## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
McDonald's franchisees are furious that the company's aggressive promotions and costly restaurant upgrades are squeezing their profits, according to a new survey. "Growth for McDonald's is over," one franchisee wrote in response to the survey by the financial services firm Janney Capital Markets.
## Airline Death Spiral ##
Saudi airspace has become one of the most potentially dangerous areas to fly in the world, with the rate of near-crashes surpassing seven times the global average.
The five biggest U.S. airlines all increased their base fare on domestic flights in the past week, despite declining fuel prices and apprehension over the potential spread of Ebola.
Don't expect the once-struggling airline industry to pass its good fortune on to travelers during the holidays
## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
This is one of the most sensible proposals I've seen in a long time. -- RF
Congressional neocons are determined to sink negotiations to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program – all the better to get on with bombing Iran at the heart of their agenda.
Jerusalem Attack: Palestinian Man Drives Car Into Pedestrians In East Jerusalem, Killing Baby, Wounding Several Others
## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Masked assailants Wednesday set fire to the city hall in Iguala in a rampage triggered by the failure of Mexican authorities to resolve the case of 43 missing student teachers.
## Energy/resources ##
The Philippine government said on Tuesday it would count on big businesses with diesel-fuelled power generators to avert rolling brownouts in 2015, as it struggles to get authority from the country's Congress to tackle a looming electricity shortage.
## Got food? ##
73% of seed crops are now ‘owned’ by 10 corporations – while community and grassroots initiatives are working to keep global diversity alive.
## Environment/health ##
All travelers who come into the U.S. from three Ebola-stricken West African nations will now be monitored for three weeks, the latest step by federal officials to keep the disease from spreading into the country.
## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Devices identical to those secretly planted in New York City phone booths have been installed in public spaces in Los Angeles and Chicago.
## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
## Japan ##
Two U.S. Navy destroyers with ballistic missile defense capabilities are being forward deployed to Japan, the U.S. Navy announced.
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun dismantling the cover of a reactor building to remove debris as part of preparations for removing the nuclear fuel from a spent fuel storage pool.
## China ##
China is finding oil supplies 14,000 miles away, aided by the global rout in prices that’s left producers vying for new markets.
## UK ##
The impact of the startling price of energy has been revealed by a government leaflet released today, which recommends that pensioners only heat one room in their house in order to stay warm without breaking the bank. It raises the question of just how desperate energy bills are making life for retirees.
How many "excess deaths" this winter? -- RF
Parents with adult children still living at home forced to take out loans and cut back on groceries, survey finds
## US ##
Out of control: “War on Terror” Targets Unlicensed Underwear – Department of Homeland Security Raids Maker of World Series Panties
Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried.
Which is essentially the point I made on July 18. Obama is not in charge, any more than Bush was. From POTUS on down, American elected officials largely do as dictated by the system; they actually have little discretion to make any substantive changes. So again, dumping on Obama, or any previous president, is barking up the wrong tree. -- RF
After last year's long cold winter spiked propane costs and left firewood piles burned to nothing, White said rural Minnesotans are stocking up on anything to keep their homes warm.
Americans' love of central heating will lead to tragedy, as the struggle to heat entire homes, instead of just a few rooms, will exhaust fuel supplies much faster. -- RF
While we joked about it getting cold in Ukraine as they argued with Russia over supplies, it might be the other side of the Atlantic that faces the bigger chill.