Thursday, October 11, 2018



A big drop in stock prices yesterday with the Dow Jones going down 3 percent in value and NASDAQ even more at 4 percent.

Asian markets in Japan and Hong Kong also fell overnight and in Europe today there were also declines.

Concerns about overvaluation of tech stocks drove the prices down.

This morning Dow Futures were down ahead of the start of trading.  At around 745am they were down around 209 points.

President Trump criticized the Federal Reserve Board for raising interest rates when asked about the turbulent stock market situation.  He said it was a correction that was long overdue.

Two are reported dead after Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle and southwestern Georgia.

One of them, an 11-year old girl, was killed in Seminole County, Georgia, when a mobile carport was lifted off the ground and crashed through a roof.  WALB-TV in Albany, Georgia provided those details of what was called a "freak accident" caused by the storm.

The storm is now a tropical storm and moving over the Carolinas and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean.

At 8am maximum sustained winds were 50 miles per hour with storm centered 40 miles west-northwest of Columbia, South Carolina.  The storm is moving forward at 21 miles per hour.

An emergency landing this morning in Kazakhstan for an American and a Russian astronaut headed for the international space station.    The booster rockets of their Soyuz spacecraft failed after liftoff at 440am this morning Eastern time.

The two astronauts, American Nick Hague and Russian Alexy Ovchinin, are reported in good condition at last word.

President Trump stumped for Republicans at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania last night.

The President's message was "get out and vote" and vote for Republicans led by US Senate candidate Congressman Lou Barletta, who's challenging incumbent Democrat Bob Casey.

President Trump says that the United States is demanding answers as to what happened to Saudi journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi.   He said:

"We cannot let this happen to reporters, to anybody" 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior officials have spoken to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman asking for more  details about Khashoggi's disappearance.

Turkish sources say a team of 15 men using two jets came in and out of Istanbul on Tuesday October 2nd and were at the Saudi consulate when Khashoggi went inside and did not come out.

Pictures have been released to the media by Turkish authorities related to Khashoggi's disappearance with the Turks saying they believe he was murdered.

In Syria, a demilitarized zone has been established in the populated areas of Idlib Province.  That's the word from Turkish officials.  The heavy weapons of Syrian government opponents were supposed to be removed yesterday (October 10th) and all of the fighting forces of the Syrian opposition, including Al Qaeda jihadists, are supposed to be out of the area by next Monday, October 15th.

The Russians say that chlorine gas delivered to those jihadists in northern Syria by Western nations have now been handed over to Islamic State elements in the country.  The Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria says what ISIS will do with the chlorine gas cannot be predicted.

Polling in Germany ahead of Bavaria's state election this Sunday shows only 33 percent support for the Christian Social Union, sister party of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.   The anti-mass immigration Alternative for Germany has risen to 14 percent support, plus there's a surge for the left-wing Greens up to 18 percent.

Nationally, the AfD is at 18 percent in polling with Merkels party at 26 percent, making the AfD the second most popular party in Germany.

In the face of the latest polling data, an all out assault on the AfD and its leaders is underway in German mainstream media with with the writing of one of the party's leaders, Alexander Gauland, being compared to Hitler.  

In addition, the party's move to create a website portal where students can report political bias in their schools is compared to East German's reporting to secret police in the Communist era.    A large crowd protested outside last Sunday when Jews met to form a group within the Alternative for Germany.

In Sweden, the "Moderate Party" leader Ulf Kristersson is moving forward with his "Plan B" to  a new government following the Social Democrats refusal to join it.  The Moderates and the Christian Democrats are amenable to a coalition with the anti-mass immigration Sweden Democrats but the Center and Liberal parties aren't so open to the idea.

If Kristersson can get the Centre Party at least behind him he will get a majority to form a government.

Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson offered to resign this week if it would help make the other parties amenable to including the Sweden Democrats in a new government.

Who will replace Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador?   One name floated by President Trump is Dina Powell, a board member of Goldman Sachs, who used to be an adviser to him.

Harvey Weinstein is set to appear before a judge in New York today with the judge set to rule of dismissal of some or all of the six-count indictment against him for rape and sexual assault.   His lawyer says the prosecution withheld evidence from the grand jury that would have caused them not to indict Weinstein.

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