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Documenting the Disappearance of 85,000 people since the Start of the Conflict in Syria

August 31, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Syrian Human Rights Network (SHRN) said it has documented the enforced disappearance of 85,36 ​​people in Syria since the conflict started in March 2011. “The arbitrary arrests documented during the past seven years have been carried out through checkpoints or raids without arrest warrants, and detainees are denied access to their families and lawyers, while the authorities do not recognize their existence,” the network said in a report released on Wednesday. The SHRN also stated that the Syrian regime is responsible for 90% of the enforced disappearances in the country.  It also explained that enforced disappearances have expanded with the spread of non-official armed groups which are fighting alongside the regime’s army, such as Iranian militias, the Lebanese Hezbollah […]

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Humanity in the heart of the holy sites during Hajj

August 31, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
MOHAMMED AL-SULAMI
Thu, 2017-08-31 03:00
ID: 
1504127841789197800

MAKKAH: During Hajj, humanitarian work grows significantly among everyone at the holy sites and people devote themselves to charity, racing and competing to do so despite the hot weather.
Many scenes reflected the presence of humanity as pilgrims started arriving in Mina to spend the day of Tarwiyah. Arab News cameras caught many of these moments during the first day of this year’s Hajj season.
Egyptian pilgrim Saber Mohammed told Arab News, as he was pushing his son in his wheelchair: “I came from Egypt to perform Hajj. My son had a car accident and can’t move so we came here asking God to heal him.”
Another Egyptian pilgrim, Abed Al-Alim, was spotted pushing his mother in her wheelchair. He said: “My mother wanted to perform Hajj this year despite her illness and her old age. However, as she insisted on coming, I accompanied her. Despite the hot weather I don’t feel any difficulty in pushing her, thanks to God. We ask Him to facilitate and accept our Hajj journey.”
Arab News also spotted a security man standing next to a pilgrim, answering all of his questions, opening the Mina maps for him and guiding him on the road to his camp.
Moreover, an Indian woman carrying her 18-month-old child despite the hot weather, was also spotted by Arab News. When she saw the camera, she started clapping to express her joy of being there. The Indian woman and the Arab News reporter couldn’t communicate due to the language barrier, but she kept repeating the word “Hamdullah.”

SEC inspects Mina camps to ensure electrical safety
The Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) inspected the camps at Mina to ensure electrical safety before pilgrims arrive on the Day of Tarwiah. The director of the department of electricity in Makkah, Walid bin Hamid Al-Ghamdi, revealed that specialized technical teams from the SEC have conducted awareness sessions for those responsible for the camps and their employees.
“Electrical wiring connections were inspected, in addition to testing their quality. Advice and guidance on appropriate technical methods for dealing with electricity services was introduced,” Al-Ghamdi said.
He also said this advice included “awareness of how to deal with any emergency breakdown in the camp, and appropriate means of dealing with any electrical incidents, fires resulting from connections or cables, or other emergency situations.”

Al-Ghamdi has also revealed that these tours aim to ensure the full compliance of all camps with electrical safety standards, technical readiness, and to provide the necessary support in regard to any electrical issue.
The SEC has mobilized more than 1,500 experts, engineers, technicians and administrators to Makkah, Madinah and the holy places to implement the electrical operational plan for Hajj this year.
New electrical projects worth SR4.25 billion ($1.133 billion) have been implemented to ensure safe and reliable electrical service for pilgrims during all stages of the Hajj.

Main category: 
related_nodes: 
Money from illegal Hajis’ transportation ‘ill gotten’
Hajis praise Kingdom for outstanding Haj services
Makkah governor lauds smooth flow of Hajis

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Mo’ Momo, Mo’ Worries – Quants Fear Hedge Funds’ “Outsized Exposure” To Market Momentum

August 31, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Better lucky that smart? Managers of active funds are now extremely concentrated in the strongest parts of the US equity market with ‘momentum’ massively outperforming the market in August (and ramping higher off the North Korea missile launch lows).

Bloomberg’s Dani Burger notes that with more than half of their bets on high flyers like technology and online retailers, hedge funds have near-record exposure to momentum trades, a strategy that’s up 2.6 percent in August even as the S&P 500 heads for its worst month since the election. The resiliency of the bet was on display Tuesday, when Alphabet and Amazon opened nearly 1% lower before rebounding along with Apple to deliver the S&P 500’s biggest intraday reversal in 10 months.

“It’s like these things are like gold — it’s almost like a safe haven,” said Mark Connors, the global head of risk advisory at Credit Suisse Group AG.

 

“This resilient price action in equities is commensurate with the constructive positioning we see across hedge fund strategies and speaks to the persistent positive sentiment in 2017.”

The much-followed FANG Stocks soared over 2.1% off the opening lows…

 

The 50 most popular hedge fund longs…

Bloomberg’s Burger asks, how long can it last?

That’s a question that’s becoming more urgent for hedge funds that have finally caught up to a market where gains are delivered by an ever-narrowing cohort of stocks. Volatility has been rising amid renewed geopolitical tensions, signs of uneven economic growth in the U.S. and the threat of further interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

 

What’s more, the very nature of following momentum poses its own pitfalls. The strategy is one of the more volatile factors, and when rotations occur, pain seeps through as leaders quickly move to the back of the pack.

 

All that points to a hedge fund love affair that’s headed for heartbreak, according to Joseph Mezrich, head of U.S. quantitative analysis at Nomura Instinet LLC.

 

“We are concerned about this outsized exposure,” Mezrich, wrote in a note to clients. “The last time momentum exposure was this high was in 2013-2014, which led to a sharp decline in fund performance when momentum collapsed. Fund managers may be setting themselves up for a repeat.”

So what happens next? We leave to CS’ Mark Connors…

“You can’t manage your book for a big deleveraging… Momentum is an escalator up and an elevator shaft on the way down. But managing that is what active managers do for a living.”

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Iran: Kirkuk’s participation in Kurdistan secession referendum “exasperating”

August 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has criticised the Kurdish government for its recent decision to hold a referendum on secession from Iraq. A ministry spokesman, Bahram Qasimi, described the decision by the Kirkuk provincial council as “a provocative, unwelcomed and wrong decision”. “The insistence on holding the referendum, despite the rejection of the Iraqi government, the United Nations and many regional and non-regional countries, does not support dialogue with Baghdad to settle the outstanding issues. It also affects the process of supporting Iraq’s victories in fighting Terrorism,” Qasimi said, according to the IRNA, a news agency. Qasimi stressed that the Islamic Republic “warns of the repercussions of this wrong decision, which is a flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, […]

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Israel Statistics Bureau: 1.214 Million Arab Muslims in Israel, 35% under the age of 14.

August 30, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

According to the data from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of Muslims in Israel, including occupied Jerusalem, reached 1,534, 000 in 2016 (including 320.000 Jerusalemites) constituting up to 17.7 % of the population. These data, which was published on the occasion of Eid Al-Edha, showed that the number of Muslims increased during 2016 by 36 thousand people. This indicates that the rate of population growth remained constant over the last three years at 2.4 % a year. It is also considered to be the highest rate of any group in the country. Read More: Official data: Israel uses 85% of total area of historical Palestine Jerusalem has the largest concentration of Muslim population of any city, with 320.000 […]

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Martin Armstrong Warns Of War In September: “We Must Be On Guard…”

August 30, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,
You may have thought that tensions with North Korea were abating following Kim Jong Un’s missile test stand-down earlier this month.

But as we and others outside of the mainstream media propaganda machine …

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Hurricane Hit US Refineries, Gasoline Price Hard But Spared <b>Crude Oil</b> Production

August 30, 2017 http://crude-oil.top/ 0

Hurricane Harvey hit the US refining industry in Texas at a vulnerable time while gas prices soared more than 10 percent because of the anticipated …The post Hurricane Hit US Refineries, Gasoline Price Hard But Spared <b>Crude Oil</b&gt…

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Bitcoin’s Rise To Record Highs In Context

August 30, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

After a two-year long bear market, bitcoin came roaring back in 2016, and has been climbing ever since.

The digital currency reached a new all-time high above $4,650 on Tuesday, an increase of more than 350% year-to-date. The sheer intensity of its gains has inspired some comparisons to the digital currency’s initial run-up, which ended with the collapse of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox in early 2014, marking the end of the first bitcoin bull market.

Given bitcoin’s torrid advance, analysts from Bespoke Investments attempted to put its gains in context in a chart. The results are striking: Compared with infamous asset bubbles like tech stocks in the 1990s, bitcoin has climbed much further in far less time. According to Bloomberg, “there’s almost no comparison” between bitcoin and the tech-stock bubble.  

“Bespoke Investment Group contrasted the rise in bitcoin with infamous bubbles such as the tech market in the late nineties. There’s almost no comparison. Tech stocks rose just over 1,000 percent over the entire course of their bubble, and bitcoin is already up more than twice that. Take a look.”

According to CoinTelegraph, bitcoin analysts expect the digital currency to finish the year around $5,000.

And some expect the digital currency to go much, much higher. According to the Wall Street Journal, early Snapchat investor Jeremy Liew expects Bitcoin will reach $500,000 by 2030. Security company founder and notable eccentric John McAfee believes it’ll take only three years.

Alistair Milne, a popular bitcoin analyst who has a large Twitter following, calculated earlier this month that bitcoin would already be worth more than $7,000 if the digital currency’s share of the overall crypto market would return to its pre-2017 levels. Bitcoin’s market capitalization now represents less than half of the total for the broader market crypto market, down from about 90% early this year. The drop is largely due to bitcoin rivals like Ethereum and Litecoin, which put bitcoin’s YTD rise to shame.

If Bitcoin returned to market dominance of ~84% (where it was before the Bitcoin Unlimited/forking fears), the price would be ~$7000 today

— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) August 15, 2017

Bitcoin has made a habit out of routinely defying its most ardent skeptics. But the shadow of Mt. Gox still looms large over the digital currency market. And the risk of another bull-market-ending catalyst like a 51% attack on the bitcoin network or another major hack at one of the more mainstream exchanges could force out the week hands, sparking another precipitous drop.

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