Tuesday, April 22, 2014

 

News Links, April 22-23, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Japan's Trade Deficit Quadruples as Imports Surge Ahead of Sales Tax Hike
Cause of Suicide: Austerity
New study finds direct link between Greek austerity cuts and increase in male suicides
Why Putin Is Smiling At The Bond Market's Blockade Of Russia
Citigroup to seek sale of 50 branches in California
China's economy could pay price for local government land sales
Local governments in China are increasingly relying on land sales to cover budget deficits, a move that could exacerbate the downward pressure on land prices and hurt the overall economy.
Mega-Debt Pledge Puts Turkish Finances to Bonds in Peril 
Turkey's pledge to guarantee the debt of contractors on public-works projects threatens to balloon government spending, a headwind for foreign buyers of the nation's bonds.
ECB Threatens Negative Interest Rates; Bank of NY Mellon Threatens Charging for Euro Deposits
America's Consumers Are Dropping, Not Shopping: McDonald's Posts Worst Q1 Same Store Comps In A Decade

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Transparent Airfares? Anything But, Consumer Groups Say
Employees at Jet Airways fear layoffs as airline embarks on cost-cutting spree
Airlines try to squeeze even more seats into your plane
Armrests out: Airlines put the squeeze on weight
Travelers Love Airlines - Except for the Flying

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Experts: U.S. must have OKd transfer of missiles seen in Syria rebel videos
The heavy anti-tank missiles recently shown in videos being fired by Western-backed Syrian rebels were manufactured in the United States, and their transfer to the rebels would have required direct American government approval, according to experts in international weapons deals.
Water Wars: The Next Clash between India and China
China Prepares Massive Investments in Crimea
In Shift to Africa, US Troops Find Complicated Relationships
The West and Russia: a tit for tat game. Part 3
Ukraine president calls for new anti-rebel offensive as crisis deal falters
White House to Send $8M in Non-Lethal Items to Ukraine
Second US Warship Enters Black Sea To "Promote Peace And Stability"
US Drones Continue 'Massive' Operations in Third Day of Attacks
New spectre in Ukraine: nuclear plants as targets
Fighting could disrupt offsite power plants or transmission lines servicing the reactor, and could also prevent diesel fuel from reaching the plant to replenish standby generators. Operators could abandon their posts should violence encroach. Moreover, combatants could invade nuclear plants and threaten sabotage to release radioactive elements to intimidate their opponents. Others might take refuge there, creating a dangerous standoff.
As I've said before, nuclear reactors are all ticking time bombs. As global unrest and instability increase, so does the probability of disruption at nuclear power plants. Fukushima is just a preview of what will eventually and inevitably happen all over the world as collapse proceeds. -- RF
U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops
US to send 600 troops to Eastern Europe to reassure allies
U.S. Officials Back Abe's Military Push
China waging a quiet three-front war against US: expert
'Piles and piles' of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter
Nationalism Not NATO Brought Down The Soviet Empire: Let The People Resolve The Ukrainian Borders, Too

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Students Deploy Riot-Ready Social Media
Protesters fight police, burn Maduro puppets in Venezuela
Furious Chinese Rioters Beat Corrupt Policemen To Death

## Energy/resources ##
The EIA is Seriously Exaggerating Shale Gas Production in its Drilling Productivity Report
Saudi's SABIC Says Natural Gas Shortage Limiting Domestic Growth
Central Asian Hydroelectric Water Wars Heat Up
Indonesia's PLN expects LNG demand to double in 2015 - executive
Egypt to lift natural gas prices for homes, businesses
Searching The Planet To Find Power For The Cloud
Researchers at Greenpeace estimate that if the cloud were a country it would be one of the biggest consumers of electricity on the planet. "It would rank around sixth in the world," says Gary Cook at Greenpeace. "That is right after Russia and right before Germany."
Libya expects delays at key oil terminal
Turkey to get more gas from Russia
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Monday his country agreed to increase gas capacity through the Blue Stream pipeline by more than 18 percent.
China's crude imports from Iran up 36% in March
Iraqi pipeline 'unusable'
An oil pipeline carrying crude from Iraq's Kirkuk oilfields to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan is "unusable" because of persistent militant attacks, Turkey's energy minister was reported as saying on Monday.
Gazprom says will meet rising gas demand in Europe
Russia's Putin Wants Beefed-Up Presence In Arctic
Obama Admin Gives Nuclear Loan Guarantee For Free

## Got food? ##
Kraft recalls 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer wieners
Yes! We have no bananas? It could actually happen
Venezuelans wary that food ID cards are thin end of rationing wedge
Maine baby lobster decline could end high catches

## Environment/health ##
Virus expert says MERS infection prevention, control has "broken down" in Saudi Arabia
Sharp Rise In MERS Cases May Mean The Virus Is Evolving
Skin cancer rates soar thanks to sunbeds and cheap holidays
Africa Land Grabs Endanger Elephants: Report
Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval
Rare Birth Defects Still Spiking in Washington State
Next stop for Chikungunya virus: The U.S.?
Eating flowers 'could help reduce cancer risk'

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
White House asks American parents to monitor their children for signs of terrorism
In a speech earlier this week, Lisa O. Monaco, President Barack Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, insisted that American parents must be vigilant because their "confrontational" children could be on the verge of becoming terrorists.
More surveillance cameras for Mexico City
Gates-, Carnegie-funded student data group to close after NY pulls out amid privacy fears
Launched in 2013 with $100 million in financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corp., the nonprofit's goal was to give educators a data-based tool to personalize instruction. InBloom, based in Atlanta, offered to store and synthesize student data, such as grades, disciplinary actions and disability records in cloud-based servers.
Peddler of Iraq War Lies Now Pushes Lies On Urkaine to Drum Up Confrontation with Russia
Clapper bans US intelligence employees from 'unauthorised' media contact
Obama ordered to divulge legal basis for killing Americans with drones
Marines looking for a few good actors to play terrorists in training exercises
Teen stowaway shows holes in vast airport security
Although the 15-year-old apparently wanted nothing more than to run away, his success in slipping past layers of security early Sunday morning made it clear that a determined person can still get into a supposedly safe area and sneak onto a plane.
Which backs up my assertion that either (1) the US faces no credible "terrorist threat," or (2) would-be terrorists are among the dumbest people on the planet. -- RF
US 'Silently' Stripping Open Net Protections
Scientists explore possibilities of mind reading

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Political Poison of Vested Interests
Once vested interests take control, the only possible "solution" left is collapse. I have long identified diminishing returns as a key dynamic in the current unraveling of the Status Quo. Why is this so? We can summarize diminishing returns as dumping more money, capital, energy and effort into a system just to keep the output from falling to zero.
On Rackets—Military, Banking, Health Care, College Loans—And The Demolition Derby In America's Interior Cities
Citigroup's leaders say company is still too complex
Austerity endangers Spain's road users
Spain's roads fall victim to austerity measures with urgent investment needed to restore road surfaces, markings and crash barriers
America's Empire And Credit Bubble Are Reaching Their "Sell-By" Date
How income inequality can lead to more financial crises

## Japan ##
Japan logs record $134B trade deficit in FY 2013
Japan Trade Deficit Largest in History; Imports Soar, Exports Barely Up In Spite of Collapsed Yen
Bank of Japan may still opt for huge JGB buys, when it acts: Suda
The Bank of Japan is likely to hold off on expanding monetary stimulus for as long as possible but when it does act, it will take "extraordinary" steps such as buying government bonds on a massive scale, a former central bank policymaker said on Monday.
Japan overhauls its public pension fund, the world's biggest
Housewives in Japan See No Benefit from Abenomics (video)
Debt Rattle Apr 21 2014: The Twilight Of The Rising Sun
Japan Imports Record Level Of LNG, Coal
146 Japanese lawmakers visit Yasukuni shrine
More activists sue over Abe's shrine visit
Defense Ministry to monitor numerous flights by Russian military aircrafts near Japan
Govt eyes financial aid for school lunch fees
Labor shortage hits major industries
Tokyo to install security cameras on public elementary school commute routes

## China ##
Chinese Bad-Loan Ratio Rises 'Significantly,' Huarong Says
China's bad-loan ratio rose "significantly" in the first quarter, increasing risks for the nation's banking industry, according to the nation's largest manager of soured debt.
Exodus of Japan Inc. Slams China
China seizes Japanese cargo ship over pre-war debt
Xi's Squeeze Leaves China's Heartland Missing Boom
Coal slump turns Ordos into ghost town
Betting on land sales brings high risks for China's provincial debt
Developers In China Combat Real Estate Oversupply With Wacky Deals And Deep Discounts
Crackdown on extravagance to continue during holiday
Amid Fear of Growing Violence, China's Police Start Carrying Guns
Car repair services far more profitable than sales in China
Car owners in China are facing huge maintenance and repair costs that often amount to more than buying a new car, reports the Guangzhou-based Southern Weekly.
China's Impending CCFD Unwind: Speculators Are Hocking Any Cargo That Ships—Iron Ore, Soybeans, Palm Oil, Rubber, Zinc, Aluminum, Gold, Copper & Nickel

## UK ##
Fuel thieves steal 30,000 litres of diesel from major pipeline
Rise of the 'super workers' who never take time off
Decline of the traditional family doctor revealed
Vince Cable warns businesses on 'ridiculous' pay awards
As companies prepare for their annual general meetings, Mr Cable has written to all FTSE 100 companies to remind them that pressure on pay awards must be kept up to assuage public anger.
End to Mediterranean dream for 90,000 Britons who left Spain last year
UK Hunting the Rich – Abandon UK Before you cannot.

## US ##
IRS gave bonuses to employees who didn't pay their taxes
Analysis: America's Middle Class Falters As Nation's Richest Rise
Brand names that appear in NY standardized tests vex parents
Sorry, Fed Inflationistas: Technology Is Deflationary
Subprime reborn: Mortgage Standards Are Plunging – It's Muppet Fleecing Time All Over Again
As Army shrinks, young officers being pushed out
The Fed's $33 Trillion Bent Spoon Trick
The Fed's enormous balance sheet in seven charts
"It's Impossible To Work Your Way Through College Nowadays"
Retail Store Closures Soar In 2014: At Highest Pace Since Lehman Collapse
Fields And Farm Jobs Dry Up With California's Worsening Drought
D.C. switching to REAL ID, all District driver's licenses to be replaced
America's Fastest Shrinking Cities
McDonald's profit falls, U.S. diners not 'lovin' it'
Higher Beef Prices Taking a Bite Out of McDonald's Profits
Fast-Food CEOs Earn Supersize Salaries; Workers Earn Small Potatoes
Why even $1M may not be enough for retirement
The "War on Street Artists" – Puppeteer Unlawfully Arrested and Harassed in NYC Subway
While wealthy white collar criminals rape and pillage society with total immunity, those who have no voice are being increasingly stomped down upon by an unjust system.
Ku Klux Klan establishes neighborhood watch in Pennsylvania
Number Of Middle Age Californians Living With Their Parents Soars
It's another chapter in the saga of the declining nuclear family. -- RF
Nevada Standoff a Symptom of Increasing Authoritarianism

And finally...
Spanish 'Robin Hood' swindled banks of nearly $700,000 — and then gave it away
Bear walks down streets in Canadian town with jar stuck on its head


Sunday, April 20, 2014

 

News Links, April 19-21, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Oh Canada! Housing Bubble Larger Than USA, Spain or UK
Federal government could cut nearly 9,000 more public service jobs (Canada)
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster
It's Time to Retire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a Measure of Prosperity
About that fantastic US productivity: Americans are working more, getting paid less than other countries
Krugman: Worried About Oligarchy? You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
'Even those of you who talk about the 1%, you don't really get what's going on. You're living in the past.'
"Inherited wealth" is, in other words, the New Aristocracy. As I've pointed out again and again, we are moving into the age of neofeudalism. Keep watching as the super-rich continue expanding their domains. -- RF
Even The US Government Will Abandon The Dollar
Mercedes, BMW chase ultra rich clients with new high end cars
Peak Smuggling: Indian Has 12 Gold Bars Removed From His Stomach

## Airline Death Spiral ##
22 million bags missing in '13, and that's an improvement
Travel Notes: Airlines offer bigger seats at a bigger cost

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Japan sends troops to remote island, risks angering China
Ukraine crisis: 'The last time someone wrote a text like that was under the Nazis'
Chief Rabbi of Donetsk denounces leaflet handed to Jewish citizens ordering them to register with Donetsk authorities, as separatists deny involvement
Deadly gun attack in eastern Ukraine shakes fragile Geneva accord
About Those "Color" Revolutions: NED's Chickens Come Home To Roost
"Insatiable" Idiocy from the Economist on What to Do About Russia; Warmongers Can't Think
US plans military drills in Eastern Europe
Energy Needs Curb Eastern EU Hunger for Russian Sanctions
US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides
The US Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world's biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists and a first-strike nuclear arsenal
US Drone Obliterates Civilians in Yemen
U.S. special forces struggle with record suicides: admiral
Suicides among U.S. special operations forces, including elite Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, are at record levels, a U.S. military official said on Thursday, citing the effects of more than a decade of "hard combat."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Venezuelan protesters hold Easter rally, plan to burn Maduro effigies
Families of Iran prisoners stage protest outside parliament
Protesters in Brazil torch buses after Good Friday killing
Anti-Drone Protesters Arrested Outside US Air Force Base

## Energy/resources ##
The Age of Diminishing Returns
Searching for hidden Easter eggs: A lesson in resource extraction
The robot is ready - so when will deep sea mining start?
High-tech advances, depleted easy-to-reach minerals onshore and historically high prices have boosted the idea of mining offshore, where metals can be fifteen times the quality of land deposits.
Oil & Gas Industry and Locals Battle Over Fracking in Colorado
Kashagan: The World's Most Toxic Money Pit
Energy-Water Nexus Around the World and the Missing Link
The energy-water nexus is gaining traction with diverse stakeholders around the world and it is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot plan for our planet's future if we do not consider energy and water together.
Shell committed to Russia expansion despite sanctions
Russia 'to support Shell's activities'
Russia ships first oil from Arctic platform
Canadians facing near-record gasoline prices
Iran oil exports rise to 1.2 m barrels per day
Russia writes off 90 percent of North Korea debt, eyes gas pipeline
EU official against cutting Russia gas ties
World Bank wants water privatized, despite risks
It's Final -- Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use
US Gas Will Never Replace Russian Gas For Europe
Chinese eye methane hydrate reserves in South China Sea
Perverse outcomes: Lifting U.S. oil export ban would mean greater dependence on foreign oil
The United States today is a large net importer of crude oil and refined products. And, yet the story that the country can somehow export crude oil as a foreign policy measure to help reduce Ukraine's dependence on Russia won't die. Oil executives and their surrogates keep bringing it up, and unsuspecting reporters amplify a message that has absolutely no basis.
Turkey permits oil exploration in forests and national parks
Mexico clears way for foreign investors in shale oil drilling

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Armed Robbers Storm Scrap Metal Yard, Tie Up Hostages, Shoot at Cops While Fleeing: Police

## Got food? ##
Are You Ready For The Price Of Food To More Than Double By The End Of This Decade?
US orange production hit by disease, juice prices soar
Seed Wars: Latin America Strikes Back Against Monsanto
Vermont Senate passes mandatory GMO food-labeling law
USDA tries to contain virus killing millions of pigs
Your food, your wallet and the California drought
Behind the cornucopia of higher food prices

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
A hotel hooks up to the tiny houses trend, campfire included

## Environment/health ##
BP Says Gulf Cleanup Over. Not by a Long Shot, say Others
Four Years Later, BP Oil Spill Still Taking A Toll On Gulf Fisherman: 'We Haven't Started To Recover'
Experts Warn: US 'on Course to Repeat' BP Gulf Disaster
Telltale Rainbow Sheens Show Thousands Of Spills Across The Gulf
BP Manager In Charge of Cleaning Up the Gulf Oil Spill – Instead of Actually Cleaning Up – Committed Insider Trading and Sold $1 Million of BP Stock Before the Extent of the Spill Became Public Knowledge
Children lose seven minutes of sleep for every hour of TV
A study by Harvard University and Project Viva suggests that children lose seven minutes of sleep for every hour of television that they watch
Monster El Nino May Be Brewing, Experts Say
Giant lasers could control the weather
Extra Vaccination Push Underway In Ohio As Mumps Outbreak Spreads
Healthcare costs in U.S. far exceed costs in other countries, report says
Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas
Composing Only 5% of the World Population, Americans Take 50% of All Pharmaceutical Drugs

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Snowden to Putin: Are You Guilty of Mass Surveillance?
Phone thefts soar as kill-switch debate heats up
All the news that's fit to print: NYT Slammed for Honoring Israeli Govt Gag Orders
The New York Times made a rare admission that it submits to Israeli state gag orders, fueling charges from critics that the globally-influential publication plays fast-and-loose with journalistic ethics to give favorable coverage to Israel.
Hackers Use Heartbleed Bug to Attack 'Major Corporation'
Biometric identification that goes beyond fingerprints
Utah plane lands in Iran mysteriously
Greenwald: To Be Vilified by Powerful is 'Enormous Badge of Honor'

## Japan ##
Consumer Confidence Implodes in Japan
Japan Eyes Demolishing Unmanageable Infrastructure
If you can't maintain it, demolish it! -- RF
Japan steps up surveillance capabilities on Okinawa
New AWACS unit launched in Naha
A new E-2C early warning patrol plane unit was launched Sunday at an Air Self-Defense Force base in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, to bolster surveillance amid repeated intrusions by Chinese vessels into Japanese territorial waters.
Japan to face tight power supply in summer; blackouts not expected
Defense minister puzzled by abnormal number of flights by Russian military aircraft
Japan scrambles fighters against Russian bombers for 6 days in row
Fukushima No. 1 boss admits water woes out of control
Abe to ask Obama to boost shale gas exports to Japan
Facial ID tests to resume at airports

## China ##
"China's Warren Buffett" Has Just Sold Off His China Assets
China's Bloated Financial System: A Quick Guide
Yuan Depreciation Is Deeper Than You Think
The One Thing Most Desired By Chinese Consumers Is... (Hint: GOLD)
China's Li says more major energy projects to start
In the driving seat: China's yuppies are new market force for global automakers
Is This The End Of China's Coal Boom?

## UK ##
Britons Struggle to Save for Home Down Payments as Prices Surge
Vast network of roadside cameras puts privacy in peril
Classrooms put under 'permanent surveillance' by CCTV
HMRC to sell taxpayers' financial data

## US ##
IPO Craze Peaks, Investors Scurry Out of the Way, VCs Fret
Wealth Effect Failing to Move Wealthy to Spend
18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels
Did you know that the number of Americans getting benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million?  In other words, the number of people that are taking money out of the system is far greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system.
Hyper-Sensitive Illinois Mayor Orders Police Raid Over Parody Twitter Account
IRS Among Agencies Using License Plate-Tracking Vendor
What Lies Beneath The Snow And Debt: Non-Energy Production/Capita Still 7% Below 2007 Peak
The SuperRich in America Have Become 'Untouchables' Who Don't Go to Prison
Well, of course they don't. That's why they're called the New Aristocracy. -- RF
Bush versus Clinton 2016: would a battle of the dynasties really be un-American?
May God/Allah have mercy on us all. -- RF
Scalia To Student: If Taxes Go Too High 'Perhaps You Should Revolt'
Speaking at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday, the longest-serving justice currently on the bench was asked by a student about the constitutionality of the income tax… Scalia responded that the government has the right to implement the tax, "but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt."
Illinois Madness Never Stops; House Committee Wants Taxpayers to Spend $100 Million on Barack Obama Library
Student debt drags down home sales
America's Wal-Mart Economy: Checks Clear At Midnight; Savings Wiped-Out By One Emergency
For Many Americans, 'Temp' Work Becomes Permanent Way of Life
8 Dead, 27 Wounded in Weekend Chicago Violence
California's Drought Ripples Through Businesses, Then To Schools
Gas Prices Continue To Surge, Reach $4 In Some Cities
Wearables, Drones Scare Americans

And finally...
Busted! 81 percent of parents steal Easter candy from their kids


Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

News Links, April 17-18, 2014

In memoriam: Michael C. Ruppert

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
"Uncreative" Destruction: The Troika's Hostile Takeover of Europe
Europe Without €: Former EU Commissioner Says "Monetary Union has Failed"
Bail-Ins Approved By EU Yesterday - Coming In UK, U.S. And Globally
Singapore no home for luxury developers as cooling measures bite
Luxury property developers in Singapore are facing their worst sales outlook in six years as a raft of government measures to cool one of the world's most expensive real estate markets bite.
Austerity In Spain? Where? Public Debt Threatens to Exceed 100% of GDP in 2014
Startup Israel Suffering Most OECD Poverty as Poor Surge
At 20.9 percent of its households, Israel's poverty rate is the highest of any country in the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to OECD measures. Hit hard by the rising cost of living and falling wages, the number of employed and impoverished Israelis has risen steadily even as the economy outran the U.S. and Europe in recent years.
BRICS countries to set up their own IMF
Defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox files for liquidation
What the Heck is Going on With US Treasuries In Belgium?
Spider-Infested Mine to Reopen as Saracen Chases Gold Rush
Italy puts haunted island on sale in bid to reduce national debt
IBM's quarterly revenue sinks to 5-year low as hardware sales fall
Abu Dhabi commuters feel the heat as air-con bus shelters fall into disrepair
US could face a permanent slump, warns economist
They are barking up the wrong tree. The primary factor behind the end of growth is expensive energy. -- RF
On Plummeting Puerto Rican Bonds And Perishing Populations
Market Report: Economies stalling
The Great Keynesian Fraud

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Hidden Vulnerability Discovered in the World's Airline Network
High jet fuel prices have protected existing airlines from startups, prevented fare wars
PAL's losses widen on costlier jet fuel, maintenance expenses
Will you find these new seats on your favorite airline?
High ATF prices, flat growth in passenger traffic to hurt airlines

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Separatists take armoured vehicles, humiliating Ukraine forces
Ukraine: 3 killed after Black Sea base attack
NATO To Boost Air, Warship Presence Around Russia; Netherlands May Deploy F-16s To Ukraine
Ukraine's Eastern Invasion Stalls, Troops Withdraw From Slovyansk
Ukraine Talks End in Accord; What About the Key Missing Player?
NATO Sending 5 Ships to Baltic Sea Due to Ukraine Crisis
Islamist militants kill 30 in attacks around Iraq
Obama Aims to Reassure Pacific Allies on 'Asia Pivot'
Death From Above: How American Drone Strikes Are Devastating Yemen
AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly
The U.S. military "pivot" to Africa quickens, albeit under a "veil of secrecy." AFRICOM "now averages far more than a mission a day on the continent, conducting operations with almost every African military force, in almost every African country, while building or building up camps, compounds, and "contingency security locations."
Carlyle's Africa fund blows past its asset targets
Here's further proof that serious international investors are warming to Africa: The Carlyle Group announced Wednesday that it had raised $698 million for its dedicated continental fund, nearly $200 million above its initial target.
Defense Spending Dips in U.S., Rises Elsewhere
Iran cuts enriched uranium stockpile: report
China And Japan 'Face Off' Over $6 Billion Port Project On Remote Australian Beach
McDonald's foreign workers call it 'slavery'
Belizian temporary foreign workers docked pay for rent in corporate apartment
France is the new cauldron of Eurosceptic revolution

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Spanish-Style Riots Coming to a Country Near You
Israel police disperse riot at Jerusalem holy site

## Energy/resources ##
Wall Street sees slide ahead for deepwater rig dayrates
Labor Shortage Threatens to Bust the Shale Boom
Power cut hits north of Scotland
Power restored after massive Toronto blackout
Chart of the day: A whole lot of (nat) gas (US)
Can US get record natural gas storage refill at reasonable prices? (podcast)
The US had better hope for a cool summer. -- RF
Global Solar Bulletin: India Trouble, UK Bubble, Crimean Rubble, German Struggle
Ankara says Russia's South Stream pipeline could run to Turkey
Cost of oil transported by pipelines up 60% in five years, NEB says (Canada)
South Africa's nuclear aspirations hinge on high costs
Coal Returns to German Utilities Replacing Lost Nuclear
'Middle East dependent on Asian oil demand'
Oil Minister: Restart Of Libya's Oil Output Hard To Predict
Hydraulic Fracturing: Staying Afloat in Times of Tightening Water Supply
Solar Chimneys Can Convert Hot Air to Energy, But Is Funding a Mirage?
Deep sea rocks may be future source for rare earth metals
Are Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Dead On Arrival?
Scientists Discover How to Generate Solar Power in the Dark
An OPEC Nation Ships Its First Oil in 9 Months
EU agrees to Putin's call for gas security talks
Bulgarian minister makes passionate case for South Stream pipeline
Fracking Sand Spurs Grain-Like Silos for Rail Transport
New Wind, Solar Power Cheaper Than Nuclear Option, Study Shows

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves take 60,000m of copper cable from Eircom (Ireland)

## Got food? ##
On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables
Eggs Rise to Six-Year High for Easter: Chart of the Day
Beef, Pork, Shrimp, Eggs, And Now Orange Juice
Booming demand pushes Florida to limit sea cucumber harvest
Hunger is a 'silent crisis' in the USA
Holy Guacamole! Chipotle to Raise Prices as Costs Soar
Coffee surges on renewed concern about crop
The 10 Fastest Rising Food Prices

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The End of Employment
Get started now on downsizing. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Radioactive Waste Booms With Oil as New Rules Mulled
Oilfields are spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash as the U.S. drilling boom leads to a surge in illegal dumping and states debate how much landfills can safely take.
Coral eating worm plagues reefs
Thousands more Norwegian farm salmon escape in latest incident
Industrial Smog Amplifying Extreme Weather: Study
Legacy of US Nuclear Weapons Still Killing Uranium Miners Decades Later: Study
Sars Research Lab Loses 2,000 Tubes of Killer Virus
EU seeks to cut plastic bag use by 80 percent by 2017
Rising number of MERS fatalities in the Kingdom alarms the public (KSA)
Mr. Poo mascot created to reduce public defecation in India

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Kill switch: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Carriers Back Anti-Theft Measures for Smartphones
Glenn Miller Claims He Was an FBI Informant
Give Me Your Google Glass and Nobody Gets Hurt!
Obama Whistleblower Program Requires Whistleblowers to Register to be Protected
Court Declares That, Yes, Bloggers Are Media
Retailer Michaels Stores confirms payment card data breach
Lavabit, Company That Defied NSA Surveillance, Loses Appeal
5 surefire ways to get taken by identity thieves

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Peak Soil: Are We Taking More Than the Earth Can Give?

## Japan ##
Canary In the Yen Shaft: $10 trillion JGBs; No Bids!
Nothing could be more fraught with danger than to see the most massively indebted government in the world destroy its own bond market in pursuit of the very Keynesian doctrine that every major central bank in the world is today practicing. Yet that is exactly what the world class fool running Japan Inc.—at least for the moment—is on the way to accomplishing.
Why Japanese bonds look 'terrible': Kyle Bass
Despite doubts, Japan prepares end to ban on defending allies
Manager at Japan's Fukushima plant admits radioactive water "embarrassing"
Nuclear fuel cycle in need of alchemy amid waste disposal problems
Dose study kept from returnees
The government kept a report about a study of individual radiation doses around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant — including an area recently released from an evacuation order — under wraps for six months.
Japan's power supply to become tight in summer but no blackouts expected
Bird fu in Japan has same virus type as S. Korea flu
Japan's indigenous stealth jet prototype 'to fly this year'
Japan makes two more oil payments to Iran
Gov't cuts economic view after sales tax
Population decline hinders economy

## China ##
Real estate prices beginning to drop across inland China
Real estate prices are dropping in China's inland cities. This decline could increase the risk of more bad debts as the country's economic growth slows.
The richest man in Asia is selling everything in China
China oil demand sluggish as slowing economy curbs energy use
How China's Near-Defaults Avoided Going Bust
China: 20% of our arable land is polluted
China factories face new challenge as growth slows

## UK ##
Food banks see 'shocking' rise in number of users
Infants 'unable to use toy building blocks' due to iPad addiction
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers warn that rising numbers of children are unable to perform simple tasks such as using building blocks because of overexposure to iPads
Stagecoach to cut its fleet by 14 after depot closure
Channel Tunnel train delays cause 'chaos'

## US ##
What's the Difference Between Fascism, Communism and Crony-Capitalism? Nothing
New Report from Princeton and Northwestern Proves It: The U.S. is an Oligarchy
GM to ask bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection
General Motors revealed in court filings late Tuesday that it will soon ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.
California Plans For A Hydrogen Future
Plan all you want. It ain't coming. -- RF
Holy Bible Could Become Louisiana's Official Book
Debt Burdens Soar for Major US Companies
The "Housing Recovery" Is Complete: Major US Banks' Mortgage Originations Tumble To Record Low
Housing Bubble 2.0 Veers Elegantly Toward Housing Bust 2.0
The Retirement Reality Gap
Where's My Flying Car? Survey Sizes Up How We See the Future
Bank of America's financial crisis costs become a recurring nightmare
In Preemptive Strike, Oklahoma Bans Efforts to Increase Minimum Wage
Ahead of earnings, McDonald's arches showing cracks
Two More Victims Of The Retail Apocalypse: Family Dollar And Coldwater Creek
Is Miami the next Monaco?
If Miami real estate is a bubble, it's still inflating fast.
Charleston Man Receives $525 Federal Fine for Failing to Pay for a $0.89 Refill
Some of you may wonder why of all the stories out there today I decided to focus on the $525 fine a construction worker in South Carolina received a for refilling his drink without paying. The reason is to highlight the difference between what happens when a peasant breaks the law versus when a banker does it.
Your retirement is in danger: Save it


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

 

News Links, April 15-16, 2014

** In memory of Michael C. Ruppert **

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Baltic Dry Drops For 15th Day To Lowest In 9 Months (Back Below $1000)
Greece On The Dnieper: With The Ukrainian Currency & Economy Collapsing, IMF Set To Loot What's Left
What Happens When 'All Assets Have Become Too Expensive?'
Italy's Monte dei Paschi considers bigger cash call
CSIRO prepares to cut another 300 jobs (Australia)
Citigroup cuts 200 to 300 jobs
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
High-Frequency Traders Get Curbs as EU Reins In Flash Boys
Capitalism simply isn't working and here are the reasons why
Economist Thomas Piketty's message is bleak: the gap between rich and poor threatens to destroy us
Giant Cement Companies Lafarge, Holcim Aim To Merge, Fuelling Antitrust Worries, Fears Of Global Cement Price Increases
Germany outlook sours on Ukraine concerns

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Facing firm oil prices, Asia airlines hedging big part of fuel use
Two of Canada's northern airlines plan merger
The rise of China's penny-pinching budget airlines
Tigerair Mandala Continues to Shrink and Cancel Routes
Tigerair Mandala Airline continues to strip-off more routes and flights from its domestic network in a measure to stem mounting financial losses. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Civil Aviation Authorities are undertaking an audit of the airline's finances to determine whether the airlines is financially able to continue to operate.
Airlines move away from bereavement fares

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pro-Russian militias fill the vacuum as Kiev's control in eastern Ukraine slips
West approves $3.2 billion package for Ukraine
US Pays Half Of Gazprom's Overdue Invoice With $1 Billion Ukraine Loan Guarantee
White House Admits CIA Director Brennan Was "Secretly" In Kiev
Kiev's grip loosening on restive eastern Ukraine
Ukraine on the brink as troops take on rebels
Ukraine recaptures airfield from pro-Russia separatists
Specter of Civil War; Putin's Army Hiding – Not Even CNN Can Find It; Easy Solution
Fragile Europe Weakens U.S. Push for Russia Sanctions
Rouhani says Iran sanctions will unravel in months
Growing Muscle: China's Neighbors Gear Up for a Fight
French test fire new cruise missile
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Blast at bus station in Nigerian capital kills 72
Russian Fighter Jet Buzzed U.S. Ship: Officials
Mafia port in Italy will host transfer of Syria's chemical weapons
Thirty Venezuelan Military Officials Allegedly Under Arrest for Coup Plotting
2,000 PLA troops could invade Diaoyutai in 5 hours: WSJ
PLA may use fishing boats to lead Diaoyutai assault: Japanese media
Paris police order 'systematic eviction' of Roma gypsies
Latvia bans Russian state television, plans new Russian-language channel
Rebel videos show first U.S.-made rockets in Syria
China Planning 'To Militarise Space' Against US Anti-Satellite Weapons
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Head Of Saudi Intelligence, Has Been Sacked
The Future of Countries (secession and unification)
CIA's Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Anti-royal protesters march in Madrid
Student killed, 3 journalists injured in clashes in Egypt

## Energy/resources ##
Hats, Scarves & Blankets At Home: How The "Energy Poor" Go Green
Ireland scraps wind energy exports
Ukraine has gas in storage for Europe, minister says
Europe speeds up gas storage to prepare for Russian cut
Global Biofuels Output Drops For First Time Since 2000
Iran jockeys for position in gas supplies to Europe
Iran to Maintain Daily Oil Sales at 1 Million Barrels Into July
Kazakhstan looks to offset Kashagan oil field failure
Crimea: the Oil, Gas Story
The recent annexation of the Crimea region could land Russia with substantial Black Sea gas and oil resources off the peninsula's southwest and east coasts.
Kashagan – Back to the drawing board?
Musings: The Oil Industry's Era of Austerity - Part Two
BP Head Says Russian Business Unaffected by Sanctions

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper thieves target Board of Water Supply (Hawaii)
After two copper theft incidents targeting the Board of Water Supply left customers without water and damaged its operating system, the company said it plans to increase security around its reservoirs.

## Got food? ##
Shortage of Farmers Creates 'Dangerous Situation' for U.S.
Drought Could Complicate Already Difficult Food Crisis In Syria
Profit Tastes Like Chicken in Hunt for Cheaper U.S. Meat
The final word on food banks?
Every week, in Britain and across the world, new food banks are opening their doors. Ballooning numbers of people in the US, one of the wealthiest nations on earth, inhabit tent cities and the OECD tells us that income disparity in industrialised nations has reached a thirty-year high.
Voodoo Dolls Prove It: Hunger Makes Couples Turn On Each Other
Where's The Whole Grain In Most Of Our Wheat Bread?
Shrimp Is Big. Now It's Sick. And Really Expensive
Prices for shrimp have jumped to a 14-year high in recent months, spurred by a disease that's ravaging the crustacean's population.
Soaring Food Inflation Full Frontal: Beef, Pork And Shrimp Prices Soar To Record Highs

## Environment/health ##
Mississippi Basin Water Quality Declining Despite Conservation
Super-rats immune to poison 'growing as big as cats' (UK)
How Harmless Bacteria Learned to Eat Human Flesh
Europe searches for nuclear waste storage sites
A new law is being drafted in Germany to regulate investigations aimed at finding suitable sites for permanent nuclear waste storage. The search can take many years - and Germany's neighbors are facing similar obstacles.
Vacuuming carbon from the atmosphere may be most realistic solution to climate change
That's going to cost a lot of money, and consume a lot of energy. -- RF
Dying in Defense of Earth: Eco-Activist Murders Skyrocket
As the need for preservation of the Earth's natural resources has grown, says the group, the rate of violence against those fighting to protect the planet has faced a "sharp" increase in recent years. In the last four years the death rate of activists has risen to an average of two people a week, according to the report, with 2012 marking the most deadly year with 147 killings. That's nearly three times more than in 2002.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations
10,000 Russians Rally Against 'Lies' of State-Run Media
Nearly A Fifth Of Americans Suffer Data Breach -- Many Risk ID Theft
FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year
Apple Upgrade Tracks Customers Even When Marketing Apps Are Off
The FBI's Facial Recognition Database Combines Lo-Res Photos With Zero Civil Liberties Considerations

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
America's Homegrown Terror
Plagued by poor infrastructure, climate denialism, and a patchwork of unregulated fracking wells and nuclear waste sites, the U.S. is poised to topple itself with self-inflicted wounds.
After Deaths, Renewed Focus On Leaky Gas Pipelines
Sears is dying: What the ubiquitous store's death says about America
The Approaching Infrastructure Train Wreck (US)

## Japan ##
This Chart Shows When the Smart Money Saw The Abenomics Fail
Japan Restricts Chicken Shipments After Bird Flu Outbreak
Gov't completes cull of 112,000 chickens after bird flu outbreak
Post-Fukushima Japan Chooses Coal Over Renewable Energy
Japan's Population Shrinks for Third Year as Ranks of Aged Grow
Massive BOJ-Buying Silences JGB Market
203 tons of tainted water pumped into wrong building at Fukushima N-plant
Japan Follows China's Coal Rush

## China ##
Chinese Checkers with Gold Prices
Is China already the world's largest 'owner' as opposed to 'holder' of gold? If so, China, with a mature financial center in Hong Kong, already is further along the path than most have predicted towards challenging the vital reserve currency status and international credibility of the U.S. dollar.
China Tightens Oversight of Trusts as Default Risk Increases
China to Face More Defaults: Asianomics' Walker (video)
Bottled-Water Frenzy in Lanzhou Fault of Oil Leak, Officials Say
This Chinese City's Property Market Is Even Chillier Than Its -22-Degree Weather
Chinese gold demand may rise 20% by 2017: industry body
China's Fractures Widen: Scramble To Sort Out Busted Debt In Massively Over-Built Steel Industry

## UK ##
Small Data: The way drugs and prostitution boost the economy
'Almost 85,000' workers on zero-hours contracts in Scotland
Mutant super rats invading Liverpool
E-cigarette poisoning figures soar as vaping habit spreads across UK
Childhood 'eroded' by 10-hour school day, teachers warn
Town halls using CCTV on 'industrial' scale to fine motorists, says minister

## US ##
How To Get a Job Despite the Economy (or, how much is a college degree really worth?)
About That "Strong" March Retail Sales "Bounce": Good Thing Summer's Coming!
What would we do without the Wall Street Journal? Do people actually pay for this lame-brained noise?
U.S. Crude Reserves Hit Highest Levels in nearly 40 Years
The Homeless in NYC Are Now Living in Tiny Spaces in the Frame of the Manhattan Bridge
Neofeudalism: We're Living in the Era of "Economic Elite Domination"
'The government doesn't listen to average citizens, just the rich and their lobbyists,' is probably the oldest criticism of any government, anywhere. But a new study has pretty much proven that this is precisely what's happening in Congress. According to the research, the meek voice of the public barely registers beneath the booming baritone of the wealthy—so much so that 'democracy' isn't a great descriptor of how we Americans are governing ourselves. The study's authors suggest "Economic Elite Domination" instead. And it's only going to get worse.
How the CEO of HFT Firm Virtu Financial is Demanding a Taxpayer Bailout in Florida
What the financial crisis, subsequent taxpayer bailouts, zero prosecutions of financial industry participants and further consolidation of the economy by oligarchs has taught us more than anything else is that the super rich and politically connected are not allowed to fail.
Inside the Private Prison Industry's Alarming Spread Across America
Small U.S. Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops
Prisons are booming, colleges are failing. -- RF
GMO 7-Year Real Return Forecast: US Equities Negative For 7 Years
What goes up, must come down: The façade of the current stock market rally.
Infrastructure crisis building along U.S.-Mexico border
Obama Administration Rakes In Billions Off Student Debt
Eminent domain: Whose land is it anyway?
Dozens of top Nasdaq names in bear market territory
Rising food, housing costs push up U.S. inflation
US Postal Service Joins in Federal Ammo Purchases
Detroit Sells Homes for $1,000
J.C. Penney Down 20% in the Past Week
Luxury Apartments Push Out More Affordable Housing
The Rich Are Paying More Taxes: The Horror! The Horror! (another look at the data)

And finally...
So, the Dalai Lama walks into a convenience store in rural Japan…
North Korea sees no joke in Kim Jong-un's hairstyle


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