Sunday, February 24, 2013


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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