Wednesday, March 13, 2013


News Links, March 14, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Asian stock markets fall after UK factory production falls, German bank head issues warning
Bahamas turns to oil exploration in face of mounting debt
Farage Slams Eurozone As "Complete Economic Disaster"
Lack of funds grounds South African jets
"Nearly half of South Africa's fleet of 26 Gripen fighters have been mothballed because of lack of operational funds."
Egypt rejects IMF offer of emergency rescue loan
Sweden Officially in Deflation (As Measured by CPI)
Steel Price Forecast for 2013? Watch Out For Overcapacity
Wall Street May Lose in $541 Million Suntech Bond Default
The Petro Business Cycle, Part II
Crumbling BRICs: Why You're Better Off Elsewhere
S&P cuts Puerto Rico rating to brink of junk
Bitcoin 'Glitch' Sparks 23% Flash Crash
Argentines escaping currency controls with Bitcoins

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Cathay Pacific reports 83% plunge in annual profit
"Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has posted a 83% plunge in profits amid higher fuel costs and a drop in demand for corporate travel."
Shape up or ship out: Air India's weight loss tip to staff
The Dreamliner Nightmare, Part 2
Thomas Cook eyes disposal of airline unit

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
More fuel to South China Sea disputes
China to hang tough on isle row with Japan: U.S. official
Israel's Iron Dome: Doubts over success rate
Egypt branded more dangerous for tourists than Yemen
The U.S. Scorched Earth Policy, Ten Years After Iraq Invasion
CIA Ramps Up Role in Iraq
5 killed in militant attack on Indian Kashmir police camp
Japan, Sri Lanka to beef up maritime security alliance with eye on China
"Japan plans to strengthen its maritime security alliance with Sri Lanka to curb China's growing influence on countries with Indian Ocean coastlines."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Mass Protests could Doom Taiwan's $8.9 Billion Nuclear Power Plant
"Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant, the $8.9 billion Longmen Nuclear Power Plant project, is threatened as more than 68,000 protestors took part in marches over the weekend to oppose its completion."
Tunisian dies after torching himself, unrest could follow
Food price rises put restive Egypt on edge
Bulgaria protests: New self-immolation in Sofia
Crisis: Greece; public employees protest in Athens

## Energy/resources ##
Peak Everything: Industry At a Crossroads, Says Nestlé Waters North America
A paralysed city: The diesel fuel crisis (Egypt)
Six gas-based power plants idling in Andhra Pradesh (India)
"The power situation in Andhra Pradesh has worsened with all the six gas-based generation plants, including those of GMR, GVK and Lanco, shutting down operations due to lack of gas availability."
ADB Says 75% of Asia-Pacific Nations Face Lack of Water Security
Norway's Arctic idyll shivers at oil plans
"With oil production falling to a 25-year low this year and the state depending on oil revenues, Norway's ruling Labour Party is warming to drilling in Lofoten's pristine waters, setting up the issue as the year's biggest political fight ahead of elections in September."
Brazil's Subsalt Oil & Gas Deposits Twice as Large as Existing Reserves
Foreign Mining Companies Flee China
Junk energy: Asians Hunt Gas Treasure Locked in Ice Beneath Seabeds: Energy
We know that the low-hanging fruit has been pretty well picked over when it comes to this. -- RF
Ivory Coast seeks LNG to head off gas shortfall
Uranium Rally Falters on Japanese Nuclear Delays: Energy Markets
Chinese fracking plans prompt "water-grabbing" fears
"Most of the nation's shale gas lies in areas plagued by water shortages."
Oil Drillers Boost Efforts to Coax More From Shale
Water issues could stall Saudi shale
Enel to sell assets as earnings outlook worsens
"Italy's biggest utility Enel plans to sell 6 billion euros ($7.8 billion) of assets and cut costs to reduce debt after southern Europe's economic slump forced a dramatic reduction in its profit outlook."
Weak demand may force E.ON to mothball new power stations
"German utility E.ON said it expected demand for electricity and gas in its core European region to be so weak in 2013 that it might have to mothball some of its most modern power stations."
Europe Gas Carnage Shown by EON Closing 3-Year-Old Plant
U.S. extends waivers on Iran sanctions to 11 countries
Forecast calls for MENA drilling boom
"Offshore oil and natural gas drilling in the Middle East should increase 25 percent from their 2012 levels in four years, a research firm predicts."
Asia-Pacific facing water crisis, ADB reports
Norway shows the way with electric cars, but at what cost?
"Norway's buzzing little market for pure electric cars has in its very success shown the severe drawbacks to a model that relies on public subsidies worth as much as $8,200 per car, every year."
Explosion in the Gulf of Mexico: Another Stark Reminder of the Dangers in Offshore Production

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Spike in road-construction materials in high desert

## Got food? ##
China Feed Mills Said to Have Bought Twice as Much Corn in March

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Make the Most of a Small Living Space

## Environment/health ##
Conservationists call on Government to back ban on 'bee-killing' pesticides
Wellington has '20 days of water left' in drought
Sars-like virus kills again in Saudi Arabia
Health Problems Compound For Aging Homeless
German Prince Plans To Put Bison Back In The Wild
Dengue Fever No Longer Just A Visitor To Florida Keys
Science Proves That Cell Phones Are Annoying and Distracting

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Obama administration to let spy agencies scour Americans' finances
"The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters."
Oil Explorers Beware: Hackers Are Eyeing What You Know
Pentagon forming cyber teams to prevent attacks
Cyber threats against U.S. "ramping up:" Obama
Audio of Manning's statement on WikiLeaks case released
Tattoo-like biometric sensor monitors health wirelessly
Domestic Spying Targets Americans Nationwide

## Systemic breakdown ##
Doctor Shortage Getting Worse (US)

## Japan ##
No. of welfare recipients in Japan hits record high for 8th month
Japan's silver savers will bear the brunt of "Abenomics"
Tsunami-hit marine product processors facing worker shortage
Nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima schools at the crossroads
Empty streets, menacing crows and little hope in towns co-hosting Fukushima plant
PM Abe hints at possibility of reviewing Three Principles on Arms Exports
Japan to deploy next-generation patrol aircraft in March
Japan urged to send out global SOS over No. 1 plant
"Two years after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, the herculean task of decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is the subject of growing international involvement, with the International Atomic Energy Agency looking to step up its role."
Nippon Steel to halt furnaces, lines at four iron mills
Kyushu Electric To Slash Hiring 30% In Spring '14

## China ##
China's Steel Production Climbs 9.8%
"'Despite rising steel prices during February, many Chinese steelmakers are still loss-making,' Steel Index analysts Oscar Tarneberg and Julie Jiang wrote. Some producers of billet, long semifinished stock, reported losses of up to 300 yuan ($48.24) a ton even as prices for iron ore, a raw material in steel, reached their highest levels in 15 months, they said."
China Tightening Controls on Local Borrowing
"Chinese regulators are preparing to tighten controls on borrowing by local governments, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Wednesday, citing an internal memo from the China Banking Regulatory Commission."
New South China Mall: The Largest Mall in the World… World… world…
China pulls nearly 6,000 dead pigs from Shanghai river
Express delivery prices in China jump
Beijing to cull lavish spending
Demise of China's unloved railways ministry
Chart Of The Day: Chinese Stocks Turn Red For The Year
Suntech Seen Not Getting Bailout From Chinese Government
"China won't rescue Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) from its creditors because the former biggest solar-panel maker needs to retrench along with the rest of the industry, two advisers to government agencies said."
Whistle-blowing site exposes corrupt China bureaucrats

## UK ##
Court ruling halts British wind farm
Budget 2013: fears rise as cost of living soars four times faster than earnings
Swanage street lights switch-off to save £150,000 a year
UK power and gas spot prices remain near record highs

## US ##
Will Your Job Be Reshored to a Federal Prisoner?
Google pays executives $15m in bonuses
Private Prisons: The More Americans They Put Behind Bars The More Money They Make
Fire rages after tugboat, barge strike Louisiana gas pipeline
Insurers warn of sticker shock due to health care law's new taxes, requirements as it expands
Drones To Be Deployed As Nuclear Fallout Detectors
Inflation Targeting Revisited; Three Major Fed-Sponsored Bubbles; Who Benefits From Inflation?
GIs Fighting Nazis Last Time Factory Workers Toiled Longer
"The last time U.S. factory workers put in longer weeks than they averaged in February, Rosie the Riveter was on the assembly line and American GIs were fighting Nazis in Europe."
Chrysler bankruptcy lawyer top pick for Detroit manager
DIY Weapons: Start-Up Aims to Grow 3-D Gun Printing

And finally…
Sinkhole opens up in Washington and jaded humor emerges

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