Equity markets bet Mid-East tensions will wane; US jobs gains strong; Japan sentiment improves; airfreight volumes continue to shrink; Aussie building consent data rebounds; UST 10yr yield at 1.86%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 66.4 USc; TWI-5 = 71.6

Equity markets bet Mid-East tensions will wane; US jobs gains strong; Japan sentiment improves; airfreight volumes continue to shrink; Aussie building consent data rebounds; UST 10yr yield at 1.86%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 66.4 USc; TWI-5 = 71.6

Good morning, wherever you are. Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news 'risk' is back in favour.

The markets have assessed that the Middle East tensions will be a brief event, and the situation there will return to "normal" soon. Wall Street is up with the S&P500 recovering its recent slippage, up +0.6% so far today. Overnight European markets gained a bit more than that, especially the DAX, although the London FTSE didn't share in the rebound.

But the American financial system liquidity issues aren't fading. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York added more than +US$100 bln in short-term liquidity to financial markets in the past two days. Two thirds was in extra overnight support, one third in 14-day repos. Now we are also seeing mortgage-backed securities being used in this funding.

The American ADP employment report for December, the precursor to this weekend's non-farm payrolls report, shows strong jobs growth there, up +202,000 in the month and its largest gain in eight months. But it did show that US factories continue to shed jobs, In the past twelve months, the only gains in this sector were in January and February 2019. Most of the December rise is attributed to rising employment in the heathcare, business services and the logistics sectors. These three accounted for more than three quarters of the December rise.

Japanese consumer confidence improved again in December and has been doing so since the middle of last year. But the reality is that it is still very negative. However at least it continues to shift in an improving direction.

In Europe, Christine Lagarde of the ECB wants to get governments to provide more fiscal stimulus. She used her first public remarks of 2020 to push for greater coordination between the region’s policy makers, arguing that a joint fiscal push would help jump-start their sluggish economy.

EU business sentiment continues to slip away. And German factory orders fell more than expected in November, mainly because German car exports are on the skids.

The international airfreight market declined yet again in November, the 13th straight month of shrinkage. Globally it was down -1.2% year-on-year with the Asia/Pacific region down -4.2%. Europe however showed quite a strong and unexpected gain.

In Australia, you can hear an audible sigh of relief from their construction industry as November building consent data shows a sharp +11% pa rebound from October. But closer inspection shows this is a seasonally adjusted bounce - the actual data is still -5% lower than the same month a year ago. True it is an improvement from a -23% dump in October year-on-year, but the November gain, mainly in apartments, will need to be sustained before they really breathe easier. And the impact of the bush fires in Victoria and NSW have yet to be felt in this data.

The UST 10yr yield will start today much higher at 1.86% and a gain of +4 bps. Their 2-10 curve has moved little overnight, now at +28 bps. But their 1-5 curve is now up at +12 bps. And their 3m-10yr curve is back up at +35 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is up +1 bp at 1.20%. The China Govt 10yr is little-changed at 3.19%. And the NZ Govt 10 yr has dipped again, down -5 bps to 1.48%.

The price of gold has reversed direction today, down -US$13 and now at US$1,559/oz.

US oil prices have fallen sharply today to be just under US$60/bbl and the Brent benchmark is also lower at just over US$65.50/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar will start today little-changed at 66.4 USc. On the cross rates we are much firmer at 96.7 AUc. Against the euro we are also up at 59.7 euro cents. That puts our TWI-5 back up at 71.6. And China has resumed the strengthening of the yuan against the greenback.

And bitcoin is up again today, up another +2.0% to US$8,099. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

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The ME will return to “normal?” No it won’t if the nuclear arming of Iran is again potential. Israel will be more than lively about that.

Any comment by our own thought leader.
The PMs departartment shows us nothing.
These are the leaders we have than wish to shape our thinking on global crisis.


The contrast on international issues is deafening.

Lapun, are you connecting our governments position to as described by Glasman the Labour Peer?

Is there Blue Labour thinking down here, you think?


I'd never heard of Blue Labour or this Glasman guy but his analysis of radical protestors after 40 years of theocracy and Arab -v- Persian instead of Shia -v- Sunni seemed plausible and so did his conclusion. Have just read your link and it strikes a chord with me.

Hitchen on Iran. A country ruled by a small cabal, ruthlessly sbacking a regime that still lives in the 19th century, with a demographic time bomb about to explode.


Yes, i am aware of other sources that indicate that Iran is not a nice place to live - ruled by a small group of despots hiding behind religious cloaks. But for now they are keeping the population disorganised and are secure. for how long - who knows?

It proves a rule that I feel is pretty accurate - when a tyranny is overturned by force internally, it most often is just replaced by another tyranny.

Revolutions have become a one-way street. They can create oppressive autocracy, but given huge power disparity created by modern surveillance technologies and high powered guns and military equipment they can no longer overthrow oppressive autocracy - that can only come from external forces.

After WW1 the Western Allies replaced the Ottomans and imposed borders on the region mostly in the interests of oil. For the same purpose they installed selected various “Royals” in power. All of that was in direct conflict with thousands of years of established and accepted nomadic and feudal type warring. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth that sort of stuff. Take more than 100 years to change all of that afraid to say. Regions return to type. Look what happened to Yugoslavia after Tito. All the ancient feuds and vendettas burst out of the barrel and mayhem took over.

It is interesting. Big question - how could stability be achieved?

A part of your comment can be seen that if not fighting amongst themselves they are targeting the west. The religious fanatics want to keep their populations in the stone age, and then they look on the west with envy about their lifestyle, or they see the west as a threat to their power as borders are invariably porous. Bush invaded Iraq without a viable exit plan, probably in part because they did not fully understand the culture and mentality of the middle eastern peoples ( a classic and often repeated error in warfare - failing to properly understand your enemy). They should have either made Iraq the 52nd state of America or stayed the hell out! The 2nd option being the preferable one as the first would have just been too ugly! Truth is the ME seems to perpetually be tripping along the edge of the tipping point into war and chaos. Politics and greed camouflaged as religious rhetoric seems to be the prime drivers. If we can take our dependency on oil away, then the west might stop meddling, but that is still a ways off.

Yes even during WW1, one T E Lawrence described his desert activities as being a side show in a side show. But WW1 precipitated all the “sudden interest.” Oil for the tanks, planes and ships and Henry Ford “found a way to make the motor car pay” as the song goes. Incredible and profound developments, implications to economies and societies far beyond that of the industrial revolution for instance.

A part of your comment can be seen that if not fighting amongst themselves they are targeting the west. The religious fanatics want to keep their populations in the stone age, and then they look on the west with envy about their lifestyle, or they see the west as a threat to their power as borders are invariably porous.
Hmmmm ---

Families living in tree huts as New Zealand housing crisis bites

A 30% rise in people waiting for state housing in Northland region fuels country’s ‘desperate’ shortage in affordable homes Link

Bush invaded Iraq without a viable exit plan, probably in part because they did not fully understand the culture and mentality of the middle eastern peoples ( a classic and often repeated error in warfare - failing to properly understand your enemy). They should have either made Iraq the 52nd state of America or stayed the hell out!

Russian President Vladimir Putin called it out in his 2015 speech at the UN General Assembly.

“Do you realize now, what you have done?” Putin asked, pointing to the chaos in the Middle East wrought by the Obama administration’s support for ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions and regime-changes. He then answered his own rhetorical question by saying that “policies based on self-assuredness and belief in one’s exceptionalism and impunity have never been abandoned.” Link

Not sure that NZs housing crisis compares as that is a mess created by the politicians and banks.

Did Putin ask the same question of George W? Peoples uprising do create chaos, but it is highly questionable to argue that the despotic regimes they rose up against were a better option. But it takes time for order to rise from the chaos. what is important is that the west do not find themselves supporting just another despot, but can somehow help to establish a genuinely popular Government that respects the rights and supports the power of the people.

Not sure that NZs housing crisis compares as that is a mess created by the politicians and banks.

Banks and their supervision by independent, un-elected central bank officers is an ideological nightmare the citizens endure without redress.

Central banks running low on ways to fight recession, warns Mark Carney
Exclusive: Bank of England governor sees threat of ‘liquidity trap’ and need for fresh monetary tools Link

There's no liquidity trap. Interest rates have never worked as monetary policy tool in the way central bank hired economists claimed

Rates & growth
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800916307510 …

So, no problem. Except Carney making these claims seems the usual pre-crisis building of false alibi. Link

More like the 14th century.

Additional info on the longer term situation with FED reserve repo funding


It is a feint by Iran to lull the US. One of its proxy groups is expected to strike unexpectedly at an unexptected place. This first one is just for the local consumption. The threat of escalation has not gone away. Wonder whether Trump will have the inclination to stick it out for the longer term. He may be using this to stump the Democrats for now. But if the US gets involved in a larger conflict, his populairty is bound to go down and damage his re-election chances.

It probably pays to look behind the propaganda - like the stuff AJ has linked.

Iran has the 3rd biggest puddle of oil on the planet, and the other puddles are bespoke. China needs it, Russia has an interest in the US not getting it, Iranians want some return for it (unlike all other ME folk who get screwed out of the resource by the West). The West cannot afford allowing Iran to develop nuclear capability, but disturbing the Russian bear is something to be avoided - the lack of winter gas is a powerful weapon with major repercussions.

AJ's stuff avoids the reality that was the Shah, a Western puppet of the standard repress-the-locals style. Demonising them misses the point. Paying them properly for their oil, would be better. As to the future, I think the US has shot it's fracking bolt and has to move now. Even as energy-sufficient as it temporarily is, it's having financial trouble, the same way the Romans had during their decline.

Don't be too sure Trump's popularity will reduce if things escalate; people tend to rally behind charismatic figureheads when a scrap threatens

Iran has a market in China for its oil, it just doesn't get as good a price, which probably suits the Chinese. It's also heavy sour crude and there is a lot of oil on the market, OPEC has agreed to cuts, Russia just doesn't need to worry about oil or gas it has contracts with Europe.

Iran needs oil sales to support its corrupt Regime.


'China has gone from being a net fuel importer to one of the world's top ten refined product exporters in 2018.

Its total gasoil, gasoline and jet fuel exports rose 277% to 46.08 million mt (925,000 b/d) between 2012 and 2018, data from General Administration of Customs showed. For 2019, S&P Global Platts Analytics expects exports to reach an estimated 54.5 million mt (1.09 million b/d).

That's nearly a tenth of its crude imports, and roughly as much as Saudi Arabia's or India's exports, and far more than Japan -- all regions where refineries cater to export markets.'


USA is self sufficient and it also can get access to some of the cheapest oil in the world from Alberta/ Sask. It's pays about $25 below world price for that oil and there is enough to keep the USA going for years and years. Canada accounts for as much as %50 of US crude, it must be hurting in Alberta at present.

The USA is not self sufficient. Much of what is exported is processed imports and crude by products. This includes light oil found in the US which is regarded as 'crap'. They are a net importer of crude. The net exporter story is accounting trickery

Art Berman is the leading oil geologist in this area, and has debunked this myth. Peak Prosperity have some good interviews with him on this issue.

Andrew, have a read about what 'refinery gain' is.

"The amount by which total volume of products output is greater than the volume of crude oil and other feed stocks. This difference is due to the processing of crude oil into products that, in total, have lower specific gravity than the crude oil processed. Therefore, in terms of volume, the total output of products is greater than input."

Ergo, if media only reports 'oil + refined products (or petroleum products)' rather than pure crude, it has the effect of making the US oil balance look better than it is. They're still importing 3.6 million barrels per day of crude as of last week.

I was more thinking about the huge refinery capacity been built in China, how that impacts the world supply of petroleum products, existing refiners etc.



As beligerant as the theocrats of Iran are can Israel afford to let Iran be a nuclear power? The doctrinaire and zealous Mullahs who rule Iran hold beliefs that make mass slaughter and death acceptable, perhaps even preferable if they buy the suicidal jihadist line, both for themselves and their opponents. That's something that the world has not seen before in a nuclear state, and is incredibly dangerous. Israel will be pushing US hard to take out Iran's nuclear programs and long range weapons.

More face saving.
They got nothing, no resilience,
All the Obama cash is gone spent funding proxies.
The people now in worsened shape.

The central issue is peace.
(This is why our governments silence is so weird).
Peace by avoiding nuclear weapons falling in the hands of Iran regime.

Thanks Audaxes

Messages slow to come



Is there a difference between official web site of New Zealand Government, Releases Section, and a media organization's folder labeled Latest News.

It looks more like a leak.

Though it does offer contrast to the "clear and present danger/crisis/doom" climate change is < insert whatever emotion/feeling to be triggered >.

Looks like we are being driven Green, without the Peace.
I would put Peace first.
Green second.

From the vaccum of NZ Government statement by PM, we see idiots run amok.


Green MP (defense spokesperson) claiming Trump has murdered an Iranian official and accusing Trump of threatening to conduct war crimes in the future.

Not fit for government this MP.
Very poorly briefed.

If only our government officials had the appreciations of history and politics.

For example:

The funny thing is when you compare the rnz report of the audio rnz strip out much of the crazy and factually wrong.


Are they saving us or the muppet?
Or is rnz just a massive pro supporter of the COL, and don't hear it see the crazy of the Greens.

Finally something out of the NZ Government, something on the record.


The problem is it's a small part of what has been happening over the past week 8 days.

Meanwhile Greens mp has been calling Trump a murderer,

RNZ airbrushing comments,

it's just a mess.

The government is making us all look and feel stupid.

The situation in Iraq all looks very theatrical and staged. I'm wondering if Soleimani was offered up as some sort of sacrifice by the Iranians. Did the Iranian leadership want him eliminated? What better time for a drone strike to assassinate Soleimani than 1am to avoid embarrassing collateral damage? Why would Soleimani be driving around in a motorcade at that time during a period Iran was being blamed for various trouble making in Iraq? I even wonder if Soleimani was even there.

The missile strikes seem carefully orchestrated to have minimal to no casualties with plenty of warning that they were coming and where and when they would strike. Now it is quite convenient and a good look for the US to appear magnanimous and elect to not respond.

Trump's speech was interesting. Why did he need that team of generals behind him? And what a lack of diversity there. All white boomers. Clearly carefully staged to show the Iranians that they were facing the elite warriors of the empire. Quite respectful when you think about it, looking at it from an Iranian perspective.

I totally agree it looks theatrical and staged, as I alluded to yesterday. Lots off symbolism, minimal real force. Neither side can afford a real war.

Im wondering who shot down the Ukrainian Boeing? Iran says it will not give black box from crashed airliner to Boeing

We all are. They don't just magically burst into flames over Iran airspace days after drone strikes

Ukraine is sending a team apparently.

There’s been little or no coverage of the 2 strong earthquakes that struck Iran a few hrs after the missiles hit the green zone. The First a Preliminary Magnitude 5.5 & The Second a 4.9 - coincidentally about 100ks from Iran’s nuclear facility.

Have you got a link for an article?

It is as plausible as anything else that Soleimani was an internal threat. Put yourself in the position of Iran's leadership, you know the big guys want your oil and you want to stay in power. Do you fight, or do a deal. Put yourself in the position of the USA. You want the oil (soon, within the next two years), is it better to have to fight for it or easy to deal with a bunch of thugs that have power. They've used the latter model before haven't they?

Did you just complain about the race and age of top US army generals? Lord help us.

I wonder how much knowledge you have of Iranian and American military capability to claim it was staged. More likely is the Iranians had no real way of aiming them properly.

Iran realised that if they cause multiple US casualties, that gives Trump the green light to level Iran

Agreed. Apparently in Iran they are telling the public there were numerous US casualties and that Western Media are hiding the US deaths to save face (Iran code for we got payback for the General and the US is too scared to retaliate now).

If Trump holds fire now given the missiles were just a show for the Iranian plebs then war (well Iran's levelling) may be averted.

I wasn't complaining just suggesting that these things may have been carefully considered. I'm allowed to notice aren't I?

Also the missiles seemed to be quite accurate. Much better than Scuds. We have been told that Iran let Iraq know the missiles were coming and were targeting American assets. Not sure what the point of your comment was. Possibly I should say orchestrated rather than staged.

From the BBC:

"There were a lot of theatrical touches to the president's Tuesday morning appearance. He stood before a phalanx of stern-looking, award draped military leaders, flanked by senior members of his administration."

"The imagery of his entry into the room, his figure silhouetted against a blaze of light from an open window, bordered on the messianic."

All carefully considered don't you think? Not just random. Diversity wasn't seen to be a strength here. Manly and traditional was the look they were going for.

Where are the Saudis in this scenerio and the aftermath that is happening now ? Puppet masters ?

yup, appears they pre-warned US and Iraq and told them what the targets were, giving them time to hunker down. Much big face-saving exercise by the Mullahs - who again demonstrated their incompetence by shooting down a civilian airliner during the chest thumping and killing a whole lot of their own citizens on their own soil in an appalling own goal. Still amongst the 1000's of other Iranian civilians they have murdered in recent times this is barely a blip.

I just heard an interesting comment on Aljazeera, that in fact the Iranians contacted Iraq military 30 minutes in advance of the airstrike to warn them because they wanted to minimise risk of any casualties while appearing to take some action.
The places that were targeted have underground bunkers, which is where everyone went to avoid the strike and therefore no-one was injured. Its all smoke and mirrors and theatrical posturing.

Perhaps some acquaintance then with the relationship of Stalin and one General Zhukov? The latter had become too successful, too popular. Probably an obscure posting out East saved his life.

In the bigger picture:


"While finance types and economists, who deal in dimensionless quantities identified by quasi-religious mystical symbols such as $, €, ¥ and £, toil tirelessly to maintain a fake Potemkin village façade of a thriving economy, no such theatrical suspension of disbelief is possible when looking at tonnes, cubic meters or kilowatt-hours. A bunch of ruthless financial swindlers teamed up with pointy-hatted economists spend their days reasoning circularly about price determining value determining price while resolutely confusing money creation with wealth creation. Meanwhile, a shrinking physical economy obscured by runaway debt remains on a collision course with reality; once the collision takes place, the result will be similar to what happened during the financial collapse of 2007-8, except that the desperate financial manipulations that were then used to arrest it will no longer work at all and the physical economy, which is already languishing, will grind to a halt".

I couldn't have put it better myself.

These 2020 predictions are better,
Especially the ones about your population control scheming.



The picture being painted here is certainly plauible, but having seen a good number of financial crises come and go-going back to the stockmarket crash in the UK in 73/74-I am very wary of predictions of imminent catastrophe.

yes, there are huge problems-off-book derivatives, junk bonds, global debt, negative interest rates and so on, so the potential for a global meltdown is there, but without a major geo-political issue blowing up, then I think we will stagger on for a long time to come. If I am wrong, then I should have filled my boots with gold, as I assume you are doing.

In context Australian wide wildfires at 50% of 2011 and 2012 Sept - Jan rates. NSW and Vic burns while the rest of the country relatively quiet.


Reminds me of some around here. I'll just put Peer Gynt on to set the mood.

I thought Russell Crowe was your go to man on fire "data"?

"In total, 6.735 megatonnes of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere by wildfires between 1 January and 30 November 2019. This value fits with the gradual declining trend in global total fire emissions since 2003, related to changing land management practices and use of fire in the tropics. (Credit: Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service/ECMWF)"

"1 January and 30 November 2019"- wonder what Dec -Jan 2020 will add to this total?

If you follow the linked data from Mark Parrington you can figure that our for yourself - though is probably less effort to cut and paste the NYT and shoot the messenger.

Shoot the messanger? Sensitive this morning - just asking a legimate question with all that is going on over the ditch.

"And on Wednesday, Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp, the largest media company in Australia, was found to be part of another wave of misinformation. An independent study found online bots and trolls exaggerating the role of arson in the fires, at the same time that an article in The Australian making similar assertions became the most popular offering on the newspaper’s website"
Yup mis information rife daily..

Yeah the NSW police are in on this trolling scam too... I don't know about you but 180 odd people seems significant to me - also given the scale of the NSW fires compared to other states.
"The NSW Police Force has taken legal action against more than 180 people for bushfire-related offences since late last year.

Since Friday 8 November 2019, legal action – which ranges from cautions through to criminal charges – has been taken against 183 people – including 40 juveniles – for 205 bushfire-related offences."

I read in last few days that over long term about 85% of Aussie fires are though to be arson, with numbers spiking during school holidays. But that is probably quite consistent year to year - dryness of accumulated undergrowth is still the critical factor. Wonder if the smoke is responsible for the relatively cold summer weather we are experiencing in NZ?

"This fire year, satellite fire detections in New South Wales are more than four times higher than the previous record year (the 2002-03 fire season). In Victoria, fires are above average at this point in 2019-2020 but have not yet surpassed previous extreme fire years in 2002-2003 and 2006-2007. In Queensland, MODIS fire counts were consistent with previous years, despite large wildfires in southern Queensland, since total fire activity in this state is dominated by savanna fires in northern Queensland, a natural part of these ecosystems."

Cannot remember (in my life time) smoke from fires reaching our shores - but probably just a cycle with nothing to do with climate change? Probably greenies fault.

It's like prodding a bear.

Mr Tull must not be working this morning.

But it was predictable that the FF industry would push back - this is their tobacco nightmare, writ large. Seems we might just go down in a hail of disinformation.

Yes blood on the greens hands yet again. Stopping controlled fuel reduction burns was always going to have inevitable consequences. Fuel loads at 1000 year highs were always going to cause a bit of smoke.
"Forest fuel levels have worsened over the past 30 years because of "misguided green ideology", vested interests, political failure and mismanagement, creating a massive bushfire threat, a former CSIRO bushfire scientist has warned.

Victoria's "failed fire management policy" is an increasing threat to human life, water supplies, property and the forest environment, David Packham said in a submission to the state's Inspector-General for Emergency Management.

And he argued that unless the annual fuel reduction burning target, currently at a minimum of 5 per cent of public land, "is doubled or preferably tripled, a massive bushfire disaster will occur. The forest and alpine environment will decay and be damaged possibly beyond repair and homes and people [will be] incinerated."

He said forest fuel levels had climbed to their most dangerous level in thousands of years."

You peddle faster - A surprising answer to a hot question: Controlled burns often fail to slow a bushfire
There are two key points to remember when we consider these questions. First, the impact on human life and property—not the impact on the environment—is the number one concern in the minds of fire officials when deciding whether to conduct a controlled burn. Second, and perhaps more importantly, evidence shows increasing the frequency or area of controlled burns does not necessarily reduce the bushfire risk.

A firefighter who has received one of the country's highest honours for bravery has hit out at misinformation circulating on social media surrounding the current bushfires crisis."No, the Greens haven't been stopping hazard reduction burns from taking place. We still do them and yes we should absolutely do more of them."
"Our biggest challenge with hazard reduction is the weather and the windows available to do it safely and effectively," Mr Fitzsimmons said in an interview on Sunrise.

"Sure, there's environmental and other checks to go through but we streamline those. There's special legislation to give us clearance and to cut through what would otherwise be a very complex environment."

Mr Fitzsimmons said longer and hotter summers — contributed to by climate change — mean the window for hazard reduction burning is shorter each year.


..one for Profile! Or is 'he' just a bot??

Mortgage backed securities? Why would the Fed buy those if their objective is to inject liquidity? Aren’t there enough Treasury bonds to buy? This stinks of desperate people trying to sell their junk. I don’t understand why the banks and other parties can not just transact amongst themselves.

The Fed is the lender of last resort for the banks. My guess is that Fed is propping up one of the banks from failer.

Now I realise why it is called the Middle East .
Because the ordinary Muslims are caught in the middle.

But the American financial system liquidity issues aren't fading. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York added more than +US$100 bln in short-term liquidity to financial markets in the past two days. Two thirds was in extra overnight support, one third in 14-day repos. Now we are also seeing mortgage-backed securities being used in this funding.

Interest.co.nz may wish to create a spread sheet to follow the machinations of the Fed's TOMO/POMO actions.

Is that Windows 95?

No, it is Windows XP running as VMware inside Windows 7 - this slightly updated spread sheet is one of many I used as a bank trader in London up to 1998. Prior to that it was Lotus 123

I am about to abandon Windows 7 since support is to be terminated this month and move to Windows 10 with the latest version of XLS using a new SSD

Bypass Windows altogether... ubuntu and open office do everything... arguably better

LOL - I run Ubuntu 16.04 on two Panasonic Toughbooks to operate autonomous model aircraft and drones - Libreoffice has difficulty opening the old format graphs I have set up - but so do later versions of XLS.

Green Zone in Baghdad attacked with missiles, so much for restraint.

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