Wednesday, March 20, 2013


News Links, March 20, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
European February Car Sales Drop 10% as Recession Deepens
India Cuts Rates for Second Time This Year to Revive Growth
Nigel Farage Message To Europeans: "Get Your Money Out While You Can"
ArcelorMittal Faces Trial By Fire As Global Steel Industry Wavers
BlackRock to lay off nearly 300 employees: memo
Affymax may file for bankruptcy; cuts 75 percent of workforce
Gold breaks above $1,600
Cyprus Rejects Deposit Levy in Blow to European Bailout Plan
Cyprus Is Pinching Russia
Cyprus plan risks banking system collapse: Russian EU envoy
Cyprus seeks aid from Russia
UK MoD flies emergency cash to Cyprus for British personnel
Cyprus becomes newest preferred destination for Chinese investors
If Cyprus can dip into people's private savings, how safe are we?
Cyprus Deposit Levy: Next in line could be Eurozone Gold confiscation
All Hell Is Breaking Loose After Cyprus Catastrophe
Rand Extends Year's Worst Slide as Eskom Blackout Concern Rises
"The rand declined, extending the worst slide among emerging-market currencies this year, on concern forced power blackouts by Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. may hamper output in Africa's biggest economy."
Power cut in SA cost AngloGold 20,000 ounces
"Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), the world's third-largest producer of the precious metal, warned Monday a power failure that cut electricity supply to some of its South African operations would reduce first-quarter production to about 20,000 ounces and increase costs."
Ford to pay $750 million severance to workers at Belgium plant

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Exorbitant hidden charges 'could be consigned to history'
Lawmakers worry about fare hikes at airline merger hearing
Jetstar ex-chief says fees are killing airliners
Greece to try to lease 21 regional airports as debt pressures force new strategies
Indonesia's Merpati Airlines hopes for outstanding debt write-off
Lion Air Order Stirs Concern Over Glut in Southeast Asia

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iranian bank challenges sanctions in Britain's Supreme Court
Tunisian troops battle Islamist militants near Algerian border
Afghan government hits back at NATO chief, says war aimless
Bombs kill nearly 60 on Iraq invasion anniversary
Saudi Arabia arrests 18 for spying
US flies nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea amid rising tensions with North Korea
Clashes break out at Libyan Waha oil field
"Armed clashes broke out at an oil field belonging to Libya's Waha Oil on Monday when a militia attacked the security forces guarding it, a company source said."
US Boycotts UN Debate on Israeli Settlements

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Anti-Obama protesters scuffle with Palestinian police
"Palestinian police scuffled on Tuesday with scores of demonstrators protesting against the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the occupied West Bank later this week."
Bulgarian anger over living standards lifts nationalist party
Right to Food activists protest
Fuel shortage violence leads to deaths and injuries (Egypt)

## Energy/resources ##
Calculating the True Carbon Footprint of a Renewable Energy Grid
Saudi Arabia to Drill for Shale Gas This Year
Underground water levels in high plains shrinking
India Coal demand to touch 980 mn tons by 2016-17
It's time to consider long-term costs of fracking
Europe Facing Peak Oil
Iraq Willing to Supply an 'Unlimited' Quantity of Crude Oil to Indonesia

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable thieves affect South Yorkshire train services

## Got food? ##
Wheat Crop Seen Near Record as U.S. Drought Recedes: Commodities
Deadly maize disease to cut output in key bread basket (Kenya)
Kenya May Face Food Shortage
Bakers become latest victims of Egypt subsidy cuts
"Economists warn that restrictions on bread sales could trigger a 'revolution of the hungry'"

## Environment/health ##
NY anti-fracking group, celebrities say they will register as lobbyists if necessary
Red Tide Killing Manatees
'Falluja Babies' and Depleted Uranium -- America's Toxic Legacy in Iraq

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Internet is a surveillance state

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Struggling Egyptian economy leading to drug shortages
Baby formula shortage expands to Europe
Civil Engineers Echo Obama Calling for Infrastructure Fix
Energy industry faces skilled worker shortage
Grid chief warns of future NE power problems
"The chief executive of New England's power grid manager warned Tuesday that a growing regional dependence on natural gas, combined with supply constraints, is threatening its ability to guarantee electricity whenever and wherever it's needed."
The Mathematics of Averting the Next Big Network Failure
"Three years ago, Stanley and his colleagues discovered the mathematics behind what he calls "the extreme fragility of interdependency." In a system of interconnected networks like the economy, city infrastructure or the human body, their model indicates that a small outage in one network can cascade through the entire system, touching off a sudden, catastrophic failure."

## Japan ##
Fuel pool cooling system problem probed
Japan Says Radiation Level Stable After Fukushima Power Loss
The sudden blackout revealed the weakness of Fukushima plant, "Reactor4 has 4 days to go"
Power, cooling restored at Fukushima nuclear plant
Nuclear Watchdog's Resolve Melts As Summer Crunch Nears
"Six months since its inception, the Nuclear Regulation Authority appears to have eased up on a strict safety-first approach to take some realities into consideration.
"The agency indicated Tuesday that it will exempt Kansai Electric Power Co.'s (9503) Oi plant, in Fukui Prefecture, from new safety standards until September."
3 Chinese vessels sail inside territorial waters around Senkakus
Outgoing Bank of Japan head warns no quick fix to Japan's deflation
Quake off southern coast could cost 40 percent of Japan's GDP
50-day stopgap budget in pipeline
Japanese government makes $3.4 billion investment in Africa

## China ##
Over one million face drinking water shortages in Guizhou and Gansu
Chinese sportswear companies bracing for tough period
China river's dead pig toll passes 13,000 but officials say water quality is 'normal'
China fires warning shot at North Korea banks: report
China foreign direct investment overseas soars 147%
Chinese Solar Stocks — from Bad to Worse

## UK ##
UK more vulnerable from disruption to oil supplies
"Petrol station closures and cutbacks in storage capacity have made Britain more vulnerable to oil supply disruptions, the Government has been told."
Many infrastructure projects unlikely to be completed during this parliament
Millions of drivers swerving to avoid potholes

## US ##
SCHIFF: 'Banks Are Just A Few Rate Hikes From Insolvency'
Consumers to Pay $13 Billion Price as Ethanol Upends Refiners
"U.S. drivers face a $13 billion increase in the cost of gasoline as the price of federally- mandated ethanol credits has risen tenfold for oil refiners including Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) and CVR Energy Inc."
Workers Saving Too Little to Retire
Retirement squeeze is on in U.S.
"Saving enough for retirement is a concept that is slipping away for many U.S. workers, a national survey found."
The American Retirement Asset Crisis Is Upon Us
U.S. Companies Stashing More Cash Abroad As Stock Piles Hit Record $1.45T
Chase Bank Customers Report Seeing Drained Accounts
"The internal glitch has been fixed. Customers took their frustration -- and fears -- to Twitter."
Housing Bubble II: But This Time It's Different
Defying Gravity: Miami Condos Soar Again

And finally…
Jedi could perform marriages, says Free Church of Scotland

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