Wednesday, May 22, 2013


News Links, May 18-20, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Shipping: A hard life on ocean wave
"After buoyant times, the shipping industry is experiencing that sinking feeling, with all hope of a bottoming out and rebirth having been smothered."
Maersk Line Posts Profit as Capacity Control Lifts Pricing
Another example of downsizing oneself into profitability. -- RF
CIS youth unemployment to reach over 17%
Failed retirements a global worry
"If misery really does love company, then America's aging baby boomers are due for a global group hug. Citizens in a 12-nation survey overwhelmingly reported they are not ready for retirement and expect retirement outcomes to be worse for future retirees than for those who have already retired."
'ECB's Desperation Is Taking On Epic Dimensions'
Global Government Debt Is Already 80% Of Global GDP
Italian Government Unveils Economic Stimulus
Visualizing The Silver Squeeze
ArcelorMittal CFO Says 16 Out Of 21 European Blast Furnaces Currently Operational
Voestalpine CEO sees steel prices remaining under pressure
ABN AMRO cuts 400 jobs as prepares for eventual sale
Construction spending slides in Europe
Divided Europe veers between urgent growth and bleak austerity
'Growth of informal sector, a challenge to banking business'
Wal-Mart Warns of a Slowdown
Citizens in poor EU states can't afford medicines, health promoters say
Black market flourishes as Egypt's economy founders
Frontier Markets booming but risks mounting
"Even the biggest investors acknowledge that 'frontier markets' like Vietnam and Romania aren't for the faint of heart because nobody knows whether these new debt market players will be able to make good on their obligations."
Stocks to Soccer Add Up for Qataris Needing $200 Billion at Home
"The $60 billion-a-year spree by the world's richest country, dominated by holdings in companies such as British bank Barclays Plc (BARC) and German carmaker Volkswagen AG, is set to slow as energy revenue dips because of a drop in prices and stalling production."
Alcoa to cut 500 jobs at plant in Canada

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Singapore Airlines Flags Weak Bookings;Fuel Costs Bite
"Singapore Airlines Ltd. (C6L.SG) swung to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter after selling planes and spare engines, but warned of challenges ahead from flat bookings, overcapacity in cargo operations and high fuel costs."
Why smaller airports are shrinking
Chinese carriers' collective profit drops 28.3% in April
Tiger Airways Reports Fourth-Quarter Loss as Associates Drag
New board to oversee Trinidad's Caribbean Airlines
"Trinidad's finance minister has appointed a new interim board to oversee Caribbean Airlines after announcing that the state-owned company posted losses of more than $70 million."
Virgin Atlantic Loss Widens
Deccan: Crash Landing
Watchdog: FAA has problems inspecting aircraft repairs
Algeria pilots' strike grounds national carrier
Southwest Airlines turns less legroom into $773M
Dubai expects 'stampede' of airlines at new airport
20 flights without bags after Egypt airport strike
The airship's second coming

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Nigeria deploys 'massive' number of troops
Nigeria launches air raids on militant Islamist group Boko Haram
Israel to approve four West Bank settlements
Iran dispatches warship to shadow Gulf exercises
Turkey not halting Iran oil imports
Yemenis reel from Saudi labour crackdown
India commissions first MiG-29K fighters
Russia sends missiles to Syria, warships near Syria
How Qatar seized control of the Syrian revolution
Israeli official: Assad preferable to extremist rebels, The Times of London reports
Pakistan approves 100,000 tonnes of wheat for Iran to pay for power
Washington gets explicit: its 'war on terror' is permanent
We already knew this from Dick Cheney. -- RF
The 2013 Terrorism & Political Violence Map
After Fighting Over Mountains, India and China Lock Horns in the Indian Ocean
German shipping companies invest in protection from pirates
Crime at sea: The world's most pirate-infested waters
US Defense Dept. wants billions shifted to pay for Afghan war
North Korea Fires Three Short-Range Missiles, Says The South
N. Korea Test-Fires Another Short-Range Missile
Thirteen killed, 10 police kidnapped in Iraq violence
Iraq on the brink as sectarian strife grows
France in talks with U.S., Israel to buy drones: minister
Kuwait deports 'hundreds' for traffic offenses
Asia's Naval Procurement Sees Major Growth
China trying to strengthen its claim to Okinawa

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Saudi dies after setting himself on fire in protest
White-collar workers are turning to labor unions
"'There is a great deal of unrest among professional workers, who don't have a history of union joining behavior,' one expert says. 'They represent the frontiers of unionization in America.'"
Going platinum: South Africa's miners in fresh strikes
Mine union threatens to bring South Africa to 'standstill'
Get Ready for More Energy Unrest in Bulgaria
Protesting Egyptian police block Gaza crossing
Protesters clash with police in Istanbul
Anti-poverty protesters clash with police (New Zealand)
Egyptian security forces clash with protesters in central Cairo
Miners, teachers clash with Bolivian police during protests demanding higher old-age pensions
Italy coalition: Thousands rally in Rome against cuts
Youngsters rally in Tokyo to call attention to their poverty
"Hundreds of students living in poverty took to the streets of a central Tokyo shopping district on May 18 to call for measures allowing them access to education and a better future."

## Energy/resources ##
Ohio shale oil bust
Pressure to cut costs drives energy producers to drill for answers
"'This is a very costly business,' Marc Edwards, senior vice president of completion and production at Halliburton, said."
So, drilling for junk hydrocarbons is breaking the bank, is it? So far, shale gas has been a complete bust (i.e., it's unprofitable), and tight oil can't be much better. -- RF
U.S. oil prices below $70 could stem drilling - EIA head
"Oil producers in the United States could slow drilling if prices drop below $70 a barrel, which would make such operations uneconomical, the head of the Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday."
Global iron ore miners accelerate integration into China
Chevron Says Shale to Help Make Argentina Energy Independent
Carbon capture faces scale dilemma
US East Coast oil refineries enjoy a stirring comeback
This is certainly good news for the eastern seaboard, but it's not a permanent reprieve. -- RF
Deep sea 'gold rush' moves closer
Al-Qaeda's Syrian wing takes over the oilfields once belonging to Assad
Long weekend travellers met with price spike at the pumps (Canada)
Biofuel use is fueling rapid deforestation (Tanzania)
Power crisis worsens as shortfall hits 5,300 MW (Pakistan)
Midwest Gas Price Spike (US)
The Himalayas-Once Moaning, now Groaning
Northwater Backs RedWave Harvesting Heat With Antennas
Fantastic. But it also shows that the energy equation has changed drastically in recent years. In the days of cheap, abundant energy, it wasn't worth chasing after low-grade waste heat. Now suddenly junk energy is all the rage. Put this in the category with junk hydrocarbons and count your blessings. -- RF
Shell Reported Power Outage, Issues at Anacortes Refinery
GE's Deep Sea Dive for 100 Billion Barrels of Oil (Bloomberg video)
How Farm Waste May Make Biofuels Matter Again
"We're taking about a fifth of the agriculture waste that is left to rot in nature anyhow."
Crop residue must be allowed to rot and return organic matter to farmland. The idea that it's "wasted" by leaving it on the fields is absurd. -- RF

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Rumanian gang of three stole nearly £20,000 worth of railway cables
Thieves heist $25,000 from construction site
Scrap thief steals batteries from 13 Indianapolis church buses

## Got food? ##
Shoppers tightening their belts to cope with rising food prices (Canada)
Invasive Asian stink bugs threaten fruit crops in Michigan
At trade talks, U.S., E.U. ready for fight on genetically modified crops
Organic Pest Control Series: Beneficial Insects
Food prices continue to rise in Kingdom (KSA)

## Environment/health ##
Industrialized fishing has forced seabirds to change what they eat
Mobile phones cause blood pressure to rise
Guangdong hit as deadly floods sweep southern China
Australia presses for international ban on geoengineered oceans
'Crazy ants' from South America invading southeastern U.S.
World's fish have been moving to cooler waters for decades, study finds

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Defense official says U.S. has authority to target terrorists anywhere
Fed offensive fueling hacker underground, report says
Chinese military unit said to resume cyber spying
Chinese web activists see new pressure from censors
US politicians quiz Google on Glass privacy
Pentagon Engaging in a Power Grab Against the Civilian Leadership
Big Data Knows What Your Future Holds
Privacy for the Other 5 Billion
"Systems that would be controversial—if not outright rejected—in the West because of the threat they pose to civil liberties are being implemented in many developing countries, often with the support of Western donors."
Financial Times hit by hackers

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Warm eggs, clams, cream cheese recipe for trucking citations
Alert readers will recall my prediction that with the coming of warm weather, we'll see renewed incidents of broken links in the cold chain. When you see fresh and frozen food, you may fairly wonder if it's always been fresh and frozen. -- RF
More Americans Committing Suicide than During the Great Depression
New drug called Sisa is killing austerity-hit Greek youths

## Japan ##
Japan Most Favored Nation in Poll Showing Abe Optimism
If Japan is a source of encouragement, then the situation is even worse than I thought. -- RF
Why Japan Is Bad For The World
Toyota Pulls Bond Deal Due To Soaring Yields: The Japanese "VaR Shock" Feedback Loop Is Back
Japan's National Police Authority launches cyber-defense center
High cesium levels discovered in Tokyo river eels, local governments make belated study
IAEA inspector backs pumping Fukushima groundwater into sea
New shinkansen to use revolutionary simple stations
Even before the colossal cost overruns start, the promoters are coming up with desperate ideas like this to cut costs. I repeat my prediction that the maglev train line will never happen. -- RF
TEPCO seeks reactor restart / Resuming Niigata plant seen key to stable power supply
Industry ministry behind private panel's push for reactor restarts
LNG imports mean cheaper energy
But surely the Japanese know that the production of shale gas in the US is unprofitable. -- RF

## China ##
China gives environmental approval to country's biggest hydro dam
China developing secret 'space bomber': Duowei
China sees 20% rise in gold desire
Chinese Profitability Squeezed Further By Third Year Of Double-Digit Wage Gains
China April home prices rise 4.9 percent: Reuters calculation
Despite curbs, China's vast hot money triangle flourishes
China oil demand down 12pc in 4 months? No way

## UK ##
More than 300 licenses granted since fracking ban was lifted
Parents 'failing to get children ready for school', say heads
"Schools are to issue advice to parents on how to raise their children amid fears too many pupils are turning up to lessons unfit for the demands of full-time education, it was announced today."
Benefit cuts risk rise in child poverty, doctors warn
"A report by the UN children's fund has found that Britain's children are worse off overall than in many other industrialised countries"
Nigel Farage flees barrage of abuse from Edinburgh protesters
Oil price manipulation 'could have driven up food and household goods prices' as well as petrol
The witch hunt over oil prices just serves to obscure the real issue: Why can't we get high-quality oil for $10/bbl? The public needs to wake up and focus on the real problem of net energy decline. -- RF
Revealed: Devastating impact of 'bedroom tax' sees huge leap in demand for emergency hardship handouts for tenants
Young Scots 'face low pay and few prospects'

## US ##
California might borrow $500 million from its climate fund
U.S. Debt Pollyannas Due for Rude Awakening
Child mental health disorders rising, cost society $247 billion annually
New York says breaks cigarette-smuggling ring linked to militants
FRAC Act Reintroduced as Bipartisan Bill
Pump! Dow, S&P end at records, stocks mark fourth week of gains
Buybacks one of the biggest reasons for stock market rally
10 Amazing Charts That Demonstrate The Slow, Agonizing Death Of The American Worker
Class of 2013: The Most Indebted Ever
Student debt weighs on overall economy
The facts behind the mountain of student debt: 13 percent of students owe more than $50,000 and nearly 4 percent owe more than $100,000. Student debt grew by 284 percent from 2004 to 2013.
Commuter trains collide in Connecticut, injuring up to 60 people
America's first hemp crop in 60 years was planted this week in Colorado
Soaring gasoline prices hurt Oklahoma City area retailers
"Gasoline price jumps are difficult for Oklahoma gasoline retailers and convenience store owners because they tighten margins and make customers angry."
Boaters Anchored Down by High Gas Prices
Gas prices at record high in Twin Cities
Gas prices in Fargo are hitting record numbers
Gasoline prices at US pumps 11 cents over past 2 weeks
US Suspends Constitution in Permanent World War on Terror
FBI investigates new case of ricin-laced letters
Two Obamacare Mandates That Dramatically Expand The Internal Revenue Service's Power
AP CEO calls government seizure of phone records unconstitutional, says chill already felt
"The president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press on Sunday called the government's secret seizure of two months of reporters' phone records "unconstitutional" and said the news cooperative had not ruled out legal action against the Justice Department."
Thanks, IPhone: Demise of the Desk Phone Means No End to the Workday
Treasury Prepares to Take Measures to Avoid Default

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