Tuesday, May 14, 2013


News Links, May 14-15, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Industrial production up slightly in Europe
China's debt: a crisis in the making?
"If corporate and household debt is also counted, China's total debt load balloons to more than 200% of gross domestic product."
China's Latest Economic Numbers: Not Reassuring
Banks on Verge of Collapse in Denmark Win Time in FSA Review
German finance minister advocates 2-step approach to building European banking union
Nothing going on with these mortgages, just keep walking: OSFI (Canada)
Low water levels causing problems for Great Lakes shipping
Retailers embrace reforms in Bangladesh as search for bodies ends; death toll put at 1,127
The great Indian mall doom
"If dams and large public sector companies were the temples of Nehru's India, shopping malls were supposed to be the sacred space of liberalised India in the 21st century. Unfortunately, the worshippers are missing. Thirty per cent of India's 255 malls lie vacant, most of them in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Mumbai."
The shop-til-you-drop consumer was supposed to lift everyone out of poverty. But sorry to say, this economic model was flawed from the outset because perpetual growth and unlimited resources and energy were never in the equation. -- RF
$1 Billion of Gold Has Been Shipped From New York to South Africa This Year
BHP chief on austerity drive
"Newly appointed BHP Billiton boss Andrew Mackenzie has slashed the mining giant's capital spend by 18 per cent, and flagged more 'substantial' cuts in future, reinforcing concerns that the mining investment boom has well and truly peaked."
UAE leapfrogs Saudi as Middle East's biggest construction market
Russia's Plan For The BRICS To Dismantle The Dollar System
Argentina Peso Gap Between Official And Black Market Rate Hits To 100%, BMWs Become Inflation Hedge

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Virgin America Cuts Losses and Sees IPO
SAS Agrees To Sale of Norwegian Regional Subsidiary
Airlines look to make a killing, without informing you of extra charges
Post-merger American Airlines could rake in $1 billion in bag fees
EasyJet is set to halve its losses
The Skyrocketing Cost Of Airfare For Business Travel
Mid-size Airports Suffer Biggest Cuts in Airline Service
UN faces uphill battle to reduce global airline emissions
FAA aircraft maintenance oversight ineffective, inspector general says
"The government's oversight of hundreds of domestic and overseas repair stations that service U.S. airliners is ineffective and doesn't target the factors most likely to present safety risks, the Department of Transportation's inspector general said Monday."
Deutsche Post DHL net profits fall 5.9 percent as tougher economy slows freight revenues
"Mail and freight company Deutsche Post DHL saw its profits dip in the first quarter as a tough global economy meant companies shipped fewer goods by air."
Airlines took in more than $6 billion in baggage and reservation change fees in 2012
Boeing Dreamliners Back in Business After 4-Month Grounding

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
World's biggest anti-mine naval exercise after Iranian threats to close Gulf
Chinese fishing boats harassed by unknown vessels in S China Sea
Unknown submarine detected in Okinawan waters
Abe warns of possible military response to intruder subs
Japan seizes Taiwanese fishing boat
US, South Korea Begin Joint Naval Exercises Involving US Aircraft Carrier
Fighting Piracy in Africa – too little too late
Vietnam firms involved in 'illegal land grabs'
"An environmental group has accused two Vietnamese rubber firms of involvement in massive land grabs in Cambodia and Laos."
Banks accused of funding Asian land grabbing
Under the black flag of al-Qaeda, the Syrian city ruled by gangs of extremists
"The black flag of al-Qaeda flies high over Raqqa's main square in front of the    smart new governor's palace, its former occupant last seen in their prison. Their fighters, clad also in black, patrol the streets, or set up positions behind sandbags."
WWIII has already started …
US drone takes off from warship for first time
Israeli airport sorts passengers with 'Jewish stickers' and 'Arab stickers'
Nigeria president declares state of emergency in 3 states because of Islamic extremist attacks
"Admitting Islamic extremists now control some of his nation's villages and towns, Nigeria's president declared a state of emergency Tuesday across the country's troubled northeast, promising to send more troops to fight what he said is now an open rebellion."
Asia Is Becoming Israel's New Frontier - Here's Why

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Worker Walkout Closes Hundreds of Factories in Bangladesh
"Bangladesh's entire renowned garment manufacturing hub has been shut down indefinitely, after 80% of its workers walked off the job."
Second day of bus strike will affect 70,000 passengers
Growing Labor Unrest in South Africa's Mining Industry: Anglo American Threatens to Cut 14,000 Jobs
Major protest planned ahead of G8 meeting
Security Forces Tear Gas Protesters in Ivory Coast
Occupy protesters cleared from Gill Tract in Albany
March Against Monsanto planned for over 30 countries
Taxi drivers strike as social unrest mounts in Iran
Greek workers walk out to protest ban on teachers' strike

## Energy/resources ##
Sharjah faces fuel shortages again (UAE)
"Pumps ran dry at a number of Adnoc petrol stations in Sharjah city yesterday as the emirate was once again hit by fuel shortages."
Kenya: Fuel Shortage Looming Over Mombasa Oil Refinery Crisis
"The Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd (KPRL) last week warned that it could soon be unable to refine petroleum products owing to severe financial constraints, a development that could affect Kenya and its landlocked neighbours including Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, according to media reports."
Blackouts hit polling centers (Philippines)
Energy costs require rethink for EU heavy industry-IEA
The Dangers of Complacency
Eni Sees Kashagan to Produce 75,000 bopd First Month
They'll have to pump a lot of oil just to cover their massive cost overruns. -- RF
Nigeria may be Next OPEC Member to Fall
Clean Energy Progress is Sluggish, Coal Demand Looks Robust
Nuclear Power Falters, Engulfed by 'Cauldron' of Bad Luck
The Illogic And Folly Of Peak Oil (Or Is It Peak Gas?) Alarmism
This is a great feel-good piece if you need to build your confidence in our failing energy regime. The author invokes Daniel Yergin to bolster his case, apparently unaware that Yergin's predictions have a terrible track record. And on and on. The author can't see that the industrial economy is unraveling and our infrastructure is crumbling because of declining net energy and high prices. He can't see that shale drilling is a money-loser from the get-go or that the economy is being propped up by rampant money printing and bubbles. Europe, North America, and Japan are all broke, circling the drain, and towing the rest of the world after them. It's because of declining net energy, which some people just can't understand. Remember: With energy, quality is everything. BTW, where's that $10/bbl oil? -- RF
Platts London Crude Oil Summit: a word of caution about shale delirium
Dark, ominous clouds are gathering over the shale plays. You can see the "net energy" meter dropping right before your eyes. Hey, where are those "new technologies"? -- RF
Large gain seen in Alberta oil production
Dependence on costly junk oil is a good indicator, and major cause, of net energy decline. -- RF
Old Technology Fuels New Energy Boom
Although wrong about peak oil, this article does a great service by pointing out that these technologies are not new. When the media keep playing the "new technologies" riff, they are spinning propaganda that is supposed to convince you that we'll never have an energy problem because "new technologies" will always save the day. The reason that these old technologies are suddenly being used to exploit tight oil and shale gas — whose existence has long been known — is that the situation is getting desperate. Now, would anyone like to tell me why oil is not $10/bbl? Oh yea, it's speculators… -- RF
IEA: U.S. Will Lead Oil Supply Recovery
The slight uptick in supply comes with big costs — not just the environmental cost, but also the cost of having to drill so many wells that give out quickly. This is no energy bonanza; it's a low-net-energy enterprise. -- RF
Low gas prices in Western Canada stifle upstream investment, impact power generation
Glistening City of Future Rises in Oil-Rich Desert (video)
This is sustainable? How did they make all that architecture and hardware? -- RF
Saudi Arabia to maintain its current oil production capacity
Libya to lift subsidies on all fuel
BP Withdraws Staff from Libya
Nigeria oil production slides amid unrest
Oil and Gas Theft in Mexico Doubled in 2013
"Hydrocarbon theft in Mexico so far this year has nearly doubled in comparison with 2012, with the worst hit zones corresponding to some of Mexico's drug war hotspots."
Rainforest plays critical role in hydropower generation
"Deforestation in the Amazon region could significantly reduce the amount of electricity produced from hydropower, says a new study."
Africa Oil Demand to Expand Faster Than Most of World, IEA Says
The U.S., Mexico And The Decline Of The Colorado River
Blackouts ruining us, screams industry (India)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Road crews tear down Mayan pyramid to make gravel (Belize)

## Got food? ##
Grow your own: Kitchen Gardeners International
UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger
French Chef Puts Crickets on Menu in Push to Use Insects as Food
SCOTUS Upholds Monsanto Soybean Patent, Postponing Debate Over Self-Replicating Technologies
Corn Rises as Rain May Curb U.S. Yields; Soybeans, Wheat Gain
Monsanto's win is a loss for American farmers
"The Supreme Court's ruling on genetically modified seed undercuts growers' historic reliance on frugality and independence."
Over half the world's population could rely on food imports by 2050 – study

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Science proves what we all know: Nature is Good for your Health!

## Environment/health ##
Indonesia to extend ban on forest clearing: government
Cases Of Mysterious Valley Fever Rise In American Southwest
No source determined for 200 sickened at Las Vegas restaurant
Middle East Virus Spreads Between Hospitalized Patients
Saudi Arabia confirms four new coronavirus cases
Vietnam's Appetite For Rhino Horn Drives Poaching In Africa
China's growing, sprawling cities said causing climate changes
Obama administration allows wind farms to kill eagles, birds despite federal laws
New strains of Hong Kong flu could cause pandemic
Beach litter mars U.S. – and world's – coastlines
Antibiotic-resistant superbugs afflict one in 12 patients daily in hospitals across Canada: survey
'Best estimate' for impact of melting ice on sea level rise
South African Anti-Fracking Activist Calls for Global Alliance
Rivers Carry Away Waste Heat Form Power Plants at a Cost to the Environment

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Use These Secret NSA Google Search Tips to Become Your Own Spy Agency
Government uses subpoena to gain wide swath of Associated Press telephone records
"The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news."
FBI Shrugs Off Law Requiring Email Warrants
Google Fights Glass Backlash Before It Even Hits The Street
Taiwan and Philippines engaged in cyberwar over shooting incident
Watergate Was For Amateurs: Justice Department Spied For Months On Associated Press Reporters
'Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves The Drug War Is A Joke'
Biometrics: A new intelligence discipline
Email: Even The CIA Uses It. Time To Get Serious About Its Legal Protections
Netflix chewing up increased share of North America bandwidth
Skype with care – Microsoft is reading everything you write

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
National unrest: Nigeria sliding into lawlessness – Sultan of Sokoto
10 Scenes From The Economic Collapse That Is Sweeping Across The Planet
With the decline in net energy, entropy (disorder/chaos) is building up all over the world. Breakdown is starting in systems everywhere. Because governments have not made preparations to ease their socioeconomic systems down to a lower energy level, we are faced with a wrenching transition. -- RF
Social Mood Darkens in Europe, Especially France, as Eurozone Economy in Freefall
Bangladesh Generators Ingredient for Danger as Structures Crack

## Japan ##
Sharp Corporation: Sharp to Downsize European Operations
Sharp president replaced after company reports huge loss
Japan Seeks Fiscal Reconstruction Plan
Japan's Vacant Houses: Visions of Detroit
Nuclear Regulator To Confirm Tsuruga Plant Sits On Active Fault
How Fukushima Contamination May Have Spread via Waterways
NRA wants Monju to remain shut down
Fukushima fishermen's distrust leads to rejection of TEPCO groundwater plan
Japanese mayor sparks outrage with sex-slave remarks
Hashimoto asks U.S. military to use sex industry in Japan
Japan's Electronics Under Siege

## China ##
Chinese Power Consumption Collapses: Economic Growth Slowest Since Early 2009
China's April oil demand up 3.2% y/y, lowest in 8 months
Chinese iron and cement industry struggling to keep afloat
China April factory output disappoints, clouds outlook
China Hikes Gasoline, Diesel Prices Starting May 10
Myanmar Pipelines To Benefit China
China Seen Boosting Emergency Oil-Storage Capacity, IEA Says
China: High and dry
"Water shortages are putting a brake on economic growth and stirring political discontent"

## UK ##
Minister: NHS will collapse if elderly bed blocking continues
"The NHS will collapse without decisive action to get more elderly people out of hospitals, Norman Lamb, the health minister, has warned."
British Gas owner Centrica enjoys profits boost after cold snap
"Centrica says it will try to avoid more price rises for as long as possible as it faces protests at annual meeting on Monday"
Northern Ireland's top policeman gives wake-up call on paramilitaries
Canterbury Cathedral faces closure unless it can find £10m for repair bill

## US ##
Federal government creates more low-wage jobs than Walmart
"A study released earlier this month from the public policy group Demos states that through various forms of government funding in the private sector, nearly two million people are making $12 an hour or less. The number of workers at Wal-Mart and McDonald's together at $12 an hour or less is currently around 1.5 million, according to the report."
U.S. Postal Service posts $1.9 billion loss, despite efficiency efforts
Detroit's 45-day report: Orr calls city 'dysfunctional and wasteful' after years of mismanagement, corruption
Detroit May Run Out Of Cash Next Month
At least 19 injured in New Orleans Mother's Day shooting
U.S. Labor Participation May Be Low for Years: Fed Study
Saudi Man Arrested At Detroit Airport For Owning Pressure Cooker
Pentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself Authority Over 'Civil Disturbances'
New Bank Stress Tests Coming, Generated Under Self-Direction
New taxes make electric vehicle owners pay their share
LAUSD's Free Breakfast Program Has Gone Bad, Teachers Union Alleges
"Moldy muffins, rotten fruit and school sinks clogged with uneaten cereal have been reported as problems plaguing the 'Breakfast in the Classroom' program run by the Los Angeles Unified School District."
Fierce fire season predicted for West
Lehman Reaches Beyond Grave to Grab Millions From Nonprofits
Ammunition Shortage Reaches All Time High
Defense to furlough most of its 800,000 civilians
"The Defense Department will furlough most of its 800,000 civilian employees for 11 days, a decision that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called 'difficult' but necessary to meet mandatory federal spending cuts this year without harming national security."
U.S. car use falls as younger generation shifts gears: study
"Americans are driving less than they used to because of higher gasoline prices, a weak economy and changing generational preferences, according to a report released Tuesday that found a sixty-year "driving boom" had hit the brakes."
Federal Reserve ZIRP has essentially destroyed household income growth
The Tesla Stock Rally and Electric Car Rally Is Over!
Debt Sold by Bank Of America and Citigroup Would Be JUNK Without Government Guarantees
Is A Billion-Dollar Border Security Program Finally Due?
Is Lumber The New Baltic Dry?

And finally…
Police Drone Crashes into Police
Deep-voiced chief executives are more successful, scientists say
Man in grocery store overnight eats 6 steaks, birthday cake

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