Thursday, February 28, 2013


News Links, February 28-March 1, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Rob McEwen Looks For Gold To Keep Rising As Nations Run Up Debt Levels
Australian Government to Seize Cash from Inactive Bank Accounts
France Unemployment Highest Since 1997
Argentina Says It Won't Voluntarily Comply With Bond Ruling
Bond Cliff Looms With Slowest Sales Since 2008: Credit Markets
Bill Gross: Brace for lower returns
Canada Losing Debt Halo as Property Peaks Under Carney
Bankia turns in record loss of 19.2bn euros for 20112
Portugal needs to push permanent spending cuts: PM
In Depressed Spain, ATMs That Dispense Free Cash
Spain recession deeper than thought
"Spain's National Statistics Office says the country's recession is worse than previously thought with the economy shrinking by 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the previous three-month period."
$50 trillion in debt? How far can we go?
India Seeks to Curb Deficit as Spending on Poor Climbs
India to tax rich, luxury cars
GDP Report: U.S. Economy Grew at 0.1% Rate in Fourth Quarter
U.S. cuts likely to hit global economy
NZ Growing trade deficit
'Ungovernable' Italy: Debt crisis back on table

## Airline Death Spiral ##
US airlines deliver a 0.1% profit margin as government-induced havoc looms
"US airlines moved closer to the razor's edge during 2012 after collectively recording a profit margin of 0.1%. While the 10 largest airlines in the country may be commended for sustaining a three-year profit streak amidst record high fuel prices, they could find it tough to find creative ways to continue to achieve profitability as the potential to tap ancillary revenues reaches its peak."
FAA Chief: 'Great Deal of Testing' Needed Before 787 Flies Again
British Airways to offer 'hand luggage only' fares
Beijing proposes world's largest airport
"Beijing is planning to build a new airport with an annual traveler capacity of 100 million people. The new airport will become the world's largest airport hub, larger than the current Beijing Capital International Airport."
United fliers can sail through airports -- for $9
No Aviation Fuel At Airport (Ghana)
Flights skip fueling at Chennai as jet fuel is expensive
Air rage reaches boiling point
Will fares rise on American/US Airways? Bet on it!
Lawmakers worry hub airports might lose in American-US Airways merger
American Airlines drops below 60,000 employees for the first time since 1987

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Mexico estimates 26,000 missing since 2006
Iran hails 'turning point' as world powers make key nuclear concessions
The sanctions are failing and the US et al. are looking for a face-saving out. -- RF
Kerry says Syrian opposition needs more help
President Zardari to leave for Iran Wednesday (Pakistan)
US Concedes Claims of Taliban Attack Decrease Were False
Israel, Turkey row over Zionism deepens rift between ex-allies
Senators Push Resolution Committing US to Aid Israel in Attack on Iran
Israel Preps Troops for 'Escalation' in West Bank Protests
Japan scrambles fighter jets to meet Chinese plane
Chinese boats harass Japanese fishing vessels near Senkakus
Thailand agrees to talks with southern Muslim rebels

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Guinea security forces clash with protesters
Bulgaria president calls May election after protests
Bangladesh Islamist's death sentence sparks deadly riots
13 Occupy Protesters Arrested In Minneapolis Protest

## Energy/resources ##
Venezuelan authorities report blackout in 10 states
Thailand braces for blackouts
Thailand factories urged to cut power use
Junk oil: Oil Sands Mining Uses Up Almost as Much Energy as It Produces
The End of the Shale Bubble?
Is the Keystone XL pipeline worth it?
Land usable for biofuel said overestimated
"Land suitable for cultivating biofuel crops has been vastly overestimated, European researchers say, and they have reduced the estimate by almost 80 percent."
Petrol and diesel: Fuel shortage hits the Gambia
"A crippling fuel shortage has hit the tiny West African State of The Gambia since Monday forcing up the prices of petrol and diesel. The price of petrol has increased from 50 delasis to 65 delasis, about US$2 dollars, per litre while diesel is selling at 50 delasis, about US$1.50, from 48 delasis."
Power shortage looms anew in Mindanao (Philippines)
India suffered 9 pc peak power shortage during 2007-12: Economic Survey
India Survey: Power Shortage May Worsen
Slowdown in India's power sector amid coal, gas supply crunch
Alaska running on empty
"It gets pretty serious and it gets serious in a hurry."
Russia close to landmark oil and gas deals with China
Bulgaria parliament readies power price cuts to soothe anger
Possible electricity price cut in Bulgaria to be of less than 8%: expert
France Unveils Measures to Decrease Energy Use
British envoy calls for action against Jewish settlements
"Britain's envoy to east Jerusalem has joined an unprecedented European call    for sanctions against Jewish settlements amid deepening gloom over the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians."
Brazil Wind-Farm Rule on Power Cables May Scuttle Some Projects
Brazil Wind Companies May Boost Prices 20% to Comply With Rules
Are Banks Backing Away From Solar Projects?
Europe's offshore wind facing 50 bln euro shortfall -study
French wind power spun into knots
U.S. Air Force Report to Congress Bashes Navy's Biofuels Program
Oil industry outlook bright as EIA, OPEC raise global demand
First Solar Fallout Deals Crushing Blow to Speculative Solar Sector
Replacing Coal With Trees Won't Scale
How good was the Australian peak oil report BITRE 117
Plagued by problems, Shell pulls out of Arctic drilling – for now
U.S. Barnett shale to pump natural gas to 2050 - report
Eni eyes Vietnam's unconventional reserves
Iran's oil output faces long-term decline
The Mafia is Moving into Renewable Energy
Two Workers Killed at EDF Nuclear Plant in East of France
Fracking Hell? How Poland's dash for gas turned sour

## Got food? ##
Architect: Vertical farm in San Diego would revolutionize U.S. produce consumption
Don't count on this for your food supply. -- RF
Russia finds horsemeat in sausages from Austria
Buffalo, donkey, goat found in S. Africa 'beef'
Rice paddies synergise with fish farming
Giant Food Corporations Work Hand-In-Glove With Corrupt Government Agencies To Dish Up Cheap, Unhealthy Food
What Warren Buffett is Signaling about the Economy
Short answer: higher food prices. -- RF
Argentine soybean yield goes below budget
59% of the 'Tuna' Americans Eat Is Not Tuna
"If you've ever wondered why the sushi in the display case is so affordable, given the dire state of the world's tuna supply, well, now you know."
8 Great Tips For Finding FREE Compost Materials
Disease - a dire threat to NZ agriculture
New Zealand drought - collapse of NZ agriculture?
Egypt bakers threaten strike over rising costs
Food items shrink -- but prices don't

## Environment/health ##
Famed giant Pacific leatherback turtle faces extinction in 20 years
Drought-starved habitat, snow hit Kansas wildlife hard

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
NATO, European governments, hit by "MiniDuke" cyber attack
"Hackers targeted dozens of computer systems at government agencies across Europe through a flaw in Adobe Systems Inc's software, security researchers said on Wednesday, while NATO said it too had been attacked."
Researchers say Stuxnet was deployed against Iran in 2007
Hollywood's Propaganda
Second laptop stolen from Israeli nuclear chief
UN chief warns 'new cold war' looms over the internet
China says U.S. routinely hacks Defense Ministry websites
"Two major Chinese military websites, including that of the Defense Ministry, were subject to about 144,000 hacking attacks a month last year, almost two-thirds of which came from the United States, the ministry said on Thursday."
Bradley Manning pleads guilty to misusing classified data in WikiLeaks case
The Next Cyber War Is Already in Progress: Security Expert
Over 1,000 targeted cyber-attacks hit Japanese entities in 2012
New sophisticated malware targets 23 countries, including Israel

## Systemic breakdown ##
Oakland Neighbors Policing Their Own Streets As They Lose Faith In Cops
Factories struggle in Egypt as costs, risks rise
Thai Power Woes Threaten Tech Supply Chain; How To Respond
Looming oil industry skills shortage could cost sector dearly
Workers Adding to Egyptian Chaos as Strike Wave Disrupts Economy
Greeks Panic As Drug Firms Slash Medicine Supplies By 90% On Bad Debts
Wal-Mart Struggles to Restock Store Shelves as U.S. Sales Slump

## Japan ##
Nuclear Expert: "The Melted Core Cracked The Containment Vessel … There Really Is No Containment" At Fukushima Reactors
Rising doubts about Japan's official radiation figures
Inside the Abandoned Radioactive Towns of Japan
Nuke plant operators put tab on new safety standards at 1 trillion yen
PM Abe says Japan's idle nuclear plants will restart soon
Nuclear watchdog: No easy task to scrap Fukushima reactors safely
Radiation exposure data for over 20,000 nuclear cleanup workers still not submitted
WHO: Small cancer risk after Fukushima accident
Greenpeace: World Health Organisation Downplays Health Impacts of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Highest radiation detected in fish at TEPCO port
Imported wheat prices to rise 9.7%
Almost no wheat is produced domestically, so this will hit food budgets hard. -- RF
TEPCO mulls cutting off power to companies refusing rate hike
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. may suspend power supply to companies and factories that are refusing to accept the utility's higher electricity rates, which it has increased since April last year by an average of 14.9 percent, a company official said Wednesday."
Gas pump price rises for 12th straight week
Govt bets big on lavish public works spending / Even with an influx of cash, construction industry hampered by labor shortage, high material costs
Any lift will be only temporary, and the government will be left with more debt. -- RF
Japanese automakers see 10.6% fall in Jan. domestic output
"Eight major Japanese automakers reported on Wednesday their combined domestic output in January plunged 10.6 percent from a year earlier to 714,580 vehicles as domestic sales sagged after last September's termination of government subsidies for eco-friendly vehicle purchases."
Japan industrial output misses expectations
Narita To Halve Landing Fees For New Intl Flights
Sony sells Tokyo office building for Y111 bil
Seven-Eleven stores top 15,000

## China ##
China's first aircraft carrier relocates to Qingdao
Luxury in decline as frugality drive bites
China promotes austerity in schools
China Provinces Cut Growth Targets Over Debt Concerns
"Almost half of China's provinces are setting their growth sights lower in the wake of the central government's emphasis on the quality of expansion over speed, a sign of an increased focus on tackling rising debt."
China plans bond overhaul to fund $6 trillion urbanization - sources
"China plans major bond market reform to raise the money the ruling Communist Party needs for a 40 trillion yuan ($6.4 trillion) urbanization program to buoy economic growth and close a chasm between the country's urban rich and rural poor."

## UK ##
High street closure toll could reach 28 stores a day
"Almost 2,000 retail sites closed in 2012 and report predicts many more will shut up shop this year"
Almost half of councils set to ignore council tax freeze
Britain looks to Algeria for new gas import
Britian to develop marine energy

## US ##
Detroit To Be Taken Over By The State
Detroit on the Brink
Roubini: Fed's Credit Bubble May Be Bigger Than 2003-06
America must not "dictate" to world, new defense chief says
U.S. oil needs should keep it in Mideast
"The United States was more reliant on Middle East oil imports in 2012 than in previous years, emphasizing how important the region remains for Washington."
Pump! Dow within reach of record close
Dump! Stocks Plunge To Red As 'All-Time High' Hopes Fade
JCPenney Reports Horrific Results, Stock Plunges
Indigent burials rise in U.S. on back of weak economy
United States of austerity: America is facing an uncertain future
Deficit Reduction = Recession
The shaky logic of US natural gas exports
Housing Market May Not Be as Healthy as It Appears
New Cars Increasingly Out of Reach for Many Americans
Why Isn't Closing 129 Chicago Public Schools National News?
The blight below: Crumbling Detroit infrastructure needs more than crisis repairs
Army bracing for budget cuts: Training, child care and more to be impacted by April
Delinquencies On Student Loans Surpass Those On Credit Card Debt
Gun maker CEO: 'We're selling everything we make'

And finally…
Tim Geithner To Hold Financial Crisis Seminars
Pat Robertson: Second-hand sweaters could have demons attached

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


News Links, February 27, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
From Asia to Europe markets slide
Italy's split vote threatens to revive financial crisis in Europe
India's railway budget sets tone for austerity year
"India reined in spending on its vast but decrepit rail network on Tuesday, setting the tone for what is expected to be the most austere federal budget in years in two days' time as the government struggles to tame its fiscal deficit."
Is Asia Heading for a Debt Crisis?
Australia's Whitehaven Coal slides into the red
Alternative Currency Goes Mainstream As Bitcoin ATMs Emerge
As Goes China, So Goes The World And Definitely Australia

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Air France flies into red
Sequester could hurt Washington state's Olympia Airport
"The air traffic control tower at Olympia Regional Airport is among hundreds of towers at regional airports throughout the country that could close as a result of the federal government's "sequestration," the term used to describe $85 billion in automatic spending cuts."
Iberia to cancel almost 1,300 flights in second five-day strike
Pinnacle Airlines loses $4.1 million in January

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Police: Gaza militants fire rocket into Israel
Be Careful: Russia is Back to Stay in the Middle East
Fortress Damascus now center of Syrian war
China places buoys near disputed islands for science
'Dokdo' island classes to become mandatory for S Korean children
Kerry: US to Hasten Syria Regime Change

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Mexican Farmers Protest The Entrance of GMO Corn (video)
Colombia greets coffee strike with force
"National Police in Colombia said 15,000 policemen are reporting to duty to maintain order as an estimated 30,000 coffee growers staged demonstrations."
Djibouti police clash with opposition protesters for second day
Afghans hold anti-U.S. rally following abuse claims
Burmese Police Clash with Villagers in Electricity Dispute
Israeli Soldiers Open Fire on Palestinian Protesters
Student protesters denounce indexation, clash with police (Canada)
Egyptian protesters fight off police attempt to clear Tahrir Square sit-in
Shutter down strike observed against load shedding in Landikotal (Pakistan)

## Energy/resources ##
Panama grid goes down
Interior Ministry downplays power outage scare while affirming enough energy in April
Global Peak Oil Production — Where to Invest and Profit
Investing and profiting aside, take a look at the graphs the author brings together here. -- RF
IEA: Gas trading hubs needed for Asia
Iran said to deploy aging foreign tankers, avoiding sanctions
Ukraine seeks spot supply from Europe to replace Russian gas
Coal Demand Falls in the U.S., Rises Everywhere Else
China, Russia reach consensus on oil supplies

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thieves steal £4,000 worth of drain lids in Glamorgan (UK)

## Got food? ##
Winter storm boosts U.S. wheat outlook, hampers cattle industry
Ikea pulls meatballs in over 20 countries
Ecuador Imposes Food Price Controls Despite Strong Business Opposition
Perishable goods worth millions to rot due to aviation fuel shortage (Ghana)

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Pickin Chicken App: Which Chicken Breeds Are Right For You?

## Environment/health ##
Blink and you'll miss it: how species are being lost before they're even found

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Mobile World: South Korea warns of 4G curse
Israel's cyberwar center goes operational
NYPD: Murder Is Down Because Of Our Facebook Surveillance
Net providers begin warning of illegal downloads
Stuxnet Had Earlier, Potentially Explosive Version, Symantec Says
"The developers behind Stuxnet, the computer worm that damaged an Iranian nuclear plant in 2010, began their work on the malware earlier than previously known and experimented with multiple attack techniques, according to new research by Symantec Corp."
Zero Dark Thirty Wins Oscar For Best Propaganda Picture
For sale: Your personal info
German government and companies attacked by Chinese hackers

## Japan ##
Must read: The Arrival of Japan's Sunset
Population drops by 72,000 in disaster-hit prefectures, delaying reconstruction
Seniors forced to go it alone as ranks swell, housing eludes
IAEA Director General says global team should help Japan dismantle Fukushima reactors
Diet passes Y13.1 tril stimulus budget by one vote
Ministry forced to start radioactive waste disposal site plan over

## China ##
China's riskiest property market just collapsed. Is this how it starts?
China Overheating? Biggest Weekly Cash Drain in History; Questions Surface Over Chinese Growth Numbers
China considers overhaul to streamline government
China Austerity Drive Becomes a Joke

## UK ##
Seven million 'take painkillers so they can work'
Negative interest rates idea floated by Bank's Paul Tucker

## US ##
Bernanke Admits QE Distorts Markets, Brags Of 'Best' Inflation Record As Fed Chairman
JP Morgan Chase takes job cuts up to 19,000
Streetlights Likely To Go Dark in Central Valley Community
Street Lights To Be Shut Off in Pease Township on Friday
Kansas could lose millions with sequestration cuts
Among Oscars Fanfare, Visual Effects Industry Faces Difficult Times
"In a business where effects-laden movies helped Hollywood make a record-setting $10.8 billion last year, many of the studios that create those effects are barely staying afloat."
The Unsafe Foundation of Our Housing 'Recovery'
Study: Climate Change May Dry Up Important U.S. Reservoirs Like Lake Powell And Lake Mead
FDIC: Banks Earn $141.3 Billion in 2012, Second-Highest Annual Haul Ever
Workers over 50 are the new 'unemployables'
Here's Exactly How Many College Graduates Live Back at Home

And finally…
Daughters not duty is turning Barack Obama's hair grey, says Michelle
I believe it. -- RF
Kerry defends liberties, says Americans have "right to be stupid"
That includes the US leadership. -- RF
Watch: Chinese Political Adviser Comes Utterly Undone at Airport
Daily BS: United Nations removes Osama bin Laden from sanctions list

Monday, February 25, 2013


News Links, February 26, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Volkswagen's Start to Year Is Worse Than in 2012, Poetsch
"Volkswagen AG (VOW) predicted the first quarter would be worse than a year earlier, adding to a forecast last week that 2013 operating profit probably wouldn't increase as Europe's auto market shrinks."
Trade protectionism looms next as central banks exhaust QE
Goldman to begin fresh round of job cuts
Lies, Damned Lies, And Banks: Deutsche Bank Caught Again
Egypt Seeks Up to $1 Billion From Debut Sukuk
Euro zone economy to shrink again in 2013, EU says
EU Doesn't Like Its Forecasts, So It Removes Them From Its Site
PIIGS KILLERS: Italy PM Vote Threatens Austerity, All Over Again

## Airline Death Spiral ##
When full-service airlines go budget
Budget cuts will lead to long lines at airlines, White House says
IATA's Tyler Says 787 Grounding 'Huge Problem' for Airlines
Dreamliner: Japan's ANA cancels more Boeing 787 flights
Airlines get early jump on fare hikes in 2013
Polish LOT Airlines to present make-or-break plan
Airlines, Not Yet Where They Want To Be, Make 21 Cents Per Passenger

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Obama to Inform Netanyahu of Plans for Summer Iran War
Karzai Orders U.S. Special Forces Out of Afghan Province
The coming water wars?
Egypt vote could be 'road to total chaos': ElBaradei
Israel carries out Arrow missile interceptor test: official
Chinese transport "workhorses" extending military's reach
"China is expanding its long-neglected fleet of supply ships and heavy-lift aircraft, bolstering its military prowess in support of missions to enforce claims over disputed territory and to defend Chinese interests abroad."
South Korean merchants plan Japan boycott
"South Korea's self-employed merchants said Monday they plan to boycott Japanese products to protest Tokyo's latest sovereignty claim to a pair of islets controlled by South Korea, according to Yonhap News Agency."
US Drone Strikes Soaring in Afghanistan

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Bulgarian protests for cheaper energy intensify
Palestinian prisoners stage fast over inmate death
Israel fears new Palestinian uprising could erupt

## Energy/resources ##
Massive blackout hits Pakistan
Power Returns to Pakistan Cities After Nationwide Grid Collapse
Start saving power now, PM urges public and business (Thailand)
Maharashtra's power ambitions take a blow (India)
"Maharashtra's hopes of turning into a power-surplus state in 2013-14 have taken a knock with water scarcity forcing a shutdown of the 1,130-MW Parli power project and poor gas supply hitting the Dabhol and Uran power projects. The statewide shortfall now is 4,000 MW."
Must read: The shale phenomenon: fabulous miracle with a fatal flaw
Shale oil: no revolution on the horizon
Algerian gas plant resumes some production - CEO
Otto Sees Successive Full Year Loss amid Contract Cancellations
Origin Prepares to Axe 350 Jobs by end-2013 amid Profit Slump
Silicon Valley Shifting to Power Grid After Solar Sours
"Silicon Valley investors that helped build the solar industry are shifting cash into electricity-grid technology and energy-storage developers after bets on panel manufacturers failed to pay off."
Chevron pursues Australian shale
Analysis: Nigeria losing ground in changing oil world
Chesapeake Deal Values Oklahoma Oilfield Below Estimate
"China Petrochemical Corp., the second-largest energy producer in the most-populous nation, agreed to buy a stake in a U.S. oilfield from Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) for less than one-third of its estimated value."
The Price of Solar Power
Iraq oil payment talks 'hit impasse'
"Iraq talks aimed at resolving an oil payments dispute with Kurdistan are believed to have hit deadlock, while reported deals signed by Russia's Gazprom Neft with the regional government are set to further strain relations with the Baghdad regime."
Iran Boosts Oil Storage With Facility to Hold 500,000 Barrels
Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar urge joint ventures in energy sector
How do you find oil in the desert? Drill 2 miles deep

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
'Tremendous' number of metal thefts reported
Hundreds of houses in Beddington and Croydon will be without phones and internet for over a week

## Got food? ##
Native American Gardening: The Three Sisters and More
Feedlots, meatpackers closing as cattle herds shrink (US)
"Meatpacking plants and feedlots have been closing because of the shortage of cattle after years of drought, and the impact will be felt in grocery and restaurant bills as a smaller meat supply means higher prices."
Egypt insists food supply secure as wheat imports dive
Water shortage hits farm output
Instead of Trying to Feed the World, Let's Help It Feed Itself
"We know about the ecological problems that follow when farmers are asked to 'feed the world.' What would happen if they just tried to feed their neighbors instead?"
Horse Meat Scandal's Latest Victim: Ikea Meatballs
Drought set to worsen sugar cane shortage (Kenya)
Chicken Price at All-time High (Nepal)

## Environment/health ##
Ancient Chompers Were Healthier Than Ours
"Prehistoric humans didn't have toothbrushes. They didn't have floss or toothpaste, and they certainly didn't have Listerine. Yet somehow, their mouths were a lot healthier than ours are today."
Poll: Environment is low global priority

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
House Intelligence Chairman: U.S. 'Losing' Cyber War
Predictive cyberthreat service launched
Sony's New PlayStation 4 and Your Privacy
Chinese hackers seen as increasingly professional
Hacks, Hijacks and Hunts for Chinese Data Thieves
And the Oscar goes to... the CIA

## Japan ##
After Fukushima: families on the edge of meltdown
"Two years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a new phenomenon is on the rise: atomic divorce. Abigail Haworth reports on the unbearable pressures and prejudices being faced by those caught in the radiation zone"
Forgotten Fukushima-Japan Two Years After the Daiichi Accident
Goldman Said to Plan Cutting Tokyo Office Space to Reduce Costs
Tokyo police look to hire young hackers to prevent cyber crime
Who'll repair Japan's roads?

## China ##
A war over Diaoyutais will cripple China's economy: economist
China to Increase Fuel Prices for First Time Since September
China's Slower Manufacturing Casts Shadow Over Recovery: Economy
Labor shortage hits Chinese businesses after holidays
China's mainland home to 247 'cancer villages'
China's PMI shows growth slowing

## UK ##
Ofgem chief warns of looming 'crisis' over energy shortage
"Ofgem's chief executive has warned of the UK's lack of energy capacity, labelling the period between 2015 and 2018 as a 'near-crisis'."
Britain will take years to earn back AAA rating, says Ken Clarke
50 feet tall mobile phone masts can be erected anywhere under new assault on planning rules, councils warn

## US ##
Walker Says Entitlements Should Be Cut to Reduce Deficit
Spending Cuts Threaten State Recoveries, Governors Say
3 Fiscal Crises Heading Our Way
Gun Violence Is Public Health Crisis in Chicago
Plains Will See Second 'Crippling, Historic Blizzard' In As Many Weeks
50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is A Gigantic Money Making Scam That Is About To Collapse
The Banks Show No Mercy: 10 Foreclosure Horror Stories That Will Blow Your Mind
Sequester Cuts Would Hit Education, Law Enforcement, Worker Training And Federal Parks

Sunday, February 24, 2013


News Links, February 23-25, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
RBS India Unit to Cut Jobs as It Closes Retail Business
RBS and Lloyds expected to report significant annual losses
Mammoth debt hangs over next Italian government
Britain's credit rating downgraded from AAA to Aa1
World's Richest Lose $21 Billion as Icahn's Fortune Drops
Former Swiss Billionaire in Crisis to Sell Aston Martin
Flawed F-35 Fighter Too Big to Kill as Lockheed Hooks 45 States
Prince Alwaleed warns of unemployment 'time bomb' in Saudi Arabia
France to focus on spending cuts in 2014: Hollande
Rising property rents lead to exodus from prime Dubai areas
Unions say redundant Telecom workers may leave country (NZ)
"The Council of Trade Unions says workers soon to be made redundant by Telecom will struggle to find employment in New Zealand."
Transpacific to cut 200 jobs (NZ)
"Waste management company Transpacific Industries will axe 200 jobs as it seeks to lower costs amid weakness in its manufacturing and industrial markets."
NZ Post says job cuts needed to stay competitive
Worries for rural delivery over post service cuts (NZ)
Are 'extractive elites' sucking the life out of Canada's economy?
"Politicians in the developed world are preoccupied with dividing up a diminishing pie, not a growing one."
Vietnam Inflation Rate Eases as Economy Struggles to Revive
"Vietnam's inflation eased in February as domestic consumption struggled to rebound after a credit crunch that slowed economic growth to a 13-year low."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
U.S. air travelers will feel budget cut effects quickly: union
"U.S. air travelers will face increased delays and potentially higher prices if cuts to the U.S. Transportation Department's budget go into effect on March 1 as part of planned across-the-board government reductions, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said on Friday."
Poland's LOT airline working on rescue plan
The End Of Cheap Airfare
Federal Budget Cuts Could Affect Local Airports
Japan identifies cause of Dreamliner fuel leak
Air France-KLM net loss widens to €1.2 billion
The new airport hassle: Wheelchair fakers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia leases planes to Cuba, writes off Soviet debt
"Russia will lease eight jets worth $650 million to its Cold War- era ally Cuba and will partially write off the country's multi-billion-dollar, Soviet-era debt under agreements signed during Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Havana on Thursday."
NATO considers post-2014 Afghan force of 8,000-12,000
Five killed in Islamist car bomb attacks in north Mali
France's military operation in Mali in 'final phase'
Obama Dispatches 100 US Troops To Niger To "Support Predator Drone Base"
IRAN-IRAQ: Pipeline to Syria Ups Ante in Proxy War with Qatar
Tokyo Annoys Seoul by Sending Envoy to Takeshima Party
Iran says it has brought down a foreign spy drone
"Iran's Revolutionary Guards have brought down a foreign surveillance drone during a military exercise, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said on Saturday."
Spiral of Karachi killings widens Pakistan's sectarian divide
Horse meat: trade is a 'front for money laundering'
Activists launch campaign against 'autonomous weapons': Killer robots must be stopped
Chinese vessel enters Japan's territorial waters
"A Chinese fisheries patrol vessel sailed inside Japanese territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea for the second consecutive day on Sunday, the Japan Coast Guard said."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Israeli forces, Palestinians clash throughout West Bank
Bulgaria government resignation unlikely to stem protests, for now
Tunisian secularists protest against new Islamist PM
Tens of thousands in Spain protest economic policy, corruption
In Egypt, protesters adopt nonviolent strategy
2 Killed as Bangladesh Police, Protesters Clash
Egypt Food Manufacturer Closes Business After Workers Protest
"Faragalla Group, an Egyptian food producer, said it shut down its factories yesterday after workers stormed the complex to demand higher pay. The plants, located near Alexandria, halted production after they were raided by more than 200 workers, some of them carrying swords."
Stripped of 'Country of Origin' Label, US Agrees to Sell Tear Gas to Egypt
Occupations in Rome Defend the Rights of Commoners

## Energy/resources ##
Govt 'asleep at wheel' on Solid Energy
"Solid Energy is currently in crisis talks with Treasury and its bankers over ballooning debts now totalling $389 million."
Iran appears to advance in construction of Arak nuclear plant
America: The Worldwide Leader In Wasting Energy
NASA: A Nuclear Reactor To Replace Your Water Heater
Tajikistan Negotiating to Resolve Water Feud, Ambassador Says
Threats posed by diesel shortage (Egypt)
Shortage of aviation fuel lingers (Ghana)
Manufacturers plan power cut back (Thailand)
Iran says 16 more nuke power plants coming
Iran Announces New Uranium Deposits: Don't Panic!
"Iran has announced some new uranium finds in the country. The real story though is that there's very little indeed to this story. The amount they're claiming to have is trivial, less that the fertiliser industry has lying around Florida for example."

## Got food? ##
British horse carcasses tainted with bute thought to have been eaten in France
Give horsemeat-tainted food to poor - German minister
Horse meat found in Italian frozen foods
We Have All Eaten Horse, Like It or Not
"For years, there's been horse meat in hamburgers, lasagnas, raviolis, tortellinis, sausages, prepared spaghetti bolognese, bottled bolognese sauce, chili con carne, shepherd's pie, moussaka, many other "meat dishes," frozen and not, cheap and expensive."
USDA: Food prices likely to rise 3-4 percent this year

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Family Has Been Living Without Money for Two Years, By Choice
Already many people in the world are living with little or no money, but not by choice. -- RF
Fight a world food shortage: Learn to love leftovers
$aving Bucks through the centuries-old practice of bartering

## Environment/health ##
Fracking has a Lesson to Learn from the Sinking City
Siberian permafrost thaw warning sparked by cave data
Changing snowfall patterns predicted
UN report finds 'new proof' of link between endocrine disruptors and common diseases
Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists
"Thousands of Britain's wind turbines will create more greenhouse gases than they save, according to potentially devastating scientific research to be published later this year."

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
India says warned of bombs that killed 16 in IT hub Hyderabad
13,753 Gov't Requests for Google E-Mail Data in 2012, Most Without a Warrant
As Police Drones Take Off, Washington State Pushes Back
Corporate victims of Chinese hackers speak out
Hackers take aim at key U.S. infrastructure
Is America prepared for a 'cyber Pearl Harbor?'
The near impossible battle against hackers everywhere
"Security officers and their consultants say they are overwhelmed. The attacks are not only from China, which Washington has long accused of spying on U.S. companies, many emanate from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Western countries. Perpetrators range from elite military units to organized criminal rings to activist teenagers." back online after getting hacked

## Systemic breakdown ##
Honk Kong apartments so small they can only be shot from above [PHOTOS]
And yet governments, businesses, and economists insist we need more people. -- RF
Capitalism is so broken it can't be fixed: Saving capitalism will not save America

## Japan ##
Abe Tells Obama Japan Will Boost Its Defense
Abe says will not tolerate islands challenge
U.S. X-band radar to be installed at ASDF base
Japan's maximum Iran oil shipping insurance to rise by 4% in 2013-14: sources
Memo To Japan: It Is Going To Be A Cold, Expensive Winter
In yen's fall, the end of Japan's higher living standards
Tight-fisted firms deal blow to Abe's revival plan
Tough times leave Osaka day laborers homeless, jobless and on welfare
Survey: No nuclear plants meet new safety standards

## China ##
Why A China Crash May Be Imminent
Crisis looms as local government debt to mature this year
"China's local government debt crisis has been getting worse as national statistics show that 53% of local government debt will be due by the end of 2013, when local governments enter a peak period for repaying loans."
What the 'Unofficial' Numbers Say About China's Economy
China acknowledges 'cancer villages'
Property prices rise in more big cities
China's aluminum stockpiles reach new high: expert
H.K. Doubles Stamp Duty on All Properties on Bubble Risks
China's countrymen struggling with a 'sick' Mother Earth
China to form carrier battle groups in five years: general

## UK ##
UK loses top AAA credit rating for first time since 1978
UK Suffers Blow, Pound Seen Under New Pressure
Turning off Britain's Lights Could Save £1.192 Billion a Year
Fuel Shortage Fears As BP Tanker Strike Begins

## US ##
Pentagon grounds F-35 fleet after engine crack found
Forbes: Detroit most miserable U.S. city
Radioactive waste leaking from 6 tanks at Washington state nuclear site
Bankrupt San Bernardino Hires Twice Bankrupt Manager for Annual Salary of $222,000
At $47,802, Oscar swag bags cheapest in 5 years
Your Stolen iPhone May Be in China or Africa
La. coast facing grim reality: Seas rising faster than predictions
Virtually ALL of the Big Banks' Profits Come from Taxpayer Bailouts and Subsidies
Fattened Margins Seen Shrinking 40% at Banks: Mortgages
Montana legislator introduces bill to give corporations right to vote
Half of Detroit Properties Have Not Paid Taxes; Update on Detroit Bankruptcy
More states consider ban on credit card surcharges

And finally…
Why speaking English can make you poor when you retire
Man sues parents for not loving him enough
A Dramatic Way To Uncork The Bubbly: Use A Sword
Includes videos showing proper technique! -- RF


News Links, February 21-22, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Caterpillar Sales Latest Cratering Confirm Global Growth Slowdown
Global Leading Indicator Shows Slowdown Dead-Ahead
Spain Just Issued a Warning: the System is Blowing Up Again
France Sinks Further Into Gutter; PMI Accelerates to 4-Year Low; "Core" of Europe Now Consists of Germany Only
Canadian housing market still cooling as prices decline for fifth month straight
Tunisia credit rating cut over political situation
Iluka cuts jobs, idles production as profit falls
Alumina swings to fiscal-year net loss
UAE facing pensions ticking time bomb - report
Singapore Companies Brace for Labor Curbs After Protest: Economy
India Seen Boosting Gold Import Duty Second Time to Cut Deficit
Half of jobless Saudis have never applied for work
In hard-hit Spain, bartering becomes means of getting by
Are You About to Lose Your Savings in the Currency War?

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Malawi's airports closed because of wage strike
Japan probe finds Dreamliner battery improperly wired
Boeing is running out of Dreamliner parking spots
United Says 787 Taken Off Flight Schedule Through June 5
United Airlines postpones Denver-Narita flights due to Dreamliner trouble
Frontier Airlines shellacked by customers
SAA bracing for more losses
Lufthansa Cuts to Shrink First-Class Fleet Below British Airways
Surely Congress Would Know Better Than to Hurt Airlines. No?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Bulgaria govt resigns amid growing protests
Bulgaria faces deadlock after government quits
China Shoehorns Its Way Into The U.S.-Australia Relationship
"History and money link the U.S. and Australia but that's not stopping China from shoehorning its way into the relationship at a business a level, as well as in laying the foundations for a push to replace the U.S. in a region it regards as its backyard and a critical supplier of raw materials."
Iran nuke unlikely to start Mideast arms race: report
Analysis: Iran economy far from collapse as sanctions tighten
Iran, Pakistan inch closer to gas pipeline
Iran to build refinery, supply gas to Pakistan in food barter
Major powers to make "substantial and serious offer" to Iran
"Major powers are ready to make "a substantial and serious offer" to Iran during talks next week in return for concessions on its nuclear program, a Western diplomat said on Wednesday."
Lawmakers target ECB to stop Iran from using euros
Brazil, Russia move closer to arms, technology deals
Brazil receives more Israeli UAVs
Anti-piracy service offered by Eos Risk
"A British firm is launching a maritime security service for commercial vessels transiting the Gulf of Guinea, a high-risk zone for piracy."
Syrian Rebels Threaten to Attack Lebanon Over Border Dispute
Amazon 'used neo-Nazi guards to keep immigrant workforce under control' in Germany
Amazon Fires 'Neo-Nazi' Security Firm at German Facilities
Portugal seizes huge haul of fake euros
"Portuguese police say they have made the largest ever seizure of fake euro notes, worth more than 380,000 euros (£331,000)."
At Least 12 Killed in Hyderabad Blasts in India
"Security forces across India went on high alert Thursday after at least 12 people were killed and more than 70 injured in two explosions in Hyderabad city, in what state and federal officials suspect was a coordinated terror strike."
Yemen forces fire on Aden demonstrators
Syria conflict: Many dead in huge Damascus bombing
NATO urges allies to reverse defense spending cuts
Sahara Attack Revives A Fear Of Renewed Terrorism In Algeria
Russia spells out arctic strategy
US senator says drones death toll is 4700
Don't send top official to Shimane's Takeshima fete, Seoul warns Tokyo
Three Chinese vessels pursue Japanese fishing boat near Senkakus

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tibetan teenagers set themselves on fire
Greeks in fresh general strike against austerity
Strike by Indian unions over prices hits transport, banking
Thousands protest in Armenia after president re-elected
"About 5,000 flag-waving protesters rallied on Wednesday against Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan's re-election, saying his victory was tainted by fraud."
Impatience Grows Among Iraq's Sunni Protesters
Four killed in anti-government protest in Yemen: sources
Russian police detain Pussy Riot sympathizers in cathedral

## Energy/resources ##
Ghana Faces Blackout
Pakistan State Oil 'on its knees', more blackouts threatened
"Pakistan State Oil may default on payments due this month unless state-run companies at least partially pay for their oil, a spokeswoman said on Thursday, putting energy supply at risk and threatening increased blackouts ahead of key elections."
Government announces 50% fuel price hikes for cement, brick factories (Egypt)
Seawater desalination plant might be just a drop in the bucket
"In Carlsbad, the nation's largest desalination facility will require lots of energy — and money. It is expected to provide no more than a tenth of San Diego County ratepayers' overall water supply."
S.Korea to raise gas rates 4.4 pct from Friday
"South Korea will increase domestic rates of gas by 4.4 percent on average from Friday, to reflect higher costs of natural gas and recoup part of the hefty losses of state-run Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS), the economy ministry said on Wednesday."
Nigeria Asks for Britain's Help to End Oil Theft
Big businesses, hotels gear for April [Power] shortfall (Thailand)
Troubled Baghdad scales back oil strategy
"The brewing oil war between Iraq's central government and a defiant Kurdistan are forcing Baghdad to downsize its ambitious plans to quadruple oil output."
Why is the Washington Post Surprised at High Gas Prices?
"The Washington Post is surprised by the 'mysterious' high cost of gasoline in the US but does not mention in this article that the US government, at the insistence of the Israel lobbies, reduced Iran's petroleum exports by 40% in 2012 by strong-arming countries to leave it in the ground and not import it on threat of third-party US sanctions."
Transocean sets deep-water record
"Rig owner Transocean said it set a record for the deepest water depth by an offshore rig off the eastern coast of India."
U.N. worried by arctic resource drive
Consortium aims to build megafloat / Oil and gas rig workers to live off Brazil coast (Japan)
"The government and a Japanese consortium, including shipbuilders and heavy machinery makers, plan to develop a giant floating structure off Brazil that can accommodate up to 200 offshore oil and gas rig workers."
The Big Shift
"A great energy transition is coming. Will it mean a better day for humanity, or turmoil? First in a series."
Reports: Shale Gas Bubble Looms, Aided by Wall Street
The Making of a Natural Gas Glut
"Wall Street drives the shale boom like it did the housing mortgage scandal: report."
Fatal Combination for Nuclear
Chinese Overseas Oil Production Booming
"If a country spends $92 billion in three years to get its hands on energy resources outside its borders, then what is a good return on that investment?"
German 'green revolution' may cost 1 trillion euros - minister
Solid Energy seeking financial support (New Zealand)
"Solid Energy is in talks with bankers after admitting its finances have continued to deteriorate."
Energy Demands on Russia Have Global Consequences
Israel approves oil drilling in Golan Heights
Colombia has enough oil for eight years
"Colombia only has enough oil to last another eight years and must urgently step up exploration efforts to locate more reserves, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said."

## Got food? ##
Bolivia president calls fast food 'a threat to humanity'
Food: Sustainability, Security, Self-reliance
One In Three Fish Sold At Restaurants And Grocery Stores Is Mislabeled

##Infrastructure scavenging ##
Power Outage Caused by Copper Thief

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Living Without Credit Cards is Saving Me $414 a Year
Barter your way to a better life

## Environment/health ##
Drought forecast to persist, intensify in much of U.S.
"This week's storm, which dumped rain across parts of the central USA, is not enough to break the long-lingering drought."
Livestock disease in Europe spreading
Concern rises over deadly tick-borne virus in Japan
Too cheap to meter: Who will Pay for Nuclear Power Plant Cleanup?
Unfortunately, expensive energy will ensure that much or even most nuclear waste is not properly disposed. The true cost of nuclear power will be staggering — far greater than anything imagined. -- RF
Authorities shoot Switzerland's only wild bear after fearing threats to humans
Overdose Deaths From Narcotics Keep Climbing (US)
Marcellus Shale Fracking Study To Research Natural Gas Drilling Health Effects
Mosquitoes ignore repellent Deet after first exposure
Exposure to air pollution is associated with increased deaths after heart attacks
Report tracks threats from Europe's alien invasion

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Report: Apple hack compromised 'hundreds' of other companies
U.S.: Hacking attacks are constant topic of talks with China
The White House Gets Friendly With Hackers
Chinese cyberspies have hacked most Washington institutions, experts say
U.S. Unveils New Strategy to Combat Trade-Secret Theft
'HUBRIS: Selling the Iraq War' (documentary video)
The cyber war is real -- and our defenses are weak
"The U.S., Israel, China, and Iran are funding acts of hacker aggression, and the targets are as good as sitting ducks"
China's cyberwar: Intrusions are the new normal (FAQ)
Commercial cyber spying offers rich payoff
Air Force Bugbots (video)
Newly-Released Memo by Donald Rumsfeld Proves Iraq War Started On False Pretenses
NYPD, Microsoft create crime-fighting technology; city could make millions in business deal
Facebook blocks access to after reports site is infected
Al Qaeda's Top Recruiting Tool: The CIA

## Systemic breakdown ##
Why Competition Between Global Players Is Heating Up
Our Investment Sinkhole Problem

## Japan ##
Govt fights to curb rate hikes / Shikoku Electric follows other utilities in applying to raise fees
Japan to see 'unprecedented' easing this year: BOJ policymaker
Japan Jan. trade deficit jumps to $17.3B
Tight-fisted Japan firms deal blow to Abe's revival plan - Reuters survey
"Tight-fisted companies in Japan may prove the biggest obstacle in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to push the sluggish economy into higher gear as they intend to keep a firm lid on wage levels, a Reuters survey shows."
Is Currency War Breaking Out in Tokyo?
Dying alone becomes new normal as Japan spurns Confucius
Retail Electronics Market Contracts On Lack Of Incentives
Sony announces another asset sale
60% of thermal power plants stand in quake-prone areas
Govt to certify 'youth-supporting' small, midsize companies
"In an effort to address unemployment among young people, the labor ministry is poised to launch a certification system for 'youth-supporting companies' next fiscal year, which will introduce job seekers to reputable small and midsize firms."
Japan's mission impossible: to spend $100 billion in 15 months
Just what Japan needs: More needless make-work construction projects while existing infrastructure continues to decay and crumble. -- RF
Japan Atomic Power takes rare step to sell uranium for loan payment
"A Japanese nuclear power company has taken the rare step of selling some of its uranium for the use of  nuclear reactor fuel, apparently to raise money to use to repay loans amid its faltering business conditions, sources close to the matter said Wednesday."
High radiation bars decommissioning of Fukushima plant
Record snow depth measured in Japan
Japan detects xenon in air after N Korean nuclear test
Senkaku showdown taxing forces
Elderly shoplifters may need help not punishment, say prosecutors
"Alarmed by the number of elderly and mentally disabled people who repeatedly shoplift or walk out of restaurants without paying, regional prosecution offices are trying to help such offenders instead of sending them to court."

## China ##
Xtep to close over 100 shops in China's sporting goods freefall
"Xtep International Holdings, one of China's leading fashion sportswear companies, announced the closure of nearly 100 shops last year, adding to a total of more than 3,000 store closures in the sporting goods industry in 2012, the Shanghai-based National Business Daily has reported, predicting that the trend will continue this year."
China January FDI down sharply
24 regions in China target GDP growth of over 10%
After China's multibillion-dollar cleanup, water still unfit to drink
FoxConn Freezes Hiring On iPhone Production Slowdown
China Orders More Cities to Restrict Housing Purchases
Chinese steel market post holiday rally fizzling out
Companies Seek to Avoid China New Year Hangover
"For the world's manufacturers, post-holiday no-shows are an increasingly frustrating part of China's tightening labor market."

## UK ##
Farm virus 'can infect wild animals'
"A livestock virus sweeping through British sheep flocks and cattle herds has infected wild deer, say scientists."
Over two-thirds of Brits would work for nothing to land dream job
Three British Islamists convicted of plotting "another 9/11"

## US ##
Work 'til you croak: When A Bad Economy Means Working 'Forever'
Dow Drops 108 Points
20 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead
Cash-Strapped Postal Service To Launch A New Clothing Line
Virginia pizza joint offers 15 percent discount if you pack a gun
Biden: 'Buy a shotgun' if you want safety
Welcome to Wild West USA, where you need to pack heat to go grocery shopping. -- RF
ID theft on the rise again: 12.6 million victims in 2012, study shows
Technical charts show the US stock market about to crash
Dell earnings fall 31 percent in 4Q
Tesla posts loss, claims profits are in sight
Zombie foreclosures: Borrowers hit with debts that won't die
Revel Atlantic City to file for bankruptcy
Majority of U.S. citizens say illegal immigrants should be deported
Report: ICE detained 800 U.S. citizens in 4 years
Six-year housing hangover tough to shake off
"If this is a housing recovery, then it's a 'recovery' in name only."
Ships Leaking $37 Billion Reflect Eisenhower's Warning
'Heat or Eat' a reality for many in region
Las Vegas Strip gun battle leaves three dead
AIG Digests $2B Hurricane Sandy Loss To Handily Beat Profit Estimates
Too Big to Fail Now Too Big to Stand Trial
Army begins receiving chem-bio shelters
Wal-Mart: "Families Are Adjusting To A Reduced Paycheck And Increased Gas Prices"
U.S. Quadruples Pipeline Tax Break Cost to $7 Billion
Philly Fed Index Contracts for Second Month
US Manufacturing to Take Off on Cheap Energy: Pickens
Methinks Pickens is losing it. -- RF
Marc Faber Warns: 'Market Has Peaked Out'
5 dangers set to trip a 100-year bear market
Gallup: Staggering 99 Percent of Americans See Iran's Nuclear Program as 'Threat'

And finally...
Police called on strainer-wearing man
"The man said the pasta strainer was a religious head covering as he practices Pastafarianism, the religion of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."
Tough Turkeys Are Taking Over A California Town

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