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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pentagon Says It Has Successfully Shot Down A Simulated ICBM Attack

Update: according to the Missile Defense Agency, the test was a success. 
According to the just released statement, during the test, an ICBM-class target was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Multiple sensors provided target acquisition and tracking data to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Sea-Based X-band radar, positioned in the Pacific Ocean, also acquired and tracked the target. The GMD system received the target tracking data and developed a fire control solution to intercept the target. 
Full statement from the Pentagon below:

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense and U.S. Northern Command, today successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile target during a test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation's ballistic missile defense system. 

This was the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD and the U.S. ballistic missile defense system. 

During the test, an ICBM-class target was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Multiple sensors provided target acquisition and tracking data to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Sea-Based X-band radar, positioned in the Pacific Ocean, also acquired and tracked the target. The GMD system received the target tracking data and developed a fire control solution to intercept the target. 

A ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and its exo-atmospheric kill vehicle intercepted and destroyed the target in a direct collision.
A clip of the GMD taking off in California: 

* * * 
As previewed last week, on Tuesday afternoon the US began the first ever missile test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, firing off an interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according to a Reuters witness located at the airbase. The long-planned experiment comes amid increased tensions over North Korea’s ballistic missile tests.
Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element launches during a flight test 
from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S., May 30, 2017. 
As part of the historic attempt to intercept an inbound ICBM, a Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor was fired from the Vandenberg. The target vehicle, designed to resemble an ICBM, was fired from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. 
The intercept should take place shortly over the Pacific Ocean. Reuters adds that it could be several hours before the U.S. military discloses whether the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor struck its target. The Kwajalein atoll is approximately 8,000 km (4,972 miles) from Los Angeles, California. 
While the test comes as fears mount about North Korea's advancing program to develop an ICBM capability, Pentagon official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Stars and Stripes last week said that Tuesday’s test was planned “years in advance” and is not a direct response to recent North Korean tests of ballistic missiles. 
Despite the denial, many are skeptical: while North Korea currently lacks the capability to hit the US mainland, the US military intelligence chief recently warned that such a development is only a matter of time.
The test interceptor is equipped with an Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), which is supposed to destroy the target vehicle with a direct hit. “This will be the first test of an upgraded kill vehicle, and the first test against an ICBM-class target,” US Missile Defense Agency spokesman Chris Johnson said in a statement.
Deployed in 2004 by the Bush administration, the GMD has never been used it combat. This is the first intercept test since 2014. There are currently 32 interceptor missiles in Fort Greely, Alaska and four at Vandenberg. Eight more are supposed to come on-line by the end of this year, AP reported. 
Credit to Zero Hedge

‘Tremors’ in Kiev: Moment of huge blast caused by pipe rupture caught on camera

ISIS Declares After Slaughtering Christians ‘May Allah Bless The Pure Hands That Shed Christian Blood, The Infidels Will Submit Or Die’

Image result for ISIS Declares After Slaughtering Christians ‘May Allah Bless The Pure Hands That Shed Christian Blood, The Infidels Will Submit Or Die’

If it weren’t terrible enough that 29 Christians were slaughtered by ISIS terrorists for refusing to deny Christ, ISIS has made it a point to add insult to injury, where they bragged online about the massacre, calling the murderers “pure hands” that shed Christian blood, and boasting that the “infidels” will convert or die:

Islamic State sympathizers have written several messages in an encrypted chat room, celebrating last week’s killing of 29 Coptic Christians who were on their way to a monastery in Egypt, and warning of more such attacks on the minority, according to a report.

“May your jihad be blessed; you are sons of the Islamic State. Bless the pure hands that struck the strongholds of the Christians and the infidels,” wrote a user, Talha Alanssari, in a closed, encrypted chat group accessed by Breitbart Jerusalem.

The message continued, “Thank Allah who made our hearts happy with the heroic attack of the nation of Caliphs against the Christians in Egypt who should expect more attacks. The same Christians will not have the luxury of security and they will pay … the taxes of the Jizya (tax levied on non-Muslims) with the help of Allah.”

Another message by Oubaida Alsinawi reads, “Thank Allah who allowed our brothers to hunt these Christians as the hunter hunts his prey. The soldiers of the Islamic State will continue in an open-ended campaign with these Christians and traitorous Muslims in the Egyptian army and the tribes that help them in Sinai. I swear to Allah that our brothers in the field are demonstrating creativity as they reach these Christians and infidels and all those who help them. The attacks that have yet to come will be much harder with the help of Allah.”

Yet another chat user, identified as Hamza Alraqawi, wrote, “You warmed our hearts as our Mujahedeen brothers did who struck in England, Belgium, France, America and Russia. We say to you, continue with the blessing of Allah and increase your attacks and don’t allow them to continue harming the oppressed on the Earth.”

Another user, called “The Sheikh of the Caliphate,” wrote, “The war against the Christians is no less important than the war against the Shi’ites and against the infidels.”

Children, including a 2-year-old girl, were among the 29 killed Friday.

The Christians were traveling in two buses and a small truck in Minya, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority, when they were attacked. Masked gunmen stopped the vehicles on a road leading to the monastery.

New reports indicate that each person was asked to deny their faith in Jesus Christ. When they all refused, they were shot dead.

Hours after Friday’s attack, Egypt’s air force launched six strikes over its western border, targeting jihadist training camps in the Libyan port city of Derna, which is controlled by jihadists close to al-Qaeda.

Earlier this month, Islamic State’s local leader in Egypt issued a warning to Muslims, asking them to stay away from Christian gatherings and suggesting that it would launch new attacks on “legitimate targets.”

On Palm Sunday, bombings at churches in Alexandria and Tanta killed 45 Christians. Islamic State, also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, claimed responsibility for those attacks. IS also signaled while claiming responsibility that more attacks were coming: “The Crusaders and their tails from the apostates must be aware that the bill between us and them is very large and they will be paying it like a river of blood from their sons, if God willing.”

Sinai Province, the name of the local affiliate of IS in Egypt, is seeking to impose a hardline interpretation of Islam in the country.

Credit to Shoebat.com

5 Highly Respected Financial Experts That Are Warning That A Market Crash Is Imminent

If everything is going to be “just fine”, why are so many big names in the financial community warning about an imminent meltdown?  I don’t think that I have seen so many simultaneous warnings about a market crash since just before the great financial crisis of 2008.  And at this point, you would have to be quite blind not to see that stocks are absurdly overvalued and that a correction is going to happen at some point.  And when stocks do start crashing, lots of fingers are going to start pointing at President Trump, but it won’t be his fault.  The Federal Reserve and other central banks are primarily responsible for creating this bubble, and they should definitely get the blame for what is about to happen to global financial markets.
My regular readers are quite familiar with my thoughts on where the market is headed, so today let me share some thoughts from five highly respected financial experts…
#1 When Altair Asset Management’s chief investment officer Philip Parker was asked if a market crash was coming to Australia, he said that he has “never been more certain of anything in my life”.  In fact, he is so sure that the investments that his hedge fund is managing are going to crash that a decision was made to liquidate the fund “and return ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars to its clients”
While hardly a novel claim – in the past many have warned that Australia’s housing and stock market are massive asset bubbles (which local banks have been forced to deny as their fates are closely intertwined with asset prices even as the RBA is increasingly worried) – so far few if any have gone the distance of putting their money where their mouth was. That changed, when Australian asset manager Altair Asset Management made the extraordinary decision to liquidate its Australian shares funds and return “hundreds of millions” of dollars to its clients according to the Sydney Morning Heraldciting an impending property market “calamity” and the “overvalued and dangerous time in this cycle”. 
Giving up management and performance fees and handing back cash from investments managed by us is a seminal decision, however preserving client’s assets is what all fund managers should put before their own interests,” Philip Parker, who serves as Altair’s chairman and chief investment officer, said in a statement on Monday quoted by the SMH.
#2 Seth Klarman leads one of the biggest hedge funds in the United States, and he believes that U.S. investors are greatly underestimating the amount of risk in the market right now…
“When share prices are low, as they were in the fall of 2008 into early 2009, actual risk is usually quite muted while perception of risk is very high,” Klarman wrote. “By contrast, when securities prices are high, as they are today, the perception of risk is muted, but the risks to investors are quite elevated.”
Klarman oversees one of the US’s largest hedge fund firms, with some $30 billion under management. He has a huge following on Wall Street — investors named his book, “Margin of Safety,” their favorite investment book in a recent SumZero survey.
#3 Bill Blain is a strategist at Mint Partners, and he is actually specifically pointing to October 12th as the date when things will start to get “horribly interesting”
But…. Catch a falling knife, why don’t you… I shall spend the summer wondering just how long the Stock Market games continue. When, not if.
At the moment, my prediction is October 12th. Around that day its going to get horribly interesting..
Why that particular day? 
Gut feel and knowing how the Bowl of Petunias felt in Hitchhikers. (“Not again.”)
There are just too many contradictory currents out there. The unsustainability of burgeoning consumer debt, unfeasibly tight credit spreads, the sandcastle foundations of student loans, autos, housing and the CLO market, China, Trump, politics.. worries about what follows Brazil in the EM market, and whatever… The risks of a massive consumer sentiment dump..  
#4 David Stockman has also been warning about what may happen this fall.  According to Stockman, this current stock market bubble “is the greatest sucker’s rally we have ever seen”
The market is insanely valued right now.  They were trying to tag, the robo machines and day traders, they were trying to tag 2,400 on the S&P 500.  They ended up at 2,399, I think, but the point is that represents about 25 times trailing earnings for 2016.  We are at a point in the so-called recovery that has already lasted 96 months.  It’s almost the longest one in history.  What the market is saying is we have reached the point of full employment forever.  There will never be another recession or any kind of economic surprise or upset or dislocation.  The market is pricing itself for perfection for all of eternity.  This is crazy. . . . I think the market could easily drop to 1,600 or 1,300.  It could drop by 40% or even more once the fantasy ends. When the government shows its true colors, that it’s headed for a fiscal bloodbath when this crazy notion that there is going to be some Trump fiscal stimulus is put to rest once and for all.  I mean it’s not going to happen.  They can’t pass a tax cut that big without a budget resolution that incorporated $10 trillion or $15 trillion in debt over the next decade.  It’s just not going to pass Congress. . . . I think this is the greatest sucker’s rally we have ever seen.
#5 Last but certainly not least, David Kranzler seems quite certain “that the stock market bubble is getting ready to pop”
Anyone happen to notice that several market commentators have argued that Bitcoin is a bubble but the same stock “experts” look the other way as the U.S. stock market becomes more overvalued by the day vs. the deteriorating underlying fundamentals? Bitcoin going “parabolic” triggers alarm bells but it’s okay if the stock price of Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) is hurtling toward parity with the price of one ounce of gold. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) burns a billion per year in cash. It sold 76,000 cars last year vs. 10 million worldwide for General Motors (NYSE:GM). Yet Tesla’s market cap is $51.7 billion vs. $48.8 billion for GM.
This insanity is the surest sign that the stock market bubble is getting ready to pop. If you read between the lines of the the comments from certain Wall Street analysts, the onlyjustification for current valuations is “Central Bank liquidity” and “Fed support of asset values.” This is the most dangerous stage of a market top because it draws in retail “mom & pop” investors who can’t stop themselves from missing out on the next “sure thing.” There will be millions of people who are permanently damaged financially when the Fed loses control of this market. Or, as legendary “vulture” investor Asher Edelman stated on CNBC, “I don’t want to be in the market because I don’t know when the plug is going to be pulled.”
Could all of these top experts be wrong?
It’s possible, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Every stock market bubble of this magnitude in U.S. history has ended in a spectacular crash, and this one will not be any different.  We can certainly have some good arguments about the exact timing of the next crash, but what everyone should be able to agree on is that a crash is coming.
You only make money in the stock market if you get out at the right time.  Many of those that timed things well have made a tremendous amount of money, but most investors will be entirely caught off guard by the market implosion that is rapidly approaching.
As I have explained to my readers repeatedly, markets tend to go down a whole lot faster than they go up, and in the not too distant future we are going to see trillions of dollars of investor wealth wiped out very, very quickly.
Let’s hope that the coming crisis will not be as bad as 2008, but I have a feeling that it is going to be much worse.
We didn’t learn our lessons the last time around, and so now we are going to pay a very high price for our stubbornness.
Credit to Economic Collapse

Jewish Priests, Biblical Status Confirmed By DNA

In a powerful blend of science and religion, a rabbi has turned to genetics to reinstate the priesthood for the Third Temple. This rabbi believes that science has proven that the priesthood is exactly as the Bible described: An eternal covenant that will reappear to herald in the Third Temple. 

Genetics connects modern Judaism to the Bible, confirming 3,000 years of Jewish tradition,” explained Rabbi Yaakov Kleiman to Breaking Israel News. “This is an amazing testament to God’s covenant and the Jewish People. Despite more than 2,000 years of exile we have maintained our religion, our customs, our Torah, and our genetic identity.” 

Manifesting prophecy is Rabbi Kleiman’s daily work. He opened the Center for Kohanim in Jerusalem nine years ago as a practical endeavor, and has authored a book on DNA evidence of the priesthood. Kohanim, or priests, are Jewish men believed to be descendants of Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. The Temple service may only be performed by kohanim.

Credit to Skywatchtv.com

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Hong Kong's Housing Market Has Become "A Sea Of Madness" Central Bank Warns

What a difference 16 months makes. 
It was in February of 2016 when, looking at the latest trends in the Hong Kong housing market, we wrote that in January [2016] Hong Kong home prices tumbled the most since July 2013, and after a 12 year upcycle, prices were now down 10% from the recent peak just four months prior...
... while the local Centaline Property Agency estimated that total Hong Kong property transactions at the start of 2016 were on track to register the worst month on record. 
Fast forward to today when that particular blip is long forgotten, swept away by the record credit injection unleashed by China in the interim, which has spilled over into the Hong Kong's housing market where instead of concerns about a bubble bursting, the locals are preoccupied with chasing the latest, and biggest yet, housing bubble to form in Hong Kong, as crowds of people line up in hope of being the winning bidder for one of several properties for sales, some of which are oversubscribed as much as 15x.
At the Victoria Skye, a luxury project at the former airport site of Kai Tak and at the Ocean Pride development by Cheung Kong Property Holdings people were lining up on Friday and over the weekend for their chance to buy a home at all time high prices.
K&K Property has offered an additional 200 units at Victoria Skye after it sold 306 flats on Saturday, Ming Pao newspaper reported. Cheung Kong will put another 346 up for grabs after selling 496 in a single day, May 26, it said. In both cases, the developers will raise the prices of the additional units by about 2 percent, the newspaper reported
Yes, HK real estate prices are rising by 2% not over a year, or a month, but in one day!
That, however, does not stop the relentless demand from local buyers. Hong Kong developers sold 8,616 homes in the first five months of the year, more than were sold in any first half since new purchasing rules were introduced in 2013, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported. 
What makes this particular bubble different is that this time, it is obvious to everyone, certainly the local press. An editorial in The Standard newspaper on Monday was surprisingly accurate: “successive moves by the government in recent memory to cool the property market only resulted in it becoming crazier. The result is a sea of madness.
It is also obvious to the local central bank, which, however, like Vancouver and Toronto, appears powerless to halt the tsunami of hot mainland money. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has been tightening rules for lenders, Bloomberg writes, including restricting levels of lending to developers, as it tries to limit financial risks and take some of the heat out of the market.  
And yet, so far the result is absolutely nothing as nobody bothers to listen to the growing warnings.  
Speaking at a Legislative Council meeting last Monday, Hong Kong's central bank chief, HKMA Chief Executive Norman Chan, said levels of demand were reminiscent of 20 years ago, just before Hong Kong suffered a property bust, and he expressed concern that people with limited financial resources were buying just because they thought prices would only keep going up, just like in a bubble.
Chan said that while the global economy has improved, uncertainties remain and warned that when the property cycle reverses, "the impact will be serious."
With real estate prices rising fast - in some cases as much as 2% per day - his warning has fallen on deaf ears. Of course, it will be different when the bubble against bursts, and everyone is "shocked" that the authorities let it come to this again, and then first the HKMA, then the PBOC, will have to again step in and bail out all the bubble chasing speculators once more, or risk yet another economic collapse, rinse and repeat. 
Credit to Zero Hedge