Why Did Sears Holdings’ Largest Outside Shareholder Suddenly Jump Overboard?

4th director to quit in 10 months. Bankruptcy prospects heat up. The board of directors of Sears Holdings keeps shrinking – and that makes sense: Who’d want to be a director as the retailer careens along its path to bankruptcy, it only being a question of when it’ll get there, and whether or not the company will make it through the holiday selling season.
Today the company announced that Bruce Berkowitz ‘has decided to step down’ from the board of directors, effective October 31, 2017. He’d joined the board in February 2016. So that wasn’t long. No reason was given for the abrupt departure, which caused bankruptcy fears to flare up, and shares (SHLD) plunged 11.5% to $5.99.
Berkowitz is the fourth director to jump overboard over the past 10 months and none has been replaced. The other three:
Steven Mnuchin quit the board in December ahead of his appointment as Secretary of the Treasury. He’d been on the board for 12 years. The vacant slot has not been filled. Alesia Haas quit the board in December 2016 after having joined in February 2016 – just long enough to get a look-see before bailing out. She’d been the CFO of OneWest Bank until it was acquired by CIT group. Cesar Alvarez quit the board in March 2017. He’d joined in December 2013. At the time, he was co-chairman of the law firm Greenberg Traurig. His slot has not been filled.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 16, 2017.

Here’s How Much Each HSBC Trader Made In Their FX Front-Running Scheme

Last week we wrote about how some former HSBC FX traders, led by Mark Johnson, orchestrated a carefully crafted plan to front-run a massive buy order for British Pounds using the code phrase “my watch is off.”
Now, courtesy of court filings in a British case to extradite one of the participants, Stuart Scott, we learn exactly how much each HSBC trader made for his trading book in the illicit scheme that netted a total of $8 million in profits. Per Bloomberg:
“The defendant personally obtained over $500,000 profit,” the U. S. Justice Department, represented by British lawyer Mark Summers, said in written arguments prepared for the hearing. “The offenses of which he is accused are highly serious. They involve a systematic and organized conspiracy to defraud, committed in breach of trust.”
Scott was charged, along with his ex-boss Mark Johnson, by the Justice Department in July 2016 with using insider knowledge to front-run a $3.5 billion currency deal by Cairn Energy Plc that made the bank $8 million. Johnson is on trial in New York and a jury there could begin deliberations this week.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.

Massive WiFi Flaw Affects All Connected Devices: ‘You Have To Wonder If It Was Corrupted On Purpose’

The security protocol used to protect the vast majority of WiFi connections has been broken. This will expose wireless internet traffic to malicious attack, according to the researcher who discovered this weakness.
It doesn’t bode well that the mainstream media is also ignoring this problem completely because it’s a very big deal. Anytime the mainstream media brushes something off, most start asking questions. Unfortunately, none of the answers we have so far to those questions are of comfort.
Considering every single cellphone now has WiFi in it and this major ‘weakness’ could affect almost everyone. According to ARS Technica, researchers have disclosed a serious weakness in the WPA2 protocol that allows attackers within range of vulnerable device or access point to intercept passwords, e-mails, and other data presumed to be encrypted, and in some cases, to inject ransomware or other malicious content into a website a client is visiting.

This post was published at shtfplan on October 16th, 2017.

A POLITICIAN WHO SAYS SHE WAS ABDUCTED BY ALIENS IS NOW RUNNING FOR CONGRESS

A 59-year old Republican congressional candidate in Florida says she’s learned a lot during her life. This includes the spaceship ride she swears she took with aliens when she was a just a little girl.
Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera is an entrepreneur and running to replace retiring Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The congressional hopeful said that she has remained in contact with three of the aliens responsible for her abduction (one male and two females) since the extraterrestrial joyride when she was 7 years old, according to a resurfaced 2009 television interview.
‘I went in,’ Rodriguez Aguilera told America TeVe. ‘There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship – not like airplanes.’ The video is in Spanish and there are no subtitles, but it can be seen below.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on OCTOBER 16, 2017.

Australia: jail young children without charges; they wouldn’t do that; oh yes they would

Australia: jail young children without charges; they wouldn’t do that; oh yes they would
And it’s a perfect ‘bait and switch’
It’s still labeled a proposal, but it has widespread support among Australia’s political leaders.
The BBC: ‘…proposals that could see children as young as 10 held for two weeks without charge under new terror legislation.’
‘State and territorial leaders approved the plans with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting…’
The public hasn’t seen any details of the plan.
It’s obviously aimed at children who are suspected of preparing to commit terrorist acts, or children who are suspected of already committing those acts. Evidence would be lacking, formal charges wouldn’t be filed, but the children would still be arrested and held.
Let’s cut to the bottom lines. There are already laws which cover arresting children-terrorists. Yes, there needs to be evidence of some kind, but why is that a problem? For example, if federal police found a compound where children were being trained to handle weapons, and it was clear the intention was terrorism, those children could be taken into custody and investigated.
To understand the deeper point, however, you need to recognize that a new law restricting freedom for one reason can and will be expanded to include more reasons – all in the name of public safety and protection, of course. What creeps along the ground today stands up and runs wild tomorrow.

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on October 16, 2017.

After Lightning Offensive, Kirkuk Is Now Fully Under Iraqi Military Control

Photo-posted by local reporters- of a mass exodus from Kirkuk to Erbil as pro Iranian militias are advancing on the city. To be confirmed pic.twitter.com/x94bYbKDhT
— Walid Phares (@WalidPhares) October 16, 2017

Iraq’s military has effectively gained control of major assets and government buildings in Kirkuk city, and is now set to fully pacify it after overnight clashes at a moment when oil prices rose toward a six month high as the conflict now threatens output.
Iraq’s elite U. S.-trained Counter-Terrorism Force has taken over the provincial government headquarters in the center of Kirkuk after operations to seize the city from Kurdish forces began overnight – the contested city is now reportedly under the control of Iraqi national forces. Some of the first footage Western audiences woke up to Monday morning were of (ironically enough) US supplied equipment – including tanks, being used to bulldoze images of Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani. Iraqi forces have further pulled down Kurdish flags flying over government buildings throughout the city, while leaving the Iraqi flag flying.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.

BROADCAST NETWORKS PUSH AN ANTI-GUN AGENDA AFTER VEGAS SHOOTING

ABC, CBS, and NBC gave five times more airtime to pushing gun control than they did supporting gun rights after the Las Vegas mass shooting, according to a new study.
The Media Research Center analyzed all of the statements about guns the three broadcast networks carried between Oct. 2 and Oct. 8. In just six days, the networks managed to favor gun control over gun rights by a 5:1 ratio.
Between the anchors, reporters, guests and soundbites, the three networks used 30 minutes and 17 seconds to argue in favor of gun control and used just 6 minutes and 27 seconds to favor gun rights.
Outside of overall arguments for or against gun control, the networks also spent a whopping 28 minutes and 30 seconds pushing for regulation of bump stocks. One minute and 47 seconds were given to those opposed to additional regulations on bump stocks.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on OCTOBER 16, 2017.

Ex-DEA Agent Blames Congress And Drug Industry For Opioid Crisis

Whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi is telling all when it comes to placing blame for the nation’s opioid crisis. He says drug distributors pumped opioids into communities in the United States knowing that people were dying and that the US government is helping.
Joe Rannazzisi is a tough and blunt former DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) deputy assistant administrator with a law degree, a pharmacy degree, and a growing rage at the unrelenting death toll from opioids. Congress has often been complicit in atrocities, especially when a politician profits off of the removal of the rights of others. So it should not come as a surprise that Rannazzisi is blaming Congress and the drug industry for the opioid epidemic gripping the nation.
Rannazzisi ran the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, the division that regulates and investigates the pharmaceutical industry. Now in a joint investigation by 60 Minutesand The Washington Post, Rannazzisi tells the inside story of how, he says, the opioid crisis was allowed to spread. Its quick spread was also aided by Congress, lobbyists, and a drug distribution industry that shipped, almost unchecked, hundreds of millions of pills to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics providing the rocket fuel for a crisis that, over the last two decades, has claimed 200,000 lives.

This post was published at shtfplan on October 16th, 2017.

Israeli Fighter Jets Launch Air Strike On Syrian Air Defense Battery Near Damascus

After years of undermining the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al Assad, an effort that has seen Israel countenance ISIS training camps near its borders and launch recurring missile strikes on Syrian territory and its army bases while threatening to bomb Assad’s palace, the simmering conflict between the two nations broke out into the open once again overnight.
The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed that Israeli Air Force fighters conducted a missile strike against a Syrian base after a missile was fired at Israeli jets on a routine aerial reconnaissance mission in Lebanese airspace, Russia’s news agency Sputnik reports. No people were in injured, and the Israeli jets returned safely, but not before attacking an anti-aircraft battery east of the Syrian capital of Damascus. As usual, The IDF blamed the Syrian government for the incident, however, presenting no proof to support the claim. Damascus has yet to comment on the situation.
Earlier today, an anti-aircraft missile was launched from Syria towards IDF aircraft during a routine flight over Lebanon. No hits confirmed
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) October 16, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.

Catalan Leader Defies Spain, Sends Evasive Reply To Rajoy Activating Second Ultimatum Deadline

President Puigdemont's response to Prime Minister Rajoy regarding the political situation in #Catalonia pic.twitter.com/0R1ej2LQic
— Catalan Government (@catalangov) October 16, 2017

The Catalan stand-off has been extended until Thursday as both sides hold their ground.
After days of expectation and talks with his separatist allies, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont stood by his decision to keep his region’s declaration of independence from Spain ‘in suspension’ despite a demand for clarity from Spain prime minister Rajoy, effectively challenging the central government to follow through on promises to forcibly take control of the region by sending an evasive reply to the central government’s Article 155 notification, which on Wednesday began the process of suspending home rule in the region.
The Spanish Prime Minister’s office was seeking a simple “yes” or “no” reply by 10 a.m. on Monday on the question of whether Mr. Puigdemont had or had not declared independence last Tuesday. Anything other than “no”, the First Minister was warned, would lead to the activation of the so-called faced the use of Article 155 of the Spanish constitution. This article is the so-called ‘nuclear option’ which allows Madrid to dissolve the regional government and call fresh regional elections. The central government can also take over the local police force and television channels.
Eventually, Puigdemont chose more obfuscation and defiance: his four-page reply, obtained by Catalan radio stations Catalunya Radio and RAC1 and released by The Spain Report, neither confirmed nor denied he had proclaimed a new Catalan republic last week, but said the declaration remained ‘in suspension’ and proposed two months of dialogue arguing that the Spanish people and Europe will only understand ‘dialogue, negotiation and agreement.’ He did not say what he would do if talks did not take place by the middle of December.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.

YEMEN: Media Blackout Imposed by Saudi Coalition is Exacerbating Humanitarian Crisis

Statement by Journalist Support Committee
The Journalists Support Committee in Yemen, with deep regret, continues to pursue the media blackout imposed by the coalition governments upon Yemen. The coalition has prevented foreign journalists from entering Yemeni grounds, therefore, preventing media coverage of the dire and dangerous conditions in Yemen.
The committee notes that the Yemeni authorities -who are led by the internationally recognized president- and the Saudis have consistently restricted journalists from entering Yemen, with excuses that do not match with human rights laws and other international treaties, charters, and conventions or with the preamble of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Committee draws attention to the coalition preventing cargo planes carrying aid and belonging to the United Nations from reaching Yemen in September because the plane had journalists on board.
Ahmad Ibn Al-Aswad, the spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen said: ‘The coalition reckons that it is not possible to assure the safety of the journalists in areas controlled by the rebels’ he then advised them to board commercial flights instead.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 16, 2017.

US Deploys Special Forces “Decapitation” Team To South Korea

Today, the South Korean and U. S. navies kicked off massive combined drills off the coast of the Korean peninsula amid heightened tensions, a training exercise which North Korea has warned may prompt another ballistic missile launch potentially to coincide with the launch of the Chinese 19th Party Congress on October 18. The two allies plan to continue the Maritime Counter Special Operations Exercise (MCSOFEX) through Friday in the East Sea and the Yellow Sea.
As reported over the weekend, the drill involves the U. S. 7th Fleet’s aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers – the USS Stethem (DDG-63) and the USS Mustin (DDG-89). The carrier strike group will train with South Korean warships and other defense assets, such as the Sejong the Great Aegis ship and P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft in the East Sea.
And while details of the drill were well-known in advance, what was reported for the first time overnight from Yonhap is that a unit of U. S. special forces tasked with carrying out “decapitation” operations is also aboard a nuclear-powered submarine in the group, according to a defense source. So far, little else is known about why said decapitation team is on location, or whether it will be put into use, although it presence may explain Trump’s “calm before the storm” comment that beffudled the media two weeks ago.
Among other assets mobilized for the joint drill are F-15K, FA-18 and A-10 fighter jets, as well as AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, Lynx and AW-159 Wild Cat naval choppers. The U. S. has also deployed a Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) plane to closely monitor the North’s ground and naval forces.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.

“Not The Russians” – British MPs Blame Iran For “Brute Force” Hack

Yet another purported example of Russia-linked hackers infiltrating the email accounts of powerful government officials has been conclusively debunked.
The Guardian is reporting that a June incident where the accounts of dozens of UK ministers of parliament were infiltrated by shadowy hackers has been traced back to Iran. The UK intelligence community’s initial conclusion – that the attacks originated in Russia – has been refuted by an as-yet-unpublished report on the incident compiled by British intelligence.
Indeed, the intelligence community’s initial assumption appears to be another example of investigators jumping to a conclusion before a thorough analysis of the evidence has been completed. In a way, it echoes the response by several US states last month to the revelation that hackers had attempted to compromise their voting systems. Some states, including California and Wisconsin, apparently assumed the attacks were linked to Russia, until DHS informed them that it had found no evidence to support this conclusion.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.

Is Brexit dying on the vine along with England?

– The cradle of individual liberty became the cradle of the nanny State –
The deep sickness that infects England infects every large government in the world: once a people’s decision (like Brexit) is made, the leaders who carry out its provisions are the people who rule from the top, along with their sleazy, slime-ridden bureaucratic underlings.
These obstructive underlings, in a free and open market, would be selling sand in the desert, if they were lucky. They certainly wouldn’t be sitting in desks in government offices staring out of windows.
So now we have soft Brexit and hard Brexit, terms used to describe how the Brit vote to leave the European Union could be modified or adhered to. It’s a farce.
Here is soft Brexit: ‘Well, maybe England will keep all its trade connections with the EU, as before, while pretending to be independent; and oh yes, many waves of immigrants will still be let into the country, even though that was the key issue that swung voters to say LEAVE the EU (EU wants to erase all national borders and flood Europe with migrants)…’
In other words, England would say it’s left the EU, but in every measurable way it hasn’t.

This post was published at Jon Rappoport on October 16, 2017.