NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Saudi Arabia is ranked 172nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. News to go further March 9, 2021 Find out more News Nine Saudis, including seven journalists, writers and bloggers, were arrested by the Saudi authorities from 16 to 21 November, according to sources on the ground. Several of these journalists had written about sensitive issues such as human dignity in Saudi Arabia, religious conservatism and progress towards reforms. Others had criticized the public debate and had indicated support for prisoners of conscience. RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Saudi media silent on RSF complaint against MBS They also include two women journalists: Zana Al-Shahri, who works for the online magazine Al-Asr, and Maha Al-Rafidi, who works for the daily Al-Watan. News This latest wave of arrests brings the total number of imprisoned journalists and bloggers to at least 39. The most recent previous wave of arrests was in April when six journalists and writers were detained: Nayef Al-Handas, Yazid Al-Faifi, Abdullah Al-Duhailan, Thumar Al-Marzouqi, Mohammed Al-Sadiq and Bader Al-Ibrahim. None of them has so far been formally charged. RSF_en Middle East – North Africa Saudi Arabia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedoms Freedom of expression April 28, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Organisation Middle East – North Africa Saudi Arabia Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedoms Freedom of expression News “On the one hand, the regime tries to project an image of openness and modernization, but on the other, it persists in gagging the press and online media,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. June 8, 2021 Find out more “This new wave of arrests sends a very bad signal as regards press freedom, and shows that the Saudi authorities are going from bad to worse. Instead of reforming and opening up to diverse and pluralistic journalism, Saudi Arabia is plunging further down the dead-end street of repression and isolation.” Follow the news on Saudi Arabia Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a new wave of arrests of journalists, writers and bloggers in Saudi Arabia, which shows the regime is moving in the opposition direction from its stated desire to allow more openness. The detainees include Bader Al-Rashed, a blogger and journalist with the daily Al-Riyadh; Waad Al-Muhaya, the presenter of a podcast on the Thmanyah online media outlet; Abdulaziz Al-Hies, a journalist writing for many media outlets including Alaraby; and two bloggers on the online apprenticeship platform Rwaq, Musab Fuad and Fuad Al-Farhan. November 26, 2019 – Updated on December 9, 2019 Seven more journalists, writers and bloggers arrested in Saudi Arabia
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With many soybean fields across Ohio already dealing with wet soils from earlier rains, the flooding impact from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill could leave some growers with diseased crops or facing yield loss.In fact, if soybean crops at the V2-V3 growth stage are flooded for three days, growers could face a 20% yield loss, said Laura Lindsey, a field crops expert in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.Growers with soybean fields flooded for six days could stand to lose up to 93% of their crops’ yield potential, said Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with Ohio State University Extension.“Things are a little bit scary for growers right now,” she said. “The continued rain falling on already saturated soils across the northern and west-central part of the state is going to be tough on soybeans.“Based on OSU studies of flooding’s impact, soybeans at the V2 and V3 growth stage flooded for six days or more could wipe out an entire crop.”Statewide, for the week that ended June 14, soybeans are 95% planted and 87% emerged, according to the May 26 U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress report. That compares to soybeans at 92% planted at the same time last year, with 78% emerged during that same period, the USDA said.“Widespread heavy rains last week brought most fieldwork to a halt in Ohio,” the federal agency said in a statement. “Heavy rains through the state have brought many concerns for producers.“Ponding has occurred in low-lying areas, drowning out crops and favoring disease. The muddy, wet fields have prevented producers from being able to spray and fertilize at ideal times causing concerns over disease, pest and weed pressure.”Temperatures 80 degrees and higher will cause submerged soybeans for 24 to 48 hours to likely die, Lindsey said. But cool, cloudy days and clear nights increase the survival potential of a flooded soybean crop, she said.“And if the waters recede quickly and the plants receive some light rain, they can recover, but will probably still experience some yield loss,” Lindsey said.Other issues soybean growers can face as a result of flooding include:• Poor nodulation: Soybean roots have nodules on them that capture nitrogen that aid in the plant’s growth. Wet soils reduce nodulation and can result in yellow, stunted soybeans.• Disease: Flooded and saturated soil creates optimum conditions for water molds that are common across the state. Soybeans will have brown roots, sometimes with dark brown lesions on the roots, and the tissue can be brown to tan.Lindsey said that growers will have to wait for the water to recede and the fields to dry to get an idea of how the soybeans have fared.“A wait-and-see approach is the option for growers now,” she said. “The potential for damage is also dependent on the soil type and drainage the field has, with well-drained soils lessening the potential impact of the weather.”Some growers may be faced with deciding if they need to replant, although it is getting late in the season for replanting, Lindsey said.“With high costs associated with replanting, most growers should carefully weigh all options before deciding to replant,” she said. “Growers have to weigh if the percentage of yield loss from the flooding will be greater than the potential yield loss associated with late planting.“Soybeans planted during the first week of July in west-central Ohio have resulted in a 30 to 40% yield reduction compared to soybeans planted early to mid-May.”
Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games FILE – Gilas’ Kiefer Ravena drives against Singapore during their game in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games at MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOKUALA LUMPUR—When all else fails, at least win the basketball gold.While Team Philippines took defeats from several corners, Gilas Pilipinas made sure to pocket the gold that the country craves for the most, drubbing Indonesia, 94-55, for the Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball title Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Fil-German Christian Standhardinger chipped 11 as he provided muscle underneath when Indonesia was trying to drag the Filipinos to a slow-burn, half court game. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LATEST STORIES MOST READ Before an overflow crowd at MABA Stadium, the Philippines, sending its Team B here, claimed its 12th straight SEA Games gold medal in a show of undeniable might.The Philippines has won 18 titles in all having lost the crown just once—in the 1989 edition that was incidentally held in this city.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It’s a wonderful feeling for me. It’s icing on the cake,” said team captain Kiefer Ravena, who has now won fourth straight SEA Games titles.The flashy point guard served as the pillar for Gilas, which wasn’t very consistent all tournament long and only played as one cohesive unit in the final. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Streaking Ginebra deals Alaska another loss LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. He made seven points aside from providing leadership in the team that was assembled off the pool members who weren’t chosen for the Fiba Asian Cup held the previous week.“Given the chance, I will play for the Philippines once again,” said Ravena referring to the 2019 Games that will be held in Manila.Mike Tolomia topscored with 20 points including five three-pointers as Gilas found its mark early in the match to pull away beyond the reach of the Indonesians.“We shot very well tonight, that’s the key,” said coach Jong Uichico who handled the team even as Chot Reyes, head coach of Gilas’ Team A, arrived in the city Friday.Kobe Paras added 14 points—flashing his highlight-reel moves to the delight the gallery.ADVERTISEMENT PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next View comments
Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Showing that he’s no longer feeling the effects of his wrist injury earlier in the season, the 20-year-old scored the putback off Rey Nambatac’s miss and gave the Knights a slim 69-68 lead with 3.3 seconds to play.Levi dela Cruz botched the Chiefs’ inbounds play on the other end as he threw the ball to the side of the board, allowing JP Calvo to split his freebies with 0.2 ticks remaining.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Like what I said, we really needed to play our A-game against Arellano even if they don’t have (Kent) Salado. They really played like a team until the end and that’s why it was a war of attrition until the end,” said coach Jeff Napa, who remained wary of Arellano, which played without Salado, who is nursing an slight MCL tear on his right knee.Nambatac scattered 25 points on a 4-of-7 clip from three on top of nine rebounds and three assists to keep his collegiate career alive. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal PLAY LIST 02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netJeo Ambohot saved the day for Letran as the Knights escaped the clutches of Arellano, 70-68, to advance to the second phase of the fourth-place playoff in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Letran arranged a knockout duel against San Sebastian for the fourth spot on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena, while also halting Arellano’s four-game winning streak to end the second round.ADVERTISEMENT Quarters: 24-16, 38-36, 54-49, 70-68. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC JP Calvo added 11 markers, five boards, and two dimes, while Bong Quinto unloaded nine points despite shooting 4-of-14 from the field.“We need to be disciplined,” said Napa of the impending duel between the Knights and the Golden Stags. “We need to correct a lot in practice because we still had lapses, but we will do our job and the boys will give it their all, their hearts in that game.”Levi dela Cruz paced the Chiefs with 18 points and three assists, while Rence Alcoriza played the game of his life as he poured 13 of his 16 markers, alongside five boards in the losing effort.The Scores:LETRAN 70 – Nambatac 25, Calvo 11, Quinto 9, Balanza 8, Vacaro 6, Balagasay 5, Ambohot 4, Gedaria 2, Taladua 0.ARELLANO 68 – Dela Cruz 18, Alcoriza 16, Canete 12, Flores 7, Enriquez 5, Taywan 4, Nicholls 3, Abanes 3, Concepcion 0, Villoria 0, Ongolo Ongolo 0, Meca 0.ADVERTISEMENT #KicksStalker: Pop-up store for Filipino sneakerheads Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Read Next Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort View comments
Putin’s Plan Is Working Rosneft has grown dramatically in the last ten years – not by chance, but because Rosneft is Vladimir Putin’s vehicle to reassert state ownership over a fair chunk of Russia’s oil fields. The most famous example happened in 2003, when Putin charged privately held producer Yukos Oil with a $27-billion tax bill that bankrupted the company. The Russian president then handed Yukos’ oil fields over to Rosneft, immediately boosting Rosneft’s daily production from 400,000 barrels to 1.7 million barrels. It was blatant nationalization. Yukos’ chairman and founder, Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was convicted of fraud and sent to prison. Overnight, Rosneft ballooned from a small producer to Russia’s biggest oil company. With a snap of his fingers, Putin had created a national oil giant, a vehicle through which he could pursue his plan to reassert Russian influence in the world by controlling other countries’ energy needs. The pending TNK-BP deal is simply the next step in this plan. If Rosneft does buy TNK-BP, the state oil giant will pump almost half of the barrels of oil produced in Russia. That is a massive amount of oil. Remember, only Saudi Arabia produces more oil than Russia; and no country in the world exports more oil than Russia. The country is an energy superpower – and by gradually nationalizing Russia’s energy resources, Putin is tightening his grip on Europe’s energy needs. However, Putin knows he can’t quite do it alone – his country doesn’t have enough oil and gas expertise. Without the right expertise, production will tank, and Putin’s whole plan will be derailed. History proves that point. When Saudi Arabia nationalized its oil industry in 1980, the country was producing more than 10 million barrels of oil per day. Within five years, production had fallen by more than 60%. For Putin, that’s not an option. That’s why he is encouraging BP to stick around – Rosneft needs BP’s technical expertise in order to tap into Russia’s huge reserves of unconventional tight oil and shale gas. Having BP as a significant shareholder also lets Putin continue the pretense that Rosneft is not simply an arm of the government. But an arm of Putin’s government it is, and as Rosneft gradually takes control of more and more of Russia’s oil wealth, Putin’s leverage on the international stage will increase. Saudi Arabia may have struggled in its early years as an oil-producing giant, but today the country hosts incredible clout on the world stage because of its ability to open or close oil spigots and thereby influence global oil prices. Europe is reliant on Russia for oil and gas. To be in control of other nations’ necessary energy resources is to be in a very powerful position – one that Putin has been working toward for more than a decade. He has built pipelines that bypass troublesome countries and feed into needy markets. He is cornering the uranium market by owning a large amount of primary production and controlling 40% of global uranium-enrichment capacity, while leaving the United States in need of a new nuclear-fuel supplier. He has increased Russia’s oil and gas production and encouraged unconventional exploration. Gazprom, the Russian state gas company, already has Europe wrapped around its little finger. Russia supplies 34% of Europe’s gas needs, and when the under-construction South Stream pipeline starts operating, that percentage will increase. As if those developments weren’t enough, yesterday Gazprom offered the highest bid to obtain a stake in the massive Leviathan gas field off Israel’s coast. Gazprom in control of Europe’s gas, Rosneft in control of its oil. A red hand stretching out from Russia to strangle the supremacy of the West and pave the way for a new world order– one with Russia at the helm. It is not as far-fetched as it might seem – or as you might want it to be. If Rosneft does buy both halves of TNK-BP, it will become a true goliath within the global oil sector. All the little Davids who rely on its oil will be at Putin’s mercy. Same goes for Gazprom as a Goliath in the continent’s gas scene. In this scenario, Russia could choke off supply to raise prices. Putin could play oil- and gas-needy nations off one another, forcing European nations to commit to long-term, high-priced contracts if they want secure supplies. Or imagine this: Russia could join OPEC. Suddenly the oil cartel would control more than half of global oil production and most of its spare capacity. With that kind of clout, the nations of OPEC could essentially name their price for oil – and the rest of the world would simply have to pay. Additional Links and Reads Rosneft to Replace Gazprom as Energy Driver on TNK Deal (Bloomberg) Rosneft’s deal to buy TNK-BP will accelerate the company’s eclipse of Gazprom as the dominant force in Russia’s energy industry. Over the past decade Russian President Vladimir Putin used Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural gas producer, to assert Russia’s power. Today, the lead role in Russia’s energy machine is shifting to Rosneft. Investors, Analysts Weigh Fallout from Canada’s Rejection of Petronas-Progress Deal (Platts) Late on Friday night the Canadian government issued its decision on the proposed takeover of Canadian natural gas firm Progress by Malaysian energy giant Petronas: the government said no. Investors and analysts were left scratching their heads – the deal seemed to fit the government’s requirement of being in Canada’s net interest. But with CNOOC’s proposed deal to buy Nexen also awaiting government approval, all the prime minister’s office would say is that its new framework clarifying the Investment Canada Act is pending. For now, that just means that no one is really sure whether Canada is open for business. Obama Faces Tough Call on Iran Oil Sanctions (Reuters) Mere weeks after the election, President Obama will be faced with a pivotal decision regarding the US’s sanctions against Iranian oil: whether China, India, South Korea, and other nations have done enough to wean themselves from Iranian oil. The decision requires a careful balance between the need to stay tough on Iran and the worry that too much pressure will punish the world with high oil prices. US Natural-Gas Boom Claims First Nuclear Plant (Reuters) Dominion Resources is shutting its Kewaunee nuclear plant in Wisconsin next year. It’s the first US nuclear plant to fall victim to growing competition from natural gas, but it likely won’t be the last. After claiming hundreds of coal-fired plants, the surge in US shale-gas output is now starting to grind down the nuclear industry, and smaller, older plants like Kewaunee are the first to feel the pressure. What’s In It For BP Russia has been a pretty profitable place for BP, and while BP is tired of dealing with the drama within TNK-BP, the British firm definitely wants to stay in Russia to participate in developing the country’s vast northern oil and gas potential. A cash and shares deal gives BP a nice ownership stake in Rosneft, which is the best way to profit from Russia’s immense untapped oil potential – because Putin will ensure Rosneft gets first dibs at prime opportunities. Depending on the size of BP’s slice, the company would likely also get a seat or two on Rosneft’s board. That is as important as anything else, because it would put BP personnel in regular, direct contact with Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, who has a significant say in Russian energy policy. In general, a role in Rosneft would also allow BP to pursue closer ties with a Kremlin that exerts a much tighter hold on the oil industry than it did in the 1990s, when BP first invested in Russia. And anyone who wants to operate in Mother Russia has to have an inside track to the Kremlin – or you are likely to find yourself unexpectedly kicked to the curb. Dear Reader, The presidential election is just weeks away, major deals are being made and denied in the markets, and gold prices are jumping around – there will be lots to discuss at the upcoming New Orleans Investment Conference. If you’re attending the conference, be sure to attend the Casey discussion with Doug Casey, Louis James, and Marin Katusa. The event will take place on the main stage (Grand Ballroom A&B) in the conference hall at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday. And now on to the topic of the day – the rise of a new global oil shah. Marin Katusa Chief Energy Investment Strategist Casey Research Vladimir Putin: The New Global Shah of Oil By Marin Katusa Exxon Mobil is no longer the world’s number-one oil producer. As of yesterday, that title belongs to Putin Oil Corp – oh, whoops. I mean the title belongs to Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company. Rosneft is buying TNK-BP, which is a vertically integrated oil company co-owned by British oil firm BP and a group of Russian billionaires known as AAR. One of the top-ten privately owned oil producers in the world, in 2010 TNK-BP churned out 1.74 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from its assets in Russia and Ukraine and processed almost half that amount through its refineries. With TNK-BP in its hands, Rosneft will be in charge of more than 4 million barrels of oil production a day. And who is in charge of Rosneft? None other than Vladimir Putin, Russia’s resource-full president. TNK-BP has been an economic dream, producing many billions in dividend payments for its owners – but it has been a relations nightmare. The partners have fought repeatedly. In 2008 Russian authorities arrested two British TNK-BP managers amid a dispute over strategy that forced then-CEO Bob Dudley (who now heads BP) to flee Russia – and that is just one of many partnership scandals. The writing has been on the wall for TNK-BP since this time last year, when one of the AAR billionaires quit his role as CEO of the venture and declared that the relationship with BP had run its course. Since then speculation has raged over who might buy into the highly profitable venture. Now we know: Rosneft is buying the whole thing, in a two-part deal. In the first part, Rosneft is acquiring BP’s 50% stake of the joint venture in exchange for cash and Rosneft stock worth $27 billion. The deal will give BP a 19.75% stake in Rosneft. In stage two, AAR would get $28 billion in cash for its half, though this deal is not yet finalized. Finalized it will be, however, because the billionaires of AAR are now eager to sell, rather than remain in a joint venture with the powerful Russian oil company. Rosneft gained much of its current heft at the expense of another Russian oligarch whom Putin threw under the bus, and the billionaires of AAR know they could easily meet the same fate if they try to partner with Rosneft as equals. If it all comes to pass, Rosneft’s daily production will jump to some 4.5 million barrels per day – enough to put the Russian firm neck and neck with Exxon in the race to be the world’s top oil producer. And the deal that seals it will be worth something like $56 billion – for comparison, Nike is worth $34 billion and Kraft only $27 billion. If the TNK-BP deal goes through, it will be the largest in the industry since Exxon bought Mobil in 1999. Numbers like that deserve a little contemplation. Russia is spending a heck of a lot to buy its own oil production – smells like nationalization to me. And with Vlad Putin – the most resource-driven leader in the world today – behind the controls, I dare say we’re witnessing the “Saudi Aramco-ing” of Russian oil. Putting Putin in a position of even greater resource power can only lead one place: to high oil prices and a new Cold War in energy.
These rallies are being met by stiff resistance from da boyz After chopping sideways in a tight range for almost all of the Far East trading session on their Monday, the gold price caught a bid about 3:30 p.m. Hong Kong time—and thirty minutes before the London open. Most of the impressive gains were in by 9 a.m. GMT—ninety minutes later—and from there it chopped quietly higher once again, but in a far wider range. I’m speculating here, but from the Kitco chart below, it appears that the powers-that-be were attempting to keep the gold price below the $1,300 spot price mark, but maybe I’m imagining things—black bears in dark rooms that aren’t there, sort of thing. The low and high ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,272.10 and $1,297.20 in the February contract. Gold closed in New York yesterday at $1,294.20 spot, up $13.90 from Friday’s close. Net volume was monstrous once again at 221,000 contracts. After following a similar price path as gold, yesterday’s price action in silver was pretty clear cut, as the not-for profit-sellers were out in force shortly after 9 a.m. GMT in London yesterday morning—and by the noon silver fix had the price back to unchanged on the day, after it had broken through the $18 spot price mark for a microsecond. And it’s equally as obvious that every rally to equal that price after that, met a similar fate. The low and high ticks in the March contract were recorded as $17.63 and $18.045. Silver finished the trading day on Monday at $17.975 spot, up 19.5 cents from Friday’s close but, like gold, would have finished materially higher if allowed to trade freely, which it obviously wasn’t. Silver’s net volume was very heavy at 58,500 contracts. Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas. As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6. Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, [email protected] Palladium also showed signs of life before the Zurich open—and that white metal hit its high of the day shortly after the Zurich close as well. Palladium finished the Monday trading session at $774 spot, up an even 20 dollars. The silver equities hit their highs of the day about twenty-five minutes after the markets opened on Monday in New York—and from there they chopped sideways in a fairly tight range for the remainder of the day, although they also rallied a bit starting around 2:45 p.m. EST. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up an impressive 4.62%. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away. All four precious metals are up from their Tuesday closes in New York—with gold above $1,300—and silver above $18 the ounce, at least for the moment. Gold’s net volume is around 30,000 contracts—and silver’s net volume is just over 8,000 contracts—so it’s obvious that the rallies in these two metals are being met by ferocious resistance from the “Big 8” short holders. The best looking horse in the currency glue factory is down 22 basis points at the moment. Yesterday was the cut-off for Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report—and you don’t need me to tell you that it will be ugly across the board when it does put in an appearance, as the powers-that-be are throwing everything they have at the rallies in both gold and silver—and this has been going on every day since last Tuesday’s cut-off. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 4:55 a.m. EST, I see that gold is hanging onto the $1,300 spot price mark by its proverbial fingernails, silver is still above the $18 spot price mark—and platinum and palladium are up a dollar or so each. Net gold volume is around 39,000 contracts—and silver’s net volume is a bit over 10,000 contracts. These are higher numbers than just before the London open, of course, but not by a material amount for two hours worth of trading. The U.S. dollar index is chopping around a bit—and down 23 basis points. Before heading out the door, I’d like to point out that Casey Research’s “Going Global—the 2015 Edition” is now available. As Doug Casey said in the past—“Remember, your government—considers you a milk cow. And history has shown, if they need to, they’ll use you as a beef cow, as well—“. Washington is desperately looking for ways to bail out troubled union pension funds… and one of those ways is to take over 401(k) plans and IRAs. Sounds preposterous, but it’s true. In fact, in October 2010, Congress held a hearing on a proposal to do exactly that. The talks went nowhere, but now they’re resurfacing again, raising the specter of every American losing control of their retirement funds. This $99 special report Going Global special report will show you how to protect yourself now. Going Global 2015 is an updated version of the original Going Global 2014 special report. It has many updates and is definitely still valuable to people who purchased the original report. Because, however, we realize there are some similar subjects, we’ve structured the pricing as follows: $99 for people who never purchased Going Global 2014 $29 for people who purchased Going Global 2014 in the past And you can find out all you need to know by clicking here. I’m off to bed—and I’ll be more than interested what the precious metal charts look like when I roll out of bed later this morning. See you here tomorrow.