Sunday, February 10, 2013


News Links, February 9-11, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Europe Adopts Seven-year Austerity Budget
"U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron prevailed in his determination to reduce the European Union's (EU) seven-year project budget, the first time in the 27-member group's history that the project budget has shrunk. The chop was relatively small, from around €1 trillion to €960 billion (or around $1.35 trillion to about $1.28 trillion)."
Days After Freezing Prices, Argentina Bans All Advertising
Venezuela Launches First Nuke In Currency Wars, Devalues Currency By 46%
Interest rate hikes seen pushed back as dismal data mounts (Canada)
India cuts growth estimates as industrial output and consumption slow
Egyptians get more desperate as inflation and poverty bite
Nakheel eyes 2016 opening for new $680m mall
Spot gold contract being lined up for Dubai
Putin Turns Black Gold Into Bullion as Russia Out-Buys World
"When Vladimir Putin says the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly, he's not just talking. He's betting on it."
Dubai Mall retail sales up 24% in 2012
McDonald's January Sales Fall Beyond Expectations
"Eurovegas" mega-casino approved in Spain, opposition grows
Italy 2012 Industrial Output At 1990-Low
Canada's triple whammy of data is reality check for economy
The Fed's Bailout Of Europe Continues With Record $237 Billion Injected Into Foreign Banks In Past Month
McDonald's sales fall again amid weakness in Asia
Wall Street Success With Germans Boomerangs: Mortgages
Global 'credit supernova' turns 2013 bull into bear

## Airline Death Spiral ##
U.S. Airways, American Airlines and Poor Customer Service
"Airline mergers are messy for employees, aircraft builders, airports and especially customers. The likely merger of U.S. Airways Group Inc. (NYSE: LCC) and bankrupt AMR, parent of American Airlines, will cause another round of the poor customer service and the high fees people have come to expect as airline marriage rates surge."
US Airways-American merger would leave flyers with few choices
"Later this month, US Airways and American Airlines are expected to merge, creating the world's largest carrier and leaving the industry with four mega-carriers -- down from the 10 major airlines that existed in 2001."
Budapest Airport flying by the seat of its pants
Boeing gets permission for Dreamliner test flights
Boeing New Aircraft Orders Implode From 183 To Just 2 In January
Excess baggage: Budget airlines charge massive fees for bags not booked online
The Beleaguered Airline Traveler
Flying from Chennai airport to be costly
Is Southwest Airlines losing the luv?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pirates Want Your Oil and They're Smart Enough to Get It
Pirates kidnap three cargo ship crew in Gulf of Guinea
Have hired guns finally scuppered Somali pirates?
A new space race is heating up across Asia
4 Chinese ships spotted again in disputed waters
Russian patrol planes come close to Japan
"The Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter jets Saturday afternoon as two Russian military patrol planes flew close to Japanese airspace over the Sea of Japan, the Defense Agency's Joint Staff said."
Ethiopians 'driven out in land grabs'
"Thousands of Ethiopians are being driven off their ancestral land that the government's selling without their consent to foreign investors buying up vast swathes of farmland, a U.S. watchdog reports."
Yemen's main oil pipeline attacked, pumping halted
"Attackers blew up Yemen's main oil export pipeline on Friday, halting the flow of crude, an official working for the state-run Safer oil company said, the latest in a series of attacks."
US mulls putting Algeria militant on 'kill' list: report
"Senior members of US President Barack Obama's administration want to put the mastermind of last month's attack on an Algerian natural-gas facility on a secret 'kill' list, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. Adding Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar to a US list for targeted killing would entail a significant US military expansion into northwestern Africa, the newspaper said, citing unnamed US officials."
Assassination in Tunisia, Trigger for Revolutionary Revival
Flaws found in U.S. missile shield
"Secret Defense Department studies cast doubt on whether a multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe can ever protect the U.S. from Iranian missiles as intended, congressional investigators say."
Mexico's Vigilantes Turn over 11 Detained Suspects
In Mexico, self-defense squads battle violence

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tunisia chaos continues with general strike
Tunisian Islamists rally to show "power of street"
China's Urbanization Risk: Magnified Unrest
Protesters in Georgia harry Saakashvili over speech
Bangladeshi war crimes protesters turn anger towards feuding politicians
Egyptian protesters clash with police after days of calm
Slovenia protest adds pressure to crumbling government
Riot police sent against Greek striking seamen
Riot police fire water cannon at India rape protestors
Bulgarians Rise Up against Skyrocketing Electricity, Heating Prices
French Workers Threaten To Blow Up Their Factory
Dozens killed in Iraq unrest and protests grow against government
More than 30 arrested at protest against Quebec northern development plan
Irish marchers protest nationwide against austerity
Protester hurls shoes at Paul Bremer, former US envoy to Iraq

## Energy/resources ##
BP Energy Outlook 2030: An exercise in wish fulfillment
Shrinking crude oil exports A tough game for oil importers
Greece's troubled economy pushes illegal logging across forests in the countryside
"With Greeks already struggling under wage and pension cuts imposed by the foreign lenders that bailed their country out, many have stopped using heating oil altogether, pushing consumption down 70 percent in the last three months of 2012 from a year earlier."
Manufacturer Fret over Imminent Collapse of Aluminium Industry (Nigeria)
Uranium Production Disrupted in both Kazakhstan and Niger
Australia's uranium industry hits turbulence
Growing Canadian oil exports to U.S. bittersweet for producers as price discount bites
The plight of the Nigerian energy industry
Brent Oil Rises to Nine-Month High on China
Timber smuggling hits Mozambique
"Nearly half the timber exported from Mozambique to China is illegally logged and smuggled, a British environmental advocacy group alleges."
Tanzania: Pipeline Woes for this Gas Giant
Japan offers nuclear help to Saudi to free up oil
"Japan has offered to help Saudi Arabia build nuclear power stations to free up more oil for exports, Kyodo news agency reported on Sunday, but a visiting Japanese minister said he was not seeking a supply increase now."
Japan asks UAE to renew oil rights
"Japan on Sunday asked the United Arab Emirates to renew Japanese companies' offshore oil rights and allow new investment in inland oil fields in a bid to secure stable sources of oil, Kyodo news agency reported."
Japan is not counting on being able to exploit hydrocarbon resources in waters disputed with China. -- RF
Norway's gas outage bigger than expected: Statoil
"Norwegian gas output will be reduced more than expected on Sunday, energy firm Statoil said, after a fire at a gas processing plant cut production a day earlier."
South Africa to reach nuclear 'point of no return' by June
The Decline of America's Civil Nuclear Industry and its Impact on Our National Security
This decline is a good thing, contrary to what the author says. And it is pleasing to see signs that, worldwide, nuclear power is not expanding as predicted. The sooner this technology dies, the better. -- RF
Brent oil surges to nine-month peak near US$120
Gazprom Warns on Profit
Corn shortage idles 20 ethanol plants nationwide (US)
"The persistent drought is taking a toll on producers of ethanol, with corn becoming so scarce that nearly two dozen ethanol plants have been forced to halt production."
Finance Ministry's fuel prices may turn refineries 'sick': industry association (India)
"Finance Ministry's move to drastically change the way petrol and diesel are priced may sound the death knell for some of the domestic oil refineries, an industry association has warned."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
In New Mexico, crooks are now stealing public toilets

## Got food? ##
New Era of Food Scarcity Echoes Collapsed Civilizations (Lester Brown)
"The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity. Over the last decade, world grain reserves have fallen by one third. World food prices have more than doubled, triggering a worldwide land rush and ushering in a new geopolitics of food. Food is the new oil. Land is the new gold."
World food prices stable, low stocks pose risk of spikes: U.N.
Global food prices could spike
Europeans learn they may have been eating 'horsemeat lasagne' for the last seven months

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Signs You're Living Beyond Your Means

## Environment/health ##
Oil-spill plan can't cope with supertankers (Canada)
Guatamala's coffee rust 'emergency' devastates crops
Gas-Rich Groningen Province in Netherlands Hit by New Earthquake

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hacker exposes ex-US President George H W Bush emails
DHS Watchdog OKs 'Suspicionless' Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border
"The Department of Homeland Security's civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation's borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security."
Assassination Court: Senators Mull Pre-Execution Trials
Press TV, iFilm taken off air in US, Canada
Warning over social networking 'snooping' technology
"New stalking software capable of tracking people's movements and predicting    future behaviour using data from social networking websites has been developed, it emerged today."
5 Homeland Security 'Bots Coming to Spy on You (If They Aren't Already)
US To Use Drones In Chris Dorner Manhunt
Google Moves to Destroy Online Anonymity … Helping Authoritarian Governments In the Process

## Systemic breakdown ##
Salga: Power hikes may cause financial collapse of councils (South Africa)
"JOHANNESBURG - The South African Local Government Association (Salga) has warned Eskom's proposed electricity tariff hike may result in the financial collapse of many municipalities."
And it won't be just South Africa. Municipalities respond to high electricity costs first by turning off streetlights, which we have already seen in several countries. But what do they cut after that? This is collapse in action. -- RF
Heat or food: Lithuanians feel Russia's cold shoulder as gas prices rise
Is This the Terminal Phase of Global Capitalism 1.0?
Swedish Concept Hotel Lets You Sleep Like the Homeless Do

## Japan ##
Govt debt reaches record 997 trillion yen
Nissan profit tumbles; trouble on 3 continents
Will Japan's "Attempted" Reflation Succeed And Will It Spill Over Into Full-Fledged Currency War?
Japan may release data proving Chinese radar incident: media
Japanese Carriers Cite Tough Times In Shipping And Air Freight

## China ##
China names ICBC as yuan clearing bank in Singapore
"China has named Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) , the world's biggest bank, as the clearing bank for offshore yuan business in Singapore."
17% of China's billionaires under investigation or arrest
"China Accounts For Nearly Half Of World's New Money Supply"
China January Coal Imports Rise 56% From Year Ago, Customs Says
China Passes U.S. to Become World's Biggest Trading Nation
Report alarms over-heated investment by local governments
Is China Mobilizing For A War With Japan?
In wealthy Hong Kong, poorest live in metal cages

## UK ##
Lights out in Kirklees – 2,000 street lights to be switched off from midnight-5am
Streetlights stay off as council sets budget
U.K. Consumers May Face More Bad Meat News, Paterson Says

## US ##
Baltimore forecasts financial collapse
"The Baltimore city government is on a path to financial ruin and must enact major reforms stave off bankruptcy, according to a 10-year forecast the city commissioned from an outside firm."
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Is a Broke-Ass Sinkhole of Despair
How far can you go in a Tesla?
America Is Doomed Unless Women Start Having More Babies. How Convenient.
U.S. Consumer Borrowing Rises $14.6 Billion
"Borrowing by U.S. consumers rose in December for a fifth consecutive month, driven by a surge in student and auto loans, in a sign that consumers are more comfortable about making big spending decisions."
Why U.S. Energy Independence Means Pump Pain
Blizzard hammers U.S. Northeast, five dead, 700,000 lose power
Thousands of dollars worth of diesel fuel stolen
Why gasoline prices are headed even higher
The New Reality Of 'Economic Recovery' For American Workers
Consumer Credit in U.S. Rises on Surge in Non-Revolving Debt
Average earnings of young college graduates are still falling
More Amazing Student Loan Statistics
U.S. Postal Service Reports $1.3 Billion Loss In First Quarter
Americans Are Tapping Into Home Equity Again
Report: Energy Future hires law firm to advise on debt restructuring
Social Security Trust Fund Likely To Run Out In 2031
3 Social Security Shockers From the CBO's Latest Report
CBO - The Coming Raid on Social Security
I've repeatedly warned everyone to get ready for the end of "retirement" and pensions. Unless you are a member of the super-rich New Aristocracy, prepare to work 'til you croak. -- RF
U.S. snowstorm shuts down Massachusetts nuclear plant
Feds to Open New Supermax Prison Cells at "Gitmo North"
Arkansas law jails tenants who don't pay their rent
In Michigan, gun seekers line up for permits
To Infinity And Beyond: Would-Be Astronauts Keep Faith In Uncertain Era
Arizona sheriff hires Steven Seagal to train civilian 'posse' to use guns
"Steven Seagal, the Hollywood action star, has been enlisted by a controversial Arizona sheriff to give guns and martial arts training to a civilian 'posse' used to guard schools."
Washington vs. S&P: Just the tip of the iceberg?
Show This To Anyone That Believes That "Things Are Getting Better" In America
EIA analysis: US refineries are slowing down

And finally…
Late for work? Some wild excuses
Couple addicted to coffee enemas
Man's prosthetic eye falls out during trial, judge declares mistrial
Putting a price on love
"Investment advisory firm Houston Asset Management's 2013 "Cost of Loving Index" reflects a 2.4 percent price increase for popular Valentine's Day gifts, including perfume, chocolates and designer silk neckties."

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