Tuesday, September 02, 2014


News Links, September 2-3, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Central European PMIs point to slowdown as sanctions hit sentiment
Eurozone Manufacturing PMI at 13-Month Low, with Germany Worse than Expected, Italy and France in Contraction
Financialism Run Amok: Now Comes The Twisted Finance And Economics Of Brazil
Weak investment, trade drive second quarter contraction in German economy
China manufacturing slowdown ripples through region
Why Singapore's Economy Is Heading For An Iceland-Style Meltdown
Lights off on Singapore's billionaire row as luxury house prices plunge
I've long held that Singapore will crash and become a no-man's land. These are ominous signs. -- RF
Dirty politics and deep corruption in New Zealand
Israel announces major West Bank land appropriation for settlement
Europe Fantastic Bond Bubble: How The Central Banks Have Unleashed Monumental Speculation
Factory activity in Europe, Asia cools; demand lull a concern
Russia and economic warfare: RIP the free market new world order
Russia Said to Prepare Transfer of $10 Billion Fund Out of Sanctions' Reach
Indonesia's Widodo to target fuel subsidies in kicking off reform drive
Ebola Outbreak 2014: Experts Fear Outbreak's Economic Impact on Guinea, Liberia And Sierra Leone
Nigeria launches new biometric ID card - brought to you by Mastercard
Ukraine to Need Another $19 Billion from the IMF

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Jet Airways: Etihad lends a helping hand
Germanwings suffers 'significant financial loss' due to pilots' strike
Travel Tip: The Truth About Airline Ticket Prices
Only with a new hub airport will Britain truly take off
It's no longer safe to recline your airplane seat
Cash-strapped airports hope fracking will save them
Pittsburgh Airport to Start Fracking with Hopes to Offset Financial Woes

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Australia To Ramp Up Sanctions Against Russia; Lavrov Says No Intention To Invade Ukraine
NATO Membership For Ukraine – Another Move On The Grand Chessboard
When the U.S. welched on Shevardnadze
The Ukraine crisis owes its roots to a deal America made and broke with the recently deceased Soviet foreign minister
US Troops Are Heading To Ukraine
Germany Sends 16,000 Rifles to Iraq to Stem Islamic State 
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is sending 16,000 assault rifles, plus anti-tank weapons and armored vehicles, to Iraqi Kurds fighting Islamic State militants, lifting a German taboo on shipments into war zones.
Obama Informs Congress of Iraq Airstrikes Under War Powers Act
Iranians play role in breaking IS siege of Iraqi town
Israeli land grab provokes anger in West Bank and U.S.
Israel raises alarm over Islamist militants on its frontiers
Japan, India joining hands to counter China's 'String of Pearls'
U.S. forces carry out operation against al-Shabaab in Somalia
Pentagon set to open second drone base in Niger as it expands operations in Africa

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hong Kong Protesters Agitating Against China's Volte-Face Arrested
Pakistani protesters clash with police, soldiers secure state TV
Fast-food workers to launch intensified protests across U.S.
Relatives of captured Iraqi soldiers storm parliament: witnesses

## Energy/resources ##
Nuclear Renaissance: Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor delayed until late 2018
Olkiluoto 3, which will be Finland's fifth nuclear reactor, was originally due to start operating as early as 2009, but it has been hit by repeated delays and soaring costs.
Under Putin's gaze, Gazprom starts mega-pipeline to China
Europe drafts emergency energy plan with eye on Russia gas shut-down
The European Union could ban gas exports and limit industrial use as part of emergency measures to protect household energy supplies this winter, a source told Reuters, as it braces for a possible halt in Russian gas as a result of the Ukraine crisis.
How Badly Is the Wave and Tidal Industry Struggling? Likely Worse Than You Thought
Crude crushed by demand woes, Brent slides to 15-month low
Build starts on Russia-China gas pipeline
India's financial hub Mumbai hit by big power cuts
Philippines eyes emergency powers to jolt electricity supply
The Philippines government may be forced to declare emergency powers to tackle a looming electricity shortage from 2015 as private firms struggle to build new capacity, but faces opposition from business groups worried about higher costs.
Why Peak Oil Refuses to Die

## Got food? ##
Mexican Judge Departs From Script, Turns Monsanto's Mexican Dream Into Legal Nightmare

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Labor Day 2014: In Praise of Messiness
Now We're Cooking…with Sunshine
The Radical Homemaker on the First Step to Becoming a Farmer

## Environment/health ##
Saudi Arabia Stops Issuing Visas To Workers From Ebola-Stricken Nations
CDC director calls for worldwide effort to stop Ebola
"World Is Losing Battle To Contain Ebola Epidemic," MSF Warns Response "Lethally Inadequate"
As California Warms, Greener Mountains Will Mean Less Water for People
Blue light from electronics disturbs sleep, especially for teenagers
Australia to scrap plan for dumping near Great Barrier Reef: AFR
Chernobyl Disaster Leaves Radioactive Wild Boars Roaming Germany
Cli-fi: ten assorted doomsday scenarios
'No Escape': Alarming Cancer Rates at Prison Built Next to Toxic Coal Dump

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
War Party Working Overtime On Labor Day Weekend: More Hoaxes, Hype, and Hysteria
Hackers Steal Security Check Data from 25,000+ DHS Employees
The Cyber-Terror Bank Bailout: They're Already Talking About It, and You May Be on the Hook
Top South America hackers rattle Peru's Cabinet
Hackers may have stolen credit data from Home Depot
James Foley Worked Under USAID, a Known U.S. Intelligence Front. Was He More Than Just a Journalist?
Nude celebrity photos leaked: Russian analyst says it took less than two hours to identify security flaw
Cities scramble to upgrade "stingray" tracking as end of 2G network looms

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Underbelly of Corporate America: Insider Selling, Stock Buy-Backs, Dodgy Profits
The hollowing out of corporate strengths to enable short-term profiteering by the handful at the top leads to systemic fragility.

## Japan ##
Japan Car Sales Fall to Lowest Since 2011 on Tax Increase
"No ball games" & "No practicing comedy routines": City Parks in Japan let you do less and less
Dengue fever cases rise to 36 in Japan

## China ##
China's Property Slump Leads to Record Loans to Builders
Cash-strapped Chinese developers are borrowing a record amount in the offshore loan market this year, adding to the highest debt loads since 2005.
China real-estate: A bubble bursting
Chinese companies swim in red ink amid oversupply woes
A record number of listed Chinese companies bled red ink over the six months ended June 30 as oversupply issues persisted in the manufacturing sector and the government's frugality order hurt sales of luxury goods.
China banks seek new lending horizons as bad debts rise
The Sky Is Falling on Chinese Corporations
China has more shale gas than any other country. But getting it out of the ground could be disastrous
Chinese Weekly Gold Demand Highest Since February
China Will Revise Its GDP Definition Until Its Hits Government "Growth Targets", Goldman Explains
Hong Kong's foreign money bonanza may soon go bust

## UK ##
Threats and assaults becoming a 'daily reality' for teachers
Teachers are facing a rising tide of insults, threats and physical violence amid warnings of a breakdown in respect towards adult authority.
Britain Gives Police Power to Strip Suspected Terrorists of Passports

## US ##
Guantanamo Defense Lawyer Resigns, Says U.S. Case Is 'Stacked'
Revel starts shutdown Monday after just 2 years
The most spectacular and costly failure in Atlantic City's 36-year history of casino gambling begins to play out Monday when the $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel empties its hotel.
More workers are claiming 'wage theft'
The 40-Hour Work Week Is Almost A Full Work Day Longer In The US
How Poor Are America's Poorest? U.S. $2 A Day Poverty In A Global Context
Fed: US consumers have decided to 'hoard money'
Best democracy money can buy: Wealthy political donors seize on new latitude to give to unlimited candidates
Student debt becoming a larger albatross for economic growth
$1.2 trillion in student debt is outstanding and many college graduates working in jobs that don't require their degree.
Texas school district arms teachers for upcoming year
Even the Council on Foreign Relations Is Saying It: Time to Rain Money on Main Street
Bedbugs spotted 21 times on NYC subways in August: Report
Hawaii Labeled "Sinkhole" State by Watchdog Group
A few names consistently pop up in any discussion of states with the most pension debt—Illinois, New Jersey and a handful of other states are frequently cited as shouldering the heaviest pension burdens. Hawaii isn't always on that list. But according to one watchdog group, Truth in Accounting, the state's pension burden is among the worst in the country.
Illinois Prisons Dealing With Backup Power Issues
Bank of America Still in Big Trouble
Aging population faces housing shortage

Sunday, August 31, 2014


News Links, August 31-September 1, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
IMF Approves Bailout Payment to Ukraine
Italy's triple-dip recession confirmed as deflation looms
It's not a "triple-dip," it's the next leg down in Italy's economic collapse. -- RF
Eurozone gripped by deflation fears as inflation rate hits five-year low
Eurozone Currency Dispute Intensifies: France Wants More ECB Action to Correct Overvalued Euro, Germany Doesn't
Austrians say the party is over for business in Eastern Europe
Ecuador Plans World's First Government-Issued Digital Currency
Ecuador is planning to create the world's first government-issued digital currency, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, the U.S. dollar, which the government cannot control.
Worried EU leaders call jobs, growth summit for October 7

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Not so friendly skies for other airlines, too
The losses suffered by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is not foreign to the aviation industry as other carriers worldwide have also encountered bleak times.
Can SpiceJet's COO Sanjiv Kapoor turn around the cash-strapped airline? 
Airline capacity war over as clock ticks on cheap tickets
The end is in sight for the days of falling airfares and empty planes with both major Australian domestic airlines saying the battle for customers is too bruising.
Boeing Can't Give Away 787s

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Denmark to deploy military personnel in Iraq
5 US airstrikes target Islamic State fighters
Saudi king warns of terrorist threat to Europe, US
UN peacekeepers in firefight with Syrian rebels
The Mother Of All Blowback: How Washington Created ISIS
Libyan armed faction takes over U.S. Embassy annex in Tripoli
China warns foreign powers not to use Hong Kong as a 'bridgehead'
Pakistan, China, perform joint military operations near war zone
Taliban suicide bombers hit Afghan intelligence agency
Tension high in Ukrainian border towns menaced by Russian forces
Russian soldiers are nowhere to be seen in city captured by rebels, but locals insist that the Kremlin's troops led the advance
Ukraine Crisis: EU Mulls New Sanctions Against Russia Following 'Military Aggression And Terror'
How can you tell whether Russia has invaded Ukraine? (A quick and easy checklist.)
Seven NATO Allies Will Reportedly Create New Rapid Reaction Force
The wars that really are about the oil
US Army Sees 'Megacities' As the Future Battlefield
NATO summit 'most important' since fall of Berlin Wall
Iran Warns New Sanctions Could Spark 'Unpleasant' Response, Create Distrust
The Americans are shocked and indignant that the Russians and Iranians are pushing back. -- RF
Ukraine Crisis: Putin Pushes For Possible 'Statehood' For Eastern Ukraine
Thousands flee Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria for Cameroon, police say

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
'Knee defender' causing chaos on flights
Road rage: India's highway to hellish behaviour
Road rage and air rage are signs of the extreme stress imposed on people by modern society. This is one more stone kicked out of the pillar that holds everything up. -- RF
Pressure mounts on Pakistan leader to quit as protests continue
Pakistan PM still surrounded by protesters after deadly clashes
Ferguson Protesters File Lawsuit Against Police for Civil Rights Violations
Obama Downplays Threat of World Unrest
If world leaders find it necessary to downplay the threat, you know they are worried. -- RF
Swedish riot police clash with counterdemonstrators at neo-Nazi rally
Amidst Mounting Tensions in Ukraine, a Call Rises: 'No to New Wars, No to NATO'
Hong Kong Activists Protest China's Control Of Leadership Vote

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: A Big Summer Story You Missed: Soaring Oil Debt
Of course, this is not unknown to regular readers of this list, who already know that oil companies are racking up debt at a fearsome pace. Needless to say, deficit spending can't go on forever. Smart people will make preparations now for skyrocketing petroleum-product prices and inevitable shortages. It's not hard to imagine the devastating impacts this will have on modern societies as food doesn't get delivered (or even produced), hungry people riot, companies go bust, societies break down, economies collapse, and conflicts erupt everywhere. -- RF
Russian Gas Won't Sate China's Massive Energy Appetite
German economy vulnerable to global water scarcity, WWF warns
Water is scarce but it continues to be wasted excessively in many industrial states, warns a new study by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), predicting that a global conflict over water resources could bring billions in losses for the German market.
Buyout firms invest $500 mln in new North Sea oil company
India Blackouts Widen as Coal Stocks Drop at Power Plants
Taiwan warns of electricity rationing as people debate nuclear power
Russia to build two nuclear plants in Iran

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal theft leaves more than 1,000 properties without power

## Got food? ##
 Grain heists, crime turn port into Argentina's Chicago
Truck drivers in Argentina, the world's third-largest exporter of corn and soybeans, say theft and extortion are on the rise at the main port, Rosario. While police have pledged to step up security, escalating crime has boosted shipping fees and compounded delays at terminals.
Salmonella outbreak across Europe may be caused by single batch of eggs
Monsanto Sues Farmers for 16 Straight Years over GMOs, NEVER Loses
Agriculture equipment sales decline in 2014
Americans are about to be reminded that butter is a luxury

## Environment/health ##
Ebola takes big toll on already poor health care
Ebola Outbreak Spreads To 6th African Nation: 20 Cases In Senegal
Sweden discovers suspected case of Ebola, official says
Holes in the Ground Could Be Our Longest-Lasting Legacy
Surgery Prices Surge With Innovation and Consolidation Under Obamacare
For hospitals, surgery is the No. 1 revenue source. That encourages medical center administrators to ensure operating suites remain humming — an assembly-line mentality that can lead to unnecessary procedures and spiraling prices, experts say.
Pennsylvania details water contamination
The US state of Pennsylvania has released details of 243 cases where regulators concluded that oil or gas exploration contaminated or otherwise ruined drinking water wells.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails to US Government

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Is There Capitalism After Cronyism?
The more the Status Quo pursues the same old Keynesian Cargo Cult script of central planning and free money for financiers, the more self-liquidating the system becomes.
Ruin is forever: When the precautionary principle is justified

## Japan ##
Keynesian Central Banking Is An Economic Scourge: More Evidence From Japan
Fukushima fallout: Resentment grows in nearby Japanese city
Fukushima No. 1 chief feared nuclear doom for eastern Japan
Yoshida 'never' called for 'total retreat' at N-plant
Tepco abandons goal of cleaning up radioactive water with ALPS system
3 more people suspected of contracting dengue fever within Japan
Tokyo's robotic eyes are everywhere
Fiscal 2015 budget requests climb to record ¥101.7 trillion
Budget requests for fiscal 2015 have surged a record ¥101.7 trillion amid Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to halt Japan's population decline and remilitarize, government officials said Friday.
Exterminating alien species causes unexpected problems

## UK ##
Pay gap widens with one in three young UK workers on low pay
Food theft increase blamed on 'need to survive'
Money is clawed back from Britain's poor under new powers, even though cash was paid out after tax office miscalculations

## US ##
S&P Tops 2000 But Weary Consumers On Strike: The Recovery Delusion Gets Obvious
11 Shot at Start of Labor Day Weekend in Chicago
Home-Flipping Collapses in San Francisco, Losses Spread
Corporations Join Droves Renouncing US Citizenship
US Ops in Iraq Have Cost $550 Million Since June
Young People Have Fewer Jobs Than a Generation Ago
Few Americans Think The U.S. Has An Obligation To Defend Ukraine
A growing number of homeowners are reaching retirement age still owing money on their houses. The share of Americans 65 and older with mortgage debt rose to 30 percent in 2011 from 22 percent in 2001.

And finally...

Friday, August 29, 2014


News Links, August 30, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Your Wall Street Slumlord Arrives in Europe – Goldman and Other Financial Firms Launch "Buy to Rent" in Spain
Brazil's Economy Tumbles Into Recession For First Time In Five Years
Chinese naval push could affect global trade
There are no definitive government estimates about the amount of global trade passing through the South China Sea, but the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimated that 8.4 billion tons—or about half of the world's annual merchant fleet tonnage—passed through the region in 2010.
Greece's Top Banks Said to Seek Up to EU5.4 Billion in ECB Loans
U.S. slaps more sanctions on Iranian banks, firms
"Money": a Virtual Digital Particle Created by Keystrokes
Red-Light District Dims as Zurich Bankers Curb Spending
Kick Russia Out Of SWIFT, UK Demands; But Beware The Retaliation...
French unemployment hits new record
Sinkholes in Seoul keep nation focused on safety-efficiency equation
A series of road collapses in South Korea this summer has raised further questions about safety in a country still reeling from the deadly Sewol ferry disaster in April. Some say the nation's economic development rush came at the price of proper planning and engineering. The government is now scurrying to restore public confidence, sometimes with inconvenient side effects.
The Eurozone Is a Growing Problem for U.S. Economy

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Jet Fuel Crunch Strikes New York Airports Before Holiday
The lowest seasonal supply of jet fuel on record is pushing prices higher and leading to voluntary restrictions in the New York region as the nation's busiest air hub prepares for a holiday rush.
For the second time in a week, a ruckus over a reclining seat causes flight to be diverted
Virgin Australia reports $211.7m loss, sells stake in frequent flyer program
Amid Low Fares, New Airlines Struggle to Stay Afloat
Are domestic airlines making money by fleecing consumers?
Dozens of planes grounded in German pilot strike
Tragedy-hit Malaysia Airlines to lose 6,000 jobs in bold revamp
Gov't, airlines discuss measures to deal with pilot shortage (Japan)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
FYI: Six Big Lies About The Ukraine: Washington's Narrative Is Pure Propaganda
Russia's Putin urges release of Ukrainian soldiers
Ukrainian Separatists Shoot Down 4 Fighter Jets In Donetsk Region
McDonald's says 12 Russian branches temporarily closed
Finland accuses Russia of 3rd airspace breach in a week
Poland Blocks Flight Of Russian Defense Minister's Plane
The Other Islamist Insurgency: Taliban Launch New Offensive In Afghanistan As US Troops Prepare To Leave
ISIS Claims 250 Syrian Soldiers Executed in Takeover of Raqqa Air Base
Hillary Clinton's Interventionist Fiascos: Here's Chapter And Verse
Washington's Latest War Fever
Libya May Be Focus Of Major Rift Between US And Regional Allies
Chinese interceptions of US military planes could intensify
Pentagon says Iraq operations costing on average $7.5 million per day
With Homegrown Technology, Israel Becomes Leading Arms Exporter
Modi aiming for closer security ties with Japan

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
A "Ring of Steel" – The UK Spends $80 Million on a Massive Fence to Protect Politicians Ahead of NATO Summit
When politicians become terrified of their people, it's all over. -- RF
Ebola: Guineans riot in Nzerekore over disinfectant

## Energy/resources ##
Gasoline Stations Closed Across Uzbekistan Amid Fuel Shortage
Shell gas stations in Edmonton, Calgary facing shortage
Has Ukraine Shot Itself in the Foot With Gas Pipeline Deal?
Shell Shedding Oil Assets In Nigeria To Cut Costs, Raise $15 Billion
Indian power station coal stocks lowest since 2012 blackouts
Disputed Kurdish oil tanker goes dark off Texas coast
Shell submits a new plan to explore for Alaskan Arctic oil
At the Wellhead: Colombia takes a sobering look at its oil industry
Saudi Aramco seeks interest for work on unconventional gas-sources
Four companies have expressed interest in bidding for work on unconventional gas in Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil exporter pushes ahead with plans to develop challenging shale deposits, industry sources said.

## Got food? ##
With Market Basket empty, some turn to food pantries
Gas crunch major challenge before fertiliser sector: FAI official
"Gas is the feedstock for the fertiliser industry and the short supply of gas is the biggest challenge before us at present," Fertiliser Association of India Girector-General Satish Chander told Business Standard.
Fuel scarcity prevents fishermen from going out to sea (Indonesia)
Fuel scarcity nationwide has led to fishermen in a number of regions in the country being unable to go out to sea, forcing some to switch occupations. In Belawan Port, North Sumatra, hundreds of fishermen are reported to have been unable to catch fish for the last week due to diesel fuel shortages.

## Environment/health ##
Ebola Virus Outbreak 2014
Ebola Costs By The Numbers - WHO Requires $490 Million To Fight Ebola As Outbreak Grows
Ebola outbreak reaches Senegal, riots break out in Guinea
Japanese doctor says hospitals closing down in Liberia over Ebola fears
Up in flames: Waste and pollution in the Eagle Ford
Swarm of locusts invades Madagascar
Southwest U.S. could face 35-year 'megadrought'
Ew: You've got mites on your face, and so does everyone else

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Wall Street Admits That A Cyberattack Could Crash Our Banking System At Any Time
U.S. banking group says unaware of any 'significant' cyber attack
'Your Money or Your Files' as Threat of Online Stickups Grows
Although such crimes are inexcusable, people who don't take precautions and back up everything are just asking for trouble. In addition to common-sense anti-virus and anti-malware precautions, keep clones of your disk and copies of your data on removable media where they are safe from intruders. -- RF
Did Certain Foreign Governments Facilitate the 9/11 Attacks?

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Employers Aren't Just Whining: The "Skills Gap" Is Real

## Japan ##
Japan household spending slumps, output flat as tax pain persists
Japan economy stalls as incomes, spending languish
Consumer prices rise 3.3%
Krugman And The Keynesian Chorus Are Lying: Japan's "Lost Decade" Is A Myth
The truth is that the Japanese and US economies have performed in lock-step since 2000, and their performances have matched each other going as far back as 1980. Either Japan's not in crisis, or the US has been in crisis for a good thirty-five years. You can't have it both ways.
Heavy equipment falls into Fukushima reactor pool
Gov't advises citizens to stockpile toilet paper
One recalls the toilet paper panic of the 1970s. -- RF
Japan defense budget request highest ever as Abe boosts military
Jobless rate rises to 3.8% on July surge in job-seekers
Japan adopts package to help children in poverty

## China ##
Drilling furiously: Chinese energy giants turn upbeat on shale gas
The renminbi's global success
China is now using drones to catch "terrorists" in Xinjiang
Hong Kong's battle with China over democracy begins in earnest this weekend

## UK ##
37% of Working Parents cutting down on Food Costs to cope with spiralling Housing Payments and Rising Bills
ISIS Threat: Britain Raises Terror Alert Level to 'Severe'
Cameron plans to seize suspects' passports in response to terrorist threat
UK's Cameron Goes Full Scaremonger: "We Will Be Fighting ISIS For Decades"
Talk about echoes! One recalls Dick Cheney's war that will not end in our lifetimes. -- RF

## US ##
Census figures show more than one-third of Americans receiving welfare benefits
Poverty Capitalism in 2014 – Introducing Private Probation Companies
Beach Closed, Keep Out: Billionaire Tries to Block Surfers
US Multiplying Fee To Renounce Citizenship To $2,350
Land of the free: Philadelphia Earns Millions By Seizing Cash And Homes From People Never Charged With A Crime
2 California counties ask to form separate state
Government To Regulate Groundwater For 1st Time As California Drought Becomes "Race To The Bottom"
High-ranking Chicago police officer charged with putting gun in man's mouth
A day of reckoning has arrived to retiring Americans
63 percent of Americans that start working by the age of 25 will be dependent on Social Security, relatives, or charity by the time they hit 65.
Can a National Quasi-Religion (Pro Sports) Go Broke?
Pump! S&P 500 edges up to set new record; best month since Feb
Thousands of Americans surrendering their passports due to be hit by huge hike in government fees
Post Office Paid $287K for Trucks It Can't Find
Will the U.S. Postal Service Be Broke Again in 4 Years?
Woman with 3 part-time jobs dies napping in car
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
The Biggest Tax Scam Ever: How Corporate America Parks Profits Overseas, Avoiding Billions in Taxes
Chelsea Clinton Leaving Her Unbelievably Cushy Fake Job at NBC

And finally...
Gasp! State fair scandal: Winning pie used store-bought crust

Thursday, August 28, 2014


News Links, August 28-29, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Russia Sanctions Hit German Consumers, "Economic Expectations Completely Collapse"
Ebola Devastates West Africa: Revenues Down; Markets Not Functioning; Projects Canceled; GDP Plunges 4%
Russia to take rubles, yuan for oil
Russian Central Bank prepares bill to create SWIFT analog in Russia
Russian economy nears recession
Argentina Set for National Strike as Economic Woes Deepen
The clock is ticking for an aging Asia
Pump! The Committee to Blow Up the World!
France's 35-hour working week under threat
Venezuelan Bolivar Plunges to Record Low on Black Market; Bond Default Coming Up in October?
Economic growth slowing in Southeast Asia
IMF Chief Under Investigation in French Fraud Case; Meet David Lipton (an Obama Clone), Lagarde's Possible Replacement

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Qantas declares $2.8 billion loss
Passengers left waiting at local airports (Vietnam)
Airlines Mull First-Class Future as Business Beds Succeed
Airport Authority of India incurring losses on 93 of its airports
Bangalore International Airport Ltd plummets to loss
After disasters, stricken Malaysia Airlines staff brace for job cuts
New counterterrorism units in place at Australian airports
Ebola zone countries isolated as airlines stop flights
Airport Outlet Drought Means Fliers Must Grab for Power
3 top airports work on ways to cut delays (China)
Fighter Jets Escort Plane Back To Toronto After Drunken Passengers' Threat
Swiss put the block on Russian sanction-busting
Switzerland has declined to join the EU's sanctions against Russia, and not being in the EU means it is under no obligation, even if it is linked by a host of trade and other agreements.
Qantas Defers 787 Order, Hurts Airbus

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. Top Guns in Darwin Dog-Fight Drills as China Tensions Rise
More military exercises to kick off amid fears about Russia
Eastward NATO Marches as Ukraine Accuses Russia of 'Invasion'
The West's Ukrainian Narrative Is Wholly Duplicitous: Now Comes The Cold Truth Of European Winter
Jane's Defense Caught With Pants Down: Ukraine Admits Rebel Counteroffensive, Including March to the Sea
Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Launching Invasion, Then Promptly Retracts
NATO Releases Satellite Imagery "Proof" That Russia Has Invaded Ukraine
The Fun of Empire: Fighting on All Sides of a War in Syria
Iraq and Syria pose Saudi dilemma - failed states or Iran proxies
Iran speeds weapons deliveries to US ally in Iraq
Obama: We Don't Have a Strategy for Iraq-Syria War Yet
Taiwan Chases Away Chinese Fighter Planes From Its Airspace
Libya warns United Nations of possible slide into civil war
How Hillary Clinton's 'smart power' Turned Libya Into A Dumpster Fire
McDonald's says three more restaurants temporarily closed in Russia
Russia sees chance to lift Iran sanctions through international talks
U.N. says 43 Golan peacekeepers seized by militants, 81 trapped
Killer robots a small step away and must be outlawed, says top UN official
China Seeks to Better Protect South China Sea Submarine Gateway

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Rebellion in Ferguson: A Rising Heat in the Suburbs
Falling Housing Prices Are Causing Violent Protests In China
Malaysia police arrest 42 foreigners after riot at export factory
LDP eyes rules for demonstrations around parliament (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##
Russia will remain reliable energy supplier to Europe -Kremlin spokesman
Shell To Divest Assets Worth $5 Billion From Nigeria
Shell is selling one of the most pilfered oil pipelines in the world
Nigeria Loses U.S.$243 Million to Oil Theft, Pipeline Sabotage
Belgium Nuclear Halts Boost Power Premium on Supply Risk
Belgian power prices are soaring on concern that two nuclear reactors will remain shut into next year, potentially threatening supplies to factories.
Kazakhstan offers to build Russia-China gas pipeline through its territory
Iraq's southern oil exports fall by 140,000 bpd so far in August
Germany's Energy Transition Dream at Risk of Becoming Nightmare
Mideast Water Wars: In Iraq, a Battle for Control of Water
India may face blackouts as coal shortage cuts power output
This Critical Uranium Shutdown is Going Ahead
Iran vetting oil customers
Easier said than done: Stem the spread of export curbs on natural resources
Japan, India to sign rare earths deal
Explosion Shakes BP's Largest Oil Refinery In The U.S.
Global Biofuels Status Update

## Got food? ##
Midwestern Wheat Left Rotting as Oil Trains Roll By
U.S. grain shipments are being held up as trains carrying huge quantities of Bakken oil chug through the region, the New York Times reported Tuesday, illustrating how the booming business of moving oil by rail has negative consequences beyond safety risks.
Roads expanding fast worldwide, better planning needed to aid food output: study
As anyone in a developed (over-developed) country knows, road-building quickly gets out of hand, becoming a means of porkbarrel spending for politicians and of fat profits for construction companies, not to mention the environmental damage. A few years ago a new "agricultural road" was built here in my village to "help" agriculture. This entailed paving over precious farmland (big "help" there!) and building a massive wall that one of my neighbors called the "Great Wall of China." The previously existing road was more than sufficient for the five or 10 vehicles a day which use it. In the final analysis, this was nothing but a gift to a construction company, which I might add ruined one of my rice paddies. -- RF
Ebola outbreak could lead to food crisis, U.N. says
Record-High Meat Prices for U.S. Consumers

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Young Agrarians

## Environment/health ##
Ebola has 'upper hand' says US health official
West Africa Ebola outbreak could infect 20,000 people, WHO says
Unburied Bodies Show Ebola-Hit Areas' Transportation Woes
Federal Protection Sought for Iconic Pollinators 'In Deadly Free Fall'
Deadly Brain Amoeba Found in Louisiana Parish Water
Scientists find secret of reversing bad memories
Corporate blowback builds from Minamata treaty

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Facebook users self-censor on controversial topics
"Zombie" Servers and Inefficiency Drive Energy Waste at Data Centers
Time Warner Offline: Customer Service Blames Internet Downtime On 'Internet Backbone'
Russian Hackers Said to Loot Gigabytes of Big Bank Data
Just to put this in perspective, it's mere crumbs compared to the vast hauls of data hoovered up by the US from around the world. -- RF
The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google
Video of the Day – Chris Hedges on Overthrowing the Corporate Fascist State
Canada's NATO Delegation Just Epically Trolled Russia With This Map Of Ukraine
Of course the proper rejoinder to this is a world map with the US labeled "USA" and all other countries on the planet labeled "Not USA." But that's a map Canada won't be tweeting. Yes, indeed. Geography can be tough. -- RF
DOT Proposes Mandating Cars Broadcast Location, Direction and Speed

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Why Artifice Rules the World: We Have No Choice
The Massive Trucker Shortage Could Hit Your Wallet Soon
Trucks deliver nearly everything. Therefore, if trucks don't run, things don't get delivered. Get it? -- RF
North Dakota Universities Crumble as Oil Cash Pours In
North Dakota is struggling to finance deteriorating public universities even as it experiences the biggest energy boom in its history, raising concern that less prosperous states will face more serious funding challenges.
Dark Age America: The Population Implosion

## Japan ##
Coast guard requests budget be doubled for disputed islands patrol
The decline of luxury goods in Japan, as seen through Tiffany's latest earnings report
Japan rethinks retirement
Japan's medical spending hits new high for 11th straight year
Factors behind the continuous growth through fiscal 2013 include the aging of the population and costly advanced medical services, a ministry official said.
JR Tokai applies for ¥9 trillion maglev train line approval
Fukushima nuclear crisis estimated to cost ¥11 trillion: study
The Fukushima nuclear accident will cost an estimated ¥11.08 trillion, almost double the government projection made at the end of 2011, according to a recent study by Japanese college professors.
New research suggests even low-level radiation in Fukushima negatively impacting wildlife
McDonald's Japan on the brink
Japan's growth outlook dims further, BOJ policy prospects unclear - Reuters Poll
Indian PM Modi eyes breakthrough nuclear pact on Japan trip
3 dengue fever infections blamed on mosquitoes in Yoyogi Park
Corporate Japan issuing bonds at record-low rates

## China ##
Inside The Receding Global Bubble: China's Iron & Steel Prices Plunging
Jammed Beijing Clamping Down Fails to Stem Migration
PBOC Resolve Tested as Shadow Banking Industry Sours
China tells U.S. to reduce or halt 'close surveillance' patrols

## UK ##
Britain would be poorer than any US state except Mississippi if it joined America

## US ##
Student Debt Threatens the Safety Net for Elderly Americans
Justice Dept Refuses For 20 Years To Comply With Federal Law Requiring It To Gather National Police Brutality Stats
Activists Sound Alarm as More Police Departments Consider Using Drones
Putting Ferguson in Context – New Jersey Man Faced 5 Years in Jail Before Dashcam Video Proved Police Abuse
There's A Big Leak In America's Water Tower
The Housing Echo-Bubble Is Popping
The Bull Market Will End When The Fed and Friends Decide, Then We Get To Pay For Their Madness
As rail jam persists, U.S. power plants rush to roads and rivers
Automaker Recalls Have Dented The Rental Car Industry's Bottom Line
US Military Campaign Against ISIS May Cost $15 Billion a Year
U.S. may use secrets act to stop suit against Iran sanctions group
Decade of Court Cases Quietly Wiped from Online Database
CBO forecasts $506 billion budget deficit for 2014
"The Buyback Party Is Over" - Albert Edwards Warns The "Market Is Now Running On Fumes"

And finally...
Shocker: Hello Kitty: not a cat?
She's not a cat, she loves apple pie and she lives near London. Who knew?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


News Links, August 26-27, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Behold The Magic Of Accounting In First Half Earnings
Inside The Receding Global Bubble: Brazil's Indicators Now Heading South
Deflationary Fears Are Spreading Globally
A worldwide deflation fear is expanding and may actually be rampant. BCA Daily Insights (August 25, 2014) notes that, "out of 32 OEC countries, more than two-thirds have domestic inflation rates that fall short of 1%." BCA analysts go on to argue that the worldwide inflation rate may converge to zero over the next couple of years.
"A war without bullets": Rising trade tensions a long-term threat
Swedish household debt soars as poll nears
Argentine Peso Collapses on Top of Rogue Regime
Dick Smith challenges 'faith' in benefits of population and economic growth
In an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday, the businessman said endless population and economic growth was like a "religious faith" for graduates of university degrees in economics and questioning whether these two things were beneficial for Australians was something of a taboo in public discussion.
One of the rare outbursts of honesty in public discourse. -- RF
Misery Index 2.0
South Koreans 'will be extinct by 2750'
The same kind of brain-dead scaremongering heard in Japan. -- RF
Robots Able to Pick Peppers, Test Soil, and Prune Plants Aim To Replace Farm Workers
Human workers will take orders from robots, and they will like it
Backed by Google Ventures, the First Robot Hotel Butler Just Reported for Duty
Sanctions Costs: German Exports To Russia Collapse, "Risk 50,000 Jobs"
Gaza War Could Push Slowing Israeli Economy Into Contraction
Cargo Thefts Are On The Rise, Despite Drop in Vehicle Thefts
Minimum-wage debate roils Mexico, where rock-bottom pay rules
Are tiny houses and micro-apartments the future of urban homes?
The Bailout of Robert Mugabe – How Wall Street Money Led to Intimidation, Torture and Death in Zimbabwe
It Begins: Council On Foreign Relations Proposes That "Central Banks Should Hand Consumers Cash Directly"
Just Six Months After the Olympics, Sochi Looks Like a Ghost Town
It's a sad scene—and it's one that's been repeated across the world as Olympic host cities struggle with the economic burden of their investments.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Number of airline near-misses appears to be rising
THAI's loss estimated at $470m
Philippine Airlines: Alliance or Atrophy?
Cops called after fliers fight over seat recline
Legroom Gadget Maker Sees Sales Jump After Air-Rage Case
Malaysia Air Said to Mull Job Cuts, Order Review, New CEO
Twin disasters spark Malaysia Airlines crew resignations
Flying pains as China struggles to keep up with aviation growth
AirAsia India flies into loss in first month
Cheap Airplane Seats Shouldn't Recline at All
The bottom line is that the days of affordable comfort in the skies—especially on domestic flights—are over. As airlines struggle to turn profits in the face of rising fuel costs, economy seats in planes keep getting smaller and smaller, with less and less legroom. Though many airlines persist in giving us the illusion that we're flying in comfort with amenities like seats that barely recline and flimsy "pillows" filled with straw, most of us can't really pay the premium that comfort actually costs.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Gaza truce open-ended, but puts off tough issues
Provoking quandary for US, embattled Syrian government asks for help fighting Islamic State
US, British Special Forces on the Ground in Iraq Trying to Find ISIS Leaders
Bombers Return to Baghdad; 212 Killed, 184 Wounded
Egypt and UAE 'launched air strikes against Libyan Islamists'
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been accused of launching air strikes against Islamist targets in Libya – a move which would prove to be a major regional escalation in what is fast becoming a battle between the Arab old guard and the rampant forces of political Islam.
7,000 Trapped Ukrainian Forces; IMF to Fund Ukraine Wars?
Russia says wants to send second aid convoy to east Ukraine
Outright Military Victory by Rebels? Ukraine Offensive in Donetsk and Lugansk Fails
Russia orders temporary closure of one more McDonald's restaurant
NATO's 20-Year Campaign To Find An Enemy And Weapons Market For The Military-Industrial Complex
Nato plans east European bases to counter Russian threat
Russia's Nuclear Revival And Its Challenges
Is Ghana Becoming a Piracy Hot Spot?
Sea Transportation: Piracy Gets Lucrative Again
German fighter jets unable to fly and mechanics forced to borrow spare parts, claims magazine
The German air force is facing such a severe funding shortage that many of its aircraft are unable to fly, mechanics are forced to cannibalise parts from existing planes and only eight of the country's 109 Eurofighters are fully operational, according to a report in Spiegel magazine.
Chinese reportedly working on submarine that would 'fly' in an 'air bubble'
Japan to help train, equip Sri Lanka's coast guard

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Pakistan's largest city thirsts for a water supply
On the outskirts of the slums of Pakistan's biggest city, protesters burning tires and throwing stones have what sounds like a simple demand: They want water at least once a week.
Monks and Martyrs: A Controversial Perspective on Dissent in 21st Century America
China's falling real-estate prices trigger protests, clashes
In Defiant Action, Pipeline Protesters Lock Themselves to Trucks

## Energy/resources ##
Oil sands dream evaporates with bondholders facing 40% loss
Update on US natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables
Saudi Aramco to invest $400bn to keep oil production steady
Saudi Aramco has announced plans to invest $40 billion a year over the next decade to keep oil production capacity steady and double gas production. President and CEO of the world's largest oil producer, Khalid Al Falih, said the company expected an increase in capital for offshore projects, according to Arab News.
Norway to Cut Oil-Production Forecasts as Costs Delay Projects
Norway, western Europe's biggest oil producer, will probably cut its long-term forecast for crude production as companies reduce spending to counter rising costs and improve shareholder returns.
Statoil mulls impact of Russian sanctions
Norwegian energy company Statoil stands by its partners in Russia, though Western sanctions do present some obstacles, the company's top executive said Monday.
Remote, gas-rich islands on Indonesia's South China Sea frontline
The World's Most Dangerous Dams
Chevron seeks up to $1.5 billion for Canadian oil project - sources
Iran testing gas pipeline to Iraq
North Sea oil estimates 'ludicrously pessimistic'
S.Korea's nuclear operator halts reactor due to heavy rain
Power consumption can easily be cut by 800 megawatt (Belgium)
Her plea comes as Belgium is facing a possible power shortage next winter, with possible black-outs to be imposed on several areas of the country.
Long queues form as fuel shortage threatens (Indonesia)
Italy struggles with Plan B if Russian gas supplies cut
India May Explore Oil in South China Sea
India is assessing whether to explore oil in five blocks in the South China sea, on the invitation of Vietnam, a crucial and strategically located south east Asian friend, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said.
The Peak Oil Crisis: When?

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves rip off church roof lead
Electric car charging cords being stolen in Vancouver
Street lights stolen

## Got food? ##
China's Food Safety Woes Continue, With Chicken Feet Tainted With Hydrogen Peroxide
Japan to propose 50% cut in young tuna catch

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
'Tiny Homes on the Move' Showcases the Nomadic Lifestyle

## Environment/health ##
Ebola Among Health Workers: More Than 240 Sick, More Than 120 Dead
Psychologists say overly connected children can't read human emotion
The Climate Scientist Who Pioneered Geoengineering Fears It's About to Blow Up
Cause of New Mexico nuclear waste accident remains a mystery
Pulitzer-winning scientist warns wildlife face a 'biological holocaust'
Half the planet should be set aside solely for the protection of wildlife to prevent the "mass extinction" of species, according to one of the world's leading biologists.
'Incredible' rate of polar ice loss alarms scientists
Forget bedbugs, these bugs are more common—and more harmful

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
For sale: Systems that can secretly track where cellphone users go around the globe
Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent.
California Governor Signs Bill Requiring Smartphone 'Kill Switch'
Electromagnetic Warfare Is Here
Snowden Documents Reveal NSA's 'Own Secret Google'
Cyborg moths to the rescue!
Scientists are developing a method of controlling the flight muscles of moths wirelessly, instantly introducing a new term to the vocabulary of technophobes: the mothpocalypse.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
It's Not Just Politics That's Broken--The Status Quo's Model of "How the World Works" Is Broken

## Japan ##
Thyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima
Ministry to seek ¥8.1 billion to study Fukushima No. 1 reactor dismantlement
Fukushima groundwater bypass operation ineffective: Tepco
Gasp! In a first, Japan records fewer than 500,000 births in first half of year
Japanese court rules against nuclear operator in suicide suit
Japan Said to Plan Tax-Free Investing Program for Kids
U.S. submarine visits Japan to promote reassurance
Labor shortages, high costs doom small, midsize firms
An increasing number of small and medium-sized companies have gone bankrupt in recent months due to labor shortages. Some were unable to bear soaring labor costs while others could not hire sufficient workers.
CLSA Sees Bond Danger in Pension Switch to Stocks: Japan Credit
Kuroda Urges 'Visible Hand' to Raise Japan Wages
Child Poverty SOS / Living with hunger in candlelight world
One in six children live in poverty in Japan, supposedly one of the most prosperous countries in the world. The nation's child poverty rate was a record-high 16.3 percent in 2012, according to figures released July 15 by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Child Poverty SOS / Single mothers struggle to survive working at Kabukicho nightclubs
Appliance shipments down 15.9%

## China ##
China shuts down Beijing Independent Film Festival
As Labor Costs Rise, China Turns More to Robot Workers
Drought affects half a million in Xinjiang
5 Takeaways From Chinese Property Developers' Earnings

## UK ##
Increase in power network thefts responsible for hundreds of power cuts
Service sector growth cools, pointing to overall slowdown

## US ##
New York's Homeless Pushed Deeper into the Shadows
Mimicking the airlines, hotels get fee-happy
Hearings planned after call for nuke plant closure
Building for a future of American renting serfs
Private housing starts for structures with at least 5 units hits a post recession high. More than 11 million Americans spend more than 50 percent of income on rent
With Half Of City Residents Delinquent, Detroit Restarts Water Shut-Offs
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Other Defense Contractors Pay With Jobs For End Of Combat Operations In Iraq And Afghanistan
When Sears Was a Retail Star, Not Losing $1B in Six Months
Suspect in Los Angeles-area shootings detained
California wine country quake losses seen in the billions
Drowning in Unsold New Homes?
Visualizing the Vanishing Money Velocity Vortex
Spotting The Next Detroit - America's Fasting-Shrinking Cities
Coming soon to protests in America: Government thugs (one almost punched me)
Climate change and development patterns are contributing to the soaring costs of Western wildfires
Durables Goods, Excluding Bumper Boeing Orders, Suffer Biggest Drop Of 2014

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