Thursday, December 13, 2012


News Links, December 13-14, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Baltic Dry Index Report Shows The Global Economy Is In Serious Trouble
Barclays to cut around 2,000 investment bank jobs to rebuild image
Shrinking currency trade likely to bring jobs cull
German Companies Look Far Beyond Ailing Euro Zone
Porsche breaks car sales record in 2012
Greece bailout funds due for payment
World's Most Prestigious Financial Agency – Called the "Central Banks' Central Bank" – Warns of Bursting Bubble
Gold: Headed to $62,238 or Even $84,131 an Ounce?
Eurozone weakness to depress steel for another year - Fitch
Greece targets Chinese investors for sale of state assets
European Parliament urges help for steel industry
"With supply outstripping demand by 30 percent, plants across Europe have been shut in the past few years and more are  threatened in France and Italy, raising fears of extensive job losses and putting pressure on governments to intervene."
Eurozone factory output continues to fall steeply
Volvo gets $1.2 billion loan from China Development Bank
Squatters of Rome scrape by at the margins in Italy's crisis
Austerity-hit Greeks swap cars for sluggish trains
Australia's resources, boom or bust?
UBS faces $1 billion fine for Libor rigging: source
Supply woes stunt Hyundai growth
Shipping rates collapse on fiscal cliff threat

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Russian carrier Kuban Airlines files for bankruptcy
Poland Mulls Bailout of LOT Airline
Poland's Lot: will fly for handouts
Air-traffic controllers union warns of layoffs if 'fiscal cliff' isn't avoided
Not-so-open skies for Israeli airlines
"The 'open skies' agreement between Israel and the European Union does not account for the unique security challenges facing Israeli airlines and will drive them out of business."
Europe's Airlines, Labor Engage in Dogfight
European airlines still in the red
SAS Posts Fiscal-Year Loss Following Reorganization Costs
Flight Attendants Threaten to Withhold Smiles, Booze
Another Dreamliner Grounded by Generator Problem
Air Cargo Slowdown Puts Squeeze on Specialist Carriers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. military to boost Philippines presence; China tells army to be prepared
American Militarism Threatening To Set Off World War III (Francis A. Boyle)
Assad's forces fire Scuds in Syria escalation: U.S. official
US Providing Training to Syrian Rebels in Jordan
China, Maldives deepen defense ties
Israel to withhold Palestinian funds until March
Assertive Turkey key to U.S. in shifting Middle East
"With its caustic rhetoric on Israel and its gold-for-gas trade with Iran, Turkey is not the deferential U.S. ally it once was as it carves out a growing role in the fast-changing politics of the Middle East."
Sierra Leone Blood Spills as Iron Boom Stirs War's Ghosts

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands of Hungarian students rally against government
Thousands protests as Turkish conspiracy trial nears end
Bahrain tensions a trigger for Gulf turmoil
Hamas stages first West Bank rally in five years
5 wounded as Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops
Protesters call for higher wages for City of Chicago food, retail workers
Protracted unrest, instability ahead for deeply divided Egyptians
Bangladesh opposition protests turn violent
Antiwar 'Grannies' Briefly Make Toys 'R' Us Store Their Battlefield

## Energy/resources ##
Norway Begin Testing Thorium in Nuclear Reactors
It is Possible to Replace Crude Oil with Synthetic Oil
"Engineers have refined the original Fischer-Tropsch method to increase efficiency. But the high cost of building new synthetic fuel plants, coupled with the low price of crude oil, has made synthetic fuels too expensive for widespread acceptance."
Here is just one reason why it won't work. Even at current crude oil prices, the cost of energy is strangling the global economy, but here we see that crude is still too cheap to make FT economical. And there are other problems which the article does not touch upon. For example, will synthetic oil have such a high EROEI that it will also power the machinery that produces, harvests, and transports feedstocks? I think not. The irony is that without cheap crude, the whole thing falls apart. -- RF
RPT-LNG tanker owners face falling profits as projects delayed
Peru indigenous group seeks to halt natgas expansion
Oil Watch: North America Liquid Fuel Production
"Despite much hype about energy independence, conventional crude oil production is continuing its long term and gradual decline."
How the Global Oil Grab Affects You…
"How much oil does it take to be part of the modern world? Today, per capita oil use in the U.S. is about 22 barrels per year and 24 barrels in Canada. That's how we get our so-called 'non-negotiable standard of living'."
The Impact Of Snow On Solar Panels
Businesses fear power cut (New Zealand)
Andhra's power shortage takes toll on steelmakers
High Consumption Leads to Fears of Power Shortage (Korea)
Erratic power supply affecting manufacturing sector (Zambia)
Govt plans fine on excess use of electricity
Oil sands facing labour shortage as talent search proves a challenge (Canada)
Energy chief: Cold winter will be 'critical' for Europe's supplies
"Europe's power grid stability is hanging in the balance this winter, with a cold snap liable to create a 'critical' situation, the director of one of Europe's five biggest power grids has told EurActiv."
Cement factories suspend work due to energy shortage (Egypt)
Diesel shortage highlights 'vulnerability' (Australia)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper thieves go underground

## Got food? ##
Widespread Seafood Fraud Found in New York City
Vietnamese warning of irrigation water shortage
Israeli grocers pass on price hikes - and then some

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Science of Stacking Firewood

## Environment/health ##
Why Is Cuba's Health Care System the Best Model for Poor Countries?
"Well over 100 countries are looking to the example of Cuba, which has the same 78-year life expectancy of the US while spending 4% per person annually of what the US does."
Not only poor countries. As anyone can see, the US healthcare system is designed with priority on profit-mongering, not preventing disease and promoting a healthy society. We all remember when the US refused the help of Cuban doctors after Katrina. Naturally, the Cuban model should not be on display in the US. -- RF
Cities ban foam coffee cups and takeout containers (US)
New SARS-like virus may jump from animals
Rapidly Urbanizing Populations Face Unique Challenges
It's an unprecedented disaster in the making. Big cities are death traps. -- RF
Drilling spills reaching Colorado groundwater; state mulls test rules
Shale Shocked: Studies Tie Rise Of Significant Earthquakes In U.S. Midcontinent To Wastewater Injection
Poisoning the well: How the Feds let industry pollute the nation's underground water supply

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US bank websites hit again by hackers, who seem unstoppable
Massive bank cyberattack planned
China, Russia Resubmit Proposal to Get Web Control
"A proposal that would potentially give countries sovereignty over Internet addresses has been resubmitted to the UN agency for telecommunications by a coalition including China and Russia, a day after the original plan was scrapped."
Why your DNA is a goldmine for marketers
UN internet talks collapse as Britain and US refuse to sign treaty
Tweeters 'could be military targets' (Australia)
"Social media users whose use tweets and online posts to comment on a military operation could be regarded as legitimate military targets."
Ghost Town? Study Says 70 Percent Of Facebook Pages Are Inactive
Data Centers: The High Cost of Downtime
Gmail Server Outage Sparks Twitter Outrage

## Systemic breakdown ##
Crumbling infrastructure worries mayors (Canada)
"Canada's big-city mayors all raised their hands Thursday when asked if they worried that someone may be killed because of their crumbling roads and bridges."

## Japan ##
Japan accuses China of airspace intrusion over islands
"Japan has accused China of violating its airspace for the first time after a Chinese plane overflew disputed East China Sea islands."
8 fighter jets scrambled after Chinese plane flies over disputed islands
Coast Guard chief explains Japan's plan to protect Senkakus
Three Chinese government ships enter Japanese waters near Senkakus
Abe Set to Face Manufacturing Gloom as Japan Contracts: Economy
Japan's Coast Guard stretched thin due to island disputes
Cash-strapped Panasonic to stop sponsoring golfer Ishikawa
Mistakes found in all radiation projections
25,550 Bq/Kg of cesium from Matsutake mushroom, 10,980 Bq/Kg from wild boar from Minamisoma
Kyushu Electric: 36% rate hike if no reactors
Japan tankan survey shows sentiment worsening

## China ##
China's trade may continue to face woes
Xi Jinping commands PLA to ready for 'real combat'
"China's Xi Jinping has commanded the country's People's Liberation Army to prepare for real combat while conducting military training."
China ups 2012 solar industry subsidies to $2.1 bln
"China has raised subsidies for its solar sector by 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) this year to a total of 13 billion yuan, the government said on Wednesday, the latest move to help manufacturers hit by excess capacity and waning foreign demand."
Chinese firms go on U.S. spending spree
Chinese shipyard delivers 7th in controversial series of ships

## UK ##
Millionaire muggers 'carried out dozens more attacks'
"A gang of millionaire muggers jailed yesterday for a series of terrifying attacks are suspected of carrying out dozens of similar raids on other wealthy victims including Bernie Ecclestone, netting a total of up to £2 million."
Britain's new homeless: Banker sleeps rough in park
More than half of NHS trusts rationing treatments
Britain lifts shale gas ban, imposes tighter rules
"Britain will allow shale gas exploration to resume but under tighter rules, the government announced on Thursday, a year and a half after tremors set off by the hydraulic fracturing used triggered a ban on the work."
Shale gas is not a game changer
"Shale gas is not a game changer in the UK, a Government adviser has said, as a new report warns production will disrupt communities and risk water supplies."
S&P says Britains AAA rating at risk

## US ##
Post-Sandy, Newly Unemployed Struggle To Stay Afloat
Barge Captain Steers Rocky Course as Mississippi Shrinks
The collapse of strikes
Analysts: NASA needs other countries to explore final frontier
"If NASA wants to help humans boldly go where no man has gone before, the US space agency must work with other countries, say experts who fear budget constraints will keep astronauts stuck on Earth."
Susan Rice drops out of Secretary of State consideration
The food stamp economic recovery – Food stamps increase by over 600,000 in last month of data. GDP at record levels yet US employment is 4 million below start of recession.
Quantitative Easing Benefits the Super-Elite … And Hurts the Little Guy and the American Economy
The Gulag Ameripelago: US Incarceration Surpasses Russia's
Small Business Owners Cut Capital Expenditures, Plan to Cut Even More
How the Fed Is Pushing Investors to Buy Junk Bonds
Bill: Gas stations must have backup generators
Port strike could disrupt supply chains
"A potential labor strike could hit ports along the East and Gulf Coast starting December 30, a move that could have devastating impacts on the U.S. economy and supply chains that rely on the ports to transport raw materials and finished products."

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