Thursday, August 01, 2013


News Links, August 1-2, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Economic Recovery in Spain? Tax Collections, Retail Sales Prove Otherwise
Australian Manufacturing Slumps as Currency Fall Insufficient
China manufacturing activity at 11-month low: HSBC
India Housing Bubble Still Expanding
Italy Banks Bad Loans Underline Southern Europe Malaise
Greek bailout has 11 billion euro funding gap

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Southwest Fined for Playing Hard to Get With Valentine's Day Sale Fares
I'll price luggage out of the hold, says Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary
"Checking in a bag on Ryanair - which this summer costs anything from £25 to £160 for a one-way flight - could soar still higher, the airline's chief executive has warned."
Airlines Ask Passengers to Pay for the Rising Cost of Fuel
Alaska airports take a hit as Moody's downgrades bonds amid cargo slowdown
"Alaska's biggest airports continue to wrestle with fiscal uncertainty due to fewer trans-Pacific flights landing in the Anchorage airport, reducing the amount of cargo coming from the Far East. America's economy factors largely into the situation, as iPads and digital watches fill fewer cargo boxes aboard international flights. And now, Moody's Investor Service has downgraded its credit rating for the airport system's revenue bonds."
US: Stricter cargo security to cost airlines $2.8m a year
Slow growth in China hits Asia-Pacific air freight performance with June volume down 1.8%: IATA
"CHINA'S ECONOMIC slowdown has dampened air-freight demand throughout Asia and the Pacific as regional carriers' business volume in June contracted 1.8 per cent year on year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In the first half, volume dropped 2.3 per cent."
Qantas bound for perfect profitability storm
Frontier Airlines to end service to Albuquerque
Japan Airlines April-June net profit down 31.9% at $187 million
Skymark Airlines reports operating loss in 1QFY2013, FY guidance remains unchanged

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
NYT: New Israeli airstrikes in Syria likely
"New Israeli airstrikes in Syria are likely because a recent strike didn't destroy all the Russian-made cruise missiles Israel targeted, U.S. officials said."
U.S. House passes Iran sanctions bill to slash oil exports
U.S. to go ahead with joint military exercise in Egypt
AFRICOM: The U.S. Military's Mind Games in Africa: No Bullets, But Lethal
Deadliest Month in 5 Years: Bloodshed Soars in War-Ravaged Iraq
US Welcomes Yemen's President With Drone Strike on Yemen
Kerry Says U.S. Plans To Stop Drone Strikes In Pakistan
Classified: Senators Hide Their Votes on Arming Syrian Fighters from Public
U.S. Will Close Some Embassies Sunday Over Security Concerns
U.S. expects immunity for its cops working in new cross-border policing program
Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Global Warming Sparks Fistfights and War, Researchers Say
'Air rage tribes' attack in Chinese airports

## Energy/resources ##
Energy Quote of the Day: US Tight Oil 'Not a Flash in the Pan'
The key is being relentlessly upbeat. But before you decide, check out the following graph and commentary. -- RF
How much longer for the Bakken? A graph
Net energy decline: Oil is abundant and prices are high, but higher costs push Big Oil into a global slump
"The new oil being found and produced is in ultra-deep ocean waters, in sands that must be heated to release the hydrocarbons, or trapped in shale or other tight rock that requires constant drilling to keep production steady. That makes this new oil far more expensive to get out of the ground than what's known as conventional oil - large pools of oil and gas in relatively easy-to-drill locations. Those reserves have always been hard to find, but now they are all but gone outside of the Middle East."
Growing Piracy Threat to Indian Oil Imports
Shell calls for tougher sanctions against oil thieves in Nigeria
Why the Peak Oilers are still right
Middle East's solar energy plans entail huge financing
"Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are seeking to add 1,000 megawatts of solar capacity  enough to electrify 200,000 homes.  However, the renewable energy drive of setting up solar-power plants will need more than $1.5 billion in financing by the end of 2014."
Building of Turkey's first nuke plant faces delay risk
Oman counters oil decline narrative
Eni sees profits slide
Poland to get dirtier as it leans towards lignite coal
"Poland, one of the heaviest polluters in Europe, will become even dirtier now that its shale gas ambitions have faded and it turns to cheap domestic lignite coal to secure its energy supply."
Displacing Diesel May Prove Cost-Prohibitive in Rural Alaska
In fact, much of the world depends on diesel-fueled generators. -- RF
Plans for a giant Thai-Vietnam oil refinery have a slew of doubters
Europe's Biggest Solar Projects Threatened by China Deal
Libya oil production down 70 percent
Nigeria: Shell to Sell Off Four More Oil Blocs
"Shell plans to sell at least four more oil blocs in Nigeria due to increasing crude theft, oil spills, community challenges and its inability to renew the licenses of some of the fields."
Must read: Energy Products: Return on Investment Is Already Too Low
I posted this once before, when it first appeared on the author's blog, but here it has been reposted on The Oil Drum, and I feel it's so important I'm bringing it to you again. I can't emphasize this enough: Net energy decline is the defining characteristic of our current energy regime. The "game changer" is net energy decline, not the pathetic little gains offered by loss-making tight oil and shale gas. If you didn't get around to reading this before, here's another opportunity. -- RF
Philippine province hit by blackout
"About a million people in the Philippines have endured an extraordinary blackout after a power provider cut electricity to an entire province over unpaid debts dating back 15 years."

## Got food? ##
Want To Help Solve The Global Food Crisis? Eat More Crickets
Frost damages nearly fifth of Brazil sugar cane crop: analyst
"Last week's frosts in southern Brazil damaged nearly a fifth of the unharvested cane crop in the principal growing region, an event likely to cut sugar exports from the world's largest producer, agriculture research company Datagro said Wednesday."
Supermarket chains recall ground beef over E. coli risk
Burger costs rise with beef supply at 21-year low (US)

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Is modern life killing us?
Benefits of Backyard Chickens (Video)

## Environment/health ##
Deadly tick-borne Powassan virus surfaces in New York state, kills 30% of those infected
North Dakota gas flares equal to a million extra cars on road
Industry Pressure Shuts Down EPA Fracking Investigations, Watch our Ring of Fire interview
Oil Spill in Gulf of Thailand Spreads to More Islands
8.1% of secondary school students may suffer Internet addiction (Japan)

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Western intelligence agencies ban Lenovo PCs
XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'
• XKeyscore gives 'widest-reaching' collection of online data
• NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
• Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history
Yes, They Are Watching: Online Search for Pressure Cooker Sparks Chilling Police Visit
Totally bizarre and terrifying. -- RF
With Nearly 100,000+ Signatures Collected, 'Manning for Peace Prize' Petition Heading for Oslo
Where Police Can & Can't Snoop Through Your Phone [Map]
Buffeted by New Disclosures, NSA Chief Defends Surveillance Programs at Black Hat
5 ways to be invisible online
Manning guilty, war criminals on the loose
"The young Bradley Manning faces a lifetime behind bars after the delivery of a (predictable) guilty verdict in his show trial for spying. The US government went no holds barred, and failed, to prove that Manning had helped al-Qaeda. Events in Iraq this week show it's the US government that has actually enabled al-Qaeda, while the real culprits are still on the loose."
Harvard creates brain-to-brain interface, allows humans to control other animals with thoughts alone
Granted Temporary Asylum, Snowden Has Left Moscow Airport
US Government Really Wants Twitter Users' Data
"Latest transparency report from Twitter shows US made up 78% of all user data requests"
Tests show every cellphone emits a traceable digital fingerprint
"Engineers in Germany say the radio signal from every cellphone is a unique, unalterable digital fingerprint that could allow police to track a handset."
What Google Knows About You

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
17+ Ways To Become Self-Sufficient Before 'The Crunch'
4 reasons capitalism is morally bankrupt, dying: America's big banks are self-destructing
The Forces That Drove The Second Industrial Revolution Were So Powerful And Unique That They Cannot Be Repeated
American roads, transit and schools get a D-plus

## Japan ##
Japanese utility, and the public, in dark about crippled nuclear plant
You Won't BELIEVE What's Going On at Fukushima Right Now
Cesium levels in water under Fukushima No. 1 plant soar the deeper it gets, Tepco reveals
Liquid glass fails to stop radioactive water leak into ocean from Fukushima No. 1 plant
"Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) confirmed on July 31 that its efforts to firm up the seawall by inserting liquid glass into the earth has failed to prevent radioactive water from leaking into the ocean from its Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant."
TEPCO did nothing about radioactive water leak for 2 years
TEPCO incurs 29 bil. yen group recurring loss in 1Q
Japan's Industrial Production Drops at the Fastest Pace Since the Fukushima Disaster
MSDF to take on bigger antipiracy burden
"The Maritime Self-Defense Force's antipiracy escort operation off Somalia has been extended by one more year, with one destroyer set to join a combined naval task force with the United States and other nations late this year. Currently, two MSDF destroyers have been deployed in the area along with P-3C maritime patrol aircraft."
Japan's deputy leader apologises after saying 'we could learn from Nazis'
"Taro Aso, Japan's deputy prime minister, has apologised for remarks in which he suggested Tokyo could learn from Nazi Germany when it comes to constitutional reform."
Ex-Soros Adviser Fujimaki Says Tax Delay, Fed May Pop JGB Bubble
"Takeshi Fujimaki, a former adviser to billionaire investor George Soros who won a seat in Japan's upper house of parliament last month, said a delay in increasing the sales tax and reduction of Federal Reserve stimulus could cause the nation's government bond "bubble" to burst."
The Great Central Bank Dream Comes to a Crashing Halt in Japan
"Japan has announced a $1.4 trillion QE effort, an amount equal to 21% of its GDP. To put this into perspective, this is the single largest QE in history, the kind of QE Bernanke and his pals could only dream of announcing. Instead of resulting in economic growth or high employment all this has done is raise the costs of living. Industrial production and household spending both recently plunged, while inflation has risen to a 14 month high."
Banks Back Off Bonds, But Money Not Going Where BOJ Wants
Monetary Base Rises To Record Y170.38tln In July
Trillions for rebuilding Tohoku go unused
Even if there's a budget, the system for using it has broken down. -- RF
Welfare benefit cut the biggest
Abe takes hard line on Chinese gas exploration
Nation's troops long way from hitting the beaches: experts

## China ##
No summer power shortages as China's economy slows
As solar panels pile up, China takes axe to polysilicon producers
"Three quarters of China's solar-grade polysilicon producers face closure as Beijing looks to overhaul a bloated and inefficient industry, resulting in fewer but better companies to compete against Germany's Wacker Chemie AG and South Korea's OCI Co Ltd."
China Fracking Quake-Prone Province Shows Zeal for Gas
New Chinese video game lets players retake disputed islands
Bacon fries on pavement as heat wave grips China

## UK ##
UK expected to avoid gas shortages in coming winter
"Britain's gas supplies in the 2013/2014 winter season will probably be sufficient to avoid running short, which it nearly did last winter, but wholesale prices are already higher than a year ago and likely to keep rising."
Britain's centuries-old Royal Mail eyes end of state control
Bank of England Refuses Comment on Huge Discrepancy in Custodial Gold Reports
'Free Power Saturdays' are being considered by British Gas
We need to make it easier for firms to sack workers, claims Conservative chairman Grant Shapps

## US ##
Banks are turning away nickel and dime clients
44 Facts About The Death Of The Middle Class That Every American Should Know
Recession Forever? 10 Reasons American Workers Are Screwed
Report: TSA employee misconduct up 26% in 3 years
Kids' IPhone Hopes Dashed as Americans Pare School Spend
American Automobile Glut? Unsold Cars Are Piling Up
The American dream myth: Income mobility; 4 out of 5 Americans struggle with poverty, joblessness, or go on welfare at some point during their lives; and bottom 80 percent of Americans control 7 percent of total wealth.
The American Dream. Two chickens in every pot, two (or more) cars in every driveway, and each generation doing better than its parents on a never-stopping escalator of affluence. But sorry to say, it was all built on the premise that energy and other resources would always be cheap and plentiful. -- RF
70 Straight Days: Treasury Says Debt Stuck at Exactly $16,699,396,000,000.00
Schiff: We're Heading For A Crisis Worse Than 2007
"Washington is engaged in a massive 'campaign' to make Americans believe the economy is in recovery.  But in reality the United States is at the brink of a devastating economic crash that will cause catastrophic market losses and impoverish millions."
Mayor Bloomberg Launches "Recycle Everything" Ad Campaign
Chart Of The Day: Foreigners Are Quietly Getting Out Of Dodge
Why Social Security Won't Bail Out Many Detroit Workers
Attorney: FBI was aware of plan for snipers on Occupy Houston
As recession alters shopper attitudes, secondhand shops thrive
Committee chairman says House GOP preparing legislation to cut food stamp program by 5 percent
Nuclear renaissance: Duke Pulls Plug On Planned Nuclear Project in Florida
Mini-nuclear plants the next frontier of US power supply -- or the next Solyndra?
Company pensions in peril as shortfalls hit record
"Young workers may want to start counting on something other than company pensions to fund their retirements. It turns out that the plans of S&P 500 companies are underfunded to the tune of $451.7 billion, a number that has grown some 27 percent in just the last year alone, according to data released Wednesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices."
The Most Important Number In The Entire U.S. Economy
Nine Cities Running Out Of Water

And finally…
KFC 7-foot bucket mysteriously appears in yard
Women 'aspire to same beauty attributes as in 16th century'

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