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Iraq’s Solution To Lower For Longer Oil Prices

August 31, 2017 Tsvetana Paraskova 0

OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, Iraq, has never hidden the fact that it wants to get the highest possible revenues from its oil. It even pleaded exemption from the cartel’s cuts in the talks leading to the production reduction deal, on the grounds that it needed more funds to fight ISIS. Iraq didn’t get that exemption, but it is now considering a change in the way it prices its oil exports to the most prized market for the Middle Eastern producers—Asia—in an effort to increase its oil revenues. Iraq’s state…

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Are Libyan Oil Production Gains History?

August 31, 2017 Cyril Widdershoven 0

In addition to the negative repercussions of hurricane Harvey, which heavily impacted the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production and petrochemical plants, global oil markets are facing disruptions from the Middle East. The market has not been focusing on geopolitical security issues lately, but over the coming months geopolitics is sure to become an increasingly important factor. Political instability and civil wars, particularly those involving OPEC member states, are far from reaching a conclusion. The market’s optimism about the heavily…

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Pilgrims throng Mount Arafat for peak of Hajj

August 31, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Fri, 2017-09-01 02:04
ID: 
1504206025086599600

MOUNT ARAFAT: Over two million pilgrims, from all corners of the world, converged on the plains of Arafat on Thursday to perform the most important ritual of Hajj — Wuqoof Al-Arafah.
Chanting “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik” (Here I am O Lord, answering your call), pilgrims sought blessings and mercy from God Almighty.
Standing at Mount Arafat in prayer before sunset on 9th Dul Hijjah is the high point of Hajj.
With temperatures pushing 40 degrees Celsius under the desert sun, the faithful climbed the hill east of Makkah where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave his last sermon some 14 centuries ago.
They gathered in prayer on Jabal Al-Rahma, or Mount of Mercy, for the second day of the Hajj — a five-day pilgrimage which all Muslims must perform at least once in their lifetime if physically and financially able.
Nada and Fida, two sisters from Syria, said they had dedicated their prayers to their home country, where more than 330,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since its civil war broke out in 2011.
“I want Syria to go back to the way it was before,” said Nada, 52.
“And for our youth to come back home,” added her 47-year-old sister.
At sunset, a sea of pilgrims clad in white made their way down the hill and headed to Muzdalifa to spend the night.
On Friday, they will move on to Mina before sunrise for the Hajj ritual of the symbolic “Stoning of the Devil.”
“I came up here last night and prayed, took pictures and called my family and friends,” said Maolana Yahia, 32, who made the trip from Indonesia.
Tunisian mother-of-three Fatima Arfawi said she was moved beyond words during the prayers on Mount Arafat.
“This is the first time I see anything like this, ever,” she said. “This day is dedicated to prayer for my three children and my family.”
In a hospital opposite the mountain, an area was set aside for people suffering dehydration or heat exhaustion.
Saudi Arabia’s Red Crescent said it had deployed 326 ambulances along the pilgrimage route to handle health emergencies.
“Some pilgrims, for example, forget to protect their heads with an umbrella when they pray,” said Bandar Al-Harthi, a nurse at a hospital facing Mount Arafat.
On Friday, the first day of the Eid Al-Adha holiday, all eyes will be on the Jamarat Bridge in Mina, where the stoning ritual is held.
Saudi Arabia says it has deployed more than 100,000 security personnel to keep pilgrims safe.
At the foot of Mount Arafat, mobile barriers had been installed to control the movement of the crowds.
Seated near the barriers, eight young women from Ghana who are all related took a brief respite after making their way from Mina.
Aged between 18 and 30, for some of them it was their first time away from home.
“This is the first time I leave Ghana,” said 25-year-old Khadija. “My husband let me come alone because it is Makkah.”

(With AFP)

Main category: 
related_nodes: 
Over 2m flock to Mina as Hajj begins
Humanity in the heart of Saudi holy sites during Hajj
This Hajj season, teach your kids about charity

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New Evidence Reveals Comey Drafted Statement Exonerating Hillary Before Key Witness Interviews

August 31, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

A new letter from Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham reveal testimony from new witnesses suggesting that former FBI Director James Comey had already started drafting documentation exonerating Hillary Clinton long before interviewing key witnesses, including Hillary herself. 

According to the letter, which is based on testimony from James Rybicki, Comey’s Chief of Staff, and Trisha Anderson, the Principal Deputy General Counsel of National Security and Cyberlaw, Comey began drafting a statement to announce the conclusion of the Hillary investigation in April or May 2016, well before he had interviewed up to 17 key witnesses. 

Meanwhile, as if that weren’t bad enough, the Comey statement was also drafted before immunity deals were struck with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson who seemingly ran point, along with Platte River Networks, to destroy Hillary’s emails after a Congressional subpoena had been issued mandating their preservation.

Here is a summary from the Grassley/Graham letter:

Transcripts reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveal that former FBI Director James Comey began drafting an exoneration statement in the Clinton email investigation before the FBI had interviewed key witnesses.  Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, requested all records relating to the drafting of the statement as the committee continues to review the circumstances surrounding Comey’s removal from the Bureau.

 

“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation.  The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy,” the senators wrote in a letter today to the FBI.

 

Last fall, following allegations from Democrats in Congress, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) began investigating whether Comey’s actions in the Clinton email investigation violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using their official position to influence an election.  In the course of that investigation, OSC interviewed two FBI officials close to Comey: James Rybicki, Comey’s Chief of Staff, and Trisha Anderson, the Principal Deputy General Counsel of National Security and Cyberlaw.  OSC provided transcripts of those interviews at Grassley’s request after it closed the investigation due to Comey’s termination.

 

Both transcripts are heavily redacted without explanation. However, they indicate that Comey began drafting a statement to announce the conclusion of the Clinton email investigation in April or May of 2016, before the FBI interviewed up to 17 key witnesses including former Secretary Clinton and several of her closest aides.  The draft statement also came before the Department entered into immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson where the Department agreed to a very limited review of Secretary Clinton’s emails and to destroy their laptops after review.

Comey

And here is a key excerpt from Ms. Anderson’s testimony:

Q:  So moving along to the first public statement on the case or Director Comey’s first statement the July 5, 2016 statement.  When did you first learn that Director Comey was planning to make some kind of public statement about the outcome of the Clinton email investigation?

 

A:  The idea, I’m not entirely sure exactly when the idea of the public statement um first emerged.  Um it was, I just, I can’t put a precise timeframe on it um but [redaction].  And then I believe it was in early May of 2016 that the Director himself wrote a draft of that statement …

 

Q:  So when you found out in early May that there was, that the Director had written a draft of what the statement might look like, how did you learn about that?

 

A:  [Redacted] gave me a hard copy of it…

 

Q:  So what happened next with respect to the draft?

 

A:  I don’t know for sure um, I don’t know. There were many iterations, at some point there were many iterations of the draft that circulated…

Meanwhile, as a reminder of the timing, if Comey was already drafting a statement clearing Clinton of any wrongdoing in April then it came before any of the following interviews….keep in mind that many people on this list were also granted immunity deals…apparently after Comey had already made up his mind that nothing happened.

1.      May 3, 2016 – Paul Combetta
2.      May 12, 2016 – Sean Misko
3.      May 17, 2016 – Unnamed CIA employee
4.      May 19, 2016 – Unnamed CIA employee
5.      May 24, 2016 – Heather Samuelson
6.      May 26, 2016 – Marcel Lehel (aka Guccifer)
7.      May 28, 2016 – Cheryl Mills
8.      June 3, 2016 – Charlie Wisecarver
9.      June 10, 2016 – John Bentel
10.  June 15, 2016 – Lewis Lukens
11.  June 21, 2016 – Justin Cooper
12.  June 21, 2016 – Unnamed State Dept. Employee
13.  June 21, 2016 – Bryan Pagliano
14.  June 21, 2016 – Purcell Lee
15.  June 23, 2016 – Monica Hanley
16.  June 29, 2016 – Hannah Richert
17.  July 2, 2016 – Hillary Clinton

And here’s some more background from the letter:

Mr. Comey’s final statement acknowledged “there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information” but nonetheless cleared Secretary Clinton because he claimed there was no intent or obstruction of justice. Yet, evidence of destruction of emails known to be under subpoena by the House of Representatives, and subject to congressional preservation requests, was obtained in interviews around the time that Mr. Comey began drafting his exoneration statement.[8]  Moreover, the Justice Department entered into highly unusual immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson in June 2016—after Mr. Comey began drafting his exoneration statement—to review Clinton email archives on their laptops.[9]

 

The immunity agreements limited the FBI’s ability to review Clinton email archives from Platte River Networks that were created after June 1, 2014, and before February 1, 2015, and which had been sent or received from Secretary Clinton’s four email addresses during her tenure as Secretary of State.[10]  These limitations prevented the FBI from reviewing records surrounding a March 2015 conference call that Paul Combetta, an employee of Platte River Networks, had with David Kendall and Ms. Mills, the attorneys for Secretary Clinton.[11]  After having been initially untruthful and then receiving his own immunity agreement, Mr. Combetta admitted in his third FBI interview, in May 2016, that after a March 2015 conference call with Secretary Clinton’s attorneys, he used BleachBit to destroy any remaining copies of Clinton’s emails.[12]

 

The limitations in the immunity agreements with Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson also kept the FBI from looking at emails after Secretary Clinton left office—the period in which communications regarding destruction or concealment of federal records would have most likely taken place.[13]  And finally, the agreements provided that the Department would destroy any records which it retrieved that were not turned over to the investigative team and would destroy the laptops.[14]  Despite public claims by the FBI that the laptops were not in fact destroyed, the purpose of that promise to destroy them has not been explained.[15]  However, Judiciary Committee staff reviewed the immunity agreements as part of their oversight work, so there is no question that the terms of the agreement called for the Department to destroy evidence that had not been fully and completely reviewed.[16]

But, we’re sure this is just another attempt to “criminalize behavior that is normal.”

Here is the full letter:

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Harvey: US SPR makes emergency release; Colonial Pipeline segment shut

August 31, 2017 Latest News 0

As personnel attempt to move in on upstream, downstream, and
midstream sites along the US Gulf Coast to assess possible damage
following passage of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey, the US
government will move oil supply to the region’s beleaguered refining
segment and a major fuel pipeline system will attempt to restart a
portion of its operations.

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Breadth, Bonds, Bills, & Bear Funds Signal Trouble Ahead For Stocks

August 31, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

The ‘resilience’ of stock markets is proclaimed as self-reflectingly positive, as they surge higher, enthusiastically embracing debt ceiling anxiety, nuclear armageddon, and biblical floods. However, below the surface all is very much not rosy

As Bloomberg reports, this is a warning for stock traders entranced by a market that remains resilient to surprises. Even though the S&P 500 is less than 1 percent away from a record set this month, the best move is to wait out more selling, according to Strategas Research Partners.

Breadth has deteriorated as the benchmark gauge has been mostly listless. Only about 48 percent of stocks in the S&P 500 are currently trading above their 50-day moving averages, near the fewest of the year and down from 74 percent last month, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

And longer-term trends are just as bad with only 65% of S&P members above their 200-day average…

“Tepid momentum is often consistent with below average returns in the short-run,” Strategas analysts led by Chris Verrone wrote in a research note Tuesday.

*  *  *

Bonds are not buying the bounce in stocks at all.

Treasury yields are at 2017 lows (despite strong GDP and strong ADP?) signaling a total lack of belief in the global growth vision being sold to the world’s equity investors.

*  *  *

Treasury Bills are signaling massive concerns over debt ceiling discussions.

The pre-debt-ceiling bills are massively bid…

 

Sending debt ceiling anxiety premiums to record highs.,..

As S&P analysts warn, if this hits, it will be catastrophic.

*  *  *

And finally, Bear Fund Assets have collapsed to record lows…

The squeeze ammunition is running very low for the next leg higher in stocks.

*  *  *

Bloomberg concludes, that caution is the buzzword at Raymond James & Associates, which is advising clients to be patient and pick their entry points carefully amid thinner markets and gold prices that look poised to break through a “longer-term downtrend,” according to Andrew Adams, a strategist at the firm.

We continue to exercise patience in the near term, as most of the indicators we follow are still weak-to-neutral and not really flashing that ‘attractive opening’ that we look for,” St. Petersburg, Florida-based Adams wrote in a note Tuesday morning.

With the dollar sitting near the lowest level in 2.5 years and the outlook for government funding murky, some traders say it may be the time to take the chips off the table.

“Perhaps take a percentage of your portfolio and put it in cash,” said Stephen Carl, principal and head equity trader at Williams Capital Group LP in New York. “You don’t go broke taking profits.”

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EPP evaluates curtailment of Mont Belvieu operations

August 31, 2017 Latest News 0

Enterprise Products Partners LP
(EPP), Houston, is considering a potential curtailment of NGL
fractionation and storage services at its complex in Mont Belvieu, Tex.,
in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey.The post EPP evaluates curtailment of Mont Be…

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There’s Literally A ‘Token’ Called “Fuck” That’s Up 370% In The Last 24 Hours

August 31, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,
I vividly remember having a conversation several years ago with a woman about her real estate investments in the United States.
It must have been around 2005 or 2006… the peak of the property bubble….

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Russian Energy Unaffected By U.S. Sanctions

August 31, 2017 Irina Slav 0

President Trump signed an array of sanctions against Russia, Venezuela, and North Korea, with those against Russia specifically targeting the country’s energy industry. The idea of sanctions, theoretically, is to pressure a government into changing its behavior. In reality, U.S. sanctions on Russia do not seem to be having the desired effect, and it’s business as usual for Russian oil and gas, according to a Reuters report citing a number of local industry insiders. Russia’s oil industry has been the target of U.S. sanctions since…

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