Thursday, June 21, 2018


News Links, June 22, 2018

Happy summer solstice!

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The headline figure is striking: global debt has hit a new high of 225% of world GDP, exceeding the previous record of 213% in 2009. So, as the IMF points out, there has been no deleveraging at the global level since the 2007-08 financial crisis.
EU hits back at Donald Trump with billions in tariffs on US Bourbon whiskey, jeans and motorcycles
Mark Zuckerberg Is on the Brink of Being Richer Than Warren Buffett
We're seeing the greatest asset inflation bubble in 20 years, fund manager warns

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Starbucks to close 150 locations in 2019
The company will triple its traditional annual average of closing about 50 stores as part of a streamlining effort including rapidly optimizing its U.S. store portfolio.

## War on cash/cashless society ##
South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb says it was hacked and $30 million in coins was stolen
Bitcoin Frauds Keep Growing
One of the prime myths that white-collar criminologists have to refute repeatedly is that blockchain makes fraud impossible.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Is US War With China on the Horizon?
Yemeni prisoners say Emirati officers sexually torture them
Americans use Emiratis as gloves to do their dirty work."
I didn't know that Trump is a fan of fantasy and science fiction. -- RF
Black Hawks Down? Pentagon Admits Russian Chopper Trumps US
An Elite Coalition Emerges Against a Trump-Kim Agreement
Media coverage of the Trump-Kim summit has highlighted a political reaction that threatens to torpedo any possible U.S-North Korean agreement on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
'Outraged, But Frankly Not Surprised': In Defense of Serial Violator Israel, US Ditches UN Human Rights Council
Iran: European Proposals Not Enough to Save Nuclear Deal
Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi warned in comments Tuesday that Iran's government does not consider  European offers sufficient to convince them to remain in the P5+1 nuclear deal. The US withdrew from the deal, and has tried to sabotage the sanctions relief offered by the remaining powers.
How US-China battle for control of the 'global order' is being played out in the South China Sea
Mark J. Valencia says while the US may paint China as an opponent of international order that is 'militarising' the South China Sea, it is no stranger to bending global norms, or to militarisation, itself

## Migrants/refugees ##
How US Policy in Honduras Set the Stage for Today's Mass Migration
U.S. policy in Honduras, particularly during the Obama administration, is directly responsible for part of the immigration crisis now gripping the U.S.
Italian coastguard ship carrying 522 migrants docks in Sicily
Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described playrooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis.
The Billion-Dollar Business of Operating Shelters for Migrant Children (US)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##

## Energy/resources ##
"In the Permian Basin, you make a lot of water," Chip Johnson, the CEO of independent oil and gas driller Carrizo Oil & Gas, told CNBC on Tuesday. "Typically, you'll make five barrels of water for every barrel of oil."
Renewables continue to grow at a torrid pace. Global solar power consumption increased by 35%, while wind power consumption rose 17% over 2016. But the growth of renewables wasn't enough to prevent a new record for total fossil fuel consumption. Consequently, carbon dioxide emissions rose in 2017. Global carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.6% to a new record of 33.4 billion metric tons.
New Mexico official says Texas landowners are "stealing" millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking
Water restrictions in New Mexico have created a supply crunch for the fracking industry, so more free-flowing Texas water is helping to fill the void. But not without controversy: A top New Mexico politician says Texans are pumping his state's water and piping it across the state line for oil drillers.
Asian biofuel policies produce a volatile political cocktail
Governments seek to drum up rural support but risk driving up food prices

## Got food? ##
Using herbicides was never a winning strategy. -- RF
Salmonella-tainted fruit sickens 70 in seven states, CDC says
Warmer climate may dramatically increase likelihood of global corn crop failure
Drought haunts farmers in Poland, Baltic states
Poland's prime minister on Wednesday warned of "very significant" crop losses as the EU country scrambled to help farmers struggling to cope with an unusual spring drought amid soaring temperatures.

## Solutions ##
Localization: a strategic alternative to globalized authoritarianism

## Environment/health ##
China Just Handed the World a 111-Million-Ton Trash Problem
The world's biggest waste importer is no longer buying. So where's all that trash going to go?
Thailand to ban imports of recyclable waste
The import ban will likely have an impact on Japan, which exports huge amounts of waste to the Southeast Asian country.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Sharyl Attkisson: The left invented fake news

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Trump Takes Italy by Storm: the Rise of Matteo Salvini and of the Italian Right
Brazil Trucker Strike Hits Suppliers of Consumer Staples
Multinationals operating in Brazil are counting the cost to their revenues following a nationwide trucker's strike that brought the country to a near standstill, disrupting supplies and hitting Latin America's largest economy.
One flaw is the assumption that we'll have the energy to achieve the tasks needed to restart our present civilization. But the current energy system will have collapsed and likely could never again attain its current level. -- RF

## Japan ##
Bad debt from cash advances piles up at Japan's megabanks
However, 28.6 percent of mothers and 22.3 percent of fathers who said they want more kids believed it would be difficult in reality. Of those respondents, 80 percent cited the financial burden as a factor.

## China ##
Terrible waste of resources (money, talent, etc.), especially to build the causes of future disasters. -- RF
Busy Britons are suffering from 'gadget confusion', study claims
Millions admit they are baffled by number of buttons, symbols and switches on devices

## US ##
The Border Patrol's 'Constitution-Free' Zone Is Probably Larger Than You Think
All of Michigan, D.C., and a large chunk of Pennsylvania are part of the area where Border Patrol has expanded search and seizure rights. Here's what it means to live or travel there.

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