Thursday, April 30, 2015


News Links, May 1, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Record Financial Engineering Will Goose Stocks: Goldman
Low Oil Prices Could Destabilize Financial System
Saudi Arabia Is Burning Through Its Foreign Reserves at a Record Pace
Chase Joins the War on Cash
Transactions over 70 euros on larger islands may be credit/debit card only (Greece)
Majority of Financial Pros Now Say Greece Is Headed for Euro Exit
French unemployment hits new record in March
U.S. GDP barely grows in first quarter
German population set to shrink by 10 million by 2060
The Next Big Thing: One Bubble at a Time: 3D-Printing Stocks Totally Implode
The Next Big Thing: Chart Of The Day: Biotech Bubble Is Cracking
Caving In to Corporatism: Endgame for Secret "Trade" Pact Negotiations
Luxury home buyers reach a new threshold
Rather than settle for garages of antique cars or a museum's worth of paintings, billionaires are increasingly willing to pay $100 million for homes that can serve as showcases for their fortunes, according to an analysis issued Tuesday by Christie's International Real Estate.
George Soros' Rank Hypocrisy: Hid $13.3 Billion From The IRS In Ireland, Demanded Higher Taxes In Washington

## Airline Death Spiral ##
The mystery (and misery) of the shrinking airline seat
Could plane seats be about to get comfier?
Airlines, airports battle over passenger fees
Travelers scramble after iPad issues delay American Airlines flights
Why aren't airfares falling?
Malaysia Airlines selling fleet of Airbuses, four Boeing 777s as it tries to rebound from disastrous 2014
The Art of Self Deception: Airline Execs Really Believe Consumers' Travel Experience Is Improving
Japan's airlines diverge as ANA soars and JAL dips

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran: Hypocrisy of Nuclear Proliferation Highlighted by Israel's Undeclared Arsenal
Hasan Rouhani On Iran Nuclear Deal: Details WIll Be Made Public, Iranian President Says
Iran Nuclear Agreement 'Best Anyone Can Get': Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran seized ship because of business dispute, not politics, official says
U.S. Navy to accompany cargo ships through Strait of Hormuz after Iran dispute
US Asks India, Others To Go Slow In Boosting Trade Ties With Iran
Iraqi officials say Shiite militias can deploy in Sunni Anbar province
Don't Blame Just China For Escalating The Arms Race In Outer Space
What is the real military situation in Afghanistan today?
Saudi Arabia trains Yemeni tribal fighters in war against Houthis - sources
Japan considering joint U.S. air patrols in South China Sea - sources
Japan's military is considering joining the United States in maritime air patrols in the South China Sea in response to China's increasingly assertive pursuit of territorial claims, a Japanese and a U.S. source familiar with the discussions said.
China fires back at South China Sea claimants with reclamation accusations
The Day After Damascus Falls
The Saudi-Israeli alliance has gone on the offensive, ramping up a "regime change" war in Syria and, in effect, promoting a military victory for Al-Qaeda or its spinoff, the Islamic State. But the consequences of that victory could toll the final bell for the American Republic.
The Pentagon's 'Long War' Pits NATO Against China, Russia and Iran
Houthis clash with Saudi forces on Yemen border, dozens killed
US Asks Iran to Help With Yemen Peace Talks
US officials today confirmed that during Monday's talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian FM Javad Zarif, Kerry had asked Iran to help facilitate peace talks in Yemen. Interestingly, Iran has been the one pushing for peace in Yemen for weeks now, while the US has loudly endorsed the Saudi war. US officials now seem to think Iran is the key to getting the Houthis to the negotiating table.
Saudi Arabia's king announces new heirs to throne
US Poised to Expand ISIS Fight Worldwide

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hundreds join march to protest police treatment of African-Americans (Chicago)
Shootings, looting in Ferguson protests over Baltimore
'Same Story Every Time': Baltimore Solidarity Actions Sweep U.S.
Tired of waiting for aid, angry Nepalis block roads
Greek Finance Minister Attacked By Anarchists, Shielded By Wife

## Energy/resources ##
Can Shell Afford To Drill In The Arctic?
We Are Witnessing A Fundamental Change In The Oil Sector
The U.S. oil production decline has begun. It is not because of decreased rig count. It is because cash flow at current oil prices is too low to complete most wells being drilled.
Why The US Should Worry About Oil Sector Jobs
Oil Field Services To Bear The Brunt Of Price Collapse
Oil companies will sell 50 billion in North Sea
Several oil giants are going to want out of the Norwegian continental shelf because it is too expensive.
Hit to Indonesia's oil and gas revenue threatens deficit, crude output
Indonesia's oil and gas revenues are expected to drop by at least a third this year as a fall in production costs fails to keep pace with plunging oil prices and threatens to limit future output.
Saudi Arabia On Sales Offensive In Asia
System failure causes power blackout in Zambia
Eskom load shedding is back
Venezuela cuts office hours in effort to save electricity
The World Will Soon be at War Over Water
Oil markets stagnant as U.S. GDP disappoints
Gazprom net income plunges 86 pct on oil price drop, rouble
Libyan chaos threatens more oilfields, power supply and gas exports to Italy
Sweden to speed up nuclear reactors closure
G7 says Chernobyl shelter to be completed by Nov 2017
The world's leading powers said on Wednesday a protective cover over the collapsed Chernobyl nuclear power plant would be completed by November 2017, although they were still short of funds to finish the project.
Nuclear proponents think that decommissioned nuclear power plants will be dismantled and their wastes safely sequestered, but most plants won't be dismantled, and they won't even get protective covers. As I've said before, plant owners or governments will just put padlocks on the doors and gates, and then hope for the best. There will never be enough money for proper decommissioning. -- RF
Obama Green Energy Loans——–Swamped In Red Ink
Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government's energy loan guarantee programs, according to a new audit Monday that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for themselves, as officials had promised.
Marcellus Production Outlook
China solar expansion needs billions from wary investors
Chinese solar companies, some already heavily indebted, will need to raise many billions of dollars this year to fund a big expansion in capacity, a major test of investor confidence in a sector hit hard by the global financial crisis.
Installing all that renewable capacity requires a lot of money — money that has been generated by the high energy return of fossil fuels. This is one more reason that renewables aren't going to save industrial civilization. -- RF
How Shale Is Becoming The .COM Bubble Of The 21st Century
Nordic power prices seen rising after years of decline
US weekly coal carloads below 100,000 in back-to-back weeks again
Australia: Coal industry set for shake-out after prices halve
India's oil imports from Iran jump in April
Biggest Europe Oil Refiner Joins Those Predicting Boom's End

## Got food? ##
'Worse than drugs': Maple syrup rebellion (Canada)
Fighting to keep their syrup out of the hands of the powerful Quebec monopoly, producers sneak barrels by night, deal in a black market and even flee the province.
Refrigeration Battery Could Lower Supermarket Energy Use By 40 Percent
I'm all for saving energy, but the supermarket's days are numbered. In fact, the cold chain itself is in jeopardy. I have presented examples here of how "hot trucks" carrying refrigerated and frozen food turn off their refrigeration units in the summer months to save fuel. Just one broken link in the chain is all it takes. -- RF
What Truly Is Progress In Farming

## Environment/health ##
Ocean 'Dead Zones:' Why There Are Some Parts Of The Atlantic Where Marine Life Can't Survive
While dead zones are not uncommon near inhabited coastlines, where industrial runoff can trigger algae blooms that suck all of the oxygen out of the water, they're now popping up in places scientists didn't expect – in the open Atlantic Ocean.
Forest fire threatens Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear zone
Former US commander: Take nuclear missiles off high alert
Taking U.S. and Russian missiles off high alert could keep a possible cyberattack from starting a nuclear war, a former commander of U.S. nuclear forces says, but neither country appears willing to increase the lead-time to prepare the weapons for launch.
NSA Whistleblower: "We Are No Longer Afraid Of The Police State Happening. It's Here"
It's Official: Police Were Ordered To Stand Down And Let The Baltimore Riots Rage Out Of Control

## Propaganda ##
Inventing a Record of Iranian Aggression
Following the lead of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Official Washington's neocons are hyping Iran's record as an aggressor state, with some examples harkening back to the Sixteenth Century and other more recent cases simply not true.
Rather than dutifully waving the flag and singing mindless paeans to The Troops and The Glories of War, McIntyre took the opportunity on Anzac Day to do what a journalist should do: present uncomfortable facts, question orthodoxies, highlight oft-suppressed views.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Megacities Might Not Save the Planet After All
Existing cities — and not just megacities — can't maintain their infrastructure in good condition, so cities in general are gradually turning into death traps. This applies that much more to megacities. -- RF
New York Area Tops World's Energy-Gobbling 'Megacities'
The New York metropolitan area gobbles up more energy than any other major city in the world, according to a new study that aims to calculate the resources consumed in the world's largest cities.
In effect, politicians now look to the markets for policy guidance, and any market turbulence now causes governments to quickly amend their policies to "rescue" the all-important markets from instability.
Michigan Proposes Bill to Require Official Visits to Parents Homeschooling Their Children
Like dogs and sex offenders, the state wants children registered.

## The Clintons ##

And finally...
I gotta try these in my next public lecture. -- RF

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


News Links, April 29, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
The great unraveling of globalization
Global Cooling Alert: Bloomberg Commodity Index Lowest Since 2001
Bleak iron ore outlook as steel production and demand shrink
Is This a Blow-Off Top? Four Ways to Tell
Nepal Earthquake Could Cost Half Of The Country's Annual Economic Output; Damage To Hydroelectric Projects Still Being Assessed
Fitch Downgrades Japan, Warns About Its Fiscal Strategy And Debt Reduction Policies
Puerto Rico gets downgrade—is it America's Greece?
Australia's Bad Bet on China
Holidaymakers warned to take cash to Greece amid financial collapse fears
Bull Market Most Overbought/Leveraged In History
How this debt-addicted world could go the way of the Mayans
David Stockman: 'There Are No Markets, Just a Raging Casino'
Sad News For Greece? Will Greece Kiss Troika's Ass?
Greek Municipal Union Refuses To Hand Over "Confiscated" Cash To Central Bank
Get rid of the homeless people in Madrid who scare tourists, former Spanish minister says
Greek-Russia ties bloom as default looms
Oilsands woes set to deepen as shaky petro-dynasty risks defeat (Canada)
Nigeria cuts 2015 budget as oil price falls

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline industry is least liked in study
Safety problems: Thai aviation in knots
Thai aviation is in trouble. Japan, China and South Korea have all decided to impose air restrictions on carriers from the Southeast Asian nation after an international aviation watchdog raised concerns.
New cockpit rules for Japan 
Airline, travel execs clash over subsidy allegations
Asia-Pacific Airlines Seek More Safety Oversight

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Al Qaida's Nusra advances in northern Syria, capturing another government base
US, Japan Unveil New Defense Guidelines For Global Japanese Role
Saudis pound arms depots in Yemen as bread, medicine run short
Officials Warn Senkakus Fall Under US Protection; Japan To Take "More Assertive" Military Role
Iran Seizes Cargo Ship, U.S. Officials Say
Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Not Navy, Responsible For Seizing Cargo Ship In The Strait Of Hormuz
Saudi says arrests 93 Islamic State suspects, foils U.S. embassy attack
Beijing 'extremely concerned' by ASEAN statement on South China Sea disputes
US Air Force Realigns B-1 Bombers Under Global Strike Command

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Civil Unrest Has Begun In Baltimore And This Is Only Just The Start Of Something MUCH Bigger
Baltimore Protests 2015: Police Fire On Crowd Protesting After Freddie Gray Funeral, Forcing Businesses To Close
Maryland Declares Emergency as Riots Follow Man's Death
Labor Troubles Return To Los Angeles, Long Beach Ports As Truck Drivers Strike

## Energy/resources ##
Next-generation nuclear reactors may not be safer - French watchdog
North Dakota rig count hits new low
Drought may bring West Coast brownouts this summer: energy secretary
Russia To Power Arctic Drilling With Floating Nuclear Reactors
This may seem rational until the astronomical back end costs are added in. -- RF
Venezuela rations power as demand soars on hot weather
City of Saskatoon experiences major power outage
Saudi Arabia: the great oil game
China Grabbing Up Assets In This Key Resource Area
Sweden's Vattenfall to slash jobs, shut two nuclear reactors

## Got food? ##
Yemen struggles to import food as coalition navies hold up more ships
Denied! Powerful Industry Groups Get Setback in Effort to Keep Consumers in the Dark on GMOs

## Environment/health ##
Coffee production slipping in Tanzania as temperatures rise
BP's Oil Hunt Off the Australia Coast is Causing Fear of Another 'Deepwater Horizon'
Nepal Earthquake 2015: Global Death Rate From Quakes Is Growing, Experts Warn It Will Continue To Climb
Hotter and Wetter: Report Finds Global Warming Driving Extreme Weather
Amazon's got your goat...for yard work rentals
Diabetes drug metformin linked with intersex freshwater fish
8 States Dealing With Huge Increases in Fracking Earthquakes

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Oklahoma City Bombing Breakthrough, Part 1 of 2
## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Numbers Are Staggering: U.S. Is 'World Leader' In Child Poverty
While this means unprecedented instant access to vast stores of human knowledge and culture, it also means that mountains of digital data of crucial importance to archivists and future historians are potentially under threat from deletion, corruption, theft, obsolescence and natural or man-made disasters.
And power outages. -- RF
How Much of our Work Is Compliance, Enforcement and Menial Servitude to the New Aristocracy?
It's difficult to estimate the quantity of our work devoted to data-shuffling compliance with and enforcement of perverse regulations and neofeudal menial-servitude to the top 10%.

Camp Zama apparently targeted by explosive projectiles
Explosions were heard early Tuesday near the U.S. Army's Camp Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture and two metal pipes that could be launchers were found on a nearby farm in what may have been an attack by subversives.
Writedowns put Japan's trading houses in tough spot
The country's top five trading houses have announced more than ¥570 billion in asset writedowns, or about half the net income the firms expect to report for last year. And that's probably not the end of it.

## The Clintons ##
181 Clinton Foundation donors who lobbied Hillary's State Department
Hillary Clinton has answered 7 questions as a candidate. Here are 7 more she should answer.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


News Links, April 27, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Capital Controls Arrive: Greece Begins Confiscating Deposits Of "Small Debtors"
Over 40% of first-time home buyers in Canada can't afford a house without their parents' help, report suggests
Canada's Magnificent Housing Bubble Goes Nuts, Cracks
Once idealistic, crowdfunding is now an unholy hybrid of retail, investment, and risk
The "War on Cash" in 10 Spine-Chilling Quotes
The "War on Cash" Migrates to Switzerland
The Death of Cash: Could negative interest rates create an existential crisis for money itself?
If Greece falls, no one wants their prints on the murder weapon
Greece's governors agree to lend cash to central government
Greece Boils Over; No Rules, Just Right; German Rabbits
Up to 150,000 Bangladesh workers lost jobs after Rana Plaza safety overhaul
Nepal earthquake may devastate tourism-heavy economy
Presenting De-Dollarization In One Simple Map
Big Bank 'Crime of the Century' Results in Guess What? No Jail Time for Anyone
Central Banks Will Be Busy This Week, But Their Ability To Boost Global Business Is In Doubt
How central banks mislead on gold reserve reporting
Turkey's central bank finds itself in a pickle
When QE Leads To Deflation: A Look At The "Confounding" Global Supply Glut

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Fracturing airline alliances could signal wave of industry consolidation
Mining slowdown hits Perth Airport as charter airlines under pressure

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Philippines Urges Southeast Asia To Rally To Halt China Reclamation In Disputed Waters
Southeast Asian ministers call for South China Sea talks
Saudi-Led Air Strikes Hit Yemeni Capital, Ships Shell Aden: Residents
Islamic State takes military barracks, dam in Iraq's Anbar: sources
United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia 'pivot'
Eastern Markets Fuel Rise in Global Military Spending
Iran backs pipeline to China under 'One Belt, One Road' initiative
Clashes rage in Yemen; calls for talks grow
Putin says US helped North Caucasus separatists against Russia in the 2000s

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Freddie Gray protests turn violent in Baltimore
Thousands of coal workers march in Berlin in protest against climate tax

## Energy/resources ##
BP To Sell Off Major North Sea Asset As Part Of Survival Strategy

## Got food? ##
Food is food, whether its 'ugly' or 'pretty,' Food and Wine says

## Environment/health ##
Vanishing act: The threat of disappearing coral reefs
Minnesota declares state of emergency over bird flu
Torrential Rains Turn Deadly In Peshawar, Pakistan: At Least 35 Dead, 200 Injured
Death Toll In Nepal Earthquake Mounting Every Hour

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
German Intelligence Under Fire for NSA Cooperation

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Cash shortfall among the elderly could push Japan over the edge
Last summer the welfare ministry reported that a record number of households were receiving government assistance, and 47.1 percent of these households were made up of either elderly people only or the elderly and unmarried family members under 18. The media has been reporting for years that an increasing number of seniors are joining the welfare rolls. National pensions were never meant to cover every retiree's living expenses, but it's obvious that many are not prepared for their old age.
I've restarted my study of Chinese. -- RF

And finally...
Hillary's Banned Words

Friday, April 24, 2015


News Links, April 25, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
ECB Buys Negative Yield Covered Bonds; Trade Guaranteed to Blow Up
Nasdaq Composite Closes At All-Time High Not Seen Since Dotcom Bubble In 2000
High Debt And Low Oil Prices Create Perfect Storm For Canadian Economy
Spain's Unemployment Rate Increases to 23.7%; 114,300 Jobs Vanish in First Quarter, Public Sector Jobs Rise
The EU's Five Worst Unemployment-Fiasco Regions?
An Austrian Province Just Requested A State Bailout
This Is What's Happening in Junk Bonds, and It's Not Pretty
The Rehypothecation of Gold, and Why It Matters
Does any nation hold the gold it says it does?
Why Is JP Morgan Accumulating The Biggest Stockpile Of Physical Silver In History?
11 Signs That We Are Entering The Next Phase Of The Global Economic Crisis
Chart Of The Day: 2015-2016 Greek Debt Maturities—–What, Whom, When (chart)
Supersaturation and Store Cannibalization: McDonald's to Close 700 Stores, 350 Already Took Place First Quarter
France declared "lost in stagnation" by economists
Governments Want to Enslave You with Digital Cash
Why Nav Sarao Had To Be Destroyed: He Found A Way To Beat The HFTs At Their Own Game

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Cheaper fuel has airlines soaring to record profits
Airlines are getting such a price break that profits are surging even though their revenue is flat or declining.
Japan lifts pilot age limit to 67 amid Asian shortage
American Airlines plans capacity cuts, tops 1st-qtr expectations
American Airlines Group Inc on Friday reported first-quarter profit above analysts' expectations and pleased investors with capacity cuts to match weakening international demand.
The Pathetic State of Airline Travel Today Was Predicted Long Ago
Allegiant Air suffers more mechanical problems than other airlines: report
Going to Bellingham to fly with Allegiant Air can save you a lot of money, but a new report commissioned by the union for the pilots could make you think twice.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Ukraine Update: Not Quiet on the Eastern Front; Sanitized US News; Wakeup Call From Poland
US military instructors in eastern Ukraine combat zone – Russian military
Pentagon dismisses Moscow claim of U.S. troops in Ukraine combat zone
Islamic State offensives stretch Iraq's elite troops thin
China to deliver 50 Thunder fighters to Pakistan over 3 years
Iran's Arabian Sea Ship Convoy Heads Home Before Meeting U.S. Navy And Allies
Saudi-led airstrikes bomb Yemen's Shiite rebels in 6 cities
Iran Warned Houthis Against Yemen Takeover
Houthi Arms Bonanza Came From Saleh, Not Iran
More fighting, air strikes in Yemen, civilian death toll exceeds 550
Why Is Washington Supporting Saudi Arabia's Massacre In Yemen?
Vulnerable Frontier: Militarized Competition in Outer Space
North Korea's nuclear arsenal could be twice as big as earlier estimates
Honduran migrant provides peek into dark world of human smuggling
EU rescue ships head for Libya, as migrants die also in Balkans
Libya Only A Small Part Of The World's Refugee Problem
Satellites at risk: US seeks 'coalition of the willing' in space
Russia carries out military drills on disputed islands
Kandahar city power project in jeopardy as USAID prepares to pull plug
TTIP negotiators get an earful from American critics

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Work Tensions Rise in China, Despite Calls for Harmony
Labor disputes continued to swell in China over the first three months of this year, government data showed Friday, as slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy puts more pressure on workers.
Tensions Boil Over After Baltimore Police Call Protesters 'Lynch Mob'
Demonstrators still seeking answers over the mysterious and troubling death of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department, circled City Hall on Thursday after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that he had called in state troopers to help quell the protests.
Huge American Flag Protest Shuts Down Valdosta State University

## Energy/resources ##
Overview of Our Energy Modeling Problem
Russia deepens energy cooperation with Argentina
Big Hit For U.S. Oil Production In January
Half Of US Frackers Will Be Dead By Year End, Weatherford Warns
US Shale Fracklog Triples As Drillers Keep Oil From Market
Oil Patch Unemployment Is Challenge For Industry's Future
CNOOC revenue off nearly 40 percent
The uranium trade is about to go nuclear
Outlook for drilling dim amid low oil prices; Wyoming working rig count lowest since 1999

## Got food? ##
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams voluntarily recalls all frozen desserts

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Old Models of Work Are Broken
The only sustainable way to avoid being commoditized is to learn to create value in ways that cannot be commoditized.

## Environment/health ##
Oil And Gas Drilling Is Consuming Millions Of Acres Of US Farmland: Study
As oil and gas drilling ramps up in the central U.S. and Canada, the region is losing an increasing amount of cropland, ranches and forests to industrial activities. In recent years, huge swaths of the Great Plains have given way to well sites, oil pads, parking lots and gravel roads that service the energy industry, researchers say.
Are Oklahoma's Quakes Caused By Wastewater Disposal?
Air pollution could increase risk of dementia
North Carolina Residents Warned Not to Drink Water Near Coal Ash Dumps
Duke Energy's Coal Ash Problems Mount As North Carolina Residents Raise Fresh Concerns
New Studies Add to Growing Evidence That Notorious Pesticides Harm Bees
Bees may get hooked on nicotine-linked pesticides
Minnesota declares state of emergency over bird flu in poultry
Health of World's Ocean 'Collapsing Before Our Eyes'
Exercise Can't Save Us From Too Much Sugar In Our Diets, Say Experts

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
How Tor is building a new Dark Net with help from the U.S. military
Cybersecurity A Growing Safety Issue for Oil, Gas Industrial Plants

## Propaganda ##
Lawsuit against rigged presidential debates
The Key War on Terror Propaganda Tool: Only Western Victims Are Acknowledged
Citing Iran to Justify Yemen Slaughter

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
A Field Guide to Negative Progress (The Archdruid Report)
Emergency room visits for mental health skyrocket in Chicago
The Crash of 2015: Vultures vs. Jackals
Ford recalls 390K newer cars for faulty door latches
Suzuki to recall record 1.87 million vehicles to fix smoking ignitions
"Greece Can No Longer Withstand The Waves Of Desperate People Arriving From War Zones"
On the Commodification of Human Discovery

## Japan ##
Japan Begins National Security Space Buildup
Remember I have said that national space programs will increasingly lean toward military/security purposes. -- RF
Potemkin on the Pacific—–Abenomics Is Still Failing
Tokyo finds high levels of radiation in children's park
Man turns himself in to Fukui police, saying he landed drone at Abe's office
Banks face huge losses on bonds if interest rates rise: BOJ
Loyalty to 1960s machine shows risk from Japan's aging factories
The aging of Japan's industries threatens to worsen the hollowing-out of domestic manufacturing experienced in recent decades, undermining Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to stoke an economic recovery from a recession last year. The latest signals underscore the concern: a central bank survey of companies this month indicated they plan to cut investment this year, even amid near-record holdings of cash.
Labor shortages may hamper growth of smaller businesses, government warns
Disaster-hit Tohoku areas to be asked to partially shoulder recovery costs from '16
The government is short on cash and the recovery effort is faltering, as predicted. As I've said from the start, what was destroyed will never be rebuilt. -- RF
Vanishing communities find themselves facing shortage of leaders
6 times more small debris in open ocean than coastal areas: Environment Ministry

## China ##
China April Flash HSBC PMI Contracts To One-Year Low
China's factory activity contracted at its fastest pace in a year in April, a private survey showed, suggesting that economic conditions are still deteriorating despite increasingly aggressive policy easing by the central bank.
Urban employment declines, raising hopes for stimulus
The job market in China's big cities is showing signs of worsening, raising the likelihood the government will boost spending on infrastructure and roll out other stimulus measures.
China to scrap duties on rare earth exports

## UK ##
Tony Blair, a Walking, Talking, Grinning Conflict of Interest

## US ##
Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars
Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.
Alert readers will recall this article, showing that much the same thing is happening with farm tractors. (And here's another, newer article  Definitely read it.) It appears that the idea is to control everything but the steering wheel. Here's an example where complexity works for the corporations and against the people. Vehicles are now so complex that you need expensive specialized diagnostic equipment to read and interpret the data stored in a vehicle's chips. And now manufacturers are trying legal means to keep vehicle owners totally dependent on corporate maintenance regimes. For more on the implications of this, see this week's Archdruid Report, above. -- RF

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