Sunday, June 30, 2019


News Links, July 1, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Factbox: From phone makers to farmers, the toll of Trump's trade wars
Bad News for the World's Poorest
The weak state of the global economy conceals an even gloomier story: the worsening plight of the world's poorest people.
Mahathir's Gold-backed Currency – Loose Talk or pan-Asian Plan?
It was in this context that Mahathir suggested a gold-based currency that could be used for international trade and investment between Asian economies, and that would serve as an alternative to dependency on the US dollar.
A new cold war in Africa
Increasing tensions between China and the US will be detrimental to African prosperity and peace.

• War on Iran

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protest in Madrid as conservatives suspend ban on most polluting cars

## Energy/resources ##
Why are drillers still wasting money and "destroying capital" on shale? The obvious explanation is that they have nothing better to do. That is testimony to the dire straits of the oil industry. -- RF
However, the USDA has warned that that numbers may not be accurate.

"Austerity" is treated as a dirty word by those who insist that our current extravagance is sustainable. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by those who are just after your votes and money. Always be prepared for the post-SHTF world of brutal austerity. -- RF
SELCO: The 5 Things That Will Surprise You Most When the SHTF

## Environment/health ##
Seriously, in view of climate change, desperate water shortages, rising global conflicts, unmitigated human greed and stupidity, and the grave threats facing energy and food production, do you think this is a realistic prediction? My prediction is a precipitous drop in global population, and it's going to be ugly. -- RF
Lyme Disease Cases Are Exploding. And It's Only Going to Get Worse.
Climate change and human sprawl have triggered a pandemic
Vultures are eating animals alive on Kentucky farms
Warmer winters may have increased the number of vultures in the U.S., said Wayne Long, the Jefferson County extension agent for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Vultures, he said, take advantage of climate change and hang around more in a spot they like.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Five Things We Found In The FDA's Hidden Device Database
After two decades of keeping the public in the dark about millions of medical device malfunctions and injuries, the Food and Drug Administration has published the once hidden database online, revealing 5.7 million incidents publicly for the first time.
U.S. Meteorologists 'Deeply Concerned' Over 5G Roll-Out
U.S. weather forecasters are the latest group to sound the alarm that the race to introduce 5G technologies may have adverse consequences.
The Military Industrial Complex Loves Left Wing Hawk Adam Schiff
If there was any doubt at all that Adam Schiff is in the grip of the military-industrial complex, one doesn't have to rely just on his stated positions on Iran, Venezuela, and China to make the situation any clearer. Just take a look at his donors.

• War on Julian Assange

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Pot calls kettle black: Trump tells Putin: Don't meddle in US elections
The Danger of Getting Sidetracked
What this story really shows is how the corporate media derails meaningful debates and draws us all into a modern version of bread and circuses.
Climate-change stresses affect military forces and everyone else. Cf. following article. -- RF
War, empire and racism in the Anthropocene (Nafeez Ahmed; long read)
With the war zone expanding into space, military forces are hungering for even more energy to scale up and to develop ever more high-tech weapon systems. Be advised that governments and their military forces are well aware that they must have the concentrated energy of fossil fuels to prevail. If Military-F runs on fossil fuels and Military-R runs on renewables, and they go into battle against each other, which do you think is going to win? There is no question that Military-F, whose juggernaut is powered by the concentrated energy of fossil fuels, will crush Military-R, which must struggle to extract its power from the dilute soup of energy in sunlight and wind. And everybody knows it. That's the primary factor behind the current assaults on Venezuela and Iran. He who controls the oil is King of the Mountain. -- RF

## Japan ##
Japan to tighten export rules for high-tech materials to South Korea: media
Japan plans to tighten restrictions on the export of high-tech material used in smartphones and chips to South Korea from July 4 in connection with a dispute over a South Korean ruling on war-time forced labor, the Sankei newspaper reported on Sunday.

The additive at the center of the banned Canadian pork dispute
China has demanded that Canada suspend all meat exports after Chinese officials said they found traces of ractopamine, an animal feed additive banned in their country in a batch of pork products.
German rail group bets on Belt and Road with more trains to China
The freight unit of Germany's state-owned railroad group Deutsche Bahn plans a major increase in capacity for China-bound shipments, counting on continued support for overland transport under Beijing's Belt and Road connectivity project.

• War on Huawei
Uber Eats allowed deliveries from fake restaurant man set up in front garden
Inspectors 'almost speechless with horror' upon discovering firm was collecting from man cooking on filthy barbecue in front of home
London is now the only region of England where more people are leaving than arriving from other parts of the country – only international arrivals are keeping the population steady.
Welcome to the United States of China. -- RF
Price of insulin forcing diabetics to head to Canada
More than 7–million people in the country depend on insulin, but the cost of treating diabetes has skyrocketed, leading many to resort to desperate measures to stay alive.
No, Autos Are Not "Cheaper Now"
Official claims that grossly understate real-world inflation is a core feature of debt-serfdom and neofeudalism: we're working harder and longer and getting less for our earnings every year, but this reality is obfuscated by official pronouncements that inflation is 2%--barely above zero.
Wall Street wants Harris, Buttigieg, and Biden to dominate the floor and shut down Sanders.
Average Miles Driven per Vehicle Drop to 1992 Level: Automakers Not Amused
More cars and trucks on the road in the US than ever. But usage drops. Saturation everywhere.

Thursday, June 27, 2019


News Links, June 28, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
What if They Run Out of Juice: Biggest Share-Buyback Queens
Five companies blow $55 billion in Q1 to prop up their own shares.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Carmageddon: Ford to cut 12,000 jobs in Europe

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Bitcoin soars to 17-month high, but drops by $1,000 after US markets close

## Airline death spiral ##
FAA says it identifies new potential risk on 737 MAX
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has identified a new potential risk that Boeing Co must address on its 737 MAX before the grounded jet can return to service, the agency told Reuters on Wednesday.
Pilots Flagged Software Problems on Boeing Jets Besides the Max
Pilots flying Boeing aircraft in recent years have reported flight-control problems they blamed on malfunctioning software -- not on the company's maligned 737 Max jets, but widely used earlier versions of the plane that are still in the air.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pompeo: U.S. prepared to remove troops from Afghanistan, no timeline set
A new report on why military space is so expensive
A new Pentagon report finds that critical components needed for the military's efforts in space are not commercially viable due to low production runs and high requirements.
Why Indian-Turkish Embrace of Russia's S-400 Is So Important for Global Affairs

• War on Iran

## Energy/resources ##
Desalination requires vast amounts of energy, which in some places is currently provided by fossil fuels. Kiparsky warns of a feedback loop where more de-sal is needed as the planet warms, which leads to more greenhouse-gas emissions. In addition, there are serious concerns about the damage to marine life from the plant's intake systems and extra-salty wastewater.
When desalination plants shut down — as they inevitably will — it's going to be a catastrophe for the populations which now depend on them. -- RF

## Got food? ##
And it's not just farmers that are bearing the brunt of the flooding, it's the entire agricultural economy. Those that provide supplies like seeds, fertilizer, equipment and services are also struggling.
USDA identifies unapproved GMO wheat growing wild in Washington

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US Cyber Attack on Iran Shrouded in Digital 'Fog of War'
A claim by U.S. officials that a retaliatory cyber attack ordered by the White House crippled Iranian missile launching systems will remain almost impossible to substantiate, experts say.
Social platform Reddit quarantines major pro-Trump community over violence threats
Social media site Reddit restricted access to a major forum for supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, citing threats of violence against police and public officials.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
When NPR Is More Dangerous than Fox News

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Local Government Is an Engine of Inflation
That said, Reuters notes that Mexico City is still safer than some US cities - including the Democratic strongholds of Baltimore, Detroit and St. Louis.

• War on Huawei
Huawei enters Israel's solar power market, hours after quitting US
As Chinese telecom giant announces new move, deputy US energy secretary, in Israel, warns that data collected off solar panels could be used by Chinese 'for other things'
Huawei employees worked with China military on research projects: Bloomberg
Huawei Technologies Co employees worked on at least 10 research projects with Chinese armed forces personnel over the past decade, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, collaborations the Chinese company said it was not aware of.

## US ##
Did you realize the extent to which our extravagant and unsustainable lifestyles are dependent on war and preparations for it? Depending on how you read the article, there's a sobering message here. -- RF
And finally...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


News Links, June 26, 2019

Importantly, China just raised its gold purchasing pace from 10 tonnes per month to 15 tonnes for April and May as it aims to diversify its reserve holdings. 
German business sentiment lowest since November 2014
India's tariff on U.S. apples delivers major blow to US fruit industry
'Don't ask my age': Ageing South Koreans begin a new chapter on the catwalk, YouTube
'Storm approaching': firms fear for deliveries in shipping shakeup
U.S. furniture company RC Willey Home Furnishings is so concerned that new global clean air rules will cause transport disruption that it brought forward the shipment of arm chairs and sofas from China by two months.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Sompo Japan to Cut 4,000 Jobs

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
Facebook's Libra must be stopped

## Airline death spiral ##
Hundreds Of 737 Max Pilots Sue Boeing Over 'Unprecedented Cover-Up"

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Council of Europe assembly authorises Russia's return
Congress wants the US military to challenge Russia with a new Arctic port
In Israel the Push to Destroy Jerusalem's Iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque Goes Mainstream
This ancient site that dates back to the year 705 C.E. is being targeted for destruction by extremist groups that seek to erase Jerusalem's Muslim heritage in pursuit of colonial ambitions and the fulfillment of end-times prophecy.

• War on Iran
Accelerating Imperial Decline (Consortium News)
Washington's foreign policy towards Iran is driven by desperation rather than a reasoned understanding of a world in historically significant flux. That can lead only to a continuing succession of failures.
Why the State Department Let a Terrorist Cult Gather on its Doorstep
How did the MEK go from terrorist cult to State Dept partner in pushing regime change in Iran? MintPress went to their DC rally to find out.

• War on Venezuela
How Sen. Rick Scott became Big Oil's point man on Venezuelan regime change
The US oil cartel has given Florida's Rick Scott 500 million reasons to be one of the Senate's most fanatical cheerleaders for toppling Venezuela's leftist government.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Georgian protesters slam 'Putinism' as Moscow tensions soar
There's your "energy independence" and "new Saudi Arabia." -- RF
Unit at Philadelphia refinery completely destroyed in fire: sources
Too many humans. -- RF
Road construction accelerates deforestation in the Congo, study shows
New research suggests the proliferation of new roads in the Congo is encouraging an ecological catastrophe. Vital habitats are disappearing and vulnerable animal populations are declining.
As I've commented previously, there is no future in something that feeds on the detritus of industrial society. -- RF
'Climate Apartheid' Is Looming, UN Warns
Because of relentless global warming, the world risks plunging into a 'climate apartheid'—a scenario in which the rich will buy themselves out of the worst effects of climate change, while the poor will be left to suffer the greatest consequences, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said in a report released on Tuesday.

Google Using AI To Meddle In 2020 Election, Prevent 'Next Trump Situation': Veritas
A new undercover exposé by Project Veritas reveals that the company is programming its machine learning algorithms in order to avoid the "next Trump situation."
The 5G Dragnet: What You're Not Being Told
The dark truth is that 5G networks may represent the greatest threat to freedom in the history of humanity.
CIA Seeking More Impunity
The agency is trying to get a pass on crimes even before they're committed and it represents a threat to press freedom.
In a world first, Facebook to give data on hate speech suspects to French courts
In a world first, Facebook has agreed to hand over the identification data of French users suspected of hate speech on its platform to judges, France's minister for digital affairs Cedric O said on Tuesday.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Reddit suspends Project Veritas after the release of Google whistleblower report
NY Times admits it sends stories to US government for approval before publication
The New York Times casually acknowledged that it sends major scoops to the US government before publication, to make sure "national security officials" have "no concerns."

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Human Cost of "Recovery": We're Burning Out
China approves SWIFT subsidiary as demand for yuan rises
Interbank messaging provider says unit will allow Chinese language transactions

• War on Huawei
FedEx says 'operational error' prevented Huawei package delivery
FedEx could reportedly be added to China's 'unreliable entities' list.

Beto Pushes "War Tax" For Non-Military Households
Sounds like an idea that would just lead to more wars. -- RF
'Decade of negligence': Feds fail to protect Americans' info, report says
Several major federal agencies, which collect vast amounts of personal data about American citizens as part of their work, have routinely failed to adequately protect that information for years, according to a congressional report.

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