Tuesday, February 19, 2013


News Links, February 19-20, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Little sign of Europe's depression lifting
Ford Leads Drop as European Auto Sales Decline to Record
Chart Of The Day: Europe's Decimated Car Market
Minister Warns 'Yemen's Economy on Edge of Collapse'
Egypt currency has further to fall: business leader
Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
The War on Cash Escalates In France
Shanghai Gold Exchange Volume Soars To Record As India Gold Imports Surge To 18 Month High
Canada's housing market continues downward slide
Fiat Currency Witches Brew, Collapse of the Keynesian Ponzi Economic Model
Wave of mergers threatens container hauling industry
Shipping: angry seas still
Vessel scrapping rises as bulk owners suffer
"Cash-strapped shipowners will scrap younger and younger ships this year as the dry bulk market wallows in the doldrums, with one vessel as young as 15 years already awaiting its fate in the scrapyards, a new report says."
Dry-Bulk Shipping Recovery Seen by Citigroup Beginning in 2014
Shipping Indexes Falling Dramatically – What Does That Mean?
70% of quake claims not yet dealt with (New Zealand)
"Two years after the 2011 February earthquake, about 70% of residential insurance claims requiring major repairs or a rebuild, have not been dealt with."
Italian Bank Loans Plunge By Record; Lenders Say "No Cause For Alarm"
Russia faces Olympic-size cost overruns
"Next year's games in Sochi may be the most expensive in history, with the tab expected to be 400% more than original projections."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Iberia workers strike over job cuts
Loss of flights takes its toll on airport businesses
Annual traffic falls 4.7% at Budapest Airport following loss of Malev
Batavia Air's Assets Fail to Remedy Rp 1.27 Trillion in Debt
US Airways/American merger could demote some hubs
"Tough" start to the year as air freight rates at their lowest since September
The Biggest Airline Bankruptcies
Boeing Strike Threat Looms After Tumult on 787 Grounding
Airport survival strategy: Ibaraki Airport a magnet for tourists
Airlines' Airfare Hikes Not Faring Well in 2013

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China Decides that South China Sea Oil is a National Asset
Blast, shooting at compound of government official in Pakistan's Peshawar
U.S. could resume direct Mali military aid if elections successful
UAE signs $1.4 billion defense contracts, including drones
After Mali Comes Niger (CFR)
Is Nigeria, And Its Light Sweet Crude, About To Be Drawn Into The Mali "Liberation" Campaign?
U.S. Air Force crews deliver supplies to Mali
"Air Force crews from Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been delivering troops and supplies to Mali for more than three weeks in support of an international mission against a North African al-Qaida group."
India pays for Iran oil in rupees, Turkey route halted-sources
Fighting breaks out in Sudan's Blue Nile border state
Gwadar: a potential base for Chinese expansion?
Iranian-backed militant group in Iraq is recasting itself as a political player
Bulgaria PM pledges power price cut to stop protests
North Korea threatens South with "final destruction"
US Training of Mexican Troops Has Escalated in Step With Mexico's Murder Rate
Taiwan states it will not collaborate with China over Senkaku-Diaoyu dispute
China rejects Philippines' U.N. mediation effort
"China said on Feb. 19 it has rejected the Philippines' attempt to seek international arbitration over conflicting claims to territory in the South China Sea."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
'Camover' game destroys CCTV cameras in Germany (video)
Guerrilla surveillance camera destruction hits the U.S.
"It started in Germany with masked anarchists dismantling CCTV cameras, now Camover is a global game"
South African miners wounded in rival union clashes
Workers and police clash at airport during Iberia strike
China Struggles to Curb Tibetan Unrest
Brazil port reform protesters occupy Chinese ship
India braces for nationwide strike
Pressure mounts on Israel over Palestinian prisoner fast

## Energy/resources ##
Asia eyes Russian Arctic gas as Australian costs climb
"Plans to export gas from the Yamal peninsula on Russia's Arctic coast are attracting Asian gas buyers and investors who have been put off Australian developments by soaring costs, according to the Yamal project's owner."
UK energy prices to rise in supply 'roller-coaster' - regulator
"Britain faces a rise in energy prices as the market is on a bumpy ride heading for a power supply crunch while needing to compete globally for gas resources, the outgoing head of energy regulator Ofgem said."
The world energy system is already declining due to the greater effort needed to access resources, increasingly desperate competition among buyers, and the concomitant escalating costs. Energy cliff, dead ahead! -- RF
The Export Capacity Index: A New Metric For Predicting Future Supplies of Global Net Oil Exports (Jeffrey Brown)
China Wants More Oil
Could Iraq Blow its Oil Opportunity?
Ministry warns of severe energy crisis (Pakistan)
Days are numbered for German feed-in tariff
NSW Government tightens restrictions on coal seam gas (Australia)
Gazprom controls Turkmenistan's gas
Electric cars: charging forward, or out of juice?
Heat on Nigeria's petroleum industry as oil execs gather
A New Era of Energy Abundance?
Despite shale boom, gulf still lures oil drillers
"The target Chevron is aiming at is called the Lower Tertiary, considered by many to be the Gulf of Mexico's last frontier. Its heart is buried thousands of feet below sea level, hundreds of miles from shore and almost a three-hour helicopter ride from New Orleans."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Rise in copper pipe thefts during recession means many houses don't have plumbing now
Metal Thieves Target Cars, Even State Property
Scrap metal thieves target Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans across county
Metal thieves steal hundreds of grates off metro highways
Bronx grave robbers steal $160,000 in bronze from NY cemetery

## Got food? ##
Drought joins U.S. farmers in the field for spring planting
Dry U.S. crop belt counts on more than a drop of February rain
Nestle removes beef pasta meals after finding horsemeat
Horsemeat Scandal Goes Global As World's Largest Food Maker Pulls Tainted Pasta From Spain And Italy
Food crops should feed people, not motors
DIY Indoor Seed Starting Station

## Environment/health ##
Indonesia sees at least 15 dead in floods and landslides
Nuclear waste: too hot to handle?
Do Wind Farms Change Local Weather Patterns?
Milan's Vertical Forest Will Help Clear The Air

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Security group suspects Chinese military is behind hacking attacks
Lifting the veil: Mideast's covert ops
"The death of an Iranian general in Syria and the death in an Israeli prison of an Australian linked to Israel's intelligence exposed the shadow war in the Middle East."
Australian Prisoner X 'may have leaked Mossad secrets'
Emailers shut out as chaos grows
How neuroscientists are hacking into brain waves to open new frontiers
EU 'may take action' against Google over privacy policy
German spy chief says targets Russian, Chinese industrial espionage
Burger King's Twitter account hacked
Jeep Becomes Latest Victim of Twitter Hack Attack
Facebook, Coolest Cutest Corporate Welfare Queen Of Them All
"Last year, the government extracted $1.1 trillion in taxes from us more or less hardworking individual taxpayers. But now it will pay, along with the states, $429 million of our taxes to the coolest Silicon-Valley beauty queen: Facebook. In net tax refunds! Part of a vast package of juicy corporate welfare programs. Facebook isn't just hogging our data; it's gobbling up our money."
The 911 Truth Movement Goes to Court in the UK.
Apple, Macs hit by hackers who targeted Facebook

## Systemic breakdown ##
Why I Think The Economy Can't Grow Forever
The Connection of Depressed Wages to High Oil Prices and Limits to Growth
How will our future cities look?
One thing for sure — they will be much smaller, or at least the inhabited portions will be. Large concrete and steel structures will be simply uninhabitable without electricity and other utilities. When these structures lack maintenance they degrade at a surprisingly fast rate, which will make built-up areas doubly dangerous from crumbling edifices. Scavenging of building materials and metals will further accelerate the destruction of these symbols of industrial civilization. Areas of cities where there is open land for producing food will be sparsely inhabited. When cities reach their energy cliff, what we thought of as convenient and desirable until now will become a hell on Earth. Plan accordingly. -- RF
Envisioning the urban skyscraper of 2050
It looks like many other dreams of a techno-future. Won't happen. -- RF
Top maths adviser sounds alarm on mathematician shortage (Australia)
Egypt in political clinch as economic cliff looms
Perils of supermarket cost-cutting machines
"The switching of horsemeat for beef is a spectacular signal that a limit has been reached"

## Japan ##
The Japanese Yen Is Still 80% Over-Valued
Japan against revealing evidence of radar lock-on
High levels of cesium detected in fish off Chiba
With USMC Help, Japan Flexes More Muscle
Japanese Firms Grow Thirsty
"Japanese trading houses, long major players in global energy and commodities markets, recently have stepped up acquisitions in the global water business as they seek to tap a growth market with stable cash flow."
Ranks of Unseen, Unemployed 'SNEPs' Growing
Japanese labour unions feel pain of new era
Japan looks to protect its own overseas
"Well, that didn't take long. Only weeks after 10 Japanese nationals were killed in a terrorist attack in Algeria, Japan's military is practicing how to rescue citizens at risk overseas. Now all they need is a law that allows them to do it for real."
Japan, Kazakhstan agree on resources investment deal
"Japan and Kazakhstan have agreed on rules for foreign investment, officials said, as Tokyo looks to shore up minerals and energy to feed its resource-hungry industries."
Rising concrete prices hamper recovery in Tohoku disaster areas
"Soaring prices of construction materials have scared off contractors and are stalling projects in the areas of northeastern Japan that were devastated by the March 2011 quake and tsunami."
I've said repeatedly that what was lost will never be rebuilt. -- RF
Japanese seek jobs abroad amid tough home market
Greenpeace wants nuclear plant suppliers held accountable for Fukushima crisis
Japan's Showa Shell awaits govt guidance on Iran oil imports

## China ##
Chinese analysts blame U.S. for tensions
Northeast China has nuclear power
China's booming fake muni bonds
China central bank taketh away liquidity – first time in 8 months
China says grain supply not secure
China Housing Slaves Helping Property Rebound: Mortgages
Chinese struggle in 'airpocalypse'
Bloomberg Analysts State China will Never Reach its Shale Gas Goals

## UK ##
Obesity crisis risks making Britain 'fat man of Europe', warns report
I guarantee you this problem will be solved in the not-too-distant future. -- RF
Third of local authorities order horse DNA tests on school dinners

## US ##
Reader's Digest Files for Chapter 11, Again
Who Is The Most Active User Of Drones Over The United States?
Retail Apocalypse: Why Are Major Retail Chains All Over America Collapsing?
Detroit May Get State Manager as Fiscal Emergency Shown
Defending Youngstown: One City's Struggle to Shrink and Flourish
Like many businesses, cities too are downsizing in an attempt to survive. -- RF
About That Surprise California Budget "Surplus": There is No Surprise and No Surplus Either
The Nation's Crumbling Infrastructure: 6 Examples in Need of Upgrades Right Away
At hearing on nation's crumbling infrastructure, money is the theme
Missouri Infrastructure Needs Could Hit Your Wallet Hard
Historic New England fishery faces collapse
Report: New York state short more than 1,200 doctors
Employers battle spot shortages of workers
America's Baby Bust
Classic infinite-growth idiocy. This is the same kind of wretched, hair-pulling, whining jeremiad heard in Japan, with its similarly low fertility rate. We need more workers, more consumers, more taxpayers, more people to pay into our Ponzi-scheme pension programs, blah blah blah, so our women need to pump out more babies. Never mind that the world can't feed and clothe the people we already have, and energy decline is aggravating the situation more each day. The infinite-growth mindset is like a tumor in the brain, nearly impossible to get rid of. This is the kind of thinking that ruins nations, starves millions, and trashes the planet. The "demographic time-bomb" is a matter of too many people, not too few. -- RF
Army lays out sweeping state-by-state spending cuts
Cold War Bunker Network Repurposed For 21st Century Threats
Jobs impact of sequester? 700,000 jobs over two years
S&P closes at 5-year high as U.S. stocks gain
Will Local Taxation Drive Gasoline Above $5.00 Per Gallon As A Norm?
The Astonishing Growth of Government Spending on the Poor

And finally…
Picasso's Masterpieces Made With House Paint

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