Saturday, May 18, 2013


News Links, May 16-17, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurozone recession continues into sixth quarter
Europe's Slump Persists With No End in Sight
French Economy Falls Into Recession
Italy recession becomes longest on record as GDP slumps
BNP Paribas sees significant staff cuts in France
Germany 'Second Economic Miracle' And Other Psychedelic Feats
HSBC Could Cut 14,000 More Jobs In War on Costs
Rich-poor divide accelerating, says OECD
China Debt To Surpass That Of United States
"China's outstanding corporate debt will catch up and surpass U.S. corporations to become the largest globally within the next few years."
Gold Premiums in India Jump as Central Bank Curbs May Cut Supply
Peak gold: The Future For Gold Supply Looks Grim: An Opportunity For Gold Investors
"Recently, we published a true all-in costs article that gave investors insight into the true all-in costs that miners are spending to produce each ounce of gold. After removing write-downs and exceptional costs, gold companies spent almost $1300 per ounce to extract gold in 2012. Even with these high expenditures, the industry is actually producing less gold in 2012 than in 2011 - rising costs and lower production is not a recipe for a healthy industry."
IMF: Diminishing returns from QE programs
Corporate Cash Hoarding to Hold Back Growth in Europe, S&P Says
No Bank Deposits Will Be Spared From Confiscation
Sweden Calls for Clean Break With Austerity
South Africa's large cash holdings reveal big informal sector
As its Hydrocarbon Resources Deplete, Norway Must Diversify its Economic Outlook
Amazon Introduces Amazon Coins -- Virtual Currency for Buying Apps and Games
Bank of Canada should hike rates to pop housing, debt bubbles: former BoC aide
Already short of some foods, Venezuela is facing a toilet paper crisis, government says
Collapse at Cambodia shoe factory
Pope Francis Denounces 'Cult Of Money'

## Airline Death Spiral ##
$704m Loss for Caribbean Airlines
Angry airline worker throws chair at passengers (includes video)
Bomb Threats That Aborted China Flights Unfounded, Xinhua Says
Turkish Airlines Faces Workers Strike
GE, Boeing alert airlines about 777 engine problem
EU Approves LOT Polish Airlines Rescue Loan
BTS: Largest Airlines Report Smaller Net Loss in 4th Quarter of 2012
Southwest Airlines Purchasing Used Planes To Save Money
Struggling Singapore Airlines fights back to boost growth
More airline passengers tolerant of baggage fees, study says
Why return of Dreamliners won't change Air India's fortunes
Croatia Airlines cancels flights as strike enters second day
U.S. Airlines Forecast A Sunnier Summer
American Airlines to let passengers with just a personal carry-on item board sooner

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Attacking Iran's Nuclear Sites Would be Sheer Madness
From Petrodollar To Petrogold: The US Is Now Trying To Cut Off Iran's Access To Gold
Nigeria declares 'massive' military campaign on borders
Iraq Horror: 42 Killed, 141 Wounded
Suicide car bomb strikes NATO convoy in Afghan capital, killing at least 6 and wounding many
Two killed in Myanmar clash near China pipeline
Taiwan imposes sanctions on Philippines over killing
Taiwan Plans Drill After Rebuffing Philippines Over Death at Sea
"Taiwan deployed fighter jets and a destroyer for military exercises to waters disputed with the Philippines, after rebuffing the Southeast Asian nation's offer to apologize over the killing of a fisherman in the area."
Chinese general says Ryukyu islands do not belong to Japan
China granted permanent observer status at Arctic Council
"The Arctic Council has granted permanent observer status to China and six others, in a signal of the polar region's growing international importance."
iRobot military bots to patrol 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Israel hints at more airstrikes on Syria, warns Assad not to retaliate or 'he will risk forfeiting his regime'
U.S. Hands Over Nation-Building Projects To Afghans
The question is: How much energy can Afghanistan leverage? There will never be a superhighway system with rest stops, or any other such large-scale infrastructure. It's too late in the energy game. -- RF
US moving 200 marines to Sicily for Libya protection
"Italy has announced the United States was transferring 200 marines and two planes to its base at Sigonella in Sicily to deploy in Libya in case US diplomats come under attack as they did last year."
Russian Pacific Fleet Warships Enter Mediterranean For First Time In Decades, To Park In Cyprus

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Guantánamo: 30 of the 100 hunger strikers now being tube-fed
Miners union threatens strike at South Africa's Amplats
Thousands protest oil refinery plans in China

## Energy/resources ##
Water Shortages Are a Major Problem for Future Energy Projects
Skyscraper Grows Crops, Produces Clean Energy, Cleans the Air
Sounds great… but I guarantee you that it will not sustain industrial society. -- RF
Not Just Oil: The US is also Dependent on Foreign Uranium
"One of the most critical sources of foreign energy is due to dry up this year, and the results could mean spiking electricity prices across the country."
Oilmen ready for risky push into Somalia
Geopolitical feedback at work. Now that there are no more hydrocarbon plums left in politically stable parts of the world, oil companies must increasingly forge into unstable, dangerous regions. Add to that the scramble for junk hydrocarbons like oil sand, tight oil, and shale gas — not to mention methane hydrates, the new certain-loser darling in Japan — and you can begin to see through all the hoopla and propaganda. Welcome to the low-net-energy world. -- RF
Libyan oil industry hit by legacy of violence
"Protesters closed the Zueitina oil refinery, the latest setback for Libya's efforts to develop its crucial energy industry after the 2011 civil war."
More geopolitical feedback. -- RF
Awash with cash, Petrobras aims to double in size in 7 years
"Ahead of this week's dramatic $11 billion bond sale that swelled its coffers, Brazil's state-controlled Petrobras predicts it will double in size in seven years."
Europe Raids Big Oil Firms, Looking for Price Rigging
'Bangladesh Syndrome' Looms over Burma's Electricity Crisis
Nigeria's Oil Sector At Crossroads - Report
What If There Is Peak Oil? (Tad Patzek)
Canada Doubles Spending on Advertising to Promote Tar Sands
Power shortage cripples fishmeal producers (Iceland)
Blackout amid praise for government's handling of power situation (India)

## Got food? ##
French recession: Farms feeling the pinch
Go Fish (Somewhere Else): Warming Oceans Are Altering Catches
Monsanto and Other GM Firms are Winning in the US – and Globally
"The US State Department has sadly joined the push to distribute GM crops around the world, whether people want them or not."
The Corporate Enclosure of Seeds Intensifies
Organic No-till
Monsanto tests planting platform, eyes new microbial business
Food Supply Under Assault as Climate Heats Up
Cereal production drops‚ food security to worsen (Nepal)

## Environment/health ##
'Blue carbon' emissions on the increase: scientists
How the World Bank funds illegal logging in Cambodia and Laos
Arctic states embrace oil safety
Two Saudi nurses infected with deadly coronavirus: WHO
Study Links Air Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants to Higher Suicide Rates
Why you don't want to drink the pool water
USA has the world's most extreme weather
Invasive ladybirds wage 'biological war' on natives
BP says oil spill settlement is too costly
"Oil giant BP has turned to the government for help with the compensation deal for victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BBC reported."
Appetite for rhino horns is wiping out the species

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Saudi religious police boss condemns Twitter users
Leaks, Bombs And Double-Agents: More On That AP Story
Hmmmm… At any rate, we're about due for a new version of the OBL assassination narrative. -- RF
7 Caught Trespassing At Quabbin Reservoir; Patrols Stepped Up Across State
"State Police say the five men and two women are from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, and 'cited their education and career interests' for being in the area. The men told police they were chemical engineers and recent college graduates."
Brazil Looks To Build A 10,000-Mile Virtual Fence
FBI Briefs US Bank Executives on Wave of Cyberattacks

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Venezuela sends military to fight Caracas street crime
Egypt 'suffering worst economic crisis since 1930s'

## Japan ##
Are Japanese Banks On The Verge Of Insolvency?
Bloated budget poses further setback for fiscal health
Kuroda Faith Waning Halts Deals as Forecasts Blown: Japan Credit
Pump! Nikkei tops 15,000 for first time in more than 5 years
Japan reports another quarter of economic growth
You could have fooled me. From my vantage point on the inside, the situation just seems to be worsening. -- RF
Japan govt takes aim at electricity monopolies
Japan takes first step to a permanent reactor shutdown after Fukushima
LDP wants Osprey aircraft for SDF to beef up island defense
Troubled Tsuruga reactor could force utilities to shoulder enormous financial burdens

## China ##
China's recovery losing steam, adding to pressure on leaders to shore up growth, help business
China Resources Profit Drops 61% on Costs, Weak Consumption
"China Resources Enterprise Ltd. (291)'s first-quarter profit fell 61 percent as the nation's second-largest hypermarket operator was hurt by higher costs and a government push to curtail public expenditures."
Why China's Surging Economy Is in Trouble
Shanghai battery maker shelves plant plans
Creeping Shadows: Now China's Brokerages Are Making Loans
Chinese coal companies struggle to cut costs

## UK ##
Police being trained to use water cannon ahead of potential summer clashes
Record numbers of over-65s working – as study claims retiring is bad for your health
UK unemployment starts to rise again
More than a million poorer families forced to sacrifice essentials like food to meet soaring rental costs
HS2 rail project has £3.3bn funding shortfall, warns spending watchdog

## US ##
Holder: Justice probe of IRS could include civil rights violations, potential false statements
IRS faces class action lawsuit over theft of 60 million medical records
Food Bank distributed record number of weekend backpacks to hungry kids
From Brooklyn to California, Housing Bubble Threat Grows
Monthly housing starts lowest since November
A New 'Smart Rifle' Decides When To Shoot And Rarely Misses
"A new rifle goes on sale on Wednesday, and it's not like any other. It uses lasers and computers to make shooters very accurate. A startup gun company in Texas developed the rifle, which is so effective that some in the shooting community say it should not be sold to the public."
Factory, wholesale price data flag economy's woes
Pump! Dow, S&P 500 end at record highs again, Google jumps
Homeland Security seizes account of largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox
US Government Begins BitCoin Crackdown
Pentagon Continues Use of China Satellite in New Lease
U.S. Halts Bond Sales to Municipalities to Avoid Debt Limit
Seeds planted to revive hemp as US cash crop
Study Indicates That America's Driving Boom is Over
Gasoline shoots up 30 cents to $4.19 a gallon in Minnesota
"It's going to be a mighty expensive summer. There is no relief in sight."
Radioactive tritium found in leak at South Carolina nuclear plant
Moody's: Detroit's risk of bond default higher
America's Water Risk: Will Your City Run Dry?
Wal-Mart U.S. sales weak; outlook below analysts' forecast
Jobless Claims in U.S. Jump to Highest Level in Six Weeks
Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Shows Contraction in May
Average US Retirement Age Is 61 — And Rising

And finally…
Man accidentally shoots himself while bowling

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