Sunday, December 02, 2012


News Links, December 1-3, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Economy facing more than Rs 380bn loss each year (Pakistan)
"The lower industrial production, soaring inflation, current account deficit, foreign debt retirement and non-implementation of funds in proper places by the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are destroying the already trembling economy of Pakistan."
'Our economy among FIRST TO COLLAPSE amid mounting govt debt' (Malaysia)
Italy Retail Sales Sharpest Drop in 17 Months; Germany Retail Sales Stagnate as Margins Squeezed; Eurozone Retail Sales Drop Sharply
Spain Puts Pension Payments on Austerity
Eurozone jobless rate hits record 11.7%
Danish economy may be in recession: finance minister
"Denmark may have slipped into recession in the third quarter and could struggle to meet growth forecasts as the euro zone crisis smothers consumer confidence, Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon said on Thursday."
Although Denmark is known for having much renewable energy, its economy is highly dependent on hydrocarbon production, and renewables still account for less than one-fourth of final energy consumption. -- RF
Nationalizations Take Off In France
Macroeconomic indicators - Indian GDP heading for decade low
Tech drives nails into coffins of Europe's weak economies
"Suppose Greece, Portugal and Spain had zero debt. Would they thrive? Unlikely. This feckless trio was on a downward economic spiral well before the so-called debt crisis ruined their parties. Yes, they were growing, but it was a phony growth, propelled by credit-fuelled consumption, cheapo money and the deluded belief that flipping houses was the route to BMWs, Brioni suits and beach holidays."
The Big Turning Point Has Finally Hit
Merkel does not rule out future Greek debt "haircut"
Netanyahu Emphasis on War Distracts Attention from Fading Israeli Economy
Australia Manufacturing Contracts Further In November
Europe's jobless lines keep growing
The cost of cheap clothes at Wal-Mart, Sears

## Airline Death Spiral ##
American Airlines parent loses $164 million in October as Sandy, operational problems plague carrier
Rearranging the Qantas deck chairs
Hurricane Sandy impairs global cargo volumes in October
Air Berlin to Lay Out Overhaul
Ach! No End In Sight For Berlin Airport Woes

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
UN Recognizes Palestine As 'Non-Member Observer State'
Israel to build 3,000 settlements after Palestinian U.N. recognition
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers taking bids to build complex for Israeli Air Force
Prototype of European Combat Drone Makes Maiden Flight
Military drone crashes mount at civilian airports overseas
Senate approves new sanctions for Iran energy, shipping
Suicide bombers attack U.S. base in Afghanistan
Iran pushes out Afghans as regional power-play heats up
U.S.-Afghan base attacked in eastern Afghanistan
U.S. reaffirms Senkaku defense
"The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a legislative amendment to acknowledge Japan's administration of the Senkaku Islands and reaffirm U.S. commitment to defending the territory under the bilateral security treaty."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protest, violence during Mexico's new president inauguration
Losses mount as L.A. and Long Beach port strike persists
Tunisian protesters unfazed by government gestures clash again with security forces
Anti-austerity strike paralyses railway traffic in Portugal
Anti-austerity Slovenia protesters clash with police
Singapore strike shows larger unrest
Tens of thousands of Kuwaitis march to urge voter boycott
Disabled protest in Spain over austerity measures
Thousands rally against far right in Hungary
Islamist protest shuts down Egypt's top court

## Energy/resources ##
Increased pressure to cut peak electricity use (Australia)
Is there enough water for 'fracking' boom?
The Oil Boom Will Only Last a Decade - Then What?
Germany legislates to help prevent power blackouts
Petrobras Kills Order for Five Drill Ships

## Got food? ##
Scientists torn over Kenya's recent GM food ban
Study reveals extent of Mekong dam food security threat
US beef herd shrinks as drought bites
Bread that lasts for 60 days could cut food waste
Recall: Trader's Joe's Butter Chicken
"U.S. and Canadian officials say 4,865 pounds of frozen butter chicken and rice bound for Trader Joe's stores were recalled for possible Listeria contamination."
What is supporting global Wheat prices

## Environment/health ##
Women 16–49 at risk of multiple pollutants
Space — the Final Junkyard
Teens Dying From Sunbed Tanning Curb $5 Billion Industry
Study: Massive volcanic eruption in the cards for Japan
Great Desert Garbage Patches
U.S. Drought Spreads on Warmer November Weather

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Pro-Iran hackers break into IAEA servers; demand probe of Israel nukes
Pentagon lawyer says war on terror is not endless
"The war on terror is not an endless conflict and the U.S. is approaching a 'tipping point' after which the military fight against al-Qaida will be replaced by a law enforcement and intelligence operation, the Pentagon's top lawyer has said."
Inside 'Plan X:' The Pentagon's plan for cyberweapon central
Former US Spy Warns on Cybersecurity
"A former U.S. intelligence chief says the west has had its '9/11 warning' on cybersecurity and warns that, unless urgent action is taken, the U.S. faces 'the cyber equivalent of the World Trade Center attack.' According to John 'Mike' McConnell, such an attack would bring the country's banking system, power grid, and other essential infrastructure to its knees."
Japan's space agency says rocket information was stolen by computer virus
Could a Syria-style Internet blackout happen in the US?
Syria crisis: Damascus internet back after blackout
Europe Joins Free Internet Chorus
Do Not Track is dying

## Systemic breakdown ##
Supply chain disruptions on the rise

## Japan ##
Japan Manufacturing Contracts at Sharpest Rate for 19 Months; New Orders and Output Plunge; Watch the Yen
Japan approves $10.7 billion stimulus package
Again: Tepco edits image of Fukushima Unit 4 — Still attempting to hide something at bottom of reactor building
New View from Inside Fukushima: Chaos and Uncertainty
Several die in tunnel collapse / Others feared trapped after ceiling panels fall on expwy
Charred bodies found in Japan tunnel collapse
This traffic artery and its tunnels are part of the huge amount of infrastructure built during the years of rapid economic growth, when oil was cheap. Now it's all starting to fall apart. -- RF
Cash-strapped city finds no sponsors
'We'll die if it explodes': Gov't ignored Fukushima plant manager's plea

## China ##
China PMI Rises But Misses Expectations For Fifth Month In A Row As Uncertainty Prevails
China rejects claims of Diaoyutai fighter deployment
"A spokesman for China's defense ministry has refused to comment on reports that fighter aircraft have been dispatched to Fujian province in preparation for conflict over the disputed Diaoyutai (Senkaku or Diaoyu) islands in the East China Sea."
Luxury cars sold for a song after bubble bursts in 'China's Dubai'

## UK ##
10 million households feel the squeeze
"More than 10 million households are feeling financially squeezed and almost one in 10 have defaulted on a loan, bill or housing costs, a consumer group said today."
Three more babies die of whooping cough outbreak in UK
Street lights to go out to reduce cost
The great rush: Government to give green light to mass exploration for shale gas
Bank of England fears that financial system needs more capital
Windfarms: the bitter fight dividing the UK
Industries to be shielded from green energy costs as household bills to soar
"Energy-intensive industries will be shielded from subsidising new nuclear power plants and wind farms, under Government plans that will see other businesses and consumers paying billions of pounds more for electricity."
Energy secretary says shale exploration won't lead to era of cheap gas

## US ##
Job Creation via Jobless Benefits and Fed Money Printing are Both Signs We're Living in a Modern Day Depression
Winter problem: More homeless are living in cars
Cold, mold loom as hazards in Sandy disaster zones
Paulsboro rail bridge's collapse was not its first
Nearly 15 million households on food stamps
Study: American Households Hit 43-Year Low In Net Worth
Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep Americans Clueless on Wells
No New Tax Money, Streetlights Turned Off
No Easy Money in Munis
U.S. municipal bankruptcies come in many flavors
Toyota Makes Early Retirement Offers to 2,000 Workers
Texas Feral Hog Wrecks Mark Losing Battle With Animals
Pfizer to Shrink US Sales Force, Cites 'Future Needs' of Business
Ford: Buyers are downsizing from trucks to cars
"Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, said its record profit margins are shrinking in North America as buyers downsize from trucks to small cars."
34 Signs That America Is In Decline
Social Security disability applications backlogged
No Deal On 'Fiscal Cliff' Without Tax Increase On Rich, Geithner Says
Understanding Our Oil-Related Fiscal Cliff (Gail Tverberg)
Tverberg has done great research on how expensive energy throws a giant spanner in the works. Understanding this is vital to understanding why there cannot be a "recovery" and return to the good old days. -- RF
Small Business Optimism Plummets — Gallup

And finally…
Eating corn with a power drill (video)

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