Heading into 2023, Goldman was bearish on most asset classes, except commodities where the bank forecast a 43% gain as "supply shortages bite." Since then the commodity picture has ebbed and flowed, and after commodities experienced a modest bounce following China's unexpected reopening, they have resumed sinking with oil trading just above the Biden admin's (supposed) SPR refill floor of $72, despite a near consensus that Chinese oil demand will hit record highs in 2023.
So has the recent setback dented Goldman's optimism? Not at all: in fact, according to Goldman chief commodity strategist, not only will oil rise back above $100 a barrel this year, it will rise much more in 2024 when it will face a serious supply problem as spare production capacity runs out.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, Goldman chief commodity strategist Jeff Currie said that with sanctions likely to cause Russian oil exports to drop and Chinese demand expected to recover as the country ends its Covid Zero policy, prices will rise above $100 from their current level of around $80. Meanwhile, doubling down on his key long-term thesis, Currie said that a lack of spending in the industry on production needed to meet demand will also be a driver of higher prices, and this lack of capacity may become a big issue by 2024.
Conservative MPs who supported Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union have called for the country to either ignore or ditch the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which they claim is preventing the country from protecting its borders.
Speaking at the eurosceptic think tank European Foundation, Brexit-backing Jonathan Gullis MP told an audience of senior Brexiteers the government must not be afraid to tackle the ECHR issue head-on, insisting government policy should not be subject to the approval of foreign courts.
“Taking back control was also about taking back our borders. It is simply unacceptable that 44,000 people came to this country illegally last year,” Gullis said.
“We should not be afraid to, at the very least, derogate from the European Court of Human Rights as we did with prisoners’ voting rights. If the ECHR doesn’t like it, we will have on the table that we will leave the ECHR come what may. This country must have control of its borders,” he added.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has vowed to make tackling illegal immigration one of his highest priorities and pledged his support for the Rwanda policy introduced by Boris Johnson’s administration, which would see illegal immigrants arriving in Britain deported to the African nation.
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck southern Turkey at 4:18 a.m. Monday near the city of Nurgadi, which was followed by a powerful 6.7 magnitude aftershock. Devastation spread into northern Syria, and the quake was felt as far away as Tel Aviv and Beirut.
Search and rescue teams have been dispatched to the affected areas, with President Erdogan conveying his "best wishes" to citizens via a Monday tweet, adding "We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible."
One of the largest cities near the epicenter is Gaziantep, located near the Syrian border. According to Governor Davut Gul, the earthquake was "felt severely" in the city.
The Biden White House has made it their top priority to present the US economy as a wellspring of jobs creation and recovery. Biden relies primarily on jobs data as proof that his economy is the "best economy ever" and has consistently tried to take credit for falling unemployment data and "12 million jobs created since he took office." This claim of course ignores the 25 million+ jobs lost during the covid lockdowns, which Biden avidly supported even after it became clear that covid was a non-threat to the vast majority of the population.
In other words, Biden has been trying to take credit for the recovery of jobs he originally helped to destroy. Many Democrat run states are still lagging and a return to financial stability has been difficult. Other concerns surround the manner in which labor data is being calculated. Only last year the Philly Fed had to revise and refute White House labor gains and cut over 1 million jobs from their stats in the process. That kind of discrepancy is not normal.
In the meantime, inflation numbers have dropped slightly while interest rates rise, yet prices on most goods remain high. Higher wages have not been able to catch up to far higher costs, and the stagflationary problem does not look like it will be going away anytime soon.
With the ongoing price crisis as a backdrop, stagnant growth in half the states in the country, the apparent end to covid stimulus and credit costs rising, expectations of a recessionary crash are growing. The White House says everything is fine, but what do the American people say?
More than 1,400 people have been killed and thousands more injured in a catastrophic 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria overnight, flattening entire neighbourhoods while many families were still asleep.
Tremors from the deadly quake - which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey's largest ever - were felt as far away as Egypt, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus, while a tsunami warning was briefly issued by authorities in Italy along the country's coast.
Residents were jolted awake and fled from their homes in terror into the cold, rainy and snowy night across southeast Turkey and northern Syria, taking shelter in cars from a wave of at least 40 aftershocks and collapsing buildings.
Concerns grew for people trapped under the rubble as thousands of rescue workers jumped into action, searching through tangles of metal and giant piles of concrete for survivors who could be heard calling out from underneath the wreckage.
Terrifying videos and pictures from across the region showed the huge destruction wrought by the quake. One clip from the border town of Azaz, Syria, showed a rescuer desperately running through a field of debris with an injured child in his arms, while another showed the total collapse of a building in Sanliurfa, Turkey.
On the morning of February 6, an explosion was heard on the outskirts of the Russian city of Kaluga. The head of the region claimed that a drone exploded in the air over the forest area near the city.
The incident took place at about 5 am local time. The drone exploded in the air at an altitude of 50 meters near the city. Representatives of law enforcement agencies are working at the scene.
No one was injured, there is no damage to social and civil facilities, – the head of the region reported.
Republican House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner revealed on Sunday that he was offered a Congressional briefing on Donald Trump's handling of classified documents last week - on the same day Americans first learned of a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over the country.
'You can see they want to change the news,' the Ohio Republican told NBC News' Meet The Press.
'There is nothing scheduled on the balloon, but they're scheduling Donald Trump.'
Webmaster addition: More likely it's the other war around, with Biden getting hysterical about a weather balloon to distract from the classified document scandal.
Mike McCarter has a $70,000 budget for lobbyists in the two states, has seen allies introduce legislation in Oregon last month and has a bill ready to go in Idaho that would accelerate discussions for 15 counties to jump the border.
If it works, he says other red counties will have a model for how to dump their urban, Democratic rulers.
On February 3 the German government announced an aid package to Ukraine including 88 Leopard 1 tanks, which was valued at €100 million and will see the vehicles drawn from reserve stocks. After Berlin announced in the final week of January that it would deliver more modern Leopard 2s to Ukraine, with tanks from the same class being sent from across multiple European NATO member states, the ability of the much older Leopard 1 to meaningfully bolster the Ukrainian war effort remains in question. The tanks, alongside T-54/55s delivered from Slovenia, will be the oldest and by far the least capable in Ukrainian service, and will further increase the maintenance strain as the country approaches a dozen different tank classes either in service or scheduled for delivery - all of which have very different operational needs. These include the T-54/55, T-62, T-64, T-72/PT-91, T-80, T-80UD/84, T-90, Challenger 2, Leopard 1, Leopard 2 and the M1 Abrams. The Leopard 1’s main gun, an old rifled design, not only has a very limited performance compared to modern smoothbore guns, but can only employ 105mm rounds. This ordinance type was totally absent from Ukraine’s pre-war stocks, and is very scarcely available in the West due to the conversion to 120mm tank guns over 40 years ago. Soviet tanks converted to 125mm smoothbore guns from the 1960s.
Ukrainian Army T-64BV Tank on Donbas Frontlines
The Leopard 1 first entered service in 1965, but has never seen combat in peer level tank on tank engagements. Even in its time, however, it was considered far from a top end vehicle particularly compared to the Soviet T-64 - which currently forms the backbone of Ukrainian armoured units. It’s successor there Leopard 2 has proven highly vulnerable in combat, taking heavy losses in Turkish hands again lightly armed Kurdish and Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, leaving the viability of the much older and more vulnerable Leopard 1s in even greater question. Their announced delivery comes as Russia has also pulled 1960s T-62 tanks out of storage for frontline service, albeit in Donbas militia units rather than the Russian Army itself.
The Russian Navy is set to receive a new 400km range surface to air missile, according to defence industry sources cited by the state media outlet TASS on February 4. The missiles will be integrated onto the Project 22350M frigates, an enlarged version of the Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov Class frigates which are currently considered among Russia’s most capable surface combatants. The Gorshkov’s Poliment-Redut missile launchers, which are expected to be integrated on their larger successors in much greater numbers, currently deploy surface to air missiles with maximum ranges of 150km, meaning the new 400km range missiles will allow ships to control areas seven times as large. The missiles are widely speculated to be derived from the 40N6, which was developed to extend the range of S-400 air defence systems to 400km, or the closely related 9M82MD developed for the Army’s S-300V4 system. Both were designed to be able to engage even low flying fighter sized aircraft over the horizon by first climbing to extreme altitudes and then descending guided by an in-built active seeker.
Zicron Missile Launch From Russian Navy Frigate Admiral Gorshkov
The 40N6 is prized not only for its range, but also its extreme speed exceeding Mach 14 which allows it to engage most classes of ballistic missile up to and including upper intermediate range designs. Testing has shown that even missiles travelling at speeds exceeding Mach 8 can be reliably targeted. Integrating a navalised variant of the missile would allow Russian frigates to potentially significantly contribute to strategic air defence, much as U.S., Japanese and South Korean AEGIS destroyers currently do using the SM-3 and SM-6 missiles. Unlike these three AEGIS operators, Russia has generally deployed its ballistic missile defences from ground based mobile launchers rather than ships. Integration onto the Gorshkov Class could thus provide new options for deployments which could complement S-400 and S-500 systems deployed on land.
The Russian government has claimed that NATO’s entire network of satellites, and more broadly the alliance’s entire military infrastructure, is working to support Ukraine’s war effort. "We see how NATO’s entire military infrastructure is working against Russia, and we see how NATO’s entire intelligence infrastructure, including reconnaissance aviation, and satellite groupings are working in the interests of Ukraine in a 24/7 mode," an official statement from the Kremlin alleged on February 1. The Russian-Ukrainian War, now in its eleventh month, has seen space capabilities play an unprecedentedly central role, with the collective satellite capabilities of NATO’s member states providing the Ukrainian Military and supporting armed groups with a considerable advantage due to the greater limitations faced by Russia’s own smaller network. This has included rapid provision of targeting data for missile and artillery strikes, which have taken a heavy toll on Russian forces and could become more dangerous still as the United States moves to supply longer ranged missiles.
MiG-31 with Anti Satellite Missile and MiG-29 Escort
Several NATO members have walked a fine line between arming and supporting Ukraine and becoming active kinetic participants in the war efforts, with growing revelations of Western personnel on the ground supporting Ukrainian forces. On December 13, for example, British Deputy Chief of Defence Staff General Robert Magowan revealed that hundreds of Royal Marines had been carrying out high risk operations alongside Ukrainian government forces from April. The New York Times reported six months prior that a CIA ‘stealth network’ was at the crux of the war, referring to the U.S. as establishing within Ukraine “a stealthy network of commandos and spies rushing to provide weapons, intelligence and training... C.I.A. personnel have continued to operate in the country secretly, mostly in the capital, Kiev, directing much of the massive amounts of intelligence the United States is sharing with Ukrainian forces.” The “signs of their stealthy logistics, training and intelligence support are tangible on the battlefield,” the Times observed. “Commandos from other NATO countries, including Britain, France, Canada and Lithuania, also have been working inside Ukraine... training and advising Ukrainian troops and providing an on-the-ground conduit for weapons and other aid,” it added, stressing the sheer “scale of the secretive effort to assist Ukraine that is underway.”
Since the beginning of the Cold War the number of countries able to independently produce fighter aircraft has declined sharply, with advances in technologies and growing complexity and cost meaning that today only China and the United States can produce their top fighters without any foreign technologies or components. As fighters have become more sophisticated and costly with each generation, the numbers produced have contracted significantly. The most produced first generation fighter for example, the MiG-15 of Korean War fame, saw over 17,000 built the large majority in the Soviet Union. Such numbers were reached despite its technologies being superseded by the newer MiG-17 just three years after it entered service. By contrast the most produced fourth generation fighter, the F-16, has seen under 4,500 airframes built, despite having been in production for well over 45 years. In the Cold War years fighter production was dominated by the Soviet Union followed by the United States, with the USSR vastly outproducing the rest of the world in each generation, until the fourth generation where the production run of its most widely manufactured fighter, the MiG-29, was cut short by the state’s disintegration.
MiG-29M (front) and F-16 Fighters
From the world’s second largest economy and largest defence spender, Russia’s much diminished economic status in the 21st century and smaller defence budget has meant that its fighter production is today dwarfed by the world’s two leaders China and the United States, which are respectively the world’s largest and second largest economies and spenders on defence acquisitions today. This status is reflected in the rankings of Chinese and American fighter programs in terms of the quantities being produced. Although China lacks the large network of overseas clients that the United States has, or that the Soviet Union once had, the needs of its own fighter fleet alone have been sufficient to propel it to leadership in the quantities being manufactured, with this paired with a comfortable qualitative edge over producers other than the United States leaving the two to compete effectively in a league of their own. A ranking and examination of the four fighters currently being produced on the largest scales provides strong indications of this, and is given below.
Girls are hitting puberty younger than ever, thrusting them prematurely into a new world of wild mood swings, physical discomfort, and self-doubt.
The phenomenon is called precocious puberty, which is being detected more and more in the Us. Decades of research point to a trending decline in the age of puberty onset.
In dozens of countries, the age of puberty in girls has dropped by about three months per decade since the 1970s. Now, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see signs of development in girls as young as six.