Friday, May 31, 2013


News Links, May 30-June 1, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Unemployment across euro countries rises to record 12.2 percent in April
OECD warns Europe's economy to worsen this year, threatening global recovery
German Unemployment Increased Four Times Forecast in May
Simmering Feud Between France and Germany Erupts Into Verbal Warfare; France Tells Brussels to Shove It
Thailand Cuts Rate First Time This Year as Growth Slows: Economy
IMF Warns China On Rising Government Debt
Peugeot may need to raise funds as burns cash: sources
Spain's Bankia Decimates Savers As Stock Plummets; Police Officer Stabs Banker Who Sold Him Shares
Alcoa Rating Cut to Junk by Moody's as Aluminum Price Drops
Cyprus Bank Deposits Plunge By Most Ever During "Capital Controls" Month
South Korea Industrial Output Grows in April After Months of Contraction
Power shortage cripples south India's industrial belts
Thailand's manufacturing production index lowest in 16 months
Greek Islands for Sale
The China "Miracle" Is Collapsing Before Your Eyes
Gold Bar "Supply Constraints" In Singapore Sees Record Premiums
All Time Record Gold Transactions Reported By LBMA
How Cheap Credit Fuels Income/Wealth Inequality
Rising Oil Prices: The Euro Zone's Next Big Problem?
Cozy Corporate Directors Raise Their Pay to $1,000 an Hour
The New Aristocracy takes a bigger piece of the pie. And you get what Patty shot at. -- RF
Running out of cash, Australian miners get creative to survive
Brazil Real Touches Weakest in Four Years, Spurring Intervention

## Airline Death Spiral ##
India's airlines lost USD1.65 billion in FY2013
Virgin America sustains its perpetual paradox – high passenger praise and zero profitability
Deutsche Bank Says Buy Airlines Now
Hot dog! -- RF
American Airlines posts $105 million net loss in April
Austrian Airlines: a perennial loss-maker undergoing radical restructuring
Gary-Chicago Airport will again be without any airline passenger service
Malaysia Airlines net loss widens on higher fleet financing costs
TSA: No More Graphic, Full-Body Airport Scans

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
South China Sea tension mounts near Filipino shipwreck
U.S. accuses currency exchange of laundering $6 billion
Why The Next War With China Could Go Very Badly For The United States
"Most Americans assume that the U.S. military is so vastly superior to  everyone else that no other nation would ever dream of fighting a full-scale war against us.  Unfortunately, that assumption is dead wrong."
Biden Circles Xi as U.S. Duels China for Latin America Ties
China's moves in Western Hemisphere have U.S. stepping up its game
Insight: Nigerian pirate gangs extend reach off West Africa
Hezbollah said to control most of Qusayr in major setback for Syria rebels
"Hezbollah and Syrian government forces have seized most of the strategically important town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border, fighters on both sides of the conflict said Wednesday, in what would be a huge setback for the rebels fighting to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad."
Balance of power in Syria war shifting in Assad's favor as troops move steadily against rebels
Assad says Syria received Russian missile shipment: Lebanese media
Moscow threatens to speed missiles to Syria but also offers to delay
Russia to sell 10 MiG fighter jets to Syria
Syria's Assad warns Israel on air strikes
Turkey finds sarin gas in homes of suspected Syrian Islamists – reports
Syria Has a Driver's Seat, and the US Isn't In It
Sources: Jordan drill in preparation for Syria conflict
"Western sources claim international forces will stay in Jordan after joint military exercise 'to prepare for possible intervention in Syria'"
Intel officials: Pakistan Taliban No. 2 is buried
Netherlands, Germany move to enhance military cooperation
Fears grow in Iraq as new bombing wave kills 33, governor escapes assassination attempt
Iraq Ready to Explode; Over 600 Killed This Month
As The Clock Ticks, U.S. Forces Scale Back Afghan Goals
Red Cross suspends operations in Afghanistan
US Army Creates NATO Rapid-Deployment Forces
Israel and U.S. generals draw up theoretical scenario for attack on Iran
U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran's petrochemical industry

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Frankfurt 'Blockupy' protesters surround ECB
"Thousands of demonstrators from the anti-capitalist Blockupy movement cut off access to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Friday to protest against policymakers' handling of Europe's debt crisis."
Fears grow for a Malaysian Spring
Buddhist mobs attack Muslim homes in Myanmar, one dead
In Central Burma, a Lawless Rush for Oil
"Oil fields abandoned by Burma's state-owned oil company in Magway Division have turned into a lawless arena for local drillers and smugglers looking for a profit—with knife fights settling scores between rival drillers, company officials and local residents say."
Far-right groups plan day of demonstrations across England
Kyrgyz police move in on gold mine protesters
Protesters blocking bulldozers tear gassed in Istanbul
Student debt protesters press Sallie Mae for relief

## Energy/resources ##
Oil sands mines face growing challenges as supply costs rise
"As the cost of wringing oil from Alberta's bitumen deposits continues to edge up, companies are assessing whether to spend billions on new mining projects or pour money into steam-driven extraction."
Holy cow! Watch that net-energy indicator plunge! -- RF
Oil executives tune out the call of the wild Arctic
"The high Arctic, once the irresistible frontier for oil and gas exploration, is quickly losing its appeal as energy firms grow fearful of the financial and public relations risk of working in the pristine icy wilderness."
World car production grows 3 times faster than global oil supplies
Oil Limits and Climate Change
Iran aims for more oil exports to India
Saudi Arabia, Iran contest OPEC leadership
Energy News Roundup: Rough Day for Renewables
Toxic gas in Bakken pipeline points to sour well problem
Defective panel epidemic threatens solar's resurgence
"Solar energy seems to be enjoying a new day in the sun, after the high-profile bankruptcies of Solyndra and Evergreen Solar. But that could be threatened by a reported rash of defective panels, caused by high pressure to cut costs."
Peak water?
Asia–Pacific Analysis: Rain harvesting can avert crisis
Wyoming oil production up in 2012; still down historically
India lowers gas-fired generation target amid gas shortage
Cuban oil hopes sputter as Russians give up for now on well
Shell under the skin, 10 years after crisis
Russia Retires Old Soviet Rigs Creating $9 Billion Demand for New Ones
"According to the Russian investment bank VTB Capital, more than 57% of the nation's 1,835 oil and gas rigs are over 20 years old. Built in the days of the Soviet Union, they are not powerful enough, or advanced enough to cope with modern extraction methods, such as extracting shale gas."
So in order to pump the hard-to-get oil and gas, a huge investment will be needed in new equipment. Higher drilling cost plus the expense of new hardware means that the oil and gas won't be cheap, which in turn spells net energy decline. -- RF
Next Shoe To Drop: Shoddy Solar Panels From China
Exxon's $100m Algae Investment Falls Flat
Remember the Jetsons? That Can be Us in 2025
This is a great "World's Fair" piece. A few elites might well be living in style, but the rest of us will be living on a much lower energy level. There is not enough energy now to bring about this kind of world, and each day sees a continuing net energy decline. A huge problem is that hardly anyone among our politicians, environmentalists, and even academics understands the concept of net energy. -- RF
South Koreans Told to Save Energy This Summer
Ecuador Oil Spill: SOTE Pipeline Ruptures After Landslide
Tanker Seizures Seen Boosting Rates as Oil Companies Vet Owners

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
97 faucets stolen from four sites in Saitama (Japan)

## Got food? ##
Hungary destroys crops from Monsanto's GM seeds
Rain further delays historically slow U.S. corn, soybean planting
Corn, soybean and wheat futures rise as traders worry about forecasts for more wet weather
USDA says unapproved genetically engineered wheat discovered in Oregon field
Where's the beef? Maybe not on your grill this summer
Farmers turn to drip-tape irrigation to save water
Report: Slaves may be catching the fish you eat
Discovery of genetically modified wheat in U.S. leads to South Korean import suspension
U.S. seeks source of errant gene altered wheat as importers flee
European Union urges testing of U.S. wheat imports for unapproved Monsanto strain
Escaped Wheat Shows Difficulty of Keeping Tests on Farm
Taiwan Reviews U.S. Wheat Imports on GMO Concerns
Britain's hunger problem grows

## Environment/health ##
Iraq: War's legacy of cancer
"Two US-led wars in Iraq have left behind hundreds of tonnes of depleted uranium munitions and other toxic wastes."
Do not look at the photos if you are squeamish. -- RF
Middle East Coronavirus Called 'Threat To The Entire World'
Intensive-Care Patients Need Treatment to Stop Deadly Bug
GM salmon can breed with wild fish and pass on genes
Spain to face coldest summer for 200 years?
Oil Sands Disrupt Ancient Way of Life
Mid-Ocean Plastics Cleanup Schemes: Too Little Too Late?
Gina Rinehart Calls For Sterilization of The Poor (NZ)
Niger Delta pollution: Fishermen at risk amidst the oil
Are we ignoring the dangers of mobile phones?
Wildfire burns 1,000 acres in Los Angeles County
"Absolutely Every One" – 15 Out of 15 – Bluefin Tuna Tested In California Waters Contaminated with Fukushima Radiation

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Stratfor hacker faces jail after admitting cyber-attack
Revealed: Google's plan to float BLIMP NETWORK over Africa, Asia
Report: Taiwan To Open New Cyberwar Unit
Unprecedented e-mail privacy bill sent to Texas governor's desk
"Assuming that Texas Governor Rick Perry does not veto it, the Lone Star State appears set to enact the nation's strongest e-mail privacy bill. The proposed legislation requires state law enforcement agencies to get a warrant for all e-mails regardless of the age of the e-mail."
Dept. of Homeland Security Forced to Release List of Keywords Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites
Special Ops Commanders Seek Intel, Data-Sharing Assets
"Senior commanders recently called on the defense industry to provide technologies that give special operations forces more situational awareness, better networking and communications and more precise location and targeting capabilities."
White House: Justice decided terms of the off-the-record meeting with media
This Pentagon Project Makes Cyberwar as Easy as Angry Birds
Chechen dad: FBI killed son to 'shut him up'
Schools scanned students' irises without permission

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Diesel shortage interrupts mobile towers in Naxal areas: MHA (India)
"If attacks on mobile networks by Naxals are not enough, security forces are grappling with the non-availability of diesel to power mobile towers which has left the telecom network non-functional for long periods."
AUC New Cairo campus closed on power shortages
"The American University of Cairo closed their New Cairo campus on Thursday, and it will remain closed throughout the weekend, according to the university. The decision came in light of power and water shortages the campus has been suffering since Wednesday."
Gary-Chicago Airport Will Again Lose Passenger Service
This is how collapse proceeds at first, a little at a time. An airport loses service, cellphone towers go dead, a bridge collapses… Watch for the day when the rate accelerates. -- RF
Skagit River bridge collapse: Not the only one waiting to happen
Unemployment across euro countries rises to record 12.2 percent in April
Conditions at private Miss. prison 'barbaric,' suit says
25 Signs That Military Veterans Are Being Treated Like Absolute Trash Under The Obama Administration

## Japan ##
Nikkei Stock Average tumbles more than 700 points to finish at 4-week low
Panasonic to cut 5,000 workers from automotive and industrial division
Japanese government reveals growth strategy plan
On the Road to a Japanese Debt Crisis
Is Japan the canary in the coal mine?
Japan suspends wheat imports from Pacific Northwest after modified wheat discovered in Oregon
End of an Era: A Bubble Hotel Closes
Japanese companies using 'banishment rooms' to push employees to resign
Yen fall spurs Japan fishermen to rally for state help to offset high fuel prices
-- Nuclear power bust --
Final Decision Made to Halt Monju Reactor Restart Work
Utilities Face Y4.4tln Hit From Scrapping Reactors: Estimate
Gov't suggests TEPCO freeze soil around Fukushima plant
Radioactive particles from J-PARC accident spread 1 km westward
Japan consumer prices fall 0.4% in April
Down six straight months. This bodes ill for the government's inflation plan. -- RF

## China ##
China looks local for solution to gas price dilemma
China Failure to Grow With $1 Trillion Credit Seen as Li Warning
China's Shuanghui International to buy Smithfield Foods for $4.7B
"China's Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has said it will buy Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer, for $4.7 billion in cash."
China's Worker Shortage Is a Global Problem
New ID cards will require fingerprinting of residents
Huge debts could see China Railway Corp hit the buffers
China's plastic bag ban saves 6m tons of oil

## UK ##
Record 370,000 want to join apprenticeships
"With almost 1 million youngsters looking for work, every vacancy attracts 11 applications"
More garages caught selling illegal fuel
"The number of illegal pop up garages caught selling doctored and stolen fuel has risen by 48 per cent, according to figures released by HM Revenue and Customs."
Network Rail chiefs pocket bonuses as punctuality falls and maintenance worsens
Spring will be coldest in 50 years, Met Office says
UK gas import dependence at record high in first quarter
Huge rise in numbers treated for alcoholism
Food bank problem is 'very serious', admits Business Secretary, Vince Cable
Seaweed forces East Lothian's Torness nuclear plant closure

## US ##
The Economic Depression Is Not Over for Millions of Americans
Working moms are now main breadwinners in a record 40 percent of US households with children
Top US tax breaks to cost $12 trillion over decade, benefit wealthy: CBO
Officials: Boston bombing suspect friend unarmed when killed
Another Jolt For Journalism: Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off Its Photo Staff
Ben Bernanke's Latest Casualty: The Pension Plan
Federal disability trust fund on the brink
Flippers once again ride the housing wave
With College 'Borrowable' But Not Affordable: Loan Rates Set To Double
Students buried under crushing debt for worthless degrees: Net energy decline. -- RF
First quarter GDP revised slightly lower; austerity bites
Personal Income and Spending a Big Disappointment
As hurricane season begins, coastal homeowners feel the pinch with climbing insurance rates
Brawl over spilled punch at kindergarten graduation ceremony in Cleveland results in 8 arrests
Kinder Morgan shelves Texas-to-California oil pipeline plan
"Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP shelved a $2 billion plan to convert a natural gas pipeline to carry cheap West Texas crude to Southern California, citing lack of shipper interest."

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