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Fire, explosions reported at Hussey Copper in Leetsdale

Crews were called to Hussey Copper in Leetsdale early Sunday morning for reports of a fire that has been causing multiple explosions......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 16th, 2022

Russian military recruitment offices targeted in a series of mysterious arson attacks as Ukraine invasion falters

Over the weekend three military recruitment centers were attacked. It comes after a series of mysterious fires at strategic centers in Russia. Russian military cadets take part in Victory Day military parade on Dvortsovaya Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on May, 5, 2022.Olga Maltseva / AFP via Getty Images 3 Russian military recruitment centers were attacked over the weekend, The Moscow Times reported.  The attacks come after a series of mysterious fires at fuel depots and other sites across Russia.  Russia's military forces have sustained heavy casualties in Ukraine.  Unknown assailants hit Russian military recruitment offices in a series of arson attacks, The Moscow Times reported. Citing local media reports, the outlet reported that early Friday a man dressed in black hurled a Molotov cocktail at a recruitment center in Gukovo in southern Russia's Rostov region, which is close to the Ukrainian border. The Times reported that a similar attack had been reported Saturday in the Ryazan region southeast of Moscow, where a window was smashed and entrance damaged by fire at a recruitment center in Pronsk.In Volgograd, southern Russia, a fire was reported in the basement of a recruitment center, and a smashed glass bottle found on the scene, indicative of an arson attack using a Molotov cocktail. The incidents follow a series of explosions and fires at strategic centers across Russia, including fuel depots and military sites.Military analysts have suggested that they may be part of a Ukrainian sabotage campaign, though they did not present evidence that could prove it.RFERL reported that around 10 recruitment centers in Russia have been attacked since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, in a possible sign of growing opposition to the war in Russia. The Russian military has suffered heavy losses in its campaign in Ukraine so far, with some analysts placing the number of fatalities at around 15,000.Reports say that Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering officially declaring war with Ukraine, a measure that could enable him to mobilise the Russian population and boost the number of troops on the front line. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 18th, 2022

A wildfire is burning multimillion-dollar homes in California"s Orange County

Every season could be wildfire season now, experts say. Not even affluent neighborhoods like Orange County's Coronado Pointe are safe. A home burns on Coronado Pointe during the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, on May 11, 2022.Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images A wildfire has burned more than 20 homes in an affluent neighborhood in Orange County, California. It's early in the year for such an intense and fast-spreading blaze, experts say. The climate crisis is turning the entire year into wildfire season. A wildfire has burned down dozens of homes, including multimillion-dollar mansions, in California's Orange County.The blaze, called the Coastal Fire, began as a one-acre smolder in the hills overlooking Laguna Beach on Wednesday afternoon. At first, the fire was about the size of a football field, TJ McGovern, assistant chief of the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), said in a press briefing Thursday morning.But strong winds soon began pushing the flames uphill, where they quickly spread. Smoke filled the skies, tinging them a burnt orange. As night fell on Wednesday, the fire infiltrated a gated community called Coronado Pointe, where homes have ocean views and cost upward of $10 million, according to listings on the real-estate website Redfin. Firefighters battle the Coastal Fire near the intersection of Vista Montemar and Coronado Pointe in Laguna Niguel, California, on May 11, 2022.Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty ImagesAs of Thursday morning, the fire covered 200 acres and OCFA had not reported success containing it. The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 20 homes have burned in the neighborhood, called Laguna Niguel, where the gated community is located. OCFA investigators were still assessing the damage on Thursday."When you take a look at the size of the homes, there's just so much combustible material that they burn fast, and then the wind starts and the flames can just leap from house to house," said Lisa Bartlett, an Orange County supervisor, according to the LA Times. A home burns on Coronado Pointe during the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, on May 11, 2022.Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty ImagesOne firefighter has been injured and taken to the hospital, McGovern said during the briefing, but residents of the area were safely evacuated. About 900 homes were under evacuation orders as of Thursday morning.The fire triggered explosions of live ammunition that was stored in some homes, according to CBS Sacramento.A burned home on Coronado Pointe during the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, California, on May 11, 2022.Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty ImagesThe cause of the Coastal Fire is still undetermined, but the electric company Southern California Edison reported in a letter to the state utility commission that it had evidence of "circuit activity occurring close in time to the reported time of the fire.""I guess it's just disheartening that we're already seeing a fire that's this aggressive and it's only May," Brandt Maxwell, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told the LA Times."Usually this is something that we see later on in the summer and especially in fall," he added.Wildfires have no season nowMultimillion-dollar home smolders at the top of a canyon hillside in the aftermath of the Coastal Fire, a wildfire in Laguna Niguel, California, on May 12, 2022.Mike Blake/ReutersMany experts say there is no longer a wildfire season, meaning no time of year is wildfire-free now. That's because climate change has extended periods of heat and drought throughout the year. Such extreme conditions, which dry out vegetation, and leave behind acres of wildfire fuel, are becoming both more severe and more frequent as the planet's average temperature rises, according to decades of research.Firefighters battle the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, on May 11, 2022.Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images"We've stopped talking about fire seasons," Issac Sanchez, Cal Fire's battalion chief of communications, told CNN. "The implication of that term is if we're in fire season there's a time of year when we're not in fire season. That's just not the case in California anymore."This isn't even the first wildfire to strike affluent Orange County residents this year.In February, a 150-acre blaze forced the county sheriff's deputies to rush through nearby neighborhoods awaking sleeping residents and telling them to flee in the early hours of the morning. OCFA did not report any injuries or destroyed structures in that incident.Firefighters watch as a helicopter drops water on a smoldering hillside in Laguna Beach, California on February 10, 2022, after the Emerald Fire took off before dawn.Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images"It's way too early" for a fire to spread so quickly in Southern California, Bill South, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told CNN. "This has the potential to be a very bad fire season," South added.In some places, it already is. The second-largest wildfire in New Mexico history has been tearing through the northern part of the state for more than a month. Large blazes are also burning in Arizona and Texas.Snow doesn't even offer reprieve in some places. In December, in the depths of winter, wildfires ripped through suburban Colorado and destroyed about 1,000 homes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 12th, 2022

Food Processing Plant Fires: Conspiracy Or Coincidence?

Food Processing Plant Fires: Conspiracy Or Coincidence? Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance In the midst of unprecedented inflation, skyrocketing commodity prices and projected food shortages and supply chain issues arising as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an interesting story has started to surface: food processing plants globally appear to be catching fire and burning down at a notable rate. First, lets examine what seems odd. For weeks, social media users and bloggers have been throwing around the story that dozens of food processing facilities have mysteriously burned down over the last few months. It’s a phenomenon that has even caught the attention of top rated cable TV news host Tucker Carlson, who spoke about it this week. “This is the second time in a week something like this happened,” Carlson said about breaking news after a plane crashed into a food facility in Georgia.   “So industrial accidents happen, of course, but this is a lot of industrial accidents at food processing plants. At the same time the president is warning us of food shortages. They’re getting hit by planes and catching on fire. What is going on here?” Carlson asked. Carlson’s guest, Jason Rantz opined: “It could lead to some serious food shortages. That’s why people are wondering, well, number one, what’s going on? And you’ve got people speculating that this might be an intentional way to disrupt the food supply. Police are saying that these fires are due to faulty issues with equipment, so they’re not saying this was intentional." But Carlson admitted there was little in the way of evidence of a conspiracy: “The onus is on people who think this is a conspiracy theory to explain what is going on, what are the odds of that. I have no idea.” Fire at pig farm in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland (via The Western Standard) The Western Standard has also been following the story closely and found dozens upon dozens of incidents globally. “Beyond North American food processing plants, there have been dozens more food processing facilities destroyed in fires and explosions in the last two years,” the outlet wrote days ago. “Fires in the food industry are not uncommon,” but the incidents appear to be on the rise, the report said. The outlet recapped some of the more recent incidents, which it compiled in this list (this is only a partial list, TWS’s full list is here): On Monday, 43,000 chickens died in a massive fire that destroyed four chicken houses on a farm in the Dutch town of Heusden, according to World Today News. In March, a fire at a poultry farm in India killed 3,500 chickens. According to PiPa News, the fire destroyed the entire farm. Another poultry farm in India was also hit by fire in March killing 8,500 chicks. Times of India reported the fire may have been caused by a short circuit. In January, a fire at a poultry farm in Kerala, India killed more than 2,500 chickens, according to The Print. In December 2021, 8,000 chickens were killed in a poultry farm blaze in Sri Lanka. News First reported the fire was likely sparked by an “electrical leak.” A massive blaze at a Northern Ireland farm killed hundreds of pigs in November 2021, as reported by News Letter. No one was injured. In October 2021, a large fire at a Fermanagh poultry farm in Northern Ireland killed 16,000 birds. It took firefighters more than seven hours to get control of the fire, as reported by That’s Farming. A large fire broke out in September 2021 at a Chilean food processing plant. Although no injuries were reported, several crews were needed to battle the blaze, as reported by La Tercera. In July 2021, a deadly fire at a Bangladesh food processing factory kills at least 52 people, as reported by Aljazeera. Another fire at a poultry house in East Yorkshire, England in July 2021 killed 50,000 chickens. The fire was said to be caused by accidental ignition, as reported by the Daily Mail. In April 2021, over 55,000 pigs were killed after a fire broke out at a German pig farm. USA Today reported the cause of the blaze was unclear.   Riverway Foods fire in Harlow, UK (via BBC/The Western Standard) Additionally, the FBI has also warned about cyberattacks against food processing plants (yet another reason I like cybersecurity stocks) in the days following coverage of the fires. If you enjoy my work, have the means and want to support Fringe Finance, as well as gain access to all of my articles, you can subscribe here: Subscribe now Zero Hedge reported last weekend that the FBI's Cyber Division published a notice warning about increased cyber-attack threats on agricultural cooperatives.  "Ransomware actors may be more likely to attack agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvest seasons, disrupting operations, causing financial loss, and negatively impacting the food supply chain," the notice read, adding 2021 and early 2022 ransomware attacks on farming co-ops could affect the current planting season "by disrupting the supply of seeds and fertilizer." The agency warned, "A significant disruption of grain production could impact the entire food chain, since grain is not only consumed by humans but also used for animal feed ... In addition, a significant disruption of grain and corn production could impact commodities trading and stocks. " Zero Hedge astutely noted that this is “all happening as the Ukraine-Russian conflict has disrupted the global food supply chain. Food prices are at record highs, and the Rockefeller Foundation just released their timeframe of when a ‘massive, immediate food crisis’ may begin -- they say, ‘in the next six months.’” Now, let’s examine the skeptical side. There are tens of thousands of such facilities globally, and so “dozens” of fires aren’t exactly statistically significant. Logically writes: Upon investigation, Logically found many articles about fires and accidents at food processing units in 2019. According to a 2019 report by USDA, the United States has more than 36,000 food and beverage processing units in operation. Minor damages through fires to a small handful of food processing factories would not cause a food shortage across the country. And fact checkers seem to be in unison that there were little to no evidence of foul play in any of the incidents. The crew at PolitiFact said: We looked at each of the 18 fires mentioned in the Facebook post and found no evidence that any of them were intentionally set.  Twelve were either ruled accidental, or no foul play was suspected. One was at a vacant building that once housed a meat plant. In five others, the fires are either still under investigation or investigators have not publicly announced any cause found — intentional or otherwise. Some of the plants were completely destroyed or heavily damaged, while others suffered minor damage with little impact on food production. Though the post said the 18 fires happened in the past six months, only 12 of those happened in that time frame. Snopes also wrote: The claim of a new “trend” of fires at food processing facilities does not hold up upon scrutiny. Almost all of the fires on meme lists involved explainable causes, and we found no examples of suspected arson. Well I guess that settles it then, right? You can read the full “debunking” of the narrative here. As with all forum posts, I’d love to know what my readers think: coincidence or something more? Leave your comments at this link, where we already have an ongoing discussion about this topic.  Tyler Durden Sat, 04/30/2022 - 12:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 30th, 2022

Top Zelenskyy aide said explosions in 3 Russian provinces were "karma" for the invasion, but doesn"t say Ukraine was responsible

Mykhailo Podolyak outlined how Russia had attacked Ukraine and said "sooner or later the debts will have to be repaid." Mykhailo Podolyak, a political advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.REUTERS/Kemal Aslan Russia reported a series of explosions in the country's south and an oil depot fire on Wednesday. An advisor to Ukraine's president said in response: "Karma is a cruel thing." But he did not say that Ukraine had attacked anywhere in Russia. An advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called a series of explosions in Russia close to Ukraine's border "karma" for its invasion, but did not say that Ukraine was responsible.Mykhailo Podolyak, who has represented Ukraine at peace negotiations with Russia, wrote on Telegram on Wednesday, according to a translation by Reuters: "If [Russians] decide to massively attack another country, massively kill everyone there, massively crush peaceful people with tanks, and use warehouses in your regions to enable the killings, then sooner or later the debts will have to be repaid.""Karma is a cruel thing," he said.But he did not say that Ukraine was behind the explosions.Russia on Wednesday reported explosions in the south of the country and a fire at an ammunition depot in the Belgorod region, Reuters reported. So far it not assigned any responsibility for the attacks.Russian officials told local media that the explosions were in the regions of Belgorod, Voronezh, and Kursk, The Washington Post reported. Russia also accused Ukraine of other attacks in the Bryansk region earlier this month. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility of any strikes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytApr 27th, 2022

A Ukrainian woman who heard explosions near her apartment stepped outside to find her father"s dead body on the sidewalk

Yana Bachek's father went out for bread, and soon after she heard explosions near her home. When she walked outside, she found her father's dead body. The square outside city hall in Kharkiv, Ukraine, after Russian shelling, March 1, 2022.SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images A Ukrainian woman found her father's dead body right outside her apartment in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Yana Bachek heard the sound of explosions outside her home in Kharkiv, Ukraine. When she went outside, she found an ambulance crew standing over her father's dead body. A woman who heard explosions outside her apartment building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Mondy went outside and discovered her dead father's body on the street. The father, 79-year-old Victor Gubarev, had been killed by a shell fragment that landed on his block, Reuters reported. Gubarev had been on his way home with bread when he made contact with the shell fragment. Gubarev's daughter, Yana Bachek, heard the shell fragment exploding. "I remember just the explosion," she said, according to Reuters. "I just returned from shopping and crazy explosions, noise."At the time of the explosion, Bachek, an English teacher, had been preparing for class. Her mother, at that moment, had called her and reminded her that her father was outside getting bread. "I began to call him and there was no answer," she said, per Reuters.Bachek tried to rush out of the house, but her partner stopped her, fearing that she'd be struck by any additional hits, Reuters reported. A few minutes later, she put on her coat and went outside, only to find ambulance crew members standing over her father's dead body on the sidewalk. Bachek's family did not flee Ukraine because her father's health problems prevented them from doing so, Reuters reported. "In his normal life, even in war, he tried to smile, to joke, to support us. He said to us: 'You are my girls, my heroes'," she told Reuters.The Russian invasion, which began on February 24, has forced millions of Ukrainians to flee their homeland. So far, more than 5.1 million Ukrainians have escaped since the beginning of the invasion, according to data from the United Nations Refugee Agency. In the first week alone, more than 1 million Ukrainians left.Ukrainians who spoke to Insider over the course of the ongoing invasion have painted a grim picture of the devastation. They've described hearing missiles fire through the sky in the dead of night, having to share a single bulletproof vest as Russian soldiers tear through their towns, and troops shooting at homes and hospitals. Bachek said she kept the bread her father had been bringing home to the family. "The bread was in blood," she said. "Now I can't keep it in my hands, but I want to because it is a piece of my dad. It was the last thing he had in his hands."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytApr 23rd, 2022

Freeport-McMoRan stock pulls back, even as profit and revenue topped forecasts

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. pulled back 3.2% in premarket trading Thursday, after the gold and copper miner reported first-quarter profit and revenue that beat expectations, while trimming its outlook for quarterly copper sales. Net income more than doubled to $1.53 billion, or $1.04 a share, from $718 million, or 48 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share of $1.07 beat the FactSet consensus of 94 cents. Revenue grew 36.1% to $6.60 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $6.44 billion, as copper sales rose 24.1% to 1.02 billion recoverable pounds and as gold sales increased 58.5% to 409,000 recoverable ounces. Average realized price per pound of copper rose 18.2% to $4.66 and the realized price per ounce of gold increased 12.1% to $1,920. The company cut its copper sales outlook for the second quarter to 1.040 billion pounds from 1.075 billion pounds, for the third quarter to 1.095 billion pounds from 1.125 billion pounds and for the fourth quarter to 1.095 billion pounds from 1.130 billion pounds. The stock has soared 21.7% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.4%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchApr 21st, 2022

Russia Expands "Powerful" Cruise Missile Strikes To Western City Of Lviv

Russia Expands 'Powerful' Cruise Missile Strikes To Western City Of Lviv Russia has reportedly hit hundreds of targets across Ukraine Monday in a significant expansion of its long-range strikes and show of air power. Significantly this includes multiple missile strikes on the major Western city of Lviv, which has for much of the war been considered relatively 'safe' compared to the eastern half of the country. Ukrainian officials say at least seven people were killed and 12 wounded due to the strikes on Lviv, with NBC underscoring,  "The attack marked a deadly extension of Russia's war into a city that has become a refuge for thousands fleeing from further east as well as a major supply and logistics hub." Video showing a fire in Lviv after a Russian cruise missile strike this morning. #Ukraine #UkraineRussiaWar #UkraineWar #war #UkraineUnderAttack #UkraineRussia #Russia #Ukrainian #Russian #Kyiv @Ukraine pic.twitter.com/SoDAiVg3gI — Movie Xen (@MovieXen) April 18, 2022 The projectiles are being described as 'powerful' cruise missiles. "Five powerful missile strikes at once on the civilian infrastructure of the old European city of Lviv," Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak said Monday, adding: "The Russians continue barbarically attacking Ukrainian cities from the air, cynically declaring to the whole world their ‘right’ to kill Ukrainians." "Ukrainian officials said missiles struck three military targets and a fourth hit a tire-fitting garage," NBC had reported further. Western journalists say they heard some of the strikes amid the sound of air raid sirens. The strikes were surprising given the relative quiet and the fact Lviv had so far since the Feb.24 invasion been largely sparred from being targeted by Russian forces.  But last week's sinking of the Russian Navy's flaghship Moskva missile cruiser, after Ukraine fired a pair of Neptune anti-ship missiles (which the Kremlin officially disputes, instead saying the sinking was due to fire and munitions explosions), is being widely viewed as having changed the Russian military's calculus and tactics. It appears more airpower and long-range missiles will be used.  Meanwhile, more images have emerged online of the Moskva as it sank last Thursday and Friday, after initial photos showed it badly damaged and on fire, appearing online for the first time Sunday. A 3-second video has emerged... This appears to be the first, unconfirmed video of the Moskva, Russia’s now-sunken Black Sea flagship, after it was hit by Ukrainian missiles. It’s three seconds long and the last two are someone saying: “You fucking idiot! What the fuck are you doing?”pic.twitter.com/K5xhKZ2TKi — max seddon (@maxseddon) April 18, 2022 Following the fresh attacks on Lviv, the city's mayor, Andriy Sadovyi, is saying there are now "no safe or unsafe locations in Ukraine," stressing that the Russians are striking military and civilian locations alike. "All the cities and villages are in the same situation," Sadovyi said. "The aggressor is committing acts of genocide. They are killing innocent civilians" - he said, taking up language recently used by both Biden and Zelensky.  The situation in Mariupol, in the southeast, also looks bleak for a couple thousand or more Ukrainian fighters said to be surrounding by the Russian military. "Ukrainian officials said the remaining defenders of Mariupol are encircled by Russian forces but have not surrendered the strategically important port city, as a deadly strike was reported in Lviv near the Polish border," Bloomberg reports. Tyler Durden Mon, 04/18/2022 - 08:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 18th, 2022

Futures Grind Higher To Start New Quarter With All Eyes On Payrolls

Futures Grind Higher To Start New Quarter With All Eyes On Payrolls Following yesterday's furious quarter-end puke, which saw the S&P tumble 50 points in the last hour of trading as a massive $10 billion Market on Close sell imbalance sparked a liquidation frenzy, U.S. index futures started off the new quarter on the right foot, rising as investors weighed a drop in oil prices sparked by Biden's unprecedented pre-midterm election draining of the petroleum reserve, ongoing developments in the Ukraine war and tightening monetary policy ahead of ISM and payrolls data. S&P500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained around 0.5% before March payrolls figures later on Friday, after U.S. stocks ended their worst quarter since the start of the pandemic. Europe’s Stoxx 600 gained after its worst quarter since the pandemic bear market. Oil reversed an earlier decline as euro-area inflation accelerated to another all-time high and Russia’s Gazprom PJSC started telling clients how to pay for gas in rubles. Treasury yields rose and the dollar was steady as traders await the jobs report, which unless it is a total disaster, will strengthen the case for a 50bps rate hike in May. U.S. data on Friday include nonfarm payroll and ISM data while no major company is expected to report earnings. U.S.-listed Chinese stocks jumped in premarket trading after Bloomberg News reported that Chinese authorities are preparing to give U.S. regulators full access to auditing reports of the majority of the 200-plus companies listed in New York. Alibaba shares rose 5.8% in premarket trading; E-commerce peers JD.com up 4% and Pinduoduo up 7.9%. Didi Global was among the top gainers, rising more than 18%, following a 15% drop Thursday. Meanwhile, shares of Lulu’s Fashion Lounge Holdings Inc. rose 27% in U.S. premarket after better-than-expected fourth-quarter and full-year guidance. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Chicken Soup For The Soul Entertainment (CSSE US) shares rise 21% in U.S. premarket, rebounding from yesterday’s losses, after Guggenheim’s Michael Morris (buy) said the company posted a “solid” 4Q performance, with sales modestly below his estimates but adjusted Ebitda slightly better. GameStop (GME US) shares rose 15% in premarket trading and were on course to open at the highest level this year after the video-game retailer announced plans for a stock split, fueling a rally in fellow so-called meme stocks. Redwire (RDW US) slumps 22% in U.S. premarket trading after the space infrastructure company reported 2021 results, with Jefferies saying that while the firm’s outlook was encouraging, it was disappointing versus prior expectations. Meanwhile, the curve between two-year and 10-year Treasuries yields is flipping between positive and negative, signaling that the countdown to the next recession has begun (see "The Yield Curve Inverts: What Happens Next"). “The market, like the Fed, has no idea how much tightening is necessary to stop a wage inflation spiral, but by upping the ante on the market with a series of 50bp rate hikes this year and a higher terminal rate, it can regain the control of the narrative and market expectations,” said Sebastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea. Investors begin a new quarter wondering if the fighting in Ukraine, the isolation of Russia and the Fed’s increasingly hawkish turn will engender still more volatility and losses for stocks and bonds. Raw materials are the only key asset class to deliver major gains so far in 2022. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, talks between Ukraine and Russia resumed Friday via video link, following meetings earlier in the week in Turkey. Russia said two Ukrainian military helicopters made a rare strike across the border, hitting an oil tank facility in the city of Belgorod. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow is preparing a response to Ukraine’s proposals on ending hostilities; Lavrov also said Russia is preparing a response to Ukraine's proposals, says there has been movement forward; he also added that Russia has seen "much more understanding" of the situation in Crimea and Donbass from the Ukrainian side. Lavrov says peace talks with Ukraine need to continue. UK reportedly urged Ukraine not to back down and is concerned US, France and Germany will push Ukraine to “settle” and make significant concessions to Russia, according to The Times citing a government source. Mayor of Ukraine's Mariupol says Russian forces are not allowing humanitarian aid in; City is dangerous to try and exit. European equities also drifted higher after a slow start. Euro Stoxx 50 rises 0.7%. IBEX outperforms, adding 0.9%, FTSE 100 lags. Retailers, banks and miners are the strongest performing sectors. Euro-zone inflation accelerated to another all-time high as Russia’s invasion roiled global supply chains and provided a fresh driver for already-soaring energy costs. Euro-zone March consumer prices surged 7.5% from a year ago, up from 5.9% in February and far higher than the 6.7% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index however, was on the rise, led by retail and banking stocks.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Santander shares rise as much as 3.2% after reiterating its financial targets for the year and saying its business remained resilient in the first quarter. The statement provides reassurance of recent trends, Barclays writes. Vestas Wind Systems gains as much as 5.4% after announcing orders totaling 2,179 MW in 1Q, with Handelsbanken saying the order intake is “promising” and well-above estimates. Bridgepoint Group jumps as much as 7.8% after the private-equity firm was upgraded to buy from neutral at Citi following a drop in the shares since the broker’s initiation in August 2021. Assicurazioni Generali rises as much as 3.8%, climbing for a third session, amid speculation the Italian insurer may get involved in industry M&A going forward. Greggs gains as much as 2.9% after Berenberg reiterates its buy recommendation, saying there is a “rare opportunity” to invest in the U.K. bakery chain at a “reasonable multiple.” Yara climbs as much as 1.8% after the company said it pre-ordered 15 floating bunkering terminals from Azane Fuel Solutions to establish a carbon-free ammonia fuel bunker network in Scandinavia. Stratec rises as much as 21% after a Bloomberg report that EQT and KKR are among several private equity firms weighing bids for the German health-care technology provider. Energiekontor jumps as much as 6.8%, extending its record high, after Warburg raised its price target to a Street- high, saying there is an “appetite for more” following Thursday’s FY results. Sodexo shares fall as much as 10% after the French caterer said the environment “remains uncertain” due to intermittent local outbreaks of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. Russian stocks gained for a third day, the longest winning streak since trading resumed on March 24. Talks between Ukraine and Russia will resume Friday via video link, following meetings earlier in the week in Turkey. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow is preparing a response to Ukraine’s proposals on ending hostilities.   The manufacturing resurgence in Europe and Asia softened in March as factories saw worsening supply shortages and soaring costs after Russia’s invasion. Friday’s data follow inflation overshoots this week from Spain and Germany that prompted investors to bring forward bets on when the European Central Bank will end almost eight years of negative interest rates. Earlier in the session, Asian stock retreated for a second day amid concerns about the extent the war in Ukraine will hurt global growth and as Chinese tech shares extended a selloff.   The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index slid as much as 1.1% before paring about two-thirds of that loss. The benchmark still remained on pace to finish the week up 0.3%, extending its winning streak to a third week.  Tech shares including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alibaba were major drags on Friday as traders assessed economic data and continued to eye possible U.S. delistings of Chinese firms. Equities in Japan underperformed the region while China’s consumer shares boosted the mainland benchmark.  Investors are watching the impact of soaring inflation and higher interest rates on global growth as the war in Europe continues. Asia’s manufacturing resurgence softened in March as factories saw worsening supply shortages and surging costs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Data on Friday showed Japan’s business mood weakened while South Korean imports jumped on rising costs.   Also on investors’ radars are the trading halts of dozens of firms in Hong Kong from today after they missed a deadline to report annual results, increasing uncertainty in the market.  “We are in the middle of a war between two globally vital suppliers of energy and food,” said Justin Tang, the head of Asian research at United First Partners. “The ramifications are plenty and as long as there is no cease fire, we will continue to experience ebbs and flows in volatility.”   Asian stocks finished their worst quarter since early 2020 on Thursday with a drop of nearly 7%. Still, the measure has bounced back from the quarter-low touched in mid-March.   Sri Lanka’s stock market stopped trading on Friday and the rupee extended its loss after protests against surging living costs and daily power cuts amid dwindling foreign-exchange reserves. Trading in 33 Hong Kong-listed stocks was halted after a number of firms missed a deadline to report annual results Japanese stocks fell in Tokyo fell for a third day after U.S. peers declined and the Tankan survey showed a gloomier view of business conditions among Japan’s biggest manufacturers. The yen slipped 0.5% against the dollar during the trading day, helping stocks trim earlier losses. Still, both major gauges capped their first weekly losses in three, shedding more than 1.7% each since March 25. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest drags as the Topix fell 0.1% Friday, paring an earlier slide of as much as 1.3%. Tokyo Electron and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 0.6% loss in the Nikkei 225.  The Tankan index of sentiment dropped to 14 from a revised 17 in the previous quarter, the first deterioration since June 2020, according to the central bank’s quarterly report Friday. The business mood among large non-manufacturers slipped to 9 from a revised 10 in the December report India’s benchmark stocks index completed its third weekly gain in four weeks, as local buying helped steady war-induced volatility in equities. The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.2% to 59,276.69 in Mumbai, taking it weekly advance to 3.3%. The key gauge completed its best monthly climb since August in the previous session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index rose 1.2% to 17,670.45 on Friday.  HDFC Bank Ltd. surged 2.4% to its highest in more than a month and was the biggest boost to the Sensex, which saw 25 of the 30 shares trading higher. All 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. rose, led by a measure of utilities. Funds in India bought $5.2 billion worth of shares in March, while foreign investors extended their selling to a sixth consecutive month. The new fiscal year and quarter have started with concerns about the war in Ukraine, a hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve and the impact of higher commodity costs on company earnings.   “We expect FY23 to witness continued volatility in equity markets, especially in the first half of the year with rising interest rates globally and high inflation, which is expected to persist,” Nishit Master, portfolio manager at Axis Securities Ltd., wrote in a note.  The brokerage expects the Nifty index to rise to 20,200 by year-end and is positive on metals, hospitals, oil refining and capital goods.    In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar index inched up as the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers; commodity currencies and the Swedish krona led gains while the yen was the worst performer. The euro fell and European bonds came off lows after euro-zone March consumer prices surged 7.5% from a year ago, up from 5.9% in February and more than the 6.7% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The pound consolidated against the euro, after rebounding from its weakest level since December on Thursday; the yen slid for the first time in four days. Japanese government bond yield curve resumed its steepening even as the Bank of Japan raised the amounts it plans to buy through regular market operations this quarter. Australia’s yield curve bear flattened, following a similar move in Treasuries. New Zealand dollar weakened; a gauge of consumer confidence dropped to an all-time low last month, according to ANZ data. In rates, Treasuries dropped across the curve Friday as investors positioned before U.S. jobs data forecast to show average hourly earnings accelerated in March, backing the case for a faster pace of Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes. Treasury futures traded off session lows in early U.S. trading, although yields remain cheaper by 4bp to 7bp across the curve after Thursday’s late month-end selling was extended in early Asia. Fixed income weakness is Treasuries centric, with both bunds and gilts outperforming on the day. 10-year yields trade around 2.40% after peaking at 2.437% in early European session - bunds and gilts outperform by 4bp and 2bp in the sector. Long-end led losses steepens 5s30s spread by 1.4bp and 2s10s by 2bp on the day; March jobs report is due at 8:30am with headline change in payrolls expected at 490k vs. 678k prior -- whisper number is higher than estimate at 529k. In Europe, the German curve bear steepened, cheapening up 2-3bps across the back end but broadly brushing off a hot Eurozone inflation print . Peripheral spreads mostly widen to core with long end Spain underperforming. Cash USTs maintain Asia’s bear flatten bias ahead of today’s payrolls release; the belly cheaper by ~6bps. In commodities, crude futures recoup Asia’s weakness. WTI returns to little changed, regaining a $100-handle after a brief dip in late Asia. Base metals are mixed; LME zinc rises 1.4%, outperforming peers. LME copper lags. Spot gold falls roughly $2 to trade near $1,935/oz. The US will also have the March ISM manufacturing reading, while global manufacturing PMIs are due. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the ECB’s Centeno, De Cos, Makhlouf, Schnabel and Knot, as well as the Fed’s Evans. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 4,548.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 457.37 MXAP down 0.4% to 179.71 MXAPJ little changed at 590.96 Nikkei down 0.6% to 27,665.98 Topix down 0.1% to 1,944.27 Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 22,039.55 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,282.72 Sensex up 0.7% to 58,980.92 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,493.80 Kospi down 0.6% to 2,739.85 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.58% Euro little changed at $1.1065 Brent Futures down 1.0% to $103.69/bbl Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,931.84 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.16% to 98.47 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China’s factory activity fell to its worst level since the pandemic’s onset two years ago and a housing slump showed no sign of easing, darkening the outlook for the world’s second- largest economy Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel urged the European Central Bank to respond to quickly accelerating price pressures. Australia named Michele Bullock as the Reserve Bank’s first female deputy governor, propelling her to the front of the queue to succeed Philip Lowe in the top job At the U.S. Commerce Department, Secretary Gina Raimondo’s teams are working on ways to further undermine Putin’s ability to wage war For all the hardships visited on consumers at home and the financial chokehold put on the government from abroad, Bloomberg Economics expects Russia will earn nearly $321 billion from energy exports this year, an increase of more than a third from 2021. Iron ore futures in Asia gained with investors anticipating a strong recovery following the lifting of virus-related restrictions, even as news of Chinese housing giants missing earnings-report deadlines emerged Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government signed off on the reappointment of one of the Bank of Japan’s key policy architects in a move that suggests the central bank is looking for policy continuity after Governor Haruhiko Kuroda steps down next April A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk: Asia-Pac stocks were cautious following the uninspiring lead from Wall St, where the major indices closed off their worst quarterly performance in two years and as the region digested weak data releases. ASX 200 traded rangebound as pressure from losses in tech, industrials and financials was counterbalanced by resilience in the commodity-related sectors and upgrade to Australian PMI data. Nikkei 225 was subdued after mixed Tankan data in which the headline Large Manufacturing Index topped estimates, but Large Manufacturers and Non-Manufacturers' sentiment worsened for the first time in 7 quarters. Hang Seng and were mixed with sentiment clouded after the PBoC drained liquidity andShanghai Comp. Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI slipped into contraction territory, although the mainland recovered amid the partial lifting of the lockdown in Shanghai and as Chinese press continued to advocate monetary easing Top Asian News Shanghai Shifts Lockdown; Singapore Border: Virus Update Quarantine Eased for Hong Kong Flight Crew in Boost for Cathay China Chipmaker’s Buyer Said to Miss $9 Billion Payment Deadline Kasikornbank Said to Weigh Sale of $2 Billion Asset Manager Unit European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.6%) opened marginally firmer before extending on gains after positive commentary from Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. The Stoxx 600 set to close the week out with marginal gains of around 0.6% in what has been a choppy week for indices. Sectors in Europe are higher across the board with Retail, Banks and Autos top of the leaderboard. Top European News London IPO Market Hasn’t Been This Bad in More Than a Decade Tiber Crossing Left in Limbo After War Sends Steel Surging Global Manufacturing Rebound Falters as War Takes Its Toll EU to Warn China It Will Hurt Global Role by Helping Russia In FX, the Yen has relented as yields rebound and repatriation demand dries up - Usd/Jpy bounced further from recent lows beyond near term resistance through to circa 122.75. Greenback has regrouped in advance of NFP with the DXY straddling 98.500. Aussie outperforms as risk appetite picks up and 0.7500 continues to prove pivotal. Euro finds a base after marked month end reversal as hot inflation offset lukewarm manufacturing PMIs - Eur/USD holding around 1.1050 after soaking up stops on a minor and brief half round number break.Yuan weaker after sub-50 Caixin Chinese manufacturing print, softer PBoC Cny midpoint fix and 7-day liquidity drain - USDCNH above 6.3650. In commodities, WTI (+0.6%) and Brent (+0.8%) kicked the session off on the backfoot following yesterday’s SPR announcement by the Biden administration with WTI breaching it's weekly low printed on Tuesday at USD 98.44 with Brent so far unable to take out its weekly low of USD 102.19. Since then, crude benchmarks have attempted to claw back lost ground and sit in minor positive territory. White House Press Secretary Psaki said a gas tax holiday is not off the table, according to Reuters. US House Majority Leader Hoyer said oil companies should either produce on leases and drill wells or pay a fee for unused leases and idled wells, according to EIN News. Russian oil and gas condensate production slipped to 11.01mln BPD in March vs. 11.08mln BPD in February, according to Reuters sources Gazprom says refilling storage ahead of winter will be a challenge for the EU. Gazprom says it has begun sending requests of gas-for-rouble payment switch to clients today; sats it remains a responsible partner and continues to secure gas supplies US Event Calendar 08:30: March Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 490,000, prior 678,000 Change in Private Payrolls, est. 495,000, prior 654,000 Change in Manufact. Payrolls, est. 32,000, prior 36,000 March Unemployment Rate, est. 3.7%, prior 3.8% Underemployment Rate, prior 7.2% Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 62.4%, prior 62.3% Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 5.5%, prior 5.1%; MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0% Average Weekly Hours All Emplo, est. 34.7, prior 34.7 09:45: March S&P Global US Manufacturing PM, est. 58.5, prior 58.5 10:00: March ISM Employment, est. 53.1, prior 52.9 ISM Prices Paid, est. 80.0, prior 75.6 ISM New Orders, est. 58.5, prior 61.7 ISM Manufacturing, est. 59.0, prior 58.6 10:00: Feb. Construction Spending MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.3% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Filling in while Jim is on holiday, my quick scan for sports-related injuries for this introduction yielded nothing. Meanwhile, a scan of quarter end markets showed sovereign bonds again yielding less than nothing, as 2yr bund yields (-7.8bps) fell back below 0 to -0.09% while the 2s10s Treasury curve closed below zero for the first time since 2019. Yields farther out the curve followed oil and transatlantic equity prices lower as well. No rest for the weary, though, as today’s US employment data kickstarts the new quarter. Before diving into markets, a couple of research plugs. *** Jim’s latest chartbook, “The yield curve inverts … what happens next?”, is out. We looked at all things inversion, including recession risks, asset price performance, the Fed’s viewpoint, our economists' latest recession models and also how yield curve inversions have been explained away in previous cycles. You can take a look here *** Staying in advertising mode, with Q2 starting, we will publish our Q1 performance review shortly. Q1 was a dramatic time in financial markets, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, accelerating inflation, the Fed hiking rates, and the yield curve closing the quarter inverted. As a result, it was a pretty bad month for most assets, with losses across equities, credit, and sovereign bonds. The big exception were commodities as energy, metals and agricultural goods realized large gains. See the full report out shortly for more. Turning back to yesterday’s markets, Brent and WTI crude futures fell -4.88% and -6.99%, respectively, following the US’s plan to release 1m barrels per day from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next six months to combat eye-watering energy prices, the largest such SPR release on record. In an address to the nation, President Biden also announced measures to pressure domestic producers to increase their supply to the market along with easing regulations that currently restrict oil transport between American ports to American vessels. The President will also invoke the Defense Production Act to compel manufactures to prioritize the production of minerals used for large capacity batteries. While the UK is considering whether to join the reserve-releasing effort, OPEC+ production will be steady as she goes, with the cartel ratifying the plan to increase production only gradually by 432k barrels a day, in line with expectations. Even without a material increase in OPEC+ production, reports overnight that the US was strategically aligned with allies on Iran inched us closer to a nuclear deal that would open up Iranian supply. Crude oil futures are down a further -3.23% as we go to press this morning. The debate about Russian natural gas invoicing appeared to reach a denouement yesterday; European importers will be able to pay for Russian supply in euros and dollars as contracts specify, with the conversion to rubles happening internally within Russia. Nevertheless, European natural gas gained +5.83%. On the war, more reports joined the chorus signalling that Russian troops were indeed retreating from certain theatres, including various cities, airports, and the Chernobyl nuclear facility. While positive, the consensus is the locus of the war is moving to the east, rather than ending. Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are set to resume today. Foreshadowed in the lede, European sovereign yields staged a large rally to end the quarter. 10yr bunds, OATs, and BTPs all rallied more than -9bps, led by falling inflation compensation on the drawdown in oil prices; 10yr breakevens across Germany, France, and Italy, narrowed -7.0bps, -8.1bps, and -6.5bps, respectively. The rallies weren’t confined to the long-end, as -6.8bps of expected ECB rate hikes through 2022 were priced out as well. It was smoother sailing for Treasury yields after a stormy quarter, but 2s10s nevertheless managed to dip below zero to close the quarter after briefly testing the waters earlier this week. 2yr yields climbed +2.8bps while 10yr yields dropped anchor, falling -1.1bps, leaving 2s10s at -0.06bps. As was the case earlier this week, the curve re-steepened after the initial inversion plunge, trading at +1.2bps this morning. Stocks retreated on both sides of the Atlantic, with the STOXX 600 and S&P 500 falling -0.94% and -1.57%, cementing the first negative quarterly return for both indices since the original Covid onslaught in Q1 2020. STOXX 600 utilities (+0.37%) were the only sector in the green across both indices, with cyclical stocks the largest underperformers. The retreat was likely exacerbated by quarter end, which served to push the VIX (+1.23ppts) back above 20 for the first time this week. Major Asian bourses are trading on the downbeat with tech stocks among the worst performers. Losses in the region are led by the Hang Seng (-0.72%), extending its previous session losses, with Chinese tech stocks listed in Hong Kong plunging. The Nikkei (-0.42%) is lagging after the BOJ’s quarterly Tankan business sentiment survey revealed that sentiment at Japan’s large manufacturers soured in the first three months of 2022. Chinese Caixin services PMI dropped to 48.1 in March, the steepest rate of contraction since February 2020. The deterioration was mainly triggered by the domestic Covid-19 resurgence. Despite the underwhelming data, Chinese stocks are outperforming the region, with the Shanghai Composite up +0.69%. Outside of Asia, stock futures in the US are pointing to a positive start, with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.25%), Nasdaq (+0.26%) and Dow Jones (+0.25%) all trading higher. In data, US PCE increased 0.4%, month-over-month, in line with expectations, while the year-over-year measure moved to fresh four-decade high of 5.4%. The Chicago PMI printed at 67.9 vs. expectations of 57.0, while weekly initial jobless claims ticked up to a still low 202k vs. expectations of 196k. German unemployment fell by -18k in March (vs. -20k expected), which is the smallest monthly decline since last April. In turn, the unemployment rate remained at 5.0%, in line with expectations. To the day ahead, Q2 kicks off with the March US employment situation report in the New York morning. Strong January and February data coincided with upside surprises and revisions to payrolls data, lending credence to the Fed’s position that the labor market is ready to withstand much tighter monetary policy, if not beckons it. Our US economists expect nonfarm payrolls to increase by +400k, bringing the unemployment rate to a post-pandemic low of 3.7%. The Euro Area flash CPI will be the other main data, due at 10 am London, and is expected to show inflation rise to a fresh record since the single currency’s formation. After the massive upside surprises from Germany and Spain’s releases on Wednesday, yesterday brought another above-consensus print from France, where inflation rose to +5.1% on the EU-harmonised measure (vs. +4.9% expected). Meanwhile, Italy was the only one of the 4 biggest Euro Area countries not to see an upside surprise, but the +7.0% print (vs. +7.2% expected) nevertheless marked a gain over February’s +6.2% release. The US will also have the March ISM manufacturing reading, while global manufacturing PMIs are due. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the ECB’s Centeno, De Cos, Makhlouf, Schnabel and Knot, as well as the Fed’s Evans. Tyler Durden Fri, 04/01/2022 - 08:06.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 1st, 2022

From the dance club to despair: One DJ"s journey through war-torn Ukraine with her newborn baby in tow

A 32-year-old Ukrainian woman spoke to Insider about her perilous, days-long journey to a semblance of safety amid Russia's ongoing assault. Katya DJing at a nightclub in Kyiv before Russia invaded.Courtesy of Katya. When Russian troops invaded Ukraine last month, a DJ fled Kyiv in search of safety. Katya spoke to Insider about her treacherous journey through Ukraine with her newborn daughter. "It's like the worst movie you can ever imagine and you're starring in the main role," she said. In a matter of moments, Kateryna's life turned from a dream into the worst kind of nightmare — the type from which she cannot wake up.As sirens ring out each night, she jolts from frightening dreams in a panic, only to realize that the terror persists.Since Russian troops invaded her native Ukraine five weeks ago, Katya, whose full name is known by Insider but is being withheld to protect her safety, has been to hell and back.She's endured long nights in a freezing, underground bomb shelter as Russian shelling rained from above; she's fled through uncharted forest roads, uncertain of what may be mere meters ahead; and she's witnessed the depths of humanity's depravity — and generosity.Katya, 32, spoke to Insider about her perilous, days-long journey to a semblance of safety amid Russia's ongoing assault, highlighting the heartbreaking human toll that Russian President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked war has left in its wake.Several times during an interview from Western Ukraine last week, Katya described her circumstances in cinematic terms, comparing her life to a film:"The worst movie you can ever imagine and you're starring in the main role."While describing her experiences over the last month, she evoked images of World War II horrors and compared herself to one of literature's most infamous war-begotten female protagonists, "Gone With the Wind's" Scarlett O'Hara.It's a far cry from the "perfect" life Katya was living just one month ago.Before the war came to Ukraine, the lifelong Kyiv native had spent 10 years as a prominent DJ and music producer. She said she hosted shows all over the world, producing popular dance music with top international artists and regularly working at one of Kyiv's most popular nightclubs, where a loyal audience of locals and foreigners gathered to dance the night away.In January 2022, Katya became a first-time mother to a baby girl. She and her husband of seven years spent one splendid month spoiling their daughter, buying her everything she could ever want or need and filling their apartment in Kyiv's city center with baby clothes and formula.Katya and her daughter before Russia invaded.Courtesy of Katya"Everything was perfect," she told Insider. "We had everything."Like most weekend nights, Katya was scheduled to DJ a show in Kyiv on Friday, February 25.But, of course, that show never happened.Russian forces rolled into Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday, February 24.The Kyiv club where Katya was scheduled to perform — along with so much else throughout the embattled country — is now shut down.A quick decision to flee KyivKatya was already awake when the first bombs rang out in Kyiv around 4:30 a.m. that Thursday. She couldn't sleep, she told Insider, plagued by a seeming prophetic fear that "something bad" was coming.Russian forces bombarded the capital city almost immediately upon invading, while Ukrainian troops fought to protect it from the outskirts of the city. In the weeks since, Russian troops have aimed to fully encircle and cut off the capital, but the Ukrainian defense has proven strong enough to maintain control of Kyiv.After a stalled start to the war, the Russian military said last week that the "first stage of the operation" had primarily been accomplished and it would now refocus on "the liberation of Donbas" in the east. But Russian forces have continued to bomb Kyiv's suburbs, Reuters reported Wednesday, despite Kremlin claims that it would scale back the assault to build "trust."As she heard explosions throughout the city that first morning, Katya said she was struck by a panic attack."Nobody's ever prepared for war life," she said.Danger had arrived. In a flurry, Katya and her husband packed their bags, preparing to escape. Within the first minutes of the bombardment, the family decided to flee Kyiv.A panicked Katya said she packed nearly half of her baby's extensive wardrobe, as well as all the extra formula they had recently purchased — a decision that would prove to be a life-saving one in some day's time.But Katya left with only the shoes on her feet and a couple of extra hoodies and leggings.The family waited for Katya's mother to finish her workday — the last normal one any of them would have for some time — and hit the road by 6 p.m., where an endless line of cars full of other escapees sat idling. As they slowly made their way out of the capital, Katya said she witnessed staggering lines for gas, cash, and groceries."Everyone was in panic, buying water, food, and pumping the car with gas," she said.In hindsight, Katya now knows that they were heading straight into one of the most dangerous Ukrainian regions, where Russian forces were quickly amassing troops and laying siege. But at the time, anywhere seemed safer than bomb-addled Kyiv.No light, no service, no foodThe family decided to seek refuge at their country home in a small village located fewer than 100 miles east of Kyiv, near Bucha and Irpin. The drive to the house, which typically takes 30 minutes, dragged on for four hours.A map of where the village is located.Courtesy of Katya.When they arrived, they were grateful to find that the electricity was still working.But the next day, the lights went out. Cell phone service and internet connectivity quickly followed."We were cut off from all over the world, not knowing what was happening," Katya said.Despite their lack of information, one thing was clear: The nonstop shelling and gunfire indicated that her family had flocked not to safety, but toward more acute danger.As artillery fire pierced the skies upon their arrival, Katya said her family went to a neighbor's underground shelter."The sounds were so loud and terrifying that we were just staying in this bomb shelter and praying nobody would enter with tanks," she said.When the sound of airstrikes momentarily passed, Katya said she and her family returned to their small country home — one of the few houses in the village that used gas heating instead of electricity and could therefore combat the near-freezing temperatures. In the coming days, several other people from the village would come to escape the cold, praying by candlelight for relief as the sounds of shelling inched closer.Katya and her compatriots had no cellphone connection to get information about nearby Russian military positions, nor could they get updates about the status of the war or the conditions of their loved ones.They covered the windows with blankets and lived in a total blackout after 6 p.m. each night, staying desperately silent. And they were running out of food. The only grocery store in the village had already shut down, depleted of supplies.For the first few days in the village, from about February 25 to February 28, Katya said there were rumors that Polish humanitarian aid would be coming soon. Nobody at the time knew that their village was sitting in the middle of a 30-kilometer Russian-occupied "death circle," as Katya called it.Maps from Insider and The New York Times tracking the Russian invasion over the last month show heavy aerial strikes as well as Russian occupation in the region where Katya's village is located beginning soon after the invasion.The Bucha-Irpin area, located to the southeast of Katya's village, was plagued with heavy fighting starting around February 25 and continuing through March. Meanwhile, the town of Borodyanka, located to the north of the village, was hit with repeated Russian shelling in early March, and Makariv, to the south-west, sustained damage and casualties as well, before Ukrainian forces said they retook the city last week.!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMar 30th, 2022

Nightmare Scenario: Operational Miscalculations Could Trigger Nuclear War

Nightmare Scenario: Operational Miscalculations Could Trigger Nuclear War Submitted by geopolitical and national security analyst Nauman Sadiq, Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have tried to set up phone calls with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Gen. Valery Gerasimov but the Russians “have so far declined to engage,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby in a statement Wednesday, March 23. “A nightmare scenario would be a Russian missile or attack aircraft that destroys a U.S. command post across the Polish-Ukrainian border,” James Stavridis, a retired admiral who served as the Supreme Allied Commander at NATO from 2009 to 2013, told the Washington Post. “A local commander might respond immediately, thinking the event was a precursor to a wider attack. This could lead to rapid and irreversible escalation, to include potential use of nuclear weapons.” According to a CNN report detailing a rare face-to-face meeting between Russian and US military officials last week, the US believes that the refusal for high-level meetings is due to Kremlin worries that the encounters would show them to be vulnerable if they allowed such meetings, because it risks a tacit admission that an abnormal situation exists, according to the readout of the meeting. Though the assumption of vulnerability appears misconceived considering while the Pentagon has allegedly attempted to maintain high-level contacts with Russian counterparts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has not attempted any conversations with his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, since the start of the conflict last month. The real reason the Russian military leadership has allegedly shunned maintaining high-level contacts with the Pentagon’s top brass appears to be the duplicitous and treacherous role played by the transatlantic NATO alliance of significantly escalating the conflict by substantially increasing the NATO military footprint in Eastern Europe along Russia’s western flank, publicly providing billions of dollars’ worth lethal weapons to Ukraine’s security forces and allied neo-Nazi militias while asininely claiming to be “peacemakers” extending chivalrous courtesies to the arch-rival. Ahead of the NATO summit attended by President Biden Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced the transatlantic military alliance would double the number of battlegroups it had deployed in Eastern Europe. “The first step is the deployment of four new NATO battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, along with our existing forces in the Baltic countries and Poland,” Stoltenberg said. “This means that we will have eight multinational NATO battlegroups all along the eastern flank, from the Baltic to the Black Sea.” NATO issued a statement after Thursday's emergency summit attended by Joe Biden and European leaders: “In response to Russia’s actions, we have activated NATO’s defense plans, deployed elements of the NATO Response Force, and placed 40,000 troops on our eastern flank, along with significant air and naval assets, under direct NATO command supported by Allies’ national deployments. We are also establishing four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.” Last week, President Biden announced an unprecedented package of $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine in addition to $350 million previously pledged which was disbursed within days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. The new package includes 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 2,000 anti-armor Javelins, 1,000 light anti-armor weapons, 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems and 100 Switchblade kamikaze drones. Besides providing abundance of anti-aircraft and anti-armor munitions to Ukraine’s largely conscript military and allied irregular militias, a senior US administration official told Reuters Washington and its allies were also working on providing anti-ship weapons to protect Ukraine's coast. Ukrainian forces claimed on Thursday to have blown up a Russian landing ship in a Russian-occupied port. Nonetheless, what must have exasperated Russia’s military leadership is a secret plan for a “peacekeeping mission” involving 10,000 NATO troops from the member states surreptitiously occupying western Ukraine and imposing a limited no-fly zone over Lviv and rest of towns which is allegedly being prepared by the Polish government. The plan is seemingly on hiatus due to a disagreement between Polish President Andrzej Duda and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the deputy prime minister of Poland and the head of Law and Justice (PiS) Party. Duda wants Washington’s approval before going ahead, whereas Kaczynski appears desperate to obtain political mileage from the Ukraine crisis. The prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia traveled via train to the embattled Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and met with President Volodymyr Zelensky on March 15 in a show of support for Ukraine. De facto leader of Poland, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, accompanied them. Speaking on the occasion, Kaczynski said: “I think that it is necessary to have a peace mission—NATO, possibly some wider international structure—but a mission that will be able to defend itself, which will operate on Ukrainian territory.” In response, Russian officials condemned Poland's proposal to send NATO “peacekeeping forces” into Ukraine as a “very reckless and extremely dangerous” idea that would risk a full-scale war between the alliance and Moscow. “This will be the direct clash between the Russian and NATO armed forces that everyone has not only tried to avoid but said should not take place in principle,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. Regarding how operational-level miscalculations could lead to all-out war between belligerents, it’s pertinent to recall that on February 7, 2018, US B-52 bombers and Apache helicopters struck a contingent of Syrian government troops and allied forces in Deir al-Zor province of eastern Syria that reportedly killed and wounded scores of Russian military contractors working for the Russian private security firm, the Wagner Group. The survivors described the bombing as an absolute massacre, and Moscow lost more Russian nationals in one day than it had lost during its entire military campaign in support of the Syrian government since September 2015. Washington’s objective in striking Russian contractors was that the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – which is mainly comprised of Kurdish YPG militias – had reportedly handed over the control of some areas east of the Euphrates River to Deir al-Zor Military Council (DMC), which was the Arab-led component of SDF, and had relocated several battalions of Kurdish YPG militias to Afrin and along Syria’s northern border with Turkey in order to defend the Kurdish-held areas against the onslaught of the Turkish armed forces and allied Syrian militant proxies during Ankara’s “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s northwest that lasted from January to March 2018. Syrian forces with the backing of Russian contractors took advantage of the opportunity and crossed the Euphrates River to capture an oil refinery located to the east of the Euphrates River in the Kurdish-held area of Deir al-Zor. The US Air Force responded with full force, knowing well the ragtag Arab component of SDF – mainly comprised of local Arab tribesmen and mercenaries to make the Kurdish-led SDF appear more representative and inclusive in outlook – was simply not a match for the superior training and arms of the Syrian troops and Russian military contractors, consequently causing a carnage in which scores of Russian nationals lost their lives. A month after the massacre of Russian military contractors in Syria, on March 4, 2018, Sergei Skripal, a Russian double agent working for the British foreign intelligence service, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a public bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury. A few months later, in July 2018, a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, died after touching the container of the nerve agent that allegedly poisoned the Skripals. In the case of the Skripals, Theresa May, then the prime minister of the United Kingdom, promptly accused Russia of attempted assassinations and the British government concluded that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Moscow-made, military-grade nerve agent, novichok. Sergei Skripal was recruited by the British MI6 in 1995, and before his arrest in Russia in December 2004, he was alleged to have blown the cover of scores of Russian secret agents. He was released in a spy swap deal in 2010 and was allowed to settle in Salisbury. Both Sergei Skripal and his daughter have since recovered and were discharged from hospital in May 2018. In the aftermath of the Salisbury poisonings in March 2018, the US, UK and several European nations expelled scores of Russian diplomats and Washington ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. In a retaliatory move, Russia also expelled a similar number of American, British and European diplomats, and ordered the closure of American consulate in Saint Petersburg. The number of American diplomatic personnel stationed in Russia drastically dropped from 1,200 before the escalation to 120, and the relations between Moscow and Western powers reached their lowest ebb since the break-up of the former Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in December 1991. Notwithstanding, five years following a potentially catastrophic incident that could’ve inundated Islamic State’s former capital Raqqa and many towns downstream Euphrates River in eastern Syria and caused more deaths than the deployment of any weapon of mass destruction, the New York Times reported in January that at the height of US-led international coalition’s war against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, US B-52 bombers struck Tabqa Dam with 2,000-pound bombs, including at least one bunker-busting bomb that fortunately didn’t explode. In March 2017, alternative media was abuzz with reports that the dam was about to collapse and entire civilian population downstream Euphrates River needed to be urgently evacuated to prevent the inevitable catastrophe. But Washington issued a gag order to the corporate media “not to sensationalize the issue.” The explosive report noted that the dam was contested between the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, the Syrian government and the Islamic State. A firefight broke out in which SDF incurred heavy casualties. It was then that a top secret US special operations unit Task Force 9 called for airstrikes on the dam after repeated requests from the Kurdish leadership of the SDF. “The explosions on March 26, 2017, knocked dam workers to the ground. A fire spread and crucial equipment failed. The flow of the Euphrates River suddenly had no way through, the reservoir began to rise and authorities used loudspeakers to warn people downstream to flee. “The Islamic State group, the Syrian government and Russia blamed the United States, but the dam was on the US military’s ‘no-strike list’ of protected civilian sites, and the commander of the US offensive at the time, then-Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, said allegations of US involvement were based on ‘crazy reporting.’” It’s worth noting that it was the same rogue Pentagon General Stephen J. Townsend, currently the commander of US AFRICOM and then the commander of Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) – Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) responsible for leading the war against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, whose “operational miscalculation” was responsible for the reckless confrontation a year later in February 2018 when US B-52 bombers struck Russian military contractors, killing and wounding scores, a tragic incident that brought two nuclear powers engaged in the Syrian conflict almost to the brink of a full-scale war. *  *  * Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based geopolitical and national security analyst focused on geo-strategic affairs and hybrid warfare in the Af-Pak and Middle East regions. His domains of expertise include neocolonialism, military-industrial complex and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor of diligently researched investigative reports to alternative news media. Tyler Durden Sat, 03/26/2022 - 23:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 27th, 2022

Live updates: Russian forces "frustrated," Zelensky refuses evacuation help, Germany sends weapons and missiles to "friends in Ukraine"

Zelensky called for allies to send help. In a major "turning point," Germany will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles. Ukrainian servicemen walk by fragments of a downed aircraft in Kyiv on February 25, 2022.AP Photo/Oleksandr Ratushniak President Zelensky said during a briefing on Saturday morning that Ukraine "survived" the night. He said that government forces still control Kyiv and called for allies to send help. Germany is planning to send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles to Ukraine. Germany to send anti-tank weapons and missiles to Ukraine in a major policy reversalGermany is planning to send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles to Ukraine, according to a statement made by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday. "The Russian attack marks a turning point," Scholz wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. "It is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of Putin. That's why we're supplying 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 stinger missiles to our friends in Ukraine."The announcement marks a significant shift of Germany's restrictive arms export policy. The country has previously said it held "historical responsibilities" that prevented it from sending weapons and arms to conflict areas, often citing guilt for crimes committed against the Soviet Union during World War II. Read Full StoryRussian forces are 'frustrated' with lack of progress, US official saysAn unexploded Grad rocket is seen at a kindergarten playground in Kharkiv, Ukraine, February 26, 2022, in this still image obtained from a videoReuters TV via REUTERSAccording to a Reuters report, the US official, who was not named by the outlet, said Russian forces had not planned to bring enough fuel or for other basic logistics. "We know that they have not made the progress that they have wanted to make, particularly in the north. They have been frustrated by what they have seen is a very determined resistance," the official told Reuters, adding: "It has slowed them down." An unnamed US official told Fox News: "We continue to believe, based on what we've observed, that this resistance is greater than what the Russians expected." The British Defense Ministry on Saturday made similar claims, saying: "The speed of the Russian advance has temporarily slowed likely as a result of acute logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance," according to the Associated Press.Read Full StoryZelensky called on 'every friend of Ukraine' to 'please come over' and help defend against Russian invasionUkraine President Volodymyr ZelenskyUkraine President Volodymyr ZelenskyUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday remained defiant in the face of Russia's invasion, confirming that government forces continued to control Kyiv and "key points around the city.""Please stop those who are lying, or trying to lie to you, or lying to us. We need to stop this war," he said during a morning briefing, The Guardian reported, lambasting disinformation about the state of the country. "We can live in peace together, globally, as humans."He continued: "Our military, our national guard, our national police, our territory defense, special service, nationals of Ukraine, please carry on. We will win. Glory to Ukraine."Read Full StoryBiden's administration is reportedly working to set up a hotline with Russia to avoid an unintended clash between their military forces in Eastern EuropeU.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division and military vehicles are seen at the temporary military base for U.S. troops established at the Arlamow Airport.Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesSources told NBC News that the United States is working to set up backchannel communications with the Russian military to prevent a clash between the two forces near Ukraine's border.The hotline would help both parties to avoid clashing as US forces are operating near Eastern Europe, according to the report.The open line of communication would also help US and Russian aircraft and ships remain in different areas and communicate the risk of missile strikes. However, it is not yet clear if Russia will subscribe to the potential plan. Mayor of Kyiv sets curfew amid battle to hold capital, says anyone on the street after curfew will be considered an enemyKyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Saturday announced a curfew from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. to ensure a "more effective defense of the capital" and its residents, according to reports. "This curfew is introduced until the morning of February 28," Klitschko said in the translated announcement. "All civilians who will be on the street during the curfew will be considered members of the enemy's sabotage and reconnaissance groups." —Alex Ward (@alexbward) February 26, 2022The mayor added: "Please treat the situation with understanding and do not go outside."Read Full StoryUkrainian President Zelensky says Ukraine 'survived' the nightUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses nation in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 25, 2022.Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via APUkraine has "survived" the night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a briefing on Saturday morning."And we are successfully fighting off the enemy attacks," he added, per The Kyiv Independent.He said that government forces still control Kyiv and "key points around the city," The Guardian reported.Ukrainian President Zelensky addressed false information that circulated online claiming he called on residents to lay down armsIn a video posted early Saturday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky can be seen in front of the House with Chimaeras in Kyiv. —Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 26, 2022Zelensky addressed misinformation that was circulating online and reiterated that he was not standing down. "Ukrainians, it has now come to our attention that a lot of fake information has been circulating about me allegedly calling to our armed forces to lay down their arms, and talks of de-evacuation. Let's get things straight. We are here, we are not laying down any arms, we are going to defend our nation." Zelensky said. He added: "This is because our weapons are our truth, and our truth lies in the fact that this is our land, this is our country, our children, and we are going to defend all of this. So this is what I want to tell you. Glory to Ukraine!" Officials in Kyiv are telling residents to seek shelter as street fights break out against Russian forcesIn this handout photo taken from video released by Ukrainian Police Department Press Service released on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, firefighters hose down burning burning debris in front of a damaged building following a rocket attack on the city of Kyiv, Ukraine.Ukrainian Police Department Press Service via APThe Associated Press reported that on Saturday morning, Russian troops headed toward Kyiv as explosions could be heard across the city. Officials in the Ukrainian capital warned residents to stay away from windows and take shelter indoors as fighting escalated on the streets. President Joe Biden authorized the release of $350 million for military aid to UkrainePresident Joe Biden delivers remarks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the East Room of the White House on February 07, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesIn a memorandum to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sent on Friday night, President Joe Biden asked the State Department to release $350 million through the Foreign Assistance Act to be sent to Ukraine as it defends itself against a Russian invasion.   'The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,' Ukrainian President Zelensky said following an offer to evacuateUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen at Arlington National Cemetery on September 1, 2021.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky refused an offer from the US to evacuate the Ukrainian capital, a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation told the Associated Press. "The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride," Zelensky said in response to the offer, the official said, describing Zelensky as "upbeat," according to the AP. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accuses Russia of "abusing its power" on the UN Security Council with its attacks on UkraineSecretary of State Antony Blinken takes part in a press conference at the end of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) foreign ministers meeting in Melbourne on February 11, 2022.Kevin Lamarque/Getty ImagesUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted his support for the people of Ukraine on Friday night, rebuking Russia — an "irresponsible Permanent Member of the UN Security Council" — for "abusing its power to attack its neighbor and subvert the UN and our international system.Blinken said the US will be addressing the matter in the UN General Assembly where "the nations of the world can, will, and should hold Russia accountable..."—Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 26, 2022Earlier Friday, Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution that called on Moscow to withdraw its troops and halt the attack on Ukraine.The US Embassy in Kyiv issued a travel advisory warning US citizens remaining in the city to "know your closest shelter"US Embassy building stays empty as the diplomatic staff was ordered to leave Ukraine Kiev, Ukraine on February 23, 2022.Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesThe US Embassy in Kyiv issued a new travel advisory for US citizens remaining in Kyiv early Saturday morning. As Russian forces intensify their attacks against the capital city, the embassy warned US citizens to exercise increased caution due to the possibility of active combat, crime, and civil unrest."The security situation throughout Ukraine is highly volatile, and conditions may deteriorate without warning," the statement said. "US citizens should remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness."The advisory urged US citizens to know the location of "your closest shelter or protected space," and seek shelter immediately in "the event of mortar and/or rocket fire." "If you feel your current location is no longer safe, you should carefully assess the potential risks involved in moving to a different location," the advisory said. US government prepared to evacuate President Zelensky, according to The Washington PostUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.Photo by Ronald Wittek - Pool/Getty ImagesThe US government is ready to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flee Kyiv, but the president is so far refusing to leave, according to The Washington Post.US and Ukrainian officials told the outlet that preparations have been made to help Zelensky avoid being captured or killed as Russian forces descended upon the capital city early Saturday morning.Amid increasing Russian attacks on Friday, Zelensky promised to remain at the head of Ukraine's government in Kyiv, despite the danger."According to the information we have, the enemy has marked me as target No. 1, my family as target No.2," he said in an address. "They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state."Insider has reached out to the White House and the State Department for comment. A senior US official told The Post that US officials in recent days have talked to Zelensky about multiple security issues, including the safest place for the president to remain to maintain the Ukrainian government. "We have been making him aware not only of the threat of Russian invasion, now a reality, but also the threat to him personally," Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told The Post. "We stand ready to assist him in any way."Satellite image shows 4-mile-long traffic jam along the Ukrainian-Romanian borderSatellite image of a miles-long traffic jam along the Ukraine-Romania border.Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.Satellite images from Maxar show a 4-mile (6.5 km)-long traffic jam of people, cars, and trucks attempting to leave Ukraine and cross into Romania near the Siret border crossing.Tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees have already fled the country since Russian forces invaded early Thursday morning.New explosions heard in Kyiv as Russian forces attack the cityA view of empty streets following the curfew in the country after explosions and air raid sirens wailing again in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 26, 2022.Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesMore than four dozen explosions were heard early Saturday morning in Kyiv as Russian troops intensified their attacks on the capital city, according to The Washington Post.Thirty minutes of ongoing shelling could be heard as the Ukrainian military fought off Russian assaults in northern Kyiv, the Kyiv Independent reported.The State Special Communications Service instructed people to seek shelter following more than 50 shots fired in a suburb near the city's center.CNN reported that heavy fighting is being reported south of Kyiv as well.—The Recount (@therecount) February 26, 2022 Ukraine's president warns that Russia will try to 'break our resistance' and topple the government before the night is overPresident of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference in regard of Russia's attack on Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday night that the future of his country "is being decided right now," a warning that comes amid reports that Russian troops are approaching Kyiv from multiple directions."Tonight the enemy will use all the resources they have to break our resistance in a mean, cruel, and inhuman way," Zelensky said in a message to his nation, according to a translation of his remarks. "Tonight they will assault us."He added that many Ukrainian cities remain under attack."Burn down the enemy's military vehicles, using anything—anything—you can. If even the kindergartens are an admissible target for the invaders, you must not leave them any chance," he said.READ FULL STORYRussia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution calling on Moscow to stop Ukrainian assaultUnited Nations Security Council vote on a resolution during a meeting on Russian invasion of Ukraine, Friday Feb. 25, 2022 at U.N. headquarters.AP Photo/Seth WenigRussia vetoed on Friday a United Nations Security Council draft resolution that called on Moscow to withdraw its troops and halt the attack on Ukraine.Eleven countries on the council voted in favor, while three abstained. The countries that voted in favor of the resolution were:United StatesUnited KingdomFranceNorwayIrelandAlbaniaGabonMexicoBrazilGhanaKenyaRussia voted no.The countries that abstained from voting were: ChinaIndiaUnited Arab EmiratesThe Biden administration is seeking $6.4 billion for Ukraine aid from CongressA view of the US Capitol at sunset on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe White House on Friday asked Congress for an estimated $6.4 billion in additional spending to aid Ukraine amid Russia's invasion, according to Bloomberg.The outlet reported that $2.9 billion of the requested funds would go to humanitarian and security needs in Ukraine, the Baltics, and Poland, including food aid, refugee assistance, and energy stabilization. The remaining $3.5 billion would help the US Department of Defense respond to the conflict, a Biden administration official told Bloomberg.The funds could be included in a broad government spending package Congress is aiming to pass by mid-March. The The requested money is on top of $650 million in security aid and $52 million in humanitarian aid that the US promised Ukraine last year. Spy chief humiliated by Putin on Russian TV for stammering releases new video echoing Putin's war rhetoricRussian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergei Naryshkin is seen while opening of the exhibition on violations of human rights in Ukraine (2017-2020), on January 18, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty ImagesJust days after being humiliated in a broadcast meeting by Vladimir Putin, the head of Russia's foreign intelligence agency, Sergei Naryshkin, returned to the screen to reiterate war rhetoric."Russia cannot allow Ukraine to become a dagger raised above us in the hands of Washington," Naryshkin said in a video on state television, according to the New York Times. "The special military operation will restore peace in Ukraine within a short amount of time and prevent a potential larger conflict in Europe."Read Full StoryBiden is planning to announce new sanctions that personally target Putin, report saysRussian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.Alexei Nikolsky/Associated PressUS President Joe Biden is planning to announce as soon as Friday that the US will sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin, CNN reported, a provocative move of condemnation against one of the world's most powerful leaders.The move would come after the US, in coordination with its partners and allies, slapped two rounds of sanctions on Russia following its military assault on Ukraine earlier this week.Biden's reported decision to sanction Putin personally is a rare step and follows the European Union and the UK announcing sanctions against the Russian leader.Read Full StoryA California professor says he spotted Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Google Maps hours before Putin announced the attackRadar imagery showed a large Russian military unit south of Belgorod before it moved toward the border with Ukraine.Capella Space/Middlebury Institute of International StudiesA California professor and arms control expert says he noticed Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Google Maps in real time hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the attack in a televised address.Jeffrey Lewis, a nonproliferation professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, had been monitoring Google Maps with a small team of research assistants and graduate students when they spotted a "traffic jam" on a road from Belgorod, Russia, to the Ukrainian border at around 3:15 a.m. local time in the Russian city on Thursday.Lewis told Insider on Friday that the "unusual" early morning backup started exactly where a radar image taken a day earlier showed a newly arrived "large Russian military unit with a lot of armor," such as tanks and armored personnel carriers."What was important about that image is that they were not set up in a camp — they were lined up in columns along roads, which is what you do when you're about to pounce," Lewis said.Read Full StoryThe daughter of Putin's spokesman publicly opposed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, undermining her dadElizaveta Pesokva attends a restaurant opening in January 2022Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via Getty ImagesThe daughter of President Vladimir Putin's spokesman posted an anti-war slogan in her Instagram Live on Friday, according to multiple reports.Elizaveta Peskova, 24, posted "HET BOЙHE" — "no to war," against a black background on her Instagram story according to a screenshot tweeted by the Russian outlet TV Rain.This slogan is the main chant used by Russian protesters to oppose the invasions of Ukraine.Read Full StoryVideo reportedly shows Ukrainian men helping themselves to guns on a Kyiv street after all 18-60 years were urged to take up arms and fight the Russian invasionVolunteers, holding AK-47 rifles, protect a main road leading into Kyiv on February 25, 2022DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe video, which was shared on Twitter by Illia Ponomarenko, the defense correspondent at the Kyiv Independent, appears to shows civilians on a suburban street in a Kyiv suburb rummaging through boxes of firearms unloaded from trucks, as a voice off-camera says "Slava Ukraini!" (Glory to Ukraine!)."Firearms are delivered to anyone willing," Ponomarenko said in the tweet of the video.Read Full StoryUkraine's president posts defiant video with top government leaders saying 'we are all here' in the streets of besieged KyivUkraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference on Russia's military operation in Ukraine, on February 25, 2022 in Kyiv.Photo by Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesUkraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a defiant video on Friday, purportedly from streets of besieged Kyiv, with top government leaders."We are all here," he said in a video posted to his Facebook page with the words: "We're in here. We are in Kiev. We defend Ukraine."Zelensky said he was with Ukraine's prime minister, presidential advisor, and head of the president's office."Our military are here, our citizens and society are here. We are all here defending our independence, our state, and this is how it's going to be," he said.Read Full StoryRussia says it will partially restrict access to Facebook, accusing it of censorship and human rights violationsRussian President Vladimir PutinAlexey Nikolsky/Getty ImagesRussia said Friday that it would partially limit access to Facebook within its borders over what it alleges is censorship of four state news outlets. In its announcement, the country's communications regulator said it asked Facebook earlier in the week to remove the restrictions and explain its reasoning for them but did not hear back.It also accused the company of various other undetailed human rights and freedoms abuses. Read Full StoryBan children of Russian oligarchs from elite British schools, UK MPs urge after invasion of UkraineHarrow School is one of the many prestigious private schools included in testimonies on Everyone's Invited.Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty ImagesBoris Johnson should ban the children of Russian oligarchs from enjoying the benefits of elite British schools, Conservative MPs have said. The prime minister is coming under increasing pressure to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine by targeting its super-rich, many of whom have interests in the UK and mingle with its high society.Read Full StoryThe 5,000 helmets Germany offered Ukraine are finally on their way as it faces a Russian onslaught from 3 sidesGermany is sending 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine, which had requested 100,000 of them.Friso GentschThe 5,000 helmets Germany offered to Ukraine are finally on their way as the country faces Russian attacks from 3 sides. Over a month after Germany's secretary of defense promised the equipment, two trucks are bound for a handoff just outside Ukraine, according to German media company Der Spiegel.  Read Full StoryRussia's advance on Kyiv hit more resistance and is moving slower than expected, US defense official saysUkrainian servicemen ride on tanks towards the front line with Russian forces in the Lugansk region of Ukraine on February 25, 2022ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty ImagesRussia appears to have "lost a bit of momentum" as they continue their invasion of Ukraine, a senior US defense official told reporters on Friday. The official said Russian forces are "not moving on Kyiv as fast as they anticipated they would be able to" and are "meeting more resistance than they expected," CNN reported.Read Full StoryEuropean Union freezes assets of Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov, Latvia's foreign minister saysRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on, next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as they wait for the US-Russia summit at the Villa La Grange, in Geneva on June 16, 2021.Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesThe European Union on Friday approved freezing the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Latvia's foreign minister said."EU Foreign Affairs Council has adopted the 2nd sanctions package, asset freeze includes President of Russia and its Foreign Minister. We will prepare the 3d package," Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said on Twitter.Read Full StoryA Russian tennis star protested the war in Ukraine in a twist of a traditional celebration in the sportTSN/TwitterRussian tennis star Andrey Rublev has a message for the world — and maybe one directed at his own country."No war please."On Friday, the 24-year-old Moscow native called for peace after besting Poland's Hubert Hurkacz for a spot in the Dubai Tennis Championships title match.As is a popular tennis tradition, Rublev wrote a note on the TV camera lens following his victory.Instead of signing his name or sketching a cheeky doodle — as is the norm in the sport — the world No. 7 penned a serious message for all to see: "No war please."Read Full StoryMonuments around the world are lighting up in blue and yellow in support of UkraineSt Georges Hall in Liverpool is lit up in yellow and blue in an expression of solidarity with Ukraine following Russia's invasion.Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty ImagesMonuments around the world are lit up in Ukrainian flag colors following Russia's invasion.Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and Rome's Colosseum, among other landmarks, displayed blue and yellow lights.Read Full StoryUkraine praises marine for sacrificing his life to blow up bridge to try to choke off Russian tanksSkakun Vitaliy Volodymyrovich.General Staff of the Armed Forces of UkraineOfficials in Ukraine praised a marine for sacrificing his life to blow up a bridge to try to stop Russian tanks from advancing.Vitaliy Skakun Volodymyrovych was positioned at the Henichesk bridge in the Kherson region during a standoff with Russian forces, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Friday statement.In an effort to fight off advancing Russian tanks, Ukrainian forces decided to blow up the bridge, the statement said."According to his brothers in arms, Vitaly got in touch [with them] and said he was going to blow up the bridge," the statement said. "Immediately after, an explosion rang out."Volodymyrovych died immediately, the statement said.Read Full StoryOrdinary Ukrainian citizens are taking up arms to fend off Russian forces as they close in on KyivResidents attend an open training organised for civilians by war veterans and volunteers who teach the basic weapons handling and first aid on one of Kyiv's city beachesGenya Savilov/AFP via Getty ImagesOrdinary citizens all over Kyiv are taking up arms in the fight against Russian forces as they close in on the capital city following two days of heavy attacks and hundreds of casualties.As Russian forces started making their way toward Kyiv, the Ukrainian government called on all citizens and "patriots" to take up arms in defense of the country, saying that only an ID was required and adding, "We give weapons to all patriots!""We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a tweet. "Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities."Read Full StoryRussian state media denies its military attacked Kyiv and claims Ukraine shot down its own plane thereDamage to a building in Kyiv Ukraine, on the morning of February 25, 2022. Russia insisted it was not attacking the city.Pierre Crom/Getty ImagesOn Thursday and into Friday it was clear to most people around the world that Russia had invaded Ukraine, and moved quickly to attack its capital, Kyiv.But those receiving their news from Russia's vast array of state media outlets were given no sense of this, according to a review by Insider and other monitors.A selection of stories from the front pages of major Russian outlets in the early afternoon of Friday, the second day of hostilities around Kyiv, show the news the Russian state is promoting. They had a common theme: Russia is winning, Ukraine is planning atrocities, and there are no Russian attacks on Kyiv.Read Full StoryPeople in Kyiv describe bombardment on night 2 of invasion as Russia closes in on the capitalA building hit by a missile in Kyiv, Ukraine, seen on February 25, 2022.Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesKyiv was rocked by shelling for the second straight day on Friday morning, with Russian forces entering the outskirts of the capital by the afternoon.Speaking from Kyiv by phone on Friday, five residents told Insider of multiple explosions overnight, interspersed with air raid sirens directing people to find safety in bunkers. Alisa Obraztsova, 25, said she was rocked away by explosions at 4:20 a.m."I slept in the guest room in my apartment because I could hear the sirens from that room better," she said. Oleksii, a Kyiv resident who asked to be identified only by his first name, told Insider he was also startled awake by bombs."I woke up at around 4 a.m. because there was a massive explosion," he said. "I looked out the window, everything was a bright orange, everything was getting brighter."Read Full StoryPutin falsely describes Ukraine's government as a 'band of drug addicts and neo-Nazis' in latest propaganda blitz as Russian troops fight to take KyivRussia's President Vladimir Putin meets with members of the Delovaya Rossiya [Business Russia] All-Russian Public Organization at Moscow's Kremlin.Photo by Alexei NikolskybackslashTASS via Getty ImagesRussian President Vladimir Putin falsely described Ukraine's government as a "band of drug addicts and neo-Nazis" in a television appearance on Friday.In the speech, Putin also said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's government "lodged itself in Kyiv and taken hostage the entire Ukrainian people," according to a translation from New York Times Moscow bureau chief Anton Troianovski and The Guardian.Read Full StoryZelensky told European leaders, "This might be the last time you see me alive," report saysPresident of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference in regard of Russia's attack on Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday told European leaders on a conference call that it "might be the last time you see me alive" as the Russian military pushes ahead with its offensive in his country. Zelensky on Thursday said in a video address he would remain in Kyiv and would keep his family in Ukraine.Zelensky added that "the enemy marked me as the number one target," with his family being number two.Read Full StoryZelensky asks Putin to 'sit down at the negotiating table' to 'stop the dying' as Russian forces strike KyivUkraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference on Russia's military operation in Ukraine, on February 25, 2022 in Kyiv.Photo by Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for negotiations to "stop the dying" as Russian forces strike the country's capital city of Kyiv."Let us sit down at the negotiating table in order to stop the dying," he said in a video address on Friday, according to a translation from The New York Times.Zelensky added: "I want to turn again to the president of the Russian Federation... Fighting is taking place across the entire territory of Ukraine."Read Full StoryMap shows Russian troop movement in Ukraine on Friday!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytFeb 26th, 2022

Ukraine accuses Russian soldiers of stealing uniforms and vehicles to enter Kyiv

Ukrainian officials posted to social media claiming Russian soldiers attempted to pass themselves off as Ukrainian forces to enter Kyiv Friday Footage which Ukrainian officials say shows Ukrainian vehicles that had been stolen by Russian soldiers, being used on February 25, 2022, as a disguise to get closer to Kyiv.State Special Communications Service of Ukraine/Facebook Ukrainian officials on Friday accused Russian soldiers of dressing up in Ukrainian uniforms. They claimed Russian soldiers used the uniforms and stolen vehicles to approach the capital, Kyiv. Officials posted video purporting to show the vehicles. It comes as Russian forces advance on Kyiv. Ukrainian officials accused Russian soldiers of stealing Ukrainian uniforms and vehicles early Friday and using them to lead a convoy towards the capital, Kyiv. In a Facebook post made around 9 a.m. local time, Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar claimed that Russian forces "seized two Ukrainian army vehicles and changed into Ukrainian uniforms."At the time, they were "moving at speed to the center of Kiev" from the side of Oblon, a district to the north of the city. "They are followed by a column of Russian military trucks," she added. "They will surely be destroyed."It came on the second day of President Vladimir Putin's all-out invasion of the country. Malyar's claim was repeated on Facebook by the Ukrainian State Service for the Special Communications and Information Protection. It accused Russia of "cunningly trying to break into Kyiv."The vehicles stolen were two armored personnel carriers and three military trucks, the service said. The service also added a video which purports to show the convoy, which Insider was unable to verify. The grainy footage appears to be video of a surveillance monitor, showing two APCs and an unidentifiable vehicle speeding along a wide street. According to Kyiv Independent reporter Anastasiia Lapatina, the Russian soldiers were "neutralized." She did not provide a source. Representatives for the Ministry of Defense and the Special Communications Office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for further details. The accusation comes after CNN reported large explosions in the capital overnight. International opinion is divided on whether disguising oneself as the enemy constitutes a war crime.Some experts say it is a legitimate tactic so long as the soldiers are not disguised at the moment of opening fire, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 25th, 2022

Large explosions heard in Kyiv early Friday morning after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday said he was the number one target. Some Ukrainians took to the subways for safety from attacks. A night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images Explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv early Friday morning, CNN reports. The number of casualties and projectiles is unclear. Russia declared a "special military operation" in Ukraine on Thursday. Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was awakened by explosions in the early hours of Friday morning local time, CNN reported."Strikes on Kyiv with cruise or ballistic missiles continued," Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ukraine, told CNN Thursday.The outlet also reported multiple bombardments — two blasts in Kyiv and an explosion in the distance. However, it is not immediately clear how many people have been injured or how many projectiles have hit the city.Social media users in Kyiv posted videos showing the sky lit up with projectiles.—Justin Ling (@Justin_Ling) February 25, 2022One user showed that what appeared to be an apartment building had been set ablaze. —Anastasiia Lapatina (@lapatina_) February 25, 2022The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, reported that the building fire injured three people — one of which is in critical condition.The Biden administration told House lawmakers during a Thursday briefing that they believe Russian forces are intending to surround Kyiv — which 3 million people live in — before capturing it, CNN reported. !function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 25th, 2022

Live updates: Zelensky says "enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv" and that he is "number one target"

Russia attacked Ukraine Thursday morning. Blasts were heard across the country, with reports of artillery fire from Russian forces across the border. Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images US President Joe Biden announced a new round of "strong sanctions" on Russia. Russian forces attacked Ukraine on Thursday morning. Ukraine called it a "full-scale invasion." Ukraine said eight civilians were killed, as well as dozens more troops on both sides. Large explosions heard in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital cityA night view of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city, as seen on Thursday.Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty ImagesKyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was awakened by explosions in the early hours of Friday morning local time, CNN reported."Strikes on Kyiv with cruise or ballistic missiles continued," Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ukraine, told CNN Thursday.The outlet also reported multiple bombardments — two blasts in Kyiv and an explosion in the distance. Read Full StoryUkraine is crowdfunding to shore up its defenses against the Russian militarySoldiers seen aboard a Ukrainian tank in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday.REUTERS/Carlos BarriaUkraine is crowdfunding to bolster its armed forces against the Russian invasion.In a tweet on Thursday, the official Twitter account of Ukraine called for donations and provided a link to the country's official website.Collected funds will be used for the "logistical and medical support" of the Ukrainian armed forces, said the webpage, which is operated by Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ukrainian Institution.Read Full Story5 reasons Putin and others have given for the invasionRussian President Vladimir Putin claims the Ukraine invasion is aimed at preventing the "genocide" of ethnic Russians in the country.Photo by Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty ImagesRussian forces attacked Ukraine early Thursday morning, launching a large-scale and unprovoked invasion that was feared for weeks.Here are some reasons Russian President Vladimir Putin has given for why Russia invaded Ukraine — some of which are based on falsehoods — along with what the US and NATO have said about his motivations.Read Full StoryThe Biden administration is considering training Ukrainian soldiers in an outside country, according to AxiosUkrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine on January 20, 2022.Wolfgang Schwan/Getty ImagesAs Russian forces enclose on Ukraine's capital Kyiv, the Biden administration is eyeing its next steps in the ongoing conflict.Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told House lawmakers on Thursday that the US government is considering possible ways to train Ukrainian troops outside of Ukraine, should Russia seize control of the country, according to Axios.Austin reportedly told lawmakers that officials are trying to find ways to provide more defense equipment, including ammunition to Ukrainian forces — a feat made more challenging as Russian forces assault the country.The secretary also told House members that the Biden administration will continue to support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's government as long as it is "viable," the outlet reported.Ukrainian president announces general mobilization of all conscripts and reservists to last 90 daysUkrainian soldiers sit on top of a military vehicle parked outside the hotel in Prypiat, Ukraine on February 4.Volodymyr Tarasov/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty ImageUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday ordered a general military mobilization throughout the country as Russia continues its large-scale military assault in Ukraine. The declaration ordered the conscription of conscripts and reservists for military service, as well as their delivery to military units and institutions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in order to "ensure the defense of the state." The mobilization, which included all of Ukraine's major cities, will be carried out within 90 days, the decree said. It will provide personnel, vehicles, infrastructure, and land use for the Ukrainian government and military amid Russia's ongoing invasion, according to the decree. Ukraine has also banned all male citizens ages 18-60 from leaving the country, according to CNN, which cited the State Border Guard Service. READ FULL STORYZelensky says 'enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv' and that he is 'number one target'Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.Photo by Ronald Wittek - Pool/Getty ImagesIn his second video address on Thursday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said that "enemy sabotage groups" entered Kyiv, and that he plans to remain, despite being Russia's "number one target.""According to preliminary data, unfortunately, we have lost 137 of our heroes today — our citizens. Ten of them are officers," Zelensky said in his address. "316 are wounded."He also used the opportunity to dispel rumors that he had fled Kyiv, and that his family had left the country."I stay in the capital, I stay with my people. During the day, I held dozens of international talks, directly managed our country. And I will stay in the capital," he said. "My family is also in Ukraine. My children are also in Ukraine. My family is not traitors. They are the citizens of Ukraine. But I have no right to say where they are now."READ FULL STORYWhite House is 'outraged' over reports that staff at Chernobyl have been taken hostage by Russian forcesServicemen take part in a joint tactical and special exercises of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ukrainian National Guard and Ministry Emergency in a ghost city of Pripyat, near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on February 4, 2022.Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty ImagesPress secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is outraged over reports from Ukrainian officials that staff at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine have been taken hostage by Russian troops.Russian forces took over the remnants of Chernobyl earlier on Thursday during the country's invasion of Ukraine. The move indicated Russia is likely to assault Ukraine's capital city, Kyiv, which is located just south of Chernobyl, the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history."We're outraged by credible reports that Russian soldiers are currently holding the staff of the Chernobyl facility hostage," Psaki said during a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, adding "we condemn it and we request their release."Psaki said the situation at Chernobyl was not clear but that the hostage taking was "incredibly alarming and greatly concerning," adding it could hurt efforts to maintain the facility, which is dangerously contaminated with radioactivity as a result of the 1986 nuclear disaster.read full STORYUS secretary of state is 'convinced' Russia will try to overthrow the Ukrainian governmentUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on April 11, 2021.Meet The Press/NBCUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he is "convinced" Moscow will try to overthrow Ukraine's government."You don't need intelligence to tell you that that's exactly what President Putin wants. He has made clear he'd like to reconstitute the Soviet Empire, short of that he'd like to reassert a sphere of influence around the neighboring countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc," Blinken said during a national TV interview. The secretary pledged that NATO would intervene before Putin successfully accomplished his ultimate goal."Now, when it comes to a threat beyond Ukraine's borders. There's something very powerful standing in his way. That's article five of NATO, an attack on one is an attack on all," the top diplomat said.  Expert says Russia's Ukraine invasion will result in 'horrific scenes,' could be launch of 'Cold War 2.0'Ukrainians gather in front of the White House in Washington, USA to stage a protest against Russia's attack in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesA former aide to President Barack Obama is warning that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a "game changer" in international relations that will result in "horrific scenes" in the coming days, with President Vladimir Putin intent on pursuing regime change at all costs."I think it's just a matter of time before Kyiv falls," Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who also served on the National Security Council in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, told Insider.READ FULL STORYThe White House says it's ready to accept Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasionWhite House press secretary Jen Psaki.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe US is prepared to accept Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia's invasion, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN."We are," Psaki said when asked whether the US was ready to assist fleeing Ukrainians. "But we certainly expect that most if not the majority will want to go to Europe and neighboring countries. So, we are also working with European countries on what the needs are, where there is capacity. Poland, for example, where we are seeing an increasing flow of refugees over the last 24 hours."She added that US officials have been engaging with Europeans on the matter "for some time." Ukrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield just outside KyivUkraine army says battle under way for airbase near Kyiv on February 24, 2022Daniel LEAL / Getty ImagesUkrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city.Russian forces attacked and seized Hostomel (Gostomel) airfield, a cargo airport near Kyiv that is also known as Antonov airport, early Thursday, according to AFP. Ukraine's leadership reportedly vowed to take it back."The enemy paratroopers in Hostomel have been blocked, and troops have received an order to destroy them," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address.Read Full StoryUkraine's health minister says dozens killed and over 160 injuredBlack smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty ImagesUkraine's health minister said 57 Ukrainians have been killed and 169 were wounded after Russia attacked on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.Explosions, gunfire, and sirens were reportedly heard in Kyiv on Thursday. Witnesses also described missile blasts in other cities, including Kramatorsk, Dnipro, and Odesa, reports said. Sean Penn is filming a documentary in Ukraine while Russia invadesActor and director Sean Penn attends a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022.Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via ReutersSean Penn was spotted in Ukraine on Thursday just after Russia invaded the country. Penn was seen in the front row of a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, photos obtained by Reuters show. The actor and director has been working on a documentary about tensions in Ukraine since last year.Read Full StoryUkrainians and Russians are packing ATM lines, prompting fears of what happened in the US during the Great DepressionPeople wait in line at an ATM in Kyiv.DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images.Many Ukrainians who haven't already fled the country as Russia's threat turned into invasion stood in long lines outside of banks and ATMs hoping to take out their funds, Reuters reported on Thursday. Meanwhile in Russia, people are also queuing outside of ATMs trying to get US dollars as its citizens worry their own currency's value will continue to tank, according to the Wall Street Journal. Banks in the capital city of Moscow are running out of money, MSNBC reported. All of this has led to fears of bank runs, which is when people withdraw money en masse because they worry banks will cease to function. That's what happened in the United States during the Great Depression, and it triggered mass unemployment and loan scarcities.  Read Full StoryA top Russian business lobbyist pleaded with Putin to 'demonstrate as much as possible' that Russia wants to remain 'part of the global economy'Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin attend a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 16, 2017.Sergei Ilnitsky/AP PhotoThe head of one of Russia's biggest business groups urged President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to avoid severe economic pain and remain "part of the global economy" as NATO members ready a harsher salvo of sanctions.Putin held a televised meeting with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs just hours after Russian forces began attacks in Ukraine.The threat of new sanctions was enough for Alexander Shokhin, the business group's president, to raise concerns with Putin about remaining a member of the world economy.The lobbyist urged the president to pad against major economic pain and to ensure conflict in Ukraine doesn't fuel widespread harm to the global financial system."Everything should be done to demonstrate as much as possible that Russia remains part of the global economy and will not provoke, including through some kind of response measures, global negative phenomena on world markets," Shokhin said.Read Full StoryBiden says he'll try to limit what Americans pay at the gas pump as the US slaps Russia with more sanctions: 'This is critical to me'U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions after delivering remarks about Russia's “unprovoked and unjustified" military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden sought to quell fears of another spike in gas prices on Thursday after Russia unleashed a military assault on Ukraine that threatened to upend the global economy.The threat of war in Ukraine in recent weeks has contributed to spiking oil prices, with the benchmark Brent crude oil hitting $100 for the first time since 2014 Wednesday night amid the early stages of Russia's invasion."I know this is hard and Americans are already hurting," he said at a White House address. "I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump."He opened the door to another release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a step the Biden administration also took in November to try and provide relief at the pump.Read Full StoryBiden says Putin's Ukraine invasion will cause a 'complete rupture' in US-Russia relationsPresident Joe Biden listens to questions from reporters while speaking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington.Alex Brandon/APPresident Joe Biden on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine will cause a "complete rupture" of US-Russia relations if it continues. Biden condemned Putin and his escalating invasion of Ukraine in a speech from the White House.Biden, who met with G7 members on Thursday morning, also announced a raft of new sanctions against Russia on Thursday."What's the risk that we are watching the beginning of another Cold War, and is there now a complete rupture in US-Russian relations?," a reporter asked Biden following his address. Read Full StoryFamed Russian rapper cancels concerts in protest, saying he can't perform while 'Russian missiles fall on Ukraine'Rapper Oxxxymiron, whose real name is Miron Fyodorov, performs during a concert in support of rapper Husky, whose real name is Dmitry Kuznetsov, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.AP Photo/Pavel GolovkinA prominent Russian rapper canceled his concert in protest of the Russian invasion on Ukraine, saying he can't perform while "Russian missiles fall on Ukraine."Rapper Oxxxymiron announced via a video posted to his Instagram account that he is postponing "six of my major gigs in Moscow and Saint Petersburg indefinitely," because he said he is "specifically against the war Russia has escalated against the people of Ukraine.""I'm sure you can understand me; I can't entertain you while Russian missiles fall on Ukraine, while Kyiv residents are forced to hide in the basements and subway, and while people are dying," he said.Read Full StoryUS Treasury targets Belarusian support for Russian invasion of UkraineBelarusian President Alexander LukashenkoDmitry Astakhov/Pool/AFP via Getty ImagesIn addition to the second round of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US Thursday, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it is sanctioning 24 Belarusian individuals for their support of the Russian invasion. The sanctions target Belarus's defense sector and financial institutions — two sectors closely tied to Russia.Massive protests erupted in Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg as Russians voice opposition to war in UkraineA demonstrator holding a placard reading "No to war" protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.Photo by SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty ImagesMassive protests erupted on Thursday in Russian President Vladimir Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg, as people voiced their opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.Videos posted to Twitter show a sea of people gathered in a section of St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, chanting and holding signs to object to Russia's offensive in Ukraine.Russian government forces have threatened to arrest anti-war protesters, who took to the streets after Putin announced military action against Ukraine on Thursday.Read Full StoryPhotos show Russian authorities dragging away protesters opposed to Putin's invasion of UkrainePolice Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty ImagesAnti-war protesters in Russia quickly took to the streets following Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Some activists were met with hostility by Russian authorities who hauled them away. More than 1,000 anti-war protesters have already been detained in dozens of cities across Russia, according to protest-monitoring group OVD-Info. Russia's Investigative Committee warned citizens not to take part in the "unauthorized" protests "associated with the tense foreign political situation."Read Full StoryBiden slaps 'additional strong sanctions' on Russia as it mounts a large-scale attack on UkrainePresident Joe Biden delivers remarks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the East Room of the White House on February 07, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US will impose a second, harsher round of sanctions on Russia following its large-scale invasion of Ukraine.Biden announced that he had authorized "additional strong sanctions" and "new limitations" on what can be exported to Russia."We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximize the long term impact on Russia and minimize the impact on the United States and our allies," Biden said."We will limit Russia's ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen to be part of the global economy," the president said of the sanctions. "We're going to stop the ability to finance and grow the Russian military. We're going to impair their ability to compete in a high-tech 21st-century economy."Read Full StoryA Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears and begged the world to 'save our people' from being 'murdered' by Russian forcesUkrainian Parliament member Halyna Yanchenko speaks during a CBS interviewCBS NewsA Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears during an interview with CBS News and begged the international community to "save our people" from being "murdered" by Russian forces."I beg you, please save our people. Dozens of people — maybe hundreds of people — might be murdered tonight," Member of Parliament Halyna Yanchenko said as she sobbed during an interview with CBS News on Thursday.  She added: "Please save Ukrainian men, women, and children." Read Full StoryPhotos show Ukrainian families fleeing the Russian invasion amid warnings of a mass refugee crisisPeople wait for trains at a train station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Overnight, Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in multiple cities and far outside the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels.Pierre Crom/Getty Images)Ukrainian residents fled their homes after the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion. Train stations were packed with people on the move and roads filled with cars of people leaving the country, with their loved ones and prized possessions in tow.Before the invasion took place, there were warnings of a mass refugee crisis.Read Full StoryRussian government websites — including ones for the Kremlin and the legislature — went dark after cyberattacks target UkraineA night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty ImagesMultiple Russian government websites reportedly went down on Thursday after the country launched an attack on Ukraine. NetBlocks, which tracks disruptions and shutdowns, confirmed on Twitter that multiple sites went offline shortly after 8:45 p.m. local time in Moscow.The Kremlin's website and that of the Russian Federal Assembly's lower house — or State Duma — were both down for at least 15 minutes. As of 9 p.m. local time, the State Duma website was since restored. Shortly after 9:10 p.m. local time, the Kremlin's website was also back online.  Read Full StoryPutin had a range of ways to attack Ukraine. He went with the worst-case scenario for the West.A convoy of Russian military vehicles is seen as the vehicles move towards border in Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on February 23, 2022 in Russian border city Rostov.Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesIn the build-up to Russia's assault on Ukraine, analysts and leaders envisioned numerous ways the conflict might play out, from a limited incursion to an all-out invasion.Putin used precision missile strikes and airstrikes, followed shortly later by ground maneuvers, the officials said.Analysts said attacks came from the east, south, and north, a description consistent with reports on the ground and Insider's map of the invasion.All three lines of attack — as per this analysis in The Conversation — had previously been floated as individual possibilities for an invasion.Defense analysts warned that Russia's multipronged attack was full-scale but still in an early phase, with a lot more forces to push into Ukraine to seize key areas or capture its leadership.Putin's overall endgame remains an area of pressing debate.Read Full StoryKey Democratic congressman says the US can't send support to Ukraine quickly enough 'to repel' Russia's invasionRep. Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesRep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, ruled out surging supplies into Ukraine as a last-ditch effort to stall Russia's invasion, arguing it's unlikely such support would arrive quickly enough to make a difference."The odd of us being able to do that in a rapid enough fashion to be able to repel the invasion are remote," Smith told CNN on Thursday when asked about a Ukrainian official's request for more equipment. "I don't think it's realistic to think that we can reinforce them enough in the short term to be able to repel the invasion."Read Full StoryPoland, Czech Republic, and Sweden are refusing to play their 2022 World Cup qualifying matches in Russia after it attacked UkraineA protester holds a poster reading "Sanctions against Russia now" during a rally in front of the Russian Embassy in Stockholm on February 24, 2022, after Russia launched military operations in Ukraine.Photo by CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty ImagesPoland, Czech Republic, and Sweden said they are refusing to play their upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifying playoff matches in Russia after it attacked Ukraine on Thursday.Based on the latest Russian aggression against Ukraine, "the signatories to this appeal do not consider travelling to Russia and playing football matches there," the three countries said in a joint statement addressed to FIFA's General Secretary Fatma Samoura. The statement continued: "The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerably lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations."Read Full StoryRussia's moving on Kyiv and the plan appears to be to take out Ukraine's leadership, US defense official warnsA column of army trucks approaches the Perekop checkpoint on the Ukrainian border. Early on February 24, President Putin announced a special military operation to be conducted by the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine.Sergei MalgavkobackslashTASS via Getty ImagesRussian forces invaded Ukraine Thursday morning, and a senior US defense official says they are moving on Kyiv, likely to topple the country's government and install their own.Russia is "making a move on Kyiv" a senior defense official who addressed reporters Thursday said, according to CNN. "We would describe what you are seeing as an initial phase" of a "large-scale invasion," the official said, according to The Washington Post's Dan Lamothe.Read Full StoryMaps show Russia's invasion of UkraineMaps of Ukraine.Shayanne Gal/InsiderRussia invaded Ukraine early Thursday, leading to dozens of Ukrainian and Russian casualties.These maps show where Russian troops have attacked Ukraine, which is happening from multiple sides.Read Full StoryUK plots far harsher sanctions on Russia to punish it for invading UkraineBritish Prime Minister Boris JohnsonAdrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoThe UK announced a new set of harsher sanctions on Russia after the country invaded Ukraine early Thursday. A spokesman for the UK government told journalists at a briefing that the UK plans to impose a second round of sanctions. The most intense of the new list of sanctions is an asset freeze on all major Russian banks and an asset freeze against VTB — the second largest bank with assets totaling £154 billion. The UK also plans to sanction another 100 individuals and entities.This is a large step up from the sanctions it announced Wednesday, which were limited to five smaller banks, three individuals close to Putin, and politicians in Russia who voted for military action. Russia has begun arresting anti-war protesters as demonstrations break out after Putin invades UkrainePolice officer detain a woman during an action against Russia's attack on Ukraine in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.AP Photo/Dmitry SerebryakovThe Russian government on Thursday threatened anti-war protesters demonstrating against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, warning they could face arrest for organizing.And according to a protest monitoring group, the detentions have already begun as small protests have broken out in some Russian cities.Russia's Investigative Committee warned citizens in a statement not to take part in the "unauthorized" protests "associated with the tense foreign political situation."The committee said that people should be aware of the "negative legal consequences of these actions," which it said includes criminal liability. Read Full StoryUkraine's official Twitter is using memes to rip into Putin's bogus comparison between it and Nazi GermanyRussian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.Alexei Nikolsky/Associated PressAfter Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the marching orders for an attack on Ukraine early Thursday morning, Ukraine's official Twitter account got busy. One photo showed what appeared to be caricature images of Adolf Hitler tending to a small Putin. "This is not a 'meme', but our and your reality right now," Ukraine said in a follow-up tweet.  The account also called for a so-called "Twitter-storm" at 12 p.m. local time in Kyiv on Thursday, urging people to use various hashtags to "tell the world of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and the fact that Ukraine is under attack."Ukraine's latest post said to "Tag @Russia and tell them what you think about them," racking up tens of thousands of likes and quote tweets. Read Full StoryMap shows reported movement of Russian troops in Ukraine Thursday!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 25th, 2022

Live updates: Biden slaps "strong sanctions" on Russia as Ukrainian invasion continues

Russia attacked Ukraine Thursday morning. Blasts were heard across the country, with reports of artillery fire from Russian forces across the border. Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images US President Joe Biden announced a new round of "strong sanctions" on Russia. Russian forces attacked Ukraine on Thursday morning. Ukraine called it a "full-scale invasion." Ukraine said eight civilians were killed, as well as dozens more troops on both sides. Zelensky says 'enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv' and that he is 'number one target'Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.Photo by Ronald Wittek - Pool/Getty ImagesIn his second video address on Thursday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said that "enemy sabotage groups" entered Kyiv, and that he plans to remain, despite being Russia's "number one target.""According to preliminary data, unfortunately, we have lost 137 of our heroes today — our citizens. Ten of them are officers," Zelensky said in his address. "316 are wounded."He also used the opportunity to dispel rumors that he had fled Kyiv, and that his family had left the country."I stay in the capital, I stay with my people. During the day, I held dozens of international talks, directly managed our country. And I will stay in the capital," he said. "My family is also in Ukraine. My children are also in Ukraine. My family is not traitors. They are the citizens of Ukraine. But I have no right to say where they are now."READ FULL STORYWhite House is 'outraged' over reports that staff at Chernobyl have been taken hostage by Russian forcesServicemen take part in a joint tactical and special exercises of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ukrainian National Guard and Ministry Emergency in a ghost city of Pripyat, near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on February 4, 2022.Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty ImagesPress secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is outraged over reports from Ukrainian officials that staff at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine have been taken hostage by Russian troops.Russian forces took over the remnants of Chernobyl earlier on Thursday during the country's invasion of Ukraine. The move indicated Russia is likely to assault Ukraine's capital city, Kyiv, which is located just south of Chernobyl, the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history."We're outraged by credible reports that Russian soldiers are currently holding the staff of the Chernobyl facility hostage," Psaki said during a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, adding "we condemn it and we request their release."Psaki said the situation at Chernobyl was not clear but that the hostage taking was "incredibly alarming and greatly concerning," adding it could hurt efforts to maintain the facility, which is dangerously contaminated with radioactivity as a result of the 1986 nuclear disaster.read full STORYUS secretary of state is 'convinced' Russia will try to overthrow the Ukrainian governmentUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on April 11, 2021.Meet The Press/NBCUS Secrertary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he is "convinced" Moscow will try to overthrow Ukraine's government."You don't need intelligence to tell you that that's exactly what President Putin wants. He has made clear he'd like to reconstitute the Soviet Empire, short of that he'd like to reassert a sphere of influence around the neighboring countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc," Blinken said during a national TV interview. The secretary pledged that NATO would intervene before Putin succesfully accomplished his ultimate goal."Now, when it comes to a threat beyond Ukraine's borders. There's something very powerful standing in his way. That's article five of NATO, an attack on one is an attack on all," the top diplomat said.  Expert says Russia's Ukraine invasion will result in 'horrific scenes,' could be launch of 'Cold War 2.0'Ukrainians gather in front of the White House in Washington, USA to stage a protest against Russia's attack in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesA former aide to President Barack Obama is warning that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a "game changer" in international relations that will result in "horrific scenes" in the coming days, with President Vladimir Putin intent on pursuing regime change at all costs."I think it's just a matter of time before Kyiv falls," Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who also served on the National Security Council in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, told Insider.READ FULL STORYThe White House says it's ready to accept Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasionWhite House press secretary Jen Psaki.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe US is prepared to accept Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia's invasion, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN."We are," Psaki said when asked whether the US was ready to assist fleeing Ukrainians. "But we certainly expect that most if not the majority will want to go to Europe and neighboring countries. So, we are also working with European countries on what the needs are, where there is capacity. Poland, for example, where we are seeing an increasing flow of refugees over the last 24 hours."She added that US officials have been engaging with Europeans on the matter "for some time." Ukrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield just outside KyivUkraine army says battle under way for airbase near Kyiv on February 24, 2022Daniel LEAL / Getty ImagesUkrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city.Russian forces attacked and seized Hostomel (Gostomel) airfield, a cargo airport near Kyiv that is also known as Antonov airport, early Thursday, according to AFP. Ukraine's leadership reportedly vowed to take it back."The enemy paratroopers in Hostomel have been blocked, and troops have received an order to destroy them," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address.Read Full StoryUkraine's health minister says dozens killed and over 160 injuredBlack smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty ImagesUkraine's health minister said 57 Ukrainians have been killed and 169 were wounded after Russia attacked on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.Explosions, gunfire, and sirens were reportedly heard in Kyiv on Thursday. Witnesses also described missile blasts in other cities, including Kramatorsk, Dnipro, and Odesa, reports said. Sean Penn is filming a documentary in Ukraine while Russia invadesActor and director Sean Penn attends a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022.Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via ReutersSean Penn was spotted in Ukraine on Thursday just after Russia invaded the country. Penn was seen in the front row of a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, photos obtained by Reuters show. The actor and director has been working on a documentary about tensions in Ukraine since last year.Read Full StoryUkrainians and Russians are packing ATM lines, prompting fears of what happened in the US during the Great DepressionPeople wait in line at an ATM in Kyiv.DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images.Many Ukrainians who haven't already fled the country as Russia's threat turned into invasion stood in long lines outside of banks and ATMs hoping to take out their funds, Reuters reported on Thursday. Meanwhile in Russia, people are also queuing outside of ATMs trying to get US dollars as its citizens worry their own currency's value will continue to tank, according to the Wall Street Journal. Banks in the capital city of Moscow are running out of money, MSNBC reported. All of this has led to fears of bank runs, which is when people withdraw money en masse because they worry banks will cease to function. That's what happened in the United States during the Great Depression, and it triggered mass unemployment and loan scarcities.  Read Full StoryA top Russian business lobbyist pleaded with Putin to 'demonstrate as much as possible' that Russia wants to remain 'part of the global economy'Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin attend a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 16, 2017.Sergei Ilnitsky/AP PhotoThe head of one of Russia's biggest business groups urged President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to avoid severe economic pain and remain "part of the global economy" as NATO members ready a harsher salvo of sanctions.Putin held a televised meeting with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs just hours after Russian forces began attacks in Ukraine.The threat of new sanctions was enough for Alexander Shokhin, the business group's president, to raise concerns with Putin about remaining a member of the world economy.The lobbyist urged the president to pad against major economic pain and to ensure conflict in Ukraine doesn't fuel widespread harm to the global financial system."Everything should be done to demonstrate as much as possible that Russia remains part of the global economy and will not provoke, including through some kind of response measures, global negative phenomena on world markets," Shokhin said.Read Full StoryBiden says he'll try to limit what Americans pay at the gas pump as the US slaps Russia with more sanctions: 'This is critical to me'U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions after delivering remarks about Russia's “unprovoked and unjustified" military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden sought to quell fears of another spike in gas prices on Thursday after Russia unleashed a military assault on Ukraine that threatened to upend the global economy.The threat of war in Ukraine in recent weeks has contributed to spiking oil prices, with the benchmark Brent crude oil hitting $100 for the first time since 2014 Wednesday night amid the early stages of Russia's invasion."I know this is hard and Americans are already hurting," he said at a White House address. "I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump."He opened the door to another release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a step the Biden administration also took in November to try and provide relief at the pump.Read Full StoryBiden says Putin's Ukraine invasion will cause a 'complete rupture' in US-Russia relationsPresident Joe Biden listens to questions from reporters while speaking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington.Alex Brandon/APPresident Joe Biden on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine will cause a "complete rupture" of US-Russia relations if it continues. Biden condemned Putin and his escalating invasion of Ukraine in a speech from the White House.Biden, who met with G7 members on Thursday morning, also announced a raft of new sanctions against Russia on Thursday."What's the risk that we are watching the beginning of another Cold War, and is there now a complete rupture in US-Russian relations?," a reporter asked Biden following his address. Read Full StoryFamed Russian rapper cancels concerts in protest, saying he can't perform while 'Russian missiles fall on Ukraine'Rapper Oxxxymiron, whose real name is Miron Fyodorov, performs during a concert in support of rapper Husky, whose real name is Dmitry Kuznetsov, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.AP Photo/Pavel GolovkinA prominent Russian rapper canceled his concert in protest of the Russian invasion on Ukraine, saying he can't perform while "Russian missiles fall on Ukraine."Rapper Oxxxymiron announced via a video posted to his Instagram account that he is postponing "six of my major gigs in Moscow and Saint Petersburg indefinitely," because he said he is "specifically against the war Russia has escalated against the people of Ukraine.""I'm sure you can understand me; I can't entertain you while Russian missiles fall on Ukraine, while Kyiv residents are forced to hide in the basements and subway, and while people are dying," he said.Read Full StoryUS Treasury targets Belarusian support for Russian invasion of UkraineBelarusian President Alexander LukashenkoDmitry Astakhov/Pool/AFP via Getty ImagesIn addition to the second round of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US Thursday, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it is sanctioning 24 Belarusian individuals for their support of the Russian invasion. The sanctions target Belarus's defense sector and financial institutions — two sectors closely tied to Russia.Massive protests erupted in Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg as Russians voice opposition to war in UkraineA demonstrator holding a placard reading "No to war" protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.Photo by SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty ImagesMassive protests erupted on Thursday in Russian President Vladimir Putin's hometown of St. Petersburg, as people voiced their opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.Videos posted to Twitter show a sea of people gathered in a section of St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, chanting and holding signs to object to Russia's offensive in Ukraine.Russian government forces have threatened to arrest anti-war protesters, who took to the streets after Putin announced military action against Ukraine on Thursday.Read Full StoryPhotos show Russian authorities dragging away protesters opposed to Putin's invasion of UkrainePolice Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty ImagesAnti-war protesters in Russia quickly took to the streets following Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Some activists were met with hostility by Russian authorities who hauled them away. More than 1,000 anti-war protesters have already been detained in dozens of cities across Russia, according to protest-monitoring group OVD-Info. Russia's Investigative Committee warned citizens not to take part in the "unauthorized" protests "associated with the tense foreign political situation."Read Full StoryBiden slaps 'additional strong sanctions' on Russia as it mounts a large-scale attack on UkrainePresident Joe Biden delivers remarks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the East Room of the White House on February 07, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US will impose a second, harsher round of sanctions on Russia following its large-scale invasion of Ukraine.Biden announced that he had authorized "additional strong sanctions" and "new limitations" on what can be exported to Russia."We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximize the long term impact on Russia and minimize the impact on the United States and our allies," Biden said."We will limit Russia's ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen to be part of the global economy," the president said of the sanctions. "We're going to stop the ability to finance and grow the Russian military. We're going to impair their ability to compete in a high-tech 21st-century economy."Read Full StoryA Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears and begged the world to 'save our people' from being 'murdered' by Russian forcesUkrainian Parliament member Halyna Yanchenko speaks during a CBS interviewCBS NewsA Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears during an interview with CBS News and begged the international community to "save our people" from being "murdered" by Russian forces."I beg you, please save our people. Dozens of people — maybe hundreds of people — might be murdered tonight," Member of Parliament Halyna Yanchenko said as she sobbed during an interview with CBS News on Thursday.  She added: "Please save Ukrainian men, women, and children." Read Full StoryPhotos show Ukrainian families fleeing the Russian invasion amid warnings of a mass refugee crisisPeople wait for trains at a train station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Overnight, Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in multiple cities and far outside the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels.Pierre Crom/Getty Images)Ukrainian residents fled their homes after the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion. Train stations were packed with people on the move and roads filled with cars of people leaving the country, with their loved ones and prized possessions in tow.Before the invasion took place, there were warnings of a mass refugee crisis.Read Full StoryRussian government websites — including ones for the Kremlin and the legislature — went dark after cyberattacks target UkraineA night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty ImagesMultiple Russian government websites reportedly went down on Thursday after the country launched an attack on Ukraine. NetBlocks, which tracks disruptions and shutdowns, confirmed on Twitter that multiple sites went offline shortly after 8:45 p.m. local time in Moscow.The Kremlin's website and that of the Russian Federal Assembly's lower house — or State Duma — were both down for at least 15 minutes. As of 9 p.m. local time, the State Duma website was since restored. Shortly after 9:10 p.m. local time, the Kremlin's website was also back online.  Read Full StoryPutin had a range of ways to attack Ukraine. He went with the worst-case scenario for the West.A convoy of Russian military vehicles is seen as the vehicles move towards border in Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on February 23, 2022 in Russian border city Rostov.Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesIn the build-up to Russia's assault on Ukraine, analysts and leaders envisioned numerous ways the conflict might play out, from a limited incursion to an all-out invasion.Putin used precision missile strikes and airstrikes, followed shortly later by ground maneuvers, the officials said.Analysts said attacks came from the east, south, and north, a description consistent with reports on the ground and Insider's map of the invasion.All three lines of attack — as per this analysis in The Conversation — had previously been floated as individual possibilities for an invasion.Defense analysts warned that Russia's multipronged attack was full-scale but still in an early phase, with a lot more forces to push into Ukraine to seize key areas or capture its leadership.Putin's overall endgame remains an area of pressing debate.Read Full StoryKey Democratic congressman says the US can't send support to Ukraine quickly enough 'to repel' Russia's invasionRep. Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesRep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, ruled out surging supplies into Ukraine as a last-ditch effort to stall Russia's invasion, arguing it's unlikely such support would arrive quickly enough to make a difference."The odd of us being able to do that in a rapid enough fashion to be able to repel the invasion are remote," Smith told CNN on Thursday when asked about a Ukrainian official's request for more equipment. "I don't think it's realistic to think that we can reinforce them enough in the short term to be able to repel the invasion."Read Full StoryPoland, Czech Republic, and Sweden are refusing to play their 2022 World Cup qualifying matches in Russia after it attacked UkraineA protester holds a poster reading "Sanctions against Russia now" during a rally in front of the Russian Embassy in Stockholm on February 24, 2022, after Russia launched military operations in Ukraine.Photo by CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty ImagesPoland, Czech Republic, and Sweden said they are refusing to play their upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifying playoff matches in Russia after it attacked Ukraine on Thursday.Based on the latest Russian aggression against Ukraine, "the signatories to this appeal do not consider travelling to Russia and playing football matches there," the three countries said in a joint statement addressed to FIFA's General Secretary Fatma Samoura. The statement continued: "The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerably lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations."Read Full StoryRussia's moving on Kyiv and the plan appears to be to take out Ukraine's leadership, US defense official warnsA column of army trucks approaches the Perekop checkpoint on the Ukrainian border. Early on February 24, President Putin announced a special military operation to be conducted by the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine.Sergei MalgavkobackslashTASS via Getty ImagesRussian forces invaded Ukraine Thursday morning, and a senior US defense official says they are moving on Kyiv, likely to topple the country's government and install their own.Russia is "making a move on Kyiv" a senior defense official who addressed reporters Thursday said, according to CNN. "We would describe what you are seeing as an initial phase" of a "large-scale invasion," the official said, according to The Washington Post's Dan Lamothe.Read Full StoryMaps show Russia's invasion of UkraineMaps of Ukraine.Shayanne Gal/InsiderRussia invaded Ukraine early Thursday, leading to dozens of Ukrainian and Russian casualties.These maps show where Russian troops have attacked Ukraine, which is happening from multiple sides.Read Full StoryUK plots far harsher sanctions on Russia to punish it for invading UkraineBritish Prime Minister Boris JohnsonAdrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoThe UK announced a new set of harsher sanctions on Russia after the country invaded Ukraine early Thursday. A spokesman for the UK government told journalists at a briefing that the UK plans to impose a second round of sanctions. The most intense of the new list of sanctions is an asset freeze on all major Russian banks and an asset freeze against VTB — the second largest bank with assets totaling £154 billion. The UK also plans to sanction another 100 individuals and entities.This is a large step up from the sanctions it announced Wednesday, which were limited to five smaller banks, three individuals close to Putin, and politicians in Russia who voted for military action. Russia has begun arresting anti-war protesters as demonstrations break out after Putin invades UkrainePolice officer detain a woman during an action against Russia's attack on Ukraine in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.AP Photo/Dmitry SerebryakovThe Russian government on Thursday threatened anti-war protesters demonstrating against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, warning they could face arrest for organizing.And according to a protest monitoring group, the detentions have already begun as small protests have broken out in some Russian cities.Russia's Investigative Committee warned citizens in a statement not to take part in the "unauthorized" protests "associated with the tense foreign political situation."The committee said that people should be aware of the "negative legal consequences of these actions," which it said includes criminal liability. Read Full StoryUkraine's official Twitter is using memes to rip into Putin's bogus comparison between it and Nazi GermanyRussian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.Alexei Nikolsky/Associated PressAfter Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the marching orders for an attack on Ukraine early Thursday morning, Ukraine's official Twitter account got busy. One photo showed what appeared to be caricature images of Adolf Hitler tending to a small Putin. "This is not a 'meme', but our and your reality right now," Ukraine said in a follow-up tweet.  The account also called for a so-called "Twitter-storm" at 12 p.m. local time in Kyiv on Thursday, urging people to use various hashtags to "tell the world of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and the fact that Ukraine is under attack."Ukraine's latest post said to "Tag @Russia and tell them what you think about them," racking up tens of thousands of likes and quote tweets. Read Full StoryMap shows reported movement of Russian troops in Ukraine Thursday!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 24th, 2022

Fire, explosions reported at Hussey Copper in Leetsdale

Crews were called to Hussey Copper in Leetsdale early Sunday morning for reports of a fire that has been causing multiple explosions......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 16th, 2022

All Eyes On Copper

S&P 500 sold off only a little in the wake of CPI data – probably celebrating that the figure wasn‘t 8% but only 7%. As if that weren‘t uncomfortable already – and the Fed wants to field accelerated taper, and perhaps even four quarter-point rate hikes to tame it? Oh, and perhaps also balance sheet […] S&P 500 sold off only a little in the wake of CPI data – probably celebrating that the figure wasn‘t 8% but only 7%. As if that weren‘t uncomfortable already – and the Fed wants to field accelerated taper, and perhaps even four quarter-point rate hikes to tame it? Oh, and perhaps also balance sheet reduction through not reinvesting proceeds from matured bonds and notes as talked on Monday – sure, that will do the trick. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Looking at Treasuries over the prior two days shows that the Fed isn‘t being questioned. Value defends the high ground while tech rallies – Monday‘s fear with its brief return Tuesday, is in the rear-view mirror, compacency returning, and VIX again below 18. Prior upswing consolidation right next, is the most likely action for S&P 500. The real gains though are being made elsewhere – in crude oil and copper. With commodities back on fire, these two have certainly greater appreciation potential next than stocks or cryptos – so, long live our open longs there! The red metal has defied base metals intraday consolidation yesterday, and that has consequences for inflation trades – silver is waiting in the wings. To give you an idea how mispriced the risk of persistently unpleasant inflation is, yesterday‘s CPI coming only in line with expectations, caused inflation expectations to decline… At least the dollar took a rightful breather – its prior sideways consolidation has been broken to the downside. Currencies are starting to figure out inflation, and just how far and inadequate Fed‘s promise to take on it, has been... Let‘s move right into the charts (all courtesy of www.stockcharts.com). S&P 500 and Nasdaq Outlook Daily consolidation of prior strong gains that‘s likely to go on today – stocks are making up their mind as to where next in the very short run now that the bears had been repelled. Credit Markets HYG is likewise looking to need some time to move higher next – volume is declining, and a brief sideways move is most likely now. Gold, Silver and Miners Gold and silver are still sideways to up – not down. The pressure to go higher is building up, waiting for the Fed miscalculation, or perception of the consequencies of its upcoming action. The faith in the central bank isn‘t yet really shaken. Crude Oil Crude oil finds it easiest to keep rising – the technical and fundamental conditions are in place, and oil stocks will continue to be the leading S&P 500 performers. Copper Copper is starting to play catch up to the other commodities finally – it‘ll be a rocky ride, but the red metal has waken up, and cast a clear verdict on inflation that has to seep into other markets next. Will take time, but we‘ll get there. Bitcoin and Ethereum Bitcoin and Ethereum didn‘t convince on the upside, and with no dovish surprise on the horizon, the path of least resistance probably remains down for now. Summary S&P 500 turnaround is getting cemented, and worries about the hawkish Fed or inflation look to be momentarily receding. Not even the PPI is waking up the markets – the focus seems to be on measly 0.1% undershoot. Ironic, pathetic. While stocks keep on moving in a tight range, and still want to keep on appreciating modestly, the real action is happening in the commodities, to be followed by precious metals. Thank you for having read today‘s free analysis, which is available in full at my homesite. There, you can subscribe to the free Monica‘s Insider Club, which features real-time trade calls and intraday updates for all the five publications: Stock Trading Signals, Gold Trading Signals, Oil Trading Signals, Copper Trading Signals and Bitcoin Trading Signals. Thank you, Monica Kingsley Stock Trading Signals Gold Trading Signals Oil Trading Signals Copper Trading Signals Bitcoin Trading Signals www.monicakingsley.co mk@monicakingsley.co All essays, research and information represent analyses and opinions of Monica Kingsley that are based on available and latest data. Despite careful research and best efforts, it may prove wrong and be subject to change with or without notice. Monica Kingsley does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. Her content serves educational purposes and should not be relied upon as advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks and options are financial instruments not suitable for every investor. Please be advised that you invest at your own risk. Monica Kingsley is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading her writings, you agree that she will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make. Investing, trading and speculating in financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Monica Kingsley may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in her writings, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice. 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Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 13th, 2022

Futures Ramp Above 4,700 On Growing Omicron Optimism

Futures Ramp Above 4,700 On Growing Omicron Optimism If you had gone to bed on Thanksgiving after eating a little too much tryptophan and only woken up today, roughly one month later, you would have completely avoided a rollercoaster move in global markets, and much of the omicron panic, with the S&P now trading precisely where it was the night before scattered reports of Omicron in South Africa sparked a global selloff. As of 730am, e-mini S&P futures were trading at exactly 4,700, up 14 points or 0.3% - and once again less than 1% from all time highs - on rising hopes the omicron variant won’t impact global growth even as officials remain cautious about its spread, after studies showed it’s less severe than other strains; Dow Jones futures also rose 0.3% while Nasdaq 100 futures were 0.2% higher. US Treasury yields rose, the 10Y trading at 1.475%, while the USD index traded flat. The  pound rose as traders stepped up bets on a Bank of England rate hike. Soaraing European natural gas prices plunged more than 20% as this year’s rally attracted a flotilla of U.S. cargoes, helping offset lower flows from Russia. U.S. stocks reversed a sharp drop earlier in the week, advancing over the past two days amid signs the omicron variant won’t thwart growth, with consumer confidence rising by more than expected in December. Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 pill gained clearance for emergency use in the U.S. on Wednesday and three studies showed omicron appears less likely to land patients in the hospital than the delta strain, fueling optimism.  Adding to the positive newsflow on omicron, lab results indicated a third dose of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine significantly boosted antibodies against the strain, and Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 pill gained clearance for emergency use in the U.S. “Markets hate uncertainty and not knowing, and when omicron hit the markets, we didn’t know,” Carol Schleif, BMO Family Office deputy chief investment officer, said on Bloomberg Television. “But it seems like it’s edging toward something more positive.” A gauge of global stocks is up more than 2% so far this month, leaving the index 15% higher for the year and on course to surpass 2020’s gain. In U.S. premarket trading, Tesla Inc. shares rose after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk sold down more of his stake. Nikola gained after the electric-vehicle startup said that more deliveries were to come. Here are some other notable premarket movers today: Novavax (NVAX US) shares jump 5% in U.S. premarket after the biotech firm said that both a vaccine booster dose as well as an omicron-specific shot may be beneficial in helping to protect against the Covid-19 variant. Nikola (NKLA US) rises 3.5% in U.S. premarket trading after the electric-vehicle startup said on Twitter that more deliveries were to come, posting photos of a previous event. Tesla (TSLA US) shares gain 1.1% in U.S. premarket trading after CEO Elon Musk sells down more of his stake, drawing nearer to his pledge of cutting his stake in the EV maker by 10%. JD.com’s (JD US) ADRs slump 9.2% in U.S. premarket trading after Tencent said it plans to hand out more than $16 billion of JD.com shares to its investors as a one-time dividend. SciPlay (SCPL US) the maker of mobile and web games such as Jackpot Party Casino, falls 17% in premarket after ending talks to sell out to majority owner Scientific Games. Shares in tiny biotech stocks soar in U.S. premarket trading in strong volume, amid broad risk-on appetite thanks to positive omicron variant studies, ahead of the holiday period. “Our outlook for the global economy remains positive, but we have preference on developed markets,” Janet Mui, director of investment at Brewin Dolphin Limited, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “The economic recovery will continue in the major economies like the U.S., U.K. and the Euro area, thanks to the very high vaccination rates and ongoing rollout of the booster jabs.” Elsewhere, European shares advanced for a third day, with travel shares leading gains. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.6%; travel is the strongest sector with recent studies showing omicron appears less likely to land patients in the hospital than the delta strain. IBEX leads with a 1% gain. Travel and leisure was the top-performing sector in Europe on Thursday amid optimism of fewer hospitalizations linked to the omicron variant of Covid-19. Airlines shruged off a profit warning from Ryanair (+1.1%) that was first reported late in the trading session on Wednesday. British Airways-owner IAG adds 3.7%, Wizz +3.3%, hotelier Whitbread +2.6%, Deutsche Lufthansa +2%, caterer Sodexo +0.8%. Stoxx travel and leisure index also helped by Flutter (+3%) which gains following M&A news Earlier in the session, Asian stocks were on track to gain for a third straight day, bolstered by signs the omicron strain is less severe than previous variants. Tech and communication services sectors led the advance. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.9%, with Tencent as the biggest contributor to gains after a 4.2% rally in Hong Kong. The Chinese internet giant declared a one-time dividend in the form of JD.com’s shares worth more than $16 billion, causing the latter’s stock to plunge intraday by the most on record. Sentiment in Asia improved as a trio of studies found that the omicron variant led to lower hospitalization risk than the delta strain, and Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 pill gained clearance for emergency use in the U.S. Separately, lab results indicated a third dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine significantly boosted antibodies against the strain though another study released late in the Asia day found that three doses of Sinovac’s vaccine weren’t enough to protect against it. “We expect Asian equities to improve their relative performance in 2022 given less demanding valuations and prospects for solid earnings growth,” said Tai Hui, Asia chief market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. “Reflation and economic reopening could help to boost earnings expectations for cyclical sectors, especially those focusing on domestic demand.” The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is down almost 4% for the year compared with a 25% gain in the S&P 500 Index, which is trading close to a record high.  Equity benchmarks in the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand were among the top gainers amid a broad advance in the region Thursday even as trading volumes were thin ahead of the Christmas holidays. Japan stocks also rose as the country looks set to unveil another record annual budget this week. Shares in China also rose even as the country locked down the western city of Xi’an to stamp out a persistent virus outbreak. Equities slumped in Vietnam as Covid-19 cases continued to rise. In rates, fixed income is thin with only ~100k bund futures contracts trading as of 10:50am London. Cash space is under small pressure: bunds and USTs bear steepen, gilts bear flatten with short dates ~5bps cheaper. 10-year TSY yields were around 1.47%, with gilts notably underperforming and are cheaper by around 3bp in the sector vs. Treasuries; curves are steady with U.S. cash spreads broadly within a basis point of Wednesday close. Treasuries drifted lower into early U.S. session as S&P futures grind higher. 10-year futures remained inside Wednesday session lows with yields cheaper by up to 2bp across long-end of the curve. Thursday’s highlights include a packed data slate, and cash markets are due for an early 2pm ET close ahead of Friday’s full closure. In FX, tge Bloomberg dollar index chopped either side of flat. The pound was the stand out mover in London hours, topping the G-10 leaderboard with cable regaining a 1.34 handle. USD/JPY was little changed as it holds above 114. Aussie dollar drifts back towards 0.72 against the greenback. Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is steady after falling for three days. In commodities, crude futures are little changed; WTI trades near $72.70. Spot gold is rangebound, holding just above $1,800/oz. Most base metals are in the green, drifting higher in quiet trade. LME copper and tin lag. European natural gas prices plunged more than 20% as this year’s rally attracted a flotilla of U.S. cargoes, helping offset lower flows from Russia. Looking at today's calendar, we get personal spending and income as well as a new look at inflation data, including the Fed’s preferred price measure -- the change in the core personal consumption expenditures price index -- and jobless claims. We also get the latest Durable goods orders, UMichigan sentiment and new home sales prints. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,692.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 480.16 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.28% Euro little changed at $1.1317 MXAP up 0.9% to 192.23 MXAPJ up 0.8% to 623.33 Nikkei up 0.8% to 28,798.37 Topix up 0.9% to 1,989.43 Hang Seng Index up 0.4% to 23,193.64 Shanghai Composite up 0.6% to 3,643.34 Sensex up 0.7% to 57,350.50 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,387.57 Kospi up 0.5% to 2,998.17 Brent Futures down 0.4% to $74.99/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,807.61 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.16 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The highly-mutated omicron variant appears less likely to land patients in the hospital with Covid-19 than the delta strain, according to preliminary data from a trio of studies France reported a jump in Covid-19 infections as the fast-spreading omicron variant tightens its grip on Europe The Chinese yuan is having a greater impact on its emerging-market counterparts than ever before and may play a crucial role in determining their performance in the coming year New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s rhetoric of distributing wealth more equally appears to signal a change of priorities for post-pandemic Japan that may run counter to plans to improve the country’s presence as an international financial hub Oil settled at the highest level in nearly a month after U.S. crude stockpiles decreased and economic data pushed equities higher A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac equities traded modestly higher amid some tailwinds from Wall Street in holiday-thinned trade and the absence of fresh catalysts. The US majors closed in the green across the board, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq propelled higher by Tesla shares which jumped 7.5% to regain USD 1tln market cap. US equity futures resumed trade relatively flat with an upside bias. In APAC, the ASX 200 (+0.3%) was supported by its gold miners following the recent gains in the yellow metal. Japan’s Nikkei 225 (+0.6%) was underpinned by its mining names, while South Korea’s KOSPI (+0.2%) saw gains in Tech mostly offset by losses in Autos. The Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.2%) quickly dipped at the open into modest negative territory but later recovered. The overnight focus was on Tencent declaring an interim dividend payable in JD.com shares – which would reduce Tencent's holding of JD to about 2.3% vs prev. nearly 17% reported earlier this month. JD.com shares extended downside in early trade to losses of over 10%, whilst Tencent rose over 3%. US 10yr Treasury futures traded with no firm direction overnight despite the mild positivity seen across APAC stocks, with the debt now looking ahead to the November PCE report. Top Asian News Asian Stocks Head for Third Day of Gains as Tencent Shares Rally Alibaba-Backed RoboSense Said to Pick JPMorgan for Hong Kong IPO Foreigners Haven’t Finished Selling India Stocks: Street Wrap Asia Traders Are Most Bullish Stocks, Europe Least: Markets Live European bourses are firmer in very thin trading conditions, with a distinct holiday-feel setting in. News flow has been minimal, and remains focused on the familiar themes of Omicron and geopolitics. The Euro Stoxx 50 trades around +0.5%, after a constructive handover from Asia, although there are some very modest regional discrepancies. Sectors are predominantly in the green, with the likes of Travel & Leisure, Oil & Gas, and Autos benefitting from the generally constructive tone of news flow around Omicron. US futures are firmer, though the magnitude is limited, and benchmarks have essentially been in a holding pattern since the US cash close on Wednesday. Top European News Spain Revises GDP Growth Sharply Higher After Data Doubts Traders Ramp Up BOE Bets to See Key Rate at 1.25% Next Year U.K. PM Not Expected to Announce Post-Xmas Curbs This Week: Sky Pound Reaches One-Month High After BOE Rate Hike Bets Increase In FX, in stark contrast to this time yesterday, the Dollar index is trying to grind higher from a fractionally firmer base between 96.018-199 parameters, though well below Tuesday’s range amidst an ongoing improvement in overall risk sentiment based on the latest Omicron analysis. In short, studies continue to find lower hospital admissions and generally less acute symptoms even though the mutation is more virulent, while the current batch of vaccines provide varying degrees of protection and new drugs designed specifically for the new strain are in the pipeline. On the fundamental front, the final full trading day before the Xmas break contains some potential market-moving US data, including the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, core PCE, plus jobless claims, new home sales and the often volatile durable goods. NZD/GBP/AUD - The Kiwi, Pound and Aussie have all picked up where they left off on Wednesday, with impetus from the aforementioned positive market tone allied to increasingly bullish technical impulses. Indeed, Nzd/Usd didn’t encounter much in the way of psychological resistance at 0.6800, while Sterling has breached 1.3350 more emphatically to expose/probe 1.3400 and Aud/Usd overcame any sentimentality that might have hampered its progress beyond 0.7200. Cable has also advanced with the aid of Eur/Gbp tailwinds as the cross approaches 0.8450 following sell orders above, and an element of relief after reports suggesting that UK PM Johnson is now likely to hold off from making any further decisions on pandemic measures until after Xmas. Back down under, some good news for the Aussie via a pickup in private sector credit and loans for housing. CAD/EUR - Both narrowly mixed vs their US counterpart, but the Loonie has extended its rebound towards 1.2800 in advance of Canadian monthly GDP and average weekly earnings, while the Euro is forming a firmer base on the 1.1300 handle as EGBs continue to underperform/outperform in futures and cash terms respectively. However, Eur/Usd topped out around 1.1341/2 again and may be wary of decent option expiry interest between 1.1330-40 in 1.3 bn as much as 1.6 bn rolling off at 1.1300-05. CHF/JPY - The Franc and Yen are still lagging on risk factors and their carry characteristics, with the former unable to sustain advances through 0.9200 against the Buck and the latter failing to overcome offers/resistance into 114.00. Hence, Usd/Jpy remains poised for more attempts to scale the next Fib retracement at 114.38 in the run up to Japanese inflation data and post-remarks from BoJ Kuroda who adhered to pretty standard lines on currency matters. To recap, he repeated that FX rates must move in a stable fashion and reflect economic fundamentals, while the negative impact of a weak Jpy on Japanese household income may be increasing, though the benefits outweigh the demerits. In commodities, crude benchmarks continue to see modest pressure that crept in during APAC trade; Brent is pivoting USD 75.00/bbl, with losses of circa USD 0.30/bbl. News flow has been minimal. Russia’s President Putin is making some geopolitical noises, although he is largely reiterating familiar themes. Elsewhere, Exxon’s (XOM) Baytown complex (560k BPD capacity) in Texas reported a fire at a gasoline component processing unit; reports thus far indicate no facility impact from this incident. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver remain contained as the yellow metal holds onto the USD 1800/oz mark it reclaimed amid USD weakness in APAC hours. While base metals are firmer but again within familiar ranges. Russian President Putin says Russia meets gas supply obligations under long-term deals, prior to providing gas to spot markets; adds that Gazprom has not booked gas via the Yamal-Europe line due to a lack of requests, pipeline in reverse mode. Europe has created its own gas problems, should resolve this themselves; are prepared to assist.Germany is selling Russian gas to Poland, think it ends up in Ukraine. Exxon (XOM) Baytown complex (560k BPD capacity) in Texas has reported a fire at the facility, according to the community alert system; Some injuries have been reported following a 'major industrial accident' at the Exxon (XOM) Baytown complex (560k BPD capacity) in Texas, via the Harris County Sheriff - No reports to evacuate/shelter in place after the fire. Based on current information, no adverse impact. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Dec. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 205,000, prior 206,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.84m, prior 1.85m 8:30am: Nov. Personal Income, est. 0.4%, prior 0.5% Personal Spending, est. 0.6%, prior 1.3% 8:30am: Nov. PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.6%; YoY, est. 5.7%, prior 5.0% PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4%; YoY, est. 4.5%, prior 4.1% 8:30am: Nov. Durable Goods Orders, est. 1.8%, prior -0.4% Durables-Less Transportation, est. 0.6%, prior 0.5% Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.7%, prior 0.7% Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.6%, prior 0.4% 10am: Nov. New Home Sales MoM, est. 3.3%, prior 0.4% 10am: Dec. U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 70.4, prior 70.4 Current Conditions, prior 74.6 Expectations, prior 67.8 1 Yr Inflation, est. 4.9%, prior 4.9%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 3.0%; 10am: Nov. New Home Sales, est. 770,000, prior 745,000 Tyler Durden Thu, 12/23/2021 - 08:06.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 23rd, 2021

"Santa Rally Is Finally Here": Futures Hit All Time High Day After Powell Goes Full Jean-Claude Trichet

"Santa Rally Is Finally Here": Futures Hit All Time High Day After Powell Goes Full Jean-Claude Trichet One day before what everyone knew would be a hawkish pivot by the Fed, the mood was dour with tech names tumbling and futures hanging one for dear life. One day after, Jerome Powell confirmed he would go full Jean-Claude Trichet as the Fed would not only turbo-taper into a sharply slowing economy, ending its QE program by March but then proceed with hiking rates as many as 3 times in 2022 (more than the 2 hike consensus), with the BOE shocking markets moments ago with a surprise rate hike and even the ECB trimming its turbo QE, and futures are.... at all time highs. That's right - eminis are higher by 140 points in 24 hours because the Fed was more hawkish than consensus expected.  At 8:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 215 points, or 0.61%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 27.25 points, or 0.57%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 100 points, or 0.61%. Treasury yields jumped alongside European bonds after the BOE became the first major central bank to raise rates since the pandemic, while the dollar fell and the pound jumped. The Euro also hit session highs after the ECB seemed to turn ever so slightly more hawkish as its monthly QE is set to shrink in the coming year. "The market likes facts it can digest. With the uncertainty now gone, it finds relief,” said Frederik Hildner, a portfolio manager at Salm-Salm & Partner. Gradual rising rates “provides more firepower for the next downturn, as it displays the ability normalize monetary policy.” On Wednesday, Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy no longer needed increasing amounts of policy support as annual inflation has been running at more than double the central bank's target in recent months, while the economy nears full employment. Recent readings on surging producer and consumer prices as well as the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus have fueled anxiety as the benchmark S&P 500 inches closer to a record high. "Is the Santa Rally finally here? Markets certainly seem to have a spring in their step... the prospect of three interest rate hikes in 2022 would suggest the central bank has a clear plan to not let inflation get out of control," Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell wrote in a client note. "Equally, it isn't being too aggressive to trip up the economy. This sense of balance is exactly what investors want, and an upbeat tone from the Fed certainly seems to have rubbed off on markets" Bell said, clearly goalseeking his narrative to the market's response as just 24 hours later he would be saying just the opposite when futures were tanking of hawkish Fed fears. Big tech stocks and banks led gains in premarket trading. Shares in Tesla, Microsoft, Meta and Amazon.com rose between 0.7% and 2.4%, with the lift pushing Apple shares nearer to an historic market value of $3 trillion. Bank stocks including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup all gained between 0.7% and 0.8%. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Apple (APPL) and other big U.S. tech stocks rise after the Federal Reserve said that it would speed up its taper, joining in with a broader relief rally across risk assets. Apple shares are up 0.6%, with the stock drawing nearer to an historic market capitalization of $3 trillion. Also Thursday, Goldman Sachs said lead times for Apple’s iPhone have declined in the latest week. Assertio (ASRT US) shares rise 4% after the company announced the $44 million acquisition of the Otrexup device from Antares Pharma. Blue Bird (BLBD US) dropped 6% after the school bus-maker provided a weaker-than-expected sales outlook. The company also offered $75m shares at $16/share in a private placement. Danimer Scientific (DNMR) falls 10% after announcing that it plans to offer $175 million of convertible senior notes. Delta Air Lines (DAL) is up 2% after saying it expects to report a profit for the fourth quarter, citing a strong demand for travel over the winter holiday period and a decline in jet fuel prices. Other airline stocks are also higher. DocuSign (DOCU) falls 2% as Morgan Stanley issued a downgrade, saying third-quarter results changed the firm’s view regarding the durability of growth through tough post-pandemic comparables. Freyr Battery (FREY) gains 14% after executing its inaugural offtake agreement for at least 31 GWh of low-carbon battery cells. IronNet (IRNT US) slumps 25% after the cybersecurity company’s results fell short of expectations, prompting a Street-low target from Jefferies. Lennar Corp. (LEN US) declined 6% after it reported a forecast for purchase contracts that was weaker than expected. Plug Power (PLUG) gains 5% after signing an agreement with Korean electric-vehicle manufacturer Edison Motors to develop an electric city bus powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Syndax Pharmaceuticals (SNDX) falls 8% after pricing 3.2 million shares at $17.50 each. Tesla (TSLA) is up 2%, rising with other electric vehicle stocks amid a broader gain in technology stocks and U.S. futures on hopes that the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening will fight high inflation without hampering economic growth. Wayfair (W) falls 2% after BofA downgraded the stock to underperform, citing weak near-term data and difficult comparisons through the first quarter of 2022 for the online furniture retailer. European equities rally with Euro Stoxx 50 up as much as 2.1% before drifting off best levels. The U.K.’s exporter-heavy FTSE 100 Index pared some gains after the BOE decision, while European dipped modestly after the European Central Bank’s meeting.  Miners, tech and autos are the best performers, utilities and media names lag. Equities have whipsawed in recent weeks as investors attempted to price in the prospect of rate hikes, while assessing risks from the spread of the omicron variant. The market’s early response to the Fed signals some relief arising from policy clarity, and optimism that the rebound from pandemic lows can weather the pivot away from ultra-loose monetary settings. “The market is breathing a sigh of relief that the FOMC meeting suggested that it is taking inflation risks in the United States more seriously,” Ann-Katrin Petersen, an investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “The question really will be whether the Fed will dare to do even more in order to taper the inflation risk.” Asian stocks rose, halting a four-day slide, as confidence in Federal Reserve policy allowed investors to take on riskier assets. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.8%, buoyed by energy and technology shares. Japan was Asia’s top performer, aided by a weaker yen. Hong Kong and China stocks eked out gains amid ongoing concern over U.S. sanctions. Australian equities declined for a third day. Asia’s benchmark advanced for the first time this week on hopes the Fed will effectively combat surging prices without choking off economic growth. The U.S. central bank said it will double the pace of its asset tapering program to $30 billion a month and projected three interest-rate increases in 2022. In the run-up to the Fed’s decision, Asia’s equity gauge slumped almost 2% over the past four days, keeping it below the 50-day moving average.    The short-term boost to stock market sentiment is from Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments about wage inflation not being the main issue for now, and expectations that there’ll be full employment next year, said Ilya Spivak, head of Greater Asia at DailyFX. However, there’s a “meaningful risk” that the Fed’s latest policy stance will trigger liquidation as Asia stock portfolios are de-risked, Spivak said. Japan’s stocks rose for a second day after the yen weakened and U.S. stocks rallied amid speculation the Federal Reserve will combat surging prices without choking off economic growth. The Topix index climbed 1.5% to close at 2,013.08 in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 2.1% to 29,066.32. Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 2.5%. Out of 2,181 shares in the index, 1,674 rose and 421 fell, while 86 were unchanged. “It wouldn’t be strange to see the discount on Japanese equities narrowing following the FOMC meeting results, with market interest centered around electronics, machinery, automakers and marine transportation stocks,” said Takashi Ito, an equity market strategist at Nomura Securities. Electronics firms and automakers helped lift the Topix as the yen headed for a four-day slump against the dollar, with the currency falling 0.1% to 114.19 Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4% to close at 7,295.70, extending its losing streak to a third day.  CSL was the worst performer after the benchmark’s second-biggest company by weighting completed a placement to fund its Vifor acquisition. Mesoblast was the top performer after saying it plans to conduct an additional U.S. Phase 3 trial of rexlemestrocel-L in patients with chronic low back pain.  Investors also digested November jobs data. Australian employment soared last month, smashing expectations and pushing the jobless rate lower as virus restrictions eased on the east coast. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7% to 12,777.54 In rates, cash USTs bull steepened, bolstered by a large curve steepener that blocked in early London. Bunds are soft at the back end, peripherals slightly wider ahead of today’s ECB meeting. Gilts bear steepen slightly, white pack sonia futures are lower by 2-3.5 ticks. In FX, the dollar slipped for a second day and oil rose; cable snapped to best levels of the week after the BOE unexpectedly hiked rates.  The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell for a second day as the greenback weakened against all its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen; Tresury yields fell, led by the belly of the curve. Commodity currencies were the best G-10 performers, led by the krone, which reversed an earlier loss after Norway’s central bank raised its interest rate for the second time this year and flagged another increase in March as officials acted to cool the rebounding economy despite renewed coronavirus concerns. The Australian and New Zealand dollars reversed earlier losses amid upbeat stock markets; the Aussie earlier weakened as RBA Governor Lowe hinted at the prospect of no rate hikes next year. The yen fell as the Federal Reserve’s decision reaffirmed yield differentials ahead of the Bank of Japan’s outcome on Friday. Bonds rose after a solid auction. Elsewhere in FX, NOK outperforms in G-10 after Norges Bank rate action, other commodity currencies are similarly well bid. In commodities, Crude futures hold a narrow range around best levels of the session. WTI is up 1.1% near $71.70, Brent near $74.70. Spot gold grinds higher, adding ~$9 near $1,786/oz. LME copper outperforms in a well-bid base metals complex To the day ahead now, and the main highlights will be the aforementioned policy decisions from the ECB and the BoE. On the data side, we’ll also get the flash PMIs for December from around the world, the Euro Area trade balance for October, and in the US there’s November data on industrial production, housing starts and building permits, as well as the weekly initial jobless claims. Finally, EU leaders will be meeting for a summit in Brussels. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 4,734.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.2% to 476.39 MXAP up 0.8% to 193.11 MXAPJ up 0.5% to 623.76 Nikkei up 2.1% to 29,066.32 Topix up 1.5% to 2,013.08 Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 23,475.50 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,675.02 Sensex up 0.1% to 57,851.57 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,295.66 Kospi up 0.6% to 3,006.41 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $74.59/bbl Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,786.03 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.36% to 96.16 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.36% Euro up 0.2% to $1.1316 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The greenback is set for its biggest annual gain in six years and its rally appears to be far from over, market participants say. The prime mover: a hawkish Federal Reserve that’s drawn a roadmap of interest-rate increases over the next three years, while other central banks look much more reticent to withdraw stimulus The ECB is poised to unveil a gradual withdrawal from extraordinary pandemic stimulus in the face of soaring inflation whose path is further clouded by the omicron coronavirus variant The “phenomenal pace” at which the new Covid-19 omicron strain is spreading across the U.K. will trigger a surge in hospital admissions over the holiday period, according to Boris Johnson’s top medical adviser The Swiss National Bank kept both the deposit and the policy rate at -0.75%, as widely predicted by economists. With the global economic recovery on shaky footing due to the omicron variant, President Thomas Jordan and fellow policy makers also reiterated their pledge to supplement subzero rates with currency interventions as needed France will impose tougher rules on people traveling from the U.K., including a ban on non-essential trips and a requirement to self-isolate, as it tries to slow the spread of the omicron variant IHS Markit said its index tracking output across the U.K. economy fell to 53.2 this month from 57.6 in November, reflecting weaker-than-expected growth in service industries including hotels, restaurants and travel-related businesses. Business-to-business services stalled European power prices soared to records after Electricite de France SA said that two nuclear reactors will stop unexpectedly and two will have prolonged halts -- just as the continent heads for a cold snap with already depleted gas inventories Hungary’s central bank increased the effective base interest rate for the fifth time in as many weeks to tackle the fastest inflation since 2007 and shore up the battered forint A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed as the region digested the FOMC meeting. The ASX 200 (-0.4%) was negative with heavy losses in the healthcare sector and as COVID infections remained rampant. There were also notable comments from RBA Governor Lowe that the board discussed tapering bond purchases in February and ending it in May or could even end purchases in February if economic progress is better than expected, although it is also open to reviewing bond buying again in May if the data disappoints. The Nikkei 225 (+2.1%) outperformed and reclaimed the 29k level after the Lower House recently passed the record extra budget stimulus and with the latest trade data showing double-digit percentage surges in Imports and Exports, despite the latter slightly missing on expectations. The Hang Seng (+0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.8%) were varied with Hong Kong pressured by losses in the big tech names amid ongoing frictions between the world’s two largest economies and as US lawmakers proposed a bill to allow the US oversight of China audits, although the mainland was kept afloat amid further speculation of a potential LPR cut this month, as well as reports that China will boost financial support for small businesses and offer more longer-term loans to manufacturers. Finally, 10yr JGBs were indecisive despite the constructive mood in Tokyo and with price action stuck near the 152.00 focal point, while demand was also sidelined amid mixed results at the 20yr JGB auction and as the BoJ kickstarts its two-day meeting. Top Asian News Indonesia Reports First Omicron Case in Jakarta Facility Asia Stocks Snap Four-Day Drop as Traders Take on Risk After Fed Shimao Group Shares Set for Best Day in Month Money Manager Vanishes With $313 Million From China Builder Equities in Europe have taken their cue from the post-FOMC rally seen across Wall Street (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.6%; Stoxx 600 +1.1%) following somewhat mixed APAC trade. As a reminder, markets saw relief with one of the major risk events out of the way, and with Chair Powell refraining from throwing hawkish curveballs. That being said, the forecast does see three rate hikes next year, whilst the Fed Board next year will also be more hawkish – at least within the rotating voters - with George, Mester and Bullard poised to vote from 2022. Nonetheless, US equity future continues grinding higher with all contracts in the green and the RTY (+1.3%) outperforming vs the NQ (+0.7%), ES (+0.6%), and YM (+0.5%). Bourses in Europe also experience broad-based gains with no real outliers, although the upside momentum somewhat waned amid some softer-than-expected PMI metrics ahead of ECB. Sectors in Europe paint a clear pro-cyclical bias. Tech outperforms following a similar sectorial performance seen on Wall Street. Basic Resources and Oil & Gas follow a close second, with Autos and Travel & Leisure also among the biggest gainers. The downside sees Personal & Household Goods, Telecoms and Food & Beverages. Healthcare meanwhile fares better than its defensive peers as Novartis (+4%) is bolstered after commencing a new USD 15bln buyback, highlighting confidence in growth and pipeline. On the flip side, EDF (-12%) shares have slipped after it narrowed FY EBITDA forecasts and highlighted some faults with some nuclear reactors amid corrosion. Top European News Britain’s Covid Resurgence Cuts Growth to Slowest Since Lockdown SNB Says Franc Is Highly Valued as Omicron Clouds Outlook Norway Delivers Rate Hike That Omicron Had Threatened to Derail Erdogan Approves Third Capital Boost for State Banks Since 2019 In FX, not much bang for the Buck fits the bill accurately as it is panning out in the FOMC aftermath even though market expectations were matched and arguably exceeded in terms of dot plots showing three hikes in 2022 vs two anticipated by most and only one previously, while the unwinding of asset purchases will occur in double quick time to end in March next year instead of June. However, there appears to be enough in the overall statement, SEP and Fed chair Powell’s post-meeting press conference to offset the initial knee-jerk spike in the Dollar and index that lifted the latter very close to its current y-t-d peak at 96.914 vs 96.938 from November 24. Indeed, the terminal rate was maintained at 2.5%, no decision has been taken about whether to take a break after tapering before tightening, and the recovery in labour market participation has been disappointing to the point that it will now take longer to return to higher levels. In response, or on further reflection, the DXY has recoiled to 96.141 and through the 21 DMA that comes in at 96.238 today. NZD/AUD/CAD/GBP/EUR/CHF - All on the rebound vs their US counterpart, with the Kiwi back on the 0.6800 handle and also encouraged by NZ GDP contracting less than feared in Q3, while the Aussie is hovering around 0.7200 in wake of a stellar jobs report only partly tempered by dovish remarks from RBA Governor Lowe who is still not in the 2022 hike camp and non-committal about ending QE next February or extending until May. Elsewhere, the Loonie has clawed back a chunk of its losses amidst recovering crude prices to regain 1.2800+ status ahead of Canadian wholesale trade that is buried between a raft of US data and survey releases, Sterling is flirting with 1.3300 in advance of the BoE that is likely to hold fire irrespective of significantly hotter than forecast UK inflation, the Euro is pivoting 1.1300 pre-ECB that is eyed for details of life after the PEPP and the Franc is somewhat mixed post-SNB that maintained rates and a highly valued assessment of the Chf with readiness to intervene as required. Note, Usd/Chf is meandering from 0.9256 to 0.9221 vs Eur/Chf more elevated within a 1.0455-30 band. JPY - The Yen is underperforming on the eve of the BoJ and looking technically weak to compound its yield and rate disadvantage after Usd/Jpy closed above a key chart level on Wednesday (at 114.03). As such, Fib resistance is now exposed at 114.38 vs the circa 114.25 high, so far, while decent option expiry interest may be influential one way or the other into the NY cut given around 1.3 bn at the 114.25 strike, 1.7 bn at 114.30 and 1.2 bn or so at 114.50. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are taking advantage of the risk appetite coupled with the softer Buck. WTI Jan trades on either side of USD 71.50/bbl (vs low USD 71.39/bbl) while Brent Feb sees itself around USD 74.50/bbl (vs low USD 74.28/bbl). Complex-specific news has again been on the quiet end, with prices working off the macro impulses for the time being, and with volumes also light heading into Christmas trade. Elsewhere spot gold and silver ebb higher – in tandem with the Dollar, with the former eyeing a group of DMAs to the upside including the 100 (1,788/oz), 21 (1,789/oz) 200 (1,794/oz) and 50 (1,796/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper has been catapulted higher amid the risk and weaker Dollar, with prices re-testing USD 9,500/t to the upside. Meanwhile, a Chinese government consultancy has said that China's steel consumption will dip 0.7% on an annual basis in 2022 amid policies for the real estate market and uncertainties linked to COVID-19 curb demand. US event calendar 8:30am: Dec. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 200,000, prior 184,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.94m, prior 1.99m 8:30am: Nov. Housing Starts MoM, est. 3.1%, prior -0.7% 8:30am: Nov. Housing Starts, est. 1.57m, prior 1.52m 8:30am: Nov. Building Permits MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 4.0%, revised 4.2% 8:30am: Nov. Building Permits, est. 1.66m, prior 1.65m, revised 1.65m 8:30am: Dec. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 29.6, prior 39.0 9:15am: Nov. Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 0.7%, prior 1.2%; Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 1.6% 9:45am: Dec. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 58.5, prior 58.3 9:45am: Dec. Markit US Services PMI, est. 58.8, prior 58.0 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Yesterday’s biggest story was obviously the Fed. In line with our US economists call (their full recap here), the FOMC doubled the pace of taper to $30bn a month, which would bring an end to QE in mid-March. The new dot plot showed three rate hikes in 2022, up from the Committee being split over one hike in September. Farther out, the median dot had 3 additional hikes in 2023 and 2 hikes in 2024, bringing fed funds just below their estimate of the longer-term rate. Notably, all 18 Committee members have liftoff occurring next year, and 10 have 3 hikes penciled in, suggesting consensus behind the recent hawkish turn was strong. Short-end market pricing increased in line and now has around 2.9 hikes priced for 2022. The first hike is fully priced for the June meeting, but notably, meetings as early as March are priced as live, more on that in a bit. In the statement, the Committee admitted that inflation had exceeded target for some time (dropping ‘transitory’ completely), and that liftoff would be tied to the economy reaching full employment. By the sounds of the press conference, progress toward full employment has proceeded pretty rapidly. Chair Powell noted that while labour force participation progress has been disappointing, almost every other measure of labour market strength shows a very strong labour market, and could create upside risks to inflation should wage growth start to increase beyond productivity. It is within that context that he framed the decision to taper faster, it will leave the Fed in a position to react as needed, providing optionality. In that vein, he stressed a few times that the lag between the end of taper and liftoff need not be as long as it was in the last cycle, and that the Fed will raise rates after taper is done whenever needed, hence meetings as early as March being live. Notably on Omicron, the Chair, like the rest of us, recognises we don’t know much about the variant yet, but seemed optimistic about the economy’s ability to withstand subsequent Covid shocks, regardless of Omicron’s specifics. While Covid shocks can tighten supply chains, discourage labour participation, and reduce demand, as more people get vaccinated those impacts should dwindle over time, so his argument went. Hammering the point home, he sounded confident that the economy can handle whatever Omicron brings without any additional QE, justifying the accelerated taper path despite Covid risks. The hawkish turn had been well forecast through Fed speakers since the last meeting, not least of which the Chair himself during Congressional testimony, which served to dull the market impact. Treasury yields were slightly higher, (2yr Tsys +0.6bps and 10yr Tsys +1.5 bps) but were quite docile for an FOMC afternoon. The dollar initially strengthened on the statement release before reversing course and ending the day -0.24% lower. Stocks were the real outperformers, as the S&P 500 rallied through the FOMC events, gaining +1.63%, the best daily performance in two months, while the Nasdaq increased +2.15%. The Russell 2000 matched the S&P, gaining +1.65%. Obviously the market was anticipating the change in policy, but if doubling taper and adding three rate hikes in the next year isn’t enough to tighten financial conditions, what is? The Chair was asked about that in so many words in the press conference, where he responded by noting financial conditions could change on a dime. Indeed, they will have to tighten from historically easy levels if the Fed is to bring inflation back to target through policy. The Fed may be out of the way now, but the central bank excitement continues today as both the ECB and the BoE announce their own policy decisions later on. We’ll start with the ECB, who like the Fed have faced much higher than expected inflation lately, with the November flash estimate coming in at +4.9%, which is the highest since the formation of the single currency. Whilst Omicron has cast a shadow of uncertainty, with Commission President von der Leyen saying yesterday that it was likely to become dominant in Europe by mid-January, our European economics team doesn’t think there has been anything concrete enough to alter the ECB from their course (like the Fed). In our European economists’ preview (link here) they write the ECB appears on track to initiate a transition to a monetary policy stance based more on policy rates and rates guidance and less on liquidity provision. The ECB is set to confirm that PEPP net purchases will end in March, but will cushion the blow by working flexibility into the post-PEPP asset purchase arrangement. They are also set to make the policy framework more flexible to better respond to inflation uncertainties. One thing to keep an eye out for in particular will be the latest inflation projections, with a report from Bloomberg suggesting that they’ll show inflation beneath the 2% target in both 2023 and 2024. So if that’s true, that could offer a route to arguing against a tightening of monetary policy for the time being, since the ECB’s forward guidance has been that it won’t raise rates until it sees inflation at the target “durably for the rest of the projection horizon”. Today’s other big decision comes from the BoE, where our UK economist is expecting that there’ll be a 15bps increase in Bank Rate, taking it up to 0.25% although they suggest it’s a very close call. See here for the rationale. Ahead of that decision later on, we received a very strong UK inflation print for November, with CPI rising to +5.1% (vs. +4.8% expected), up from +4.2% in October and the fastest pace in a decade. That’s running ahead of the BoE’s own staff forecasts in the November Monetary Policy Report, which had seen inflation at just +4.5% that month, so six-tenths beneath the realised figure. We’ll get their decision at 12:00 London time, 45 minutes ahead of the ECB’s. In terms of the latest on the Omicron variant, there are continued signs of concern in South Africa, with cases coming in at a record 26,976 yesterday, whilst the number in hospital at 7,339 is up +73% compared to a week ago. Meanwhile the UK recorded their highest number of cases since the pandemic began, at 78,610. England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, said that a lot of Covid records would be broken in the coming weeks, and also that a majority of cases in London were now from the Omicron variant. Separately, the French government is set to hold a meeting tomorrow on Covid measures, and EU leaders will be discussing the pandemic at their summit today. When it comes to Omicron’s economic impact, we could see some light shed on that today as the December flash PMIs are released from around the world. Overnight we’ve already had the numbers out of Australia and Japan where hints of a slowdown are apparent. Japan's Manufacturing PMI came out at 54.2 (54.5 previous) and the Composite at 51.8 (53.3 previous) while Australia’s Manufacturing and Composite came in at 57.4 and 54.9 respectively (59.2 and 55.7 previous). Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mostly higher led by the Nikkei (+1.78%) followed by the Shanghai Composite (+0.28%), and KOSPI (+0.22%). However the CSI (-0.07%) and Hang Seng (-0.81%) are losing ground on concerns of US sanctions on Chinese tech companies. In Australia, the November employment report registered a strong beat by adding 366.1k jobs against 200k consensus. This is being reflected in a +12.75 bps surge in Australia's 3y bond. Elsewhere, in India wholesale inflation for November rose +14.2% year on year, levels last seen in 2000 against a consensus of +11.98% on the back of higher food and input prices. DM futures are indicating a positive start to markets today with S&P 500 (+0.19%) and DAX (+1.04%) contracts both higher as we type. Ahead of the Fed, European markets had put in a fairly steady performance yesterday, with the STOXX 600 up +0.26%. That brought an end to a run of 5 successive declines, with technology stocks in particular seeing an outperformance. Sovereign bond markets were also subdued ahead of the ECB and BoE meetings later, with yields on 10yr bunds (+0.9bps), OATs (+0.5bps) and gilts (+1.2bps) only seeing modest moves higher. In DC, despite optimistic sounding talks earlier in the week, the latest yesterday was President Biden and Senator Manchin remained far apart on the administration’s build back better bill, imperiling its chances of passing before Christmas. Elsewhere, reports suggested the President would have more nominations for the remaining Fed Board vacancies this week. Looking at yesterday’s other data, US retail sales underwhelmed in November with growth of just +0.3% (vs. +0.8% expected), and measure excluding gas and motor vehicles was also up just +0.2% (vs. +0.8% expected). Also the NAHB’s housing market index for December moved up to a 10-month high of 84, in line with expectations. To the day ahead now, and the main highlights will be the aforementioned policy decisions from the ECB and the BoE. On the data side, we’ll also get the flash PMIs for December from around the world, the Euro Area trade balance for October, and in the US there’s November data on industrial production, housing starts and building permits, as well as the weekly initial jobless claims. Finally, EU leaders will be meeting for a summit in Brussels. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/16/2021 - 08:29.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 16th, 2021

Red Hot And Running

S&P 500 really went through the brief pause in selling, but credit markets haven‘t stopped really. Their weakness continues, but is hitting value a tad harder than tech. Together with VIX turning south, that‘s one more sign why the bulls are slowly becoming the increasingly more favored side. Hold your horses though, I‘m talking about […] S&P 500 really went through the brief pause in selling, but credit markets haven‘t stopped really. Their weakness continues, but is hitting value a tad harder than tech. Together with VIX turning south, that‘s one more sign why the bulls are slowly becoming the increasingly more favored side. Hold your horses though, I‘m talking about a very short-term outlook – this correction doesn‘t appear to be over just yet (the second half of Nov is usually weakner seasonally): if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more (…) some treading the water before stocks make up their mind, is most likely next. The downswing doesn‘t appear to be totally over, but we have arguably seen the greater part of it already. … I‘m still looking for clues to the bond markets. There, it had been a one-way ride. TLT though is having trouble declining further, and that means a brief upswing carrying over into stocks, is likely. Primarily tech would benefit, and the ever more negative real rates would put a floor beneath the feverish precious metals run. Make no mistake though, the tide in gold and silver has turned, and inflation expectations aren‘t as tame anymore. In this light, there‘s no point in sweating the commodities retracement of late. True, the rising dollar is taking some steam out of the CRB superbull, but that‘s only temporary – I‘m looking for the greenback to reverse to the downside once the debt ceiling drama reappears in the beginning of Dec. Then, the Treasury would also have to start issuing more (short-term) debt, which would put a damper on any upswing attempts. Meanwhile, inflation would keep at least as hot as it‘sx been recently, and the Fed policy mistake in letting the fire burn unattended, would be more broadly acknowledged. What a profitable constellation for precious metals, real and crypto assets! Let‘s move right into the charts (all courtesy of www.stockcharts.com). S&P 500 and Nasdaq Outlook S&P 500 is bidding its time – the shallow very short-term consolidation continues, with the bears slowly running out of time (for today). Credit Markets HYG, LQD and TLT – weakness anywhere you look continues, but LQD is hinting at a possible stabilization next. Unless that‘s more broadly followed in bonds, any S&P 500 upswing would remain a doubtful proposition. Gold, Silver and Miners Gold and silver were indeed just getting started – a relatively brief pause shouldn‘t be surprising. Any dips though remain to be bought. All in all, PMs are firing on all cylinders currently. Crude Oil Crude oil bulls keep defending the $80 level, with $78 serving as the next stop if need be. The consolidation starting late Oct would though resolve to the upside in my view – it‘s just a question of shortening time. Copper Copper participated in the commodities upswing – not too enthusiastically, not too weakly. The volume seems just right for base building before another red metal‘s move higher. Bitcoin and Ethereum Bitcoin and Ethereum are still consolidating, and the relatively tight price range keeps favoring the bulls. Summary S&P 500 is looking at a mildly positive day today, but the correction isn‘t probably over just yet. With most of the downside already in, I‘m looking for bullish spirits to very gradually return. Precious metals will be the star performers for the many days to come, followed by copper and then oil. Crypto better days are also lyiing ahead. All in all, inflation trades will keep doing better and better. Thank you for having read today‘s free analysis, which is available in full at my homesite. There, you can subscribe to the free Monica‘s Insider Club, which features real-time trade calls and intraday updates for all the five publications: Stock Trading Signals, Gold Trading Signals, Oil Trading Signals, Copper Trading Signals and Bitcoin Trading Signals. Thank you, Monica Kingsley Stock Trading Signals Gold Trading Signals Oil Trading Signals Copper Trading Signals Bitcoin Trading Signals www.monicakingsley.co mk@monicakingsley.co All essays, research and information represent analyses and opinions of Monica Kingsley that are based on available and latest data. Despite careful research and best efforts, it may prove wrong and be subject to change with or without notice. Monica Kingsley does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. Her content serves educational purposes and should not be relied upon as advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks and options are financial instruments not suitable for every investor. Please be advised that you invest at your own risk. Monica Kingsley is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading her writings, you agree that she will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make. Investing, trading and speculating in financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Monica Kingsley may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in her writings, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice. Updated on Nov 12, 2021, 11:09 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 12th, 2021