Monday, 24 November 2014 18:56

World News Desk 11-24-2014

From Jenna Orkin:

Headlines

Japan's Military Is Revving Up To Meet China's Growing Regional Ambitions  

Dry San Diego to look to sewers as water source 

“SAN DIEGO (AP) — Acknowledging California's parched new reality, the city of San Diego has embraced a once-toxic idea: turning sewer water into drinking water.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to advance a $2.5-billion plan to recycle wastewater, the latest example of how California cities are looking for new supplies amid a severe drought.

Each of the nine council members effusively praised the effort before the vote as a way to make San Diego less dependent on imported water and insulated from drought.

"We're at the end of the pipeline," said Councilman Scott Sherman. "We have a real problem getting water down here."

Such recycling, called toilet-to-tap by critics, has suffered an image problem that industry insiders call "the yuck factor."

San Diego, a city of 1.4 million people that imports 85 percent of its water from the Colorado River and Northern California, has slowly warmed to the idea…”

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Thirst has that effect on folks. When sewer water is sounding good, or is your last option, you might want to start thinking about relocating in the very near future, because San Diego doesn’t really have one. - Wes

MassMutual Senior Vice President Found Dead, Stabbed In Chest In Apparent Homicide

 

Economy

Coca-Cola Is Betting Big On A New Kind Of Milk That Costs Twice As Much As Regular

How I Stayed Out Of Debt After Losing My Job

America's Infrastructure Disinvestment Will Slow the Development of a Sustainable Economy

New reports suggest that the rich are getting richer

The Mystery Of America's "Schrodinger" Middle Class, Which Is Either Thriving Or About To Go Extinct

The Japanization Of Europe In 9 "Different This Time" Charts

Denmark Welcomes Rich Getting Richer as Welfare Has Facelift 

Americans Are Dropping Out Of College At An Alarming Rate — Here's Why

54 Bizarre Ways You Can Track The Economy

No Country Comes Close To Buying Back Stock Like The US

No One Expected Latin America To Slow Down Like This

Japan's Demographic Nightmare Illustrated In An Exquisite GIF

Intimate Portraits Of People In Debt Shed Light On A Hidden American Crisis  

The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

Benefit changes mean a choice of 'eat or heat' for an increasing number of families  

 

Energy/Resources

Exploding Excrement Topples Building In China, Injuring 15

"Beijing (AFP) - A cesspool filled with excrement has exploded in central China, injuring 15 people and knocking down a building, state-run media reported.

The blast was apparently sparked by a local man burning waste close to the cesspool, igniting methane gas which was emanating from the pit, the Xinhua news agency said late on Sunday.

The incident in Zhangjiajie city, in the central province of Hunan, caused a residential building to collapse and three of the injured had to be hospitalised, Xinhua said.

China's urban infrastructure has often been hastily built with little regard for safety as hundreds of millions of people have moved from the countryside to cities in recent decades..."

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Another shitty day living in the ghetto... - Wes

The Fontus: Miracle device attached to bike makes water from air

Deaths of 500 sea lions in Peru under investigation

Antarctic sea ice could be thicker than thought, robot submarine finds

The US Is Stockpiling Ebola Survivors' Plasma to Treat Future Patients

Brazil's Massive State-Owned Oil Company Has Become A National Nightmare

Why Cold Weather Doesn't Mean Global Warming Isn't Real  

Snowed-Ravaged Buffalo Now Also In Danger Of Floods

Cleveland police shoot dead 12-year-old boy holding fake 'airsoft' gun

“A 12-year-old boy who was shot twice by police after grabbing what turned out to be a replica gun died from his wounds on Sunday, a day after officers responded to a 911 call about someone waving a “probably fake” gun at a playground.

Deputy police chief Ed Tomba said one officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon – which was lacking an orange safety indicator usually found on the muzzle – from his waistband. Tomba said the boy had not pointed the gun at police. The boy did not make any verbal threats but grabbed the replica handgun after being told to raise his hands, Tomba said.

“That’s when the officer fired,” he said.

The Cuyahoga County medical examiner identified the boy as Tamir Rice. An attorney for his family, Timothy Kucharski, said the boy went to the park with friends on Saturday afternoon, but he did not know the details of what led to the shooting.

“I don’t want to make a rush to judgment,” he said.

The police department is investigating the shooting and both officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. The county prosecutor’s office also is investigating…”

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There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for this police murder, or for the following one (see below). Mark my words, when the grand jury returns a “No True Bill” of indictment, this country is going into riot mode. – Wes

Akai Gurley, Unarmed Man, Shot By NYPD

“…Police said the officers walked down the stairs onto an eighth-floor landing when Gurley and his girlfriend opened a stairwell door one floor down, after giving up on waiting for an elevator. Police said Liang, patrolling with his gun drawn, fired without a word and apparently by accident, hitting Gurley from a distance of about 10 feet.

Mallory, the former public housing resident, said an officer should never patrol a building with a gun drawn.

"What are you saying, people who live in developments are animals, or something?" he asked.

Bratton said officers generally have discretion on whether to draw their weapons based on what they are encountering or believe they may encounter. He called Gurley's death a tragedy that befell someone "totally innocent…"”

US air strikes in Syria driving anti-Assad groups to support Isis

“US air strikes in Syria are encouraging anti-regime fighters to forge alliances with or even defect to Islamic State (Isis), according to a series of interviews conducted by the Guardian.

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Islamic military groups are joining forces with Isis, which has gained control of swaths of Syria and Iraq and has beheaded six western hostages in the past few months.

Some brigades have transferred their allegiance, while others are forming tactical alliances or truces. Support among civilians also appears to be growing in some areas as a result of resentment over US-led military action.

“Isis now is like a magnet that attracts large numbers of Muslims,” said Abu Talha, who defected from the FSA a few months ago and is now in negotiations with other fighters from groups such as the al-Nusra Front to follow suit.

Assam Murad, a fighter from a 600-strong dissident FSA brigade near Homs said: “There’s no way we would fight Isis after the US military campaign against them…””

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Nice Strategery, Barry... - Wes

World bank to focus future investment on clean energy

Reindeer threatened after heavy rains in Norway freeze their food solid  

Israel pitches 'massive' natural gas pipeline plan to Europe | The Times of Israel

Secrets Are No Fun

No: The Economics Simply Don’t Work And Will Get Worse – by Richard Heinberg, from wsj.com

November 23, 2014

“For years, Americans have seen commercials touting “clean coal,” while politicians on both sides of the aisle have extolled its promise. The technology to capture carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants has been tried and tested. Yet today almost none of the nation’s coal-fueled plants are “clean.”

Why the delay? The biggest problem for “clean coal” is that the economics don’t work. Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is extremely expensive. That gives the power industry little incentive to implement it in the absence of a substantial carbon tax.

Why would implementing CCS be so expensive? For starters, capturing and storing the carbon from coal combustion is estimated to consume 25% to 45% of the power produced, depending on the approach taken. That translates to not only higher prices for coal-generated electricity but also the need for more plants to serve the same customers. Other technologies designed to make carbon capture more efficient aren’t commercial at this point, and their full costs are unknown.

And there’s more. Capturing and burying just 38% of the carbon released from current U.S. coal combustion would entail pipelines, compressors and pumps on a scale equivalent to the size of the nation’s oil industry. And while bolting CCS technology onto existing power plants is possible, it is inefficient. A new generation of plants would do the job much better—but that means replacing roughly 600 current-generation power plants.

Altogether, the Energy Department estimates that wholesale electricity prices with the initial generation of CCS technology would be 70% to 80% higher than current coal-based power…”

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So there it is: so-called “clean coal” is a beast that does not exist and will not exist. Ever. Any politician who spouts off about clean coal is flat-out lying. They do know better but they are paid to appear as the ever-optimistic utopian clowns while continuously blowing sunshine up our collective asses. - Wes

 

Military/Intelligence

Here's What Chinese Hackers Can Actually Do To The US Power Grid

“…House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers:“It was determined that malware was on those (critical infrastructure) systems. Can you be a little more definitive about what does that mean? If I’m on that system and I want to do some harm, what does that do … ? Do the lights go out? Do we stop pumping water? What does that really mean? And the fact that it was there, does that mean they already have the capability to ‘flip the switch’ if they wanted to?”

Admiral Michael Rogers:“Well let me address the last part first. There shouldn’t be any doubt in our minds that there are nation-states and groups out there that have the capability to do that. To enter our systems, to enter those industrial control systems, and to shut down, forestall our ability to operate, our basic infrastructure. Whether it’s generating power across this nation, whether it’s moving water and fuel … Once you’re into the system and you’re able to do that, it enables you to do things like, if I want to tell power turbines to go offline and stop generating power, you can do that. If I wanted to segment the transmission system so that you couldn’t distribute the power that was coming out of the power stations, this would enable you to do that. It enables you to shut down very segmented, very tailored parts of our infrastructure.

A number of media outlets interpreted these comments as a claim by the NSA that a country like China could take down our nation’s power grid. But is that what the NSA director really said? And is a widespread, national blackout caused by hackers a realistic scenario?

While it’s easy to draw that conclusion from the generalized nature of Adm. Rogers’ responses, it’s important to re-read the last line in that exchange: “It enables you to shut down very segmented, very tailored parts of our infrastructure.” (Emphasis added.)

This line is important because it clarifies the types of risks we’re actually talking about when it comes to the electric grid. No, hackers can’t take down the entire, or even a widespread portion of the US electric grid. From a logistical standpoint, this would be far too difficult to realistically pull off - and it’s not what we should be devoting our attention to. What is more realistic is for a cyber attack to cripple an individual utility, causing a blackout or disruption of service at the local level.

The power grid is vulnerable to attack — there’s no question about that. In my own work, testing the security readiness of US and global energy companies and utilities, I regularly find serious vulnerabilities on these networks and I am often called in to deal with compromises that have already taken place — including cyber-espionage activities by state-sponsored groups…”

Newly uncovered malicious software 'was developed by a nation state'  

A Snapshot Of Terrorism In The World Today  

'Peer Reviewed' Paper Full Of Profanity Exposes A Big Problem In Academic Journal Publishing

Israeli Firm Says It Can Recharge Your Phone In 30 Seconds

US-Supplied Weapons Are Already Ending Up In ISIS Hands

China: We Will Continue Building An Island In Disputed South China Sea Waters

Rand Paul Calls For Declaration Of War Against ISIS

Doesn't sound like dad. - JO

New terror laws announced as May warns of 'the greatest threat since 9/11'  

British and American Security Services Pass Around Our Nude Photos ... While Protecting Pedophiles

 

Civil Unrest/Politics

Guest Post: Why Monetizing Debt Could End In Revolutions

 

From Rice Farmer:

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Money Lacking for Facade of Berlin's New Palace

The Wrath of Draghi: Biggest German Banks Impose “Negative Interest Rates”

Dow, S&P 500 push further into record territory

Pump, baby, pump! -- RF

The Astonishing Rise of Central Bank Fear

Disinflation A Worry Not Only For Europe But Also For The World

Europe’s Season Of Discontent: The Anti-Brussels Revolt Flourishes From North To South
Some 16,867 voters in southeast England ushered in a season of European political tumult that in an extreme scenario could lead to Britain exiting the European Union, Greece quitting the euro or Catalonia seceding from Spain.

Beijing Looks Into The Abyss……And Threatens To Keep Digging

Islamic State reportedly buying silver, gold as it prepares to issue currency

Wrong Three Ways: Europe Not at Risk of Full-Blown Deflation Says ECB Vice President

How Canada’s auto loan bubble has become a ticking time bomb


## Airline Death Spiral ##
American Airlines unit to transfer 50 regional aircraft, cut jobs

Estonian Air reports $8 million 9M net loss; expects new shareholder in 2015

Give us bigger seats! Fatter profits might follow
One of the most troubling travel stories of 2014 was a report that airlines are considering a new class of service — and I use the term "class" loosely — called economy "minus."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##

As nuclear pact hangs in the balance, Israel weighs action against Iran: Jerusalem Post

Iran says nuclear deal 'impossible' by Nov. 24 deadline

US tells Iran to consider nuclear talks extension

U.S. plans to arm Iraq's Sunni tribesmen with AK-47s, RPGs, mortars

Iraqi forces say retake two towns from Islamic State

ISIS threatens government center in Iraq's Anbar province

China making overtures to island nations in strategic backyard
China is offering generous financial support to countries in the South Pacific in hopes of strengthening its economic and military influence and eclipsing the Taiwanese and American presence in the region.

Lockheed, Pentagon ink $4.7 billion deal for eighth batch of F-35 fighters

Kenya Military Kills 100 Al-Shabaab Terrorists In Wake Of Deadly Bus Attack

Report says pictures show China building reef island

Obama Order Expands Afghan War Powers in 2015

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##

Mexican president burned in effigy as tens of thousands mark day of protest

The Plebs Are Revolting – Utah Bill to Shut Off Water to the NSA Moves Forward

Israel promises tough measures to stop wave of attacks in Jerusalem

Demonstrators clash with French police over protester death

FBI Sends 100 Agents to Ferguson Ahead of Grand Jury Decision

## Energy/resources ##

South Africa's Eskom declares "power emergency"

Iran leases oil storage in China; ships crude to India from there: Sources

Israel pitches ‘massive’ natural gas pipeline plan to Europe
Energy minister proposes multi-million euro idea to fellow energy ministers in Rome; project would reduce EU dependence on Russia

S.Korea announces four more nuclear reactors to be built

They won't be built. -- RF

China Needs 1,000 Nuclear Reactors to Fulfill Its Climate Pledge

More techno-pie in the sky. Some of the renewable capacity will no doubt be built, but the nukes are totally unrealistic and out of the question. -- RF

Russia to seek new partners if Western oil majors leave - minister

OPEC's Easy Days Setting Oil Production Are Over, Veteran Says; You Need Russia, Norway, Mexico

The Changing Face of World Oil Markets

China and India to account for 35% of global oil trade

## Got food? ##
New Research Says Plant-based Diet Best for Planet and People


## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Education vs. School – Why We Are Homeschooling Our Children

## Environment/health ##

Cuban doctor sick with Ebola to be flown to Geneva for treatment

Backyard pesticides show up increasingly in California watersheds: report

Evacuation plans readied as Buffalo flooding looms

Scientists Confirm: 2014 Set to Be Hottest Year in Recorded Human History

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
European Parliament may propose Google break-up in draft resolution

'Resist Surveillance': Human Rights Groups Launch Tool to Detect Spyware

Amnesty International released a free program on Wednesday that scans computers for surveillance software that is often used by governments to spy on journalists, human rights lawyers, political organizers, and other activists—technology that has been discovered to be in use in countries around the world.

New Malware Used for Surveillance in 10 Countries, Symantec Says


## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Mass Abduction Reveals a Decaying Mexican State

10 Examples Of The Social Decay That Is Eating Away At America Like Cancer

The Falcon Can No Longer Hear the Falconer

Mexico on the Brink – But of What?
The Mexican government blames the nationwide protests on groups seeking to “destabilize the country” and undermine the “reform agenda.” But in this militarized, corrupt society, the risk of escalation of violence is immense.

Nuclear commander lost job after being caught playing fake poker chips

Toyota recalls nearly 423K Lexuses for fuel leaks

Malled: The Hollowing Out of an American Institution. 'We Surrender'


## Japan ##
Gov't to reduce sales tax on food, other items in April 2017

Damage worse than thought in Nagano earthquake

As debt piles up, Japan tries to lock in low borrowing costs

Increase in forward exchange contracts to combat weak yen

Medical facilities in Japan training staff to handle Ebola cases

## China ##

Chinese Corruption Goes “Tebie Juda” (Extremely Huge): General Scalps One Ton Of Cash Selling Promotions

China ready to cut rates again on fears of deflation: Sources

On The Looming Wall Of Chinese Defaults, Restructuring Firm Warns “You Know It’s Coming”

Property, manufacturing woes help trim China's shadow banking


## UK ##
In Great Britain, Protecting Pedophile Politicians is a Matter of “National Security”

UK police: up to 5 terror plots foiled this year


## US ##
“Serfdom is the New Normal” – Talkin’ Oligarch Blues with Perpetual Assets

Demise of the nuclear family: Multi-generational living is here to stay in a low wage economy

Over 57 million Americans live in multi-generational households.

Hillary The Hawk: Meet Her War Party Team In Waiting

Go Figure—– 86 Million Full-Time Workers, 148 Million Govt. Beneficiaries

Five Ugly Decades of Middle-Class Wages in America

Disconnected: Millennials talk big, do little about money

West Coast port strife: The retail worry

Cleveland boy with pellet gun dies after police shoot him

Bank of America hires U.S. officials for financial crime team
Bank of America has hired two U.S. government officials to join its financial crimes team, according to three people familiar with the matter, as banks are under increasing pressure to police their transactions for suspicious activity.

American Ranking Plummets in Global Index of 'Personal Freedoms'

State Budgets Reeling from Low Oil Prices

How Police Use Military Tactics to Quash Dissent

Illinois Law to Fix $111 Billion Pension Deficit, Worst in U.S., Is Struck Down

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