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Size Matters

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,
Recently, Doug Casey commented, in an essay, on the senselessness of giving to organized charities. I take a similar view. So, are we both heartless, having no concern for the well-being of others? Not …

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Meet The New Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Hypervirulent’ Superbug Discovered In China

September 5, 2017 ZeroPointNow 0

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

To take your mind off nuclear war with North Korea and deadly hurricanes, let’s talk about other ways to cull the herd…

Scientists at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hangzhou, China have discovered a new strain of antibiotic-resistant pneumonia which spreads incredibly fast, after a 2016 outbreak in a hospital ICU led to the deaths of five patients ranging in age from 53 to 73. In findings published in The Lancet, researchers conclude that the new superbug poses a “substantial threat to human health” due to the fact that it is “simultaneously hypervirulent, multidrug resistant, and highly transmissible.”

K. pneumoniae  (ST11 CR-HvKP) is a triple threat; a deadly combination of two previously known strains of pneumonia; one which shrugs off all but the toughest antibiotics, and the other which is classified as ‘very severe’ and ‘hypervirulent’ in terms of lethality and how quickly it spreads.

The new report also reveals that samples from other parts of China tested positive for the new superbug, noting that “[f]ailure to control its early spread right now, will make a global epidemic of carbapenem-resistant [CRE], hypervirulent K. pneumoniae hard to avoid,” advising that “Control measures should be implemented to prevent further dissemination of such organisms.”

Epidimiologiests Liang Chen and Barry Kreisworth call the new strainof pneumoniae an “alarming evolutionary event.

While Allergan’s FDA-approved antibiotic of last resort ‘Avibactam’ can likely handle ST11 CR-HvKP, it is not available in China, which leaves the country with nothing it its pharmaceutical arsenal to battle the infection.

Via NPR

The microbe can fight off all drugs available in China, Chen says. “We don’t have anything in China to stop it,” he says. “There is a drug available in the U.S. that should be effective against it, but we haven’t tested it yet.”

In the outbreak, the five patients who died were all older than 53. They were all on ventilators after undergoing major surgeries. And they died from severe lung failure, multiorgan failure or septic shock, the researchers found.

“The disease progresses very fast,” Chen says. “It starts in the lungs and then infects other organs, like the liver.”

Until China approves Avibactam or a similarly effective antibiotic of last resort, doctors and health officials can prevent the spread of hypervirulent pneumonia by quickly identifying outbreaks and isolating the infected.

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Former Trump Insiders Predict Paul Manafort Close To Being Indicted For Financial Crimes, Report

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

It has become increasingly clear in recent weeks that Special Counsel Mueller is intent upon either flipping Paul Manafort against Trump in his ‘Russian collusion’ investigation or filing charges against him for crimes unrelated to the 2016 presidential campaign.  Either way, Manafort’s future looks to be dimming.

As the Daily Caller has just revealed in an exclusive report, former Trump campaign aides are now saying that Manafort could be indicted for financial crimes, allegedly including money laundering and/or tax evasion, in the very near future.

Former Trump campaign aides are telling The Daily Caller that they increasingly believe former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will be indicted for crimes such as money laundering or tax evasion.

 

One of the former campaign advisers has knowledge of the ongoing investigations into Manafort, a longtime Republican operative who joined the Trump campaign last March. Another former aide said his own knowledge of Manafort’s past history working with despots, coupled with news reports about Mueller’s investigation, led him to believe that an indictment of Manafort is becoming more likely.

 

The former Trump advisers told TheDC they have no knowledge of any collusion with the Russian government on the presidential campaign. One aide stressed that any financial crimes by Manafort are his own problem and not that of the White House.

 

“Ill-informed speculation has become the new Washington parlor game. Despite breathless headlines, it is increasingly clear the Russia Collusion story is eroding,” Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni told TheDC. Maloni declined to comment when asked specifically about financial crimes.

 

One of the former aides was interviewed by a Congressional committee investigating Russian interference and told TheDC that many of the questions were about Manafort’s finances.

 

“Investigators appeared focused on finances and business relationships of the Trump family and top associates such as Paul Manafort and General Michael Flynn,” the former Trump campaign adviser told TheDC.

Manafort

Of course, back in July WaPo reported that FBI agents “raided the Alexandria home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials.”  Federal agents reportedly appeared at Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours on Wednesday, July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee. The WaPo reported that the served search warrant was “wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.”

The raid came as Manafort has been voluntarily producing documents to congressional committees investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena.

 

It could also have been intended to send a message to President Trump’s former campaign chairman that he should not expect gentle treatment or legal courtesies from Mueller’s team.

Then again, other rumors would suggest that Manafort could luck out on a technicality as Law Newz reported earlier today that FBI agents may have overstepped their bounds during their raid and collected evidence from Manafort’s home that was subject to attorney-client privilege.  If true, such a blatant abuse of power could result in all evidence from Manafort’s home being dismissed by the courts.

As the Robert Mueller investigation intensifies, new details are being leaked about the direction the probe is going. Buried in a story about the intensifying relationship between Mueller and Congress, CNN revealed some very interesting information. According to the report, Mueller’s team may have obtained evidence in the raid of Paul Manafort’s home that was not covered by the search warrant.

 

As the article points out, this certainly brings up concerns as to what exactly was seized, what investigators saw, and who handled the material. You can’t “unsee” evidence once you saw it.

 

“If they (investigators) had any kind of heads up, and they went beyond the scope of the warrant, that could be a problem,” Henry Hockeimer, a former federal prosecutor, told LawNewz.com.

Meanwhile, just one day after we found out about the FBI’s raid, we learned that Special Counsel Mueller had also been going after Manafort’s family in order gather dirt.  According to Politico’s anonymous sources, Manafort’s son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, was approached earlier this summer regarding his “business deals” with Manafort.

Federal investigators sought cooperation from Paul Manafort’s son-in-law in an effort to increase pressure on President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, according to three people familiar with the probe.

 

Investigators approached Jeffrey Yohai, who has partnered in business deals with Manafort, earlier this summer, setting off “real waves” in Manafort’s orbit, one of these people said. Another of these people said investigators are trying to get “into Manafort’s head.”

 

Manafort, who is a focus of the broad federal and congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, is also under investigation for his business and real estate transactions, including some that involve Yohai.

Yohai

 

As Politico noted at the time, Mueller’s targeting of both Manafort and his son-in-law over potential criminal wrongdoing is a common tactic employed in white-collar cases, commonly called “climbing the ladder.”  The strategy, more or less, entails digging up whatever dirt can be found on those in Trump’s orbit and then using that dirt to coerce potential witnesses into cooperation.

“Manafort is — on many levels — a key subject of the investigation and someone who might be leveraged to share information about others,” said one Washington-based white-collar attorney with a client involved in the Russia probe.

 

The approach involves finding a suspected crime — false statements on tax returns or loan applications, for example — and then offering leniency on prosecution in exchange for cooperation. “They always start with the people on the low end of the ladder and try to get information on someone high up on the ladder,” said William Jeffress, a white-collar attorney who represented Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, in the President George W. Bush-era Valerie Plame leak investigation.

 

Mueller would clearly have jurisdiction over any real estate dealings between Yohai, Manafort and Russians, Jeffress said. In addition, he could press Yohai for details on what he knows about Manafort’s role in the campaign.

In summary, when your ‘Russian collusion’ narrative fails miserably…keep digging until you find something on someone…Paul Manafort appears to be that ‘someone.’

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Pat Buchanan Asks “Should Japan And South Korea Go Nuclear?”

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
By setting off a 100-kiloton bomb, after firing a missile over Japan, Kim Jong Un has gotten the world’s attention.
What else does he want?
Almost surely not war with America. For no matter what dama…

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Qatar’s Latest Move Against The GCC Blockade

September 5, 2017 Zainab Calcuttawala 0

Three months after the announcement of a Gulf blockade against Qatar, the country is accelerating trade growth via a special port located on its shores, according to reports emerging from the region. The $7.4 billion Hamad port had been designed as a point of economic independence from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “This is a gateway to break the shackles imposed on Qatar,” Doha’s transport minister Jassim bin Saif Al-Sulaiti said at the port opening held on Tuesday. “Nothing can stop us and our ambition,” he added. Doha dodged…

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Satellite Images Reveal Numerous Landslides Around North Korea Test Site After Nuclear Test

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Commercial satellite images taken one day after North Korea conducted its largest nuclear test to date (currently estimated to have been around 120 kilotons, or 8 times the yield of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima), show numerous landslides throughout th…

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The Three Faces Of Bitcoin

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

After plunging 20% in the last few days from its $5000 highs – following China’s ICO ban, Bitcoin has bounced back to $440 today amid global turmoil…

As SHTFplan.com reported earlier, Rick Rule, the billionaire Chief Executive Officer of Sprott Global Resources, noted in his recent interview with Crush The Street:

Bitcoin to me is all positive… I’m a consumer of currencies and currencies are a medium of exchange… and the more competing currencies there are the better it is for consumers of currencies… I use U.S. dollars, I use Canadian dollars, I use gold, I use silver, and from time-to-time I use BitCoin.

 

The more competing currencies, the better the currency has to perform for the consumer.

But, Rule warns, just as we’ve seen historically with stocks, there will be bull markets, bear markets, bubbles and bursts. But astute investors who position themselves in the right blockchains or companies that operate them could see incredible gains. At the same time, however, he cautions that, at least for now, much of the market is based on speculation:

I don’t know [if it can go to $500,000 or $1 million per Bitcoin]… But I also think it’s possible for the market cap to go to zero if people lose faith in the algorithm… What happens in a market that goes from $450 where it was two years ago to $4500 is people only look in the future to directions gone in the past…

It’s an instrument of faith… Could it go to $10,000? Yes. Could it go to $100,000. I guess. Could it go to $0? Yes. Keep both numbers in mind.

Which brings us to the three faces of Bitcoin. As InternationalMan.com’s Jeff Thomas explains, one of them is likely to prove to be the correct one and the reader should consider them all, as each has a valid argument in its favour.

Whenever we see an image of bitcoin, it’s not presented as a blockchain, as it should be, but as a gold coin, which it is clearly not.

Why should this be? Well, many of bitcoin’s staunchest supporters are libertarians, who revile fiat currencies as being of no intrinsic value. And they’re correct. Fiat currencies do not pass the Aristotle test of being durable, divisible, portable and intrinsically valuable. They, unfortunately, fail badly on the last requirement.

Unfortunately, so does bitcoin (and in describing bitcoin here, the same comments apply to other cryptocurrencies); hence the tendency to present it as a gold coin, something that does satisfy all of Aristotle’s requirements.

So, why are libertarians, who, one would think would be just as suspicious of electronic fiat currency as they would be about paper fiat currency, its greatest supporters?

Well, bitcoin has been presented as a currency that’s not produced by governments. It’s a blockchain, created by an unknown person or agency and is promised to be limited in its total production (as are precious metals.)  

Of course, libertarians, by their very nature, tend to be suspicious of such claims. Doug Casey has for years, quite rightly described the dollar as an “I owe you nothing,” a mere promise from a government that it will pay the bearer if it sees fit to do so. He has also quite rightly described the euro as a “who owes you nothing,” as it’s a mere promise from an uber government that controls individual governments that it will pay the bearer.

Following this line of reasoning, bitcoin is, (please forgive the double-negative) “no one owes you nothing.” There is zero evidence of who created bitcoin or whether there is any validity whatever as to the promise of limited production.

So, why on earth are many intelligent people so in favour of bitcoin? Well, if it  proves to be legitimate, it’s by far the most useful form of currency in an age when banks and governments are clamping down on the transfer of currencies and, in fact, are likely to confiscate the deposits now held in banks. Further, it might rival gold as a store of wealth. Therefore, if it proves to be legitimate, it is unquestionably the currency of the future for all those who value the freedom to do as they please with their own money.

Unfortunately, there is that nagging, “if .” And then there’s the recurrent argument that it has no intrinsic value, due to its intangibility. It cannot be physically possessed. Its existence is subject to the vagaries of the internet, without which it can instantly go to zero and remain there, as have all the other fiat currencies over history.

In my view, there are three faces to bitcoin. (Yes, a coin cannot have three faces but, again, bitcoin is not really a coin.) One of them is likely to prove to be the correct one and the reader should consider them all, as each has a valid argument in its favour.

Face #1: Bitcoin Is the Future 

Bitcoin is the currency of the Internet. It’s not produced by any government and is therefore a decentralised worldwide digital currency. It can be used to make purchases and other monetary transfers anonymously. It’s easy and cheap to use as, currently, no country regulates it. As other fiat currencies (paper currencies) become less trustworthy, bitcoin is likely to increase in value. As Governments around the world increase capital controls, it promises freedom from governmental control.

 

The IMF describes digital currency as the way of the future and has declared their intention of getting a digital currency in place by 2018 in what they describe as the “global economic reset.” Most international banks are establishing blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies into their business models. One, Goldman Sachs, describes blockchain technology as the “new technology of trust,” citing the fact that every single transaction remains within the blockchain “ledger.”

Face #2: Bitcoin Will Fail

The most important objective of those who control the world economic system is the coming re-set of the monetary system. The intention is to eliminate paper currencies and any other form of currency other than their own digital world currency. By so-doing, every monetary transaction, no matter how small, would be on record. Additionally, banks could disallow any type of transaction which governments did not endorse. Further, they would have the power to refuse access to and even confiscate deposits.

 

Bitcoin is the very enemy of that reset, as it would allow the world to simply opt-out of the world’s banking system. But, in retaliation, banks could disallow the conversion of bitcoin to world currency and could count on governments to classify bitcoin as “the currency of terrorists,” making the use of bitcoin a crime.

 

Governments have already been able to track bitcoin use and have arrested individuals who have made transactions that they disapprove of, but, for whatever reason, they’ve not pursued this tracking ability broadly as yet.

 

If the €500 note can successfully be eliminated under the pretense that it’s favoured by terrorists, there can be little doubt that bitcoin could be tarred with the same brush and made illegal internationally. If it became illegal to accept bitcoin as payment, bitcoin would quickly lose its perceived value and soon decline to its intrinsic value of zero.

Face 3: Bitcoin Is a Trap and Will Succeed

Globalists support the concept of electronic blockchain currency 100%. So much so, that that the world’s leading banks, have touted it as the way of the future.

 

Most people will accept the change to the new world digital currency easily, as it will be so easy to use. They’re unlikely to worry overly about the loss of control over their own money or their freedom to privacy when making transactions.

 

But the flies in this ointment are the contrarians, the libertarians who will do all they can to remain outside this system. Many hope to escape the coming world digital blockchain currency by using … a digital blockchain currency – bitcoin.

 

Bitcoin was created by the fictitious Satoshi Nakamoto, an admitted nom de plume that could be a cover for the Mises Institute or the CATO Institute, but just as easily could be a cover for the Federal Reserve or the IMF.

 

Neither of these latter entities is actively opposing the use of bitcoin. In fact, if it were their own system, they would have access to the record of all transactions that are presently assumed to be disappearing into the ozone.

 

Rather than fight those who oppose currency control, they would be wise to co-opt those who lead it and redirect them to lead the charge into world blockchain currency.

Each of the above is a valid argument and should be considered by the reader. To be sure, the concept of currency is about to change more dramatically than ever before in history.The jury is still out and more information is needed prior to coming to a conclusion as to where this is all headed. At the present time, bitcoin is highly useful for quick transactions and may be worth the risk as a short-term investment. As a store of wealth it remains a gamble. The best move might be to neither love nor hate bitcoin, but to wait and see.

But back to Rule to conclude:

The truth is, a situation where six pimply faced 21-year olds in a garage can invent an algorithm and call it a currency, then paint that algorithm with a narrative and then turn it into money means that there will be an enormous proliferation of scams, just like there are in the penny stock business. Billions of dollars will be lost to unsupported narratives.

 

That does not change the fact that crypto currencies, and more importantly the distributed ledger, are an extremely important factor for our time and a factor that is absolutely for the good in aggregate.”

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Hurricane Irma Could Destroy Oil Demand

September 5, 2017 Nick Cunningham 0

About half of the shuttered refining capacity along the Gulf Coast could be back up and running by Thursday, assuaging concerns about the possibility of acute gasoline shortages in much of the U.S. The disruptions of more than 4 million barrels per day of refining capacity have been cut in half, with major refineries restarting operations in Corpus Christi and Houston. ExxonMobil is ramping up operations at its Baytown facility, the second largest in the country. Valero Energy brought two refineries in Corpus Christi and Texas City back online,…

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