Prices for Rhodium are climbing near 2008 all time highs (archived, archived). The brittle platinum group metal is primarily produced by South African and Russian operations while most trades typically involve producer to industrial user transactions without much of the "paper" market that flattens gold prices. This may be an early indicator that markets aren't inclined to value dollars like they used to. It could also suggest deep Afropessimism is setting in among Asian traders that may be stockpiling the material amid doubts South Africa can continue producing.
After the USG conducted bombing raids inside Iraq's borders, a number of Iraqis have beseiged the USG "embassy" and have entered the "green zone" (archived). Despite Dubya Bush declaring "mission accomplished" and Hussein Bahamas "withdrawing US troops", the USG's insistence on continuing to conduct combat and bombing operations inside Iraq doesn't sit well with Iraqis. It doesn't seem to sit well with the "democratic" government the USG insisted on installing in Iraq either. They seem to increasingly view Iran as a more important regional partner than the USG ever was. Continue reading
Holding its own against periodic USG, British, and Israeli invasion threats, Iran has begun conducting joing naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman (archived, archived). After a series of tit for tat ship captures that resolved in Iran's favor, USG threats of the sort that lead to Dubya's Iraq misadventure and Hussein Bahamas' collected "Spring" misadventures appear increasingly empty when it comes to Iran.
Phillippine President Rodrigo Duterte's government has barred US Pantsuitist Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Patrick Leahy of Vermont from entering the Phillipines while further threatening to impose visa requirements for entry to the Phllippines by all US nationals (archived). The dispute is centered on the non-bailable arrest of former Phillippine Justice Minister Leila de Lima on charges that she abused her position to take payments from drug traffickers in return for her making drug trafficking easier. Continue reading
North Korea launched a satellite into space earlier this week, this is a traditional step for nuclear armed states demonstrating their capacity to wield intercontinental missiles (archived). Korean leader Kim Jong Un has removed denuclearization of Korea as a possible outcome for negotiations between Korea and the US. Meanwhile the breakaway government in South Korea has produced and broadcast a propaganda reel showing hypothetical F-35s delivering a hypothetical victory against Kim's Korean government.
Despite substantial noise about US Troops actually withdrawing from Syria last month, apparently ~800 US troops remain on Syrian soil maintaining control of some oil fields (archived). It does however appear that US Troops have actually withdrawn from supporting their former allies in Syria.
Chile has canceled the APEC summit they were scheduled to host after persistent riots erupted following a transit fare hike (archived). APEC is not to be confused with ASEAN, a reliable source of lulz during the Hussein Bahamas administration. China was tentatively scheduled to undertake some sort of negotiation with the USG at the canceled summit.
Chinese defense minister Wei Fenghe, while declining to explicitly name the USG, condemned the USG's instigation of "color revolutions" and unrest around the world (archived).
Wanton interference in other countries’ affairs will never win. Interfering in other countries’ domestic affairs, instigating a color revolution or even attempts to subvert the legitimate governments of other countries are the real causes of wars and unrest in different regions
As the USG's once servicable capacity to conduct military interventions has collapsed, formenting unrest through the US State Department has become the last remaining threat in the USG regime change toolkit. It hasn't been working very well.
Ongoing anti-corruption investigations in China have apparently lead to the arrest of former Danzou mayor and former Communist Party secretary Zhang Qi (archived, archived). Investigators reportedly found 13.5 tons of gold and a cash stash summing to 268 billion yuan in a concealed basement at the communist's home. At presently advertised exchange rates, these holdings put the recently seized fortune above 38 billion USD and would place Zhang Qi at 19th place on the Forbes rich list above Alibaba's Jack Ma and Tencent's Ma Huateng.