Friday, January 04, 2013


News Links, January 4-5, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spain Plunders 90% Of Social Security Fund To Buy Its Own Debt
Spanish suicides point to worsening crisis
"Suicides by economically hard-pressed Spanish individuals accentuated the Iberian nation's financial crisis as Eurozone leaders warned of more trouble ahead in 2013."
60% of Spanish Companies are Losing Money, Social Unrest Evident; Unemployment Rate Drops
Factory data setback for euro zone
"Euro zone factories sank deeper into recession in December as new orders tumbled, business surveys showed yesterday."
European heavyweight Rabobank quits Euribor
Europe Stocks, Euro Run Out of Steam
ECB: Eurozone crisis drying up household credit
The Greeks Have Already Dumped the Euro
U.S. now on pace for European levels of austerity in 2013
No chance of new Dubai property bubble - bank boss
Latvian Austerity Fervor Outstrips IMF After Loan Payback
Can You Fight Poverty With a Five-Star Hotel?
"The story of how the World Bank's investment arm hands out billions in loans to wealthy tycoons and giant multinationals in some of the world's poorest places."
Record India Deficit May Limit Rate Cuts as Rupee Drops: Economy
"India's record current-account deficit threatens to weigh on the rupee and curb the magnitude of interest-rate cuts forecast to begin this month in support of government policies seeking faster growth."
Chidambaram says current account deficit worrying, eyes gold curbs (India)
Visualizing the Keynesian Endpoint (Infographic)
UAE 50% expat mortgage cap to dent recovery
Melbourne in grip of property slump
Romania prime minister says cuts needed after GDP overestimated
Canada's housing hangover: Real estate boom, meet dot-com crash
Complementary currencies
South Korea Cites Bias in Move to Ban Japanese Ship Lines
"South Korea's government is moving to bar foreign shipping lines from contracts in the state-run energy sector as it supports domestic companies struggling to recover from the global downturn."
Dry Bulk Shippers Pin Hopes on Iron Ore, China

## Airline Death Spiral ##
United, Delta hike air fares
Pilots agree to talk with Iberia about job cuts
'Reliability' issues delay start of Dreamliner flights to Lagos
China Eastern Airlines to consolidate cargo business
"China Cargo reported a net loss of CNY637 million as of Nov. 30 due to the continuous global cargo market decline."
Pakistan Airlines Seeks State Aid After Years of Losses
Moscow Sheremetyevo bans Ukrainian AeroSvit Airlines over debt dispute
Airlines fined record $3.6M in '12, says report
10 challenges for your airline and airport in 2013
Hong Kong Airlines to end Tokyo service

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. drone strike kills important Taliban commander: sources
Saudi coast guard arrests 21 Iranians
North Korean Defector Arrivals Plunge in South in 2012
"The number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea after fleeing their impoverished and oppressive homeland fell sharply in 2012, apparently due to tightened border control."
Israeli West Bank raid sparks clashes with Palestinians
"Israeli forces raided the West Bank city of Jenin in search of a suspected Palestinian militant on Thursday, setting off clashes with residents who threw rocks and petrol bombs at them, an Israeli security source said."
Grim prospects for the Middle East in 2013
American troops and missile batteries arrive on Syrian border
Al Jazeera buys Current TV, will launch new channel
Egypt seizes anti-tank, anti-aircraft rockets in Sinai
Gaza: Fatah holds biggest rally since Hamas came to power
Insurgent attacks in northeast Nigeria leave 13 dead
Iraq seen as major arms buyer by 2020
Hugo Chavez: Venezuela facing prospect of political turmoil
Did Awlaki Really Help the 9/11 Hijackers?

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Canada meets key aboriginal demand amid blockades

## Energy/resources ##
Oil and Gas Outlook 2013: Costs Could Put Upward Pressure on Prices
"The average breakeven cost for a new well in the Bakken play is about $80 to $90 a barrel. Bakken crude and Western Canadian Select already sell for a discount of about $20 to the WTI price, or a whopping $40 a barrel discount to Brent. This turn of events cannot continue for long."
Record Low Power Prices Stung by Plunging Use in Europe
"The slump in European power that has driven prices to record lows is showing no sign of ending as the region's second recession in four years curbs energy use."
OPEC oil production drains to nine-month low
Korea Electric CEO Follows Predecessor in Seeking Higher Prices
"Korea Electric Power Corp. (015760)'s Chief Executive Officer Cho Hwan Eik said the utility must increase electricity prices to forestall a power crisis."
Downtown Toronto could face major blackout without new Bremner transformer station
China to Dominate the 2013 Coal Market
Are Wind Subsidies the Best Use of Taxpayers Cash?
Asia Fuel Oil-January Western arbitrage arrivals at 10-mth high
"Around 5.6 million tonnes of Western fuel oil have been provisionally booked to arrive in East Asia in January, the highest volume in 10 months, according to a Reuters survey of traders and shipping brokers."
U.S. oil boom has minor price impact
N. African states eye major energy drive
Drugmaker Hub Hit as Power Gap at Six-Year High: Corporate India
India govt to prepare list of power companies for coal on priority basis
Power shortage forces Andhra cotton mills to cut operations
Grid Problems Curb India's Electric-Vehicle Appetite
Students face transport problem due to shortage of CNG
Japan and China to compete for Zimbabwean coal
Zambia asks mining firms to cut power
"Zambia's state-owned utility Zesco Ltd has asked mining companies in Africa's top copper producer to cut back on electricity use to help ease a power shortage, its managing director said on Friday."
What happens to oil if Chavez goes?

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Castleford Tigers hit by "substantial" cable theft (UK)

## Got food? ##
Dust Bowl Wilting U.S. Wheat as Funds Turn Bearish
Drought Puts The Squeeze On Already Struggling Fish Farms
Poland bans GM corn, potatoes from BASF, Monsanto
'New era' in food-safety rules to be dished out (US)
Food prices to rise sharply, says Waitrose boss (UK)
Dumpster Diver TV: Austrians Cook Up Food Waste Reality Show

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
27 Medicinal Plants Worth Your Garden Space
Here's a trove of information worth printing and saving. As industrial healthcare continues to fall apart, many of us will be left to depend on what people have always depended on. -- RF
Earthship Houses

## Environment/health ##
Fracking Activities Enter Urban Areas
"There are also some towns that have accepted fracking. Gardendale, a suburb in west Texas, has seen oil companies drill 51 wells over the last few year. Debbie Leverett, a local resident, said that, 'you can hear it, you can smell it, and you are always breathing it. It's just like being behind a car exhaust.'"
Rig accident shows danger of Arctic drilling: Green group
Worst drought in decades hits Brazil's Northeast
"Brazil's Northeast is suffering its worst drought in decades, threatening hydro-power supplies in an area prone to blackouts and potentially slowing economic growth in one of the country's emerging agricultural frontiers."
Transocean to pay $1.4 billion to settle federal charges in Deepwater Horizon oil disaster
Coldest weather in decades hits India; group says 107 dead
Alaska's boreal forests undergoing transition
"In almost every patch of boreal forest in Interior Alaska that Glenn Juday has studied since the 1980s, at least one quarter of  the aspen, white spruce and birch trees are dead."
Tehran governor shuts down city over pollution
Train commuters face evening delays due to heat (Australia)
New Connection Links Parkinson's Disease with Pesticide Exposure
An avalanche of decline: snow leopard populations are plummeting
France issues first-ever regulations for nano-particles
Eel catches dwindling, Japan, China, Taiwan take joint action
Containing Chernobyl: the mission to difuse the world's worst nuclear disaster site

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
To thwart hackers, firms salting their servers with fake data
It's global cyber war out there
Secret US cybersecurity program to protect power grid confirmed
Homeland Security Quietly Runs "Loan-a-Drone" Program for Local Law Enforcement

## Systemic breakdown ##
For Many Kids, Winter Break Means Hungry Holidays

## Japan ##
It begins: 'Warmth-sharing' movement spreads
Japan's Central Bank Is Pressed to Boost Money Supply
Japan's Property Prices May Have Fallen Too Much, Nishimura Says
Japan's growing sovereign debt time bomb
Fireproofing inadequate at Japan nuclear reactors—report
Decontamination companies suspected of illegally dumping radioactive waste in Fukushima
Reporters document extent of shoddy decontamination practices
Japan Post Bank starts sales of gold fund
Business sentiment worsening among Japan companies: Mainichi survey
Sayonara to the Yen
"In Asia, Japan's unsustainable finances mean its endgame may have already arrived. It could well prove a forerunner for what will happen to the likes of the U.S."

## China ##
The Word From Beijing: Thank You for Not Smoking
Southern Weekly reporters confront China censors

## UK ##
UK service sector activity falls for first time in two years in December - PMI
Extreme rainfall in UK 'increasing'
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson tells farmers to push GM
Britons can't afford to buy homes – but renting doesn't work, either
Norovirus closes hundreds of wards
Wind farm protesters backed by planning minister Nick Boles
One in four people between 65 and 74 are still earning a wage, report finds
'Please give me a job': Unemployed graduate spends last £500 in his bank account on billboard begging for people to 'EmployAdam'

## US ##
Fiscal cliff: US urged to tackle budget deficit
Fiscal Cliff Over, Now The Attack On The People Begins
Friday Night Dump: CBO Admits Error, Now Expects Another $600 Billion In Deficits From Obama Tax Cuts
Fed says it's running out of bullets
Tech, bank forecasts slashed in run-up to earnings
White House says Congress must raise debt limit
Visualizing The American Taxpayer Relief Act
River Shipping On Mississippi Remains At Risk
The enemy within: Soldier suicides outpaced combat deaths in 2012
Hit-And-Run Deaths Increase, But Culprits Hard To Capture
US car sales rise 13.4% to hit five-year high
Holiday sales down 3.4% compared to last year, report says
America's Bubble Dependent Economy
Retirement no more: Median net worth at lowest level since 1969 recent study finds.
The End of Cash?
The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever
Establishment Survey +155,000 Jobs; Household Survey +28,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate Revised Up, Flat Since September
The Other "Mint" Campaign Starts Off With A Bang: US Mint Sells 50,000 Ounces Of Gold On First Day Of Year
Fiscal Cliff Averted: And Here Are the Next 6 Crises to Worry About
Ailing Post Office Looks to New Congress for Deliverance

And finally…
Al Qaeda Disbands; Says Job of Destroying U.S. Economy Now in Congress's Hands
I guess this is satire, but in fact the US is self-destructing. Have a nice day! -- RF
People of lower social status crave bling

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