Sunday, February 03, 2013


News Links, February 2-4, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Australian Manufacturing Shrinks
"Australia's manufacturing sector contracted for the 11th straight month in January as the nation's producers found themselves squeezed between a slowing economy and a strong exchange rate, a performance gauge produced by an industry group showed."
Goodyear to shutter tire plant in France
Brazil Has Jan Trade Deficit of $4.04 Billion vs. Dec Surplus of $2.25 Billion
Argentina Is First Nation Censured by IMF for Economic Data
Ship lending stuck in the doldrums: Citi
"Shipping companies will find it tough to borrow money again this year as a slump in the sector shows few signs of easing and regulators press banks to cut back lending, Citigroup's global head of shipping said. Traditionally a major source of funding for shipping companies, many European lenders are abandoning or scaling back this part of their business as regulators seek to make banks safer after the 2008 global financial crisis."
Demand too weak, travel firms have to sell tours at below cost prices (Vietnam)
Numbers racket in Argentina
"What is the country's actual inflation rate? That can be a dangerous question to ask these days."
Nordic Companies a Magnet for Foreigners as Europe Stalls
Best Buy, Sears Canada slash jobs as pressure builds ahead of Target arrival
Parents face laptop slug as funds run dry (Australia)
"THE federal government's scheme providing high school students with laptop computers is on the brink of collapse, leaving  parents with hefty bills and educators with a chaotic start to the school year."
Inequality for All – another Inconvenient Truth?
Extreme Sentiment: Barron's Cover "Get Ready for Record Dow - We Told You So"; Top Call
High anxiety in S Korea as won surges against yen

## Airline Death Spiral ##
'Slasher Walsh' Poised to Deepen Iberia Job Cuts as Talks Fail
Iberia unions plan strike after failed job talks
When will Saudia wake up from its prolonged slumber?
Estonian Air makes last-minute attempt to avert pilots' strike
Boeing 787 Woes Stump Investigators Prolonging Grounding
Scrambling To Stay Alive
Absurd airline fees

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Canadians' possible role in Algeria attack of great concern to U.S.
Terrorist Safe Havens in North Africa Threaten the United States Homeland
It's possible to find "threats to the homeland" anywhere the US wants to intervene, for whatever reason. -- RF
Pentagon doesn't know if it's buying Iranian oil in Afghanistan
Biden raises possibility of direct U.S.-Iran talks
Iran escalating efforts to destabilize region - Panetta
Note that it's OK for the US to attempt to destabilize Iran, topple its government, and install a pro-US government, which is the real purpose of the sanctions. -- RF
Suicide bomb kills 22 near mosques in northwest Pakistan
Eye for an eye: rough justice in Mexico's Wild West
And this is just a preview of developments we shall witness throughout the world. -- RF
Assassination attempt in Armenia threatens stability
"An assassination attempt on a presidential candidate in Armenia has thrown this month's election into doubt and could threaten stability in the volatile Caucasus region that carries oil and natural gas to Europe."
Thirty-one killed as militants attack Pakistan checkpoint
Pakistan's Balochistan: Minerals, militants, and meddling
Pakistan Tribes Turn Against Army
Suicide bomber kills guard at US Embassy in Turkey
Mexico City seeks cause of deadly Pemex blast; attack not ruled out
Netanyahu Says Israel Must Stop a Nuclear-Armed Iran
US Green Lit Israeli Attacks on Syria, Approves Future Strikes
Japan coast guard says detains Chinese fishing boat near Okinawa
Germany, Italy protest at U.S. axing of missile defense funding
China's 'String of Pearls' - Real or Fake?
French planes pound Islamist camps in north Mali desert
Iraq violence: 'Many dead' in Kirkuk police HQ attack

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Colonial flags fly in Hong Kong as anger grows
"Sixteen years after Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule, public discontent with Beijing is swelling and protesters have been rallying around an unexpected symbol - the British colonial flag."
Polish farmers protest sale of farmland to foreign multinationals
One dead, dozens hurt as police clash with Egypt protesters
Egypt Clashes Near Palace Imperil Accord to End Violence
Egyptian dies of wounds as toll from protests rises to 57
Sudan riot police clash with students at Khartoum university
Nine arrested in right-wing Austria ball protest

## Energy/resources ##
The Perils of Ignoring the Water-Energy Nexus
"As we pump gasoline into our automobiles, we watch the register ring up dollars, but we don't see the water cost: some 13 gallons for every gallon of fuel."
Why the World May Never Experience a Shale Boom
Spain unveils fresh energy reforms that hit renewables
Red tape trips up France's green energy hopes for wind power
E.ON workers put off strike to Feb 10, to consider talks
U.S. to stay engaged in Mideast despite domestic energy boom, says top official
"A top U.S. energy official pledged Friday that the United States would stay engaged in the Middle East even if it nears energy independence thanks to an oil and gas bonanza at home."
Such bald-faced lying! The US leadership knows its shale-energy boom is a flash in the pan, so the US needs to maintain its presence there. It was never about freedom and democracy; it has always been about energy. -- RF
Peak Oil solved, but climate will fry: BP report
"Peak oil solved" is another crock of baloney. The mere fact that humanity must chase after junk oil and work at crushing undersea depths is proof that the situation is getting desperate. The low-hanging fruit is mostly gone and we are now getting out our ladders to get at the high and half-rotten fruit. -- RF
Peak gold: Gold 'production cliff' ahead
Chevron stands off with LNG buyers over pricing, warns projects at risk
"Chevron Corp. is taking a hard line with Asian utilities and other potential buyers seeking cheaper prices on exports of liquefied natural gas from Canada's West Coast, warning that unless sales are indexed to oil prices 'the projects won't get built.'"
Neighbours leave India high and dry for its water supply
Will Deep-sea Mining Yield an Underwater Gold Rush?
Imperial bumps up cost of Kearl oil sands project
"Imperial Oil Ltd. boosted the price tag of its Kearl oil sands mine by $2-billion, the second major increase for the project and the latest cost increase to hit Alberta's energy industry."
Gas flaring at Bakken and Eagle Ford (Kjell Aleklett)
China Co Buys Texas Oil & Gas Field

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable theft crippling our country (South Africa)
Now The Scrap Metal Thieves Target Your Car (UK)

## Got food? ##
Yum! The McRib is Back, Get Yours Today (After You Find Out What's In It); The Secret's in the Sauce!
Detroiters Question "World's Largest Urban Farm"
"To many Detroit residents—and especially to its established urban gardeners—the approval of a large-scale urban farm raises serious questions about the future of food and land in the city."

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Transition Free Press #1

## Environment/health ##
Harvard Study Confirms Fluoride Reduces Children's IQ
Chicago River Flowing Backwards Would Be Least of Region's Concerns
How planting trees can prevent violence in Africa's drylands
Sugary drinks may magnify the genetic risk of obesity
Cities, schools target energy drinks
Coal Power and Air Pollution

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US looking at action against China cyberattacks
Fairewinds: Website is under verified DDS attack
Hackers target Twitter, could affect 250,000 user accounts
Washington Post becomes third US newspaper to be targeted in suspected Chinese hacking attack
Neuromarketing: Tapping Into the 'Pleasure Center' of Consumers
America's Nuclear Dumpsters
"While the rest of America spent January debating new gun control laws, one government agency announced its plans to expand the use of high-capacity magazines, assault weapons, and even fully automatic machine guns. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation's nuclear plants, is seeking the firepower not for securing the plants themselves, but to defend their nuclear waste."
Danger does not compute in cyber war (Australia)
"THE number of serious cyber attacks investigated by Canberra's defence spy agency doubled last year, new figures show, as  security experts warn of dangerous complacency in the Australian community about data protection."
Wanted: Geeks to help fight Pentagon's cyberwar
More espionage now than during the Cold War
Amid Iraqi protests, hackers hit Maliki's website
EU to set up euro-election 'troll patrol' to tackle Eurosceptic surge
"The European Parliament is to spend almost £2 million on press monitoring and trawling Eurosceptic debates on the internet for 'trolls' with whom to debate in the run-up and during euro-elections next year amid fears that hostility to the EU is growing."
Your antivirus software probably won't prevent a cyberattack

## Systemic breakdown ##
Is scientific genius extinct? One expert thinks so
Crumbling Infrastructure Has Real and Enduring Costs
Underinvestment in ports and inland waterways imperils American competitiveness
U.S. keeps building new highways while letting old ones crumble
"Oil-rich Texas has built more highways and bridges than any other state, but over the next two decades it will fall $170 billion short of what it needs to keep the sprawling network in good repair."
Viewpoint: The 'invention illusion' means new rarely is new
"Despite what marketers would have us believe, recycling inventions and the cross-pollination of technologies for new applications are at the heart of all developments in the 21st Century."
Bank Of America Website Crash Caused By Internal Problems: Report

## Japan ##
Debris removal underway at former no-entry zone
Radioactive debris will be burned! -- RF
Gas Stations, Refineries Closing Due to Drop in Demand
Japan Pension Fund's Bonds Too Many If Abe Succeeds, Mitani Says
Japan Finance Minister Models Policy After 1930s Stimulus
Antipiracy bill drafted to let private armed guards defend ships
Runaway yen spurs business growth
"A sharply falling yen and rocketing stock prices, by-products of measures promised by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to end economic stagnation, are lifting many Japanese businesses, with many now reporting significantly rosier financial results."
Concern rises as China's air pollution blown over Japan

## China ##
China Vehicle Population Hits 240 Million as Smog Engulfs Cities
China's Environmental Protection Racket
China Reports Record Capital-Financial Account Gap for 2012
In rush to urbanize, China flattens 700 mountains
Will "Lanzhou New City" be yet another ghost city? -- RF

## UK ##
'Bankruptcy lite' is up 7pc in a year
"The number of people applying for Debt Relief Orders, a cheaper form of bankruptcy for those with no assets, has risen 7pc since 2011, official figures have shown."
100,000 more children to be plunged into poverty
Work advisers 'pushing jobless into self-employment'
Wards dangerously understaffed, say nurses in survey
Special forces face big cuts in support network
"The support network for Britain's special forces is facing major cutbacks with around 600 posts earmarked to be lost in a reorganisation to coincide with the military pull-out from Afghanistan."
Centrica set to scrap plans to build new UK nuclear plants- FT

## US ##
Spring forecast: Drought to persist in Plains
Alaska Mulls Oil Industry Tax Break to Boost Production
Farmers Begin Planting Hemp Under New Colorado Hemp Legalization
Number of unemployed veterans up 150,000 in four months
"The number of unemployed veterans rose above 800,000 in January, a spike that raises concerns about the long-term viability of efforts to find jobs for former military personnel."
VA study: 22 vets commit suicide every day
Pump, baby, pump! Dow Jones breaks 14,000 points
Bubble bursting NOW!
More Small Businesses Cutting Jobs — Gallup
10-14 rounds fired into van on Chicago highway, killing woman
It's Coming: The Government Wants to "Help Manage" Retirement Accounts
Politics and road building intersect in Kentucky
Energy Companies and Landowners are Clashing over Property Rights
Undocumented In The U.S.: 11 Million And Counting
Gasoline at highest price ever for this time of year
Shocking Numbers That Show The Media Is Lying To You About Unemployment In America
As U.S. becomes more fuel-efficient fund for roads/bridges nears empty
"The federal gas tax generates about $36 billion per year, but with spending outpacing that by several billion yearly, the Congressional Budget Office projected in January 2012 that the Highway Trust Fund would be running on empty by fiscal 2014."
Jesse Jackson Proposes Creation of a New Lender
"At a three-day conference in New York that began on Wednesday, Mr. Jackson discussed a proposal for increasing the availability of capital by using pension money to make loans in low-income communities."
The US Mint Resumes Sales While Silver Bars Disappear
'Fiscal Cliff' Was a Head-Fake, Budget Woes Are Here to Stay: David Stockman
Kyle Bass: As Long As We Keep Printing Money, Stocks Go Higher
In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn't Better - It's Brutal
Why Any Debt-to-GDP Projection for the U.S. Is Too Low

And finally…
Soldier admits shooting man trying to cure hiccups
Scottish man calls police on McDonald's for ignoring him

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