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Pictures: Investigators piece together the wreckage of MH17, and blame a Russian-made missile

The Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) has published conclusions from its investigation of the crash of MH17, the Malaysia Airlines flight that went down in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The report (PDF) confirms what was suspected already: that a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile hit the plane and caused it to explode in midair.

The surface-to-air missile system the NLR says was used in the attack. The surface-to-air missile system the NLR says was used in the attack.

The missile impacted the left side of the Boeing 777’s cockpit, instantly killing the three crew members inside. Investigators say that bow-tie-shaped pieces of shrapnel, consistent with what would have come from a Buk missile, were found inside those crew members’ bodies.

The right side of the MH17 cockpit, as reconstructed from found wreckage. The right side of the MH17 cockpit, as reconstructed from found wreckage.

According to a Dutch Safety Board brochure about the investigation (PDF), a digital simulation of the impact showed that after the warhead detonated on the upper left side of the cockpit, the pressure wave that followed the explosion destroyed the front section of the aircraft, at which point the plane broke in half as “the cockpit and the floor of the business class tore away from the fuselage almost instantly and crashed.” Over the next 60 to 90 seconds, the rest of the plane continued flying for about 8 kilometers, breaking apart as air currents tore off the wingtips and tail.

From page 13 of the Dutch Safety Board brochure on the MH17 crash.From page 13 of the Dutch Safety Board brochure on the MH17 crash.

Investigators briefed the relatives of the 298 people who died in the crash, many of them Dutch citizens, ahead of releasing their report. The relatives were told that their loved ones were likely knocked unconscious or killed on impact. As The Guardian notes, the NLR report does not include any findings of liability or blame; the Dutch criminal prosecutor’s office is currently preparing a report, due in 2016, for that purpose. It is widely believed that the missile was fired by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine, but Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB), which commissioned the NLR report, discussed the findings at a press conference in The Hague today. DSB chairman Tjibbe Joustra said that the airspace where MH17 was brought down should have been closed, but officials had failed to recognize the risks posed by the armed conflict on the ground there. “Nobody gave a thought to a possible threat to civil aviation,” Joustra said (video).

On stage behind Joustra, there was a 20-meter-long partial reconstruction of the aircraft. Guardian journalist Luke Harding said it was “haunting”:

The inside of #MH17 cockpit eerie: two empty pilots’ chairs, mangled and tilting left and right; a crumpled metal base with shrapnel holes

— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) October 13, 2015

The glass from the cockpit looks like an ice-sheet, patterned with dark holes; more damage on left side than right. Haunting

— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) October 13, 2015

The reconstructed cockpit, as presented by the Dutch Safety Board today.The reconstructed cockpit, as presented by the Dutch Safety Board today.

Hours earlier, in Moscow, Almaz-Antey, the maker of Buk missiles, held its own press conference about the crash. The defense contractor conducted its own simulation of the event, in what the Kyiv Post called a “sloppy, pre-emptive measure” against the Dutch report. Almaz-Antey sought to prove that the missile must have been fired from ground controlled by the Ukrainian army, not by pro-Russian separatists. Almaz-Antey also argued that the plane was hit by a Buk model that is no longer used by Russia but that the Ukrainian army may be using. The presentation, during which Almaz-Antey representatives referred to a grade-school geometry textbook to explain their theory, was not very convincing.

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Aston Martin is working on an electric supercar with double the horsepower of its gas-powered cars

One of the most quintessentially British cars will soon be driving into the 21st century. At a Bloomberg conference in London Monday (Oct. 12), Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that the car company is working on an all-electric version of its Rapide sports car, which it plans to have available by the end of 2017. And it’s going to be a beast.

“We’re talking about an electric Aston Martin with between 800 and 1,000 horsepower—imagine having all that torque on demand,” Palmer told Bloomberg. (For reference, the 2015 gasoline-powered Rapide model has 552 horsepower, whereas a Tesla Model S can have up to 691 horsepower.)

The company wasn’t immediately available for comment on how the electric Rapide will differ from the current model, but Palmer said onstage that the new car will be based on the existing model. After that, the company plans to put out an electric crossover vehicle. The company showed off a concept car earlier this year, called the DBX—the first crossover the company has made—and Palmer said this would be the basis for the company’s second electric vehicle.

The DBX concept crossover car.The DBX concept crossover car.

While Tesla currently has the luxury electric sports car market wrapped up with its Model S and recently announced Model X vehicles, the company will soon be facing increased competition. Audi, Mercedes, and Porsche have all announced their intentions to have electric vehicles on the road by the end of the decade. Tesla is likely to increasingly go after the rest of the market, however: CEO Elon Musk has said that the company’s next car—the Model 3—will be more affordable, starting at $35,000. Palmer said that Aston Martin has no intention to leave the luxury market, whether it’s electric or gasoline-powered, telling the conference he wants to avoid the “vanilla in the middle.”

James's new Aston Martin DB10, next to the classic DB5. Up next: Electric Bond?James’s new Aston Martin DB10, next to the classic DB5. Up next: Electric Bond?

For years, James Bond, the protagonist of the British 007 spy films, has driven an Aston Martin. He’s experimented over the years with Germans and Italians over the years, but seems to always find himself back behind the wheel of a British classic. In the upcoming Bond film, “Spectre,” James will be driving the new Aston Martin DB10. And Palmer said there’s a chance that an electric vehicle could make it into a Bond film in the future (assuming there’s another one): “It’s an awfully good getaway vehicle,” he said. “I don’t think James really cares what the power train is as long it’s fast and beautiful.”

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Investing in main market stocks

The main market on the London Stock Exchange is home to some of the world’s biggest companies, but it also imposes strict listing rules to protect investors.

Investing in equities is very risky: the price of shares in a company can slump dramatically in a matter of hours and the business can even go bust, wiping out your investment altogether. But some types of equity investments are generally considered riskier than others.

Most UK investors buy shares in companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) for a series of reasons. Many companies listed on the LSE are British businesses that investors know well. These shares are also priced in pounds, so you don’t need to worry about the prospect of currency movements directly affecting the value of your holding. Still, bear in mind that if a firm makes some sales abroad, changes in foreign exchange rates can still affect profit levels and hence share prices.

However, there is an important distinction to be made between companies listed on the LSE’s main market and its junior exchange, the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

The main market of the London Stock Exchange, established in 1698, currently includes more than 1,000 firms, from corporate giants such as Vodafone and BP to smaller companies like Topps Tiles and Punch Taverns. The 100 largest companies in the main market make up the blue chip FTSE 100 Index, while the FTSE 250 Index is comprised of mid-sized firms.

Companies on the main market are required to meet strict listing rules tougher than those applied to companies listing on AIM, giving investors more confidence and greater protection.

Governance

Generally speaking, companies on the main market tend to be larger, more mature businesses, but the LSE still imposes strict regulations on the companies listed.

To qualify for a premium listing, which includes access to the FTSE indices, companies must meet basic qualifying criteria. The company has to be worth at least £700,000, for example, and it must make at least 25% of its shares available to the public. It must have three years of independently-audited accounts and it must have had control over the majority of its assets for at least three years.

These are important safeguards that mean investors in the business can be confident it is an established company that hasn’t just appeared out of nowhere. Moreover, additional rules ensure that investors are able to keep a close eye on the businesses they have backed (or are considering for investment).

Main market-listed companies must publish an audited annual report within four months of the end of their financial year, as well as more basic half-year reports within two months of the end of this period. The London Stock Exchange also requires firms to publish an interim management statement twice a year, between the annual and semi-annual reports, to update investors on the business.

Companies are also bound by the UK Corporate Governance Code, which sets standards for how companies are run and their relationship with shareholders – those businesses that don’t meet any of the standards must say so and explain why they have chosen not to comply.

Transparency

Another advantage of the LSE’s main market is that it operates with an electronic order book. This means every investor buying and selling shares in a particular company places their order through the Stock Exchange Electronic Trading Service (SETS) – in practice, your stockbroker or online trading platform may do this on your behalf – detailing what price they are prepared to buy or sell at, and how many shares they want to buy or sell.

Everyone else considering investing in the same company can look at all the orders placed at a given time. This means the system is both transparent – you can see what prices people are willing to trade at – and liquid, in that investors always have access to the maximum possible amount of demand and supply.

By contrast, other markets operate using a quote-driven book (as did the London Stock Exchange until the 1990s). This relies on dealers, or market makers, who post the prices they are prepared to accept for sales and purchases of shares in a particular company at any one time. This is a much less transparent system, since there is no way of knowing what trades other investors dealing with the market maker are hoping to make.

Also, liquidity depends on the market makers – if only one or two dealers choose to trade a particular stock, sale volumes may be quite low. Lower liquidity means there is less likelihood of investors being able to buy or sell at the price they choose.

Investing on the main market, in other words, gives investors access to larger, more closely regulated companies, via a dealing system that produces greater transparency and liquidity.

Remember that all investments can fall as well as rise in value and you may get back less than you invested. Investing in individual shares is not suitable for everyone, and they should usually only be held as part of a diversified portfolio. If you’re unsure, seek independent advice.

Contact Us today for all your funding needs, including Loans, International Project Funding, Lease/Rent Bank Guarantees, SBLC, DLC, MTN, Letters of Credit….
 
EMAIL 1: loanandinvestments@outlook.com
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Top 11 Reasons why we are Number 1 BG & SBLC Provider In The World

When you are buying, selling, monetizing, funding or discounting Bank Guarantees, you only want to work with the most reliable, safe, ethical, knowledgeable, honest and efficient providers.
Here are Top 11 Reasons Why LOANS AND INVESTMENTS LIMITED should be Number 1 for you!
 
 
1. Unrivaled Authenticity – We are NOT Brokers! We are Direct to 5 Genuine Performing Bank Guarantee Issuers that are located in London, Dubai, New York and Hong Kong. We are Direct to Monetizers in Europe and Asia. There is no Broker between us and the BG Issuer or Monetizer, we have open direct unrestricted access to the most reputable industry Bank Guarantee and SBLC Providers and Monetizers. We know the signatories and members of the Bank Guarantee Funding Management Team have met Real Bankers inside Real Banks to conclude Real transactions.
2    Results 100% Guaranteed – We only use genuine, proven, authentic providers who are either billionaires, large financial institutions or bankers with over 10 years experience funding Bank Guarantee transactions. If you have a REAL deal, we will close it and bank it!
3    Complete End to End Managed BG Buy / Sell Program – We provide a comprehensive, integrated, prenegotiated, prestructured Bank Guarantee Issuing and Monetization Program with PROVEN providers. Hundreds of people are frantically trying to find a BG Issuer and Funder who will work together…. WE HAVE DONE IT!
4.    Knowledge and Expertise –  The industry is shrouded in secrecy, staked with misinformation and filled with uninformed brokers and clients. We see information as power and  provide you with more detailed information, comprehensive explanations, honest answers and warnings of what to watch out for than almost any others company in the industry! The more informed you are the more protected you are, that’s why subscribing to our newsletter is a MUST. This is also why we offer lengthy Program Overviews on services like our Fully Managed Bank Guarantee Program and Buy Leased Bank Guarantee Program.
5.  No Customer has ever had a failed transaction with us

6.  No Attorney Complaints Letters Ever 

7.  No Govt or Local Agency Complaints Ever Received

8.  No Lawsuits ever filed against us

9.  No Criminal Convictions for the Business in any Country

10. No Criminal Convictions  for any of our Owners in any Country

11. Brokers are Protected –
 We value and appreciate brokers working with us and protect them from any potential circumvention. Brokers can earn up to 1% on each successful transaction or client.
LOANS & INVESTMENTS LIMITED has carved out a reputation for credibility, transparency and responsibility. We care about our customers and their money!
Kindly contact us today for more information.

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The Vatican is in damage-control mode after the Pope sent his blessings to a same-sex family

When Francesca Pardi sent Pope Francis her children’s book, Why do you have two moms? she probably wasn’t expecting a response.

In her letter, sent on June 19, Pardi expresses respect for Catholics and says many have treated her well, but also says that representatives of the church have been disrespectful to her same-sex partnership and family, and she asks the Pope to check this behavior (translated from Italian):

Several Catholic organizations have lowered themselves to unworthy behaviors, deliberately deforming reality, the very ones who are meant to demonstrate a superior moral fiber: I would really like for you to stop them.

Pardi also sent the Pope a package of children’s books about untraditional families from her publishing house, Lo Stampatello (link in Italian). Why do you have two moms?, as well as two of Pardi’s other books, have been banned from Venice’s Kindergarten libraries.

But the pontiff did reply, sending a friendly though cautious letter postmarked July 10, via Monsignor Peter Brian Wells.

On her Facebook page, Pardi posted a picture of the envelope addressed to her by the Holy See. She did not post the Pope’s letter itself, but she summarized it (translated here from Italian):

He thanks me for the kind gesture and for the sentiment that motivated it, and hopes for an always more fruitful activity at the service of young generations and sharing authentic human and christian values.

The Pope closes the letter with his “apostle’s blessing” (a special benediction), for Pardi, she said, “together with Ms Maria Silvia Fiengo”—her same-sex partner and the other mother of her four children.

Pardi and others in Italy’s LGBTQ community in Italy took the Pope’s message as a sign of acceptance: In particular, his saying her work is “at the service of young generations” and the fact that he imparted a blessing upon her and her same-sex partner.

(Translated: I only said that the Pope’s message shows capacity of respectful dialogue with those with different way of thinking.)

The Vatican did not deny Pardi’s account of the Pope’s letter—but it made a point to throw cold water on the idea that the leader of the Catholic church was offering encouragement or an accepting message about LGBTQ lifestyles.

Father Ciro Benedettini, the Vatican spokesperson, published a note(link in Italian) asserting that in no way is the letter “meant to endorse behaviors and teachings unfit to the Gospel.” Benedettini also says that the Pope’s blessing was meant for the individual, and was “not in line with the church’s doctrine on gender theory, which has not changed in the slightest.”

Quartz has reached out to both Pardi and the Holy See for comments on the exchange and will update this post with any response.

While the church’s official position is that homosexual acts are a sin, the current Pope has at times hinted at a more tolerant view that have led many to hope for a change in stance—including by famously saying, in 2013, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Italy remains a relatively inhospitable place for LGBTQ people. It is one of the few countries in Europe that doesn’t allow any form of same-sex unions, and the Italian government (link in Italian) has gotten an ultimatum from the European court of human rights to work on a law that allowed gay unions.

Many publicly still express hostility towards LGBTQ rights, and among them is the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, whose first act in office was banning several children’s books from the city’s Kindergarten libraries, including Pardi’s Little EggWhat’s dad’s secret, and Why do I have two moms?

Several groups, mostly Catholic, have attacked the authors of the books, which media have dismissively called “gay fairytales,” claiming they try to “indoctrinate” kids to prefer gay unions.

But that was never the intention, Pardi said in her letter to the Pope.

“Maria Silvia and I opened the publishing house for the love of our kids,” she wrote. “The book Why do you have two moms? is simply our (their) story.”

“It’s not ideology,” she explained, “but love for a neighbor.”

Kindly contact Us for all your funding needs, including Loans, Project Finance, BG, SBLC, L/C. 

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WHY YOU MUST CHOOSE OUR COMPANY FOR ALL YOUR LETTER OF CREDIT NEEDS?:

There are so many scammers and time wasters, you need to do business with ONLY real and genuine provider like Loans & Investments Ltd.

We are genuine and legally registered Loans & Investments company operating in Both Europe and Asia.

We can issue your Letters of Credit from HSBC, Barclays bank, Citi Bank, Maybank, ANZ, Mandiri bank, Standard Chartered Bank or any Prime Bank of your choice.

Loans & Investments Ltd does not have any hidden fees, fakers and scammers will ask for different payments later, we are not like that.

We deliver with time and precision as set forth in the Deed of Agreement. we obey and follow the terms and conditions in our agreement, no gimmicks. 

We issue and deliver your letter of credit within 5 to 7 days. No stories, no lies…

Loans & Investments Ltd. are direct PROVIDERS of BG and letters of credits, Not Brokers. In the whole world there are less than 15 real providers, the rest are scammers, brokers and fake people with no connections. 

We are straight to the point, we do not play games.

What is a Bank Guarantee (BG)?

What is a Bank Guarantee (BG)?

The term “bank guarantee” has no precise definition, particularly in international law. Some use the term exclusively to describe a transaction in which one party makes an independent guarantee commitment in respect of another party’s liabilities, regardless of the latter’s form and enforceability. Others describe guarantees as all transactions in which security is offered; from letters of comfort (which often are morally binding at most) to surety bonds and abstract payment undertakings.

A Bank Guarantee can be described as a Letter of Guarantee issued by one bank to another bank to guarantee the performance of an obligation on the part of the applicant, guaranteeing the beneficiary.

A Bank Guarantee is where one Bank (the Issuing Bank) issues an indemnity to another Bank (the Beneficiary Bank) or directly to a Beneficiary, on behalf of its account holder. The Issuing Bank will expect its account holder to pledge ‘assets’ to the bank for its issue.

Bank Guarantee’s take many forms.

Some Guarantees are written to guarantee rental payments, some are written to guarantee payments upon the meeting of certain conditions. Some are even issued to guarantee loans and credit lines. All of them are written for a specific purpose to a specific party.

Each Bank Guarantee will be worded for the purposes it is intended. Some may be ‘callable upon demand’ or some may only be ‘callable’ when the Beneficiary provides notice of satisfaction of a pre-determined condition.

Currently, under the new Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees (URDG 758) an underlying contract should be provided that states clearly the purpose of the Bank Guarantee and forms part of the Guarantee, for example a Rent Agreement or Payment Obligation.

In international trade dealings, buyers and sellers often experience problems of trust within each other to honour their payment obligations. A seller may find it difficult to ascertain the buyer’s willingness and ability to make payment, whilst the buyer may not be convinced that the seller genuinely intends to perform his side of the agreement or has the necessary financial and technical resources to do so. Just as the buyer needs protection against non-performance, so the seller will want to minimize or insure against the risk of non-payment. Documentary credits are generally used in such cases, yet various other forms of bank guarantees are available.

The common element in all these arrangements is that the guarantor undertakes to be answerable for the payment of a debt or the fulfilment of a payment obligation in the event of default by the party that is responsible for it.

LOANS & AND INVESTMENTS LIMITED is a direct provider of bank Guarantee (BG), SBLC, DLC and All other types of Letters of Credit. We are legally registered Financial Firm with good reputation. We only work with Top Prime rated global banks.

We deliver with time and precision as set forth in the Deed of Agreement (DOA). All our customers can engage our leased bank instruments into trade programs, Business expansion projects, Aviation projects, Agricultural projects, Petroleum/Oil/Gas, Telecommunication, Construction Projects and any other turnkey project. Our terms and Conditions are reasonable.

DESCRIPTION OF INSTRUMENTS:

1. Instrument: Bank Guarantee (BG)/SBLC

2. Total Face Value: Eur/Usd 1M MIN and Eur/Usd 50B MAX).

3. Issuing Bank: HSBC, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered, Citibank or AA rated Bank in Western Europe or USA.

4. Age: One Year, One Day

5. Leasing Price: 4% of Face Value plus 1% brokers commission (only if there is a broker involved in the transaction)

6. Delivery SWIFT TO SWIFT.

7. Payment: Wire Transfer.

8.. Hard Copy: Bonded Courier within 7 banking days.

All relevant information will be provided to any serious customer upon request.

Please forward all your inquiries & consultations to our contact details as follows:

COMPANY NAME: LOANS AND INVESTMENTS LIMITED

COMPANY ADDRESS: 247-249 GRAYS INN ROAD, LONDON WC1X 8QZ, UNITED KINGDOM.

CONTACT PERSON: ANDREW CHRISTOU (CEO)

EMAIL 1: loanandinvestments@outlook.com
EMAIL 2: loandandinvestment@gmail.com
EMAIL 3: ceo@loanandinvestments.com
Skype: loanandinvestments

WHY YOU MUST CHOOSE US:

We are genuine and legally registered company operating in Both Europe and Asia.

We can issue your Letters of Credit from HSBC Hong Kong, Barclays Bank, Citi Bank, Standard Chartered Bank or any Prime Bank of your choice.

We do not have any hidden fees

We deliver with time and precision as set forth in the Deed of Agreement

We issue and deliver your letter of credit within 5 or 7 days. No stories, no lies…

We are direct PROVIDERS, Not Brokers.

We are straight to the point, we do not play games.

 Brokers are welcomed, appreciated and compensated. We pay 1% commission to our brokers, so you can bring customers to us and get good compensation.