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Category: Poverty

Water From Thin Air? New Device Can Pull Water From Desert Air

This new solar-powered device can pull water straight from the desert air

You can’t squeeze blood from a stone, but wringing water from the desert sky is now possible, thanks to a new spongelike device that uses sunlight to suck water vapor from air, even in low humidity. The device can produce nearly 3 liters of water per day for every kilogram of spongelike absorber it contains, and researchers say future versions will be even better. That means homes in the driest parts of the world could soon have a solar-powered appliance capable of delivering all the water they need, offering relief to billions of people.

The new water harvester is made of metal organic framework crystals pressed into a thin sheet of copper metal and placed between a solar absorber (above) and a condenser plate (below).

Wang Laboratory at MIT

There are an estimated 13 trillion liters of water floating in the atmosphere at any one time, equivalent to 10% of all of the freshwater in our planet’s lakes and rivers. Over the years, researchers have developed ways to grab a few trickles, such as using fine nets to wick water from fog banks, or power-hungry dehumidifiers to condense it out of the air. But both approaches require either very humid air or far too much electricity to be broadly useful.

To find an all-purpose solution, researchers led by Omar Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, turned to a family of crystalline powders called metal organic frameworks, or MOFs. Yaghi developed the first MOFs—porous crystals that form continuous 3D networks—more than 20 years ago. The networks assemble in a Tinkertoy-like fashion from metal atoms that act as the hubs and sticklike organic compounds that link the hubs together. By choosing different metals and organics, chemists can dial in the properties of each MOF, controlling what gases bind to them, and how strongly they hold on.

Source: Sciencemag.


Cash Chaos in India as ATMs Run Dry

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No cash: Anger grows as banks struggle to exchange notes, ATMs run dry

    • Reuters, New Delhi


  • Updated: Nov 13, 2016 01:53 IST
People queued outside banks for the third day straight, trying to replace 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. (AFP Photo)

Anger intensified in India on Saturday as banks struggled to dispense cash following the government’s decision to withdraw large denomination notes in an attempt to uncover billions of dollars in undeclared wealth.

Tempers frayed as hundreds of thousands of people queued for hours outside banks for a third day to swap 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes after the notes were abolished earlier in the week.

Read more | Weekend rush for cash jolts banks, ATMs; families out on streets together

The banned bills made up more than 80% of the currency in circulation, leaving millions of people without cash and threatening to bring much of the cash-driven economy to a halt.

“There’s chaos everywhere,” said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, a rival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing the premier of wreaking havoc on poor and working Indians while the wealthy found ways to skirt the new rules.

Read more | Demonetisation a big scam, surgical strike on poor: Kejriwal demands rollback

Customers argued and banged the glass doors at a Standard Chartered branch in southern Delhi after security guards blocked the entrance, saying there were too many people inside already.

Others turned on Modi, criticising his ongoing visit to Japan while ordinary people suffered at home.

“He is taking bullet train rides in Japan and here you have old people knocking on bank doors for cash,” said Prabhat Kumar, a college student who said he had spent six hours in the queue. “He has made a terrible mistake.”

Modi said he would pursue the fight against corruption and tax dodgers even if it meant scanning decades-old records.

“If unaccounted money is found out during the current clean up drive, accounts of tax evaders dating back to the country’s independence in 1947 will be checked. If required I will hire people for this task,” Modi told the Indian community in Kobe.

He said he recognised people faced difficulties as the transition to the new series of bank notes takes place but was confident they would stand by the decision as part of the war against corruption and to rid India of endemic poverty.

Traders struggle as cash crunch bites

Nearly half of India’s 2,02,000 ATMs were shut on Friday and those that operated quickly ran out of the new notes as scores of people descended upon them.

Read more | ATMs run dry as people make a dash for cash after demonetisation move



Finance minister Arun Jaitley said ATMs had not been adjusted to handle new currency notes prior to the announcement in order to keep it under wraps. “Recalibration of ATMs will be completed within two weeks,” he added.

Referring to inconvenience caused to public, Jaitley said there could be some, short-term disruptive cost to the economy due to the demonetisation drive but this would prove positive in the longer term.

Read more | No need to rush: 10 things finance minister Jaitley said about demonetisation

Traders in Delhi’s vegetable market said they were considering shutting down the market as cash was running out and banks were dispensing a limited amount.

“We might have to close down until the situation stabilises,” said Metharam Kriplani, president of the Chambers of Azadpur Fruit and Vegetable Traders.

People in Mumbai said grocers were charging 10 times the price of salt in return for accepting the old cash notes.

The government has asked people to exchange the old 500 and 1,000 rupees notes by Dec. 30. The central bank said there was enough cash available with banks and that it had made arrangements to deliver the new bank notes across the country.

Modi’s move was aimed at shrinking the “black economy”, the term widely used to describe transactions that take place outside formal channels and which could be as high as 20% of gross domestic product, according to investment firm Ambit.

People swapping old notes will have to present proof of identity and depositors of abnormally large sums could be investigated by tax authorities.

India has unearthed 1.25 trillion rupees ($18.51 billion) of undeclared “black” money, including 670 billion rupees in the recent income disclosure scheme, since his government came to power in 2014, Modi said.

Much of India’s rural economy is powered by cash, with few people regularly using a bank account.

In Dudko, about 75 kms from Delhi, villagers said they were finding it difficult to pay for food and fuel four days into the cash crunch.

“Bank officials are saying they will give the money on Monday. How will we make purchases?” said Sunita, a woman who was preparing for her daughter’s wedding later this month.

Also read | Baby dies after doctor ‘refuses’ to take Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes for treatment in Mumbai

Man Who Leaked Clinton’s Medical Records Found Dead


Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service has issued a report saying that the father of a doctor treating Hillary Clinton for dementia was found killed this weekend after he leaked information about her deteriorating health to the public. 

According to the report, Vincent Fleck, the father of Clinton’s physician Dr. Daniel Fleck, was found near his home just 24 hours after releasing Hillary’s most secret medical records to the public. reports:

The SVR first became “alerted/alarmed” regarding the circumstances of this latest mysterious death associated with Hillary Clinton on 17 July, this report says, when a “known/suspected” Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “hit team” traveled about 70 kilometers (44 miles) from their New York City “base/headquarters” to a small village named Mount Kisco, both being located in New York State.

Upon arriving in Mount Kisco, this report continues, this CIA “hit team” broke into a specialized small computer security companies annex office named Right Click Solutions, located at 322 East Main Street, but were “shocked/surprised” by the unexpected arrival of an off duty employee—who immediately called the local police forces when he noticed the break in—and who were only able to obtain a single laptop computer.

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As one bizarre episode in the unceasing War on Terror piles on another,

it is hard to avoid the dismaying truth that the entire situation has become pathological.

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Inequality In New Zealand

Inequality ~ Max Rashbrooke from Scott Ewing on Vimeo.

US Military Protecting International Banking Cartel

Bank of America

“My assessment is that 90% of the value of the US dollar comes from the US military.”
— Former Assistant Housing Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts

For decades, America has used its armed strength to enforce the use of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, effectively making the US military the armed wing of the international banking cartel (IBC). Since 1971 when President Richard Nixon stopped paying US debt obligations with gold, America has increasingly used its military might to prop up the value of the dollar and enforce a global financial structure whose primary beneficiary is the US itself, and whose central bank, the Federal Reserve, serves as the IBC’s supervisory authority.

Read the rest here

US Now Spending 26% Of Available Tax Revenue Just To Pay Interest


2014 Worldwide Wave Of Action ~ & If Nothing Changes ..?

We’ve covered a list of potential actions,

and an activist with 37 years’ experience advice for effectiveness and fun.

But what if our actions seemingly cause nothing to change? Then what?

Find out