Terrorists rely on drugs as a source of funding, says Saudi anti-drugs chief

Wed, 2017-11-01 03:00

RIYADH: The drug trade has a strong relationship with international terrorism, which relies on drugs as a source of funding, the chief of a Saudi drug-fighting agency has said.
Abdul Ilah Al-Sharif, secretary-general of the Saudi National Committee for Combating Drugs (Nebras), said criminal organizations operating in drug production and trafficking have benefited to the fullest extent. “This has become clear from the precision of its organization and management, and the covert cooperation between drug-trafficking organizations in many countries,” he said.
Al-Sharif was giving a presentation as head of the Kingdom’s delegation at the workshop “Drug relations with extremism and terrorism” in Kuwait Oct. 29-30.
He explained that the Nebras project aims to contribute to reducing the spread of drugs among members of society, and to educate the family on the importance of preventive action.
“It also aims at strengthening the voluntary participation of members of civil society and its institutions in the field of drug control, reducing crime and accidents associated with drug abuse by young people, and promoting moral and social values of refusal to accept drug abuse,” he said.
Al-Sharif stressed that the countries of the world are required to exert double efforts in the fight against drugs, terrorism and money-laundering operations at all levels.

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“It’s Not Sustainable” – Sacramento Lashes Out At Calpers After Raising Pension Payments

In the latest sign that America’s looming pension crisis is inching closer to an all-our collapse that will inevitably end in a series of bailouts – or worse, the failure to pay out retiree’s coveted benefits – a handful of California…

The post “It’s Not Sustainable” – Sacramento Lashes Out At Calpers After Raising Pension Payments appeared first on crude-oil.news.

“You Get Nothing” – World’s Largest Insurer Warns US Stocks Offer “No Returns” For The Next Decade

There will be “almost no prospective returns” from U.S. stocks over the next decade because the market is fully valued following years of gains, according to the global strategist at Allianz Global Investors, which manages $569 billion.

As Bloomberg reports, low interest rates and bond purchases by central banks have left cash and many other asset classes “significantly mispriced,” Neil Dwane said Monday as part of a panel discussion on long-term investing at the Toronto Global Forum.

“The U.S. is fully valued,” said Dwane, whose firm is owned by Munich-based insurance giant Allianz SE.


“There’s almost no prospective returns for the next 10 years from the U.S. equity market, and therefore investors have to look into Asia or Europe where valuations are significantly lower.”


With interest rates close to zero around the world and bond markets “manipulated by central banks,” it’s difficult to assess risk and return, he added.


Many investors have turned to high-yield bonds or emerging markets for income, which raises risks.

Dwane is not alone of course in this ominous view, as Bloomberg notes, Jim Keohane, chief executive officer of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, agreed that it’s not a good time to be buying assets of nearly any stripe.

“Right now assets are very expensive,” said Keohane, whose firm manages more than C$70 billion ($54 billion).


“We need to be patient, to wait for better opportunities. Whenever the next crisis comes, assets are going to be on sale. You can buy them a lot cheaper than you can buy them today, but you have to have patience to be able to do that.”

And finally, John Hussman, of Hussman Funds, warned that a century of reliable valuation evidence indicates that the S&P 500 is likely to experience an outright loss, including dividends, over the coming 10-12 year horizon, and we presently estimate likely interim losses on the order of -60% or more.

A rate of return of even 1% in cash is a much more desirable option than investors may imagine.

For a while, Bernie Madoff’s investors felt great about their impressive “returns.” For a while, investors in dot-com stocks felt the same. For a while, investors in mortgage bonds felt the same. But when investors focus on returns rather than the very long-term structure, stability, and even existence of the underlying cash flows, terrible things can happen.

All that’s required to get the snowball rolling is the creeping recognition that there’s no “there” there.

In response to the delusion that low interest rates “justify” virtually any level of market valuation, regardless of the growth rate of the underlying cash flows, the speculation of recent years has created a situation where there is effectively no way out for investors in aggregate. Every security that is issued must be held by someone until it is retired.

When one investor sells a share, it simply means that another investor buys it. The only question is who will hold the bag.

The post “You Get Nothing” – World’s Largest Insurer Warns US Stocks Offer “No Returns” For The Next Decade appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Huge Crude Draw Pushes Oil Prices Even Higher

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a huge draw of 5.087 million barrels in United States crude oil inventories, largely in line with an S&P Platts’ survey of analysts that expected inventories would draw down by 1.4 million barrels for the week ending October 27—continuing the extended drawdown in recent weeks. Gasoline inventories, according to the API, saw a major draw of 7.697 million barrels for the week ending October 27, against an expectation of a much more modest draw of 1.7 million barrels.  Other analysts,…

Bahrain imposes entry visas on Qatari nationals, residents

Bahrain will impose entry visas on Qatari nationals and residents, it said on Tuesday, in what it called a security measure. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut diplomatic, transport and trade ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of financing terrorism. Doha denies that and says the boycott is an attempt to rein in its support for reform. “The new measures aim at preventing harming the security and stability of the kingdom of Bahrain particularly in light of the latest repercussions of the crisis with Qatar”, said a statement on official news agency BNA. Citizens from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council countries are supposed to be able to travel within the GCC carrying only an identity card. Bahrain’s visa requirements […]

Several people killed by vehicle on New York City bike path

Tue, 2017-10-31 23:02

NEW YORK: A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and bicyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial Tuesday, killing at least eight and injuring 11 others in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.”
The 29-year-old driver was shot in the abdomen by police and taken into custody after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand and shouting “Allahu Akbar!” officials said. His condition was not immediately released.
Witnesses described a scene of panic and blood, with people screaming in fear and the path strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered over with tarps.
The attack closed streets across the western edge of Manhattan along the Hudson River and sent officers rushing to the neighborhood as people prepared for Halloween festivities, including the annual parade through Greenwich Village.
The driver’s identity was not immediately released.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.
A law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity said witnesses told police the attacker yelled, “Allahu akbar!” — “God is great” in Arabic — as he got out of the truck.
Asked about that at a news conference, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill replied: “Yeah. He did make a statement when he exited the vehicle.” He said the statement and the method of attack led police to conclude it was a terrorist act.
On Twitter, President Donald Trump called it “another attack by a very sick and deranged person” and declared, “NOT IN THE USA.”
Cities around the globe have been on alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. The Islamic State has been encouraging its followers to mow down people, and England, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks in recent months and years.
Police said the vehicle, a rented Home Depot truck, entered the bike path at about 3 p.m. on West Street a few blocks from the new World Trade Center — the site of the deadliest terror attack in US history — and mowed down several people. The truck then turned at Chambers Street near the trade center site, striking a small yellow school bus and injuring two adults and two children.
In addition to those killed, 11 people were seriously injured, police said.
A paintball gun and a pellet gun were found at the scene, police said.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
At least two bodies could be seen lying on the path beneath tarps, and the front end of the pickup was smashed in.
Tom Gay, a school photographer, was on Warren Street and heard people saying there was an accident. He went down to West Street and a woman came around the corner shouting, “He has a gun! He has a gun!“
Gay said he stuck his head around the corner and saw a slender man in a blue track suit running southbound on West Street holding a gun. He said there was a heavyset man pursuing him.
He said he heard five or six shots and the man in the tracksuit fell to the ground, gun still raised in the air. He said a man came over and kicked the gun out of his hand.
Eugene Duffy, 43, a chef at a waterfront restaurant, said he was crossing West Street when he heard something, turned back and saw the white pickup on the bike path.
After seeing the mangled bikes, he ran south, seeing the school bus that appeared to have been T-boned, and officers at the scene, guns drawn, ducked behind patrol cars.
“So many police came and they didn’t know what was happening,” Duffy said. “People were screaming. Females were screaming at the top of their lungs.”
Uber driver Chen Yi said he saw a truck plow into people on a popular bike path adjacent to the West Side Highway. He said he then heard seven to eight shots and then police pointing a gun at a man kneeling on the pavement.
“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” Yi said.
Video footage of the school bus showed its right side bashed in, and firefighters surrounding it as they worked to free children inside.

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