Links 8/2/2022 | naked capitalism

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.

–Yves

P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

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Earth Is Spinning Faster Than Usual, Leading to the Shortest Day Ever Recorded Popular Mechanics

Giant tortoise on track halts trains in England Agence France Presse

Dollar-Store Dinners and Vats of Shampoo Help Families Cope With Inflation WSJ

The pandemic impulse purchases we grew to hate Vox (Re Silc).

Climate

The Mediterranean as We Know It Is Vanishing Foreign Policy

Why famine in Madagascar is an alarm bell for the planet FT

Google: We had to shut down a datacenter to save it during London’s heatwave The Register

Incorporating climate-related risks into international reserve management frameworks (PDF) Bank of International Settlements:

A significant methodological challenge is the difficulty in modelling climate factors and their connection to portfolio risk and return characteristics. The lack of comprehensive, timely and accurate climate risk data is another key challenge for reserve managers. Additionally, incorporating environmental social, and governance (ESG) considerations into international reserve management frameworks would need to be aligned with the pillars of safety, liquidity and profitability and also be consistent with central banks’ legal mandates. Despite these challenges, some reserve managers are gradually adding climate-related risk metrics into their risk management frameworks and are improving the disclosure.

#COVID19

Temporal dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 genome and detection of variants of concern in wastewater influent from two metropolitan areas in Arkansas Science of the Total Environment. From the Abstract: “A significant association was observed between viral titers in wastewater and recorded number of COVID-19 cases in the areas studied, except when assays failed to detect targets due to the presence of particular variants. These findings support the use of wastewater surveillance as a reliable complementary tool for monitoring SARS-CoV-2 and its genetic variants at the community level.” Note that in a university, a “community” can be as small as dorm. It all depends where you place the meter.

Monkeypox

California and Illinois declare monkeypox emergencies NBC

Sewage reveals spread of monkeypox virus E&E News

How the U.S. Let 20 Million Doses of Monkeypox Vaccine Expire NYT. Haven’t we seen this movie before?

The campaign to rename monkeypox gets complicated STAT

China?

Nancy Pelosi to meet Taiwan’s president on Wednesday FT. Three sources. I say it will happen because this is the stupidest timeline. Meanwhile:

President Joe Biden dispatched senior officials, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, to lay out the risks to Pelosi, but people familiar with the situation said she had decided to press ahead with the landmark trip.

Lambert here: Pelosi stands to win with donors in her district* — some of whose largesse will be redistributed to other Democrats, consolidating Pelosi’s leadership position — and no doubt her husband is shorting the appropriate stonks. For Pelosi, that’s what’s going on, and that’s all that’s going on. Biden surely knows this, and so he’s either complicit or weak. “That’s quite an act. What do you call it?” “The Democrats!” NOTE * CA-12, 31.9% “Asian,” median household income $120,290, ka-ching.

Nancy Pelosi to Visit Taiwan Despite Warnings From China WSJ. Single-sourced to “a person.” Meanwhile:

Why Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan Is Utterly Reckless Thomas Friedman, NYT. Shaking my head in agreement with The Moustache of Understanding; it’s a funny old world. (Worth a read for the Ukraine material as well; sounds like the Administration has been sharing concerns with him.)

Xi Jinping misses his chance to dismiss Nancy Pelosi’s trip as feeble grandstanding FT

China suspends imports of multiple Taiwanese food brands Focus Taiwan. Pretty mild?

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China’s 7nm chip surprise reveals more than Beijing might like The Register. “The 7nm process is a copy of the N7 node TSMC put into mass production four years ago. China has had access to any number of ex-TSMC engineers and is spending infinite money to play chip catch-up, so the existence of a cloned fab still two cycles behind earns a ‘well done, I guess’ by itself.”

US, Japan reaching for a 2-nm chip breakthrough Asia Times

Myanmar

Funding Myanmar’s Spring Revolution The Diplomat

Myanmar military still trying to boost international tourism Pattaya Mail (Furzy Mouse). Hotel workers learning Russian and Chinese.

Why Vietnam doesn’t squeeze its super-rich tycoons Asia Times

Inside Southeast Asia’s Casino Scam Archipelago The Diplomat

India

Expectations for India’s Used International Bandwidth (report) Telegeography

Syraqistan

Ayman al-Zawahiri: US kills top al-Qaeda leader in drone strike in Afghanistan Middle East Eye

How the CIA identified and killed Al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri Reuters

UK/EU

Spain Short on Takers for $12 Billion in Semiconductor Subsidies Bloomberg

Liz Truss to ‘ignore’ Nicola Sturgeon on referendum demands Holyrood

British Airways halts Heathrow short-haul ticket sales for seven days FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia Is Building ‘Ghost Bridges’ With Radar Reflectors In Ukraine The Drive

Blast Hits Ammunition Depot of Bulgarian Arms Dealer Involved in Ukraine Weapons Trade WSJ

Ukraine Ships Grain at Last. It Will Take Far More to Slow Global Hunger.NYT. Now they tell us!

Three Britons to stand trial as ‘mercenaries’ in Russia-backed court Independent

“America First” Hawks Admit US Weapons in Ukraine are Plunging Down a “Black Hole” Michael Tracey. To emerge somewhere. But where?

Beware of war predictions: Ukraine’s outcome is not yet written The Hill. The view from KaganWelt.

In Kosovo as in Ukraine, the Same Western ‘Invisible Hand’ Foments Conflict Internationalist 360°

Supply Chain

Ocean spot rates whipsaw on key trade routes as consumer demand slows into peak shipping season Hellenic Shipping News

James Webb Space Telescope’s 1st stunning photo is now a dress Space.com. Pretty slow for fast fashion. What was the holdup?

The Bezzle

SEC charges 11 people in alleged $300 million crypto Ponzi scheme NBC. “Crypto Ponzi Scheme” is redundant, no?

Crypto Crash Leaves NWSL Players Empty Handed as League Mulls Cash Payout Sportico. NWSL = National Women’s Soccer League.

Basically, web3 developers gave user “root” (password “password”) admin privileges. Hilarity ensued:

One might wonder whether the developer/insiders got a(n untraceable) cut of the bounty, and whether this is the usual practice….

6-month remittances total up 16% over last year Mexico News Daily

For Asia’s migrant workers, extreme heat is ‘a matter of life and death’ CNN

Class Warfare

Social capital II: determinants of economic connectedness Nature and commentary, The power of friendships between poor kids and rich kids Axios. Why not invite Maria’s kids over while she’s cleaning the granite countertops?

How Toxic Is Masculinity? The New Yorker

The Aging Student Debtors of America The New Yorker

The Elusive Origin of Zero Scientific American

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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