TANGIBLE INVESTMENTS - Los Angeles - by James O'Dell - Gold and Silver prices were mixed on Monday, with Gold trading nearly flat at $1,308.30 an ounce, while Silver bounced $0.17 or 0.85 percent to $20.08 an ounce, as the markets largely ignore the news that Russia is likely to send an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine, while Western officials see it as no more than a pretext for an incursion into the sovereign territory of its next door neighbor.
The West is accusing Russia's President Putin of running a nationalist campaign with state controlled media since annexing the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in March. European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso, called Putin on Monday, and according to a commission statement, "President Barroso warned against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian."
In Iraq, a political crisis is brewing after Iraq’s President Fuad Masum named Haider Al Abadi as the country’s next prime minister, according to state-run media. In response, Iraq Prime Minister Maliki threatened legal action and appears to be considering using the nation's security forces to defend his premiership. Nearby, the U.S. continues air strikes against Islamic State forces from the air.
President Obama has also found the need to provide weapons directly to Kurdish fighters in Iraq. Hopefully they can hold onto them longer than the Sunnis, who stripped off their uniforms, lay down their weapons and fled. The U.S. announced today that it has no plans to expand the airstrikes and will focus instead on protecting U.S. assets and providing humanitarian aid to Iraqis targeted by Islamic militants, said Lt. Gen. William Mayville, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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