Wednesday, May 22, 2013


News Links, May 21-23, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Millions falling into poverty in recession-racked Italy: report
"Millions of Italians cannot afford to heat their homes properly or eat meat as their country is racked by recession and soaring unemployment, said a report which found the number of people considered seriously deprived had doubled in the past two years."
Italy to outline youth jobs plan as government struggles
Rumors Spark Bank Run, Break-Ins in Brazil
Forget Bank Runs, Credit Crazy Brazil Is Heading for Trouble
The Coming Collapse Of The Petrodollar System
Caterpillar machinery sales down 9 percent in April, led by Asia
Vietnam Says Economy at Great Risk of Macroeconomic Instability
Gore Offers 'Sustainable Capitalism' as Night-Vision Goggles for Investors
Oh, brother! -- RF
Here's a really bad news for Singapore's 1Q flash GDP number
5 Biggest Banks Gain another Victory in Control of $700 Trillion Derivatives Market
Canada's housing slump only just beginning: Capital Economics
The Cashless Society Arrives in Africa. The "Multipurpose" Biometric National Identity Smart Card
"It was recently announced at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa that MasterCard and the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) under the government of Nigeria would form a partnership to distribute a new identity card to every Nigerian citizen."
Poverty on the rise amid increasing unemployment and inflation: ECESR (Egypt)
NZ Post outlook downgrade 'disappointing (NZ)
Spain banks may need to raise money to meet provisions: Rajoy
Spain's Bad Bank Begins 15-Year Suicide With Bull Sale
Greek Prostitution Soars By 150% As Youth Unempoyment Hits 75% In Some Areas
America's Bubble Economy Is Going To Become An Economic Black Hole
Four Signs That We're Back in Dangerous Bubble Territory
We See Bubbles Everywhere – PIMCO's Bill Gross
As I have previously observed, creating bubbles is now the only way left to prop up the economy. -- RF
Swiss banks face massive fines over Americans' hidden bank accounts

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Impact Of Consolidation In The U.S. Airline Industry
"It has become a nightmare for travelers to fly from Point A to Point B. Equity investors have treated most airline stocks like rotten fish that are best avoided at all costs."
Croatia Airlines faces bankruptcy if restructuring fails
Here's what to blame for Tiger's $15.4m profit loss
Fee Hike May Force Air NZ to Raise Fares
Caribbean island's tourism bleeds after Virgin Atlantic cuts capacity
Airlines' Capacity Discipline Exacts Toll on Airports
Singapore Airlines results disappoint; capacity cuts eyed
Is Spain's airport crisis an opportunity for Gibraltar?
ONTARIO AIRPORT: Diminished service hinders Inland economic development
easyJet slims down hand luggage allowance
American Airlines continues to shed jobs

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Egypt's Morsi dispatches army to Sinai after suspected Islamists snatch soldiers
Egyptian soldiers kidnapped in Sinai released after talks
Attacks across Iraq kill 95 in hints of sectarian spillover from Syria
Iraq crisis: Fresh bombings kill at least 23
North Korean pirates seize Chinese hostages, demand a ransom
Beijing Angry Over North Korea's Seizure Of Chinese Fishermen
Philippines protests presence of PLA warship off Spratlys
North Korea fires sixth missile in three days
Dagestan bombs kill four, two dead in shootout near Moscow
Russia Adds Two More Warships To Mediterranean Task Force Near Syria
Assad is Back, and Syrian Peace Will Be on His Terms
Hezbollah ups the ante, helps rout Syrian rebels near Lebanon's border
Syria's jihadists have edge, control oil
Syria, Israel exchange fire on Golan Heights
Israel is the largest drones exporter in the world
Iran bans Hashemi Rafsanjani from running in presidential election
IAEA report: Iran expands nuclear technology for program that could be used to make weapons
Pentagon to take over some CIA drone operations : sources
Philippines protests China warship's presence
China upgrades anti-submarine fleet to counter US: report
Obama administration acknowledges 4 American citizens killed in US drone strikes since 2009

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Riots grip Stockholm suburbs after police shooting
Swedish Youth Riots Enter Third Day
Road rage against loadshedding (Pakistan)
"Residents of Samanabad area took to the streets on Tuesday against the prolonged electricity loadshedding and staged a demonstration."
Tunisia shuts down medieval city to prevent Salafi demonstrations
Okinawa commemorates 41st year of reverting to Japan with protest against US bases
Fresh unrest flares up at Ashulia, 20 hurt in clash (Bangladesh)
Workers Picketing Federal Buildings in Protest of Low Pay (US)
California Hospital Strike: Thousands Picket At UC Davis Medical Center, Other Universities
'March Against Monsanto' planned in Idaho and over 30 countries on May 25
Kentucky residents protest IRS

## Energy/resources ##
Massive blackout hits Thailand
Blackout will cost industry 'billions' (Thailand)
Power outage at Cairo airport (Egypt)
Will the International Energy Agency's oil forecast be wrong again?
U.S. senators hear mixed assessment of shale
"Maintaining a flat level of natural gas production from U.S. shale deposits is an elusive prospect, an energy policy director told U.S. lawmakers."
The fight for North Dakota's fracking-water market
At margins of shale oil boom, a tempered euphoria
And there you have it. It is just as cooler heads have been warning from the outset: The sweet spots get drilled first, and it's all downhill from there. Ballooning costs and falling yields will turn the endless-energy dream into a nightmare. So much for the US becoming the new Saudi Arabia. -- RF
How Farm Waste May Make Biofuels Matter Again
Alaska Governor Pushes for ANWR Exploration
European refiners to be pressured by increase in Russian diesel exports
"The rise in diesel exports comes as Russia's economy weakens with a subsequent lower demand for the country's commodities, and analysts expect the export trend to continue as Russian refiners look to sell their diesel abroad to make up for the waning domestic demand."
Saudi Arabia to import near record high diesel this summer
"Saudi Arabia will import near record high diesel volumes this summer, as it gears up to beat the sweltering heat and meet rising travel needs during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, trade sources said."
Polish Shale Gas Hopes Hit Major Roadblock
U.S. Racing Against Shale Gas Clock
Gas must be sold for a substantially higher price in order to make shale gas profitable. The prospect of getting much higher prices abroad is therefore hugely attractive to those losing money on shale gas operations. -- RF
Mining Services Feel Heat as Australia Resource Boom Cools
New report raises concerns about expansion of frac sand mines in Minnesota and Wisconsin
Pakistani Civil Servants Banned from Wearing Socks to Work During Energy Crisis
Even Japan's "Cool Biz" campaign has not gone this far… yet. -- RF
Early Project Success Brightens Outlook for Solar EOR
"Enhanced oil recovery" refers to techniques which squeeze more oil out of mature fields. Take a look at this installation. That's a considerable investment for a relatively piddling amount of oil. And while desert regions have been touted for their great solar power potential (remember when north Africa was going to supply all of Europe with electricity?), the fine dust coats everything, considerably decreasing solar panel efficiency. -- RF
U.S. groundwater running dry
Death in parched farm field reveals growing India water tragedy
"Conflicts between industry and farmers getting worse as water becomes more and more scarce"
China's Li offers to help end Pakistan energy crisis
EU leaders pursue shale gas dream in Brussels talks
Australia's resources boom over?
Saudi oil output is likely to be lower than its average, Kingdom needs fiscal reforms
Power shortage looms (Namibia)

## Got food? ##
High crop prices entice farmers to expand planting into old golf courses, wildlife preserves
Vertical 'Pinkhouses:' The Future Of Urban Farming?
No. -- RF
U.S. aquifers fall as farmers take too much
GMO Crop Sabotage on the Rise: French citizens destroy trial vineyard
Bowman v. Monsanto: The Price We All Pay for Roundup Ready Seeds
"What the company doesn't mention when touting the effects of its technology is the price paid by others for its profits (which were $1.48 billion in this latest quarter, up 22 percent from a year ago). According to the CFS, 'From 1995-2011, the average cost to plant one acre of soybeans has risen 325 percent.' Roundup Ready soybean seeds were introduced in 1996. The costs of planting other crops have skyrocketed as well, as consolidation in the seed business has left 53 percent of the global market in the hands of three corporations: Monsanto, DuPont (DD), and Syngenta (SYT). In that period prices shot up 516 percent for cotton, and corn seed prices rose by 259 percent."
Many Corn Farmers Go Back to Using Chemicals as Mother Nature Outwits Genetically Modified Seeds
McDonald's unveils its highest-calorie item ever

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Tune In, Turn On, Opt Out
Small Farming With Oxen

## Environment/health ##
James Hansen Says Greenland Melt May Cool North Atlantic
Unkempt, weedy land unintentionally boosts wildlife
U.S. pesticide makers seek answers as bee losses sting agriculture
How China chokes its neighbors
Texas drought conditions worsen
Dear American Consumers: Please Don't Start Eating Healthfully. Sincerely, the Food Industry
Why Summer in the City Will Get Deadlier
Tornado had winds over 200 mph
African Cities Test The Limits Of Living With Livestock
A Tunisian man died of SARS-like virus after Mecca pilgrimage
Boreal forest talks break down (Canada)
Pests that bug us have their own ecological importance
Climate Change Means Shallower Great Lakes and More Expensive Goods
Radioactive fracking debris triggers worries at dump sites

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
U.S. Counter-Terrorism Apparatus is used to Quell Dissent among Americans
House Republicans Signal Support for Cadre of Military Spies
Fox Calls U.S. Surveillance Of Its Reporter 'Downright Chilling'
Court rules bin Laden death photos can stay secret
That's great. If photos eventually do come out, there will have been plenty of time to do a good job of faking them. In the meantime, we will perhaps be regaled by still more different versions of the exploit by the participants. -- RF
Some U.S. power companies say they face constant cyber attacks
"Several U.S. power utilities say they face constant cyber attacks on critical systems, according to a report by two Democratic lawmakers amid warnings from the Obama administration that foreign hackers are seeking to attack the electric grid."
Guantanamo wi-fi shut down after Anonymous threat
Armoured cars and drones on offer at Beijing anti-terrorism technology trade fair
US robots, Israeli drones to help make 2014 World Cup in Brazil 'one of safest sporting events ever'
Greenpeace drops item on Swedish reactor from glider to make point
Kinect is always listening on Xbox One, but privacy is a 'top priority' for Microsoft Sues FBI After Secret Surveillance
After Hijackings, Twitter Adds Two-Step Security Feature
How police can find your deleted text messages
"Think that a secure password and erasing your phone's memory will protect sensitive information on your smartphone? Think again."
Want to Lose Money? Have a Website Outage
"According to the National Retail Federation, 67 percent of consumers will abandon a website if it's too slow. Almost half of all online shoppers will abandon their shopping cart if there is a 3 second delay, according to KISSMetrics. Downtime can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue."

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Study: Italy's Children Face Bleak Future

## Japan ##
Abe's Resurgent Japan Hurt by Lack of Business Spending
Japan exports disappoint, full benefits of weak yen yet to show
Japan April trade deficit hit record $8.57B
Japan panel warns of dangers if debt not addressed
Hundreds of Miyagi residents seek equal compensation as Fukushima
"Hundreds of people living just outside Fukushima Prefecture say they have been denied adequate compensation after the country's 2011 nuclear disaster despite suffering elevated radiation levels."
Researchers find high cesium in some Pacific plankton
IAEA to support radioactive decontamination in Fukushima from July
Nuclear watchdog agrees Tsuruga nuclear plant sits atop active fault
Cyber-attack defenses compiled
Electricity sales fall for 4th month
"Electricity sales to large-lot industrial users decreased 4 percent, losing ground for the 11th straight month, the federation said. Industrial demand was weak because "production activity is sluggish," a federation official said. Power sales dropped for all seven industrial sectors, such as machinery makers, steelmakers and chemicals producers."
Pump! TOKYO EXCHANGE / Nikkei up for 4th day, hits nearly 65-month high
40% of security cameras turned off in Yokohama due to lack of funds
Nationalism rearing ugly head with greater frequency, protesters make public death threats
"Angry protesters took to the streets Sunday in Tokyo's Shin-Okubo district, home to many Korean shops and restaurants, describing the Korean residents there as 'cockroaches' and calling for their immediate 'extermination.'"

## China ##
Threat to Rice Fuels Latest Chinese Uproar
"A government test indicated that nearly half the rice sold in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou was contaminated with cadmium, triggering anger from consumers that China's staple food hasn't escaped the widespread pollution tainting its air, water and soil."
Analyst sees industrial overcapacity last until 2016
Heavy industry companies reduce backward capacity
China's bird flu outbreak cost $6.5 billion
China Fakes Trade Surplus...
China to lend $580 mln for Sri Lanka development projects
Chinese troops suffering post-traumatic stress disorder in Tibet
"The battle to keep Tibetans under control is inflicting severe psychological damage on Chinese armed police, an internal training document has revealed."

## UK ##
Soldier hacked to death in London in suspected Islamist attack
Food swapping: The movement taking off in the UK
Most UK species in decline, wildlife stocktake shows
A&E overcrowding could lead to more deaths and serious illnesses, MPs told
No swimming: Britain has some of the worst quality bathing water in Europe

## US ##
The road to a greener America is littered with road-kill
Suburban poverty soars
Poverty shifting to the suburbs
Kunstler's observation that the suburbs are becoming the new slums is spot-on. Decreasing net energy is killing the suburban project, just as it will kill many other things. -- RF
Caterpillar North America Sales Collapse Suggests US Economy Back To 2010 Levels
Pump! Dow, S&P end at records on Fed officials' reassurance
Only 27 percent of college graduates have jobs related to their majors, and only 62 percent need their degree at all.
Dr. Doom: US Government Can Take Away Your Gold
Greyhound to mimic airlines and charge more during peak travel periods
Mysterious respiratory illness strikes 7 in Alabama; 2 dead
CEO compensation from stock keeps growing as companies respond to shareholder activists
"The head of a typical large public company made $9.7 million in 2012, a 6.5 percent increase from a year earlier that was aided by a rising stock market, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm."
South Korea trade deal produces bleak first-year results for U.S.
"More than a year after it took effect, a highly touted trade deal with South Korea has failed to produce as expected for the U.S.: Exports are down, imports are up and the trade deficit with the Asian economic powerhouse has ballooned."
Okla. tornado damages could hit $2 billion
Oregon's Cash-Strapped Counties Reject Public Safety Levies
Boston bomber friend shot dead by FBI
Bernanke's Semi-Annual Tap-Dance of Distortions, Half-truths, Lies, and Hypocrisy to U.S. Congress
Bernanke Signals Fed Will Keep Stimulus in Place
Why the stimulus can never stop
Bernanke out by August, QE ends, rates up: Crash
A Low-Wage US Contractor Just Cooked Your Burger

And finally…
Gif's inventor says ignore dictionaries and say 'Jif'

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