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Jul 22, 2018

Russian financial analyst expects gold price suppression I GATA I THE GATA DISPATCH.


Russian financial analyst expects gold price suppression

Submitted by cpowell on 06:50PM ET Sunday, July 22, 2018. Section: Daily Dispatches Russia Ditching U.S. Treasuries for Gold to Protect Economy and Diversify, Analysts Tell RT
From Russia Today, Moscow
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Russia ditching U.S. Treasuries for gold in bid to protect economy and diversify, analysts tell RT
Russia has left the top-30 list of top lenders to the United States by radically slashing US Treasury bills ownership. RT-polled analysts have shared their opinion on the move.
Both political and economic reasons could be found here. The central bank may have thought that Russian-owned Treasuries could be frozen because of geopolitical tensions. The regulator announced in the spring that it plans to diversify its reserves," said Zhanna Kulakova, financial consultant at TeleTrade.

The analyst thinks the Russian central bank could re-invest the money from the sale into Chinese bonds and gold. "Gold is a tangible asset that cannot be completely depreciated under any circumstances. In periods of global financial or political crises, gold will be much more useful than securities or cash," Kulakova said, noting that gold is also prone to price fluctuations from time to time. ...
Vladimir Rojankovski, an expert at the International Financial Center in Moscow, gives another reason for Russia withdrawing its assets from the United States. "They could be frozen by foreign courts based on the results of biased/politicized legal proceedings," he said. ...
Rojankovski praises the move by the Russian central bank to diversify, but warns that gold prices could be manipulated on the market like oil. "In the event of a global decline in the interest of large sovereign investors in U.S. Treasury bonds, I expect an increase in speculative activity in precious metals in order to artificially lower their market valuation," he said.
... For the remainder of the report:
https://www.rt.com/business/433950-russia-us-treasury-dumping/

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Israel evacuates 422 White Helmets & families as Syrian army advances I RT Video

Sri Lankan reform has 'ground to a halt' with torture used freely – UN | World news

theguardian.com

Sri Lankan reform has 'ground to a halt' with torture used freely – UN | World news

Patrick Wintour


Sri Lanka’s progress towards reform has “virtually ground to a halt” and brutal torture is used with impunity, the UN concludes in a scathing report on the country’s human rights record.
The report, which comes three years after the country appeared to have turned a corner in its history by electing a new coalition government, is published on Monday following a UN visit to Sri Lanka at the request of the government. “None of the measures so far adopted to fulfil Sri Lanka’s transitional justice commitments are adequate to ensure real progress,” it says.
Ben Emmerson QC, the UN rapporteur on countering terrorism, met most senior members of the government, military judiciary and prison staff – including inside high security Anuradhapura prison.
Sri Lanka suffered three decades of civil war as Tamil fighters fought for a separate state, culminating in 2015 in the election of a national unity government.
Emmerson concluded on the basis of his visit that progress towards reconciliation and a fair judicial system had virtually ground to a halt. The British barrister said “impunity is still the rule for those responsible for the routine and systemic use of torture, and countless individuals are the victims of gross miscarriages of justice resulting from the operation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)“.
He added: “The Tamil community is stigmatised and feels disenfranchised, while the trust of many minority communities that the government is able to deal with all forms of nationalism equally, is eroding.”
Emmerson said he had heard “distressing testimonies of very brutal and cruel methods of torture, including beatings with sticks, the use of stress positions, asphyxiation using plastic bags drenched in kerosene, pulling out of fingernails, insertion of needles beneath the fingernails, use of various forms of water torture, suspension of individuals for several hours by their thumbs, and mutilation of genitals”.
He added: “The pervasive climate of impunity and the lack of accountability for the serious human rights violations that occurred both during the conflict and in the aftermath needs to be addressed and those responsible for human rights violations, sanctioned.”
Although the number of arrests under the PTA was falling, the law was still being used and needed to be repealed as the government had promised in 2015. It was difficult to resist the conclusion that the inertia “reflects the continuing influence of certain vested interests in the security sector, who are resistant to change, and above all, to accountability”.
The definition of terror in the PTA and proposed replacement legislation was too broad, vague and all encompassing, suggesting the PTA in effect allowed for indefinite detention. Emmerson said he had met “a significant number of individuals detained under the PTA whose length of detention ran into double figures in terms of years”.
Figures from the Office of the Attorney-General showed that out of 81 prisoners at the time in the judicial phase of their pre-trial detention, 70 had been in detention without trial for more than five years and 12 had been in detention without trial for more than 10 years.
Many current and former PTA detainees interviewed claimed they had signed documents in a language they did not understand or were asked to sign at the bottom of a blank piece of paper, having been tortured, sometimes in exchange for transfer out of police or security service custody”.
The Sri Lankan government insists it does not condone torture and is committed to ensuring all allegations are investigated, including by the independent Human Rights Commission. It says no evidence of any such allegations have been passed to the commission.

Panel: Trump concerned about secret Cohen Tapes: CNN Video.

Morning mail: women's heart treatment, FBI documents, White Helmets rescued | Australia news I The Guardian

theguardian.com

Morning mail: women's heart treatment, FBI documents, White Helmets rescued | Australia news

Eleanor Ainge Roy


Good morning, this is Eleanor Ainge Roy bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Monday 23 July.

Top stories

Women who suffer a serious heart attack are half as likely to receive appropriate treatment in Australian hospitals as men, and twice as likely to die within six months of discharge, cardiac specialists and researchers have found. Those behind the study, which spanned 41 hospitals, said they were taken aback at the findings.
“I was quite surprised,” said Prof Clara Chow, the study’s senior author. “Women with serious heart attacks are being undertreated and it’s just not acceptable.” Chow said there was no conclusive cause of the discrepancy, but she suspected “unconscious bias” in the health system was likely to be a factor.
The Trump administration has released documents related to the FBI’s surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as part of an investigation into whether he colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 US presidential election. Page has consistently denied working as an agent of the Russians, slamming the investigation as “so ridiculous it’s beyond words”. On CNN the former foreign policy adviser and energy consultant declined to answer four times whether he had relationships with Russian officials and declined to elaborate on an academic letter he wrote in 2013, in which he described himself as an “informal adviser” to the Kremlin. Page has not been charged with any crime after almost two years of investigation.
The UK, Germany and Canada will offer asylum to some of the members of the Syrian volunteer civil defence forces known as the White Helmets and their relatives who have been evacuated to Jordan. More than 400 people were evacuated by Israeli defence forces on Saturday night at the request of a number of countries including the UK, US and Canada, including 98 White Helmets. Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said she had “called for global leadership to support and help these heroes” at last week’s Nato summit.
The surge in revenue flowing to Australian governments will soon be undermined by a slowdown in China and a “mini-credit crunch” as banks tighten lending standards, Deloitte Access Economics has said. Deloitte has suggested rising global interest rates are combining with a bout of bank caution on lending that will accelerate the fall in property prices. Noting the federal government has cut personal income tax cut – at a cost to the budget of $144bn – Deloitte’s Chris Richardson concluded that Australia “has repeated an old mistake: spending a temporary revenue boom on permanent promises”.
A New York art dealer who bought the contents of a New Jersey storage locker supposedly full of junk says he has found six paintings he believes are by Willem de Kooning. De Koonings can attract prices in the hundreds of millions of dollars. David Killen said he had not expected much from his purchase, as “what they showed me is a bunch of junk, basically”. But when he opened the locker, he saw “these huge boxes that say De Kooning on them”. Executors, Killen said, thought the works labelled as De Koonings were prints. “What are the odds of finding a De Kooning in a storage unit?” he asked. “It’s unheard of!” The paintings have been authenticated by a De Kooning expert.

Sport

Francesco Molinari has become the first Italian to win a golf major after holding off a pack including Tiger Woods to capture the Open at Carnoustie. Woods led for much of the afternoon, holding out the prospect of an astonishing win a decade after his last major, but a double bogey on the 11th proved his nemesis.
Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray was knocked out last week in a sickening tackle from Fremantle’s Ryan Nyhuis and stretchered from the ground. Nonetheless, Gray lined up against GWS on Sunday, again raising questions about whether the AFL is allowing players to return too early from concussion, writes Nicole Hayes.

Thinking time

The Australian impressionist John Russell spent 40 years in Europe, where he cultivated friendships with Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh. The Art Gallery of New South Wales is hosting the first major retrospective of Russell’s work in 40 years, bringing together 120 paintings, drawings and watercolours from private and public collections around the world.
Entrepeneurs in Canada are rushing to invent new cannabis products as the country becomes only the second in the world to legalise the drug for recreational use in October. Dooma Wendschuh of Province Brands is working on what he describes as Canada’s first true cannabis beer – one that gets you high, not drunk.Most cannabis beers are brewed from barley and infused with marijuana oil – that’s not what we do” says Wendschuh. “Our beer is brewed from the stocks, stem and roots of the cannabis plant.” So is it any good, when prototypes taste like rotten broccoli? “The flavour is dry, savoury, less sweet than a typical beer flavour,” Wendschuh said. “The beer hits you very quickly, which is not common for a marijuana edible.”
Sanjeev Gupta says coal power is no longer cheaper than renewables – and he intends to prove it in South Australia. The British billionaire who rescued the Whyalla steelworks believes renewables are the future of energy, on the grounds that it makes economic sense.

Media roundup


front-page NT News 23 July 2018
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on new data that finds Sydney is now more crowded than Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles, despite Australia being one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. The NT News splashes with a full-page picture of Malcolm Turnbull cradling an Aboriginal child. “Future is in your hands” the paper declares. Local Indigenous leaders urged the PM to “not be afraid” in tackling NT social problems head-on during his visit to Tennant Creek. The Australian says tension in Melbourne’s African-Australian community is peaking as police investigate the death of a 19-year-old woman at a party on Saturday night. The home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, said the “needless loss of a young life” highlighted a “major law and order problem” in the state.

Coming up

The foreign and defence ministers, Julie Bishop and Marise Payne, will meet their US counterparts, Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis, in San Francisco on Monday.
Campaigning continues for Saturday’s five byelections, with Labor’s Justine Keay and Liberal Brett Whiteley speaking at a public forum in the hotly contested Tasmanian seat of Braddon.

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Station to station: What to do and see along L.A.’s Expo Line I The Washington Post

washingtonpost.com

Station to station: What to do and see along L.A.’s Expo Line

by Noy Thrupkaew



If travelers associate Los Angeles with anything besides Hollywood, it’s traffic. We Angelenos make small talk about it like other people do about the weather — taking communal joy in complaint, trading tips and war stories, recusing ourselves from trips past “our” side of any of the freeways that scissor through the city. One of Los Angeles’s most eagerly awaited mass transit projects — the Expo Line light rail system, the second and final portion of which opened in May 2016 — hasn’t made much of a dent in the traffic , even as it smashes ridership projections. But it offers visitors an excellent opportunity to gape at the worst traffic in the world and conveniently reach some of the city treasures that lie along the 15-mile route between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

Visitors to Los Angeles may be most drawn to the beach at the Expo Line’s end, home to the famed Santa Monica Pier, or to the complex of museums near the Expo Park/USC station. But the 17 other stops provide access to little-touristed historic neighborhoods in South L.A., mash-up taquerias and the weirdest, most wondrous museum in the city, most within a 10-minute walk from a listed station. Starting downtown and heading west, here are some stations with opportunities to experience the food, shopping, history and culture of Los Angeles on your way to or from the surf, sun and sand.
LATTC/Ortho Institute
1. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries
909 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles
213-821-2771
The ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives are the largest repository of LGBT materials in the world. Although the archives are officially part of the University of Southern California library system, they are open to the public. The archives accept walk-ins, but by August, the staff will institute an appointment system for individuals seeking access to thousands of books, paintings, posters, and audiovisual recordings.
Jefferson/USC
2. Mercado La Paloma
Chichen Itza
3655 S. Grand Ave., No. C6, Los Angeles
213-741-1075
Holbox
3655 S. Grand Ave., No. C9, Los Angeles
213-986-9972
Mercado La Paloma is a community-revitalization project full of shops and restaurants just around the corner from the museums of Exposition Park, which are probably already on visitors’ radar (those being the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California Science Center, California African American Museum, and the upcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art). Housed in a former garment factory, the space includes two Yucatan-style eateries, Chichen Itza and Holbox, by chef and owner Gilberto Cetina Jr. and is a perfect place to stop before or after a long day of museum-going and a visit to the Exposition Park rose garden. Chichen Itza’s crowning glory is its cochinita pibil — a heap of pork marinated in sour orange juice and spices including ground annatto seeds, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked low and slow. Holbox is a seafood counter that features enormous blood clams and snappingly fresh ceviches. Commandeer a large table and order recklessly from both restaurants; it will be both too much and just enough.

This Italian Renaissance/Beaux-Arts mansion, one of many sumptuous historic homes on West Adams Boulevard, is now the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens. (Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens)
Expo/Western
3. West Adams-area
historical sites
On West Adams Boulevard between S. Harvard Boulevard and Ninth Avenue, Los Angeles

An early morning aerial view of the West Adams area in Los Angeles. (trekandshoot/Alamy Stock Photo)
Much of the Expo Line runs through vibrant and relatively untouristed South L.A. communities, including West Adams — one of the city’s oldest and most interesting neighborhoods, the precise boundaries of which are subject to debate. Established around the turn of the 20th century, the West Adams area was developed with wide boulevards and elevated lots, and wealthy white families built sumptuous houses there. When the Depression hit, some of these families began selling to African Americans, despite the neighborhood’s restrictive racial covenants. Other whites then sued to remove the new residents, who included Hattie McDaniel, best known for her Oscar-winning turn in “Gone with the Wind.” The actress and outspoken activist led hundreds of supporters into L.A. Superior Court, where Judge Thurmond Clarke threw out the case and helped pave the way for the Fair Housing Act. You can see her home at 2203 South Harvard Blvd., a short bus ride and walk from the station.
Most of the neighborhood’s notable buildings are on or just off West Adams Boulevard, including the immense former office of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, which was founded to insure African Americans. If you start here and walk west, you can enjoy the elegant homes that come into view — Dutch Colonials and Italian Gothics, Craftsman bungalows, Georgian revivals and, one block north of West Adams, at 2501 Arlington Ave., the manse that served as the family funeral home in “Six Feet Under.”
The magnificent Italian Renaissance/Beaux-Arts mansion at 3500 W. Adams Blvd., is now the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. The outdoor, travertine marble labyrinth is the same design as the one at Chartres Cathedral in France; the gardens feature a lily pond, 16 water fountains and several nooks for quiet contemplation and meditation. The mansion itself has been beautifully restored. Docents offer free tours of both the mansion and the grounds. Reservations are free, and required for entry. Visit peacelabyrinth.org/hours-admissions.
Expo/Crenshaw
4. Harold and Belle’s Restaurant
2920 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles
323-735-9023
This fine Creole restaurant, about a 15-minute walk from the station, is now in its third generation of family ownership. The menu features po’ boys, jambalaya and étouffée, all served in enormous portions.

An exhibit about dogs of the Soviet space program is juxtaposed against a pump organ at the difficult-to-categorize Museum of Jurassic Technology. (Museum of Jurassic Technology)
Culver City
5. Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Blvd., Culver City
310-836-6131
Anyone writing about this museum faces a conundrum, as it’s better experienced than explained. Akin to a cabinet of curiosities, the museum is filled with oddities of un/real provenance — a horn said to have grown from the back of a woman’s head, a treatise on fungus-infected ants, portraits of dogs sent on Soviet space missions. It’s a meta-museum of sorts, but one presented without a lick of irony. Instead, it seems to celebrate our mad, fumbling attempts to make meaning of mystery. At some point, almost guaranteed, you’ll hear another museum-goer say in a stage whisper, “What is this place?” Wend your way to the rooftop garden to ponder the same over free tea and cookies.
Palms
6. Kogi Taqueria
3500 Overland Ave., No. 100, Los Angeles
424-326-3031
Kogi has spawned a gourmet food-truck revolution and a thousand copycats, but there is only one original. The Korean taco — succulent short ribs and accompaniments tucked into a corn tortilla — is delicious way to celebrate the commingling of key L.A. cultures.
Westwood/Rancho Park
7. The Apple Pan
10801 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
310-475-3585
Time changes all things, but not the Apple Pan. Open since 1947, this 26-seat diner is a marvel of consistency. Stand awkwardly around the wall with the other hopefuls waiting for a seat. Order one of two burgers. (There are other meal offerings on the menu, but why bother?) If you order fries, your server will mete out a dose of ketchup onto a paper plate; soda comes in a can, accompanied by a paper cone of ice in a metal holder. Why are things done this way? Because. Once you tuck into that burger — perfect char, floating on a tender bun and a raft of crisp iceberg, fully sauced and dressed — or an immense wedge of pie, all questions will cease.
Expo/Sepulveda
8. Giant Robot Store
2015 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles
310-478-1819
9. GR2 Gallery
2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles
424-246-7626
Nestled in the midst of Sawtelle Japantown, the Giant Robot Store and GR2 Gallery are flanked by ramen shops, Japanese bars, grocery stores, and shaved-ice and boba parlors — all-day entertainment. Formerly a print magazine dedicated to Asian and Asian American pop culture and art, Giant Robot now publishes online and runs a gallery and a store chockablock with quirky clothing, art and housewares. The gallery has featured numerous solo and group exhibitions, but may be most famous for its annual “Post-it Show.” Artists create tiny works on single Post-It Notes, all of which are priced the same ($25 last year), regardless of whether the creator is an upstart or a well-established figure such as “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening.
10. Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles
2057 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles
310-231-7373
If you want to avoid the heaving crowds outside, make an off-hours visit and head for this original outlet over the annex across the street. Most of the masses are waiting for a bowl of tsukemen — thick, toothy noodles served with a dipping sauce so concentrated that it’s just shy of gravy. Tsujita’s chefs simmer pork broth for 60 hours before adding bonito for brine and smokiness. The result is so full of gelatin and fat that it wrinkles on top. Order the tsukemen with a perfect, jammy egg, savor the shivery pork bits and bamboo shoots lurking in the sauce, and dip and slurp halfway through your noodles. Just when you think you might drown in this fatty sea of pork, squeeze the provided lime over your noodles as instructed. The acid cuts through the richness. Your server will dilute the sauce with a lighter broth for you to enjoy once the noodles are gone. By the end, you may feel like you’re congealing from the inside out, but it’s worth it.
26th Street/Bergamot
11. Bergamot
2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica
Open since 1994, this complex of fine-art galleries is perched right next to the station. Of particular interest: the Copro Gallery, for all your fancy goth needs; Latin American Masters, for an expansive space dedicated to the work of modern and contemporary Latin-American artists; and the Lois Lambert Gallery & Gallery of Functional Art, for whimsical gifts and serious art — and vice versa.
17th Street/Santa Monica College
12. Highways Performance Space
18th St. Arts Center
1651 18th St., Santa Monica
310-453-1755
A cozy space dedicated to experimental artists of diverse backgrounds, Highways has hosted dance, theater, and multimedia performances since 1989. August events include “New Shoes 18,” featuring work by emerging artists, and “Inner Working/Outer Working,” a multimedia collection of dance and aerial pieces.
Thrupkaew is a writer based in Los Angeles.
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