Sunday, June 29, 2014

 

News Links, June 28-30, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Loan Waivers Seen as Spain's Biggest Cement Maker Buckles
Cementos Portland Valderrivas SA (CPL), whose Madrid plant once rumbled under the weight of cement being transported to build Spain's biggest projects, doesn't have the cash for a 50 million-euro ($68 million) loan payment due June 30.
Puerto Rico agency debt slumps as law fuels default fears
Debt in some of Puerto Rico's biggest public corporations slumped in heavy trade on Friday after a new law allowing them to restructure their debt sparked ratings downgrades and fears of imminent default.
Half Of U.S. Gold Exports Head To Hong Kong
Mainstream press: The US's dollar domination is coming to an end
NIRP Strikes: Spain To Create Tax On Bank Deposits
Mini Tax Havens: How Europe's 1% Gets to Pay Only 1%
Iran resumes auto exports to Russia
Andrey Luganskiy, Russia's trade representative in Tehran, said the exports would allow Iran to acquire Russian currency, which it can then use to buy goods that it is unable to import from the West.
Swiss host Chinese central bank to discuss renminbi hub plan
Switzerland touted its qualifications to be a hub of renminbi trading on Friday, as its central bank chief and finance minister hosted People's Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan at a private event for Swiss and Chinese bankers.
What Piketty Forgot
The crisis of capitalism isn't just about the gap between rich and poor. It's about the gap between what's demanded by our planet and what's demanded by our economy.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Thai Airways names new acting president
The board of Thai Airways International Pcl has appointed Air Chief Marshal Siwakiat Jayema as acting president from July 1 as the country's military rulers reshuffle and restructure the loss-making carrier hit by months of political unrest.
Age limit for pilots mulled amid shortage (Japan)
A transport ministry panel on Friday started discussing whether to raise the upper age limit for pilots, currently at 64, to deal with pilot shortages on the back of increasing air transport demand, especially in Asia.
Flying From New York to Singapore for $20,000
Tourists beware: 'Hidden fees' are increasingly common for airlines and hoteliers

## Iraq ##
Armed US Drones Flying Over Iraq
In Iraq, Coordination With Iran Not Impossible, Gen. Dempsey Says
Iraq's top cleric urges quick deal on new PM
Iraq helicopter crashes in airborne commando assault on Tikrit
ISIS isn't rich—it doesn't even have enough money
Battle for Tikrit continues as Iraqi government pushes back against ISIS
Drones, Troops, and Hellfire Missiles: US Involvement in Iraq Grows
Russian bombers, advisers arrive in Iraq to aid in fight against ISIS

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Correcting The NYT's False Narrative: Washington Triggered The Ukraine Crisis, Not Putin
Syrian rebels buckling in face of jihadis
The Syrian rebels that the U.S. now wants to support are in poor shape, on the retreat from the radical al-Qaida breakaway group that has swept over large parts of Iraq and Syria, with some rebels giving up the fight. It is not clear whether the new U.S. promise to arm them will make a difference.
ISIS declares establishment of caliphate, demands allegiance from all Muslims
Report: US fears Israel would be dragged into war with ISIS
New security force to debut soon in Mexico
With ISIS surging in Iraq, Europe fears rise in 'jihadi-tourists'
21 killed in bombing at Nigerian shopping mall
South Korea report two missiles fired in to its waters by North Korea
Turkey Could Double Its Arms Budget
Interceptions Rise as Russia Boosts Air Power
The Russian Air Force is upgrading its long-range aircraft, making the decades-old planes more lethal amid increasing encounters near US airspace, a top US general responsible for defending the American and Canadian airspace said.
America Seems to Be Losing Ukraine's War
Indications Its Kiev Regime Is Crumbling. Blowback to America Could Be Substantial.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
The Pitchforks are Coming…– A Dire Warning from a Member of the 0.01%
Thousands march across Kabul to protest election fraud
Hundreds of First Nations People March to 'Ground Zero' of Tar Sands Destruction (Canada)
Brazilian police use tear gas to break up anti-World Cup protest outside stadium
South African engineering strike to go ahead on July 1 - NUMSA union

## Energy/resources ##
The Oil Production Story: Pre- and Post-Peak Nations
The news media continue to chant that "peak oil is dead" and see the U.S. shale oil miracle as a sustainable turn of events, not a term-limited booster. But listen to a few analysts who worry about what the slowdown in investments by oil super-majors portends, and question why many shale oil and gas companies can't turn a profit during this incredible drilling and production boom.  Watch what's happening to oil production outside of North America. Note the struggles to boost production from Brazil's presalts.  Reflect on internal struggles in Syria, the Sudans, Venezuela and Nigeria and how those drag down oil production and quality of life. Follow violent events in the Middle East.
Gazprom started pumping gas into storages in Europe - CEO
Venezuela Restores Power After Blackout Left Half Nation in Dark
Utilities brace for thermal power plant problems (Japan)
Power utilities are increasingly worried that their aging thermal power plants will start developing problems in the summer, when electricity demand is at its peak, as they attempt to offset the loss of nuclear power caused by the Fukushima disaster.
EY: CAPEX Spending Declines, US O&G Reserves Rise
Total capital expenditures (CAPEX) for the top 50 oil and gas companies declined 7 percent to $173.5 billion in 2013 from $186.0 billion in 2012, as companies shifted spending towards development and away from unproved property acquisition and exploration activity.
Another Stupid US Energy Policy Decision
In 5 years, when the Bakken and Permian plays are quickly eroding on their way to being spent, we'll wonder why we chose to send overseas a domestic resource that could have lasted a generation or more powering US businesses and again become a dependent consumer of overseas oil supplies.
Forget round-the-clock power supply, says Karnataka govt (India)
Kerry, Saudi King discuss oil supply, U.S. official says
Green energy cost hits record high as expensive turbines built at sea (UK)
Annual bill for consumers to subsidise renewable technologies has soared to more than £2.5bn as more plants are built and the cost for each unit of electricity rises
Five Crazy New Forms Of Energy That Just Might Work
But due to factors such as cost and fossil fuel dependence, they will never keep industrial civilization running at this scale. -- RF
Kurds in northern Iraq sell crude cargoes for $100 million, 9% below alternative oil
Libya's Biggest Oil Port Es Sider May Open in August, Rebels Say

## Got food? ##
China's hungry cattle feasting on alfalfa grown on Utah farm
Brutal dought to bring even higher food prices
Should You Raise Goats?
Row Covers: The No-Spray Way to Protect Plants
The word "natural" helps sell $40 billion worth of food in the U.S. every year—and the label means nothing

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Less Is More: How to Live Large in a Tiny House

## Environment/health ##
Rise of the super rat
Scientists have voiced concerns over the seeming irresistible rise of super rats, which are becoming increasingly resistant to most poisons
Car and truck fumes disorient pollinators
Ebola outbreak now most deadly ever in West Africa
No Limits to Shale Gas Chemicals in Mexico
Over half of emperor penguins will be 'wiped out by end of the century' due to melting sea ice

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
U.S. energy sector reviews cyber threats
Facebook Cries Foul Over Nearly 400 Government Requests for Data
Facebook Manipulated 689,003 Users' Emotions For Science
Predictive Policing Is Not Like 'Minority Report' — It's Worse
Your Doctor Knows You're Killing Yourself. The Data Brokers Told Her
Diverse Groups Fly Airship Over NSA's Utah Data Center to Protest Illegal Spying
Germany Fires Verizon Over NSA Spying
Germany announced Thursday it is canceling its contract with Verizon Communications over concerns about the role of U.S. telecom corporations in National Security Agency spying.
U.S. Says It Spied on 89,000 Targets Last Year, But the Number Is Deceptive
Blue Digital Collars: Tech Helps Companies Track Employees
These days, being "on the clock" means more than just punching a time card. New apps and gadgets are making it possible for companies to track everything from the location to the conversations of their employees.
A New Cybersecurity Bill Could Give the NSA Even More Data

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
GM recalls 428,000 vehicles in four safety recalls
The Systemic Sources of Geopolitical Turmoil: Instability, Fragmentation, Resource Wars

## Japan ##
Japan's 'Surge' Undone: The Abenomics Rebuke To Keynesian Money Printers
Printing Press "Prosperity": The Complete And Utter Failure Of Abenomics
Japanese Economic Collapse Dislodges USDJPY Tractor Beam, Pushes Futures Lower
Japan Inflation Climbs 3.7% On Year In May
Prices climb most in 32 years as wages limp along
Consumer prices climbed in May at their fastest pace in 32 years, swelled by the hike in the consumption tax and higher utility charges that are squeezing Japanese budgets as wage gains remain limited.
70% of new power producers inactive: ministry
In much of Japan, population will halve by 2050
Impact of Fukushima groundwater bypass eludes Tepco
Man sets himself on fire in Japan in defense protest: witnesses

## China ##
Beijing to boost police gun training amid security threats
China will boost gun training for police in Beijing, a senior security official said, as it braces for what it calls an upsurge in militant violence around the country.
China plans investment bank to break World Bank dominance
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will extend China's financial reach and compete not only with the World Bank, but also with the Asian Development Bank, which is heavily dominated by Japan.
Chinese authorities demolish golf courses

## UK ##
Scottish shale gas and oil 'no game-changer'
British Geological Survey report to map out potential fracking targets in Scotland's central belt but industry predicts resource will not be a game-changer
'Invincible mutant super-rats' spreading across the UK
Allow fracking in national parks, says Environment Agency chief
David Cameron warned NHS in danger of collapse within five years
Water cannons 'being sent to London next week' after Boris Johnson's purchase goes through
Couple with two children 'must earn £40,600 to meet basic needs'
Warnings over public services as local councils face funding shortfalls
Councils facing a funding gap of £5.8bn to March 2016, which could put services like libraries and leisure centres under threat

## US ##
Last Time Lenders Did This, They Triggered The Financial Crisis
During the first quarter, 3.7 million credit cards were issued to subprime borrowers, up a head-scratching 39% from a year earlier, and the most since 2008. A third of all cards issued were subprime, also the most since 2008, according to Equifax.
Nation's Rural School Districts Face Risk of Closures
Over the past few decades, a growing trend has become the folding of rural school districts due to shrinking state funding and  desire for efficiency.
Food prices + gas prices = Stressed consumers
The Keynesian End Game Is Near: No Escape Velocity This Year, Either
Baby bust: US fertility rates hit all-time lows
SWAT Teams Claim 'Corporate' Exemption From Public Scrutiny
Operators of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams comprised of tax payer-funded police and sheriffs in Massachusetts claim they are immune to public records requests about deadly force, incident reports, and more because they are private "corporations."
Big Brother is Coming to Healthcare – How Hospitals are Entering Your Credit Card Info Into Algorithms
New York AG Schneiderman finally flexes muscles against Wall Street
Exclusive: Loophole for condensate exports may apply to other U.S. crudes - sources
U.S. auctions some 30,000 bitcoins from Silk Road raid
The race to stop Las Vegas from running dry
Old, broke, and financially unprepared for retirement: Many older Americans are simply unprepared for the costs associated with retirement.
100% of U.S. Employment Growth Since 2000 Went to Immigrants
Crashes mount as military flies more drones in US
Obama to seek $2B for more border security
Americans want fewer people immigrating to the country, a new survey shows.
According to a Gallup poll released Friday, 22 percent of those polled favor increased immigration, while 33 percent would like to see it remain at the present level and a plurality, 41 percent and nearly double the amount of those who favor increased immigration, believe it should be decreased.

And finally...
Hillary's Book Sales Crash After 1st Week; Reviews Disastrous
30% Discount To 'Book' And Still Not Cheap Enough...


Thursday, June 26, 2014

 

News Links, June 26-27, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
U.S. economy shrank by 2.9% in Q1, sharpest drop since 2009
Argentina deposits debt payment, but U.S. court blocks payout
French Joblessness Soars To Record High; Rises For 36th Month In A Row
Russia considers yuan, ruble for Chinese gas deals
Are U.S.–Russia Tensions Heating Up? Reuters Reports Russia May Bar Firms from Using Foreign Banks
Turkey Sells 200 Tons of Secret Gold to Iran
PSA seeks 500 job cuts at French plant
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will offer workers at its plant in Rennes, France, early retirement benefits as part of plan aimed at reducing headcount at the site by about 10 percent.
Bulgaria bond sale to go ahead despite bank run - sources

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Ageing population forces flight cancellations in Japan as pilots retire en masse
Japan's rapidly-ageing population is a growing cause for concern in the aviation industry, with widespread pilot shortages impacting thousands of flights in coming months
Etihad to acquire 49% stake in Italian airline
Alitalia is on course to be thrown a financial lifeline by Etihad Airways after the state-controlled Gulf carrier agreed to buy a 49 per cent stake in the Italian flag-carrier.
"Sweeping changes" needed at Malaysia Airlines – CEO
TSA Fee Increase: U.S. Airline Tickets To Get Higher Starting in July
European airlines face overcapacity & resurgent labour. Recent profit warnings make alarm bells ring
Middle East, Asia airports jockeying for status of global hub

## Iraq  ##
Islamist fighters reportedly attempting to encircle Baghdad
Iraq militants launch fresh raid on oil refinery
Iran sending drones, military equipment to Iraq, U.S. says
Iraq insurgents seize oilfields, hit air base as U.S. advisers arrive
Officials: Syrian Airstrikes Killed 57 Iraqi Civilians
Syrian warplanes have been notoriously inaccurate in attacking ISIS targets inside Syria, killing large numbers of civilians. Yesterday's strikes on the Iraqi side of the border have reportedly ended the same way, with provincial officials claiming at least 57 civilians killed and another 120 wounded in the airstrikes.
Reports: ISIL attacking Balad air base; could seize military gear
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is threatening to take control of Balad air base, Iraq's largest airfield and one of America's most important military outposts during its occupation of the country.
Iraq Watch: Iraq's prime minister welcomes Syrian airstrikes, ISIS fighters reportedly an hour from Baghdad

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Officials: 4 explosions hit Cairo subway stations
Ex-CIA Officer Claims that Open Source Revolution is About to Overthrow Global Oligarchy
That would be great if it happened, but how great is the likelihood? Do not underestimate the power and influence of the global oligarchy. If the 1% feel threatened by the open source revolution, they'll take steps to cripple it. -- RF
Nigeria: At least 21 killed in rush-hour blast in capital
New Chinese map shows larger claims in South China Sea
U.S. says Thai military rule likely to last longer than expected
Russian parliament revokes authorization to use force against Ukraine
West readies package of sector sanctions on Russia
Thousands flee Ukraine for Russia; truce nears end
Obama Asks For $500 Million To Train, Equip Syrian Rebels
Chinese Navy ships arrive in Hawaii for military exercise

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thailand's coup: the general applies a full nelson
Net neutrality advocates arrested at Google HQ, call for national day of action
Massive End The Fed Organizer in Germany Gets Car Fire Bombed
Angry scenes as TEPCO shareholders demand end to nuclear power

## Energy/resources ##
Decommissioning: Striking the Right Balance
For economic reasons, much of this decommissioning will never happen. -- RF
'Acute' gas crunch fears push efficiency into spotlight
Energy security's ascent to the top of the political agenda was cemented at the EU's sustainable energy week yesterday (23 June), as a US ambassador to the EU, a Green MEP and the bloc's energy commissioner, Günther Oettinger all used the Ukraine crisis to highlight the importance of energy saving measures.
BP says to sign $20bn gas supply contract with China
Oil prices started to skyrocket when one quarter of global supplies went into irreversible decline
Breakthrough in solar panel manufacture promises cheap energy within a decade
A Major Coal Supplier Gone Within Hours?
Hanging onto oil-rich Kirkuk may prove a challenge for Iraq's Kurds
Oil Directorate Chief: More Norway Oil Projects Being Delayed
Oil firms are delaying the development of oil and gas fields off Norway, the head of the agency tasked with managing the country's oil and gas resources told Reuters on Thursday. Her comments come after new figures show oil firms in Norway are cutting spending by more than 10 percent in 2015 compared with this year, pointing to lower economic growth for the Nordic country.

## Got food? ##
'Natural' Food Sounds Good But Doesn't Mean Much
Genetically modified grass for dairy cows sparks concern (Australia)
North Korea Mobilizes Army as Nation Faces Worst Drought in Over Three Decades
Fruit and vegetable prices going up as California drought continues
Research Could Lead to a New Breed of Superchicken
Move over, kale! Here is why insects are the next big superfood

## Environment/health ##
Global Report on 'Neonicotinoid Disaster' a 'Wake-Up Call' to Save the Bees, say Groups
With heat and humidity, areas will be 'unsuited for outdoor activity' (US)
Surging environmental crime funds conflicts, hurts growth: U.N.
Are Bee-Friendly Plants 'Poisoning Pollinators'?
Report finds that over half of 'bee-friendly' plants sold at major garden centers contain deadly neonicotinoids
U.S. retailers look to limit pesticides to help honeybees
Could Watching TV Kill You? Binge Watchers at Higher Risk
Illinois Bans Cosmetics Containing Microbeads
Iraq's Depleted Uranium Threat

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Microsoft fixes Exchange Online outage after almost 9 hours
Police Can't Search Cell Phones Without a Warrant: SCOTUS
In what is being heralded as a landmark ruling for civil rights, the United States Supreme Court decided Wednesday that police can not search the mobile phones of people under arrest without a warrant.
Why Financial Reporters Are Clueless: They Copy And Paste Keynesian/Wall Street Propaganda
Hospital Networks Are Leaking Data, Leaving Critical Devices Vulnerable
Two researchers examining the security of hospital networks have found many of them leak valuable information to the internet, leaving critical systems and equipment vulnerable to hacking.
Will car-hacking become the new carjacking?
Google Glass Hacked, Can Record Everything You Stare At
Hackers have already proven smarter than smartphones or just about any other connected electronic device, and soon they'll hack into your fridge, thermostat, and toilet. The NSA got into your files stored in the cloud's "secure" data centers. Chinese authorities got everything on your laptop that you left in your hotel room while going for quick beer at the bar downstairs. And now Dutch hackers, um "computer experts," have commandeered Google Glass to take pics and videos of everything you're looking at.
Thai junta sets up panels to crack down on critical news reports
Google starts removing links for 'right to be forgotten' searches
Predicting crime, LAPD-style
Cutting edge data-driven analysis directs Los Angeles patrol officers to likely future crime scenes – but critics worry that decision-making by machine will bring 'tyranny of the algorithm'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
"Three Es Suggest Massive Change is Upon Us" Chris Martenson's Accelerated Crash Course
Canada's coming economic headache: A serious shortage of skilled workers
Could Gang Violence End Mexico's Shale Dream?

## Japan ##
Massive air bag recall could drive Takata into the red
Japan is Dropping Hints of a Potential Exit Strategy
Gasoline prices up for 9th straight week
Japan's population falls for 5th straight year
Japan Inc. charging more for services amid labor shortage
Japan's World Cup loss dashes retailer hopes for sales bonanza
Casino legislation? Abe says you bet
Japan to experience nuclear-free summer
Japan's Kyushu, Hokkaido Electric get approval for bailouts
Japan's Kyushu Electric Power and Hokkaido Electric Power received shareholder approval on Thursday for bailouts from a state-backed bank as the utilities struggle to cope with losses from a prolonged shutdown of nuclear reactors.
Three Japan public pension funds buying stocks ahead of asset review - sources
Tokyo Keeps Growing as Japan's Population Falls

## China ##
China Finds $15 Billion of Loans Backed by Fake Gold Trades
China's chief auditor discovered 94.4 billion yuan ($15.2 billion) of loans backed by falsified gold transactions, adding to signs of possible fraud in commodities financing deals.
China sends 1st minister-level official to Taiwan
Chairman Of China's Largest Copper Producer Commits Suicide By Jumping From Hotel
Chinese metal imports drop amid concerns of financing fraud
Chinese imports of copper and iron ore are plunging as authorities crack down on shady loans collateralized by stockpiles of the metals.
China sends dissidents on free holidays
Activists tell of 'being travelled' – sent on lavish trips, chaperoned by police – to keep them out of the government's way
Hangzhou and Suzhou Lose Shine Among Real Estate Investors
China's Manhattan Project Marred by Ghost Buildings
China's project to build a replica Manhattan is taking shape against a backdrop of vacant office towers and unfinished hotels, underscoring the risks to a slowing economy from the nation's unprecedented investment boom.
Chinese IPOs: a zero-sum game

## UK ##
Scotland's NHS 'teetering on the edge of collapse'
UK 'could run out of land by 2030' as housing, food and energy compete for space
The UK could run out of land to meet its growing demands for food, housing, green energy and environmental protection by 2030, according to a Cambridge University-backed report.
Ahem! This would seem to be at odds with the infinite-growth paradigm. -- RF
GP services are imploding as surgeries 'at risk of closure'
Two-week waits for GP appointments have become 'common', doctors have warned, while thousands could be left without a family doctor entirely due to financial cutbacks.
Only 86 homes for sale in London are affordable, report finds
Coventry City Council to turn off 170 street lights as part of plan to save £60,000
The homelessness crisis in England: a perfect storm
Last year, 112,070 people declared themselves homeless in England – a 26% increase in four years. At the same time, the number of people sleeping rough in London grew by 75% to a staggering 6,437. Why? A £7bn cut in housing benefit, welfare reforms and a huge lack of affordable housing
Britain's armed forces will be like a banana republic's if MoD keeps cutting costs, says ex-CDS Lord Richards

## US ##
U.S. Economy Shrank in First Quarter by Most in Five Years
Diving Into the GDP Report of -2.9% Growth
The Message In The Q1 GDP Shock: Massive Windfalls For The 1%; Hardly 1% Growth For The Masses
Stone Cold Proof That Government Economic Numbers Are Being Highly Manipulated
Over at shadowstats.com, John Williams publishes alternative economic statistics that he believes are much more realistic than the government numbers.  According to his figures, the U.S. economy has actually been continually contracting since 2005.  That would mean that we have been in a recession for the last nine years.
The Coming Global Generational Adjustment
All sorts of promises, explicit and implicit, were issued to win votes. All the promises are now empty, and we might as deal with this reality head-on... The bottom line is that the promises cannot and will not be kept. The promises were issued in an era of cheap, abundant fossil fuels and favorable demographics.
U.S. to face multibillion-dollar bill from climate change -report
DICK CHENEY: There Will Be Another 'Massive Attack' On America That's 'Far Deadlier' Than 9/11
The Happy Story of Boomers Retiring on Their Generational Wealth Is Wrong
Power outages to tainted water: Main St. braces for climate change
The chasm between the real economy and stock market: Baltic Dry Index down 60 percent and CNBC viewership near record lows. Where is the wealth in the US?
Warning for GM and Ford – Car Loans Becoming the Next Bubble in Banking
Bank of America to cut 540 jobs at Charlotte legacy assets unit
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
For most families, wealth has vanished
WATCH: 'Code Black' clip shows overcrowding in U.S. ERs
'The eyes don't lie': Worcester County Sheriff implements iris scan at Nelson Place School to safeguard children
The Worcester County Sheriff's Department brought its iris scan program to Worcester's Nelson Place School with hundreds of students being added to a national registry.
If The Clintons Are Worth 50 Million, Why Do They Get Nearly A Million A Year From The Taxpayers?
Just How Crazy Is The Biggest Credit Bubble in History? See The Doomed Muni Tobacco Bonds In Your Conservative Bond Fund
'Consigned to Financial Ruin': Evictions Fueling Economic Disadvantage
Parents to grads: Those student loans are your problem
Chicago lays off 1,150 teachers, staff
Bitcoins to Become Legal Currency in California; Bill Awaits Signing by Gov. Brown; Commodities vs. Currencies
Consumers splurge on cars in May, that's it

And finally...
Man claims to have lived on Mars for the last 17 years
Move over, John Carter! -- RF


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

 

News Links, June 24-25, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
The Baltic Dry Index Is Down 60% Year-To-Date; Worst On Record
Sovereign debt the 'ultimate bubble'
Are Asian households over their head in debt?
It's Official – German Gold is Staying in New York at The Federal Reserve
Head Of German Gold Repatriation Initiative Responds To Bloomberg Story About Repatriation Halt
Germany Still Wants Gold Back – Repatriation Campaign Continues
French Private Sector Contracts Second Month; Eurozone Composite Growth Weakest in 6-Months
Investment Bank: The End Of US Economic Growth
Global infrastructure, capital spending to hit $9 trillion by 2025: study
Bubble Finance At Work: After 2-Year Growth Stall, Open Table Goes For 112X
Don't Buy Dubai - From IPO Bubble To Bear Market In 2 Months
Cosmetics maker Avon Products to cut about 600 jobs
BHP looks to cut thousands of jobs from its iron ore division in WA
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
Corporate America is taking out life insurance on its employees so companies can profit from workers' deaths
Russia, France may opt to use RMB for global transactions
Australia PM Introduces Bill To Repeal Carbon Tax
Aging Australians Balk at World's Oldest Retirement Age

## Airline Death Spiral ##
When it comes to airline fees, Delta, United collect the most
Close encounters on rise as small drones gain in popularity
Oil price turbulence hits European airlines
Norway mulls divesting from SAS Scandinavian Airlines
Will India Privatize Air India?
Qantas Town Hall meeting hears of $720 million group loss
Robin Hood Airport loses a third of its passengers
Spain's crisis: Noisy helicopters, silent airports
During the boom years Spain, with the help of EU cash injections, built airports all over the place, but now most of them lack the passenger numbers necessary to be profitable. Many, like Huesca, are no longer used at all by commercial airlines.

## Iraq ##
Anti-U.S. Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Retakes Stage Amid Iraq Turmoil
ISIS's victories may win it recruits from rival Syrian rebel groups
More Details on Warnings Kurds Gave U.S. About ISIS
Iraq crisis: the country is facing imminent break up say Western diplomats
Militants Take Control of Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery
US Drones Strike ISIS Targets BBC Reports; Pentagon Denies

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Vietnam offers Russia port priority in move against China: Global Times
Poland's president says US still an important ally
NATO to establish Trust Fund for Ukraine's defense potential
As costs rise, Israeli settlements face questions at home
Condemned by U.S. and European allies as illegal obstacles to peace with the Palestinians, settlements face a new wave of hostility within Israel - from taxpayers who suspect the state of handing on their money by the back door to a vocal minority.
Flights delayed by PLA drills in East China Sea
Austria signs Russian pipeline deal, hosts rare Putin visit
Austria gave its final approval to a controversial Russian gas pipeline project on Tuesday, defying EU officials and welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin to the neutral country that has been a long-standing energy customer for Moscow.
Israel arrests 37 in West Bank; Palestinian deaths alarming: UN
Pakistan Aircraft Fired on While Landing, One Woman Killed
A female passenger was killed and two flight attendants were injured when a Pakistan International Airlines plane came under fire while landing in the country's northwestern city of Peshawar.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tens of thousands march in London against coalition's austerity measures
Opponents of Thai military regime launch campaign for democracy

## Energy/resources ##
As global disorder spreads, the oil investment tap dries up
Gazprom strategy: swapping dollar bonds for gas pipelines
Iraq upheaval threatens oil development plans
Iran can make up for Iraqi oil, minister says
Russia, Iran nuclear contract imminent
Shrinkage: Kiev doubles the price of cold water, shuts off hot water
Power outage leaves parts of Rio in darkness
Nigerians groan as power generation drops by 1,100MW
Coal crunch hits power generation in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
In Wyoming, Going Deep To Draw Energy From Coal
The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. The only catch is that U.S. coal is buried too deep for conventional mining.
Germany ups new green energy surcharge on industry to meet EU rules
Indian power sector faces $27 bln in annual losses - World Bank
U.S. Oil Dependence Moves From OPEC to Canada
Two-Thirds of India Solar-Cell Production Idle: Ministry

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Night patrols to stop cable theft 'catastrophe' (South Africa)

## Got food? ##
Insecticides put world food supplies at risk, say scientists
The world's most widely used insecticides have contaminated the environment across the planet so pervasively that global food production is at risk, according to a comprehensive scientific assessment of the chemicals' impacts.
More on the unsustainability of industrial agriculture. -- RF
How to Buy Farmland, Even if You Think You Can't
Rain Drowns Crops in Drenched Midwest
The Next Generation of GM Crops Has Arrived—And So Has the Controversy

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Low tech: Well-Tended Fires Outperform Modern Cooking Stoves

## Environment/health ##
More of California experiencing most severe drought conditions
Oil from BP spill slowing one of ocean's fastest fish: scientists
206 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Dumped into America's Waterways
Welcome to the New Warm Normal: Global Temps Break Another Record
Ebola epidemic unprecedented in West Africa, medical aid group says
Report: World's Oceans on Brink of Collapse
Pesticides threaten birds and bees alike: study
Climate Forecast: A Heat More Deadly Than the U.S. Has Ever Seen
Venomous trap-jaw ants spread along US Gulf Coast 'without anyone noticing'

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The US Military Now Has X-Ray Guns
More Foreign Governments Provide NSA with Support for Global Data Surveillance
New sensors will scoop up 'big data' on Chicago
Hacking the World: Map Shows Global Cyberattacks Happening in Real Time
Over 300,000 servers still vulnerable to Heartbleed
U.S. Funds "Terror Studies" to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements
Since the meltdown of 2008, U.S. universities have collaborated with the Pentagon to study dynamics of social movements, worldwide. The goal of "terrorism studies" is "to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease." The Minerva Initiative, like NSA spying, sees the entire planet as "enemy territory."
US Embassy In Berlin Offering Cold, Hard Cash For People To Create Pro-TAFTA/TTIP Propaganda
Intel working on RFID-based 'kill switch' for laptops
Google Glass Snoopers Can Steal Your Passcode With a Glance
Containers 'filled with Swiss bank data seized in Germany'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Why Standard Economic Models Don't Work–Our Economy is a Network
Honda, Mazda expand recalls over Takata airbag problem
In just six months, automakers pass recall record
The Death of the American Mall
A Haunting Look Inside Some of America's Abandoned Shopping Malls
According to CBS, no new indoor mall has been built in America since 2006 and at least one expert predicts that half of all existing malls will close within the next 10 years.
However, these articles fail to see that expensive oil is the major factor underlying the demise of the mall. -- RF
Nearly Half Of Detroit Water Customers Can't Pay Their Bill
How Aging Trucks Could Doom Nationwide Mail Delivery (US)
Decline and Fall: the end of empire and the future of democracy in 21st century America (book review)

## Japan ##
Disappearing gas stations (article in Japanese)
Owing to factors including rising fuel prices, increased taxes, aging proprietors, the high cost of renovating facilities (mainly the replacement of leaking underground tanks), and declining fuel consumption, since 1997 Japan has been losing gas stations at a pace of over 1,000 per year. Some rural areas now have hardly any gas stations left. Here we can see part of the collapse of the oil-based transportation system. -- RF
Japan's Parliament Begins Debate on Introducing Casinos
Tax cuts, dance hall deregulation aim to set Japan swinging
Getting the populace to dance and gamble more will boost the economy! -- RF
Abe's 'drill bit' hits resistance on Japan labor reform
Record Stock Buybacks: First In The US, Now In Japan
Japan Pension Funds Quicken Pace of JGB Sales in Quest for Yield
Japan Unveils 'World's First' Android Newscaster
Abe aims for early pact on easing curbs on military
800,000 vehicles recalled for Takata airbag defect
Japan Growth Strategy Sidesteps High Energy Price Issue
Heavy electricity users such as silicon and special alloy makers have been vocal about their pains. "This is a life or death moment for our domestic operations. A number of companies have already closed down, gone bankrupt, or decided to go overseas and cut staff," 11 associations of manufacturers said in a joint statement in late May.
Oil facilities face serious liquefaction risk in Tokai, Kansai, Tokyo
Government estimates all Fukushima areas safe for living by 2021

## China ##
Beijing's overhauls get short shrift
Long-term economic overhauls that China's leadership promised are taking a back seat to short-term needs as Beijing wrestles with a slowing economy and a foot-dragging bureaucracy.
'Major, major' housing bubble is Achilles' heel of Chinese economy
China to experiment with reverse mortgages for elderly
The Chinese government will launch next month a reverse-mortgage pilot program that will allow senior citizens in four cities to borrow against their homes to pay for living expenses.
That's great news! Now the Chinese too can use their homes as ATMs! -- RF

## UK ##
Russell Brand calls upon thousands for "peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution"
More street lights to be turned off in Shropshire to save energy
Britons' social lives sending them into debt, study finds

## US ##
The Generational Short Part 2: Who Will Boomers Sell Their Stocks To?
Ni hao, y'all: US hinterlands woo Chinese firms
California Could Soon Run Out of Water
Water war bubbling up between California and Arizona
Advocates of splitting California into six states gathering signatures
Pennsylvania Instructed Its Employees to Ignore Residents Sickened by Drilling
Memo outlines justification for drone strikes on citizens
Houston, a bright spot in U.S. economy, frets about labor shortage
Only one in three Americans has emergency savings
Low wage growth, high household expenses and student loan repayments are making it very difficult for Americans to prioritize emergency savings.
About Those "Upbeat" May Existing Home Sales: Down 5% Y/Y; Up Only In $1Million+ Bucket
Bridges Crumble as Muni Rates at Least Since '60s Ignored
Across the U.S., localities are refraining from raising new funds in the $3.7 trillion municipal-bond market after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression left them with unprecedented deficits. Rather than take advantage of Federal Reserve (FDTR) policy that's held benchmark interest rates at historic lows since December 2008, they're repaying obligations by the most on record.
Consume, Conform, Obey: What Homeland Security's Targeting Of Anti-Consumerist Activities Says About The Government's Desires
Hillary Clinton Has Got To Be Joking – This Is What 'Dead Broke' Actually Looks Like…
The Fed's Hobson's Choice: End QE and Zero-Interest Rates or Destabilize the Dollar and the Treasury Market
Though the Fed is doing its best to mask its abject failure and lack of choices with public relations, the reality is it has no choice but to taper and eventually end its endless spew of credit and its unprecedented and destabilizing purchases of assets.
Report: Militarization of Police Turning Communities into 'War Zones'
Best democracy money can buy: Politicians For Sale? There's An App For That
The Social Security cash crunch Congress can't ignore
The trust fund for Social Security disability benefits, which is separate from the fund for retirement benefits, is on track to be insolvent -- most likely by the end of 2016 but no later than 2017.

And finally...
22 firefighters rescue student trapped in giant vagina sculpture


Monday, June 23, 2014

 

News Links, June 21-23, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Buying Up the Planet: Out-of-control Central Banks on a Corporate Buying Spree
The Global Corporatocracy Is Nearing Completion
Real weekly earnings were $825 in 1973. Today they are $690.
Canada's Inflation Rate Overshoots BoC's Target As Energy Prices Soar
Canary In A Handbag: Why Coach Hit The Skids
Russia develops its own chip technology for national payment card
Run on Corpbank prompts Bulgarian central bank to seize control

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Europe's regional airports struggling
Overall, some 44 per cent of Europe's airports are making losses and the industry's average rate of return on invested capital (ROIC) is five per cent.
Security Fee on Airline Tickets May Be Increasing
May airfares up 6 percent, highest rise for 15 years
Berlin's Ill-Fated Airport Faces Insolvency
Iraq crisis: Airlines stare at 4% hike in fuel bills
NBAA: Congress Must Support Airports Both Big and Small

## Iraq ##
White House confirms airstrikes on ISIS targets possible outside Iraq
Kurdish Peshmerga Fight Endless Stream of ISIS Militants in Iraq
Militants seize Iraq border post, kill 30 troops
Russia Reignites The Proxy War: Putin Offers "Complete Support" To Iraq Prime Minister Scorned By Obama
Key Iraqi refinery under siege by militants likely to be captured
Iraq militants take Syria border post in drive for caliphate
Inside Baghdad's Shia slum of Sadr City: 'We can deal with Isis ourselves'
US, ISIS, and Shi'ite Clergy Agree: Maliki Must Go
Maliki's Days in Power Numbered as Iran and US Lose Faith
Obama has demanded more 'effective' leadership and Iran looks set to follow as Isis militants threaten Baghdad
In Iraq, 'ghost soldiers' are no match for ISIS fighters
Hurried flight of Iraqi soldiers from battle is more understandable if you consider that a lot of them are only on the roster to pad their commanders' pockets.
Iraqi Military Out of Hellfires in Battle Against ISIS
Iraq insurgents capture fourth town in Anbar
ISIS fighters control much of Iraq's western border after seizing three more towns
Ahmed Chalabi makes comeback
ISIS Militants Seize Iraqi Border Crossings With Jordan and Syria
Key Shi'ite Cleric Warns US: We'll Resist Return of Occupiers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Global Refugee Population Surging Amid Conflicts, Persecution: U.N.
Russia Puts Its Troops On 'Full Combat Alert'
China sends four oil rigs to South China Sea amid regional tensions
$3.3 trillion defense contract bonanza since 9/11 (US)
UN says 10.8 million Syrians need humanitarian aid
US threatens 'scalpel' sanctions on Russia if it fails to de-escalate Ukraine crisis
Ukrainian Independence Supporters Seize 221 Tanks From the Obama-Installed Government
Presbyterian Church Votes to Divest From Occupation-Profiting Companies
Taliban attacks NATO air base in east Afghanistan
Report: Over 400 Military Drones Have Crashed Since 2001
U.S. sanctions net snares the innocent, burdens business
New horsepower for war zones: Special Forces saddle up
Military forces will be using a lot more horses in the future. -- RF
Polish foreign minister says Poland's relationship with the US 'isn't worth anything'
"It is downright harmful, because it creates a false sense of security. Complete bullshit. We'll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we'll think that everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers."
At least 20 killed in tribal clashes in Kenya: police
Equipped with Humvees, ISIL clashes with rivals in Syria
Beware ISIL, Iran's Rouhani warns 'petrodollar' states
Rouhani did not name any country, but officials and media in mainly Shiite Iran have hinted that insurgents from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are being financially and militarily supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Tyler Cowen Is Full Of It: Wars Do Not Stimulate Wealth; They Destroy It And Kill Millions
Israeli Air Strikes Pound Multiple Syrian Army Sites

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Chinese police shoot dead 13 attackers in Xinjiang
Police shot dead 13 attackers in China's restive Xinjiang region after they rammed a car into a police station and detonated explosives, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, in the latest of a series of attacks to worry Beijing.
Taxi Drivers Protest Ride-Sharing Businesses
Talk of 'Third Intifada' Rises as West Bank Tensions Boil
Russell Brand Calls On 50,000 Protesters To Stage 'Joyful Revolution' (UK)
Fresh austerity protests hit Portugal
Albuquerque Protesters Put Police Chief 'On Trial'
Jindal Says 'Rebellion Brewing' Against Washington
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Saturday night accused President Barack Obama and other Democrats of waging wars against religious liberty and education and said that a rebellion is brewing in the U.S. with people ready for "a hostile takeover" of the nation's capital.

## Energy/resources ##
Shale revolution: The Real Reason Shell Halted Its Ukrainian Shale Operations
Royal Dutch Shell has blamed air strikes by the government in Kiev against its own citizens in southern Ukraine as the reason it decided to declare a halt to its shale oil projects in the troubled region. In reality, the truth may be closer to the fact that company is disappointed with the economic viability of what it once thought was a large shale deposit and is looking for a way out.
Water shortage shuts Coca-Cola plant in India
Higher U.S. natgas price needed to boost shale growth -economist
The prospect of cheap natural gas prices fueling an industrial renaissance in the United States is at odds with the needs of gas producers, an energy economist said this week.
For those who hadn't noticed, energy-savvy people have been saying this from the outset. -- RF
Norway would only help EU with gas crisis if price right
Non-EU nation Norway will only help the European Union with any supply crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine gas price dispute if it makes commercial sense, officials told a meeting called in Brussels on Friday to address energy security.
Brownouts, high power rates still haunt PHL despite Epira (Philippines)
Solar energy can't kill old-school electric utilities: It's too expensive, and utilities have too many advantages
Asia soaking up US displaced oil

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thieves targeting utility poles

## Got food? ##
Heavy rains flood U.S. farmers' fields, raise river levels
Heavy rains across the northern U.S. Midwest this week flooded corn and soybean fields, damaging crops, and raised river levels which could slow some grain shipments by barge for the next two weeks.
The unsustainability of organic farming
This article is a pile of organic fertilizer. Industrialized agriculture, owing to its reliance on ever-more-costly fossil fuels and on poisonous chemicals, is hardly sustainable. And the argument that a too-heavy load of nitrate means organic agriculture is unsustainable is misleading. Organic or not, it means people are applying more fertilizer than needed. For example, I would venture to say that virtually all the nutrients flowing from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico are from chemical fertilizers. So that is a specious argument. Organic is the only way to go, because in the future it will be all we've got. -- RF
The Energetic Evolution of the US Food System
Industrialized agriculture has always been touted as highly efficient, but in terms of energy input per calorie of food produced, nothing could be farther from the truth. This is sustainable? -- RF 
Soaring mercury takes a toll on poultry units (India)
Thirsty West: The End of the Road
Cheap food at supermarkets risks the demise of our farms (UK)
Asia's love of nuts is draining California dry
Score one for vegetarians — meat prices are surging in Canada
10 things snack food companies won't tell you

## Environment/health ##
Ebola Outbreak 'Tip of the Iceberg,' Experts Say
An "out of control" outbreak of Ebola in West Africa that's being called the deadliest ever is far from over and it's likely to get worse before it gets better, experts predict.
Ebola virus kills eighth person in two weeks in Monrovia, Liberia
CDC Says More Workers Potentially Exposed To Live Anthrax
What Is Worse, An Older Population Or Running Out Of Resources?
What's up with the wild extremes of weather?

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Cyberattacks disrupt Hong Kong democracy drive
Report: Chinese phone comes preloaded with spyware
House Passes Landmark Amendment To Stop Warrantless NSA Searches
ISIS, opponents wage hashtag war on Twitter
Polish authorities raid magazine office over leaked recordings
News Outlets: Public Must See 'What Is Done in Their Name at Gitmo'
Sixteen news oganizations file motion to release video evidence of forcible cell extractions, force-feedings of Guantanamo prisoner
New Emails Show That Feds Instructed Police To Lie About Using Stingray Mobile Phone Snooping
Facebook's power outage costs company $500,000
As hobby drone use increases, so do concerns about privacy, security
Networks vs. Hierarchies: Which Will Win? Niall Furguson Weighs In
ABA: Lawyers can scour jurors' social media sites
US Media Restricted at Border, Federal Agent Cites Safety Concerns
Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Poses Threat in Singapore

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Next 20 Years Will Not Be Like the Last 20 Years--Here's Why
The Status Quo is not sustainable. Here are some resources on the many reasons why.
The Dead-End Of Financialization: Innovation Is Slumping For A Reason
'Middle of food chain matters' Pennsylvania taking temperatures of trucks hauling food
Breakdown of the cold chain. The more energy costs rise, the more perishable food will be unrefrigerated. -- RF
Car industry struggles to solve air bag explosions
Shortage Of Saline Solution Has Hospitals On Edge
How A Country Dies
Labor Shortages, Geopolitical Chess Matches, and the Catalyst for Another Crash

## Japan ##
Japanese farmers, seeking cause of post-Fukushima cattle disease, bring cow to Tokyo
This video (in Japanese) shows the farmers making their demands with bovine in tow. -- RF
Governing party considers tax on cellphones
Methane hydrate deposits probable in Sea of Japan
It will be a money-loser, like shale gas. -- RF
Pension Money Already Flowing In To Prop Up Japan's Stocks
Japan eyes greater support for U.S. forces in contingencies

## China ##
10,000 Chinese steel traders defaulting on credit card debt
More than 10,000 owners of Chinese steel trade firms are behind on credit card payments with several billion yuan involved, and banks in Ningde in southeastern China's Fujian province are giving discounts to help debtors pay back what they owe, Guangzhou's Time Weekly reports.
13 shot dead after attacking police in west China
After port fraud, China's vast warehouse sector under scrutiny
Shaken by a fraud investigation into metal financing in the world's seventh-busiest port, banks and trading houses have been made painfully aware of the risks they face storing commodities in China's sprawling warehouse sector.

## UK ##
Millions given to model councils tackling the 'menace' of potholes on Britain's roads
Purchasing homes along HS2 route has cost taxpayer £90 million
Taxpayers have already spent £90 million on 150 homes to clear the way for the railway, a figure experts warn is just the "tip of the iceberg".
New Government cuts could see a million state jobs go
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
Anti-austerity protesters gather
TUC report: Job prospects for young people are deteriorating 'alarmingly'

## US ##
Inflation? Only If You Look At Food, Water, Gas, Electricity And Everything Else
Chinese billionaire invites 1,000 poor Americans to charity lunch in Central Park
Ex-NSA Chief Keith Alexander is Now Pimping Advice to Wall Street Banks for $1 Million a Month
Nearly all Supreme Court justices are millionaires
Gov't moves to ban drones in 400 national parks
From A Stream To A Flood: Migrant Kids Overwhelm U.S. Border Agents
Apartments fill as rental demand keeps on surging
Housing Market Falters Amid Rising Prices, Lower-Paying Jobs
It's Official: The Boomerang Kids Won't Leave
The Stench Of Crony Capitalist Corruption At GM
Some bailed-out banks don't have to make good on the money they still owe US taxpayers
Energy costs a potential threat to bull market
"Real" and "Unreal" Wages; Five Decades of Middle Class Decline in Pictures
Real weekly earnings were $825 in 1973. Today they are $690.
How Americans Spend Their Day: Less Work, More Sleep And TV
Hillary Clinton: Her family is not like the 'truly well off'
This is just so sad. I shall pray for the Clintons tonight. -- RF
Obama's Forked-Tongue Budgetary Double-Shuffle: The $5 Billion Counter-Terrorism Fund To Save Iraq Is Just Loot From The OCO Scam
Immigration Control? Hundreds Of Bodies Found In Mass Grave In Texas
The United States of drought
Detective Rocky Pipkin is finding agricultural crime to be a fertile field
Crooks are stealing anything they can grab: fuel from wind machines, copper from water pumps, crops and animal feed. Even tractors are being stolen.


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