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Discover Al-Sereen, the pre-Islamic port of Makkah

November 2, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Wed, 2017-11-01 22:04
ID: 
1509586122325745600

AL-LITH: The secret history of Al-Sereen, one of the most important ports of Makkah from the 3rd to the 8th century AH, has been revealed by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
“Al-Sereen” refers to two valleys, Al-Arj and Elleib, which are the most famous valleys of Makkah, and the area is fertile agricultural land. But it contains many archaeological treasures about historical periods dating back to the pre-Islamic era.
The site of the city is 245km south of Makkah. It represents the nearest meeting-point for important administrative regions in the Kingdom: Makkah, Baha and Asir.
Ali Al-Ghubban, vice president of the SCTH and supervisor of the Program of Caring for the Kingdom’s Cultural Heritage, explained that the site of Al-Sereen is characterized by many fractured “celadon,” a kind of porcelain that was imported from China 1,000 years ago.
A team from the Chinese Antiquities Department visited the area, he said, and were “impressed by the nature of the site and the archaeological formations available in it. They are enthusiastic to begin the implementation of a survey and field exploration.”

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Nickel Price Surging As Hype Escalates During LME Week

November 2, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

It’s LME Week and there’s cause for celebration in metal markets. European mining stocks rose to a 4-year high as the nickel price surged more than 5% intraday to a two-year high and rose by the daily limit in Shanghai trading today. Metals used in electronic vehicles, like lithium, cobalt, copper and nickel, are hot right now and a focal point of discussion at the LME gatherings. As Metal Bulletin noted, the 2017 event has seen record attendance.

The annual LME Dinner week kicked off in a positive note, with record numbers gathering for the exchange’s keynote metals seminar on Monday October 30. “We have over 900 people over the day here…which is a record attendance,” London Metal Exchange chief executive officer (CEO) Matthew Chamberlain said.

Despite relatively high inventories, big miners and metal traders are becoming increasingly bullish on nickel’s prospects. According to Bloomberg

Glencore Plc and Trafigura Group Pte are often at loggerheads, but one thing they agree on: the nickel market will be transformed by the rise of electric cars. Nickel sulphate, a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries, will see demand increase 50 percent to 3 million metric tons by 2030, Saad Rahim, chief economist at Trafigura, said in an interview. While other battery metals like cobalt and lithium have more than doubled since the start of last year, nickel prices have been subdued because of large inventories.

“When you look structurally, we should start to get bullish now,” Rahim said.

 

“Are you going to be able to meet that demand when the time comes, given underinvestment in the supply side?”

Glencore, which was devastated by the downturn in nickel, is also optimistic, as are some of the analysts, as Bloomberg notes…

(Glencore) told analysts recently that nickel production would need to increase 1.2 million tons by 2030, equal to more than half of current global output, to keep up with demand from the battery industry. Prices are currently more than double what it costs Glencore to mine the metal. It’s a surprising mood change for a market with a disastrous reputation. Nickel was long a thorn for Glencore, which was saddled with unprofitable operations following its takeover of Xstrata. It sold an Australian nickel mine, which Xstrata bought in 2007 for $2.4 billion, for just $19 million in 2015.

 

“The nickel industry’s been a bit of a dog since about 2007,” Oliver Ramsbottom, a partner at McKinsey & Co. in Tokyo, said by phone.

 

The battery industry could revive the fortunes of miners more than a decade after nickel collapsed from a peak of $51,600 a ton in 2007

Despite the hype, Bloomberg cautions that there are still naysayers highlighting elevated inventories and the potential for supply to ramp-up faster than currently expected.

Still, some analysts are skeptical that the bullish scenarios will play out. Electric cars are still a niche industry and nickel oversupply remains a threat, with current stockpiles four times bigger than since the start of 2012.

 

Indonesia has authorized its largest producer to export more nickel ore. The Philippines has also discussed ending a ban on open-pit mining, raising concerns that supply will spike.

 

“For years, the market has completely dismissed the idea that something positive could happen in nickel,” Ingrid Sternby, senior research analyst at Blenheim Capital Management LLP, said in an interview in London. “With the recent announcements about Indonesia and the Philippines, it’s easy to see why the market is still scary enough for people not to want to be involved…

 

“You can see the tightness ahead in the nickel market, but my concern is that we’re going to see a lot of value destroyed along the way,” said Colin Hamilton, managing director for commodities research at BMO Capital Markets Ltd.

 

“If the miners really believe in the EV growth story, the thing to do would be to keep the nickel in the ground until the deficit arrives.”

When assessing the prospects for nickel, it is really two separate markets, nickel alloyed with iron and nickel sulphate used in batteries. Bloomberg expects the latter to progressively trade at a premium to the former.

About half of global nickel production is in the form of ferronickel or nickel pig iron, which is nickel alloyed with iron, making it suitable for stainless steel. Battery makers, instead, use nickel sulphate, produced by dissolving pure nickel metal in sulphuric acid. One hope is that the pricing of nickel pig iron and the high-grade nickel sulphate will diverge in the coming years, improving the fortunes of miners that can produce battery-quality material.

 

The global nickel market is heading for a deficit once above-ground stockpiles of battery-grade metal are consumed, according to Wood Mackenzie. The question for miners is how quickly the premium for top-quality nickel will emerge.

The nickel alloy versus nickel sulphate certainly adds complexity to analysing nickel. However, while the fundamentals for the latter seem very positive, it makes us slightly nervous when record numbers of participants gather at industry jamborees.

Still, politicians and automakers are increasingly counting on a future of electric cars, attracting traders such as Trafigura.

“Will we see a real breakout in next 12 months? That’s hard to see, but beyond that, structurally this looks to be going up,” Rahim said.

 

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis – BTC/USD Wants a Piece of $7000?

November 2, 2017 BitNewz.net 0

Key Points Bitcoin price continued to move higher and traded above the $6500 level against the US Dollar. Yesterday’s highlighted ascending channel with resistance at $6522 was broken on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from SimpleFX). A new all-time high was formed at $6909 from where the pair started a correction. … Continue reading Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis – BTC/USD Wants a Piece of $7000?

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis – BTC/USD Wants a Piece of $7000?

November 2, 2017 Aayush Jindal 0

Key Points Bitcoin price continued to move higher and traded above the $6500 level against the US Dollar. Yesterday’s highlighted ascending channel with resistance at $6522 was broken on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from SimpleFX). A new all-time high was formed at $6909 from where the pair started a correction. … Continue reading Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis – BTC/USD Wants a Piece of $7000?

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China To Send People Who Mock The Country’s National Anthem To Prison

November 2, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by James Holbrooks via TheAntiMedia.org,

In an effort to “uphold the respect of the people” for the country’s national anthem and “regulate their behavior while singing or playing” it, as the China Daily writes, China’s government is considering stiffening the penalty for mocking the tune. From the state-run outlet on Tuesday:

“People who disrespect China’s national anthem could face up to three years in prison if a draft amendment to the Criminal Law is approved.

 

“Besides a prison sentence, those found guilty could also be put under surveillance or deprived of their political rights, according to the draft, which was submitted on Tuesday to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the top legislature, for its first reading.”

The National Anthem Law, which was passed by the Standing Committee back in September and went into effect in early October, lays out for Chinese citizens the situations where playing the song, “The March of the Volunteers,” is appropriate.

Some of the situations stated in an October 2 article from China’s Xinhua News Agency are “constitutional oath ceremonies, flag raising ceremonies, major celebrations, awards ceremonies, commemorations, national memorial day events, important diplomatic occasions, major sport events and other suitable occasions.”

The same article says citizens found guilty of mocking the song, including those who “maliciously modify the lyrics [or] play or sing the national anthem in a distorted or disrespectful way,” could be detained for up to 15 days.

Now, however, it seems the Chinese government feels this punishment isn’t severe enough. In addition to the possible three years behind bars, “those found guilty could also be put under surveillance or deprived of their political rights.”

What’s more, the law will apply to the semi-autonomous Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, though the manner in which the penalties would be implemented in these regions remains unclear.

This is significant because, as Anti-Media has reported, there is currently a growing independence movement in Hong Kong, and the local government increasingly bristles at Beijing telling it how to handle its affairs.

In fact, Hong Kong’s defiant streak, as it relates to China’s national anthem, got the territory in a bit of trouble this week, as Reuters reported:

“The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) was warned by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Tuesday over the conduct of fans who booed the Chinese national anthem last month.

 

“A small section of supporters jeered during the playing of ‘The March of the Volunteers’ and turned their backs on the Chinese flag ahead of a 2-0 win for the former British colony over Malaysia at Hong Kong Stadium in qualifying for the Asian Cup finals.”

Incidentally, these new, harsher penalties would also apply to citizens disrespecting the Chinese flag. For the central government in Beijing, it all goes back to the “One China” ideology, which purports that all of China, even semi-autonomous regions like Hong Kong, is subject to the mainland’s rule.

Zhang Rongshun, deputy director of the Standing Committee’s legislative affairs commission, says it’s about stopping a problem before it gets out of control:

“In recent years, incidents of disrespecting the national anthem have occurred in Hong Kong, challenging the bottom line of the principle of ‘one country two systems’ and social morality, and triggering rage among Chinese, including most Hong Kong residents. It is urgent and important to apply the national anthem law in Hong Kong to prevent and handle such offences.”

Amnesty International China researcher William Nee told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday that Beijing attempting to force semi-autonomous regions to adopt these harsh penalties “would clearly be out of step with international law.”

“Besides being incompatible with the right to freedom of expression to begin with,” he said“extending the law to Hong Kong and Macau is also especially worrying. It could be the first step in chipping away at internationally recognised human rights, using mainland China’s nearly limitless and vague concept of national security.”

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