Saturday, July 20, 2013


News Links, July 18-20, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Rupee's plunge drives up offshore debt costs for India Inc
Greece Bans Protests During Schäuble Visit; Country Needs Another €10 Billion; Expect More Haircuts
Greece passes bill set to kill thousands of public-sector jobs
"Greece on Wednesday passed a divisive bill that will eliminate thousands of public-sector jobs but help the debt-strapped nation qualify for billions in bailout money from international lenders."
Greece's Piraeus bank aims to cut around 1,500 jobs: source
Ex-Greek minister: Greece needs a 40% debt haircut
In tempo: towering testament to madness of Spain's construction boom
Going, Going, Gone: Crisis-Plagued Madrid Sells Out
"In the midst of the crisis, Madrid's regional government and city administration are hawking their treasures and altering ordinances in order to make the Spanish capital more attractive to investors. The Spaniards are even selling the names of subway lines."
European Car Sales Plunge to 20-Year low
Goldman Confirms Global Cycle Drops Back Into Slowdown
India Gold Imports To Rise 5% To Over 900 Tonnes In 2013
Ford to End Australian Manufacturing in 2016
Nine Insurers Named Systemically Important
"Nine insurers from around the globe have been deemed as posing risk to the global financial system by a panel of the Group of 20 leading economies."
Rio Tinto Sells Two French Aluminum Plants
Easy money tap still on, says Bernanke
"If we were to tighten policy, the economy would tank."
Report: 'Global Tax Chaos' Looms As Corporations Pillage the Globe
"The world is on the brink of 'global tax chaos' says a report released by the OECD Friday, which warns that global corporations have become nearly stateless entities, avoiding taxation in rich and poor countries alike."
Golden Age For Smartphones Ends As Upgrade Rates Tumble
Can Fabes becomes latest top Spanish restaurant to close its doors
Dubai real estate bonds would find buyers amid recovery
The U.S. Government Will Borrow Close To 4 Trillion Dollars This Year
Why Portugal has to 'save itself' by Sunday

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Asiana grounds Boeing 777 in U.S. due to engine oil leak
Japan Airlines 787 to Tokyo Returns to Boston
Human brain not wired to steadily monitor automated airline cockpit systems, experts say
"Airline pilots spend nearly all their time monitoring automated cockpit systems rather than 'hand-flying' planes, but their brains aren't wired to continually pay close attention to instruments that rarely fail or show discrepancies."
Airlines Have No Appetite for Fare Hikes
AMR posts second-quarter profit for first time in years
Is It Finally Time To Sell Airline Stocks?
Japan to let carriers remove 787 emergency beacons

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Israel plans on approving over 900 new settlement homes in West Bank
How European courts are dismantling sanctions on Iran
Japan and South Korea scramble Russian aircraft from military exercise
China sends troops to Africa
"For the second time in a little over a year, China has infantry on the ground in Africa, reflecting the Chinese military's increasingly global presence."
20,000 US troops descend on Australia for training
US Mulls Attacking Syria
"Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey confirmed that the Obama Administration is discussing the prospect of attacking Syria, and that the Pentagon has provided President Obama with several options for 'kinetic strikes.'"
Pirate Attacks Increase in the Gulf of Guinea
Japan won't accept China's unilateral gas development in E. China Sea

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Zimmerman Protesters Block California Highway And Raid Stores
Fresh protests at Libyan Zueitina spark uncertainty on oil exports: traders
Indian Kashmir shut down by curfew and strike
"Major towns in Indian-administered Kashmir are under curfew, a day after four people were killed when troops opened fire on angry protesters."
Defying Brutal Military Might, Morsi Supporters Take to Streets in Egypt

## Energy/resources ##
U.S. Gulf Oil Profits Lure $16 Billion More Rigs by 2015
"Producers will need $16 billion worth of additional rigs to handle the expanded drilling, analysts including Uhlmer estimate. Demand is driven in part by exploration successes in the lower tertiary, a geologic layer about 20,000 feet below the sea floor containing giant crude deposits that producers are only now figuring out how to tap."
The question that immediately comes to mind — or should come to mind — is what the net energy of such operations will be. Gone are the days when drillers stuck a pipe into the ground and high-grade crude spouted out. Such "easy oil," with an unbelievably high energy return of 100 to 1, was of course the springboard for high-tech industrial civilization. Now we must spend billions to get at oil thousands of feet below the sea floor. And as we all know, shale gas is a money-loser, meaning that its energy return for society as a whole is negative. Such a deal! This drags us even farther down into the pit of net energy decline, a forbidding world where things break faster than they can be fixed. Have a nice day! -- RF
Deeper and deeper: Israel's Deepest Well Targets 1.5 Billion Barrels of Oil
"The deepest oil well drilled in Israel's 65-year history may be the most important. Houston's Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) will probe 6,500 meters (4 miles) below the Mediterranean seabed later this year, targeting as much as 1.5 billion barrels of crude, equal to about 15 years of Israeli demand."
Kashagan consortium says takes further step towards first oil
We've been waiting how many years now? -- RF
S.Korea to restart 2 reactors after maintenance, easing power concerns
The high cost of railroading unconventional crude
Spain renewable energy projects face bankruptcy after subsidy cuts
"The renewable energy sector in Spain, which has grown exponentially since 2005, has accumulated a debt of more than 40,000 million euros to banks."
China H1 coal output falls, miners' losses grow -industry
"Coal companies in 6 provinces have sunk into red - CCTD"
Just look at these stories! The global energy-supply system is crumbling fast due to net energy decline. -- RF
East Coast Heat Wave Blasts Power Prices Through the Roof, Blackout Risk
Blackout in Balochistan after power pylons' bombing (Pakistan)
Heavy price of diesel smuggling (Malaysia)
Falling oil prices could spark global turmoil
I've already pointed out that a drop in oil prices would significantly reduce production capacity, but here is another important reason. Anyone can see that these circumstances create an extremely fragile balance of factors, and that this balance barely keeps the global energy regime going. Meanwhile, the system is also pressured by steady net energy decline and the deterioration of the world financial system. Yes, amigos, collapse is real. -- RF
Chile reports fracking 'milestone' in gas find
"Chilean state oil company ENAP said it used fracking techniques to release what could be commercially viable quantities of natural gas and condensates in the country's southern Magallanes region."
These days "commercially viable" means that someone will subsidize it for you. -- RF
Genetically Engineering Jatropha Plants for Large Scale Production
Water at risk from power plants, climate change
"The U.S. electric power sector is putting a strain on the nation's water resources, a Union of Concerned Scientists report warns."
Fallout Over Nuclear Energy Debacle Underway
Beyond San Onofre's closure
'Smart' streetlamps save energy by lighting up only when you're near
Native wood to be used for fuel (Australia)
Sen Sees Saudi Fuel Oil Use Rise as Gas Cuts Crude Burn
"Saudi Arabia is boosting imports of fuel oil to supplement the use of natural gas to generate power and cool homes in the summer months, freeing up more of its crude for export, according to Energy Aspects Ltd."

## Got food? ##
In Oregon, The GMO Wheat Mystery Deepens
Contaminated school meal kills 25 Indian children
Monsanto to withdraw EU approval requests for new GMO crops
"Monsanto Co said on Wednesday it will withdraw all pending approval requests to grow new types of genetically modified crops in the European Union, due to the lack of commercial prospects for cultivation there."
How to Install Raised Garden Beds
These Pictures Might Tempt You To Eat Bugs
But maybe not. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Study Identifies Source of Oil Sheens Near Deepwater Horizon Site
CIA Backs $630,000 Scientific Study on Controlling Global Climate
Smoking and heavy drinking speeds up brain decline
Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service
Insurance Industry, Republicans Split on Climate Change
New Mexico in state of emergency due to extreme drought
Judge denies BP effort to halt Gulf spill claim payouts
USGS Study Connects Earthquake Risk To Wastewater Injection, Fracking Advocates Say, "Who Cares?"

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Unitarian Church, Gun Groups Join EFF to Sue NSA Over Illegal Surveillance
"Nineteen organizations including Unitarian church groups, gun ownership advocates, and a broad coalition of membership and political advocacy organizations filed suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) today for violating their First Amendment right of association by illegally collecting their call records."
Microsoft: U.S. Constitution is 'suffering' from NSA secrecy
Bush-Cheney began illegal NSA spying before 9/11, says telcom CEO
Mission Creep: When Everything Is Terrorism
NSA Comments Disclose Ever-Expanding Surveillance Web
Study finds police are recording license plates by the millions in a dragnet with few rules
German Paper: EU Plans to Drop Net Neutrality
"Plan would allow 'telecom operators to discriminate our Internet communications and thereby kill the free and open Internet,' says Internet freedom group"
Germany backs away from claims NSA program thwarted five attacks
Judge Refuses to Drop 'Aiding the Enemy' From Manning Case
DHS warns employees not to read leaked NSA information (Washington Post)
"The Department of Homeland Security has warned its employees that the government may penalize them for opening a Washington Post article containing a classified slide that shows how the National Security Agency eavesdrops on international communications."
FEMA hacked: Anonymous hacks US server in defense of Snowden and government transparency
Judge torn over lawsuit in drone strike that killed Americans
The NSA Admits It Analyzes More People's Data Than Previously Revealed

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Down the tubes: 40 Stats That Prove The U.S. Economy Has Already Been Collapsing Over The Past Decade
Cold Showers Expose Budget Pinch as Ukraine Coffers Run Dry
How Detroit got here: 10 reasons
Yes, 10 reasons. And the major reason underlying all of them is net energy decline. Let this be a warning to all other big cities, whose times are coming. -- RF

## Japan ##
Steam rising from reactor building in Fukushima
Fukushima reactor steam still baffling: TEPCO
NEC and the sorrow of Japan
"Sadly enough, NEC's share price rose 2.6% on the news that it is going to shutter its mobile phone unit. It's a tragic epitaph for what was once a genuinely exciting brand. It's also a sad reminder of the profound failure of Japan's technology industry."
Survey reveals 80% of Japanese believe nuclear disaster 'probable' if reactors are restarted
Over 90% of Japanese think Fukushima disaster not under control – survey
Nearly 2,000 Fukushima Daiichi workers at higher risk of thyroid cancer
Boondoggle: Monju FBR facing dim prospects
Govt's nuclear fuel cycle policy teeters on edge as onsite Monju inspection completed
Japanese Stocks Crater Almost 600 Points
Japan's 'kamikaze' economics risk Asia debt crisis
Asymmetric (Gender) Warfare and Japan's Rubella Virus Outbreak

## China ##
Chinese stocks fail to live up to hype
Contradictory land investment figures questioned in China
China's Richest Man Sees Economic Growth Slowing in Second Half
PolyU Study Finds Overcapacity Problem Looming for Hong Kong Hotels
China, U.S. companies' great hope, now a drag
In China, a wide gap between rich and poor
Rail shipping opens from China to Germany

## UK ##
Report: Budget cuts threaten the bobby on the beat
"Budget cuts mean police constables walking their beats are vanishing from British cities, towns and villages, a government report said Thursday."
Blood money: UK's £12.3bn arms sales to repressive states
Tax cut for shale gas firms planned
Right from the start they will need tax cuts because shale gas is a money-loser. Just ask the Americans. -- RF
GD Chopping More Jobs, Closing Sites in UK

## US ##
McDonald's Math: You Can't Survive Working for Us
"[T]he key point I want to hammer into people is that food stamps are corporate welfare. They actually are not welfare for the workers themselves, who undoubtably don't have wonderful lives. What ends up happening is that because the government comes in and supplements egregiously low wages with benefits like food stamps, the companies don't have to pay living wages. So in effect, your tax money is being used to support corporate margins."
The Jobs Number Is BS Says Former Head Of BLS
California gets $4-a-gallon gas. Who's next?
"Drivers in California became the first in the mainland U.S. to pay an average of $4 a gallon for gas in the current price spike. They probably will get lots of company soon."
Hagel: Top military staff to be cut 20 percent
Detroit, once a symbol of industrial might, becomes largest US city to file for bankruptcy
Many will say that this happened because Detroit unwisely bet everything on cars. Just keep in mind that Detroit's car industry, and Detroit, prospered in the first place because of cheap energy, something we no longer have. -- RF
Judge orders Detroit to withdraw bankruptcy filing
"A Michigan Circuit Court Judge ruled Friday that Detroit's bankruptcy filing is unconstitutional and ordered the case be withdrawn from federal bankruptcy court."
Detroit bankruptcy could hit millions of public sector retirees
In Detroit Bankruptcy, It's the Poor Who Lose
Detroit bankruptcy: survival the only goal in city that once epitomised the American dream
Detroit bankruptcy raises costs for other cities
"Detroit's financial woes, which have culminated in the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy filing, are pushing up borrowing costs for municipalities across the country."
U.S. seeks new tactic in financial crisis prosecutions
Hot Weather Energy-Saving Program Activated Again
New York breaks peak power usage record in heat wave
Retirement's New Reality: It's A 401(k) World Of Woe
Critical Warning No. 17: Dow 5,000, crash of 65%: Sucker's bull market of 1928 now repeating
How to Lose Friends, Citizens and Influence
"The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act seeks to co-opt foreign banks as long-arm enforcement agencies of the IRS."
US Totalitarianism Wins Again As Appeals Court Brings NDAA's Indefinite Military Detention Back
Colorado town considers licensing bounty hunters to shoot down drones
FAA warns the public against firing guns at drones, says shooters could be prosecuted
Air-Conditioning Will Be the End of Us
Mega Banks Go After Credit Unions
10 Ways That The Iron Grip Of The Big Brother Prison Grid Is Tightening On All Of Our Lives
Crude oil supplies drop for third consecutive week
Crude oil tops $108
28 states see unemployment rise in June
The United States Of Dynasty: Boom Times For Political Families
Pump! Dow, S&P 500 end at all-time highs on earnings, Bernanke
How She Lives On Minimum Wage: One McDonald's Worker's Budget
First Air Force One plane decaying in Arizona field

And finally…
A loser's revenge on slot machines in Italy (video)

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