Beginning 19 August, 2014 the most recent SITREPS will be posted at the top, in descending order:
It’s Tuesday, 12 August, and we’re approaching T-Rex — YOUR weekend to actually practice your preparedness plan. Ten days away. As we approach, we will be feeding you SITREPS (Situation Reports). The SITREPS, posted below, are from an AmRRON Corps operator with an intelligence analysis background. These SITREPS enhance the scenario laid out in the T-Rex Scenario & Timeline.
A couple of notes for participants:
1. Tune in to the regularly-scheduled AmRRON nets next week! There will be additional SITREPS relevant to the exercise that weekend.
2. Remember to include the words, “EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE” preceding the message
Additionally, end the message with ” This is a communications readiness exercise. This is only a training exercise”
3. BLACK ECHO STATIONS: Also follow the “EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE…” protocol when relaying SITREPS, news reports, or any other updates. Remember, this is training, so keep it legal. Save the awesome power message to the masses for the real thing.
4. ALL — Learn to convert to (and use) Zulu Time. Acquire another battery-operated clock and set it to Zulu time. You should have one of these already, but if not, do it.
Additional pre-exercise SITREPs will follow over the next week, so keep checking back.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
1400Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “DHS Secretary Resigns.” Jeh Johnson, the fourth Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned today, giving health and family matters as the reason. The resignation is effective immediately. Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett has been named acting Secretary. Mr. Johnson said that he is leaving for an extended family vacation and will not be available for comment. 
1500Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “DHS Takes Control Of Entire Nation” The President issued an executive order placing the Department of Homeland Security in authority over all law enforcement agencies, the National Guard, and all reserve forces in the United States, effective noon Eastern time today. 
1730Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “BREAKING: Delta Airlines Flight Crash Lands in California” Delta Flight 1082 crash landed at former US Naval Air Station Moffett Field while on initial approach to Oakland International Airport, about 30 miles away to the north.
The Airbus 320 over-ran the southwest end of the runway, skipping across a trench that carries the local tram tracks, and came to rest halfway across US Highway 101 in Mountain View, California. There are apparently some fatalities, but eye witnesses say that the emergency chutes deployed and people are standing around the aircraft on the freeway.
1745Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “BREAKING: Delta Airlines Flight 1082 Stuck by Missile.” Amateur video shot by people on the ground in the vicinity of the Delta Flight 1082 crash at Moffett Field clearly shows a blast hole in the right side cabin just aft of the right wing. The metal was blasted inward, apparently by some form of missile. We have reporters en route from our affiliate station in Oakland, California and will give you updates just as soon as we hear something.
1750Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Desperate Householders Clean Out the Stores.” Fox affiliates are seeing a run on groceries and emergency supplies across the nation, afraid that supplies will run out, due to the railroad crisis. Even though only one railroad, affecting mostly the western states, is crippled, and truck lines and other forms of transportation are able to carry Union Pacific’s lost freight capacity, it appears that panic has set in among the public in Portland, Oregon, Orange County, California, Chicago, Denver and several smaller cities.
1758Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “BREAKING: National Airspace Closed” The Federal Aviation Administration, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, closed all civilian airspace over the continental United States to civilian air traffic, with exceptions for emergency responders. A complete news blackout has been dropped over the immediate area. We have been unable to reach our crew that is en route, or possibly already on, the scene.
1820Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “News Blackout at Delta 1082 Crash Site.” There is a cell phone blackout of the area surrounding the Delta 1082 crash site in Mountain View, California. Our ground crew was instructed to shut down our satellite uplink truck and leave the area. Anyone recording sound or video at the scene of the crash site will be treated as terrorists and detained indefinitely, according to a member of the Sunnyvale, California SWAT team. 
1840Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “BREAKING: Stock Markets Closed at Least Till Monday.” By executive order, the President has ordered all stock exchanges closed for the remainder of the week. 
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
1355Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Food Rations Increased for Guard and Reservists.” The President announced that members of the National Guard and the Army Reserves who report promptly for duty will be given additional rations of food and fuel for their families. Current estimates are that only around 30% of call-ups have resulted in members reporting for duty. Insiders at the Pentagon estimate that increasing rations for families will improve the call-up rate to over 50%. 
1400Z (CBS News via ZeroHedge) “Ebola Suspect Tested In California: Statements From Kaiser Permanente And Dept Of Public Health”
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/20/2014 07:59 -0400
CBS13 Sacramento reported that a patient admitted to Kaiser Permanente may have been exposed to the Ebola virus, and test are currently being done to determine whether the virus is present. Shortly thereafter, the California Department of Public Health released a statement late Tuesday saying it had no confirmed cases of Ebola in the state, but that a patient it describes as low-risk was being tested in Sacramento.
According to CBS, the unidentified patient was admitted to the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, and they have been placed in isolation. Outside of a written statement, the hospital has remained tight-lipped on orders from the administration, refusing to go on camera, and increasing its security presence. Public health officials from Sacramento County have remained silent on the issue.
The CDC has said that 60 people from California have been tested so far, with 10 of those tests being sent to the CDC for further review. All 10 of those tests came back negative. Hopefully this time will not be different.
With the test expected to take several days to complete, the US should know sometime around Friday whether or not whether Ebola has finally arrived in the US as well 
1400Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Hagel Resigns.” The Pentagon just announced that the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has resigned. We are awaiting a further statement by Secretary Hagel or the Pentagon. No press conference has yet been scheduled. 
1410Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “BREAKING: Bank of America Limits Withdrawals.” B of A unexpectedly announced the imposition of capital controls by limiting withdrawals from cash machines to $100 per day and merchant account withdrawals to $5,000 per day. Retail customer withdrawals will be limited to $1,000 per day. The announcement comes just days after a run on Brazilian, Portuguese and Italian banks caused the imposition of a bank holiday affecting much of Europe.
“The bank needs to conserve its assets in order to meet its counterparty obligations in the form of international letters of credit and transfers, in view of last week’s catastrophic decline of the dollar against the Renmimbi,” said Humpty Ambrose, Senior Vice President of Public Relations. 
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
0304Z (Mail Online) “German Ebola scare as Nigerian woman showing symptoms of killer disease faints in jobcentre forcing 600 people into quarantine”
By Damien Gayle for MailOnline and Allan Hall
Published: 11:04 EST, 19 August 2014 | Updated: 13:53 EST, 19 August 2014
A woman was rushed to hospital and hundreds of people were quarantined today after she showed symptoms of Ebola virus infection in a jobcentre in Germany.
As many as 600 visitors and staff at the employment office building in Berlin were also stopped from leaving for several hours as emergency services sealed off part of the street.
The mass-circulation daily Bild said the woman had fainted, that she hailed from Nigeria and that she said later that she had recently been in contact with people infected with Ebola.
Several people who had been with the woman inside the building in the north-eastern district of Prenzlauer Berg were later taken to hospital for testing.
Berlin fire department spokesman Rolf Erbe said that because the patient came from ‘an area affected by a highly contagious disease, we took these precautions.’
A British woman was tested for Ebola ‘as a precaution’ after collapsing and dying following journey from Nigeria to Austria
He said the testing in the city’s Charite hospital would take some time.
The patient was isolated inside the ambulance, the staff took the appropriate protective measures. An emergency medic, the public health officer, arrived and the necessary precautions were taken,’ he added.
The woman had turned up at the employment bureau with a high fever. A spokesman for the city’s health authority said emergency services were called after the woman collapsed.
All 600 people quarantined within the centre were in the suspected victim’s vicinity before she collapsed.
‘A case in a previously unaffected area was reported last week, indicating continuing spread to new areas.’
Sent in by another prepper group:
2330Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. FLASH “FEMA To Confiscate Your Food Starting Thursday” The Department of Homeland Security announced that, in compliance with a secret order signed by the President of the United States, anyone holding more than a week’s worth of food or ten gallons of fuel per person, is guilty of the crime of hoarding, effective Thursday, midnight. Persons deemed to be hoarders have until midnight, Thursday night, 8/21/2014 to turn in their excess supplies to any of the FEMA-operated depositories identified by Schedule A attached to this order. The DHS and local law enforcement is hereby authorized to search private premises for contraband items, effective immediately. FEMA will make distribution of food stores to the public on a schedule to be determined by each local FEMA office.
Sent in by Nevada Prepper Group
EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE
Based on the imminent or in-process food riots caused by the rail system and port shutdowns, and the lack of fuel for coal-powered plants, and after discussion with the family, we have raised our alert status to DEFCON 3.
- Neighbors notified by email and by the removal of flags from the flag poles
- No travel away from home greater than half-day walking distance
- Scheduled deliveries canceled
- Property locked down sunset to sunrise
2200Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Ships Stacking Up in Long Beach Harbor” The Long Beach harbormaster reports that ship landings were halted earlier today for lack of ground transport due to the rail shutdown. Several container ships voluntarily gave up their berth reservations and remained at sea. In addition, representative of Matson Lines stated that Deutsche Bank and Bank of America have put a hold on the exercise of letters of credit, which pay the shipper once the goods have landed in the US. 
2200Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Blackout Looms” The Martin Drake power plant in Colorado Springs estimates that the plant has sufficient coal reserves to bridge a three day interruption of coal supplies due to the rail shutdown. “There is no way to bring in coal by any other means than rail,” said a spokesman for the power plant. 
2115Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Rail System Chaos: Hack Attack” The Chief Information Officer of the Union Pacific Railroad reports that an internal software system called JBOSS, which was developed with SAP of Germany, is the apparent target of a ransomware attack. JBOSS is the backbone for the railroad’s data system. It ties together accounting, maintenance, scheduling and train operating systems, as well as other pieces of the company’s vast information technology infrastructure.
Apparently, over the past 24 hours, malware code invaded the system and destroyed or encrypted all of the company’s files. Without them, the company cannot route freight, cannot operate trains, or make payroll, and cannot even repair equipment or track, since the Federal Railway Administration requires extensive electronic records be kept of repairs in excruciating detail.
There are no manual backup systems. The company is trying to set up paper-based systems to move existing freight in the company system, but has no plans to operate past that point or to accept new freight until the electronic systems have been restored. A company spokesman said that restoration of operations could take from a few days to several weeks.
No ransom demand has yet been received, leading some to speculate that the purpose of this attack was to cripple the US economy, and was not part of a criminal extortion plot. 
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
1550Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Jeff Flock is standing by in Omaha for a press conference on the rail shutdown. So far, only the Union Pacific has been affected. The news conference was originally scheduled to begin at 11:00 local time. We are now getting word that the press conference has been postponed until 4:00 pm local time, an hour after the NYSE closes for the day. 
All of the following came in at the same time:
1325Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Crisis on the Rails.” All Union Pacific Railroad operations system-wide were suddenly stopped without explanation shortly after midnight. Crews have been told to return home or go to hotels. There is reportedly a software problem that has brought down multiple computer systems across the company. It is unclear at this time if the software problem was the cause of the rail shutdown. There are no reports of any derailments or physical attacks on the company’s infrastructure. The Director of Homeland Security was alerted early this morning. DHS says that there is no indication that this is an act of terrorism.
A news conference is scheduled for 11:00 am Omaha time today.” 
1328Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Dow futures are down over 200 points. 
1340Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Dow loses 380 points in the first ten minutes since open. 
1342Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. The NYSE halts trading due to an orders imbalance. 
1358Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. NYSE resumes trading. The Dow retraces about 30 points of its earlier loss. 
From this point, scroll to the bottom and read UP to see newest to oldest:
The following SITREPS are a combination of real-world news reports and fictional SITREPS. All reports that are not real-world incidents will be preceded by the words ‘EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE’ The TEOTWAWKI 2014 Readiness Exercise (TREx-2014) is a communications and preparedness drill scheduled for the weekend of August 22-24th. The exercise is based on a published scenario that gives only a very broad description of the circumstances leading up to a national emergency that will occur that weekend. The decisions that people make in a crisis situation are fundamentally dependent on the precursors leading up to the crisis. To augment the realism of the TREx-2014 exercise, a series of news reports will be sent by email to those who have expressed interest in the exercise itself. These will be a mixture of actual news reports and simulated news reports. Simulated news reports will always carry the words EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE at the beginning of the news report. (In the absence of those words, the news report is an actual, live report.) At some point in the exercise, all normal communications, news feeds, telephone, and Internet connectivity will be lost, at which point in time these email reports will cease. What follows is TREx News Report Number 01
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
0000Z (Guy Haselmann of ScotiaBank)“Central Bank Post-Crisis Quasi-Coordination Has Broken Down” Germany, France, Japan and the Eurozone are expected to follow Italy with flat or negative Q2 GDP when the data is released this week. Italy’s economy grew at -0.2% in Q2 and has not grown in over 10 years. Japan’s Q2 number tonight is expected to show an annualized decline worse than 7% (maybe <10%). These four countries collectively account for 18% of global GDP. In a globalized world with vast inter-connected supply chains, protectionism poses the most dangerous risk to economic growth. Sanctions against Russia combined with significant counter-measures have spanned and impacted international trade between dozens of countries. In India, newly-elected Modi’s government doubled the minimum price of exporting onions, and doubled tariffs on imported sugar to buoy the local industry. Sovereign actions to improve competitiveness are often taken to weaken a countries currency, but imposing tariffs and imposing protectionist laws have similar results but with far quicker and more targeted results. What follows is TREx News Report Number 02 0058Z (ZeroHedge) “Japanese GDP Plunges 6.8% As Consumer Spending Collapses By Most On Record.” Compared to the 3.6% drop in GDP when Japan last hiked its consumption tax in 1997, today’s Q2 GDP collapse of 6.8% annualized is an utter disaster (even if it is slightly better than the expected -7.0% expectations thanks to a surge in the deflator). Inventory additions added 1.0% growth. Consumer Spending collapsed 5.2% QoQ – the most on record. Of course, in the traditional of Keynesian hockey-sticks, this XX% collapse in Q2 is expected to surge back to a 2.5% growth figure in Q3 and lead Japan to the holy grail once more.. only it didn’t quite work out that way last time for Japan. Simply put this is the worst posible outcome for bulls. 0305Z (Apple Insider by Mickey Campbell) “California Senate passes cellphone ‘kill switch’ bill, awaits governor’s approval” The California state Senate on Monday passed a bill crafted to protect against smartphone theft by requiring manufacturers turn on a “kill switch” when a device is first activated, something Apple currently employs in iOS as an opt-in feature. California’s legislative push to require so-called “kill switches” of smartphone manufacturers moved closer to becoming law, as a bill passed through the Senate with a final tally of 27-8, reports The Wall Street Journal. The state’s governor, Jerry Brown, has 12 days to sign the bill into law. State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who introduced the bill, believes the effort will help discourage smartphone thefts, a problem grown pervasive in some major metropolitan areas. According to the publication, California’s initiative differs from similar legislation up for consideration in other states like New York in that it places an onus on manufacturers to have the security feature activated during initial device setup. 1210Z (San Jose Mercury News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “East Bay ISIS Sympathizers?” Hikers discovered what appeared to be a camp of Islamist sympathizers, according to the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office. A small camp, looking like it might have been occupied by four people, was found near the Poppy Ridge golf course in Livermore. The camp contained a buried container that included materials which were turned over the FBI. According to an anonymous source who saw the contents of the buried container, there were papers in Arabic and aviation charts of some sort in English, with the word ‘Oakland’ on them. The hikers have been retained for questioning after initially being released. Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 1522Z (Manchester Guardian, UK) “Ferguson Reignites As Police Shoot 2nd Man; Obama’s Response “Insultingly Inadequate” Despite Police best efforts to force Ferguson residents off the streets, tensions reignited once again as night fell last night and, as The Guardian reports, a second man has been shot by police. Police officials told local reporters that the man was shot in Ferguson by a St Louis County officer after pointing a handgun at him soon after 1am on Wednesday. A crowd of around 250 young protesters were halted by police and separately a woman is being treated in hospital after being shot in the head during a drive-by shooting in the troubled city. Protesters exclaimed, “we have a right to assemble, a right to freedom,” said Paul Muhammad. “But here we are facing what looks like a military imposing martial law. It is not acceptable.” Interestingly, President Obama’s official response “urging reflection” has been rejected as insultingly inadequate by many African American residents of Ferguson 2118Z (Indystar Newspaper) “Underground explosions rattle Downtown (Indianapolis)” Smoke billows from a building near 100 S. Meridian in Downtown Indianapolis during repeated transformer explosions around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. No injuries were reported. Provided by Indianapolis Fire Department Jill Disis, firstname.lastname@example.org 5:18 p.m. EDT August 13, 2014 First the lights flickered. Then came the boom. “I looked out my window on the fourth floor and saw smoke rising up,” Mark Neyland said. Neyland and hundreds of other people were evacuated from restaurants and at least one entire office complex along a busy stretch of Meridian Street in Downtown Indianapolis on Wednesday after an underground explosion involving Indianapolis Power & Light Co. equipment.  2320Z (CNN) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “US Vetoes Donetsk Airlift.” The United States vetoed an otherwise unanimous UN Security Council resolution that would have authorized UN observers to accompany a Russian airlift of humanitarian supplies into Eastern Ukraine. No timeline for the airlift was provided. The airlift was proposed after the government in Kiev blocked entry of a 300-truck convoy into Ukraine from Russia on Wednesday morning. In the US, President Obama announced the deployment of two full armored divisions to Poland from Germany and announced a call-up of reservists.  2345Z (Reuters) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Large Crowds of Protestors Gathering In Philadelphia.” A small gathering of people gathered at Logan Square mid-afternoon for a memorial service for Michael Brown, who was killed by the police in Ferguson, Missouri last week. The crowd has since swelled to over 2,000, who became aware of the gathering through social media. Several of the protestors brought sleeping bags and tents. The mayor’s office has said that they will not be permitted to camp overnight in a city park. 
THURSDAY 14 August 2014 (Zulu Date)
0202Z (Huffington Post) “Huffington Post Reporter Arrested In Ferguson” Posted: 08/13/2014 8:45 pm EDT Updated: 7 minutes ago The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly and the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery were arrested Wednesday evening while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer last week. SWAT officers roughed up the reporters inside a McDonald’s, where both journalists were working. Reilly snapped a photo, prompting cops to request his identification. “The officer in question, who I repeatedly later asked for his name, grabbed my things and shoved them into my bag,” said Reilly, who appeared on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” shortly after his release to recount the arrest. “He used his finger to put a pressure point on my neck.” “They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible,” Reilly said. “The worst part was he slammed my head against the glass purposefully on the way out of McDonald’s and then sarcastically apologized for it.” Reilly said it will be difficult to hold the officer “accountable for his actions,” as the officer did not respond to Reilly’s repeated requests for his name or other identification. He said he can’t be “100 percent sure” whether the officer was aware that he’s a reporter, “but that really shouldn’t matter in this equation.” Reilly believes he was arrested because he declined to present the officer his identification when asked for it, he said.  0317Z (Reuters) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Russian Transport Plane Shot Down Over Ukraine.” The Ukrainian government said that the Ukrainian army shot down an IL-76 heavy transport aircraft approximately six miles inside Ukranian airspace earlier this morning. 
0600Z (RT) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. "Russia Denies Airspace Incursion." Russia denied that any of their ground or air forces were inside or over Ukrainian territory at any time over the past few months, including today. They claim that one of their aircraft was shot down by a Ukrainian-operated Buk missile while transporting supplies to a Russian base near the Ukrainian border this morning. The Duma has been called into emergency session. In the United States, the President's spokesman said that the President is watching the situation carefully. There are no plans to cut short the President's holiday on Martha's Vineyard. 
Thursday, August 14, 2014 (Continued) 0610Z (FoxNews) "Night of Rage in St. Louis." "Police clash with Michael Brown shooting protesters in Ferguson, two reporters briefly detained" Published August 14, 2014 Police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. used tear gas and smoke bombs Wednesday to disperse protesters, some of whom threw Molotov cocktails and other objects at officers, as a fifth night of demonstrations over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer turned violent. Protesters faced heavily armed police who occasionally trained automatic weapons on them from an armored truck. After nightfall, the situation deteriorated, with police ordering demonstrators to go home before using smoke bombs and later tear gas. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that police inched forward to disperse the main body of protesters into small groups pushed down side streets. The paper reported that some people were unable to get to their homes. Earlier in the evening, two reporters were arrested and briefly held after police officers attempted to clear a McDonald's restaurant where they were working. Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post said they were handcuffed and put into a police van. The Post reported <http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/13/washington-pos t-reporter-arrested-in-ferguson/?hpid=z3> that Lowery said he was slammed against a soda machine and plastic cuffs were put on his wrists. The reporters were subsequently released without any charges. 
Thursday 8/14/2014 (Continued) 1609Z (Lombard Street Research) "China to Dump $1.3 Tn in US Treasuries." Facing an <http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/05266aea-0841-11e4-acd8-00144feab7de.html> overvalued currency that is hurting corporate profits and slowing growth, China appears ready to dump its $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds to drive U.S. interest rates up to strengthen the dollar. China tried to slow the fall of the dollar by increasing its holdings in U.S. Treasury bonds from <http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/02 /20140118_chin.png> $400 billion in 2007 to $1.33 trillion at the end of 2013. Despite spending almost a trillion dollars on U.S. Treasury purchases, the weak dollar policy caused the Shanghai Index to fall by -38%. But during the same period the U.S. S&P Index rose by +199%. China's $1.3 trillion of U.S. Treasury bonds sounds like 7% of the <http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/> $17.7 trillion U.S. federal debt outstanding, but a third of the debt was supposedly "purchased" by the U.S. government to back Social Security and other purposes. Of the net U.S. public debt outstanding, China owns about 1 in every 7 dollars of U.S. Treasury Bonds. "For a long time the threat that <http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cf99b3d0-029d-11e4-8c28-00144feab7de.html> Beijing might sell US Treasuries rang hollow, but no longer" according to Lombard. "Growth trouble across the Pacific may have a much bigger impact on US yields in 2015 and 2016 than the expected pace of US central bank tightening" from the Federal Reserve. The People's Bank of China in November of 2013 <http://seekingalpha.com/article/1858041-peoples-bank-of-china-announces-end -of-u-s-treasury-buying> announced they were ending their purchase of U.S. Treasury bonds. When China sold <http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-18/china-sells-second-largest-amount- us-treasurys-december-and-guess-who-comes-rescue> $48 billion in Treasuries in January, the yuan weakened by 5% to 6.3 yuan to the dollar. China has recently been intervening in the foreign exchange market to prevent the yuan from strengthening. 
1704Z (Handelsblatt) “UK Sends SAS Troops to Iraq.” The German financial newspaper, Handelsblatt, reported that Britain is sending Special Air Service commandos to northern Iraq. This follows yesterday’s announcement that France is sending arms to the Kurds. The German government is planning to send arms, also. The crisis in Iraq is front page news across most German newspapers today. In other business news, Handelsblatt reports that the impacts of Russian sanctions are severely affecting German agricultural exports, with tons of produce rotting in warehouses.  1748Z (Sacramento Bee) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Governor Signs Cell Phone Kill Switch Bill.” Gov. Brown today signed the so-called cell phone kill switch bill. The technology was designed to allow stolen cell phones to be shut down remotely, but could also be used to kill cell phone service for selected persons or groups for any reason.  1830Z (United States Naval War College, the Twenty Committee) “Is the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Underway?” Amidst sketchy reports of Russian military moves across the Ukrainian border, the website of the Moscow magazine New Times has posted a picture of Russian BTR armored personnel carriers (APCs) with the following text:” Photo by Sergey Khazov, The New Times, 2125, 14.08.2014, near Kamensk-Shakhtinskiy, Rostov Region” as well as the following explanation: Approximately at 2120* — it’s completely dark here — a convoy of armored vehicles drove past my hotel, which is located literally in the open field, near Kamensk-Shakhtinskiy (Rostov Region): a few dozen APCs, infantry military vehicles, and military trucks pulling artillery guns. At first it seemed that they were moving in the direction of the Izvarino checkpoint, where the Russian checkpoint is and where the crossing is to the Ukrainian region which is controlled by the separatists. However, they are not at the Izvarino checkpoint — the author has checked; they have not been at the Severnoye checkpoint either. Obviously, the vehicles crossed the border somewhere else under the cover of night. Anyway, they are now on the Rostov-Donetsk road. They say here that today Ukrainian servicemen who were surrounded at the Luhansk airport have managed to break through the encirclement and started pushing the separatist groups towards Krasnodon. Probably, this is what caused by the transfer of APCs and artillery across the Russian border. 2030Z (ZeroHedge) “US Sending 600 Troops, APCs And Tanks To Countries Bordering Russia To “Reassure Threatened Allies” “ Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/14/2014 15:30 -0400 Escalation over the Ukraine conflict, a/k/a Cold War 2.0, just took another major step forward. Because here comes the cavalry… literally. The Pentagon announced that approximately 600 soldiers from the Army’s 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division will deploy to Poland and the Baltic states to help reassure European allies who feel threatened by Russian military moves. And while most Americans may be geographically challenged, Russians know very well that all of these countries border on Russia. As such this very demonstrative military expansion by NATO powers to “pre-contain” Russian military agression will only lead to one thing: even more “defensive” escalation. The troops and their equipment — which include M-1 Abrams tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored personnel carriers — will go to Europe in October for a three-month series of training exercises. The troops will originate out of Fort Hood, Texas (keep this in mind for a post later today) and will replace 600 paratroopers from the Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade. “These land training exercises … help foster interoperability through small unit and leader training,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said. In addition to ground forces, the U.S. has also sent F-16 combat aircraft to Poland and participated in NATO air policing missions over the Baltics. The exercises came at the request of host nations that fear a resurgent Russia, which annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine earlier this year and continues to support a pro-Russia separatist movement in eastern Ukraine. So to summarize: the countries that are most worried about Russian military aggression, those which by definition border on Russia, have decided to preempt Russia and demand additional US military presence on their territory, believing that the Kremlin will not see this US military build up as one which threatens Russia with even further NATO expansion on its borders. . Brilliant. Why? Because recall what happened in December 2013 long before the Ukraine semi-hot proxy civil war was raging: It seems [Putin] had a Plan B in case things escalated out of control, one that fits with what we wrote a few days ago when we reported that “Russia casually announces it will use nukes if attacked.” Namely, as Bloomberg reports citing Bild, Russia quietly stationed a double-digit number of SS-26 Stone, aka Iskander, tactical, nuclear-capable short-range missiles near the Polish border in a dramatic escalation to merely verbal threats issued as recently as a year ago.  2030Z (KTVI St. Louis) “New Black Panther Party, Protesters Take Over Ferguson Police Chief’s News Conference” Aug. 14, 2014 3:30pm Jason Howerton Protesters and members of the New Black Panther Party took over what was supposed to be Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson’s press conference Thursday regarding the ongoing unrest in the St. Louis suburb. A crowd gathered inside the Ferguson fire department as New Black Panther Party leader Hashim Nzinga addressed the crowd, mostly focusing his anger on President Barack Obama. “This is a shame that as we speak the president of United States is talking to Russia, he’s talking to China, he’s talking to North Korea, he’s talking to Iraq and the Middle East about treating their people better,” he said. “But as he look out the window at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he’s watching the black man, who built the White House, shot down like dogs.” Nzinga also claimed Obama is from Kenya, calling him a “Mau Mau.” “He needs to go back to his roots and stop people from killing Africans in the streets,” he added.  0132Z (Focus Deutschland) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Banco Espirito Santo Bail-in Probable.” Banco Espirito Santo, the ECB and representatives from DB were unable to reach an agreement to cover EU 3.6 Bn in overdue counterparty settlements that were left due when the company declared bankruptcy on July 31st. The EU 4.9 Bn bail-out and partial bond default last week apparently failed to settle these counter-party obligations which were not included in the settlement. This leaves open the possibility, even probability, that a bail-in of account holders and creditors of approximately 20% will be necessary within days. Angela Merkel is returning early from holiday for discussions. 0200Z (Manchester Guardian) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “BREAKING: Invasion!” Russian forces crossed the eastern Ukranian border in force early this morning, comprising over 170 tanks and supported by at least a wing of fighter planes. There have not been any official statements from the Russian or the Ukranian governments. 
Friday, August 14, 2014
0256Z (Twitter, ZeroHedge) “FLASH: Stage 2 Riot Alert in Times Square, Hundreds of Michael Brown Demonstrators Detained.” Several hundred people have been trapped in Times Square by the police who are not allowing them to leave. The city has declared a State 2 Riot Alert. A helicopter is overhead.  1516Z (Bloomberg) “Ukraine Says It Destroyed Part of Armed Vehicles From Russia” By Daryna Krasnolutska Aug 15, 2014 7:57 AM PT Ukraine said its troops attacked and partially destroyed an armed convoy that had crossed the border from Russian territory. Ukrainian government troops engaged the vehicles that had arrived overnight through a rebel-held section of the border, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the country’s military, told reporters in Kiev today. Ukrainian soldiers continue to come under shelling, including rounds fired from Russia, he said. The government in Kiev has for months said that separatist rebels in its easternmost regions are receiving support from Russia, which backs them with artillery fire. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Ukrainian unrest.  1518Z (RT) “Aid convoy to Ukraine faces disruption, may be attacked – Russia” Published time: August 15, 2014 15:18 Moscow has information that the convoy delivering humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine may be attacked by Kiev’s forces, with the “punitive” Aidar Battalion planning to mine the road that the vehicles will use, the Russian Foreign Ministry says. Russia sent a convoy of 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid – such as medical supplies, food, including baby food, sleeping bags and other basic necessities – to conflict-torn southeastern Ukraine on Tuesday. The convoy is currently stuck near the Ukrainian border, and is awaiting final approval from Kiev before moving forward.  1530Z (UXDF) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Amateur SIGINT intercepts indicate that Russian strategic bombers and rocket forces have gone to full alert and nuclear bombers have been launched in all air patrol sectors west of the Urals. War Reserve Mode (WaRM) signals of the Russian Navy have been activated.  2017Z (CNet Security) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE*. UPS reports some of its tracking data have become “scrambled” or purposefully altered to show packages being assigned revised, always-accelerated, delivery dates or to show packages that are in-transit as having already been delivered. It is not clear if this is a software anomaly or some form of attack. [*Scenario note: Although this is a fabricated report for support of the TREx 2014 exercise, there is initial evidence that is actually happening now, as of this hour. We have screen shots of an example. — W.] 
Saturday, August 16th, 2014
0140Z (Kathermerini, Athens) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE “Greek Banks to Miss Repayment of 2.86 billion Euros in Crisis Loans to ECB Next Week” Banks will be unable to return 2.861 billion euros (2 billion pounds) in long-term loans from the European Central Bank next week after the ECB started to charge for holding banks’ excess cash overnight. These loan repayment delays are in addition to week’s crisis-loan repayments miss of 4.15 billion euros. The ECB cut interest rates to record lows in June – the deposit rate to below zero – and took several steps to boost lending to euro zone companies. It also pledged to do more if needed to fight off the risk of Japanese-style deflation.  0200 (ZeroHedge) “US High Yield Inflows Trickle Back But European Stock & Bond Redemptions Surge” Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/15/2014 21:13 -0400 High yield mutual funds and ETFs reported a small $0.71bn inflow (of knife catchers) last week (ending on August 13th) after four straight weeks of outflows including a record $6.7bn outflow in the prior week. As BofAML notes, the turn in flows follows a strong rebound in high yield bond prices (drop in spreads), which (before the Ukraine news) had reversed more than half of the losses incurred in July. However, European high-yield funds saw further significant outflows, $3bn more compared to $4bn last week and European equities saw massive outflows. Furthermore, modest equity inflows hide the fact that the only buyer of stocks in the US remain corporates (buybacks) as institutional sellers dominate.  Saturday, 8/15/2014 0300Z (Focus Deutschland) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Russian Advance Halts at Outskirts of Donetsk.” Reporters on the ground have posted videos on YouTube of what are probably Russian regular troops wearing uniforms without insignia, flying no flags, and operating armored vehicles, surface-to-air missile transporter-erector-launchers (TELs), supply trucks, and command vehicles. The invasion force has stopped its advance in the suburbs of Donetsk. NATO has convened a leadership conference. Kanzler Merkel said the coalition would now accept stronger sanctions against Russia.  0320Z (Cyprus Daily Mail) “Back to the Brink of Bankruptcy” By Elias Hazou THE FIRST and instant effect of the foreclosures bill not passing within the deadline specified by Cyprus’ international lenders will be to throw the whole adjustment programme in limbo, returning the country to the brink of bankruptcy, analysts say. “It’ll put the entire programme in jeopardy, not just the next tranche of assistance, but the ones after that as well…count on it,” economist Mike Spanos told the Mail. Evdokimos Xenofontos, former deputy chairman at the Bank of Cyprus, concurs. “This is not scaremongering either,” Xenofontos said. “It’s common sense. If you fail to live up to an agreement with your lenders, whoever they might be but especially the troika, then why they would they ever consider giving you the next tranche, let alone the tranches after that? In my view, they’ll stop discussing the MoU altogether, until we’ve taken care of our pending obligation, which at this stage is the foreclosures bill.” The interior minister has said that the government has enough cash to keep operating and pay salaries until November. But what happens beyond that? Spanos says that it is not just the government that would come to a standstill. Empty state coffers would trigger a chain-reaction throughout an already fragile economy.  0505Z (LA Times) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Michael Brown Protestors Torch LA Businesses.” A South Central LA sympathy rally for Michael Brown, who was killed in Ferguson, MO six days ago, turned violent after sunset. A convenience store and a gas station have been torched. The LA Sheriff’s department, assisted by the California Highway Patrol, have deployed armored vehicles and are firing rubber bullets and teargas in order to disperse the crowds. The airspace over central Los Angeles has been closed to all aircraft except scheduled commercial flights approaching LAX. Law enforcement has broadcast their intention to arrest anyone taking photographs or video of police action in the area.  0509Z (LA Times) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “BREAKING: Shootings in Watts Riots.” Three gunshot deaths have been posted on social media sites. Apparently three protestors were shot at long range by unknown parties. All three were pronounced dead on the scene.  0522Z (Focus Deutschland) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Sniper Deaths in Los Angeles” Social media sites Facebook and YouTube show video of a person being shot, and within the few seconds, two other people who came to the aid of the first victim were shot in the back. All three died. The shooters have not been identified.  2341Z (FoxNews) “Gov. Nixon Declares Curfew and State of Emergency in Ferguson.” Published August 16, 2014 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Saturday in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson where black teenager Michael Brown was shot to death by a white police officer a week ago. Nixon said at a press conference that though many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow a handful of looters to endanger the community. The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m. Nixon also said Saturday the U.S. Department of Justice is beefing up its investigation of the shooting. Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said there were 40 FBI agents going door-to-door talking to people who might have seen or have information about the shooting. Nixon and Johnson spoke at a church in Ferguson, where they were interrupted repeatedly by people demanding justice and objecting to the curfew. Johnson assured those in attendance that police would communicate with protesters and give them ample opportunity to observe the curfew. “You saw people sitting in the street and they had the chance to get up,” he said. “And that’s how it’s going to continue.” The latest developments comes after looters were met with little police resistance Friday night and store owners say they were forced to protect their businesses with their own guns, Fox2Now.com reported. 
Sunday, August 17th, 2014
0341Z (NBC News) “U.S. Tells Relatives to Leave Sierra Leone Embassy Amid Ebola” The State Department said Thursday that it ordered family members of Americans working at the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone to leave, citing a lack of routine health care because of the Ebola outbreak. State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said the move was taken “out of an abundance of caution” following a recommendation from the embassy and that staff would remain behind to help the Sierra Leone government, health organizations and U.S. citizens deal with the Ebola outbreak. The U.S. earlier ordered relatives of embassy employees in Liberia to leave the country. The World Health Organization has reported 1,975 suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola, with 1069 deaths. On Thursday, the emphasized that it did not recommend any travel bans because Ebola is unlikely to spread by airplane.  0350Z (US News and World Report) “Liberia opens 2nd Ebola treatment center in capital amid fears of mounting death toll” Associated Press Aug. 16, 2014 | 12:07 p.m. EDT + More By JONATHAN PAYE-LAYLEH and KRISTA LARSON, Associated Press MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberian authorities opened a new center to treat Ebola patients in the capital Saturday after the existing one became overwhelmed with patients, while two more airlines announced they will halt flights to the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the deepening crisis. Kenya Airways and regional carrier Gambia Bird join a number of other airlines in temporarily cancelling flights to avoid transmitting the disease beyond the four countries already affected in West Africa.  0210Z (KTVU Oakland) “2 arrested, Oakland officer assaulted after anti-police march” Posted: Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 Two men were arrested and an officer was sent to a hospital during an anti-police march through downtown Oakland streets Friday night, police said. The planned march was part of nationwide demonstrations in response to an officer-involved shooting in Ferguson, Missouri that happened one week ago. Most of the people in the march Friday night were protesting peacefully, however a small group of people became violent and pepper sprayed officers, police said. One officer was transported to a hospital after being assaulted by several people while trying to make an arrest, according to police.  Sunday, 8/16/2014 0242Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE “Embassy Families Arriving Back in US from Ebola Lands” Dozens of families of US embassy workers in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia arrived back on US soil today after being advised on Thursday to leave their host countries by the US State Department. None were required to enter into quarantine after arrival either en route or in the US, since none exhibited any symptoms of disease. Around 380 people are believed to have arrived in the US since Friday morning. All traveled by commercial airlines through various ports of entry.  Sunday 8/17/2014 1350Z (Scotia Bank via ZeroHedge) “Central Bank Post-Crisis Quasi-Coordination Has Broken Down”. Germany, France, Japan and the Eurozone are expected to follow Italy with flat or negative Q2 GDP when the data is released this week. Italy’s economy grew at -0.2% in Q2 and has not grown in over 10 years. Japan’s Q2 number tonight is expected to show an annualized decline worse than 7% (maybe <10%). These four countries collectively account for 18% of global GDP.  1609Z (ZeroHedge) “India, Spain Testing Suspected Ebola Patients; Liberian Quarantine Center Raided” Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/17/2014 – 12:09 While the Ebola outbreak in west Africa has long since left the “under control” stage, things are about to go from worse to inconceivable for the poverty stricken African nations, after Liberian officials said they Ebola could soon spread through the capital’s largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including blood-stained sheets and mattresses. And speaking of spreading, what many have feared may have come to pass after Spain announced it was investigating a suspected case of Ebola after a Nigerian man presented symptoms of the virus at a hospital in Alicante several days after flying in from the West African country. But even that is nothing compared to what may transpire if what the Times of India reported moments ago, turns out to be accurate: three persons from Ebola-affected Nigeria, who arrived here Saturday morning, have been admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for screening and treatment if required.  1951Z (Bild and Focus Deutschland) “Frankfurt Airport Issues Ebola Warning After Ebola Case Confirmed from Passenger on Friday.“ A passenger from West Africa who arrived in Frankfurt Airport on Friday, tested positive for ebola. Frankfurt am Main is Germany’s busiest airport, with an average of 1,450 flights per day. The airport re-issued an advisory, originally published March, that notes the ebola virus is now assumed to have incubation times as long as 21 days. The fact that the virus can lie dormant for so long without causing any symptoms opens up the probability that an ebola pandemic could ensue.  2301Z (Bloomberg) “Why Draghi’s Cheap Cash Offer to Banks May Lack Appeal” By Alessandro Speciale, Jana Randow and Joshua Robinson Aug 17, 2014 4:01 PM PT Mario Draghi’s promise of cheap cash for banks betting on the euro-area revival is losing its allure. Economists in the Bloomberg Monthly Survey cut their estimate of the take-up of funds under a program designed to boost bank lending. The reduction signals concern that the outlook for the currency bloc may be too weak to drive demand for loans, undermining a policy the European Central Bank president says is key to restoring the region’s health. 1302Z (CBS News Orlando) “72-Year-Old Woman Says She Was Kicked Off Delta Flight For Looking Sick” August 17, 2014 1:57 PM JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Some people don’t think an air sickness bag is enough. A passenger on an August 5th Delta flight from Akron, Ohio to Orlando was apparently kicked off simply because she looked sick. Suzanne Hays, 72, says that during flight change in Detroit, she was asked not to get back on the plane after a passenger next to her reported to a flight attendant that she looked tired and drowsy, First Coast News reports. Hays began crying, but it wasn’t enough to convince the flight staff. They went on to say that if she did not get off the flight, they would call the proper authorities. “(They were) acting like I had leprosy,” said Hays. “It was awful I have never been treated like that in my life.”  Monday, 8/18/2014 1714Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE “Rotterdam Congestion Exacerbated by Banking Problems” Rotterdam Still Battling Congestion Issues Posted on Aug 18th, 2014, with contribution by World Maritime News Shippers are still facing delays amid ongoing congestion issues at the Port of Rotterdam, which have lead to bigger bills and delayed cargo. Instead of a slow summer, an unexpected surge in Europe-Asia volumes have caught the port terminals off-guard to handle the excess workload. The port authority stated today that hundreds of containers could not be loaded due to sudden withdrawals of export letters of credit between the time the containers were issued ASNs [Advanced Shipping Notices] and departure of the containers from their points of origin.  1721Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE “Internet Turns Glitchy” Facebook was down again today for an hour and a half, the database corruption at UPS that began last week continued into this week, Ban of America’s customer web site went offline for about 20 minutes, and there are reports of long delays in Twitter message traffic. Probably coincidentally, it’s only a few days after the Black Hat conference. Popular computer security bloggers see no pattern to the outages. An outage of 166,000 fiber optic users in Germany last week was traced to construction equipment damage.  1732Z (ZeroHedge) More Glitchy Computer Networks: “Dozens Of Flash-Crashes – Including AAPL – As BATS Breaks” It was just Friday when a pithy Bob Pisani noted that investor confidence in markets is up because there have been no market malfunctions recently… he spoke too soon. As Nanex’s Eric Hunsader reports, an apparent malfunction at BATS-Y has caused dozens of flash crashes… including in AAPL.  Tuesday, 8/19/2014 1325Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. “Crisis on the Rails.” All Union Pacific Railroad operations system-wide were suddenly stopped without explanation shortly after midnight. Crews have been told to return home or go to hotels. There is reportedly a software problem that has brought down multiple computer systems across the company. It is unclear at this time if the software problem was the cause of the rail shutdown. There are no reports of any derailments or physical attacks on the company’s infrastructure. The Director of Homeland Security was alerted early this morning. DHS says that there is no indication that this is an act of terrorism. A news conference is scheduled for 11:00 am Omaha time today.”  1328Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Dow futures are down over 200 points.  1340Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Dow loses 380 points in the first ten minutes since open.  1342Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. The NYSE halts trading due to an orders imbalance.  1358Z (TREx News) EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. NYSE resumes trading. The Dow retraces about 30 points of its earlier loss.