Friday, August 16, 2013


News Links, August 15-17, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Walmart Earnings Disaster Exposes a Collapsing Economy: Davidowitz
There it is — the C word. Ah, but it's just "doomer porn," right? Relax — everything's gonna be OK. -- RF
Get Ready: The Great Transfer of Wealth in Gold & Silver Is Coming
These 3 Countries Could Be Headed For A Meltdown
International Investors Dump $40.8 Billion in Treasuries, the Most Ever
It wasn't just government bonds, either. Foreigners dumped $116 million of bonds made up of packaged U.S. mortgages. They sold $5.2 billion of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae bonds, and $5 billion in corporate bonds. And they unloaded $26.8 billion of U.S. stocks.
Europe Returns To "Growth" After Record 6-Quarter Long "Double Dip" Recession; Depression Continues
Cisco to cut 4,000 jobs despite strong profits
How Globalization and Technology Teamed Up to Crush Middle-Class Workers
Crippling debts and bankruptcies brew Vietnam coffee crisis
Canada Post poised to lay an egg next Easter after losing $58M this quarter
Investors euphoric as US margin debt reaches 'danger' levels
India Bans All Gold Coin Imports, Increases Capital Controls
Consumer demand for gold hits record high
Gold rallies on haven demand; silver up 5%
Record High Demand For Physical Gold Threatens To Break The Back Of The Paper Gold Market
Are onions the new headache for India's central bank?
Moller-Maersk shipping company second-quarter profits, revenue hit by poor global economy
Asian shares under pressure, Indian currency buckles
Rich World's Biggest Jobs Growth Nears End in Singapore
Companies, concerned for worker safety, halt Egyptian operations as street violence continues
Egypt: Travel firms cancel holidays as violence escalates
Emerging Stocks Fall as India's Sensex Leads World Losses

## Airline Death Spiral ##
The government might be too late in its attempt to put a stop to rising airfares, fees
Airports may benefit from U.S. move to block airline merger: Fitch
ANA finds faulty wiring on Dreamliner fire extinguishers
Ryanair sacks pilot for questioning safety on TV
PAL posted P1-B loss in April-June
Airline growth drops in China as travelers flock to high-speed rail
How economy and first class are growing even farther apart
Here is another concrete manifestation of the division of the population into the super-elite — the New Aristocracy — and the serf class. Welcome to the world of neofeudalism. -- RF
Airports offering perks to frequent passengers
More airports are adding their own incentives for frequent travelers, including discounted parking, exclusive lounges and bonus airline miles on in-terminal purchases. It's a way for airports to compete against each other as airline consolidation shifts routes and raises prices.
LATAM Airlines expected to report loss as Brazil drags
Indian airlines may lose $450 mn in second quarter, says Capa
Singapore Airlines reaches a make or break point
Up in the Air: Winners and Losers in U.S. Airline Cuts

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
India and China Ignore US Sanctions Against Iran
Iran seizes Indian ship carrying oil from Iraq
In a development with serious international ramifications, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has detained an Indian ship carrying oil in the Persian Gulf. Sources said the ship, named MT Desh Shanti, was on its way to India from Iraq when it was detained by the IRGC.
S.Korea crude imports from Iran unexpectedly surged in July
Work advancing on autonomous rotorcraft
Azerbaijan is to suspend cooperation with U.S. and NATO to ensure energy security
Israeli DM Urges US War in Syria, Announces New 'Axis of Evil'
Amid Mideast Arms Race Israel Demands More US Weaponry
Terrorism: The Latest Salvo on LNG Exports
Massive Explosion Rocks Beirut Streets
Obama cancels military exercises with Egypt in reaction to violence _ but keeps aid in place
U.S. closes embassy in Cairo, issues safety warning to citizens
New Saudi-supplied missiles boost rebels in south Syria
US Naval Update: There's A Party In The Middle-East And All The Sailors Are Invited
Mo' money, mo' problems?
Here are the top 5 recipients of US foreign aid. They aren't exactly poster-children for a democratic society.
US Navy Moves Ahead To Develop Unmanned Carrier Aircraft
Some Disturbing Facts About America's Dwindling Bomber Force
Libya threatens to bomb ships loading stolen crude oil
FYI: Historical power map of the world

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
The Massacres in Egypt Are a Precursor to a Wider Global Conflict Between the Elites and the World's Poor
The engine for this chaos is not religion but the collapsing global economy, a world where the wretched of the Earth are to be subjugated and starved or shot.
Egypt declares national emergency
Death toll rises to 638 in Egypt; buildings torched
Egypt braces for more violence as Islamists call for rallies, police told to use deadly force
Muslim Brotherhood's 'Day of Rage' in Egypt erupts into fierce street battles, 64 killed
Over 100 Killed Across Egypt, Three Day Toll Around 750
Violent Crackdown Against Pro-Democracy Protests in Bahrain
The Bahrain Ghetto: Barbed Wire Fencing Goes Up Around Certain Neighborhoods
Bahrain Protest At Dry Dock Prison Crushed By Riot Police, At Least 40 Injured
Group suicide attempt in China foiled
Protesters blast Russia's undocumented immigrants detention camps
Iraq unrest: Baghdad hit by wave of deadly bombings

## Energy/resources ##
Delhi power company struggles to pay dues as blackouts loom
No End In Sight For Spain's Escalating Solar Crisis
OPEC fiscal breakeven oil price increases 7 % in 2013
Using recent research from the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (APIC)  it can be calculated that OPEC's fiscal break-even oil prices have increased by around 7% pa in 2013 while OPEC's population grows by 10 million every year.
South Korea bakes in extreme heat amid power cuts
Coast to coast, a power grid stretched thin (Canada)
Across Canada, electricity companies are spending billions a year to reinforce aging transmission and distribution systems, with the industry estimating it will need nearly $300-billion over all in the next two decades to meet Canada's demand for reliable power, according to a 2012 report by the Conference Board of Canada. That sort of spending requires an assured rate of return for utilities and other investors footing the bill, and consumers are increasingly reluctant to stump up.
Putin Fails to Wrest Azerbaijan from Western Oil Majors Grip
Is There a Correlation Between the Level of Violence and the Output of Oil?
Brazilian government mulls gasoline, diesel price increase: report
The Brazilian government is contemplating a further increase in domestic fuel prices as state-controlled oil major Petrobras continues to face losses from importing and selling gasoline and diesel below international market prices, Edison Lobao, Brazil's minister of Mines and Energy was quoted by Brazilian media as saying.
Lebanon power plant security boosted after Turkish barge arrival
Iron Ore Gluts Seen Through 2017 on Record Supply: Commodities
The seaborne iron ore market is poised for at least four years of expanding gluts as producers from Rio Tinto Group to Vale SA increase supply to a record just as growth in China drops to the slowest pace in a generation.
Until recently, we were worried if there would be enough resources at reasonable prices to feed the maw of industrial civilization, but now that the world is running up against the energy-price barrier, the mining industry suddenly finds itself in the same position as the shipping industry: facing massive overcapacity. How long before mining becomes as (un)profitable as shale drilling? As pointed out before, net energy is already too low to sustain industrial society. Strap yourself in for a wild ride down the tubes. -- RF
The State of Shale in Europe
Marcellus Shale gas production rising faster than predictions, having national impact
Not a word about how much money the energy companies are losing. The general public may be forgiven for believing that this is the energy bonanza that is saving industrial society. -- RF
Offshore Wind Turbine Technicians to Live on the Turbine?
Morphocode, claims that the new wind turbines of the future will be nearly three times the size of a 747 passenger airplane, and require constant maintenance in order to operate at their best, and meriting a full time crew onsite.
Libya's Oil Industry Is in Trouble
North Asian countries face nuclear power crisis
Turkey plays big in Kurdistan's energy game
Richard Heinberg on Natural Gas: Bridge Fuel or Fool's Gold?
Price of oil remains over $107 a barrel as gains are extended in the face of Mideast worries
This Week in Energy: A Summer of Chaos in the Middle East
South Africa: the fracking debate rages on
Free nights and weekends: electric companies offer more customized plans
In the 'Wild West' of Water, Nestlé Gets Free Pass to Bottle the Commons
British Columbia Resident: 'We have water that's so clean and so pure. And then they take it and sell it back to us in plastic bottles.'
"Iraq will not sell crude to India at a special price": Shahristani
Saudi Arabian Oil Production

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copping the copper thieves becomes big business
This will be a great boost for GDP. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Corn Jumps on Abandoned Acres, Dry Weather; Soybeans, Wheat Rise
Corn gained the most in five weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the number of acres farmers were unable to plant surged, and as dry weather threatens Midwest crops.
Britain's Food Prices Rise as Farmers Charge More [SLIDESHOW]
Heat wave affecting food production (Japan)
Think tank: Age of 'cheap rice' from Asia is over
As Pesticides Fail, California Citrus Growers Turn to Natural Solutions
Shrimp prices are soaring as shortage grows

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Power, Identity and Social Change as We Enter Degrowth

## Environment/health ##
Hot Century Ahead: Study Finds Onslaught of Heat Waves Now Inevitable
Are the Plants You're Buying to Help Bees Actually Killing Them?
New study shows plants sold in retail stores listed as bee-friendly may actually be contaminated with toxic pesticides
Armed to teeth, goats keep weeds in check across U.S.
It's too bad that it took expensive energy to make people do something so sensible. The next thing you know, they'll be farming and pulling buggies with horses. -- RF
Study shows that long-term daily exercise can help you sleep better
Revealed: Carcinogens in Lac-Mégantic Waters 400,000 Times Govt Limit
'Extreme fire behavior': 34 wildfires rage across 11 states
Oregon's GOP Chair Wants to Sprinkle Nuclear Waste From Airplanes

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Digital reading: not so discreet after all…
Israeli Students Hired to Blast Out Occupation-Friendly Propaganda
Israel is hiring troves of university students to flood social media sites with pro-Israel messages, without revealing themselves as government hires, Israeli officials announced Wednesday.
Brain Implant Could Enhance Our Senses
Kerry: Internet, Instant Communication Making It Much Harder to Govern
Gmail Users Shouldn't Expect Privacy, Google Says In Filing
Owner of Email Service Snowden Used Faces Arrest
A New "451" Error Message Would Tell Users When Governments Are Blocking Websites
NSA violated privacy rules thousands of times, audit finds
NSA establishes $60 million data analytics lab at NC State
Your Home Appliances May be Spying on You
Minority Report: How Big Data Could Help Identify the Next Felon -- Or Blame the Wrong Guy
Syrian hackers hit U.S. news outlets

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Early Shutdown Seen for U.S. Nuclear Reactors Amid Lower Demand
RWE Shuts Unprofitable Power Plants to Spur Generation Unit
RWE AG (RWE) will close power plants as Germany's second-largest utility tries to revive profits at its electricity generating business. The company will shut 3,100 megawatts of power plants in Germany and the Netherlands, about 7 percent of RWE's capacity in northern Europe, and look at idling more stations, the Essen-based company said in a statement today.
EON First-Half Profit Falls 42% as Electricity Production Drops
Check out the above three stories. Here's a trend to watch! Demand for power is collapsing, and energy companies are trying to downsize themselves into profitability, just like the dying airline industry. One could argue that some of the reduction in demand is due to efficiency, but mainly it is because economies around the world have collided with the energy-price barrier. We were supposed to have growth, growth, and more growth — which would have meant continued growth in energy demand — but instead we are seeing hard times for power producers and oil refineries. Take a look at Japan. It's midsummer with some places logging temperatures over 40°C and people dropping like flies from heat stroke, yet the previously unthinkable has happened: the country is getting by on nearly no nuclear power (soon to be zero nuclear) by reducing air conditioning use. Energy prices are up, the economy is down. Japan too has hit the energy-price barrier. Despite what you may have read in the mainstream media, no one here is "shrugging off" high energy prices; it's just a way of life now that you do with less (totally violating the laws of the consumer society). Yet despite these obvious signs, almost all supposedly energy-savvy people still vehemently deny that industrial society will collapse, openly deriding such talk as "doomer porn." They insist that we will gracefully segue into some kind of super-efficient, high-tech utopia which runs on windmills and algae, and people zip around the planet like the Jetsons. We'll see how that goes. Meanwhile, keep watch as the riots spread and everything keeps falling apart. Oh, and have a nice day! -- RF
Central African Republic on brink of collapse: U.N.
The Central African Republic is on the brink of collapse and the crisis is threatening to spread beyond its borders, senior U.N. officials said on Wednesday as they urged the Security Council to help fund and support an African Union peacekeeping force.
Forget Student Loans…Introducing Day Care Loans
Now that enough college age Americans have been stuffed with over a trillion dollars in student debt only to get a job a McDonalds and live with their parents, folks in New York City have come up with a brilliant new concept to ensure the production of an entirely new generation of debt slaves. Introducing day care loans…and here's the best part, they are "interest only" from childcare to kindergarden!
The Real Reason High Oil Prices Lead to Instability
Complex Systems Breakdown: High Food Prices Are Fueling Egypt's Riots—and Those in Brazil, Turkey, and Syria
Unrest Threatens Egypt's $260 Billion Economy
Overdevelopment widens Florida sinkhole problem

## Japan ##
Dangerous Operation at Fukushima's Reactor No. 4 Could Ignite "Atomic Chain Reaction"
Japan's nuclear clean-up: costly, complex and at risk of failing
TEPCO Starts Removing Tainted Groundwater at N-Plant
Cesium levels in Fukushima water 8 times higher than after disaster
Nagasaki Bomb Maker Offers Lessons for Japan's Fukushima Cleanup
Japan's grids can support solar boom?
Kansai Electric to shut down Japan's only two active nuclear plants for inspection
Pump prices rise for 6th straight week
Jiji Press The average retail price of regular gasoline in Japan as of Monday rose ¥0.1 from a week before to ¥160.2 per liter, the sixth straight weekly rise, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said Wednesday.
Japanese watchdog hints won't block Abe on military changes
Japan's summer heat wave threatening the food industry
Nonpermanent Employment Rising Across Japan: Survey

## China ##
Violence Against Doctors on the Rise in China
Factors driving the surge in violence include poor doctor-patient communication, high patient expenses, unsatisfactory treatment and a lack of medical resources, Xinhua said.
Chinese zoo substitutes lion for dog
And the cost-cutting is just getting started. -- RF
500,000 people visit new Shanghai mega mall in 3 days
What Construction Boom? Beijing Running Out of Office Space
The Beginnings of a Chinese Banking Crisis?
Lies, damn lies, and China's economic statistics
Flood of problem loans to stretch China's bad banks
Chinese stock prices swing wildly after buying frenzy blamed on brokerage's computer error
China accelerates overcapacity reduction
China's bloated steel industry to face market forces

## UK ##
Activists descend on Balcombe 'fracking' site for protest camp
British shale driller suspends work on protest threat
New wave of immigrants begins
British unemployment holds at 7.8 percent
SSE Urges U.K. to Hasten Power-Plant Payments to Keep Lights On
Shadow of new dark age haunts UK
The age of apprenticeships: Increasing numbers of high-flying students are shunning going to university
NHS waiting lists are longest in five years
Energy bills to rise for thousands of households
New on the spot fines for careless drivers come into force
Margins fall at Essar Energy's Stanlow refinery due to weak prices

## US ##
Philly Fed Misses Expectations; Industrial Production Unchanged; Manufacturing Declines; Treasury Yields Soar Anyway
California Economist Says Real U.S Debt $70 Trillion, Not $16.9 Trillion the Government Claims
Dire Consequences Await As U.S. Debt Nears A Tipping Point
Child Born in 2012 Seen by U.S. Costing $241,080 to Raise
US Consumer Bankruptcies Jump By Most In Three Years; Third-Party Collections At All Time High
U.S. budget cuts hitting long-term unemployed hard
More Companies Encourage Workers To Volunteer, On The Clock
Water wars: Florida governor says he'll sue Georgia for water
Water Shortages Pose Greatest Threat to US Economic Growth
A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water
Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty
Fracking company wants to build new pipeline — for water
Antero Resources, a major Marcellus Shale driller, needs so much water for its fracking operations that it hauls truckloads from the Ohio River to its wells in West Virginia and Ohio. To cut down on transportation costs, the company now wants to build an 80-mile water pipeline.
Downward debt trend hits 10 quarters
The New York Federal Reserve Bank said Wednesday that U.S. consumers continued a trend of relying less on credit in the second quarter of the year.
Because economic growth depends partly on continuous debt expansion, this is another nail in the coffin of the growth economy. -- RF
Is the U.S. Grid Better Prepared to Prevent a Repeat of the 2003 Blackout?
Climate Change Will Cause More Grid Disruptions
Get Ready for More Nights Without Power
Wal-Mart sales disappoint as U.S. shoppers curb spending
Wal-Mart, Macy's, Kohl's Cut Profit Outlook; Cisco to Cut 4,000 Jobs, Blames Weak Economic Recovery
Armed TSA teams now roam in public, conduct "suspicionless searches" on demand
Energy Prices Shock Hawaii Farmers Into Alternatives
Consumer Prices Rise on Higher Food, Clothing Costs
Charitable foundation run by Hillary and Bill Clinton accused of 'incestuous' relationship with business interests
'The Era Of The Lawn In The West Is Over' As Drought-Weary Cities Urge Residents To Save Water
Why the working class is skipping marriage
Nuclear Reactors in U.S. Seen at Risk of Terrorist Attack
Why are SWAT Teams Answering Routine Police Calls?
Plug being pulled on 150 Patch sites
Judge clears the way for Chicago to close 50 schools
US Consumer Bankruptcies Jump By Most In Three Years; Third-Party Collections At All Time High
Report: Half of All Homes Are Being Purchased With Cash
Consumer Sentiment Takes a Death Plunge

And finally…
Beauty queen charged with tossing homemade bombs gives up her title
Fresno tree 'weeping tears of God' really just dripping bug poop
Facebook is a bummer, study says
Don't press the like button: Facebook is a bummer that makes us feel worse about our lives, according to new research.
Thai Villagers Mistake Google Maps Driver for Spy, Make Him Testify Before Buddha
The New Normal Miranda Rights

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