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Petroyuan, Universal Basic Income, Irma Recovery, and More: Wake Up Wyoming: 9.12.17

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When will the gold-backed #Petroyuanreplace the paper-backed #Petrodollar? What are your thoughts on Universal Basic Income (#UBI)? #Harvey and #Irma projected to cost $200 billion. Shipping pollution intensifies storms at sea, and MORE. Wake Up Wyoming: 9.12.17

NEWS LINKS from compiled by the incomparable RICEFARMER and JENNA ORKIN

 TODAY’S TOP STORIES

Moody’s: Harvey and Irma Economic Hit Could Total $200 Billion

Hurricane Irma Has Been Literally Pulling The Ocean Away From Its Shores

Desperation Mounts in Caribbean Islands: ‘There’s nothing left’ in the BVI’s and ‘All the Food Is Gone’ (VIDEO)

Over Half Of Florida Without Power As State Braces For “Lengthiest Restoration In US History”

Florida gun owners encouraged to ‘shoot the storm’ and fire their guns at Hurricane Irma

Elon Musk Magically Extends Battery Life Of Teslas Fleeing Irma

Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/deflationary collapse ##

The U.S. Petro Dollar Breakdown Continues: Big Moves In Gold & Silver Ahead

The four-decade long monopoly of the U.S. Petro-Dollar as the world’s reserve currency is coming to an end.  Unfortunately, most Americans have no clue that when the Dollar loses its reserve currency status, life will get a lot tougher living in the U.S. of A.  Let’s say, Americans will finally receive “Precious metals religion.”

The U.S. Dollar Index fell considerably yesterday and is now down below a key support level.  In early morning trading yesterday, the U.S. Dollar Index fell to 91.46, down 73 basis points:

How China Just ‘Reset’ the Global Monetary System With Gold

In June, China took the first step towards overturning the petrodollar by establishing a direct-trade relationship with Russia allowing for oil purchases to be made strictly in yuan. And just like that, the petroyuan was born.

Not long after China’s new deal with Russia, Chinese officials began negotiations for a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia. But the discussion didn’t flow as smoothly as it did with Russia.

Russia welcomed the petroyuan with open arms. But other big oil exporters haven’t been as keen to embrace it. Despite rising concerns around the U.S. dollar’s stability and viability, the yuan is still too illiquid and unestablished globally in comparison, causing many exporters to shy away from accepting it.

But China has an ingenious way to solve this problem: Simply back the petroyuan with gold.

Venezuela’s Maduro says will shun U.S. dollar in favor of yuan, others

(Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday his cash-strapped country would seek to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, using the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes and a basket of currencies.

Maduro was refering to Venezuela’s “DICOM” official exchange rate in which the dollar buys 3,345 bolivars, according to the central bank.

At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys just 10 bolivars, but on the black market the dollar fetches 20,193 bolivars, a spread versus the official rate that economists say has fostered corruption.

A thousand dollars of local currency bought when Maduro came to power in 2013 would now be worth $1.20.

Venezuela to start selling oil in non-dollar currencies

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Friday his that government will sell oil and other commodities in currencies other than the dollar, in a bid to weather US-imposed sanctions on the embattled country.

“I have decided to start selling oil, gas, gold and all other products that Venezuela sells with new currencies, including the Chinese yuan, the Japanese yen, the Russian ruble, the Indian rupee among others,” he said during a television broadcast.

“An economy free from the US imperialist system is possible.”

France, Germany, Italy, Spain seek tax on digital giants’ revenues

EU criticizes Trump’s economic policy: report

The European Union’s economic and financial committee has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic policy and is worried that his efforts to boost protectionism pose a threat to the global economy, a German magazine reported on Saturday.

The Next Spanish Bank Teeters, at Worst Possible Time

IMF’s Christine Lagarde worried about Asia’s aging population

Is Wage Deflation Here To Stay?

Hurricane Irma will hammer insurance industry — up to $65 billion in damage is projected

Universal basic income:Yes, This is a Real CNBC Article on “Economics”

Giving every adult in the United States a $1,000 cash handout per month would grow the economy by $2.5 trillion by 2025, according to anew study on universal basic income.

The report was released in August by the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute. Roosevelt research director Marshall Steinbaum, Michalis Nikiforos at Bard College’s Levy Institute, and Gennaro Zezza at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio in Italy co-authored the study.

The study made economic forecasts for three proposals: a full universal basic income in which every adult gets $1,000 a month ($12,000 a year), a partial basic income in which every adult gets $500 a month ($6,000 a year), and a child allowance in which parents get $250 a month ($3,000 a year).

The larger the universal basic income, the greater the benefit to the economy, according to the report.

A $1,000 cash handout to all adults would grow the economy by 12.56 percent after eight years, the study finds. Current Congressional Budget Office estimates put the GDP at $19.8 trillion. The cash handout would therefore increase the GDP by $2.48 trillion.

The following is commentary by Joe Jarvis of The Daily Bell:

Wow! You’re saying that by the U.S. government simply creating money out of thin air, we can increase the amount of money in existence! Why didn’t we think of this before? Why are we only $20 trillion in debt! why not go $200 trillion in debt. Why not $900 trillion?! Who cares, it just boosts the economy.

The super-serious-legitimate-intellectual study found that the larger the handout, the more the economy grows! Hear that? We can all be millionaires! It’s easy street from here on out.

We can all quit our jobs at the factories, farms, grocery stores, and office buildings. Things will keep being produced, sold, and organized according to the report.

What they didn’t add is that in order to finance these handouts without taxation, the U.S. would add $24 trillion of debt. The already insane national debt would more than double in 8 years.

And what would a cash influx of that kind cause?

Exactly what the study did not take into consideration. Inflation.

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

Iran To Become Essential Hub In China’s Belt And Road Initiative

State Dept Approves $3.8 Billion Arms Sales to Bahrain

The US State Department has approved $3.8 billion in weapons sales to the tiny island nation of Bahrain. The Pentagon confirmed the approval and the State Department has notified Congress, who held up a similar sale last year over Bahrain’s many, many human rights problems.

The Dangerous Decline of US Hegemony

The bigger picture behind Official Washington’s hysteria over Russia, Syria and North Korea is the image of a decaying but dangerous American hegemon resisting the start of new multipolar order.

Bill Clinton’s favorite African, Paul Kagame, Wins Re-election by 99%, Arrests Opponent

Bangladesh braces for new surge as Rohingya exodus nears 300,000

Desperation spreads in Rohingya camps as food stocks dwindle

Rohingya insurgents, whose attack on Myanmar security forces last month triggered savage military reprisals, declared a monthlong truce Sunday as refugees continued to flood across the border into Bangladesh only to face scant basic resources, hunger and illness.

The Muslim insurgents of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army issued the truce statement on its Twitter account and urged Myanmar’s government to reciprocate in order to assist all victims regardless of their background.

The government did not comment immediately.

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis: George Soros, Oil, & Lessons For India

Syria’s Survival Is Blow to Jihadists

Despite last-ditch efforts by Israel and its allies to salvage the “regime change” project in Syria, the looming defeat of the Western-backed jihadists marks a turning point in the modern Middle East.

Chinese state banks suspend North Korean transactions as international pressure to halt nuclear programme grows

Chinese state banks have started suspending transactions through accounts held by North Koreans, making it nearly impossible to do business between the two countries, according to sources familiar with the situation.

North Korea has enough oil to survive embargo

On edge: ‘New Cold War’ tensions high in Eastern Europe

Building a bigger, better BRICS wall against the West’s global order

## Migrants/refugees ##

‘Uncontacted’ Amazon Tribe Members Are Reported Killed in Brazil

What Happened?! — Video Emerges of Hillary Clinton Saying Illegal Immigrant Children Have to Go

As Hillary Clinton begins a book tour to promote her 2016 campaign autopsy “What Happened,” video has begun to swirl online of a 2014 interview between her and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour to promote her previous book, “Hard Choices.”

During the exchange, Clinton had some tough words for the children of illegal immigrants, including waves of unaccompanied minors coming in 2014  — telling Amanpour that the United States was a nation of laws and that they probably had to go.

“We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay,” said Clinton “So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”

## Energy/resources ##

Niger Delta Militants Rescind Threat Against Oil Majors

Australian chief scientist advocates coal-fired power extensions

Australia faces heightened blackout risks next summer – electricity operator

Brazil cancels 25 wind, solar power projects at request of firms

Brazil’s power sector has been rattled by a combination of slumping demand, rising construction costs and reduced credit availability as the country has gone through its harshest recession on record.

IAEA report: Nuclear power expansion to slow before growing again

Hurricane Season Weighs On Gulf Of Mexico Production

## Got food? ##

Worry About Florida Farmland Advances Along With Irma

This High-Tech Vertical Farm Promises Whole Foods Quality at Walmart Prices

SoftBank-backed Plenty is out to build massive indoor farms on the outskirts of every major city on Earth.

## Environment/health ##

NASA satellites are tracking hurricanes Katia, Irma and Jose and the images are staggering

Mice can be turned into Walking Dead-style zombie killers, scientists discover

Bats ‘tricked’ into flying into buildings

Modern buildings with large expanses of glass or mirrored surfaces are “potentially dangerous” for bats, research suggests.

Ship exhaust makes oceanic thunderstorms more intense

Thunderstorms directly above two of the world’s busiest shipping lanes are significantly more powerful than storms in areas of the ocean where ships don’t travel, according to new research.

A new study mapping lightning around the globe finds lightning strokes occur nearly twice as often directly above heavily-trafficked shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea than they do in areas of the ocean adjacent to shipping lanes that have similar climates.

The difference in lightning activity can’t be explained by changes in the weather, according to the study’s authors, who conclude that aerosol particles emitted in ship exhaust are changing how storm clouds form over the ocean.

The new study is the first to show ship exhaust can alter thunderstorm intensity. The researchers conclude that particles from ship exhaust make cloud droplets smaller, lifting them higher in the atmosphere. This creates more ice particles and leads to more lightning.

The results provide some of the first evidence that humans are changing cloud formation on a nearly continual basis, rather than after a specific incident like a wildfire, according to the authors. Cloud formation can affect rainfall patterns and alter climate by changing how much sunlight clouds reflect to space.

“It’s one of the clearest examples of how humans are actually changing the intensity of storm processes on Earth through the emission of particulates from combustion,” said Joel Thornton, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle and lead author of the new study in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

“It is the first time we have, literally, a smoking gun, showing over pristine ocean areas that the lightning amount is more than doubling,” said Daniel Rosenfeld, an atmospheric scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who was not connected to the study. “The study shows, highly unambiguously, the relationship between anthropogenic emissions – in this case, from diesel engines – on deep convective clouds.”

Will the Sahara Desert Soon Cover Large Parts of South Europe?

With the highest temperatures on record and unprecedented heat waves hitting Europe this year, Africa’s ‘Great Desert’, the Sahara, is set continue its relentless march on the Southern European countries until it occupies more than 30% of Spain just three decades from now.

Cruise Lines Send Ships to Caribbean on Hurricane Rescue Mission

Irma Is the Caribbean’s Most Expensive Storm at $10 Billion and Counting

“There Is No Seawall Whatsoever”: Downtown Miami Flooded; Two Cranes Collapse

Tank failures in Harvey reveal vulnerabilities in storm

California could be hit by an 8.2 mega-earthquake, and damage would be catastrophic

Death toll rises to 90 as aftershocks rock Mexico city

Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show

New studies find microplastics in salt from the US, Europe and China, adding to evidence that plastic pollution is pervasive in the environment.

The Plastic Fantasy That’s Propping Up the Oil Market

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##

Saudi government allegedly funded a ‘dry run’ for 9/11

Best Buy stops sale of Russia-based Kaspersky products

Best Buy Co, the No.1 U.S. electronics retailer, is pulling Kaspersky Lab’s cyber security products from its shelves and website, amid concerns that the Moscow-based firm may be vulnerable to Russian government influence.

Putin tells Russia’s tech sector: Ditch foreign software or lose out

Putin said that, in some spheres, state institutions could not work with companies running foreign software because that represented a risk for national cyber-security.

Social Media is A Tool of the CIA: “Facebook, Google and Other Social Media Used to Spy on People”

Facebook Engagement-For-Hire Economy Has Generated More Than 100 Million Fake Likes

Equifax Security Breach Is A Complete Disaster… And Will Almost Certainly Get Worse

Alleged Equifax hackers demand $2.6 million Bitcoin ransom — or else…

CNN Pulled Investigative Team Off Trump-Russia Coverage

CNN executives explicitly told their investigative team to stop looking into potential ties between the Trump administration and Russia following a series of high profile reporting errors led that to the resignation of three journalists in June.

Case study of LAPD and Palantir’s predictive policing tool: same corruption; new, empirical respectability

The Intercept Mistranslates Assad Speech – Smears Syria As Neo-Nazi

The U.S. Oil Patch Has A Serious Cybersecurity Problem

Data swamped US spy agencies put hopes on artificial intelligence

## Propaganda/censorship/fake news/alternative facts ##

Blaming Russia for America’s Racist Crimes

If you believe the New York Times, the Russian state is the diabolical force behind Black voter suppression in North Carolina — and, by imaginary extension, the main suspect for polling irregularities in Black precincts across the country during last year’s election.

Facebook Blames Russia To Deflect From Fraudulent Ad-Sales

“The Guy is Hiding Something”: Top Hillary Advisor Suggests Bernie Colluded With Russia During the Primary

U.N. Enablers of ‘Aggressive War’

U.N. investigative reports, like a new one condemning Syria for alleged sarin use, are received as impartial and credible, but are often just more war propaganda from compromised bureaucrats.

Echoes of Iraq-WMD Fraud in Syria

Just as the West ignored signs in 2002-03 that anti-government Iraqis were fabricating WMD claims, evidence is being brushed aside that Syrian jihadists have ginned up chemical attacks.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

America Can’t Afford to Rebuild

Car-centric Houston struggles after loss of countless autos

On Repairing/Rebuilding 100,000+ Damaged Houses

India’s Traffic Is So Bad It’s Changing the Cars People Buy

## China ##

Cryptocurrency dealers and online lenders feel heat in China

China’s 2nd Biggest Bitcoin Exchange Responds To Report Beijing Is Shutting All Virtual Exchanges

Man jailed for selling VPNs to evade China’s ‘Great Firewall’

Fears among some VPN users on the mainland over whether they will also face punishment for using the services to get round internet censorship

China to Ban Sale of Fossil Fuel Cars in Electric Vehicle Push

Chinese bank ban ‘threatens to tighten chokehold’ on trade with North Korea

Ban applies across the board but cash and barter system offer ways around the sanctions, analysts say

Kyle Bass: “China’s Credit System Is Reaching A Boiling Point”

## UK ##

‘Destitution is routine’: refugees face homelessness even after gaining asylum

Strong painkiller use ‘doubles in 15 years’

Suicide rate for young women highest for 20 years as experts warn of mental health crisis

NHS waiting times ‘driving people to turn to private treatment’

Growing numbers of patients are paying for private treatment to beat rationing and delays for treatment imposed by the cash-strapped NHS.

Children forced to work at cannabis factories as slaves, warns charity

Children are being forced to tend cannabis factories and commit street crimes, a leading charity has warned as it raised the alarm over the hidden toll of child slavery in the UK.

Britain has long struggled to build power plants – and inefficient project management is to blame

Theresa May secretly hatched plan to ‘rig’ parliament straight after losing majority in election

More than two million of the UK’s poorest families will be £50 a week worse off by 2020, report finds

EU Accuses UK of Backtracking: UK MPs Threaten to Block Divorce Payments

British arms sales to repressive regimes soar to £5bn since election

## US ##

Millions Consumed Potentially Unsafe Water in the Past 10 Years

The findings highlight how six decades of industrial dumping, farming pollution, and water plant and distribution pipe deterioration have taken a toll on local water systems.

Harvey’s floodwaters give way to festering piles of garbage

Bonds – a hidden risk to the economy

Harvey Hits Chain Restaurants – But Not Just Harvey

Officer Arrested Utah Nurse After He Was Told to Let Her Go, Police Chief Says

Utah hospital to police: Stay away from our nurses

Anaheim considers declaring local emergency as homeless population continues to grow along Santa Ana River trail

Hurricane Harvey probably shaved 1% from third-quarter growth, Goldman Sachs says

Clinton Says She Is ‘Done With Being a Candidate’

Coconut Grove Faces 38-Month Supply Of Luxury Condos Listed For Sale

The Clinton Private Rooftop Garden: An Obscene Violation Of Charity Law & Principles

 

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9/11 TRUTH 2017: 16th Anniversary Truthathon

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According to a 2016 LIVE SCIENCE survey, at least 54.3% of Americans believe the federal government’s official story of 9/11 is bogus.  Today, on the 16th Anniversary of the most blatant false flag attack in US history, we at Wake Up News intend to help raise that percentage.

Continuing to expose the official lies and promote the true story of 9/11 is the only way to bring true justice to the victims of that event and those killed around the world throughout the ongoing War On Terror that 9/11 was spun to initiate.

Promoting the truth about 9/11 is also a great way to wake more people to the many lies our society is built upon and to expose the media outlets, corporations, and government agencies continuing to lie to us.

21552990_10209976848874165_1926311229_nThis information is “old news” to many of you, but for some people it is shockingly new.  The mainstream media perpetuates false narratives through incessant repetition, and — though it may be tiresome — we should apply this tactic to truth… because it works.

Please take the time today to take a public stand for 9/11 Truth or at least share this information with your friends and associates online.

Please share this post on social media but remember that due to the covert censorship built into these networks it will probably not be seen by many people.  In addition to sharing this on your walls and in groups it might be even more effective to distribute it via email and private messages to assure it is seen.

Below these videos and images are links to reputable sources of truthful information about 9/11.  Thank you.  Take care.  One love.  Peace

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We lead off with James Corbett’s satirical exposure of the official story.  This first video is really and truly what the government expects us to believe happened on 9/11.

Now let’s look at what really happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A FEW OF MANY REPUTABLE SOURCES:

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Firefighters for 9/11 Truth & Unity

Pilots for 9/11 Truth

9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism

Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice

9.10.17: Wake Up Wyoming

https://dtube.video/#!/v/maxmogren/cwuftxv2

JH Local News

JHNG: Firefighters jump on wildfire south of town

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image source: JH News and Guide

“Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, National Park Service and National Forest Service teams responded to the blaze, which was suspected to have started by a spark from an old fire truck sitting on dry grasslands. The fire is burning south of Jackson, to the east of Highway 191.”

JHNG: Stearns to keep animals for now

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image source: video still from concerned neighbor of Forrest Stearns

Stearns was cited for animal cruelty on Aug. 25 by the Teton County Sheriff’s Office. He is accused of tying a horse down to the ground, possibly leading to its death.  It’s Stearns’ first citation for animal abuse, but he has been investigated for a similar case involving a mule before.

Global Ponzi Scheme

CHS: The Real Reason Wages Have Stagnated: Our Economy is Optimized for Financialization

Labor’s share of the national income is in freefall as a direct result of the optimization of financialization.
The Achilles Heel of our socio-economic system is the secular stagnation of earned income, i.e. wages and salaries. Stagnating wages undermine every aspect of our economy: consumption, credit, taxation and perhaps most importantly, the unspoken social contract that the benefits of productivity and increasing wealth will be distributed widely, if not fairly.
This chart shows that labor’s declining share of the national income is not a recent problem, but a 45-year trend: despite occasional counter-trend blips, labor (that is, earnings from labor/ employment) has seen its share of the economy plummet regardless of the political or economic environment.

NBC: Americans Split on Whether 4-Year College Degree Is Worth the Cost

Americans are becoming more skeptical that a four-year college education is worth the cost, a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal finds.

The national survey of social trends, which was conducted August 5-9, found that 49 percent of Americans agreed with the statement that a four-year degree “is worth the cost because people have a better chance to get a good job and earn more money over their lifetime.” But about the same share, 47 percent, said that a degree is not worth the cost “because people often graduate without specific job skills and with a large amount of debt to pay off.”

When pollsters posed a similar question in a June 2013 CNBC survey, 53 percent of Americans said that a four-year degree is worth the cost, while just 40 percent said that it is not.

PEW RESEARCH: 5 facts about Millennial households
1.  More Millennial households are in poverty than households headed by any other generation.

2.  Millennial households dominate the ranks of the nation’s renters.

3. About half of cohabiting-couple households are headed by a Millennial.

4.  In 2016, Millennials for the first time surpassed all other generations in number of household heads who were single mothers.

5.  Among heads of household, Millennials in 2016 became the generation with the largest number identifying as multiracial.
CNBC: The incredible falling dollar: Greenback hits new 2017 low

The dollar skidded to new lows against a basket of rival currencies on Friday, and some strategists see further downside ahead for the currency that’s already lost nearly 11 percent this year.

The dollar index hit its lowest level since January 2015 in early Thursday trading, at the 91.011 mark; this was a further decline from the 2017 low hit in the previous session. As the likelihood appears to dwindle that the Federal Reserve will hike its federal funds target rate later this year (as inflation remains tepid and political drama swirls in Washington), so too has the relative value of the dollar.
ZEROHEDGE: Expats Don’t Want To Live In The US & UK Anymore

So unsurprisingly, members of the internationalist class of workers who populate urban centers like New York City and London – and who have the most to lose from nationalist economic and immigration policies – now perceive the US and Britain as less friendly to foreigners, not to mention less politically stable, according to a survey of 13,000 expatriates of 166 nationalities that was cited by Bloomberg.

The respondents said that quality of life in both countries is declining by other measures, including the affordability of child care and health care. However, we don’t think one can easily blame that on the election.

The UK ranks 54, down 21 places from last year’s survey, after its June 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Before the referendum, 77 percent of expats had a favorable opinion of the nation’s political stability. That’s down to 47 percent this year.  The survey was conducted in February and March, before the most recent British election. Just half of expats say the UK has a good attitude toward foreign residents, compared to 67 percent worldwide.

In another twist, China ranked as one of the expats’ favorite places, despite the severe pollution and the quality and cost of health care and education. Two-thirds of respondents said they were happy with their careers, though the country ranked 55 out of 65 for overall quality of life. Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan, which topped last year’s list, slipped to fourth place, while Singapore climbed into the top 10. Hong Kong languished at 39, up from 44 last year.

The survey was conducted by InterNations, a Munich-based network of 2.8 million expats. The survey includes interviews with executives, skilled workers, students and retirees who live outside the country where they grew up. There are about 50 million expats worldwide, according to market research by Finaccord, and the number is expected to hit 60 million over the next five years.

JACOBIN MAG: Infrastructure Spending: Why the United States Is Falling Apart

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Environment and Health

TREEHUGGER: Plastic particles found in most tap water samples across the globe

With an average of 83 percent of samples harboring plastic, the U.S. fared the worst with a whopping contamination rate of 94 percent. And it’s not like the samples were taken from sketchy locations; plastic fibers were found in tap water coming from places like Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York

The scale of global microplastic contamination is only starting to become clear, with studies in Germany finding fibres and fragments in all of the 24 beer brands they tested, as well as in honey and sugar. In Paris in 2015, researchers discovered microplastic falling from the air, which they estimated deposits three to 10 tonnes of fibres on the city each year, and that it was also present in the air in people’s homes.
IB TIMES: Can Marijuana Cure Seizures? Boy Suffering From Epilepsy Treated With Cannabis Oil

An 11-year-old boy suffering from epilepsy, who became the first patient with the condition to be prescribed cannabis oil and began treatment in the United States in 2016, has been seizure-free for 300 days since being under the treatment. Earlier he used to suffer from potentially 30 fatal seizures a month, his mother Charlotte said, the Independent reported Thursday.

UPI: Can’t afford the dentist? You’re not alone

Nobody loves a trip to the dentist, but for many middle-aged Americans even basic dental care is now financially out of reach, a new poll finds.  In fact, 28 percent don’t have dental insurance, while 56 percent don’t get dental care except for serious dental problems, researchers said.  Even more troubling is that 51 percent of people surveyed said they didn’t know how they will get dental insurance after they turn 65, said lead researcher Erica Solway. She’s a senior project manager at the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
ABC: A look at the damage from Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean
ABC: Hurricane Irma threatens ‘to devastate the United States,’ FEMA chief says
BLOOMBERG: Hurricane Irma’s Chemical Fallout Could Be Worse than Harvey’s

Silver Lining from SURFLINE: Jose Pumps Swell to East Coast and Caribbean

Much of the attention, rightly so, over the past week has been on Irma. Meanwhile Jose quietly strengthened into a formidable Category 4 hurricane and is taking a much more favorable track for swell production for the East Coast. In fact, this morning as Jose was passing the NE Puerto Rico buoy (41043) we saw an observation of 44′ seas. Swell from Jose has already produce pumping surf for parts of the Eastern Caribbean the past few days and Puerto Rico today.

Cyberwars and Security

WOLFSTREET: Worst US Consumer Data Hack Ever? Equifax Confesses

Your data was likely stolen. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself even after the hack, and Equifax doesn’t want you to do it.

Equifax, as a consumer credit bureau, collects financial, credit, and other data on every US consumer. It has names, birth dates, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, mortgage data, and payment history data, including to utilities, wireless service providers, and the like. It collects data on bank balances, loan balances, credit card balances, credit card purchases, and myriad personal details. It has massive digital dossiers on every consumer in the US and in some other countries. And it sells this data to other companies, such as banks, credit card companies, car dealerships, retailers, and others, as a routine part of its business model. That’s how it makes money.

But when someone breaks in and steals this data without paying Equifax for it, well, that’s a huge deal. And it is.

Turns out, Equifax got hacked – um, no, not today. Today it disclosed that it had discovered on July 29 – six weeks ago – that it had been hacked sometime between “mid-May through July,” and that key data on 143 million US consumers was stolen. There was no need to notify consumers right away. They’re screwed anyway. But it gave executives enough time to sell 2 million shares between the discovery of the hack and today, when they crashed 13% in late trading.
CNBC: Three Equifax executives sold $2 million worth of shares days after cyberattack

Three Equifax executives sold shares worth nearly $2 million in the company days after a data breach was discovered, according to filings to the SEC.  The company said the trio “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares”

CNBC: Equifax tweets out ‘Happy Friday’ one day after the massive data breach is revealed
MARKETWATCH: Facebook accused of fake audience numbers

Facebook Inc. claims its ads have the potential to reach more people than recent U.S. census data shows exist, and that’s troublesome for one analyst, who thinks third-party measurement services stand to benefit.

Recently, Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser was intrigued by a trade publication study in Australia that said Facebook FB, -1.30%  was claiming to reach 1.7 million more 16- to 39-year olds than actually existed in the country, according to Australian census data.

In reproducing the study for the U.S., Wieser said Facebook’s Ads Manager claims it can potentially reach 41 million 18- to 24-year-olds, 60 million 25- to 34-year-olds, and 61 million 35- to 49-year-olds. The problem arises when Wieser pulls up U.S. Census data from a year ago, showing 31 million 18- to 24-year-olds, 45 million 25- to 34-year-olds, and 61 million 35- to 49-year-olds.
DEFENSE ONE: You Can Protest, But You Can’t Hide From Government Facial Recognition (For Much Longer)

Artificial intelligence is giving rise to unprecedented capabilities for surveillance, from facial recognition at bridge crossings to the ability to identify thousands of people at once. Now, new research suggests that AI could potentially be used to identify people who have taken steps to conceal their identities by wearing hats, sunglasses, or scarves over their faces.

The paper, accepted to appear in a computer vision conference workshop next month and detailed in Jack Clark’s ImportAI newsletter, shows that identifying people covering their faces is possible, but there’s a long way to go before it’s accurate enough to be relied upon. Researchers used a deep-learning algorithm—a flavor of artificial intelligence that detects patterns within massive amounts of data—to find specific points on a person’s face and analyze the distance between those points. When asked to compare a face concealed by a hat or scarf against photos of five people, the algorithm was able to correctly identify the person 56% of the time. If the face was also wearing glasses, that number dropped to 43%.
REUTERS: Two-thirds of American adults get news from social media: survey

(Reuters) – About two-thirds of American adults are getting “at least some of their news on social media” with two-in-ten doing so often, according to a Pew Research Center survey this week.

About 67 percent of American adults somewhat rely on social media platforms such as Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Snapchat for news, the survey showed, compared with 62 percent in 2016.

For the first time in the Center’s surveys, the research also found that 55 percent of Americans adults over 50 were consuming news on social media sites, up from 45 percent in 2016.

Why Doesn’t the US Department of Defense Weaken These Hurricanes and Send Them Back Out To Sea?

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Hurricane Harvey just caused the most expensive “natural” disaster in American history with damage estimates of up to $180 billion and 44 tragic deaths.

Now Hurricane Irma in bearing down on Florida, Katia batters central Mexico, and Jose is entering the Caribbean.  Strangely, a major hurricane has not made landfall in the US over the last 12 years, but now we are experiencing several such storms simultaneously.

The media has a lot to say about these storms, but no one is asking the big question: why are these storms wreaking unprecedented havoc when they could be weakened and sent back out to sea?

We live in the era of anthropogenic climate change, but the mainstream media focuses only on the influence of CO2 and methane.  In reality, many human factors contribute to the wild weather we are experiencing, most notably INTENTIONAL weather modification programs.  Many of these programs are conducted with public knowledge while others are conducted without public oversight.

The historical record of weather modification technology development proves that we have the technological capacity to steer hurricanes.  The obvious question this video poses is why we are experiencing the most destructive storms in American history when we have the capability to prevent these catastrophes.

Here are some applicable excerpts from the history of these technologies.  This is certainly an incomplete history because weather modification, weather warfare, and geoengineering are all shrouded by disinformation and secrecy. Everything mentioned here is true to the extent that we can trust “reputable” government and scientific sources to tell us the truth.

1887: The Atlantic Monthly features an article called “How To Change the North American Climate” which proposes geoengineering by rerouting warm ocean currents to melt the Northern Hemisphere’s Polar Ice Cap.

1946: Researchers at General Electric develop methods of cloud seeding using dry ice and silver iodide. Vincent Schaefer discovered that dry ice could be used to seed clouds. A month later Dr. Bernard Vonnegut (older brother of writer Kurt Vonnegut) discovered that silver iodide was a more effective way to seed clouds. Since 1946 an ever-growing number of governments and business interests around the world have used silver iodide cloud seeding to enhance precipitation, limit hail storms, clear fog, and in experiments seeking to steer/strengthen/weaken storms.

1947: The US Department of Defence (DoD) conducts Project Cirrus in which about 200 pounds of dry ice is dropped into a hurricane heading back out to sea which abruptly changed course and slammed into Savannah, Georgia. The public blamed the government for this catastrophe, so future storm modification experiments took place more secretly. Once again, we see a brand new technology being used in an attempt to alter the weather in massive way. 1952 Project Cirrus summary PDF here.

1951-1953: US DoD conducts the Artificial Cloud Nucleation Project (AEN), a large-scale weather modification project in Washington.

1952: US White House Department of Weather Modification formed.

1952-1954: Project SCUD: US Gov. experiment with cloud seeding over the East Coast of the USA.

1953: President Eisenhower creates the U.S. Advisory Committee on Weather Control.

1953-1954: Scientists at New York University seed nineteen cyclones.

1956: US Weather Bureau initiates a National Hurricane Research Project.

1958: Chief White House Adviser on Weather Modification, Captain Howard T. Orville, said the Department of Defense was studying “ways to manipulate the charges of the Earth and sky and so affect the weather by using an electronic beam to ionise or de-ionise the atmosphere over a given area.” Could this be Nikola Tesla’s wireless electricity “death ray” being experimented with 54 years ago!

1958: Senator Lyndon B. Johnson (future US President) made a prophetic opening statement at a Hearings before the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services:

“From space, the masters of infinity would have the power to control the earth’s weather, to cause drought and flood, to change the tides and raise the levels of the sea, to divert the gulf stream and change temperate climates to frigid. There is something more important than the ultimate weapon. And that is the ultimate position. The position of total control over the Earth that lies somewhere in outer space… In essence, the Soviet Union has appraised control of space as a goal of such consequence that achievement of such control has been made a first aim of national policy. [In contrast], our decisions, more often than not, have been made within the framework of the Government’s annual budget. Against this view, we now have on record the appraisal of leaders in the field of science, respected men of unquestioned competence, whose valuation of what control of outer space means renders irrelevant the bookkeeping concerns of fiscal officers.”

1960-1961: Project Skyfire begins. Project Stormfury also begins in 1961 (and ends 22 years later). Both are studies into lightning and hurricane manipulation.

1966, Nov, report from NASA to ICAS (Independent Comm. for Atmospheric Sciences of the Nat. Academy of Sciences, NAS) was first step in establishing a National Weather Modification program

1966: Gordon J. F. MacDonald publishes military ideas on environmental engineering. MacDonald was Chair of the ICAS Select Panel on Weather and Climate Modification.

1966: US Federal Government spends about $7 million on projects including precipitation modification; hail suppression; fog and cloud dissipation; lighting modification; severe storm modification, and “other.” The Office of Naval Research sponsors major research in tornado modification, hurricane steering and cyclone manipulation.

1967-1972: US Military conducts covert weather warfare over Vietnam called Operation Popeye, to extend the monsoon season over Laos, specifically areas of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The operation seeded clouds with silver iodide, resulting in the targeted areas seeing an extension of the monsoon period an average of 30 to 45 days. As the continuous rainfall slowed down the truck traffic, it was considered relatively successful. The 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron carried out the operation to “make mud, not war.”

1968: Chair of the ICAS Select Panel on Weather and Climate Modification Gordon J. F. MacDonald authored a chapter in “Unless Peace Comes” where he correctly predicted that future means of obtaining national objectives by force hinges on man’s ability to control and manipulate the environment of planet Earth.

“When achieved, this power over his environment will provide man with a new force capable of doing great and indiscriminate damage. Our present primitive understanding of deliberate environmental change makes it difficult to imagine a world in which geophysical warfare is practiced. Such a world might be one in which nuclear weapons were effectively banned and the weapons of mass destruction were those of environmental catastrophe. As I will argue, these weapons are peculiarly suited for covert or secret wars.”

1968: Gordon J. F. MacDonald writes as follows in “Toward the Year 2018″, p. 34):

”By the year 2018, technology will make available to the leaders of the major nations a variety of techniques for conducting secret warfare, of which only a bare minimum of the security forces need be appraised. One nation may attack a competitor covertly by bacteriological means, thoroughly weakening the population (though with a minimum of fatalities) before taking over with its own overt armed forces. Alternatively, techniques of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm, thereby weakening a nation’s capacity and forcing it to accept the demands of the competitor.”

1970: US National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski (who is still very active in 2012) publishes “Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era” containing the following informative quotes:

“Not only have new weapons been developed but some of the basic concepts of geography and strategy have been fundamentally altered; space and weather control have replaced Suez or Gibraltar as key elements of strategy… future developments may well include automated or manned space warships, deep sea installations, chemical and biological weapons, death rays, and still other forms of warfare—even the weather may be tampered with.”

1974: US DoD tells Project Stormfury researchers to conduct “more field experiments on tropical cyclones at every opportunity.”

1974: United Nations General Assembly bans environmental warfare. ENMOD Treaty.

1975: Soviets begin pulsing “Woodpecker” ELF waves, at key brainwave rhythms. Eugene, Oregon, one of locations where people were particularly affected. Russia begins generating powerful electromagnetic transmissions which are dubbed ‘The Russian Woodpecker’ by western ham-radio operators.

1977-1978: The UN Environmental Modification Convention (ENMOD), formally the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques prohibits the military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques. It opened for signature on 18 May 1977 and entered into force on 5 October 1978. The Convention bans weather warfare, which is the use of weather modification techniques for the purposes of inducing damage or destruction.

1983: Project Stormfury officially ends after 22 years of experimentation into predicting and modifying hurricanes.

1987: Bernard Eastlund authors US Patent # 4686605 (and two others) in which he references Tesla’s work as a source of historical contribution. It is entitled:Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Ionosphere, and/or Magnetosphere. Part of it reads: ”Weather modification is possible by… altering upper atmospheric wind patterns or altering solar absorption patterns by constructing one or more plumes of particles which will act as a lens or focusing device.” Years later he admits in an interview to having approached the Pentagon with his ideas but says he is not at liberty to disclose the outcome. His device would allow a concentration of one watt per cubic centimeter compared to others only able to deliver about one millionth of one watt.

1993: Work begins on the HAARP research station. (Which is only one of several such facilities in the US and in other countries)

1994: US Air Force reveals its Spacecast 2020 master plan which includes weather control. Scientists have experimented with weather control since the 1940s, but Spacecast 2020 noted that “using environmental modification techniques to destroy, damage or injure another state [is] prohibited”. Having said that, the Air Force claimed that advances in technology “compels a re-examination of this sensitive and potentially risky topic.”

1995-1997: Public complaints accumulate across the US regarding unusual cloud formations and sudden increase in observable persistent jet contrails that appear unnaturally under dry atmospheric conditions. These observations are accompanied by complaints of biological specimens and web formations that appear to fall from the sky. Many instances of qualified lab analysis reveal high concentration of aluminum, barium and other elements that are consistent with DoD electromagnetic experiments.

1996: US Air Force publishes Weather As a Force Multiplier: Owning The Weather in 2025.

2004: Tsunami readiness in the United States is strengthened after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake strikes in the Indian Ocean and tsunami waves kill over 230,000 people around the Indian Ocean basin. Congress passes the Tsunami Warning and Education Act authorizing NOAA to strengthen its tsunami detection, forecast, warning and mitigation programs.

2005: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in southeast Louisiana on August 29, resulting in devastation and loss of life of historic proportions along the Gulf Coast. Katrina results in an estimated $125 billion in damage/costs — making it the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history — and approximately 1,833 deaths — the highest U.S. total since the 1928 major hurricane in southern Florida.

Hurricane Rita hits the Texas-Louisiana border coastal region in September, creating significant storm surge and wind damage along the coast, and some inland flooding. Prior to landfall, Rita reached the third lowest pressure (897 mb) ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Rita results in an estimated $16.0 billion in damage/costs and 119 deaths — mostly indirect.

Hurricane Wilma hits southwest Florida in October, resulting in strong, damaging winds and major flooding across southeastern Florida. Prior to landfall, as a Category 5 hurricane, Wilma sets a record for the lowest pressure (882 mb) ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Wilma results in an estimated $16.0 billion in damages/costs and 35 deaths.

Overall, the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season set several records. There were 28 named storms (storms with sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour). In addition, there were an unprecedented 14 hurricanes, of which seven were major hurricanes (Category 3 or better on the Saffir-Simpson Scale). Three category 5 storms (sustained winds of 156 miles per hour or more) formed in the Atlantic Basin for the first time in a single season (Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). Four major hurricanes and three tropical storms made landfall in the U.S., with an eighth storm (Ophelia) brushed brushing the North Carolina coast.

2006-Now: Almost every country the world over is seeing increasingly frequent and extreme weather events, many of which have been record-breaking.  At the same time the US experiences at 12 year “drought” of major hurricanes hitting the continental US.

2009: Operation HAMP – Department of Homeland Security operation to Modify and Steer Hurricanes with Geoengineering Aerosols.

Here are the historical documents cited in this video.

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To avoid tell-tale trails see your meteorologist

The Body Electric Weather Mod

 

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8.30.17: Wake Up Wyoming

CLIMATE, WEATHER WAR, and ENVIRO

Harvey Damage Could Top $40 Billion: Only One in Six Insured, 15% of Refining Capacity Down

There’s an “Unbearable” Chemical Smell Hovering Over Parts of Houston, and Experts Are Worried.

Houston drainage grid ‘so obsolete it’s just unbelievable’

Experts blame too many people, too much concrete, insufficient upstream storage, not enough green space for water drainage and, especially, too little regulation.

Desperate Texans line up in the rain as grocery stores start to reopen

As Tropical Storm Harvey heads back inland, slamming southwest Texas with another 15-25 inches of rain, Housting officials are reporting that the city’s critical infrastructure is starting to fail under the weight of the floodwaters, and may soon collapse.

Scientists say Harvey may be the soggy sign of future storms

‘The windscreen phenomenon’ – why your car is no longer covered in dead insects

Climate Change and Migration in Pakistan

Climate change is an inexorable and contemporary threat with drastic impacts on the survival and living patterns of mankind. Pakistan ranks seventh among the most adversely affected countries by climate change on the Global Climate Risk Index 2017. Pakistan has suffered the devastating impacts of natural disasters and climate change in the recent years, witnessing an earthquake in 2005 and heavy floods in 2010. Climate change have rapidly increased in Pakistan, causing and exacerbating disasters, forcing people to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere, thus leading to a climate-induced migration.

Arctic riches: A most insane discussion

As climate change rips away the icy armor of the Arctic, nations surrounding the North Pole and companies eager to exploit the area’s mineral wealth–particularly oil and natural gas–are growing giddy with anticipation.

So reports the Associated Press, though the AP is by no means the first to report this story. The slow-motion battle over the increasingly accessible resources of the Arctic is certainly a story. But the prevailing version of that story lacks the proper context, one that is hard to provide since the implications of global climate change are vast and difficult to grasp.

Industrial farming is driving the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth, says leading academic

‘Re-imagining a world with less stuff but more joy is probably the way forward,’ says Professor Raj Patel

Overfishing is driving large marine creatures extinct

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

The U.S. and Japan will call for an international embargo on oil exports to North Korea in response to Tuesday’s launch of a ballistic missile over Japan, as the allies seek to strike at the lifeblood of Pyongyang’s weapons programs.
American politicians love to hurl economic sanctions at disfavored governments, but the current labyrinth of sanctions is so complicated that it has unintended consequences.
A months-long investigation which tracked and exposed a massive covert weapons shipment network to terror groups in Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe under the watch of the CIA and other intelligence agencies has resulted in the interrogation and firing of the Bulgarian journalist who first broke the story. This comes as the original report is finally breaking into mainstream international coverage.
And the misery is likely to get even worse due to financial sanctions imposed by the Trump administration in efforts to isolate Maduro for taking the country down an increasingly authoritarian path.
U.S. sanctions may play into Russia’s and China’s hands.
The U.S. mainstream media is touting a big break in Russia-gate, emails showing an effort by Donald Trump’s associates to construct a building in Moscow. But the evidence actually undercuts the “scandal.”
The average reader would never know that U.S. and NATO forces themselves engaged this summer in “their largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War,” to quote NPR. Nor would they know that NATO collectively spends 12 times more than Russia on its military, or that its European members alone field nearly 75 percent more military personnel than Russia.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to never evacuate Jewish settlements from occupied land drew outrage Tuesday from Palestinians and complicated matters for the Trump administration’s would-be peace envoys as they try to restart talks.
America’s influential neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks want U.S. interventions pretty much everywhere, but other powers are chafing against this U.S. “global policeman.”

FINANCE and CRYPTOCURRENCIES

Fitch Threatens US with Downgrade

Did the Economy Just Stumble Off a Cliff?

Here’s How Many Americans Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck (Hint: It’s A Lot)

Bloomberg: Wall Street Banks Warn Downturn Is Coming

The 5 Steps to World Domination

You don’t need an army to achieve World Domination; all you need is enough cheap credit to buy up everything that generates the highest value and/or income.

Chinese Producer Embeds Bitcoin Mining Chips In Household Appliances

Chinese electrical appliances manufacturer, the Midea Group, has filed a patent for a technique for mining Bitcoin using household products. The patent application was published earlier in 2017 by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China.

Based on the patent application, Midea plans to embed specialized mining chips inside its appliance products like air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and TV for the purpose of digital currency mining. Once the chips are programmed, the products will then connect to a cloud-based service and contribute their hashing power to mine cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Transactions Aren’t as Anonymous as Everyone Hoped

Web merchants routinely leak data about purchases. And that can make it straightforward to link individuals with their Bitcoin purchases, say cybersecurity researchers.

The IRS Has Been Using Bitcoin Tracking Software Since 2015

Bitcoin Investors, Beware: The IRS Is Coming for Your Vast Riches

Uncle Sam has Bitcoin traders on the radar these days, as the cryptocurrency passes $4,300 in late August trading.  With more assets pouring into digital currencies, the federal government, via the Internal Revenue Service, is looking to get its fair share from Bitcoin — a cut that the IRS doesn’t believe it’s been getting until now.  That could change, and fast, as the IRS is using a software program that monitors Bitcoin-based digital addresses, in a campaign to identify potential tax evaders.

Bitcoin Is a Gigantic Bubble Just Waiting to Explode, Veteran Forecaster Warns

Bernanke Flip-Flops: Will Be Keynote Speaker At Blockchain Conference

CYBERSECURITY and TECHNOFASCISM

Imagine you’re a journalist, meeting with a secret government source. Thanks to the information provided by this source, you break an astronomically important story of government fraud or abuse. After the story breaks, the government decides it wants to go back and look at your cell phone’s historic geolocation information and metadata, tracking your every move and jeopardizing your source. Current Supreme Court precedent and a decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allow government to collect this type of metadata without a warrant.

8.24.17: Wake Up Wyoming

Science Magazine: Arsenic in drinking water threatens up to 60 million in Pakistan

It has been called the largest mass poisoning in history. After wells were drilled in Bangladesh and the rest of the Indian subcontinent in the 1970s, millions of people have been exposed to arsenic in drinking water. When leached into water from surrounding rocks and soil, the metal can—at high concentrations—cause skin lesions, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodevelopmental delays. Now, a study suggests Pakistan might be grappling with its own arsenic emergency, with up to 60 million people exposed to contaminated water.

The study team created the region’s first risk map for arsenic, which shows the probability of dangerous concentrations in every part of the country. By estimating the number of people relying on groundwater for drinking, the team reports today in Science Advances that 50 million to 60 million people might use water that contains more than 50 micrograms per liter of arsenic, five times the WHO guideline.

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TRUMP: ‘If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall’

Business Insider: US Navy 7th Fleet commander dismissed after a series of ship collisions

The news follows the collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters early Monday. The collision tore a hole into the destroyer’s left rear hull. Ten sailors disappeared. Though exact numbers remain unclear, search-and-rescue divers found the remains of some sailors in sealed compartments on the vessel, according to the Associated Press.

The McCain collision followed another fatal collision in June involving the USS Fitzgerald and a commercial container ship, killing seven sailors. Both the Fitzgerald’s executive officer and senior enlisted sailor were dismissed following the incident.

Following the McCain collision, the Navy said that it would put an “operational pause” on all Navy vessels and ordered a broad investigation. Four accidents involving ships have occurred in the western Pacific since February, according to The New York Times.
Zerohedge: Pentagon Denounces American Nazis While Arming Ukrainian Nazis

In the wake of violent protests involving white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the US, the Pentagon’s top military brass issued unprecedented condemnations of «racists and extremists». One veterans spokesman said: «Anyone waving a Nazi flag must be rooted out of our society».

What makes the Pentagon’s response to Swastika-flag-waving American Nazis rather bizarre is that this week the US Defense Secretary, General James Mattis, is reportedly traveling to Ukraine where he is to sign over shipments of lethal weapons to the armed forces of the Kiev regime. That regime openly glorifies Ukrainian regiments that collaborated with the Nazi Third Reich during the World War Two.

Mattis, the top Pentagon official, is due to authorize the transfer of $50 million-worth of military gear to the Kiev regime. This will mark the first official delivery of lethal equipment from the US. Previous military aid to Ukraine was reportedly «non-lethal». Among the inventory Mattis is signing over are Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Zerohedge: Will Estonia Be The First Country To Issue Its Own Digital Currency?

Nearly three years after Estonia introduced its “e-residency” program, becoming the first country on Earth to allow foreigners to become “digital citizens,” the tiny Baltic republic is considering another proposal that would further cement its reputation as a digital pioneer: Becoming the first country to launch its own Initial Coin Offering.In a Medium post published Tuesday, Kaspar Korjus, managing director of Estonia’s e-residency program, explained how such a virtual token – which he has tentatively named Estcoin – would function as a new type of investment allowing investors a “pure play” investment in its development. In this case, the money raised from the IPO would be administered by a public-private trust, and used to improve the country’s already formidable digital infrastructure.

The Nation: A Mark Zuckerberg Presidency Isn’t Ridiculous—It’s Terrifying

But there are deeper problems with Zuckerberg than his status as a corporate shill. His potential presidential candidacy should make us uneasy not because he’s a CEO, but because he’s the CEO of Facebook, the company responsible for the largest and most brazen data-collection project in human history.  As its user base has grown to encompass more than a quarter of the world’s population, Facebook has built an unparalleled system for tracking, analyzing, and exploiting our behavior. The company owns (and sells) a totally unregulated storehouse of data about our most minute habits and inclinations: what we bought and when and where, whose pictures we looked at and for how long, where our cursor moved, what we sent, what we typed but didn’t send, and what we deleted—not to mention patterns in our browsing history, our e-mail activity, and our facial structures. This fearsome data apparatus has been pitched as part of Facebook’s “journey to connect the world.” Losse’s memoir about the company’s early years, The Boy Kings, recounts how Zuckerberg instructed her to generate rhetoric that would justify Facebook’s burgeoning data-collection practices to the public…

…Trump’s hate-mongering and vulgarity are likely to make whoever occupies the White House after him seem innocuous by comparison, but a Zuckerberg presidency would be dangerous in far more subtle ways. The benign public face of the Obama administration masked an unprecedented program of privacy invasion and surveillance, all carried out in the alleged interests of “national security.” Who’s to say whether “innovation” and “fresh thinking” under a Zuckerberg administration wouldn’t serve as euphemisms for an even broader campaign of observation and analysis, implemented not just to protect us from enemies abroad, but to surreptitiously shape and manage our society at home? If we do find Zuckerberg tossing his hat in the ring come 2020, we should take care to remember what he built at Facebook—and, more importantly, how—and ask ourselves whether elevating a quasi-progressive boy genius is worth the significant costs to our privacy and our freedom.

NY Post: US companies spent $4T buying back their own stock

It’s the “shock” market rally —  cash-rich US companies have plunged nearly $4 trillion of their cash into buying back their stock since 2008, which is why all the stock indexes are hovering near record territory.

“It has massively manipulated the market,” said Richard Bowen, the former Citi executive who blew the whistle on the bank during the subprime mortgage crisis, and noted how these share buybacks in the open market were once deemed illegal. The Securities and Exchange Commission eased the rules in the early ’80s.

“This market scares the crap out of me,” Bowen, sensing a potential financial disaster, told The Post…

…Critics wonder if this is the best use of cash for a company. But the effect on stock price and CEO bonuses make this a win-win for management.

The bonuses are tied to better earnings when a company buys its shares back, because it retires the shares. So the next quarter’s earnings will improve, because the formula for earnings-per-share basis, has a smaller denominator.

In this low-interest environment, many companies, including Apple, are borrowing money to buy back shares, not even dipping into their own coffers.

“We’ve been in a market bubble for a long time, and share buybacks are a big part of the bubble made possible by artificially low interest rates that still exist today,” said financial commentator Peter Schiff.

These repurchase programs are responsible for most of the net inflows into US equities in the latest bull market, one study shows, and it has only grown since the Great Recession.

In the three-year period ending in 2012, 449 companies in the S&P 500 index deployed 54 percent of their earnings, or $2.4 trillion, buying back their own stock, according to another study.

Last year, a whopping 66 percent of corporate earnings went to buybacks.

Bowen says he’s worried, because for most Americans, the stock market is a display of public confidence. But it may all be a huge fantasy, Bowen added, a Ponzi scheme that will end in tears.

Schiff says that could occur if interest rates keep rising, ensnaring corporations that financed stock repurchases with debt. “They are going to have to sell their stock to repay the debt they can’t afford,” he said. “That’s going to end up destroying a lot of shareholder value if corporations have to sell equity into a bear market.”

Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, is not as fearful, saying much corporate long-term debt has been refinanced, and carries low interest rates.