Sunday, September 29, 2013

 

News Links, September 28-30, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Bubblecovery: Why Our Economic Recovery Is Actually An Illusion (Forbes!)
I don't want to say "I told you so," but… I told you so! Readers who've been with me for a while will recall that I've said we have only bubbles now, not any real recovery. -- RF
Blackstone: We're in an 'epic credit bubble'
China to allow banks to sell $49 billion of asset-backed securities: sources
Russia minister expects a sputtering economy
Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Saturday economic growth has been flat and there are "no visible signs of change for the better."
German engineering company Siemens to cut as many as 15,000 jobs worldwide
Brazil's railroad plan has yet to leave the station
Italy in crisis as Letta struggles to secure budget
Berlusconi ministers resign; Italy gov't in crisis
Canada's soaring real estate market: Feel good now, pay later
Surge In Shipping Rates Temporary - Growth Hopes Dashed (Again)
Italian GDP Slumps Fastest Since 1861's Unification
How Marc Faber Prepares For "When The Sh*t Hits The Fan"
World's biggest ship too big for its own good?
New taxes meant to alleviate Puerto Rico economic crisis hits lower, middle class
If Republicans Want To Shut Down Washington, They'll Have To Ask China's Permission First
Although China, Japan, and other major creditor nations have no dog in the Obamacare fight, they have a strong interest in preserving America's basic financial, economic, and social stability. From their point of view, the Tea Party contingent is not following the script and a corrective may prove necessary.
Default or not, Asia a hostage to U.S. debt

## Airline Death Spiral ##
More than half of pilots fall asleep on the job
Dreamliner Again Tests the Patience of Norwegian Airline
Boeing 787 Dreamliner woes continue as Polish airline flight diverted due to faulty antenna
Two thirds of Asian flights to/from Sydney have not grown since 2008 (part 3)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Israel starts campaign to boost U.S. military aid
With Israel's 10-year military assistance agreement with the United States due to expire in 2017, the Jewish state's military chiefs are pushing for annual U.S. aid to be increased beyond the current $3.1 billion, even though America's struggling with an economic crisis.
Saudi Arabia "Outraged" At Obama's Peace Overtures With Syria, Iran
The Return of Insider Attacks in Afghanistan
Greek police arrest leader of far-right Golden Dawn party
Water Wars: Egyptians Condemn Ethiopia's Nile Dam Project
Russia keeps up Greenpeace crackdown
Hurled shoes and eggs greet Iran's returning president
Unlike history-ignorant Americans, many Iranians remember their treatment at the hands of the US. -- RF
Chemical weapons watchdog to begin Syria inspections next week
Kenya says 'at war' with al Shabaab, faces security questions
Turkey goes for Chinese take-away defense
On September 26, 2013, Turkey made the rather eyebrow-raising decision to put its long range missile defense eggs in a Chinese basket, announcing it had awarded a US$3 billion contract to the People's Republic of China for its truck-mounted "shoot and scoot" FD-2000 system.
AP interview: Iraq says West should take Iran's shift to improve relations seriously
Iran's secret trade links to bypass sanctions
Articles like this just amaze me. Any country will try to bypass sanctions. And yet there are no sanctions against Pakistan, India, or Israel, all of which have the dubious distinction of being grouped with North Korea as non-NPT nuclear powers.
Japan Coast Guard vessels and equipment in high demand in S.E. Asia, Africa
Vietnam, locked like Japan in a territorial row with China, is showing keen interest in acquiring new patrol boats modeled after Japan Coast Guard cutters to safeguard its fishing grounds and the fishermen who operate in those waters.
Twin bombs kill 33 in Pakistan city of Peshawar

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Violent clashes as squatters are evicted in Argentina
South African platinum miner Amplats hit by strike
More than 3,000 protesters on Khartoum streets demand Bashir quit
Sudan stands firm on fuel rise despite deadly riots
Egypt sees fresh anti-coup alliance protests
Tokyo rally protests moves to restart Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors

## Energy/resources ##
Dead Bodies for Renewable Energy?
The myth of US energy independence in the global world of oil
Libya oil crisis imperils badly needed investment in energy
On This Day In History, Oil Prices Have Never Been Higher
North Dakota Oil Output May Double by Mid-2017-State Official
Costly winter predicted for those who heat with oil, power (Canada)
The Myths Of Falling Solar Costs
China bans solar panel factories; global solar industry rejoices
Iran: Rapprochement Crucial To Avoiding Peak Oil And Global Crisis This Decade
A bit long but well worth the time. The author sensibly cautions against the unfounded expectations for fracking and "peak demand," and makes a case that Iran's oil is needed to keep markets well-supplied. Judging by the recent US response to the overtures of the new Iranian administration, the Americans also think so, and are pushing aside Israeli protestations in search of a deal. I said from the start that the world needs Iran's oil, which is obvious from the numerous sanction waivers granted by the US government. The Americans, whose economy is being brutally clubbed to death by high oil prices, want the sanctions to end just as badly as the Iranians do. -- RF
Oman looks beyond Iran sanctions for gas lifeline
Nigeria signs $1.3 billion power plant deal with China
Geology beats technology: Shell shuts down oil shale pilot project
The belief that technology can always overcome natural limits just took a big hit this week when Royal Dutch Shell PLC decided to shut down its pilot oil shale project in western Colorado after 31 years of experimentation.

## Got food? ##
Brits are cooking smaller portions to cope with soaring food bills
Students Win Seed Money To Make Flour From Insects

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Mobile phones destroying people's private lives
They have been marketed as a way to make us all more "connected", but a new academic study shows that mobile phones could be destroying people's private lives and even affecting their ability to think.

## Environment/health ##
True Extent of Flood Damage to Colorado's Oil Industry Becomes Clearer
What is krokodil? The flesh-rotting drug comes to the U.S.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Official sidesteps questions on NSA and cellphones
NSA Chief: 'Yes' - Our Desire Is To Collect All US Communications
NSA Collecting Private Data to Socially-Profile Americans
Dianne Feinstein Accidentally Confirms That NSA Tapped The Internet Backbone
NSA's Spying On Metadata Violates Our Freedom of Association
Analysts skeptical of Iran president's charm offensive
I include this as an example of propaganda. "Charm offensive" is a propaganda term used to disparage and belittle an overture by a party deemed hostile or not amenable to US control. Similarly, in the article you'll see the term "regime" used for "government," suggesting that it is illegitimate, evil, shady, underhanded, and untrustworthy. A "regime" is typically any government which the US would like to see toppled and replaced with a pro-US ruler. You will never see a usage like "the regime in Tel Aviv," for example. And recall that in the case of Iran, the ultimate objective has been to bring that country back under US control. That's what the sanctions are all about. -- RF
Journalist Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'Pathetic' American Media
Don't even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends "so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would" – or the death of Osama bin Laden. "Nothing's been done about that story, it's one big lie, not one word of it is true," he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.
And there you have it. Hersh is saying exactly what I've been saying all along: The OBL assassination narrative (including the conflicting versions told by Navy Seals who supposedly participated in this adventure) is a giant crock of baloney. If you believe this story, I have some ocean-front lots in Nebraska to sell you. -- RF
US officials say Iran hacked Navy computers
Google Says TGIF To Problem-Plagued Week
The FBI Has Been Using Drones Domestically Since 2006

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The road to hell (on Brazil's infrastructure)

## Japan ##
Japan Pummeled By Soaring Food And Energy Prices, Plunging Wages And Ongoing Core Deflation
Economy may take blows from imminent price hikes, higher taxes
Tokyo Electric: will add $10 bln for Fukushima cleanup to turnaround plan
Rubber mat in tank may have shut down ALPS
The shutdown of the ALPS water treatment system at the Fukushima No. 1 plant may have been caused by a rubber mat left in its water tank, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday.
Tokyo Electric says 'difficult' to post profit this year
TEPCO head expects return to the black through cost cutting
Investors Of Japan's Most Hated Corporation, TEPCO, To Be Bailed Out Forever
Despite Fukushima Crisis, TEPCO Moves to Re-Start World's Largest Nuclear Plant
Power-saving targets likely to be dropped this winter
Let's hope households and businesses stick to their current power-saving regimen. -- RF
Sales tax hike masks bigger problem of welfare spending
JR Shikoku failed to repair 50 railway bridges found defective three years ago
Still more of Japan's railway infrastructure is found to be in a state of disrepair. -- RF

## China ##
China's Local Government Financing Vehicles (LGFV): 7 Things You Should Know About China's Local Debt Bomb
Shanghai free trade zone launched in major economic pilot scheme
The Renminbi: Soon to Be a Reserve Currency? (PDF)
Have-Nots squeezed and stacked in Hong Kong

## UK ##
Bodies 'buried in car parks due to graves shortage'
Consumer: Families in hot water over heating bills
According to research, 3.2 million UK households are facing fuel poverty this year. Around a quarter of families are simply leaving the heating off and living in unacceptably cold conditions because they simply can't afford to pay the bills.
Fears of debt and a housing bubble after David Cameron hurries out second phase of Help to Buy scheme three months early

## US ##
FBI uses drones since 2006, watchdog says
New York Opera set to enter bankruptcy within a week
Why are Americans giving up their citizenship?
Is The U.S. Collecting Cell Phone Location Data?
Food Stamp Growth 75X Greater than Job Creation
Looting the Pension Funds
Middletown USA Loses Industrial Jobs And, Perhaps, Its Iconic Basketball Gym
The Economy Is Slipping Into Darkness - No Chance Of Taper This Year - Buy Mining Stocks
Lawmakers push Postal Service restructuring amid losses, soaring debt
Inside Luxury Tiny Homes: Millennials, Retirees Bucking Mortgages and McMansions
Nearly two mass shootings per month since 2009, study finds
U.S. to allocate $45M for more armed cops in schools
J.P. Morgan May Have To Pay Record Ransom To Buy Off The Feds
For US automakers, Detroit is now a place for charity, not chassis
Group caters to rising number of well-armed women
More freight, but fewer trucks to move it?


Thursday, September 26, 2013

 

News Links, September 26-27, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greece does not need third bailout, seeks debt 'reprofiling' - deputy pm
Greece does not require a third bailout and can cover its needs without further burdening its current backers, by improving the terms of its debt and possibly returning to the bond market next year, the country's deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.
Austerity measures push Greek universities to point of collapse
Internationally mandated austerity measures have pushed universities in Greece to the point of collapse with many of the debt-stricken country's pre-eminent higher education institutions being forced to suspend operations.
Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation Is Now Starting To Happen All Over The Globe
Is Something Ominous in the Cards?
For the first time in history, ALL the major central banks are printing money. One of two things will occur. If they continue to print, their respective currencies will lose their purchasing power, and we'll have inflation or even hyper-inflation. If the central banks pull back on their printing, we'll have crashing markets and a world depression. This is the problem with creating ever more debt. Ultimately, the debt owns you, and the compounding process renders the debt situation unsustainable, which is what the CBO has just warned us about.
Portugal's parallel economy represents one fifth of total - German expert
Friedrich Schneider, a professor at the University of Linz, Austria, told a conference at the University of Minho that Portugal was "midway down the table" in Europe where the parallel economy is concerned.
How A French Ghetto Survives Off A Bustling Underground Economy
Kitco News Interview: Demand For Physical Gold Could Last Decades - New WGC Chairman
Australia's Telstra to cut 1,100 jobs
World Bank: Russian Energy Strength is Economic Weakness
Barclays to shut wealth management services in 130 countries
Barclays Plc will stop offering wealth management services in about 130 countries by 2016 and cut jobs in the unit as part of an effort to rein in costs and boost profit.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Yikes! 10 Horrifying Facts About Flying
787 Dreamliner Problem Grounds 5 Polish Planes
Polish Airlines Wants Boeing to Pay for Dreamliner Problems
Study: Airlines made $27.1 billion off fees last year
United says its skies are 'friendly' again -- really?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Greece On The Verge? Military Special Forces Have 15 Demands... Or Else
Doomsday scenario plan would divide North Korea
Egypt's foreign minister says relations with US unsettled
Surging violence in Pakistan's largest city drives growing demand for armored vehicles
Iran's Diplomatic Push Sheds Uncomfortable Light on Israel's Nukes
Boko Haram leader, believed dead, appears in new video
The World Needs Peace – But Not a Pax Americana (Cynthia McKinney)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands join fresh Greece protests against Golden Dawn
Sudan suffers internet blackout amid deadly riots
Internet access was switched off across Sudan amid deadly riots sparked by fuel price hikes in which six people were reported killed on Wednesday.
Foxconn China plant closed after 2,000 riot
About 2,000 Chinese employees of an iPhone assembly company fought a pitched battle into the early hours of Monday, forcing the huge electronics plant where they work to be shut down.
Post Office workers to strike in 12th walkout since Easter (UK)
Violent Crackdown in Bangladesh as Paramilitaries Flood Industrial Zone

## Energy/resources ##
Oil-shale bust: Shell Abandons Oil-Shale Project In Colorado After Pumping Millions Into Exploration
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has become the latest company to abandon efforts to turn Western Slope oil-shale into oil, joining a long line of companies in a boom and bust cycle in the region.
We've heard it said over and over again: The US has more oil than Saudi Arabia! But everyone should know by now that resource quantity means nothing; only quality counts. -- RF
Brazil Pre-Salt Reflects Changing Face of Energy Investment
As bidders registered for the first oil rights auction in Brazil's pre-salt last Wednesday, the reaction was overwhelmingly pessimistic. Headlines focused on lack of oil majors such as ExxonMobil and BP, and the small number of bidders; 11 as opposed to some 40 expected by the Brazilian government.
1.5 Billion Barrels of Oil – And No Takers (Afghanistan)
As in Brazil and Afghanistan, geology and geopolitical concerns are keeping drillers away. If we want to keep using oil, the drillers will have to go in sooner or later. And it's not going to be cheap. -- RF
Need Energy Storage? Try Abandoned Croplands
Just jump to the last paragraph. -- RF
Utilities Dumbstruck By Big Data From Smarter Grid
As the electric grid gets smarter, vast quantities of data are arriving at utility companies that have no idea what to do with them, according to electric industry experts who gathered in Chicago this morning.
Ukrainian gas sector escaping Russia's grasp
Petronas May Delay Projects as Profit Declines
Fuel cars run off track in Canada train derailment
New U.S. Oil Refinery Proposed
Water Shortage To Hit Power Sector In India: Is There Is Enough Water To Support India's Power Expansion?
Uranium Diet: US Nuclear Power Industry Could Face Fuel Shortage
EIA: Higher gas prices drive down gas-fired power generation
Kashagan 'halted after leak'
China's CNOOC wins $2bn Uganda oil field contract
Four Charts That Prove the Future of Clean Energy Is Arriving
This is great news, of course. As long-time readers know, I have advocated building lots of renewable capacity now, while it can still be done, because that will keep the lights on a while longer and help ease the transition to low-energy socioeconomic systems. At the same time, we should not fool ourselves that this means business as usual. Without fossil fuels, none of this would be possible in the first place. We wouldn't be making any wind turbines or solar modules or electric cars. The Green Beans' electric car fetish has always fascinated me. Electric cars seem to be a symbol to them that basically our problems are solved. Apparently they never stop to think about how the cars are made, how the electricity is generated (and how the "renewable energy" machines that generate electricity are made), how roads are constructed and maintained (also that asphalt is a petroleum by-product), and even that oil is needed to make tires (you'll see various figures for a standard car tire, ranging from 5 to 10 gallons per tire; whatever, it's a lot). Similarly, nuclear power would be impossible without fossil fuels. And so on. Nothing happens without fossil fuels, and if they are too expensive, it's Game Over. So again, I give a resounding YES to renewables, but with the important caveat that they are ultimately transitional devices. -- RF

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable thieves disrupting MTNL services

## Got food? ##
Africa's Challenge in the 21st Century – Food Security
'Asean should cooperate to boost food security'

## Environment/health ##
Paving the planet: did anyone say "anthropocene"?
Blood-Sucking Bedbugs Worry China's Rail Travelers

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Turkish Government Aims To Create 6000-Strong Social Media Propaganda Squad
'See Something, Say Something' Campaign Creates Massive Database Of Useless Info From Citizens Spying On Each Other
Top 45 Lies in Obama's Speech at UN
Hacker 'mercenaries' linked to Japan, South Korea spying: Researchers
NSA planted bugs at Indian missions in D.C., U.N.
Huge Number of Americans Do Not Care About or Want Internet

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Why I Don't Believe Randers' Limits to Growth Forecast to 2052
EU seeks to tackle industrial decline, high energy costs
Denial of Nature's Limits is the Problem

## Japan ##
Crisis at Fukushima Continues to Spiral With Hole in Radiation Barrier
Measures to beat power crunch the "new normal" for corporate Japan
Automatic doors are blocked at offices, subway escalators are disabled and much of the headquarters of Japan's biggest utility sits in semi-darkness - all evidence of how a 2-1/2-year power crunch has forced companies to re-think their energy use.
Theft from Net banks at record ¥550 million
U.S. completes deployment of additional Osprey aircraft in Okinawa
Govt may extend SDF's reach
The government will likely allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense by defending vessels shipping crude oil from the Middle East to Japan if it reviews the current constitutional interpretation, government sources have said.
Japan's consumer inflation rises to 5-year high

## China ##
Shanghai Free-Trade Zone Plans Spark Surge in Residential Prices
China Will Have "A Lot of Bad Credit Events" in Next Five Years: Beardson
Booming shadow banks could trigger economic crisis in China
Drones would be used in Diaoyutai conflict, says expert
Bulls and Bears Debate China: Property Bubble Expands Again; GDP Growth Picks Up; Economic Recovery Underway? No Says Michael Pettis
China overtakes India as no. 1 gold buyer

## UK ##
Wind farms are a 'blot' on 'God's creation', says bishop
Winds farms have become a "blot" on the face of "God's creation" and are threatening to destroy a landscape where saints once trod, a bishop warns today.
RBS may create its own 'bad bank' if UK rejects breakup: sources
No magic wand to curb energy prices, warns Nick Clegg

## US ##
"No Tapering, More QE, Serious Housing Slowdown" says Saxo Bank Chief Economist
More than a third of workers scramble between pay days
Washington to Wall Street - Threat of default is real
U.S. to exhaust borrowing capacity by October 17: Treasury
If all else fails, Obama will raise debt ceiling himself: analyst
Postal Service seeks to raise first-class stamp price to 49 cents, cites precarious finances
Unhappy Anniversary: Illinois Overtakes California for Second Highest Unemployment Rate in Nation
Dumb-down: Truly "Exceptional" And Dumber Than Ever: Verbal SAT Scores Plunge To Fresh Record Low
Lost: $67 Million. If Found, Please Return To IRS
The Mind-Blowing Fact About Immigration No One Mentions
More Americans have moved to Mexico in recent years than vice versa, according to government data cited in a New York Times feature by Damien Cave published over the weekend.
Nuclear family demise: When the empty nest fills up again, things can get hectic
Millions of American children are no longer going over the river and through the woods to get to grandmother's house. They're already living there — in many cases, with their parents.
Toyota's top North American executive says pent-up demand for new cars could end next year
Justice Department spent nearly $5M on drones
Connecticut commuters struggle with crippled railroad
Hedge fund managers and corporate types used to Wall Street's lightning pace, as well as ordinary Connecticut citizens, faced weeks of delays as a power outage on the Metro North railway brought their commutes to a crawl for a second day on Thursday. Utility crews struggled to restore electricity to a rail line connecting New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut, to New York City, while the commuter railroad rolled out diesel locomotives to keep business from grinding to a standstill.
You Can Have Any Job You Want, as Long as It's Waitress
Unsold Merchandise Piles Up at Wal-Mart; Cuts in Orders Will Follow
Richard Koo says 'vicious cycle' taking hold as Fed faces 'QE trap'
A "vicious cycle" of rising interest rates and economic weakness has already emerged and is likely to intensify as the Federal Reserve attempts to extricate itself from its program of quantitative easing, Nomura chief economist Richard Koo warned in a note on Thursday.
Shaken U.S. municipal bond market contracted in second quarter

And finally…
Blankfein Explains "Doing God's Work" Demands A Year End Bonus
Oops: Apple Maps directs drivers to cross Alaska airport runway


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

 

News Links, September 24-25, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
South Korea Tax Debate Ignites as Revenue Gap Hampers President
Seven months after taking office, South Korean President Park Geun Hye's election promises threaten to unravel as revenue shortfalls ignite a debate on tax increases to pay for her welfare and defense spending plans.
China Corporates Not Making Debt Payments
Chinese corporate debt was 113% of gross domestic product at the end of last year according to the widely followed Louis Kuijs of Royal Bank of Scotland RBS +0.35%.  That's worse than the 86% in 2008.  J.P.Morgan thinks the 2012 figure was 124%, and BBVA, the Spanish bank, estimates almost 130%.
Denver Gold Forum Keynote Speaker Calls For 'Honest Money' Based On Gold
Bailed-Out Nations Get Another Four Years of Merkel
IMF reduces its forecast for Russia's economic growth
Singapore Continues Push To Become Asian and Global Gold Hub

## Airline Death Spiral ##
IATA revises its 2013 global industry outlook downwards
Asian Airlines 2013 Profit Forecast Lowered
Norwegian Air says both its Dreamliners hit by technical issues
Airbus sees world aircraft fleet doubling by 2032
Ain't gonna happen. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Egypt court bans Muslim Brotherhood 'activities'
Kenya declares end to Nairobi terror attack after seized mall burns
What's the Connection Between Israel and the Kenyan Mall Attack?
China lashes out at Japan military radar plans
China criticized Japan on Monday for its plans to install a cutting-edge U.S. military radar system to monitor North Korean missile launches, saying that could impact regional stability and upset the strategic balance.
Russia to file piracy charges against Greenpeace activists for anti-drilling protest in Arctic
China bans several weapon-related North Korea exports

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Workers Set Factories Ablaze in Call for Decent Wage for Producing Globe's 'Cheap' Clothing (Bangladesh)
'Flush the TPP!': Protesters Scale Trade Building in Protest of Secretive Deal
The village warriors of Guerrero
Protests in Sudan as fuel prices soar
75,000 Commit to Civil Disobedience if Obama Cuts Deal on KXL

## Energy/resources ##
Shale gas bust: Shale Gas is Not a Saviour, it is a Thorn in Renewable Energy's Side
The peculiar geology and economics of shale energy production, compared to conventional oil and gas, make the US experience both unsustainable and difficult to replicate. US shale oil and gas production growth has started to slow on the back of fast rising costs and rapidly depleting reservoirs.
Tight oil bust: Bakken Hype Versus Reality
The world is watching: The German revolt against renewables
Quick Take: Environmentalists tout Germany as an exemplar of intelligent renewables policy. For instance, Germany long had a feed-in tariff for solar PV that paid "solar farmers" a premium price for their electricity. But some Germans are now beginning to revolt. We recently told you of an effort to delay or do away with plans to install smart meters in Germany. We're also hearing an increasing drumbeat of protest against renewables. Unlike North America, the pushback doesn't come from fringe types convinced that meters cause cancer or that renewables are a Communist plot. Rather, it comes from respected mainstream sources who are concerned about the economics. For instance, the German Federal Ministry of Economics thinks the costs of smart meters outweigh the benefits. And now there is a growing chorus of dissent against the high power prices brought about by Germany's policy of renewables-uber-alles.
Dutch decision to delay shale gas drilling brings mixed reactions
Shell shuts Trans Niger pipeline again
2030: A "perfect storm" of global resource shortages
Forget Syria, Here's a Real Oil Market Supply Concern
Nonrenewable Renewables?
Here's a good read. Rapier's thinking is close to my own. Green Beans never stop to think about the nonrenewable components (or the components that will eventually become too expensive, with the same result) of "renewable" energy. They believe we're going to build our wind and solar farms and live happily ever after. As the author of Our Finite World correctly observed, renewables are "fossil fuel extenders." In truth nothing happens in industrial society without fossil fuels, and it pays to keep that in mind if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises. -- RF

## Got food? ##
With world's attention focused on chemical weapons, mass starvation feared in Syria
Humanity's Heating of Planet is Planting Seeds of Hunger: Report
Egyptian government mulls fixing prices of fruit and veg
Superbugs in the Meat Supply
China 'to rent five per cent of Ukraine'
Ukraine has agreed a deal with a Chinese firm to lease five per cent of its land to feed China's burgeoning and increasingly demanding population, it has been reported. It would be the biggest so called "land grab" agreement, where one country leases or sells land to another, in a trend that has been compared to the 19th century "scramble for Africa", but which is now spreading to the vast and fertile plains of eastern Europe.
When Who Will Feed China was published, there was a lot of indignation from China. But just look at this. It's an acknowledgment that they're in trouble. And it won't end well. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Scientists set to prepare strongest warning that warming man-made
Floods inundate a quarter of Thailand's provinces, warnings issued
Making Time: How to rescue whales tangled in nets
Green energy pays for itself in lives saved from smog
Wild pigs menace suburban Atlanta
Wild pigs have descended on a suburban Atlanta neighborhood where they are scaring children, making a general nuisance of themselves, and acting as they if they own the place.
Deep sea recovery from U.S. Gulf spill could take decades: study

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hacker group claims to have cracked Apple's iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner
The iPhone's fingerprint lock also works with toes and nipples
Booting Up: New NSA Data Farm Takes Root In Utah
The Government Is Spying On Us Through Our Computers, Phones, Cars, Buses, Streetlights, At Airports And On The Street, Via Mobile Scanners And Drones, Through Our Smart Meters, And In Many Other Ways
Gmail, Google docs suffer delays, outages Monday
Google fixes Gmail glitch that disrupted service to about 50% of users
Brazil's president Rousseff attacks US over spy claims
How a Crypto 'Backdoor' Pitted the Tech World Against the NSA
ATT, Verizon, Sprint Are Paid Cash By NSA For Your Private Communications
20% of Yelp reviews are fake

## Japan ##
More Rail Track Problems Found in Hokkaido
Govt to subsidize repair of subways, railways
Postwar infrastructure is crumbling fast, and the government knows it must take quick action. -- RF
60 US Senators Sign Letter Protesting Japanese Currency Manipulation
What a relief: Abe Says Japan Economy Now for Sure on a Path of Solid Growth
Inpex, Itochu Buy Into Siberian Oil Project
1 ton of rice stolen from paddies in Niigata
Japan losing competitive edge due to poor practical training, expert warns
New year but same story for Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal: slash costs
Japan sales tax hike masks bigger problem of welfare spending

## China ##
Chinese banks suspend mortgage approvals amid fund shortage
Are Chinese companies sitting on the next debt crisis?
Chinese government sees its own reflection in water crisis
What Investors Really Think About China's 'Ghost Cities'
Puru Saxena: China's Economy Slowing Down Much Faster Than Reported
China's economic growth more like 4%: Marc Faber

## UK ##
Centrica scraps British gas storage projects
UK's Labour takes on utilities with price freeze plan
Britain's Labour party pledged on Tuesday to freeze gas and electricity prices for 20 months if it wins power in 2015, shifting $7.2 billion in costs onto energy companies, which opponents said could lead to power blackouts.
Little by little, Britain's energy regime is falling apart. How many excess deaths this winter? -- RF
Miliband's 'Stalinist' plan to seize land for homes and build on fields

## US ##
The Credit Bubble Is Not Only Back, It Is 94% Bigger Than In 2007
Luxury tampons? Companies spurn middle class
Paper towels embossed to look like cloth. Tampon packages with a glossy metallic sheen. Designer ice cubes for $75 a bag. Marketers are going glam with everyday products, taking them upscale as they give up on selling to the middle class.
This is part of the bifurcation of society into the rich (aristocrats) and poor (serfs). Serfs don't have money and do precious little shopping, so why make and sell things to them? -- RF
States move ahead with food stamp cuts
Citigroup to cut 1,000 mortgage jobs, mostly in Las Vegas
Militarization of the Police (infographic)
US PMI Misses Expectations To 3-Month Lows; Orders And Employment Tumble
Illusion of Prosperity: Deflating the American Dream; No Recovery in "Real" Income
Making $100,000? Then Flipping Burgers May Be In Your Future
Why the cost of giving birth could make you cry like a baby
US home prices jump 12.4 percent in July from a year ago, most in 7 1/2 years
The dirty secret of the housing market boom
U.S. state tax revenues hit record highs in second quarter: Census
The Mystery Of $600 Million Traded In The Blink Of An Eye
Income-Wise, What Percentage of People are Worse Off Now Than in 2000?
Treasury's Lew: US may have less than $50 billion soon
The United States could have less than $50 billion in cash in mid-October when the government exhausts its legal borrowing capacity, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Tuesday.
Seven States Slashing School Spending
Consumer Confidence Already Falling Before Government Shutdown
Why other cities are watching San Jose

And finally…
6 porn dealers arrested after catalogues mistakenly sent to police (Japan)


Sunday, September 22, 2013

 

News Links, September 21-23, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Mortgage Delinquencies Hit New Record High In Spain; Builder Default Rate Hits 29%; Recovery? Really?
Forget the taper – QE can never end
"Don't Taper Me, Bro" - Caterpillar Global Sales Drop At Fastest Pace Since March
Rusal Exec: World Aluminum Supply Needs 40% Cut
A senior executive of the world's largest aluminum producer, Russia's Rusal, has said that 40% of global aluminum production is unsustainable at current prices.
Taxis Vanish in Rain as Singapore Gets Congested: Southeast Asia
Turkey 'will probably never be EU member'
Venezuela seizes toilet paper factory to avoid shortage
This is reminiscent of Japan's "toilet paper panic" of October 1973, which was triggered by oil prices. But the global panic show is just getting started. Make sure you aren't one of the actors on stage. -- RF
Venezuela receives $5 bn credit line from China
'Up to 146 million risk poverty if EU's austerity drags on'
Greece looks to state property assets to avoid third bailout
The Greek finance ministry is looking at a plan that could see state-owned property assets used as collateral for loans that could help it avoid a third bailout by the EU and IMF.
Thai Farmers Hooked on Subsidies Test Yingluck: Southeast Asia
Thailand's decision to expand subsidies for rice and rubber farmers to quell protests is undermining efforts to control rising debt, even as governments in neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia cut back support programs.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Europe's airlines must focus on low-cost battle-IAG CEO
European airlines will have to cut costs at existing short-haul businesses to compete with budget airlines or struggle to stay aloft, IAG boss Willie Walsh said.
Too many LCCS breeding 'irrational' competition, causing huge losses
Ryanair admits passengers unhappy with treatment
Ryanair may finally have gotten the message: Customers like the European airline's cheap ticket prices and huge selection of destinations, but loathe how they are treated from start to finish.
Half of Sydney's direct international flights dropped by 5 % since July 2008

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
UN Stamps Out Measure to Reign [sic] In Nuclear Israel
Don't Be Fooled, Says Israel, Bomb Iran Instead
Watchdog Body Will Oversee Private Military Contractors
Bolivian President to sue US and Obama for Crimes against Humanity
Gunmen Launch Deadly Onslaught in Nairobi Shopping Mall
Somalia Al-Shabab claims Nairobi Westgate Kenya attack
Kenyan shopping mall death toll rises to 68 victims
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offers to broker Syria talks
More than 60 killed in Iraq funeral bombing
AP freelancer says report of rebel chemical weapons use not hers
Syria: 'Bashar al-Assad ordered me to gas people - but I could not do it'
Hundreds of Syria Rebels Pledge Loyalty to al-Qaeda
Much has been made recently of the growing size and influence of Al-Qaeda's Syrian auxiliary Jabhat al-Nusra, especially compared to the relatively small, US-backed factions of Syrian rebels. That disparity is getting worse all the time, with the latest reports claiming many hundreds of additional fighters, and in one case an entire faction in Raqqah claiming 750 fighters pledging loyalty to al-Qaeda.
Israeli Troops Attack EU Diplomats, Seize West Bank Aid
Israeli troops attacked a group of EU diplomats in the occupied West Bank today, throwing concussive grenades at them and flinging them to the ground in front of international reporters, ignoring the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by the officials.
Israeli soldier killed in West Bank
Three Nato soldiers shot dead in Afghanistan 'insider attack'
Russia Says North Korea Fired Shots in the Path of Russian Boat
Suicide bombers kill at least 78 Christians at a church service in Pakistan

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
'Drawing the Line' On Keystone XL, Americans Take to the Streets
Bangladesh garment workers stage biggest wage hike protest
Protesters dive into Venice's canal to block cruise ships
Protesters have leapt into Venice's Giudecca canal to delay a procession of cruise ships, which they say are threatening the city's foundations as they tower over rooftops and drown the city in tourism.

## Energy/resources ##
Shell Oil pulling out of Kansas
Shell Oil has confirmed what it had hinted earlier: that it is pulling out of Kansas completely, selling off 45 producing wells and 600,000 acres of leases in Barber, Harper, Kingman, Pratt, McPherson, Sedgwick, Sumner, Rice and Reno counties. It's the most dramatic in a series of high-profile departures of major exploration companies that have given up on the Mississippian formation, or at least the Kansas side of it.
Asian National Oil Companies Top Brazil Bidders
Sweden has Run out of Rubbish for Waste-to-Energy Industry
Recycling certainly has a lot to do with the shortage of waste/fuel. But remember that the "fuel" is generated by a wasteful consumption-oriented system that is made possible by fossil fuels. It's a recipe for unsustainability if I ever saw one. -- RF
Following Rossi's E-Cat, Another Cold Fusion Device Attracts Commercial Interest
You be the judge. -- RF
Northern Promise: Arctic road to prosperity paved with obstacles (Canada)
US Producers Skip Brazil's Biggest Oil Find as Chinese Compete
Plundering the planet: an update
Oil thieves cripple Nigeria's production, cost state $5B a year
US coal future darkens around the globe
Ontario's power disaster
Brazil ready to finance Petrobras in offshore oil auction: paper
CME says 'high cost' of production holding back miners (Australia)
Decoupling: where's the cake?
Shale gas bust: The shale gas bubble: burning your home in order to save it
Global action urged on Nigerian oil theft
Oil prices hike due to geopolitical factors - official

## Got food? ##
Onion Shortage Seen Worsening in India as Rain Delays Crop
The No-Spray Way to Protect Plants
Trader Joe's Ex-President To Turn Expired Food Into Cheap Meals
Sharp to grow strawberries in Middle East
Looks like a winner. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Norway abandons Mongstad carbon capture plans
The outgoing government in Norway has buried much-vaunted plans to capture carbon dioxide and store it underground amid mounting costs and delays.
Two more Saudis die from MERS virus
Colorado Flooding Sparks 18,000-Gallon Oil Leak
Are ideas to cool the planet realistic?
Scientists: Drifting Styrofoam a toxic soup for world's oceans
Wind Energy Gets Away With Murder
According to an estimate published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin in March almost 600,000 birds are killed by wind farms in America each year, including over 80,000 raptors such as hawks and falcons and eagles (Wildlife Society). Even more bats die as their lungs are inverted by the negative pressures generated behind the 170 mile-per-hour spinning blades.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Snowden disclosures prompt warning on widely used computer security formula
Last week, the New York Times reported that Snowden's cache of documents from his time working for an NSA contractor  showed that the agency used its public participation in the process for setting voluntary cryptography standards, run by the government's National Institute of Standards and Technology, to push for a formula that it knew it could break.
Biometrics Help Teachers Track Students' Every Move
Students listen up! If you are used to passing notes, tapping out texts or even sneaking in quick conversations when you're supposed to be working on fractions…beware! Those kinds of activities could be a thing of the past - or at the very least, closely monitored - in the biometric classroom of the future.
Online anger 'spreads faster than joy' on Weibo
Belgacom Attack: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm
DOJ Still Can't Do Math: Terrorist Statistics Inflated, Double Counted And Badly Organized
FATCA: A Tool of the Electronic Surveillance State
Chaos Computer Club breaks Apple TouchID
China-based hacking group behind hundreds of attacks on U.S. companies

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
America's dying mall culture: Column
The crippled and crumbling remains of shopping centers symbolize a golden age.
North Korea collapse inevitable, new report says
NK is in competition with a number of other countries for which will collapse first. -- RF

## Japan ##
More Fukushima plant workers show health problems
Japan Condo Sales Flying High on Abenomics
Fukushima town protests Abe's global promise on crippled plant
JR Hokkaido reports track defects in 97 locations

## China ##
Eight Questions: Damien Ma and William Adams, 'In Line Behind a Billion People'
Taste for meat and fish sees soya imports soar
China is the world's biggest soya consumer, with demand driven by an appetite for meat and fish raised on the product, rather than tofu or soy sauce.
Beijing exploring ways to ease industrial overcapacity
China cuts coal consumption and shut capacity in northern regions
Energy-Hungry China Sees Rise in Labor Costs
With wages increasing and strikes engulfing the country, the massive cheap labor force that has helped fuel China's economic boom by underselling its competitors may be coming to  an end, reports suggest.
China's Ghost Cities... Are Multiplying

## UK ##
Energy firms expected to increase prices by 8%
Consumers face bill for power stations to be mothballed amid blackout fears
Energy companies are to be paid ten of millions of pounds to keep old power stations on standby amid mounting fears of blackouts.
Rising food costs means 30% can't feed family properly
Airport expansion: British economy being strangled by lack of flights, say ex-ministers

## US ##
Scranton, Pennsylvania Careens Towards Bankruptcy
Hedge fund billionaire: Fed's move 'fantastic' for the rich
The Era of Cheap Gasoline is Over
Road to financial distress varies by city in U.S.: report
House Votes To Slash $40 Billion From Food Stamp Program
Ron Paul on U.S. Fed QE: Prepare for the Destruction of the Dollar
'Road rage' leaves two drivers dead
Too Big To Fail Is Now Bigger Than Ever Before
Nuclear renaissance: US Nuclear Power In Decline
7 in 10 Americans Think Government Is For The Banks And Big Corps (Not The People)
Manufacturing Returns To The US But The Jobs Don't
Stuck In Poverty Amid Signs Of Recovery
Neofeudalism: Hunger Games Economics: Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines
Target to Hire 18,000 Fewer Seasonal Workers This Holiday Season; Expect Other Retailers to Do the Same
Alabama Elementary School to Parents: We Want to Hit Your Kids
When Alabama mom, Wendy Chandler, opened her daughter's "Back to School" packet, she was shocked to discover that among the many papers sent to her, was a "Corporal Punishment Parental Consent Form."
Food Stamp Nation


Thursday, September 19, 2013

 

News Links, September 19-20, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Marc Faber Warns "The Endgame Is A Total Collapse - But From A Higher Diving Board Now"
Dutch king: Say goodbye to welfare state, hello to personal responsibility
Although the welfare state was in truth never sustainable, we must always remember that under current conditions "personal responsibility" for many people around the world means poverty and starvation. -- RF
'Age of the Unretired' looms as millions plan to work into old age
Nearly one in eight of the world's workers believe they will never be able to afford to retire fully while millions of people are not financially prepared for life after work, according to international research by HSBC.
In sign of downturn, Indian retail landlords finally capitulate on price
In a capitulation that speaks to the depth of the slump in India's economy, usually tight-fisted retail landlords have become uncharacteristically flexible on rents.
After big promises, US property developer flees slumping Vietnam market, leaving anger in wake
'Winning the Race to the Bottom': Obama Moves to Fast-Track the TPP
The global public has been shut out of the negotiation process of the TPP, although it will profoundly impact domestic policies and the international economy. Press coverage of negotiations is prohibited, and even U.S. Senators are denied access to the most basic information about the proposals the U.S. is bringing.
Puerto Rico is living an impoverished debt nightmare reminiscent of southern Europe or Detroit
Europe To Change "Deficit Calculation" To Make Economy Appear Stronger
German Bilfinger says to axe 1,250 jobs worldwide
Metso to cut 660 jobs in paper machine unit
The Great Gold Heist of 2013: Exploding Demand & Falling Supply

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Air France plans to cut 2,800 jobs
Qantas review triggers fears of job losses
Cyprus Airways: an airline in need of the turnaround of all turnarounds
Airlines rake in $27 billion in customer fees

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US Army looking to contractors for African operations
US Army Africa Command (Africom) wants private contractors to move military equipment and supplies from the US to Egypt and 55 other countries within its Area of Responsibility (AOR) starting this month. This comes hard on the heels of a transport contract awarded by the US Army's Transport Command (US-TRANSCOM) to Berry Aviation to provide to provide air transport service in support of operations in western and central Africa. This contract is reportedly worth $49 million.
Greenpeace Activists Are Removed From Gazprom Arctic Rig
Two environmental activists who climbed an OAO Gazprom (GAZP) Arctic rig to protest planned oil extraction were taken into custody following warning shots from Russia's Coast Guard.
Canada mulls laser threat from hostile arctic ships
Canada is preparing defenses against hostile laser deployment by nations it sees challenging its arctic sovereignty, most likely Russia.
Surveillance facility eyed for Pacific (Japan)
The Defense Ministry plans to build a communications intelligence facility on Iwoto Island in the Pacific to improve its ability to conduct surveillance on China and its growing military presence, a government source said Thursday.
Rebels Clash: Al-Qaeda Seizes Syria Border Town From FSA
'Should there be a need': The inside story of Israel's chemical and biological arsenal

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Greek public sector workers strike over job cuts
Greek premier pleads for halt to violence
Murder of Anti-Fascist Hip-Hop Artist in Greece Adds Fuel to Ongoing Labor Strikes
Egypt: violent clashes erupt as security forces storm pro-Morsi neighbourhood
Iraqis hesitate on the edge of chaos

## Energy/resources ##
Shale gas bust: Invest in Energy Equities to Profit when the Shale Gas Bubble Bursts
The numbers don't lie—but politicians and industry bigwigs do. While pundits still wax poetic about an era of American energy independence, Bill Powers, author of the book "Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth," sees productivity plummeting in almost every major shale play.
Mineral resources and the limits to growth
Must read: "Peak Oil Demand" = Peak Oil
Bloodletting, bureaucratic bungling hamper Iraq's oil plans
Iraq 'to switch focus from oil'
China's Limit on New Solar Factories Seen Driving M&A
The Indian government is making state oil firms lose $77 million a day
Two years on: How nuclear sells itself post-Fukushima
RWE slashes dividend in face of green energy threat
Blackout hits large parts of Yemen after attack on power lines
PJM Averts Blackout During Unusual Heat Wave Using Demand Response
An unusual extreme heat wave spanning two days this week combined with local equipment issues in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania forced regional grid operator PJM Interconnection to take localized emergency measures to avoid the possibility of an uncontrolled blackout over a larger area.

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thefts of drainage covers continue across the city

## Got food? ##
$750 Billion in Food Wasted Every Year
Actually there are several problems here. One is the astonishing amount of fossil fuel energy that modern agriculture consumes to produce and deliver 1 calorie of food. We often hear boasts about how "efficient" modern agriculture is, but the need for such a huge input is clearly inefficient. Second, indeed much food is wasted, which is especially egregious in consideration of the huge input — all that energy gets wasted, too. People in developed countries often buy too much and eat too much (except for the poor, of course). Third, much food never makes it to consumers because of spoilage. In India much grain rots because there are not even sufficient facilities to store the harvest. Much food around the world spoils during transport, before it can get to consumers. The recommended solution is better transport and storage, especially expansion of the cold chain. But that's a problem because of the cold chain's high energy consumption. As we've seen here a number of times, the US cold chain is plagued by "hot trucks," which are food transport trucks with their refrigeration units turned off to save energy. If the cold chain is starting to break down in the US, how are developing countries supposed to build it up? Cold chain advocates are underestimating the energy expense in building, running, and maintaining the cold chain. The only realistic solution is to reorganize socioeconomic systems, including agriculture, so that much less energy is needed to produce and transport food. It will have to be done, anyway. -- RF
Invasion of the Chinese Chickens: America's Looming Poultry Problem
How Farmland Became Canada's Hottest Real Estate Market

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Coliving Takes Coworking to the Next Level in Rural Italy

## Environment/health ##
More Oil and Gas Spills Reported in Colorado After Floods

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
How The U.S. Military Plans To Hijack The Airwaves
Bulk surveillance: No phone company challenged FISA Court
Brazil data plan aims to keep US spies at bay
Brazil is considering ways to make local use of the internet less dependent on US-based services, following leaks about Washington's cyberspy operations.
Apple iPhone fingerprint scanner raises security worries
Linus Torvalds Jokes The NSA Wanted A Backdoor In Linux
Google Said to Mull Anonymous Identifiers Over 'Cookies'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Sir David Attenborough: If we do not control population, the natural world will
Growth is dead: Discontinuity Ahead – Oil Limits will Adversely Affect the Economy
Merkel Budget Zeal Erodes Byways as Infrastructure Rusts
The Smell of Collapse is in the Air

## Japan ##
Gold Rush Cometh In Japan - 1 Quadrillion Yen National Debt To Bankrupt
Japan logs longest run of trade deficit in over 30 years
Japan PM tells Tokyo Elec to scrap No.5, 6 reactors at Fukushima
Tepco To Earmark Additional Y1tln To Dismantle Damaged Reactors
The costs just keep going up and up. And the worst is yet to come. Even without another accident anywhere in the world, the ultimate cost of decommissioning alone would be enough to bankrupt governments. -- RF
M5.3 quake rocks Fukushima; Tokyo feels shake
Japan Meteorological Research Institute "60,000,000,000 Bq of Cs-137 and Sr-90 is leaking to the open ocean everyday"
Japanese PM Tries to Put Lid on Nuclear Meltdown's Bad PR
On Japan's Surging Electricity Prices
Death knell: Rough road ahead for maglev
TPP: Japan proposes making nearly 90% of items tariff-free for U.S.
Kyoto Gov. Yamada OKs installation of X-band radar
Kyoto Gov. Keiji Yamada on Thursday officially endorsed the installation of an advanced U.S. military radar in the prefecture, which will be the first U.S. military facility in the Kinki region centering on Osaka.

## China ##
China cuts coal use, steel capacity in northern regions
PBOC's Un-Tightening Sparks Renewed Bubble In Chinese Property Prices
China property developers pull down shutters, hoard cash
China's biggest property developers are sitting on $25 billion in cash as they prepare for a possible credit crunch and another round of crackdowns on real estate speculation.
Fed Blowing Massive Bubble in Hong Kong Real Estate; $2400 Square Foot Listings!

## UK ##
Higher food prices to push annual household grocery bills up £850 by 2018
Most of us will have to work until we drop
The idea of a long and happy retirement is a myth for all but a minority of people, a stark new official analysis of the nation's health suggests.
Home care fees rise by up to 160pc as rationing takes hold

## US ##
Eye-opener: The Treasury Secretary on How Unstable U.S. Government Finances Are
Government shutdown gears in motion
Home Starts Weaker Than Forecast as Fed Keeps QE: Economy
Translation: They weren't able to pump up the housing bubble as high as they had hoped. -- RF
Wells Fargo cutting 1,800 jobs in mortgage business: report
Detroit's Orr Says Sewer Repair Money May Go to Pay Debts
Detroit may use hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for required upgrades and repairs to its water and sewer system to pay debts it's trying to restructure in bankruptcy.
Obama asks leaders to push Congress to raise debt limit
Most Alaskans get $900 in oil wealth checks
America's great shrinking companies
Median Household Income Has Fallen For 5 Years In A Row
Food stamp usage rising as families struggle to put food on the table
Employers Trim Health Costs By Cutting Coverage For Spouses
Women Waiting Tables Provide Most of Female Gains in U.S.
Postal Service Warns It May Need Emergency Rate Hike
Druckenmiller Blasts "The Biggest Redistribution Of Wealth From The Poor To The Rich Ever"
Senate passes bill to avert helium shortage

And finally…
Crocodile found hiding under hotel bed


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