Tuesday, August 06, 2013


News Links, August 6-7, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Euro zone retail sales back in decline in June, France a bright spot
Von Greyerz: Falsification of economic indicators signals end of dollar as reserve currency
Uncollected Greek Taxes Rise To Record €60 Billion, One Third Of Greek GDP
Cyprus Unemployment Surges 32% Year-Over-Year
Australia's decade-long mining boom built on Chinese demand turns to bust for many businesses
$1b wiped off Fonterra's value (NZ)
Construction of new Saudi 'mega city' to begin
Italian Debt-To-GDP Worst Since Mussolini

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Planemakers rein in new jets to chase regional growth
"After focusing for years on jetliners that could fly ever further, the world's leading planemakers are turning to shorter range aircraft that appeal to airlines reluctant to pay for performance they don't need."
ONTARIO: Reviving airport will cost millions, report says
"The steep decline in passengers at Ontario International Airport is likely to continue without an influx of millions of dollars to reduce airport charges and do aggressive marketing to bring back airlines and flights."
It's not just the airlines. Many airports too are in financial trouble. -- RF
Virgin Australia increases fares amid rising fuel costs
Virgin Australia Warns of Steep Net Loss
Fees for carry-on luggage 'inevitable'
CAAB increases charges for airlines
"The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has announced the hike in charges through a statement, saying the increased rates would be effective from July 28, according to banglanews."
Poland's LOT airline to request rescue
"Polish flagship carrier LOT will ask for a second rescue loan in September, less than a year after receiving 100 million euros ($A149.35 million) from the state, its president says."
Approval sought for emergency aid for Cyprus Airways
"The Cypriot government is seeking clearance from Brussels to pump €17 million of emergency aid into Cyprus Airways in an effort to save it from bankruptcy."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Baghdad car bombs kill 35 and wound 90
India Nervous About Increasing West African Piracy
Anarchy along Mexico's southern border crossings
The Army Retools Its Recon Planes For The Pacific Era
Argentine President Fernandez renews Falklands claims at UN
Uganda public order bill is 'blow to political debate'
Eyeing China, Philippines gains U.S. ship in military upgrade
Iran's President Rouhani says determined to resolve nuclear issue
Explosion in Population of Israel's Illegal Settlements Outpaces Its Own Growth
US Special Forces Prepare 'Preemptive Strikes' Over Terror Threat

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Polish city braces for more farmers' protests over low prices
Tunisian police clash with protesters
Anti-NSA Protesters Rally On "1984 Day"

## Energy/resources ##
The Renewable Energy Boom that Never Happened
"The world was moving faster towards reducing its reliance on carbon intensive energy consumption in the 1970s and 1980s than in the past several decades. In fact, over the past 20 years there has been little if any progress in expanding the share of carbon-free energy in the global mix. Despite the rhetoric around the rise of renewable energy, the data tells a far different story."
Locals left without as Myanmar gas flows
Diesel shortage hits palm oil sector (Malaysia)
Korean govt. gears up for possible power shortage
Weather blamed for Saudi blackouts
US natgas boom sucks nuclear power into downdraft
Anything that hastens the demise of nuclear power is good, but at the same time, it's ironic that the "natgas boom" itself is underpinned by loss-making shale gas operations. -- RF
Energy Quote of the Day: US Natural Gas' Dirty Little Secret
Nigeria's Oil Troubles: The Bottom Line
Nigeria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq… Security problems endanger the flow of oil, and add to already worsening geological challenges. And then there are marine pirates. Geopolitical feedback takes its toll. -- RF
Georgia Seeks Expanded Role as Caspian Energy Corridor
South Africa Power Plants Seen at Risk of Coal Shortfall by 2015
Maugeri Misses Bakken "Red Queen"
A bit technical but well worth the effort. There are promises. There is hype. There are expectations. There is propaganda. And a lot of money has been plowed into the ground. But at the end of the day, what is the prognosis for the future of energy? Keep your eye on the Red Queen. -- RF
Shale Gas: Why Reality has not Lived Up to the Dream
Here again, when the smoke has cleared and the mirrors have fallen away, there is so much less than promised. -- RF
Australian Offshore Wages Skyrocket
"Wages and expenses in Australia's offshore oil and gas sector have increased significantly during the past five years despite a slight rise in revenue, a new Deloitte Access Economics report has found."

## Got food? ##
Test-Tube Meat's Secret Ingredient: Unborn Cow Blood
French court overturns ban on Monsanto GMO maize
93% of the Public Wants GMO Labeling—Monsanto and the Big Agribusiness Giants Plan to Spend Millions in Propaganda to Change Our Minds
When Price Controls Reach Your Dining Table
Pig virus could make pork prices soar
Farming on the Suburban Edge
To feed 4 billion more, skip meat, milk and eggs, study says
31 Percent Of U.S. Honey Bees Were Wiped Out This Year – Who Will Pollinate Our Crops?

## Environment/health ##
Fish die as Alaska temperatures continue to break records
Earth's Life-Forms Collected to Aid in Genetic Research
"The Smithsonian plans to create a huge bank of genetic samples to enable study of the planet's diversity through DNA sequencing."
Rising sea levels will seal fate of 316 U.S. cities, study warns
"A rise in sea levels has already sealed the fate of at least 316 American cities, including Miami and Jacksonville, but if global warming keeps up its current rate through 2100, the number of towns and cities doomed by water could easily go up to 1,400, a chilling new study says."
Study: Cellphones cause oxidative stress, may up cancer risk
CIRES, NOAA observe significant methane leaks in a Utah natural gas field
Hand, foot and mouth patients hit 100,000 (Japan)
Dead Dolphins Wash Up in Disturbingly High Numbers at Risk to Humans (US)
New records broken for loss of sea ice and greenhouse gases in 2012

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans
The NSA Is Giving Your Phone Records to the DEA
Feds Are Suspects in New Malware That Attacks Tor Anonymity
Rejecting NSA Spying, Wikipedia Boosts Security after XKeyscore Revelations
Danger! Embassies in sub-Saharan Africa added to closures amid security fears, bombing anniversary
Danger! White House: Terror alert may go on all month
Danger! Reports: Top al-Qaeda leaders' message intercepted
Danger! New York, San Francisco respond to overseas threat
UK and US urge all citizens to leave Yemen 'immediately'
Speculation Over 'Imminent' Terror Plot Grows
"Several days of extremely non-specific warnings about a terrorist plot that might be imminent somewhere on the planet and potentially with some ties to the Arabian Peninsula have yet to amount to any real details."
FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects
Surveillance Advocates See 'Terror Threat' as Another Secret Vindication
"Supporters of the NSA surveillance program didn't need an excuse for liking the idea of violating Americans' privacy, but they're pretty sure they found one with the new 'terrorist threat' situation that led to a number of embassy closures."
Children Banned from Talking about Fracking as Reign of Silence Spreads
Military Tests Data Mining of Social Media for Special Ops
Famed hacker to Snowden: Watch out for assassination
NSA Spying Scandal Could Cost U.S. Cloud Computing Firms $35 Billion

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Ultra-deepwater 'faces talent crunch'
Behind a paywall, but the summary sentence says it all. As I've pointed out time and again, the oil industry is one of many which suffers a shortage of engineers and skilled workers, and that is one of the factors behind the overall decline of industrial civilization. -- RF
Study: Record Number 21 Million Young Adults Living With Parents (US)
Greek medicine shortage: Crisis hits most popular drugs
The world water shortage looks unsolvable
The Great Recession made some moms scream at their kids more

## Japan ##
Fukushima Radioactivity Seeping Into Ocean at 'Emergency' Level, says Watchdog
TEPCO says radioactive water overflowing at Fukushima plant
Radioactivity levels in Fukushima groundwater increase 47-fold over 5 days
Japan Near Stagnation Following 9 Months of Growth; Service Sector Prices Back in Deflation; Spotlight on Abenomics
Japan's Tepco buys 2.2 mil mt LNG in July, highest since Aug 2012: source
Two years on from meltdowns, Japan experts predict July restart for some reactors
Japan Shows Off Largest Warship In 60 Years
U.S. military helicopter crashes inside base on Japan's Okinawa
Japan Near Stagnation Following 9 Months of Growth; Service Sector Prices Back in Deflation; Spotlight on Abenomics
Price of wheat to rise for third time under Abe
Industry minister approves electricity rate hikes by 3 utilities
Tokyo parks gearing up to provide vital amenities in emergencies
29,700 hospitalized for heatstroke so far

## China ##
Ordos sinking under rising government debt
"The city of Ordos in northern China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region has gone from being the richest city in China per capita to being one of the country's 12 ghost towns, but its latest label is as a 'debt city' after it has encountered similar debt problems as Detroit."
China Bails Out Its Shipping Industry, Blows Latest Capital Misallocation Bubble
China's Debt Surge Pressures Xi-Li to Avert Lost Decade
Hunan province faces severe drought
Drought in China leaves nearly 6 million lacking water
Beijing invites foreign bids for $55 billion in infrastructure projects
China too wants to build a load of infrastructure that it won't be able to maintain. -- RF
China won't let earthquakes stop its quest for energy
China Tried To Build A City To Replicate Paris ... And Here's What It Looks Like Now

## UK ##
Seaside towns have become 'dumping grounds' for poor, says think-tank
Petrol chiefs slam ministers over fuel theft 'epidemic'
"Petrol industry chiefs have criticised government ministers and the police for doing nothing to tackle 'epidemic' levels of people driving off without paying from the nation's forecourts."
High unemployment cuts use of deodorant as jobs market affects male personal hygiene
"The core driver for using deodorant as part of a routine is getting ready for work. Unemployment removes this."
McDonald's ties nine out of 10 workers to zero-hours contracts
"McDonald's has emerged as potentially the biggest zero-hours employer in the private sector after admitting that it employs 90% of its entire workforce in Britain, or 82,800 staff, on the controversial terms."

## US ##
Vehicles on U.S. roads are oldest on record: Polk
"Cars and trucks on U.S. roads average 11.4 years in age, the oldest on record since research and consulting firm Polk began to keep track of vehicle age in 1995, Polk said on Tuesday."
Newly available wind power often has no place to go
"Wind turbines tower over rural vistas in the heartland, where the clean energy source is becoming increasingly popular with utility companies that face state-mandated renewable energy standards. Unfortunately, the nation's aging power grid is hampering those efforts."
How Much is Oil Supporting U.S. Employment Gains?
Hazardous chemical leak after Louisiana train derails
U.S. ambulance operator Rural/Metro files for bankruptcy
Banks Threaten to Punish Cities that Use Eminent Domain to Help Underwater Homeowners
40 Percent Of U.S. Workers Make Less Than What A Full-Time Minimum Wage Worker Made In 1968
Police cameras busy snapping license plates
Stock roller coaster set for sickening drop
Loans for day care issued to New York City parents
"Child care is so expensive in New York City that City Council Speaker and mayoral frontrunner Christine Quinn is launching a loan program to help middle-class parents pay for daycare."
Is Al Qaeda On the Run? Or Are We?
Pandemic of pension woes is plaguing the nation
Pension over-promises need renegotiating: Hubbard
America's Urban Distress: Why the Public Pension Problem Is Worse than You Think
Rahm's Chicago: $1 Billion Financial Shortfall Forecast by 2015
"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the city's second Annual Financial Forecast on Wednesday. Not only does the report predict a $369 million financial shortfall for the city's operating 'budget' in 2014, but it also predicts a shortfall of more than $1 billion by the year 2015."
Wall Street watchdog says scammers going retro with phone calls
Wells Are Running Dry In Parts Of Kansas
Drought-Stricken New Mexico Farmers Drain Aquifer To Sell Water For Fracking
In Bid for Tanks, NH Police Label Protest Groups 'Terrorists'
"In a bid to bring armored vehicles to the small, capital city of Concord, New Hampshire, the local police department is trying to exploit peaceful activist groups such as Occupy New Hampshire and the libertarian Free State Project as 'terror threats.'"
TSA's armed VIPR-squad sweeps spreading outside airports
TSA Patdowns Coming to a Concert Near You
Army Will Not Suspend Contracts with Al Qaeda-Tied Companies, Citing "Due Process Rights"
Only 40% Of Federal Student Loan Borrowers Are Currently Making A Payment

And finally...
Protest over death of sidewalk vendor in China undermined when 'corpse' reaches for a drink
Big, scary goose prevents meter reader from doing job

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