3 held in Qatif judge kidnap case

Mohammed Al-Sulami
Mon, 2017-01-02

JEDDAH: Saudi police have arrested three people over the kidnapping of a judge in Qatif, authorities said on Sunday.
A hunt has been launched to nab the other three suspects, according to the Saudi Ministry of Interior.
Ministry security spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said investigations are ongoing into the kidnapping of inheritance and endowments circuit Judge Sheikh Mohammad Al-Jirani.
The judge was kidnapped from near his home on Dec. 15. Security authorities have been investigating the case since receiving a report about Al-Jirani’s disappearance.
Those arrested included Abdullah Ali Al-Darweesh, 25; Mazen Ali Al-Qabaah, 40; and Mustafa Ahmad Al-Sahwan, 25.
The three men, Al-Turki said, were tasked by planners to implement the crime.
The other three, who are on the run and who are wanted in the kidnapping case are: Mohammad Hussein Al-Ammar, 35; Haitham Ali Al-Qudaihi, 29; and Ali Bilal Al-Hamed, 22.
Al-Turki said these three suspects were among the wanted criminals announced last October, for their involvement in a number of terrorism crimes in Qatif and Dammam.
Al-Turki, in a press statement, said preliminary information confirms the wanted criminal, Al-Amar, is the mastermind of the operation and had tasked the arrested individuals to monitor and follow the judge in advance of the kidnapping.
The official confirmed that security authorities still do not have any information about the whereabouts of Sheikh Al-Jirani nor his health condition.
The names of others involved in the crime cannot currently be disclosed due to ongoing investigations.
The ministry warned the perpetrators against harming Al-Jirani, and urged them to release him immediately. Should the judge be subjected to any harm, those involved will be held criminally and fully responsible.
The ministry urged all those who have any information about the wanted individuals, or previous announcements regarding the kidnappers, or information about the location of the kidnapped judge, to contact (900) or the nearest security apparatus.
Should future investigations identify any individual that withheld information or had any involvement in the crime, they will be held accountable and considered a partner in the crime, the ministry said.
Anyone who reports information that leads to the arrest of a wanted criminal will be rewarded SR1,000,000 ($266,600), as per a royal decree of 2003, while any information that leads to the arrest of more than one wanted criminal will be rewarded with SR5,000,000.
A reward of SR7,000,000 will be given to anyone who reports information that leads to the thwarting of a terrorist operation.
Authorities speculate that Al-Jirani’s position in opposition of terrorism occurring in Qatif, Al-Awwamiya, and Dammam, and his calls not to transfer funds collected from Shiites in Saudi Arabia to other countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon to be spent on the poor may have been the motive for his kidnapping.
Al-Turki clarified that while this is possible, the ministry and security agencies cannot speak on behalf of the kidnappers until they have been arrested, investigated, and Al-Jirani freed.
He also noted that there is currently no information about ties between the kidnapping and the incident involving the attack on the mayor of Tarut.
Al-Turki confirmed those arrested were supporters of the kidnappers, and do not have any information about the whereabouts of Al-Jirani, nor information about other individuals that may be targeted among families of Qatif or Dammam.
He said investigation and security efforts in the Kingdom are not based solely on protecting targeted individuals because the primary targets of terrorists are security people themselves. Last year, security men and military officers at the Ministry of Defense were subjected to five terrorist operations, four of which were direct targets of security men of the Ministry of Interior in Qatif and one that targeted a land forces officer in Tabuk. Thankfully, all the terrorists have met their fate due to the efforts and security strategy to fight such crimes, he said.
He said the consensus is that terrorist incidents that occurred in the Kingdom have been supported from foreign countries and originations, but security staff at the ministry are specialized in combatting terrorism within the Kingdom.
Al-Turki said security agencies monitor and pursue all Saudis that have been lured to go to conflict areas and abroad, and are in regular contact with their families in an effort to convince them to return to the Kingdom.
A royal order was issued criminalyzing travel to conflict zones, with is punishable with a jail sentence of at least three years prior to transfer to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Counseling and Care Center.
Al-Turki said the number of Saudis abroad has reached nearly 2,100 citizens, including women and children, noting that the fight against terrorism requires the effort of the entire Saudi community in order to combat and promote the negative effects of these extremist ideologies.
He concluded by saying that the escape of the kidnappers abroad is possible, but unlikely, as there is upmost trust in the work of security authorities and agencies at border posts and ports.

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Money, Markets, & Mayhem – What To Expect In The Year Ahead

If you thought 2016 was full of market maelstroms and geopolitical gotchas, 2017’s ‘known unknowns’ suggest a year of more mayhem awaits

Here’s a selection of key events in the year ahead (and links to Bloomberg’s quick-takes on each).


Donald Trump will be sworn in as U.S. president on Jan. 20. 
QuickTakes: Immigration Reform, Free Trade and Its Foes, Supreme Court, Oil Sands, Confronting Coal, Climate Change, Budget Deficit

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17-20.
QuickTake: Sustainable Investing

Mist covers the mountain as snow sits on commercial and residential property below in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2015.

Davos, Switzerland.

Finland begins a test of a universal basic income by offering 2,000 unemployed adults 560 euros a month.
QuickTake: Universal Basic Income

U.S. companies will be required to disclose pay ratios comparing the compensation of their CEO to the median pay of employees, in the year starting Jan. 1.
QuickTake: Executive pay

Cigarette plain-packaging law comes into effect in France.
QuickTake: War on Smoking

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision aims to complete an overhaul of capital standards by Jan. 8. 
QuickTake Q&A: What Global Bank Regulators Are Fighting About

France is gathering dozens of foreign ministers in Paris Jan. 15 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
QuickTake: Israeli Settlements


Judges may rule as early as February in a U.S. patent dispute determining who invented the gene-editing technique known as Crispr-Cas9.
QuickTake: Gene Editing

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gives the first of her twice-yearly reports to Congress.
QuickTake: The Fed Lifts Off, Barely

Intercontinental Exchange Inc., which runs the daily London gold auction, will start trading a futures contract for the metal in the U.S., part of a battle for control of the world gold market.
QuickTake: Gold’s Ups and Downs

 The number of influenza cases typically peaks this month in the U.S.
QuickTake: The Flu


ChemChina aims to complete its $43 billion purchase of Syngenta, a record acquisition by a Chinese company, by the end of the first quarter.
QuickTake: China Inc.’s Spending Spree

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger the legal process for Britain’s exit from the European Union, starting a two-year countdown for Brexit.
QuickTake: Brexit

Hong Kong’s Election Committee chooses the city’s next chief executive.
QuickTake: Hong Kong’s Autonomy

SpaceX plans to launch the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket since the Saturn V moon rocket program ended in 1973.
QuickTake: Elon Musk


Launch of an earlier Falcon SpaceX rocket.

A general election in the Netherlands will be held March 15.  

Samsung is expected to unveil its Galaxy S8 smartphone.
QuickTake: Samsung

India Post is expected to start operations of its postal banking system.
QuickTake: Postal Banking


The European Central Bank is scheduled to begin scaling back its quantitative easing program, reducing monthly bond buying to 60 billion euros.
QuickTake: Europe’s QE Quandary

The French presidential election’s first round is April 23, with the second and final round two weeks later.
QuickTake Q&A: Why France’s Surprise Primary Winner Is No Trump

India will introduce its first national sales tax.
QuickTake Q&A: How India’s New Tax Might Help Business, Not Hurt

Golf’s Masters Tournament takes place April 6-9 in Augusta, Georgia.
QuickTake: Golf in the Rough


G-7 meets in Sicily. First meeting for U.S. President Trump.

Iran’s presidential election is May 19.
QuickTake: Iran’s Oil

Pope Francis visits Fatima, Portugal, May 13 for the 100th anniversary of the day on which three children said the Virgin Mary first appeared to them.
QuickTake: Pope Francis

The Eurovision song contest will be held in Kiev after Ukraine’s Susana Jamaladinova, who uses the stage name Jamala, won the contest in 2016.

Ukraine's Jamala reacts on winning the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest final at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

Ukraine’s Jamala reacts on winning the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

College graduates say farewell to school and, in the U.S., hello to an average of more than $30,000 in debt.
QuickTake: Student Debt


Deadline for South Korea’s constitutional court to rule whether to remove President Park Geun-hye from power, triggering a presidential election within 60 days.
QuickTake Q&A: Why South Korea’s President Faced Impeachment Vote

Roaming charges for mobile phones will be abolished in the European Union on June 15.

The U.S. Federal Reserve typically releases results of its annual bank stress tests.
QuickTake: Stress Tests

The 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War.
QuickTake: Two-State Solution

The Confederations Cup, a practice run for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, is held June 17 to July 2 in Russia.
QuickTake: The World Cup

Spotify plans to sell shares in an initial public offering by mid-year.
QuickTake: The Streaming Revolution


Canada Day, July 1, marks 150 years since the British colonies were federally united into the Dominion of Canada.
QuickTake: Canada



The Group of 20 nations meets in Hamburg, July 7-8.
QuickTake: Neutral Interest Rates

U.S. banks face a July 21 deadline for divesting their investments in private equity and hedge funds.
QuickTake: The Volcker Rule


Kenya holds an election Aug. 8.

The Perseid meteor shower will peak Aug. 12 or 13.

Earliest date possible for the German federal election is Aug. 27. In recent years, elections have taken place in September.
QuickTake: Angela Merkel


Russia will hold its annual strategic military exercises in its western regions.
QuickTake: Cool War

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - APRIL,11 (RUSSIA OUT)  Russian officers march during the Victory Day military parade rehearsals at Alabino polygon, 40 km. West of Moscow, Russia, April,11, 2016. 10 000 soldiers and officers, more than 100 tanks, armored carriers and other vehicules, 71 jets, bombers and other planes are taking part in the rehearsals of the Red Square military parade honour the 71-th anniversary of the victory of Soviet Union in the WWII.(Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

Russian officers march during the Victory Day military parade.

Catalonia’s regional president, Carles Puigdemont, has vowed to hold a referendum this month on splitting from Spain.
QuickTake: Catalonia

Bloomberg will open its new European headquarters in London before the end of the year. The site includes a museum for the archaeological remains of a temple dedicated to the Roman god Mithras.

London trial opens for six traders accused of manipulating Euribor.
QuickTake: Broken Benchmarks

Norway will hold a parliamentary election Sept. 11.

Apple typically unveils new technologies for its iPhones in September. 
QuickTake: Apple

U.S. meat producer Tyson Foods pledged to end the use of antibiotics in its chickens this month.
QuickTake: Antibiotic Resistance


Nobel Peace Prize is announced. Colombia’s president won in 2016.
QuickTake: Colombia’s Peace Plan

Annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington, Oct. 13-15.
QuickTake: GDP

Chinese President Xi Jinping may narrow the field of potential successors at the party congress, expected in October or November.
QuickTake: China’s Pain Points


If the U.S. Affordable Care Act is still in place, its open enrollment period will run from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, 2018.
QuickTake: Health Insurance Exchanges

China celebrates Singles’ Day Nov. 11. It’s the largest online shopping day.
QuickTake: Alibaba

GUANGZHOU, Nov. 11, 2015 -- Workers sort out packages at a sorting center in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Nov. 11, 2015. The Singles' Day Shopping Spree, or Double-11 Shopping Spree, Chinese equivalent of Cyber Monday or Black Friday, is an annual online shopping spree falling on Nov. 11 for Chinese consumers since 2009. Each year the express delivery industry will face package peak after the shopping spree. (Xinhua/Liang Xu via Getty Images)

Singles’ Day is a Chinese annual online shopping spree that has been held every Nov. 11 since 2009.


New Zealand’s general election must be held by Nov. 18.

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meet in Vietnam.


Deadline to hold South Korean presidential election is Dec. 20.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will choose a new leader at its party conference to replace President Jacob Zuma.
QuickTake: South Africa

Thailand’s junta promises that a new, elected government will be able to assume power this month.
QuickTake: Thailand’s Troubled Democracy

A loophole that’s allowed U.S. hedge fund managers to avoid taxes on performance fees parked offshore expires Dec. 31.

New Year’s Eve brings the usual resolutions to lose weight.
QuickTake: Obesity

The post Money, Markets, & Mayhem – What To Expect In The Year Ahead appeared first on crude-oil.top.

EconMatters Viewer Questions 1-1-2017 (Video)

By EconMatters

We go over some viewer questions that we received regarding financial markets over the last week in this video. The S&P 500 is the instrument you want to trade versus the Dow instrument, it provides for a balanced view of the financial market universe. Trading the Russell 2000 because you recognize a rotational play within markets is a different story, and in a big Risk-Off selloff the Nasdaq and the small caps will experience greater losses and vice versa in a Risk-On move to the upside, keep that in mind. But if you just have a general view on the markets play the S&P 500, it will spread your risk profile in a more balanced manner. Plus it provides the best liquidity for market participants.

© EconMatters All Rights Reserved | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Email Digest | Kindle   

The post EconMatters Viewer Questions 1-1-2017 (Video) appeared first on crude-oil.top.

‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ headed for screen

Mon, 2017-01-02

LONDON: Three film production companies including Netflix are interested in making a warts-and-all screen dramatization of Nigel Farage’s insurgent Brexit campaign, according to an associate of Farage.
This would be another extraordinary twist for Farage, who from the fringes of British politics achieved his life’s goal when Britons voted to leave the European Union last June, and has since befriended US President-elect Donald Trump.
The project would be based on “The Bad Boys of Brexit,” an account of Farage’s campaign by Arron Banks, a multi-millionaire British insurance tycoon who bankrolled the campaign, according to Andy Wigmore, a spokesman for Banks.
“We have three interested parties in the rights to the book and we will be meeting representatives from three studios including a Netflix representative on Jan. 19 in Washington DC,” Wigmore told Reuters in a text message.
Farage, Banks, Wigmore and others in their circle will travel to Washington for Trump’s inauguration as president, which will take place on Jan. 20.
“We have invited all of them (the studio representatives) to our … party … We have also invited many of Trump’s team to the event,” said Wigmore.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Sunday Telegraph newspaper earlier reported that Hollywood studio Warner Bros. was also interested, but it was unclear from Wigmore’s texts to Reuters whether those who have approached Banks included representatives of Warner Bros.
The subtitle of Banks’ book is “Tales of Mischief, Mayhem and Guerrilla Warfare in the EU Referendum Campaign.” It is described on its publisher’s website as “an honest, uncensored and highly entertaining diary of the campaign that changed the course of history.”
Asked whether Farage was likely to appear as himself in any screen adaptation of his campaign, Wigmore said: “Yes we all expect to make a Quentin Tarantino appearance,” a reference to the director’s cameo appearances in his own movies.
Despite handing over the reins of the anti-EU party UKIP to a successor in November, Farage, typically pictured with pint of beer in hand, remains the most prominent face of Brexit in the eyes of many Britons and is rarely out of the headlines.
He spoke at a Trump rally during the US presidential election campaign and visited the president-elect at Trump Tower after his election. A picture of the two men smiling broadly in front of a pair of golden doors circulated widely.
Trump later embarrassed Prime Minister Theresa May’s government by tweeting that many people would like to see Farage represent Britain as ambassador to the United States.

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Gambia leader accuses West African bloc of declaring war

Mon, 2017-01-02

BANJUL: Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh accused West African regional body ECOWAS of declaring war, after it said it was putting forces on alert in case he refused to step down at the end of his mandate this month.
Jammeh, who has vowed to stay in power despite losing a Dec. 1 election to rival Adama Barrow, also promised to defend Gambia against any outside aggression, in a New Year’s speech broadcast on state TV.
The veteran leader initially conceded defeat in the vote, then changed his mind days later — raising fears that regional powers might have to intervene to oust him. His mandate runs out on Jan. 19.
Marcel de Souza, commission president for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said last week it had put standby forces on alert.
In his speech, Jammeh decried “the resolution of ECOWAS on the current situation to implement the results of Dec 1, 2016 presidential election by whatever means possible,” apparently acknowledging again that the poll did not go in his favor.
“It is in effect a declaration of war and an insult to our constitution,” he said.
“Let me make it very clear that we are ready to defend this country against any aggression.
“My government will never opt for such confrontation but defending our sovereignty is a sacred duty for all patriotic Gambians.”
Barrow’s surprise victory and Jammeh’s initial decision to concede after 22 years in power was initially seen as a moment of hope on continent where autocratic leaders are becoming more entrenched.
“ECOWAS has also disqualified (itself) to provide mediation services as a genuine mediator has to be neutral and impartial and win the trust and confidence of the parties to the conflict,” he said. Jammeh said on Wednesday he would not leave office at the end of his mandate until a court rules on his challenge to the outcome of this month’s election.
“Unless the court decides the case, there will be no inauguration (of Barrow) on the 19 January,” said Jammeh.

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Burundi minister shot dead in capital

Mon, 2017-01-02

NAIROBI: A gunman killed Burundi’s environment and water minister early on Sunday, police said, the first senior government figure to be murdered in nearly two years of political violence.
Emmanuel Niyonkuru, 54, was attacked as he traveled home in the capital Bujumbura, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said in a tweet.
Violent protests erupted early in 2015 after President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term — a move opponents said violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended an ethnically charged civil war.
At least 450 people have died in clashes between protesters and security forces, tit-for-tat killings and a failed coup, stoking fears of wider unrest in a region still haunted by the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda.
“The minister of water and environment was shot … as he was getting home,” Nkurikiye said.
Four people had been arrested for questioning, including the owner of a bar that Niyonkuru visited regularly and two security personnel who were guarding his home. The fourth is a woman who was with the minister when he was killed.
President Nkurunziza said on Twitter the minister had been assassinated and offered condolences “to the family and all Burundians.”
Nkurunziza won re-election in July 2015 in a poll largely boycotted by the opposition.
Elsewhere in Burundi, police said seven people were injured when an unknown attacker threw a grenade in a church where people were praying.
That attack occurred on Saturday night in Rugazi district, 40 km (25 miles) north of Bujumbura.
Nkurikiye told Reuters the church where the attack took place was not registered with the government and had been erected illegally. Its leader had been detained for investigation, he said.

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