SCOTUS “Mostly” Reinstates Trump Travel Ban; Schedules October Hearing

Update:
It appears that Trump has been handed a ‘partial’ victory on his travel ban by the Supreme Court. While SCOTUS revived a “narrowed” ban, they found that it can not be applied to people with a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
SUPREME COURT TEMPORARILY NARROWS TRAVEL BAN SUPREME COURT LIFTS MOST OF INJUNCTION THAT BLOCKED TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN ON SIX MUSLIM-MAJORITY NATIONS COURT SAYS BAN CAN APPLY TO PEOPLE WITHOUT U. S. RELATIONSHIP U. S. SUPREME COURT AGREES TO HEAR TRUMP APPEALS OF RULINGS BLOCKING TRAVEL BAN ON SIX MUSLIM-MAJORITY NATIONS The ban will exclude people visiting a close family member, students who have been admitted to a university or workers who have accepted an employment offer, the court said. But the court said people can’t avoid the travel ban by entering into a relationship solely to enter the U. S.
The policy will suspend entry into the U. S. by people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a period of 90 days and it will take effect in 72 hours.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they would have let the entire ban take effect immediately.
THOMAS, ALITO, GORSUCH ISSUE PARTIAL DISSENT ON TRAVEL BAN

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.

Is There Still Hope For Higher Oil Prices?

Oil prices have cratered in recent weeks, dipping to their lowest levels in more than seven months and any sense of optimism has almost entirely disappeared. All signs point to a period of ‘lower for longer’ for oil prices, a refrain that is all too familiar to those in the industry.
WTI dipped below $44 per barrel on Tuesday, and the bearish indicators are starting to pile up.
Libya’s production just topped 900,000 bpd, a new multi-year high that is up sharply even from just a few weeks ago. Libyan officials are hoping that they will hit many more milestones in the coming months. Next stop is 1 million barrels per day (mb/d), which Libya hopes to breach by the end of July.
U. S. shale is arguably the biggest reason why prices are floundering again. The rig count has increased for 22 consecutive weeks, rising to 747 as of mid-June, up more than 100 percent from a year ago. Production continues to rise, with output expected to jump by 780,000 bpd this year, according to the IEA. Ultimately, the shale rebound appears to have killed off yet another oil price rally, the latest in a series of still-born price rebounds since the initial meltdown in 2014.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 22, 2017.

PHILIPPINES: A Real Threat to Washington’s Interests in Asia, Triggers ‘Operation ISIS’

In a recent chain of events, the Philippines has been rushing towards chaos. The failure by the Philippine special forces to capture Isnilon Hapilon, considered to be the top brass of the infamous Abu Sayyaf organization in the country, coincided with a quick operation by a series of Daesh-affiliated terrorist groups to take the city of Marawi. This is an escalation of internal and external pressure on the Duterte administration brought on by his foreign-policy shift.
The events of May 23 in Marawi in the Philippines, the first city to fall into the hands of Daesh in Asia, shows disturbing parallels with the operational methods of Daesh in Syria, Iraq and Libya. The presence of 500 operatives, part of different dormant cells in Marawi, allowed a coordinated assault on the police station and the city prison, enlarging the number of recruits and acquiring multiple firearms in the process. In a series of events difficult to verify, Daesh took control of the city and established several checkpoints. Employing an operational mix of tactics inspired by the beginning of the attacks on Syria in 2011 and in 2014, Daesh quickly expanded into Syria from Iraq.
The Philippines government and its armed forces have suffered numerous deaths and injuries, and although most of the city of Marawi has now been brought under control, problems remain, with continued employment of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft as well as numerous ground troops to confront the threat.
The drama continued in the Asian country, with a bombing in Manila sending the country into panic and forcing authorities to leak little information in what was seemingly becoming a worsening climate.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 19, 2017.

Washington’s “Good Terrorists, Bad Terrorists” Policy In Middle East

Karl Marx famously said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. The only difference between the Afghan jihad back in the ’80s that spawned Islamic jihadists like the Taliban and al Qaeda for the first time in history and the Libyan and Syrian civil wars, 2011-onward, is that the Afghan jihad was an overt jihad: back then, the Western political establishments and their mouthpiece, the mainstream media, used to openly brag that the CIA provides all those AK-47s, RPGs and stingers to the Afghan so-called ‘freedom fighters’ to combat the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
After the 9/11 tragedy, however, the Western political establishments and corporate media have become a lot more circumspect, therefore this time around, they have waged covert jihads against the Arab-nationalist Gaddafi regime in Libya and the anti-Zionist Assad regime in Syria, in which Islamic jihadists (aka terrorists) have been sold as ‘moderate rebels’ with secular and nationalist ambitions to the Western audience.
Since the regime change objective in those hapless countries went against the mainstream narrative of ostensibly fighting a war against terrorism, therefore the Western political establishments and the corporate media are now trying to muddle the reality by offering color-coded schemes to identify myriads of militant and terrorist outfits that are operating in Syria: such as the red militants of the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front, which the Western powers want to eliminate; the yellow Islamic jihadists, like Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, with whom the Western powers can collaborate under desperate circumstances; and the green militants of the Free Syria Army (FSA) and a few other inconsequential outfits, which together comprise the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition.
If we were to draw parallels between the Soviet-Afghan jihad of the ’80s and the Syrian civil war of today, the Western powers used the training camps located in the Af-Pak border regions to train and arm Afghan ‘Mujahideen’ against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 18, 2017.

Did This Backroom Deal Just Bust OPEC’s Control On Oil Prices?

Authored by Dave Forest via OilPrice.com,
Libya has been one of the biggest x-factors in the global crude markets the past year. With on-again, off-again production in this key nation alternately supporting and suppressing prices.
But news this week suggests things are looking up for Libya’s crude output.
And down for global oil markets.
Reuters reported that Libya’s National Oil Company has struck a backroom deal with German energy developer Wintershall, which will see that firm restart a major chunk of oil production in the east of the country.
The Wintershall assets covered by the deal have production potential of 160,000 b/d. But have been shut-in since earlier this year after a dispute broke out between the company and the Libyan government over an alleged $900 million in unpaid taxes.
The two parties however, said Tuesday they have reached an ‘interim arrangement’ to end the dispute. Opening the door for Wintershall’s significant swath of production to return to market.

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

Shale Efficiency Has Peaked For Now As Rig Count Surges For 22nd Straight Week

For the 22nd week in a row, the number of US oil rigs rose (up 6 to 747) to the highest since April 2015.
Given the historical relationship between lagged prices and rig counts, we suspect the resurgence in rigs may begin to stall…

Oil is headed for the longest run of weekly losses since August 2015 as OPEC member Libya restored production and the surplus in the U. S. shows little sign of abating.

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

ERDOGAN: Whims of a Dictator or The New Turkey in the Islamic World?

Recep Tayyip Erdoan (aka the Prez) and his ruling Justice and Development Party (or AKP) have for years been working hard to alter the appearance as well as the substance of the nation-state that is Turkey. And in this respect, the figure of the Turkish President himself seems to have been the ultimate prime-mover, forcing the execution of effective changes while simultaneously constantly dominating the headlines.
Hence, many quite easily refer to the Turkish President as a dictator.
Tayyip Erdoan as a Dictator?!?
Dictators have been around for quite some time now, harking back to antiquity when the Roman ‘Senate could vote to grant absolute power to one man, called a dictator, for a temporary period.’
In modern times, the term has been more commonly employed to refer to a ‘ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force,’ as defined by the online Oxford Dictionaries. And in the 20th century such characters as Adolf Hitler, Mussolini or Franco stood out as prime examples of political leaders wielding dictatorial powers. In the 21st century, public opinion and the press alike habitually refer to certain rulers as dictators and will often characterise them as ‘the next Hitler,’ before summarily executing them through regime change operations – like with Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi or Iraq’s Saddam Hussein as the two most salient examples. Unlike Gaddafi, who had been an ‘international pariah’ throughout most of his public life, Saddam used to be a ‘close American ally’ until he crossed the line by invading Kuwait in August 1990 thereby forcing the U. S. to invoke the then ten-year old ‘Carter Doctrine.’ Saddam Hussein’s story – from very humble beginnings in a mud hut on stilts to palatial complexes fit to entertain guests like Donald Rumsfeld, acting as Ronald Reagan’s special envoy (20 December 1983) – could today very well act as a cautionary tale for certain political leaders, certain political leaders who were once equally close to Washington but have since changed direction.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 14, 2017.

UK Elections in a Cauldron of Terror – GR Interview with Patrick Henningsen

For this writer, one of the more astonishing aspects of last Thursday’s live coverage of the election in the United Kingdom was the lack of reference to the violent attacks, deemed terrorist and ISIS inspired, over the last three months.
On March 22, almost a month before the Prime Minister called the snap election, dozens were injured and five, including the perpetrator, killed when a man in a truck mowed down pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge outside the British Houses of Parliament, proceeding to then enter the Parliament Yard stabbing a police officer before being shot dead. [2]
Two months later, a blast at the Manchester Arena, near the end of US singer Ariana Grande’s concert claimed the lives of 22 and was attributed to suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a Manchester man of Libyan descent. The Prime Minister announced the threat level had been raised from ‘severe’ to ‘critical.’ Almost 1000 troops were dispactched to ‘key locations’ in response. [3]


This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 11, 2017.

In “Clear Escalation”, Arab Countries Release List Of Terrorists Supported By Qatar

In what commentators have dubbed a “clear escalation”, moments ago Arab states including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, have released a list that designates 59 individuals and 12 entities in Qatar as terrorist. The complete list of those named includes Qataris, Jordanians, Egyptians, Kuwaitis, Libyans.
The four countries released the names in ‘light of their commitment to fighting terrorism, drying up their sources of funding, combating extremist ideology and its dissemination and working together to eradicate it and immunize communities,’ according to a statement made available to Al Arabiya.
‘As a result of the continued violation by the authorities in Doha of the obligations and agreements signed by them, including the pledge not to support or harbor elements or organizations that threaten the security of states and to ignore the repeated contacts that they called upon to fulfill what they had signed in the Riyadh Agreement of 2013, its implementing mechanism and the supplementary agreement in 2014; The four States have agreed to classify 59 individuals and 12 entities on their prohibited lists of terrorists, which will be updated in succession and announced,’ the statement added.
Which is ironic because as some have point out, we now live in a world in which terrorist are ratting out other terrorists, and all because of Trump’s recent trip to the middle east.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 8, 2017.

OPEC at the Crossroads

OPEC is currently in a difficult situation. How should it react to the oil glut that followed the emergence of shale oil technology? In our view, today’s situation is comparable to the oil glut in the 1980s. Back then OPEC unsuccessfully tried to support prices by curtailing supply with the result that core-OPEC members were sitting on vast amounts of idle capacity for nearly two decades. Thus, we view the recent production cuts as an attempt to speed up the drawdown of the global inventory overhang rather than a sign that OPEC has returned to a policy of balancing the market. If OPEC, going forward, truly allows market forces to play out without carrying a lot of spare capacity, unforeseen shortfalls could result in violent price swings.
View the Entire Research Piece as a PDF here.
Trading oil has been challenging over the past few months. To be fair, it has been challenging for a while, but those trying to predict price movements based on fundamentals have had a particularly hard time recently. Rather than moving with improving fundamentals, the oil market has hung on every word from OPEC officials, which has sent oil prices on a rollercoaster ride. In the past two weeks, fundamentals continued to improve with U. S. oil inventories showing counter-seasonal draws, yet prices collapsed on May 25 after OPEC announced it would extend production cuts by nine months. The price action indicates that market participants were hoping for an even larger cut and were disappointed that the current cuts were merely extended, but the current curtailments have already had a profound impact on inventories (we saw and continue to see large counter-seasonal draws in high frequency data), which is what we suspect OPEC had intended.
OPEC is currently in a difficult situation. How should it react to the oil glut that followed the emergence of shale oil technology? In our view, OPEC’s options and its influence on oil prices are limited. To understand this, we must go back to the 1980s, which is the last time OPEC was faced with a technological step change that led to an oil glut from non-OPEC producers.
OPEC was founded in 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. The founding members were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962 – 2008; rejoined 2016), Libya (1962), United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973 – 1992; rejoined 2007), and Gabon (1975 – 1994; rejoined 2016). By 1973, OEPC had increased its production to about 30 million b/d, just over 50% of world production. Supported by Egypt and Syria, the Arab members of OPEC imposed an oil embargo against the United States and other countries that supported Israel during the Yom Kippur war in October 1973. OPEC output subsequently dropped by close to 4 million b/d, which was about 7% of global output. As a result, oil shortages occurred in the west and prices soared from USD3.29/bbl in 1973 to USD11.58/bbl in 1974, and prices remained high even after the oil embargo ended in March 1974. In 1979 oil prices moved sharply higher again to as high as USD40/bbl. In our view, the 1979 price increase must be attributed to several factors; the Iranian revolution and ensuing Iran-Iraq war certainly played their part, but general USD price inflation was rampant, reaching 20% per annum. Arguably, part of the reason why inflation was so high was because oil prices had previously risen on the back of the oil embargo, which trickled into general price inflation. But even without the tightness in oil fundamentals, USD inflation would have been high given the monetary environment of the time; however, the price inflation in oil was several magnitudes higher than broad price inflation, suggesting that the tightness in the oil market itself was the main reason for the sharp price increase in oil. Most importantly, this prolonged period of extremely high oil prices and the crippling effect the oil shortages had on western economies led to profound changes in oil and energy markets.

This post was published at GoldMoney on JUNE 06, 2017.

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court To Restore Travel Ban

Four months after threatening he would take his immigration travel ban all the way to the Supreme Courty, Trump’s administration did just that on Thursday night when it asked SCOTUS to revive his plan to temporarily ban travelers from six Muslim-majority nations after it was blocked by lower courts that found it was discriminatory.
“We have asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and are confident that President Trump’s executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.
The American Civil Liberties Union, one of the legal groups challenging the ban, tweeted in response: “We’ve beat this hateful ban and are ready to do it again.”
The administration filed emergency applications with the nine high court justices seeking to block two different lower court rulings that went against Trump’s March 6 order barring entry for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days while the U. S. government implements stricter visa screening, Reuters reported. The move came after the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 25 upheld a Maryland judge’s ruling blocking the order. The administration also filed a separate appeal in that case.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 2, 2017.

‘Manchester Atrocity Lifts Rock of British Foreign Policy, Reveals Faustian Alliance with Extreme Islam’ ~ John Pilger

John Pilger
Counterpunch
The unsayable in Britain’s general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy.
Critical questions – such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist ‘assets’ in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst – remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal ‘review’.
The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years.
The LIFG is proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organisation which seeks a ‘hardline Islamic state’ in Libya and ‘is part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement, as inspired by al-Qaida’.
The ‘smoking gun’ is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in ‘battle’: first to remove Mu’ammar Gadaffi in Libya, then to join al-Qaida affiliated groups in Syria.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MAY 31, 2017.

Leakers Identified, Continuation Of Operation ‘Clean House’ – Episode 1292b

The following video was published by X22Report on May 29, 2017
Trump administration has identified 3 leakers and is now creating a war room to handle the deep state. Trump is very interested in having bilateral trades with many different countries completely different than what the globalists want. Google seems to censor Tusli Gabbard’s break up the big bank video. Duterte ready to fight the IS with troops and other militants. NK fires another missile and Japan says it landed in its economic zone pathway. Haftar accuses Qatar of supporting terrorists in Libya. US killing more civilians with air raids than what the US accuses of Assad of doing. US led coalition dropped leaflets in Syria telling the Syrian army not to enter al-Tanf. Marcron says Syria using chemical weapons is a red line for him.

Manchester Innocence Lost – “Torture One Day, Passports The Next”

There are times when you have to talk about things when it appears most inopportune to do so, because they’re the only times people might listen. Times when people will argue that ‘this is not the right moment’, while in reality it’s the only moment.
A solid 99% of people will have been filled, and rightly so of course, with a mixture of disgust, disbelief and infinite sadness when hearing of yet another attack on civilians in Europe, this one in Manchester. An equally solid 99% will have failed to recognize that while the event was unique for the city of Manchester, it was by no means unique for the world, not even at the time it happened.
Though the footage of parents desperately trying to find their children, and the news that one of the dead was just 8 years old, touches everyone in more or less the same place in our hearts, by far most of us miss out on the next logical step. In a wider perspective, it is easy to see that parents crying for missing children, and children killed in infancy, is what connects Manchester, and the UK, and Europe, to parents in Syria, Libya, Iraq.
What’s different between these places is not the suffering or the outrage, the mourning or the despair, what’s different is only the location on the map. That and the frequency with which terror is unleashed upon a given population. But just because it happens all the time in other places doesn’t make it more normal or acceptable.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 29, 2017.

MANCHESTER’S KNOWN WOLF: Watched by MI5 With Ties to NATO backed Terror in Libya – What Does It All Mean?

Another day, another conspiratorial crime. In this case, the public was witness to yet another know wolf terror attack allegedly carried out by an ‘ISIS-inspired’ individual who as with other cases, was under the gaze of MI5. The man named in the Manchester attack, Salman Abedi, has also been tied to a terror group supported by NATO in Libya that ousted Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011.
QUESTION: Is the Manchester attack simply blowback from security operations gone arwy – or is it more likely that this latest terror event provides further evidence of complicity on behalf of West in the ‘War On Terror’ era?
Though many are still unsettled in the wake of the Manchester arena bombing – key questions have emerged following this latest act of terror in the West.
NOTE: One cannot ignore the strange circumstances and timing surrounding the apparent tragedy in Manchester, as it arrived on the heels of a monolithic arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth $110 billion dollars that will total $350 billion over the next 10 years. The questionable arms deal has also dovetailed US aspirations for an ‘Arab NATO’ headquartered in Saudi Arabia, the largest state-sponsor of terror in the world.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MAY 28, 2017.

Believing The Russian “Hacking” Claim

Government lies are common when seducing a population to support a war, but the Russian ‘hacking’ claims are unusual in that U. S. officials supply no evidence while the ‘fact’ is just assumed,
***
When the U. S. public was told that Spain had blown up the Maine, or Vietnam had returned fire, or Iraq had stockpiled weapons, or Libya was planning a massacre, the claims were straightforward and disprovable.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 27, 2017.

It Is All Unraveling And This Is Why Everyone Should Be Nervous – Episode 1289b

The following video was published by X22Report on May 25, 2017
Another insurer is leaving Obamacare. Comey is blaming the Clinton investigation on a Russian document . Trumps slams intel leaks and Jeff Sessions is going to begin an investigation. US warship enters the South China Sea and comes withing 12 nautical miles from China’s territory. Trump wants NATO members to pay their fair share. EU cannot come to a consensus with Trump on Russia. US troops kill civilians in Yemen but the corporate media says they killed al-Qaeda. Russia says the recent provocations is to derail the peace talks in Libya. Bill introduced to continue the fight against the paid mercenaries in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the middle east.

Did British Officials Train Manchester Attacker as ‘Moderate Rebel’ in Syria?

21st Century Wire says…
This is a question firmly rooted in fact.
Just a few hours ago it was revealed that Salman Abedi, the attacker in Manchester, had recently returned from trips to both Libya and Syria and it is unclear exactly where he was from around 2012.
In 2013, right within this missing period of time for Abedi’s whereabouts, British officials were helping to train an army of ‘moderate’ rebels in Jordan to be shipped back into Syria.


This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MAY 24, 2017.

“He Wanted Revenge”: The Story Of The Manchester Suicide Bomber Emerges

As the investigation into Salman Abedi’s deadly suicide bombing expands, discrete details about his motives and state of mind emerge with the most expansive analysis to date just released by the WSJ, which shows the ISIS sympathizer, terrorist and mass killer as a confused young man, the byproduct of a destroyed nation, who – when all is said and done – wanted revenge according to his sister, who is quoted as saying that ‘he saw children – Muslim children – dying everywhere, and wanted revenge. He saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge.”
***
As the WSJ chronicles, just days before Salman Abedi blew himself up and killed 22 people outside a Manchester concert on Monday, he told his parents he was leaving their home in Libya to go on a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca, despite having other plans. “Abedi grew up in a world that straddled middle-class Britain and the Libya of his parents, both before and after the chaotic collapse of strongman Moammar Gadhafi’s regime” is how WSJ authors describe his troubled formative years.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 24, 2017.