• Hezbollah’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, gave a speech in which he denied Hezbollah had any responsibility for the port explosion, and said Hezbollah never had “anything that belongs to us in the port, no warehouse for weapons, rockets, no guns, no bullets, no nitrate, nothing, absolutely, not now and not in the past, never.”

  • Lebanese authorities arrested 16 people, including the port manager and customs chief. Although Pres. Aoun continues to mention the possibility of a missile or bomb causing the blast, there’s still no evidence pointing to anything but negligence. A large protest is planned for today.

  • The death toll from the explosion is now up to 154, including two crew members of a cruise ship parked across the port from Warehouse 12. The cruise ship’s owner filed a lawsuit against “all of those responsible.”


  • The U.S. sanctioned Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other officials for cowing to China and carrying out China’s will when it comes to repressing pro-democracy protests.


  • Al Shabaab attacked a military base near a recently reopened sports stadium in Mogadishu, killing at least eight.


  • A Venezuelan court put former U.S. Green Berets Luke Denman and Airan Berry on “trial” (I put that in quotes because the two were not allowed to see their attorneys, and the whole thing was a farce) and sentenced them both to 20 years in prison. Venezuela says they admitted guilt.

  • Venezuela also finally started a trial for six American Citgo executives who were arrested in Nov. 2017 (after being lured to Venezuela for “budget meetings”) and held without trial until now. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had visited Caracas to argue their case, and that apparently helped push it to trial. Venezuela accuses the six of embezzlement charges for a plan to offer 50% of Citgo as collateral for a $4 billion refinance that never happened.


  • Deposed president David Granger complained that his cabinet ministers had been evicted from their residences and offices in a “vulgar, divisive and vindictive campaign of alienation” after new president Irfaan Ali came into office. Granger no doubt also feels evicted.


  • U.S. officials discovered one end of an unfinished 1,300-foot tunnel under the U.S.-Mexico border near San Luis, Arizona. They believe it was intended to be used to smuggle drugs, people, and weapons. A CBP official said it “appears to be the most sophisticated tunnel in U.S. history,” complete with ventilation, water lines, electricity, a rail system, and thorough reinforcement (except for near the sinkhole that alerted authorities to it).

Strategic Minerals

  • Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said his company was in “no rush” to bring cobalt production back at Mutanda in DRC (Mutanda was put on care and maintenance in Nov. 2019 because of low cobalt prices and DRC’s recent unfriendly changes to its mining code). That said, Glencore forecasts a rebound in copper and cobalt prices, but is less positive on zinc.

Other News

  • An Air India Express passenger plane crashed and broke in two after landing in heavy rain in Kerala. Sixteen of 190 passengers were killed.

  • There’s been an uptick in migrants attempting to cross the English Channel from France into the UK: authorities picked up at least 235 people from small boats yesterday, which is a one-day record. British officials blamed organized smuggling and good weather for the increase.

  • Mauritius declared a state of emergency after a ship that ran aground on July 25th started leaking fuel into the reef that stranded it.

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