Thursday, February 04, 2016


News Links, February 5, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Chart Of The Day: The Global Pot Of Positive Yielding Fixed Income Securities Has Shrunk By 13%
Hedge Funds, Wall Street not Happy with the New Spain
Ship owners are limiting their investment plans for adding new vessels on global economy's woes
World's Biggest Containership "Hard Aground" As Baltic Dry Crashes Below 300 For First Time Ever
The Great Skyscraper Bubble Is Ready to Pop!
GOLD – It's Time to Pay Attention
January Was Gold's Strongest Month in a Year!
New Indian rule backfires, boosts unofficial gold trade
Try as it might, the Indian government appears to be unable to curb the country's love for gold. Its latest attempt - a rule forcing buyers of high-value jewellery to disclose their tax code - has boosted unofficial trading in the world's second-biggest gold consumer, industry experts say, rather than promote transparency and dent demand.
Oil Industry's Plan to Keep Investors Happy: Borrow More Money
Bank Bear Market Gets Worse as Goldman, Citi Sell Off Again
Vancouver Real Estate Goes Full-Retard; Average Home Price Now $1.8 Million
Is WalMart In Terminal Decline? This Chart Is One More Reason To Think So
Global oil demand growth is slowing going into 2016
Plastics Industry Latest Victim Of Low Oil Prices
Disgraced ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn joins Ukraine bank
The War On Savers And The 200 Rulers Of World Finance
Facebook turns 12 — trillions in time wasted
Damn the Side Effects, More Stimulus Coming
TPP: Japan, US politics could push ratification back to 2017
Yahoo Is For Sale, Maybe For Nothing?!?!

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Yahoo to cut 1,700 workers as CEO tries to save her own job
Lloyds Banking Group to cut 1,755 jobs and close 29 branches
Ford cuts jobs to sustain European profits as GM lags
Weatherford Cutting 6,000 More Jobs as Oil Downturn Worsens
The latest round of cuts brings to 20,000 the number of people who have been or will be let go by the world's fourth-largest oilfield services supplier as oil prices tumbled by more than two thirds.
Credit Suisse announces 4,000 job cuts amid big Q4 loss
Statoil cuts spending to prepare for rebound
Shell shares up as it confirms 10,000 job cuts and falling profits
Mass Layoffs To Return With A Vengeance (US)
January Job Cuts Rise 200% (US)

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Germany Unveils "Cash Controls" Push: Ban Transactions Over €5,000, €500 Euro Note
Is the U.S. Heading Towards a Cashless Economy?
Negative Interest Rates Means Taxing Fiat Money
The Continuing war on Cash
The Dethroning Of Cash: Discouraged, Penalized, Even Banned?
100 Million users to go cashless with India's latest payment solution, 'The MobileWallet'
Money Has Only One Place to Hide for This Swedish Online Broker

## Airline death spiral ##
10 Ways You Can End up on China's Latest Air-Travel Blacklist
Delta Airlines apologizes for flight attendants' "altercation" that led to unscheduled landing
Top Airlines Offer To Re-Assign Crew From Zika-Hit Routes
'Wheelchair-bound suicide bomber' responsible for attack on Somali airline
JAL, ANA to reroute flights during North Korea rocket launch window
Saudia airlines says bomb threat on Madrid-Riyadh flight is a hoax
American Airlines Says Premium Seats Will Be the Next Frontier in Ancillary Fees
Airlines Could Fall 30% In A Recession

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Afghanistan is on the brink after US invests $100 billion
U.S. says open to patrols with Philippines in waters disputed with China
U.N. halts Syria talks as government closes in on Aleppo
Nato cannot stop Russian tanks in the Baltics, wargames predict
Take Note, Turkey: Russia's New Su-35S Arrives in Syria
Russian Sukhoi T-50 Stealth Jet Fighter To Carry Cruise Missiles When Launched In Late 2016
U.S. Navy requests 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles in budget
Ship hijackings down in 2015, piracy mostly low-level theft
A global maritime watchdog said Tuesday that ship hijackings declined in 2015 from a year earlier, while sea piracy incidents increased slightly but consisted mostly of low-level theft.
F-35 deficiencies raise Pentagon concerns
London Donors Conference For Syria: Billions In Aid Pledged Following Suspension Of Geneva Peace Talks

## UAVs ##
Israeli, South Korean firms forming JV for UAV production
US Predator Drone Crashes in Turkey
Ukraine Launches First Military UAV To Combat Insurgents
Naming the Dead: Only 10 of Scores Killed by US Drones in Pakistan Last Year Have Been Identified

## Migrants/refugees ##
Denmark extends border control on border with Germany
US Senators Scrutinize Canadian Plans To Settle Syrian Refugees
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's plan to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February has raised questions for the US Senate Homeland Security Committee, with some senators worried that the plan may pose a threat to national security.
Town Hall Meeting Erupts After German Mayor Says Schoolgirls Should "Not Provoke" Refugees
U.S. rejects 30 Syrian refugees amid tightened security
UN says one-third of refugees sailing to Europe are children
Macedonia restores rail traffic for migrants stranded at border

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Pitchfork Time? "Elites Have Lost Their Healthy Fear Of The Masses"
"They Rape, Kill, Destroy": Montanans Stage "Security Rally" To "Head Off" Refugee "Invasion"
Kazakhstan: Economic Woes Prompting Pot-Bangers to Target Banks
Thousands of anti-TPP protesters a recipe for chaos in Auckland today
Greek riot police clash with protesters, fire tear gas over pension reforms

## Energy/resources ##
Asteroid Mining News: Luxembourg, Google Co-founder Larry Page Eye Platinum, Metals, Water In Space
Oil Majors Prepared To Borrow To Maintain Dividend Payments
Exxon Faces First Downgrade Since Depression as Oil Rout Worsens
Oil's recent rally has lost steam—and that's not the only bad news today for US oil companies
South Africa's Eskom expects no power cuts until at least August
Belgium's ageing nuclear plants worry neighbours
Scientists in Germany switch on nuclear fusion experiment
How Close To A Viable Energy Storage Solution Are We?
Oil vs. Electricity: Argentina's Impossible Energy Emergency
The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan With 'Limited Progress'
Kashagan Oil Field: The World's Most Toxic Money Pit
"The Worst Case Scenario Is Already A Reality": Minnesota's Mining Country Is "Melting"
Four Days After Predicting Oil Will Double, T. Boone Pickens Sells All Oil Holdings

## Got food? ##
China seeks food security with $43 billion bid for Syngenta
Argentina Infested With Swarms of Locusts
Venezuela at Risk of Food Shortage, Food Company Polar Seeks Foreign Aid
Have Student Loans Created a New Generation of Payday Loan Addicts?
French law forbids food waste by supermarkets

## Environment/health ##
Pharma Bro Emails Reveal Just How Greedy Drug Companies Can Be
Not Science Fiction: Biotech Industry Pushing 'GM 2.0' Across Europe
Zika virus forces Red Cross to change blood donation policy
Florida governor declares Zika emergency
Zika outbreak 'could infect hundreds of thousands of people in Spain'
Zika virus sees blood ban on donors returning to UK from Latin America
Zika Outbreak Update: WHO Voices Concern Over Sexually Transmitted Case In Texas, Urges Americas To Spend More Against Virus
On Brazil's Zika front lines, cases of microcephaly are actually dropping
Colombia confirms first three deaths of patients infected with Zika virus
Nature notes: Trackers reveal that honeybees forecast the weather to plan their work day
85% camels carry MERS: Study
WHO: More Than 48 Ebola Contacts Missing in Sierra Leone
A "Probable Carcinogen," Monsanto's Glyphosate Most Heavily Used Weed-Killer Ever
Cattle Deaths Spark Renewed Oil Drilling Controversy
Care at Native American Health Facilities Called 'Horrifying and Unacceptable' in Senate Hearing
Taser's effect on cognition may undermine police questioning

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
New Privacy Deal May Not Actually Stop U.S. Snooping
'This is a Joke': Snowden, Others Slam New EU-US Data Sharing Deal
Iraq to build wall and trench around Baghdad
Back to the medieval walled city! Here's another way in which the quest for security is going to bankrupt whole nations. -- RF
The real cost of a bomb threat at your kid's school
Though it seems there is nothing to lose by evacuating a school and being safe, there are significant costs associated with the growing number of school closures. In fact, the price tag can be staggering.
Feds Helped Hide Investigation into Big Bank's Money Laundering for Drug Cartels
IRS experiencing computer failure in tax system
Computer failures hit several U.S. Internal Revenue Service systems Wednesday in the midst of tax season, leaving the agency unable to accept some taxpayer returns.
IRS Outage Due To Cyberattack, Congressman Claims, As Taxpayers Await Refunds
No Indication of Hacking Seen as IRS E-File Fail Continues
Clinton Emails Held Indirect References to Undercover CIA Officers
Another Day, Another Hack: 20 Million—MILLION—Accounts on Taobao, China's Amazon
Maryland Attorney General: If You Don't Want To Be Tracked, Turn Off Your Phone
The state attorney general of Maryland is taking an alarmingly aggressive stance on the use of controversial cell phone trackers known as cell site simulators, or StingRays, arguing in court that a suspect volunteered to be tracked simply by leaving his phone on.
That's like arguing that you're volunteering to be followed just by leaving your home. -- RF
Russia Blocks Another Archive Site Because It Might Contain Old Pages About Drugs
Feds fight disclosure of Hillary Clinton Whitewater indictment drafts

## Propaganda ##
Seeking More Cold War with Cuba
Top German Journalist Admits Live On Air National News Agenda Set By Government

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Opaque Process of Collapse
The ultimate cost of protecting the privileges of the few at the expense of the many is the dissolution of the social order that enabled the rule of the privileged few.
When It Comes to Public Schooling, US Gets a Failing Grade
Honda recalls 1.7M new and used vehicles for Takata air bags
Honda adds 2.2 million vehicles to Takata air bag recall
Honda Recalls 341,000 Accords In US Over Restraint System
Continental says five million vehicles worldwide may have faulty air bags
Drug shortages force rationing of treatments (US)

## Japan ##
Japan says it will shoot down North Korean rocket if it threatens its territory
How Japan sees China's island-building 'problem'
Panic In Peter Pan's House - Japanese Stocks, USDJPY Crash Despite Kuroda Jawboning
Despite Debt Crisis Talk, Now People Pay to Lend Money to Japan
Japan's two biggest oil refiners warn of second year of losses
Toshiba sees bigger loss as restructuring costs mount
Bank of Japan's Kuroda says 'ample room' to stimulate inflation
More Toyota plants to go offline due to parts shortage
Japan's power producers scour forests in search of wood to burn
This is crazy. Unless this business is bridled, Japan will turn into a country of bald mountains. -- RF
Government OKs multiple-site storage of radioactive waste
Sharp surges on reports of likely deal with Foxconn parent company
Abe makes clear his desire to amend pacifist Article 9
55 schools still unusable in 3/11 disaster-hit prefectures

## China ##
China expresses 'serious concerns' over planned N.Korea rocket launch
Pressure on Yuan Continues: China Blames "Selectively Blind, Jealous People" for Selloff
Kyle Bass: China banks months away from 'danger territory'
Apple's Slumping iPad Sales Forces Closure of Chinese Factory
China Has $23 Billion in Debt That Could Be Cut to Junk
Man who made billions on housing crisis is betting against China's yuan
Foreigners Banned from Tibet in March
Chinese journalist tells wife he's 'voluntarily' back in China, 22 days after mysterious disappearance from Thailand

## UK ##
Britain is at centre of global mercenary industry, says charity
UK energy crisis deepens as SSE plans early plant closure
NHS stops people who have visited areas hit by Zika virus giving blood
Lloyds Banking Group warns staff that 1,755 face the axe
EasyFoodstore forced to close after it runs out of stock
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou's latest venture, a discount store in London offering all items for 25p each, shuts its doors after less than two days
Working makes British people unhappy, new study finds
David Cameron pledges extra £1.2 billion for Syrian refugees as leaders gather for talks
Loss of wild flowers matches pollinator decline
Emergency brake hits just a fraction of migrants - but EU leaders will offer nothing more
Trident: Overstretched nuclear police force is a threat to security, warns report

## US ##
Total U.S. debt breaks $19 trillion mark
Total debt rises by $8.4 trillion in last 8 years and is on pace to hit $22 trillion by 2020.
Welcome to the Recovery – 1 Out of 7 Americans (45.5 Million) Remain on Food Stamps
Recession has Arrived; Factory Orders Decline 2.9%, Inventories Rise
US productivity falls sharply in fourth quarter
The Transportation Recession Spreads
Why We Won't Have a "Lehman Moment" in the 2016 Crash
Chicago on Brink of Bond Market Shutoff: Tax-Exempt Yield Hits Stunning 8.50%
Read What the Professor Who Helped Expose the Flint Water Scandal Said About Science and Academia in 2016
Fearing lean times, U.S. companies tighten purse strings
Blockbuster 60 Minutes Investigation Exposes the Details of Criminal Money Laundering Via Real Estate
Restaurant Industry Suddenly Tanks, Worst Plunge since the Beginning of the Financial Crisis
Two-Thirds Of People On Welfare Are Working Or Have A Family Member Who's Working
Pay This Fee, Or Go To Jail: How License Plate Scanner Vigilant Solutions Makes Money In Texas
Memo To Washington: Stop Massively Subsidizing Europe's Defense—-We're Broke, Too
Secretary of Defense Announces How He'll Waste $582 Billion
Lofty bond yields show Chicago school struggles
Police across America are forcing high school students to take breathalyzers
This is Where San Francisco Has Hid a Bunch of the Homeless During Super Bowl 50
Non-Manufacturing ISM Cracks Appear: 8 of 18 Industries in Contraction
Like Lemmings Over a Cliff: Fed to Test Negative Interest Rates
Getting redder: More state economies may be contracting
Professor Who Exposed Flint Crisis Says Greed Has Killed Public Science
If Services Stumble Too There Truly Is Nothing Left
Obama to propose $10-per-barrel fee on oil
Michigan emails show officials knew of Flint water disease risk

## The candidates ##
Clinton, Rubio, Cruz Receive Foreign Policy Advice From Same Consulting Firm
Rick Santorum suspends presidential campaign
Marco Rubio Wants You to Wait 6 Hours to Vote
When asked about six-hour lines to vote in Florida, Rubio bizarrely responded, "That is only on Election Day."
Goldman Sachs Chief Threatened by 'Dangerous' Criticism from Sanders
Election 2016: Elizabeth Warren Defends Bernie Sanders From Goldman Sachs Criticism
Saddest moment of the US election campaign? Jeb Bush begs audience to 'clap'
Former Head of the NAACP to Endorse Bernie Sanders
'Jesus' reads real quotes from Republican candidates and it's jarring
Amid Money Woes, Ben Carson Cuts Campaign Staff
Hillary Clinton's 'Progressive' Persona
Desperate to blunt Bernie Sanders's surge of support especially among young Democrats, Hillary Clinton is pitching herself as a "progressive," but many of her policies were anything but – from supporting military coups to favoring corporate interests.
"Millennials Rising" Super PAC Is 95% Funded by Old Men
Eric Holder Makes Ads for Hillary Clinton While Making Deals for Corporate Clients

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


News Links, February 3, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Egypt's NBE bank sold $2.5 bln in 3 months to cover imports -chairman
Oil price crash: Saudis told to embrace austerity as debt defaults loom
Kingdom faces a future of higher taxes and low fuel subsidies amid fears the world's weakest oil producers will soon begin to buckle
Asia's factories parched for demand, need stimulus
The Cannibalized Company
As stock buybacks reach historic levels, signs that corporate America is undermining itself
Global Bond Yields Extend Collapse As German, Japanese Hit New Record Lows
World 'crazy' to give central bankers power: Faber
Astonishing: Russian Gold Demand Increases Despite Serious Economic Troubles
Another Real Estate Market Bites the Dust – Hong Kong Prices Plunge, Transactions Hit 25-Year Low
Schengen: Europe's Free-Travel Zone Faces Possible Demise, With Heavy Cost To European Businesses
Global Liquidity Continues to Contract
The End of Globalization, Part 3

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Yahoo to cut 15 percent jobs, close several units: WSJ
Centrica's British Gas to cut 500 jobs to rein in costs
Britain's largest energy supplier, British Gas, said on Tuesday it would cut around 500 jobs, the first as part of a plan by parent company Centrica to shed 6,000.
BP to Cut 7,000 Jobs in 2016/2017 after Worst Results for Two Decades

## War on cash/cashless society ##
So It Begins: Bloomberg Op-Ed Calls For An End Of Cash
Electronic money providers double over past two years

## Airline death spiral ##
Airlines restore tiny perks, like pretzels, to pacify fliers
Why You're Still Paying Fuel Surcharges After the Oil Crash
Six-hour flight delay leads to passengers assaulting airline staff, security personnel
Security personnel and commercial staff of SpiceJet were manhandled by some unruly passengers on Monday following a six-hour delay in the departure of Mumbai-bound flight of the airline.
Alaska Village Officer Uses Duct Tape to Restrain Man on Flight to Asia
FBI: Unruly passenger had four drinks, assaulted flight crew members
Chinese airlines to blacklist unruly passengers
Delta pilot grounds flight after crew fights with 'flying fists'
Yet another example of crew-member air rage. Flying was supposed to be one of the greatest experiences ever — a dream of humanity for thousands of years, but instead it's driving people nuts. -- RF
Passenger On Chinese Flight Attempts To Open Cabin Door, Then Attempts To Commit Suicide
Plane with gaping hole makes emergency landing in Somalia
Plan to spin off air traffic control generates turbulence

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Ban doubles down on Israel comments in NY Times
Academic boycott of Israel takes off in Italy
Russia Releases Video Of Turkey Shelling "Syrian Civilian Settlements", Demands "Immediate Explanation"
DOD requesting 3,000-5,000 more troops for Europe in FY17 budget
Is France at War? Its Forces Certainly Are, Top Defense Official Says
Chinese Military Aircraft Breach Korean And Japanese Air Defense Zones Near To Disputed Ieodo Island
2017 Defense Budget: Will The Next War Be In Europe? $3.4B Request Highlights Russian Threat
Pentagon Running Low on Smart Bombs for ISIS Campaign
Death toll up to 70 from Islamic State Damascus attack - monitor
Iraqis running out of food and medicine in besieged Falluja
Sydney Schools Lockdown: Police Operations Underway As Precaution Following 'Numerous Threats'
In today's world you don't even need a bomb to be unbelievably disruptive. The only "weapons" that perpetrators need are telephones or email. Unfortunately we'll have to expect more of this as people with destructive agendas try to disrupt societies. -- RF
Feeding the Military-Industrial Complex
Because he had commanded Allied forces in World War II, President Eisenhower understood the excesses of the war industry and warned Americans about the dangers of the military-industrial complex, a force that continues to siphon off tens of billions of tax dollars.
Boko Haram burns kids alive in Nigeria, 86 dead

## UAVs ##

## Migrants/refugees ##
Amid ISIS Concerns, 20,000 Syrian Refugees Trapped On Jordanian Border
Aegean Sea refugee crossings rise 35 fold year-on-year in January - watchdog
Teenage Girl Admits to Fabricating Migrant Rape Claim That Outraged Germany
In Latest Shock Video, Migrants Maul Elderly Germans In Munich Metro
Austria To Pay Migrants €500 To Go Back Where They Came From

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Mob calls for assaults on foreigners in Sweden; clashes at UK migrant protests
Israeli troops shoot and kill Palestinian attacker in West Bank: army

## Energy/resources ##
Shale: U.S Drillers Post Billions In Losses As Hedges Roll Off
More Oil and Gas Bankruptcies Are Assured
In 2015, 42 oil companies filed for bankruptcy. This year will likely be even worse. In December of 2015, 11 percent of E&P companies defaulted on debts coming due versus just 0.5 percent in the same period a year earlier.
North Dakota rig count ties recent low
Exxon Slashes Drilling Budget to 10-Year Low Amid Oil Slump
These Oilfield Service Giants Are Feeling The Squeeze
LukOil Back In Iran As Russia's Output Faces Decline
Saudi Arabia struggles to cope with cheap oil
The global rout of oil prices is taking its toll on the kingdom's bottom line. The country has been forced to cut government spending in its upcoming budget and increase production of crude oil—even though its hardly worth pulling it out of the ground.
Federal coal sales moratorium shakes industry stronghold
This Could Be A Big Setback For Iran's Oil Export Plans
Kabul in blackout as government struggles to fix power lines
Brazil's electricity consumption falls 2.1 pct in 2015
Another Nail In The Nuclear Coffin
Once Unstoppable, Tar Sands Now Battered from All Sides
Oil Majors Report Bleak Earnings As Glut Persists
BP reports biggest ever annual loss
Banks On The Hook For Bad Energy Loans
Russia says open to oil cooperation with other producers
Australian thermal coal exports to China fell nearly 30% last year

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cape Town lost R9m to electric cable theft and vandalism in just 6 months

## Got food? ##
Chipotle Served With Fresh Criminal Subpoena For Serving e.Coli Burritos
A Million People Are About to Lose Food Stamps Because of Kasich-Clinton Welfare Reform

## Lifestyle solutions ##
If having more no longer satisfies us, perhaps we've reached 'peak stuff'

## Environment/health ##
Zika Virus Declared An International Emergency By World Health Organization
Brazil says Zika virus outbreak worse than believed
Brazil Grants Forced Entry Into Private Properties To Hunt Zika Virus
First U.S. Zika virus transmission reported, sexual transmission cited
Review finds more than 500 problems in plant meant to treat Hanford nuclear waste

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
If You Go Near the Super Bowl, You Will Be Surveilled Hard
The hardware includes an array of cell phone surveillance devices, video cameras, automated license plate readers, and most recently, social media monitoring software.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
I propose that the Global Recession of 2016 will trace the Seneca Cliff as described by Ugo Bardi.
Los Angeles Police Urge Residents 'To Protect Themselves' As Violent Crime Skyrockets

## Japan ##
£300 million cut to Scotland's schools after SNP targets councils
Scotland's schools have made £300 million of cuts over the past five years thanks to the SNP's squeeze on council budgets, according to a report warning that local authorities are facing a large black hole in their finances.
Growing cost of grid, green fees blocks UK power price cut
British households will not benefit from a fall in market electricity prices because their suppliers are facing rising costs elsewhere, such as green energy subsidies, which they say cancel out any wholesale price falls.

## US ##
The economy: Stupor Bowl 2016
Now Come The "Poppy Loans"……..100% LTV Up To $2 Million In SF Bay Area
American Students Know Almost Nothing About Their College Loans
Marines, Army: Time for women to sign up for draft

## The candidates ##
Donald Trump Promises to Build New White House Ballroom
George Soros pumps $6 million into Clinton super PAC.
A Detailed Look at The New York Times' Embarrassing, Deceitful and Illogical Endorsement of Hillary Clinton
The Times Endorses Hillary Clinton with a Banner Ad from Citigroup
Hillary Clinton's Hawkish Record
Hillary Clinton Flip Flopped On TPP Before, So Big Business Lobbyists Are Confident She'll Really Flip Back After Election
Bought & Paid For – 1/3 of All SuperPAC Donations Have Come from Wall Street
One quarter of federal workers might quit if Trump wins

And finally...
Misprinted summonses send potential jurors to phone sex line
Saudi customs agency tweets photos of creative alcohol smuggling attempts
What a 5 megabyte hard drive looked like in 1956
Raccoon boards Toronto subway during morning rush

Sunday, January 31, 2016


News Links, February 1, 2016

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Death Throes Of The Bull
The Shipping News Says the World Economy Is Toast
Baltic index continues fall to new record low
European Union could 'fall apart within months'
Amazon shares plunge as record profit still misses estimates
Rio Olympics: fears grow that Games could be affected by Zika virus
Brazil's Olympic Costs Up Another $100 Million on Electric Bills
The price-tag for staging the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has risen another $100 million, reflecting the cost of electricity generation, according to details announced by the organizing committee.
Crushed Currency, Oil, Domestic Demand Broadside Small Businesses in Canada, Worst since March 2009
Hard-hit Alberta may be eligible for federal relief amounting to $60 per resident
Oil Squeeze: Kazakhstan And Central Asian States Suffer Amid Slowdowns In Russia And China
The $29 Trillion Corporate Debt Hangover That Could Spark a Recession
Watch The Wafers—-The Global Semi-Conductor Demand Has Collapsed
Amid Taliban, Terror Threats, Afghanistan Economic Outlook 'Unfavorable' Despite US-Led Redevelopment: Report
Puerto Rico creditors asked to take 45 percent haircut on debt: Source
BOJ Shock Heralds Currency War Return as Yen Drops Most in Year
Norway to Buy Record Amount of Kroner as Oil Crash Stings
Helicopter Money Arrives: Switzerland To Hand Out $2500 Monthly To All Citizens
The Big-Oil Bailouts Begin
Despite a bounce this week, low oil prices continue to sow fear, uncertainty, and mayhem across the emerging market complex. On Wednesday, it was leaked that the IMF and World Bank would dispatch a team to oil and gas-dependent Azerbaijan to negotiate a possible $4 billion emergency loan package in what threatens to become the first of a series of global bailouts stemming from the tumbling oil price.
Bahrain says planning austerity steps in line with IMF
Venezuela is on the Brink of a Complete Economic Collapse
JP Morgan Chase Blockchain Trial: Bitcoin Server Could Streamline Loans And Settlements, Executives Say
Nigeria asks for $3.5bn in global emergency loans

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Caterpillar closing 5 plants, cutting 670 jobs
South Africa Sees 32,000 Possible Mining Job Cuts, Minister Says
HSBC Hiring And Pay Freeze In 2016 Aimed At Cutting Costs At Europe's Biggest Bank: Sources

## War on cash/cashless society ##
What A Cashless Society Would Look Like
Mobile payments soar in China

## Airline death spiral ##
Zika Outbreak: American Airlines, Other Carriers Facing Mounting Fears Over Mosquito-Borne Virus
Toxic cabin air campaigners call for detectors in planes
Drones in four near-misses at major UK airports, air investigators reveal
EgyptAir mechanic suspected in Russian plane crash
As Oil Prices Plunge, Airline Profits Soar As Companies Make More Money Off Passengers
United Adds Training Day for All 12,000 Pilots in Safety Boost
Saudi, Bahrain, Iran airlines squeezed by diplomatic tensions

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraqi Kurds Agree to Hold Referendum on Secession
Israeli Minister Stirs Pot With Call For Independent Kurdish Nation
Iran flies unarmed military drone over US aircraft carrier
Terrorists Blow Up Kurdish Gas Pipeline
Russian Su-27 Jet Fighter Intercepts US Spy Plane Over Black Sea In Close Call Encounter
France threatens to recognize Palestinian state if no progress with Israel
Somali pirates earn new cash by acting as escorts to the fishing boats they once hijacked
Somali pirates who raked in millions of dollars in ship hijackings have developed a lucrative new racket – acting as armed "escorts" to foreign trawlers that steal the country's fish.
Tanker Robbed by Pirates in Indian Port
Pentagon: US Warship Sails by Island Claimed by China
Beijing says U.S. warship sailing near Paracel Islands violated Chinese laws
Turkey Threatens 'Consequences' For Russia After Another Airspace Violation Condemned By NATO
Turkey says Su-34 violated airspace, Moscow shrugs off report as 'propaganda'
US to Turkey: Secure Syria Border – With US Gear
Japan Doubles Number of F-15s on Okinawa
U.S. needs to defend space assets, Pentagon space expert says
The United States needs to recognize that space is no longer a benign environment, and should take more steps to protect its critical infrastructure, one of the Pentagon's leading space experts said Friday.
Poll Shows Nearly 40% of Germans Want Merkel to Resign
Six Years and $17 Billion Wasted in Afghanistan
Military Threats: Peak oil, population, climate change, pandemics, economic crises, cyberattacks, failed states, nuclear war
Seven bomb threats frighten thousands on Guam

## UAVs ##
Israeli Drone Feeds Hacked By British and American Intelligence
Drones involved in near misses at UK airports
Drone schools spread in China to field pilots for new sector
'Cut-out' Anti-Drone Protest Brings Arrests

## Migrants/refugees ##
Merkel Says Refugees Must Return Home Once War Is Over
German politician says police "should shoot migrants" trying to enter the country illegally
European Refugee Crisis: Masked Men In Sweden Target Asylum Seekers
Migrant boat capsizes off Turkey, nearly 40 die
10,000 refugee children are missing, says Europol
UN Issues $18 Million to Aid Rising Refugee Numbers in Uganda

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Grenade Hurled At Refugee Shelter As 40% Of Germans Tell Merkel To Resign
'Hundreds' of masked men beat refugee children in Stockholm
Far-right and anti-fascist protesters clash in Dover (UK)
'Rolling rally' in Oregon marks killing of wildlife refuge occupier LaVoy Finicum
Austria: Thousands of left-wing protesters rally against far-right Ball
Haiti protesters call for elections to end political crisis
French protesters call for end to state of emergency
Govt teachers protest, face police action (India)

## Energy/resources ##
Big Win for Rooftop Solar as California Vote Boosts Clean Energy
Former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon Bringing Fracking to Argentina
Ted Koppel Predicts A 'Lights Out' Scenario If US Power Grid Remains Vulnerable To Hackers
And hacking is not the only threat to power grids. Even if hackers don't take down grids, they will eventually fail because of economics. Oh, did I mention that nuclear power plants require connection to offsite power? -- RF
Just 15% of US oil production is hedged in 2016: IHS
Ethanol: Cruzing on Empty
The only "hard wall" limiting ethanol concentrations in fuel is the limitation imposed by how much damage to our cars and wallets we're willing to tolerate for the sake of the corn lobby.
Chevron posts first loss since 2002 on crude oil plunge
Coal bankruptcies won't reduce America's supply glut
These energy companies are running low on cash
One in 5 energy companies could be out of cash in less than six months, while 1 in 3 will hit that threshold in less than a year, according to a Big Crunch analysis.
Rig Count Update: Moment of Truth for the Permian Basin?
Cold snap forces China to ration natural gas
Investment in the US oil industry hasn't been this weak in decades
Brazil's Petrobras To Cut Investment Plan By 5%: Report
Is Non-OPEC Oil Production Beginning A Serious Decline?

## Got food? ##
In Mideast wars, hunger grips millions across the region
As Russian food prices spike higher, some winners emerge
Over 1 million face loss of food aid over work requirements
Worst South Africa Drought in Memory Cuts 2016 Corn Crop 25%
Turkey food prices up 13.7 percent over last three months
Venezuela's response to food shortages? Grow your own food at home
Smart move. -- RF
High food prices could spell big trouble for food banks (Canada)

## Lifestyle solutions ##
Be Your Own Medicine
Treatment of atomized individuals in a setting of atomized symptoms and treatments is by any measure the opposite of a system that encourages and enables everyone to be their own medicine.
Consumers don't see need for smartwatches

## Environment/health ##
Zika Virus May Push South America to Loosen Abortion Bans
Zika Virus Outbreak: Jamaica Reports First Case, Colombia Says More Than 2,000 Pregnant Women Infected
Zika virus could be bigger global health threat than Ebola, say health experts
Zika is just one flight away from these 57 countries
Zika virus: More than 100 cases reported in Guatemala
Zika virus transmitted through sex in 2 possible cases – US health authority
Zika virus spreads fear among pregnant Brazilians
Worried About Zika? Here's Some Other Bugs You're More Likely to Catch
Lots Of Cities Have The Same Lead Pipes That Poisoned Flint — And there's no plan to dig them up
Researchers have established a worrisome link between social media usage and sleep
The Evidence Is In: Breastfeeding Benefits Children, Mothers and Economies
Over Half Of All Amazonian Tree Species Are In Danger
No Shovel Needed: Special Concrete Could Melt Mounds of Snow
If implemented on a large scale, this would consume a considerable amount of electricity and add still more heat to the environment. The solution to one problem creates another. -- RF
Waste of money. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Democrats want to ruin America's national parks with Wi-Fi
What good is being immersed in nature without constant access to high-speed Internet?
US Homeland Security's $6B Firewall Has More Than a Few Frightening Blind Spots
A recent audit revealed the National Cybersecurity Protection System—aka EINSTEIN—does not scan for 94 percent of common computer vulnerabilities. But that's not all of its shortcomings.

## Propaganda ##
Washington Jingoism Gone Wild——The 2 US Navy Boats Were The Provocateur, Not Iran
A Russian Diplomat's Take on the World
As the West's mainstream media portrays Russia as a crazy rogue state, Moscow's thoughtful critiques of world affairs are ignored, not fitting the propaganda theme. Such was the case when Foreign Minister Lavrov explained why there would be no more "business as usual" with the West.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## Japan ##
BOJ stuns markets with negative interest rate surprise
The Bank of Japan unexpectedly cut a benchmark interest rate below zero on Friday, stunning investors with a move aimed at shielding the country's sluggish economy from volatile markets and slowing global growth.
Restarts threaten to increase amount of deadly MOX at Takahama plant to 18.5 tons
Restarting a second reactor at the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture will raise the amount of highly toxic spent mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel present there to an estimated 18.5 tons, Jiji Press has learned.

## UK ##
GP surgeries are operating in "a state of emergency" because of problems with resources and staffing levels, a leading family doctor said.
Soaring numbers of 111 callers forced to wait for a call back
Official NHS records disclose a mounting crisis in the 111 helpline, with a doubling in cases forced to wait for a call back after handlers said advice from a doctor or nurse was needed
The wind gap that will put our lights out
The more wind turbines we have, the more we need reliable back-up from fossil fuels
Ministers plot to foil anti-frackers
Leaked Cabinet plans propose letting unelected planning inspectors, rather than councils, give the go ahead for shale gas wells to boost production

## US ##
The new retirement model will have you working until you fall over from a heart attack.
Too poor to retire and too young to die

## The candidates ##
Bernie Sanders Vows to Crack Down on Greedy Corporate Tax Dodgers
Hillary Clinton's Iraq War Albatross
George W. Bush's Iraq invasion may rank as the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history – spreading chaos across the Mideast and now into Europe, yet polls show Democrats nationwide favor nominating Hillary Clinton, who voted for the war and backed it even after Bush's WMD claims were debunked.

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