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On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message.

But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships.

While retired Adm. John Nathman, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honored vets as America’s best, the ships from the Russian Federation Navy were arrayed like sentinels on the big screen above.

These were the very Soviet-era combatants that Nathman and Cold Warriors like him had once squared off against.

“The ships are definitely Russian,” said noted naval author Norman Polmar after reviewing hi-resolution photos from the event. “There’s no question of that in my mind.”

Naval experts concluded the background was a photo composite of Russian ships that were overflown by what appear to be U.S. trainer jets. It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.

A spokesman for the Democratic National Convention Committee was not able to immediately comment Tuesday, saying he had to track down personnel to find out what had happened.

The veteran who spotted the error and notified Navy Times said he was immediately taken aback.

“I was kind of in shock,” said Rob Barker, 38, a former electronics warfare technician who left the Navy in 2006. Having learned to visually identify foreign ships by their radars, Barker recognized the closest ship as the Kara-class cruiser Kerch.

“An immediate apology [from the committee] would be very nice,” Barker said. “Maybe acknowledge the fact that yes, they screwed up.”

The background — featured in the carefully choreographed hour leading up to the president’s Sept. 6 speech accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination — showed four ships with radar designs not used in the U.S. fleet.

For example, the ship in the foreground, on the far right, has a square radar antenna at the top of its masthead. That is the MR-700 Podberezovik 3-D early warning radar, commonly identified as “Flat Screen” for its appearance, a three-dimensional early warning radar mounted on the Kerch, said Eric Wertheim, editor of “Combat Fleets of the World.”

Similarly, the third ship has a MR-310 “Head Net” air search radar, shaped like two off-set bananas, at its masthead and is mostly likely the guided missile destroyer Smetlivyy. The first two ships seem to be Krivak-class frigates, but it’s hard to discern from the silhouette, experts said.

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A Closer Look at QE, Is it Justified Compared to 2010 ?

” As the financial markets widely anticipate an aggressive easing action from the Fed (to be announced on 9/13), it is once again worth making a comparison between the conditions that lead to QE2 in 2010 and the current financial/economic conditions. The goal is to focus on the factors that central bank asset purchases can actually impact as opposed to those that the FOMC wishes to influence. Here they are:”

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Hussman: We are at the Mouth of a Vortex

“Here’s an interesting historical look into past instances that resemble the current market environment.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that I put a lot of weight into such a small data set, but it’s interesting nonetheless:”

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Platinum Goes Parabolic as Miner Strikes Increase in South Africa

Strikes in South Africa are going largely unnoticed by mainstream media. Many are dead over the past few weeks and these strikes risk further damage to many sectors of the global economy.

As a result of yesterday’s events platinum is soaring.

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Gapping Up and Down This Morning

Gapping up

NBG +9.6%, FB +5.5%, TTM +4.2%, BT +4%, NOK +3.9%, SOHU +3.9%, SNTS +3.7%,

BCS +2%, RIO +2%, UBS +1.9%, MT +1.7%, RYAAY +1.5%, BAC +1.3%, BHP +1%,

YOKU +4.8%, SOHU +3.9%,  GLUU +0.8% , MCD +0.3%, ZNGA +2.9%,  AUO +6.6%,

Gapping down 

GBG -38.8%, GCOM -21.1%, XRTX -17.2%, CTIC -10.1%, RLH -6.9%, STLD -4.9%,

TOO -4.7%, VNR -4%, PCAR -1.9%, CYS -1%, VOD -0.7%, AMGN -0.5%, EXC -0.3%,

ADP -1.4%

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US Mortgage Applications Rose Last Week

“Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as demand for refinancing and new loans jumped, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 11.1 percent in the week ended Sept 7.

The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 11.9 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 8.1 percent.”

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$AAPL Unveils the iPhone 5

Apple inc is expected to unveil the latest model of the iPhone. There is a  lot of chatter that this could be a make or break addition for Apple Inc and their upcoming earnings.

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$CHK Sells Assets to Bridge Cash Deficit

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) agreed to sell portions of oil and natural-gas fields in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico and other assets in a series of transactions for $6.9 billion, narrowing a cash-flow shortfall that threatened to crimp the Oklahoma City-based company’s drilling and production goals.

Chevron Corp. (CVX)Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and EnerVest Ltd. will buy acreage in the Permian Basin for $3.3 billion, Chesapeake said in a statement distributed today. The Permian Basin holdings were the most-valuable of several assets Chesapeake Chief Executive OfficerAubrey McClendon put up for sale this year to raise cash, avoid a credit-rating downgrade and maintain debt covenants.”

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Machinery Orders Rise More Than Expected in Japan

Japan’s machinery orders rose more than forecast in July even as weakness in exports and waning subsidies for auto purchases threaten to stifle economic growth.

Orders, an indicator of capital spending, climbed 4.6 percent from the previous month, after gaining 5.6 percent in June, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The median estimate of 29 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 2 percent increase. Large orders can cause volatile results.

Today’s data and a pick-up in manufacturers’ confidence signal some resilience in an economy that Bank of America Merrill Lynch says is at risk of contracting this quarter. Japanese exports may benefit from U.S. and Chinese efforts to spur demand, with the Federal Reserve meeting this week and Premier Wen Jiabao saying yesterday that his nation has ample fiscal and monetary room to support growth.”

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China’s Wen Jiabao Acknowledges There is Room for Further Stimulus

“Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the nation has room for fiscal and monetary measures to support growth and will meet this year’s economic goals, triggering gains in Asian stocks.

“Be it monetary or fiscal, we still have ample strength,” Wen said at the World Economic Forumin Tianjin yesterday. A fiscal stabilization fund of 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) is available for “preemptive” measures, he said.

Morgan Stanley today became at least the fifth bank to estimate that China’s economic growth this year will be 7.5 percent, the same as Wen’s target and the weakest pace in 22 years, afterimports slid in August and industrial production cooled. While the premier’s comments encouraged investors, the government may limit stimulus to restrain inflation and bad loans and avoid undoing a campaign to cool the housing market.

“The government has fiscal and monetary war chests to revive growth but there does not seem to be much appetite to roll out a large-scale stimulus package,” said Wang Qinwei, a London-based economist with Capital Economics Ltd. who previously worked at the People’s Bank of China.”

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