Thursday, November 30, 2017


News Links, December 1, 2017

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Spring Japan suspends 10 pilots over safety regulation breaches

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Commander: Over 1,000 US Troops in Combat in Afghanistan in 2018
Gen. John Nicholson, the top US general in Afghanistan, revealed on Tuesday that US forces will be greatly increasing their involvement in combat in the country next year, and that combat troops will be "at extra risk."
Saudi Arabia's Mysterious Upheaval
Stung by an apparent defeat in Syria, Saudi Arabia's aggressive Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has arrested rivals within the kingdom's elite and provoked a political crisis in Lebanon.
US Bows to Israeli/Saudi Alliance in Blaming Iran
Contrary to common belief, Israel supported Iran's Islamic Republic for more than a decade in the 1980s before shifting its favors to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s and making sure the U.S. followed suit.
Israeli Defense Minister Contradicts Netanyahu: "There Is No Iranian Military Force On Syrian Land"

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
63-year-old Tibetan Monk Self-immolates in Sichuan
Protests rise as vote count in Honduras drags on

## Energy/resources ##
Will solar panels and Tesla Powerwalls meet your home's energy needs?
Here I review Tesla's claims using an existing rooftop PV array in the Arizona desert as a real-life example. Will a few Powerwalls allow the homeowner to go off-grid? Not a chance.  Will they make the home blackout-proof? Maybe, maybe not. Will they save the homeowner money on his electricity bills? Not that I can see.
Solar's Tumbling Costs Start Claiming Victims
Did Anyone Do Even a Minimal Check on the Sensationalist Bitcoin Electrical Consumption Story?
Tesla Owners Are Stealing Power To Mine Bitcoin
Teslas and other EVs have free access to power at many charging stations, so it was probably only a matter of time until somebody decided to plug their mining computers in.
Qatar Just Ran Out Of This Unlikely Natural Resource
Qatar is running out of sand needed for the construction of facilities for the 2022 World Cup due to the months-long Gulf blockade against Doha, according to new reports emerging from the region.

Common pesticide can make migrating birds lose their way, research shows
The experimental study is the first to directly show harm to songbirds, extending the known impacts of neonicotinoids beyond insects
Scientists Call For Ban On Glitter, Say It's A Global Hazard
You Might Be Breathing Cancer-Causing Toxic Metals During Your Commute
If you take the subway to work, your morning commute might be slowly killing you, as you breathe in polluted air that has become trapped in the underground transit system. Airborne metal particles are especially a problem, and they are launched into the air by the natural wear and tear caused by trains moving along tracks.
This start-up raised millions to sell 'brain hacking' pills, but its own study found coffee works better

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The StingRay Is Exactly Why the 4th Amendment Was Written
At least 68 agencies in 23 different states own StingRays.
Video Shared By Trump Featured US-Backed FSA Commander Destroying Virgin Mary Statue In Syria
Oops... Nothing to see here, folks. Move right along. -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Democrats Rely on Blame-Shifting
By riding hatred of President Trump and spurring on the Russia-gate hysteria, Democrats hope to win in 2018 without a serious examination of why they lost support of key working- and middle-class voting blocs.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
War, hunger, extremism will intensify in 2018: Report

## Japan ##
About 11% of Land in Japan Is Unclaimed
This problem will be "solved" as industrial society declines and people (not necessarily the rightful owners) take over the land. BTW, the idea that owners don't update land registries in order to dodge taxes just doesn't wash; the taxes on such land amount to mere pocket change. Owners might, however, be pressed to mow weeds or demolish tumbledown buildings, and the latter would cost real money due to high fees for C&D waste disposal. -- RF
Is Toyota's bet on hydrogen paying off?

## China ##
China, alleged to have influenced Zimbabwe coup, is set to benefit from Mugabe's replacement
Crackdown on North Korean workers starves Pyongyang of cash
A slew of North Korean businesses in China have closed amid ever-stricter international sanctions on the isolated state, a sign that efforts to curb Pyongyang's income from citizens employed abroad are working as intended.

## UK ##
Is This The End Of Nuclear Power In The UK?
NHS plans to ration care access in bid to force through extra funding
Board meeting will discuss plan to ration and delay patients' access to care after receiving less than half the amount called for in this year's budget

## US ##
America sold nearly $42B in weapons to foreign countries in 2017
U.S. defense companies sold $41.93 billion worth of weapons to foreign partners and allies in fiscal 2017, an almost 20 percent increase over 2016 figures.
Get Ready for Concealed Guns in All 50 States
Yellen: $20 trillion national debt 'should keep people awake at night'
The total national debt level is $20.6 trillion and rising. Of that total, $14.9 trillion is owed by the public.

And finally...

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