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Visit One News Page for Europe news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Europe news headlines.

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    DGAP-News: Biofrontera AG / Key word(s): Legal Matter

    27.12.2018 / 20:33
    The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
    --------------------

    *Ruling by the U.S. District Court of Massachussetts**Leverkusen, Germany, December 27, 2018* - Biofrontera AG (NASDAQ: BFRA; Frankfurt Stock Exchange: B8F) (the "Company"), an international biopharmaceutical company, today comments on a court order issued by the U.S. District Court of Massachussetts.

    Biofrontera is currently involved in litigation with DUSA Pharmaceuticals. DUSA sued Biofrontera in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. DUSA has alleged that certain Biofrontera employees misappropriated documents containing DUSA confidential information or DUSA trade secrets.

    In November 2018, DUSA asked the court to enter a preliminary injunction requiring Biofrontera to take certain action. In December 2018, the court largely rejected DUSA's request. The court rejected DUSA's request to collect and image computing devices from Biofrontera employees. The court also rejected DUSA's request to order Biofrontera to stop contacting certain customers. Thus, Biofrontera may continue marketing and selling its products to all current and potential customers.

    The court did order Biofrontera to stop using certain documents in its possession that appear to contain DUSA information. Before the court's order, Biofrontera had already instructed employees shortly after litigation with DUSA began to stop using documents that appear to have originated at or were created by DUSA, if and to the extent that any of them had been using any such documents. Importantly, the court's order was made on an interim basis, and was not a final decision on the merits. The case is ongoing and the parties are still collecting all relevant evidence.

    Biofrontera maintains that none of the documents identified in the case contain DUSA confidential information or DUSA trade secrets. The documents identified are also not vital to Biofrontera's ongoing operations or to its strategic growth. Biofrontera will continue to vigorously defend itself against DUSA's allegations.

    As noted in prior statements, Biofrontera sued DUSA in California state court related to DUSA's pricing, sampling, and sales practices. That court has allowed several claims to proceed against DUSA, and Biofrontera has already filed an amended complaint with additional allegations related to DUSA's pricing and sampling practices.

    *Forward Looking Statements:*
    Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the public offering and the intended use of proceeds from the offering. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "anticipate,""believe,""forecast,""estimate" and "intend," among others. Such forward-looking statements are based on the currently held beliefs and assumptions of the management of Biofrontera AG, which are expressed in good faith and, in their opinion, reasonable. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, financial condition, performance, or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to differ materially from the results, financial condition, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are set forth in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20F and other reports filed by it with the SEC. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.
    *-End-*

    *For enquiries, please contact:

    Biofrontera AG *

    Thomas Schaffer, Chief Financial Officer +49 (0) 214 87 63 2 0

    ir@biofrontera.com
    *IR UK: Seton Services *

    Toni Vallen +44 (0) 207 224 8468
    *IR and PR US: The Ruth Group*

    IR: Tram Bui

    PR: Kirsten Thomas +1 646-536-7035

    +1 508-280-6592

     

     

    *About Biofrontera:*

    Biofrontera AG is an international biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development and commercialization of a platform of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of dermatological conditions and diseases caused primarily by exposure to sunlight that results in sun damage to the skin. Biofrontera's approved products focus on the treatment in the U.S. and Europe of actinic keratoses, which are skin lesions that can sometimes lead to skin cancer, as well as the treatment of certain forms of basal cell carcinoma in the European Union. American Depositary Shares representing Biofrontera's ordinary shares are listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol "BFRA", and Biofrontera's ordinary shares are listed in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (B8F, ISIN: DE0006046113). Information is also available at www.biofrontera.com.

    *Forward Looking Statements:*

    Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the public offering and the intended use of proceeds from the offering. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "anticipate,""believe,""forecast,""estimate" and "intend," among others. Such forward-looking statements are based on the currently held beliefs and assumptions of the management of Biofrontera AG, which are expressed in good faith and, in their opinion, reasonable. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, financial condition, performance, or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to differ materially from the results, financial condition, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are set forth in the Registration Statement on Form F-1 filed with the SEC, including in the section "Risk Factors," and in future reports filed with the SEC. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.
    --------------------

    27.12.2018 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
    The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

    The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
    Archive at www.dgap.de --------------------

    Language: English
    Company: Biofrontera AG
    Hemmelrather Weg 201
    51377 Leverkusen
    Germany
    Phone: +49 (0)214 87632 0
    Fax: +49 (0)214 87632 90
    E-mail: ir@biofrontera.com
    Internet: www.biofrontera.com
    ISIN: DE0006046113, NASDAQ: BFRA
    WKN: 604611
    Listed: Regulated Market in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange; Nasdaq
     
    End of News DGAP News Service Reported by EQS Group 20 minutes ago.

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    Germany would strongly oppose any move to station new medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe if a key Cold War-era arms control treaty is scrapped, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told DPA. Reported by Reuters 14 hours ago.

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    Transfer news LIVE: All the deals in the Premier League and Europe The January transfer window opens in just five days and clubs are finalising their plans to bring in reinforcements this winter. Follow all the latest news with Sportsmail here. Reported by MailOnline 13 hours ago.

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    Funds Date Ticker ISIN code Shares in Currency Net Asset NAV/per Symbol Issue Value share Base Invesco 24.12.2018 PSES ... Reported by PR Newswire 12 hours ago.

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    Funds Date Ticker ISIN code Shares in Currency Net Asset NAV/per Symbol Issue Value share Base Invesco 24.12.2018 PSRE ... Reported by PR Newswire 12 hours ago.

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    NEW YORK, Dec. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kadmon Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: KDMN) today announced that Bart M. Schwartz, Esq. is stepping down as director and Chairman of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) due to increasing responsibilities at his charitable commitments, including at the All Stars Project, a national youth non-profit organization where he serves as director and was recently elected chairman of its New York board, and the Police Athletic League, New York City’s largest independent youth non-profit organization, where he serves as director. Kadmon’s Board will identify a new chairman as part of its ongoing process to refresh the composition of the Board. A nationally recognized executive search firm is assisting in this search process.

    “Leaving the Kadmon Board will free up the additional time I need for my increased charitable commitments,” said Mr. Schwartz. “With the implementation of our process to identify new directors to join Kadmon’s Board well underway, year-end 2018 is an appropriate time for me to resign. Kadmon is a vibrant company with much potential and I wish the team continued success.”

    “On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Bart for his service to Kadmon and wish him well in his charitable work,” said Harlan W. Waksal, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Kadmon. “At this juncture, Kadmon is in a strong position, with our registration trial in chronic graft-versus-host disease well underway,” continued Dr. Waksal.  “The Board and I remain committed to executing our mission to develop new treatments for patients with unmet medical needs.”

    *About Kadmon Holdings, Inc.  *

    Kadmon Holdings, Inc. is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company developing innovative product candidates for significant unmet medical needs. Our product pipeline is focused on inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.

    *Forward Looking Statements*

    This press release contains forward-looking statements. Such statements may be preceded by the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “targets,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. We believe that these factors include, but are not limited to, (i) the initiation, timing, progress and results of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, and our research and development programs; (ii) our ability to advance product candidates into, and successfully complete, clinical trials; (iii) our reliance on the success of our product candidates; (iv) the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals; (v) our ability to expand our sales and marketing capabilities; (vi) the commercialization of our product candidates, if approved; (vii) the pricing and reimbursement of our product candidates, if approved; (viii) the implementation of our business model, strategic plans for our business, product candidates and technology; (ix) the scope of protection we are able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights covering our product candidates and technology; (x) our ability to operate our business without infringing the intellectual property rights and proprietary technology of third parties; (xi) costs associated with defending intellectual property infringement, product liability and other claims; (xii) regulatory developments in the United States, Europe and other jurisdictions; (xiii) estimates of our expenses, future revenues, capital requirements and our needs for additional financing; (xiv) the potential benefits of strategic collaboration agreements and our ability to enter into strategic arrangements; (xv) our ability to maintain and establish collaborations or obtain additional grant funding; (xvi) the rate and degree of market acceptance of our product candidates; (xvii) developments relating to our competitors and our industry, including competing therapies; (xviii) our ability to effectively manage our anticipated growth; (xix) our ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel; (xx) our ability to achieve cost savings and other benefits from our efforts to streamline our operations and to not harm our business with such efforts; (xxi) the use of proceeds from our recent public offerings; (xxii) the potential benefits of any of our product candidates being granted orphan drug designation;  (xxiii) the future trading price of the shares of our common stock and impact of securities analysts’ reports on these prices; and/or (xxiv) other risks and uncertainties. More detailed information about Kadmon and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 and the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed pursuant to Section 13 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, with the SEC on November 9, 2018. Investors and security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

    *Contact Information*
    Ellen Cavaleri, Investor Relations
    646.490.2989
    ellen.cavaleri@kadmon.com Reported by GlobeNewswire 31 minutes ago.

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    Tesla gears up for Europe: Elon Musk's electric car maker prepares to launch its flagship sedan The first deliveries of Model 3s to European customers are expected in February and March. UK customers are expected to get their vehicles by mid-2019. Reported by MailOnline 7 hours ago.

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    Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2019: Europe theme as full line-up unveiled BBC Local News: Edinburgh and East Scotland -- Organisers of Edinburgh's Hogmanay say it will be a celebration of Scotland's cultural ties with Europe. Reported by BBC Local News 4 hours ago.

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    By Rina Chadijah

    Indonesian authorities have arrested almost 400 suspected militants in 2018, the nation’s police chief said Thursday, as he predicted that terrorism would pose the biggest threat to public security next year.

    In May, Indonesia suffered suicide bombings that targeted three churches and a police headquarters in Surabaya, the nation’s second largest city, killing 24 people, including children who allegedly joined their parents on a terror spree that took their own lives.

    Those back-to-back attacks spurred the Indonesian Parliament to fast-track an anti-terror law that allows police to detain suspects for 21 days without charge.

    “Now we are stronger to do counter strike and preventive strike, rather than waiting for evidence of a committed crime,” Gen. Tito Karnavian, chief of the national police, told a news conference.

    Tito was referring to the revised Anti-Terrorism Law that also allows authorities to hold suspects for another 200 days after filing charges against them, giving police sufficient time to gather evidence before handing the case to prosecutors.

    Out of the 396 suspects arrested this year on suspicion of terror links, 141 people had been charged in court, Tito said. By comparison, he said, police arrested 176 terror suspects last year.

    Tito attributed the significant statistical jump to what he described as intensive counter-terrorism operations prior to hosting of international multi-sport events, such as the Asian Games on Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 in the capital Jakarta and Palembang city.

    “Honestly, the operations to arrest terror suspects after the Surabaya attacks were possible after the law was issued,” Tito said. “So, while the Surabaya case is a tragedy, at the same time it is a lesson, too.”

    The attacks in Surabaya became the first suicide bombings involving family members in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation of more than 260 million people.

    Tito told reporters in September that within four months after the bombings, police had arrested at least 352 members of the local branch of the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a network of Indonesian militants with Islamic State (IS) links.

    During the past 12 months, security forces also shot dead 25 men in separate gunfights that took place when the suspects refused to be arrested, according to a police report. It said eight officers were killed and 23 were injured in those anti-terror operations.

    The Surabaya attacks occurred a few days after terrorist inmates rioted over a food complaint at the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) detention facility, a maximum-security prison in West Java’s Depok district, leaving five police officers and an inmate dead.

    IS has inspired cells of radical groups in Indonesia, Tito said. The extremist group once held vast territories that straddled parts of Iraq and Syria and ran a so-called caliphate in the Syrian city of Raqqa until it was routed by U.S.-backed forces last year.

    “While they are not completely gone, they will try to mobilize their network. Like in Europe, in America, including in Southeast Asia,” Tito said, referring to the IS.

    More than 600 Indonesians, including dozens of women and children, traveled to Syria to join IS, according Indonesian counter-terrorism officials. Since 2015, about 430 Indonesians have been deported from Turkey after trying to cross into Syria to join IS, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters in June.

    The possible return of more deportees and the Surabaya bombings have revived fears about IS’s attempts to spread its influence in Indonesia.

    But Tito expressed confidence that with the doubling in size of the country’s counter-terrorism task force – from 600 to about 1,300 personnel – and also the establishment of a Terrorism Task Force in each police region, authorities can improve efforts to eradicate terrorism.

    “Even though there are still potential threats … we will be able to overcome them,” he said. Reported by Eurasia Review 3 hours ago.

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    The international community continues to actively monitor the situation around the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty after the US stated their intent to withdraw from the agreement if Russia “will not return to compliance with its terms and conditions” within 60 days.

    According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, the US Embassy in Moscow delivered an official note to the Foreign Ministry on December, 4, but it reproduced “groundless accusations of alleged violations by Russia without any evidence to back these claims.”

    “Let me emphasise that Russia has never received any materials, data or facts from anyone proving that Moscow was in breach of this treaty or failed to comply in good faith with its provisions. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the INF Treaty as one of the cornerstones of strategic stability and international security,” she said at the briefing on December, 5.

    Analyzing difficult situation, Thomas Graham, Lecturer in Russian and European Studies at European Studies Council, MacMillan Center, Yale University, said that Russia and the United States, despite mutual accusations of violating the INF Treaty, have the opportunity to ensure the opposite.

    “Experts agree that there are technical solutions that would enable each country to determine that the other side is now in compliance with the treaty. The issue is whether there is sufficient political will and desire in Moscow and Washington to save the treaty. Or whether each for its own reasons would rather be free of the limitations imposed by the INF Treaty,” Thomas Graham told PenzaNews.

    From his point of view, today the question of strategic stability is no longer one that can be decided solely between the United States and Russia, as was the case during the Cold War.

    “The strategic landscape has changed radically since the INF Treaty was signed in 1987. While the United States and Russia remain by a wide margin the preeminent nuclear powers, the nuclear equation is becoming increasingly multipolar as other countries, particularly China, expand their nuclear arsenals. In addition, several countries, including China, India, Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan, have intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their arsenals, which are not subject to the limitations of the INF Treaty,” the analyst explained.

    According to him, in these circumstances the treaty needs to be multilateral.

    “Achieving that would require arduous negotiation, and there is no guarantee of success. Nevertheless, even if the INF Treaty no longer makes sense, there is a reason to try to save it for the moment. Saving it would restore a modicum of trust between the United States and Russia, trust that would help the two countries to develop a way to move beyond the INF Treaty toward a new structure of arms control appropriate for today’s world,” Thomas Graham said.

    In his opinion, Russia and the US are the best countries to develop such a concept adequate to the challenges of today.

    “Instead of casting blame at one another for undermining strategic stability, the two countries would be better served by starting discussions aimed at jointly developing a new concept of strategic stability and then persuading other countries to adopt it. That would provide the basis for a new structure of arms control appropriate for the world we now live in. The question is how to start such discussions given the deepening antagonism between the two countries. To that question, there is no easy answer. I wish that the United States and Russia would show enough statesmanship to put an end to the deterioration in bilateral relations,” the analyst added.

    In turn, Patrick Sensburg, German MP from the CDU/CSU fraction, reminded that for years the US has voiced concerns about Russia’s alleged non-compliance with the INF Treaty.

    “For this reason I would like Russia to rebut our concerns with the aim of leading the discussion to be more transparent. In fact, we need to build better trust between our governments,” the politician said.

    At the same time, in his opinion, the existing contract should not be terminated without an alternative project prepared in advance.

    “Important treaties with the aim of disarming such as the INF should not be prematurely terminated unilaterally without any alternative – even if we are in doubt whether one side sticks to the contract or not. Together, we must work to ensure more international trust and security and we should get further then the already agreed rules and not beyond,” Patrick Sensburg said.

    According to him, the world community should do everything possible to keep the agreement in action.

    “We should do everything we can to maintain within the contract. The INF treaty is seen as an anchor for peace in Europe and the world. Nevertheless, the treaty needs a modernization, for example, not only involving Russia and the United States, but also countries like China,” the German MP said.

    Meanwhile, Steven Pifer from Center for International Security and Cooperation, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, and former United States Ambassador to Ukraine (1998-2000), ex-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, suggested that in the near future the INF Treaty will lose its power.

    “Unfortunately, I fear that we are seeing the end of the INF Treaty, which will have a negative impact on European and global security,” the expert stressed.

    In his opinion, the major problem is that Russia “has deployed the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile” [SSC-8 according to Western classification; the US consider it to be a medium-range missile, prohibited by the INF Treaty; Russia is sure that the rocket is not subject to the agreement, since it was not developed or tested for such a range].

    “The White House does not seem interested in preserving in treaty, and some in Pentagon would like to develop a US ground-launched intermediate-range missile. In these circumstances, no one seems to be pressing a strategy to maintain the treaty and its limits,” Steven Pifer explained.

    However, breaking the agreement will bring negative consequences for both countries, he said.

    “With the treaty’s demise, Russia will be free to deploy its ground-launched intermediate-range missiles. At some point, the United States and NATO will decide on military countermeasures to ensure that Russia does not gain any meaningful advantage from its deployments. The end result is likely to be less stability, less security and greater military expenses for both sides,” former US ambassador said and added that it’s important to remember why the INF Treaty was concluded in the first place.

    Pal Steigan, Norwegian politician, publisher, writer, independent entrepreneur in the field of culture and information technology, shared the view that the contract would be terminated.

    “With the one-sided attack on the INF Treaty by the Trump-administration I think it is beyond salvation. A treaty between two parties cannot be saved by only one of them,” the politician stressed.

    In his opinion, the US has given Russia the clear signal that it will not abide by the treaty.

    “Russia will have to take that into account. I cannot see any reason or even wisdom in it for them to uphold the politics of the treaty. So then you have a new arms race. But in fact there is a new arms race already. The US are positioning new theatre nuclear weapons and has launched The Nuclear Posture Review [document published by the US Department of Defense] which spells it out load that the US opens for field use of tactical nuclear weapons. And China and Russia have answered in kind presenting their new weapons,” Pal Steigan said.

    According to him, the main obstacle to mutual understanding between the two countries are the American elites.

    “The outline of an understanding between Trump and Putin in Helsinki would have been a good place to start. But Trump is not allowed to walk along that path by his own deep state. The Helsinki meeting opened up for disarmament and new treaties, but the deep state and the military industrial complex cannot accept that,” the politician said.

    “We have been balancing on the brink of nuclear war since September 2013. It is a very dangerous situation and nuclear war could be triggered by a series of international events. And the Western politicians are sleepwalking into it,” Pal Steigan added.

    In turn, Matthew Bunn, a nuclear-security expert and a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, suggested that it is possible, but difficult to rescue the treaty.

    “Russia could, for example, say: “We don’t think our 9M729 missile is a problem, but as a gesture of good will, we will dismantle the limited number of these missiles that exist, if you will add something to the Mk. 41 launcher that makes it clear it cannot fire cruise missiles,” the analyst suggested one of the scenarios.

    In his opinion, the INF Treaty is still a very important document.

    “Although many things have changed, saving the INF Treaty would serve both US and Russian security better than abandoning it. If the United States withdraws, then US allies in Europe and Asia face unlimited threats from Russian INF-range missiles, […] and Russia might face a short-time-of-flight threat to its nuclear command and control systems, as the US Pershing II missiles posed before they were dismantled, making any nuclear crisis more dangerous,” Matthew Bunn said.

    In his opinion, the United States and Russia have to get back to talking to each other seriously about each of their concerns, and trying to find ways to build confidence and reduce the threats that each side sees as most dangerous.

    “Russian President Putin and US President Trump should agree again that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and direct their experts to work seriously to reduce the nuclear dangers the two sides’ arsenals pose,” the analyst said.

    “The United States and Russia should also get military-to-military contacts and nuclear scientist-to-nuclear-scientist cooperation going again. It is a danger to both our countries and to the world that the world’s largest nuclear complexes are proceeding in total isolation from each other,” the expert concluded.

    Source: https://penzanews.ru/en/analysis/65855-2018 Reported by Eurasia Review 2 hours ago.

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    Suddenly President Trump’s no longer the fool, the dupe of his generals. Hiis latest, historic tweets are bombshells. “Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer. Russia, Iran, and Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS” and the US was “doing there [sic] work.”

    The shouts ‘Bring the troops home’ filtered through Washington’s cacophony — Russiagate, hookergate — and Trump was listening. 72% are in favour of pulling out of Syria, though you wouldn’t know it if all you listen to is “fake news” from the MSM. Sometimes Trump delivers, practices what he preaches. Wow.

    Finally Trump is doing something he promised on the campaign trail: “Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let them get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?“

    The ‘deep state’ was listening in 2016, and prepared their cold war arsenal, Russiagate, to try to bring him to his senses, or rather their senses. He started off with mud pies in the face, threats of impeachment even before he was sworn in. He fought back with tweets, ushering us into the new era of social media presidency.

    They had to keep him off the Red Phone, the Washington-Moscow Direct Communications Link (Russian: Горячая линия Вашингтон — Москва), where he could talk directly with his once-admirer and friend, Vladimir Putin, making deals to take directly to the American people. So the Washington beltline has sent one guided missile after another at the president, leaving him bloodied but, apparently, far from out. In fact, just coming into his own.

    *JFK, LBJ*

    The (very few) pundits who approve compare him to LBJ (made famous by another peacenik chant: How many babies did you kill today?). In 1966, in the midst of the Vietnam War, Vermont Senator George Aiken recommended that President Lyndon Johnson simply “declare victory and get out.” Because the US clearly couldn’t win militarily, he implied it should stop deploying troops and start deploying diplomats.

    Surely it’s not LBJ that Trump longs to be compared to, but that president who dared stare down the generals in 1962-3, refusing to force the empire down Cuba’s throat, and then made a volte face on Vietnam and decided to ‘bring the troops home’.

    No one has dared compare Trump to JFK, who the deep state bumped off for his cardinal sin: going against the empire. Making peace with the Soviet Union. Listening to the peacenik chants and war resisters, already gaining momentum in 1963. Kennedy suddenly realized: Hey, I’m chief honcho. The CIA/FBI and their mad schemes are wrong. If I do what the people want, I can take control of them and ‘make America great again.’

    His ‘great’ would have been FDR part II, and would have made the Russians friends again, like they were when we had no choice, during WWII, long before the CIA was born, when the FBI was doing its job, fighting the mafias that had taken root during prohibition. US politics has been downhill since then. Kennedy tried to reverse it in 1963 and was assassinated. No one has dared since then.

    Trump is no JFK, but he is president, has no ‘deep state’ baggage, has enough smarts, and knows enough history to know that he can ‘pull a JFK’. He dislikes and fears the FBI/CIA much like Kennedy. Like Kennedy, he pretends he likes Israel, though I suspect he really doesn’t. He was booed by zionist lobbyists during the election campaign for politely stating that Israel must make compromises if it wants peace. They only came on board with his gift of Jerusalem.

    Netanyahu got his phone call last week with the bad news, and is no doubt beginning to wonder if Trump’s Jerusalem might be some kind of Trojan Horse. The Israeli PM is not campaigning on Trump’s ‘deal of the century’, as he doesn’t want any deal until the West Bank is full of bloodthirsty settlers.

    Syria is Trump’s opportunity to 1/ fulfill arguably his most important election promise, 2/ find out who his real allies are, 3/ finally work on making America great again. Not ‘great’ as in ‘terrifying’, but as in ‘admired, respected, respectful.

    The only people who want a US base (illegal, unwanted, imperial) in Syria are the military and their Washington beltway lackeys, who can’t pass up the chance to invade somewhere, anywhere. To rape and pillage, test out their latest war toys on the new ‘enemies’ of America, enemies created by the US itself in its lust for world control.

    *Beltway blowback, but Turkey*

    Will Trump’s growing list of beltway enemies let him act? Will they move impeachment into high gear, or ‘do a Kennedy’ and bump him off? Are the people willing to let them get away with this treason again?

    The MSM is the warmongers’ ace. It was born in imperial savagery in the 19th century,** and relishes the blood and guts. Peace makes lousy headlines. It loathes Trump and will add fuel to the deep state’s flame.

    Up to now, Trump was drinking their kool-aid, accepting their fake news from the Pentagon that the US needed to remain in Syria in order to check Iranian influence in the region. Did the contradictions (Iran bad, Saudi good) finally get to him? He is now arguing: let Russia and Turkey look after Syria. There has been silence from Jerusalem but the zionists can’t be any happier in their homeland than in the US.

    Erdogan was ready for Trump’s bombshell and encouraged him: the best hedge against Iran, he told Trump, was not the Kurds, or even the Saudis, but Turkey. Of course, Erdogan has his own imperial agenda, a return to Ottoman glory. Hopefully he won’t try to steal choice bits of Syria as the new regional hegemon. There is much bad blood between him and Assad, and he has had to eat crow by accepting Assad as part of the deal. But no one ever gets what they want for Christmas. You learn to take the knocks as you grow up.

    Trump needs Erdogan and Turkey as a regional ally, not enemy. This move keeps Turkey in NATO, and prevents it from shifting wholesale to Russia and China and their budding Eurasian Economic Community and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

    Trump doesn’t give a fig about NATO. He has called NATO “obsolete” because it “wasn’t taking care of terror.” He’s holding back on his promise to dismantle that white elephant. But that’s what sensible people called for in 1991,*** and a quarter century later, it’s still the right thing. Better late than never.

    Putin is a model of diplomacy through all this. Both Turkey and Israel (sort of) shot down Russian planes, the pilots killed, without retaliation. Erdogan looked like a willful child after 2011, abandoning Assad, counting on the US and the Syrian opposition to make sure Syria collapsed, hoping to move in to collect the spoils. When that didn’t pan out, he made a volte face and is now Russia and Assad’s greatest ally.

    The Kurds are being abandoned yet again, but that is their eternal fate, lacking their own state. No one, Turk, Syrian, Russian, American, wants a Kurdistan. Israel would love a Kurdish state as a spoiler, but even Netanyahu doesn’t dare play G-d. The Kurds will just have to reach accommodation with Damascus (and Ankara). Sorry, guys.

    There are bruises — in Washington, Riyadh, Jerusalem — but for people (including US troops) everywhere, a sense of relief.

    *Trump’s legacy?*

    Trump is the real conservative after all. He is called a phony. Neither a Bush nor a Tea Partier. But the real conservative is against empire. You can’t rebuild America if your best young people are training to kill gooks, and dying for their misguided efforts. Empire, now ‘empire-lite’, is a liberal fetish.**** This move could lead to further unravelling of US empire, and true conservatives will approve. By pulling out of Syria, Trump is obeying the constitution and appealing to the people. Sounds like real democracy.

    The rest of Trump’s agenda is still a shambles. The Mexico wall, his Muslim ban, the rebuilding of infrastructure, his promise of a 14% tax on the net worth of wealthy Americans … His denial of global warming and gutting of environmental programs is outrageous, but if Trump pulls off this coup, he will at least undo some of Bush-Obama’s imperial legacy. Besides, states and cities across the US are moving to adhere to the Kyoto protocol and respond to local needs.

    Yes, Obama voted against the Iraq war in 2003, but as president, he did everything the deep state asked: a Wall Street bailout, deporting more Hispanics than Bush or Trump, invading Libya and, yes, Syria. Not to mention his ‘surge’ in Afghanistan, which only made things worse there. With Trump’s decision to pull all 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, Trump is already looking good in comparison.

    Only Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is happy, telling CNN’s “State of the Union” he is “very proud of the president. The American people are tired of war,” arguing “roads, bridges, schools“ are what we should be spending money on.

    The naysayers are getting fake news time:*Senator Lindsay Graham, calling Trump’s Syria withdrawal a “stain on the honor of the United States”, “a huge Obama-like mistake” (i.e., the Iraq withdrawal in 2011)*Senator Marco Rubio: “It will haunt this administration and America for years to come.”*The National: “Donald Trump has destroyed America’s credibility with one tweet.”

    Really? Now why was Obama’s one brave move, his Iraq policy, wrong? Who will Trump’s action ‘haunt’? Is America’s credibility based on illegal, unwanted occupation and violence? As for retired secretary of defense Mattis, Trump shot back: “Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world.”

    The Pentagon can still fight ISIS using small teams of Special Operations forces in Iraq. And work with the Russians and Syrian government, if it can get off its regime-change high horse.

    Let Mattis eat his words along with his Christmas pudding. If Trump survives the slings and arrows until the next election and wins a second term, maybe we’ll get our peace dividend promised in 1991, and he’ll take the next step and scuttle NATO, finally empowering the UN as the world’s peacekeeper.  
    xxx

    *This hotline was established in 1963 and links the Pentagon with the Kremlin (historically, with Soviet Communist Party leadership across the square from the Kremlin itself). Although in popular culture it is known as the “red telephone”, the hotline was never a telephone line, and no red phones were used. The first implementation used Teletype equipment, and shifted to fax machines in 1986. Since 2008, the Moscow–Washington hotline has been a secure computer link over which messages are exchanged by a secure form of email.
    **Reuters news agency was established by a German Jew, Paul Reuter, in 1851 and came to specialize in swashbuckling, sensational British imperial news, enthusiastically supporting empire (doesn’t matter whose), in line with the interests of Jewish financial capital (both German and British) at the time. By the 1870s, while 1% of Germany’s population, Jews controlled 13 out of 21 daily newspapers and had strong presence in four others.
    ***In 1990, people just assumed NATO would disband along with the Warsaw Pact. French president Mitterand coined the slogan “US out and Russia in”, meaning, of course, Europe. Czech Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier in 1990 proposed replacing NATO and the Warsaw Pact with the OSCE European Security Commission. (Walberg, Postmodern Imperialism, 2011, p150.)
    ****See Michael Ignatieff, Empire Lite: Nation-Building in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan (2003). Reported by Eurasia Review 2 hours ago.

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    GALLERIA Happy Star Lighting Ceremony Concert 1001 star-shaped lights glow, as if in a dream

    SHANGHAI, Dec. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- South Korea's high-end wedding club GALLERIA recently held a grand and romantic "GALLERIA Happy Star lighting ceremony and symphony concert". DONG, founder of GALLERIA, HAHA, famous hip-hop singer of South Korea, hundreds of guests and journalists from more than 30 leading fashion media outlets attended the event, witnessing the dream-like moment when 13,140 crystal lights were simultaneously lit in a magnificent symphony, announcing the official start of GALLERIA's romantic season. The ceremony was inspired by the 58-year-old Christmas lighting ceremony in London's Oxford Street. GALLERIA, in a bold and innovative move, turned the romantic wedding hall into a fantasy and fairytale world, resplendent with Christmas decorations and a lavish symphony orchestra.Scene from the GALLERIA Lighting Ceremony

     Scene from the GALLERIA Lighting Ceremony

     Famous South Korean hip-hop singer HAHA

    On the evening of the event, seven couples who celebrated their nuptials at GALLERIA shared their happy wedding experiences. A world-class 18-member symphony orchestra from Europe performed the Christmas carol "We Wish You A Merry Christmas". In a charming interplay of bright lights and shadows, GALLERIA's high-end wedding club felt radiant with Christmas magic among the countless surprises: a Thomas train bringing much fun and cheer to the children, a warm and romantic carousel, classic Tiffany mini cars, and a replica of the isle of Guam's famous St. Laguna Chapel. The GALLERIA light and shadow show was breathtakingly thrilling. The "Fall in Love" limited series of new products specially designed for the Christmas season so enamored guests that each clamored to have their photo taken with the product display as the backdrop. On the heels of a similar event with luxury jewelry and watch brand Chopin in Switzerland, GALLERIA reached across the world to join hands with leading luxury car brand BMW to stage a noteworthy addition to the event: at the lighting ceremony, the car maker not only displayed the latest 7-series high-end cars, but also prepared a number of gifts jointly offered by several participating brands, augmenting the feeling and aura of luxury on the beautiful night.

    As a leading wedding brand, GALLERIA has designed a series of fashion events, all of which became immediate hits on social platforms upon launch. From Bea Hayden and Orfila Wu acting as creative wedding planners to the Galleria Island Wedding Carnival endorsed and inaugurated by Dong Gun Jang as well as the exclusive concerts for newlyweds held by Kenji Wu, Victor Wong (a.k.a. Pin Kuan) and Jordan Chan, GALLERIA has always been committed to redefining the high-end wedding experience with art, fashion and vibrancy. The luxurious and fashionable wedding hall, the private garden replete with floral arrangements, exotic island scenes, as well as the swings and bird's nests from the island of Bali that have all proven popular on Instagram have fulfilled the dreams that many couples have had for a beautiful and loving wedding. A successful, festive wedding gives rise to a stronger sense of love. Galleria's high-end wedding club has created a magnificent and beautiful Christmas-like dreamland and festive winter event in Shanghai.

    During the After Party session, famous South Korean hip-hop singer HAHA put on an ultracool stage performance, setting the audience on fire. HAHA wore a black suit jacket and ripped trousers, which, combined with a pair of fashionable gold-rimmed glasses, magnified the energy that exuded from his thrilling performance. His dancing in time with the music was so sexy and full of tension that the audience couldn't help but start to move with the rhythm. At this dreamlike moment, HAHA also expressed his warm wishes, "I hope you can enjoy the Happy Star moment as well as the joy and beauty of the festival. May all new couples fulfill their dreams of having the best wedding in a wonderfully artistic and romantic setting."

    Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20181226/2335286-1-a
    Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20181226/2335286-1-b
    Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20181226/2335286-1-c Reported by PR Newswire Asia 1 hour ago.

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    Rome (AFP) Dec 26, 2018

    A 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck early Wednesday near Europe's most active volcano Mount Etna, injuring several people, displacing some 600 and damaging buildings, Italian civil protection officials said. Two people were pulled from a collapsed building and around 10 were taken to hospital suffering light injuries from falling debris. An elderly woman suffered multiple fractures, Agi ne Reported by Terra Daily 1 hour ago.

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    TORONTO, Dec. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited (“BlackRock Canada”), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK), today announced the final December cash distributions for the iShares ETFs listed on the TSX or NEO, with the exception of the iShares Premium Money Market ETF (“CMR”). Final cash distributions for CMR will be confirmed in a press release to be issued on or about December 28, 2018. Unitholders of record of a fund on December 31, 2018 will receive cash distributions payable in respect of that fund on *January 4, 2019.*

    Details regarding the “per unit” distribution amounts are as follows:

    *Fund Name* *Fund Ticker* *Cash
    Distribution
    Per Unit ($)*
    iShares 1-10 Year Laddered Corporate Bond Index ETF CBH 0.05300
    iShares 1-5 Year Laddered Corporate Bond Index ETF CBO 0.04824
    iShares S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats Index ETF CDZ 0.09698
    iShares Equal Weight Banc & Lifeco ETF CEW 0.05055
    iShares Gold Bullion ETF CGL 0.00000
    iShares Gold Bullion ETF CGL.C 0.00000
    iShares Global Real Estate Index ETF CGR 0.13632
    iShares U.S. High Yield Fixed Income Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) CHB 0.09000
    iShares International Fundamental Index ETF CIE 0.10880
    iShares Global Infrastructure Index ETF CIF 0.15259
    iShares Japan Fundamental Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) CJP 0.31815
    iShares 1-5 Year Laddered Government Bond Index ETF CLF 0.04530
    iShares 1-10 Year Laddered Government Bond Index ETF CLG 0.04500
    iShares US Fundamental Index ETF CLU 0.15982
    iShares US Fundamental Index ETF CLU.C 0.18192
    iShares Global Agriculture Index ETF COW 0.41173
    iShares S&P/TSX Canadian Preferred Share Index ETF CPD 0.04900
    iShares Canadian Fundamental Index ETF CRQ 0.05113
    iShares Short Duration High Income ETF (CAD-Hedged) CSD 0.08070
    iShares US Dividend Growers Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) CUD 0.18925
    iShares Convertible Bond Index ETF CVD 0.07100
    iShares Emerging Markets Fundamental Index ETF CWO 0.00500
    iShares Global Water Index ETF CWW 0.59293
    iShares Global Monthly Dividend Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) CYH 0.17081
    Dynamic iShares Active Tactical Bond ETF DXB 0.04200
    Dynamic iShares Active Canadian Dividend ETF DXC 0.04000
    Dynamic iShares Active Global Financial Services ETF DXF 0.10000
    Dynamic iShares Active Global Dividend ETF DXG 0.00000
    Dynamic iShares Active Crossover Bond ETF DXO 0.20272
    Dynamic iShares Active Preferred Shares ETF DXP 0.07200
    Dynamic iShares Active U.S. Dividend ETF DXU 0.00000
    Dynamic iShares Active Investment Grade Floating Rate ETF DXV 0.03900
    Dynamic iShares Active U.S. Mid-Cap ETF DXZ 0.02681
    iShares Canadian Financial Monthly Income ETF FIE 0.04000
    iShares Silver Bullion ETF SVR 0.00000
    iShares Silver Bullion ETF SVR.C 0.00000
    iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada Index ETF XAW 0.30064
    iShares Core Balanced ETF Portfolio (formerly iShares Balanced Income CorePortfolio™ Index ETF) XBAL/CBD^1 0.06100
    iShares Core Canadian Universe Bond Index ETF XBB 0.07400
    iShares S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index ETF XBM 0.15078
    iShares Canadian Corporate Bond Index ETF XCB 0.05300
    iShares S&P Global Consumer Discretionary Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XCD 0.17572
    iShares Canadian Growth Index ETF XCG 0.07011
    iShares China Index ETF XCH 0.39192
    iShares S&P/TSX SmallCap Index ETF XCS 0.03433
    iShares Canadian Value Index ETF XCV 0.14959
    iShares Core MSCI Global Quality Dividend Index ETF XDG 0.04500
    iShares Core MSCI Global Quality Dividend Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XDGH 0.04500
    iShares Core MSCI Canadian Quality Dividend Index ETF XDIV 0.07400
    iShares Core MSCI US Quality Dividend Index ETF XDU 0.04200
    iShares Core MSCI US Quality Dividend Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XDUH 0.04200
    iShares Canadian Select Dividend Index ETF XDV 0.11200
    iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XEB 0.28604
    iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets IMI Index ETF XEC 0.53679
    iShares Core MSCI EAFE IMI Index ETF XEF 0.26119
    iShares S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index ETF XEG 0.01862
    iShares MSCI Europe IMI Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XEH 0.23416
    iShares S&P/TSX Composite High Dividend Index ETF XEI 0.08900
    iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF XEM 0.54176
    iShares Jantzi Social Index ETF XEN 0.09527
    iShares MSCI Europe IMI Index ETF XEU 0.22711
    iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XFA 0.24142
    iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Canada Index ETF XFC 0.06149
    iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor EAFE Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XFF 0.09997
    iShares Core MSCI EAFE IMI Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XFH 0.19962
    iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor EAFE Index ETF XFI 0.08594
    iShares S&P/TSX Capped Financials Index ETF XFN 0.09339
    iShares Floating Rate Index ETF XFR 0.03100
    iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Index ETF XFS 0.18979
    iShares Canadian Government Bond Index ETF XGB 0.04400
    iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index ETF XGD 0.00500
    iShares S&P Global Industrials Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XGI 0.31522
    iShares Core Growth ETF Portfolio (formerly iShares Balanced Growth CorePortfolio™ Index ETF) XGRO/CBN^2 0.04571
    iShares Canadian HYBrid Corporate Bond Index ETF XHB 0.06600
    iShares Global Healthcare Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XHC 0.47403
    iShares U.S. High Dividend Equity Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XHD 0.06900
    iShares U.S. High Dividend Equity Index ETF XHU 0.05500
    iShares U.S. High Yield Bond Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XHY 0.08800
    iShares Core S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF XIC 0.14814
    iShares India Index ETF XID 0.11383
    iShares U.S. IG Corporate Bond Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XIG 0.10651
    iShares MSCI EAFE® Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XIN 0.27615
    iShares S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology Index ETF XIT 0.00000
    iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index ETF XIU 0.00000
    iShares Core Canadian Long Term Bond Index ETF XLB 0.06900
    iShares S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index ETF XMA 0.00000
    iShares S&P U.S. Mid-Cap Index ETF XMC 0.14320
    iShares S&P/TSX Completion Index ETF XMD 0.04245
    iShares S&P U.S. Mid-Cap Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XMH 0.11678
    iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EAFE Index ETF XMI 0.41614
    iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EAFE Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XML 0.20291
    iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Emerging Markets Index ETF XMM 0.46619
    iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XMS 0.10577
    iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Index ETF XMU 0.21921
    iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Canada Index ETF XMV 0.18736
    iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global Index ETF XMW 0.51282
    iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XMY 0.16190
    iShares S&P/TSX North American Preferred Stock Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XPF 0.06800
    iShares High Quality Canadian Bond Index ETF XQB 0.04746
    iShares NASDAQ 100 Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XQQ 0.13992
    iShares Canadian Real Return Bond Index ETF XRB 0.23254
    iShares S&P/TSX Capped REIT Index ETF XRE 0.06910
    iShares Core Canadian Short Term Bond Index ETF XSB 0.05500
    iShares Conservative Short Term Strategic Fixed Income ETF XSC 0.04500
    iShares Conservative Strategic Fixed Income ETF XSE 0.04900
    iShares Core Canadian Short Term Corporate + Maple Bond Index ETF XSH 0.04400
    iShares Short Term Strategic Fixed Income ETF XSI 0.05600
    iShares Core S&P 500 Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XSP 0.28653
    iShares Short Term High Quality Canadian Bond Index ETF XSQ 0.03463
    iShares S&P/TSX Capped Consumer Staples Index ETF XST 0.10000
    iShares U.S. Small Cap Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XSU 0.16348
    iShares Diversified Monthly Income ETF XTR 0.05000
    iShares Core S&P U.S. Total Market Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XUH 0.15729
    iShares Core S&P 500 Index ETF XUS 0.42804
    iShares S&P/TSX Capped Utilities Index ETF XUT 0.08100
    iShares Core S&P U.S. Total Market Index ETF XUU 0.16385
    iShares MSCI World Index ETF XWD 0.44911
    ^1 The TSX ticker for the iShares Fund changed from CBD to XBAL on December 20, 2018. The iShares Fund also changed its name, effective December 11, 2018. The CUSIP of the iShares Fund did not change as a result of the implementation of the ticker or name changes.
    ^2 The TSX ticker for the iShares Fund is changed from CBN to XGRO on December 20, 2018. The iShares Fund also changed its name, effective December 11, 2018. The CUSIP of the iShares Fund did not change as a result of the implementation of the ticker or name changes.Further information on the iShares Funds can be found at http://www.blackrock.com/ca.

    *Changes to Certain iShares ETFs*BlackRock Canada also announced that it is lowering the annual management fees on two of its equity ETFs. These funds – the iShares Core S&P 500 Index ETF (XUS) and iShares Core S&P 500 Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) (XSP) – will each have an annual management fee, inclusive of applicable underlying product fees, of 0.09% of such fund’s net asset value, effective as of January 1, 2019.

    Further information on XUS and XSP can be found at www.blackrock.com/ca

    *About BlackRock
    *BlackRock helps investors build better financial futures. As a fiduciary to our clients, we provide the investment and technology solutions they need when planning for their most important goals. As of September 30, 2018, the firm managed approximately US$6.44 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide. For additional information on BlackRock, please visit  www.blackrock.com/ca | Twitter: @BlackRockCA | Blog: www.blackrockblog.com/can

    *About iShares ETFs
    *iShares unlocks opportunity across markets to meet the evolving needs of investors. With more than twenty years of experience, a global line-up of 800+ exchange traded funds (ETFs) and US$1.8 trillion in assets under management as of September 30, 2018, iShares continues to drive progress for the financial industry. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock, trusted to manage more money than any other investment firm^1.

    ^1 Based on US$6.44 trillion in AUM as of 9/30/18

    iShares^® ETFs are managed by BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited. 

    Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investing in iShares ETFs.  Please read the relevant prospectus before investing. The funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.  Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. 

    *Contact for Media:*
    Peter McKillop
    T – 212-810-3737
    Email: Peter.McKillop@blackrock.com  Reported by GlobeNewswire 1 hour ago.

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    EU elections next year are becoming a contest between a liberal champion and a Eurosceptic Reported by FT.com 55 minutes ago.

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    · *Early Friday action is leaning firmly risk-on, but broader market fundamentals are warning of further losses to come.*
    · *Holiday-thinned market volumes are seeing major pairs make drastic changes on little movement, but overall directional bias remains muted.*

    EUR/USD is cycling near 1.1450 ahead of the European market session, catching some tentative lift as markets edge out some risk appetite in the post-holiday market run before New Year's.

    Geopolitical concerns are once again at the forefront, with political turmoil in Europe, the UK, the US, and China all delivering a constant cycle of fear-inducing headlines as the US barrels towards an open tradewar with China, US President Donald Trump blockades his own government seeking $5 billion in taxpayers' money to build a border wall he swore on the election trail that Mexico would pay for, as well as taking potshots at his own pick for the head of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, while on the European side, Brexit finagling has investors growing more nervous as the clock winds down, and the EU faces another round of deficit-busting with Italy defiantly thumbing their noses at the European Commission while France also seeks special treatment and an exclusion to overspend against their own government budget, outside of EU regulations.

    The EUR sees a rash of low- and medium-tier economic data for Friday, but the key reading will be Germany's Harmonized CPI reading at 13:00 GMT, with the key annualized preliminary CPI into December forecast to come in at 1.9%, a slight decline from the previous period's 2.3%. On the US side, the Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index for December will be dropping at 14:45 GMT, followed closely by Pending and New Home Sales figures at 15:00 GMT.

    *EUR/USD Levels to watch*

    EUR/USD is looking moderately neutral in the charts, with 4hour candlesticks keeping the pair constrained within familiar levels, and failure to push beyond the key 1.1500 handle is likely to see a very quick turnaround back into the low end below 1.1300.

    EUR/USD

    Overview:
        Today Last Price: 1.1458
        Today Daily change: 18 pips
        Today Daily change %: 0.157%
        Today Daily Open: 1.144
    Trends:
        Previous Daily SMA20: 1.1369
        Previous Daily SMA50: 1.1374
        Previous Daily SMA100: 1.1478
        Previous Daily SMA200: 1.1675
    Levels:
        Previous Daily High: 1.1454
        Previous Daily Low: 1.1348
        Previous Weekly High: 1.1486
        Previous Weekly Low: 1.1302
        Previous Monthly High: 1.15
        Previous Monthly Low: 1.1216
        Previous Daily Fibonacci 38.2%: 1.1414
        Previous Daily Fibonacci 61.8%: 1.1389
        Previous Daily Pivot Point S1: 1.1374
        Previous Daily Pivot Point S2: 1.1308
        Previous Daily Pivot Point S3: 1.1268
        Previous Daily Pivot Point R1: 1.148
        Previous Daily Pivot Point R2: 1.152
        Previous Daily Pivot Point R3: 1.1586

      Reported by FXstreet.com 21 minutes ago.

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    Theresa May is discovering that leaving the EU is much harder than anyone thought Reported by FT.com 25 minutes ago.

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    According to analysts at OCBC Bank, the slowing economic momentum in Europe is the main concern for the ECB which is likely to result in cautious guidance before summer 2019 and is going to affect the EUR going forward.

    *Key Quotes*

    “Expect ongoing political issues (Italy or otherwise) to plague the EUR.”

    “Overall, the EUR-USD may still be attempting to find a bottom in 1Q 2019. Further out, expect the EUR-USD to be driven by the relative stances between the ECB and Fed.” Reported by FXstreet.com 8 minutes ago.

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    International security agencies likely confiscated more cocaine in 2018 than ever before. German investigators fear a more violent struggle for control of the market among gangs in the future — even in Europe. Reported by Deutsche Welle 13 minutes ago.

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    EU elections next year are becoming a contest between a liberal champion and a Eurosceptic Reported by FT.com 2 hours ago.

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