Sunday, May 31, 2020


News Links, June 1, 2020

## Airline death spiral ##
Edging closer to bailout, Lufthansa accepts tweaked demands by Brussels

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US presses and pushes allies into New Cold War
Trump's punitive measures on Hong Kong are part of wider drive to force nations to take superpower sides

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
George Floyd protests intensify across US, from Atlanta to Indianapolis to Milwaukee

## Energy/resources ##
Shutting Down Oil Wells, a Risky and Expensive Option
Like meat packing plants, the novel Corona virus is infecting workers in nuclear power plants around the world. The danger is too high to imagine.

## Got food? ##
'People are going to go hungry': pandemic effects could leave 54m Americans without food
Demand for aid at food banks has soared since coronavirus has forced the economy to close and resulted in millions out of work

## Environment/health ##
We found 2˚C of warming will push most tropical rainforests above their safe 'heat threshold'
• Coronavirus
## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
"Deadly Exchange": America's Racist Policing Has Roots in Israel
During training sessions in Israel, American police delegations meet with Israeli military, police, and intelligence agencies and taught what Israel calls counterterrorism, but is in fact no more than "refining methods of racial profiling."
Zoom plans to roll out strong encryption for paying customers
With the Justice Department and some members of Congress condemning strong encryption, Zoom could draw unwanted new attention through a major expansion in that area, privacy experts said.
Blame someone else for your own policy failures. Blame the Russians. Blame the Chinese. Blame Antifa. -- RF
For those who would argue we're nowhere near collapse, consider that over 20% of the Federal Reserve's $2 trillion spew of free money went directly into the pockets of America's billionaires.
And the hoi polloi get what Patty shot at. The really large-scale rioting is yet to come. -- RF

## China ##
China to restrict expansion of solar equipment producers
Beijing sees Trump's hand and won't fold
With Sinophobic hysteria reaching new heights in US, Beijing's counter play is a massive new economic plan

## UK ##
British municipalities invest billions in Israeli occupation
Local government pension schemes in England and Wales have almost $3 billion invested in companies complicit with Israel's crimes against Palestinians.
New UK Laws Could Criminalize Journalism
The British government is pursuing "espionage legislation" that could criminalise the release of public information as part of an "epidemic of secrecy."
UK car sales set to surge as showrooms reopen, but demand will fade quickly
After an initial flurry, buyers are likely to fall away, spelling trouble for more than half a million workers in the auto industry
Britain to launch big stimulus package before summer - FT

## US ##
Media Elite Denounce Looting Even as Billionaires Reap Record Profits from Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts
A mountain of studies on wealth inequality have shown its corrosive effect on social cohesion, with the more unequal a society gets, the less likely people are to see themselves as participants in a community and view others as a threat.
• Coronavirus
DC mayor: We have to be concerned about virus rebound
Government leaders in the U.S. are warning that the massive protests following the death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis could fuel a new surge in coronavirus cases

Friday, May 29, 2020


News Links, May 30, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
First the Deflationary Deluge of Assets Crashing, Then the Tsunami of Inflation
US Gold Confiscation Would Be Folly (Egon von Greyerz)
Global Ad Spending Plunges As Hopes For V-shaped Recovery Fade

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
ViacomCBS slashes up to 400 jobs as part of merger restructuring: source

## Airline death spiral ##
Airlines increase job cuts as pandemic crushes air travel
Ryanair's Lauda airline shuts down Vienna base
United Airlines cutting 13 top jobs under fresh restructuring

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
EU not in mood to follow Donald Trump into China conflict over Hong Kong national security law
US Destroyer Sails Near China-Claimed Islands, Adding to Mounting Tensions

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests, violence continue in Minneapolis, New York City, other US cities following George Floyd's death
• Coronavirus
Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans
A team of scientists studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, found that it was especially well-suited to jump from animals to humans by shapeshifting as it gained the ability to infect human cells.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Ex-Green Beret flew on Venezuelan businessman's plane before failed Maduro coup
West claims that only China will "twist" technology for malign purposes. -- RF

## Japan ##

## UK ##
UK manufacturers planning tens of thousands of redundancies
Orders in the manufacturing sector have declined sharply in recent weeks. Photograph: Alamy
Britain's manufacturers are poised to make tens of thousands of workers redundant after a worse-than-expected slump in orders, prompted by the pandemic that has left many firms struggling to survive.

UK seeks alliance to avoid reliance on Chinese tech: The Times
The Price of Boris Johnson – Britain's Covid-19 Debacle
Alexander Mercouris takes us through the blow-by-blow of the first four months of the crisis in Britain, and it's not a pretty picture.
If a politician tells you to "move on" from a subject, it is a gigantic red flag that you should do precisely the opposite.
Why the Lesser-Evil Argument for Biden Sounds Hollow
Lesser evilism focuses on the candidates' relative merits and depravities. But younger voters increasingly see that as misdirection. The two evil candidates reflect the depravities of the same evil plutocratic system.
• Coronavirus

Thursday, May 28, 2020


News Links, May 29, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
S&P cuts Rolls-Royce credit rating to junk on COVID-19 hit
U.S. core capital goods orders, shipments tumble in April
Rabobank: Free Speech And Free Markets Go Hand In Hand; We Have Neither
Bank of Korea trims key rate to record low amid grim growth outlook
Week 10 of the U.S. Labor Market Collapse: Still Getting Worse at Gut-Wrenching Pace, But Signs of Bottom Appear

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Chevron Plans Massive Workforce Reduction
German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen to cut up to 15,000 jobs: memo
Renault poised to announce 15,000 layoffs worldwide: union

## Airline death spiral ##
American Airlines says to cut management and support staff by 30%
In truth, filling as many seats as possible is the only way for the airlines to make money. -- RF
LATAM's bankruptcy filing to delay its Brazil bailout to at least July: sources

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump seeking new arms deal with Saudi Arabia, says key senator
Inhofe, Reed back new military fund to confront China
As the U.S. Congress hardens against Beijing, two key lawmakers publicly added their support for a new military fund to boost deterrence against China in the Pacific, virtually assuring a Pacific Deterrence Initiative of some kind will be in the next defense policy bill.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests, looting erupt in Minneapolis over racially charged killing by police
Pandemic worsening existing food crises across the Middle East, UN agencies warn
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, nearly 110 million people across the Middle East and North Africa were undernourished.
COVID-19 infects more than 3,000 U.S. meatpacking workers: union

## Environment/health ##
The new rule, remarkable in its cruelty, will allow hunters to shoot bears, wolves, along with their cubs and pups while the animals are in their dens in the popular Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
Stop the Wildlife Trade: Worker contracted coronavirus from mink at breeding farm, say Dutch authorities
Britain says U.N. climate summit to begin on November 1 2021
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war in May, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The United States and the UK were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly from the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as public goods, and not under exclusive patent rights.
China, Vietnam and other countries that the U.S. likes to call dictatorships have handled the crisis much better than the so called leading democracies. In total all Asian nations seem to have had a better grip on the epidemic than many other countries. The most likely reason for this is that those cultures care far more for the collective good than for the benefit of individuals.
South Korea re-imposes some coronavirus restrictions after spike in new cases
Museums, parks, and art galleries will all be closed again from Friday for two weeks, with authorities struggling to identify transmission routes

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Trump directs AG to boost enforcement of state laws on social media companies
'Absolutely no legal authority': Trump's threats to shut down Twitter are 'totally asinine' and reek of censorship, according to legal experts
US Military Using New Data Collection System Designed For War in Pandemic Response
Pentagon sees new JADC2 system as vital for beating China, Russia in military confrontations

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Social Media's Plantation of the Mind
The Company Store is open, buy whatever you want on easy credit, and don't forget to take an approved narrative with you.
Long-time readers will recall that I have said tall buildings will be useless in the future. -- RF

## Japan ##
As Japan reopens, coronavirus testing slowed by bureaucracy and staff shortages

## UK ##
EasyJet plans to cut up to 30% of staff as Covid-19 hits demand
Up to 4,500 of its 15,000-member workforce could lose their jobs and the airline will start a consultation process with employees in the coming days.

## US ##
The Blue Plague and Black Death
George Floyd's death by Blue Plague in Minneapolis was widely condemned by the same parties that have encouraged and funded the spread of the fatal contagion.
• Coronavirus
According to experts, 83% of the US deaths could have been avoided if the country had locked down on March 1.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


News Links, May 28, 2020

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
World economic prospects darken, rebound delayed: Reuters poll
Asian century began in May 2020
Region has emerged as an economic zone as closely integrated as the European Union
Coronavirus pushes global credit rating downgrade threat to record high
Euro-Area Economy Closer to ECB's Worst-Case Estimates, Lagarde Says
U.S. imports record amount of gold from Switzerland as virus upends trade

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Boeing set to announce significant U.S. job cuts this week: union
Tuesday Morning is about to close 130 stores.
IBM's Announces Company-Wide Job Cuts As New CEO Attempts Restructuring

## Airline death spiral ##
Five ways the pandemic may change airports for the better
But remember that each of these "solutions" adds its own new cost. -- RF
Boeing cutting more than 12,000 U.S. jobs, thousands more planned
American Airlines CEO quells U.S. bankruptcy talk, says demand improving
Italy-bound flight returns to Germany due to closed airport
American Airlines to allow travelers to switch from crowded flights as coronavirus fears linger

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
EU Foreign Policy Chief Calls for Rapprochement with Russia and End of "American-led System"
A recent address by the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borell, hints at a new pro-Asian political order on the continent as Germany gets ready to lead the 27-nation bloc. But, is it just a ploy to check Chinese hegemony?
Israel, Pressed By US, Blocks First Big Chinese Deal

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets as protests flare in financial heart
COVID-19 is Laying Bare How Big Ag is Taking America's Small Farmers to Slaughter
As the door for greater consolidation across industries opens wider, entrenched transnational food interests are feeling the heat from American farmers and ranchers to curb their monopolistic dreams.

## Environment/health ##
'The human fingerprint is everywhere': Met Office's alarming warning on climate
Exclusively compiled data from centre's supercomputer shows alarming climate trajectory
Car tyres polluting huge swathes of seas and rivers, contaminating more than previously thought, say scientists
Microplastics from vehicle wheels could be damaging untold miles of waterways, experts find
Corals Turn Bright Neon in Last-Ditch Effort to Survive
• Coronavirus
Game changer: British regulator says 'COPCOV' hydroxychloroquine trial paused
An international hydroxychloroquine trial led by the University of Oxford has been paused, Britain's pharmaceutical regulator said on Wednesday, less than a week after the trial started, amid fresh  safety concerns over the drug.
Game changer: Fauci: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective as COVID-19 treatment

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Twitter fact-checks Trump tweet for the first time
All that criticism of other governments for restricting internet content... -- RF
Hell Hath No Fury Like A Federal Law Enforcement Agency That Keeps Finding Some Way To Break Into IPhones

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
COVID-19: China Rises in Ranks of US-Accused Hackers
As America's new Enemy No. 1, China is now the frontrunner in the "bad guy" sweepstakes.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Re-Opening the Economy Won't Fix What's Broken
Re-opening a fragile, brittle, bankrupt, hopelessly perverse and corrupt "normal" won't fix what's broken.
It will be net energy decline, not the coronavirus, that will deliver the coup de grâce to the current system. It will also kill many more people than the virus. -- RF
China's Cash-Strapped Millennials Embrace a New Trend: Thrift
Many young Chinese developed lavish spending habits during an era of rapid economic growth. Now, they're learning to cut back.

## US ##
"Germ-Ridden Masses" – How America's Wealthy Elite Describe the Rest of Us
Increasingly, journalists at establishment publications come from and represent the one percent that they claim to be holding to account.
Texas Economy Could Lose $24B If Oil Prices Stay In The $30s
The Trump administration is trying to isolate China and cut it out of global trade to the maximum extent possible. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. -- RF
• Coronavirus

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