Thursday, October 19, 2017

 

News Links, October 20, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##

From Damascus, Iran vows to confront Israel

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
White nationalist heckled at University of Florida speech

Oil's Biggest Rigs Headed to Junkyard as Daily Losses Mount
Transocean Ltd. is finally sending Pathfinder to its grave, after two years in a Caribbean purgatory that cost about $15,000 a day. The move by the world's biggest offshore-rig operator signals just how bleak the future looks for deepwater drilling.


## Environment/health ##
"We are rapidly losing our remaining large animals, like forest elephants, and this loss will critically impair the future functioning of these ecosystems by reducing their fertility."
Too many humans. -- RF
German nature preserves have lost 75 percent of their flying insects
"As entire ecosystems are dependent on insects for food and as pollinators, it places the decline of insect eating birds and mammals in a new context," said researcher Hans de Kroon.
Recall this article from last summer. -- RF
A hepatitis A outbreak is killing California's homeless population

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
UK spies using social media data for mass surveillance
Anyone who doesn't think their social media accounts are being used to populate databases is naive. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Iran Doesn't Have a Nuclear Weapons Program. Why Do Media Keep Saying It Does?

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
No, Lyft and Uber probably won't solve urban road congestion
Puerto Rico's Back-Up Power Supply Is Maxed Out
Back-up diesel generators in Puerto Rico that have provided a lifeline for hospitals and other critical facilities in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria are starting to break down and need fixing.

## Japan ##
Japan mulls cutting back sales of ultralong debt
Gas supply and demand conditions will be 'serious' this winter, China warns
Market leaders should be injecting gas into storage facilities ahead of the peak demand season, state planner says

## UK ##
UK Gov't Considering Redefining Social Media Services As Publishers To Make It Easier To Control Them
'Sometimes you don't feel human' – how the gig economy chews up and spits out millennials
Young people aren't just enthusiastic users of Uber, Deliveroo and TaskRabbit – they are often working for them. But while promising flexibility, these jobs are precarious and low-paid. Is this the new model for the working poor?
Real wages fall despite low levels of unemployment
Average earnings of UK workers are now no higher than they were in February 2006, official figures reveal
Civil asset forfeiture: Use A Landline To Talk About Criminal Activity? The Government Can Seize The House Around It
ICE is by far the biggest contributor to the DHS's total forfeiture take. This can be expected to grow with the new administration's intense focus on illegal immigration. As with any government program experiencing sudden growth, one can expect an exponential leap in abuse.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

 

News Links, October 18, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Australia's household debt is rising — but its treasurer says the situation is under control
Pentagon Worried about Hackers Causing Stock Market Crash
Why Did Sears Holdings' Largest Outside Shareholder Suddenly Jump Overboard? (US)
4th director to quit in 10 months. Bankruptcy prospects heat up. 

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Sainsbury's cutting 2,000 jobs in UK

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Russia's 'cryptorubles' won't be very crypto at all

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Syrian-Israeli clash sets tone for meeting of Israeli, Russian defense ministers
Despite Campaign Promises, Arms Shipments to Saudis Skyrocket Under Trump
As a candidate, Trump claimed Saudi Arabia was behind 9/11. But in the first eight months of 2017, the U.S. has delivered a total of $1.56 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia.
Days of Living Dangerously in Catalonia
Depends on how far in the future, but ultimately it'll be horses. And the "Air Force" will be hot-air balloons. -- RF
The Air Force Just Bought 100 Stealth Fighters That Can't Fight
Some 6 percent of the planned 1,700-strong F-35 fleet may be unfit for combat, sticking U.S. taxpayers with a $20 billion tab for fighters... that can't fight.

## Migrants/refugees ##
Considering the gargantuan scale of industrial civilization, this won't amount to a drop in the bucket. There is nothing here about yield per unit marine area, but it certainly won't approach fossil fuels in terms of power density. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
More than 25,000 wild dogs are running amok on Guam. There are only 4 dog catchers.
How Obamacare Fuels The Obesity Epidemic

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Clinton Foundation Involved in Bribery, Kickbacks, Money Laundering to Grow Russia's Energy Program
The future of surveillance is hidden in airport ads
Public anonymity is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Coming soon to an airport in Dubai is an artsy, colorful video security and customs tunnel that scans your face, adds you to a database, indexes you with artificial intelligence and decides if you're free to leave -- or not.
Kaspersky said the malware, known as FinSpy or FinFisher, is a commercial product typically sold to nation states and law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance.
Microsoft responded quietly after detecting secret database hack in 2013
Microsoft Corp's secret internal database for tracking bugs in its own software was broken into by a highly sophisticated hacking group more than four years ago, according to five former employees, in only the second known breach of such a corporate database.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Clinton accuses WikiLeaks of blunting impact of crude Trump tape
Hillary Clinton Monday accused WikiLeaks of working with Russia to deflect attention away from an infamous tape of  Donald Trump bragging about groping women in the run-up to the US presidential election.
Understanding the 'Fake News' Hysteria
The mainstream media's hysteria over "fake news" is aimed less at the few instances of intentionally fabricated stories than at well-reported articles that challenge the U.S. government's dubious official narratives.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Fading Scent of the American Dream
The industrial lifestyle was unsustainable from the get-go. -- RF
Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism
Superficial explanations for today's social anxiety and political discontent miss the underlying reality: the crisis of late-stage capitalism in its frantic death throes.

## Japan ##
What is happening with Japan Inc?
Kobe Steel plants faked quality data for decades
Cheating 'manuals' backed systemic fraud under succession of managers
Japan's Kansai Electric to shut down 2 major nuclear reactors
Rising safety costs make even 1m kW facilities too expensive to revive
Financial regulator warns of growing debt among young people
The chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority has warned of a "pronounced" build up of debt among young people. In an interview with the BBC, Andrew Bailey said the young were having to borrow for basic living costs.
English school budgets facing 'breaking point', warn headteachers
Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress
Whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi says drug distributors pumped opioids into U.S. communities -- knowing that people were dying -- and says industry lobbyists and Congress derailed the DEA's efforts to stop it
Elon Musk Is Not the Hero Puerto Rico Needs
The island needs a revamped electric grid and fast, but privatization is not the answer.
Smartphones Are Killing Americans, But Nobody's Counting
Amid a historic spike in U.S. traffic fatalities, federal data on the danger of distracted driving are getting worse.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

 

News Links, October 16, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
A US debt ceiling crisis 'certainly would be rating relevant,' S&P says

## War on cash/cashless society ##
'We are about to see massive disruptions': IMF's Lagarde says it's time to get serious about digital currency

## Airline death spiral ##
Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi makes emergency landing in Australia

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
For War Hawks, Iran Deal Dump Is Music to the Ears
And Trump is playing right into their regime change fantasties.
Duterte says he refused British aid, ready to lose Europe
The Philippine president said he has asked his finance secretary to reject an unspecified British financial aid package and that he's ready to cut diplomatic ties with all European countries critical of his deadly anti-drug crackdown.
Fueling More Bloodshed in Ukraine
In the U.S., Russia-hating liberals are joining the neocons in seeking more war in Ukraine, as the prospects for a rational and peaceful resolution to the crisis continue to fade.
Trump's North Korea Delusions
A combination of ignorance and rashness is making President Trump a particularly dangerous leader as he crashes ahead with a possible preemptive war on North Korea.

## Energy/resources ##
World's Largest Oil Companies: Deep Trouble As Profits Vaporize While Debts Skyrocket
The world's largest oil companies are in serious trouble as their balance sheets deteriorate from higher costs, falling profits and skyrocketing debt.  The glory days of the highly profitable global oil companies have come to an end.  All that remains now is a mere shadow of the once mighty oil industry that will be forced to continue cannibalizing itself to produce the last bit of valuable oil.
Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
Chevron has decided to drop its US$500-million exploration program in the Great Australian Bight off the coast of South Australia as low oil prices make the commercial viability of any potential discovery doubtful, the company said in a statement.
Even at current prices, the oil industry is slowly crashing. See first article in this category. -- RF
Iran's oil exports to S Korea hit record high

## Got food? ##
Famine threatening 4 countries casts shadow over global hunger progress
Wildfires now up to 100 miles wide as death toll reaches 40
Latest North Korea earthquake a sign of instability at nuclear test site: Experts
A series of tremors and landslides near North Korea's nuclear test base likely mean the country's sixth and largest blast has destabilized the region, and the Punggye-ri nuclear site may not be used for much longer to test nuclear weapons, experts say.
Good lifestyle choices likely to add years to lifespan
A new study claims that found not smoking, watching your weight and continuing to learn new things could help you live longer.
San Francisco's Air Quality Matches Beijing's
Air quality in San Francisco sank to the level of smog-choked Beijing this week, as soot from more than a dozen wildfires in California's wine country blanketed the Bay Area.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
USA Liberty Act: More of the Same Old Surveillance State Games

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Spy Spin Fuels Anti-Kaspersky Campaign
The Deep State's Bogus 'Iranian Threat'
In a word, the whole notion that Iran is a national security threat and state sponsor of terrorism is just as bogus as the Russian meddling story or the claim that the chain of events resulting from the coup d' etat fostered by Washington on the streets of Kiev in February 2014 is evidence of Russian expansionism and aggression.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
US Debates Infrastructure Spending: How Will We Pay for Repairs?
With an $18 trillion economy, the U.S. relies on an antiquated infrastructure system that was put in place decades ago by the Eisenhower administration. Many economists and engineers say delays and ever-increasing maintenance costs have dramatically held back economic growth.
South Africa's infrastructure is "at risk of failure"
Official documents obtained exclusively by INSURGE confirm that governments across the Muslim world privately recognise that climate change is a threat of "unimaginable proportions", already compounding problems of land, food, water and energy scarcity.

## Japan ##
In today's world, a natural decrease in the human population is one of the best things that could happen to any country. Yet, the only solution that brain-dead growth advocates can see is "more humans." -- RF
## China ##

## UK ##
The new Clean Growth Strategy at a glance
Frydenberg signals government poised to abandon clean energy target
Energy minister says electricity sector wants stability, 'not necessarily handouts' suggesting renewables won't be subsidised after 2020
UK safe from winter blackouts, says National Grid

## US ##


Thursday, October 12, 2017

 

News Links, October 13, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
China will 'compel' Saudi Arabia to trade oil in yuan — and that's going to affect the US dollar
"I believe that yuan pricing of oil is coming and as soon as the Saudis move to accept it — as the Chinese will compel them to do — then the rest of the oil market will move along with them," Carl Weinberg, chief economist and managing director at High Frequency Economics, told CNBC.
IMF lists nine banks likely to struggle with profitability
Unusual move identifies institutions by name, includes Japanese megabanks

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
GM to Lay Off 1,500 More Workers, as its Car Sales Plunge Twice as Fast as Rest of Industry
Disney Cuts 200 Jobs From Its TV Networks Division

## War on cash/cashless society ##
In a Cashless World, You'd Better Pray the Power Never Goes Out

## Airline death spiral ##
Southwest Airlines traffic down, expected to get worse
Brexit: Philip Hammond becomes first Cabinet minister to admit 'no deal' could ground all flights

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump's Iran plans driving EU toward Russia and China: Germany
U.S. President Donald Trump's expected move to "de-certify" the international nuclear deal with Iran is driving a wedge between Europe and the United States and bringing Europeans closer to Russia and China, Germany said on Thursday.
Russia could deploy more missiles in Baltic region: lawmaker
A senior Russian lawmaker says Moscow could deploy more state-of-the-art missiles in its westernmost region in response to the U.S. military buildup in Poland.
Erdogan Tells US "We Don't Need You"
Israel Approves Thousands More Settlement Homes in the West Bank
Israeli NGO Peace Now has announced that the government has approved plans for another 3,736 settlement units across the occupied West Bank. Details are still emerging on where they are located, but they include expansions in settlements deep in Palestinian territory.
Catalonia Crisis Far From Over Despite Market Surge
How Trump's Iran Decision Invites War
By decertifying the Iran-nuke deal, President Trump would put another Mideast war of choice on the table, but war on Iran is really the choice of Israel and Saudi Arabia wanting the U.S. to do the killing and dying.
U.S., Israel quit U.N. heritage agency citing bias
The United States and Israel announced on Thursday they were quitting the U.N.'s cultural agency UNESCO, after Washington accused it of anti-Israeli bias.

DHS Releases Images Of Border Wall Prototypes

## Energy/resources ##
A new front opens in Asia's water wars
China drags India and other neighbors into high-stakes geopolitical poker game over freshwater access
Too many humans. -- RF
There's a stronger chance that the world population will be smaller than now by 2100. -- RF
Equifax website hacked, portions taken offline
Germany Says It Found "No Evidence" Kaspersky Helped Russia Spy On US
In an ironic twist, Kaspersky exposed Israel for lying about the source of its information on Iran deal talks after WSJ reported two years ago that Israel had spied on negotiations. Israel had said it received its intelligence by other means, but it had in reality infiltrated Kaspersky's software, a fact the company publicly acknowledged in a research paper published two years ago.
'Russiagate' And The Decline Of Journalism – Ron Paul interviews Robert Parry
A Silenced Israeli Critic
Although the U.S. news media's fancies itself the world's "gold standard," it operates with stunning hypocrisy and huge blind spots, none bigger than its fawning coverage of Israel that ignores critics like Miko Peled.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: About Those "Hedonic Adjustments" to Inflation: Ignoring the Systemic Decline in Quality, Utility, Durability and Service
Are You Better Off Than You Were 17 Years Ago?
We tend to measure what's easily measured (and supports the status quo) and ignore what isn't easily measured (and calls the status quo into question).

## Japan ##
Kobe Steel scandal expands beyond aluminum, copper
Iron plant may be fifth facility involved in data fabrication
Kobe Steel quality scandal spreads to bullet trains
The Kobe Steel data cheating scandal widened Wednesday as the operator of Japan's busiest bullet train line said train components made from the steelmaker's materials fell short of industry standards.
Kobe Steel cheating scandal goes global
Daimler, Airbus, GE among the 30-plus victims beyond Japanese shores
How China's biggest debtors may struggle to pay off their loans
Most of Beijing's foreign aid donations take the form of loans, but there are serious questions about how some of the beneficiaries will repay the money

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