Monday 28 May 2018

Headlines - 05/27/2018

All my attention is on Britain at the moment so it is headlines today.

Why America Is Heading Straight Toward The Worst Debt Crisis In History

Today, America is nearly 70 trillion dollars in debt, and that debt is shooting higher at an exponential rate.

Usually most of the focus in on the national debt, which is now 21 trillion dollars and rising, but when you total all forms of debt in our society together it comes to a grand total just short of 70 trillion dollars. Many people seem to believe that the debt imbalances that existed prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 have been solved, but that is not the case at all. We are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in history, and with each passing day that mountain of debt just keeps on getting bigger and bigger.

Moments ago that's precisely what happened, when Italy's premier designate, Giuseppe Conte, 53, told reporters after meeting the head of state Sunday evening that he had handed back his mandate for forming “the government of change" to president Mattarella. "I can assure you that I did my utmost to try to fulfill this task" he added.

Update: confirming that Trump's "dear Kim" letter was just a negotiating tactic, the WaPo reports that the US exploratory team is back in North Korea as Reuters previewed yesterday:


According to WaPo sources, former US ambassador to South Korea, Sung Kim, crossed into North Korea on Sunday to hold talks with Pyongyang’s Vice-Foreign Minister, Choe Son Hui. The US envoy is accompanied by Allison Hooker, the Korea specialist on the National Security Council and an undisclosed official from the Defense Department, the source said.

The meetings between US and N.Korean officials are expected to continue on Monday and Tuesday with the aim of organizing “any summit” between Trump and Kim on the North Korean nuclear program. Sung Kim and Choe reportedly know each other well as they were both involved in nuclear talks in previous years.

Korea-US Summit May Be Held in June - Reports

TOKYO (Sputnik) - The trilateral summit of leaders of South Korea, North Korea and the United States may be held "around June 12" in Singapore, which is going to host the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the South Korean presidential office said on Monday.

One and a half years after Russia and Turkey signed a deal to build the strategic "Turkish Stream" gas pipeline in October 2016, putting an end to a highly contentious period in Russia-Turkish relation which in late 2015 hit rock bottom after the NATO-member state shot down a Russian jet over Syria, on Saturday Russian state energy giant Gazprom and the Turkish government reached a deal on the construction of the land-based part of the Turkish Stream branch that will bring Russian gas to European consumers.

Russian Defence Ministry: 4 Russian military advisers assigned to artillery battery were killed, 3 injured during a night-time firefight in Deir ez-Zor with a large mobile group of terrorists. 43 terrorists and 6 vehicles with heavy arms were eliminated - R.I.P.
In a world in which "spying" is also known as "benign information gathering", it makes sense that all "soldiers", especially the recently deceased, are called "military advisors."
In this vein, on Sunday the Russian Defense Ministry said that two Russian military advisers have been killed and five Russian soldiers injured during a clash with militants in Deir ez-Zor, according to the Russian Defence Ministry on Sunday. Two of the injured soldiers later died from their wounds, bringing the total dead to four.

As Russia cuts spending, US continues to escalate...

Russia has begun substantial multi-year cuts on their own military spending, but that isn’t going to deter Pentagon brass who intend to keep using it for more spending to “counter” them. European Command head Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti is the latest to push this narrative.

Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to Reuters, said powerful U.S. Navy warships have sailed near the disputed islands in the South Sea claimed by China, in a move expected to infuriate Beijing as new reports indicate the US-North Korea summit maybe back on the table for June 12.

Reuters’ sources said this weekend’s naval operation had been planned month ago, and missions to sail warships around Beijing’s weaponized islands in the South China Sea have become more routine. Washington’s motive behind the operation is said to counter Beijing’s efforts to restrict freedom of navigation in critical shipping lanes around the islands.

nationwide trucking strike in Brazil entered day six on Saturday, as blocked roads have prevented critical food and supplies from reaching their destinations.

Roads submerged as severe flash flooding hits Maryland

Roads submerged as severe flash flooding hits Maryland (VIDEOS)

Residents in the cities of Ellicott and Baltimore scrambled for safety as heavy rainfall brought flash flooding to the area. Videos posted on social media show raging torrents of water deluging neighborhoods.

A flash flood emergency was declared in Ellicott City on Sunday. Videos posted by locals show the city’s Main Street awash with muddy water

Fears of deadly gas explosion as lava inches toward Hawaii geothermal plant

Fears of deadly gas explosion as lava inches toward Hawaii geothermal plant (VIDEOS)

Lava from Hawaii’s erupting Kilauea volcano is edging closer to a geothermal plant, escalating fears of a potentially lethal and toxic hydrogen sulfide explosion.
Molten lava crossed into the property of Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) Saturday, according to the US Geological Survey, heightening concerns that the lava flow could make contact with the power station’s 11 wells.

Hawaii Tourism PLUNGES 50% in ONE MONTH over Volcano

Hawaii island’s $2.4 billion tourism industry is struggling in the wake of the Kilauea Volcano eruptions, with bookings for May through July down 50%, according to the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau. Businesses on the island are doing their best to convince tourists that it’s still safe to visit.

US Warships Conduct Freedom of Navigation moves around Chinese Artificial Islands

TWO US Navy warships have sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China today, two US officials say.
The move is likely to anger Beijing as President Donald Trump seeks its continued co-operation on North Korea.
Th US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the USS Higgins guided-missile destroyer and the USS Antietam, a guided-missile cruiser, came within 12 nautical miles (22km) of the Paracel Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.
Both ships appear to have recently departed deployment in the Arabian Sea. They appear to have undertaken what the United States calls a “Freedom of Navigation Exercise” en route to their home ports.

Thousands evacuate as Storm Alberto powers toward Florida

Thousands of Florida residents evacuated homes on Sunday as Subtropical Storm Alberto picked up strength as it headed north through the Gulf of Mexico, with forecasters saying it could bring life-threatening inundation to Southern coastal states.

The storm was about 105 miles (165 km) south of Apalachicola, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico coast as of 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT) and was expected to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle on Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Alberto, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018, which spun up days before the formal June 1 start of the hurricane season, was packing maximum sustained winds near 65 miles per hour (105 kph) and was expected to drop as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain, slamming an area from Mississippi to western Georgia, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

After that, it will bring powerful winds and heavy rains as it moves into the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, the hurricane center said. The storm comes during the Memorial Day weekend and was expected to scramble transportation on Monday as many people return from holiday travel

Isolated tornadoes were possible across the central and northern Florida peninsula on Sunday night, according to the hurricane center, while Alberto was also forecast to bring storm swells of about 2 to 4 feet (60-120 cm) to low-lying areas that were “likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”

There were a number of deadly hurricanes in the United States and Caribbean last year that walloped places including Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, causing hundreds of billions of dollars in damage, massive power outages and devastation to hundreds of thousands of structures.

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