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Sudan closes its borders with Libya ‘to prevent arms trafficking’

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Sudan today announced that it closed its land borders with Libya, Chad and South Sudan to prevent arms smuggling. Vice President Hassabu Mohamed Abdalrahman said: “We have closed our land borders with Libya, Chad and South Sudan to prevent smuggling arms and four-wheel drive vehicles.” He gave no further details of the mechanism of implementation and duration of the closure. Sudan also has land borders with Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Central Africa. Hassabu revealed that “60,000 four-wheel drive vehicles were smuggled in to Sudan from Libya, Chad and South Sudan.” “The smuggled car owners committed crimes in other countries, such as murder, smuggling, money laundering and drug dealings. In addition, Interpol has recently sent requests to Sudan to register the […]

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API Reports Crude Inventory Build As Demand Falters

September 6, 2017 Julianne Geiger 0

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 2.791 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, compared to analyst expectations of a build of 4.022 million barrels for the week ending September 1. Gasoline inventories fell by 2.544 million barrels for the week ending September 1, against a larger expected draw of 5.0 million barrels. That US crude oil inventories would build in the wake of Hurricane Harvey was largely anticipated, with some saying as much as 40-60 million barrels could be added to inventory while shuttered…

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Senior Muslim Brotherhood members to judge: Our trial is politically motivated

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Muslim Brotherhood members spoke out against their unfair trials during the resumption of their trial in the case of the storming of the police station in Port Said today. Renowned cleric Safwat Hegazy told the court that he did not know what charges he was fasting, adding that he rejects the trial. He said he objected to the fact that he and the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme leader, Mohamed Badie, senior member Mohammed Beltagy had been placed in a separate enclosure in the court to the other defendants in the case. Read: HRW: Egypt’s torture epidemic ‘a crime against humanity’ The judge assured Hegazy that the court will provide guarantees to all the defendants as long as the law is in place. […]

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Egypt tops World Cup qualifying group

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Egypt striker Mohamed Salah’s early goal secured a 1-0 win over Uganda yesterday to take the north African side top of their World Cup qualifying group with two rounds remaining. Egypt, who have not reached a World Cup since 1990, lead Group E with nine points from four matches, two ahead of Uganda. Ghana have five points and remain in contention but bottom side Congo, with one point, have been eliminated. Only the top team in each group advances to the finals in Russia. Read: Syrians battling to achieve World Cup dream Liverpool forward Salah scrambled home a rebound in the sixth minute after his volley from Abdallah Said’s chip over the Uganda defence had been saved by goalkeeper Denis Onyango. […]

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Iraq to receive $270m loan from Japan

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Japanese embassy in Baghdad announced today that Tokyo will lend the Iraqi government $270 million to help it improve its financial position. “The amount is aimed at improving the dire financial conditions and reform the country’s finances by helping the Iraqi government in its current administrative and financial reforms,” ​​Japanese Ambassador to Baghdad Fumio Iwai told a press conference after signing the loan agreement with the Iraqi finance ministry in Baghdad. “The loan is part of Japan’s commitment to provide financial assistance to Iraq, amounting to $500 million, in accordance with its commitments made at the G7 meeting in May 2016,” he added. Baghdad has received several loans from Tokyo since the second half of last year, worth $233 […]

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Power to the people: Pakistan launches solar rickshaws

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Sib Kaifee
Thu, 2017-09-07 03:00
ID: 
1504729680495154600

ISLAMABAD: Electric cars, it is widely believed, are the future, and the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan agrees. So say goodbye to smoke-belching, ear-blasting motorcycle rickshaws and say hello to the Zar Motors Z5.
The new Chinese-made transport is powered solely by electricity. Seven hours plugged into a standard outlet provides enough power for about 120 kilometers. A two-hour rapid charge can deliver enough for just over 60km. Equipped with solar panels on its rooftop, the Z5 holds the charge, adding more kilometers to its range.
The new three-wheelers have room for a driver and three passengers. It has two headlights, a digital instrument cluster and cup holders, and comes with a stylish metallic paint job, setting it apart from its clunky gasoline-powered predecessors.
The new vehicles will save foreign exchange and gasoline, and be economically viable, said Malik Shah Mohammad Wazir, special assistant to the province’s chief minister.
Pakistan has sought alternatives to internal combustion engines before, and introduced low-cost compressed natural gas in the 1990s. But its availability dwindled and it nearly disappeared from the market, forcing people back to their obsolete gas guzzlers or used Japanese imported cars with better fuel efficiency.
With rising gasoline prices and limited mass transit, many urban Pakistanis have turned to private cab services. Banks have reduced finance interest rates on cars to attract customers, and construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor will enlarge the carbon footprint even more. By 2030, Pakistan is expected to emit more than 1.6 billion tons of carbon a year, up from 405 million tons at the moment. It has invested little time on the issue, and there is almost zero public awareness.
The country’s climate change minister Zahid Hamid says Pakistan is unlikely to be able to reduce its carbon footprint by the targeted 20 percent without receiving “up to $14 billion annually to adapt to climate change impacts.”
Meanwhile, despite Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s ambition, not everyone is impressed with their new electric vehicles.
“These rickshaws are really slow,” complained one passenger. “When you are riding it, even old bangers drive past you. You are like the turtle in a race.”
A mechanical engineer in Lahore explains why. “Looking at the specifications, first, the vehicle is too slow. Secondly, the electric-powered engine will not produce the sort of power required to carry around the load on some of the steep roads in the country. It is nice to see environmentally friendly vehicles, but we need work done too.”

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Duterte vows to jail policemen behind unlawful killings

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Ellie Aben
Thu, 2017-09-07 03:00
ID: 
1504729680525154900

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday vowed to pursue cases against policemen implicated in unlawful killings. He added that there was no order for the police to kill defenseless people.
Earlier in the day, Duterte met with Carlito and Eva Arnaiz, the parents of 19-year-old Carl Angelo, who police claim was gunned down when he tried to fight off officers after robbing a taxi driver on Aug. 17.
He had been missing for 10 days before his body was found at a morgue in Caloocan City. A forensics report from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) showed that the teenager was tortured before he was killed, contradicting the police statement.
During their meeting, Duterte gave assurances that the case would be thoroughly and impartially investigated. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and PAO chief Persida Acosta were also present.
Duterte said he has ordered Aguirre II to take over the investigation, and promised to pursue cases against the policemen implicated in the killing.
The president added that he is against extrajudicial killings, and those behind them will be jailed.
“We will protect soldiers and policemen… No doubt about it. But always, there has to be the element of the performance of duty. And (police) don’t kill defenseless persons,” he said.
“I will pursue cases against the police, and if need be they should go to jail. I didn’t give an order to kill children or the elderly, or even the enemy on bended knees. That’s not the norm or the rule of a democracy.”
Meanwhile, the body of 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, who was last seen with Carl Angelo, was found floating in a creek on Wednesday. He had “31 stab wounds,” said Gapan City police.
Several lawmakers have expressed outrage over de Guzman’s death. “The brutal stabbing… is a vile, gruesome and barbaric act,” said opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
“Reynaldo, at the tender age of 14, did nothing to deserve such a fate. To be stabbed 31 times is no accident. It’s the pure and simple murder of a child,” she added.
“I hope this removes any doubt, and settles with finality, any discussion of whether or not there’s a pattern and policy of killings under the Duterte government.”
Under Duterte’s war on drugs “there’s a policy to kill,” and “a pattern of killing young and poor people, particularly innocent minors,” Hontiveros said.
“I urge people to stand up and insist that the Duterte government end its abusive war on drugs, which created this culture of killing and impunity in our country.”
Senators Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe and Bam Aquino also condemned de Guzman’s death.

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UN probe: Syrian regime dropped sarin gas on Khan Sheikhoun

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Syrian regime used chemical weapons in more than 20 attacks, including the deadly attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib on 4 April, UN war crimes investigators said today. The report said “government forces continued the pattern of using chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas. In the gravest incident, the Syrian air force used sarin in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, killing dozens, the majority of whom were women and children,” describing the attack as a “war crime”. The investigators said they had documented a total of 33 chemical attacks so far, pointing out that the government forces carried out 27, seven of them between 1 March and 7 July. A confidential UN report published at the end of June confirmed […]

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Stocks Pop, Gold Drops After ‘Calmed’ Korea, Debt-Ceiling Delay, & Dismal Data

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Disappointing Data this morning was trump’d by some de-escalation with North Korea and a short-term debt-ceiling can-kicking – stocks rallied, bonds & bullion leaked lower, and the dollar was unable to get back into the green…

 

The biggest headlines of the day came out of DC (as usual) with Trump seeming to de-escalate his rhetoric with North Korea (prompting a drop in gold)…

 

And then Trump acquiescing to Democrats’ demands on the debt-ceiling, sending gold lower and crushing October bill yields…

 

However, it merely kicked the can from October bills…

to December bills…

 

Some context for today’s bounce however…

 

Equity markets got a boost from the news…but was unable to recover yesterday’s losses… (NOTE – stocks were weak into the close)

 

Two decent short squeeze efforts today to ignite some momo…

 

VIX was clubbed like a baby seal once again as all risks were removed from markets…

 

Vols across all major indices fell today but remain higher from Friday…

 

FANG Stocks were panic bid today – erasing all of yesterday’s losses…

 

Bonds and Stocks remain completely decoupled…

 

Treasury yields rose on the day, after the debt-ceiling deal was agreed, but in context, bonds remain lower in yield on the week…

 

With 10Y Yield hovering at 2.10%…

 

 

The Dollar Index closed lower on the day, hit by weak ISM data…

 

The Loonie soared today after BOC unexpectedly hiked rates…

 

 

WTI Crude rallied back above $49 – one month highs – as RBOB Gasoline slipped lower amid refinery restarts (ahead of tonight’s API inventory data)

 

Gold and Silver dropped today…barely…

 

Lot of chatter about OJ Futures today but we note that the front-month Nov contract tumbled over 3% – but remains well above last week’s levels…

 

Finally, Bitcoin bounced back impressively after China’s ICO ban…

 

Bonus Chart… You are here…

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Turkish exports to Qatar up 84% since Arab rift

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The value of Turkish exports to Qatar has increased by 84 per cent during the last three months compared to the same period last year, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported. The agency reported data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) saying the value of Turkish exports to Qatar reached $165 million. The value of Turkish exports to Qatar increased in August by 75 per cent compared to the same period last year to reach $65 million. Read: A prolonged crisis and growing losses A majority of Turkey’s exports to Qatar included marine and animal products to the value of $8.6 million while exports in the electrical and electronic services sector reached $8 million. The head of Turkey’s Federation of Fisheries Exporters, Sinan […]

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