Sunday, April 28, 2013

 

News Links, April 27-29, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurozone crisis drying up credit to households: ECB
"Bank lending to private households in the euro area contracted again in March as the region's long-running debt crisis continues to choke demand for credit, data showed on Friday."
Coffers draining, Egypt accelerates search for billions in loans, knocking on world's doors
Greece starts firing civil servants for first time in a century
Greece passes reform law to unlock more EU/IMF rescue loans
Spanish government in new bid to revive economy
Spain revises down its economic forecast
Spain Is Beyond Doomed: The 2 Scariest Unemployment Charts Ever
In France, more than 3.2 million unemployed, a record
China's Credit Bubble: Where Did All the Money Go?
Still stuck on central-bank life support
"Five years after the onset of the global financial crisis, the world economy is in such a chronic condition that the European Central Bank might cut interest rates this week and the Federal Reserve is likely to indicate no let-up in the stimulus it is providing the U.S. economy."
JPMorgan's Eligible Gold Plummets 65% In 24 Hours To All Time Low
Gold Buyers Throng Indian Stores for Second Week on Rally
Asia sees gold buying craze, boosts supply from Europe
"Panic Buying" in Asia Leads to "Physical Gold Shortage"
The Spot Price of Precious Metals Is Becoming Irrelevant
POSCO war Zone - Major blow to Indian dreams of POSCO
Fallen Italian nobles turn castles into B&Bs
After Dhaka garment factory collapse, chances for supply chain changes low
Bitcoin's real-world problem: Virtual currency facing bank backlash in Canada

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Hard landing for mainland China airlines
Congress passes plan to ease flight delays
Union threatens Lufthansa with further strikes in wage dispute
United Airlines parent reports loss of $417M
Virgin America introduces in-flight flirting system
FAA says air travel system to be normal Sunday night
After flight delay fix, Obama chides Congress for piecemeal approach to undoing spending cuts
Stop the terror warnings, urges Richard Branson
Pakistan: PIA introduces austerity committee
Economic decline hurts El Paso airport

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Maliki: Iraq in crisis as sectarian death toll nears 200
Iraqi forces retake control of Sunni town; death toll rising
With insurgents and weapons on its doorstep, Israel fears 40 years of quiet with Syria ending
U.S. Wary As Qatar Ramps Up Support Of Syrian Rebels
China slams Philippine bid to "legalise" occupation of islands
Chinese military planes flew near disputed isles 40 times in one day
3 Chinese Vessels Sail Around Senkaku Islands
China, India spar over Persian Gulf oil
"China's plan to build a second aircraft carrier and the Indian navy's recent test-firing of a submarine-launched cruise missile should be ringing alarm bells."
Israel builds up its war robot industry
Taliban vow suicide and "insider" attacks in new spring offensive
Bomb damages police station in Libya's Benghazi, no injuries
Militants set off three bombs in Karachi in four days
North Korea 'preparing for large-scale military exercise'

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Bangladesh police fire teargas at building collapse demo
"Bangladeshi police fired tear gas and rubber bullets Friday as protestors attacked factories and smashed vehicles during a mass rally by garment workers over the deaths of nearly 300 colleagues."
Portugal: 39th anniversary of revolution turns to austerity protest
Spain protesters clash with police
Israeli army breaks up Palestinian march on Jewish settlement
"Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse about 500 Palestinian villagers marching toward a Jewish settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank on Friday."
Protesters clash with police near Egypt's presidential palace
Dozens of Cairo students block road in protest at poor services
100 prisoners now on hunger strike at Guantanamo
Large protests in southern Yemen for secession
Angry Post-Quake Protests in China Over Rising Food Prices
Fresh Slovenian protests amid bailout fears
Sudan police break up protest against land sale to Arab investors
Iraq Sunni unrest prompts TV channel licence suspension
Gunmen surround Libyan foreign ministry to push demands
"Gunmen surrounded Libya's Foreign Ministry on Sunday, calling for a ban on officials who worked for deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi holding senior positions in the new administration."

## Energy/resources ##
Wind power — even without the wind
Making, installing, and maintaining such storage systems present challenges requiring a huge energy investment, and that means a big commitment from society. But our existing infrastructure is already crumbling away. -- RF
Is wind energy's future bladeless?
Chevron Earnings Not a Pretty Picture
Germany's clean energy drive fails to curb dirty brown coal
Greece drops plan to raise power prices from May 1
Land-locked Alberta mulls oil pipeline to Arctic port
Robot-building helps Canadian kids develop skills for high-tech world
But remember, a "high-tech" world is a high-net-energy world, and net energy is in decline. Go ahead and teach your kids robotics, but also make sure they know how to grow food. -- RF
Electricity blackouts return to haunt Maduro
Four Must-See Charts on the Future of the Global Solar Market
Power crisis takes dark turn (Botswana)
52 layoffs planned at Ore. solar plant
Pakistan power crisis looms large over election
Govt. releases Rs. 10 billion to reduce load-shedding (Pakistan)
Renewables push proves challenging for Germany
Gulf of Mexico is Back, and Subsalt is all the Rage
Libya to help ease Egypt crisis with $1.2 bln oil deal
"Libya will soon start shipping oil to neighbouring Egypt on soft credit terms, two senior Libyan officials said, as Cairo struggles to pay for energy imports and avoid fuel shortages."
The only true metric of energy abundance: The rate of flow
"Peak Rail" – Has the Crude Shipping Train Left the Station?
Mines are facing winter blackouts (South Africa)

## Got food? ##
Stink bugs: the scientific battle against an insect invasion
Globalization: Chinese demand for foreign baby formula brings unexpected shortage to Europe
Milk Smugglers Top Heroin Courier Arrests in Hong Kong
Practice Organic Cutworm Control to Protect Seedlings
I use the collars and can testify that this method rarely fails. -- RF
Practice Organic Grasshopper Control for a Healthy Garden

## Environment/health ##
Empty nets in Louisiana three years after the spill
Heavy use of herbicide Roundup linked to health dangers-U.S. study
"Heavy use of the world's most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson's, infertility and cancers, according to a new study."
Bed Bugs In Taxis?! New Bed Bug Report (Summer Camps and Hospitals, Too)
C.Africa elephant population down 62% in 10 years: NGOs
Invasive snail spreading in Southern California
Study: Healthy fish populations rely on algae
H7N9 more lethal than SARS: medical expert
Saudi Arabia Approves $220 Million of Water, Sewage Works

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Viktor Mayer-Schonberger: 'More data is being collected and stored about each one of us than ever before'
Australian statistics bureau systems hacked
Anonymous attacks website of Spanish parliament as Madrid faces mass protest
Cyberattackers hack into LivingSocial, 50 million customers impacted
Dutchman arrested over huge web attack
They Hack Connected Devices Too, Don't They
Your genetic make up to be stored, without consent, for profit
America Gears Up For Cyber War Offensive
With security eyes focused on airlines, terrorists look to rail, experts say
This is such a pile of reeking BS. The real story is either (a) there is virtually no terrorist threat to the US, or (b) would-be terrorists are the dumbest people on the planet. -- RF
Israeli police head to US to aid in Boston Marathon bombing investigation
Boston police chief wants drones for next year's marathon
Military Grooms New Officers for War in Cyberspace
Will Iran's national internet mean no world wide web?
The great surveillance boom
"In response to security concerns after 9/11, Americans witnessed the growth of a massive domestic security apparatus, fueled by federal largesse. According to Tomdispatch's Mattea Kramer and Chris Heilman, post-9/11 federal spending on homeland security exceeds $790 billion. That's larger than TARP and, when adjusted for inflation, the New Deal."
Authorities seek "persons of interest" in U.S. tied to Boston bombing
"Congressional intelligence leaders said on Sunday that authorities are pursuing "persons of interest" in  the United States in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings, and asked for more help from Russian spy agencies."
Lawmakers Fault U.S. Agencies' Lax Communication on Bomb Suspect
Calm Down … You Are Much More Likely to Be Killed By Boring, Mundane Things than Terrorism

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
The Blindingly Obvious Truth About Bottled Water
OK, the author's theory on why Americans are drinking so much bottled water could be a major reason. But I still see problems here. First, a public resource is indeed being turned into a private commodity. Second, transporting these huge quantities of bottled water has big environmental and energy costs. And third, why is it necessary for so many people to take medications like anti-depressants and anti-psycotics? The author writes, "By 1988, nearly 2.5 million prescriptions for Prozac were dispensed in America. In 2002, Prozac prescriptions had increased to more than 33 million. By 2008, antidepressants were the third-most-common prescription drug taken in America." Admittedly, the reasons for this are outside the article's scope, but this is one place to which the bottled-water issue leads. Feeling depressed? -- RF
Doctors slam cost of cancer drugs
"SCORES of global doctors have signed a joint letter decrying the high cost of cancer drugs in the US which can reach $US100,000 ($97,000) a year."

## Japan ##
Look to Japan's aging industrial sprawl for roadblock to Abenomics
An avian flu outbreak in Japan could kill 'Abenomics'
Radioactivity detected in water near Fukushima
Japan puts aside Russia row for sake of economy
The phantoms of Narita Airport: The forgotten warriors in fading green fields
Number of elderly workers in 2012 soared to new record high
"The number of workers aged 60 or above averaged 11.92 million in 2012, setting a record high for the sixth straight year, according to recently released government data."
Japan marks 'return of sovereignty' day
KDDI's data communication service disrupted for 6 hours
Tohoku loses 10% of small businesses
"The number of small- and medium-sized businesses in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, the three hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, decreased 10.6 percent in 2012 from 2009, the government said Friday."

## China ##
Hunan province notes first human case of H7N9 bird flu
China H7N9 Bird Flu Cases Keep Rising, Mainland Total Reaches 120
China Premier Asks to Stay on High Alert on H7N9 Bird Flu
China 2.0 Is in Trouble
China's economic recovery hit as profit growth wanes
China's demand for milk sees it become New Zealand's top export market for first time
Milk Smugglers Top Heroin Courier Arrests in Hong Kong
Official: China sends more than 1,400 to prison in crackdown on underground lending
PLA will have more than one aircraft carrier: official
China's Slowing Economy: What You Need to Know
In China, the License Plates Can Cost More Than the Car
China March Industrial Profit Growth Slows Sharply Amid Weak Domestic Demand
China's steel industry barely returns to profits

## UK ##
'Get on and drill' for shale gas say MPs
British newspapers reject press regulation plan, offer alternative
Fifth of Parents Are Forced to Buy Less Food For Their Children Due to Rising Prices
Families wasting £50 a month throwing away food, says minister
Waddington anti-drone protest sets off from Lincoln
Homeless to get shipping containers
Lobster's off as cold snap pushes up prices
British exam papers 'being sent to India to be marked'

## US ##
Earnings - Hope Is Fading
AT&T launches home security, monitoring service in U.S.
Effects of Midwest flooding will be felt for months
Detroit bus system loses $7M in federal funding
Organizers cancel dozens of air shows after federal budget cuts cause military to ground jets
New estimate adds $60 million to Maine budget hole
UNPRECEDENTED Shortages Of Ammo, Physical Gold And Physical Silver
Moving Ahead with "Pension Progress"
"Buried in a transportation bill that President Obama signed on July 6, 2012, was a change to make it appear pension plans are better funded than they really are."
Total US Debt To GDP: 105%
Streetfacts #3: Roads Are a Money Losing Proposition
Feds warn Nev. mental hospital over patient 'dumping'
"Federal health regulators have threatened to take away Medicare funding from Nevada's main public psychiatric hospital because it sent patients on one-way bus rides to California and 46 other states during the past five years."
Rush to help airlines, travelers could crack open budget door
"What are we going to do, every time there's a fire we're going to put it out by moving some funds around? That's a shell game."
Chicago's Spot Diesel, Gasoline Rallies on Tight Supply
Texas downpours lead to many water rescue calls
Wealthiest Americans Only Winners in Recovery, Pew Says
Ricin case resembles a Mississippi tall tale
Colleges Join Students in Piling On Debt
Green Desert: California leads nation in power outages




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