Sunday, January 21, 2018


News Links, January 22, 2018

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
It's Time to Retire "Capitalism"
Our current socio-economic system is nothing but the application of force on the many to enforce the skims, scams and privileges of the self-serving few.
Will 16,000 Sears Canada retirees see their pensions?
Sears Canada paid millions in dividends while its pension went underfunded. Now the former employees may end up paying the price.
## Airline death spiral ##
Air rage: how airlines cope in social media age with unruly passengers and angry employees
Viral footage of misbehaving passengers and overreacting airline workers has prompted airlines to rethink the way they resolve conflicts. Airline employees are taking classes on how to de-escalate problems before they get out of control
Your Emotional Support Duck Is Not Welcome in Seat 15C

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
National Defense Strategy released with clear priority: Stay ahead of Russia and China
"Great-power competition" is one reason the world will never get any better. What a shame that humans never learn from history, and always become victims of their own greed. -- RF
Trump's State Department spent over $1m in Iran to exploit unrestDocuments reveal 'regime change' aspirations pursued under cover of 'democracy promotion' programs
The Philippines thinks there's more butter on the Chinese side of its bread than on the US side. -- RF
Suez Canal and Hambantota: spot the difference
History shows debt-funded infrastructure projects have a nasty tendency to evolve into imperial debt servitude. Countries like Sri Lanka should take note when embracing China's Belt and Road Initiative
Will Cambodia's repressed opposition rise up?
Leader Sam Rainsy drops the gauntlet with threats of 'huge' anti-government protests and calls on the military to mutiny for his movement

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
The Revolt Begins? Apple, Google Charter Buses Attacked In San Francisco
Japan in talks over bid for UK uranium powerhouse
Multibillion-dollar deal would keep China and Russia from gaining control of Urenco
When people lose access to fossil fuel products, they turn to wood and charcoal (we've already seen this in Greece). If just a small percentage of the current world population loses access to fossil fuel products for heating and cooking, the planet will be quickly covered with bald mountains. -- RF
European Gas Struggles Leave Bulgaria In A Tight Spot
More than a decade after Russia first shut off the spigot to Europe over a pricing dispute with Ukraine, Gazprom's share of the EU gas market has increased from a quarter in the 1990s to a stunning one-third today.
World food prices seen supported by strong demand in 2018
Global food prices rose 8.2% in 2017 from the previous year, reaching their highest annual value since 2014.
'We loot or we die of hunger': food shortages fuel unrest in Venezuela
Venezuela is on the cusp of industrial collapse, and finding ways to cope. Instead of laughing, we need to be learning. -- RF
Contrite Facebook executives seek to ward off more European rules
Facebook executives are fanning out across Europe this week to address the social media giant's slow response to abuses on its platform, seeking to avoid further legislation along the lines of a new hate speech law in Germany it says goes too far.
CNN Reporter: Russia Is 'All We Talk About At CNN,' But Voters 'Don't Care'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
California's bullet train development hits another snag, while China's barrels on
High-speed rail is seen as the Holy Grail, but in an energy-constrained future the way to go is low-speed rail and slow boats. And eventually, horses. -- RF
The more trees, the better. But what keeps cities running is an energy system which generates a large surplus. Those days are, unfortunately, coming to an end. -- RF

## Japan ##
Elementary schools in Japan may drop by two thirds
A new study shows the number of public elementary and junior high schools in Japan may fall to a third of its current total by 2050, due to a declining population.

## China ##
Does Xi Jinping have a chain-of-command issue?
Suicide of a general sparks rumors of a failed coup as China braces for US-North Korea war
China is planting 6.6 million hectares of new forest — almost the size of Ireland
Prison crisis laid bare as Government ordered to act over inmate deaths and 'dramatic decline' in conditions
Government issued with unprecedented warning that inmates are being driven to take their lives as inspectors reveal conditions 'worse they've ever seen', prompting echoes of Strangeways

## US ##

And finally...

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