Russian Prosecutor Asking 18 Years Maxim Security Prison Term for Paul Whelan, Was He a Spy or Black Market Contractor?

A Prosecutor investigating the case of a former US Navy officer accused of spying in Russia has requested 18 years in a maximum-security prison for the defendant, Paul Whelan. The trial wrapped up on May 25, 2020. It is expected that the verdict of the marine, who was detained in Moscow 17 months ago, will be announced by the court in June after final submissions.

Turkey Intelligence Gathering in US and Canada Revealed

Nordic Monitor published classified information about  surveillance operations by the Turkish intelligence services in the US and other nations around the globe. According to the documentation, the Turkish President has been authorizing intelligence operations to spy on critics of Turkey. The documentation seems to have a stamp from the Turkish government agency established in 2016 under the Turkish National Security Agenda.

Coronavirus and Your Vehicle – What Everyone Needs to Know

Coronavirus continues to be a global pandemic, effecting global economies, while also being responsible for many deaths around the world. Currently, there are over 1.2 million cases globally. In the United States there are 336,958 cases of infection as of April 5th. There are stay at home orders across the US and Canada. This weekend has also been alarming with the number of US deaths reaching over 8,000.

Coronavirus: Trump Bans Exports of PPE, Angering Canada, Germany

The Trump administration ordered Minnesota mask manufacturer 3M “to prioritize U.S. orders over foreign demand,” late Thursday, citing its authority under the Defense Production Act (DPA), to try and ease critical shortages of N95 masks at US hospitals. This has sparked tensions with America’s allies, notably Canada and Germany, as they fight their own battles against COVID-19.

REVIEW: Social Distancing and the Amazon Online Shopping (Whole Foods) Experience – Partial Fail

Coronavirus has been on every news channel and every online outlet, as many US States are under voluntary 14 days self quarantine and shelter in place orders.

The major developments around the Globe related to coronavirus:

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day shutdown would begin March 25th extending restrictions to the entire nation of more than 1.3 billion.
  • The Tokyo Summer  Olympics have been postponed until 2021.
  • The rate of infection in New York is doubling every three days, with confirmed cases topping 25,000. More than 50,000 cases have been confirmed nationwide.
  • The number of confirmed cases around the world passed 400,000, suggesting that the global pace of infection continues to increase. Italy reported 743 new deaths, bringing the country’s total to 6,820. France became the fifth country to mark more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths.

Online Grocery Delivery Services Booming Amid Coronavirus – Consumer Beware

Many US  States and Cities issued closure orders in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The list of state and city orders according to USA Today:

  • Missouri’s two largest cities issued stay-at-home orders Saturday. The St. Louis mandate, which also applies to St. Louis County, begins Monday, and the one for Kansas City and its metro area goes into effect Tuesday.
  • New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell directed residents to stay at home.
  • San Miguel County, Colorado, is under a shelter-in-place order until April 3.
  • Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, is under a shelter-in-place order until April 7.
  • Blaine County, Idaho, is under a shelter-in-place order.
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced that all New York residents must stay home “to the maximum extent possible.”
  • The State of California is under a stay at home order.
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker  announced a “stay-at-home” that will last until at least April 7.
  • In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday announced an executive order directing all nonessential businesses and not-for-profit entities to close.
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday told residents to stay home, calling the directive “both an order and a public awareness campaign.”
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Saturday that he would be ordering residents to stay at home.
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all “non-life-sustaining” businesses to close.

Canada in Crisis Amid Coronavirus – What’s Next?

Currently, Canada has 1,087 cases of Coronavirus. Sadly, there has been 12 deaths reported due to the virus. The first case of Coronavirus in Canada was a  56-year-old man presented to our Emergency Department in Toronto with fever and non-productive cough. He arrived in Canada one day earlier after returning from a 3-month visit to Wuhan, China. Wuhan was the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus Impact on Canadians and Economy

Currently, Canada has 415 confirmed cases of coronavirus in all 10 provinces. In an official announcement Canada closed its borders to all non-citizens. The only exemption is US citizens. Starting March 18th, all international flights will be restricted to airports in four major Canadian cities: Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Nevertheless, commercial vehicles are still allowed travel through Canada/US border check points.

Coronavirus: Canadian PM’s Wife Tests Positive, China Pushes Conspiracy Theories

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office said. Mrs. Gregoire Trudeau is doing well and will remain isolated, the statement read in part. “Following medical advice, she will remain in isolation for the time being. She is feeling well, is taking all the recommended precautions and her symptoms remain mild,” according to a statement tweeted by Cameron Ahmad, the prime minister’s communications director.

Fixed Income 2: Finding Attractive Income Opportunities in a Yieldless World

A monthly performance review of Durig’s high yielding Fixed Income 2 (FX2) Managed Income Portfolio which also explores the many benefits that the portfolio can provide to investors.

(performance is reported net of fee, as of 2-20-20)

Performance Highlights

  • Over 6% in Cash Generation Alone
  • Year-to-Date Return of 6.20%
  • Trailing 1 Year Return of 7.72%
  • Trailing 3 Year Return of 9.03%
  • Trailing 5 Year Return of 9.13%
  • Annualized Return Since Inception of 8.72%
  • Average Bond Maturity of 4 Years
  • Alpha of 10.58 (vs. Benchmark)*
  • Beta of -1.22 (vs. Benchmark)*
  • Excess Return of 4.32% (vs. Benchmark)*

Canadian Foreign Minister: The World Waits for Iran’s Proper Response

Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne promised that Iran would be “pressured” to respond to the “exact cause” of the downing of the Ukrainian aircraft. “The world is waiting for the answer and will not calm down until the right answer is received,” he said in London today. Foreign ministers of five countries whose citizens were killed by two Iranian Revolutionary Guards missiles fired on Ukrainian planes met on Tuesday to pressure Tehran into conducting “full and transparent” investigations into the tragedy.

Iran Admits “Unintentionally” Shooting Down Ukrainian Plane

Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff admitted on Saturday that, by “human error,” a missile launched by its army shot down the Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 737 plane with 176 people aboard. In a statement, the Iranian government said the aircraft was wrongly identified as a “hostile aircraft,” and hit it at the time the enemy threat was “at the highest level.” Tehran has apologized for the incident.

Did Iran Down Ukrainian Plane to Punish as Traitors Iranian-Canadians Who Left Iran?

Canada and UK claim to have intelligence the Boeing downing that was operated by Ukrainian airlines was done by Iran. Recent reports state that there were over 60 Canadians out of 138 people on board en route to Canada.  Many innocent lives were senselessly lost in this tragedy. Canada is a home to over 210,000 Iranian Canadians. There are no direct flights to Iran from Canada. That is one of the reasons many fly to Kyiv and transfer there to reach Canada.

Russia Banned from Olympics for 4 Years – Who is Responsible for Doping Results Tempering and Russian Database Purge?

It is official, Russia has been banned from participating in all major sporting events for the next four years. The WADA announcement came today in response to noncompliance by Russia.  The World Anti-Doping Agency is a foundation initiated by the International Olympic Committee headquartered in Montreal to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports. It was established in the 1999. It enforces The World Anti-Doping Code, which is the document that harmonizes regulations regarding anti-doping across all sports and all countries of the world. The Code provides a framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations for sport organizations and public authorities.

Law, Privacy and Genome Human Rights Failure in Russia – Putin’s Fascination with Hitler’s Eugenics Project

The Human Genome Organization (HUGO) and the European Union developed genetic information privacy regulations to protect the public. A majority of experts have agreed for the need for genetic information privacy. In 2014 the HUGO Committee on Ethics, Law and Society (CELS) presented a human rights approach to an international code of conduct for genomic and clinical data sharing. The code of conduct is supposed to prevent human rights violations during the research of genomes, allowing enough protection to allow scientific research in the genome field.

Is Canada Following Britain with WEXIT?

This week Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudueau has been re-elected for a second term. Trudeau is the leader of the Liberal Party which was only able to form a minority government this term. Trudeau is disliked in Western Canada. After the election the new movement #Wexit (Western Exit) is gaining popularity on social media. Within 24 hours a Facebook page for VoteWexit.com gained over 200,000 members.

Trudeau, Liberals Lose Majority, Hang on to Power

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won Canada’s parliamentary elections Monday night. The party has, however, lost its absolute majority. “Tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity. They elected a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change,” said an evidently relieved Trudeau in his victory speech in Montreal.

Gran Colombia Gold Bonds, Short Term, High Yield, Unique Fixed Income Investment, Yielding 14% YTM

Once in a great while you find or learn something that is so unbelievably good, that you have to hear or read it over and over again, often from different sources or perspectives, before the truth of it actually starts to sink in and really make sense.  Perhaps it’s that initial bewilderment that has served to curb much of any demand from the fixed income markets for this otherwise “golden” opportunity. Fortunately, this is great news for those that eventually arrive at a deeper understanding of why these Gran Colombia Gold bonds are so darn good… and it is why these bonds are well deserving of overweighting in our high performing FX2 fixed income portfolios.

Hurricane Dorian Hits Canada, Leaves Thousands in Darkness

After causing mass damages in the Bahamas, as well as North Carolina, Hurricane Dorian made landfall Saturday afternoon in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It uprooted trees, blew off roofs and disrupted electricity supply, leaving several in darkness. Hurricane Dorian reached the extreme east of Canada with strong winds on Sunday and left hundreds of thousands of people without power supply.

Theratechnologies Bonds, Short Term, High Yield, Fixed Income Investment, Yielding 8% YTM

This week, Durig Capital looks to a Canadian issuer, a specialty pharmaceutical company that is successfully treating long-term HIV patients with its unique medicines so that patients have the opportunity to have a better quality of life. Theratechnologies (TSX:TH) has two landmark drugs, Trogarzo™ and EGRIFTA™ specifically developed to help HIV patients. The company has reported its second quarter results (for the three months ending May 31, 2019) and continues to see outstanding growth over its product lines.

Gran Colombia Gold Bonds or “Gold Notes”, Short Term, High Yield, Fixed Income Investment, Yielding 8% YTM

Beyond Belief… this may be the most fascinating debt instrument we have ever reviewed.

Rising with the price of gold, the cash flow and yield of Gran Colombia Gold’s senior secured “Gold Notes” appears to be headed straight into the land of unbelief.  Perhaps what we see here is either wrong… or something in this picture seems to have quietly escaped the attention or the view of most other investors in the high yield bond market.  Granted, this is not a straightforward and easily understood issue because of the quarterly interest boost linked to its amortized quarterly redemption of principle when the price of gold is higher 1250 per ounce.  However, it is precisely this “hard to be understood” feature that is driving its current push into the land of dreams.

¡Arriba! Mexico First to Approve USMCA with the Potential of a Win for all 3 Countries

One down, two to go.  On Wednesday, the Mexican Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, becoming the first nation, of three, to ratify the new trade deal.  The agreement was met with little resistance, relative speed, and enthusiastic celebration from the Mexican government upon ratification.  That was the easy part.  The USMCA still faces an uphill battle in Washington, and a race against time in Ottawa.

Trump Lifts Steel & Aluminum Tariffs, Urges Ratification of USMCA

It was good news all around on Friday, as President Trump announced a deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico.  The tariffs had been a major obstacle to passing the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, which would replace NAFTA.  In fact, Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had warned Trump in April that the deal would be dead unless they were removed.  The U.S. will drop the metals tariffs within two days, and Canada and Mexico will do likewise with their retaliatory tariffs.

International Roundup: Ballots, Bullets, and Bombs

A Golden Opportunity with Monthly Paying “Gold Notes” from Gran Colombia Gold, Over 8% YTM, Mature April 2024

This week, Durig Capital reviews the largest underground gold and silver producer in Colombia.  Gran Colombia Gold has staged an amazing transformation from just a short three years ago, when Durig Capital began to carefully follow this issuer.  After completing a well-timed and skillfully crafted restructure of its balance sheet early in 2018, the company has consistently continued to smash its production targets, and has once again impressed us with its most recent results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2018.

Updated Review of Entrec Corporation, 16% YTM, Maturing June of 2021

This week, Durig Capital reviews a Canadian heavy haul transportation and crane company. Entrec Corporation provides heavy haul transportation and crane solutions to the oil and gas, construction and power generation industries, among others.  Entrec’s most recent results for both its fourth quarter and full year 2018 showcase healthy growth in the company’s U.S. operations. And given the volatility in oil and gas late last year, the company’s results are even more impressive.

Trump’s Harsh Economics for EU, China, Mexico, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras

International Roundup: Runoffs, Recordings, Reshuffles, and Rolling Blackouts

International Roundup: Ardern, Ethiopia, Israel, Trudeau, EU

  • New Zealand is still picking up the pieces after at least 50 people were killed, and another 50 were injured, in Friday’s terror attack, the worst in the country’s history. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spent the weekend visiting grieving family members and the Muslim community. The attacks, on two mosques in Christchurch, have also prompted a debate over gun laws. The Police Association has called for a ban on semi-automatic weapons, and the Prime Minister has pledged, “our gun laws will change.”

What Countries are Causing the Global Economic Slowdown?

Maple Water’s Emergence as a Feasible Sugar Alternative Drives Manufacturers to Increase Production Capacity

The maple water market is likely to witness significant growth, with demand likely to surpass 16 million liters in 2018, according to a latest report by Fact.MR. The substantial growth in the market is influenced by rise in the health-conscious population and growing demand for organic and natural food products.

The increasing demand for sugar alternatives and convenience food products in North America is leading to the rise in production and consumption of maple water. Increase in growth and plantation of sugar maple tree across eastern Canada and the northeastern US is also driving maple water consumption in the region.

On account of growing demand for maple water and maple products in North America, the key players in the region are focusing on increasing the production capacity using efficient technologies. This is likely to put downward pressure on the price of maple water as the supply expands. Additionally, maple syrup, a product derived from maple water is witnessing increasing demand from baking and confectionery industries in North America.

International Roundup: Kurds, Canada, Congo, Caracas

International Roundup: Detain, Delay, Defeat, Defect

Will Canada’s Legal Cannabis Trade Take Stocks Higher or Be a Buzzkill?