Tuesday, July 30, 2013

 

News Links, July 28-31, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Silver Vault for 200 Tons Starts in Singapore as Wealthy Buy
"A silver vault that can hold 200 metric tons opens in Singapore this week to cater for increasing demand for physical precious metals among Asia's wealthy even as the commodity leads declines this year."
The Coming Shortage Of Physical Gold That Will Change Everything
Europe's 'recovery' is a conjuring trick
Credit squeeze in Asia now worst since financial crisis
Official data to signal more pain for Chinese factories
Cyprus 37.5% Depositor Haircut Upgraded To 47.5% Brazilian Wax
Greece's Unemployed Young: A Great Depression Steals the Nation's Future
Greece Has Already Spent 75% Of Its Bank Bailout Cash
"Economics Cannot Trump Mathematics"
Vietnam's Lone Billionaire Opens Mega Underground Mall In Hanoi
80% Of US Adults Are Near Poverty, Rely On Welfare, Or Are Unemployed
The UAE's ongoing debt hangover
India's seizure of smuggled gold soars
Analysts Expect Central Banks To Add To Gold Reserves Despite Turkey's Decline
As The Crisis Deepens, Gold Flows East
Jim Rogers: "The Whole 'Economic' World Is Artificial... It's Going To End Very Badly"
Bitcoins banned in Thailand

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Mega crisis hits Pakistan International Airlines
Faced with hefty fees, traveler abandons bags, creates airport headache
Air India 787 Smoke In Galley: Why Didn't Crew Make Emergency Landing?
Airlines find defective Dreamliner emergency locator transmitters
Chinese airlines hit by air rage amid long delays
ANA to retire four 747s by March
"All Nippon Airways plans to take its Boeing 747 jumbo jets out of service by March 2014 because of soaring fuel costs."
Singapore Airlines short to medium term outlook remains bleak as yields and load factors drop again
Ryanair tells pilots to fly slower to save fuel
"Budget airline Ryanair has told its pilots to fly more slowly as rising fuel costs, an early Easter and the summer heatwave were blamed for a sharp fall in profits."
Air France could cut 3,000 more jobs: union
ANA posts Y6.6 bil loss in April-June quarter
Fears airport charges will rocket

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia and Iran: A postmodern dance
More Than 1,000 Prisoners Escape In Massive Libyan Jailbreak
China to Acquire Another East African Energy Foothold?
U.S. to Push China for South China Sea Conduct Code, Biden Says
Japan unveils plans to provide patrol ships to Philippines
"Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a plan at a meeting Saturday with Philippine President Benigno Aquino to provide Manila with 10 coast guard patrol ships through a yen loan to help it counter an increasingly assertive China."
Philippines to move air force, navy near disputed sea
"The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former U.S. naval base north of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country's defense chief and a confidential government report."
China puts Japan on notice that warship drills are now routine
Papers confirm U.S. planes patrolled around Spratlys
Iraq violence: Wave of deadly car bombs targets Shias
Mexican vice admiral killed in attack in Michoacan state
"Mexican Vice Adm. Carlos Miguel Salazar Ramonet was killed Sunday in an attack on navy personnel by armed gunmen in Michoacan state, officials said."
Israel gets ready to expand its submarine fleet
Israeli navy seeks to counter Russian ship-killer
"Israel's navy is installing the Barak-8 air-defense missile system aboard its combat vessels to protect them against Syria's new supersonic Russian-built Yakhont anti-ship missiles which the Jewish state views as a potent threat to its long-held naval supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean."
U.S. Navy personnel trained on Sea Glider underwater drone
Saudi prince defects from royal family: Report
Gunmen kill eight Tunisian troops as political tensions rise
Pakistani Taliban free dozens of terrorist convicts in daring jail break
US Lagging on Law of the Sea: What It Stands to Lose
Egypt Reconstitutes Mubarak's 'Atrocious' Secret Police

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Violent Mob Rages After Surfing Competition in Huntington Beach Ends
It's Time To Start Taking This Global Food Riot Model Seriously
Thousands protest government at Tunisia funeral
Tunisian Protesters Call for Fall of Government as Military Cracks Down
China air rage incidents caught on camera
"Air rage attacks are a growing problem in China as the country struggles to make its planes fly on schedule, leading to increasing number of violent attacks on airline staff."
Road Rage: Nearly Half Of Drivers Affected
Girl dies after 'parking rage' attack
Thousands of anti-govt protesters teargassed by Peru police
Brazil's Outrageous Prices Are At The Heart Of Growing Unrest
Explosions rock Libya's Benghazi, protesters take to streets
Egypt: Many Protesters Shot in Head or Chest
Egypt: Mohamed Morsi supporters call for 'million-man' march against military
Hong Kong Protesters Demand Secretary Chan Resign, RTHK Says
Largest Fast Food Workers Strike Hits Seven Cities Across US
Fast-Food Worker Walkout Continues for a Second Day
'Bigger Than Stand Your Ground': Protesters Mark 13 Days of Florida Capitol Occupation

## Energy/resources ##
Mexican State Oil Monopoly Pemex Posts Massive Loss
What Happens to Oil Markets if Iraq Collapses?
Recommended reading: Will the Bakken "Red Queen" Have to Run Faster?
There is some room for interpretation, but overall I don't see anything too promising here. As with shale gas, there is a lot of money in the ground, and so far precious little to show for it. Because they are drilling the best spots first, it can't get much better than this, if at all. And if the global economic crisis causes the price of oil to drop, the whole bottom could fall out in no time flat. It's obvious tight oil is not a game-changer, just a flash in the pan. What a shame the mainstream media don't carry any sober and serious analysis like this. Tight oil/shale gas hypesters and cornucopians seized on the announcement that TOD would become an archive, but will they give posts like this any attention? Don't be fooled by the hype and propaganda. -- RF
Bakken flaring burns more than $100 million a month
Rising sectarian war hits Iraq oil export
Fusion Energy Quest Faces Boundaries of Budget, Science
A declining demand bombshell for wind power
No matter what kind of energy source is used, large-scale energy systems require maintaining a certain scale and also keeping prices high to cover costs. But here is another indication that developed countries are already falling into a negative feedback loop that leads to the crumbling of their systems. -- RF
China opens pipeline to bring gas from Myanmar amid local concern over benefits of the project
Water Powered Car Unveiled: Yes It's Real
No, it's not. It appears that the true source of energy is metal hydride fuel, not water. Since metal hydrides don't exist in nature (they react with water), they have to be made, and there's your real energy input. -- RF
Alwaleed Questions Saudi Policy in Letter to Oil Minister
Eye-opener: A 280,000% Mark Up For... Water? A Look Inside The Bottled Water Industry
Water Shortages Are a Major Problem for Future Energy Projects
Power crisis threatens Jordan
India tribal community set to block Vedanta bauxite project
Entergy to cut jobs, mulls future of wholesale nuclear
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in War of Words over Water
Fuel pumps run dry throughout Sarawak

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper theft 'like an epidemic' sweeping US
Ecorse, Mich., mayor's air conditioning unit stolen twice in 7 months
Metal thefts plague farm country
Cable theft disrupts Aberdeen to Inverness rail service

## Got food? ##
Insight: The poison pill in India's search for cheap food
Tucson Food Bank Helps The Needy Grow Their Own Food
Wild plants to be used to improve our food
"British botanists are to undertake a worldwide hunt for 450 wild relatives of common food crops in a project that could lead to new fruits and vegetables."
Organic Pest Control: What Works, What Doesn't
Self-Seeding Crops You'll Never Need to Replant
French environmentalists warn of genetically modified crops
"French environmentalists say genetically modified organisms have been smuggled into France in violation of laws regarding genetically modified crops."

## Environment/health ##
High arsenic levels found near gas-drilling sites
"A new study has found elevated levels of toxic metals such as arsenic and selenium in drinking water near natural gas wells in the Barnett shale."
EPA Censored Key Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Study
Decline in bees is affecting plants
Radar antennae reveal how disease and pesticides are harming bees navigation
Scientists confirm: Pesticides kill America's honey bees
Conservationists Call For Quiet: The Ocean Is Too Loud!
The Rise Of Bloodsucking Insects You Can't Just Swat Away
New study highlights possibility of runaway greenhouse effect on Earth
Oil spill reaches Thailand resort island
More Evidence Environment Is Impacting Autism
Gulf 'dead zone' bigger than average but not a record
Masses of plastic particles found in Great Lakes
BP Allocates Extra $1.4B for Deepwater Horizon Compensation
5 ways commuting ruins your life

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Chief Justice Roberts Stacks Secret Court with Govt 'Yes Men'
Repeat after me: Edward Snowden is not the story
US Government Protection of Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi Black Hole
GMO companies launch website to fight anti-biotech movement
With Smarter Cars, The Doors Are Open To Hacking Dangers
New system said to make 'reverse-engineering' of software impossible
Manning acquitted of aiding enemy, still may face long jail term
Manning verdict: What you need to know
Moscow Subway To Use Devices To Read Data On Phones

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
4 in 5 in U.S. face near-poverty, no work
U.S. roads, bridges are decaying despite stimulus influx
New Law Requires Large Buildings In Philadelphia To Report Energy Usage Annually
Requirements like this — implemented after the situation has already become desperate — are meant to make the system more efficient and reduce energy use. But what's actually happening is that yet another layer of complexity has been added to an already fatally bloated system. Building owners must expend still more money/energy to collect the data or have someone else do it, while the administrative end has more work because now someone has to read and file the reports and issue the energy report cards. Growing complexity and bloat are contributing to industrial society's demise. -- RF
Earth's Future Forbidden Zones?

## Japan ##
Japan; from quagmire to Abenomics to collapse!
Japan's PM may rethink tax hike; could shake markets, unsettle support
11 Prefectures' minimum wage found to be less than welfare
"The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry disclosed that for 11 prefectures, people who are earning minimum wage earn less than if they were actually on welfare."
Tough penalties eyed for leaking state secrets
Tritium level also high in Fukushima trench water
Fukushima clean-up turns toxic for Japan's Tepco
Fukushima veggie campaign kicks off
"Unprecedentedly heavy rains" lash western Japan
Welfare benefits cut 1.5% starting in August (article in Japanese)
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced that benefits for food and utilities will be reduced 1.5% starting in August. The cuts will affect 96% of the 1,580,000 households receiving welfare benefits. In some instances the cuts will mean a reduction of ¥7,000 (US$71.44) for a family of four.
Renesas Electronics to close chip foundry: report
Fukushima Operator Announces Plan to Release Radioactive Water into Pacific
Japan June Industrial Output Falls 3.3%
Industrial output suffers worst month since Great East Japan Earthquake
In truth Japan never will recover from the earthquake/tsunami disaster. Energy is just too expensive. -- RF
Average power bill in Tokyo to top ¥8,000 in September

## China ##
China Stocks World's Worst Losing $748 Billion on Slump
China's Bad Earth
"Industrialization has turned much of the Chinese countryside into an environmental disaster zone, threatening not only the food supply but the legitimacy of the regime itself."
Foreign banks in China dropping out of retail banking
"Due to adjustment in business structure and continuing deficits, a number of foreign banks have started closing their retail banking branches in China."
Dark days for small solar firms
"Only large solar panel makers such as GCL-Poly Energy (3800) and Comtec Solar Systems (0712) will likely survive, analysts fear, after Beijing's deal with the European Union over caps on export price and volume in return for exemption from punitive tariffs."
China's slowdown and the global glut
Shanghai's water price to rise by at least 23%
How Big Is China's Debt? The Best Guesses
Explosion Hits China Factory at Center of Influential Protest
China's shale auction winners barely start seismic work
Pollution plagues China's mega water diversion project
Haier CEO says China is no longer world's factory, eyes production move overseas

## UK ##
Balcombe oil: Drill site fracking protests continue
'Perverse' environmental charges on even the poorest families could see energy bills go up by a third
Nurses 'ration care due to time pressures'
Inadeguate minimum wage isn't working, says its chief architect Sir George Bain
UK on the brink of running out of power last winter

## US ##
The United States of... Class War, Inequality, and Poverty
The Top 3 Reasons Why People Are Driving Less
New Survey Shows Record-High Opposition to 'Worthless' Afghan War
The Minimum Wage Doesn't Apply to Everyone
"The Pew Research Center examined Bureau of Labor Statistics data and found that about one and a half million Americans earned the minimum wage in 2012, but nearly two million people earned an hourly wage that was even less than $7.25 an hour."
Detroit Bankruptcy a "Game-Changing Event," Meredith Whitney Says
Wall Street's Biggest Job Cuts Still to Happen, Meredith Whitney Says
Chicago Next? Windy City Cash Balance Plummets To Only $33 Million As Debt Triples
The Muni Market's Shifting Sands
The Exquisite Art Of Marketing To Pauperized Consumers
Working-class whites are gloomy about future amid rising income gaps, racial shifts
Treasury Secretary Lew says Congress needs to do its job, raise debt limit, halt brinksmanship
US race relations will worsen if economy doesn't improve, Barack Obama warns
Texas: Paved roads back to gravel
'Bubbles Forever' and stock crashes forever too
Visualizing The 'Real' Economy Vs The 'Financial' Economy
'It made me feel ashamed': Poor moms anguish over diaper costs
Fire shuts down Callaway nuclear plant near Fulton, Mo.
Deputies shoot man in his front yard
Fitch, Moody's Mull Saks Downgrade
8 Shocking Ways America Leads the World
"The New American Exceptionalism: Number one in obesity, guns, prisoners, anxiety, and more…"
Massive explosions rock central Florida gas plant; 7 hospitalized, all workers accounted for
Alaska State Government Faces Budgetary Train Wreck
Teachers in Arkansas to Carry Concealed Handguns at School
For Congress, 'it's classified' is new equivalent of 'none of your business'
When Bad Government Policy Leads to Bad Results, the Government Manipulates the Data … Instead of Changing Policy
Illegal Public Seizure of Mortgages Via Eminent Domain in the Spotlight
US Rents Hit Record Highs As Homeownership Plunges To 18 Year Lows
Hey Dubya! What happened to the "ownership society"? -- RF
Dallas Fed: The financial crisis cost the US up to $14 trillion
South OC Power Outages Hit More Than 120,000
California city's drastic foreclosure remedy: Seizure

And finally…
Pie in the sky: Chinese authorities shoot down world's first cake drones
India's Grand Mufti seen enjoying concert after declaring music 'un-Islamic'


Saturday, July 27, 2013

 

News Links, July 25-27, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
One-Third Of Europe's Unemployed Are Spanish
French unemployment hits new record as economy struggles
Jobless Parisians Mean Fewer Peugeots in Slumping France
No End in Sight to Italy's Economic Decline
Only Hope For Italy is Bankruptcy
Debt Levels Are Skyrocketing To Extremely Dangerous Levels – How Long Can This Possibly Keep Going?
Alphaliner: Rate malaise spreads as overcapacity continues
"As a series of new ships have been delivered to the container freight routes from Asia to Europe, older ships on the routes have been moved to other routes, what is referred to as 'cascading.' This has put freight rates under pressure across the board, writes industry analyst Alphaliner on Tuesday."
Cyprus Deposits Plunge At Fastest Rate In History
Canadian bankers feeling the pain of 'decimated' mining sector
Iron ore miners face headache
Roche: Tough times ahead for the mining industry (Australia)
IMF and US worry Argentine debt default case may complicate debt relief for other countries
General Electric to cut 600 jobs in France: union
Spain Levies Consumption Tax on Sunlight
S&P cuts rating on 18 medium-sized Italian banks
Bankers Own the World, and are ultimately destroying it
Seoul Looks to Mine Gold Trade
"The South Korean government is mining for gold in the nation's underground economy as it hunts for revenue to pay for President Park Geun-hye's spending pledges."
Progress In Internationalizing The Renminbi
JPMorgan Mulls Physical Commodities Exit Amid U.S. Review
I walked into a bar and watched as people swapped thousands of dollars for bitcoins

## Airline Death Spiral ##
A summer of discontent for airlines (India)
Tiger losses widen
Chinese Airlines Face New Tax Hike For Airport Costs
"Last year 139 of the country's airports posted a combined loss of $300.2 million, amounting to an increase of 13.1 percent over the previous year."
Airlines Grounded Due To Aviation Fuel Shortage
"Thousands of air travellers were, yesterday, stranded in Lagos and other airports across the country, following scarcity of Jet A1 commonly known as aviation fuel, crippling flight operations in most parts of the country."
Tiger Airways Philippines wants up to 90% increase in fuel surcharge
Nigeria: Rwandair Decries High Cost of Operation in Industry
Qatar grounds a 787 as glitches pile up on Boeing jet
Ana Says It Found Damaged Wire in Boeing 787 Beacon
Oven on Boeing 787 Overheats During Air India Flight
Air France-KLM cuts losses, says more cost-saving needed
"Struggling airline group Air France-KLM said on Friday it had reduced net losses in the first half of this year but that more cost-saving would be needed to pull it out of the red."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Clashes in Mexico's Michoacan state leave 22 dead
Egypt crisis: 'One killed' in Mansoura police blast
Egyptian army threatens to shoot violent protesters
Obama halts delivery of F-16s to Egypt amid unrest
US plans to bring Iran oil exports down to zero
Japan scrambles jets after China plane flies by southern islands
Turkey Jails 64 Journalists For Coverage of People's Protest
Evidence Mounts Agent Provocateurs Used by Brazilian Police
Protection for Snowden Russia's latest affront to U.S.
Senate Moves for Sanctions on Nations Helping Snowden
Sweden Proposes Nordic Battalion Force Plan
"A potential joint Nordic Battalion Force (NBF) will be on the table when defense ministers and commanders from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark meet to discuss the Swedish proposal this fall."
Why the CIA Is Worried About Geoengineering
Caribbean Nations Demand Reparations for Slavery and Native Genocide
Israeli military exports hit record $7.5B
Israeli navy grapples with defending Med gas fields
"Amid signs Israel's effort to patch up relations with onetime ally Turkey is in difficulties, the prospect of exporting gas from offshore fields to Europe via a pipeline under the eastern Mediterranean to Turkey would seem to be dimming."
U.N. mulls use of private security groups
"The United Nations announced a panel discussion on the use of mercenaries and private security companies is scheduled next week at the U.N. headquarters."
China Coast Guard ships confront Japanese cutters

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Egypt crisis: Deadly clashes at pro-Morsi Cairo protest
Assassination of Leftist Leader Sparks Mass Protests in Tunisia
Petrobras Workers Strike, Shut Down Some Oil Platforms
"Petrobras oil workers affiliated with the North Rio Petroleum Workers Union, Sindipetro, went on a 24 hour strike and shut down 40 out of 48 deep sea oil platforms currently floating far off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo states."
Protesters block British fracking campaign
Americans' frustration with gridlocked Washington grows
Villagers' fracking revolt leads to arrests (UK)
Brazilian protesters wreck banks in Sao Paulo
"Some 300 Brazilian protesters ransacked around 10 banks and set fire to a television news van in Sao Paulo on Friday before police dispersed them with tear gas."
With more Capitol protesters arrested Friday, both sides dig in their heels (US)
Protracted power cuts: 'City of Pirs' erupts in violent protests (Pakistan)
"Irate protesters burnt and vandalised Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) offices and police stations on Friday in protest against unscheduled load-shedding and non-replacement of obsolete electricity transformers."

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: Peak oil isn't dead; it just smells that way
Long, but filled with facts and informed opinion, unlike the recent cornucopian hit pieces that are filled with ignorance and propaganda, and falsely claim that TOD is shutting down because peak oil was proved wrong. I'll say it again: In terms of net energy, peak oil is already in the rear-view mirror. -- RF
Must see: Peak oil per capita was 1979 (graph)
And in per capita terms it is in the rear-view mirror. It's all downhill from here. -- RF
Saudi Aramco's Oil Push to Raise Rig Count to Record
"Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world's largest crude exporter, is set to add more drilling rigs than expected this year and hire more in 2014 as new fields are drilled to counter dwindling output from aging deposits."
Gulf rig partially collapses in fire off Louisiana: U.S. government
Australia May Contain World's Next Major Oil Find
Solar Industry Integration Limited, Overcapacity Hurting Margins
Is the Sun Setting on Middle East Oil Production?
From an investor, some realistic talk about field depletion in the Middle East and the need to employ more costly extraction techniques to maintain production. In particular, the remark about the need for reservoir management in Iraq is a real eye-opener, given the widely held belief that Iraq was supposedly going to be the new Saudi Arabia. Add to that the sorry state of Iraq's oil infrastructure. All things considered, it's no wonder that these days we no longer hear the prediction that global oil production will reach 120 million bpd. -- RF
Analysis: As Canada's junior miners flounder, long-term damage looms
"Hundreds of small mineral exploration companies may have their stock delisted by Canada's TSX Venture Exchange in the coming months, choking off a development pipeline that has long supplied major miners with new projects."
A Bad Time to Lose Iranian Oil
Sahara solar project fades, but sunpower shines in gulf
Abu Dhabi Boosts Oil Output in $40 Billion Plan
Teo urged immediate action to resolve diesel woes (Indonesia)
"The Department of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism must take immediate action to resolve the acute shortage of subsidized diesel, otherwise all economic sectors that require diesel fuel will be at a standstill in the next one week, thereby causing huge losses to the State."
Fuel retailers in price squeeze (South Africa)
Luzon faces power shortage in 2015 (Philippines)
Is the future bright for shale oil? Depends on whom you ask
The cost of exploiting Australia's new-found gas supplies is soaring
The world might be drifting into an oil price shock
Texas oilman George P. Mitchell, billionaire philanthropist and fracking pioneer, dies at 94
Here we can see that fracking was under development a long time, contrary to media reports that it is a "new" technology. -- RF
Where Is All Of The Water Going? A Look At Which Energy Resources Are Gulping Down Our Water
Leaks prompt concern over bitumen extraction methods (Canada)
Energy Crunch newsletter
Those who still don't believe net energy is falling fast should check out the graph. Effort (number of wells) to get natural gas in the US is skyrocketing while productivity is plummeting. And the resulting net energy decline is dismantling the economy, piece by piece. Do not fall for the hype and propaganda. -- RF
Iran on verge of electricity shortage, again
"Iranian Energy Ministry warned that, if citizens do not decrease electricity consumption, electrical outages will be inevitable, Jahanesanat daily quoted Iran's Energy Ministry as saying."

## Got food? ##
EPA raises the acceptable pesticide levels on US crops
Portable Chicken Mini-Coop Plan
Dry area expands in western U.S. Corn Belt -Drought Monitor
For India's Inflation Crisis, See Onion Prices
China eyes food security options in Venezuela
"China is considering investment in Venezuela's agriculture industries as part of a global strategy to secures diverse sources of food supplies for its burgeoning population."

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Brief, Tragic Reign of Consumerism—and the birth of a happy alternative
Living Fences: How-To, Advantages and Tips

## Environment/health ##
Honeybee Health Damaged by Common Fungicides, Study Finds
Brazil's new generation of Thalidomide babies
Climate change slowdown is due to warming of deep oceans, say scientists
Pooping Canada geese may have spread GM wheat seeds
Shale formations may be ideal for depositing Nuclear waste: USGS
Outbreak of foodborne parasite spreading across US
Los Angeles-area campgrounds closed after squirrel found with plague
Blaming Full Moon for Sleep Troubles May Not Be Lunacy
Consider the Cannibal Lobster: In warming seas, even lobsters think lobster is delicious.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The NSA Says It Can't Search Its Own Email
Ahem. -- RF
Researchers 'physically' hijack cars
US: 4 Russians, 1 Ukrainian hacked corporations over 7 years, losses in hundreds of millions
Researchers to show new ways to hack oil, gas and water plants
"Cybersecurity researchers next week will demonstrate how hackers can potentially wreak havoc on critical U.S. infrastructure, even causing explosions by altering the readings on wireless sensors used by the oil and gas industry."
The Mind-Boggling Implications of a Bitcoin Economy
Don't get excited. The internet looks like something permanent and reliable, but that will change readily due to events such as infrastructure damage and power outages. And then your bitcoin currency will be inaccessible and worthless. -- RF
How Protecting Your Privacy Could Make You the Bad Guy
Your Car's Contribution to the "Big Data" Cloud
UK Porn Filter Will Censor Other Content Too, ISPs Reveal
Feds put heat on Web firms for master encryption keys
"Whether the FBI and NSA have the legal authority to obtain the master keys that companies use for Web encryption remains an open question, but it hasn't stopped the U.S. government from trying."
Securities and Exchange Commission wants to search private emails without a warrant

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Could door-to-door Postal Service delivery end soon? (US)

## Japan ##
Nuclear renaissance: Fukushima decontamination and cleanup estimated at $50 billion, five-times gov't budget
Tepco reform committee chairman: contaminated water threatens Fukushima plant recovery
The Systematic, Unrelenting Deterioration Of Japan's Trade
Japan's Future: Less Sex, More Shoplifting
Retirees resort to robbery to eat
Japan might seek provision to allow pre-emptive strikes
Meiji to hike milk shipment prices by up to 4%
"Other dairy product companies are expected to follow Meiji, Sankei Shimbun reported Wednesday."
Japan Seen Needing $50 Billion to Cushion Sales-Tax Rise
Report: Japan Eyeing Marines, Drones
"Japan should acquire amphibious units like the US Marines and surveillance drones, newspapers on Thursday reported a government paper will say this week, as a territorial dispute with China rumbles on."
Abe tells Biden Japan will create own National Security Council
Japan finds traces of US Agent Orange components on Okinawa

## China ##
Platts Report: China Oil Demand Rises 11.7% in June Versus a Year Ago
Greenpeace says Chinese coal company exploiting water
"A major Chinese state-owned coal producer is exploiting water resources in Inner Mongolia at a "shocking scale," says a Greenpeace report."
Is China's debt nightmare a province called Jiangsu?
"The nightmare scenario for China's leaders as they try to wean the country off a diet of easy credit and breakneck expansion is a local government buckling under the weight of its own debt. Few provinces fit that bill quite like Jiangsu, home to China's most indebted local government."
Is China about to launch a new round of stimulus?
Overcapacity vexes Chinese steel industry in H1
China Cuts Capacity in Some Industries to Reshape Economy
PLA said to have built world's largest conventional submarine
Power, water usage reaches peak level (Shanghai)
Despite Volume Drop, Hong Kong Real Estate Prices Get Even More Ludicrous
World's Tallest Skyscraper Remains a Hole in Chinese Ground
The great wall of China worries is getting higher, BRIC by BRIC

## UK ##
Wind farm companies warn against wild land ban
"Wind farm companies have warned Alex Salmond they must be allowed to build on wild land and near homes if his green energy targets are to be met."
Flooding in winter to get worse, scientists warn
U.K. Economic Growth Quickens to 0.6% as Recovery Gains
All right! Growth is up to 0.6%… it's a recovery! -- RF
Shetland shellfish sites close after high toxin levels found
"All shellfish harvesting sites in Shetland have closed and mussels from the islands withdrawn from sale after unusually high levels of toxins were detected."
UK Serious Crimes Agency buried evidence of massive criminality by major corporations, rich people -- wouldn't even tell the cops
Civil servants told not to take electric fans to work
"Whitehall officials told air coolers could have 'potential impact on electrical supplies' and present a 'risk to electric shock'"
Thousands of unexplained and unexpected deaths among elderly revealed in leaked Government analysis
Chinese firm Huawei controls net filter praised by PM
Energy-efficiency squads will visit UK households
"Sending installers out to properties street by street is the latest stage of the green deal scheme to curb rising bills"

## US ##
Pentagon: Cost of operating Guantanamo in 2013 is $454 million
A bleak forecast from heavy equipment maker Caterpillar sours the mood on Wall Street
Five Signs That Housing Market Recovery Is Caving In
The Mythical American Manufacturing Renaissance in Three Charts
300 layoffs expected Spirit Aerosystems, union says
"Spirit Aerosystems (SPR.N), a major supplier to Boeing (BA.N), Airbus (EAD.PA) and other aircraft makers, is expected to lay off about 300 people on Thursday, a union leader said."
The Nightmare Ahead: 19 US Cities Have More Public Workers per Resident than Detroit
Social Security can't fund your retirement
Will your pension disappear, post-Detroit?
"Create a 'what if' plan that assumes pension is cut by half"
Business Executives Call Political Giving 'Pay to Play'
GM stock must nearly triple for taxpayers to break even
Blimps to Defend Washington D.C. Airspace
Halliburton Admits It Destroyed Gulf Spill Evidence, Pays 0.0007% of Revenue Fine
Local food bank shelves face summer shortage
Hedge funds ruled the finance playground; now SAC Capital is just the latest black eye
3 More Reasons To Be Wary Of Muni Bonds
Municipal bonds 'hemorrhage' $1.2 billion on Detroit fears
It Is Happening Again: 18 Similarities Between The Last Financial Crisis And Today
Some Hard Truths Become Apparent When One Faces Muni Bond Realities
Who Are We at War With? Sorry, That's "Classified"
Lawsuit: SWAT Officers Dragged 10-Year-Old from Bathtub, Made Him Stand Naked Next to 4-Year-Old Sister, Terrorized Family
The rise of the mooching millennial

And finally...
Women sensing a woman moving in on her man flash Gucci, Fendi
Half-hour version of Monopoly launched, but jail space remains


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

 

News Links, July 21-24, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
The Markets' Worst Kept Secret
"Here's what your stockbroker and the media aren't telling you: the world is more indebted now than it was at the height of the financial bubble in 2007. That's right. Despite the extraordinary government intervention of the past six years. Despite continuing optimism of a recovery. Despite the reassuring words of central bankers. We're worse off in debt terms."
Insolvent Spain Forced To "Borrow" From Social Security Fund To Pay Pensions
Pensions: Going, going… -- RF
Why hopes of Spain's recovery may be 'far too optimistic'
'The worst is still to come' for EU job crisis
Wow. This story about Iceland's "recovery" is a complete lie.
Portugal 'Salvation' Talks Collapse
Decimated Won Bond Sales Add Cash Shortages to Korean Challenges
"South Korea's corporate bond sales this month have plunged to about a tenth of offerings a year ago, as borrowing costs near a 10-month high hamper growth prospects of Asia's fourth-largest economy."
New South Korea Gold Exchange More Proof Of Strong Asian Demand For The Yellow Metal
Global Business Confidence Slips to Multi-Year Low
Greece Lays Off 25,000 Even Though One In Four Greeks Is Unemployed
Government debt rises in Europe
Brazil Cuts $4.5 Billion in Spending to Meet Fiscal Goal
"Brazil's government is cutting spending for the second time in two months to help meet its fiscal target as it forecasts slower growth this year in Latin America's biggest economy."
Prices fuel outrage in Brazil, home of the $30 cheese pizza
BRIC Bust Seen in Emerging Market Discontent With Growth
"Stretched budgets and sluggish growth are putting emerging-market governments on a collision course with rising pressures  from recently empowered middle classes for more spending and better services."
Saudi Arabia transfers $2 billion to Egypt
High-End Smartphone Boom Ending as Price Drop Hits Apple
If We Don't Break Up the Big Banks, They Will Manipulate More and More of the Economy … Making Us Poorer and Poorer
Huge demand for physical gold has more than countered ETF sales
What Happens to Places That Were 'the Center of the World for Two Weeks'?
Pope Francis warns of 'lost generation' of unemployed young people
Dealer data from Caterpillar suggests second-quarter results may be weak
Singapore Central Bank Rocked By Losses, Money-Laundering, And Terrorism-Financing
Factory output puts brakes on China's growth
Debt-crippled Dutch wake up to housing crash

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Baggage Fees Turn Five Years Old; Passengers Turn Blase
"Today, fees are not only the norm; they are heading higher still. on most domestic flights, and roughly three times that amount on many overseas flights. And on any given flight, just about everything comes with a price tag — from 2 more inches of legroom to a can of Coke."
What the Unbundling of Airline Fees Means for Your Wallet
Flying High And Low In 'Full Upright And Locked Position'
Do airlines even care about their websites?
Airlines' sales of onboard extras continue to grow
Airport profitability: 70% of airports in the red
Report: Up to 10 hurt after Southwest jet hits runway
Will It Be A Hot Summer For Delta, US Air And United?
JAL 787 reports wing flap problem
"Jiji Press A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet bound for Japan from Boston has signaled that a wing flap was not working properly while in the air, the airline said Monday."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
West Africa Pirates Seen Threatening Oil and Shipping
"West African pirates will threaten the region's oil and shipping industries for years as the measures used to curb attacks in the Indian Ocean aren't able to help, according to a provider of armed guards for vessels."
SANDF, US Army to conduct war games in Eastern Cape (South Africa)
Iraqi officials: At least 46 killed in wave of Baghdad car bombings, other attacks
Egypt "deeply worried" by Nile water row with Ethiopia
Russia Conducts Record Military Exercises
Pine Gap assisted in US drone strikes
"Central Australia's Pine Gap spy base has reportedly played a key role in the United States' controversial drone strikes involving the 'targeted killing' of al-Qaeda and Taliban chiefs."
Strategic Triangle: A Japan-Australia-India Coalition at Sea?
South Korea seeks advanced medium-range, air-to-air missiles from U.S.
Over 500 'Al Qaeda militants' escape Iraq's Abu Ghraib in violent break-out
US And Russia Simultaneously Announce Intent To Arm Opposing Sides In Syria
Chinese warships make circuit of Japanese archipelago
"In a show of strength, Chinese Navy warships for the first time made a circuit of the Japanese archipelago this month, sources in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces said July 22."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
People gather across US in 'Justice for Trayvon' rallies, pushing for federal charges
Second night of riots in Paris over 'burka ban' fine
Beijing Airport Bomber Highlights Threat to Social Stability
Sympathy for Bomber as Video Surfaces
"A wheelchair-bound man who set off explosives in the Beijing airport over the weekend failed to end his own life but succeeded in getting authorities to re-examine his complaints amid an outpouring of public sympathy over his plight."
Violent Clashes In Egypt Following Calls To 'Lay Seige' To The US Embassy
Oil Production Aside, Middle East still Matters
Tripoli roads blocked in protest over power cuts
Pope's Brazil Visit Will Coincide With SlutWalk and Other Political Protests
Fears grow for Pope Francis's safety in Brazil as series of violent protests break out in Rio de Janeiro
Turkish Protesters Take to Country's Parks
Bulgarian protesters block parliament, scuffle with police
Riot police out after veil clashes (France)
Protesters egg anti-riot cops, burn Aquino effigy (Philippines)

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: The Shale Gas Revolution: is it already over?
There might be a 100-year supply of gas. The problem is, who's willing to pay for it? -- RF
Power outage in the Bronx
Power Back on After Massive Blackout Hits South Orange County, San Diego
Conservation program eases power grid strain
"Last week's heat wave drove near-record demand for electricity in New England, leading the power grid operator to invoke a rarely used energy conservation program to take pressure off the system."
Climate change causing disruptions in the U.S. energy supply, DOE report says
"According to a report released on Thursday by the US Department of Energy, rising temperatures can reduce production at power plants. Power plants may reduce their power generation or shut-down temporarily."
At Center of Oil Boom, Electricity Costs Soar
"Heavy Energy Use From Drilling in West Texas Strains Power Grid, Leading to Surcharges"
Water Stress Threatens Future Energy Production
Mindanao faces rotating brownouts starting August
Campaign to cut power consumption in Dubai
WTI Crude Exceeds Brent for First Time in Almost Three Years
Rolls-Royce Revives Age of Sail to Beat Fuel-Cost
Newfield Exploration Says Low Natural Gas Prices Led to Wayne County Lease Terminations
Where the crudes have no margins – European refinery woes
Federal geologists mining old Western US tailings piles for minerals to build smartphones
Eco-Blowback: Mutiny in the Land of Wind Turbines
"Germany plans to build 60,000 new wind turbines -- in forests, in the foothills of the Alps and even in protected environmental areas. But local residents are up in arms, costs are skyrocketing and Germany's determination to phase out nuclear power is in danger."
To Forbes - A Gentle Cough of Correction at TOD's End
Spain's government accused of killing solar market
India's oil reserves to last only for 20 years
Must read: CGES: Manifa Is an Expensive Development
"The CGES revealed that estimates of investment intensity per peak daily barrel range from the ultra-cheap $2,500 (per peak daily barrel) for development of the Haradh III zone of the supergiant Ghawar oilfield  to $10,000 for the massive Khurais et al development and finally $17,500 for the Manifa field, the most expensive development in Saudi Arabia."
Unlike many articles on oil field development, this one provides a revealing window on the skyrocketing cost of developing  lower-quality and hard-to-get oil. And the important point is — you guessed it — that the rising proportion of such oil in the overall global energy mix is pushing net energy down. -- RF
Must read: Energy and the Economy–Basic Principles and Feedback Loops
An enlightening discussion on the transition from a positive energy feedback loop to a negative one. The post affords a good window on the socioeconomic unraveling now underway before our eyes. -- RF
China's Coal-Fired Economy Dying of Thirst as Mines Lack Water
Pakistan's New Big Threat Isn't Terrorism—It's Water

## Got food? ##
Food prices forecast to treble as world population soars
India's Massive Challenge Of Feeding Every Poor Person
Farmers just not earning enough to climb out of debt (New Zealand)
A hungry world: Lots of food, in too few places
The Energy Cost of Food
City Farming
Doomsday: Will Peak Phosphate Get us Before Global Warming?
Just one thing: Phosphate rock is mined and transported with huge machines, so this major source is bound to get more expensive, even if the resource base holds up. And higher price equals decreased availability as more financial strain is imposed on farmers. While this alone might not be a catastrophic problem, it is one more spanner in the works of modern agriculture. -- RF
USDA Fast-Tracks 'Rubber-Stamp' Approval of 'Dangerous' GE Seeds
Preserving in Oil
Criminalization of food sovereignty defenders: Old and new trends

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Review: Family practice doctor says 'back to the soil' for better health
Raising Kids for a Resilient Future

## Environment/health ##
4 decades after war ended, Agent Orange still ravaging Vietnamese
Study Finds H7N9 Virus 'Highly Transmissible' Through Air
Six more cases of MERS virus confirmed: WHO
DOE frac study 'finds no sign of water pollution'
US fighters drop unarmed bombs on Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in air emergency
Message from the mud: East Antarctic meltdown could cause massive sea rise
Why Is the United States So Sick?
"Americans die younger and experience more injury and illness than people in other rich nations, despite spending almost twice as much per person on health care. That was the startling conclusion of a major report released earlier this year by the U.S. National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine."
Missing Lynx? Cat Is On 'Brink Of Extinction,' Study Says
The Melting Arctic: Northern Sea Route Shipping Has Already Quadrupled Last Summer's Record
Natural Gas Spews 'Uncontrolled' Into Gulf Following Blowout
"Natural gas spewed 'uncontrolled' from a well off the Louisiana coast Tuesday after a blowout followed a failed attempt by a drilling rig to expand natural gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico."
Smartphone addiction a growing problem among South Korean youth

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US court renews surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden
Inside Google HQ: What does the future hold for the company whose visionary plans include implanting a chip in our brains?
SIM card flaw said to allow hijacking of millions of phones
"Vulnerability in the security key that protects the card could allow eavesdropping on phone conversations, fraudulent purchases, or impersonation of the handset's owner, a security researcher warns."
How CIA Black Ops Teams Are Hacking Into Computers Worldwide
Obama's Anti-Leak Crusade Continues to Escalate
Apple's developer website hacked, personal information 'may have been accessed'
Huawei spies for China, says ex-CIA chief
Leaker Snowden hopes to be able to leave airport by Wednesday: lawyer
Self-Assembling Autonomous Drones Launched
The European Commission wants a media outfit to 'filter' the news to its own liking.
Report: Cyber Crime Costs Global Economy Up to $500B a Year
ObamaCare Will Take All Your Personal/IRS Data and Put It in a "Federal Data Hub"

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Detroit: Six ways 'shrinking' cities try to survive
Detroit's Bankruptcy Reveals Dysfunction Common in Cities
"'None of the other cities are as far along, but there are dozens, if not hundreds of cities that have similar issues,' said Alan Mallach, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a public-policy research organization in Washington. 'Every other industrial city has problems that could send them down the same path.'"
Share This Chart With Anyone That Believes The U.S. Economy Is Not Going To Crash
Although various factors are at work, a major reason is that debt is an attempt to compensate for net energy decline. -- RF
For new homes, no more mailman at the door under U.S. Postal Service plan
"Under a cost-saving plan by the U.S. Postal Service, Americans moving to newly built homes will not get mail delivered to their doors but instead will have to trek to the curb or neighborhood mailbox clusters, the agency said Tuesday."
You have to wonder when they will revive the Pony Express. -- RF
How Incremental Increases Can Lead to Systemic Collapse
The decline of an empire
Crumbling Empire...Where To Now For The USA?
Shocking Things Wall Street Financiers Say Off the Record About Their Bloated, Corrupt Industry

## Japan ##
Japan logs Y180.8 billion trade deficit for June
"Who Could Trust Such A Company?" – The Big Fat Lies About Radiation Exposure Of Workers At Fukushima
Only 15% of election winners support need for nuclear plants: Mainichi survey
Japan Tells Firms "Stop Sitting on Cash", Ignore the Lack of Customers
Japan granted rights to explore rare metals-rich Pacific Ocean
"Japan announced on Monday that it has gotten the approval of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to explore the cobalt-rich area of the Pacific Ocean in a move that might lead to lessen their dependence on countries like China for a supply of rare metals. They are planning to probe a 3,000-square-kilometer area underneath international waters near the area of Minamitorishima."
Scorching heat driving up veggie prices
Decontamination delayed in Iitate
'Mutant' vegetables wrongly attributed to Fukushima
Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Too Big to Cover Up
Fukushima cancer risk surges
'Something Like Steam' Still Billowing from Fukushima
"'Something like steam' continued to billow out of Fukushima's nuclear reactor 3 building on Tuesday morning, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. said,  confirming the latest omen that the ongoing nuclear catastrophe will not end any time soon."
Fukushima Watch: What's Different About the Latest Radioactive Leak Into the Sea
Gas pump prices rise to 155 yen/liter
Govt cites mild deflation
Massive cobalt deposits estimated for Japan-planned exploration zone
Can it be produced profitably? -- RF
Metro Tokyo forced to cut intake from major water source by 10%
Japan's temples, hospitals, and universities hit by losses on yen derivatives

## China ##
China PMI Plunges To 11-Month Low, Employment Weakest In Over 4 Years
The Coming Black Swan From China
"China is rapidly approaching ZERO growth. This is not less growth, but ZERO growth as in full-scale economic collapse from the days of 12% GDP growth per year. Over 99% of 'analysts' are missing this, but it is a fact. If you ignore the ridiculous GDP numbers (which even China's Premiere has admitted are a joke in the past) and look at more accurate metrics, it's clear China is collapsing at an alarming rate. Case in point, Electrical consumption rose by just 2.9% in the first quarter of this year."
Detroit clones cropping up around China
"The path of bankruptcy which crippled the once booming industrial city of Detroit is now being followed by certain cities in China. These cities, such as Ordos and Wenzhou, develop rapidly without considering market demand and become 'ghost towns,' according to the China Securities Journal."
Rapid urbanization has created 12 new 'ghost cities' in China
China Premier Says Growth Must Stay Above 7%
Seven percent growth means the economy would double in 10 years. -- RF
Foreign Cash Flows Out Of China
China's Cooling Economy Faces Instability, State Researcher Says
Work on China's 838-metre high 'Sky City' starts
Presenting The World's Tallest Skyscraper, Whose Construction Was Just Halted

## UK ##
Tesco boss says cheap food era is over
Food crisis Professor tells families to cut amount they eat 'by a third'
"Families need to cut the amount they eat by a third, a government advisor claimed last night, as he warned current consumption levels were 'unsustainable'."
UK's Scheme to Block Pornography a Threat to Open Internet: Critics
Britain admits selling $12 billion in weapons to Israel

## US ##
Timeline: The latest on cities that declared bankruptcy before Detroit
Detroit filing sends benefits warning to other cities
"Many U.S. cities have a much better economic outlook than struggling Detroit, but the Motor City's bankruptcy filing on Thursday should still set off alarm bells elsewhere as the cost of paying retirement benefits swells."
Detroit not alone under crushing pension obligations
Cheap energy fueled powerful economic growth and blessed pension funds with fat returns, in turn promising retirees a "retirement" with well-funded golden years. But it was all a one-off phenomenon. -- RF
Now That Detroit's Gone Bust, Is Your City Next?
Scranton Needs 117% Property Tax Hike to Balance Budget; Simple Truth: Scranton is Bankrupt
Detroit Mayor Warns "We May Be One Of The First... But We Absolutely Won't Be The Last"
Ponzi-Scheme Expert To Oversee Detroit Bankruptcy
'I Don't See Anyone That's Too Big To Indict, No One Is Too Big To Jail'
Strategists Are Troubled As Fund Inflow Hits Record
The Tip Of The Iceberg Of The Coming Retirement Crisis That Will Shake America To The Core
N.C. unemployment fight being watched across the U.S.
Will the Immigration Bill Help Migrant Farmworkers?
Another way of subsidizing high energy costs. -- RF
ProPublica: Some Temporary Workers Are the New Serfs
This method of subsidizing high energy costs is rapidly growing in popularity. -- RF
The Return of the 10 Percent Down Payment
Heat wave spurs many to seek relief in ER
TV kills: Falling TVs send a child to the ER every 30 minutes
Detroit Suffers the Biggest Municipal Bankruptcy Ever — Are Your Muni Bonds Safe?
"[M]any market pundits will claim Detroit is an isolated case. Many bond-fund managers will try to downplay the significance of this. Do not fall for it."
Pentagon chief can't offer hope in budget cuts
"The audience gasped in surprise and gave a few low whistles as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered the news that furloughs, which have forced a 20 percent pay cut on most of the military's civilian workforce, probably will continue next year, and it might get worse."
'I Have To Choose Between Food And Rent': Meet The McDonald's Workers Fighting For Fair Wages
Washington Can't Defuse The Ticking Time Bombs Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac
I told you so: Here Come Those Municipal Defaults That Everyone Said Couldn't Happen
"Yes, this goes for muni investors as well! Municipalities have a dual edged sword up the ass. Not only are higher funding rates to be expected from a shifting market, but the actual fundamentals of municipalities are in the crapper as well, putting an even larger premium on what is already a steep increase in funding costs. What do  you think happens next?"
Meredith Whitney says Detroit will start a wave of municipal bankruptcies
Nuclear renaissance: Nuclear Closures at Entergy to Exelon Seen on Obama Plan
Working during summer vacation? So are 61% of Americans
Sandy-ravaged regions will never get landlines back
Pump prices jump 12 cents, AAA sees further rise
US Oil Demand Peak was in 2007
"Detroit's Motown legacy has put the spotlight on the vulnerability of the American car culture. Despite an oil shale boom and years of money printing US oil demand has hit a wall. Expenditure for oil as a percentage of GDP exceeded a critical threshold of 4% pa impacting on oil demand, vehicle kms traveled, the size of the car fleet and car sales."
U.S. program to save fragile land shrinks in size to 25-year low
"The U.S. program that pays farmers to idle fragile cropland soon will protect the smallest amount of land in a quarter-century, the government said on Monday, the result of several years of sky-high commodity prices that have encouraged farmers to plant as much as possible."
Sorry, Mom and Dad: The Kids Aren't Moving Out Yet
The Occupy Movement Is Launching A Money Cooperative
Chicago Public Schools lays off more than 2,000, including 1,000 teachers


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