June 2018________________________________________

Lethal Water Shortages in India - (2018-06-18)

"Some 600 million Indians, about half the population, face high to extreme water scarcity conditions, with about 200,000 dying every year from inadequate access to safe water, according to the report. By 2030, it said, the country's demand for water is likely to be twice the available supply."

CYBERCOM Increases Offensive Posture - (2018-06-18)

With a budget larger than most national military budgets, no one hacks on the same scale as Uncle Sam. Not China, not Russia, no one.

Afghanistan Ceasefire Interrupted - (2018-06-17)

"In the eastern province of Nangarhar, an explosion went off Saturday afternoon, killing at least 36 people"

Oligarchs Determine Policy Towards Iran - (2018-06-17)

"In recent years, the Kushners, Orthodox Jews who made their fortune in the real-estate business and hold conservative views on Israel, have donated large sums of money to Israeli causes and charities"

"His [Netanyahu's] overarching ambition was to diminish the Palestinian cause as a focus of world attention and to form a coalition with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to combat Iran"

"In meetings with American officials in Riyadh and Washington, M.B.S. routinely remarked that 'Israel's never attacked us,' and 'we share a common enemy.'"

Citigroup Fined for LIBOR Rigging - (2018-06-17)

"Citigroup Inc. agreed to pay a combined $100 million to 42 U.S. states to resolve a probe into fraudulent conduct tied to interest-rate manipulation that affected financial instruments worth trillions of dollars."

Cost of doing business...

Leaked U.N. Report on Climate Change - (2018-06-16)

"If emissions continue at their present rate, human-induced warming will exceed 1.5°C by around 2040"

Pollution in India Off the Charts - (2018-06-16)

"A thick haze was visible across the city from Tuesday and some government pollution monitors have recorded concentrations of 999 – the highest they can measure – as dust storms kicked up in nearby Rajasthan state blanketed the region."

China Has Far More to Lose - (2018-06-16)

"The United States has gross domestic product of nearly $20 trillion, so a new tax on $50 billion (or, eventually, $150 billion or more) of Chinese imports is a rounding error... Most of the economic activity in the United States is for domestic consumption. Exports constitute about 12 percent of G.D.P."

Paychecks Declining for Most Workers - (2018-06-16)

"For workers in 'production and nonsupervisory' positions, the value of the average paycheck has declined in the past year. For those workers, average 'real wages' — a measure of pay that takes inflation into account — fell from $22.62 in May 2017 to $22.59 in May 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. This pool of workers includes those in manufacturing and construction jobs, as well as all 'nonsupervisory' workers in service industries such health care or fast food. The group accounts for about four-fifths of the privately employed workers in America, according to BLS."

When they say the economy is doing great, ask yourself: "Whose economy?"

Entitled EPA Chief Treats Staff Like Servants - (2018-06-16)

"At least three E.P.A. staff members were dispatched to help Ms. Pruitt obtain a summer internship at the White House, the current and former staff members said."

U.N. Report on Kashmir - (2018-06-15)

As usual, civilians stuck in the middle.

Trump's China Tariffs "On Again" - (2018-06-15)

"Tariffs that affect more than 800 products worth $34bn in annual trade are due to come into effect on 6 July. The White House said it would consult on tariffs on the other $16bn of products, and would apply these later. China retaliated, saying it will impose an additional 25% tariff on 659 US goods worth $50bn."

When in Doubt, Elites Blame Iran - (2018-06-15)

"We have lost the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban is resurgent and has a presence in over 70 percent of the country. Libya is a failed state. Yemen after three years of relentless airstrikes and a blockade is enduring one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters... The military adventurism has cost a staggering $5.6 trillion as our infrastructure crumbles, austerity guts basic services and half the population of the United States lives at or near poverty levels."

PG&E Privatizes Profit, Socializes Risk - (2018-06-15)

"PG&E — which reported $1.66 billion in profit in 2017, twice what it reported in 2013 — says a legislative shield is necessary to protect it from financial ruin"

Grayshift Mocks Apple Security Gambit - (2018-06-15)

"Grayshift has gone to great lengths to future proof their technology and stated that they have already defeated this security feature in the beta build"

113 Mexican Politicians Killed in Under a Year - (2018-06-14)

Rule of law replaced by rule of the gun, as Mexico becomes Afghanistan.

Yemen: Defense Contractors Eye Arms Sales - (2018-06-14)

"The defense contractor Raytheon is courting lawmakers and the State Department to allow it to sell 60,000 precision-guided munitions to the Saudis and Emiratis, in deals worth billions of dollars."

Defense Stocks Drop After Singapore Summit - (2018-06-14)

That explains a lot...

Artic Ice Melting Rate Tripled - (2018-06-14)

"In a controversial 2016 study, former NASA scientist James Hansen and a team of colleagues, including Velicogna, found that Earth's sea level could rise above one meter (or 3.3 feet) within 50 years if polar ice-sheet loss doubles every 10 years. A tripling every decade, were it to continue, would reach that volume of sea level rise even sooner."

State Dept. to Fund White Helmets - (2018-06-14)

"The President has authorized the United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State to release approximately $6.6 million for the continuation of the vital, life-saving operations"

OPCW: Nerve Gas Used in Syria, March 2017 - (2018-06-13)

"It does not include identifying who is responsible for alleged attacks. Attribution was part of the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, set up by the UN Security Council, which expired in November 2017"

Time Warner Merger with AT&T Approved - (2018-06-13)

"Deals such as this one, in which the two companies are in related industries but do not produce competing products, are usually approved by federal regulators... [Time Warner] with its popular HBO shows, live N.B.A. and N.C.A.A. sports broadcasting rights, and CNN, has been a takeover target for years."

Senate Adds ZTE/Huawei Ban to NDAA - (2018-06-13)

"Senators plan to add a provision that would ban US suppliers from selling to ZTE... The amendment would also ban government agencies from trading telecommunications equipment and services with ZTE, as well as Shenzhen-based Huawei... It would also prevent loans or subsidies to either company."

Dixon Carphone, UK Retailer Breach - (2018-06-13)

"Dixons Carphone has admitted a huge data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records... The good news is that nearly all of them were protected by good old chip and pin - and there is no evidence of any fraud relating to the 100,000 non-European cards which didn't have that protection."

Trump Press Conference After Meeting Kim Jong-un - (2018-06-12)

"We will be stopping the war games... The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor"

See Also: As for all the hand-wringers whining about human rights, what can be said about North Korea is that it is not aiding a multi million person genocide in Yemen, and the US is. Shut up you flaming hypocrites.

Bilderberg: Money Buys Secrets - (2018-06-12)

"This is what Kissinger has been doing for decades through Kissinger Associates: leveraging information for money. This isn't how representative democracy is meant to work. It's how Wall Street works. It’s the geopolitical version of insider dealing: private access to non-public information."

See what the elites have their knickers in a knot about.

Net Neutrality Officially Repealed - (2018-06-12)

"The FCC did away with rules barring internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to online content. The FCC also eliminated a rule barring providers from prioritizing their own content"

DoJ Wire Fraud Crackdown - (2018-06-12)

"Operation WireWire... involved a six-month sweep that culminated in over two weeks of intensified law enforcement activity resulting in 74 arrests in the U.S. and overseas, including 42 in the U.S., 29 in Nigeria, and three in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland."

Yemen: Mass Carnage in Hodeidah - (2018-06-11)

"Heavy fighting in Yemen between pro-government forces and Shiite rebels has killed more than 600 people on both sides in recent days, security officials said Monday"

Spasms of Violence in Afghanistan - (2018-06-11)

"Suicide bombers struck a government building in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Monday, killing at least 17 people"

Kim Jong-un Wins Legitimacy - (2018-06-11)

"Regardless of the outcome of the Singapore meeting, Mr. Kim has already won a lot. Becoming the first North Korean leader to meet with a sitting American president, Mr. Kim has proved to his people that he is a force the Americans have to reckon with."

DoT Sanctions Russian Execs and Corps - (2018-06-11)

"For engaging in cyberattacks and assisting Russia's military and intelligence services with other malicious activities... The sanctions freeze any assets that they may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them"

Facebook Critical to Trump's 2016 Success - (2018-06-11)

It's not just surveillance. Social media enables propaganda. Meddling in elections means big money for facebook execs.

Oligarchy in Bipartisan: 2020 Dems Bow Down - (2018-06-10)

"More than $500 million came from the New York City area to political campaigns in the last full election — the most of any single metropolitan region in the country, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. New York State had 15 of the top 50 ZIP codes for giving in the 2016 elections; no other state, even California, had half that many."

Billionaire Profile of the Week - (2018-06-10)

"He acknowledged that he did not see Trump’s election coming. 'Apparently, I was living in my own bubble'"

Being a billionaire will do that to you. That's why they should keep out of politics.

Bonfire of the Tech Sociopaths - (2018-06-10)

"Some C.E.O.s told taradiddles, exaggerating the number of users on their platforms (ahem, Twitter); some in Congress say Mark Zuckerberg lied when he told Congress that people on Facebook have 'complete control' over their personal data. (They don't.) But all of these, all these made-up numbers, concocted valuations, and apocryphal stories of how a company was realized in a garage, are nothing—nothing!—compared to the audacious lies of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and C.E.O. of Theranos."

Newark's Maoist Big Brother - (2018-06-10)

"They have opened up feeds from dozens of closed-circuit cameras to the public, asking viewers to assist the force by watching over the city and reporting anything suspicious."

Afghanistan: Taliban Agree to Ceasefire - (2018-06-09)

"It is the first such truce since the US-led invasion in 2001"

Lockheed Wins $928 Million Contract - (2018-06-09)

Ka-Ching! Execs applaud revival of "great power" conflict. As if the trillion-dollar "war on terror" wasn't enough.

POTUS Stirs up Drama, As Usual - (2018-06-09)

"Donald Trump has called for Russia to be readmitted to the G7 club of world leaders"

And then there's this: "We're like the piggy bank that everybody’s robbing"

Navy Contractor Hacked - (2018-06-09)

"The data stolen was of a highly sensitive nature despite being housed on the contractor's unclassified network"

In other words, someone forgot to turn on the alarm and left the kitchen door open...

Epic Signal Failure - (2018-06-09)

Feature posing as a plausibly deniable bug? Everyone cooperates, especially those who feed from the government trough. Otherwise they end up like Lavabit.

Turkish Troops Running Ops in Iraq - (2018-06-08)

"Turkish forces are stationed 30 km inside northern Iraq and could advance further to target Kurdish PKK militants in their Qandil Mountains stronghold, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said"

Trump Caves, ZTE Deal "On Again" - (2018-06-08)

"ZTE must pay $1 billion and place an additional $400 million in suspended penalty money in escrow before BIS will remove ZTE from the Denied Persons List. These penalties are in addition to the $892 million in penalties ZTE has already paid to the U.S government under the March 2017 settlement agreement"

Two words: Soy Beans

Suicides Rise 25% in U.S. from 1999 to 2016 - (2018-06-08)

44,193 in 2016. The tenth leading cause of death. More than twice the number of murders.

Chemical Industry Leverages Money, EPA Listens - (2018-06-08)

"The E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water"

Senate Intelligence Committee Security Director Indicted - (2018-06-08)

"Wolfe has not been charged with mishandling or disclosing classified information. Instead, prosecutors say, Wolfe told FBI agents during an interview in December that he did not have contacts with reporters."

Oligarch Profile of the Month - (2018-06-08)

"They have spent roughly $26 million on the current election cycle, supporting more than 60 congressional candidates"

AT&T Workers Strike - (2018-06-08)

"CWA District 4 represents some 9,500 AT&T technicians, call center representatives and other personnel across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Thousands of workers in every state eventually took part, but the walkout started in Indiana"

Afghanistan Police Caught in the Middle - (2018-06-07)

"The officers come from the poorest communities around the country, accepting the risky job for $200 a month when there are few other prospects. Each day last year, an average of about 28 Afghan police officers and army members were killed."

Corrupt leaders on one side, Taliban on the other.

Ghani Calls for "Timeout" With Taliban - (2018-06-07)

"With so many militant groups active here, how do we identify who is the Taliban and who is not?"

18 Dead in Iraq After Weapons Cache Explodes - (2018-06-07)

"It did not give an exact location of the cache, but some security officials said it was inside the mosque."

TSB Meltdown Resulted in Wave of Fraud - (2018-06-07)

"Chief executive Paul Pester said 2,200 customers had suffered fraudulent attempts to access their accounts since the IT problems first surfaced. Of these 1,300 had received compensation."

Feeble Corporate Apologies - (2018-06-07)

"We know the value of trust. After all, we've been ass-deep in scandals for most of the last 10 years. But when we finally ripped you off in a way that reporters understood, we got busted. Now, we need the Fed off our back, because our profits are slightly down compared to JP Morgan Chase and might be again for another WHOLE YEAR. Here's a picture of a cowboy. We opened 30 accounts in his name. Just kidding."

Mexico Imposes Tariffs on United States - (2018-06-06)

"The country will slap tariffs of 25 percent on certain cheese products, steel and Tennessee whiskey while imposing taxes of 20 percent on pork, apples and potatoes, according to a resolution published in the Official Gazette early Tuesday."

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a PSYOP - (2018-06-06)

"the UK funded a project worth £194,769.60 to provide the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with communications equipment and cameras"

"The real reason that reporting of the Syrian conflict has been so inadequate is that Western news organisations have almost entirely outsourced their coverage to the rebel side."

Social Security, Medicare Trust Funds Report - (2018-06-06)

"Medicare's hospital insurance fund will be depleted in 2026, reserves for the fund that pays disability benefits would be emptied in 2032, and all Social Security reserves would be exhausted by 2034"

"About three-quarters of the benefits. That's the amount the Social Security's trustees said tax income alone could cover."

Israeli DNA Testing Company Pwned - (2018-06-06)

"We determined that the file was legitimate and included the email addresses and hashed passwords of 92,283,889 users who had signed up to MyHeritage up to and including Oct 26, 2017 which is the date of the breach"

DHS to Deploy Biometrics at Texas Border - (2018-06-06)

"The pilot, called the Vehicle Face System (or VFS), is planned for installation at the Anzalduas border crossing at the southern tip of Texas and scheduled to remain in operation for a full year"

Syria: Report on Civilian Deaths in Raqqa - (2018-06-05)

"Amnesty International researchers travelled to Raqqa in February 2018 and spent two weeks visiting 42 locations of strikes and interviewing 112 witnesses and survivors."

YPG Kurds to Exit Manbij in Syria - (2018-06-05)

"Under the roadmap endorsed by Ankara and Washington for Manbij, near Syria's northern border with Turkey, the two nations would jointly maintain security and stability there."

Iran Launches Uranium Enrichment Increase - (2018-06-05)

"The head of Iran's atomic agency told reporters that it was developing infrastructure to build advanced centrifuges at the Natanz facility. The agency has informed the United Nations of the move, but said it would remain within the rules of the deal."

Koch Brothers Side with Bankers on Trade - (2018-06-05)

Interesting, given how bankers have benefited from government intervention...

Afghanistan: Muslim Scholar Summit Attacked - (2018-06-04)

"Religious scholars across the country had gathered in the tent to issue a 'fatwa' - a religious edict issued by an expert in Islamic law - against suicide bombings and the ongoing war in the country."

Bitter irony. Violence on an assembly against violence.

Kim Demotes Generals Before Summit - (2018-06-04)

When the cat is away, the mice will play...

Iran and Iraq Forge Oil Swap Deal - (2018-06-04)

"Crude from the Kirkuk field in northern Iraq is being shipped by truck to Iran. Tehran will use the oil in its refineries and will deliver the same amount of oil to Iraq's southern ports, on the Gulf"

SOCOM Mulls Great Power Competition - (2018-06-04)

"The Africa Command has been asked how it would conduct its counterterrorism missions on the continent if the number of commandos there was cut by 25 percent over 18 months, and by 50 percent over three years."

Facebook Gave Data Access to Device Makers - (2018-06-04)

"Facebook has reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers — including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung — over the last decade... Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users' friends who believed they had barred any sharing... It’s like having door locks installed, only to find out that the locksmith also gave keys to all of his friends so they can come in and rifle through your stuff without having to ask you for permission"

Privacy controls are like fake thermostats. I've said it once and I'll say it again: social media is premised on surveillance. To protect yourself you must opt out.

DNA Spies - (2018-06-04)

As usual, idiots opting-in to surveillance on behalf of vapor. An effective scam.

U.N. Calls Out Mexican Deep State - (2018-06-03)

"UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has called on the Mexican authorities to take urgent steps to end a wave of disappearances in and around the city of Nuevo Laredo, amid strong indications that these crimes have been committed by federal security forces."

Syria SITREP - (2018-06-03)

"After seven years of conflict, Syria is now more or less comprised of five different zones of influence. The government has regained control of most of the major cities and the country's main highway. The east of the country is held by mainly Kurdish forces, backed by the US. Turkey now calls the shots in much of northern Syria after pushing further across the border to Afrin in January, and nearby Idlib is controlled by opposition groups – among them Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, newly designated a terrorist group by the US"

Scott Pruitt and The Coal Billionaire - (2018-06-03)

"Mr. Craft and his wife donated more than $2 million to support President Trump’s candidacy and inauguration."

"A major contributor to Mr. Pruitt’s campaigns in Oklahoma when Mr. Pruitt served in state government, Mr. Craft saw Mr. Pruitt at least seven times during his first 14 months at the E.P.A., agency records and emails show"

Pentagon Release Airstrike Civilians Death Toll - (2018-06-02)

"Airwars, which tracks and examines casualty allegations using social media and other information, reported this year that the United States and its allies may have killed as many as 6,000 civilians in strikes in Iraq and Syria alone in 2017."

DoJ Claims Trump Can Authorize Attacks - (2018-06-02)

"The ludicrous claim that this president can magically assert ‘national interest’ and redefine war to exclude missile attacks and thereby bypass Congress should alarm us all. This is further proof that Congress must finally take back its authority when it comes to war."

North Korea Summit "On Again" - (2018-06-02)

This guy is all about drama (being a reality TV celebrity). So don't be surprised if this flip flops several times.

Visa Crashes Due to Hardware Failure - (2018-06-02)

As editors lament the lost opportunity to hype cyber war and garner eyeballs for advertisers. Yet another reason to use cash, which offers better privacy and works without network connectivity. Precious metals, like gold, even more so. No need to have "faith" in a government's ability to backstop value with action.

Google Licked Chops Over Pentagon AI - (2018-06-02)

"Google's business development arm expected the military drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15 million to an eventual $250 million per year"

This has gone public. Hence the following public relations stunt.

Nearly 100 Killed in Nicaragua Protests - (2018-06-01)

"The government introduced plans to cut pensions and social security, including decreasing pension payments by five percent and increasing worker social contributions by 0.75 percent. The change also increased employer contributions by 3.5 percent"

White House Imposes Metal Tariffs - (2018-06-01)

"On Thursday, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said talks with the EU, Canada and Mexico had not made enough progress to warrant a further reprieve, meaning tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium have now come into effect."

And the EU heads to the WTO.

Lithuania and Romania Hosted CIA Black Sites - (2018-06-01)

"Lithuania and Romania have both been ordered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to pay €100,000 (£88,000; $117,000) in damages to the two men. The court was unable to gain access to speak with the two men at Guantanamo."

Spain's PM is Ousted - (2018-06-01)

"Mr Rajoy, 63, had failed to take responsibility for his party's involvement in the scandal, which hit the headlines again last week after one of its former treasurers was given a 33-year jail sentence."

PBSNews Anchor vs ICE Director - (2018-06-01)

These are responses that you'll never see in the New York Times. Homan presents sound, rational, arguments. Woodruff relies on emotionally loaded talking points.