Monday, 23 December 2019

Global headlines - 23 December, 2019

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Massive debt wave could crash on developing countries, World Bank warns

## War on cash/cashless society/cryptocurrencies ##
War on cash rages in the Mediterranean
Crypto adoption a likely beneficiary as Greece and Italy crackdown on black markets and tax evasion and take up a frontline position in the ‘war on cash’.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Indigenous Eurasian Islamic Populations
Pentagon to stockpile rare earth magnets for missiles, fighter jets
The U.S. military plans to stockpile rare earth magnets used in Javelin missiles and F-35 fighter jets, according to a government document seen by Reuters, a step that critics say does little to help create a domestic industry to build specialized magnets now made almost exclusively in Asia.

This week, International Rights Advocates filed a lawsuit against Tesla, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, and Alphabet for knowingly benefiting financially from child labor in the DRC.

## Got food? ##
E. coli outbreak linked to romaine grown in Salinas sickens 138 people in 25 states
Frankincense is a holiday favourite, but its future is under threat
It has been a prized commodity for millennia – but a cocktail of conflict, poverty and burgeoning demand is putting frankincense under pressure

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Giant surveillance balloons are lurking at the edge of space
Wawa says data breach may have collected thousands of customer card numbers and names
Fact blurs with fiction in Huawei’s global rise
The Chinese high-tech group and the US Department of State go head-to-head in 5G war of words
That data was likely harvested by criminals, said researcher Bob Diachenko, an independent security consultant in Kyiv.
The ease with which non-experts at The Times could do this shows the extreme vulnerability in location data. Hostile states are almost certainly able to do far more.

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##
How Journalists Demonize Venezuela’s Government, in Their Own Words
We like to think of journalists as plucky truth-tellers standing up to power, writes Alan MacLeod. In reality, most are parts of enormous corporate machines with their own agendas.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Our Fragmentation Accelerates
As our fragmentation accelerates, shared economic interests are ignored in favor of divisive warring camps that share no common interests.
Upward expansion is also unsustainable. I stick with my prediction that cities will eventually be largely emptied of people (many of whom will die because of starvation, violence, disease, and other causes). -- RF
There are a few things here to disagree with, but I completely agree that the "100% green" plan simply won't work. Proponents refuse to see how the fundamental difference between fossil fuels and renewables makes the plan impossible. Further, the quickly ebbing net energy of the fossil fuel system guarantees that it cannot maintain the civilization it has built. -- RF

## Japan ##
The husband of the charged wife is not a diplomat! -- RF
Senior Conservative MPs have dismissed concerns over US food practices such as chlorinating chicken and allowing a certain amount of fly eggs in drinks as “tired old lefty rhetoric” as the government looks to tear away from the hygiene standards expected by the EU to broker a trade deal across the Atlantic.
Woman with broken foot dies after waiting six hours for ambulance on freezing pavement
‘Lengthy waits for an ambulance are a sign of pressures across the whole unscheduled care system, not just in Wales but across the UK,’ ambulance service chief says
Very interesting, but they should keep their religion out of politics. -- RF

And finally...

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