Thursday, January 17, 2013


News Links, January 17-18, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
German gold move may spark 'chain reaction'
It Will Take The Fed Seven Years To Deliver 300 Tons Of German Gold
Cirque de Soleil plans staff meeting amid speculation up to 600 jobs could be cut
Alison Redford's grim Alberta financial outlook
"Addressing the press, Redford said that the province is losing $75 million a day."
More Canadians say they can't afford to save or invest
World Bank Cuts Growth Forecasts for Emerging Europe
"The World Bank slashed its 2013 growth forecast for a group of eleven emerging European countries to 1.3% from 2.5%, as deeper economic woes in the euro zone and especially in Germany weigh heavier on the region, it said in a semi- annual report published Thursday."
European Car Demand Near 20-Year Low; Peugeot Workers Shut Down French Plant
Construction spending drops in EU
IMF approves loan tranche to Greece of 3.24 billion euros
IMF releases loans installment to Portugal
Morgan Stanley Cutting 5% Of Asian Institutional Securities Staff
Employers Cut Jobs In Australia, Unemployment Rose
Singapore Exports Drop Most in 14 Months as Recovery Delayed
Singapore Curbs Industrial Property Sales to Avert Bubble
Billionaire Sit Kwong Lam's Brightoil Warns Of Loss, Loan Breaches
"Debt Doom Loop" in Spain; Deficit Target Impossible Once Again; Bond Rally Masks European Macro Problems
World on Brink of 'Currency War' After Japan Move: Russia
"The world's leading economies are on the brink of a 'currency war' to keep up with Japan and use devaluation to boost their competitiveness, Russia's central bank said."
EU Lawmakers Back Sovereign-Debt Curbs for Ratings Companies
Now we are at the point where governments need to censor ratings companies. -- RF
The Eurozone Crisis Is Over, but the Eurozone Economy Is Worse Than Ever
How Many Central Banks Does It Take To Generate 1% GDP Growth In 5 Years?
Nokia to cut over 1000 IT jobs
Why Brazil's Once-Booming Economy Is Losing Its Shine
John Rubino: How The Next Collapse Will Play Out; Protect With Gold and Silver
Volvo Faces Considerable Cost Cuts
Volvo Trucks to Take Restructuring Charge
Kazakhstan may join WTO this year: WTO chief Lamy
Fitch may downgrade U.S. credit rating
Why Is the Economy Shrinking? - Richard Heinberg
Welfare numbers seen as proof of poverty (New Zealand)
Miners' working hours cut (New Zealand)

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Donbassaero begins bankruptcy proceedings
Germany's Air Berlin says will cut 900 jobs
Top Japan airlines ground Boeing 787s after emergency
JAL to cancel Tokyo-San Diego flights after Dreamliner grounded
787 woes cast shadow over airlines / Mechanical failures could force ANA, JAL to delay opening new flight routes
Boeing 787 Dreamliner: The impact of safety concerns
FAA grounds 787 Dreamliners
Poland's LOT Grounds Boeing 787s, Will Seek Compensation
European Aviation Safety Agency Orders Boeing 787 Grounded
Air India Temporarily Grounds Boeing Dreamliner Fleet
Fliers losing faith in Boeing Dreamliner
Vietnamese market too severe to airlines
"Analysts now bet on the fate of Air Mekong after hearing that the private airline cannot pay for fuel. Pacific Airlines still has reported a loss for the last five consecutive years of operation."
Bristol to Swansea coach link is latest blow for troubled Cardiff Airport
'MAS still not out of the woods'
China's New $11.2 Billion Beijing Airport To Open In 2018
Airport facing 'potential closure' – Investment of €75m. over five years required to save facility
Virgin threatens to pull out of projected spaceport
Etihad deal with Jet to take off soon
Beware airline fee follies
Pinnacle Airlines path from Chapter 11 may run through Delta Air

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US Drones, Boots Arrive In Mali
On Its Way Out, the US Will Give Afghanistan Its Very Own Fleet of Drones
Dozens held after Islamists attack Algerian gas field
Thirty hostages reported killed in Algeria assault
Sahara hostage siege turns Mali war global
Saudis will give $100 million to Palestinians
China Signs Steel Deal in Iran
"A large Chinese state-owned company said it signed a $712 million dollar contract to help build a steel plant in  Iran, signaling that Beijing isn't ready to join Western nations in increasing pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program."
Iran's survival strategy
New Push in US for Tougher Sanctions, War Threats Against Iran
Russia says seeking nuclear talks with Iran by end-Jan
Firebrand cleric raises fear of "soft coup" in Pakistan
Pakistan cleric ends protest after government concessions
Israeli push to fulfil desert dream unsettles Negev Bedouin
Israeli parliament set for record influx of Orthodox lawmakers
"Orthodox Jews have left niche parties to join Likud and other mainstream factions, challenging the dominance of non-observant politicians and infusing Israeli politics with religious fervor and a harder line on the Palestinian conflict."
Global pirate attacks fall to five-year low
"International naval patrols off Somalia and armed private guards on board ships have driven pirate attacks to a five-year low in 2012, but the risk to shipping off west Africa is growing."
US drone designed to spy on China's space program, analysts suggest
Senior China leader urges island talks with Japan
"A high-level Chinese official has called for talks with Japan over a disputed island chain, in an apparent attempt  by Beijing to cool tensions that have seen both sides scramble jet fighters to the area in recent days."
Japan Mulls Military Equipment Near Disputed Isles
"Japan may station military equipment on islands near an archipelago at the center of a dispute with China, officials said Jan. 16, after a number of airborne near-confrontations."
ASDF wing could move to Sakishima Islands
"In light of repeated approaches to and an intrusion into Japanese territorial airspace by Chinese airplanes near the Senkaku Islands, the government is considering deploying an Air Self-Defense Force air wing at the Sakishima Islands, west of Okinawa Island, it has been learned."
Hanoi and Tokyo agree to deepen security ties
"Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung agreed Wednesday to deepen bilateral security cooperation in the face of China's growing maritime assertiveness."
Pakistan urges India to cool rhetoric over Kashmir
U.S. quietly trying to suppress dangers of Syria's chemical arsenal
"The Obama administration has quietly arranged for thousands of chemical protective suits and related items to be sent to Jordan and Turkey and is pressing the military forces there to take principal responsibility for safeguarding Syrian chemical-weapons sites if the country's lethal nerve agents suddenly become vulnerable to theft and misuse, Western and Middle Eastern officials say."
US general says Britain risks 'special relationship' if it cuts military
"Britain will be shut out of key decisions in the 'Special Relationship' with the US if it does not maintain credible military capabilities, America's former top commander in Afghanistan has warned, recalling experiences of Britain's failures in war zones."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Gulf activists step up campaigns despite quiet crackdown
Workers at South Africa's Amplats down tools: labor leader
Pakistanis pile bodies outside governor's house in protest
Bombers kill more than 35 across Iraq
"More than 35 people died in a suicide attack and other bombings in northern Iraq and Baghdad on Wednesday, worsening sectarian strife as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki faces mounting pressure from minority Sunni Muslims and Kurds."
Police fire teargas to disperse protesters in Tunisia
Kenyans burn coffins to protest at MP move to triple bonuses
Idle No More protests slow transportation
First Nations protests 'have the ability to paralyze this country': Ontario's top police officer
Native Canadian groups in protest 'day of action'
Iraq oil cut fuels Jordan political unrest
Police shoot at farm wage protesters (South Arica)
Romanian railway workers delay trains in protest over late wages
Iran's Revolutionary Guards warns of domestic unrest
This is of course the real purpose behind the sanctions: To destabilize Iranian society and precipitate the collapse of the government so that Washington can install a puppet government and gain control of Iran's hydrocarbon wealth. -- RF
U.S. ports' drive to control costs leads to labor strife
Zimbabwe: Anti-Sanctions Protesters Disrupt U.S. Ambassador's Manicaland Tour
"US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, who was touring projects funded by the US government in Manicaland province, was greeted on Tuesday and Wednesday by demonstrators who are against the restrictive measures imposed by the US."

## Energy/resources ##
The Really, Really Big Picture: There isn't going to be enough net energy for the economic growth we want (Chris Martenson)
BP's Big Plan: Burn It. Burn It All.
"Showing no concern for climate, CEO of oil giant says notions of Peak Oil are 'increasingly groundless'"
Nationwide blackout in Malawi
Andijan's enterprises suffering losses because of blackouts (Uzbekistan)
Merkel's Offshore Wind-Power Dream for Germany Stalls
"RWE AG (RWE) is delaying investments. SIAG Nordseewerke GmbH filed for insolvency. REpower Systems SE is cutting temporary staff. All show how German Chancellor Angela Merkel's 550 billion-euro ($734 billion) plan to replace nuclear reactors with renewable sources is stalling."
Politician Calls for Nationalization of Electricity Grid (Germany)
British North Sea oil output seen at 1977 levels this year
"A major stoppage of North Sea oil production serves as a stark reminder of ageing infrastructure and a lack of investment in new developments, which is seen reducing Britain's oil output to 1970s levels in 2013."
Graphene: Patent surge reveals global race
Cormorant Alpha leak shuts down up to 27 UK oil fields
"A pipeline system servicing up to 27 oil fields has been shut down after a leak on the Cormorant Alpha platform, north-east of Shetland."
UAE's TAQA begins restart of British Brent oil flow
U.S. Army Dedicates World's Largest Low-Concentration PV Facility
The huge area and number of panels versus the small proportion of power provided underscores the impossibility of running industrial society on renewables. -- RF
Qatar Warming to Solar Energy
"Although the sunny, dry conditions of the Middle East seem ideal for solar technology, with summers that exceed 110°F, Qatar is hotter and dustier than countries with successful solar energy sectors like Germany, the United States, and Japan. Without regular rainfall to wash away caked on dust, and extreme heat, most solar panels cannot operate efficiently."
Serious coal crisis ahead for many States if rail lines are not laid (India)
Nevada propane shortage should ease with new order
"[Governor] Sandoval declared a state of emergency on Tuesday effective for 15 days. The governor also suspended federal regulations that limit, among other things, the number of hours driven by a commercial operator in a shift. Liquefied petroleum is in particularly high demand in Nevada because of its heavy use in mining operations."
US Power Grid Has Issues with Reliability
"The original power grid pathways—similar to a highway system—were built in the early 20th century. Additionally, many utility companies have structures that have been running for 50 to 70 years. Unfortunately, the infrastructure age is causing further problems to the weakening grid."
How balance of power in supplies has shifted as East eclipses West
The end of the E-Cat story? Andrea Rossi loses supporters for his "cold fusion" device
Israel Electric Said to Plan Billion-Shekel Debt Sale
"Israel Electric Corp. plans to raise as much as 1.5 billion shekels ($403 million) in government- backed debt in March, a person familiar with the matter said, as the state-run utility seeks funds to offset soaring fuel costs."
S. Korean reactor halts due to malfunction
Iraq considering BP for work on Kirkuk oil field
Belgium plans artificial island to store wind power
Nigeria grapples with growing oil theft
Rio Tinto drops CEO after $14 billion write down

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
City reports storm sewer grate thefts
Residents' joy short-lived due to theft of power cables

## Got food? ##
Boot Camp for Farmers
Cargill Beef to cut 2,000 jobs in Texas
"Cargill Beef said Thursday it would close its Plainview, Texas, processing plant shedding 2,000 jobs, due to a limited cattle supply."
Common Winter Beekeeping Problems

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Starting down: seven deadly sins

## Environment/health ##
After Years Of Silence, The Plague Can Rise Again
End Near? Doomsday Clock Holds at 5 'Til Midnight
Olive Trees May Be The Answer To Desertification
Warmth, lack of snow a problem for Iditarod in Alaska
Mysterious dolphin deaths continue in Gulf of Mexico
Tropical fish industry in antibiotic worry
Soaring Temperatures Put Australian Firefighters Back on Alert
'Frackademia': how Big Gas bought research on hydraulic fracturing
Big Chill vs. Global Warming: What's Going On?
Flooding hits Indonesian capital Jakarta
Monsoon rains trigger floods in Jakarta, Indonesia, paralysing city of 14 million (photo gallery)
Common pesticides a threat to bees, EU watchdog says
Anonymity In Genetic Research Can Be Fleeting

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Malicious virus shuttered U.S. power plant -DHS
"A computer virus attacked a turbine control system at a U.S. power company when a technician unknowingly inserted an infected USB computer drive into the network, keeping a plant off line for three weeks, according to a recent U.S. government report."
The CIA and Other Government Agencies Dominate Movies and Television
Guess Who's Viewing Your 'Confidential' Medical Records?
Dotcom to Unveil Megaupload Successor Amid U.S. Claims
"Kim Dotcom, whose website accounted for 4 percent of world Internet traffic before being shut down last year on U.S. copyright infringement charges, plans to unveil a new, encrypted file-sharing site in New Zealand in a snub to U.S. authorities."
First the power grid, now banks under attack
The world's first cyberwar has started
"The USA threw some big rocks at Iran, which is now throwing some back"
5 Creepy New Ways for Police to Intrude on Your Rights
Government Pushes Propaganda Through Video Games
An Oil Town Where Men Are Many, and Women Are Hounded

## Systemic breakdown ##
The Ehrlich Factor: A Brief History of the Fate of Humanity, With Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich
Gridlocked world: where are the world's worst traffic jams?
Winter in Russia: cold indoors as well as out
"Most radiators in urban Russian homes are fed by hot water transported from heating plants miles away. Aging pipes frequently burst, causing hardship and even fatalities."

## Japan ##
World Bank cuts Japan estimate due to isle row
"The World Bank announced it has slashed its economic growth forecast for Japan to 0.8 percent this year from an earlier estimate of 1.5 percent, due partly to the negative impact of Tokyo's territorial dispute with Beijing."
You Wanted Inflation, You Got It: Japanese Gasoline Price Rises To Eight Month High
Abenomics no match for Tokyo's plunging prostitution prices
Govt's growth strategy key / Fiscal, monetary easing policies not enough to stimulate economy
Japanese government looking to expand role of Self-Defense Forces
Japan's Ethylene Output Down 8.1% In '12
"Domestic production of ethylene, a base material for petrochemical products, declined for a second straight year in 2012 amid soft global demand and an influx of low-cost imports."
Chipmaker Renesas to boost job-cut scheme
"Struggling Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics said Thursday it planned to widen an early retirement scheme as it scrambles to cut costs to shore up its bleeding balance sheet."
787 scare poses threat to suppliers
"The grounding of two Dreamliner fleets Wednesday not only dents the reputation of U.S. aviation giant Boeing Co. but also threatens to deal a blow to Japanese firms that make around a third of the aircraft, analysts said."
Public handouts to the poor to be cut
Domestic cultivation of high-quality, heat-tolerant rice varieties on the rise
Govt to raise auto liability insurance premiums 13.5%
Photos, videos show contractors lied in decontamination reports
On second thought: IAEA re-categorizes the operational status for 47 of Japan's nuclear reactors
"In an unprecedented move, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today retroactively re-categorized 47 Japanese nuclear reactors from 'in operation' to 'long-term shutdown' in its Power Reactor Information System. Thus, the global number of nuclear reactors listed as 'in operation' drops from 437 to 390, a number not seen since Chernobyl-year 1986, when 391 operating units were on the list. Without a doubt, the step is a unique revision of world operational nuclear data -- not to mention a solid recognition of the industrial reality in Japan."
Fukushima: Fallout of fear

## China ##
China FDI Shows Full-Year Decline as Economic Expansion Slows
China revs up wind power amid challenges
"As the world's largest wind power market, China continues to push forward with wind power installations, yet it faces ongoing problems with grid connection."
Global use of yuan to see 'major leap' in 2013
Why Clothes Might Not Be Made in China Much Longer (video)
Beijing water supply at risk?

## UK ##
Almost a third of Britons cannot afford a holiday, poverty report shows
300,000 face fuel poverty - Labour
"Thousands of people will be plunged into fuel poverty as the Government ends a state-funded energy efficiency programme, Labour has warned."
Bed, shelter, home, refuge. Why children are taking a bus journey with no destination
"For vulnerable youngsters with no homes or parents to turn to, 'bussing' has become the preferred option to stay safe at night."
Blockbuster goes into administration
Jessops, HMV and now Blockbuster - is the high street dying?
Labour: UK troops could be in Afghanistan for years
RWE starts carbon capture at UK coal plant
"Clean coal" will be more costly than they think. -- RF

## US ##
Philadelphia Fed Solidly in Contraction; Unwarranted Future Optimism; 3-Month Moving Average Suggests Recession; Hiring Plans Collapse
U.S. Financial Position Worsened in 2012 on Higher Debts
Ryan Says House Republicans Discuss Short-Term Debt Deal
US taps pension fund to avoid passing debt limit
White House: Texas must remain part of the US
Retail Roundup: Sluggish Sales Trend for the Chains
America's 'Invisible' Poor - An Infographic
More Americans raiding 401(k)s to pay the bills
For Americans, 'Cope' Has Replaced 'Hope': NBC Poll
"The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that just 34 percent look at 2013 as a moment of economic expansion and opportunity; fully 60 percent call it a moment 'to hold back and save because harder times are ahead.'"
Washington really does hate retirees
"My brand-new video, 'Washington's War on Your Retirement,' is already generating a lot of controversy. I guess it's hard for some people to accept that their elected officials are a bunch of dirty crooks."
Social Security Cliff in Sight; Retirees Will Outlive Trust Fund; Ramifications of Nonmarketable IOUs and Privatization
Oh, did I mention that you can forget about retirement? -- RF
35 Statistics About The Working Poor In America That Will Blow Your Mind
Seniors use credit cards as safety net
"Credit card debt among older U.S. adults is primarily used as a safety net, not a lack of personal financial responsibility, a survey indicates."
ObamaMiles Tax Coming Soon; Transportation "Trust Fund" Broke; Scheme to Boost Taxes 250%
Highlights of NY's Wide-Ranging Gun Control Bill
Obama calls for assault-weapons ban, background checks
US Mobile Payments To Reach $90B By 2017
EPA halted 'fracking' case after gas company protested
The Frightening Truth Behind Bank Of America's "Earnings"
However This Debt Crisis Ends Up, It Will Be Good for Gold
New ATMs Dispense $1 and $5 Bills
"Hundreds of new ATMs capable of dispensing as little as $1 are popping up across the country."
Bank of America and Citi reports are junk
"Sugarcoat it all you want. Let the analysts try to make sense of it. Buy the story you're being fed. The reality is, Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. turned in garbage reports parading as fourth-quarter earnings Thursday."
Preparing for the Unthinkable: Could Markets Handle a US Default?
SurveyMonkey's funding highlights fading allure of IPOs

And finally…
Outsourced: Employee Sends Own Job To China; Surfs Web

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