iran. Protests are said to have broken out in at least 100 cities and towns. Amnesty International says Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Gordon Sondland CONFIRMS that Trump said “no quid pro quo” This morning in the hearing, Gordon Sondland testified that Trump told him directly he doesn’t want a quid pro quo with Ukraine, that he didn’t want anything from them: Sondland testified that . . . Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[Markets] Market Snapshot: Stocks remain under pressure on U.S. - China tensions U.S. stocks were slightly lower Wednesday morning after China condemned a U.S. Senate resolution supporting human rights in Hong Kong and after President Donald Trump threatened to boost tariffs if Washington and Beijing are unable to negotiate a trade agreement.
Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[ai] This Bill Gates-Backed Startup Discovered a Way to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 20% Clean energy startup Heliogen has found a way to generate heat over 1,000 degrees Celsius without using fossil fuels. Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[] The Morning Rant "This is how we know the impeachment hearings are a clown show: "1. These hearings are just the culmination of a process that the Democrats started on or about the day Donald Trump was inaugurated. At that time, the whistleblower's... Published:11/20/2019 10:35:47 AM
[] 'Are the walls closing in?' Journo adds a couple of 'verys' to emphasize what a 'very bad day' it was for Trump (and people have thoughts) Yesterday brought with it another impeachment inquiry hearing in the House Oversight Committee, and the media spin is in:

It seems like that's been reported almost every day for coming up on three years now, so that approach seems to be losing its effectiveness:

After today's hearing an]] Published:11/20/2019 10:04:59 AM

[] Corporate fallout: Prince Andrew's event loses support over Epstein story It turns out that corporations aren't too keen on supporting an event with Prince Andrew these days. The risk of sullying their reputations over any connection with a friend of Jeffrey Epstein is too great.

In 2014 Prince Andrew, the Duke of York founded a platform to amplify and accelerate]] Published:11/20/2019 10:04:59 AM

[Entertainment] Lizzo Is Crying After Being the Most Nominated Artist at the 2020 Grammys LizzoLizzo just took a DNA test. Turns out, she's 100 percent nominated for eight Grammys! The 2020 Grammy nominees were announced on Wednesday morning, and the "Truth Hurts"...
Published:11/20/2019 10:04:58 AM
[Gadgets] Ubiquiti announces new AmpliFi Alien router with Wi-Fi 6 Ubiquiti, the company behind popular UniFi Wi-Fi access points and networking equipment, is releasing a new router for consumers — the AmpliFi Alien. Today’s new device is an all-in-one networking device. It features a router (the “brain” of your local network), four Gigait Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi capabilities. And yes, it is a Wi-Fi 6 […] Published:11/20/2019 10:04:58 AM
[Middle Column] North America’s economy is the most resilient against ‘climate change’ – ‘Africa is the most vulnerable’
Published:11/20/2019 10:04:58 AM
[Politics] Testimonials From Adults Who Need Flavored Vapes to Stay Off Cigarettes Published:11/20/2019 10:04:58 AM
[Markets] "This Is An Entirely Different Bubble" - Veteran Short-Seller Warns "Central Banks Are Losing Control" "This Is An Entirely Different Bubble" - Veteran Short-Seller Warns "Central Banks Are Losing Control"

Authored by Christoph Gisiger via,

In an in-depth conversation with The Market, Kevin Duffy, the head of hedge fund Bearing Asset Management, reveals where he sees the most dangerous excesses and which stocks look attractively cheap in today’s environment.

All is good. The trade war between China and the United States comes to an end, the global economy has weathered the worst, and central banks are making sure that markets continue to go up. This is the scenario currently shaping the consensus.

Kevin Duffy remains skeptical. The experienced short seller warns that the super easy monetary policy is getting less and less effective.

Although it’s been a brutal year for short sellers, Duffy is convinced his time will come soon. In this in-depth conversation with The Market, he explains why he’s betting against stocks like BlackRock and MSCI – and which names are on his buy list.

Mr. Duffy, investors are in «risk on» mood again: concerns about a global recession are waning, the S&P 500 is at record levels. What’s your take on financial markets?

To me, it’s interesting how everything is out-of-sync: You have the bond market going down, the stock market going up and gold being sort of all over the place. I think central bankers are already starting to lose control as the recent weakness in bonds shows. Just look what’s happening with the 100-year Argentine bond: It has been cut in half since August.

In the US, the yield on ten-year Treasuries is up more than 40 basis points since late August. What’s behind the recent weakness in the bond market?

I think it’s exhaustion. This year, we’ve had this big sea change in terms of the central banks going back to easing and being more accommodative. Yet, the bond market is basically saying: no more! Easy monetary policy is not having the same stimulative effect as it had in the past.

You have been warning about a gigantic bubble in the bond market for some time now. What are the reasons for the excesses in fixed income?

Bill Bonner has a good quip where he says: «When it comes to science and technology, man learns, but when it comes to love, war and finance, he makes the same mistakes over and over again.» The big mistake of our times is the great monetary experiment which started in August 1971 when the US went off the gold standard. Every bubble has a belief system, a unifying narrative. This time it’s that the central bankers are all powerful.

What do you mean by that?

It’s this idea that there is a free lunch when it comes to printing money. That’s what Modern Monetary Theory is all about: We can have our cake and eat it, too. We don’t have to feel the pain of a recession or the pain of a severe bear market. Anytime we get close to a downturn, central banks can just print money. Of course, we know that’s sheer nonsense. There is no free lunch. Polices like negative interest rates and Quantitative Easing are doing damage to the underlying economic engine. They misallocate capital, discourage thrift and promote fast money over slowly building wealth. At the end of the day, central banks are not all powerful. They are not immune to the laws of economics.

What does that mean for investors?

Let’s go back to the last couple of bubbles and compare them to the current one. We know that the seeds of these bubbles are artificially low interest rates. The last two bubbles were sector specific: You had the tech bubble and then the housing and credit bubble. But this one is an entirely different animal. This time, the center of the bubble is the bond market. You can even say at its core is the sovereign debt bubble. Then, you have all these other bubbles at the periphery: the high yield bubble, corporate bonds, auto finance, large cap technology, passive investing, private equity – bubbles everywhere. That’s what we’re looking at: Something on a much greater scale than anything we’ve seen before.

Since the financial crisis, we went through similar growth scares before. Each time central banks printed more money and a global recession was avoided. Why do you think it’s different this time?

With $16 trillion of the world’s bonds priced at negative yields a few months ago, it felt like all of this policy stimulus into the bond market had reached the climactic point. Since then, bond investors have started feeling some pain. One of the signatures of this bubble is the price insensitive buyer, with central bankers at the top of the list. The idea is that if the markets are on autopilot you might as well get rich by front running the central bankers and the index investors who are just blindly buying the index. It’s this narrative that we have a massive steamroller in terms of monetary policy and easy money is there for the taking. But beware the old saying about picking up pennies in front of a steamroller.

Then again, interest rates have been declining for almost four decades. Why do you think we’re at an inflection point?

Besides the absurdity of creditors paying for the privilege of lending money to governments, we’re seeing wild disconnects typical of major inflection points. In this regard, I think a lot about what happened in the late 1970s and early 1980s. At that time, you had severe price inflation and Fed Chairman Paul Volcker coming in to try to break the back of that. The first sign of a change in sentiment was the gold bubble starting to unwind in the spring of 1980. Yet, the stock market floundered and the bond market continued to decline into September of 1981. In other words, investors ignored the early signals of disinflation. The gold market was telling them that something was changing fundamentally. But at first, the other markets were completely disconnected. Then, the bond market started to get in sync and rally because it sniffed out that something was changing. The stock market continued to go down for another eleven months before it turned. That’s a classic example of these disconnects.

How is it going to play out this time?

My thesis is that when this bubble bursts, gold should rally, while bonds and stocks should crash. Against this backdrop, it’s remarkable that gold seems to have bottomed right around late April when Bloomberg BusinessWeek came out with its «Is Inflation Dead?» cover. Yet, this signal from gold was widely ignored and we got this blow-off in the bond market. Since this crazy rally peaked in August, we’ve seen a pretty good decline in bonds. Maybe this is telling us that a change is afoot. Yet, the stock market is breaking out to new highs. These markets can just disconnect for a while and it looks like stocks will be the last to get in line.

Couldn't the recent rally in stocks and the decline in bonds also be a signal that the worst of the global slowdown is behind us and the economic picture is improving?

I think that’s not really the case. That’s not what the economic evidence is showing. We’re ten years into a recovery. It’s not like we went through an economic trough and now we’re just going to have a classic business cycle where the economy starts to recover and rates go up. Something different is happening.

What is happening?

I tend to focus on things like the fact that we have all this easy money which went into malinvestments. To me, that’s more of a forward look compared to, let’s say, labor market statistics which are backward looking. Also, I do a lot of bottom-up work by looking at companies. There, it’s fairly obvious what’s going on: You see growth rates coming down pretty much across the board. Take a look at Apple’s numbers, for instance: Annual gross profits are down over the past twelve months, yet the stock is up close to 70% year-to-date.

What do you mean when you’re referring to malinvestments?

We’re starting to see what’s behind the curtain in terms of the venture capital markets ecosystem. When these unicorns like Uber were still private, there was a tendency to assume they had substance. Now that these companies are under the light of public scrutiny we can see that the emperor is not wearing any clothes. For example, look at SoftBank’s recent $6 billion loss from the WeWork debacle and Uber racking up $20 billion in losses over the past five years. As short sellers, we were thrilled by the prospect that WeWork would go public and we’d get an opportunity to short it. The cracks in the IPO market are telling us that there are limits to easy money. That’s the common theme: we’re getting exhaustion.

In the business of short selling, you are a battle-proven veteran. How are short sellers doing these days?

I have never been through anything like this. As the ultimate price discovery agents fighting a market on auto pilot, our tiny corner of the market has been decimated. It’s been an absolutely brutal year. As of the end of October, inverse Exchange Traded Funds made up only 0.29% of total ETF assets. By comparison, in 2010, this was at 2.35%.

Very few short targets have unravelled this year. At Bearing Asset Management, we’re not only shorting stocks but bonds as well – and the bond market has been even worse up until recently. This Everything Bubble is much more difficult to short than a «normal» bubble since it’s so broad-based and persistent. I’m sure that will change. But honestly, as somebody who’s been doing this for a while, there are times I wish I had never discovered short selling. That’s what a major top feels like.

That said, where do you see the most promising short opportunities?

In auto finance, in the passive bubble and in money losing companies like Tesla or Carvana. These are a few of the themes we’re betting against. But we’re scaling back and trying to stay focused on our best ideas. It’s kind of a circle the wagons, bunker mentality at this point.

What makes this market so difficult for short sellers?

For instance, as a way to bet against the passive bubble, we’re short BlackRock and MSCI. These companies have benefited from rising asset prices and have been able to take in a good portion of the inflows into passive strategies. But they have given most of these benefits back because of fee compression as a result of investors gravitating toward lower cost alternatives. It’s amazing how much of a headwind this has been, yet investors are so far unfazed. BlackRock is up close to 25% year-to-date and MSCI around 65%. For short sellers like us this has been frustrating because I think we’ve gotten a lot of the fundamentals right.

You’re also investing on the long side. Where do you see attractive investments?

Jean-Marie Eveillard, the highly respected value investor who has been in this business for decades, once said that there has been only one market where he was not able to find any value: Japan in the late 80s. There is always value when you look hard enough. One of the things we know from past bubbles is that you often get anti-bubbles. This was clearly the case in the year 2000 when you had the new economy bubble on one side, and the old economy anti-bubble on the other side. When tech stocks peaked in March of 2000, a lot of the «boring» value stocks bottomed at the same time.

Where do you find anti-bubbles today?

One of the reigning narratives is that Amazon is going to put all retailers out of business. This may be true in a lot of cases, particularly in the mall space. But there will be survivors who benefit from their competitors going bust. Many of these names went through massive bear markets over the past three years. That’s why it may pay off to rummage through the junk pile in the retail sector.

Any specific names you have in mind?

American Eagle. They compete in the teen apparel area. Aéropostale, one of their main competitors, is bankrupt and in liquidation. Aéropostale was a poster child for financial engineering: They once had a great balance sheet and were doing well, but squandered it all on buybacks. When the business started to go sour, they didn’t have the balance sheet to weather the storm. In contrast, American Eagle has come through unscathed while everybody else was falling by the wayside. Now, they have less competition. Also, with their Aerie concept they compete with Victoria's Secret and are trying to reach an audience that doesn't have the perfect supermodel body. It’s one of the most successful concepts in retail, and yet it’s wrapped in this older mall-based company that has this «Amazon roadkill» stigma. Another interesting company is Urban Outfitters. The stock is up close to 50% since mid-August, so it’s not quite as cheap as American Eagle. But it’s a high-quality retailer and clear survivor.

Where else do you spot opportunities on the long side?

I’m a little bit hesitant to bang the drum for resource-based stocks and commodities because I think we’re going into a global recession. But there are some interesting areas we’ve been poking around a little bit. For instance, food-related commodities like fertilizer tend to be more defensive as opposed to things that are more sensitive to the economy like copper.

How about gold?

Precious metals and mining stocks are another example of an anti-bubble: Faith in central banking is at the heart of this bubble and precious metals are the inverse of faith in central banks. So we like gold and gold stocks. Admittedly, gold mining is not a good business since it’s very capital intensive and whenever there is a boom there tends to be tremendous waste. But if gold goes up further, these companies are going to benefit.

Are there any other bubbles or anti-bubbles investors should be aware of?

There is also a socially responsible investing aspect – along the lines of environmental, social and governance factors – to this bubble as the Millennials start to take over investing functions. It’s a filter that you have to be aware of. Certainly, Tesla appeals to this ESG crowd. Another example is Beyond Meat, which went public in early May and shot up nearly tenfold in less than three months. At its peak, the company was valued at $15 billion with just $200 million in revenue and barely about to turn a profit.  Large bureaucratic companies in general have become bastions of political correctness willing to cater to the ESG crowd. On the other side, if you’re a small entrepreneurial company, you’re not hiring based on diversity quotas. You’re hiring the most competent people you can find since you don’t have time to collect a bunch of worthless statistics. I feel this will be the gift that keeps on giving for contrarian investors: You want to look for stocks that don't neatly fit into the ESG screens. The obvious example is the energy sector, especially natural gas exploration and production stocks, which are severely depressed. Fossil fuel investments are strictly verboten in the ESG playbook. That's an opportunity.

*  *  *

Kevin Duffy is a battle-proven veteran in the risky business of short selling. He co-founded Bearing Asset Management in 2002. He and his partner were vocal critics of the 2007 credit bubble, successfully shorting many of its most aggressive players including Countrywide Financial and Bear Stearns. Prior to Bearing, Kevin co-founded Lighthouse Capital Management and served as Director of Research from 1988 to 1999. He chronicled the excesses of the Japan and technology bubbles of the late 1980s and the late 1990s. Kevin Duffy bought his first stock at the age of 13. He has a passion for Austrian economics and is the author of the popular Notable and Quotable blog.

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 10:45
Published:11/20/2019 10:04:58 AM
[structure:news] Football manager had no paperwork to explain £5,000 payment to agent, court hears Published:11/20/2019 10:04:58 AM
[worldNews] North Korea official says no interest in Trump summit before 'hostile policy' removed: Yonhap A senior North Korean official said on Wednesday that the United States must drop its hostile policy towards Pyongyang in order to restart stalled denuclearisation talks, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
Published:11/20/2019 10:04:58 AM
[Uncategorized] Elizabeth Banks Blames Sexism for the Failure of Her Charlie’s Angels Reboot Lady, plenty of female movie critics hated your movie. Published:11/20/2019 10:04:58 AM
[] Sondland opening statement: The quid pro quo was real, and it was spectacular But which specific quid pro quo was real? It might not be the one Adam Schiff needs. Some of this had already leaked out ahead of our first post this morning about Gordon Sondland's testimony, but his written opening statement deserves a thread of its own. As]] Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[] Former Baltimore Mayor finally indicted on fraud charges We haven't heard much about the Healthy Holly bookgate scandal in Baltimore since May, when former Mayor Catherine Pugh was finally driven to resign from her office in disgrace. At the time, it looked as if she might actually get away with the self-dealing scam she'd been]] Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[US Headlines] Vulnerability Shown to Be Powerful Tool for Attractive People According to the latest research, vulnerability can be a game-changing tool for attractive people to deepen intimacy, build trust, and create more authentic connections. "There's something about the quivering of a chiseled jaw, or the teardrop run... Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[Entertainment] This Is Us Fans Will Have to Wait Until Season 5 for Flashforward Answers This Is UsThis Is Us pulled a fast one on fans in the Thanksgiving-themed fall finale. When viewers assumed Rebecca (Mandy Moore) was lost in present day, it turned out the scenes of her memory loss-related...
Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[Recent Funding] Vouch raises $45M led by YC Continuity for business insurance that targets startups “Move fast and break things” is a term we usually associate with Facebook (at least, until 2014) and the general startup ethos of being disruptive. Now in true entrepreneurial fashion, the phrase is finding itself as the center of — what else — a startup idea, which today is announcing a sizeable Series B as […] Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[National Security] Iran’s Rouhani Claims Victory Over Unrest and Blames Foreigners

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday claimed victory over unrest Tehran has blamed on foreign foes after protests over fuel price rises shook the nation, and the government dismissed reports of more than 100 deaths as "speculative".

The post Iran’s Rouhani Claims Victory Over Unrest and Blames Foreigners appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[Middle Column] PBS’s Amanpour Frets Increase in Climate Skeptics, ‘Getting Worse’
Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[Politics] VIDEO: AOC says Stephen Miller is “weaponizing” his Jewish ethnicity to provide cover for horrific concentration camps on border Last Friday night on MSNBC, AOC accused Stephon Miller of being the perfect Nazi by using his Jewish ethnicity to provide cover for horrific and inhumane concentration camps on the border: Ocasio-Cortez, . . . Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[Politics] VIDEO: AOC says Stephen Miller is “weaponizing” his Jewish ethnicity to provide cover for horrific concentration camps on border Last Friday night on MSNBC, AOC accused Stephon Miller of being the perfect Nazi by using his Jewish ethnicity to provide cover for horrific and inhumane concentration camps on the border: Ocasio-Cortez, . . . Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[a5728531-9b65-5084-b092-b980219fa5bf] Jussie Smollett sues city of Chicago for malicious prosecution Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[worldNews] NATO says death 'greatly exaggerated'; to adopt new strategies on space, China NATO foreign ministers are set on Wednesday to make space a domain of warfare and agree to closely monitor China's growing military might in decisions that many allies say shows the alliance is not dying, as France has suggested.
Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[Markets] Absurdity Spewed From Market Peaks: "Investors Should Check Their Brains At The Door" Absurdity Spewed From Market Peaks: "Investors Should Check Their Brains At The Door"

Authored by Michael Lebowitz and Jack Scott via,

A recent article by James Deporre at asked Will Powell’s Remarks Push the Algos to Make a Move?

Deporre’s article is a recap of a day’s market events beginning with Jerome Powell’s recent testimony to Congress. He suggests that what matters are not Powell’s words, but whether computerized trading programs, known as “algos,” would buy stocks as a result of Powell’s testimony. Summarizing what ended up being an uneventful day of trading activity, Deporre made the following absurd comment which caught our attention:

“On the other hand, the mighty Apple (AAPL) is holding up and seems to function as a de facto money market account these days. It is a great place for some to park cash and that helps to keep the indices hovering near highs.” 

While we currently hold Apple stock on behalf of some of our clients, we do so with the full awareness that valuations for Apple and many other stocks are extreme. A reversion back to or below average historical valuations will result in a massive loss of wealth for many investors. As such, we maintain a careful and balanced investment posture and take nothing for granted. Most importantly, we never confuse “parking” cash with owning a stock. Like a shovel and hammer, stocks and cash are valuable tools, but neither is a perfect substitute for the other. 

What Apple Is And What It Isn’t

Apple is one of the world’s largest corporations, with innovative products and a great growth trajectory. As reported in its third-quarter 2019 earnings release, the company has a war chest of $245 billion in cash. These facts are not lost on investors. As shown below, Apple shares have risen at a remarkable pace. Since its IPO in 1984, the stock is up almost 70,000% or more than 20% annually. A $1500 investment in 1984 is now worth over a million dollars!

Data Courtesy Bloomberg

Money market mutual funds, also known as cash accounts, are vehicles that allow investors to hold cash and earn the short term rate of interest in the market. These funds invest in very short term, liquid, and highly rated securities. The investments produce little to no price volatility. Many money market mutual funds are governed by the SEC’s 2A7 rules, which greatly limit the credit and liquidity risk of these funds and attempt to ensure investors in them do not have a risk of loss of principal. Given the near riskless nature of money market mutual funds, they offer meager returns.

Buy And Hold

As the Byrds sang, “there is a season- turn – turn- turn. Similarly, there is a time to invest heavily in stocks and a time to scale back on stock holdings and take less risk. It is all too popular for market gurus, especially at market peaks when complacency is the highest, to preach about buy and hold strategies. This advice is based on a misconception that market drawdowns will be short-lived and investors will quickly recoup any losses. Therefore, it is not surprising that the popular investing view today insists that investors should check their brains at the door and remain fully invested in stocks at all times.

As shown below, such logic flies in the face of history.   

Over the long run, investors in Apple have fared better than the market. As shown, drawdowns over the last decade have been relatively short-lived. However, those setbacks have not been small. Since 2010, Apple’s stock price has dropped by 35-45% on three different occasions and by 20% on one other. So, can we treat Apple like a money market fund and hold it with the certainty of knowing that it will never lose value?

It is important to understand that, in the long run, stock prices are regulated by the cash flows of the underlying corporation. We explained this recently as follows:

“A Honus Wagner baseball card from 1909 was recently auctioned for over $3 million. While that may seem like a lot of money, it is not necessarily expensive. A baseball card is nothing more than paper and ink with no real value. Its street value, or price, is based on the whims of collectors. “Whim” is impossible to value.

Stocks are not baseball cards. Stocks represent ownership in a corporation, and therefore, their share prices are based on a series of future expected earnings and cash flows. Further, there are many other types of investments that serve not only as alternatives, but provide a means to assess relative value.

Today, investors are trading stocks on a “whim,” with scant attention to their value. Unlike a baseball card, when a stock’s market value rises much more than its real value, an inevitable correction will occur. The only question is not if, but when.”

There is an important distinction to be made here between “investing” vs. “speculating.” 

Apple’s shares are priced at a historically steep premium to its fundamentals, meaning “whim” is playing a role in recent price appreciation. Whim is speculating. Here are a few fundamental data points to consider, but as you do, keep in mind Apple has bought back a third of their shares outstanding since 2012, making per share data when adjusted for buybacks higher than that shown below.

  • Price to book value is the highest it has ever been since the IPO (12.90x)

  • Price to earnings (trailing twelve months), price to sales, and price to free cash flow are at the highest levels since 2009

Regardless of whether Apple’s valuation may appear rich, there is little doubt the valuation premium can still rise further in the future. Earnings can grow faster than expected and justify the current valuations.  However, the premium can also revert back to historical levels and earnings may disappoint in the future. Apple’s stock price dropped 61% in 2008, and that was following the release of the first iPhone. It is difficult to imagine a better time to have owned shares in the company.

Apple also appears to be over extended on a technical basis. The graph below shows the premium or discount of Apple stock price to its 50 day moving average. As circled, three of the last four times that the stock has been this far above the moving average, a drawdown of at least 20% occurred.

Data Courtesy Bloomberg

Our simple conclusion is that Apple is a speculative investment with zero guarantees and, therefore a poor substitute for a money market fund.

Sorry Mr. Deporre, but Apple is not cash. When markets drop in earnest, so will Apple, as suggested by its beta to the S&P 500 of 1.06. Holding Apple shares will not afford you the ability to take advantage of lower prices when stocks go on sale. Therein lies an important difference between the utilization of cash and stocks in a portfolio.

The graph below shows the percentage drawdowns that occurred in Apple’s stock over the last fifteen years.

Data Courtesy Bloomberg


There are two key points that Deporre’s article fails to consider.

First, an equity stake in any company – whether a boring utility or hot IPO – is speculative, especially when valuations are above fair value. Value is never guaranteed, but it is far less uncertain when the price paid is below fair value.

Second, cash is king when markets decline. Investors that are fully invested with little cash as an insurance policy tend to sell when markets decline rapidly. Quite often, a low is marked with a massive amount of capitulation selling.  Those who harvest gains when markets are over-valued and hold a reasonable amount of their portfolio in cash can buy stocks that trade at a discount to fair value from those who are panicking.

We leave you with an interesting graph from The Leuthold Group.

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 10:25
Published:11/20/2019 9:38:16 AM
[Markets] Stocks remain under pressure after Trump threatens to raise tariffs if China trade talks languish U.S. stock-index futures head lower Wednesday morning as doubts persist about progress toward a U.S.-China trade deal despite encouraging earnings from some retailers. . Published:11/20/2019 9:38:15 AM
[topics:places/exeter] Former public schoolboy may not have known what he was doing when he killed three pensioners, court hears Published:11/20/2019 9:38:15 AM
[Politics] Voters Show Little Support for U.S. Role in Hong Kong Protests

Most voters here are aware of the escalating pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong but don’t favor U.S. involvement. They’re also slightly less likely to suspect that our government gives China a pass on bad behavior because of its economic muscle.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 29% of Likely U.S. Voters think the United States should be doing more to support the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. Thirty-four percent (34%) oppose more U.S. involvement, while 37% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted November 18-19, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:11/20/2019 9:38:15 AM
[Politics] Uno removes red and blue cards to keep Thanksgiving ‘politics-free’ Holiday fun with the family should always be free of politics, and the game-makers at Mattel want to make sure of it. Just in time for Thanksgiving, the traditionally primary-colored card game Uno has been recast without red or blue — which have traditionally represented the colors of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. Their... Published:11/20/2019 9:38:15 AM
[World] Outside the Box: This common — and preventable — mishap can ruin your retirement, and maybe kill you Ask an aging expert about the top three risks that retirees face and the answer may surprise you.
Published:11/20/2019 9:38:15 AM
[] BRUTAL: Dem focus group of NJ swing districts shows why impeachment is a total LOSER for Nancy Pelosi House Majority Forward, the new dark money group founded by prominent Dems, is out with a new focus group report on two swing districts in New Jersey, and OOOOH BOY is it bad for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Money quote: "There was a great deal of ambivalence about impeachment]] Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM

[Politics] Zeldin: Schiff 'Much More Connected' With Whistleblower Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's testimony pointed to House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff as being "much more connected" with the whistleblower behind the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump than initially thought, Rep. Lee Zeldin said. Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[structure:news] Dominic Raab defends Government's decision to seek legal costs from Harry Dunn's family Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[Markets] This Texas Oil Town Sees Strongest Salary Growth In US This Texas Oil Town Sees Strongest Salary Growth In US

Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via,

Driven by the U.S. shale boom in the Permian basin, personal income in Midland County, Texas, grew by the highest percentage - 17.5 percent - of all metropolitan counties in the United States last year, data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) showed.

The average personal income in the metropolitan areas of the United States grew by 5.7 percent, the data showed, while personal income in the non-metropolitan part of the U.S. increased by 4.8 percent last year.

Last year, personal income increased in 3,019 U.S. counties, decreased in 91 counties, and was unchanged in 3, according to estimates released by the BEA.  

Personal income in Midland and Odessa—two of the centers of the Permian shale production—increased in percentage terms more than the personal income in large cities, while per capita personal income in Midland and Odessa was higher than the per capita personal income in New York, San Francisco, or Boston, according to Bloomberg estimates of the data.

Per capita personal income in Midland and Odessa grew the fastest in the United States last year, according to the BEA data reported by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Midland had the lowest unemployment rate in Texas at 2 percent in September, according to data from the Texas Workforce Commission, while Odessa’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percent, tied in third place with Austin-Round Rock and College Station-Bryan.

With the oil boom and population growth, schools in the towns of Midland and Odessa need more buildings to house more students and Odessa is even thinking of buying a hotel to house the new teachers that the schools need. 

This time, unlike in previous boom-and-bust cycles, residents and local authorities believe that the boom will continue as the biggest U.S. oil companies are betting on the Permian to grow their production volumes.

But the already evident slowdown in U.S. oil production growth could jeopardize the boom in the Texas shale towns.

Oil and gas activity in Texas, northern Louisiana, and southern New Mexico declined in Q3 2019 as uncertainty remained high, the latest Dallas Fed Energy Survey showed.  

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 09:45
Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[Entertainment] 2020 Grammys: Lizzo, Billie Eilish and More Among First-Time Nominees Lizzo, MTV Video Music Awards, MTV VMA's, Red Carpet FashionYou never forget your first Grammy or your first nomination. Early Wednesday morning, the Recording Academy announced the talented artists that have been nominated across 84 categories...
Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[520bca50-7222-5ce3-a6e7-368404da1fba] Olivia Munn shows off her toned legs in revealing Instagram pic Olivia Munn is showing off her impressive athleticism in a new Instagram post. Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[Middle Column] Young Activists Kick off a Climate Hunger Strike by Occupying Nancy Pelosi’s Office – Will only eat ‘once they talk to her for one hour—on camera’

“Every day the evidence piles up at your desk, but you have yet to pass even symbolic legislation recognizing the climate crisis as a national emergency. With all due respect, you have failed,” the group said in a letter to Pelosi.

Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[Markets] Wall Street slips at open on escalating U.S.-China tensions Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[Markets] Capitol Report: Tonight’s Democratic debate set to feature attacks on Pete Buttigieg as he leads Elizabeth Warren in Iowa Since the past four Democratic debates have featured attacks on the current front-runner, it looks like Pete Buttigieg might as well wear a bull’s-eye to Wednesday night’s 10-person clash in Georgia.
Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[Academy Awards] Studio Exec Originally Wanted Julia Roberts to Star as Harriet Tubman 25 Years Ago British star Cynthia Erivo portrays Harriet Tubman in the new biopic based on the iconic activist's life. Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[Quick Takes] Student Govt. at Grand Valley State U. Votes to Restore Pledge of Allegiance to Meetings "Under the new policy, students have the option to stand or not stand during the recitation of the Pledge." Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[World] Trump Today: Trump heads to meet Apple CEO Tim Cook at $1 billion Apple plant in Texas President Donald Trump will get a tour the new Apple manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas from CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday.
Published:11/20/2019 9:04:53 AM
[] Owning the libs (or cons) with... your blue jeans? I don't know if the United States is headed for another literal civil war or not, but there's little doubt that we are far more divided as a nation than when I was growing up. It's not so much a case of registered Democrats versus registered Republicans as it is]] Published:11/20/2019 8:36:32 AM
[] 'At the express direction of the president': Amb. Sondland will testify there was a quid pro quo linking Ukraine aid to a Biden investigation Amb. Gordon Sondland's opening statement for today's impeachment hearing has been released and he says that President Trump did order him to link aide to Ukraine to an investigation of the Bidens:

Over to you, Rudy Giuliani:

He's bringing Vice President Pence. . .

. . .and Secretary of State Pompeo into the]] Published:11/20/2019 8:36:32 AM

[Politics] WATCH LIVE: Gordon Sondland testifies for the Schiff Show impeachment inquiry Another star witness for the Democrats, Gordon Sondland, testifies today in the phony Schiff Show impeachment inquiry. It begins at 9am and you can watch it below: C-SPAN: Fox News:   PBS . . . Published:11/20/2019 8:36:32 AM
[Entertainment] 2020 Grammys: Nipsey Hussle Posthumously Nominated For 3 Awards Nipsey HussleNipsey Hussle's legacy lives on. The late rapper has been nominated posthumously for the Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song at the 2020 Grammy Awards....
Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[f14acdcc-1003-5720-8ad1-a712b1b27fa9] Duggars denies Homeland Security raid despite agency confirming an 'on-going federal criminal investigation' The Duggar family is denying reports that Homeland Security Investigations raided their home. Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[worldNews] Twitter says Conservatives misled public, minister says voters 'don't give a toss' Twitter accused Britain's ruling Conservative Party on Wednesday of misleading the public during a televised election debate, but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said voters did not care about the cut and thrust of social media.
Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[Markets] Watch now: Sondland, U.S. ambassador to EU, testifies in impeachment hearing Watch now: Sondland, U.S. ambassador to EU, testifies in impeachment hearing Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[TC] Sharding, scalability, decentralization – You name it, we’ve got it on the EC stage in Berlin Sharding and scalability. Transactions per second.  Crypto-ecosystems. The decentralized web. These are the voyages of the Starship Blockchain, on it’s 5-year mission to seek out… Ok, you get the drift! But as you can tell, there remain many, many issues to tease out of this burgeoning new tech world, one we will be unpacking at Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin this […] Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[Markets] Feds Charge Former Baltimore Mayor With Fraud, Tax Evasion Over Book Scandal  Feds Charge Former Baltimore Mayor With Fraud, Tax Evasion Over Book Scandal 

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has been indicted on federal charges of wire fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to defraud the US, reported Fox 45 News Baltimore


Pugh has been in hiding for 7 to 8 months, is expected to surrender to US Marshals Service in the next 24 hours before her hearing in US District Court in Baltimore on Nov. 21 at 1 pm. est. 

Pugh went missing in Apr. after the FBI and IRS raided her home amid speculation, she was involved in a brazen kickback scheme involving sales of her "Healthy Holly" book series. 

The former mayor of Baltimore was accused of using her position to secure agreements worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from the University of Maryland Medical System and managed-care consortium KaiserPermanente. The contracts were arrangements to purchase thousands of copies of Pugh's "Healthy Holly" books, a series written by Pugh.

Pugh was sitting on the organization's board when she received the book deal from the University of Maryland system. And shortly after she received a payment from KaiserPermanente, the company received a $48 million contract from the city. Though we're sure, that's just a coincidence. Furthermore, some of the "Healthy Holly" copies that Pugh sold to the University of Maryland Medical System remain unaccounted for, and some suspect they may never have been printed.

"Our elected officials must place the interests of the citizens above their own," said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur. "Corrupt public employees rip off the taxpayers and undermine everyone's faith in government. The US Attorney's Office and our law enforcement partners will zealously pursue those who abuse the taxpayers' trust and bring them to justice."

"The people of Maryland expect elected officials to make decisions based on the public's best interests, not to abuse their office for personal gain," said Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone of the FBI's Baltimore Division. "Catherine Pugh betrayed the public's trust. The FBI will continue to diligently work to detect fraud and corruption and hold those who violate this trust accountable."

The next significant development will be Pugh surrendering herself to US Marshals within the next 24 hours, but then again, there's always a chance that a corrupt politician may flee. 

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 09:25
Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[Politics] Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 34% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 44% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10. (see trends).

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily email update).

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump's job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports' Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, please send e-mail to

Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[Markets] Need to Know: Your three-stock survival kit for 2020, says this equity strategist Our call of the day from Nuveen’s equity strategists says investors need to brace for a coming year that won’t top the 20%-plus gains we’ve been seeing. The key to survival are these three stocks.
Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[Right Column] ‘Patently false’ to claim health and climate benefits from closure of American coal plants
Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[] Mid-Morning Art Thread [Kris] Et in Arcadia ego Nicolas Poussin Nicholas Poussin was one of the most influential painters of the Baroque era. While other Baroque artists were composing art with dramatic forms and lighting, vivid, radiant color, and huge action, Poussin’s art... Published:11/20/2019 8:36:31 AM
[] WATCH: AOC says 'no-joke, die-hard white nationalist' Stephen Miller has 'weaponized' being Jewish Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called White House adviser Stephen Miller a "no joke, die hard white nationalist' and accused him of weaponizing his Jewish faith to shield himself from critics.

Have a watch:

In emails to Yahoo News, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham and principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley strongly]] Published:11/20/2019 8:04:42 AM

[Entertainment] Grammy Awards Nominations 2020: The Complete List Grammy Award TrophyIt's almost time for the 2020 Grammy Awards. But before The Recording Academy rolls out the red carpet, it needs to reveal this year's nominees. The organization's...
Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[topics:things/pollution] Hedges around parks reduce pollution level by half, study finds Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Congressional Hall Monitor] Watch Live: Adam Schiff’s Impeachment Circus – Day 4 – 11/20/2019

By R. Mitchell -

As the country is drug into yet another day of hearings, testimony in the first three days of the Democrat’s pure political attack on the Republic re-affirmed several facts: The transcript of the call released by the White House is complete and correctNone of those involved told President Zelensky that ...

Watch Live: Adam Schiff’s Impeachment Circus – Day 4 – 11/20/2019 is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Politics] Watch live: Gordon Sondland testifies at Trump impeachment hearing

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, has emerged as a pivotal link between the president and a shadow foreign policy led by Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[ff6c59ab-4229-585a-9f14-0cbcb8e00255] Country singer Coffey Anderson, wife Criscilla open up about her stage 4 cancer diagnosis: 'Life is not fair' Country singer Coffey Anderson and his wife, Criscilla, spoke out about her recent stage 4 metastatic colon cancer diagnosis after a brief remission. Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Markets] Watch Live: 'Key Witness' Sondland Testifies In Wednesday's Impeachment Hearing Watch Live: 'Key Witness' Sondland Testifies In Wednesday's Impeachment Hearing

Update (9 am ET): As the hearing begins, it appears Sondland has already outlined his approach in a statement leaked to the Guardian.

And that approach is: Blame Rudy.

Sondland alleges that he, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and others were ordered by President Trump to work with Giuliani on all things Ukraine-related.

And that they followed those orders so as not to miss the opportunity to cement closer relations between the US and Ukraine.

Sondland also believes that there was a quid pro quo between Giuliani and the Ukrainians, as they sought an Oval Office meeting with President Trump.

* * *

In what many pundits are calling the most important moment of the impeachment hearings (just like Vindman was...but wasn't and just like Volker was...but wasn't), Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, will take the stand and testify on Wednesday.

Unlike the prior witnesses, Sondland notably had to 'update' his testimony to House investigators earlier this month when another witness (acting Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor) said he'd heard Sondland discuss President Trump and Rudy Giuliani's demand that the military aid money for Ukraine would be withheld if it didn't restart investigations into Burisma, the energy company with ties to Hunter Biden, and 2016 election interference.

Watch the hearing below. The House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff will swing the gavel at 9 am:

After Sondland, Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, and David Hale, the under secretary of state for political affairs, will testify in the afternoon.

According to BBG, Sondland, who won his position after emerging as a major Trump donor, is likely to face intense questioning about his call with President Trump on July 26, the day after Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. That's the call where Sondland was allegedly instructed to deliver the ultimatum to Ukraine.

David Holmes, a member of the embassy staff in Kyiv, infamously told House investigators last Friday that he overhead Trump asking Sondland about "the investigations" - a reference to Ukraine agreeing to the administration's demands. Holmes added that Sondland told him after he hung up with Trump that the president "didn’t give a s--- about Ukraine" and that Trump only cares about the "big stuff" that benefits him "like the Biden investigation."

Sondland was also reportedly present at a July 10 White House meeting where Mick Mulvaney reportedly made clear that an Oval Office meeting with Zelensky wouldn't happen unless the Biden investigations were re-started. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton left that meeting, saying later he wouldn't be part of whatever "drug deal" Mulvaney and Sondland were cooking up.

As Reuters points out, Sondland is particularly important because he's the first witness with a direct line of communication to the president. Sondland spoke to Trump some half a dozen times between mid-July and mid-September, according to the testimony of other witnesses.

Here a couple of critical questions that Reuters believes Sondland will be asked:


Sondland was one of three officials who largely took over U.S.-Ukraine policy in May. Career U.S. diplomats have portrayed Sondland in their testimony as a central figure in what became a shadow Ukraine policy operation, undercutting official channels and pressing Kiev to investigate the Bidens.

Ukraine is not part of the European Union but aspires to membership, making Ukraine issues part of Sondland’s official remit. But his involvement was viewed as a problem by some White House National Security Council (NSC) officials.

Trump named Sondland to the post after Sondland, a hotel entrepreneur, donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee.


Democrats have heard testimony that Sondland has had frequent contact with Trump and can provide a first-hand account of Trump’s interest in pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to announce an investigation into the Bidens. He will also face questions about the role of the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in that effort.

Lawmakers are also likely to delve into one phone conversation between Sondland and Trump on July 26 in which a witness says Sondland reassured Trump the Ukrainians would agree to investigate the Bidens. The call took place the day after Trump’s phone conversation with Zelenskiy that is at the heart of the inquiry.

David Holmes, a U.S. embassy staffer, testified that Sondland told him after the July 26 call that Trump only cared about “big stuff” in Ukraine, like “the Biden investigation."

He may also be asked about a July 10 White House meeting where, according to the testimony of one NSC official, Sondland made clear that the Ukrainians would have to agree to investigate the Bidens, as well as Burisma, for Zelenskiy to get an Oval Office meeting with Trump.

And in a report published less than two hours before the start of the hearings, The New York Times reported that Sondland kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apprised of all important developments in the campaign to pressure Ukraine to re-start the investigations into the Bidens, which will almost certainly become a focus during Wednesday's hearing.

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 08:55
Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Uncategorized] Cancel Culture Hypocrites on Left and Right Cancel Culture Hypocrites on Left and Right by Michelle Malkin Creators Syndicate Copyright 2019 Cancel culture is metastasizing. No one is safe anymore, including yours truly. On Tuesday afternoon, I was informed that Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, had pulled the plug on my book discussion of Open Borders Inc. with the Center for Immigration […] Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Politics] WATCH LIVE: Gordon Sondland testifies for the Schiff Show impeachment inquiry Another star witness for the Democrats, Gordon Sondland, testifies today in the phony Schiff Show impeachment inquiry. It begins at 9am and you can watch it below: C-SPAN: Fox News:   PBS . . . Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Uncategorized] Reuters Deletes Story Meant to Make Trump Look Bad After Realizing it Made Obama Look Bad Amazing how that happens Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Exit] Brava, a smart oven maker with big names attached, just sold to an industrial equipment company Brava had a lot of things working in its favor as startups go. It was founded in 2015 by serial executive John Pleasants, whose past stints have included as co-president of Disney Interactive Media Group, COO of Electronic Arts, and CEO of Ticketmaster. His plans to create a suite of snazzy direct-to-consumer line of smart […] Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Markets] Deep Dive: Stock investors may want to hitch a ride with this car-related industry that is set for decades of big growth Semiconductor stocks have a long runway ahead of them as chip demand for electric and autonomous vehicles ramps up.
Published:11/20/2019 8:04:41 AM
[Politics] Ex-Bush Aide: White House 'Cannibalizing Itself' by Impeachment Attacks William Inboden, a former national security aide to President George W. Bush, said the White House is openly attacking its own staff members for "upholding their constitutional duties." Published:11/20/2019 7:34:29 AM
[Politics] Reuters, AFP Retract Migrant Children Articles That Were Based on Obama-Era Figures

On Wednesday several news outlets were forced to retract stories lamenting the number of migrant children detained by U.S. authorities after it emerged the pieces were based on Obama-era figures.

The post Reuters, AFP Retract Migrant Children Articles That Were Based on Obama-Era Figures appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[TC] Starburst raises $22M to modernize data analytics with Presto Starburst, the company that’s looking to monetize the open-source Presto distributed query engine, today announced that it has raised a $22 million funding round led by Index Ventures, with the firm’s partner Mike Volpi joining the board. The general idea behind Presto is to allow anybody to use the standard SQL query language to run […] Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[Entertainment] Robert Pattinson Read Sex Shop Yelp Reviews to Pass the Time on The Lighthouse Set Robert Pattinson, Late Night with Seth MeyersYup, you read that right. On Tuesday night's episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Robert Pattinson revealed that he had to find interesting ways to pass the time while filming his...
Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[Politics] Cancel Culture Hypocrites on Left and Right By Michelle Malkin

Cancel culture is metastasizing. No one is safe anymore, including yours truly.

On Tuesday afternoon, I was informed that Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, had pulled the plug on my book discussion of "Open Borders Inc." with the Center for Immigration Studies' Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan. The event had been scheduled for this Friday and co-hosts from Bostonians Against Sanctuary Cities were expecting a crowd of about 300 people.

Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[Impeachment] The Vindman variations (Scott Johnson) I stuck with yesterday’s impeachment theater to the bitter end last night. Testifying with Ambassador Kurt Volker, I thought that former National Security Council staffer Tim Morrison was an impressive witness. He foresaw the political damage that the transcript of President Trump’s phone call with Zelensky would do. Events have unfolded more or less as he anticipated; his fears, as he observed in his prepared statement, “have been realized.” Lt. Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[Democrats] Like the Clintons, Obama’s Aides Sabotaged the White House for Trump’s Crew

The following article, Like the Clintons, Obama’s Aides Sabotaged the White House for Trump’s Crew, was first published on Godfather Politics.

It has been revealed that the punks who worked for Obama sabotaged the White House for the incoming Trumpers, just like those who worked for the Clintons.

Continue reading: Like the Clintons, Obama’s Aides Sabotaged the White House for Trump’s Crew ...

Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[broken racket] The Racket Serena Williams Smashed During the 2018 US Open Will Go Up for Auction The racket will be sold alongside items like Olympic gold medals earned by Jesse Owens. Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[worldNews] Another Israeli election looms as deadline to form government nears with no accord reached Israel moved closer towards a new election on Wednesday after kingmaker Avigdor Lieberman declined to back either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or challenger Benny Gantz with a deadline on building a government about to expire.
Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[Markets] Dow Jones Today Faces Test, Futures Slip On China Threat; Target Stock, Lowe's Stock Soar Target and Lowe's traded sharply higher, but global markets slumped as China threatened the U.S., setting up the Dow Jones today for a key test. Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[Markets] Over 100 Protesters Killed In Iran Amid Largest Internet Shutdown In Nation's History Over 100 Protesters Killed In Iran Amid Largest Internet Shutdown In Nation's History

Now five days into widespread protests in some one hundred Iranian cities after a dramatic gas price hike last Friday, Amnesty International reports that at least 106 have been killed

However, “The organisation believes that the real death toll may be much higher, with some reports suggesting as many as 200 have been killed,” Amnesty said in a statement.

This as the government has cut off internet access across much of the country, resulting in few videos of clashes with police reaching the West, as in the early couple of days of the unrest. 

Image source: AFP/Getty Images

A statement from the global outage monitor Oracle's Internet Intelligence called it the largest blockage ever observed in Iran:

Protesters took to the streets shortly after the government announced an increase in fuel prices by as much as 300%. Social media images showed banks, petrol stations and government buildings set ablaze by rioters. Some protesters chanted "down with Khamenei," according to videos, referring to the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The internet blackout started on Saturday evening and continued through Monday, according to internet watchdogs. Oracle's Internet Intelligence called it the "largest internet shutdown ever observed in Iran."

The United Nations is now urging Iran to lift the internet blockage and to show restraint after what the international body called the “clearly very serious” extent of casualties.

The UN high commissioner also acknowledged it is looking into reports of live ammunition being used on demonstrators, which activists say there's ample video evidence for. 

The government-imposed internet block began on Saturday, leaving some 80 million citizens without online access. 

“We are especially alarmed that the use of live ammunition has allegedly caused a significant number of deaths across the country,” UN spokesman Rupert Colville said.

With the information blackout he described it as “extremely difficult” to get an accurate overall death toll.

Gunfire has been observed in some of the recent unverified videos to have made it out of Iran:

Official Iranian state figures put the death toll at 12, which included numbers of total protest and police deaths.

According to Tehran security officials, over 600 have also been arrested. 

Days ago the US State Department predictably came out in favor of more protests, in a volatile situation in the sanctions-ravaged country which has already witnessed banks and gas stations torched in anger over soaring gas prices after the country's leadership slashed petrol subsidies. 

“The proud Iranian people are not staying silent about the government’s abuses,” Pompeo said in a statement published Sunday, saying that “the United States is with you,” and will stand against Iran’s “tyranny.”

The statement said further, "We condemn the lethal force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators” and described the unrest as a “Cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches.”

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hit back, calling such solidarity hypocrisy, given it's Washington's crushing sanctions that are making life miserable for the common populace

“The regime that imposes coercive economic actions and bars delivery of food and drugs to the elderly and patients, can never claim that it's supporting the Iranian nation, Zarif said of the United States on Tuesday, as cited in Iran’s semi-official IRNA news agency.

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 08:25
Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[Entertainment] Grammy nominations 2020: Complete coverage The nominations for music's biggest awards show were announced Wednesday morning. Published:11/20/2019 7:34:28 AM
[Politics] Sondland Faces Tough Questions about Trump, Ukraine Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the most anticipated witness in the impeachment inquiry, will confront questions Wednesday about his evolving accounts of the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine and a newly revealed summertime phone call with President Donald... Published:11/20/2019 7:05:19 AM
[Politics] Climate Myths By John Stossel

"How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood!" insisted teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg at the United Nations. "We are in the beginning of a mass extinction!"

Published:11/20/2019 7:05:19 AM
[Uncategorized] Beacon Extra 11/20/19

Welcome to the Washington Free Beacon’s morning newsletter, your comprehensive briefing on the Enemies of Freedom. To get this newsletter sent straight to your inbox every morning, sign up here.

The post Beacon Extra 11/20/19 appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/20/2019 7:05:19 AM
[Entertainment] Fear the Walking Dead's Alycia Debnam-Carey Can't Stop Wearing This Perfume Alycia Debnam CareyWe love these products, and we hope you do too. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not...
Published:11/20/2019 7:05:18 AM
[Volokh Conspiracy] [Josh Blackman] Yes, Nancy Pelosi Can Become President Seth Barrett Tillman and I defend the constitutionality of the Presidential Succession Act in Atlantic Published:11/20/2019 7:05:18 AM
[structure:news/uk-news] Boarding school suspends two pupils after Remembrance display photograph doctored to include swastika Published:11/20/2019 7:05:18 AM
[Markets] Global Markets Slide After China Says It's Ready For "Worst Case Scenario" Following Senate Vote In Support Of Hong Kong Protest Global Markets Slide After China Says It's Ready For "Worst Case Scenario" Following Senate Vote In Support Of Hong Kong Protest

Trade deal "optimism", which together with QE4 (which even Bloomberg now admits) has helped push the S&P to all time highs, was decidedly lacking on Wednesday when the global mood soured after the U.S. Senate angered China by passing a bill requiring annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy and warning Beijing against violently suppressing protesters.

In response to the unanimous Senate vote, China Foreign Ministry said it strongly condemns the US Senate measure on Hong Kong and resolutely opposes the action, while calling for the US to stop interfering in Hong Kong and China affairs, as well as stop the latest bills on Hong Kong from becoming law. Furthermore, it added China must take necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and security, while it summoned the US Embassy representative in China and lodged stern representations with US over the Senate action on Hong Kong.

Then, shortly after 2am, China's notorious twitter troll, Global Times editor Hu Xijin opined, stating that "China wants a deal but is prepared for the worst-case scenario, a prolonged trade war."

President Donald Trump also threatened to up tariffs on Chinese goods if a trade deal is not reached soon.

As a result of the renewed flare-up in Sino-U.S. tensions and the creeping return of U.S. recession fears, world stocks were knocked off 22-month highs with US equity futures sliding as low as 3,105 amid a bid for bonds and other “safe” assets such as gold.

European markets tumbled half a percent at the open, edging further off recent four-year highs hit when it appeared - to some confused, naive souls and algorithms - that Washington and Beijing were about to agree the first phase of a trade deal. Europe's Stoxx 600 Basic Resources Index dropped as much as 2.1%, trading below its 200-DMA, as nickel neared a bear market. Diversified miners fell, with BHP -1.8%, Anglo American -1.4%, Rio Tinto -2%, Glencore -1.4% (these 4 stocks account for ~64% of the index). Steelmakers also fell: ArcelorMittal -2.5%, Evraz -2.2%, Voestalpine -2.3%.

Wall Street futures were also lower amid a sea of red in global stocks, while oil prices suffered their biggest daily loss in seven weeks. MSCI's All World index slipped 0.3%, ending a three-day winning streak.

“Markets have taken a bit of a wobble due to the talk about Hong Kong, but they had rallied a lot in recent weeks on expectations of a (trade) deal,” said Salman Ahmed, chief investment strategist at Lombard Odier.

Ahmed said both sides needed a deal to be signed — Trump cannot afford a recession because of his re-election bid next year, while China’s economy is slowing markedly. “I think we are looking at a short-term setback rather than a major issue that would derail the process. The bill still has to be signed into law by Trump so there’s a high probability he will use it as leverage against China.”

Earlier in the session, MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan tumbled 0.7%, Japan's Nikkei .N225 fell 0.8% and Shanghai blue chips lost 1%. Asia stocks fell, as the U.S. Senate passed a legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters, triggering China to repeat its threat to impose unspecified retaliation. Most markets in the region were down, with South Korea among the weakest. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed 0.8% lower, paring a world-beating rally earlier this week. In contrast, India’s benchmark Sensex headed for another record high, helped by a surge in telecommunications-related stocks. The passage of the U.S. bill on Tuesday may potentially complicate trade talks between the world’s two largest economies.

On Tuesday, US stocks closed just below record highs as world stocks remained just 0.5% off all-time peaks hit last year. “It was noticeable that fixed income markets rallied despite equity markets being stable, suggestive of a market that remains cautious about the growth outlook,” ANZ said in a note.

After falling in six out of the past seven sessions, US Treasury yields dropped again, with 10Y US paper sliding as much as 5bps, from 1.78% to 1.73% amid the flight to safety. In Europe, German Bunds yields fell for the third straight day to touch a 2-1/2 week, shrugging off European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane’s comment that the euro zone economy would not fall into a recession. Bunds bull flattened after Germany’s 30-year bond sale meets steady demand, with bid-to-cover of 1.17x versus 1.20x prior, although the real subscription rate, which accounts for retention by the Bundesbank, increased to 0.91x against 0.76x at the previous sale. In Italy, BTPs outperformed euro-area peers, tightening the BTP-bund spread 2bps to 156bps.

“It’s all about sentiment on trade ... We have this classical risk-off trade taking place again,” Rainer Guntermann, a rates strategist at Commerzbank, said.

In FX, the dollar and yen both rose versus major peers as the Senate vote threatened to complicate a potential U.S.-China trade deal. Australia’s dollar fell with other risk assets, while the euro snapped a four-day advance.

Moves on commodity prices imply fears of economic recession may be creeping back. Japan’s October exports fanned those fears further, tumbling at their quickest rate in three years, with shipments to China and the United States suffering big falls.

US WTI stocks rose far more than expected according to the latest API report, driving Brent crude into a 2.6% slide. Brent fell another half percent, inching towards the $60 mark last breached three weeks ago.

A marked flattening of the 2s10s Treasury curve also hints at a return of recession fears. The curve inverted earlier this year, returning to normal only after three U.S. interest rate cuts. But Federal Reserve officials have hinted there will be no further easing for now, a message the U.S. central bank may reiterate later in the day when it releases minutes from its last meeting. Markets are now pricing in just a 0.8% chance of a December rate cut

Dour forecasts from retailers Home Depot and Kohl’s also fueled worries about U.S. consumer spending, which has so far been extremely robust, in contrast to manufacturing. On the other hand, stellar results from Target have helped offset the downbeat retail sentiment somewhat.

“We’ve had a bit of topping out of the U.S. consumer in the past couple of months, possibly we are seeing some catch up between consumer and manufacturing sectors,” Lombard Odier’s Ahmed said.

In geopolitics, Israel attacked buildings belonging to Iranian militias in southern Damascus where heavy explosions were reported. At the same time, US aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln transited through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday according to US Navy statement, which officials had been considering and suggested would send a strong message to Iran. Elsewhere, Russia's Foreign Ministry said the US decision to remove sanction waivers for the Iranian Fordow nuclear plant violates US international commitments and that Moscow continues to cooperate with Iran on Fordow reconfiguration.

Looking at the day ahead, it’s fairly light on data, with October’s PPI release from Germany and CPI release from Canada, along with the weekly MBA mortgage applications from the US. From central banks, the FOMC’s October minutes and the ECB’s Financial Stability Review will be released, while we’ll hear from the ECB’s Lane and Irish central bank governor Makhlouf. Earnings out today include Lowe’s and Target, and in the US tonight there’s another Democratic primary debate.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 3,109.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.6% to 402.94
  • MXAP down 0.6% to 164.79
  • MXAPJ down 0.7% to 527.43
  • Nikkei down 0.6% to 23,148.57
  • Topix down 0.3% to 1,691.11
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.8% to 26,889.61
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 2,911.05
  • Sensex up 0.6% to 40,690.50
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.4% to 6,722.42
  • Kospi down 1.3% to 2,125.32
  • German 10Y yield fell 3.3 bps to -0.372%
  • Euro down 0.1% to $1.1066
  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $60.68/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 3.7 bps to 0.899%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 3.5 bps to 0.396%
  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $60.68/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,476.12
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 97.95

Top Overnight News

  • The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill aimed at supporting protesters in Hong Kong and warning China against a violent suppression of the demonstrations -- drawing a rebuke from Beijing
  • The near-deal between the U.S. and China that fell apart six months ago is now being used as the benchmark to decide how much tariffs should be rolled back in the initial phase of a broader trade agreement, people familiar with the talks say
  • Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn defied his negative ratings to draw level with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a crucial television debate ahead of the U.K.’s general election. His plan to make the top 5% of earners pay more income tax could raise less than the party thinks, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • China’s base rate for new corporate bank loans dropped in November, following a series of policy-rate cuts from the central bank aimed at easing liquidity concerns
  • Japan’s export slump deepened in October, with the value of shipments dropping the most in three years, as the U.S.-China trade war weighs on global demand. Japan’s ruling coalition will ask the government to devote 10t yen in fresh spending for the extra budget it’s compiling, Nikkei reports, without attribution
  • Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez told International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva that he has a plan to grow the economy and tackle the nation’s debt after his predecessor agreed to a $56 billion credit line from the fund
  • Oil dropped the most in seven weeks as American crude stockpiles are forecast to rise and U.S.-China trade talks stall
  • President Donald Trump’s former special envoy to Ukraine said he only realized after the fact that the president and a few close advisers were putting “unacceptable” pressure on Ukraine to launch a politically motivated investigation
  • The European Central Bank warned of potential side effects from its loose monetary policy, highlighting how years of unprecedented economic stimulus is contributing to an erosion of financial stability. Low interest rates have encouraged excessive risk-taking by investment funds and insurers as well as in some real estate markets, the ECB said in its semi-annual Financial Stability Review released Wednesday
  • Traders should brace for heightened volatility in 2020 as the U.S. presidential election becomes one more reason for investors to hedge, according to TD Securities.
  • Helicopter money could be both the best and worst options for the European Central Bank if the euro-area slowdown morphed into a recession, according to a Peterson Institute paper.
  • European Central Bank watchers who monitor its every signal to gauge the future of interest rates would quite like new President Christine Lagarde to give them some clues when she breaks her silence this week.

Asian equity markets traded mostly lower as investor sentiment continued to hang on the US-China trade uncertainty and after the US Senate unanimously passed the legislation aimed at supporting Hong Kong protests, which was met by condemnation from China and spurred concerns of a derailment in trade talks. ASX 200 (-1.4%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) were both negative with Australia pressured by losses in its largest weighted financials sector after Westpac was accused by AUSTRAC of 23mln breaches related to anti-money laundering, while the weakness in Japan was a function of the JPY-risk dynamic, tumultuous trade headlines and disappointing data including a larger than expected contraction in the nation’s Exports. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (-0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.8%) conformed to the subdued picture following China’s stern response to the US Senate’s passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights Bill, in which it called on the US to stop interfering in its affairs and suggested that it must take necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and security. However, losses in the mainland were somewhat limited by optimistic comments from US Commerce Secretary Ross that they still think there's hope a China deal can be done and following the PBoC’s 5bps reduction to its Loan Prime Rates. Finally, 10yr JGBs tracked the gains in T-notes and was spurred by safe-haven demand following China’s retaliation threat, while the 20yr JGB auction was inconclusive as the results showed stronger demand at lower accepted prices.

Top Asian News

  • World’s Largest Wealth Manager Says Add Asian Stocks on Earnings
  • Nissan Plans First Bond Sale Since Scandals After Leader Changes

Concerns regarding the state of US/China trade negotiations are weighing on major European bourses (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.8%) on Wednesday morning, after the US Senate unanimously voted in favour of the Hong Kong Human Rights bill and sent it to the House of Representatives overnight, drawing strong condemnation from China and raising fears that trade talks will be complicated. Downside has extended during European trade, with negative comments from China’s Global Times Editor Hu Xijin only exacerbating things. In terms of the sectors, Energy (-1.6%) is the laggard, as yesterday’s steep decline weighs. Other more risk sensitive sectors including Consumer Discretionary (-1.0%), Tech (-0.5%) and Financials (-1.3%) are also suffering, while defensive sectors are holding up better. Moving on to the most notable stock specific movers; Nexi (+3.1%) tops the Stoxx 600 table, with the news that it is in preliminary talks with Intesa Sanpaolo (-0.4%) regarding a possible commercial partnership supportive. Moreover, positive broker moves for Novozymes (+2.5%) and ADP (+1.5%) from Citigroup and RBC respectively saw their shares move higher. In terms of the laggards; Kingfisher (-6.7%) sunk after downbeat earnings, in which the Co. noted there is clearly much to be done to improve performance and that they had not found the correct balance between group scale benefits and local market. Sage Group (-3.6%) is lower after underlying operating profit and EPS fell, although the Co. did increase its FY dividend. Swedbank (-3.8%) shares are lower, with US authorities investigating the Co’s Baltic unit to determine if transactions violated US sanctions on Russia; the Co.’s CEO said he was not aware of any violations and internal investigations to be concluded early next year. Elsewhere amongst the laggards are Wirecard (-2.8%); auditors at EY have reportedly refused to approve Co’s 2017 Singapore accounts, reported Handelsblatt citing documents.

Top European News

  • ECB Flags Risks to Financial Stability From Its Own Stimulus
  • Emirates Trims Boeing Wide-Body Plan as It Curbs Global Ambition
  • Corbyn Holds Johnson to Debate Draw: U.K. Campaign Trail

In FX, the broad Dollar and Index gains traction in early European trade amid underlying safe-haven support given the bleaker rhetoric out of China regarding an imminent Phase One deal and potential complications from the US Hong Kong bill. On trade, Global Time’s Chief Editor highlighted China’s readiness for a prolonged trade spat, aiding the DXY to test 98.00 to the upside (vs. an overnight low of ~97.80) shortly after the cash open and eclipse its 100 DMA (98.02) before stabilising below the round figure. Meanwhile, China condemned the US bill supporting Hong Kong protesters which was unanimously passed in Senate and makes way to the House for a re-vote, with some wondering whether this could be another wedge in trade talks despite the official previously highlighting the issues are separate. USD/CNH sees renewed upside in early hours (after little move on the expected PBoC LPR cut) with the pair now above its 21 and 100 DMAs (7.0288 and 7.0411) and at the top of its current 7.0250-0430 intraday range.

  • AUD, NZD, CAD - All moving in-line with the current trade-induced risk aversion. The non-US Dollars are all pressured in wake of the aforementioned pilling of bearish-sentiment factors which dwindle the prospect of a long-lasting truce between the two nations. AUD/USD reversed a bulk of yesterday’s gains and retested 0.6800 to the downside at one point, currently residing just off the lower bound of today’s 0.6800-30 parameter. Similarly, its Kiwi counterpart fell below its 100 DMA (0.6432) in overnight trade following China’s condemnation of US Senate’s action and tested support at 0.6400 (vs. high of 0.6435). The Loonie meanwhile bears the brunt of softer energy prices but looks forwards to the Canadian CPI metrics with the headline YY remaining steady at 1.9%. USD/CAD took out its 200 DMA (1.3275) in early EU hours as it takes a stab at 1.3300 to the upside.
  • JPY, CHF - Supported by their safe-haven statuses as the trade landscape shifts away from the recent hopefulness. USD/JPY meanders a touch below the 108.50 mark ahead of a Fib level and its 50 DMA both at 108.26 whilst notable option expiries include USD 1bln at strikes 108.50-65. Correspondingly, the Franc sees modest gains with EUR/CHF back under its 100 DMA and 21 DMAs both at 1.0960.
  • GBP, EUR - Both modestly softer and largely at the whim of a firming Buck. Last night’s UK leadership debate provided little by way of new substance, whilst a YouGov snap poll on performance (1600 respondents) showed the leaders more-or-less neck and neck, and the election survey from the same pollster indicated a slight narrowing in Tory’s lead over Labour. GBP/USD hovers around a 38.2.% Fib level just above 1.2900 having dipped below the figure earlier on a firmer Buck. EUR/USD losses more ground below its 100 DMA (1.1089) but found a base at 1.1060 ahead of its 21 DMA at 1.1042.

In commodities, crude futures are relatively flat following a mammoth sell-off in the prior session where anti-production cut commentary out of Russia and bearish supply updates in Europe saw the complex sell off. There was little by way of reactions to last night’s mixed API Inventory data; headline crude stocks built much more than expected but gasoline and distillates posted larger than expected draws, and front month WTI and Brent contracts stabilised around the USD 55.20/bbl and USD 60.80/bbl levels overnight, although both have since crept slightly lower since the arrival of European players. Subdued risk appetite has lent a hand to gold, which advanced to near the USD 1480/oz mark before pulling back slightly, with upside being capped by a firmer buck. Meanwhile, copper was caught between the conflicting forces of the PBoC’s latest LPR cuts and negative developments on the US/China trade front overnight, but has since seen some upside since the arrival of European players, making new highs for the week at USD 2.666/lbs.

US Event Calendar

  • 7am: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 9.6%
  • 2pm: FOMC Meeting Minutes

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

If you’re looking to top up the performance of your fund before year end you could do worse than to visit Blackhall Colliery, County Durham, North England. This week has seen the twelfth time in five years that a bundle of notes totalling exactly £2000 pounds has been found in a bag on a street and handed into Police. If twelve bags have been handed in, how many have actually been “absorbed” into the local economy. I would wager many many more. Police are totally confused by these “drops” and made this info public late yesterday. Maybe we’ll get the 21st century version of The Gold Rush on our hands today.

There wasn’t quite the same rush in markets yesterday as Equity markets traded in the red for most of the day after some poor US retail earnings, before more positive trade headlines spurred risk assets back towards flat into the close. The S&P 500 had been down as much as -0.27% but it ended -0.06%. The DOW lost -0.36%, with most of that attributable to Home Depot’s -5.44% move after they said that comparable sales in Q3 rose +3.6% (vs. +4.6% expected), and downgraded their comparable sales growth guidance to 3.5%, having been 4.0% previously. Kohl’s (-19.49%) also reported soft demand, lowering their guidance for adjusted annual earnings per diluted share to $4.75-$4.95, down from $5.15-$5.45 previously. Investor attention will now turn to Lowe’s (-1.41%) and Target (-0.96%), both of whom are releasing results today.

Offsetting the poor earnings reports were some optimistic trade headlines, with Bloomberg reporting that the US-China deal that fell through in May is now the benchmark in terms of the amount of tariffs to be rolled back in an initial agreement between the two sides. The reports suggest that China is asking that all tariffs applied since May be immediately removed, then earlier tariffs removed in tranches moving forward. If realised, this would be a notably more risk-positive outcome than most had expected. However, the article also noted apparent differences among US officials as to how comprehensive the phase one deal would be and how much tariffs would be rolled back. So if this is right it doesn’t look as though there’s an agreed viewpoint within the US administration. So hard to get too excited one way or other by the story.

Staying with trade, in a move that could well have significance for upcoming discussions, the US Senate unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act that would require the US State Department to assess each year whether Hong Kong has sufficiently “autonomous decision-making” to justify retaining its different tariff treatment compared to China. Last month the House of Representatives passed a modestly different version, so the two will now be reconciled in committee. President Trump has been silent on the bill. Both the Chinese and Hong Kong governments expressed disappointment over the legislation. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the US to take immediate measures to prevent the bill from becoming law, although it appears to have sufficient support to over-ride a Presidential veto.

Staying with trade themes, Bloomberg reported overnight that China’s antitrust regulator is closely monitoring US chipmaker Diodes Inc.’s proposed $428mn takeover of Taiwan’s Lite-On Semiconductor Corp, responding to complaints that a deal will deliver the Taiwanese company’s Shanghai-based affiliate On-Bright Electronics Inc. into US hands. Lite-On Semiconductor shares fell by their daily limit of 10% overnight.

Overnight Asian markets are trading lower as the passage of the Hong Kong bill casts a shadow over the US-China trade deal. The Nikkei (-0.66%), Hang Seng (-0.67%), Shanghai Comp (-0.39%) and Kospi (-1.15%) are all lower. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are -0.14% lower and yields on 10y USTs are down -3.5bps this morning. As for overnight data releases, Japan’s October adjusted trade balance came in at JPY -34.7bn (vs. JPY 248.1bn expected) as declines in exports (-9.2% yoy vs. -7.5% yoy expected) outpaced small declines in imports (-14.8% yoy vs. -15.2 yoy expected).

The main highlight today will be the FOMC minutes, which will likely signal that policy is on hold for now, barring a material reassessment in the outlook, per Chair Powell’s recent rhetoric. It’ll be interesting to see if the minutes shed any light on what exactly would qualify as a “material reassessment,” as well as details on how deep the internal disagreement over the rate cut was. Also any updates on the policy review, and any new thoughts on dealing with funding market disruptions will be looked for. Staying with the Fed, the New York Fed’s Williams spoke yesterday, and maintained his existing rhetoric, saying that “the current stance of monetary policy seems appropriate” for the economy’s current position. He also noted that the current system of ad hoc repo operations is a temporary solution to problems in funding markets, the need for which will hopefully be obviated by the Fed’s balance sheet expansion currently underway.

Turning to sovereign bonds, peripheral spreads widened yesterday, with Italian debt leading the sell-off. 10yr BTP yields were up +3.8bps, while Spanish (+1.4bps) and Portuguese (+2.3bps) yields also rose. Sovereign debt elsewhere advanced however, with 10yr Bunds -0.5bps and Treasuries -3.4bps to 1.781%. The 2s10s curve flattened for a 5th consecutive session, taking it -8.8bps lower over the last week (-3.3bps yesterday). Meanwhile in commodities, oil fell for a second successive day, with both WTI (-3.24%) and Brent Crude (-2.51%) losing ground, as expectations are for official data to show a large inventory build later today.

Here in the UK, with just over 3 weeks now until the general election, last night’s TV leader’s debate is unlikely to change anyone’s view of either candidate measurably. A YouGov poll people canvassed immediately after the event showed that Johnson edged it by a wafer thin 51%/49%. On balance given how far Corbyn’s personal ratings are below Johnson’s and how far Labour are behind in the polls, then such a split could be seen a small victory for the opposition. Sterling is trading down -0.13% this morning.

Indeed a poll out yesterday from Kantar put the Conservatives 18pts ahead of Labour, their biggest lead of the campaign so far in any opinion poll. The Tories were on 45% (up 8pts on the previous week), Labour on 27% (unchanged), while the Brexit Party collapsed to 2% (down 7pts). However, another poll from YouGov showed the Tories 12pts ahead of Labour, down from a 17pt lead on Friday, so it’s a slightly volatile picture even if the range of the lead continues to be in the 8-18 percentage point area.

We got some strong housing data out of the US yesterday, with building permits rising to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1461k in October (vs. 1385k expected), their highest level since May 2007. Looking within the data, all four US regions saw an increase in building permits, and the less-volatile single-family permits also rose to a post-crisis high of 909k. October’s housing starts were also up to 1314k (vs. 1320k expected).

To the day ahead now, and it’s fairly light on data, with October’s PPI release from Germany and CPI release from Canada, along with the weekly MBA mortgage applications from the US. From central banks, the FOMC’s October minutes and the ECB’s Financial Stability Review will be released, while we’ll hear from the ECB’s Lane and Irish central bank governor Makhlouf. Earnings out today include Lowe’s and Target, and in the US tonight there’s another Democratic primary debate.


Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 07:55
Published:11/20/2019 7:05:18 AM
[Markets] U.S. stock futures fall on worries over China trade talks U.S. stock futures fall on worries over China trade talks Published:11/20/2019 7:05:18 AM
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[Markets] "Shackled, Blindfolded and Hooded:" Ex-Hong Kong Consulate Worker Tortured By Chinese Agents "Shackled, Blindfolded and Hooded:" Ex-Hong Kong Consulate Worker Tortured By Chinese Agents

Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen who worked for the British Consulate-General Hong Kong, was arrested and tortured by Chinese agents for 15 days in August for his alleged involvement in supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, reported BBC News. Cheng told BBC he was "shackled, blindfolded, and hooded" and was beat into submission.

Chinese agents accused him of sparking political unrest in Hong Kong that has since led to the economic and social collapse of the city.

"They said I'm a state enemy and I'm a traitor, and also they asked whether the consulate instructed me to mingle with the protest", he told the BBC, adding that "They wanted to know what role the U.K. had in the Hong Kong protests – they asked what support, money, and equipment we were giving to the protesters.

"I told them I want to make it 100% clear, the U.K. didn't assign resources or help with the protests."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab released a statement that his office, the British Consulate-General Hong Kong, was "shocked and appalled by the mistreatment" Cheng experienced during the 15-day detainment, which he was tortured. "I have made clear we expect the Chinese authorities to investigate and hold those responsible to account," Raab said.

Hong Kong lawmakers have said Cheng's arrest is a prime example of the abuse of the legal system in China and why Hong Kongers have been protesting over the last five months to prevent the city from passing an extradition bill to China. 

"Beijing is throwing down further signs of disrespect for the rule of law and taking a vindictive attitude toward Hong Kong citizens, particularly those with links to foreign countries," Willy Lam, an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Centre for China Studies, who spoke with Bloomberg. "This might resonate very badly, poison the atmosphere and prevent a peaceful and rational solution to the confrontation between the protesters and the SAR government."

Cheng said secret agents identified him as the "mastermind behind the protests," which allegations he rejected; agents also threatened him with long-term jail time, causing him to consider suicide.

Raab said, "I summoned the Chinese Ambassador to express our outrage at the brutal and disgraceful treatment of Cheng, in violation of China's international obligations." 

Cheng told BBC that it's too dangerous for him and his fiancee to return to Hong Kong or mainland China. He fears for his safety and is seeking a new life in the UK.

Tyler Durden Wed, 11/20/2019 - 07:05
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