America, the country Madeleine Albright once called the “indispensable nation”, is suddenly nakedly and humiliatingly dispensable. Two of the most important Gulf rulers have decided not to attend the summit on Iran president Obama scheduled in Washington. It’s a vital meeting on which the president has staked the future of his so-called historic initiatives. But “the only two monarchs from the six countries confirmed to attend the summit at the White House and the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., were the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait.”
Saudi Arabia’s monarch pulled out of a summit to be hosted by President Barack Obama on Thursday, in a blow to the White House’s efforts to build Arab support for a nuclear accord with Iran.
King Salman’s decision appeared to ripple across the Persian Gulf. Bahrain said on Sunday that its ruler, King Hamad bin Isaa Al Khalifa, had opted not to travel to Washington….
At stake for the White House is Mr. Obama’s key foreign-policy initiative, an Iran pact that is proceeding toward a June 30 deadline without support from regional powers. King Salman’s decision signals that the Arab states aren’t on board and could continue to act on their own to thwart Tehran, as Saudi Arabia has done in leading a military coalition against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.
It’s diplomatic cream pie in the face. The signals being sent from the region are scathing and dismissive. The New York Times quotes Jon Alterman, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as saying “for the White House though, it sends an unmistakable signal when a close partner essentially says he has better things to do than go to Camp David with the president, just a few days after the White House announced he’d have a private meeting before everything got underway.”
Recall that one of Obama's main goals is nuclear nonproliferation:
As reported by the Times of Israel: “Saudi Arabia may be prepared to field nuclear bombs it has purchased from Pakistan in response to Iran’s alleged military nuclear program, and may already have deployed missile systems capable of delivering the bombs, the BBC reported on Wednesday. According to Mark Urban, diplomatic and defense editor for the BBC’s Newsnight, there are suggestions that the Saudis have paid for a number of nuclear weapons that are ready and waiting in Pakistan. If the reports are accurate, the kingdom could have atomic weapons on its missiles even before Iran has that capability. Urban said it was an assessment shared by the former head of the IDF’s head of intelligence, Amos Yadlin, and cited comments Yadlin made to that effect at a conference in Sweden last month. “The Saudis will not wait one month,” Yadlin reportedly said. “They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.”
The United States is poised to flood world markets with once-unthinkable quantities of liquefied natural gas as soon as this year, profoundly changing the geo-politics of global energy and posing a major threat to Russian gas dominance in Europe.
"We anticipate becoming big players, and I think we'll have a big impact," said the Ernest Moniz, the US Energy Secretary. "We're going to influence the whole global LNG market."
Mr Moniz said four LNG export terminals are under construction and the first wave of shipments may begin before the end of this year or in early 2016 at the latest.
“Certainly in this decade, there’s a good chance that we will be LNG exporters on the scale of Qatar, which is today’s largest LNG exporter,” he said, speaking on the margins of the IHS CERAWeek energy summit in Texas.
Qatar exports just over 100 billion cubic meters (BCM), though Australia is catching up fast as the offshore Gorgon field comes on stream. It may pull ahead of Qatar later this decade.
Mr Moniz said the surge in US output from shale fracking has already transformed the global market. "We would have been importing a lot of LNG by now. Those cargoes would have gone elsewhere and have in fact had a significant impact in the European market,” he said.
Gas frackers assembled at the world's "energy Davos" in Houston said exports could ultimately be much higher, potentially overtaking Russia as the world's biggest supplier of natural gas of all kinds.
Management has to do something to get this stock moving again. It is enormously frustrating to be stuck in a rut this year. At least buy a smaller, promising biotech with that mountain of cash the company has accumulated.
Saudi Arabia has a response to the global surplus of oil: Raise output to near-record levels and then pump even more.
The world’s biggest oil exporter, having abandoned last year its role of keeping global markets in balance, now has incentive to maximize output and undermine rival producers by using its reserve capacity, according to Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG. Just meeting its own domestic demand this summer will require a lot more fuel, others estimate.
The increase -- a snub to fellow OPEC members calling on the kingdom to cut production -- will heighten tensions when the organization meets in June. Oil plunged to a six-year low near $45 a barrel in January, six weeks after the Saudis overcame opposition within the group to keep up output despite surging U.S. shale supplies.
To support their economy, Iran needs oil over $100 a barrel. Iranian Ayatollahs are hoping President Obama will come to their rescue. Obama promised Iran $50 billion if they will pretend to quit pursuing nuclear weapons.
China’s top nuclear experts have increased their estimates of North Korea’s nuclear weapons production well beyond most previous U.S. figures, suggesting Pyongyang can make enough warheads to threaten regional security for the U.S. and its allies.
The latest Chinese estimates, relayed in a closed-door meeting with U.S. nuclear specialists, showed that North Korea may already have 20 warheads, as well as the capability of producing enough weapons-grade uranium to double its arsenal by next year, according to people briefed on the matter.
A well-stocked nuclear armory in North Korea ramps up security fears in Japan and South Korea, neighboring U.S. allies that could seek their own nuclear weapons in defense. Washington has mutual defense treaties with Seoul and Tokyo, which mean an attack on South Korea or Japan is regarded as an attack on the U.S.
“I’m concerned that by 20, they actually have a nuclear arsenal,” said Siegfried Hecker, a Stanford University professor and former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, who attended the closed-door meeting in February. “The more they believe they have a fully functional nuclear arsenal and deterrent, the more difficult it’s going to be to walk them back from that.”
Chinese experts now believe North Korea has a greater domestic capacity to enrich uranium than previously thought, Mr. Hecker said.
The Chinese estimates reflect growing concern in Beijing over North Korea’s weapons program and what they see as U.S. inaction while President Barack Obama focuses on a nuclear deal with Iran.
This will break snort/dana's heart:
Hillary’s political ship is arguably taking on so much water that it could well be at risk of sinking, at least in the eyes of Democrat power brokers, donors and strategists whose nervousness about the mounting Clinton controversies could prompt them to change course…and candidates.
Among the latest shockwaves to batter the Clinton campaign is an explosive front-page article in The New York Times detailing how the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary was secretary of state, may have benefited from a huge deal to put a Russian company — and essentially the Putin government — in control of much of the world’s uranium supply.
“At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.”
The Times article reveals that not long after a majority stake in that massive mining enterprise, Uranium One, was set to he acquired by the Russians, “Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard said Sunday that inspectors would be barred from military sites under any nuclear agreement with world powers.
Gen. Hossein Salami, the Guard's deputy leader, said on state TV that allowing the foreign inspection of military sites is tantamount to "selling out."
"We will respond with hot lead (bullets) to those who speak of it," Salami said. "Iran will not become a paradise for spies. We will not roll out the red carpet for the enemy."
Iran and six world powers -- the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia -- have reached a framework agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions, and hope to strike a final deal by June 30.
A fact sheet on the framework accord issued by the State Department said Iran would be required to grant the U.N. nuclear agency access to any "suspicious sites." Iran has questioned that and other language in the fact sheet, notably that sanctions would only be lifted after the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified Tehran's compliance. Iran's leaders have said the sanctions should be lifted on the first day of the implementation of the accord.
The fact sheet said Iran has agreed to implement the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would grant the IAEA expanded access to both declared and undeclared nuclear facilities.
But Salami said allowing foreign inspectors to visit a military base would amount to "occupation," and expose "military and defense secrets."
espite nuclear saber-rattling by Moscow, U.S. nuclear forces are close to reaching warhead, missile, and bomber numerical cuts required under the 2010 New START arms treaty, a senior Pentagon official told Congress on Wednesday.
U.S. nuclear warheads counted under the treaty with Russia were reduced from 1,642 to 1,597 between Sept. 1 and March 1, said Robert Scher, assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and capabilities.
Russian nuclear warheads were cut from 1,632 to 1,582 during the same period, Scher told the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee in prepared testimony.
The treaty requires both nations to reduce their deployed strategic warhead arsenals to 1,550 by February 2018.
For land-based and sea-based missiles and bombers, U.S. forces were reduced from 912 to 898, and Russian missiles and bombers were cut from 911 to 890.
The treaty limit for those weapons is 800 strategic delivery vehicles by 2018.
Scher said the reductions continued despite “serious concerns” over souring U.S.-Russia relations.
Cramer was pumping HZNP yesterday which is somewhat similar to LCI. I think some traders sold LCI to buy HZNP which is up 8% today.
Iran announced that China has agreed to assist in the building of five new nuclear plants across the country, according to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI).
Iran plans to enlist the Chinese in the construction of five new nuclear plants similar in size and scope to the plant currently operating near Bushehr.
Iran’s insistence on building more nuclear power plants has become a key concern for critics of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with the Islamic Republic, as these nuclear structures could potentially be used to assist its nuclear weapons program.
The Obama administration has said in the past that the construction of light water reactors such as the one in Bushehr does not violate existing United Nations restrictions or the interim accord struck with the country in 2013.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the AEOI, announced on Tuesday that Iran is pursuing at least five new nuclear power plants to produce nuclear fuel at an “industrial scale.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran plans to produce at least 190,000 SWUs (Separative Work Units) of nuclear fuel at the industrial scale, while we also think about 1,000,000 SWUs, which will be needed to fuel 5 power plants like Bushehr,” Kamalvandi was quoted as saying during an address Tuesday in Tehran at an event described by the state-controlled Fars News Agency as an “Analysis of Lausanne Statement.”
Russia has already helped to start construction of at least two plants in southern Iran, while the Chinese will assist with the rest, Kamalvandi revealed.
“This is the reason why we have inked an agreement with the Russians to construct two nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity while the Chinese will also enter this arena soon,” he was quoted as saying.
Touching on the contents of a recently agreed to framework nuclear deal with the United States, Kamalvandi said Tehran will retain the Fordow nuclear enrichment facility—a former military site—and operate more than 1,000 centrifuges
Friday LEU broke through resistance. If it doesn't get back above it Monday, we will probably get another leg down. 4.62 was the resistance level.
Here are the eight reasons Jefferies has for buying Twitter now:
Online video ads are estimated to be a $17 billion opportunity by 2017. Twitter’s launch of Periscope helps it stand apart in this space.
The growth in the online advertising market is increasingly levered to mobile. Some 88% of Twitters ads are mobile.
Social commerce is growing an incredible three times faster than e-commerce.
Twitter is increasing the advertising load. In the third quarter 2014 it was 1.3%, and management is targeting 5%.
Twitter is a great match with TV as 66% of mobile users tweet while watching TV, often sports. Some 70% of the tweets are about what is live on TV.
The Twitter user experience is improving fast. In fact, user trends started to turn around for the company in January.
The company’s operating leverage is improving as it continues to roll out new advertising products.
International is starting to monetize in a more positive way. The report cites the fact that while international accounts for 77% of the user base, it only produces 34% of the total revenue. Clearly raising that would add to the top and bottom line.
Even though Twitter had a highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO), it struggled out of the gate and the bears smelling blood pounced. The turnaround over the past year has been dramatic, and the bulls may be poised to get the last laugh.
On the other hand, there's something to be said for a leader who is willing to put his country's interests first.
A fire has recently occurred on board the Orel ("Eagle") nuclear submarine in Russia. The fire sparked during welding works in the area of the ninth compartment. Andrei Mikhailov, a military observer of Pravda.Ru in Severodvinsk, became an unwitting eyewitness to the incident.
"I saw from my window that the submarine was on fire. The Oren submarine, Project T-949A, is in the dry dock of Zvezdochka Shipyard in Severodvinsk. She came to Severodvinsk for repairs and upgrade in late 2013 and was expected to leave in 2016. All systems of the vessel are subject to repairs and modernization - navigation, sonar and arms systems. The Orel submarine carries cruise missiles. Its underwater displacement is about 25 thousand tons, and surface displacement - 22 thousand tons. In other words, this is a very large submarine," Pravda.Ru correspondent in Severodvinsk Andrei Mikhailov said.
Iran’s foreign minister and lead nuclear negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told legislators that Iran would start feeding uranium into advanced centrifuges as soon as the nuclear deal with the P5+1 nations goes into effect, The Times of Israel reported today. Enriching uranium in advanced centrifuges would violate the parameters agreed to last week, according to American and French fact sheets showing their understandings of the deal.
Iran will begin using its latest generation IR-8 centrifuges as soon as its nuclear deal with the world powers goes into effect, Iran’s foreign minister and nuclear chief told members of parliament on Tuesday, according to Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency. …
Iran has said that its IR-8 centrifuges enrich uranium 20 times faster than the IR-1 centrifuges it currently uses.
According to the FARS report, “Iran’s foreign minister and nuclear chief both told a closed-door session of the parliament on Tuesday that the country would inject UF6 gas into the latest generation of its centrifuge machines as soon as a final nuclear deal goes into effect by Tehran and the six world powers.”
The American version of last week’s understanding states, “Iran will not use its IR-2, IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, or IR-8 models to produce enriched uranium for at least ten years.” According to The Times of Israel, the French version differs slightly in allowing “continue[d] R&D work on the advanced IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges,” but not enrichment, which was the activity mentioned by Zarif.
Zarif reportedly told Iranian legislators on Tuesday that Iran would not allow cameras into any of its nuclear facilities. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action calls for the “continuous surveillance” of Iran’s nuclear facilities.