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Saudi Labor Ministry: Number of women working in retail reaches 200,000

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Thu, 2017-09-07 03:00

JEDDAH: A report released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in revealed that the number of Saudi female workers in the retail sector reached about 200,000, despite the difficulties facing the Saudization of the female workforce in this sector since 2011.
Faten Al-Sari, acting head of the women’s employment policy and programs at the Labor Ministry, said that the ministry is trying to solve the problem of transportation facing working women.
Al-Sari noted that 400 vouchers have been distributed to test the possibility of using smart technology offered by Uber and Careem car transportation companies. She also said the ministry hoped to increase the number of women benefiting from this new technology to 150,000 by 2020.
Dr. Al-Sari stressed the importance of the decisions regarding the Saudization of women’s jobs in the labor market since 2011, and said that the third phase of this program would start within weeks.

Main category: 
First Saudi women’s sports camp in Madinah launched
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Saudi women’s cycling team take over the Red Sea corniche

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Frustrated Hillary Blames Barack Obama, James Comey And Vladimir Putin For Her Election Loss

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Hillary Clinton’s book of excuses for her 2016 electoral defeat hits the shelves next week, but already several media organizations, including NBC, CNN and now Axios, too, has received an advance copy of the book that will allow the Clintons to transform Hillary’s miscalculations into a hefty pay day.

In a summary of the highlights (the book is more than 500 pages long) Axios publishes excerpts from what it believes to be the book’s most important passages. Yesterday, we noted how Clinton – as was widely expected – appeared to blame her loss on Bernie Sanders, comparing his campaign to a famous scene from the 90s comedy “There’s Something About Mary.”

That report included the following gem about how Clinton wishes she “fought back” harder against her upstart rival (apparently, colluding to rig the Democratic primary in her favor didn’t go far enough).

“Throughout the primaries, every time I wanted to hit back against Bernie’s attacks, I was told to restrain myself. Noting that his plans didn’t add up, that they would inevitably mean raising taxes on middle-class families, or that they were little more than a pipe dream – all of this could be used to reinforce his argument that I wasn’t a true progressive. My team kept reminding me that we didn’t want to alienate Bernie’s supporters.  President Obama urged me to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could. I felt like I was in a straightjacket.”

She takes a similar tack in the Axios excerpts. In one passage where Clinton addresses her unpopularity, she says being a “lightning rod” stems partly from the fact that she’s a woman…and not the laundry list of scandals that have plagued the Clintons over the years. 

“On her likability, or lack thereof: “What makes me such a lightning rod for fury? I’m really asking. I’m at a loss… I think it’s partly because I’m a woman.”

Despite her promise to use the book as sort of a public apology for failing to defeat Trump, she blamed Russian interference, and specifically Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming he held a “personal vendetta” against her and that the election interference was tantamount to a “massive covert attack,” contrary to what prosecutorial leaks have suggested.   

“On Russia’s interference in the election: “There’s nothing I was looking forward to more than showing Putin that his efforts to influence our election and install a friendly puppet had failed. I know he must be enjoying everything that’s happened instead. But he hasn’t had the last laugh yet.”


On Vladimir Putin: Clinton claims he carried a “personal vendetta” toward her, and held a ‘deep resentment’ against the U.S. ‘I never imagined that he would have the audacity to launch a massive covert attack against our own democracy, right under our noses – and that he’d get away with it.’”

She also criticized her former opponent for running a “reality TV show” campaign and for stoking the “anger and resentment” of millions of Americans.

Her campaign strategy vs. Trump’s: “I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t realize how quickly the ground was shifting under all our feet. I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions, while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans’ anger and resentment.”

However, Clinton comes shockingly close to a mea culpa, at one point, admitting that she must bear ultimate responsibility because she was the candidate…not because she herself made numerous mistakes and errors of judgment.

“On losing the election: ‘I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them. You can blame the data, blame the message, blame anything you want — but I was the candidate. It was my campaign. Those were my decisions.’”

And about her marriage to Bill…

“On her marriage to Bill Clinton: ‘There were times that I was deeply unsure about whether our marriage could or should survive. But on those days, I asked myself the questions that mattered to me: Do I still love him? And can I still be in this marriage without becoming unrecognizable to myself – twisted by anger, resentment, or remoteness? The answers were always yes.’”

She even blames former FBI Director James Comey for her loss even though a recent leak revealed that Comey had started drafting a statement announcing Clinton’s exoneration in the investigation before he had interviewed several key figures, including Clinton herself.

“The undoing of her image: It went from a picture of steady leader to one tainted by scandal, and ‘[James] Comey’s letter turned that picture upside down.’”

And, of course, she blames Obama for not doing enough to fight back against the Russians using covert operations. Specifically, she blames Obama for withholding certain information about Russian interference from the public, which he claimed to have done because he worried it’d validate Donald Trump’s claims that the election was “rigged.”

“On Obama’s failure to address Russia’s cyber attack: ‘I do wonder sometimes about what would have happened if President Obama had made a televised address to the nation in the fall of 2016 warning that our democracy was under attack. Maybe more Americans would have woken up to the threat in time. We’ll never know.’”

She goes on to describe the last 24 hours of her campaign, and the surreal feeling of losing to Trump.

“The last 24 hours of her campaign: Clinton describes how Obama hugged her and whispered, ‘You’ve got this. I’m so proud of you.’”

She said her congratulatory call to Trump was bizarre and “mercifully brief.”

“Her call congratulating Trump: “[It was] without a doubt one of the strangest moments of my life… I congratulated Trump and offered to do anything I could to make sure the transition was smooth. It was all perfectly nice and weirdly ordinary, like calling a neighbor to say you can’t make it to his barbecue. It was mercifully brief… I was numb. It was all so shocking.”

Meanwhile, she found time to blast fellow Democrats for their post-election criticism, another way in which Clinton resists all criticism or any semblance of accepting blame.

“Critiques from party members: ‘Joe Biden said the Democratic Party in 2016 ‘did not talk about what it always stood for – and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class.’ I find this fairly remarkable, considering that Joe himself campaigned for me all over the Midwest and talked plenty about the middle class.’”

Finally, she says she plans to remain in the public sphere in spite of the haters who’re hoping she disappears.

“On her plan to remain in the public sphere: “There were plenty of people hoping that I, too, would just disappear. But here I am.”

Her book is out Sept. 12. In the meantime, we await even more revealing leaks that speak to Clinton’s pathological inability to accept responsibility for her actions.

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How The Feds Blocked Effective Flood Insurance

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Dale Steinreich viaThe Mises Institute,

As the floodwaters brought by Hurricane Harvey last week recede and new hurricane Irma moves slowly toward the Eastern U.S., it might be edifying to review how millions of Americans, despite federal anti-flood efforts, came to live and work in hazardous to dangerous flood-prone areas.

The foundation of the current disaster traces back at least to the late 1920s under Republican interventionist Herbert Hoover. In 1927, a very destructive flood occurred along the Mississippi River. Secretary of Commerce Hoover’s relief campaign greatly increased the power of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement supposed flood protection. 

No doubt, the Flood Control Act of 1928 helped construct what was considered one of the most impressive systems of levees in the world along the Mississippi River. However, the one thing it did not do was control flooding. While the new levee system prevented flooding in some areas, it quickened the natural current of the river which helped produce flooding in other areas. Other unforeseen consequences were the reductions in natural soil deposits and natural flow of water into the river’s flood plains.

Less than a decade later, another damaging flood in New England helped drive the passage of the National Flood Control Act of 1936. This Act was a real turning point in terms of centralization. Besides doubling the size of the federal flood-control program, it signaled that Congress would no longer merely provide occasional flood relief and regard floods as principally a local matter. It effectively enlisted the federal government and Army Corps of Engineers in the battle against floods.

For the rest of the 1930s and 1940s, private insurance markets were undermined because the Army Corps of Engineers built hundred-year flood walls which reduced risk just enough for homeowners to make private flood insurance too costly. On the other hand, private insurers saw these walls as insufficient protection which did not reduce risk enough. Regardless, an impasse was created for private markets that was both figuratively and literally cemented in place by the Army Corps.

Enter the New Deal central planners of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1953. TVA began monitoring flood-prone areas in and around one hundred and fifty towns and cities in its jurisdiction. At first, TVA used a worst-case standard from the Army Corps, regardless of whether such a flood had ever actually occurred.

This stringent standard was quickly abandoned when it was realized that it would eliminate huge areas of potential development that not only local private and public planners wanted, but TVA as well since part of its conflicted mission was spurring development. Thus TVA adopted a new standard skewed in favor of development that was based on past floods that occurred inside a 60- or 100-mile zone from proposed development.

Outside TVA’s jurisdiction, the U.S. Geological Survey and Army Corps of Engineers mapped flood plains with roughly the same backward-looking standard. By the end of the 1960s, all three agencies had laid the groundwork for a national map of floodplains. A very bad standard had been created.

Of course no tapestry of disastrous policies would be complete without a contribution by Lyndon Baines Johnson, thus the Southeast Hurricane Disaster Relief Act of 1965. This Act authorized $500 million in spending to assist in repairing damage created by Hurricane Betsy.

Next came the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, which created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which covered up to $250,000 in damage to single-family houses and buildings in cities and towns meeting the flawed federal flood-plain criteria.

The absolute death knell for any semblance of economic and actuarial soundness in the NFIP came in 1973, when Congress allowed coverage to be extended to property owners who should have enrolled in the program and paid for insurance but did not.

While none of this is to say that had more rigorous private standards prevailed and the Army Corps and TVA never been created, that no one’s residence or workplace would ever have flooded.

However, there’s no doubt that the federal government’s perverse subsidization of residential and commercial development in flood-prone areas as well as artificially cheap flood insurance completely detached from risk assessment have contributed to not only the untold loss of billions of dollars of property, but lives as well.


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Qatar renews call for prosecution of Syria war crimes

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The State of Qatar renewed today its call for the international community to bring war criminals in Syria to an international justice after an independent United Nations (UN) investigation has showed that the Syrian army used Sarin gas during its air strikes on Khan Sheikhun town last  April. The Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement that the impunity of the Syrian war criminals has contributed to the escalation of violence against the Syrian people in “a systematic way.” Read More: UN probe: Syrian regime dropped sarin gas on Khan Sheikhoun The statement stressed on the importance of reaching a political resolution for the Syrian crisis based on the Geneva-1 statement on Syria as well as the UN Security Council […]

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Human flood of Rohingya tell of 5-day trek to safety

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Thu, 2017-09-07 04:00

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh/ANKARA: At times, it resembles a flash flood — not of water, but of humanity. On the banks of the River Naf that separates Myanmar from Bangladesh, the Rohingya refugees pour in by the thousand, day and night, hungry, dehydrated and exhausted.
No one even knows how many there are. The UN refugee agency estimates nearly 150,000. Local officials in Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar believe it is nearer 200,000. All have fled bloodshed and persecution in Rakhine state in Myanmar, and many possess only the clothes they stand up in.
“It reminds me of the time of independence in 1971, when we fled to India to save our lives from the Pakistani military,” says Abdur Rahman, 70, a local farmer.
“The Rohingya refugees are compelled to rush to the Bangladesh border with the minimum amount of luggage and kitchen utensils. Sometimes, they arrive completely empty handed.”
Mohammad Nurul Amin, 32, a grocery shop owner in the village of Miajong in Rakhine, walked for five days with 14 members of his family, just to reach safety. The journey has already cost him the equivalent of $73, a large sum of money in rural Myanmar
“This amount was taken by the boatmen, since the family had to cross two rivers and a canal,” he says.
The situation in Rakhine, Amin said, is desperate. “There is not a single house in my locality which was not set ablaze by the Myanmar army. Young men were slaughtered brutally and piles of dead bodies were torched by petrol bombs. It had become hell.”

Turkey extends a helping hand
Turkey, meanwhile, extended a helping hand to the Muslim minority on humanitarian and diplomatic platforms.
Following the telephone discussion of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Su Kyi on Monday, Myanmar allowed Turkish aid agency (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency/TIKA) to distribute 1,000 tons of aid to Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin announced.
Kalin also said that Turkey plans to deliver aid initially to 100,000 families in coordination with the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
TIKA will be the first foreign agency to distribute aid to the Rohingya Muslims despite Myanmar government’s doubts about the international aid organizations that were accused by Kyi of helping terrorism in the country.
On the diplomatic front, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdogan are expected to visit Cox’s Bazar district to observe the on-site situation of thousands of Rohingya who have taken shelter there.

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“Things Have Been Going Up For Too Long” – Lloyd Blankfein’s “Unnerved” By Asset Prices

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Earlier today, we reported that Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan called for an end to Europe’s cheap-money policies and asked that the European Central Bank not use the strengthening euro as an excuse to keep printing money…

According to Bloomberg, Cryan said that the bank is “seeing signs of bubbles” across capital markets while low interest pummel European banks’ earnings.

“We are now seeing signs of bubbles in more and more parts of the capital market where we wouldn’t have expected them,” Cryan said, adding that the interest-rate policy has been partly responsible for the decline in earnings at European banks.


“I welcome the recent announcement by the Federal Reserve and now also from the ECB that they intend to gradually bring their loose monetary policy to an end.”

Now, barely a day later, Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein has joined his fellow bulge bracket bank CEO in expressing his uneasiness with contemporary valuations and the central-bank money printing that has helped pump up asset prices around the world.

Blankfein said that “things have been going up for too long” and that “when yields on corporate bonds are lower than dividends on stocks, that unnerves me.”

Here’s more from the Wall Street Journal:

“Goldman Sachs Group Chairman Lloyd Blankfein on Wednesday sounded a warning about the markets, saying that some of what he sees “unnerves” him.


Mr. Blankfein said the current market environment “doesn’t feel like tulip-bulb-mania,” a reference to the famous speculative bubble in the Netherlands in 1637, but was nonetheless concerning.


‘Things have been going up for too long,’ he told attendees at a Handelsblatt business conference in Frankfurt.


‘When yields on corporate bonds are lower than dividends on stocks? That unnerves me.’”

Here’s a breakdown of Blankfein’s other remarks, courtesy of WSJ. The CEO was speaking via a video link from Goldman’s headquarters in New York:

…On speculation that Goldman alum Gary Cohn could become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, Blankfein said Cohn would do a “different job but a great job.”

“I think Gary is very very capable. He would be a different kind of person. Not an academic. I don’t know that he reads a lot of policy papers, let alone writes then, but there’s nobody who understands markets better?.”


Relative to current chair Janet Yellen, Mr. Cohn is ‘much less theoretical.’”


‘Who’s to say what’s better or not??’ he said, noting that past Fed chairs have had more of a markets bent. ‘I’d be willing to give that a try. I think he would do a different job, but a great job.’”

…On Trump:

“Things could have gone better but I’m not without hope. A lot of what [President Trump’s] trying to accomplish I’m friendly to. There are a lot of layers of protectionism and regulation that have been built up that impede progress. I think his good intentions are to take a lot of that away.? ?I have some disappointment but also some hope.?”?

…Asked about the bank’s “Government Sachs” moniker, Blankfein said the bank happens to have a lot of employees who are “civically minded.”

“We have a lot of people who are civically minded…I’m proud of it. Their qualities are recognized. ?T?hey make a sacrifice and we feel the cost of that sacrifice, because they’re very capable people.”

…On the Volcker rule:

“’You have people sitting on desks who are paralyzed out of fear… It has had chilling effect in people’s willingness’ to make markets.”

…On declining revenue at the bank’s trading division:

“’We have always had periods of time where we haven’t done well. I’m not terribly aggrieved by it. It’s a level playing field for everyone. I think we can do well in this environment, and we can do well if they relax the rules.’


‘We’re running in a horse race against our competitors. If it rains, it rains for everyone and we’ll run in the mud. If it’s sunny, we’ll all run in the sunshine.’”

Could Blankfein’s and Cryan’s remarks portend a selloff in the coming months? Certainly, their publicly voiced concerns about asset bubbles probably represent the most bearish comments made by the leaders of systemically important banks since July, when J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon warned investors that the Federal Reserve’s unwinding of its balance sheet wouldn’t be like watching paint dry, but instead that it could be “a little more disruptive than people think.”

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Reminder: Experts Have Been Warning Us About Global Warming Since the 1930s

September 6, 2017 The_Real_Fly 0

Content originally published at

I will not pretend to be a scientist in this blog, or even claim to know the very first thing about global warming or lack thereof. I am more interested in human narratives, how they are woven, and the bas…

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Is This The Global Elites’ Secret Plan For Cryptocurrencies?

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by James Rickards via Daily Reckoning blog,

Interest in Bitcoin is red hot at the moment. It’s impossible to open a website, listen to a podcast, or watch a video in the financial space without hearing about the meteoric rise in the price of Bitcoin.

Maybe you know a “Bitcoin millionaire” who bought five hundred Bitcoins a few years back for $50,000 and is now sitting on a Bitcoin fortune worth over $2,000,000. It’s true, those people actually do exist.

Yet the crypto-hysteria is distracting you from a scary truth no one is talking about.

There is every indication that governments, regulators, tax authorities, and the global elite are moving in for the crypto-kill.


The future of Bitcoin may be a dystopia in which Big Brother controls what’s called “the blockchain” and decides when and how you can buy or sell anything and everything.


Furthermore, cryptocurrency technology could be the very mechanism used by global elites to replace the dollar based financial system.

In 1958, Mao Zedong, the leader of the Communist Party of China and China’s dictatorial leader was confronted with demoralized intellectuals and artists who were alienated by Communist rule. As a policy response, he declared a new policy of intellectual freedom.

Mao declared, “The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend is designed to promote the flourishing of the arts and the progress of science.”

This declaration is referred to as the “Hundred Flowers Campaign” (often misquoted as the “thousand flowers campaign”). The response to Mao’s invitation was an enthusiastic outpouring of creative thought and artistic expression.

What came next was no surprise to those familiar with the operation of state power. Once the intellectuals and artists emerged, it was easy for Mao’s secret police to round them up, kill and torture some, and send others to “reeducation camps” where they learned ideological conformity.

The Hundred Flowers Movement was a trap for those who placed their trust in the state.

It was also a taste of things to come in the form of the much more violent and comprehensive Cultural Revolution of 1964–1974 in which all traces of Chinese bourgeoisie culture and much of China’s historical legacy were eradicated.

Something similar is going on with Bitcoin and the Distributed ledger technology (DLT) today. Governments have been patiently watching blockchain technology develop and grow outside their control for the past eight years.

Libertarian supporters of blockchain celebrate this lack of government control. Yet, their celebration is premature, and their belief in the sustainability of powerful systems outside government control is naïve.

Governments don’t like competition especially when it comes to money. Governments know they cannot stop blockchain, in fact they don’t want to. What they want is to control it using powers of regulation, taxation, and investigation and ultimately more coercive powers including arrest and imprisonment of individuals who refuse to obey government mandates with regard to blockchain.

Blockchain does not exist in the ether (despite the name of one cryptocurrency) and it does not reside on Mars. Blockchain depends on critical infrastructure including servers, telecommunications networks, the banking system, and the power grid, all of which are subject to government control.

A group of major companies, all regulated by government, have announced a joint effort to develop an open-source blockchain as a uniform standard for all blockchain applications. The group includes JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, State Street, SWIFT, Cisco, Accenture, the London Stock Exchange and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial. That’s not exactly five guys in hoodies working in a garage. That’s a sign of the corporate-state consortium taking over.

An elite U.S. legal institution called the Uniform Law Commission, that proposes model laws intended for adoption in all fifty states, has released its latest proposal called the “Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act.”

This new law will not only provide a regulatory scheme for state regulators, but will also be a platform for litigation by private plaintiffs and class action lawyers seeking recourse against real or imagined abuses by digital coin exchanges and facilities. Once litigation begins, anonymity is the first casualty.

Cryptocurrencies and the Super-Elites Plan

Consider the following additional developments:

On August 1, 2017, the SEC announced “Guidance on Regulation of Initial Coin Offerings,” the first step toward requiring fundraising through blockchain-based tokens to register with the government.


On August 1, 2017, the World Economic Forum, host body to the Davos conference of global super-elites, published a paper entitled “Four reasons to question the hype around blockchain.”


On August 7, 2017, China announced they will begin using blockchain to collect taxes and issue “electronic invoices” to citizens there.

Perhaps most portentously, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has weighed in. In a special report dated June 2017, the IMF had this to say about blockchain:

“Distributed ledger technology (DLT), in particular, could spur change in the financial sector. …. DLT can be categorized as “permissionless” or “permissioned” depending on who can participate in the consensus-driven validation process. Permissionless DLTs allow anyone to read, transact on, and participate in the validation process. These open schemes (that underlie Bitcoin, for instance) could be very disruptive if successfully implemented. By contrast, in permissioned DLTs, the validation process is controlled by a pre-selected group of participants (“consortium”) or managed by one organization (“fully-private”), and thus serve more as a common communications platform.” (emphasis added).

IMF releases require expert translation because they are never written in plain English, and the real meaning is always hidden between the lines. But, the thrust of this report language is clear. The IMF favors “permissioned” systems over “open schemes.” The IMF also favors control by a “pre-selected group of participants” or “one organization,” rather than allowing “anyone” to participate.

This paper should be viewed as the first step in the IMF’s plan to migrate its existing form of world money, the special drawing right or SDR, onto a DLT platform controlled by the IMF. In time, all other forms of money would be banned.

These and other developments all point toward an elite group including the IMF, JPMorgan, the Davos crowd, the IRS, SEC, and other agencies converging to shut down the existing free-wheeling blockchain ecosphere, and replace it with a “permissioned” system under “consortium” control.

Big Brother is coming to the blockchain.

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