Sunday, October 15, 2017


News Links, October 16, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
A US debt ceiling crisis 'certainly would be rating relevant,' S&P says

## War on cash/cashless society ##
'We are about to see massive disruptions': IMF's Lagarde says it's time to get serious about digital currency

## Airline death spiral ##
Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi makes emergency landing in Australia

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
For War Hawks, Iran Deal Dump Is Music to the Ears
And Trump is playing right into their regime change fantasties.
Duterte says he refused British aid, ready to lose Europe
The Philippine president said he has asked his finance secretary to reject an unspecified British financial aid package and that he's ready to cut diplomatic ties with all European countries critical of his deadly anti-drug crackdown.
Fueling More Bloodshed in Ukraine
In the U.S., Russia-hating liberals are joining the neocons in seeking more war in Ukraine, as the prospects for a rational and peaceful resolution to the crisis continue to fade.
Trump's North Korea Delusions
A combination of ignorance and rashness is making President Trump a particularly dangerous leader as he crashes ahead with a possible preemptive war on North Korea.

## Energy/resources ##
World's Largest Oil Companies: Deep Trouble As Profits Vaporize While Debts Skyrocket
The world's largest oil companies are in serious trouble as their balance sheets deteriorate from higher costs, falling profits and skyrocketing debt.  The glory days of the highly profitable global oil companies have come to an end.  All that remains now is a mere shadow of the once mighty oil industry that will be forced to continue cannibalizing itself to produce the last bit of valuable oil.
Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
Chevron has decided to drop its US$500-million exploration program in the Great Australian Bight off the coast of South Australia as low oil prices make the commercial viability of any potential discovery doubtful, the company said in a statement.
Even at current prices, the oil industry is slowly crashing. See first article in this category. -- RF
Iran's oil exports to S Korea hit record high

## Got food? ##
Famine threatening 4 countries casts shadow over global hunger progress
Wildfires now up to 100 miles wide as death toll reaches 40
Latest North Korea earthquake a sign of instability at nuclear test site: Experts
A series of tremors and landslides near North Korea's nuclear test base likely mean the country's sixth and largest blast has destabilized the region, and the Punggye-ri nuclear site may not be used for much longer to test nuclear weapons, experts say.
Good lifestyle choices likely to add years to lifespan
A new study claims that found not smoking, watching your weight and continuing to learn new things could help you live longer.
San Francisco's Air Quality Matches Beijing's
Air quality in San Francisco sank to the level of smog-choked Beijing this week, as soot from more than a dozen wildfires in California's wine country blanketed the Bay Area.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
USA Liberty Act: More of the Same Old Surveillance State Games

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Spy Spin Fuels Anti-Kaspersky Campaign
The Deep State's Bogus 'Iranian Threat'
In a word, the whole notion that Iran is a national security threat and state sponsor of terrorism is just as bogus as the Russian meddling story or the claim that the chain of events resulting from the coup d' etat fostered by Washington on the streets of Kiev in February 2014 is evidence of Russian expansionism and aggression.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
US Debates Infrastructure Spending: How Will We Pay for Repairs?
With an $18 trillion economy, the U.S. relies on an antiquated infrastructure system that was put in place decades ago by the Eisenhower administration. Many economists and engineers say delays and ever-increasing maintenance costs have dramatically held back economic growth.
South Africa's infrastructure is "at risk of failure"
Official documents obtained exclusively by INSURGE confirm that governments across the Muslim world privately recognise that climate change is a threat of "unimaginable proportions", already compounding problems of land, food, water and energy scarcity.

## Japan ##
In today's world, a natural decrease in the human population is one of the best things that could happen to any country. Yet, the only solution that brain-dead growth advocates can see is "more humans." -- RF
## China ##

## UK ##
The new Clean Growth Strategy at a glance
Frydenberg signals government poised to abandon clean energy target
Energy minister says electricity sector wants stability, 'not necessarily handouts' suggesting renewables won't be subsidised after 2020
UK safe from winter blackouts, says National Grid

## US ##

Thursday, October 12, 2017


News Links, October 13, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
China will 'compel' Saudi Arabia to trade oil in yuan — and that's going to affect the US dollar
"I believe that yuan pricing of oil is coming and as soon as the Saudis move to accept it — as the Chinese will compel them to do — then the rest of the oil market will move along with them," Carl Weinberg, chief economist and managing director at High Frequency Economics, told CNBC.
IMF lists nine banks likely to struggle with profitability
Unusual move identifies institutions by name, includes Japanese megabanks

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
GM to Lay Off 1,500 More Workers, as its Car Sales Plunge Twice as Fast as Rest of Industry
Disney Cuts 200 Jobs From Its TV Networks Division

## War on cash/cashless society ##
In a Cashless World, You'd Better Pray the Power Never Goes Out

## Airline death spiral ##
Southwest Airlines traffic down, expected to get worse
Brexit: Philip Hammond becomes first Cabinet minister to admit 'no deal' could ground all flights

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump's Iran plans driving EU toward Russia and China: Germany
U.S. President Donald Trump's expected move to "de-certify" the international nuclear deal with Iran is driving a wedge between Europe and the United States and bringing Europeans closer to Russia and China, Germany said on Thursday.
Russia could deploy more missiles in Baltic region: lawmaker
A senior Russian lawmaker says Moscow could deploy more state-of-the-art missiles in its westernmost region in response to the U.S. military buildup in Poland.
Erdogan Tells US "We Don't Need You"
Israel Approves Thousands More Settlement Homes in the West Bank
Israeli NGO Peace Now has announced that the government has approved plans for another 3,736 settlement units across the occupied West Bank. Details are still emerging on where they are located, but they include expansions in settlements deep in Palestinian territory.
Catalonia Crisis Far From Over Despite Market Surge
How Trump's Iran Decision Invites War
By decertifying the Iran-nuke deal, President Trump would put another Mideast war of choice on the table, but war on Iran is really the choice of Israel and Saudi Arabia wanting the U.S. to do the killing and dying.
U.S., Israel quit U.N. heritage agency citing bias
The United States and Israel announced on Thursday they were quitting the U.N.'s cultural agency UNESCO, after Washington accused it of anti-Israeli bias.

DHS Releases Images Of Border Wall Prototypes

## Energy/resources ##
A new front opens in Asia's water wars
China drags India and other neighbors into high-stakes geopolitical poker game over freshwater access
Too many humans. -- RF
There's a stronger chance that the world population will be smaller than now by 2100. -- RF
Equifax website hacked, portions taken offline
Germany Says It Found "No Evidence" Kaspersky Helped Russia Spy On US
In an ironic twist, Kaspersky exposed Israel for lying about the source of its information on Iran deal talks after WSJ reported two years ago that Israel had spied on negotiations. Israel had said it received its intelligence by other means, but it had in reality infiltrated Kaspersky's software, a fact the company publicly acknowledged in a research paper published two years ago.
'Russiagate' And The Decline Of Journalism – Ron Paul interviews Robert Parry
A Silenced Israeli Critic
Although the U.S. news media's fancies itself the world's "gold standard," it operates with stunning hypocrisy and huge blind spots, none bigger than its fawning coverage of Israel that ignores critics like Miko Peled.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: About Those "Hedonic Adjustments" to Inflation: Ignoring the Systemic Decline in Quality, Utility, Durability and Service
Are You Better Off Than You Were 17 Years Ago?
We tend to measure what's easily measured (and supports the status quo) and ignore what isn't easily measured (and calls the status quo into question).

## Japan ##
Kobe Steel scandal expands beyond aluminum, copper
Iron plant may be fifth facility involved in data fabrication
Kobe Steel quality scandal spreads to bullet trains
The Kobe Steel data cheating scandal widened Wednesday as the operator of Japan's busiest bullet train line said train components made from the steelmaker's materials fell short of industry standards.
Kobe Steel cheating scandal goes global
Daimler, Airbus, GE among the 30-plus victims beyond Japanese shores
How China's biggest debtors may struggle to pay off their loans
Most of Beijing's foreign aid donations take the form of loans, but there are serious questions about how some of the beneficiaries will repay the money

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


News Links, October 11, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Global financial crisis looms as 'new bubbles' begin to emerge, says outgoing German finance minister
The dominance of mobile transactions lends itself to greater data collection by the Chinese government.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Illogical Assault on Iran Deal
Israel's domination of U.S. foreign policy in the Mideast is no more evident than in the prescribed hatred toward Iran. But there are also logical arguments on the merits that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar examines.
A Deaf Ear to Dire Russian Warnings
Official Washington is so obsessed with the hyped Russia-gate allegations that it isn't picking up on dire warnings from Russia that continued U.S. military interference in Syria won't be tolerated.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Catalonia crisis rages on as thousands protest against independence

## Energy/resources ##
Why is nearly all solar power built where subsidies are the highest?
Canadian exploration suffers as independents struggle to find financing
Smaller Canadian independent energy companies are having trouble obtaining financing and, as a result, exploration is on a downward trend in the country.
Burning Wood Criticized as 'Absurd' as EU Mulls Clean-Energy Law
Europe must prevent using trees and crops as a way to meet renewable-energy requirements or it will risk further increases in food prices, deforestation and land grabs, environmental groups said.
They'll have to do better than that. 130 m barrels won't even last the world two days. -- RF
But the devil is in the details. -- RF

## Solutions ##
Step 0: The Fundamentals - Emergency Preparedness

## Environment/health ##
Radioactive wild boar spark concerns in Sweden 31 years after Chernobyl
The high radiation levels — which come 31 years after the Chernobyl disaster sent a cloud of radioactive dust over Sweden — have left hunters afraid to kill and eat the animals.
Russia-gate Jumps the Shark
Russia-gate has jumped the shark with laughable new claims about a tiny number of "Russia-linked" social media ads, but the U.S. mainstream media is determined to keep a straight face.
"Russia Interfered!" - By Purchasing Anti-Trump Ads?
As with all such articles, you should take them with a grain of salt. But the irony is that although Russia is being blamed for meddling in US affairs, it's Israel that takes the cake in that department. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Consent of the Conned
Our Protected, Predatory Oligarchy: Dirty Secrets, Dirty Lies
If you want to understand why the status quo is unraveling, start by examining the feudal structure of our society, politics and economy.
The bad news: India's cities are likely to worsen. The good news: There is none

Trump's digital director explains how he used Facebook to help win the White House
In a statement, Facebook said it offered the campaigns "identical support" and had teams assigned to both Trump and Clinton. "Everyone had access to the same tools," the company said, adding that it did not let campaigns "hand pick" employees or assign its workers full time to Trump or Clinton.

Sunday, October 08, 2017


News Links, October 9, 2017

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
The ultimate loser here will be the dollar. That's one more reason for investors to allocate part of their portfolios to assets such as gold.
It's 'crunch time' for Australian households
Laos merely a bystander as China pushes Belt and Road ambitions
A total of 437 cases of plane parts falling from the sky were confirmed from April 2009 through October 2016, according to a survey by the ministry.
Japan needs to promote steady repairs and other maintenance measures on a priority basis amid deterioration of runways at airports built during the country's high economic growth period chiefly in the 1960s.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Trump says 'only one thing will work' with North Korea
Suspending the Catalan Parliament, Spain Destroys the EU's "Rule of Law" Figleaf.
It takes a very special kind of chutzpah systematically to assault voters, and drag them from polling booths by their hair, and then say that a low turnout invalidates the vote.
Kurdish Referendum Roils the Mideast
The Kurdish referendum seeking independence from Iraq has created more uncertainty in the turbulent Mideast with Israel appearing to see value in the new chaos.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Supporters of opposition leader Alexey Navalny heeded his call to turn out Saturday for nationwide protests to mark President Vladimir Putin's birthday -- though the numbers were sharply down on earlier demonstrations.

## Energy/resources ##
The Permian Boom Is Coming To An End

## Got food? ##
Too many humans. -- RF
Did I mention that there are too many humans? -- RF

Good luck with that. We can't even maintain the infrastructure already built here on Earth. -- RF
There's Reason to Be Skeptical of a Tesla-Powered Puerto Rico
The island territory has long been a laboratory for the continent's seedier experiments.
Increase in antimicrobial use projected in food-producing animals
With the global consumption of meat by humans predicted to keep rising, figures have suggested the threat of antimicrobial resistance in animals and humans is set to escalate.

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
White House chief of staff's personal cellphone compromised: Politico
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will give Facebook $19 million in tax exemptions...
Hackers Grab More NSA Exploits, Possibly With Assistance Of Russian Antivirus Developer
Given the US government's recent decision to ban the use of Kaspersky AV software, one might assume Kaspersky itself acted maliciously. But the details in the story -- along with analysis from other journalists and researchers -- suggests the AV software may have done nothing more than its job.
Public officials risk national security by using cellphones
Professional spyware is capable of remotely activating cellphones to tap into data and conversations – without turning on screens

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
Russiagate Is More Fiction Than Fact
From accusations of Trump campaign collusion to Russian Facebook ad buys, the media has substituted hype for evidence.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Storm relief strains US military as new report gives sober look at readiness
The Spiraling Crisis of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico's infrastructure, which already faced severe pressures because of the U.S. territory's huge debt and demands from its creditor, has now been devastated by Hurricane Maria.

## Japan ##
BOJ faces increasing risks as monetary easing drags on
While the Federal Reserve is entering the final phase of its exit strategy, there is no end in sight for the BOJ's massive monetary easing policy, which has seen nothing but expansion during Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda's term.
Abe proposes to add civilian control clause in Constitution revision
Recalling Japan's 'Comfort Women' Rapes
Japan's current nationalist leadership downplays and denies many crimes from World War II, but a global movement continues to press for a recognition of the mass rapes and murders of so-called "comfort women."

## China ##
China pays a high price for world's fastest train
Breakneck pace of railway expansion leads to mountain of debt

## UK ##
The UK's productivity problem is almost twice as bad as the rest of the G7
The Rise of Britain's 'New Politics'
As more Britons turn toward Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the British establishment is upping the pressure on the "radical" Corbyn to conform to U.S.-U.K. militarism and interventionism.
University of Wisconsin System leaders approved a policy Friday that calls for suspending and expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations, saying students need to listen to all sides of issues and arguments.

And finally...
No, this is not from The Onion. -- RF

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