12 Dead as Pakistani ‘Refugee’ Ploughs Truck Through Berlin Christmas Market
“A large truck has stormed through a Christmas market in the German capital of Berlin killing 12 people and injuring many others. German press reports a 23-year old recent migrant has been arrested, and United States President-elect Donald Trump has called the attack part of a “global jihad”.
UPDATE 11:30 GMT — Following intelligence that European Christmas markets were being targeted by would-be Islamist killers, British police forces deployed concrete barriers to prevent the ingress of speeding vehicles and patrolled armed officers. Anti-gun activists on Twitter criticised the move, prompting at least one force to defend the move.”
12 Dead, 48 Injured After Pakistan-Born Refugee Rammed Truck Into Berlin Christmas Market
“What is notable about this attack, and what may led to even more populist anger, is that as we reported last night, on November 21, the state department warned Americans travelling to Europe to be aware of possible terrorist attacks on Christmas markets.
We are confident Merkel will be asked why she didn’t give out a similar warning to her own citizens.
The Police have said that the first indications from the ongoing investigation suggest the truck crash was an attack on the Christmas market.”
Oil Glut Set to Worsen as Nigeria and Libya Fields Restart
“Amid the most enduring global oil glut in decades, two OPEC crude producers whose supplies have been crushed by domestic conflicts are preparing to add hundreds of thousands of barrels to world markets within weeks.
Libya’s state oil company on Wednesday lifted curbs on crude sales from the ports of Ras Lanuf, Es Sider and Zueitina, potentially unlocking 300,000 barrels a day of supply. In Nigeria, Exxon Mobil Corp. was said to be ready to resume shipments of Qua Iboe crude, the country’s biggest export grade, which averaged about 340,000 barrels a day in shipments last year, according to Bloomberg estimates. On top of that, a second Nigerian grade operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc is scheduled to restart about 200,000 barrels a day of flow within days.
While there are reasons to be cautious about whether the barrels will actually flow as anticipated, a resumption of those supplies — more than 800,000 barrels a day in all — could more than triple the global surplus that has kept prices at less than half their levels in 2014. It would also come just as members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia are set to meet in Algiers later this month to discuss a possible output freeze to steady world oil markets.
“If you have some restart of Nigeria and some restart of Libya, then the rebalancing gets pushed even further out,” Olivier Jakob, managing director at Petromatrix GmbH in Zug, Switzerland, said by phone. “It complicates matters a lot before the meeting in Algeria.”
“Now is the time to tackle head-on our infrastructure costs,” he said.
Jonathan Pruzan, chief financial officer at the bank, provided an update on the situation at the Barclays Financial Services Conference on Monday.
“We said we were going to deploy 1250 people into our lower cost centers of excellence in Mumbai and other parts of the world,” he said. “We have had about 450 jobs that we’ve put in those centers so far.”
“To date, the vast, vast majority has been through attrition, so when someone leaves in a core location, we replace that in one of these centers of excellence,” he added.
Dell-EMC to Lay Off 2,000 – 3,000 US Workers after Requesting 5,000 H-1B Visas & Green Cards to Import Foreign Workers
Trying to find efficiencies and synergies to save $1.7 billion.
The ink was barely dry on Dell’s acquisition of EMC, the largest technology deal ever, valued at $67 billion when it was announced in October last year – and already the layoff rumors are oozing from the woodwork.
“People familiar with the company’s plans” told Bloomberg that Dell will cut 2,000 to 3,000 jobs.
Dell spokesman Dave Farmer refused to comment specifically on the report on Thursday but said instead, as sort of a confirmation: “As is common with deals of this size, there will be some overlaps we will need to manage and where some employee reduction will occur.”
On Wednesday, the day the deal closed, CEO Michael Dell gave some clues in an interview: “There are some overlapping functions and that sort of thing – that’s not the primary feature of this, but there is some of that.”
These “overlaps” or “overlapping functions” are terms in corporate speak for real people, and these real people are mostly working in the US, according to the report: supply chain, marketing, and general and administrative positions.
Dell is trying to find some efficiencies and synergies to save about $1.7 billion in the first 18 months after the deal closes, so starting from Wednesday. They’re not dilly-dallying around cutting costs and laying off people.”
“The start couldn’t be more balanced: in 1985, the U.S. exported $3.9 billion to China, and imported goods and services for the exact same amount. But by 2015, there was a staggering imbalance, to China’s advantage, of $365.7 billion – an all-time record, not just for U.S.-China trade, but for any bilateral trade,ever.
It’s not that U.S. exports to China haven’t increased. They have, and by a lot. America exported an impressive $116.2 billion into China last year, 30 times more than in 1985. That makes China the U.S.’s third-biggest export market, nearly twice as important as Japan ($62.5 billion), in fourth place. But that’s still a lot less than U.S. exports to Canada ($280.3 billion) or Mexico ($236.4 billion). Meanwhile, Chinese exports to the U.S. have exploded. In 2015, China exported $481.9 billion to the U.S. – an amazing 123 times more than in 1985.
But it’s transforming these raw data into moving images that really brings home the runaway nature of America’s trade deficit with China.”
Saudi Economic Woes Leave Indian, Pakistani Workers Stranded
“Nearly 16,000 Indian and Pakistani workers have been abandoned in camps in Saudi Arabia without food and water or visas to exit the kingdom after a slowing economy forced companies to cut jobs.
A total of 7,700 Indians and 8,000 Pakistanis have been stranded, according to tallies provided Tuesday by the foreign ministries in New Delhi and Islamabad. Many were employed by construction companies battered by the downturn in oil prices that began two years ago.
As prices plummeted from more than $100 a barrel in 2014 to below $30, the Saudi government cut spending and delayed payments to contractors, who have relied on public contracts for business growth. With Brent still a relatively low $42 a barrel, growth in the Arab world’s largest economy is forecast to slow to 1.5 percent this year, the lowest level since 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Building projects have fallen off dramatically along with the drop in oil revenue. Construction contracts shrank by about 50 percent in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier, according to data published by Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank. The government didn’t award any contracts during the first quarter in 2016 or the fourth quarter of last year, the bank said.”
Saudi Arabia Admits To A Full-Blown Liquidity Crisis: Will Pay Government Contractors With IOUs, Debt
“Previously we documented that as a result of the still low oil prices, largely a result of Saudi Arabian strategy to put high cost producers out of business and to remove excess supply, none other than Saudi Arabia has been substantially impacted, with the result being dramatic state budget, a sharp economic slowdown and mass worker layoffs.
Just three weeks ago we reported that the biggest construction conglomerate in the middle east, the Saudi Binladin Group had announced it would layoff 50,000 workers ot a quarter of its workforce, slammed by the weak economy.
Now, Saudi Arabia has admitted that in addition to acute economic problems, which will manifest themselves most directly in a soaring Saudi debt load…
… Saudi Arabia can also add liquidity worries which just spilled out into the open, because Bloomberg reported moments ago, Saudi Arabia has told banks it is considering paying some outstanding bills to contractors with government-issued bonds, citing people with knowledge of matter say.
Contractors would be able to hold bond-like instruments until maturity.”
US Base In Turkey On Lockdown, As Rumors Of Another Coup Swirl
– Daily Caller
Entrances and exits to the U.S. airbase at Incirlik were closed by Turkish police Saturday, Hurriyet, one of Turkey’s major newspapers, has reported.
The report came after pictures circulated on twitter showing Turkish police sealing off the airbase. Incirlik is a critical U.S. airbase for air operations against the Islamic State, and houses several U.S. nuclear weapons.”
TURKEY has sent police to surround the Incirlik air base it operates with the United States — and where a large stockpile of NATO nuclear weapons is held — ahead of a visit by a senior US official tomorrow.
Unconfirmed reports out of Turkey suggest all entrances to the air base have been blocked by heavy vehicles and police sent to secure its peremiter.
Some 7,000 armed police with heavy vehicles have surrounded and blocked the Incirlik air base in Adana used by NATO forces, already restricted in the aftermath of a failed coup. Unconfirmed reports say troops were sent to deal with a new coup attempt.
UPDATE: A crowd chanting “Biz Milla”, If Allah wills it, and Allah hu Ackbar at gates of US/NATO airbase
Turkey Suspends All US Operations Against ISIS At Incirlik Airbase, Which Vaults B61 Nuclear Bombs
“Following the failed Turkish coup, U.S. military operations out of Turkey’s giant Incirlik Air Base – critical in the ongoing campaign against ISIS – came to a halt Saturday afternoon as the Turkish military closed the airspace around the base and suspended all US-led operations, mostly targeting the Islamic State.
Some have speculated that the airbase may be held “hostage” by Ankara as a bargaining chip ahead of demands for the extradition of Erdogan’s arch enemy, Fethullah Gulen, currently a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.
Turkey Cuts Power to Incirlik Air Base, Suspends Military Flights
Power to the huge U.S. airbase at Incirlik in southeastern Turkey was cut off Saturday and flight operations against ISIS were shut down in the aftermath of the failed military coup.
The U.S. military was still seeking a full accounting of all personnel and dependents in Turkey, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.
“All indications at this time are that everyone is safe and secure,” he said. “We will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of our service members, our civilians, their families and our facilities.”
Cook said the Turkish government “has closed its airspace to military aircraft and, as a result, air operations at Incirlik Air Base have been halted at this time.”
There was no indication when flights against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, would resume.
Cook said U.S. Central Command was making adjustments with aircraft operating out of other regional bases “to minimize any effects on the campaign.”
In addition, commercial power to the base where about 2,000 mostly Air Force personnel are stationed was cut off but the base was able to function on internal power, he said.
The statement contrasted with the initial reports from defense officials Friday night as the coup was underway. At the time they said Incirlik was not affected and flight operations were continuing.
U.S. European Command, which has responsibility for Turkey, evacuated about 600 of the estimated 700 military families who resided at Incirlik following the terror attacks on the Brussels airport and Metro in March. However, a defense official told Military.com Friday night that about 100 dependents were still in Turkey.
NATO ally Turkey was rocked Friday by clashes between the coup militants and forces loyal to the government of President Recep Tayyin Erdogan that left at least 265 dead and 1,440 wounded, according to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. At a news conference Saturday in Ankara, the capital, Yildirim called the failed coup “a stain on the history of democracy.”