Expect <b>Crude Oil</b> to trade Sideways: Sushil Finance

According to Sushil Finance, expect crude oil prices to trade sideways on the … Oil prices settled nearly flat on Thursday, the eve of a meeting of major …The post Expect <b>Crude Oil</b> to trade Sideways: Sushil Finance appeared …

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Complete Preview Of Theresa May’s “Florence” Brexit Speech

On Friday – a day many have called  “the most important day for Brexit since the referendum” – Theresa May will delivers her much anticipated Brexit speech in Florence. The roughly 5000-word speech is scheduled at begin around 09:15 EDT and is expected to provoke an immediate response from Brussels.

Among the flurry of last minute preparations, earlier this week, the Telegraph reported that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will resign if May veers toward a “Swiss-style” EU arrangement in her speech (more here). Earlier today, BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg reported that May’s Friday speech will say the UK willing to pay €20BN during transition period “BUT only if we have access to single market + some form of customs union.” As RanSquawk added, the €20BN does not cover long term liabilities, so the eventual total departure bill to taxpayers will potentially be far higher.

Taking a step back, here is a bigger picture preview of what is known – and unknown – about tomorrow’s speech courtesy of RanSquawk

What will May Say?

Few specific details are available on what UK Prime Minister Theresa May will cover in her speech, to be delivered from Florence, Italy, on 22 September. However, it is expected that the material will be significant given that the UK delayed the fourth round of Brexit talks (which were set to take place in the week of 25 September). A spokesperson for May has been quoted as saying that the speech would outline the UK’s hopes for a “deep and special partnership” with the EU following Brexit. May was said to have discussed the particulars with her Cabinet on Thursday 21 September. At the time of publication, no firm details have been leaked, although a BBC reporter was told that May will seek a transitional agreement, with a time frame of two years being touted.

“In the wake of slow progress on Brexit negotiations, the United Kingdom may be preparing to adjust its approach,” analysts at Stratfor write. “Brexit negotiations have achieved limited progress so far, and the EU side has warned that talks are still far from the ‘sufficient progress’ necessary to move to their second phase, which is meant to address the future bilateral relationship” which the UK was eager to begin in October.

One theory that is gaining traction, therefore, is that the UK will offer some concessions to the EU which will help move the discussions on.

Tensions Within May’s Cabinet

The secrecy surrounding her speech was causing tension in May’s Cabinet. Reports in the Telegraph newspaper suggested that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson would tender his resignation if May pivoted towards a ‘Swiss-style’ arrangement. The news drove sterling higher, with traders seemingly taking comfort from the idea that some of the more extreme, ‘hard’ voices around May would leave the Cabinet, allowing her to pursue a ‘softer’, more amenable deal.

However, the story was denied and it has been subsequently reported that May made moves to appease Johnson; the Telegraph reported “the Cabinet truce over Britain’s future payments to the EU involves paying substantial sums to the bloc, but no further payments after Britain’s transition period.”

The FT later wrote that PM May believes the UK can achieve a “bespoke” final deal with the EU, and May reportedly said neither a Canadian-style nor a Norway-style deal for single market was appropriate for the UK.

Divorce Bill

The Financial Times this week reported that the UK was set to make an “offer to fill a post-Brexit EU budget hole of at least €20bn” in an attempt to settle its so-called “diovrce bill.” The FT adds “UK officials have indicated Britain would ensure no member state would have to pay more into the EU budget or receive less money from it until 2020, the end of EU’s current long-term budget planning period. The expected hole in those two years after Brexit would be at least €20bn when payments the UK receives back from Brussels are excluded.

“A figure of €20bn is pretty close to estimates for what the UK’s net contribution to the EU budget would have been under the status quo ‘Remain’ scenario,” say analysts at RBC Capital, “however, it is unlikely that monies relating to the current EU budget period will be the end of the financial settlement negotiation between the UK and the EU.” Later reports, which followed Ma’s Cabinet meeting, suggested any financial settlement – which May would not directly address in her speech – would be contingent on single market access.

It is unclear how the EU might respond, given earlier demands from some suggesting a figure of as much as €60bln may be needed.

“On the EU side, any response next week which hints progress is sufficient to move towards discussing the future UK-EU trade deal before year end should be supportive of a view that the two-year Article 50 process isn’t too far off-track,” RBC says.

Transitional Period

May is also expected to acknowledge the need for a transitional period to avoid a ‘Brexit cliff’, where the UK would continue to abide by EU rules in some areas, while phasing out a withdrawal in other areas. “While the British government seemed to be aiming for a two-year transition, we have been told May prefers a longer hiatus of three years, which would give her enough time to prepare for elections, to be held on their scheduled date, in 2022,” analysts at SGH Macro argue.

* * *

Want more? Here is another preview, this time from Barclays?

Media speculation is mounting over the content of UK PM May’s Brexit Speech in Florence tomorrow. This is the first big Brexit-specific speech by the PM following the General Election. It is designed to outline the basis for negotiations at the fourth round of EU-UK negotiations in Brussels next week. Following that, the UK Conservative Party Conference will take place on 1-4 October, where PM May will need to satisfy her own party members with regards to the tone set over Brexit. Hence, the challenge for the PM in her speech will be to appear constructive to her EU partners, so as to advance the negotiation process, while at the same time not angering those within her own party, who may prefer a less accommodative course vis-a-vis the EU in the negotiations.

May is expected to outline three key issues – The transition, the EU withdrawal bill, and the future relationship.

  • Transition – Highlights were provided by Chancellor Hammond last week. He insisted that the UK will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union in March 2019. The UK will seek to maintain the status quo of trade and access. A two-year transition period is seen as most likely to stop cabinet in-fighting.
  • EU Withdrawal bill – PM May is likely to commit to the UK paying what is deemed reasonable during a transition period. Her traditional style has been vague and there is a chance she may continue with this approach, and stop short of stating an actual figure that could leave herself open to attack during the upcoming Tory Party conference. However, press speculation is mounting of a £20bn figure as a starting point for negotiations, conditional upon access to the single market and some form of Customs Union (source: BBC). We expect an eventual figure in the region of £40-50bn may be negotiable. The reaction to this from Brussels and the UK media will be important for PM May going into the Tory Party conference.
  • Future relationship – Hammond gave some colour last week, focusing on financial services, and recognised concerns about the UK potentially deviating from high EU regulatory standards. We expect PM May to reiterate the importance of regulatory homogeneity in the short run. May is likely to try to insist on the need for the UK to negotiate trade deals, even if legally, this cannot begin until the second phase of negotiations.
  • Reaction following the speech: The key to watch here would be the reaction from EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, as well as the UK press. The speech lays the foundations for the EU-UK negotiations next week, and EU officials have voiced increasing frustration over delays, bearing in mind that the principles for the first phase of negotiations, covering  guarantees, commitments on citizens rights, are due to be agreed between October to December before it is possible to move on to trade issues in Phase 2.

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One Simple Chart Proves That Facebook Thinks You’re A Moron

Last week we jokingly wrote about a Facebook press release that was apparently an honest effort by the social media giant intended to summarize Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 election using their social media platform. That said, at least to us,…

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Mexico shocked by news: Girl trapped in rubble didn’t exist

Fri, 2017-09-22 08:00

MEXICO CITY: Hour after excruciating hour, Mexicans were transfixed by dramatic efforts to reach a young girl thought buried in the rubble of a school destroyed by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. She reportedly wiggled her fingers, told rescuers her name and said there were others trapped near her. Rescue workers called for tubes, pipes and other tools to reach her.
News media, officials and volunteer rescuers all repeated the story of “Frida Sofia” with a sense of urgency that made it a national drama, drawing attention away from other rescue efforts across the quake-stricken city and leaving people in Mexico and abroad glued to their television sets.
But she never existed, Mexican navy officials now say.
“We want to emphasize that we have no knowledge about the report that emerged with the name of a girl,” navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said Thursday. “We never had any knowledge about that report, and we do not believe — we are sure — it was not a reality.”
Sarmiento said a camera lowered into the rubble of the Enrique Rebsamen school showed blood tracks where an injured person apparently dragged himself or herself, and the only person it could be — the only one still listed as missing — was a school employee. But it was just blood tracks — no fingers wiggling, no voice, no name. Several dead people have been removed from the rubble, and it could have been their fingers rescuers thought they saw move.
Twitter users quickly brought out the “Fake News” tag and complained that the widespread coverage had distracted attention from real rescue efforts where victims have been pulled victims from the rubble — something that hasn’t happened at the school in at least a day.
Viewers across the country hung on the round-the-clock coverage of the drama Wednesday from the only network that was permitted to enter. The military, which ran the rescue operation, spoke directly only to the network’s reporters inside the site.
The Associated Press and others reported about the search for the girl, based on interviews with rescue workers leaving the scene who believed it was true. The workers had been toiling through the night, and the change of rescuing the girl appeared to give them hope and purpose despite their exhaustion.
Reports about the trapped girl led to the donations of cranes, support beams and power tools at the school site — pleas for help quickly met based on the urgency of rescuing children. It was unclear if that affected other rescue operations going on simultaneously at a half dozen other sites across the city.
Despite all the technology brought to bear at the school, including thermal imaging devices, sensors, scanners and remote cameras, the mistake may have come down to a few over-enthusiastic rescuers who, one-by one, crawled into the bottom of shafts tunneled into the rubble looking for any signs of life.
“I don’t think there was bad faith involved,” security analyst Alejandro Hope said. “You want to believe there are children still alive down there.”
Rescuers interviewed by the AP late Wednesday at a barricade that blocked most journalists from reaching the site believed the story of the girl implicitly. Operating on little sleep and relying on donated food and tools, rescuers were emotionally wedded to the story, and the adrenaline it provided may have been the only thing keeping them going.
Rescue worker Raul Rodrigo Hernandez Ayala came out from the site Wednesday night and said that “the girl is alive, she has vital signs,” and that five more children had been located alive. “There is a basement where they found children.”
Despite the setback — and the diminishing hopes that anyone was left under the rubble — rescuers appeared unwilling to question the effort.
“It was a confusion,” said Alfredo Padilla, a volunteer rescuer at the school. “The important thing is there are signs of life and we are working on that.”
In retrospect, the story of “Frida Sofia,” had some suspicious points from the start.
Officials couldn’t locate any relatives of the missing girl, and no girl with that name attended the school. Rescuers said they were still separated from her by yards of rubble, but could somehow still hear her.
It could have political repercussions: Education Secretary Aurelio Nuno, often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, had repeated the story about the girl.
Hope noted “something similar happened in 1985,” referring to the magnitude 8.0 quake that killed 9,500 people.
Media quickly reported that a 9-year-old boy had been located in the rubble days after the Sept. 19 quake 32 years ago. Rescuers mobilized in a huge effort to find the boy, but he apparently never existed.
“That generated anger against those who had spread the story,” Hope said.

Main category: 

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Pakistan tells UN won’t be ‘scapegoat’ in Afghan war

Shaun Tandon | AFP
Fri, 2017-09-22 04:44

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan refuses to be a “scapegoat” for Afghanistan’s bloodshed or to fight wars for others, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the United Nations on Thursday.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Abbasi did not explicitly criticize US President Donald Trump’s new strategy on Afghanistan but made clear his displeasure with the renewed onus on Pakistan.
“Having suffered and sacrificed so much due to our role in the global counter terrorism campaign, it is especially galling for Pakistan to be blamed for the military or political stalemate in Afghanistan,” Abbasi said.
“We are not prepared to be anyone’s scapegoat,” he said.
“What Pakistan is not prepared to do is to fight the Afghan war on Pakistan’s soil. Nor can we endorse any failed strategy that will prolong and intensify the suffering of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan and other regional countries,” he said.
Abbasi said that 27,000 Pakistanis have been killed by extremists since the launch of the US war on terror after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
He called for a priority on eliminating extremists, including from the Daesh group and Al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan but ultimately a political solution with the Taliban.
US and Afghan officials have long accused Pakistan of playing a double game, with the powerful intelligence services — not the civilian government — maintaining ties with extremists.
US forces tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 in Abbottabad, a popular resort for Pakistan’s military elite.
Trump, unveiling a new strategy last month, pledged to take a tougher line on Pakistan — making public what had long been more private US frustrations.
Trump has sent thousands more US troops into Afghanistan in a bid to defeat the Taliban, reversing his previous calls to end America’s longest-ever war.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in his own speech to the United Nations appealed to Pakistan for dialogue, saying that the neighbors can work together to eliminate extremism.
Analysts say that Islamabad’s role in Afghanistan is rooted in the security elite’s fixation on historic rival India, which has warm ties with the post-Taliban government in Afghanistan.
Abbasi, who took office last month after his predecessor Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from office over a corruption scandal, used his UN address to renew Pakistan’s condemnation of India’s rule in Kashmir, the Himalayan territory divided between the two nuclear powers.
Accusing India of “massive and indiscriminate force” in Kashmir, Abbasi urged an international investigation and warned of escalation on their military frontier, the Line of Control.
“Pakistan has acted with restraint. But if India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of limited war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response,” he said.
He was referring to an Indian strategic doctrine, rarely discussed openly, of a limited military response on Pakistan that is intended to stop short of triggering a nuclear reprisal.
India accuses Islamabad of training, arming and infiltrating militants into Kashmir. India considered but ultimately decided not to strike Pakistan after a bloody 2008 assault on Mumbai, which was planned by Pakistan-based extremists.

Main category: 
Afghan leader urges talks with Pakistan
‘No deal’ on doctor jailed for leading US to Osama bin Laden
Afghanistan arms civilians to protect mosques during holy month

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N.Korea’s Kim says will make “deranged” Trump pay dearly for UN speech

Christine Kim and Steve Holland | Reuters
Fri, 2017-09-22 04:48

SEOUL/NEW YORK: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un blasted US President Donald Trump as “mentally deranged” on Friday and vowed to make him pay dearly for threatening to destroy his country, hours after Trump ordered fresh sanctions over Pyongyang’s weapons programs.
Tensions have risen as North Korea has resisted intense international pressure to halt its nuclear and missile programs, with Trump and Kim exchanging ever-more threatening rhetoric.
The US president said in his first address to the United Nations on Tuesday he would “totally destroy” the country of 26 million people if the North threatened the United States and its allies, and called Kim a “rocket man” on a suicide mission.
Kim said the North would consider the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” against the United States and that Trump’s comments had confirmed his nuclear program was “the correct path.”
Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.
Kim said Trump would face “results beyond his expectation,” without specifying what action North Korea would take next.
“I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire,” Kim said in the rare direct statement carried by the KCNA state news agency, referring to Trump.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho was asked what Kim might do and said Pyongyang could consider a hydrogen bomb test on the Pacific Ocean of an unprecedented scale, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
Ri, who was talking to reporters in New York, however said he did not know Kim’s exact thoughts, according to the report.
The escalating rhetoric came even as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for statesmanship to avoid “sleepwalking” into a war.
South Korea, Russia and China all urged calm.
However, the rhetoric was starting to rattle some in the international community. French Sports Minister Laura Flessel said France’s team would not travel to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea if its security cannot be guaranteed.
The 2018 Games are to be staged in Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, the world’s most heavily armed border.

More sanctions
In his sanctions announcement on Thursday, Trump stopped short of going after Pyongyang’s biggest trading partner, China, praising as “tremendous” a move by its central bank ordering Chinese banks to stop doing business with North Korea.
The additional sanctions on Pyongyang, including on its shipping and trade networks, showed that Trump was giving more time for economic pressures to weigh on North Korea after warning about the possibility of military action on Tuesday.
Asked ahead of a lunch meeting with the leaders of Japan and South Korea if diplomacy was still possible, Trump nodded and said: “Why not?“
Trump said the new executive order on sanctions gives further authorities to target individual companies and institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea.
It “will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind,” Trump said.
The US Treasury Department now had authority to target those that conduct “significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea.”
Trump did not mention Pyongyang’s oil trade.
The White House said North Korea’s energy, medical, mining, textiles, and transportation industries were among those targeted and that the US Treasury could sanction anyone who owns, controls or operates a port of entry in North Korea.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said banks doing business in North Korea would not be allowed to also operate in the United States.
“Foreign financial institutions are now on notice that going forward they can choose to do business with the United States or with North Korea, but not both,” Mnuchin said.
The UN Security Council has unanimously imposed nine rounds of sanctions on North Korea since 2006, the latest this month capping fuel supplies to the isolated state.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said there were “some indications” that sanctions were beginning to cause fuel shortages in North Korea.
Trump’s UN address was the most direct military threat to attack North Korea and his latest expression of concern about Pyongyang’s repeated launching of missiles over Japan and underground nuclear tests.
European Union ambassadors reached initial agreement to impose more sanctions on North Korea, going beyond the latest UN measures, officials and diplomats said.

“Dangerous direction“
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who met Trump on Thursday and addressed the UN General Assembly, said sanctions were needed to bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table, but Seoul was not seeking North Korea’s collapse.
“All of our endeavours are to prevent war from breaking out and maintain peace,” Moon said in his speech. He warned the nuclear issue had to be managed stably so that “accidental military clashes will not destroy peace.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged North Korea not to go further in a “dangerous direction” with its nuclear program.
“There is still hope for peace and we must not give up. Negotiation is the only way out … Parties should meet each other half way, by addressing each other’s legitimate concerns,” Wang said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear “adventures” but warned “military hysteria is not just an impasse, it’s a disaster.”
The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.
The North accuses the United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, of planning to invade and regularly threatens to destroy it and its Asian allies.

Main category: 
Trump orders new sanctions to tighten screws on North Korea nuclear program
Trump’s North Korea threats leave Asia struggling to explain
North Korea’s Kim puts army on alert; US warns it can intercept missile

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Study shows student debt delays home buying by seven years

By Mike “Mish” Shedlock The Student Loan Debt and Housing Report 2017 by the National Association of Realtors and the nonprofit group American Student Assistance shows the obvious: Student debt delays household formation, home buyi…

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GIVEAWAY Win a Bitcoin T-Shirt + Mug + Poster *Exclusive to Bitcointalk members

I would like to organize a giveaway exclusive for Bitcointalk forum members. I am giving away (free of charge) : 1 X Bitcoin T-Shirt; 1 X Bitcoin Mug; 1 X …The post GIVEAWAY Win a Bitcoin T-Shirt + Mug + Poster *Exclusive to Bitcointalk members …

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