International Forecaster Weekly

What On Earth Is Happening This Week?

Trump and Kim kick the bromance, hundreds are up in public use, a Canadian db is tracking citizens, and Benjamin Neanyahu may be up on charges.

James Corbett | March 2, 2019

Are you sick of Smollett? Fed up with fake news? Tired of tawdry tabloid trash disguised as "news"? Well, you've come to the right place! Here's a number of interesting stories from around the world that you might have missed if you're only following the dinosaur media newsfeed.

The Trump-Kim summit has ended with a whimper

The "huddle in Hanoi" is over and Team Trump either sent a strong message or presided over a catastrophic collapse in talks depending on which lamestream news outlet you go to.

"Sometimes you have to walk," explained the prevaricator-in-chief at the anti-climactic press conference for this diplomatic nothingburger.

There's a lot of he said / she said regarding who offered what, but the long story short is that the talks were doomed from the get-go. Or perhaps Kim should just trust that Uncle Sam has his best interests in heart when they double-dog cross-my-heart promise to ease sanctions after he's disarmed. I mean, we saw how well that worked out for Libya and Iran, right?

Still, let's keep it in perspective: Talks (even failed talks based on unreasonable expectations) are better than no talks, and at least no one is lobbing missiles over Japan's head anymore. And as I've pointed out before, the real peace on the Korean peninsula will come through North/South talks.

There's a surge in $100 bills in circulation . . . like there was before 9/11

The number or $100 bills in circulation have doubled since the Lehman crisis according to the latest data from the Fed. At the time of the financial crisis, there were just under 6 billion c-notes in circulation; today there are over 12 billion. That means there are more $100 notes floating around than there are $1 bills.

The dramatic jump in hundreds is not just an interesting anomaly; it's also an indicator of global political and economic instability, a proxy for the growth of the peer-to-peer, agorist economy, and a potential warning of a future catastrophic and catalyzing event like 9/11.

That's right, for those who remember the story of Federal Reserve whistleblower William Bergman, a sharp increase in money supply was something that caught the attention of Fed researchers in the wake of 9/11. When he began looking into that spike, and why the Federal Reserve Board of Governors had issued a non-routine supervisory letter warning Fed banks to be vigilant in monitoring suspicious activity reports in August 2001, he was told that he had committed "an egregious breach of protocol in calling the Board staff and asking the question." Needless to say, Bergman was eventually ousted from his position.

So there are many possible reasons for the increase in $100 bills, and surely all of them have at least some part to play here, but we have to at least suspect that there may be an even darker cause for this as-yet-unexplained development.

A new report has exposed a secret database Canadian police are using to track citizens

An investigation by Motherboard has uncovered documents revealing the existence of a “Risk-driven Tracking Database” that at least two Canadian provinces are using to track highly sensitive information about its citizens, including whether a person uses drugs, has been the victim of an assault, or lives in a “negative neighborhood.”

The report stems from a response to an access to information request from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and provides more information about the so-called Hub model to policing that is increasingly being employed in the Great White North. This Hub model "partners cops, school staff, social workers, health care workers, and the provincial government" in a highly controversial pre-crime approach to dealing with illegal activity which involves identifying "at-risk" individuals and singling them out for extra attention from the authorities regardless of whether or not they have yet broken any laws.

The investigation has identified "found that in 2017, children aged 12 to 17 were the most prevalent age group added to the database in several Ontario regions, and that some interventions were performed without consent." Even more, "children as young as six years old have been subject to intervention."

But don't worry, guys, government officials insist that privacy is protected because identifying details such as names and birthdates are removed before being entered into the database. And if there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's that we can totally trust the government with this kind of data, right?

Netanyahu is about to be indicted for bribery in the midst of an election

As first reported on New World Next Week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been staring down the barrel of a bribery charge for over a year now. Well, the hammer finally dropped and shots were fired earlier this week when Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced his intention to bring bribery charges against Netayahu.

More specifically:

Mandelblit said that Netanyahu will be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000, “the Bezeq-Walla affair,” for breach of trust in Case 1000, “the Illegal Gifts Affair,” and that he would charge him with fraud and breach of trust in Case 2000, “the Yediot Aharonot-Israel Hayom affair.”

This comes at a most inopportune time for the leader of the Apartheid state, who is in the midst of an election campaign and currently neck-and-neck with Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party in the polls. For those keeping track at home, that means that there's a chance that the Likudniks will be thrown out and replaced with a "moderate" "centrist" who used to be the Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces. Yay?

In any event, there will be at least three to twelve months and several hearings with Netanyahu's lawyers to go through before Mandelblit finally brings charges. So it's not out of the realm of possibility that Netanyahu will be reelected and then promptly indicted on criminal charges.

One wonders if the subject of 9/11 will come up at his future trial . . .