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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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Angry Hillary Blames Everything From Bernie Sanders To “There’s Something About Mary” For 2016 Loss

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Though Hillary’s book of excuses, entitled “What Happened,” won’t be released until September 12th, a newly revealed excerpt shows that, after 229 pages dedicated to blaming everything from Trump to Russian hackers, racism, misogyny, etc, by page 230 she finally gets around to blaming Bernie Sanders.  Actually, if you review the following very powerful paragraph closely enough you’ll notice that Hillary is able to succinctly blame Bernie, Obama and her entire 2016 campaign staff in just a couple of sentences. 

“Throughout the primaries, every time I wanted to hit back against Bernie’s attacks, I was told to restrain myself.  Noting that his plans didn’t add up, that they would inevitably mean raising taxes on middle-class families, or that they were little more than a pipe dream – all of this could be used to reinforce his argument that I wasn’t a true progressive.  My team kept reminding me that we didn’t want to alienate Bernie’s supporters.  President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could.  I felt like I was in a straightjacket.”

“President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could. I felt like I was in a straitjacket.” – HRC

— Hillary Warned Us (@HillaryWarnedUs) September 4, 2017


Not surprisingly, according to further insights from CNN, Hillary goes on to point out that Bernie’s supporters, much like Trump’s, were only motivated by sexism…it’s just obvious really.

She said that his attacks against her during the primary caused “lasting damage” and paved the way for “(Donald) Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.”


Clinton, in a book that will be released September 12 entitled “What Happened,” said Sanders “had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character” because the two Democrats “agreed on so much.”


“Some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist,” she wrote.


“When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution, he couldn’t come up with anything,” Clinton wrote. “Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.”

Sure, it wasn’t her laundry list of personal scandals that caused Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” campaign to stick…nope, it was Bernie that created that monster.

Finally, just when you thought you’d heard every excuse imaginable, Hillary takes her ‘blame game’ to a whole new level by viciously calling out the movie “There’s Something About Mary” for her 2016 defeat.

She noted that Jake Sullivan, her top policy aide, told her that Sanders’ campaign strategy reminded him of a scene from the movie “There’s Something About Mary,” where a hitchhiker says he has a plan to roll out seven-minute abs to top the famous eight-minute abs.


“Why, why not six-minutes abs?” Ben Stiller’s character asks.


Clinton wrote: “That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept promising four-minute abs, or even no-minutes abs. Magic abs!”

For those who missed it, here is the scene from “There’s Something About Mary” that apparently tanked Hillary’s shot at the White House…

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Rohingya exodus puts Suu Kyi under pressure

September 5, 2017 rbksa 0
Wed, 2017-09-06 03:00

SHAMLAPUR/DHAKA: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has come under pressure from countries with large Muslim populations including Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan to halt violence against Rohingya Muslims after nearly 125,000 of them fled to Bangladesh.
Reuters reporters saw hundreds of exhausted Rohingyas arriving on boats near the village of Shamlapur in Bangladesh near the Myanmar border. The village, facing the Bay of Bengal, appears to have become the newest receiving point for the refugees after authorities cracked down on human traffickers in a different part of the Teknaf peninsula.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was due in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Tuesday after meeting the Nobel peace laureate and Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing to urge that Myanmar halt the bloodshed.
“The security authorities need to immediately stop all forms of violence there and provide humanitarian assistance and development aid for the short and long term,” Retno said after her meetings in the Myanmar capital.
The latest violence in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine state began on Aug. 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base. The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of villagers to Bangladesh.
The treatment of Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s roughly 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya is the biggest challenge facing Suu Kyi, who has been accused by Western critics of not speaking out for the minority that has long complained of persecution.
Myanmar says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against “terrorists” responsible for a string of attacks on police posts and the army since last October.
Myanmar officials blamed Rohingya militants for the burning of homes and civilian deaths but rights monitors and Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh say the Myanmar Army is trying to force them out with a campaign of arson and killings.
“Indonesia is taking the lead, and ultimately there is a possibility of ASEAN countries joining in,” H.T. Imam, a political adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, told Reuters.
He was referring to the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations that groups both Myanmar and Indonesia.
“If we can keep the pressure on Myanmar from ASEAN, from India as well, that will be good.”
Turkey called the violence against the Rohingya “genocide” and offered Bangladesh help with the refugee influx. Pakistan, home to a large Rohingya community, has expressed “deep anguish” and urged the world body, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to act.

Escape from Myanmar

New arrivals and residents in Shamlapur said hundreds of boats had arrived on Monday and Tuesday with several thousand people, after a crackdown on traffickers at an island about 50 km south.
Reuters reporters saw men, women, children and their belongings, even live chickens, disembark from one boat.
“We fled to a hill when the shooting started. The army set fire to houses,” said Salim Ullah, 28, a farmer from Myanmar’s village of Kyauk Pan Du, gripping a sack containing his few remaining belongings, as he gazed exhausted at the beach.
“We got on the boat at daybreak. I came with my mother, wife and two children. There were 40 people on a boat, including 25 women.”
The latest estimate of the numbers who have crossed the border into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, based on calculations by UN workers in the south Asian country, is 123,600.
That takes to about 210,000 the number of Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh since October, when Rohingya insurgents staged much smaller attacks on security posts, triggering a major Myanmar army counteroffensive and sending about 87,000 people fleeing into Bangladesh.
The new arrivals — many sick or wounded with burns or bullet wounds — have strained the resources of aid agencies and communities already helping hundreds of thousands of refugees from previous spasms of violence in Myanmar.
“One camp, Kutapalong, has reached full capacity,” said Vivian Tan, the regional spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
“Nayapara saw several hundred people arrive in one day. This is stretching resources. We are doing what we can, but will need to seek more resources.”
In Shamlapur, refugees said about 40 people were packed into the curved hulls of fishing vessels three meters long.
Fishermen were demanding payment of as much as 10,000 taka ($124) for each adult, with Rohingyas who could not pay being detained, the refugees said.
Bangladesh pulled 53 dead from the Naf River separating it from Myanmar, and from the sea. Many more were suspected to have died on the journey.
Social worker Shahid Ullah said he feared another deadly capsize was inevitable, given the monsoon season.

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In Myanmar, Modi to discuss violence

September 5, 2017 rbksa 0
Wed, 2017-09-06 03:00

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss rising violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state during a visit that begins on Tuesday, and push for greater progress on long-running Indian infrastructure projects, officials said.
India seeks to boost economic ties with resource-rich Myanmar, with which it shares a 1,600-km border, to counter Chinese influence and step up connectivity with a country it considers its gateway to Southeast Asia.
Two-way trade has grown to around $2.2 billion as India courted Myanmar following the gradual end of military rule, but Indian-funded projects have moved slowly.
Modi’s promises to “Act East” and cement ties with India’s eastern neighbor have slipped even as China has strengthened its influence.
His first bilateral visit comes amid a spike in violence in Rakhine, after a military counter-offensive against insurgents killed at least 400 people and triggered the exodus of nearly 125,000 villagers to Bangladesh since Aug. 25.
The violence could hit development of a transport corridor that begins in Rakhine, with the Indian-built port of Sittwe and includes road links to India’s remote northeast, analysts said.
“It’s going to be a very vexed and complex issue,” said Tridivesh Singh Maini, a New Delhi-based expert on ties with Myanmar.
“You need to play it very smartly. You need to make it clear that Rakhine violence has regional implications… but India will not get into saying, ‘This is how you should resolve it’.”
Last month, India said it wanted to deport 40,000 Rohingya refugees who left Myanmar in previous years.
Modi arrives from China late on Tuesday in the capital Naypyidaw to meet President Htin Kyaw on a three-day visit.
New Delhi believes the best way to reduce tension in Rakhine is through development efforts, such as the Kaladan transport project there, said Indian foreign ministry official Sripriya Ranganathan.
“We are very confident that once that complete corridor is functional, there will be a positive impact on the situation in the state,” she told reporters.
Modi will meet Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and visit the heritage city of Bagan and a Hindu temple. The countries share close cultural ties, and several in Myanmar trace their roots to India.
Modi will also talk up a trilateral highway project connecting India’s northeast with Myanmar and Thailand.
“There is a fear that China is already going full steam ahead,” said Udai Bhanu Singh of Delhi think-tank, the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyzes. “From the Indian side, there has been some laxity.”
Singh said India could offer Myanmar help in building its navy and coast guard, while Myanmar would seek assurances that India was a reliable economic partner and an alternative power to Beijing.

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Yangon made ‘little’ progress to stem Rohingya escape, says Malaysia

September 5, 2017 rbksa 0
Wed, 2017-09-06 03:00

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Tuesday summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to express displeasure over violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which has displaced nearly 125,000 Rohingya Muslims.
Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said the latest incidents of violence showed that the Myanmar government had made “little, if any” progress in finding a peaceful solution to problems facing the Rohingya minority, most of whom live in the northwest Myanmar state near the Bangladeshi border.
“Given these developments, Malaysia believes that the matter of sustained violence and discrimination against the Rohingyas should be elevated to a higher international forum,” Anifah said in a statement.
Muslim-majority Malaysia has been particularly outspoken in its concern about the plight of the Rohingya.
Myanmar says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against “terrorists” responsible for a string of attacks on police posts and the army since last October.

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Indian artists revive theater in cosmopolitan Dubai

September 5, 2017 rbksa 0
Wed, 2017-09-06 03:00

DUBAI: Dubai’s burgeoning theater and performing arts industry has the potential to be a big-hitter, but only if it gets the patronage and sponsorship to grow and thrive, local professionals have warned.
The city has long been known as a haven for international big-budget, larger-than-life, entertainment. From big-budget movies filming in the emirate to well-known theater productions stopping off there, the challenges facing residents looking to produce their own community theater and attract interest have been numerous.
However, according to Dhruti Shah, an award-winning director who has has written and directed dozens of productions in the city, the growing expanse of arts and creativity has created considerable opportunities for budding actors and directors.
“Dubai is a diverse melting pot of cultures, tastes, and interests, the city has reinforced itself to be an archetypical center for a wide scope of sustainable artistic pursuits,” Shah told Arab News.
“There was a time we used to watch only imported theater production in the city. But things are changing; the city is now pacing toward its very own original theater production. However, it is a long way to make it a success story.”

Way to go
While optimistic about the future of theater in Dubai Shah warned that a lot more needs to be done to make it a success story.
“The performing arts industry has never been an independent means to earn livelihood in the city and artists associated with the production and presentations of theater and performing arts have not been entirely dependent on it for their sustenance,” she said.
Her thoughts were echoed by Gautam Goenka, who has been involved in Dubai theater for over 17 years and runs H72 production house.
As if to illustrate the problems facing him and his fellow thespians, Goenka has only been able to pursue his passion after 5 p.m., as during the day he works as a corporate trainer in a leading multinational company.
He is in no doubt as to the main problem theater faces.
“Putting up a community production in Dubai is expensive,” Goenka said.
“In fact it’s more expensive than anywhere in the world. I used to be part of a community group when I lived in the Netherlands. Costs never even came close to what we incur here.”

Unhealthy obsession
Obsession with big names and brands is another big challenge to bringing people to the theater. According to Goenka, Dubai audiences like a big-brand name play and well-known actors.
“It is harder to convince them to come to the theater, spend a 100 dirhams and watch a relatively new play with no famous actors in it. People would much rather buy a cinema ticket and go to the mall (and see star-studded film),” he said.
Goenka also stressed the need for more auditoriums in the city to encourage community theater culture. “Right now, we have only box community theater, The Junction, which supports theater at the grass root level.”

A bright future
Akansha Goenka, co-founder of The Junction Community Theater, believes that it is a great time to be part of the industry in Dubai.
“Over the past few years the theater scene in Dubai has grown exponentially. So I believe there is so much potential here and it is going to grow immensely.
“We need to stimulate this growth at the grass root level. Once that happens, I believe that the industry of theater as a whole will grow. In fact, we are starting to see that already,” she said.
Nevertheless, she also stressed providing financial support toward the development of grassroots and community theater.
“Funding can go a long way to encourage even more productions and indeed the growth of community theater in Dubai,” she added.
“Dubai has great stories to tell, which must be told and heard — diverse and multicultural stories. We are a wonderful and dynamic city with a character and voice like no other. I vehemently believe that theater will help a society like Dubai to export its culture to the world and establish our unique brand around the world.”

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Aramco Looks To China Ahead Of IPO

September 5, 2017 Tsvetana Paraskova 0

Saudi Arabia is getting ready to list 5 percent of its crown jewel—state oil firm Aramco—in what could be the biggest IPO ever. The Saudis claim that the whole company is worth US$2 trillion, while most external analysts think the fair valuation is at least US$500 billion lower than that estimate. If the Saudis continue to pursue their target valuation, they may have to turn to major Chinese investors such as sovereign wealth funds and major state companies, who have deeper pockets than major institutional investors in the West. This…

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Tesla’s New Frontier: Batteries And Wind

September 5, 2017 Zainab Calcuttawala 0

To power Tesla’s electric car empire, the company has joined hands with Vestas, a top wind turbine manufacturer, to create a storage system that would make power generated from wind useful during quiet days in the jetstreams. Vestas has been on this quest for a while already. Its research and development team already has ten projects lined up to tackle this issue. Both solar and wind power have this same drawback: a dark day or a windless morning can throw off power generation for entire communities. Natural gas turbines replaced solar…

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House To Vote On Harvey Aid Bill Wednesday, Senate To Combine With Debt Limit Extension

September 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Appending to an earlier announcement by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, according to whom the House would not add Harvey disaster funds to the debt ceiling bill, Dow Jones reports that Republican lawmakers are set to vote on the Harvey aid bill on Wednesday, and instead of raising the debt ceiling, they will suspend it, likely kicking the can until some time in December when the whole farce would have to repeat itself again, although the exact length of the extension remains under discussion.

According to Bloomberg, the House still plans to pass a Harvey aid bill without debt language, leaving Senate to add it in. Keeping the House’s hands clean, Senate Majority Whip (R. Tex) John Cornyn told reporters that debt limit raise, or rather extension, will likely to be tied to Harvey aid and approved by the Senate.

“It’s imperative that we get that supplemental passed. And the leader has made the decision to attach the debt limit to that, and I support that,” Cornyn, whose state was hit hard by the hurricane, told reporters.

The reason to simply extend, instead of raise the debt limit, is because the former is considered a politically less difficult vote than raising it by a specific dollar figure, which would likely be well over $1 trillion; Such a move would also provide more predictability on the timing of next action and would come as House conservatives have warned against attaching the two issues.

To be sure, with the Treasury rapidly running out of cash, and down to just $32 billion as of today’s close, some sort of Federal debt extension would need to be taken to unlock the funding needed for the Texas recovery efforts.

Earlier, the White House suggested that lawmakers attach a debt ceiling measure to the Harvey bill, but the request stopped short of explicitly asking for that, due to opposition from House conservatives. Instead, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney suggested that relief operations could be disrupted if the debt limit isn’t addressed quickly.

“If the debt ceiling is not raised, it may not be possible to outlay the requested supplemental appropriations or funds for other critical government operations,” Mulvaney wrote Friday night in a letter to Ryan.

It’s unclear whether Republican lawmakers will go along with the idea of pairing the two measures. The Senate could add a debt ceiling provision to the Harvey bill after the House passes it, but House conservatives have demanded spending cuts or other cost-cutting changes in return for raising or suspending the debt limit. Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina, who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee, on Monday said his stance hasn’t changed.

Potentially complicating matters, Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, added it was his “understanding” that the increase in the debt ceiling would be “clean”,  or that it won’t be tied to spending cuts, a move that could antagonize conservatives according to the Hill. Cornyn also downplayed any conservative backlash over the move, while noting that “none of this is easy.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) listed passing money for Hurricane Harvey recovery, raising the debt ceiling and funding the government as the three biggest priorities as Congress returns from its August recess. Republicans will need at least eight Democratic votes in the Senate to clear any of the proposals.

But McConnell didn’t signal if the debt ceiling vote and Harvey aid would be linked. Asked about Cornyn’s comments, a spokesman for McConnell noted they “have not made any announcements on procedure.”

Finally, if a debt limit provision isn’t added to the Harvey bill, GOP leader could still add it to the stopgap spending bill, which is also likely to contain necessary extensions for other expiring programs like federal flood insurance and the Federal Aviation Administration, and whose passage could be just as problematic.

Meanwhile, sensing the a near-term resolution is at hand, the Bil “fear premium” for October Bill posted its first notable drop today as the market appears to have breathed a sigh of relief that a technical default has been if not avoided, then delayed for at least a few months.

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