Sunday, July 14, 2019

 

News Links, July 15, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Singapore's GDP badly misses forecasts, shrinking 3.4% from the prior quarter
Places like Singapore, which have lots of people but hardly any farmland, are where you don't want to be when the SHTF. -- RF
DHL Sounds Alarm On Collapsing World Trade: "Significant Downturn" Underway
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire (interview with Michael Hudson)
A 'sharp correction' is brewing for the next 18 months, strategist says

## Airline death spiral ##
37 people injured in severe turbulence on Air Canada flight
Serious "issues" continue to plague the airline industry! -- RF
Passenger traffic has surged, but it has not kept pace with the rapid expansion of airport capacity, leaving 70% of small and midsize local airports in the red.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Despite US warnings, Russian S-400 systems land in Turkey
Evangelical Christians Risk Setting Middle East on Fire
On Monday Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the annual summit of Christians United for Israel, espousing Christian Zionist support for the state of Israel.

• War on Iran
Merchant ships urged to avoid using private armed teams in Mideast Gulf
Shipping companies sailing through the Middle East Gulf are being urged to avoid having private armed security guards onboard as the risk of escalation in the region rises, industry associations say.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hong Kong protests approach border of mainland China
Thousands protested in a mainland China border town Saturday against China traders, riding on the momentum of weeks of extradition bill protests in Hong Kong.

## Energy/resources ##
Don't get excited. Everyone makes a big deal out of supposed technofixes, but fail to see that the need for storage is one of the factors making renewable energy more expensive. -- RF

Count on this for your food and starve. This makes about as much sense as taking up residence in Singapore. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
World races to develop African swine fever vaccine
The U.S. military's use of firefighting foam that contains potentially dangerous chemical compounds could have serious health consequences for the workers who handle it and those who live nearby.
Savage tick-clone armies are sucking cows to death; experts fear for humans
Spreading invasive tick spawns without mating and can transmit deadly disease.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
"Alexa, How Do We Subvert Big Tech's Orwellian Internet-of-Things Surveillance?"
Convenience is the sales pitch, but the real goal is control in service of maximizing profits and extending state power.
Definitely take the time to watch The 5G Dragnet. But keep in mind also that the world's leaders and business community see 5G as the economy's savior. Markets quickly become saturated and tilt into stagnation, a state which spells doom for the perpetual-growth economy. It's imperative to keep coming up with new gimmicks — the larger the scale and the more consumptive the better — and 5G is the latest. -- RF
Microsoft Office 365: Banned in German schools over privacy fears
State of Hesse says student and teacher information could be "exposed" to US spy agencies.
This certainly puts all the fear-mongering about Huawei in a different perspective. -- RF
License Plate Readers Are Creeping Into Neighborhoods Across the Country
Cheap surveillance software is changing how landlords manage their tenants and what laws police can enforce.

• War on Julian Assange
U.N. Report Condemns Torture of Assange
Top Assange Defense Account Deleted By Twitter
One of the biggest Twitter accounts dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, @Unity4J, has been completely removed from the site. The operators of the account report that they have been given no reason for its removal by Twitter staff, and have received no response to their appeals.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## UK ##
Police warning to media over diplomat's leaked memos stirs anger
Senior British politicians, including both contenders to be the next prime minister, joined journalists on Saturday in criticising police for warning media not to publish leaked government documents, saying it was a "dangerous road to tread".
Another reason your wages are low: it's cheaper to hire convicts
Chain gangs are not a thing of the past — more than a million inmates are working for pennies

Thursday, July 11, 2019

 

News Links, July 12, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered an investigation into France's planned tax on technology companies, a probe that could lead to the United States imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions.
Vehicle Sales Plunge amid India's Shadow-Bank Debt Crisis & Contagion Fears
Shadow banks provided 40% of new loans for vehicle purchases.

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Bombardier to lay off 550 workers at Thunder Bay, Ontario, plant

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##

## Airline death spiral ##
Delta flight forced into emergency landing after engine problem
Passengers described hearing a "loud bang" and seeing smoke in the cabin followed by a burning smell.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Pentagon Looks to Virtual Reality to Prepare Troops for Nuclear War
Israel's separation wall endures, 15 years after ICJ ruling
The separation wall, deemed illegal by ICJ, cuts into occupied West Bank territory, and will be 712km upon completion.

• War on Iran
Mark Esper, the acting secretary of defense, raised the issue last month with allied officials at NATO headquarters, but no nations were ready to commit to participating.
Trump's Version of Iran Accord: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
The US, after walking out of the Iran accord, is now shouting foul as Iran has breached the 300 Kg enriched-uranium stockpile limit of the accord. Does the US expect Iran to live up to the accord while it happily reneges on it?
ICE Just Quietly Opened Three New Detention Centers, Flouting Congress' Limits
The facilities are all run by private prison companies, and one experienced a violent riot.
Sounds sensible, doesn't it? Or does it? Like waste-to-energy schemes, this feeds off the waste of industrial society and therefore mistakenly assumes that this energy-intensive system is sustainable. -- RF
'There's Nothing to Give Them': The Hunt for Lifesaving Epipens
Parents and pharmacists are grappling with a continuing shortage of the allergy shots and hurdles that stymie alternatives.
India's Worsening Drought Is Forcing Doctors to Buy Water for Surgery
Hospitals in its third-largest city are now almost completely dependent on a fleet of privately-owned tankers.
Not rich? Then consider a medicinal herb garden. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US-China tech war and the US intelligence community
China's 5G leadership means US eavesdropping will be blocked, spies unemployed
Amazon and Microsoft compete for Pentagon's "war cloud" contract

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
"Go Forth and Lie" Israel Rolls Out Mandatory Course for Students Travelling Abroad
Israel's new course to prepare high school students traveling overseas to be good "ambassadors" includes training on how to combat BDS, claims of apartheid and more.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
These 5 crumbling states have the worst infrastructure in America
Trump Presides Over Dwindling Greatness
Russia and China are forging stronger ties, gaining ground on the U.S. and rattling Washington.
Negative-Yielding Junk Bonds Have Arrived in Europe
NIRP is systematically rotting out basic brain functionality.
There could be no better news for any country on the planet. -- RF
What were they thinking? Workers only have so much money to spend. -- RF

## China ##
A Red Flag For Oil? China's Crude Consumption Is Faltering

• War on Huawei
A spokesperson for the ministry described the leak as a "minor issue with an internal system."
OMG, "issues" strike again! -- RF

## US ##
U.S. government posts $8 billion deficit in June
No longer rich on oil, Alaska may slash money to universities: 'We have a lot to lose'
The University of Alaska could lay off more than 1,000 and cut dozens of programs, thanks to a dramatic slash in money it gets from the state – a 41% cut from a line-item veto by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
Net Wealth Distribution: The Bottom 50% Have 1% of the Wealth
Those in the bottom half have nothing. The top 10% have 70% of the wealth.
Truck Makers Are Going to Have to Fess Up Soon
"Orders" of Heavy Trucks Collapsed by 70% but "Sales" Rose to Highest Level Since 2006: There's a Lag. And Sales Are Next

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

 

News Links, July 10, 2019

Weaponizing the Dollar
The Trump administration's incessant sanctions wars are curbing the dollar's global hegemony and speeding the demise of U.S. empire.
Deloitte, an accounting firm, estimates that the outstanding value of loans against art in America reached $17bn-20bn in 2017, up 13% from the previous year. Industry insiders say such lending has continued to grow at double-digit rates since then.

## Airline death spiral ##
Americans Shocked to Find Their Rights Literally Vanish at U.S. Airports
The number of people detained, their phones and laptops searched without warrants, is exploding.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Nelson Mandela's Grandson: We have a Moral Duty to Boycott Israel over its Apartheid against Palestinians
South African MP and the grandson of Nelson Mandela, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, addressed a sold out crowd at the Palestine Expo in London yesterday, saying "We have a moral duty to support the BDS and to support the Palestinian struggle".
Good luck with that. -- RF
So far, Iran's maximum-pressure strategy seems to be enjoying a modicum of success. -- RF
Turkey proceeds with deal for Russian missile system despite US and NATO warnings
Pompeo Launches Commission to Study Which Human Rights Deserve Respect
Pompeo said that the proliferation of human rights claims have required "one of the most profound reexaminations of the unalienable rights in the world." This being the US, and human rights, a lot of critics are expecting it to go poorly.

• War on Iran
UAE Withdraws from Yemen
The pullback suggests that the UAE is preparing for the possibility of a US military confrontation with Iran in which the UAE and Saudi Arabia could emerge as prime battlegrounds.

• War on Venezuela
United Nations slams US for detention facilities: 'This should never happen anywhere'

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

## Energy/resources ##
Nuclear Power, Once Seen as Impervious to Climate Change, Threatened by Heat Waves
The nuclear power sector is often portrayed as resistant to unpredictable weather associated with climate change. Heat waves, however, are punching holes in that narrative.
Nothing in the article on the sizable power consumption of all this cold storage. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Drug prices in 2019 are surging, with hikes at 5 times inflation (US)
Toxic algae bloom forces closure of 21 Mississippi beaches

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Facebook Has Ignored Its Secret Hate Groups for Years
5 best ways to keep your Android apps from spying on you
Over 1,000 Android apps grab your data even if you tell them no.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Netanyahu uses DNA claim to deny Palestinian right to homeland
UK bars RT, Sputnik from conference for 'disinformation'
Britain said Monday it had barred Russia's RT and Sputnik news organisations from a global conference on media freedom in London because of their "active role in spreading disinformation".
Meanwhile, the UK mainstream media shamelessly peddle the fabricated Skripal fairy tale. Chutzpah knows no bounds. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
As Systems Collapse, People Rise: Seven Faces of an Emerging Global Movement
Very interesting, but I think we should prepare ourselves for a rising tide of global authoritarianism as a corollary of net energy decline. -- RF

## Japan ##
Nuclear safety costs in Japan surge to staggering heights
Japan's nuclear plant operators face ballooning costs for meeting safety requirements imposed six years ago, potentially throwing a wrench into the government's policy of promoting the atom as a low-cost, reliable energy source.
China struggling with slow progress on high-speed rail network expansion due to local financing problems
Beijing's policy moves to reduce debt and cut taxes are hampering local governments' ability to fund new projects

• War on Huawei
Secret plan to use charities to help deport rough sleepers
Home Office accused of turning 'outreach workers into border guards' as emails reveal new scheme targeting non-UK homeless
We can therefore be certain this was not a wikileaks style disclosure in the interests of freedom of information about public servants and their doings, but the agenda was much more specific.
Congratulations Debt Slaves! You Owe the Banks a New Record Amount of Money
Consumer credit hit another all-time high today of nearly $4.1 trillion.
Kamala Harris's Distinguished Career of Serving Injustice
The presidential hopeful's record in California undermines her claim to progressive credentials.

And finally...


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