Sunday, December 24, 2017


News Links, December 25, 2017

In 9 U.S. Cities, Airport Security Is Now Scanning Your Face
"DHS should not be scanning the faces of Americans as they depart on international flights—but DHS is doing it anyway," warns a new report that finds facial recognition practices may be violating the law.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Mexico enacts military policing law over rights objections
President Enrique Pena Nieto enacted a controversial bill Thursday giving the military a legal framework to operate as police on Mexican soil over widespread objections from human rights groups.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Democracy 'lost': Rights groups warn of more violence in Honduras as US recognizes president
Thousands protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem
Gift-wrapped package of horse manure addressed to U.S. treasury secretary

## Energy/resources ##
Oil Discoveries At Lowest Point Since The 1940s
The oil industry discovered the least amount of oil in 2017 in almost eight decades, breaking the previous record low set in 2016.
Troubled $25 Billion Nuclear Project Gets OK to Continue
Georgia's utility regulators are allowing construction to continue on two new nuclear reactors, despite massive cost overruns for the multibillion-dollar project.
The Loopholes Drug Companies Use to Keep Prices High
Drugmakers are using a variety of strategies to extend the exclusivity period of their wares, keeping less expensive alternatives away from patients.
US nuclear tests killed far more civilians than we knew
When the US entered the nuclear age, it did so recklessly. New research suggests that the hidden cost of developing nuclear weapons were far larger than previous estimates, with radioactive fallout responsible for  340,000 to 690,000 American deaths from 1951 to 1973.
Louisiana, Sinking Fast, Prepares to Empty Out Its Coastal Plain
Louisiana is finalizing a plan to move thousands of people from areas threatened by the rising Gulf of Mexico, effectively declaring uninhabitable a coastal area larger than Delaware.
Too many humans. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Got a toy that can spy? Here's how to know and what to do
Intel Vets Tell Trump Iran Is Not Top Terror Sponsor
A group of U.S. intelligence veterans urges President Trump to stop his administration's false claims about Iran being the leading state sponsor of terrorism when U.S. allies, such as Saudi Arabia. are clearly much guiltier.
Apparently the US ambassador to the UN believes in the existence of a mythical country called "Binomo," or was flummoxed and was just BS-ing her way through the conversation. You can't make this stuff up. Well, maybe you can... -- RF

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Facebook Ditches Its "Fake News Flag" After People Shared Flagged Articles Even More
How Facebook's Secret Unit Created India's Troll Armies For Digital Propaganda To Influence Elections
Just days after GreatGameIndia exposed how American and Japanese companies could be hacking Indian elections, a recent Bloomberg report has revealed how a secret unit of Facebook has helped create troll armies for governments around the world including India for digital propaganda to influence elections.
The Strangelovian Russia-gate Myth
The Strangelovian palaver of Russia-gate is embraced by many liberals as some totem to ward off the vile Donald Trump, but this dishonest process only furthers the cause of American Empire and risks global destruction.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Online, but can't ditch paper? You may be future-proofing yourself
You're on the web, you're in the cloud. But don't neglect good old-fashioned paper. That's the advice from internet pioneer Vint Cerf, who is afraid that all our digital memories could be lost as technology moves on.
Or when technology disappears. Keep in mind that "progress" isn't linear and irreversible. -- RF
Puerto Rican Island 'Still In Crisis Mode' 3 Months After Maria
On an island eight miles off Puerto Rico's coast, homes sit destroyed on hillsides and many of its nearly 9,000 residents still wait for federal aid. Vieques' hospital is operating out of tents in a parking lot. And the island is facing the prospect of six more months without electricity from Puerto Rico's main grid.

## Japan ##
Tokyo cuts estimated tab for 2020 Olympics to $12 billion
The latest price tag for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been trimmed slightly, but is still nearly twice the initial estimate even after a major cost-cutting effort.
Olympics to deploy facial recognition technology to screen staff, athletes and reporters
Mitsubishi solidarity survived war but succumbs to changing times
'Zaibatsu' descendants grapple with pressures hitting much of Japan Inc.

Housing, education, and health care have seen extraordinary inflation while wages are stagnant.
US life expectancy is dropping for the first time since the AIDS epidemic

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