The Future of Nuclear Space Reactors and Missions

There is a global interest in space travel and the question experts are discussing is “what type of fuel should the space reactors run on?” Commercial projects, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, desire the conquering of other planets and even creating space colonies on the moon. Last year, SpaceX announced fashion innovator and Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first private passenger to fly around the Moon in 2023.

Global Space Economy and Russian Corruption

Roskosmos and Russian space programs have been experiencing certain difficulties for some time. The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities is a state corporation responsible for the wide range and types of space flights and cosmonautics programs for the Russian Federation. Russia is unfortunately known for corruption and theft.

Recently, construction of the new Vostochny Cosmodrome resulted in the theft of 11 billion roubles ($171.3 million). This was confirmed by Russian press secretary Dmitriy Peskov, a Russian diplomat, translator and Turkologist. Since 2012, Peskov has been the Press Secretary for the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

Rush is on to Get Pseudo Satellites into Space

Japanese company HAPSMobile successfully completed the second HAWK30 Solar HAPS test flight on October 23 from a NASA facility. The first flight was in the September. HAPSMobile plans to move the HAWK30 to the Hawaiian island of Lanai and is accelerating preparations to perform stratospheric test flights there by March 31, 2020 per their press release.

HAPSMobile is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and minority-owned by AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), who is also an aircraft development partner for “HAWK30,” a solar-powered unmanned aircraft designed for stratospheric telecommunications platform systems that flies approximately 20kms into the stratosphere. The wing span of the HAWK30 is 78 meters.

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

This week, Durig takes another look at the number two grocer in the United States. Albertsons has made a significant turnaround in the past few years after its purchase of Safeway stores in early 2015. With its most recent quarterly results, the company has now logged seven consecutive quarters of identical store sales growth. In addition, the company’s online grocery sales grew by 40% year-over-year, a massive win for this traditional brick and mortar retailer. (Other results from its Q2 results, see bullets above)

Iran’s Nuclear Program is Reaching Dangerous Levels – Will Resolution Be Brokered Before it’s Too Late?

Iran’s first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri Kouhshahi attended an annual meeting organized by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). An 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of Member States of the SCO was held Saturday in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The SCO, or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai. Iran is not an official member of the SCO but very interested in joining. He was observed having great interest in reciprocal agreements with Uzbekistan.

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 German Nuclear Waste Contributing to Putin’s Dangerous Military Power?

German news outlet zdf.de published an article pertaining to nuclear waste going to Russia. The European subsidiary of URENCO signed a contract with Rosatom to export nuclear waste to Russia. URENCO group is a nuclear fuel company operating several uranium enrichment plants in Germany, the Netherlands, United States, and the United Kingdom.

Income and Growth Strategies That Are Working in Today’s Market

In this special review, Durig benchmarks the performance of its three unique blue chip equity portfolios, the Dogs of the Dow, Dogs of the S&P 500, and the Dividend Aristocrats, all of which are designed to capture high quality blue chip dividends of some of the most reputable companies on wall street.

With interest rates continuing to fall and attractive yields becoming increasingly difficult to find, many investors are turning away from conventional fixed income investments such as US Treasuries.

Are There Any Geopolitical Winners in Libya Since Gaddafi’s Death 8 Years Ago?

Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi was murdered 8 years ago. Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. Shortly after his death, it was announced that the war in Libya was over. In reality, the war mutated into a new trajectory. Even the worst pessimists could not have predicted the ramifications. Former US President Barack Obama scarcely admitted it was a mistake.

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.

Russian First Reusable Rocket Launch Set for 2020

Russia is developing a reusable rocket that is expected to be a competitor to the American made Falcon 9 rocket, a two-stage-to-orbit medium lift launch vehicle. The Falcon 9 is designed and manufactured by SpaceX, a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. It is powered by Merlin engines, also developed by SpaceX, burning liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene propellants. Falcon-9 is also the first ever reusable rocket.

Russian Scientists Created Glow in the Dark Tobacco Without Using Any Chemicals – New Addictive Product Perhaps?

Russian scientists and Planta LLC created the first glow in the dark tobacco without using any chemicals or radiation. Planta LLC, currently operating in Moscow, states it specializes in the glow in the dark plants and has been in business since 2017. The plants were grown without the use of ultraviolet rays. The cultivated tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum, was infused with four ferments from the biosynthesis of the bioluminescent fungi genes.

Does Ukraine Have its Own Assange? Perhaps Russian Meddling?

On October 9, 2019, the Interfax-Ukraine conference center held a press conference for journalists. The Interfax-Ukraine News Agency is a Kiev-based Ukrainian news agency founded in 1992. The company belongs to the Russian news group Interfax Information Services. The press conference allowed for the release of supposed facts pertaining to the US embassy influence on the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies meddling in the US democratic elections process.

Chesapeake Energy Bonds, Short Term, High Yield, Fixed Income Investment, Yielding 9.5% YTM

This week, Durig looks at an energy company that is making the transition from its historical focus on natural gas to be more focused on oil production. Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) has been making strides this year to transition towards a more oil focused production portfolio. Chesapeake has already increased oil in its production portfolio from 17% in 2018, to 24% as of the end of the second quarter.  The company estimates it will exit 2019 with oil representing 26% of its production. Oil is a higher margin product, so Chesapeake is already seeing the fruit of its decision (see bullet points above).

Hydrogen Infrastructure Market Domination: China is the Elephant in the Room

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering announced on October 14th their intend to form the Midwest Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coalition to raise awareness of the potential for hydrogen and fuel cells to provide energy resilience and security, reduce emissions and foster economic growth.

Turkish Offensive Analysis in Syria

Russian military officials are voicing concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Syria due to Turkish involvement. Turkey started an operation against the Kurds on October 9, 2019 under the guise of “counterterrorism.” The Kurdish population of Syria is that country’s largest ethnic minority, comprising between 7% and 10% of the population.  Kurds are one of the indigenous peoples of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what is now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia.

Operation Bernhart – Is Cryptocurrency an Evolved Version for Intelligence Services?

In 1939, Operation Bernhard was a Nazi Germany project to forge British banknotes, counterfeit currencies. Originally, the project was dubbed “Andreas”. A the time the British pound was the reserve currency and was used as a main international payment method.

Nazi Germany needed forged currency to purchase raw materials for their defense industries. Counterfeiting currency was designed to solve German financial issues during World War II and also destabilize the economies of the nations they dubbed as enemies. Additionally, financing of espionage requires the use of foreign currencies. The challenge for the Nazis was to reproduce an identical paper for the banknotes and the watermark matrix. At the time, the task was given to professional counterfeiters, who were serving prison sentences. The process took close to 7 months.

USA Travel Planning for Australian Travellers

The United States of America is the land of many travel opportunity for Australian visitors, from the bright lights of New York City to the movie utopia of Hollywood and the awe of the Grand Canyon.

However you choose to get to know the United States of America, one thing is for sure: this won’t be just another quiet, relaxing vacation. It will be colossal, unforgettable and exciting. So, to help you get started with planning your trip, here are several aspects to bear in mind.

Dogs of the Dow: Find Blue Chip Peace of Mind with Over 4% Income

A monthly performance review of Durig’s Dogs of the Dow Portfolio that explores several benefits that income producing investments such the Dogs of the Dow can help to provide.

Performance Highlights

  • Lifetime Return of 12.87% (annualized)
  • Year-to-Date Return of 8.30%
  • Alpha of 4.89 (vs benchmark)*
  • Beta of 0.77 (vs benchmark)*
  • Average Current Yield of 4.18%

Russia to Begin Testing Onyx-M Missiles – Can Hit London in 14 Minutes

Russia announced the testing phase of Onyx-M missiles will begin in October, 2019. The Onyx-M has the capability of engaging targets with a high-low trajectory of 497 miles (800 km). The missile was originally designed to be deployed for ship targets and has the capability to be used against ground targets. Previously Onyx-M had a capability of engaging targets with a high-low trajectory up to 186 miles (300 km).

Russia Announces Electrode Less Plasma Rocket Engine Project

Russia announced their intention to create an electrode-less plasma rocket engine prototype. The engine will be made by the Russian Kurchatov Institute with a target completion date of 2021. The Kurchatov Institute is one of the leading entities in the field of nuclear energy research and development. It is named after Igor Kurchatov, who was widely known as the director of the Soviet atomic bomb project and one of the top nuclear physicists. Kurchatov is known as the “father of the Soviet atomic bomb” and later, “the father of the Soviet Nuclear Missile.

Has China Reached Dangerous Levels of Pro-Russian Propaganda Against the US?

China continues its anti-US propaganda using media, including the topic of the possibility of a US-Russia war and a blatant overstatement of Russian defense arsenal superiority in comparison to the US. In an article posted on SOHU (one of the largest internet companies in China) they claim Russia can overpower the US in the defense sector and that Russia is the only country globally who can successfully rebuff the US.

Luxury Cigar Market in US: Data and a Premium Cigar Review

The year was 1492 when Christopher Columbus not only discovered a New World but a pleasurable new enjoyment that is delighting connoisseurs throughout the entire world to this day: premium tobacco. From this plant came the cigar, which spread in popularity throughout the world, attracting presidents, kings, generals, gentlemen, and even women. It is estimated that in the last century almost 80% of men in the US were cigar smokers, 20% smoking luxurious brands paired with premium drinks.

America, Iran Resume Geopolitical Joust over Adrian Darya 1

Almost two weeks after the Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, was released from Gibraltar, the huge ship has yet to dock. It is still sailing around in the Mediterranean Sea waters, without a clear final destination. The USA nonetheless insists that it is convinced that the ship’s final destination is none other than Syria. Seemingly, Iran is keen on selling the oil on board, but the US is trying to prevent that. The ship is part of escalating geopolitical jousting between Tehran and Washington.

Has Ukraine Turned into Europe’s Afghanistan?

A new Ukrainian media campaign could be a provocation to the United States. Last week a documentary aired on Ukrainian TV Channel News One with an agenda to discredit US efforts at democracy in Ukraine.

The scenario resembles Afghanistan and recent statements by the former Afghan President Hamid Karzai who claimed the US is trying to meddle in the upcoming September 28, 2019 presidential elections there. The former Afghan president is insinuating that Afghan citizens have no influence over who the US installs into the executive office.

USA vs Russia – The Next Generation Nuclear Race

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced open hearings on the environment impact assessment regarding the construction of a Versatile Test Reactor (VTR). The project announcement was originally made by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on February 28, 2019, with a tentative completion date of 2026. Dr. Kemal Pasamehmetoglu is a nuclear engineer and the executive director of the Versatile Test Reactor Project at the Idaho National Laboratory.  GE-HITACHI is the subcontractor for the design support.

CoreCivic Bonds, Short Term, High Yield, Fixed Income Investment, Yielding 6.7% YTM

This week, Durig Capital looks at a company that primarily provides private prison services for governmental agencies here in the United States. CoreCivic (NYSE:CXW) has also recently added two additional business segments to its portfolio – CoreCivic Community, which consists of residential reentry centers, and CoreCivic Properties, which is a portfolio of government-leased properties. The company recently posted a solid first quarter, registering increases in many of its financial metrics.

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

This week, Durig Capital looks at a company providing private prison services for governmental agencies both domestically and abroad. Geo Group, Inc. (NYSE:GEO) is one of only a handful of private prison service companies. With the election of President Trump, private prison companies have gotten a boost due to more stringent prosecutions as directed by our new attorney general, as well as Trump’s zero tolerance policies on immigration. The company’s first quarter 2019 results reflect this new political climate (above).

Geo Group is awaiting decisions from the Federal Bureau of Prisons on two procurements (CAR 18 and CAR 19) that total close to 12,000 beds. If these decisions come back in favor of Geo Group, the company would likely again increase its current guidance (as it just did with the release of its first quarter results). Geo Group’s 2023 bonds, couponed at 5.125%, are currently trading at a discount, giving them an enticing yield-to-maturity of over 9%. With the most recent increase in guidance and the possibility of more on the way, these short-term maturity bonds (maturing in only 44 months) are an ideal addition to Durig Capital’s Fixed Income 2 (FX2) High Yield Managed Income Portfolio, the aggregated performance of which is shown below.

MAGA – Make a Greater World – Peace Between Russia and America

President Trump’s decision to cancel the Nuclear Peace Treaty between America and Russia is a great stumbling block in the goal of uniting the whole world with democracy. However the decision to cancel the peace treaty may be temporarily a good decision because the peace treaty was made in 1986 before the downfall of the communist regime. Today the alliance of America and Russia as two free world countries is most important to World Unity and Peace. They can make a much better treaty to replace the old one.

Russia Meddling in US Elections 2.0

On June 30th a white paper was released that had been compiled for the American defense establishment. The title is Russsian Strategic Intentions, A Strategic Multiplayer Assessment dated May 2019. The analysis was compiled by some of the top-level research analysts within the US defense sector.

The key point, or thesis, of this paper is that after 20 years of the Putin regime, Russia is as hostile and as expansionist minded as they were during the Soviet era. However, since many western nations are not successfully fighting ideological propaganda from Russian sponsored channels, an escalation of the military conflict is highly likely.

¡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.

Unrest Around the World – A Country by Country Look

Today following the world news can be seen in a world at unrest.  In these countries especially is apparent World Unrest:

Khazakhstan – The world’s largest land locked country and the ninth largest in the world with an area of 2,724,900 square kilometers. It is a democratic secular republic with a diverse heritage. After the elections resulting in the overwhelming victory of interim president Toqaev began wave of protests against the lack of fairness in the elections.

National Security – Israel Goes Again to Elections

Israel will be going to election again in September after failing to make a government with a majority. National security needs national unity and Israel failed to make a coalition government. The government was split after elections between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Ganz both received an equal amount of votes.

To make the government all on the side of Likud (the right side) Netanyahu needed the help of the other parties which had received mandates.  On the right there was a conflict between the religious ultra-orthodox right and the secular right.