Links – February 6, 2017

It’s hard to know how to deal with every day’s tsunami of Trump news. On the one hand, much of it affects US foreign relations and some the nuclear part of that. On the other, the administration lies and backtracks so much that it’s tempting to blow off much of it. The sheer volume of leaks, much of it on gossipy trivia, is tempting as a focus. The leaks themselves, as well as much of their content, indicate that White House operations are chaotic, and the bureaucracy is mostly resisting the crazier demands. Steve Bannon is much too influential, and President Trump isn’t reading what he signs.

There are hundreds of articles that I might link by the standards I’ve used in the past. But I don’t have that kind of time, and neither do you. It’s not a bad idea to check the New York Times or the Washington Post daily; both are doing a good job of covering the chaos. (Yes, I would complain about their campaign coverage too, but there are too many other things to do now.) I’ll try to present articles that help with thinking out how to deal with a presidency gone wrong, and foreign policy news that may be getting lost in the furor. Maybe some fun, too.  Read More

Monday Links – November 2, 2015

This is the most complete account I have seen of the crash of the Russian charter jet in the Sinai. Updates are coming regularly. What is remarkable to me is that Russia is not providing a number of outrageous stories. The chief executive of Metrojet even says it couldn’t possibly have been anything his airline did wrong, just as Western executives often do. ISIS claimed responsibility, but the jet was higher than most ground-based weapons can reach. The animosity toward Russia, due to Russia’s intervention in Syria, is telling, though. Photo from Reuters video. Read More

Links – October 8, 2015

A very overhyped article on nuclear smuggling. A few things to put this in perspective: A market requires buyers and sellers. Typically these articles report on sting buyers from various law-enforcement organizations. They do not count as a market. Only one “real” possible buyer is mentioned in the article. Also, more and more of these materials are locked up every year. Russia, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, was the largest potential source of illicit nuclear materials. In 24 years, there has been no serious incident of nuclear material getting loose. And Russia’s security has improved greatly. I commented further on Twitter: start here and here and follow the linked tweets. Read More

Tokyo on a budget & other news

In a desperate bid to bring back international visitors, the Japanese Tourism Agency is pulling out all the stops, from lobbying A-list celebrities like Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber as spokesmen, to possibly offering 10,000 free flights in 2012.

In a desperate bid to bring back international visitors, the Japanese Tourism Agency is pulling out all the stops, from lobbying A-list celebrities like Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber as spokesmen, to possibly offering 10,000 free flights in 2012.

Since the devastating tsunami and nuclear accident in Fukushima earlier this year, many travelers have been wary to return. Pair that with the recent appreciation of the Yen, and you have a country that is now battling a radioactive and expensive reputation. But Tokyo, the capital, was largely unaffected by the earthquake, and despite the strong Yen, there are a surprisingly good number of free activities that will not blow the budget.

More Information on travel deals

Cheryl takes on reporters who don’t know the difference between radiation and radioactivity, but are quick to scare the public by publishing a very big number of becquerels to scare their readership.

Japan’s government has abandoned its policy of promoting atomic power, saying it will reduce reliance on the sector in its first annual review of energy since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

North Korea is talking again, but Panetta is skeptical.

On a positive note, the Brits think that world power is swinging back to the United States as US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus.