Thursday, February 07, 2013


News Links, February 7-8, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Major construction firm collapses (NZ)
Hey, what happened to the "reconstruction boom" that was supposed to be happening in New Zealand? -- RF
Mainzeal subcontractors locked out (NZ)
N.Z. Employers Unexpectedly Cut Jobs Last Quarter; Kiwi Slumps
Unemployment rate falls as more give up job hunt (NZ)
"The unemployment rate fell only because even more people gave up looking for work than lost jobs. In all, 33,000 people dropped out of the workforce in the final three months of 2012 - the highest number to do so on record."
Australia Jobless Rate Hides Weakness
"Australia's unemployment rate remained steady in January, but the apparent firmness in the job market disguised underlying weakness in the economy, as more people gave up looking for work."
India Predicts Growth at Decade Low as Investment Slows
60,000 Saudis unable to repay their debts
"About 60,000 Saudis are unable to pay off their loans, said Abdullah Marei bin Mahfouz, chairman of the Jeddah branch of the national committee for the care of prisoners and their families. Bin Mahfouz said that currently about 300 Saudis are imprisoned in the Kingdom who are unable to settle their bank debts. In addition, about 500 prisoners are unable to pay off credit card debts, and car installments."
Don't Sell Your Gold and Silver Coins: Jim Rogers
RBS Busted On Libor Manipulation: "its just amazing how libor fixing can make you that much money"
Beggar-Thy-Neighbor Currency Devaluations Proved Ruinous For The Global Economy In The 1930s, But The World Is Setting Off Down The Same Slippery Slope Again
Barclays to Fire 275 Investment-Banking Workers in New York
Monte Paschi Hidden Deals Will Have EU730 Million Impact
Germany Rebounds but ... France Economic Implosion Accelerates; Record Decrease in Service Employment in Italy
Ireland set to liquidate "bad bank," reduce bailout costs
Credit Suisse to cut costs further
Illusions of Stabilization
Libor Accords Leave Banks Facing 'Massive' State Claims
Indian Central Bank Aims To Transfer Massive Physical Gold Into Banking System
Forget Europe's Periphery, The Core Is Collapsing
Coca-Cola CEO: Capitalism needs to evolve

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Boom or bust: Competition hots up for Indonesia's budget airlines
"Indonesia's economic boom should be a bonanza for airlines clamoring for a slice of the world's  fourth-most populous country. But the bankruptcy of its No. 4 airline, Batavia Air, shows how smaller operators are finding it hard to survive."
Following Two Years of Decline, Airfreight Industry Is Cautiously Optimistic in 2013
ANA cancels 368 more flights over Dreamliner grounding
American-US Airways merger nearly complete
Boeing 787 Grounding Puts Cities in Costly Holding Pattern
"They are cities that have either seen the start of 787 international service or are scheduled to see it begin early this year. Now, due to the Dreamliner grounding, the financial impact of the delayed service could be substantial."
Yearly airport losses reach Rs. 56 crore (India)
Airlines' quest for profitability raises risk of more flight delays (Canada)
Harvard Researchers: Airlines Misrepresenting Fare Surcharges as 'Taxes'

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russian fighter jets violated Japanese airspace, Tokyo claims
Gunmen rape 6 tourists near Acapulco, Mexico
Fleets of Drones Descend on Africa
U.S. launched drone from secret Saudi base: reports
White House: Drone Killings 'Ethical and Wise'
"Insists US Kills People With 'Utmost Care'"
Official: U.S. Navy carrier fleet cut to one in Gulf
"The Navy is delaying the deployment of the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group because of looming budget reductions, a move that cuts the number of aircraft carriers in 5th Fleet from two to one, a defense official has confirmed."
China says probing Japan complaint about radar lock-on
Africa No.1 Risk Area for Oil Tankers
S. Korea talks of 'pre-emptive strike'
"South Korea's military chief warned of a pre-emptive strike even at the risk of war if North Korea showed intent of a nuclear attack ahead of its nuclear test."
Iraqi Kurds press on with oil pipe to Turkey despite U.S. fears
"Iraqi Kurdistan will press ahead with building its own oil export pipeline to Turkey, the region's energy minister said on Thursday, despite U.S. objections due to fears the project could lead to the break-up of Iraq."
Egypt's government nearing end of the road, says ex-PM
Freight crime soars in Mexico as US shippers turn to near-sourcing
Jets roar as U.S., Japan, Australia conduct drill in Pacific

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Singapore plans rare protest as population debate rages
"Discontent is growing in affluent Singapore over a rising number of foreigners blamed for strains on infrastructure, ballooning housing costs and transportation headaches in a country slightly smaller than New York City."
Protest never ends at Indian nuclear plant
"An indefinite struggle continues against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in the southern Indian state Tamil Nadu despite a government crackdown on protests."
French Government Fears 'Social Implosions Or Explosions'
"The daily drumbeat of layoff and plant-closure announcements in France has been riling up desperate workers who stand to lose their livelihood without much hope of finding a job elsewhere as unemployment has hit 10.5%. But now the government is worried about a 'radicalization' of these angry workers. A major quandary: on one hand, the Socialists promised during the election to side with the workers; but on the other hand, they must somehow figure out how to create an environment where the private sector can survive."
70 held over string of self-immolations (China)
Protests rage for third day over Bangladeshi war crimes Islamist
Workers strike at Colombia's top coal exporter

## Energy/resources ##
The Myth of "Saudi America"
"Straight talk from geologists about our new era of oil abundance."
The Festering Sore of Mine Cost Inflation
As with oil, getting mineral resources out of the ground is increasingly expensive. -- RF
Disappointed With Electric Cars, Automakers Are Making Bad Bet On Fuel Cells
U.S. Halts Drilling on Gulf Wells With Flawed Bolts
Ethanol industry turns to plant residue, scraps
This is a big mistake. As I've said before, crop residue and other organic material must be returned to the land. -- RF
Iran boosts export muscle with new oil tankers
"Iran has taken delivery of several new tankers from Chinese shipyards, giving it greater flexibility in maintaining oil exports in the face of Western sanctions, Reuters reported."
Oil majors scramble for Abu Dhabi deal
"It looks like energy-hungry China is leading the pack, elbowing out the West's Big Oil leaders in a significant geopolitical shift in the Middle East's oil industry toward Asia."
Oil pipeline to Pacific coast needed soon or 'bitumen bubble' could become permanent: report (Canada)
Quebec seeks formal ban on shale gas exploration ahead of regulatory moves
Retired Duke reactor may signal more U.S. nuclear shutdowns
Major nuclear accident would cost France $580 bln -study
Owner of shut Calif. reactor knew of generator problems -lawmakers
Greeks forgo winter heating after jump in fuel tax
"Greek cleaner Eleni Daneel's family spends evenings in their Athens home  bundled up in coats after a steep rise in fuel prices made heating their apartment an unaffordable luxury this winter."
Saudi Arabia Stabilizes Oil Output as OPEC Maintain Cap
Europe faces major wind staff shortage
"The European wind industry is facing potential shortages in trained staff of up to 18,000 by 2030, or 5% of the entire workforce."
Serious lack of coal supply for Eskom – Roadmap (South Africa)

## Got food? ##
U.S. Soy Supply at 48-Year Low as Brazil Ships Held: Commodities
The Surprising Connection Between Food and Fracking
Greek farmers hand out food in protest at high production costs
Desperate Greeks scuffle at free food handout
"Hundreds of Greeks scuffled for free vegetables handed out by farmers on Wednesday, leaving one man trampled and injured and prompting an outcry over the growing desperation created by economic crisis."
Nearly Half of All US Farms Now Have Superweeds
U.S. Cattle Feedlots May Face Losses on High Feed Costs
Famine hit North Korea's rice basket in 2012, report says
How to Build a Greenhouse from Used Windows or Storm Doors
Urban agriculture: Harvesting the City

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Feeling Overconnected? 5 Reasons To Unplug From Technology After Work
How to Build a Grain Bin House

## Environment/health ##
US Breweries go to War against Fracking Industry
"US brewers have now taken up their case against fracking, worried that any potential contamination of ground water supplies would ruin their business. The process of brewing beer requires clean water, with many breweries being built at the sites they are specifically for the mineral composition of the water."
Countering the Pervasive, Abominable Disgrace: Lethal Artificial Surfaces
Poaching boom sees thousands of elephants killed in Gabon
Winter rains shy away from drought-stricken US Plains
Odds Against U.S. Drought Ending Soon, Texas Climatologist Says
2 Great Lakes hit lowest water level on record
Purdue U. reports typhoid fever case
New whooping cough strain may be cause of more illnesses

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Fed says internal site breached by hackers, no critical functions affected
Survey: Most Americans take breaks from Facebook
EU to order banks, energy firms to report cyber attacks
Rupert Murdoch tweets Chinese 'still hacking' WSJ
Some 54 countries helped CIA detention efforts: report
Saudi drone blackout raises doubts about US media independence
Was there ever a question about US media independence? -- RF
Internet users seeking more invisibility: study
U.S. in Growing Cyber War With China?
Groundbreaking New Encryption App Set To Revolutionize Privacy And Freak Out The Feds
Microsoft says 'botnet' hacker hijacked online searches

## Systemic breakdown ##
2 Years in Jail for Sitting on a Milk Crate? The Shocking Ways America Punishes Poor People Living on the Street
This is a double body blow to the unlucky. First, society throws people out on the street, then it throws them in jail for being out on the street. The final days of The Empire are at hand. -- RF
Mass. shuts 11 pharmacies amid meningitis inspections
For Greeks, Painful Cuts Keep Tearing At The Social Fabric
Yemen 'faces political collapse', Nobel winner tells AFP
Blackout Shuts Down DMV Computers Statewide (US)
How to Survive When the Power Goes Out

## Japan ##
Kerosene up for 10th week / Prices rise as dealers struggle to meet cold-weather demand
Panasonic sells two main buildings in Tokyo to raise $100 million
Sony trims quarterly loss to $115 million
Weaker Yen Helping Electronics Firms, But Only So Much
Power goes out for minute at Oi nuclear plant
'Cyber-attack' strikes govt again / Foreign Ministry says classified documents possibly stolen from computer
BOJ policymaker stresses difficulty of achieving 2% inflation
Abe urges Japanese companies to raise wages for workers to beat deflation
Abe presses ahead on collective self-defense
Fujitsu, Panasonic to merge LSI ops: report
Fujitsu eyes 5,000 job cuts
"Fujitsu said Thursday it lost 90.12 billion yen in the nine months to December and was looking into slashing 5,000 jobs worldwide as it struggles to compete with cheaper overseas competition."
PM Abe pledges to find resolution with Russia over Kuril Islands dispute
Japan sees poor catches of young Japanese eel this fishing season
Wiped out city waits for Tokyo to wake up
"It has been almost two years since much of Tohoku's coastline was wiped out by tsunami on March 11. Gone are many of the destroyed buildings and vehicles that served as reminders of the horror and tragedy caused by the monster earthquake in the Pacific. But in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, instead of concrete signs of rebirth, all one can see is barren, flat land waiting to be developed."
Rubella outbreak spreading quickly
Japan posts December current account deficit

## China ##
China State Media Fires Back on Island Dispute
Beijing Court Takes Rare Swipe at 'Black Jails'
China Injects Record 860 Billion Yuan via Reverse Repos in Week
China's gold rush to continue, possibly to world No. 1
Chinese housing prices defy taming measures in 65 of 70 cities
China accuses Japan of smear campaign over radar incident
Beijing pollution is so bad it's like 'testing on animals'
Swaggering Chinese military no match for common folk

## UK ##
How house prices have risen 43-fold since 1971

## US ##
Postal Service to end Saturday letter delivery
U.S. Treasury Sees Floating-Rate Note Sale Within Next Year
Short US Government Bonds 'Right Now': Jim Rogers
U.S. Air Force Outlines Dire Sequestration Fallout
"The U.S. Air Force would see flying hours reduced by 18 percent, readiness drop to 'sub-optimal levels' and the service could furlough about 180,000 civilians if Congress allows the 'sequestration' cuts to defense spending to kick in next month, according to a presentation from the Air Force to Congress."
Military services outline their spending cut plans
As Drought Intensifies, 2 States Dig In Over Water War
College Graduates Are The New Debt Slaves
Spot The Government-Subsidized, Channel-Stuffed "Recovery"
The Slow Decline of the Middle Class Explained in One Easy Graphic
How Colleges May Be Helping Banks Rob Their Students
College Graduates Are The New Debt Slaves
The American Commuter Spends 38 Hours a Year Stuck in Traffic
Even brief spending cuts could hit U.S. economy hard
Dreamworks Reportedly To Cut Staff By Up To 20%
Jim Rogers Joins Bill Gross Warning on Treasuries
S&P May Be Sued by Additional States, Connecticut Says
Cargo thieves steal goods worth millions from tractor-trailers
"The FBI approximates that about $30 billion worth of goods are stolen from tractor-trailers every year nationwide."
The Pension Fund That Ate California
Debt Collection Horror Stories

And finally…
One-third of Americans believe God decides who wins sporting events
Monopoly: Cat replaces iron in board game overhaul
German Education Minister Stripped Of PhD For Plagiarism
Donald Trump: 'Karl Rove is a total loser'
Man quits over 666 on tax form
Get Rich Quick Schemes For The Rest Of Us: Rent Out Your Neighbor's Foreclosed House

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