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Man Jailed After Police Find 3D Printed Gun And US Lawmaker Kill List

A Dallas man has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison after officers discovered a 3D-printed assault rifle and a hit list of US lawmakers in his backpack, despite a court order that banned him from owning a gun, stated US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. According to Cox, Eric McGinnis obtained a barrel, tactical stock, upper receiver, and a vertical grip — and then used a 3D printer to build the gun’s lower receiver, the section of the firearm which provides housing for internal components such as the hammer, bolt, action, and firing mechanism. He then assembled the parts into a short-barrel AR-15 rifle and traveled to a nearby woodland with what federal attorneys called an extensive “hit list” of Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including their home addresses. The list was titled, “9/11/2001 list of American Terrorists.” The arrest of McGinnis occurred in 2017 after Grand Prairie Police Department in Texas heard rapid-fire shooting in a remote area of town. On Wednesday, he was sentenced to eight years in prison. McGinnis being arrested outside Dallas in 2017  “When he realized he couldn’t legally purchase a firearm, Eric McGinnis circumvented our gun laws by 3D-printing his weapon, eliminating the need for a background check,” said Cox. A second examination of McGinnis’ cellphone and computer by US Capitol investigators suggested he was overly obsessed with James Hodgkinson, the shooter who wounded Rep. Steve Scalise at a GOP Congressional baseball practice in Virginia in 2007, the federal prosecutor revealed at sentencing Wednesday. McGinnis admitted he had “printed” the lower receiver of the gun to a...

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Howard Marks: The Most Dangerous Thing The Fed Ever Did Was Convince Investors That “It’s Different This Time”

As the infamous quote from the movie “the Usual Suspects” goes: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Similarly, as the billionaire investor and Oaktree Capital Management founder Howard Marks explained during a recent interview with RealVision’s Grant Williams, the most dangerous trick the Federal Reserve ever pulled was to convince investors that “it’s different this time”. That in the post-crisis era, the central bank has discovered an elixir to eliminate the business cycle, installing in its place an everlasting bull market, abetted by a “goldilocks” economy, where every dip presents an immediate buying opportunity. Williams described Marks in their interview as “a great student of [market] cycles” before questioning whether old-school thinking about the boom-bust nature of the markets was even still relevant in the post-crisis brave new world that QE and negative interest rates have brought us. But Marks quickly dismissed this, affirming that he is still believes in the value of analyzing and timing the market cycle. Perhaps that’s why his fund, Oaktree Management, seized the opportunity to deploy capital during Q4, when nothing was working (2018 will go down in history as one of the worst years for financial markets on record, given the breadth of losses across asset classes), and everybody seemed to be selling in a panic. Elaborating further Marks explained his view on where we...

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In Unprecedented Move, Catholic Church Expels Cardinal For Sexual Abuse

Some six months after an archbishop in the Vatican ignited a scandal that nearly brought down the pope by publicizing allegations that the Vatican had systematically suppressed and dragged its feet on investigating one of the most powerful cardinals in the US, Pope Francis has taken the unprecedented step of defrocking – or laicizing, as its technically known – 88-year-old retired cardinal William McCarrick, who was once one of the most powerful Catholic officials in the US. According to the New York Times, the de-frocking of McCarrick, who was found guilty of using his position of power to abuse both seminarians and children, may be the first example in the church’s 2,000+ year history of a cardinal being expelled from the priesthood, though no scholar of the church can say for certain that this is true. According to the ruling, McCarrick can no longer perform any religious duties – including taking confession and delivering holy communion – and will henceforth be known simply as Mr. McCarrick. In a statement on Saturday, the Vatican said Mr. McCarrick had been dismissed after he was tried and found guilty of several crimes, including soliciting sex during confession and “sins” with minors and with adults, “with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.” While the Vatican has defrocked hundreds of priests for sexual abuse of minors, few of the church’s leaders have...

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NFL Paid Kaepernick $60 To $80 Million To Settle: Report

Colin Kaepernick received between $60 and $80 million in an out-of-court settlement with the NFL, according to NFL columnist Mike Freeman, who tweeted on Friday: “Number NFL team officials are speculating to me is the NFL paid Kaepernick in the $60 to $80 million range.” Number NFL team officials are speculating to me is the NFL paid Kaepernick in the $60 to $80 million range. — mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) February 15, 2019 While the exact terms of the settlement have not been revealed, Kaepernick attorney Mark Geragos released a statement following Freeman’s tweet, noting that the terms of the agreement are subject to a confidentiality agreement.  For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.  pic.twitter.com/5sdcGSuwvW — Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) February 15, 2019 The NFL Players Association, meanwhile, acknowledged the settlement in a separate statement.  “Today, we were informed by the NFL of the settlement of the Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid collusion cases. We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel. We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start...

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All US Citizens Ordered Out Of Haiti Amidst Mass Unrest And Chaos

Haiti continues to be gripped by civil unrest and mass protests demanding that President Jovenal Moise step down over charges of corruption and and rampant inflation under his watch — yet unlike similar unrest happening hundreds of miles due south of the small Caribbean country in Venezuela, Washington has stood in support of the president. Starting Thursday the US State Department urged all American citizens out of the country and issued a no-not-travel advisory due to “crime and civil unrest”.  And national security adviser John Bolton followed with a statement on Saturday for all sides in Haiti to “respect and protect their democracy” — a bit ironic considering he spent the rest of the day tweeting regime change related messages targeting Venezuela’s Maduro. He revealed in the tweet that he met with Haitian Foreign Minister on Friday “to express the United States’ enduring support for and friendship with Haiti.” He further urged “all of Haiti’s political actors to respect and protect their democracy, engage in dialogue, and put an end to the political violence.” Protests from days ago, via The Miami Herald/AP In its prior travel ban the State Dept. described a rapidly deteriorating situation of “Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable. Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common,” and said further that “Emergency response, including ambulance service, is limited or non-existent.” An update told all U.S. citizens who remained in...

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Group Of 10 Elite Hedge Fund Managers Made $7.7 Billion In 2018

Remarkably enough considering investors just endured a year that will be remembered as one of the worst for cross-asset performance in recent memory, Citadel founder and hedge fund billion Ken Griffin – who capped off a $700 million real-estate buying binge by dropping more than $450 million for properties in London and New York City – still finished the year well in the black. According to Bloomberg, Griffin was one of the leaders of a pack of well-compensated hedge fund billionaires who saw their wealth expand by $7.7 billion in 2018. Griffin alone saw his fortune swell by $870 million, bringing his total net worth to $10 billion. Citadel had a good year last year, but its returns didn’t include anything on the scale of George Soros’ legendary pound short or John Paulson’s bet against the housing market. So how did he do so well? The answer is that funds like Citadel and Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates have grown so large, they effectively throw off hundreds of millions – if not billions – of dollars in fees a year, even during relatively lean stretches for the market.  “We still want the mega funds to produce returns that are better than a typical hedge fund, that’s why we’re willing to pay the 2 and 20 percent fees,” said Tim Ng, CIO of Clearbrook Global Advisors, which invests in hedge funds....

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China Accounts For More Than 60% Of All New Credit Created Globally In The Past Ten Years

Over five years ago, in November 2013, when the world’s attention was still largely focused on what the “Big 4” central banks would do with QE and/or interest rates, we wrote an article showing in one simple chart  “How In Five Short Years, China Humiliated The World’s Central Banks“, and noted that in just the brief period since the financial crisis “Chinese bank assets (and by implication liabilities) have grown by an astounding $15 trillion, bringing the total to over $24 trillion. In other words, China has expanded its financial balance sheet by 50% more than the assets of all global central banks combined.” Fast forward to today, when not only is China’s debt the biggest wildcard for the stability of the global financial system – something China is well aware of and is why in January, Beijing injected a gargantuan $685 billion in new credit into its financial system, greater than the GDP of the 21st largest country, Taiwan… …  but even central banks openly admit that China’s relentless debt-issuance spree is a major risk factor for global financial stability. One such bank is the NY Fed, which this week issued a report titled “Could Rising Household Debt Undercut China’s Economy?” which while containing nothing that regular readers don’t already know, provides a handy snapshot of the full extent of China’s debt problems (and is a useful sequel...

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Another Retailer Bites The Dust: Payless To Shutter US Operations As Bankruptcy Filing Looms

With its second bankruptcy filing in two years imminent, Bloomberg is reporting that discount shoe retailer Payless (Shoesource Inc.) will liquidate its US operations, and begin shutting down its online operations, as the US “retail apocalypse” claims its latest victim. While it’s still unclear whether the retailer will ultimately file Chapter 11 or Chapter 7, as of now, its Latin American operations are expected to continue operating. Meanwhile, its corporate-owned stores in the US and Puerto Rico are expected to remain open through March. The Topeka, Kansas-based retailer has been looking for a “Debtor-in-Possession” loan to see it through the proceedings. Last year saw bankruptcy filings from once-iconic retailers like Toys R’ Us and Sears. And already this year, at least half a dozen names have gone bust, including Shopko, FullBeauty Brands, Charlotte Russe, Things Remembered and Gymboree, which like Payless, also filed for bankruptcy last month and is also liquidating most of its operations. In total, since 2016, some 35 retail chains have filed for chapter 11 reporting more than $100M in debt according to Reorg First Day. Since 2016, 35 retail chains have filed for chapter 11 relief reporting more than $100M in liabilities on their bankruptcy petitions: pic.twitter.com/XwjwTdvKsL — Reorg First Day (@ReorgFirstDay) November 20, 2018 Payless, which employs more than 18,000 globally and operates about 3,600 outlets worldwide, with more than 2,700 in North America,...

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Elon Musk-Backed Software Can Churn Fake News Stories And Is “Too Dangerous To Release”

The ability of technology to spread disinformation has been a favorite talking point of the left since the 2016 election, and now it appears that environmentally-conscious poster-boy, Elon Musk, is contributing to the problem. OpenAI, a company co-founded by Musk, has rolled out a piece of software that can produce real looking fake news articles after being given just a few pieces of information to work with. An example of this was recently reported by technology website stuff, detailing an example published last Thursday. The system was given sample text of:  “A train carriage containing controlled nuclear materials was stolen in Cincinnati today. Its whereabouts are unknown.” From there, software was able to write a seven paragraph news story, including quotes from government officials – with the only catch being that the story was 100% made up. We’ve trained an unsupervised language model that can generate coherent paragraphs and perform rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering, and summarization — all without task-specific training: https://t.co/sY30aQM7hU pic.twitter.com/360bGgoea3 — OpenAI (@OpenAI) February 14, 2019 New York University computer scientist Sam Bowman said: “The texts that they are able to generate from prompts are fairly stunning. It’s able to do things that are qualitatively much more sophisticated than anything we’ve seen before.” While OpenAI claims it is “aware of the concerns around fake news” its co-founder Musk has been vehemently outspoken about the quality of news coverage...

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First US Military Planes Land Near Venezuela Border With Aid In Defiance Of Maduro

The Pentagon is now publicizing its first military airlift of Venezuelan aid delivered to the Colombian town of Cucuta on Saturday, which sits on the border shared by the two countries, despite embattled President Nicolas Maduro vowing to keep such “unauthorized” aid out by stationing troops along the border. Washington is using aid delivery to undermine the socialist Maduro government in Caracas, which has blasted US-led attempts to foment coup and fuel unrest. AP photograph of C-17 landing in Colombia on Saturday, Feb. 16 AP photographs and video confirmed that two of three scheduled Air Force C-17 cargo planes that left Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida landed at the border city on Saturday. The town has become a staging ground of sorts for aid that supporters of US-backed opposition head Juan Guaido say they intend to distribute.  “This wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last,” USAID Administrator Mark Green told the AP while on the tarmac in Cucuta receiving the aid. “More is on the way,” he promised.  According to the AP it’s certainly not the first shipment of official US humanitarian aid; however, it is the first highly significant and symbolic moment it was brought in on massive US Air Force cargo planes.  04-4134 & two other #USAF C-17As transported over 200 tons of #USAID consisted of nutritional supplements for 3,500 children, and hygiene kits for 25,000 people for 2...

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