As Retail Investors Flood Into Stocks, Professionals Are Dumping Speculative Longs

“Fear of missing out” is quickly becoming the go to phrase for what’s left of America’s stock market investors. As The Wall Street Journal reports, investors have poured money into stocks through mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in 2017, with global equity funds posting record net inflows in the week ended March 1 based on data going back to 2000, according to fund tracker EPFR Global. Inflows continued the following week, even as the rally slowed.

“People went toe in the water, knee in the water and now many are probably above the waist for the first time,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

That brings individual investors increasingly in line with Wall Street professionals. A February survey of fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found optimism about the global economy improving while investors were holding above-average levels of cash, leaving room for them to drive stocks still higher.

Bullishness among Wall Street newsletter writers reached 63.1% – the highest level since 1987 – a week ago in a survey by Investors Intelligence, before falling to 57.7% this past week.

George Bohmfalk, a 69-year-old retired neurosurgeon from Charlotte, increased his stock allocation to around 80% from 70% in recent months after cutting back on bonds, saying he has faith that remaining loyal to a low-cost passively managed portfolio is more productive than trying to pick winners and losers. But he is concerned about what the Trump administration may do, and he worries about U.S. stocks’ lofty valuations.

 

“What do you do? If you take your investment out and stocks go up another 1,000 [points], you’re going to be pretty miffed,” he said. “I’m slightly concerned that there might be a pullback, but I’m not losing sleep over it.”

 

“It feels like this is a hated rally, because people are underinvested, and they’re just catching up,” said Matthew Peron, head of global equities at Northern Trust Asset Management.

 

Another retiree, Peter Gallavin, 72, of Grand Rapids, Mich., who previously worked for General Motors Co. and as regional personnel director at Delphi Corp., said he is concerned about President Donald Trump and what his policies may do to the market but remains 60% invested in stocks…

 

“I’ve been investing in the market for long enough to know that sooner or later after it comes up, it’s going to go down, but when that may or may not happen none of us know,” he said.

Even though his financial adviser warns:

“What we’ve seen in the last eight years is not going to continue,”

Perhaps they should be paying attention to the insiders (who are selling like never before)…Ned Davis Research points out that insider selling has been elevated enough to trigger his firm’s in-house bearish signal for 11 weeks in a row, the longest stretch since 2014.

Insider selling is generating a “sell” signal to analysts at Ned Davis Research Inc., a research firm that uses technical analysis. Insider selling at firms whose shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market and American Stock Exchange triggered its in-house bearish signal for 11 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 2014.

 

“The fact that we’ve gotten more selling is a sign of concern that maybe the market has gone a little too far too fast,” said Ed Clissold, chief U.S. strategist at Ned Davis. “We wouldn’t be surprised if there was a modest pullback given how far the market has run.”

Insider Buys

And the utter lack of breadth in the market’s most recent advance…

 

However, despite all that exuberant money flow from the FOMO-followers, not everyone’s buying it as speculators have entirely erased their massive record net long position…

 

Swinging to net short for the first time since the week before the election…

 

Finaly, we note that this week saw chaos in emerging market stocks, high yield credit, Treasuries, crude, copper, Chinese money markets, and risk-parity funds… and US stocks clung to gains ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting:

 

While Millennials may have been the SNAP IPO greater fools, it appears the retirees are the broad market’s greatest fool, getting neck-deep in stocks at record high valuations, once again buying high, only to sell low.

The post As Retail Investors Flood Into Stocks, Professionals Are Dumping Speculative Longs appeared first on crude-oil.news.

We’ve Created A Monster – Ron Paul Says It’s “Fantastic” That WikiLeaks Exposed The CIA

Ron Paul, the prominent libertarian communicator and three-time US presidential candidate, declared this week in a Fox Business interview that it is “fantastic” that WikiLeaks revealed on Tuesday thousands of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents and files.

Speaking with host Kennedy, Paul further says that the information exposed “indicates that liberty is in big trouble” and states his concern about there having been insufficient media coverage of the information and outlines the potential dangers related to technology…

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

Paul’s discussion raises the very crucial question “do we live in a police state?” As AntiWar’s Justin Raimondo warns, the latest wikileaks revelations tell us the answer is ‘Yes’.

WikiLeaks and Julian Assange would have gone down in history as the greatest enemies of government oppression of all kinds in any case, but their latest release – a comprehensive exposé of the US intelligence community’s cyberwar tools and techniques – is truly the capstone of their career. And given that this release – dubbed “Vault 7” – amounts to just one percent of the documents they intend to publish, one can only look forward to the coming days with a mixture of joyful anticipation and ominous fear.

Fear because the power of the Deep State is even more forbidding – and seemingly invincible – than anyone knew. Joyful anticipation because, for the first time, it is dawning on the most unlikely people that we are, for all intents and purposes, living in a police state. I was struck by this while watching Sean Hannity’s show last [Wednesday] night – yes, Fox is my go-to news channel – and listening to both Hannity and his guests, including the ultra-conservative Laura Ingraham, inveigh against the “Deep State.” For people like Hannity, Ingraham, and Newt Gingrich (of all people!) to be talking about the Surveillance State with fear – and outrage – in their voices says two things about our current predicament: 1) Due to the heroic efforts of Julian Assange in exposing the power and ruthlessness of the Deep State, the political landscape in this country is undergoing a major realignment, with conservatives returning to their historic role as the greatest defenders of civil liberties, and 2) American “liberalism” – which now champions the Deep State as the savior of the country –   has become a toxic brew that is fundamentally totalitarian.

On the first point: yes, there are more than a few holdouts, like Bill O’Reilly and the neocons, but the latter are increasingly isolated, and the former is increasingly irrelevant. What we are seeing, as the role of the “intelligence community” in basically leading a seditious conspiracy against a sitting President is revealed, is a complete switch in the political polarities in this country: what passes for the “left” has become the biggest advocate of the Surveillance State, and the rising populist right is coming to the hard-won conclusion that we are rapidly becoming a police state.

Ah, but wait! That’s not the whole story: bear with me for a while.

The material in “Vault 7” is extensive: it ranges from examining the ways in which a Samsung television set that is seemingly turned off can be– and no doubt has been – used to spy on the conversations and activities of a room’s occupants, to the various ways in which our spooks infiltrate and subvert common electronic devices, such as the I-Phone, in order to gather information. “Infected phones,” we are told in the introduction to the material, “can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.” The CIA is even working on remotely controlling the electronic steering systems installed in cars – a perfect route to pulling off an assassination that looks like an “accident.” Not that the intelligence services of the “leader of the Free World” would ever consider such an act.

The massive infection of commonly used software and electronic devices leads to a major problem: proliferation. As these viruses and other invasive programs are unleashed on an unsuspecting public, they fall into the hands of a variety of bad actors: foreign governments, criminals, and teenagers on a lark (not necessarily in descending order of malevolence). This plague is being spread over the Internet by a veritable army of CIA hackers: “By the end of 2016,” WikiLeaks tells us, “the CIA’s hacking division, which formally falls under the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other ‘weaponized’ malware.” The inevitable end result: a world infected with so much malware that computers become almost useless – and this parlous condition is paid for by you, the American taxpayer.

This is, in effect, the cybernetic equivalent of the Iraq war – an invasion that led to such unintended consequences as the rise of ISIS, the devastation of Syria, and the empowerment of Iran. In short, a war that made us less safe.

One aspect of the Vault 7 data dump that’s drawing particular attention is the CIA’s Remote Devices Branch’s “Umbrage group,” which, we are told, “collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.” The idea is to mask the Agency’s cyberwar operations by attempting to hide the unique forensic attributes of its techniques. The process of attribution, WikiLeaks explains, is “analogous to finding the same distinctive knife wound on multiple separate murder victims. The unique wounding style creates suspicion that a single murderer is responsible. As soon one murder in the set is solved then the other murders also find likely attribution.”

So how does the CIA hide its “fingerprints”?

It simply draws on computer code used by its adversaries – and not only Russia – and inserts it into its own handcrafted malware and other invasive programs, thus leaving Russian (or Chinese, or North Korean) fingerprints on the handiwork of CIA hackers.

Now you’ll recall that the attribution of the DNC/Podesta email hacks was “proved” by the DNC’s hired hands on the basis of the supposedlyunique characteristics of the programs used by the supposed Russian hackers. One of these alleged Russians even left behind the name of Felix Dzerzhinsky – founder of the Soviet KGB – embedded in the code, hardly the height of subtlety. So now we learn that the CIA has perfected the art of imitating its rivals, mimicking the Russians – or whomever – in a perfect setup for a “false flag” scenario.

After months of the nonstop campaign to demonize the Russians as “subverting our democracy” and supposedly throwing the election to Donald Trump by hacking the DNC and Podesta, a new possibility begins to emerge. I say “possibility” because, despite the craziness that is fast becoming the norm, there has got to be a limit to it – or does there?

No, I’m not suggesting the CIA hacked the DNC and poor hapless John Podesta. Yet others are suggesting something even more explosive.

In an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News television program, retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a former senior intelligence officer, told the audience that he had heard from his intelligence contacts that retired NSA officials were responsible for hacking the DNC and Podesta, and then releasing the materials to WikiLeaks His co-guest, William Binney, a former NSA insider who was among the first to expose the extent of that agency’s surveillance of American citizens, agreed.

This is nothing new: Judge Andrew Napolitano said the same thing months ago. The alleged motivation was animus toward Mrs. Clinton.

Although “the Russians did it” is now the accepted conventional wisdom, which hardly anyone bothers to question anymore, the level of evidence proffered to support this conclusion has been laughably inadequate. And you’ll note that, although the CIA and the FBI, along with other intelligence agencies, advanced this hypothesis with “high confidence,” the NSA demurred, awarding it with only “moderate” confidence.

And one more thing: I found it extremely odd that, when the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email was discovered, party officials refused to let the FBI and other law enforcement agencies examine either their server or Podesta’s devices. Instead, they gave it over to CrowdStrike, a private firm that regularly does business with the DNC. CrowdStrike then came out with the now-accepted analysis that it was a Russian job.

Could it be that the “explanation” for the hacking was determined in advance?

I don’t know the answer to that question. Nor do I necessarily buy Col. Shaffer’s thesis. What I’m saying is that it’s entirely possible – indeed, it is just as likely, given what we know now, as pinning the blame Vladimir Putin.

So what is the lesson of all this?

We have created a monster, a Deep State with such unchecked power, armed with such Orwellian technology, that it represents a clear and present danger to our constitutional republic. This threat is underscored not only by the latest WikiLeaks revelations, but also by the intelligence community’s intervention in our domestic politics, which has been documented in the headlines of the nation’s newspapers for the past few months.

This cancer has been allowed to grow, undiagnosed and unopposed, within the vitals of our government in the name of “national security.” Accelerated by our foreign policy of perpetual war, the national security bureaucracy has accumulated immense power, and our elected leaders have neglected to provide any oversight. Indeed, they are at its mercy.

The latest WikiLeaks revelations should be a wake-up call for all of us who want to preserve what’s left of our constitutionally-guaranteed liberties. Either we slay the monster or it will enslave us.

The post We’ve Created A Monster – Ron Paul Says It’s “Fantastic” That WikiLeaks Exposed The CIA appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Trump dismisses dozens of Obama-era federal prosecutors

Author: 
AFP, REUTERS
Sun, 2017-03-12
ID: 
1489264519550430000

WASHINGTON: The administration of US President Donald Trump on Friday moved to clean house at the Justice Department, demanding the resignations of 46 federal prosecutors appointed during the two terms of his predecessor Barack Obama.
Presidents often order political appointees in several agencies to resign when they take office, but the abrupt nature of the move caught some by surprise — especially given that so many were asked to leave at once.
High-profile Manhattan prosecutor Preet Bharara was among those asked to leave — even though he met with Trump before the Republican took office and said he was asked to stay on.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Attorney General Jeff Session had asked “all remaining 46 presidentially appointed US attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition.”
“Until the new US attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our US Attorney’s Offices will continue the great work of the department in investigating, prosecuting, and deterring the most violent offenders.”
Later Friday, another Justice Department spokesman, Peter Carr, said Trump had asked two to stay on — current Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente and the man he picked to take over that position, Rod Rosenstein.
“The President called Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein tonight to inform them that he has declined to accept their resignation, and they will remain in their current positions,” Carr said.
It was not immediately clear if other resignations would eventually be declined.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he was “troubled” to learn of the mass request for resignations, especially that of Bharara, and said it had not been done in an “orderly fashion” as seen in the past.
“By asking for the immediate resignation of every remaining US attorney before their replacements have been confirmed or even nominated, the president is interrupting ongoing cases and investigations and hindering the administration of justice,” Schumer said in a statement on Facebook.
Separately, the White House said on Friday, Trump has chosen Scott Gottlieb to lead the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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California Is Exporting Its Poor To Texas

California exports more than commodities such as movies, new technologies and produce. As The Sacramento Bee reports, it also exports truck drivers, cooks and cashiers.

Every year from 2000 through 2015, more people left California than moved in from other states. This migration was not spread evenly across all income groups, a Sacramento Bee review of U.S. Census Bureau data found. The people leaving tend to be relatively poor, and many lack college degrees. Move higher up the income spectrum, and slightly more people are coming than going. About 2.5 million people living close to the official poverty line left California for other states from 2005 through 2015, while 1.7 million people at that income level moved in from other states – for a net loss of 800,000. During the same period, the state experienced a net gain of about 20,000 residents earning at least five times the poverty rate – or $100,000 for a family of three.

 

“There was really nothing left for me in California,” said Kundurazieff, who also writes a blog about his cats. “The cost of living was high. The rent was high. The job market was debatable.”

Not surprisingly, the state’s exodus of poor people is notable in Los Angeles and San Francisco counties, which combined experienced a net loss of 250,000 such residents from 2005 through 2015.

The leading destination for those leaving California is Texas, with about 293,000 economically disadvantaged residents leaving and about 137,000 coming for a net loss of 156,000 from 2005 through 2015. Next up are states surrounding California; in order, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.

 

Losing impoverished residents to other states is better for the state’s economy than losing wealthy residents, some experts said. But they said the migration itself is a symptom of deeper social problems largely related to how expensive California has become.

“Why are people leaving? Economic reasons, the high cost of living, are certainly a part of it,” said Hans Johnson, senior fellow at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. “For those people (near the poverty line), California is not viable.”

By some measures, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation.

And as more and more residents leave, the burden to fund the state’s welfare exuberance will fall more and more on the wealthier (that actually pay taxes). Rather than secession, perhaps it’s time for the wealthy to join ‘the poor’ exodus and beat the crowd out of California…

George Bernard Shaw said, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” In many cases Peter quietly moved away and took his money with him.

Remember when top professional golfer, Phil Michelson created quite a stir complaining about California taxes, while putting his home up for sale? He would have been better off staying quiet about his reasons. California Political Review reports:

“Tiger Woods moved from Orange County, California to Orange County, Florida. In the first year of that move, he saved $13 million in taxes. Is it worth $13 million a year taken by government to live in California? Woods said no. Now it looks like Phil Michelson is about to make the same decision. He earns $60 million a year-he would save north of $5 million a year to move to a free State, like Florida or Texas.”

And as Dennis Miller previously noted, the election of President Trump sent shock waves through much of the political class. Many public union pensions are woefully underfunded. They donated millions to Hillary Clinton’s election campaign and expected federal bailouts. They knew they could count on Mrs. Clinton; she has a great track record of rewarding her political donors. Today no one knows what the new administration will do.

In the meantime, the scramble is on. The politicians in states that have been heavily supporting Paul have a huge base, not because they have won over the hearts and minds of Peter; but rather because the working class got tired of being fleeced and left. The politicos have to find ways to make good on all their free programs. Cutting benefits will cause citizens to storm the palace. They must find ways to generate more revenue.

Brian Daniels warns us, The Growing Specter of State “Exit Taxes” as Residents Abandon High-Tax States:

“To be clear, it is not legal for states to charge a true exit tax on citizens changing their residency from one state to another (this is not the case for the federal government, which does charge a large exit tax).

So what do high-tax states do to try and prevent their residents from moving their legal residence to low- or no-tax states? In a word, they audit them.”

When a taxpayer is audited, the agency issues an assessment for unpaid taxes. It’s not “innocent until proven guilty.” You must prove they are wrong or the assessment stands.

Once you intend to leave you are of no value to the politicos. Most people do not have the means to go to court. For some, it becomes a government shakedown to extract as much wealth as they can on your way out the door.

The post California Is Exporting Its Poor To Texas appeared first on crude-oil.news.

EU ready to respond to Britain’s exit note ‘within 48 hours’

Author: 
Reuters
Sun, 2017-03-12
ID: 
1489263925420322100

BRUSSELS: The EU will be ready to respond within 48 hours to Britain’s notification that it plans to leave the 28-nation bloc, European Council (EC) President Donald Tusk, said on Friday.
Britain has said it will submit its formal notification to exit the EU by the end of March following last summer’s referendum. Some diplomats expect it to come as early as next week.
The notification would trigger a legal process lasting two years during which London would negotiate the terms of the divorce. British Prime Minister Theresa May hopes that time can also be used to discuss future trade and other relations.
“We are well prepared for the whole procedure and I have no doubt that we will be ready within 48 hours, I think it is a proper time to react,” Tusk told a news conference.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that, depending on the exact timing of the British notification, EU leaders would organize a special summit, at which they would agree broad negotiating guidelines for the EC to conduct the divorce talks with London.
“If the letter comes next week, the special summit will be on April 6,” Merkel told a news conference.
“If it comes later than next week then we’ll have to find a date after April 6. We are fully prepared and we will wait with interest. But on which day it will come in March is not of such great significance,” she said.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told reporters the April 6 special summit could take place if Britain submitted its notification by March 15.
EU leaders could then issue within 48 hours the guidelines for the negotiations with Britain.
“The EC meeting to adopt those guidelines will be on April 6,” Kenny said.
EU officials said those guidelines would be drafts circulated to the governments of the other 27 member states. They would not be published, though Tusk was also likely to make a public response to May’s letter.
Once the guidelines have been formally adopted by leaders, EU negotiator Michel Barnier will reply to governments within days with detailed recommendations for how to structure talks.

Main category: 
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8 Iraqis saved from refrigerated truck

Author: 
AFP
Sun, 2017-03-12
ID: 
1489263925360320900

MADRID: Eight Iraqis, including four children, were found crammed inside a refrigerated truck in a service area in eastern Spain, police said Saturday, adding that they had been trying to reach Britain.
The four adults and four children, aged two, five, eight, and 10, were all in good health, Spanish police told AFP on Saturday.
“After we received an anonymous call, yesterday (Friday), agents from the Spanish police opened the back of a refrigerated truck in a lay-by on the A23 motorway and found eight Iraqis inside,” police said.
None of the migrants carried identification, but police said they were able to determine that all were Iraqi nationals.
The occupants included one family of two adults and three children, another family of a woman with a two-year-old daughter, and a man traveling alone.
It was not immediately clear how long they had spent inside the truck, but police said they were on their way to Britain when their truck was intercepted in the eastern province of Teruel.
“We do not know yet how these Iraqi families came to be in Spain,” police said.
The driver, a 37-year-old Romanian national, was arrested on charges of human trafficking.
According to Spanish media reports, a family coming from Iraq was found in a refrigerated truck on the same motorway and in the same province last month.
On August 27, the decomposing bodies of 71 people were found inside a truck at the side of an Austrian motorway in a discovery which sparked a horrified response across Europe as it struggles with its worst migration crisis since WWII.
Investigations revealed that the migrants — mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan — had been picked up at Hungary’s border with Serbia and transported to Austria via Budapest.

Main category: 
related_nodes: 
48 Iraqis discovered in truck carrying chocolate

German MPs reject declaring N. African states ‘safe’

Author: 
AFP
Sun, 2017-03-12
ID: 
1489263925410321800

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a setback when the Parliament rejected a proposal to declare three North African states “safe countries of origin” in refugee law.
The proposed designation for Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco aimed to make it easier for Germany to deny asylum requests from their citizens on the grounds that they were safe in their home countries.
The designation, which presumes a government does not systematically persecute opponents, would also aim to deter citizens of the three Maghreb countries countries from illegally heading to the EU in future.
Germany has taken in one million refugees and migrants since 2015, under a generous policy which Merkel has defended in the teeth of criticism including from new US President Donald Trump who called it a “catastrophic mistake.”
But the “safe countries” plan was rejected by the leftist Greens and Linke parties, which had voiced concerns over the rights records of those countries.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the decision marked “a bad day in our efforts to stop illegal immigration,” charging that “especially the Greens carry the responsibility.”
He said that “today’s ‘no’ can only be explained by party politics” ahead of September elections.
The interior minister of the conservative southern state of Bavaria, Joachim Herrmann, branded the vote “an entirely wrong signal.”
“We have to be in a position to quickly and easily reject asylum requests that are not based on political persecution but purely on economic reasons,” he was quoted as saying by news agency DPA.
Refugee rights group Pro Asyl welcomed the defeat of the bill which it said would have paved the way for fast-track asylum denials, saying that each case deserves careful consideration and the possibility of an appeals process.

Main category: 
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Facebook search traps Italian mobster in Mexico

Author: 
AFP
Sun, 2017-03-12
ID: 
1489263925400321500

ROME: A fugitive Italian mobster who had been living in Mexico under a false identity was behind bars Saturday after being tracked down on Facebook, police said.
Giulio Perrone, who is in his mid-sixties, had been a fugitive since 1998, when his lawyers failed in a final appeal against a 22-year prison sentence for links to the Naples mafia, the Camorra, and international drug trafficking.
He was first charged in 1993 after he and his wife were arrested while trying to import 16 kilos (35 pounds) of cocaine.
Perrone disappeared the following year and had been unheard of until Italian police established, through Facebook, that he was living as Saverio Garcia Galiero, in Tampico, in the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico.
The police did not reveal details of how they traced him through the social media site.
Under the extensive powers Italian investigators enjoy when involved in anti-mafia cases, they could have been monitoring the online activity of associates of Perrone in Italy.
Or they may have come across a picture of him by using image-recognition software, which is an increasingly useful tool for detectives tracking fugitives.
Perrone, who had remarried and had Mexican children, was described by police as a prominent figure in Italy’s drug trade in the 1980s and early 1990s, acting as a wholesale supplier to Camorra clans.
He was arrested earlier this month at his Mexican home and deported, arriving late Friday in Rome.

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White men an ‘endangered species’ in UK boardrooms: Tesco chairman

Author: 
Reuters
Sun, 2017-03-12
ID: 
1489263925380321200

LONDON: The chairman of Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco has said he was joking after telling an audience of aspiring non-executive directors (NED) that white men were “an endangered species” in UK boardrooms.
John Allan told the Retail Week Live conference earlier this week that women and people from an ethnic background were in an “extremely propitious period” when it came to getting top jobs in business.
“For a thousand years, men have got most of these jobs, the pendulum has swung very significantly the other way now and will do for the foreseeable future, I think,” British newspapers quoted Allan as saying.
“If you are a white male, tough. You are an endangered species and you are going to have to work twice as hard.”
Allan later told the Guardian his comments, made the day after International Women’s Day, were not meant to be taken at face value and that they had amused his mainly female audience.
“It was intended to be humorous, a bit hyperbolic. Clearly, white men are not literally an endangered species, but I was actually wanting the make the reverse point, which is that it is a great time for women and people of ethnic minorities who want to get on in business.”
In a statement on Saturday, Allan said he was a strong advocate of greater diversity and regretted if his remarks had given the opposite impression.

Main category: 
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UN chief seeks more police for Congo mission as violence up

Author: 
The Associated Press
Sun, 2017-03-12
ID: 
1489263840640288100

JOHANNESBURG: The UN secretary-general is seeking 320 additional police for the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo as tensions over long-delayed elections have caused violence to spread into new areas of the country.
The new report by Antonio Guterres to the UN Security Council, obtained by The Associated Press, said a recent political agreement reached by the ruling party and opposition to hold presidential elections this year is in peril as the sides engage in “brinksmanship.”
The vast Central African nation has seen widespread anger over President Joseph Kabila’s stay in power after his mandate ended in December. The UN says security forces killed at least 40 civilians, including two children, in the December unrest.
The government has delayed elections, saying preparations are not complete.
The UN chief’s report said additional police for the peacekeeping mission will help “keep the political process on track.”
Under the political agreement, Kabila would not run in the election.
Guterres urges the deal’s “speedy implementation,” starting with the appointment of a prime minister.
“Further delays will only serve to inflame tensions and fuel the violence that is now spreading across the country,” his report said. Insecurity is no longer limited to the east, where rebel groups jostle for stakes in the country’s trillion-dollar mineral resources.
The additional police for the UN mission would be deployed in Lubumbashi and Kananga, “where there is a high risk of urban violence in the upcoming electoral period,” the report said.
Guterres also is seeking 36 armored personnel carriers for the new and existing police units.
The Security Council is expected to evaluate the Congo peacekeeping mission, the UN’s largest with more than 19,000 military members and a budget of over $1 billion, later this month.
The latest note of uncertainty in Congo’s political drama is the death last month in Belgium of opposition icon Etienne Tshisekedi, who had been heavily involved in the political agreement. Disagreements over the return and burial of his body, which had been expected this weekend, have added to tensions.

Main category: 
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