Monday, March 02, 2015

 

News Links, March 3, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
World's Largest Container-Shipper Warns Global Trade Is Slowing Down
Austria "Bad Bank" Goes Bad, $8.5 Billion "Bail-In" Underway
Greece will not seek another bailout, prime minister says
As Greek Default Fears Return, Government Considers "Borrowing" Pensions To Repay IMF
Greece Accuses Spain and Portugal of Conspiracy; 3rd Greece Bailout Discussion Under Way for €30-50 Billion
Theater Of The Absurd: Spain To Provide 14% Of Funds For Third Greek Bailout
Australian coal industry takes another step closer to the abyss
The downturn in the Australian coal industry has deepened, with three major mining companies warning on Friday that more jobs will be cut, mines will close and assets will be written down to a shadow of their former value.
Australia's Mining Bust Turns Towns Into Ghost Towns; Expect Interest Rate "Shock and Awe"
The boom is about to go bust (Australia)
Asset bubbles in shares and property could burst in the next six to 18 months, according to one of the country's more bearish investment experts, who is warning baby boomers that their retirement savings are at risk.
PDAC 2015: Optimism clashes with reality on day one of conference
The annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference kicked off in Toronto on Sunday. Not surprisingly, the mood on the conference floor was a little subdued as metal prices continue to slump, financing dollars remain scarce, and the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index trades near an all-time low.
Chinese Factory Gauge Shows Weakness That Spurred Rate Cut
More Flash Crashes To Come As Shadow Banking Liquidity Collapses
The Draghi Derangement: $1.9 Trillion Euro Government Bonds Trading At Negative Yield
Crunch Time for the Global Corporatocracy
Southeast Asia's impending pain: 'State-financed' consumer spending hits government bottom lines
Governments in some major Southeast Asian nations are struggling with hefty bills run up by spending to encourage consumption.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Passengers fly into a rage over airlines' antics (KSA)
Budget 2015: No major relief for struggling aviation sector, say experts (India)
Delayed American Airlines flight at Dallas/Fort Worth left passengers stuck on plane for nine hours
Passengers trapped aboard an American Airlines flight at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Friday cursed, kicked seats and raided the liquor cabinet in protest of their grueling delay.
Iran's airline passengers are mad and aren't taking it anymore
Businesses are feeling sting of airport cutbacks
Fewer direct flights and smaller planes mean less room for cargo, more headaches
Airplane meal industry hasn't recovered from Sept. 11
A Recent History of Airline Fleet Groundings
Southwest maintenance glitch shows complexity of inspections
The episode illustrated the difficulties tracking inspections and conducting maintenance on complex modern aircraft.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Asia piracy cases rise 22% on year to hit 10-year high in 2014: ReCAAP
The number of piracy and armed robbery cases against ships in Asia increased 22% year on year to hit a 10-year of 183 last year, anti-piracy watchdog ReCAAP said in its annual report released earlier this week.
Dismantle NATO Now—-It's A Relic That's A Hotbed For Warmongers
Gaza Rebuild Effort Could Take 100 Years: Oxfam
Obama, Netanyahu on collision course 6 years in the making
U.S.-Israel ties fraying over Netanyahu speech, Iran talks
Iran Nuclear Deal: Feinstein Calls Netanyahu's Position On Iran Talks 'Arrogant'
Obama Ready To Veto Bill Giving Congress Say On Iranian Nuclear Negotiations
German Police Detain Several, Arrest 1 In Bremen, Following Islamist Terror Threat
DARPA Offers $4 Million For An Unmanned Surveillance System To Monitor The Arctic
Gorbachev: Killing Could Have Been A Provocation, Aimed At "Destabilizing The Situation In The Country, At Heightening Confrontation" With The West
Who killed Boris Nemtsov - and why?
UAE is a Backdoor for US-NATO Weaponry Supplies to Kiev - Experts
Pentagon Scraps Spring Attack on Mosul; Iraqi Troops Not Ready
US-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Dissolves After Losing Hundreds Of Men In Battle
Russian Navy Will Get 50 New Ships This Year, Including Nuclear Submarines, Surface Warships, Says Admiral
Massive Iraqi assault begins to retake Tikrit from Islamic State
Catalonia prepares to set up own foreign missions, tax system amid independence drive
Saudi Eastern Fleet Request Advances
A second letter of request (LoR) from the Saudi government detailing requirements for the Eastern Fleet replacement program was delivered to the US Navy in February, barely a month after an initial request was sent, according to sources here at the International Defence Exposition show.
Playing Chicken with Nuclear War
U.S.-Russian tensions keep escalating – now surrounding the murder of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov – yet almost no one on the American side seems to worry about the possibility that the tough-guy rhetoric and proxy war in Ukraine might risk a nuclear conflagration.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Boko Haram Protest in Cameroon Draws Thousands As Fighting Intensifies And Nigerian Elections Approach
Riot police called in as anti-Muslim rally in England boils over
Hong Kong Police Use Pepper Spray As Protests Against Chinese Shoppers Turns Ugly
Boris Nemtsov Murder: Tens Of Thousands Gather To Mourn And March In Moscow
Wisconsinites Rally to Stop 'Right-to-Work' Bill
As Netanyahu Heads to DC, CodePink Tries to Shut Down AIPAC

## Energy/resources ##
Power Shortages Challenge Eskom, Force Load Shedding in South Africa
In a media presentation, CEO Tshediso Matona explained that Eskom's reserve margin is very low and that the company does not currently have enough capacity to meet demand. The situation has necessitated planned, controlled, and rotational load shedding to protect the power system from a total countrywide blackout.
Apple buying a third of world's gold to meet demand for iWatch
Most French Nuclear Plants 'Should Be Shut Down' Over Drone Threat
"You don't need massive amounts of force to allow a nuclear plant to go into instability. The plant has enough energy to destroy itself. Drones can be used to tickle the plant into instability."
Exelon-backed bill seeks $2 more a month for nuclear plants
Cheap Oil Threatens Debt Squeeze for Smaller UK North Sea Producers
Small and mid-sized independent oil producers in the British North Sea could face a financing squeeze this year as banks cut lending linked to the value of oil reserves, following last year's oil price sell off.
Bulgaria scraps incentives for new renewable energy installations
Bulgaria's parliament scrapped preferential prices for new renewable energy installations on Thursday as the country is struggling to cut deficits in the energy sector and keep a lid on consumers' utility bills.
Eclipse of the Sun has European solar power producers worried
Hundreds of millions of Europeans will experience a solar eclipse ranging from 40% to 97% obscuration on March 20th. Iceland will have a total blackout. The solar power industry is very concerned about how it will manage when an estimated 35,000 MW of electricity vanishes from the system, then comes surging back two hours later.
US Will Never Gain Oil Market Crown Says IEA Head
No matter how much oil the United States produces over the next few years, it will never become the next Saudi Arabia in the global oil market, according to Fatih Birol, the new executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). What's especially interesting about this forecast is that it directly contradicts what Birol said only three months ago, and he gave no explanation for his change of mind.
This Is Why The EU Energy Union Will Fail
Petrobras Doubles Planned Asset Sales to $14 Billion to Cut Debt
Massive power blackout hits Nagano Prefecture; hospitals, trains, homes affected (Japan)
Senate OKs Noy powers to address blackouts (Philippines)
Oil Prices Don't Change Because of Rig Count
People hit hard by shortage of power and water (India)

## Got food? ##
Panic in Ukraine Over Food, Empty Stores and Protests; Strategic Food Reserve Empty
Kew quest to prevent coffee dying out
Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew have begun a desperate bid to find a new bean of coffee which can thrive as the climate warms, before the world's supplies run out.
Top Russian grocery stores 'freeze' food prices
Still Doubting that Organics are the Future?

## Environment/health ##
Deadly bacterium 'released from US high-security lab'
Officials in Louisiana investigating how a potential bioterror agent escaped but insist there is no threat to public
Crop herbicides play a role in shrinking monarch population
A butterfly being considered for federal protection is emblematic of the plight that pollinating insects face in part because farmers, enticed by ethanol mandates, are growing more herbicide-resistant crops, which has stripped millions of acres of crucial plant habitat.
AP PHOTOS: Antarctica's spectacular glaciers melting faster
The Life of a Plastic Water Bottle
Vice president of Sierra Leone quarantines himself after bodyguard dies of Ebola
WHO Warns Of Pandemics Worse Than 2009 Swine Flu Outbreak
Scientists hope an AIDS vaccine lies in llamas
The cute Andean animal's antibodies are nearly 100 percent effective in stopping the deadly virus from spreading, researchers say.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are big business, but their health benefits remain uncertain
Syria's civil war linked partly to drought, global warming

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Facebook employees can access your FB account without password
NSA's bulk collection of American data gets approved again
Cybergeddon: Why the Internet could be the next "failed state"
If you think the Internet can go on being just like it is, here's some bad news.
Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links
The Internet Of Things: A Dystopian Nightmare Where Everyone And Everything Will Be Monitored On The Internet
Are Banks In Store For An 'Armageddon' Cyber Attack?

## Propaganda ##
Conservative Audience Laughs as Former NSA Chief Refers to Himself as an 'Unrelenting Libertarian'
Two Pieces of US Mass Media Propaganda (on Russia, Tamir Rice) Have Revealing Correlation
The Rise of a 'Democratic' Fascism
Traditional fascism is defined as a right-wing political system run by a dictator who prohibits dissent and relies on repression. But some analysts believe a new form of fascism has arisen that has a democratic façade and is based on relentless propaganda and endless war.
Neocons Want 'Regime Change' in Iran
A curious trait of America's neocons is that they never change course or learn from past mistakes. They simply press on for more and more "regime change," explaining their determination to sink the Iranian nuclear talks to reopen the pathway to more war.
Benjamin Netanyahu's Long History of Crying Wolf About Iran's Nuclear Weapons

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Few Will Survive "Sundown in America" (video)
Hyundai Motor America Recalls 204,768 Cars Due to Power Steering

## Japan ##
Japan's FSA explores opening market to Islamic finance
48 infrastructure entities to get cybersecurity cooperation requests
The government will ask 48 entities in charge of key pieces of infrastructure to help it take countermeasures against cyberthreats, an official said Sunday.
Japan's high child poverty rate driven by an increasing number of single-parent families
Japan is one of the world's richest countries but one in six Japanese children now live in poverty - one of the worst rates in the industrialised world.
Number of neglected graves increasing
An increasing number of graves have been abandoned across the nation as no one is taking care of them due to lower birthrates and depopulation.
Path to Restoration / ¥8.1 trillion still needed in disaster-hit areas
The aerial photograph shows that almost all the land in the photographed area is still vacant. From the very beginning I have maintained that what was destroyed will never be rebuilt. -- RF
Over 1,700 business failures linked to March 2011 disasters
Marubeni faces ship shortage, grid issues in offshore wind push
Soup kitchens for needy children open to help break increasing cycle of poverty

## China ##
China's central bank cuts rates again to boost economy
China's manufacturing measure shows contraction for February
Police Pepper Spray Protesters in Hong Kong
New oil pipeline highlights China's effort to strengthen energy security
Groundbreaking Smog Documentary Divides Chinese Audiences
China may further lower growth target for 2015

## UK ##
UK blocks Russian oligarchs' deal to buy North Sea fields
Britain has blocked a deal by Russian billionaires, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan, to buy 12 oil and gas fields in the North Sea as part of their acquisition of Germany's oil firm DEA from RWE, citing possible sanctions against Russia.
What the latest statistics tell us about housing – in six charts
Cybercrime could become more lucrative than drugs, police chief warns
NHS lets down patients with appalling standards at weekends, says top doctor
Patients are suffering shameful safety risks and higher death rates because the NHS is failing to provide proper care at weekends, a damning report will warn this week.
Cromer councillor says townsfolk will 'get used to' street lights switch-off
GP crisis looming as half of family doctors plan to leave profession before 60
Odierno Raises Alarm Over UK Spending Levels
US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno has added his voice to the chorus of senior politicians and military figures on both sides of the Atlantic voicing concerns over the potential impact of further defense cuts to Britain's armed forces.

## US ##
Illinois Pension Plans 39% Funded; Taxpayers On the Hook for $105 Billion in Liabilities; It Will Get Worse!
The long inflation con on the public
How the CPI severely underreports inflation and the slow erosion in the American standard of living.
Q4 Household Debt Report——What Deleveraging?
Teen Girl Fatally Shot By Denver Police Hit From Left: Autopsy
U.S. Air Force eyes 28 launches, shared investment for next rockets
North Carolina Lobbyists Can Officially Screw Politicians Legally
A clandestine sexual relationship between a lobbyist and a government official they lobby may sound unethical, but the North Carolina Ethics Commission says it's perfectly legal.
Justice in America: But for the video…
If a group of regular citizens had pulled this on someone, they'd all likely be facing criminal conspiracy charges on top of the perjury and other charges. So why aren't these cops and prosecutors?
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wins straw poll in boost to 2016 presidential prospects
WSJ Praises "Waiter, Bartender Recovery" While 74% Of Americans Believe They Will Work Until They Die
Student groups pressure colleges over the insane cost of textbooks
The Real American Exceptionalism
From Torture to Drone Assassination, How Washington Gave Itself a Global Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card
Q4 Household Debt Report: Booming Subprime Auto Loans Signal Danger Ahead
Wells Fargo puts a ceiling on subprime auto loans
Wells Fargo, one of the largest subprime car lenders, is pulling back from that roaring market, a move that is being felt throughout the broader auto industry.
Struggle Over Officer's Gun Leads to Fatal Police Shooting: LAPD
NYC Residents Will Pay $2-3k a Month for "Micro-Apartments" as Luxury Car Sales Outpace Regular Car Sales
Dot-com deja vu: Nasdaq tops 5,000, approaching record high
$4 Million In Gold Bars Stolen In 11th Largest Heist In History

And finally...
Science finds the best place to hide from zombies


Saturday, February 28, 2015

 

News Links, February 28, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
MAJOR FACTOR FOR OWNING GOLD: The Collapse Of Gold's EROI
Gold Sovereigns Bought by Greeks in Volume as New Greek Drachmas Designed
German Parliament Approves Greek Bailout Extension
Greece runs out of funding options despite euro zone reprieve
Europe's Survival Depends on Debt Restructuring, Not Growth
How Much Will You Pay to Park Cash as Central Banks Go Negative?
Putin Scores Victory Over Ukraine Allies in Bond Market Collapse
Fighting eases in eastern Ukraine but economic collapse now looms
We've Just Received a Bunch of Disappointing News on U.S. Manufacturing
Paranoia And Purges For Venezuela As Oil Misery Continues Paranoia And Purges For Venezuela As Oil Misery Continues
Oil Burns A Hole; Malaysia's Billionaires Reel As Ringgit Slips
Things are looking up for the global gun market

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline passengers are paying the price so that investors can profit
Spirit Air Doesn't Care You Hate All Its Extra Fees
United Airlines warns pilots after errors lead to 'near misses'
AirAsia India posts Rs 21 crore loss
Man taken off Shanghai Airlines flight in handcuffs after refusing to leave window seat

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow
How ISIS Pays Its Fighters——From Gulf State Bankrollers
U.S. Navy says it has been flying P-8 reconnaissance planes out of Philippines
The United States has been flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time.
Chinese diplomat tells West to consider Russia's security concerns over Ukraine
Western powers should take into consideration Russia's legitimate security concerns over Ukraine, a top Chinese diplomat has said in an unusually frank and open display of support for Moscow's position in the crisis.
Former NATO Intel Officer Blames US for Ukraine Crisis
A former NATO intelligence analyst has said that the crisis in Ukraine stems from as far back as 30 years when the United States "deliberately sabotaged" relations between Europe and Russia.
The "Snipers' Massacre" on the Maidan in Ukraine (PDF)
Three days ago, former U.S. diplomat William R. Polk, who served President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, warned that the West was risking a similar crisis in reverse by pressing NATO forces aggressively onto Russia's borders. He has now added this postscript about the need for wise leaders.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Live, From Athens: Anti-Government Protest
Antinuclear activists ordered to remove tents from ministry premises (Japan)
The Tokyo District Court on Thursday ordered the removal of tents erected by antinuclear campaigners on the premises of the economy ministry, which oversees the country's nuclear power industry.

## Energy/resources ##
As Oil Prices Collapse, North Dakota Considers Weakening Standards on Radioactive Drilling Waste
As the collapse of oil prices threatens North Dakota's shale drilling rush, state regulators are considering a move they say could save the oil industry millions of dollars: weakening the state's laws on disposing of radioactive waste.
If in doubt, externalize! -- RF
Enerflex shuts oilsands facility and cuts jobs amid squeezed margins
Oilfield services company Enerflex Ltd. is the latest entity in the Canadian oil patch to report compressed margins and job cuts as the oil price downturn continues to reverberate across the industry.

## Got food? ##
Internet, RIP? (Ron Paul)
Uber Security Breach Affected Up To 50,000 Drivers
A security breach at car service Uber may have disclosed the names and driver's license numbers of about 50,000 drivers across multiple states, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Personal info of 2 mln Beijing citizens leaked and sold

I mean it just doesn't get much more pathetic than this. Jeb Bush has such little genuine support, he was forced to bus in supporters from ground zero of American cronyism, K Street in Washington D.C., in order to ensure phony applause at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Road rage endangers everyone (US)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission reported that the number of fatal accidents in which law enforcement officers listed "road rage" as a contributing factor has increased tenfold since 2004.

## Japan ##
Japan's small firms hold out for Abenomics trickle down
Government proposes SDF rescue of Japanese
The government on Friday proposed that the Self-Defense Forces be allowed to rescue Japanese nationals embroiled in terrorist attacks overseas if a rescue by local police authorities cannot be expected.
Abe aims to formally authorize SDF ship inspections beyond Japanese waters
The Abe administration proposed Friday expanding the geographic range of ship inspections that can be conducted by the Self-Defense Forces beyond Japan.

## China ##
China and the Dragon Tail of Marx
The dragon tail of Marx's end-game of overcapacity and finance capital is about to shred China's fantasy that the state can micro-manage both capitalism and financialization with no contradictions or consequences.
China farming boom has left ecosystems in danger of total collapse
China's push for more intense farming has kept its city dwellers well-fed and helped lift millions of rural workers out of poverty. But it has come at a cost. Ecosystems in what should be one of the country's most fertile region have already been badly damaged – some beyond repair – and the consequences will be felt across the world.
Britain's social mobility 'cold spots'
Babies born since the credit crunch could become first generation to seen their chances of climbing the ladder decline, warns mobility tsar Alan Milburn

## US ##
The Recovery, Unemployment, and Earnings Are All Based on Fraud and Accounting Gimmicks
For six years, we've been told that the US economy is in recovery. This is a totally bogus narrative that was dreamt up by the Central Planners running the Fed. Remember the "green shoots" craze of 2009. It was BS. The US economy is a disaster and has been since 2009.
Too Big to Fail (infographic)
Prison-industrial complex: US sells prisoners to the highest bidders


Thursday, February 26, 2015

 

News Links, February 27, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Their Big, Fat Greek Bank Run: Bank Deposits Plunge To 2005 Levels
Greece Warns It May Default On IMF Loan Next Week
Ex-Plunge Protection Team Whistleblower: "Governments Control Markets; There Is No Price Discovery Anymore"
Oil Price Crash: Top 5 At-Risk Countries
Canada's oil sands cash flows to decline by $23-billion over two years
Petrobras hires JPMorgan for $3 billion in asset sales - sources
Hyper-Luxury Cars Are Now Selling Faster Than Normal Ones
Welcome to a new gilded age of driving in which sales of Ferraris grow faster than Fords
Israel Seen Preparing More Shocks for Shekel After Surprise Cut
Young Spaniards moving to Germany get trapped in dismal jobs
Samsung Electronics to freeze salaries in Korea for first time since 2009
ECB's Nowotny opposes ejecting Russia from SWIFT system: report
GM's Indonesia closure highlights automakers' emerging markets woes
General Motors Co's (GM.N) decision to shutter a car factory in Indonesia comes as global automakers rethink the timing and scope of investments in emerging markets once touted as engines of growth.
Major Firms Are Saying the Stage Is Set for Another Crisis in the Bond Market

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Southwest Grounds 128 Jets Over Missed Inspections
Southwest Airlines on Tuesday announced it grounded 128 jets after it failed to inspect hydraulic systems designed to serve as a back-up in case of trouble with the aircraft's rudder system.
Southwest Airlines Maintenance Snafu Raises Safety Concerns
SAA mulls ways to cut extra kilogrammes on flights
USED blankets, magazines and left-over food are some of the items South African Airways (SAA) is considering leaving behind in return long-distance flights to make an aircraft lighter and save on fuel costs.
Malaysia's AirAsia X to cut costs, may defer plane deliveries: Acting CEO
Malaysia's AirAsia X Bhd (AIRX.KL) will cut flights on unprofitable routes, reorganize staff and defer some aircraft deliveries to turn around the loss-making long-haul budget carrier, the airline's acting chief executive said on Wednesday.
Aer Lingus blames earnings dive on pension row

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US-Israel quarrel intensifies over Netanyahu speech
Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran
As the Obama administration is rushing to complete a nuclear agreement with Iran and reduce regional tensions, the Israeli media is reporting on a deal with Saudi Arabia to let Israeli warplanes transit Saudi airspace en route to bombing Iran.
U.S. casts doubt on secret Iran nuke facility
The State Department on Thursday cast doubt on claims by an Iranian dissident group that it has discovered a secret underground Iranian nuclear facility.
Middle East Countries Wary Of Iran Sanctions Easing, Not Possible Nuclear Weapons
While the U.S. and Israel focus on the implications of Iran developing its nuclear program, some of Iran's regional adversaries are concerned about something else: the power that Iran's economy, unshackled from sanctions by a nuclear deal with the international community, would exert in the Middle East.
Central American Migrant Crisis: US Could See Another Border Surge This Year
Wary of Russia, Lithuania brings back conscription
Poland to Send Troops to Help Train Ukrainian Army
Emails From Kiev: Free Speech Vanishes, Total Media Thought Control; US Radar System Falls Into Rebel Hands?
Ukraine Enters The Endgame
Ukraine Rations Food; Interbank Rate New Record Low; Monetization of Bonds; "Devaluation Kerosene"; Electronics a Store of Value
The Real Ukraine Aggressor: IMF Burying Bankrupt Country In Debt To Fight Civil War
U.S. military vehicles paraded 300 yards from the Russian border (Estonia)
Houthi militiamen storm two military bases in Yemen
Breedlove: No substitute for permanent US military presence in Europe
China submarines outnumber U.S. fleet: U.S. admiral
China is building some "fairly amazing submarines" and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top U.S. Navy admiral told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior.
Cyprus Signs Military Deal to Let Russian Navy Ships Dock
India to purchase Japanese military aircraft
Myanmar conflict: Chinese mercenaries said to be fighting with rebels

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thai bill to restrict protests sails through first reading
Greek protesters clash with police in first backlash against Syriza

## Energy/resources ##
Top Oil Drillers Face Years Of Pain, Get A Grip On Cost
The world's biggest offshore drillers reported plunging earnings and orders on Thursday but managed to get a grip on costs to improve their chances of riding out a sectoral crisis that could last several more years.
EU chiefs launch biggest energy shake-up in half century
Maersk Positions Self for 'New Oil Reality' as Profit Fall
Denmark-based Maersk Drilling is positioning itself for a "new oil reality" of reduced tendering activity for offshore rigs and lower dayrates across all rig market segments by introducing cost-cutting and efficiency enhancement programs to boost its competitiveness in the current market.
Could Iranian Gas Be The Solution For Europe?
Junk: With Downgrade, No One Excited About Petrobras' Oil Finds Anymore
Nigeria's Future Depends On Electricity
OPEC Considers Emergency Meeting On Oil Prices
Russia Is Not Bluffing With Turkish Stream Project
European oil majors cut capex, eye output growth
Repsol cuts exploration Capex despite profit boost
Exxon Says Spending To Fall 11% This Year To $34B
Exxon Mobil Corp said spending will decline about 11 percent this year to around $34 billion due to plunging oil prices, according to a regulatory filing this week.
Whiting to cut Bakken rig deployments
S.Korea's nuclear watchdog approves restart of second-oldest reactor
Is the US Overplaying Its Energy Hand?

## Got food? ##
US Addiction to Corn and Cars Is Fueling Global Hunger and Displacement
Study links common food additives to Crohn's disease, colitis
Common additives in ice cream, margarine, packaged bread and many processed foods may promote the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease as well as a group of obesity-related conditions, scientists said on Wednesday.
Three-quarters of supermarket chickens carry food poisoning bug (UK)

## Environment/health ##
Smoking 'worse than previously thought': two thirds expected to die early (Australia)
Global warming: Australian deserts to expand as tropical circulation changes
Resistance: The Movie That Will Make You Care About Antibiotic Misuse
Dangerous infections now spreading outside hospitals
Resistant strain of swine flu feared; virus killing thousands
Overfishing driving slavery on Thailand's seafood boats
A report released Wednesday by the British nonprofit Environmental Justice Foundation says Thai fishing boats are now catching about 85 percent less than what they brought in 50 years ago, making it one of the most overfished regions on the planet.
Great Barrier Reef corals eat plastic
"If microplastic pollution increases on the Great Barrier Reef, corals could be negatively affected as their tiny stomach-cavities become full of indigestible plastic."
Want muscles? Rice is the new meat
Alberta tar sands pollution suspected in rare cancer cases
Medical tourism: Asia leads industry worth billions
Climate Change And Economy: Food Waste Costs Global Consumers $400B A Year While Boosting CO2 Emissions, Study Finds
Agricultural insecticides pose a global risk to surface water bodies

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Anthem Hack: Millions of Non-Anthem Customers Could Be Victims
Health insurer Anthem said Tuesday that the recent major cyberattack on its systems may have affected 8.8 million to 18.8 million non-Anthem customers -- people who are or were insured by other Blue Cross Blue Shield providers.
Spy Cables: Greenpeace among intelligence targets
Numerous politicised spy requests sent to Pretoria, seeking information on 'rogue NGOs', politicians and exile groups.
Al Jazeera Journalists Arrested in Connection With Drones Over Paris
Google network learns to play Space Invaders in breakthrough for artificial intelligence
Canadian Spies Collect Domestic Emails in Secret Security Sweep
Chinese spies responsible for break-ins at African nuclear site: leaked documents
Secret Service Is Testing Fleet Of Drones To Protect The White House
Official Reports on the Damage Caused by Edward Snowden's Leaks Are Totally Redacted

## Propaganda ##
Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?
Top 10 Bogus ISIS Stories
Americans Catching a New War Fever
The U.S. media/political elites are again riling up the American people about threats abroad, whether it's the hysterical reporting about Russia or the sensationalistic coverage of Islamic State atrocities. The results are showing with more Americans favoring more war.
Planting False Evidence on Iran
Prior to the U.S. intelligence community's 2007 assessment that Iran was not working on a nuclear weapons program, there was a scramble among U.S. and Israeli officials to show that it was. The CIA's Operation Merlin also revealed that U.S. officials were not above planting false evidence.
Long March of the Yellow Jackets: How a One-Time Terrorist Group Prevailed on Capitol Hill

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: The Externality Trap, or, How Progress Commits Suicide
Buzz Aldrin Urges U.S. to Establish Colony on Mars
Aldrin is still living in the past, when energy was cheap. Ain't gonna be no Mars colony. -- RF
Why It's So Difficult to Repair Stuff: It's Made That Way
Overshoot: Population: Four Out of Five Scientists Agree...
Enlisted leaders tell Congress budget uncertainties hurt morale
Role of Wages of the Common Worker in Oil Prices, Collapse
U.S. Healthcare and the Tragedy of the Commons
When the system is set up to encourage maximizing self-interest, accountability for the whole is lost.

## Japan ##
Weak spending to show Japan consumers unconvinced by Bank of Japan's stimulus
Fisheries 'shocked' at silence over water leak at wrecked Fukushima No. 1 plant
Revamping security policy: Japan eyes support to foreign forces without Diet's OK
Shipments of PCs fall 51.3%
Trio of approvals in Fukushima seals deal for radioactive soil dump

## China ##
China's population tops 1.36 billion
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 7.1 million people were added to the national population in the past year. The data takes into account the total number born, 16.87 million, and offsets it with the dead, 9.77 million.
China drops leading technology brands for state purchases
Housing Crash in China Steeper than in Pre-Lehman America
Microsoft to close 2 China factories, cutting 9,000 jobs

## UK ##
Almost 700,000 people in UK have zero-hours contract as main job
Japan's former Prime Minister will warn Wales to learn from Fukushima disaster and stay nuclear-free
UK oil production revenues fall by £24b in 2014
EU regulations on genetically modified crops prevent Britain's agricultural progress, say MPs
Scottish plans for central identity database spark privacy criticism
British lakes see huge rise in toxic algae linked to Alzheimer's
Britain's lakes have seen a huge increase in toxic algae which is linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, scientists have warned.

## US ##
Slap by Florida cop highlights need for homeless rights, say advocates
Depression taking a bigger economic toll on US
Only one-quarter of Americans plan to retire
FedEx And UPS Refuse to Ship a Digital Mill That Can Make Untraceable Guns
Wage Theft Runs Rampant In New York: Report
Forced Blood Draws, DNA Collection and Biometric Scans: What Country Is This?
This Is Why Hewlett-Packard Is Firing 58,000——To Fund Massive Share Buybacks
Oil Bust Empties Out Private-Jet Parking Lot in Texas
Citigroup unit probed by more authorities over money laundering
U.S. refinery strike continues with no steps toward settlement
Baddest Bug: C. Diff Hits Half a Million Americans
Obstruction of Justice – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Begins Purge of State Employee Emails
Hillary Clinton Exposed Part 2 – Clinton Foundation Took Millions From Countries That Also Fund ISIS
Capital Goods Shipments Tumble, 6th Miss In A Row
What Happens If The Department Of Homeland Security Shuts Down
Stock-market crash of 2016: The countdown begins

And finally...
Owner of revenge porn site asks Google to remove links to his own photos


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

 

News Links, February 25, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Global Cooling Alert: Brazil Headed For Worst Economy Since 1930-1931
Burlap, cattle hides and other modern omens of a shrinking global economy
Freight shipping prices sink on oversupply, China slowdown
Record Low Baltic Dry Casualties Emerge: Third Dry-Bulk Shipper Files For Bankruptcy In Past 3 Weeks
Debt Gone Wild! 23 Countries Have Leverage Ratios Above 200 Percent (Debt Growth Escalates At Low Central Bank Rates)
"The Golden Age Of Asking Exorbitant Prices Is Over"
Grexit Drama Greenlighted for a 5th Season--New Characters, New Plot Twists
This is a scream. Brilliantly written, and captures the situation beautifully. -- RF
This Is The Biggest Problem Facing The World Today: 9 Countries Have Debt-To-GDP Over 300%
Making Me Pay For My Crimes Would Send "Message of Uncertainty to the Markets": Bank President to Spanish Judge
France to sell 6,500 government cars in bid to save €150m
Federal Reserve Insider Alan Greenspan Warns: There Will Be a "Significant Market Event… Something Big Is Going To Happen"
Nobel economist Shiller sees Japan-like slow growth everywhere
Azerbaijan devalues currency by a third over falling oil price
Widespread trouble spots as demand growth shrinks for raw goods
Oil slump threatens easy life of affluent Norwegians
Banks face scrutiny over pricing of precious metals: WSJ
France ponders changing school holidays to 'save ski industry'
JPMorgan to close 5 percent of bank branches to cut costs
JPMorgan tops list of risky banks: government study
Iran smuggles in $1 billion of bank notes to skirt sanctions - sources
One in three Germans say capitalism to blame for poverty, hunger
Alberta to bleed 31,800 jobs by end of year in oil price carnage
Alberta, the Canadian province holding the world's third-largest oil reserves, expects 31,800 jobs to be lost for the remainder of the year as a crude price crash forces producers to cut costs.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Southwest Airlines also curbing rewards
Southwest Airlines is the latest airline to reduce the value of loyalty rewards.
Air India set to miss revenue target for February
Thai Airways International losses: No dividend again from ailing flag-carrier
The board of directors of Thai Airways International decided on Monday not to pay a dividend to shareholders for a second year running. In a statement released on Tuesday, the airline said dividends will not be paid for 2014. Results have yet to be released, but the carrier is expected to announce net losses for a second consecutive year. An announcement is due on Friday.
New flight paths cause turbulence for Phoenix neighborhoods
Gate to hell: Airport horror as passengers go wild
Angry at Delay, Shenzhen Passenger Threatens to Blow Up Airplane
Flight Attendants Don't Get Paid Enough For This
Delta cuts back flights at Georgia Regional Airport
Airlines lose on airport prosperity
Aer Lingus falls to full-year loss as costs rise
Japan's third biggest airline is bankrupt, but it's getting a lifeline from other carriers
U.S. Airlines Clash Over Rivals From Persian Gulf

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran ends mission defending western border against Islamic State
France Deploys Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier In Persian Gulf To Fight ISIS
New Zealand to send troops to Iraq to train local forces
Special Report: How Iran's military chiefs operate in Iraq
ISIS Burns 8000 Rare Books and Manuscripts in Mosul

Kalashnikov Targeting Middle East Market
Russia offers to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Iran
Saudis Detail Eastern Fleet for US
The long-sought-after deal to upgrade and replace Saudi Arabia's Eastern Fleet has taken a major step forward, sources said, with the January delivery of a letter of request (LoR) to the US detailing Saudi wishes.
Ukraine War: A Reverse Cuban Missile Crisis
Guided by an aggressive neocon "regime change" strategy, the United States has stumbled into a potential military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, a dangerous predicament that could become a Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
'Don't Touch the Fruits': HK Vendor Tells Off Mainland Shoppers
Shell pulls plug on long-delayed Alberta oil sands mine
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has scrapped plans for a long-delayed oil sands mine, becoming the latest company to pull the plug on a major Alberta expansion as crude prices hover near multiyear lows.
US Shale Oil's Crash Diet Likely To Bring Forward Output Dip
Shale oil producers are throttling back so quickly on drilling that U.S. crude output could fall sooner than expected, within months, executives say as they slash costs to cope with tumbling crude prices and compete with Persian Gulf rivals.
Nuclear renaissance: Areva May Get Cash, Tie-Ups With EDF Amid $5.6 Billion Loss
The French government is considering a capital injection for Areva SA as well as financial and industrial tie ups with Electricite de France SA and nuclear researcher CEA after the reactor builder reported a loss of about 4.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) for 2014.
French Nuclear Industry Faces Shake-Up Amid Areva Loss
SoCal Edison: Need More Storage Space For Nuclear Fuel
The agency said the San Onofre facility, which has been offline for three years, will reach its capacity for storing used fuel soon.
Energy Markets: Significant Volatility and Deleveraging May Lie Ahead
Energy companies slash $50 billion from their 2015 budgets
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Hybrid Battery Thefts On The Rise In New York
Cable thieves leave hundreds in dark

## Got food? ##
Rent walkouts point to strains in U.S. farm economy
Across the U.S. Midwest, the plunge in grain prices to near four-year lows is pitting landowners determined to sustain rental incomes against farmer tenants worried about making rent payments because their revenues are squeezed.
US Offering Its 'Assistance' to Push GMOs on Africa: Report
U.S. is 'assisting African nations to produce biosafety laws that promote agribusiness interests instead of protecting Africans'

## Environment/health ##
Hospital Infections: Pathogens, Diseases Long Shared On Unclean Scopes And Other Medical Instruments
"Filthy, dangerous medical implements have been showing up in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers with alarming regularity."

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
'The Spy Cables': Al-Jazeera Teases Massive Global Intelligence Leak
Al-Jazeera is reporting that it has come into the possession of "hundreds of secret intelligence documents from the world's spy agencies" which, in partnership with The Guardian newspaper, will be detailed in a series of in-depth exposés beginning on Monday.
Big Barbie is Watching You – Meet the WiFi Connected Barbie Doll that Talks to Your Children and Records Them
Leaked cables show Netanyahu's Iran bomb claim contradicted by Mossad
Gulf between Israeli secret service and PM revealed in documents shared with the Guardian along with other secrets including CIA bids to contact Hamas
Yahoo executive and NSA chief clash over online data privacy
A Yahoo executive clashed with the new head of the National Security Agency at a conference on Monday as tensions continued to simmer between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over the privacy of online data and new security technologies.

## Propaganda ##
The State Department's 'Twilight Zone'
The gap between reality and what the U.S. government says is reality has widened into a chasm with the mainstream U.S. news media usually nodding at whatever absurdity is presented, but the AP's Matthew Lee is one of the few reporters who challenges the State Department's "Twilight Zone."
U.S. and Israel Busted Lying About Iran's Nuclear Program
The making of Hillary 5.0: Marketing wizards help re-imagine Clinton brand

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Starting from scratch: How to reboot society after an apocalypse
When Life Gives You Yemens

## Japan ##
Heir to Japanese throne appeals for 'correct' Second World War history
The heir to Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne has called on the nation to relay "correctly" the misery of World War II to future generations, a comment that is being seen as a rebuke to the present nationalistic government.

Everyone's talking about "peak steel". Zhang Guangning, chairman of the China Iron & Steel Association, (CISA) started it, when he told the Association's annual conference in January that "China's steel sector has already entered a period of peaking and flattening out."
Green cars still far from taking off in China

## UK ##
Separate collections needed to solve London's food waste crisis
The three leading subprime categories are auto loans, credit cards, and student debt. $189 billion in subprime loans made in 2014.
If investment broker Peter Schiff was president, no one would go hungry and the "mentally retarded" would work all of society's worst jobs for $2 an hour. The multi-millionaire made the assertion in an interview with Samantha Bee from Jon Stewart's "Daily Show," during which he also argued that raising the minimum wage will have catastrophic consequences and that federal assistance programs are destroying the U.S. economy.



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